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RECORD REVIEWS

by Phil Thornton 

ALEKSI PERALA - PROJECT V (REPHLEX)

The Finns tend to be better known for providing the premiership with solid, sharp cheeked defenders and death-defying rally car drivers than for cutting edge electronica. However, Finnish soundscape wizard, Aleksi Perala demonstrates on Project V that theres far more to the Sami nation than endless forests and migrating reindeer. Rocking Chair opens with Four Tet like pulses, followed by the chunky beats of Spacetime (which ends with the refrain from Hashim's still mesmerising Al Naafiysh), Path is a bubbly deep tech-house number, Muska, a cat's meow screech of broken beats, Purple Rain an epic odyssey through pitter patter drum patterns and eerie monastic synths to a land of frozen lakes.  Underwater Carousel is a minute or so of abstract beats, Autumn Morning an electro car ride along the coast and Lagrange Point a monumental landscape soundtrack. Feast is a tribal initiation ceremony reminiscent of Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight, the splendidly titled Black Leicester a spaced out jazzy affair that brings to mind early Photek and closing track Sunburst is a joyful bounce of drill n' bass sqwank. There's something for most electronic music fans here and, while it does tend to become a tad bogged down in the middle, at its best, Project V is very good indeed.      

Swine Rating - 3 Pigs

BLACK DEVIL DISCO CLUB IN DUB (LO RECORDINGS)

The Black Devil Disco Club was a proto-cosmic disco LP produced by two French fellars, Bernard Fevre and Jacky Giordano in the 1978. With the revival of all things Cosmic/Italo-Disco, its rarity and obscurity value has placed a value upon its grooves than it doesn't really deserve. Yes, for the time, these are pretty advanced tunes, allbeit in a pretty Giorgio Moroder meets Tomorrow's World way, but at the same time we also had Kraftwerk and other, mostly European experimentalists doing far more adventurous things with modern technology in music. BDDC In Dub takes the original numbers and er, dubs them in an elongated, re-edited and rather tedious manner rather than deep n' rootsy King Tubby stylee.

Part 2 of the CD ropes in modern cosmic disco stars such as Prins Thomas, In Flagranti, <?_xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /> Quiet Village and Black Mustang to work their magic on the same tracks with mixed results. Only Black Mustang's version of Constantly No Respect and Unit 4's An Other Skin did anything for me, which either demonstrates that the original source material isn't good enough for proven production aces like Prins and In Flagranti to polish, or that they couldn't really be arsed wasting good ideas on these tracks. This is a specialist record for those obsessed with the rather cheesy euro-disco era. As with with the rare soul and rare funk scenes, there is a reason much of this stuff is rare, because it's shit. Black Devil Disco Club isn't shit, it's an interesting and innovative approach to disco but nowhere near the experimental work of genius it's often made out to be.

Swine Rating - 2 Pigs

 

G-HA & OLANSKII SUNKISSED ( SMALLTOWN SUPERSOUND )

It seems ironic but for such a notoriously cold country, Norway is producing the warmest, most innovative and funkiest electronic music around. G-Ha and Olanskii may be new names to you (and indeed me) but theres no denying the quality of the Scandilearic grooves on offer on this fantastic mix. From the neo-Kraut space rock of opening track Serena-Maneeshs Candlelight to through the space go-go of DiskJokkes Cold Out to the Space techno of Crue-1 Grand Orchestras Psycho Piano to the space disco of Mental Overdrives Original Material this is a space race fantastics wet dream. With remixes from Norwegian aces such as Todd Terje, Rune Lindbaek, Kosmische and sperate efforts from Lindstrom & Prins Thomas, Sunkissed is a five star summer fjord picnic packed with cosmic butties and fizzy minimal pop.

Swine Rating - 5 Pigs

Kings Of Leon Because Of The Times (RCA)

Of all the millions upon millions of tedious karaoke guitar bands out there, The Kings of Leon and The White Stripes are my favourites. OK, so they both  hark back to a mythical no frills boogie golden era, when stripped down garage purity was yet to be contaminated by slick production, bombastic marketing and self-indulgent musicianship but atleast they had swagger, style and yes, even a little bit osoul!

