‘house producer‘ must tread in search of the credible ‘house album' is a muddied path indeed. Subliminal Records head honcho Eric Morillo has taken on this charge. and with some degree of success. Placing his trust in a myriad glamorous Sherpas (Audio Bullys. Sean Combs. DJ Rap. BOy George). Morillo‘s My World attempts to bridge dirty house production and album song appeal.
While some tracks work better than others and the studio banter skits fall somewhere woefully short of endearing. a true house album this is — and Morillo may have captured the flag. (Mark Edmundson)
DJ ZEPH Sunset Scavengers (Wide Hive) .0.
The words ‘Bay Area hip hop producer' always produce the same name — 'DJ Shadow' — but fellow San Franciscan Zeph is beginning to carve a niche for himself and give the city another producer to shout about
Zeph‘s style contrasts the recent trend for a more dark. jagged and twisted underground hip hop and the general vibe here is melodic and upbeat. Only the late- night spook of ‘Cormorant' counters this atmosphere and. ironically. is the most effecting track here.
YOu feel that Zeph c0uld knock out a mean live show given the dough. and personnel. time and opportunity will undoubtedly see him flourish. (Mark Robertson)
Remember when Driver was revered? It did
G TA3 before G TA3. It did The Ge away before The Getaway. And to top it all off you could direct the replay of your glorious. balls—out roar through the streets. finding all the perfect angles to present your automotive ability. It looked a little retigh but the missions worked well. the badboy style fitted flawlessly and. above all. the driving mechanic was balanced to the point of perfection. Simply slinging a car round a corner felt great.
Oh. what a difference a few years makes. Not that the idea has necessarily changed in that time. DflV3I' is still a crime-ridden race and chase experience that brings those memorable movie-like moments to y0ur living room. With three real cities to drive round and at least 25 missions it'll be a while before you get bored and some famous voices lend a little class to the plot.
So why the low score? Well Driv3r is possibly the clumsiest. buggiest. most infuriatingly lazy piece of computer progran’iming ever to cost $40. Other road users are few and far between. Enemies pop in and out of existence. A minor brush between car and obstacle. stationary or moving. can send yOu into an admittedly impressive spin-flip-catapult- bouncy-cruncli-cronk crash. Cars can get caught in the scenery. Anyone shooting at you can be dodged by
hiding behind a piece of scenery. They won't chase or try to get a better shot. simply shooting and shooting and shooting at your impromptu barricade. These problems can be blamed on poor playtesting but the fact that some textures den't load properly leaving you With random areas that look like a Sega Megadrive game is simply unacceptable.
Is it any coincidence that Dflv3l' is released by the same people as that other travesty The Matrix? Possibly. And if so then Driv3r will probably sell millions just like The Matrix. Again. a travesty.
PS? ATHENS 2004 (Sony) .0.
SCENE: Dining room mid-80s
‘Yes Mum’?' 'Please hold your fork and knife properly at the dinner table. You're 13
now. not five'
'l . . . em . . . well. My right wrist hurts.
'How did yOU do th . . . oh right . . . emin OK yes. well that's OK then.‘
And so teenage embarrassment was complete. Yet. though Stephen's mum recovered admirably in the face of her child's masturbatory iniuries. things weren't so simple. Stephen had indeed been hammering his ]()ySIle. but only to play Hyper Sports or Summer Games With his friends.
Button bashing and stick waggling became the area of playgrOund boasting and roasting. But they were simpler times. It is doubtful that Athens 2004 will have the same effect. All the running. jumping, shooting and thrownig are there. it looks so much better than any of its peers and it is still fantastically good fun With a group of pals but. well. gaming has moved on a bit since the mid-80s. People
demand more from their
games and Athens 2004 simply feels very dated. Mothers beware. If y0ur son has a sore wrist it won't be from playing this.
SYPHON FILTER: THE OMEGA STRAIN
Aaaah. just when you think that Driv3r is the sloppiest title in the gaming firmament. along comes Syphon Filter. Always regarded as a cheap Metal Gear Solid and Subsequently made redundant by Splinter Cell. it would appear that the producers of Syphon Filter have simply given up. Most of the missions. based around a mildly interesting terrorist-virus» conspiracy story. seem to expand into massive slogs back and forward across some of the dullest scenery ever created by man. There is no balance as one level can be breezed thrOugh with excess ammo and save points. the next is cripplineg hard. followed by another scoosh. And let's not begin to talk about some of the poor choices. such as spawn points. that make the game feel desperately unfair. Not everything sucks in Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain but even the good ideas are so poorly iinplemmited that anger is never far away. If the producers don't care about their game why should we? (lain DaVidson)
MEDIEVEL HORROR ANAZAPTA (15) 110min (Guerrilla Films DVD rental) 0.
It is 1348 and a group of soldiers led by Nicholas (Jason Flemyingi arrive with mysterious hostage Jacques (Davrd La Haye). They inform Matilda de Mellerby (Lena Headeyi that they intend to swap Jacques for the captured lord of the Village (and her husband) Sir Walter de Mellerby. All is not as it seems. however. and before long people start turning up dead with horrific boils around their bits and pits with strange words carved onto their backs.
Rape. death. pestilence and plague. This period mystery has it all. except that it is a decent script. quality acting and the merest whiff of coherency or sense. Still. if Eastwood's High Plains Drifter impregnated With the spirit of Greenaway's The Baby of Macon is to your taste. this may be for you. Minimal extras. (Gordon Eldrelti
GREGORY ISAACS: LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO (E) 60min 0..
(281 Multimedia DVD retail)
Original love rocker Gregory lsaacs has a voice and swagger like no other. He's had his share of fame and misfortune. but before us in fu/A'
III I‘\\I\_I .\\‘\\"'
performance Video he is like a young man lost in the sultry seduction of his own music.
Why now. and why San FranCisco? Who can say? But it IS a fine performance — the band are tight and the Cool Ruler is loose knocking out those inedleys for the baying crowd. Truly a legend. Issac proves he can still croon and grind; but With far from a wealth of extras this is still a flimsy offering.
EXPLOITAT ION HATCHET FOR
(Anchor Bay DVD Retail) 0..
The sub-Hollywood training school of exploitation master Roger Corman has long been recognised as a substantial footnote in Cinema. but other countries have their own auteurs of Violent. titillating. cheaply made money spinners. These have thrown up their own classics. not least the Giallo cinema of Italy and its father Mario Bava. Although not acknowledged as one of Bava's best (see 1964 's groundbreaking Blood and Black Lace). Hatchet tor the Honeymoon is still a Stiitably viVid experience. Stephen Forsyth plays a Parisian wedding dress designer. henpecked husband and self— avowed nut iob. who litters the streets of Paris With the corpses of newlyweds. Of course. there's a twist ending and some suitably cod psychoanalysis. but Bava's Vivacious invention on a low budget is the real selling point. Exploitation fans won't be disappointed. particularly With the original trailer and stills as extra. (DaVid Pollock)
THE LIST 53