an ambient manner, mostly on synthesisers. If the label said ’Rick Wakeman', you’d cringe; but it's Madonna and Blur production maestro William Orbit, so it must be a work of genius, right? Oh so very, very wrong.

Barber's ’Adagio For Strings’ - one of the most beautiful melodies ever written - becomes the slushy bit in a sci-fi fantasy movie scored by Vangelis. Cage's ’In A Landscape' is a bridge passage by Mike Oldfield in a Tubular Bel/s sequel. Satie’s 'Ogive No 1', with helicopter blades over arpeggio bleeps, is Tangerine Dream. Yes, this is a ’modern style’ if by that you mean the pretentions of 70s prog rock.

Then your dad finds the whoopy- swirly effects button on the toy Casio for Mascagni's 'Cavalleria Rusticana’. And on and on, through lift music, on- hold phone lines and early arcade video game accompaniments. Orbit is the Emperor of No Credibility, up for ridicule in his borrowed clothes. He destroys the music, flattening its emotion into a literally synthetic product. (AM)


Various Artists

Blax Is Back (Charly) «it was:

Not a definitive compilation where's Isaac Hayes? rather a trawl through the Charly back catalogue of early-mid 70$ funk, soul and jazz. This is no bad thing. That said, the opener is Bobby Womack’s theme to the 1972 Harlem- set thriller, Across I 70th Street, also used by Quentin Tarantino in Jack/e Brown. The choice cuts? Try the pleas and warnings of Lightnin' Rod's 'The Cafe Black Rose’, Curtis Mayfield’s ’Freddie’s Dead' or Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘The Bottle’. But leave Isaac Hayes for the TV-advertised compilations. Instead, check out what Jimmy McGriff can do with his organ (Hammond that is) on ’Theme From Shaft’. (MF)

mm:- Round-up

It takes only the first month of the year to remind you just how good and how absoluter mediocre the magical world of pop can be. Joey Negro has enlisted the help of Taka Boom and created a hook-laden, shiny, pumped-up house track. 'Must be The Music’ (Incentive, what) has been melting dancefloors since the summer but Aurora's trance- Iite 'Hear You Calling (Positiva, “Xx fir) and Superfunk's ’Lucky Star' (Virgin, w) only succeed in irritating. All three will be hits, but that doesn't make them all


Handsome Boy Modeling School may well be taking the piss, but they do it in style. 'Rock 'n' Roll' (Tommy Boy,

« a at «a a) is a chunk of cut ’n’ paste instrumental hip hop which only goes to reaffirm their producing talents. Donell Jones' hip hop swagger, on the other hand, is polished to a shiny R&B hue. ’U Know What’s Up' (LaFace,

a a: a) is catchy, but even the usually fail-safe inclusion of Left-Eye from TLC can't lift things past not bad.

The Cuban Brothers and their Scandinavian alter egos, the Nordic Brothers, have finally been committed to vinyl (Yush, a: >62 it). This saucy tittle- tattle fails to capture the pornographic magic of the boys live, but will be enough until the $130 million movie offers start rolling in.

Bowery Electric skitter along domg the Massive Attack shuffle without the choruses on ’Freedom Fighter' (Beggars Banquet, ~;~. éz), sadly not quite the firebrand the title would suggest. Something more incendiary than a carrier bag full of firecrackers, however, is the Idjut Boys and Quakerman's touching duet ’Radio Rage’ (Glasgow Underground, a: M’s/kit). This has the ass-slappin’, funk bassline to end all ass-slappin’, funk basslines, and really not much else. The remixes change, but don't improve on the original - a near impossible task anyway. In stark contrast again, is the Utah Saints big comeback ’Love Song' (Echo, e), which is so dated and tacky sounding you may have wished it was a cover of the Simple Minds travesty of the same name.

Mint Royale have ensnared the help of ex-Kenickie star Lauren Laverne to assist their climb to international notoriety. This ambles along and has a chorus to boot, but as with Papa Mantra's ’Out Of Your Tree’ (Telstar, 9:- ~¢<) and Matthew Jay's Four Songs EP (Parlophone, s 9:), it ultimately fails to engage.

And finally The Brand New Heavies the band who make Oasis sound like Miles Davis in the originality stakes. The installation of new vocalist Carleen Anderson (replacing the last one who went back to working in a chippy or something) has not changed the fact that the value of this band of charlatans massacring this perfectly good tune is all in the name: ’Apparently Nothing’ (London, 22). (Mark Robertson)


Catherine Bromley, Miles Fielder, Doug Johnstone, Kenny Mathieson, Alan Morrison, Jack Mottram, Mark Robertson


Oh my god. they're gorgeouslz Handsome Boy Modeling School

record reviews MUSIC

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