originally appeared Muzik Magazine (20 January 1997) pages 109 to 111
Guest Reviewer: Andrew Weatherall
Reviews by Calvin Bush, Rob Da Bank, Rachel Newsome and Ben Turner
WHAT can you say about this man which hasn't already been said? One of the undisputed pioneers of dance music and club culture in this country. He helped to found Boys Own. He practically invented indie-dance when he turned Primal Scream's "loaded" into an all-time Number One. As a DJ, he;ll always go against the grain. doing exactly what you least expect, inspired only by his passion for leftfield music and a good joint. First he was a Sabres of Paradise and gave us unforgettable tunes like "Smokebelch", "Theme", and "Wilmott". Now he's one of 2 Lone Swordsmen. And his Bloodsugar club is one of the finest killer groove experiences in the country. He hates being put on a pedestal, but damn it, he deserves it.
He is ANDREW WEATHERALL, he has a playing-stuff-at-the-wrong-speed fixation and he's here to reveiw this month's singles.
Light Years EP
WHOEVER Future Monument may be, they've sneaked into Carl Craig's studio, stolen his favourite gliding synth pattern, off to Richie Hawtin's for the drums and then back home to add their own tricky FX. Furutere Monument are English, stylish and brimming with deep, dark future techno. Light years ahead of the pack. (RDB)
Andy: "I got this about two months ago. It's a good record that people should know about. IT's as Derrick-May-as-you-like, but done really well. The best of the trhress tracks is 'Light Years'. It's the kind of thing I wast to be playing more of next year. I'd phone them up but you do that and next thing you know, you read in the papers you're doing a remix for them. I sent a card to Fuxa saying how much I liked their single. And 'Melody Maker' said I'd phoned up begging to do a remix!"
MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO
It's The Music
Play It Again Sam
JACK Dangers back to his best, this easily puts the deeply disappointig "Subliminal Sandwich" album in the shade. A preacher rages against the evils of rock music, a twisted breakbeat cavorts lasciviously around a squelchy jungle bassline and the sweetest of melodies lifts the whole caboodle upwards into the realms of impressive derring-do. Devilshily good (CB)
Andy: "I like them but they're not a major influence. This is a whole lot better than I thought it would be. Deeper. Really, really good. It sounds a bit like when I play lots of drum & bass records at 33 to turn them into Detroity-sounding Carl Craig funk tracks. This is going to be dragged out and played in my wrong speed drum & bass set."
AFTER a much-neglected album last year, Rudi, the former AR Kane man, returns with his sister on vocals to prove there's still more mileage to be gained from those slanted Protishead angles. Gently twwisted, "River" runs deep but it's the Boymerand mix (already being caned by Grooverider) which has got everyone talking. (CB)
Andy: "This guy used to be in AR Kane? Fucking hell. What a great band they were. The original is pretty cool . I thought the Boymerang mix would be more fucked up. Keith [from 2 Lone Swordsmen] is bang into his jungle at the moment. It's good but not brilliant. The vocals are quite nice, but the lyrics... What's she saying? 'Is it love?/Or is it insanity?' I think I once wronte that on my school book when I was 15! Ha! Ha!"
You Ain't Down/Science-Fu
MUTOID drum & bass action which will have your stereo glowering furiously at you if you push the volume to the max. The prolific Danny Breaks joins the Global boys' imprint and turns in a perverse piece of jungle on "you Ain't Down", with its spitting, venomous bassline. "Science Fu", meanwhile, ups the avant-garde contenct with a deviant hip hop break which plays at 33 r 45. Or 78 if you're a total nutter. (CB)
Andy: "[Listening to "Science Fu"] Nice. I do like a bit of squirty filter action! Yeah, dark and ruff with lots of squirty filer action. You couldn't ask for anything mroe. The jungle side is rough, really rough. I like it. I tried to play some jungle at the Orbit in my techno set because you're playing at that tempo anyway, 150bpm to 160bpm. But when you mix it in, it's such a change or rhythm, you can see people dislocationg their elbows slipping their discs trying to change their rhythm. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
SMALL FISH WITH SPINE
The Hilltop EP
NEOTROPIC'S Riz Maslen returns to her original project name for a new R&S outing. That she's previously worked with Future Sound of London is clear immediately. These four tracks take your staple sounds of trip hop, jungle and ambient, and bugger them to dark buggery, making for very perverse if strangely funky futurescapes. Like Future Sound, they are adventurers in abstraction and prick the fingers of all those who follow formulas. (CB)
Andy: "I thing I got sent a demo tape of this with a veiw to remixing it, but I didn't ahve time to do it. [Listening to "The Hilltop"] Oh yes, underwater jazz musize. It's a shame there are so many records of this abstact quality, but hwere the fuck do you play them? I can't play them at gigs, all I can do is play them in the car or at aprties. I'd by this . There's not a duff track on it. This kind of music is why I got my shit together in the last couple of years. You listen to it and you think, "Well, what I"m doing isn't truly pushing boundaries liek this stuff is'".
