were beavering away at their instruments. building nuggets of sonic genius which decades. years. and sometimes months later. those shrewd people at Rough Trade Records would unearth and compile into one handsome document.
And its all here: Can. Eno. the Human League, Stereolab. Throbbing Gristle. Autechre. Kraftwerk. Depeche Mode. the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Over 40 tracks. much of it guite mental. but showing that only imagination is the limit.
The only omission? Perhaps a nod the way of the US techno pioneers but hey. that's a whole other compilation which we wait with baited underwear for Rough Trade to deliver.
ELECTRONIC/V METAL VARIOUS ARTISTS
Resident Evil OST (Roadrunner) 000
Hmm. a SOundtrack to a horror movie based on a video game. Not a very promising start. but when you learn of Marilyn Manson's involvement it all starts to sound a bit more credible. Comprising mainly of unessential remixes of various metal faVOurites. Slipknot. Mudvayne. Fear FactOry etc. and a smattering of new and original tracks from similarly noisy rock types Static-X. Coal Chamber (you get the picture). However the most intriguing element is the original score by Manson himself which sounds. strangely enough. like creepy computer game muzak. Which I guess was kinda the point. (Henry NorthmOie)
JJ GILMOUR Sunnyside (RA.L) (IC Music) 0
What flavour of monstrous obscenity is this? It's the hideously
dated mainstream Scottish singer songwriter. that's what it is. Imagine Travis crossed with The
Supernaturals in a genetic experiment that's gone horribly, horribly wrong.
Now set it in the 80s Exactly. Ex-singer and guitarist with erstwhile Glaswegian dullards The Silencers. JJ Gilmour certainly has a way with the lyrical cliche. if some of the pap on this debut album is anything to go by. MLJSIcally influenced in a really. truly bad way by The Beatles and nothing else. Gilmour heaps platitudes over tedious derivative guitar strums. while the reviewers brain atrophies and blahgrumphhfsdkfjgdjger usdsdf...
This Is Where I Belong: The Songs Of Ray Davies And The Kinks (RYKO) coo
Ghis Is Where] Belong
Given The Kinks' back catalogue rates up there with — no above — the Beatles and the Stones. you'd think it'd be difficult to fuck up cover versions. But. as this tribute album proves. that ain't the case. FOtintains Of Wayne manage to turn Ray Davies' bittersweet ‘Better Things' into dull neo-grunge. Thank Christ's bike. then, for Jonathan Richman. who, like Davies, is a master of downtrodden tenderness - his ‘Stop Your Sobbing‘ is beautifully underplayed. Other hand, Lambchop's version of the paedophile classic ‘Art Lover' is far enough away from the original to
stir the loins. Record closes with a ‘nice' live duet on ‘Waterloo Stinset' between Davies and ‘young Davies‘ Damon Albarn. Album's a mixed bag. though. (Miles Fielder)
REMY ZERO The Golden Hum (Warners) COO.
The Str-ives may have led you to believe that hip. stripped down swagger is the new soundtrack to yOur life. but now it's time for some emotional fulfillment. Remy Zero are a crunchier, less dolphin- friendly U2 with dramatic Muse moments. minus the high-pitched hysteria. ‘Glorious #1' takes anthemic to new proportions and boasts a drum solo that makes y0u wonder why they ever went out of fashion. and Smal/w/le's infectious theme 'Save Me' has enough angst to satisfy those just getting over their adolescent metal phase. The vocals are sky-high. the choruses explode and there's a dark edge to each melodic surge. swell and crash. Kryptonite can't touch this. (Camilla Pia)
FUNK THE NATIONAL TRUST
Dekkagar (Thrill Jockey) 0..
Great band name. weird guys. A Chicago-based collective. The National Trust are a wonky lot. with all manner of oddities on display here. Opening track 'Making Love (In The Natural Light)‘ is an eleven minute funkathon, equipped with wonderfully sleazy bongos and flute warbles. and sounds a bit like Sly And The Family Stone rubbing up a tad too close to a totally stoned Bee Gees. Then just when you think you're getting a handle on things. they chuck in some West Coast psycl‘iedelia. a sniidgeri of soulful Americana. some 70s pop. hell. you
name it. it's here. Strange but somehow alluring in a dopey kinda way. (Doug Johnstone)
CARL NIELSEN Symphonies 1 and 6 (BIS Records) 0000
)h' .i'mt .31.] in v.1
The particular interest in this recording is that it is the first in a cycle of Nielsen's Symphonies by Osmo Vanska and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. and appears just as Vanska's remarkable tenure as their principal conductor is ending. His Nielsen concert series was revelaIOry. and this disc is a stunning opening to its recorded c0unterpart.
