his manager and burnt in the rriiddle of the desert. (Paul Dalei
WORLD MARCUS VALLE Escape (Far Out)
As cool a thirst quenching drink. Valle's ‘new new wave' bossa nova is a decer’)tive cocktail. He makes this silky, hip-swniging quion of samba and Jazz. both electric and acoustic. sound seductively easy while the occaSional glimpse of electronica make this a wonderful club disc to boot. The punch comes from the sheer brilliance of both music and musicians: grooved bass. tropical percussion. guitars. funky keyboards. edges
First in the section entitled Singles You Can 't Review Without Mention/rig Radio/read is. well. Radiohead. ‘Pyramid Song' (Parlophone up”) first single from their new album Aninesiac. is another example of why they currently stand astride British music like a big, introverted colossus. A beautiful piano lament with Middle Eastern-sounding strings and a touch of the gospels proves that. after Kid A took a Iambasting for being somehow avant-garde then sold a squillion, the brooding boys have mercifully been given carte-blanche to be as damn ‘experimental' as they please.
Bands like Haven meanwhile sound like Bends-era Radiohead. But then bands like Haven will always sound like a certain era from someone else's music. On ‘Til The End' (Radiate
of root berimbau interact With the seductively flattened tones of Valle himself and Patricia Alvi in a shimmering sequence of sengs. Astoundingly. Valle's a veteran reinventing himself as a new millennium hipster: escape Wlii be impossible. (Jan Fairleyl
MONTY ALEXANDER Goin‘ Yard (Telarc) 0..
' Pianist Monty Alexander . made his reputation as a
mainstream iazzer. but
has also worked extensively With the musical forms of his native Jamaica. This live set follows an earlier
0 ) they manage Dad-rock Weller as well. Gecko on the other hand take a lead from the ‘Head but then forge
something novel from it. The ‘Holding On' EP (NGM COO
:' t j g ‘ its
Bob lvlarley album and a summit meeting Wliil Sly and Robbie. He does not confine himself to the usual calypso. but takes on reggae directly in tracks like ‘King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown' and Marley's ‘Could You Be Loved'
, and ‘Exodus'. The ftiSion
works to a point. but may ultimately frustrate both camps. The grafting of Jazz improvisations onto reggae grooves feels artificial rather than
) may not fizz With
energy but the final two tracks are deftly written acoustic gems. Zero 7 have been making waves since their mate and producer Nigel Godrich commissioned them to remix ‘Climbing Up The Walls' for yes. yet again, Radiohead. ‘I Have
Seen‘ (Ultimate Dilemma COO
) is nowhere near the strongest track from their
jazz-funk odyssey album Simple Things but it’s still almost terminally groovy. Eschewing all references to the grumpy bastards from Oxford we move on to
Whiskeytown's ‘Don‘t Be Sad‘ (Outpost O
) to very quickly dismiss them.
If Whiskeytown is the best that altcountry has to offer then alt.c0untry is alt.to.good.music. Best use of the banjo this fortnight goes instead to 'Sing‘ (lnderpendiente 00.0 ). a Travis track with all the lushness of their predecessors with a bit more guts. Unlike the offering from fellow ‘Scot' Rod Stewart. One day the hoary-voiced
old fucker may resurrect his career in a Tom Jones stylee but ‘Don't Come
) is no way to start. Growing old in a far better way are the Stereo MC’s. While ‘Deep. Down and Dirty' (Island 0000 ) makes you feel cheated. it‘s only because we could have done with their energetic gibberish over the last decade. Interestingly. B-Slde 'Load‘ is the Stone Roses just after they decided not to be goths.
Around Here' (Atlantic 0
Dirty Harry‘s single ‘Nothing Really Matters' (Dirty Harry .0
promise to pack some kind of raunched-up post-grunge punch but they end up sounding as if Skunk Anansie were weakly communicating to us from beyond the grave. Sexier and tougher by far is Ruff Ryder Eve 'Who's That Girl?'; (Interscope 0000 ) is predictably the poppiest moment from an album that beats Missy Elliott's So Addictive booties down for sheer sexy fun.
