swingers through and through. Not in the sense that they indulge in wanton acts of sexual deviancy in isolated Italian villas but in the sense that they have entirely immersed themselves in swinging 608 easy listening to produce this luxurious loungecore affair. Continuing the fine tradition established by the likes of Herb Alpert and Lalo Schiffrin. the duo don their smoking jackets and dim the lights to indulge in some mood music that. save for a little bit of scratching on ‘Swinging London'. sounds like the retro real deal from seductive start to finish. (Catherine Bromley)
BILLY BRAGG AND THE BLOKES
England, Half English (Cooking Vinyl) 0000
After his success reSUrrecting Woody Guthrie with Wilco. the ever-genial Bragg has obviously got a taste lOr collaboration. This is the first time The Blokes have been given titular credit. and the result is a fine. emotive album in which our Billy still sounds beautifully clumSy.
He's still got enough fire in his belly to lambast the forces of global capitalism. enough ideas in his head to intelligently ponder the meaning of Englishness. and enough romance in his heart to sing songs of love and loss with inimitable ard0ur. Admittedly, the title track is shite cod-ska. but if yOu can’t embarrass yOurself when you're old. when can yOLi do it? (James Smart)
WORLD 1 GIANT LEAP
1 Giant Leap (Palm Pictures) .0
Amnesty International 40th Anniversary (George V) O
Despite all boasts of roaming the world for new faces. we are on some familiar. dodgy territOry here. aren't we? A pair of UK producers (Faithless' Jamie Catto and chum Duncan Bridgeman) stroll off around the world collaborating with any one they deem to be 'happening' from Baaba Maal to Kurt Vonnegut. from Horace Andy to er. Robbie Williams.
Music after all, should have no barriers after all but this is a product of the same well-meaning but ultimately patronising corner of the Western Soul that unleashed Goa Trance on the world. It's not as anodyne as Peter Gabriel'sA Week In The Real World affairs of course but the Sum of 7 Giant Leap is a long way shOrt of its parts. Western techno bods with itchy feet shouldn't take their cue from this or indeed average albums like Nittin Sawhney‘s Prophesy. They should listen to David Holmes' Let's Get Killed instead.
Here is an example of
a music maker absorbing what he can from a series of environments before fashioning something distinct and. most imponantly, something new rather than taking something good and painting layers of shite Synth all over it. All that attitude achieves is to preach to those already converted to wearing
nice sweaters and being liberal. Amnesty lnternational's mix album being an even more heinous example.
Volume 2: The Sounds Of Music (Fenetik) OOO
With their second
compilation of hard-to- find but must-have vinyl only 123. Fenetik. the sister label to Some. is
i coming of age. Featuring
highlights from the past six EPs plus exclusive
tracks from fresh
signings, Fenetik Volume 2: The Sounds Of Music sees label boss Paul Cawley welcome us to his world of diverse takes on the house model.
Hip hop breaks. 2-step garage grooves and hell
. deep basslines all get a
look-in with stand-out
' tracks including the
bossa Brazilia jazz funk vibe of Pablo's “Roll Call and Sidewinder's percussive take on the moody classic ‘Stanway's Revenge.
ALSO RELEASED The Wake Assemb/y/ Harmony/ Ho/yheads/ Here Comes Everybody (LT/V7) A four album retrospective on 803 Scottish indie rockers headed by ex-Altered Images guitarist Caesar and early on Primal
Gillespie. These CDs bring together their albums for FactOry and Sarah Records. live performances and
Tom Clelland Little
More excellent storytelling and
‘ country/folksy finger
picking from Scottish singer/songwriter. Various Artists The Best Arabian Nights ln
The World Ever! (EA/ll)
The most ridiculous title for an album . . . ever! No idea what the music's like but must be
7 worth a look.
unresponsive. With aerial
PS2 DROPSHIP (Sony) £39.99 000
combat reduced to irritating circling and the delivery ll‘iSSlOﬂS too simple. The System of altering the dropship configuration from fighter plane mode to hoyer mode is basic yet baffling. a designer's concept rather than a useful gan‘ie proposal. Drops/tip c0uld have been so much better. ilain Davidson)
Control is everything in a game. How the player interacts on even the most minute level can make or break a title. Dropship. for example. looks great. The various environments yOLir flying behemoths zip over are detailed and interesting. with changing mission parameters enSuring that each level is something of an adventure.
The mix of combat and delivery. as you attempt to dispatch the heaw artillery held within the belly of your dropship. is also a pleasant change. However. despite all these good points Drops/tip fails to set the heather alight. And the reason is simple.
The interface between player and game is clumsy and
This is pure adrenaline racing and Namco have succeeded in giving it an arcade feel rather than the normal focus on ? P82 2 SlmU|al|Orl. The Z (Namco) £39.99 subsequent ease of 3 COHIFOI Creates
races and more excitement. Okay. there may not be the same i depth of statistic or i mechanical tinkering but ’ this matters little when the track roars past. , opponents duck and i weave and the desire for i one more race is so strong. if you know nothing about Superbike racing then this is the oneforyou. (lain DaVidson) I PC ‘ MEDAL OF HONOUR: ALLIED ASSAULT ! (Electronic Arts) £29.99 0000. -
Moto GP? ‘ast. Very fast. So fast in fact that 'yOti ‘.'.'ont‘ler why the desk/mere put in all the loyer adi. erts. crowds and scenery that surround each track. There absolutely no chance of you haying a good took at them. All that ii‘atters is the next 200 yards of tarmac and the oppos'tion riders
Prepare yourself for a shocking truth. Computer games are not real life. However, that does not mean they cannot represent actual systems, situations, ideas or feelings in the same way as other art forms.
Take the opening sequence in Saving Private Ryan. It was impossible, even for Steven Spielberg, to make an audience feel what it was like to ride those amphibious landing crafts, run up the shingle beaches or watch your best friends dying around you. What he did do though, was give us a glimpse of the horror the allied soldiers went through that day, opening our eyes and making us think about life, the universe and everything. Which is what good art should do.
Which brings us to Allied Assault, the Private Ryan of computer games. Having started life on the consoles, the latest in the Medal Of Honour series has moved to the PC and uses all the subsequent extra oomph to great effect. Simply put, this is one of the most expansive, ambitious and graphically accomplished titles to date.
From submarine corridors to open beaches, from streets to airfields, the variety of first-person missions, and their related environments, are brilliantly realised. As are the sound effects, voices and music that draw the player into one of the most filmic titles ever. The multiplayer mode is great and the whole package is slicker than a warship’s deck in a storm.
Yet it is the little story-related events that make Allied Assault so . special. On the showcase level, where the player storms the Omaha Beach during Operation Overlord, it’s the details among the carnage that catch the breath and the heart.
The look on the face of the man next to you in the landing craft. The pleading cries of: ‘What are we doing here?‘ The weeping soldiers, the brave medic and the captain barking orders. Allied Assault is truly upsetting. Luckily, it is truly playable too and missing it should be unthinkable. You’d be losing out on a work of art. (lain Davidson)
3a,, , 43W ’“J'” #‘ttn‘
Expansive, ambitious and graphic
.‘Ei Feb-4.1 Ma' 2002 THE LIST 101