100th Window iVirginl OOO

100th Window breaks no new ground

Once upon a time, Massive Attack were a barnstorming act, bombing basses and exploding the complacent and lily livered UK pop life. After three landmark albums they have returned to shake up the celebrity-obsessed, Pop Idol-infiltrated chart world. But this particular assault is distressingly off-target.

Almost everything on 100th Window is a misty reflection of their third, Mezzanine. There is not a single track here that will ever make a footie car ad (though almost every song has the same insistent, earthquake bassline of ‘Angel’). And Sinead O’Connor does her damnedest on three songs, perhaps singing as evocatively as she’s ever done, but the poor dear is still no Liz Fraser. And whereas before, their juggernaut of doom was still something which flew, 100th Window fears those heights, simply content in crouching down amid its own terror.

They may fall well below their own creative peaks here, but no Massive Attack listening experience is ever going to be without its glories. So, Sinead’s opening salvo, ‘What your Soul Sings’, is a swirly, dripping, passionate plea for letting folk just be themselves, probably. And the relentless closer ‘Antistar’ is nothing short of

a Turkish delight.

The problem may simply be that the Massive Attack we know now bears only a passing resemblance to the 98 vintage. Mushroom has split and Daddy Gee has lived up to his name by staying at home to change nappies and shake rattles. Such a savage splintering hasn’t failed to take its toll. (Brian Donaldson)



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Brian Kellock is featured playing Fats Waller at Henry's this li‘.()l‘iili isee mosaic page r'ifii. but tnis sensational duo ‘.'.'lill saxophonist Tommy Smith is also now a

100 THE LIST -,

going concern.

The disc recorded at the Hub during the Jazz festival in July. a concert that stood out for the Sl)()litélll(~}OtlS generation of ideas. energy and creative tension between the two players. Much of that exhilarating interplay survives on this CD release ialthough there is still quite a bit left in the cam. and it ‘.'.’|ll be interesting to see if they can retain that volatile edge as their duo develops. For now. though. snap up this one. iKenny lvlathieson.

HIP HOP BUSTA RHYMES It ain’t Safe No More lJl O

SOLE Selling Live Water

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The intention was to devote all this space to review the new Busta Rhymes opus. but sadly Busta has fulfiled his title's prophesy and made a carton of indigestion-inducing. cliche ridden. thug-lite SOup that shames his former hyperbolic Technicolor glories. Far more satisfying is the rare. bordering on raw. hip hop steak dinner that is Soles debut.

A ftlSiOh of \‘JlFBCl. manic monologues filled v'ith political polemic. both party and personal ithat actually make a frightening amOunt of sense. bewitched spook beats and hyperreal sonic gristle robbed from the store Cupboard of Eno and Boogie Down Productions. makes an exhilarating. if intense antidote to Busta's disappomting thuggery ilvtark Robertsoni


The acoustic guitar used to be the only outlet for the bedsit poet but with the increasmg availability and portability of electronic equipment it should hardly be surprismg that some lost souls with computers are OSCllOWlllg subtle- as-bricks trance for intense. downbeat electropop.

Richard \r‘y’arren's fourth solo album is experimental but accessible and startlingly effective. Bookended by the spare throb of 'Automatic

Eyes' and the dripping. bluesy menace of “Nearly All the Time'. Giraffe is a claustrophobic delight. filled with beats you can't dance to and songs you can't sing. dominated by dark lyricism and Synths edgy enough to sc0ur the SOUl. (James Smartl


Wizards and Demons: Music Inspired by the Writings of JRR Tolkien (Sanctuary/l 000

Oh dear. Cash in albums should at least get their facts straight. On the front of this collection of songs unofficially ‘inspired' by Middle Earth stands a wizard dressed in purple. and there ain't no purple wizards in Tolkien. Still. most of the filthy hippies iwho wOuld probably have made Tolkien feel exceedingly lierOUSl showcased here seem genuinely enthused by their subject matter.

Sam Gopal provide an addled. bluesy “The Dark Lord' while Trader Horne have a stab at making the lyric to ‘Three Rings for the Elven Kings' scan over a bunch of their caned mates playing bongos. Man and Uriah Heep also feature. although it's a shame the budget didn't stretch to getting Zeppelin on there. iJames Smart)

JAZZ FIELDWORK Your Life Flashes

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New York-based pianist Viiay lyer is heading for Henry's in March. altliOLigh not wrth this highly creative trio. He is iomed by tenoi' saxophonist Aaron Stewart and drummer Elliot Humberto Kavee in

what is a very interactive three-way mUSICal dialogue.

Although lyer contributes the bqu of the initial compositions (including a tribute to an under-sung hero of contemporary jazz. the late Horace Tapscott‘i. each player takes their turn at providing a lead at different times. That fluidity keeps things fresh. and allows their constantly inventive. highly energised music to develop as a genuine collaborative achievement.

(Kenny Mathieson)

PUNK HIP HOP ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION Enemy of the Enemy (Virgin) 0000

- 3.4.771 “537:3. With war in Iraq looking like a distinct probability and the Daily Ma/l Working itself into a panic Over immigration. the time seems ripe for an ADF return.

Enemy of the Enemy sees the band's numbers swell to near So Solid propOrtions. with Sinead O' Connor and Padiohead's Ed O'Brien among the guests and punk dub iconoclast Adrian Sherwood on production. While it's hard to agree with everything the band say imass riots are Surely not the best way to transform BraZil's penal system it's Ili'TDOS‘SlblC‘ to question their paSSIOn Or commitment to causes most of us are happy to give up as lost. ADF are rapidly turning into the band the Manics always Wished they c0uld be: fierce. funky and utterly Vital. iJames Smart)


Chinatown (Nettwerk EMli me.

The Canadian trio's debut became many peOpIe's album of the year in 2002. and its successor gets the new year off to the best possible start with another moody

minutes of languid chamber folk.

As before. mandohn. banjo and ukelele are tightly corralled by a spare rhythm section to make the broadest space for the unpolished and affecting voices of Frazey Ford. Samantha Parton and Trish Klein on material which includes idiOSyncratic takes on standards like ‘House of the Rising Sun' as well as originals in the same rootsy vein. Simple pleasures are so often the best. iNinian Dunnettv

ROCK POP RICHARD HAWLEY Lowedges iSetantai 00

YOu avxake from a coma half way through track ten. which is titled ‘Danny'. Alas it is not after all a song about the drummer in Supergrass who looks like Bilbo Baggins. Or maybe it is being an instrumental one can but spGCulate. This second LP from the Longpigs Pulp gLiitarIst is so saccharinely sentimental and COnSISIGntIy slow paced that it n akes vOu want to move in with the Osturnes. oarlez in profanities and rename yOurself Anal Grunt. Which is a shame because 200‘. Coming Home' single was rather beautiful. This LP. however. COuld turn Alan Bennett to Slipknot with one listen. Yuck. iRodger Evansi

HlP HOP PENPUSHERS Last Vestige of Holism ilncorporeali COO.

At of‘g as. t'ieres sg .s of "’Bleem *‘io "oo emanating from Scotanti. texe' it x: ."e