New York producer Chris Brann is back With another ’proiect’, this one bearing an edually nonsensical title. What Brann lacks in credible band names he makes up for in the substance of his s0ulful, US house thOugh and this ’proiect' brings together an eclectic group of musicians and vocalists to maximum effect. Gaelle ’King Of My Castle' Addison returns to deliver her warm and earthy vocal to the already classic ’Cascades Of Colour' and strong Latino, nu-iazz influences add depth and sensuality to the sassy home and garage grooves (Catherine Bromleyi

SOUL/FUNK Various Artists

Shaun Ryder’s Planet Groove (Beechwood Music)

Shaun Ryder’s ultimate dance album? I don’t think so. If you are trying to tell me that the former MC of the Happy Mondays drugs-and-danCing cabaret seriously prefers a bit of Rod Stewart and Serge Gainsturg above all else then you must have a disturbing and probably qwte eVil hidden agenda. This may be an excellent bunch of sultry disco fav0urites but apart from the presence of 'Voodoo Ray’, this sounds as if everyone’s favourite Mancunian renegade has been forced to cobble together a party tape from my auntie’s record collection. Either that or this is the music that Sean uses to seduce ladies and we don’t want to have to contemplate that, thank you very much. (Tim Abrahams)

WORLD Mercedes Peén Isue (Resistencia)

Fiery Celts watch out, lsue means ’That's ltl’ fiercely declared by the rarely shy and retiring Mercedes PeOn and herein is the eVidence to back that up. A Wild scream crashes out over undulating North African sounds while elsewhere, solo v0ice and accordion dazzle. Constantly movmg back to her GaliCian roots, influences are multiple, including echoes of Finland’s best varttina' and the rattling pandeiretas of compatriots Leilia. PeOn plays With her enwable v0ice, as well as the pandereta (tambourine) she is number one at, as choruses insinuate over sWirling pipes and zanfonas. There's plenty of club tracks on here too so the dancefloor need never be empty either.

(Jan Fairley)

Sam Mangwana

Sam Mangwans sings Dino Vangu (Steins African)

The sweet serenading sounds of Congolese soukous are irresistible; guntarists pluck spiralling licks, seductive choruses in melodic Lingala and French nuzzle the ear, the golden voice of rumbero Sam Mangwana soars, while behind gUitarist composer Dino Vangu, congas pulse out rhythms, saxes le away, brass blast out riffs. This is the music that has influenced just about every African pop style in existence. It will get anyone onto the dance floor discovering hips to sWing or Just shrugging it round the liVing room. Totally feel good, it beats Prozac for winter blues anyday, play it loud to drown out that ’phone (Jan Fairley)

JAZZ Miles Davns Birth of the Cool (Capitol)

Another reissue of Birth of the Cool So what7 rAs Miles said in another c0ntexti, this must be one of the most reissued of all Jazz albums since the original lOin discs were gathered oi“ LP in I957 What makes this one different is that the sOurce recOrding is the long- misplaced original masters, rather than slightly poorer quality tapes that have been used on all prewous reissues Any difference? Despite my dubiousness about many such claims, I have to say, yes there is, and quite a marked one Direct comparison With a previous CD isSue reveals a noticeably fuller and clearer s0und than any version I have heard, allovving the lustrous instrumental textures to shine more ViVidly The disc is part of the Rudy Van Gelder series on Blue Note, and sells at lfild-DHCQ Worth the investment7 Yes, although it is annOying that they haven't also included the live material from this band, which was added to the last reissue of this disc as The Complete Birth of the Cool, for which relapse into miserliness l dock a star. The music, of c0urse, is timeless gold, and gets the full handful. (Kenny Mathiesoni

JAZZ/SOUNDTRACK Peter Rugolo The Fugitive (Silva Screen)

Oddly enough, Pete Rugolo was not only one of the original producers of Birth of the Cool, but also gave the music that famous name. Rugolo was a leading West Coast Jazz arranger who studied classical composition With Darius Milhaud in Oakland, and made his name With Stan Kenton in the late 405, notably in his charts for Kenton's Innovations in Modern Music Orchestra. He was a producer at Capitol in the 50s, and later wrote many sOundtracks for teleVision and film, All of these influences underlie the evocative score for the cult TV series The Fugitive, which is one of his most famous, and stands up pretty well on disc, although maybe mainly for fans of the series. (Kenny Mathieson)