All about Eve ‘
organic. and the pianist sometimes seen‘s constrained in a may WillC‘l‘. does not apply II‘ a (El/X context,
LEE KONITZ Parallels (Chesky Recordsi COO.
Another quiet gem from the Konitz alto. aided and abetted in fine style by a cross-generational band. which features young hot-shots Steve Bernstein on guitar and Mark Turner on tenor. With the well-tried partnership of Steve Gilmore on bass and Bill Goodwin on drums. Konitz. now in the veteran stage of a career which began in the late 408 (he played on Miles's Birth of the Cool). continues to astonish with his capaCity to keep growing and inventing, and to do so pretty much in any context. The one-off nature of this session rarely shows in their relaxed negotiation of familiar standards and classic Konitz tunes. The sax0phonist is one of the real greats. and this is yet another fine addition to his prodigious discography. (Kenny Mathieson)
Various Artists Sel) Fontaine: Prototype 4 (Global Underground) Creams resident spinner compiles a whole bunch of tech-funk house. Various Artists People Get Up! (Harmlessl The masters of the old skool comp bring together more party funk and jazz.
Osunlade Paradigm (Soul Jazz) A full-length platter from this African priest who specialises in uplifting house.
Terra Firma Harms Way
(SPV) Stoner rock supergroup release a hard and heavy Sabbath-esque second LP.
Sprung Monkey Get A Taste (Surfdogl Pop punk magic from San Diego quintet.
PLAY 8 7 AT It ‘N
ALONE IN THE DARK - THE NEW
(lnfogrames) £29.99 .000
Pure Lovecraftian unseen horror
When you think of survival horror only one name springs to mind - Resident Evil. Which is a shame because, to be fair, it was the Alone In The Dark series on the PC that brought buttock-clenching fear to the masses. The changing camera angles, the lone survivor, the cavalcade of creeping nastiness, Alone In The Dark was there first. Unfortunately, because of the PlayStation‘s PR- friendliness compared to the PC's hardcore image, this was all swept under the carpet when Resident Evil appeared. Well, now Alone In The Dark has a PlayStation title and is back to reclaim
its bloody legacy.
The story starts with our hero, Edward Carney, accompanying a young female linguist, Aline Cedrac, to Shadow Island. Needless to say, the plane crashes in a fierce storm and our intrepid duo parachute to separate locations on Shadow Island. Here the player is asked to choose between the characters, Carney with the big guns or Cedrac who can climb walls. Choice made, the job is then to meet up with the other character and investigate the mystery of Shadow Island while staying away from the claws of its
Although the set-up and control system is old hat, the storyline, graphic detail and pace of the game is excellent. Every environment is beautifully unnerving, if a little dark, and the bursts of action are genuinely scary. Nearly every encounter is scripted to have you out your seat and the music, composed by The Police’s Stuart
Copeland, is fantastic.
Where Resident Evil revels in its Dawn Of The Dead zombie-fest, Alone In The Dark - The New Nightmare is pure Lovecraftian unseen horror. It may not be the only scary game on the block any more but Alone In The Dark still shows that sometimes the original is indeed the best.
PC E-RACER (Rage) £24.99 .000
It is strange that the evergreen driving genre has never really produced an effective online multiplayer racer. E - Racer goes someway to rectify that situation. Sure, it is not perfect. The graphics are perfunctory and the Offline solo game lacks the immediacy of say. Ridge Racer. and the depth of Gran Turismo. The handling is crisp if a little soft and takes some getting used to.
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However, persevere and the skills learned in offline morle serve you well when the modem is sparked up. Onlirie. E-Fiacer is a revelation. The knowledge that the idiot swen/ing all over the road ahead is a real idiot makes the whole thing come to life. And With new cars and tracks downloadable. not to mention the wealth of statistics and league tables available. E- Racer posts a pretty good qualifying for others to beat.