The Future — Remixed (Talkin' Loud) *
Kings of the Kangol beret jazz set, lncognito attempt to breathe fresh life into their flacid jazz with this unimaginative remix album. Although the band have diversified from straight jazz funk to include soul-styled orchestral arrangements and deeper vocal interplay since their beginnings in 1980, the producers here are hard pushed to create anything new from the material on offer. The Jazzanova remix of 'Get Into My Groove’ makes some headway with its chunky, cut-up beats but even this track degenerates into Brand New Heavies hell. Quite literally, an ill-advised step back to a time best forgotten. (CB)
HIP HOP Goodie Mob
World Party (La Face) it it st Atlanta-based hip hop crew, the
Goodie Mob, spread global unity on their debut longplay, World Party. T-Mo Goodie, Khujo Goodie, Cee-lo and Gipp may look ridiculous wearing their ethnic garb on the cover of this record, but don’t let that put you off because this is welloproduced, mainstream party hip hop. Displaying a good range of beats and grooves, the boys turn out smooth and sexy R&B with reggae influences on 'All A’s’ and electro breaks on ‘What It Ain't'. The rhyming talents are mighty impressive too and although the album contains some cussing, this is a predominantly non- violent, de-politicised affair. (CB)
SOUL Various Artists
I'm A Good Woman (Harmless)
'2'? sir “A k
As everyone knows, Girl Power did not start with the five poptastic upstarts who urged us all to zig-a-Zig ahhh. The likes of Gladys Knight, Betty Moorer and Patti Jo used music as a medium to champion strong, proud women (and berate the behaviour in which the male of the species are prone to indulge) long before The Spice Girls could spell the word diva. This compilation of well chosen, hip wigglin’ booty shakin' funk classics documents how female artists in the early 70s took on and answered the
male dominated world of funk and soul. It's the perfect complement to the ubiquitous testosterone-soaked soul numbers which get repackaged and re- released at every opportunity. (DK)
The Complete Recordings — 1976-81 (Charly) t ****
Eccentric geniuses or a bunch of wigged-out nutjobs? Whatever your opinion of Funkadelic there's no denying that when it comes to the phenomenon they so lovingly call 'the funk' they knew their stuff.
The four CDs that constitute the complete recordings provide a fitting overview of the black experimental funk, pop, rock band whose sound was influenced by the likes of James Brown, late Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone. Although some of the tracks are dated and a little incohesive, this collection’s a must for all lovers of George Clinton, the Grand High Poobah of all things funky, and his legions of crazy music-makers. (DK)
DUB Jackie Mittoo
Best Of (Soul Jazz) a: air it Dub is a strange beast indeed. Held
prisoner by its own history, it forever walks a tightrope: the abyss of novelty on one side, a horde of crusties wanting a free party and as much skunk as they can smoke on the other. However, its a tightrope that Jackie Mittoo navigates with skill; in this Best Of there's all the echo-laden beats Lee Perry could ever want, basslines which are smoky and aromatic, and a heavy dose of maverick soul sensibility lifts tracks like Stereo Freeze and Get Up And Get It from meadering formula into semi-anarchic (if still stoned) hedonism. (LM)
JAZZ MulfordlMacFarlane Group
Bright Lights, Big City (Jazzizit) )5! at it
This band is co-led by bassist Phil Mulford and guitarist Malcolm MacFarlane, who has been a familiar fixture on the Edinburgh jazz scene in recent times. It is a smooth but muscular jazz funk affair, with the soloing shared around between the two principals, keyboard player Simon Carter and saxophonist Adrian Revell,
No pain, no gain: Morphine
plus in—your-face soul vocals from JachI Hicks on three cuts. There isn’t really anything to knock your socks off, but the grooves are solid, the playing is nicely energised, and the band clearly feel the disc has crossover potential, since they have included additional 'radio versions' of two of the most readily accessible tracks. (KM)
Seka Volume 2 (Twah!) 'k‘k‘k
Seka is both a term of affection (sister) in Serbo-Croat and the name of financially straightened centre for traumatised women and children on the Croatian island of Brac. As good causes go, it rates pretty high, but this fund-raising disc also offers a generous 78 minutes of fine left-field roots music, so you can feel good on both counts. The 22 tracks range from mainstream names like Tom Waits, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Louden Wainwright and Billy Bragg through to indie outfits like Mekons, Hazeldine and the shambolic Black 47, and touch on a fair old range of styles in the process. As an additional incentive, around half of the material comes in verSions exclusive to this disc. (KM)
The Beach OST (London Records)
it it it First was the hugely successful Alex
Garland novel, now the (no doubt) hugely successful him With this, the obligatory soundtrack full of big names, and a right old mixed bag it is too. Apart from the excellent clinical beats of Leftfield's 'Snakeblood', the first half of the album drifts past much like a day spent sunning yourself on the beach, the criminally half-arsed ‘8 Ball’ from Underworld being the worst offender.
