Local Singles Special
Sluts of Trusts
Wading through the local bands' singles slush pile is a task for which one is rewarded with nothing but the notion that teaching folk how to write press releases should be on the national curriculum. If you’ve ever described your band as ‘the future of British music’ without suitable affirmative evidence. call it a day now. If you like to think of yourselves as ‘the sound of young (insert name of provincial backwater here)’. it’s time to move to a city. And if your name’s not Sluts of Trust, then you‘ve got a lot of catching up to do.
Considering Scotland is fostering some of the most goddamn exciting music we know right now. there's still a surprising amount of tat out there. That’s the natural order of things — scenes are only ever about their leaders, after all — which is why you'll never see the dreadfully- named Kalamazoo's ‘The Now, Now’ (Homegrown) 00 , Catcher‘s affable-but— dull 'Different City EP' (West Nile) 00 or Asa's flimsily-recorded Goldfrapp take-off 'Fallen Angel' (demo) .0 ever inspiring a next-big-thing expose. Elsewhere. Cinephile also play the Goldfrapp card on ‘Somewhere Nowhere‘ (demo) 0.. to marginally more individual effect.
Also making an appearance are a proliferation of grimy, lo-fi rockers of the son that yOur local live toilet lives and breathes. Terra Diablo’s ‘Swings and Roundabouts' (Zuma). the bafflineg all-girl We Rock Like Girls Don’t ‘Rock’n’Roll Freak‘ (Distort), Nixie Kye’s double A-side ‘Momentary/Play Dead' (Molotov), Mangara‘s ‘Little Fury’ (demo). Kilo's “Country Bat’ (demo), Fred’s ‘Easy' (demo), Babygod’s ‘Perfection’ (Playermuzik). all 0” — the list is endless. uniformly decent and no doubt coming to a club near you soon.
Soultrader should be forgiven their duff name and Oasis-lite tendencies on the back of 'A Million Miles' (demo) 000. . which is a really rather great song. It’s also a trick which fellow indie rockers Spooner and Palomino manage to pull off slightly less earth-movingly with their self-titled EP. (Glass Cheque) no and (demo) 0” respectively.
The nation's otherwise healthy musical state at the moment, however, means there are three contenders for top spot this time. The scruffin punky 'Under the City' by The Needles (Dangerous) .0” is a foot-stamping wonder. while St Andrews' KT Tunstall runs close with her delicate. seven-inch only alt.country ballad ‘Throw Me a Rope' (Stimulus) me . But Single of the Fortnight has to go to Glasgow’s two-headed riff machine Sluts of Trust with 'Leave You Wanting More‘ (Chemikal Underground) 00000. a reminder of the days porn star 'taches ruled the world and music routinely aspired to be this good. (David Pollock)
106 THE LIST lti Mar-l Apr 200-1
LAURA MACDONALD SEXTET Awakenings (Spartacusi 000.
Scottish saxophonist Laura MacDonald has Just toured With a quintet version of the music from Awakenings. but this disc is a studio recording featuring the international sextet which gave the music its premiere last summer. courtesy of a New Work award from the Scottish Arts Council. It was her most ambitious music to date. and she delivered the project in impressive fashion. The bold harmonies and intricate interplay of musical lines marked a new level of Vision and sophistication in her composing skills. but also provided plenty of scope for the musicians to exercise their improvising talents. led by her own alto and soprano saxophone. and Donny McCaslin's turbulent tenor playing. (Kenny Mathiesoni
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We could do with more genuine eccentricity in pop music. Perhaps Filer Gordon Anderson could share some of his: the man who is Lone Pigeon (and was a key figure in the Beta Band's early incarnationsi has just released an album that is equal parts throwaway and wonderful. but is never less than weird. Childlike velces skip about the place. 60s melodies shimmer briefly before drifting away. and promising songs dissolve into comedy jams. It's reminiscent by turns of the Beatles. Badly Drawn Boy and mid- 70s Neil Young:
engaging and sometimes brilliant. but an interesting Curiosity rather than a coherent or truly satisfying album. (James Smarti
THE GYPSY KINGS
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The international success of the horrid ‘Bamboleo' at the start of their recording career propelled the Gypsy Kings down a trail of world pop drivel which was entirely at odds with their flamenco heritage
(the brothers Reyes are from the same stock as the wonderful Manitas de Platai.
But I am flal')bergasterl to report that. 17 years On. the Catalan exiles have lLlllde the synths. dance beats and fashionable flummery by which the world know them. and made the album which should have introduced them in the first place. Bolstered by passion. pleasure and flamenco virtuosity. Roofs is a heartening surprise. (Ninian Dunnetti
HIP HOP CLOUDDEAD
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cLOUDDEAD stem from the truly avant-garde realm of hip hop. on a different planet to the :30 Cents and Eminems of this world. Taking a
DJ DANGER MOUSE
The Grey Album ino labeli O...
queasy off-putting road through fractured beats and obscure samples. lyrics Spiralling out of imagined seiindscapes. recent single ‘Dead Dogs Two' is a case in point. There is humour at play but it's of the darkest variety. It's gothic hip hop. for some reason summoning up images of The Blair Witch Project in its unsettling downbeat lyrics and attitude. And that is its power. the ability to toy with your emotions. that they have captured so succinctly. (Henry Nonhmore‘i
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If the Fab Four became Five: the Grey Album
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On paper it seems like a simple concept: take the words from one of the rap biggest albums of last year - Jay-2’s Black Album - and underscore them with music made up solely from samples of one of the biggest albums of all time - the Beatles’ White Album. Novelty value is high here; the joy of hearing familiar hooks in new surroundings has not gone unnoticed, especially in rap music. But New York hip hop explorer DJ Danger Mouse has created a monster: EMI threw its teddy out of the pram straight off, issuing cease and desist writs to numerous websites hosting the tracks. In response, a ‘free the Grey Album’ protest was launched online on 24 February when over 170 websites offered it free to download. Jay-Z’s label Roc-A-Fella, perhaps more savvy to the credible publicity this could raise for its artist, has been strangely quiet on the topic.
But what of the music? Well, there are some gloriously familiar hooks in there but Danger Mouse has hacked Lennon and McCartney to shreds, giving Ringo Starr’s drumming a disjointed funk that surely not even he never knew was there and meshing them to magical psychedelic licks, thunderous bass, jarring, twanging and bewitching guitar lines. Mostly, it’s a startlingly good hip hop album, regardless of where the sounds are
It’s unlikely this will ever be released, but like the A-Team, the tracks are out there if you can find them. We’re not saying download it, of course - that would be infringing copyright and is illegal. We’re just saying it’s out
there. (Mark Robertson)
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