Life's Little Pleasures
PINCHING his pseudonym from that impossibly prim and proper nincompoop in "The Simpsons", a rough guess says taht this si the work of Holland's Stever Rachmand. Beautifully jazzy Detroit-style techno which lauchnes the listener off through lost visions of Atlantis. fg them to do loon Duncan Goodhew impersonations on teh dancefloor. It's another cool cut from Emerson's label. Yes indeedlee doodlee, as Flanders himself might say. (CB)
Andy: "[Pitching it down]'Life's Litte Pleasures' is a little fast ofr that vibe. It's kind of cool, the sort of thing I'd want to play for four or five hours. I'ts a bridge record to bring up the tempe to the next level. There hasn't been a duff record on Underwater yet. The other side is nice, too."
THE AMALGAMATION OF SOUNDZ
APPARENTLY the parting shot of ex-Filter boss, Ross Allen, these rour-tracks are the most spectacular exit since the KLF machine-gunned their way out of the music industry. NJew boys thay may be, but Amalgamation of Soundz' explorations of spaced-out spliffed-up breakbeat jazz are superb. Very nearly our Single of the Moht and a highly recommended debut. (CB)
Andy: "I'm going to play it on Saturday. I can just tell by the vibe it's perfect. 'Cat In The Rain' would be another one for the car tape. t's criminal that this sort of music doesn't get more coverage. When me and Curley [Emissions' assistant] heard 'Tortilla', we looked at each other and both went, 'Bug In The Bassbin'. Top marks."
Imperial Dub, USA
"UNIFICATION" because this is, infact, a collaboration of two of the American East Coast's very coolest house minds (Doc Martin and the excellent Dub Tribe). There's plenty soulfulness and woozy, drowsy dep house shenagigans on offer, wht the "Imperial Dub" remix pulling the heart strings hardest. One to cure those winter night blues. (CB)
Andy: "I like some of Dub Tribe's stuff. This is much better then I thought it was going to be. The way Doc Martin plays, he's a bit of an East Coast breakbeat merchant, itsn't he? Oh yeas, the 'Imperial Dub' remix is very nice. didn't need the vocal sample, though, but it doesn't vex me greatly. Still, the main mix was great. Sometimes it's nice to have a vocal sample which sets the tone or tells people what's coming, like that Morgan Geist one which goes 'Deep, deep'"
Don't Hold Back
Movin' Melodies, Holland
HAVING just signed to big boys, A&M, Dutchman Patrick Prins' trademark throbbing 12 inches is just the thing to get your feet tapping and your hands in the air in a four-in-the-morning kind of way. "Rollerblade", the female Euro-vocal on the flip, doesn't quite hit the Vicks-scented spot, while "Contrast" sees Pat don his Adidas to concoct the most bizarre hip pop outing this side of MC Hammer. (RDB)
Andy: "Patrick Prins is a bit sort of Euro-trancey, ins't he? Here's one I won't like. He once boated he could remix a fart? [Listens] Well, it sounds like he's done it."
