Not afraid to posit samples at the heart of his tracks. Cullen's music betrays his preoccupation with the concepts at the more curious end of the line.
In track Three Hundred. for example. we meet a man who has witnessed some kind of visual phenomenon and has since come to the illogical conclusion that he has in fact seen Jacob's ladder. complete with itinerant souls and full on light show.
The album‘s sounds and concepts are in constant dialogue with each other. each attempting to weird the listener out further and further. Altogether. a bloody weird composition.
Twisted Nerve - Zoo (Twisted Nerve) 00.
An album from animals. for animals. called Zoo. In this post—Slipknot age. you have to go pretty far left before
you‘re labelled leftfield. but somehow this venture from Twisted
Nerve achieves that
plateau. Track and artist names try to out-wig each other. with ALF is Gonna Rock You by the Supreme Vagabond Craftsman nestling alongside Va Moose! by the inimitable Cherrystones. Thankfully. the invention is more than nominal. with bizarre electronica offsetting power punk and even oompah style tunes
about pet Llamas. It's
not the kind of album that lends itself to categorisation or conventional review. so suffice to say that if Zoo was a beast. it would be the hybrid spawn of a hedgehog and a giraffe. From Bermondsey. (Johnny Regan)
JAZZ ARTHUR BLYTHE
Focus (Savant) OOOO
Saxophonist Arthur Blythe is equally at home with down-home blues and the avant- garde. and has a rich. highly individual sound on his favoured instrument. alto saxophone. His SOund evokes an alto version of John Coltrane. most overly on a haunting version of his own ‘My Son Ra'. a tune he has recorded several times. He includes covers of tunes by Ellington and Monk alongside his own compositions. and makes excellent use of the textural and timbral possibilities of an unusual and distinctive quartet line-up. featuring Gust Tsilis's concert grand marimba and Bob
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The Debut Single Out October 7
1 14 THE LIST 3—1 7 Oct 2002
Stewart's tuba. with Cecil Brooks on drums. (Kenny Mathieson)
CONTEMPORARY DAVID PAUL
Something There (Linn Records) 000
David Paul Jones builds over 72 minutes of (intentionally) repetitious music around a single musical kernel. a slow. rippling piano tremolo which pervades the entire piece. initially in bare piano form. and later in various orchestrations for his ensemble of three cellos. double bass. percussion. and Steve Kettley's sparingly used soprano saxophone. The piece itself is made up of five 'songs'. using both abstract vocal sounds and actual words. and juxtaposes Jones deliberately distanced voice with the immediacy of classical soprano Carolyn Murray-Hamilton. The reSultS are often haunting. but will try the patience unless you are in the right mood. (Kenny Mathieson)
SAINT ETIENNE Finisterre
'I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come.‘ runs the sample from old- school Brit thesp Michael Jayston at the end of this album‘s ‘Language Lab'. and it's the timeless appeal of Saint Etienne's music neatly summed up in ten words.
Given that they‘re eternally rooted in the styles and sensibilities of swinging London. Wiggs. Stanley and Cracknell are never likely to be any more or less fashionable than they were the day they wrote their first song together. And — on this showing - that's pretty cool. with Sarah Cracknell's breathy. lustrous vocals articulating a sensual romanticism over the perfectly stylish electronic pop-art
designs. Like the
Avengers crossed with Twin Peaks. ie bloody brilliant. (David Pollock)
CLASSIC REISSUE DUSTY
Dusty in Memphis (Universal) .0000
This is a beautiful. special edition reissue of Dusty's greatest album. In 1968 the UK's shyest pop star thought it may be a good idea to go and cut an album with Memphis' finest producers. Jerry Wexler. Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd. She was so intimidated she didn't speak for the first week but then she went on to record this absolute slice of genius.
It‘s all here: ‘Son of a Preacher Man‘. 'Windmills of my Mind' and ‘Breakfast in Bed“. The eight bonus tracks are remastered mono mixes of the original tracks. This also includes great sleeve notes by Elvis Costello and some rare Dusty photos and memorabilia. A must for anyone's collection. (Paul Dale)
Alba Absurdia (Baked Goods) 0000
This limited edition CD (available from email@example.com) seems to be basically the work of the Benbecula collective and a few others but it is difficult to tell as there is so little information on the sleeve. Whoever it is by. it's a beauty.
It's all mashed up samples and strange loops that seemed to be lifted from the bottom of a dirty old bargain basement box of 80s electronica. The opener ‘Villduprovaden' by Ehlmsie Rocon is as weird as any of Hendrix‘s album intros. What follows is some really impressive work from among others. Joni. Christ. Pulse Patrol and Zudo. This is well worth seeking Out.
SOFA SURFERS Encounters (Klein) .00.
Vienna's Sofa Surfers have always done hip hop a little differently. They have the movie SOundtrack sensibilities off pat and a fetish for fat bass and rolling snares but apply a textured edge to their soundzoﬁen comfortably substituting bluster for tension and pop hooks for atmosphere.
But this is no stiff- backed EU cringer, for on Encounters they collaborate with a plethora of MCs. toasters and singers: from the plaintive. soulful inflections of Jeb Loy Nichols on ‘River Blues' to the death-by-drums rattle of their head-to- head with New Jersey's Dalek and Dev 1 on ‘Elusive Scripts'. The result is an varied and emotive record that draws on those diverse blueprints sketched out by Massive Attack for Blue Lines and filters them thrOngh a clutch of new voices. perspectives and sounds. Tremendous. (Mark Robertson)
ELECTRONCA AMON TOBIN Out from Out Where (Ninja Tune) 0000
Maybe it's his four- minute attention span. maybe its his relative elusiveness compared with many Of his many more extrovert label cohorts but with Amon Tobin. it‘s always been difficult to pin the slippery wee bugger down.
And this. is very much business as uSual. There‘s the woozy hip slonk of 'Verbal' where he slices and dices a vocal from MC Decimal R into a million tiny slivers before sewing things up like a funky kipper with a merry mariachi guitar riff. Then there's the deep space grime of 'Hey Blondie' or the chopsocky break- beating of 'Triple