Blur liven things up around the halfway mark With a kamikaze speed garage new wave remix of 'On Your Own', but you have to wait until towards the end to get the best songs. Barry Adamson’s 'lt’s Business as Usual' and UNKLE’s 'Lonely Soul' both chip in with schizophrenic spooky chunks of drums and samples, before Orbital finish it all off to their usual high standards with their quirky yet catchy interpretation of the film's theme tune. (DJ)
The Bone Collector (Decca) k k A it Glaswegian composer Craig Armstrong is famous for working as comfortably with Massive Attack as with the SCO, and is perhaps in his most compatible medium writing for film. His earlier scores for epics like Batman Forever and Goldeneye have their dramatic echo (and mandatory scary bits) here, but it is the opulent romanticism of his superb score for Romeo And Juliet which is most directly evoked in this soundtrack. His chosen idiom draws on some of the principles of repetition and momentum-by-rhythmic accretion pioneered by the Minimalists, but goes beyond any such classification in spinning out his lush textures behind simple, at times almost folk-like melodies. (KM)
record reviews MUSIC
Do not fall for the wrley trickery of the marketing men and stylists, painting some old toss up to look interesting, they are out to deceive you and rob you of your hard earned cash. Straw- haired, DD-ed sultresses and moody shaven hunks do not make good music it would appear. Johnson’s soulful (read soulless) pop ballad ’Lovething’ (Sony i) is so highly polished and twee it makes Aqua seem like Sepultura. 'Hefner perform four religious songs' they proudly declare on the CD sleeve, 'Revelations’ (Top Dog *ii’i) while not quite liVing up to it’s heady title still packs an evangelical punch of Southern blues despair and has a Nun and two puppies on a motorbike on the cover. Gawd bless ’em.
The Motorhomes have come all the way from Sweden to deliver their nugget of stellar anthemic rock. ’It's Alright’ has touches of the Radiohead’s about it (Epic tit) which is no real bad thing; again it’s a case of too slick, too smooth, too soon.
Ian Brown has got ’the funk’, or so he would have you believe. ‘Dolphin’s Were Monkeys' (Polydor ii) is one of the better cuts from his highly over- rated last album, the problem is it is the vocals that spoil it — but they are the whole point, are they not? Very monkey, not very magic. Sgt. Slick does his bit for race relations with 'White Treble, Black Bass’ (Neo iii), a bumping disco funker which is let down by an over excited sax player, but improves after Trevor Rockliffe hacks it to pieces and chucks in some thudding bottom-end antics for the remix. When you have virtually invented an entire genre of music it must be difficult to think how to add to it after fourteen years. 'Expo 2000’ (EMI *ttti) sees Kraftwerk toddle back into the fray sounding like all those people they helped to inspire: part Detroit techno, part Orbital, part Daft Punk, all fantastic. Maybe they were just waiting until the title was appropriate? Ever keen on continuing his diverse array of interests LU Bukem has return with a four tracker of drum & bass, down tempo funk and soulful jazz with some success. ’Suspended Space EP’ only really hits the spot when he lets go a little (Good Looking tint).
We need ‘I’en Benson. ’Robot Tourist‘ (Cottage *ttt) is quite strange indeed, like what it might sound like if Primal Scream and the Butthole Surfers got together and drank sherry for a week. and quite fantastic for that. (Mark Robertson)
Religious maniacs: Hefner
STAR RATINGS air an: a i Unmissable * it it it Very ood M it Wort a shot it a Below average it You've been warned
3—1 7 Feb 2000 THE “8139