Records be one of the most exhilarating Cuban

POP PAP DARIUS Dive in (Mercury) 00

This Bearsden boy's misguided pleas to ‘hit me baby one more time' should be forgiven. Bless ' m In the face of marketing adversity he wanted to be different. Sadly for us. some demented SOul's seen fit to answer Darius' prayers.

Self-penned numbers such as ‘Gotta Know Tonight' and 'Rushes‘ should appeal to the seasoned Savage Garden aficionados among you. while trite numbers such as ‘Dive In' and ‘Girl in the Moon' will have you screaming: ‘Britney love. come back all's forgiven!’

Delusionals are hailing him as the ‘new Robbie'. Maybe. But at least Mr Williams had the sense to recruit Guy Chambers to write his finest. before inflicting us with his solo inanity. Take heed Mr Danesh. (Anna Millar)

ALT.COUNTRY JESSE MALIN The Fine Art of Self- Destruction (One Little Indian) .000

If I had a spare week and a fair chunk of cash when the arse-end of Christmas came around I'd go somewhere hot and funky. But then I'm not as weird or as talented as king Ryan Adams. a man who instead decided to produce and play guitar on his mate Jesse Malin‘s debut. The reSult. recorded in six days in January. is a hugely impressive album that soars With passion and drips with tenderness. whose raw

production is at thrilling odds with its more 'classic' (read MOR) moments.

Tracks like 'X-Mas' and ‘Solitaire' fizzle with a beauty that touches the soul. When does a friend become a rival? About now. I guess. lJames Smart)


(Exceptional) 0000

Japanese production duo UFO are a right creative pair. Twelve years after they first started contributing to the thriving scene in Tokyo's Shibuya district. suppOrting electronic music. hip hop. Latin and jazz in all their myriad forms. this. their fifth. album shows the true versatility of their colourful abilities. A veritable smorgasbord of styles and sounds. V gracefully tiptoes through generic bOundaries with a child- like naivete.

It's largely very ambient. atmospheric stuff. but ‘No Problem‘ pays a nostalgic visit to acoustic traditions with the syrupy talents of legendary jazz vocalist Mark Murphy. 'Transworld' sounds like Rolando's ‘Knights of the Jaguar' dancing the techno-jazz samba and “Suite Espagnole‘ is a glorious piece of salsa drum & bass. The spice of life this most definitely is. (Andrew Richardson)



Son Demasiado (Tumi) .000

From the first song ‘Crazy Juana‘ to the devilishly romantic ‘Suffering', Alvarez finally proves that Cuban salsa is moving forward. swinging away from the driven 'timba' SOundS of the 1990s

‘Too Much Son' has to

dance discs in a long- time. infused with fresh Caribbean rhytth (hints of Juan Luis Guerra).

Yuximi Gonzalez adds frisson on keyboards challenging the macho code that women can't handle salsa. With flautist Loidis Taboada she adds sparkling chorus work to the funkiest band around. (Jan Fairley)


The Word from the Pulpit


' “THE: ._ 7%.. f aims?“ P“I'.;'PIT

1 ‘0 'Nn Jh.


A righteous boost for those of us whose seasonal thoughts are turning to matters spiritual. this eccentric collection intersperses tracks from some of the best 605 and 70s gospel choirs with contemporaneous religion-oriented jazz and funk excursions from the Atlantic and Warner labels.

The genres sit a little uncomfortably in the same pew. but no fan of 19703 funk should be without the Stovall Sisters‘ (recently sampled) ‘Hang on in There'. There's also Yusef Lateef with a testifying live version of ‘Humble'. some bizarre flute noodling from David ‘Fathead' Newman, and any amount of unconscionable weirdness. Hallelujah. (Ninian Dunnett)


TOMMY SMITH Alone at Last (Spartacus) eeoo

A studio recording of the solo saxophone-plus- electronics extravaganza that Tommy Smith developed with his Creative Scotland Award

funding, and toured widely across Scotland. Smith's strong, inventive improvising on tenor and soprano and the taped recitations of Edwin Morgan's poems provide the emotional centre of the disc's notably diverse music.

