No Division tour featuring Max Tundra Glasgow: 13th Note Club, Fri 14 Apr.
The No Division tour reaches Glasgow this month, after dates around the UK taking a genuinely innovative approach and breaking down the boundaries between visual art, music performance and clubbing. The live acts include newcomers Lisp who sugarspin delicate, melodic post-pop using guitars and electronics, and the groundbreaking hip hop duo Rodney P 8: DJ Skitz, with DJ support from Skylab and Lazarus.
Perhaps the most representative of the acts, in terms of his innovative approach at least, is Max Tundra, whose releases for the Warp and Domino imprints feature intricate combinations of live instrumentation and primitivist electronics, referencing anything from avant- jazz to tinny 80$ dance beats.
As you might expect, Max Tundra's music confounds attempts at accurate description and does not fit neatly into even the most obscure sub-genre pigeonhole. ‘I would like to think that I’ve managed to write an album that you can’t really categorise, which I know sounds really corny,’ Tundra explains, 'but I have genuinely tried to give people a bit of value for money - so many groups claim they can’t be categorised, then you put the CD on and it's 70 minutes of trip hop with the same drum beat on every track.’
This refusal to bow to convention extends to the production techniques on the recently released debut long player, Some Friend You Turned Out To Be, with the keenest of ears confounded by the admixture of samples and good old-fashioned instruments: 'There are a lot of real instruments on the album and the basis of each track is put together on my rather primitive 80$ Commodore Amiga. l actively try to play instruments in such a way that you can’t quite be sure if they are real or sampled, so I'll play them in a repetitive way and programme samples in a non-repetitive way to blur that boundary.’
'I tend to be seen as a dance producer of some sort - though God 0
nly knows how you're supposed to dance to most of the stuff’
To realise such a reversal of expected practice in a live context, you might expect a brace of session musicians on stage to handle guitar, trumpet and synth duties but, again, Max Tundra takes an alternative route: 'I couldn’t ever be part of a band, because I know exactly how I want each note to sound. That said, I do play the more electronic, dancey tracks anyway, because in the live arena people are more receptive to something they can dance to and I tend to be seen as a dance producer of some sort — though God only knows how you're supposed to dance to most of the stuff.’
The No Division acts are, then, a must see for anyone who keeps an eye out for developments at the outer reaches of music, with Max Tundra the cream of the crop. (Jack Mottram)
Some Friend You Turned Out To Be is out now on Domino Records. A 72in will be available at the venue featuring exclusive tracks by all involved. For more details on Max Tundra see www maxtundracom
’With a marimba there are hundreds of targets and thousands of notes'
with European, almost Bartok-like metres. There are lots of time signature and rhythmic sWItches.’
The concerto dates from 1986, and is in four descriptiver titled movements — ’Greetings’, ’Lament’, ’Dance’ and ’Farewell’. An early champion was Evelyn Glennie. As she says, ’Ney Rosauro’s compositional skills simply charm and seduce us.’
Latin American rhythms are also integral to the duet with Gould, by extrovert Danish composer Anders Koppel. ’lt's a Jazzy tarantella about a South American girl who is bitten by a spider,’ explains Currie. ’She does the
BT Scottish Ensemble —
A Night in Rio
Glasgow: Royal Concert Hall, Fri 14 Apr;
Edinburgh: Queen's Hall, Sat lSApr.
It is tempting to surmise that BT Scottish Ensemble director, Clio Gould, chose the title for their next concerts because it rhymes with her name : A Night in Rio — wrth Clio — has a certain ring to it. (Just imagine, Rattle in Seattle or a night with Glennie in Denny?) In actuality, it has nothing to do with nifty rhymes, but everything to do wrth some fabulous South American music. Add to that the
44 THE lIST 13—27 Apr 2000
chance to hear the astonishing young Scottish percussionist Colin Currie as marimba soloist and you’re on your way to Brazil qwcker than Ally’s tartan army. In a programme which, explains Currie, ’is an exploration of the different roles of the percussionist he moves from playing timpani in a night time serenade by Mozart, vra a Violin and marimba duet With Gould, to the high mm of the evening — the Concerto for Marimba by Ney Rosauro. ’It’s very entertaining,’ says Currie, ’very tuneful, catchy and uses South American melodies and harmonies. But, interestingly, Rosauro combines them
dance to get rid of the porson. it’s groovy.’
The marimba, a sort of large, deeper- toned xylophone played wrth soft- headed sticks which originated in Africa, is probably Currie’s favourite of all the percussion instruments. ’| play it every day,’ he says, ’and there’s so much good repertoire for it. It’s the percussion instrument with the largest range and it works well with other instruments.’ Currie plays everything from rremory. ’You have to use your eyes to look at the instrument - there are hundreds of tiny targets and thousands of notes.’ (Carol Main)
This issue: Nine Yards. This London trio, Flake, Step and Daze dish up a spicy combination of hip hop, R&B and soul which has led them to support slots with Brand New Heavies and Puff Daddy.
Name an album that's an unrecognised classic?
Flake: Diary OfA Mad Band by Jodeci. Step: For You by Prince — his debut. Daze: Brian McKnight’s first album. Which artist or record first made you want to make music?
F: ’Don’t Be Cruel' by Bobby Brown.
S: Isaac Hayes.
D: Stevie Wonder.
Name a song you wish you'd written? F: ’Song For You’ by Donnie Hathaway. S: ’Thriller’ by Michael Jackson.
D: ’Where Is The Love?’ by Donnie Hathaway and Roberta Flack.
Who was the first pop star you had a crush on?
F: Ice T’s wife.
S: Karen White.
D: Chili from TLC.
What song makes you cry?
F: ’One Last Cry’ by Brian McKnight. S: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
D: ’House Is Not A Home’ by Luther Vandross.
Name a gig that changed your life. F: 2 Live Crew.
S: Boys ll Men.
D: The Roots.
Name a non-musical influence on your music.
F:Women without clothes on.
S: My Dad.
D: Being skint.
Who would be on your dream Top Of The Pops?
F: Wu Tang Clan — uncut.
S: Luke and the 2 Live Crew — uncut. D: Tyra Banks, Halle Berry, TLC, Dawn Robinson from En Vogue, Eric Bennet, Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley singing ’I Want To Give You Some Lovrn”. What do you play as an aid to seduction?
F: ’80 Amazing' by Luther Vandross. S: Anything by R Kelly.
D: Destiny’s Child, Jodeci, and the new Donnell Jones album.
What do you sing in the shower?
F: ’Looking Into My Eyes’ by Bounty Killer.
S: ’Slam’ by Onyx.
D: ’Hang ’Em High And Skin ‘Em Up Alive’ by Capelton.
Nine Yards support Brand New Heavies at Barrow/and, Glasgow on Tue 78 Apr.