It comes in a month when Joseph Swensen also conducts the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the Symphony No I, which should make a fascinating contrast. BIS. a Swedish label. are doing sterling work for Scottish IIIUSIC these days. and also
issue a welcome new disc
of Chamber MUS/c by composer James MacMillan.
DOWN TEMPO JAZZANOVA
In Between (Compost) om.
Ja/xanova have been making waves for the past five years on the back of genre defying Singles With precision programming and sets at least a year ahead of the game. The only thing behind the times has been the appearance of their debut album. a crime acknowledged in the intro track containing
a simple melodic chant.
Then follows a record so surprismg it takes a few spins for the eclectic mix of electronics. live brass. guitars. and vocals from Victor Duplaix. Ursula Rucker and Hawkeye Fanatic to become a stream of consciousness as our brains adapt to the complexity and originality of the breakbeat fusion and bold jEl// chords. (Kaleem Aftabl
British Sea Power get rock ‘n’ roll urges
‘Neil Tennant recently criticised Pop Idol for returning pop music to its tedious cabaret origins. which is a bit rich for the man who covered “Where the Streets Have No Name' in the style of a dwarf trapped in a hoover. Still. the greying ex-hack had a point. Belleﬁre’s cover of U2's ‘All I Want is You‘ (Virgin O ) is nicely produced but utterly anodyne. It‘s followed by LHB. who appear to consist of a bored man rapping over The Police's ‘lnvisible Sun‘. Luckily. the zeitgeisty synthcore of ‘Everybody Sees It In My Face’ (Telstar 0.00 ). is as inexplicably brilliant as these things so often are.
Liam’s vocal on ‘The Hindu Times' (Big Brother .00 ) 30unds a bit disinterested as well, which is a shame. because it has some of the hallmarks of a great Oasis single - a huge Noel riff and a short running time. Among the pups looking to snatch the Mancs long lost title of Most Exciting New Band in the World Ever! are British Sea Power who promise not to ‘try to get you signed up to a mail-out service based in Leamington Spa'. Cheeringly enough. ‘The Spirit Of St Louis/ The Lonely' (Rough Trade 000. ) is fine, urgent rock‘n'roll however you sell it. French funk overlord Etienne De Crecy sounds remarkably perky on the remixed and reissued ‘Prix Choc' (Pias COO. ). a Superb disco dub that extols the values of both sensimelia and marijuana. You wouldn't be surprised if the rather mysterious Custom Blue had dabbled in either substance. and ‘80 Low' (Universal 0”. ) is a blissfully spare soul track that. while vaguely reminiscent of the Lighthouse Family. doesn't quite succumb to the curse of car advert MOR. Daft New Zealand punks The 04. meanwhile, should never be allowed near a car. let alone a car ad. if the avalanche of bilious noise that is ‘Rock‘n'Roll Motherfucker' (SDZ/lnfectious 0000 ) is anything to go by. The Falkland Hill Yaks are a similarly twisted bunch from a small village in Fife who want us to call their deeply perverse and strangely funky take on electronica ‘bovine beat.’ On the strength of 'Get A Grip/ Why Hawaii‘ (No label .000 ) we should take them seriously. No such crazy mantras from The Storm Petrels who believe in ‘No Mess, No Fuss. Just Music'. It's hard to like a band from Brechin. especially one that uses capitals so wantonly, but 'Waiting For The High Time‘ (Frank Records 0000 ) is varied and rewarding. The Sick Anchors (aka Aidan “Arab Strap' Moffat and Stuart ‘Mogwai' Braithwaite) offer a more post-modern form of resistance to pop cabaret culture with their touchingly straight cover of Atomic Kitten's “Whole Again' (Lost Dog 0000 ) providing their own triumph of substance over style. Or should that be the other way round? Record Of The Fortnight, though, goes to Glasgow indie bod Owen McAulay whose bruised balladry lifts ‘The Dig Up EP’ (Sans Culottes 000. ) out of the earth and into the sky. (James Smart)
l I 9:» Apr Ron.) THE LIST 117