PLUNGING into th e deepest of late night aqua-rhythms, Soul Purpose (Clive Henry and Outsider's Justin Drake) launch Rocky and Henry's new label. Both sides offer top alternative viewpoints of London-meets-Detroit house, working their way slinkily into a tranced-out red zone heaven. Low Pressings, high quality. (CB)
Andy: "[Picking up the record] Oh yeah, this is Rocky's thing. Excellent, I played both sides down at the club. It's a not to the old Basic Channel stuff. Some people would say, 'Eurgh, it's Basic Channel'. But so what? If you do it good... It all depends what you do with it. If you produce a pile of pish, fiar enough. But check this one out. This bassline really kicks, especially on a big system."
THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES
POST acid-jazz outfit The Emperor's New Clothes neatly swap their old garbs for some Mo'Wax-style cool. Balancing opposites in density and sound with their shadowy wisps of saxophone and soft hues of flute, it's the nude shuffle of "Beatless" and "Underdog" mixes which work best." (RN)
Andy: "Trevor Jackson mixed 'The Theme'. What hip hop have I been buying recently? Ghostface Killah, Jeru The Damaja was wicked. I really love Mr Pink, the geezer from Hi-Jack. This is nice. I'm always a sucker for that Miles Davis-style trumpet. The flute on 'Darklight' is a bit cosmic, thouhg. It's a good idea but over-stretched. It would've been better if it was just one 10-inch. But ultmiate respect to Mr Jackson."
NORMAN & CHRISTOPHER
Down The Pub
OF interest mainly because it's produced by NY legend, Arthur Baker. "Down The Pub" is basically what you'd get if you allowed "Loaded"'s editorial staff to make a house cut. Leery blokes shout things like "Dahn the parb" and "Your shout" over a minimal beat. Not big, not funny, not cleverr and not even the Cevin Fisher mix can save it. (CB)
Andy: "[Listening] This isn't th enew Coldcut single, is it? The records which stay in my reocrd box the longest are the functional ones, the breakbeat ones. I'd use the breaks mix here. But that vocal sample is a bit silly. The Cevin Fisher mix goes a bit.. [A big rave riff coems in] Oh dear, no. [We tell him who it's by] What? Does he things that's funny?"
A SKEWED mutation of "Excursions" from Floppy Sounds' lethal "Downtime" album on Francois Kevorkian's Wave imprint. Rob Rivess' black imagination runs amok as his Axis-esque industrial sonics are soldered into fuct electro-disco and skeletal dub. A journey into the darkside. (RN)
Andy: "I've been playing the Kevorkian mix of 'Voodoo Ray' to death, love it. I really like the Floopy Sounds album, but this is weird. Skimming through it in one listen, it didn't twist my melon greatly. It just seems like some of the noises are a bit harsher for that sort of tempo. I'd live with it because of who it is."
AIR/MINOS PUR MAIN BASSE
Solidissmimo/Le Patron Est Devenu Fou!
The first in a seriss of 10-inch, join-'em-up singles, here are two more slabs of indisputable brillance from south of the Chunnel. "Solidissimo" is another of those meandering Air, erm airs which drift gently by in an amniotic haz, all warm acousitcs and heaven-sent instrumentation. Minos, however, head straight for the floor, tipping their EQ in the direction of Daft Punk, with a filtered-to-fuck groove wihch is pure club explosion on vinyl. And ot think that John Major won't let us integrtae with the EC. On this evidence, maybe he's scared these clever French buggers are going to show us all up. (CB)
Andy: "Apparently there's going to be four of these in total. I've already got this and another. And together they're all going to make a jigsaw poster. The Air track is the sort of stuff I'd put on a compilation next to Tortoise or something abstract liek that, to listen to on the way to gigs. I played the other side out in Belfast on Saturday and it tore the fucking roof off. As soon as the main beat came in, the entire place went seriously mental."
