Like bacon rolls. Bargain Hunt and the bookies, the world is simply a better place for having The Breeders in it, although judging by the three soporific tracks on ‘Off You’ (4A0
00. ) the reformed yank indie supergroup have been hitting the Benylin and red wine cocktails a lot recently. Electrelane's ‘l Want To Be President“ (Let's Rock 000 ) has more of a rum and Diet Coke vibe about it, cheap and nasty electro bleeps gradually building to an incessant caffeine high before dissolving away in its own sickliness.
‘Skeleton Key' (Deltasonic O. ) by The Coral. now this is more of a straight ouzo kind of song. uncontrollable Fall-esque ramblings mixed with sea shanties from hell. it makes no sense at all on the palate and leaves you with a headache. Hey, do you think we can keep this drink theme up?
Hell. let’s give it a shot. Rival Schools, ‘Used For Glue' (Mercury «00 ) with its massive emo riffage and bitter shrieks is a double blast of voddy and Red Bull, while ‘Body Experience Revue’ (PlAS COO. ) by Belgian loons Millionaire is like getting drunk on Campari at a disco that only plays Prince and heavy metal in 5/4 time. Well done them.
“You Gets No Love’ (Arista OD ) by Faith Evans featuring P. Diddy and Leon (what next. guest starring Numptie or Daftie?) is Lambrusco that thinks it's R&B champagne, while the operatic soul of Alicia Keys. ‘A Woman's Worth’ (J 000 ) is a huge smooth glass of Bailey’s on ice. All of which couldn’t be further from Outkast‘s frantic and silly ‘The Whole World' (Arista 0.0 ), reminiscent of downing a bottle of hip hop Mad Dog 20/20 in the park.
Right, time to sample the local brews. Edinburgh dullards Starsky are a pint of cooking lager tops, their ‘lnto The Fire EP‘ (demo 0 ) being bog standard everyman rock’n'snooze. and ‘Blue' (Shaved O ) frcﬁf Psyche Essential is a bottle of Bud - characterless. tasteless and deeply, deeply uncool female-fronted sleaze pop. ‘AT-XS' (Red Spirit 000 ) by Transaudio at least has some balls about its Buckie-fuelled paranoid ranting disco funk, like a drunken Lo-Fi Primal Allstars Scream collaboration.
By comparison. James Yorkston And The Athletes, ‘The Lang Toun' (Domino .0...) is a bottle of vintage single malt whisky — a glorious, effortless, pastoral, ten-minute epic of folky strangeness featuring pipes and shuffles and mumbles and dignified greatness, making it easily Drink of the Fortnight. Cheers all. (Doug Johnstone)
m J; ‘. Yorkston’s oaring it about
106 THE LIST .’.‘i.r' ‘ ‘ Apr 2002
It is on his latest work The Anomal/y though. that he gets everyone round for a veritable hip hop hootanany. A more accomplished and confident affair over all. it does lack some of the random rough edges on the earlier record. Boasting a smorgasbord of players and sounds from the French house
influenced 'Ron's House'
to the Rent Size-ed up breaks of ‘Frequency One' or the Bitches Brew-inspired freeness of 'Bean-E-Man‘. Logic has a varied palette on which to paint his Jackson Pollock-esque cuts. fades and scratches onto. This is expansive. broad- minded work that takes the turntable as the centrepiece to a feast of musical invention. (Mark Robertson)
SUSANA BACA Espiritu Vivo
(Luaka Bop) 0000
The cool high-priestess of Afro-Peruvian music sounds as if she is becoming a jazz singer. courtesy of her work With keyboard man John Medeski and guitarist Marc Ribot. Her percussionists maintain the Latin flavour notably on ‘CaraCunde'. as Baca nostalgically explores the songs of her ancestor slaves with a glorious 'Toro Mata'. Recorded with an invited studio audience in downtown NYC it's remarkably subdued but maybe that's because it was the week of 1 1 September 2001. Susana continued because Peru has had its own fair share of earth~shattering tragedies. Intimate. poignant and always gorgeous. this is a fine album. (Jan Fairley)
LUKE SLATER Alright On Top (Mute) .00.
