Mstation Pop etc Commentary, Reviews Valid RSS pre Dec 04 reviews are here

Sun, 29 Jan 2006

Steve Angello

Steve Angello, Sessions
2 CDs, Ministry of Sound

The sticker says "2 X CD's of F*** Off Dirty House Music" and on the cover is printed "Parental Advisory Explicit Content". So there you go. You've been warmed ... er, warned.

It's not _that_ dirty it has to be said. It is kickalong house with some moments and should keep likers of this genre happily kicking away at the floor for a couple of hours. (Dr Boots)

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Spektrum, Horny Pony
6 track EP, Nonstop

Fun doings here with a female voice fxing over some nice grooves and spurts of harmonious electronica and some retro synth. We're in land of heavy sexual innuendo so a feeling of lightness and slightly campy kitchness does the thing absolutely no harm at all.

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Revolve promo CD

various, Revolve Mag promo CD
10 tracks

Revolve is a small format magazine that is "Developing global trance and co-evolution" and this CD comes with the winter 2005 edition.

Get out your glo-sticks! Here there are mostly unreleased tracks from the likes of MFG, Pitch Hikers, Naked Tourist, Scorb, Bliss, and C.O.N. Sequencer.

Needless to say we have lots of MIDI synth stuff here and there are varying degrees of inventiveness applied to the job of making them interesting ... within the genre. If you don't like long, long lines with occasional developments and sparkling little moments, you might like a few of these tracks but you don't and won't like Trance.

The idea is, of course, that while you have a suitable level of volume (11 on a multi-Kw system should be fine), you are dancing your socks off. (thunderfinger)

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beautiful new born children

The beautiful new born children, Hey People
LP, Domino

A hefty dose of indy sensibility with a nod to punk history and with the rollicking set to 9 make this quite a pleasing little set. It's a lo-fi-ish way of rocking that seems quite intimate despite the serious riffing that's going on. With the speed right up they can be a little reminiscent of The Hives but maybe with more subleties happening in the background, but that could be my imagination. And there are Velvets moments as well. (Splodger)

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Moby, Slipping Away

Moby, Slipping Away
single, Mute

This is off the last album and is a nice sub-anthemic tune that is still quite catchy. In a way it is quite representative of that album as far as the general tone is concerned.

There are two edits of the song on this disc - both 3:38.

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Miles Davis ... sorta

ESP 2: A tribute to Miles
Live in Stuttgart
Randy Hall
Robert Irving III
Adam Holzman

I saw Miles Davis at the Village Vanguard in NYC when I was pretty young. How I got in I don't know as you were supposed to be twenty-one and I wasn't, and I looked about twelve. I was dressed in a blazer and tie. Maybe the doorman thought it was so bizarre that it wasn't really happening. In any case I was allowed in and was served a beer at the bar and I settled down to some small-group Miles. What he was doing then was a kind of cooler child of Bird -- of Beebop. Or maybe it was beefed up West Coast Cool. He blew sinuous torrents of sound and in the small audience people would end his phrases with "Yeah!". To a child it was also beyond good. You didn't need to know anything about music to know that this man was a master. And you didn't need to much about people to intuitively appreciate that the man was angry, unapproachable, and slightly adrift -- if the opposite of adrift is connected in a happy way.

Miles isn't on this DVD but a lot of his sidemen from his last years are. This tribute covers a particular side of Miles Davis -- the fusion side. The playing is wonderful and nicely recorded and it might set you to wondering about ties between Fusion and some modern electronica. (Baron K)

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Liars, Drum's Not Dead

Liars, Drum's Not Dead
CD + DVD, Mute

The drum certainly isn't dead. There's a whole bunch of them here, very much alive, contorted, kicking and arranged so that it's not like Gene Krupa's day out. Which is to say, and as you'd suspect, these are modern sounds rather than a guy beating up on his kit.

As well as an album full of avant-rock tracks there's also, on a DVD, a collection of video clips. The whole thing is a bit of art.

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Layo & Bushwacka!