They played the game ofcourse. They both out-gimmicked the hordes of other retro-rockers by claiming to be sons of preacher men, brother n sister, husband n wife, redneck hillbilly and faux-naïve ghetto guttersnipes. But what a magnificent fucking racket they made. The Stripes have lost some of their charm and appeal now that Jack White has gone all Jack Black and copped for rock star parody with The Raconteurs meanwhile The KOL have seemingly opted for a glossy sheen of shinola to polish their primitive shit. This is a shame because the Kings are best when theyre at their raw and most basic, when they howl and cuss and dont crack on to be clever or accomplished.

Because Of The Times sounds like a band whove been hanging out with Bono for too long. Knocked Up even has Edge style guitar licks, whereas Charmer is a Pixies style screamer. Both are great however. There follow six tracks that dont really go anywhere or do anything, like a family of Muslims at a beer festival. However, when they hit the three card trick of Fans, The Runner and Trunk, this sounds like a group whove learned to extend their repertoire beyond the boring rock n roll pastiche of their elders. The Runner especially shows a tender side to their meat n two veg bluster often overlooked by Caleb Followills ministerial hollerin. When he talks of speaking to Jesus every day you believe him. The equally touching Arizona closes the LP and although I still much prefer the testosterone stomp of Youth & Young Manhood, Because Of The Times is a good LP that definitely grows the more you hear it.

Swine rating 3 Pigs

   

 

   

Others to watch out for :

Dephazz Days Of Twang (Phazz-a-delic)

German cod-ragga and dance pop from Pit Baumgartner. Stan Boardman shouldve bombed his chippy.

1 Pig

Urban Tribe Acceptable Side Effects (Rephlex)

Detroit techno that sounds just like er, Detroit Techno. Laptop digi-terrorism that packs a beat heavy punch under its noodle heavy gloves.

3 Pigs

Lee Anthony Jude Norris My Favourite Kind Of Irrelevance (Hydrogen Dukebox)

I have no fucking idea who Lee Anthony Jude Norris is but this is a retrospective of his groundbreaking and influential work from 1997 to present. If you like chunky, funky techno and hypnotic squank (and I do) then thisll do for you.

3 Pigs

Lindstrom & Prins Thomas Re-interpretations (Eskimo)

L&PTs justifiably praised debut, the imaginatively titled L&PT is a modern Balearic classic. Thats no reason why they should knock out a remix (call em re-interpretations if you like) not so long after. Its not that this is a bad LP, its fucking boss, as is always the case with these two, just kinda pointless.

3 Pigs

 

PLAYLISTS  

CAFÉ DEL LAR CAVA SANGRIA SPRING 07 MIX

Andreas Vollenweider - Over the wall, under the gardens, up me hoop
Dufus - Right On
Paul Simon - Diamonds (Todd Terje Dub)
Seals & Crofts - Sweet Green Fields
Cal Tjader/Charlie Byrd - Tambu
Magick Edit Allstars - Voices
Akabu - Akabu Theme
Falco - Helden Von Heute
White Light Circus - the Shot (Dub Copy)
AshRa - Oasis
John Paul Young - Standing In The Rain
Simply Red - Love Fire (Big Red Mix)
Biddu - Hot Ice
Tony Rallo -  Holdin' On
Fatback - Backstrokin'
Brick - Dazz
China Crisis - Best Kept Secret
DJ Shadow - This Time

Ste Connor

CAFÉ DEL LAR Second Handy Shuffle Mix.

 

Dawning Mr Amir

Electro Lux Imbroglio -  Steve Miller Band

Moribund The Burgermeister - Peter Gabriel

Found You Now - Robert Palmer

Your Gold Teeth II - Steely Dan

Mary Jane Rick James

Youll Never Learn - Hall & Oates

You Hurt Me Deep Inside Cook Da Books

Jai Pas Peur 8th Wonder

On Time - The Bee Gees

Dreidel - Don McLean

Kodachrome Paul Simon

Terrapin Station Grateful Dead

Paint It Black - War & Eric Burdon

House Of The King - Focus

Who Do Women - Backstreet Crawler

Come To Poppa - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

Gimme Some Lovin Lulu

Space Luxury The MacKenzie

Acid Poke - Adonis

Better Days Jimmy Polo

Everything Bamboo Lenny D & Tommy Musto

Come & Get It Bailey & Bridges

One With A Star - Idris Muhammad

We All Got A Mission - Billy Paul

Jesus Children Of America - Stevie Wonder

Its A Family Affair Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers

Sixteen Bars The Stylistics

Dreams Of The Everyday Housewife - Glen Campbell

Venus De Milo - Prince

Life On Mars  - London Symphony Orchestra

Phil Thornton  

 

 

 
   
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