Luke Slater, nice one sorted for techno and
acid. So you might think but on his latest long player young Mr Slater has fully indulged those electro leanings he's always hinted at. And it‘s got vocals. Yep. you heard me right. full on singing, from The Aloof‘s Ricky Barrow.
He never abandons the urgency techno thrives on. he just contorts it into a very different beast as envisioned on the expansive “Only You' and the addictive rush of ‘You Know What I Mean'. Think Depeche Mode. Soft Cell. Gary Numan, increase the crunch factor. add a contemporary twist and there yOu go: subversive electronic pop at its best. (Henry Northmore)
RENEE ROSNES Life On Earth
(EMI Canada) 0000
Canadian pianist Renee Rosnes adds another highly impressive recording to her Blue Note roster (via their Canadian subsidiary). This ambitious project features a range of guest artists and several different combinations. from a couple of gorgeOus trio outings on ballads through to a world-jazz inflected large ensemble.
Guests include Zakir Hussain on tablas. Mor Thiam on djembe. and a handful of excellent horn players. including saxophonist Chris Potter and trombonist Steve Turre. not to mention two great rhythm sections. The cross- CLiltural ambience of the album never obscures the deep jazz roots which lie behind these inventive experiments. (Kenny Mathiesoni
THE STREETS Original Pirate Material
(Locked On) 0000
Why must it always come down to young white boys to popularise black music? Perhaps it's because we need the potency of crews like So Solid watered down for us. YOung Brummie Mike Skinner. for example. is just the right amount of naughty. He’s both too nice and too stoned to hit a woman or fire a gun let alone get off his arse and do it in Ayia Napa.
Skinner. however like Eminem On an obViOusly inicrocosmic British scale. reworks the rhythms and style of black urban music whilst simultaneously taking an honest. witty snapshot of contemporary urban life in his lyrics. There is however a limit to how much you can listen to a Brummie-Cockney hybrid accent however. A minor classic The Streets debut may be but it's also a lesson in the need for guest MCs. (Tim Abrahams;
ROCK GOMEZ In Our Gun (Hut) .0
What a bright prospect these guys were four years ago. But they may be forever cursed with that compliment often given bright young things-potential. Gome/‘s new single. ‘Shot Shot' which kicks Off their third CD In Our Gun, is an appreciany stomping opener With. a honking tenor sax and faux eerie thei'einin like noodling (what. no Jew's harp?) ‘Sound Of Sounds' is a lovely
But alas it seems the Mercury award winning boys have not reached the joys of their maiden effort in 1998. I suspect many of us may be happily humming ‘Whippin' Piccadilly' (there really aren't enough hours in the day) a decade from now.
With ‘Shot Shot' and much of the rest of this effort. that's not likely. Anyone who enjoyed Bring It On or the lesser Liquid Skin doesn't have too much ground to grouse. But little new territory is blazed here and that's ultimately a disappomtment. It's a sequel to a sequel of that albatross: a marvellously promising debut. (Barry Shelby)
RAP FUNK BULLFROG Bullfrog (Ropeadopei COO
The turntable is not a musical instrument. It you listen to albums like Kid Koala's intricate but ultimately tiresome Carpal Tunnel Syndrome you realise that although decks can be used creatively. they work best as a means of ordering other people's creatiVity rather being tools to express musical ability themselves. Bullfrog. a proper. grown up band that Koala is a member of. makes this even more stark.
Willi a nice line in dry rhymes. Mark Robertson. tops a conventional funk outfit. who have clearly been listening to great trolley loads of Sly and the Fainin Stone. That (jf(?(lt f<>izigjt>r ()l tilt} sound effect record Kid Koala. credited on the album as 'iecoids turntables. adds oh—so amusing interludes and the odd notable texture to a tune.
It's all very adi'oitly done. but the eponymous Bullfrog is far from eaith shattering. iliin /\l)l;tlltilllt§‘v