Layo & Bushwacka, Life2Live
5 track CD, Olmeto Records through Vital

These two Londoners have been around for quite a while now in club terms. Involved in the rave scene, they became prophets of acid house and if you're interested in that past you read quite a nice 2002 summary here.

This CD features the original Layo & Bushwacka mix plus remixes from Green Velvet, Loco Dice and two from Jesse. The original is fine thumping altered senses house while Green Velvet is a pared-down almost delicate thing or was that Loco Dice? Anyway, the takes are diiferent enough to sit by themselves. (Dr Boots)

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Indochine, Alice and June
two CDs, Sony BMG

Nicely produced heavy pop that rocks along in pace if not in the spirit of the thing. Those wondering why the French have historically not done this need look no further than the comfy and pleasant society within the banlieus (of recent bus burning fame and where the music of choice is often Gangsta). So, the voices of dispossession are more likely to come from the USA or the UK, and are also likely not to use rock as their genre. Another factor is that this band have apparently been going for quite some time. It certainly shows in the smoothness of the thing.

Anyway, this is musical stuff although, given that it comes from one of the larger corporate villains right now, you'd better really like it to buy it. (Dr Boots)

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Cornershop, Wop the Groove
single, ?

Nice little groovalong with funky moments and medium tempo toe-tapping.

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Clearlake, Amber

Clearlake, Amber
LP, Domino

This was a bit of a surprise. With the band and album name as they are, I expected something vaguely new-agey with lots of softness, warm hugs and the like. In fact there's lots of nice big fat guitar and some clever arrangements which are quite are quite hard-hitting musically, and done within the pop genre rather than trying for punkness.

From the promo - 'Clearlake have been making excellent records since the wonderful Winterlight single announced their arrival. 2000's debut album Lido was much-loved, sparked a sell-out UK tour and won plaudits from all sorts of stellar peers and heroes. Second album, Cedars, in 2003, was the one that attracted rave notices in the US too and found adoring fans all across America on a huge two-month visit in 2004. Dashing into the studio upon their return, Clearlake vowed to deliver a swift follow-up.

Somehow, it became a bit of an odyssey, across eight studios in France and the UK. It took time, but the results are timeless: the motorik, mesmeric opener "No Kind Of Life", the bluesy moonburst of "Neon", the buzzy rush of "Good Clean Fun", the Kinksy oomph of "Finally Free", the prowling tension of You Can't Have Me, the coruscating title song, the countrified lament Dreamt That You Died and the awesome guitar power of "Widescreen".

Produced by Clearlake's Jason Pegg with Steve Osborne (U2, Happy Mondays, KT Tunstall) and Jim Abbiss (Kasabian, DJ Shadow, David Gray) and recorded by Phill Brown (Talk Talk, Bob Marley, LedZep, Hendrix, you name it)' (Dr Boots)

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Babyshambles, Down in Albion
LP, Rough Trade

Most reaction to this has been amazed that there was any kind of coherence or positive aspect to it at all. And there's also the aspect of safe middle class people goggling at the pure adventure of it all -- the supermodel girlfriend, the drugs, the notoriety, and most to the point, the publicity.

It's true that there is a lot worse out there but these are the grandchildren of Thatcher -- selfish, stupid, and with very little to say beyond a cackhanded brand of showboating.

The producer, Mick Jones, late of the Clash and Big Audio Dynamite injects some tasteful Clash-like moments but there is little excitement or encitement here. (thunderfinger)

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At the Lake

At the Lake, These Days
debut single, Popfiction
released 2 feb 06

With influences like The Smiths and My Bloody Valentine you'd expect this to have a solidly English aesthetic, and it does. The influence is more Smiths than Valentines as this isn't a layers of feedback thing at all. In fact it is nicely played, tuneful pop with enough edges that it isn't bubblegum sticky. The singer, Matt Forder does have a smooth, somewhat Morrisey-like voice as well.

These are a nice couple of tracks, all in all.

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Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys, When the Sun Goes Down
Single, Domino Recording

Guitar and intelligible voice -- a story to tell with an interesting construction and some riffs along the way.

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