arryxa ere but back to their recording stridio in Busby It seerrrs sorrreOne has taken the portraits of Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard off the .'.all and replaced tlierr‘ .'.~tlr one of Blink I82 However, one left Ill no doubt that this lI'aJUl taient .'.'lll release something good soori 'Siirfer Joan' iS a lot of fun though ‘Prltli Daler

Jim White

No Such Place (Luaka Bop)

It seerr:s sorrietliirrg of an injustice that ‘.‘.'hc-ri fleck pretends to be a fucked up hrc l' he fairious, while srrrirlarly eclec tic and endearing music by the likes of real frrc ked up hick llll‘. White goes relatively unnoticed Taking a country blueprint and adding touches of gospel, funk and blues, Jim White has created an evocative and often beautiful landscape of deep South weirdness Most impressive throughout No Such Place is the oddly endearing, boss—eyed, inbred, country elogirenc e of White, whose delicious turn of phrase is hard to resist in self- effac ing tales such as 'Handcuffed To A lerice In lvlissrssippi, or 'Cjod Was Drunk When He Made Me' (Doug Johnstonei

SOUL Rae & Christian Sleepwalking (Grand Central)

After the success of the acclaimed debut album Northern Sulphuric Soul, lvlanc hester’s finest production duo are back Deriionstratrng an impressive scope that incorporates classic soul, ambient breaks and the old-skool hip hop that Rae & Christian do so well, Sleepiva/king is a polished piece of work lhe well Jiggy party hip hop of 'lt Ain’t Nothing Like' featuring The Pharcycle and the solid soul of 'Get A Life' and 'Wake Up Everybody’ recorded with legendary funkster Bobby Wornack immediately make an impact, but it's the more subdued soul of songs like ’Var Viver A Vida' featuring Portuguese vocalist Tania Maria that Will give this album the longevity it deserves

(Catherine Br‘omleyl

Various Artists

The Lick Presented by Trevor Nelson (Universal)

Trevor Nelson is the friendly face of serious R&B and this double CD consists of some of the current hits from the genre Now half of this is credible R&B and lard-back hip hop from the likes of Kelis, Dr Dre and Courtney Pine. But the other half slips into the murky world of chart R&B and sOuI wrth cheesy slow numbers from various offenders including Craig Davrd, Damage and worst of all R. Kelly. So a pretty mixed bag, a lot of it is pretty good, undenrably smooth and defiantly one for impressing 'the ladies', but there is too much crap cluttering up this compilation to make it essential. (Henry Northmore)

ELECTRONIC Stacey Pullen

Today Is The Tomorrow You Were Promised Yesterday (Virgin)

Stacey Pullen has been producmg and

Dlrng on the DetrOrt techno scene since the 80s but has never n acre the same name fOr hin‘self as such lur’r’iinaries as Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson And Judging frorr‘ this offering he deserves to as it's a cracking slice of ll‘.’|llg roon‘ techno Not that YOU cocrldn't shake yOur booty to most of the tracks ('Juke' and ‘Futuristicfreakgueen’ spring to lTlII‘iClr but this stands up jUST as well in the privacy of y0ur' own home as on the dancefloor The Detroit sound is shot through with Jazz (particularly 'AOthstreetblack'i and rs generally cut from the It‘iellOWE‘l side of the predominately harsh world of techno (Henry NOrthrriorei

Sven vath Retrospective 1990—97 (WEA)

Berliner Vath is a much maligned force in electronic music, as much because of the nature of his fadclrsh hairstyles and outlandish attire as anything He, like his now fashionable Euro compatriot Oliver Lieb, has become

rec ognised for the groundbreaking work he has done Vath’s allegiance to purriping, surging techno With a deep melodic core is apparent here and over nine tracks he takes us through his back catalogue, which saw him release numerous tracks on the likes of Eye-O and Harthouse From 'An Accident In Paradise's’ raw analogue throb through to ’My Name Is Barbarella’s' jchklITQ beat and drifting strings, illustrates not only Vath’s diversity but hrs focus on filling and rocking a dancefloor, something that’s guaranteed (Ivlark Robertson)

HIP HOP Smut Peddlers

Porn Again (Rawkus)

Oo-er missus Hip hop label Rawkus prove that they can raise a titter as well as they raise black consciousness wrth this filth fest from the East Coast OK, so it isn't a patch on the politically aware Mos Def et al and OK, Eon and leC Cage do occasionally stray onto the material clearly marked ‘erI offend white liberals and women' but Porn Again does have its place. The Smut Peddlers are in fact a lyrically nimble outfit whose DJ (Mighty l\i1()is capable of creating a scuzzy blend of beats, groans and rhymes On tracks like ’Drseases’ and ’Josie’ they achieve an unpleasant brilliance all of their own (Tim Abrahamsi

JAZZ Zubop

Tekezze (33 Jazz)