Samuel Barber Orchestral Works, Vol 2 (Naxos)

The second in a series of CDs covering the symphonic works of Barber, this recording further demonstrates the RSNO’s status as a world class orchestra. Conductor Marin Alsip has built up a good relationship With them over the past three years, and her easy style lends itself well to the works of her fellow American. After William Orbit’s butchering of the awesomely beautiful Adagio for Strings, it’s nice to hear the piece infused With the romantic passion Barber intended, Short but sweet, Adagio is preceded here by two weightier pieces; the Cello Concerto (performed by the stunning Wendy Warner) which although darker has its own moments of delicate beauty; and the Medea Ballet SUite, a dynamic work created originally for choreographer Martha Graham. Dramatic stuff. (Kelly Apter)

The sin les

One half of Bristo ian sweeping melodic songsters Straw sort the wheat from the chaff (excuse the pun, m’lord).

Iriter Doug Johnstone

SINGLE OF THE FORTN/GHT‘ Arab Strap ’Love Detective’ (Che/nika/ Underground) -~ Another cracking understated beauty from Fa/kirk’s kings of sordid misery

Dan McKinna: ’This is good, it sounded really interesting at the beginning I like the sound of the backing and the feel Of it'

Mattie Bennett: ’It's the sort of thing you might put on at 4.37am Sunday morning when yOu get in.’

DM: ’If it came on the radio I wouldn't turn over which is always a good sign, but I’m not sure if it’s gOing to be on Top of the Pops next week

MB: ‘That's a good thing'

Shivaree Goodnight Moon’ (Capitol) ~ Gent/y subversive country Singalong. DM: ’This is pleasant enough

MB: ’But it’s like Sheryl Crow.’

DM: 'lt's a bit more easy listening than that/

MB: 'It’s like a lady Chris lsaaks. And she’s called Ambrosia Parsley which is fantastic'

Dum Dums ’Army Of Two’ (Good Behawour) -— Dull airbrushed teenage indie rock ballad.

MB: 'I was expecting something a bit more exciting but that was B-L-A-N-D ' DM: ’Yeah and a bit MOR as well, in a Del Amitri kind of way.’

MB: ’Ouch, the knives are out’

The Mau-Maus ’Disco Suxx’ (Eastcentralfour) Shocking/y poor hatchet/ob of rock and dance. Like Carter USA/l but much worse

DM: ’The only way to describe this is naff.’

MB: ‘It's not my cup of tea, and I don’t know whose cup of tea it WOuld be.’

record reviews MUSIC

Straw love the 'Strap

DM: 'Between me and Mattie we cover quite a lot of (ups of tea '

MB: 'We run the gamut from farl (irey to Lapsang Souc hong, and that's nowhere in there '

DM: ‘l'hat's not even Yorkshire tea ' Mari/yr) Manson ’Fight Song’ (l\lothiiig/liiterscopel More establishment baiting from the evi/ androgynous emperor

MB: ’This is a cross between Blur and Motorhead in a good way If l was twelve l think I'd like it '

DM: 'The way it kicks in at the start is really good

MB: ’lt’s got a good chorus, cos you can walk around shouting "light, fight, fight" a lot '

The Yo-Yo’s ’Suiishine (jirl’ (Subpop) r Grammatical/y incorrect and lainentab/y turgid boogie—rock drivel from old blokes With guiffs.

MB: ’We could play this song now, it's totally pub rock by nuinbers'

DM: ’Yeah, it’s punky pub rock And dull I'm no songwriter but I could have knocked that out in five minutes '

MB: 'Yeah but you wouldn't cos you'd be embarrassed.’

Amen ’Too Hard To Be Free’ (Virgin) —- Extreme Yank metal mayhem from Chasey Chaos and chums. MB: ’That was quite good actually I don't really like that kind of thing, but that’s got energy and exCitement DM: 'lt's the kind of thing I’d want to play to my fourteen-year-old nephew cos he’s really into metal, Just to get his seal of approval, cos to me it Just sOunds like all metal did ten years ago,’ Straw release the Single ’Sai/ing Off The Edge Of The World’ on 72 Feb on Columbia



Very good

Worth a shot

Below average You've been warned

l—lS Feb 2001 THE “ST 51