Not one to do things by halves. Tommy also issues three live discs a glorious duo concert with Brian Kellock and his one-off (so far) Christmas Concert with his quartet in Edinburgh last year, and the first disc by the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. Miles Ahead. Direct buyers get a good deal on all four check wwwspartacusrecords. com for details.

(Kenny Mathieson)

FOLK VARIOUS Bah Humbug (G2)

Christmas usually makes me puke. but this record makes me puke even harder. Until my throat is raw. This collection of truly woeful ‘comedy' festive folk songs bills itself as “the alternative Christmas album'. Alternative to what? A good Christmas record? A funny one? A smash in the face with a bottle of eggnog? Does eggnog come in bottles?

The eejits involved were apparently inspired by the increasing commercialisation of Christmas. so what better way than releasing a Christmas record? Fucking balloons. Bah Humbug is like a Mike Harding set gone bad. veeeeeeery bad. If you get this in yOur stocking, give somebody a smack. (Doug Johnstone)

ECLECTlCA VARIOUS Fabriclive - John Peel (Fabric) 0000

Amazingly, this is Peelie's first mix CD and it was recorded live at Fabric. With three decades of pushing the arcane and ridiculous onto us you might

singles actually sell.

emotive lurch.


THE“! ifflE FRDlilT E STE 5. El!) HE

Ah Christmas. the pagan feast stolen by the Christians to enslave us with our own materialism. but more importantly the only time of year when

It isn't the Special AKAs ‘Free Nelson Mandela' but Chumbawumba's ‘Jacob’s Ladder (Not in My Name)‘ (Mutt me ) is that truly exceptional thing: an anti-war single. With its solid break, sweet chorus and unimpeachable lyrics it is certainly a blast of salt and oil-stained desert air.

I used to know someone who tried to recreate the sound of the Cockney Rejects in New Zealand in the early 80’s - his band was called S'H'I'T and had a vaguely rightwing/skinhead following. Luckily they all grew up and got jobs in the local branch of Bargain Booze. The D4. with their party season single ‘Come On' (Infectious 00 trying to pull the same stunt but they want to be the Libertines. Or is the Ramones? Who cares? ESC’s ‘Secret of the Soul' EP (Seminal Emissions 0000 ) is a disease of breaks and hooks that segues its way into a lush piece of big band funk. all hung off the vocals of a great Minnie Ripperton impersonator. The Trashmonkey's do more of their glorious Hammond punk thing with ‘Nobody’ (Acid Jazz 00” -). Gold Chains' ‘The Game' (PIAS 0000 ) is something very special, an old school slice of cheesy electro hippity-hop that manages to pastiche everyone from Ashford and Simpson to Colonel Abrahams and Daryl Pandy while still bringing down the house. The ghost of Clearlake seems to be haunting the boys from York indie band Juxtaposltion in their pompous if pretty self-named debut EP (Captured O” ). From Wales. the divine Mew's “She Came Home for Christmas' (Evil Office/ Epic 0000 -) is full of scale and promise and certainly exudes an

There is, however. only one Christmas no 1 and in a perfect world it would be a musical diaspora known as They Came from the Stars, I Saw Them. ‘You Can't Fool Us' EP (Um 00000) is extraordinary in a bonkers. laugh-out-loud funny kind of way: all alpine ridges and warped string breaks. Ja. Nein. Single of the Fortnight without a Heidi of a doubt. (Paul Dale)


) are

expect this to have had a specialist vibe to it. but the old boy has got a couple of sheds full of vinyl at his Sussex home

and he knows he can please anyone.

From the lustful Soledad Brothers tune ‘Break 'em Down' to the Undertones' “Teenage Kicks' this is a joy. with the pleasing inclusion of Jimmy Reed's ‘Too Much'. the Fall's 'Mr Pharmacist' and the Velvettes ‘Needle in a Haystack'. Peel doesn't miss a beat. (Paul Dale)

12 Dec 2002—2 Jan 2003 THE LIST 1 19