Wall of Sound
CURRENT darlings of the media an dmusic industry A&R types, the Propellers even boast Pete Tong among their fans. It's difficult to capture their rivetting live performances on vinyl, ubt dirty great beats combined with Big Dog's acid stabs still rock "Take California". The live human beatbox bonanza, "Props Got Skillz", is an added bonus. (RDB)
AS heard seven times across London on a particularly hard-working Friday night, the eerie chimes, cellos and throbbing dubby bassline of "Nightmare" are all sending people quite nutty. Faithless' "Insomnia" must have been on the radio when they were making this, but that's no bad thing. Sleep tight and don't let the Brainbugs bite. (RDB)
Andy: "Let's have a listen to some sinister strings, shall we? You know why this is getting played? Because it's so bloody obvious. The reason I don't charge two and a half grand for a gig is because I don't play a set for people waving their arms in the air. This is an easy record. It's a superclub's idea of a really banging techno tune. Not happening."
THE MANNEQUIN LUNG
Plug Research, Canada
STRANGE Name and strange noises on this abstract techno workout. "Bias" is a crazy, tap-dancing drum pattern which manoeuvres itself around off-beat snamres and a thudding bass. While on the flip, "Blined Rigoletto" [sic] is full of sneezy noises. Not altogether dissimilar to being slapped around the head by a welly filled with mud. (RDB)
Andy: "Phew! That is completely wicked. It's really difficult to review records like this. Like trip hop, where you can sense when someone's done it right, it's the same with minimal stuff like this. There's just something about it. Some people might say it does fuck all for them, but just listen to it. There's so much space and depth in there, so much subtlety. You've simply got to be patient with it."
4 MAT 4
THE freestyle jazz aesthetic goes breakbeat with this intiruing outing from US3's Jim Hawkins. Mixing visions of urban decay with sci-fi dreams, the sleepy bass and invectious sax of "Cult View" is Charlie Parker hanging with William Gibson at the cyber-cafe. And on remix duties? Blame & Justice, whose Modern Urban Jazz excursions express the true soul of 4 Mat 4. (RN)
Andy: "[Playing it at 33] See it's supposed to be at 45., but there's a couple of tracks on Precious Materials which I've already been playing out at 33. [Checks it out at 45] It's excellent, there's not a duff track on there. I'm going to have to phone them up."
Back In Charge
Soul on Wax
RUSS "Ferox" Gabriel takes a detour from his harder jazzy techno side, starts a new label and dives into a house so deep you'll need a submarine to find it. "Back In Charge" provides a funked-up bassline, mad synth flangeing and an American Football commentator rambline in the backgroudn! And the B-side, especially "The Waiting Game", is just as strong." (RDB)
Andy: "I'm well into Russ's stuff. Call me old-fashioned but a night of this and a bag of decent spliff, and I'd be as happy as a pig in fucking shit! It's space-age disco jazz music. And not just because I've stoppedtaking cocaine. I know loads of people who do shit-loads of coke and still play stuff like this. It's always been there, but over the last year or so this kind of music has moved me like nothings moved me for a long, long time. I don't exactly know why. Perhaps I've developed a bit of soul in my old age."
IF ever there was a soundtrack to Salome's provocative dance of the seven veils, then the myseterious MC Sultan's "Der Bauch" is it. Emerging from Vienna's cool beat scene, the Hindi chants, Asian drums and sexy belly-dancing moves of this Euro-Oriental soundclash is seductive Austrian erotica at its finest. (RN)
Andy: "Very strange. It's a bit ethinic for me. I suppose they deserve some marks for doing something strange but to me it's not a good strange. I think at that tempo you should add a bit of sleaze rather than a bit of ethnic world music."
Concrete On Vinyl
DON'T be misled by the name because Holland's hottest property is chasing the tail of Terry Lee Brown Junior in the providing-the-best-drugged-up-house-sound-around stakes. Followinghis mix of Green Velvet, Luk's production sound remains distinctly frantic thanks to his disorientation drum sound and vacuums of dark noises. "Concrete On Vinyl" has a psychotic, shuffling energy which remains totally uniue to Terry Lee and Luke. (BT)
Andy: "Nah, never heard of him. Pumping, isn't it? Touche releases all have a certain rough charm. This is real close but no cigar track. I might play 'Concrete On Vinyl', but the others didn't really grab me."
