A Father’s Affair (Canongate £29.99) .0”

Your wife dies and all you have left is your son. And then you find that you are. and have always been. infertile. So your son is not your son. but the child of another man and yOur dead wife. It's an unsettling premise and one which kicks off Karel Van Loon's disarming novel A Father's Affair.

The title's ambiguity. confusing paternal and romantic relations. is entirely deliberate. as is everything in this tightly plotted book. Love. sex. the biological need to procreate and recreate oneself genetically are explored with the passion and anguish of a man whose inability to fulfil this requirement has been revealed.

A deep sense of loss for a personal histOry drives the narrative and

is recaptured in snatches of memory. reconstructing a shattered past. The writing is compelling and careers forward to a disturbing end where death, life and sex come together in one great final revelation. (Ruth Hedges)

GRAPHIC NOVEL BARU WITH JEAN-MARC THEVENET Road to America (Drawn & Quarterly: price tbc) 0000

Road to Rmei‘it‘a

It's 1955 PhillipeVille (now Skikda) in Algeria, and a y0ung man called Said Boudiaf shadow boxes emulating his hero. the French pugilist Marcel Cerdan. A local entrepreneur recognises the boy's talents and promises to take him to America where he will gain fighting fame.

Before that can happen. though. Said must defeat the French champion in Paris. But with his country still suffering as a colony of France despite the best efferts of the FLN (National Liberation Front) Boudiaf faces pressure on both Sides to take a political stance: but all he wants to do is box.

This deeply felt. charismatically drawn story is a rare and intelligent look at a situation that afflicted many ethnic spons stars in France's colonies just after World War II. Baru skilfully builds up a pertrait of a society grinding to a halt through preiudice and Vichy guilt. a world where political apathy was a luxury few could afford. (Paul Dalel


Road to America is a fine trip

40 THI LIST 15—22 Aug 2002




(Sonar Musici 0000

Barcelona's electronica festival Sonar should really be the biggest nerd hoarding since multiplexes suffered at the hands of George Lucas coming out of retirement. Thankfully thrives by n‘ainlining European none that would never be acceptable on our stuify little islands.

This gorge/ace tun/in- Cl.) package *eo'ete ‘.'./|Ifl Diego Mara tone as patron saint cover star setindtracks the tar: faces of the test .a. 8:. day. the outer-rid rig emot:cn one of 80s electro crispness btt a spot of gentie ir'itrosoectaon fl'Ol‘,‘ Coloma and sense DGaLitzftll. pcisng space folk fron‘ YO La Tengc highlight S<)na"'s expanswe n‘uszcai palette.

Sonar by Night iS ai: altogether more upbeat affair kicking out a booty-ful of Latte- infused p(»>r<.:tissi‘.'e house before descending into a pi‘. techno sleaze with Cari Cox. Si Futures and DJ Hell making sure that night turns into day :nto night into day into night. (Mark Robertsoni

ROCK MUDHONEY Since we've Become Translucent

(Sub Popi O...

While N-f"."£‘.’ 2a expoded. Pearl Jam crawled up their can/n arseholes and SOundgarden went iitetal. Mudhonet, -- the Godfathers of Grunge to you —- just kept 0'1 doing it, This. the:" eighth

alburi‘ s-rtct: the sentina‘

‘louch Me. I'm Sick' single. sees Mark Arm and co. experimenting a little xvith psychedeha and horns. but is essentially the same old racket.

There's no earth shuddering musical innovation. and sometimes that's a good thing. the rattle of ‘Where the Flavor Is and the shambles of ‘Take It Like a Man' might have occasional trumpet blasts but this is still primal. unhealthy punk rock to warm the cookies.

(Doug .Johnstonei

SOULJ/V/ .‘NUNK VARIOUS ARTISTS Companionship: The Sound of Scandinavia (AprilI 0.00

It ‘.'.ias sureit. completely lll(}‘.’if£tl)i(? that. before long. producers would begin to apply saii‘ple technology to ll‘.()"(} trad'tzoitat ri‘tisic and Scandinavias ,ia// llifii)‘.’{tt()"f3 are doing a partacularifi, good (Of). Assembled b‘, Danish freestyle guru [U “ii/linden>auri‘. Con‘pai‘ionsl‘..;> features man; of the f)"ltlltl(}" talents. Koop. Sun/elf SCSSiCI‘. and Universal Funk turn in mixes soaked in soul and (tripping '~.'.’itf‘. funk. ‘.'.'hile Btitti -1E)'s 'Kolor' fokus' v.-.r:i| set the dance floor atight and Brilliant Corner l'(3‘.’!8!t the 708 ‘.'.'it?"- CitiSS‘," style. What n‘att :"s niost is that the artists here respect past traditions but maintain a healthy. desire to push things fornztard. Sure to be a favourite with Gifies Peterson acclytes and ol< schooi bores alike. (Andrew f‘iicliardsoni

iAl'iN BEBEL GILBERTO Tanto Tempo 1 Li 0...

forget grease Go'f's Like Ricky Martin and f.fl."li]tl(3 lglesias ‘.'.‘lttl

their (ifi(:tri§‘, t)!tt."-’.f :>‘

Latino lovui' « Gilberto is the real McCoy.

This is utterly undemanding stuff neat. uncomplicated and unfettered With bells and whistles v— if updates but doesn't obscure the bittersweet

beauty of bossa nova. The (an influence is undeniable. but the results of this contact are purely Bra/ilian. a unique synthesis of rhythmic. harmonic. melodic. and i)erformance-bOund

for slice and dice!

A?’ (Edel 0..

(POIy’dOF 0..


A slasher-meme comes to this weeks Singles in tribute to Ash's own horror debut out next month: play them at 10.000 decibels and no— one can hear you scream . . . rocking four—piece release ‘Envy' (Infectious 00000). a soaring opener which features a soft Motown stomp and sublime choruses wrapped in sun-kissed punk. making it the Single of the Week. lt makes you glad to be alive . . . but for how long?!? Suddenly the glint of another Guided by Voices record appears in the form of 'Back to the Lake' (Matador O... l. a short stab of gloriously off-kilter melodies propelled by serrated guitars. Perfect

The reliably

A couple get hot and heavy to Barry Adamson's ‘Black Amour' (Mute 0 its Barry White-inspired barrage of silky beats and sax solos make for nothing more than uneventful background music. Fade from the obligatory sex scene to Odeon Beat Club's ‘Being Realistic' (Polyester 0.. taking a romantic stroll through lo-fi, but their edgy charm is cruelly cut short. As are Goldrush with ‘Wide Open Sky' (Virgin O... ). who take a sigh of melody and shin-imer with endless possibilities before they're taken out in a tornado of blood and guts. Pluto rushes to help. cuddling up to Craig David on the two-stepping 'Can I Get ) but it arrives on the music scene too late to be of any relevance.

Serafin's ‘One More Way' EP (Taste COCO ) with its sleazily addictive Pumpkins thrash and menacing vocals flash past and when the chart cops catch them. they‘ll find previous rocking records. Case closed: a band as dangerous as this should not be left to storm the charts with S Club Juniors around. And so the credits roll to the soothing sound of familiarly; soulful vocals and eastern strings swirling around a laid back groove on Van Morrison's ‘Meet me in the Indian Summer' ). But somewhere three talentless purveyors of pop pap let out a blood Curdling Blondie cover: Atomic Kitten's ‘The Tide is High (Get the Feeling)‘ (Virgin ) is an insipid and horrifying beast left to roam the charts. ls nowhere safe from these evil harridans? (Camilla Pia)