More exuberant, melodic, rhythmically charged music from Zubop, the London-based septet who specialise in throwing strict genre categories out of the Window. Instead, the band goes for a world-Jazz stew, which is inclusive rather than prescriptive, and allows the Spirit to go where the groove takes it Tekezze rs their fourth CD, and generates the same kind of energised, multrCUItural overlaps and head-on collisions which are familiar from their earlier work, bursting out into great Surges of African hr-lrfe, reggae, a deep Latin groove (’Percy Bites' recalls Santana for a while), and lots, lots

record reviews MUSIC

The Optimo men try to remain optimistic about music

The singles

Twitch and Johnnie Wilkes, the men who, along with electronic pal Roland, man the decks at Optimo rate the latest releases. "

Jack Mottram

S/Nlel OI llll lOls‘lN/Cilll Mat/nos ICci/llO/llld li’liiiioplastj,” ((‘vlatacloii Glitcliy click-house made from operating theatre recordings

Twitch: 'lhrs is really great It must be their breakthrough pop record, normally their stuff is Just total noise The noises are really horrible, though, it reminds me of that pi’ogi‘aritrrie about breast irnplants'

Johnnie Wilkes: 'lt's bti//~c lick IIIUSIt, but it's interesting '

lvluse Plug in Baby’ (lVlUS/llOO/ll Records) Classic indie-rock in a Rdd/Ollf—‘dd-lllt” vein

T: 'Shoot the singerl’

JW: ’lt started out like "Blac k Sabbath" by Black Sabbath and then it JUST goes all terrible Then, if I said that to a fifteen-ycnir-old he'd Just say “Shut up, you old spunker" '

T: 'Maybe I’m old and cynical, but the bands people get excited about these days are rubbish '

Cane 74/ ’The Grand Lunar" (Cane MI) The press release namechecks Sun Ra,

Love and Can l'he record is pedestrian

indie rock of the worst kind

T: 'Sun Ra would turn in his grave if he

heard this '

1W: 'Ai'thur' Lee would turn in his cell

It’s murder, that It's jUST Deacon

Blue With a synthesiser Prsh

Caprice ’Once Around The Sun’ (Virgin) A Pretty lass once famous for being famous tries her hand at being famous for making guitar pop

JW: ’I don’t understand this, is it aimed at children7 It's trying to be big,

exper‘rsixe rrmrsic for big ll'.ll‘(} roorris' T: She'll (osriiic li‘oiiglr li‘iclers Ale/ante cilasgoi'. barril make carbon copies or lee/rage lanr lub's

die alorte

(Pi rotoiri is

weaker 'L'tilllt‘llls

JW: ‘lts iangle-vaxan rricrsic rrtusic for t‘‘er-tool people, you know, people who stand like this [rrxiiires the stance of a man trying to

ii“) illdt’iltl‘)

disguise genital shortc ()ll‘lll(]‘)]

T: ‘lt's i‘auseating ( an you put the

Jeans leaii: single on”

leans learn ’Keirie lvle/oclieii' (Kitty )til (lcl/l,’ folk shout 'ein, Aver, clrei,

t'ieil' over a catchy guitar hook

T: 'lhat's more like it They take

everything lrorr‘. the 80s, but leave out

all the cheese, unlike les Rhythrries


JW: 'lt's slapstrc k this one, you can see

people standing on rakes '

Johnathan Wilkes ’lust Another [Jay’ (Virgin) P/iicky troubadour males records that sound like Robbie Williams impersonating Dav/cl Criay No relation, apparently JW: Oh dear He has the sort of voice your auntie would like, but really it's JUST a noise they teach you to do at stage school that sounds like singing I might get a copy to send to rrry dad, though, it's the same spelling and everything ' Klart Ilt)!’ Shavers Oii/y' (Potter‘s Golf Clubi Andy Wrothera/l’s new label launches With some high-oc tane e/ec tro-techiro from New Orleans T: ’The vocal is nicked from a Christopher Just record It's the krncl of thing that people say is an Optirrio record, but it so isn’t ' JW: 'Not everything With an 808 and a cheap synth is an Optrrrio record ' Opt/mo is every Sunday at Planet Peach, Glasgow

more. An hour's worth of great fun, fine playing, and sOme heart-in-the- right-place philosophrsing (althouin vocals are not their strong pomti (Kenny Mathiesonl


The Imagined Sound of Sun On Stone (BIS)

Sally Beamish has become an important contributor to the Scottish music scene since settling here in 1990, initially as a muSrCian, but more significantly as a composer She followed James Macivhllan onto the Swedish BIS label, and her second disc offers four more varied examples of

her music, played by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra Most striking is her evocative saxophone concerto which gives the disc its title, With John Harle as soloist It is accompanied by two recent atmospheric orchestral works, The Caledonian Road and the elegrac The Day Dawn, and a recording of her first important commission, No, /’m Not Afraid (I989), a setting of poems by the Ukrainian dissident poet, Irina Ratushrnskaya, wrth Beamish as narrator (Kenny Mathiesoni



Very good

Worth a shot

Below average Y0u've been warned

IS Feb—l Mar 200i THE “ST 53