The Deep/The Way
ANYTHING but an immediate collection of house tracks, "The Way" the words are unleashed helps polish off the Murk comparisons, largely due to a rumbling, muffled bassline. With a Deep Dish and a unique Maurice Joshua remix to boot, Global are now major players in the second wave of UK house taking over New York's premier clubs. After the influence Junior Boys Own had over the Sound Factory and Vasquez in the early Nineties, we're now kicking in the Twilo door to inspire Mr Tenaglia. (BT)
Andy: "It's got to be Deep Disk remixing, hasn't it? You can tell by the flange action! I would play the Joshua mix earlier in the evening, and the Deep Dish later to kick it up a bit. The original of 'The Deep' is not that different from the Deep Dish mix. I'm close to thinking I'd only play it because it's Global Communication".
NATURAL BORN CHILLERS
THE second outing on Mickey Finn and Aphrodite's label, Natural Born Chillers' swaggering roller is certain to have Woody Hareelson smirking from ear to ear. Flexing more muscle than Arnie, both tracks bristle with boombastic attitude, moody sax and gelatine bass, propelling the sounds of Funkadelic into the next millennium. (RN)
Andy: "It's not the sort of drum & bass action I prefer. I like the other side better. I think I like it more because of who it's by. I've got respect for Mickey Finn. It's not really my taste, but of its type, it's well done."
The Psychogeography EP
All Good Vinyl
BERLIN beatniks, Fetisch, Meister and Kaos, take a meandering trip to the chip shop via spooky Hitchcock dramatics and semi-conscious beats. To the German capita what DJ Krush is to Tokyo, the trio merge their backgrounds in hip hop, graffiti and jazz into a single smoking backdrop of their urban cityscapes. Meanwhile, Aquasky's enchanted interpretationof "Precipice" projects the Terranova's visions right into the future. (RN)
Andy: "The original's supposed to be at 33, but to me it sounds better at 45. At 45, it would go perfectly into the Precious Materials jungle track played at 33! The Aquasky mix is pretty solid drum & bass. But the other mixes don't do a lot for me."
TOP new Brit house imprint Happening have come up with a cool dancefloor aphrodisiac which you won't be able to refuse. popping with testosterone, Mantegaza have processed a brand of cheeky acid-conga which possesses the kind of effortless pulling power that professional lover, Tony Ferrino, would kill for. (RN)
Andy: "This is kind of cool. I really like the deep, drum & bassy breakdown, it's quite unusual. It's not a mental melon-twister so it would have to go into the 'grower' pile. I'd perservere and get to like it."
The Rhode Tune/To Ya!
MOVING Shadow pull yet another rabbit out of the hat with this sublime track from Flytronix. Shimmering with soul-glo, the breakbeat ebb and flow of "Rhodes Tune" evaporates liek liquid oxygen leaving a crystalline residue of Spanish guitar riffs. While "To Ya!" chills you to the spine. A digital orgasm. (RN)
Andy: "Flytronix? Oh yeah, the fucking Courtney Pine remix they did! That's fucking awesome, one of the remixes of the year. That and the Cleveland Watkiss thing are probsbly my favourite records of the year. 'To Ya!' is a bit like other tracks of that ilk. 'The Rhode Tune' is better. Nice and seedy."
Unreleased Stuff Volumes 1 & 2
MORE unadulterated, naturally chilled house genius from Notting ham's Charles Webster (aka Love From San Francisco and Symmetrics), this double-pack bubbles over with canyon-deep grooves. Copnsisting of stuio out-takes, rejected remixes and yet, unreleased cuts, it's proof tht most New York exports no longer come within breathing distance of the best British house. Which thisl effortlessly, magnificently, is. We await next year's Symmetric's album with not inconsiderable anticipation. (CB)
Andy: "Now this a Bloodsugar sort of a record. It's a house record, but it just seems like the production of house records has got better without being overproduced. I've to be honest with you, I've got more British house records in my box than American ones. The reason I love tracks liek this is that not only can I play it out, I can roll up a large one and play it at home. It excites me like no other music has for ears. this is good, solid, sexy, electronic music. It's got a depth which is missing in a lot of other music. You just have to have patience. To me, four hours of seamlessly mixed music like this is trance music, not some fucking tosh with a 10-minute snare roll and a 14-minute breakdown. Killer, I've got to get this."