Judging by his progressively sagging eyelids, Paul Vickers hardly ever sees the world in full focus which might just explain why Dawn Of The Replicants are such an irregular and inexplicable blip in current musical happenings. On record, it's dark, fast-track dance with the odd shot of rock but live, it centres around the guitars and Vickers' quirky lyrical edge. Tonight, by his own confession, he is too pissed to speak and grins dozily at the microphone, spluttering out the odd line in between puffs of his cigarette. It is all completely nonsensical and, as they stumble into the first track of their latest EP, All That Cheynne Caboodle, we gaze on amused, yet unable to make up our minds. They certainly know how to make an audience smile at the expense of Dale Winton and cows. Judgement on musical aptitude, however, should perhaps be saved for a more sober date. (AL)
Jarvis the butt-naked crusader, the wry acrylic-clad Richard and Judy guest. But Jarvis the bloke whos a little worried about his getting on a bit? In the mean time we try to forget that nothing lasts forever yelps a slightly less assured than normal Cocker, the big worry now being seen as a trendy parent. Rest Home Piano is defined by the intros reflective plea before spiralling off into Creep-esque crescendos. A bit of self-irony then. Boom-boom. (NPW)
This is what rock, as we know it, is going to start doing more of next millennium. Songs proper will slowly be eroded as people get used to not needing a chorus and verse differentiation. This will make remixes a lot easier and widespread (the downside) and should kill off Ocean Colour Scene (Whoopee-doo). Radiohead have begun the big noises move to the world of loops and tweeters. Oasis are set to follow on their next LP. Laika are, upon this supposition, streets ahead of their time. Lyrically, honey-voiced Margaret Fielder (the blandest name yet to appear on a record sleeve) haunts the world of Gibsons Idoru, Prairie Dog wants to pull the nerves from my skin and the single Almost Sleeping spatters the coma of bedsit life all over its entrancing bass-line. But Sounds... is not all sweetness and light.
From time to time the bongos, the forest noises and the sheer drone of it all are more BSB than Sky. They record at home and this hints at their propensity to allow too much scope in their range of influences. Too many cooks etc. So, to recap, moments of extreme promise and vision but undermined by the background music vibe that seeps in like a warm bath. Named after the first dog in space, Laika should be out there, but for now are still burning up in the atmosphere. (NPW)
Her body is a hand grenade, her arms were pin cushions, and her heads still a roomy parking space suited to 747s. Still, shes an icon, right? Despite proving that acting is what shes doubtless best at, Courtney Love is determined not to let the world forget shes in a band too. This she thinks can be best achieved by freeing up a selection of rarities (Sony-speak for file under Dust). Duped punters can expect a few early tracks, some hideously raucous and sloppy demos and (ten out of ten for originality here) some unplugged variations on old tunes. Bargain at £14.99 I hear children cry from under their portrait Kurt Cobain duvet covers. Such a staggering dearth of new material does little for Loves credibility as a self-sufficient songwriter. If she is, understandably, still a little cut up then best to let heal behind the relatively closed doors of the film celebrity, and not drag the past out into the spotlight. The pin stays firmly in the body. Await the AOR release to follow: My sanctuary, the lovehandle. (NPW)
Owing to the fact that Mr Naughty But Nice Williams has more charisma in one of his bulging eyeballs than Gary et al together, nothing more than a faintly likeable record had be delivered to ensure his victory in the Fisher-Price Lennon vs MCartney stakes. Lazy Days is actually quite alarmingly accomplished, fuel to that Mancunian in good solo record shock headline. Some frankly lucrative reference points emerge, numbering among them Liam G (for the odd vocal snipe) and The Beatles. The lyrical focus of the LP revolves, like those little birds that symbolise concussion Disney style, around being pissed and charlied out of your bonce and then trying to stop. And girls, theres the odd romance along the way. But of course, shes not right for him, or he was too pissed to give her the attention her rosy complexion merited. Oh the trials of having to survive throughout your 20s on nothing but a huge lump of capital! Drifting between the assuringly trite and the disturbingly proficient floats our Robbie, with but a bottle of Evian for company. Life Through A Lens will not catapult Williams to critical esteem, but should shift enough units to ram a bundle of surplus £50 notes up Barlows hermetically sealed posterior. Which is after all the point right? (NPW)
Last summers drum and bass anthem finally gets a major label release after being licensed from Mickey Finn and Aphrodites excellent Urban Take-over imprint (nice move East West). Coming with a double pack of intelligent remixes (the only let down being the inevitably brainless speed garage mix) it is in fact Mr Finn and Aphrodites own interpretation which achieves the almost impossible in improving on the originals infectious driving sub-bass madness. The Rolling With The Chillers mix also does a fine job in giving the old version a kick up the backside whilst retaining the South London style of it all.
And Ill kill anyone who dares to go against me booms the authoritative voice whilst jungle sub bass sweeps tear around in the background. Then its full scale apocalypse as the breaks drop and knock you into next week.
Phatter than a lard sandwich, this tune will well and truly shake your internal organs and get your ass moving. Adam Freeland pulls out a corker with this essential twelve inches of utter rudeness.
Only once in a while does a tune come along that makes me shiver and believe me my teeth are well and truly chattering. Listen to me: its good, so buy one. (DC)
You want remixes? Well, with this re-release of the 1993 German gem, youve damn well got them. The much sought-after Global Communications ambient mix, which has become a bit of a backroom classic is definitely the pick of the considerable bunch. Stretching the originals searing strings into a lazy downtempo groove and whacking on a load of jazzed-out nodding on the top was an inspired move, and probably explains why it got put on so many of those Now Thats What I Call Chill Out Music 4 compilations. Elsewhere, newlywed Dave Angel manages to tear himself away from the wife to produce his stomping piano deep house burner which, along with two drum and bass versions by Global Communications Tom Middletown, makes for a double pack remixorama of epic proportions.
One of Frictions resident spinners, Rennie Pilgrim, continues the breakbeat revolution apace with this latest twelve inch of outrageous bass bin stretching action. Cutting midway to the Im gonna take you to a place you aint never been before sample (you better believe this) then dropping the jaw-rattling blowpipe bass line. This is certainly not one for the faint hearted. As well as this appropriately titled 747 mix on the flip there are another two interpretations one which veers into a similar path to the Aphex Twins classic Digeredoo and the other which fulfils the Friction agenda of Nu Skool breakbeat with future electro leanings. Not arf.
This compilation has been released in tribute to The Southport Dance Music Weekender which celebrated 10 years of quality events at the cutting edge of dance music on April 25th this year. Anyone who knows dance music will know the legend of the Southport Music Weekender, and who better to catch the magic of these events in the mix than the masters themselves - Lil Louis Vega and Kenny Dope Gonzalez?
Lil Louis takes to the decks for the 1st CD, blending a smooth mix of funky rhythms and popular house tunes including Ultra Nates Free, DJ Dukes Never Let You Go and Nu Yorican Souls summer anthem Runaway. Personally, my favourite mix is Kenny Dopes Hip-Hop trip on disc two in which he rolls soooo smoothly from phat-beat to phat-beat.
Dropping tracks such as KRS Ones Step into a World, Mobb Deeps Night Time Vultures and A Tribe Called Quests Phony Rappers. Lil Louis didnt quite do it for me on this particular compilation, but then, Ive never been particularly keen on this particular genre of house. Kenny Dope was definitely ringing my bells with his hip hop flavours, but thats the beauty of the Southport Dance Music Weekenders theres always been something for everyone.
Another sharp release from Londons most cutting breakbeat label Bolshi. International is the debut album of veteran beat-head Laidback aka Jason Cohen. Bolshi has been putting out some rough stuff lately and this album is no exception. The tracks Coldrock and B-Boy noise have already been blowing up the speakers everywhere as a double A-side and the majority of the tracks on this album are just as fresh. From the cerebral slicing of Rock your World to the blunted - jazzy vibes of Hip-Hop loves you this album is sure to be rockin da beatheads the length and breadth of the country although Im not impressed by the dodgy ZZ Top style guitar riff that runs through Launch the Raunch I still say this albums as phat as ya Mama. (GW)
Those critical Mass boys have finally seemed to have got their heads screwed on as they prove that they can recognise a blinding tune when they hear one. In this case we have the skills of Mr Natural to thank as he conjures up an ensemble of mayhem in the same league as Norman Cooks timeless classic Everyone Loves a 303. Previous releases on the label have been accused of lacking substance however if anyone says that about this tune they deserve a smack in the chops as its ram packed with chunky funky acid trickery. Simply add twelve inch to turn table and leave to boil for maximum dance floor flava. Bravo. (DC)
Nick Paton Walsh, Anita Liu, Will Mills, Danny Clark, Greg Wright
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