Warp, Harthouse, Sprawl

Forum: uk.music.alternative

(sorry for the repost – pipex is being arse)

I’ve finally got round to following some of the recommendations in the bzangy groinky thread and have bought:

We Are Reasonable People – Warp
…which is another Warp compilation. It’s brill, and I think I even prefer it to the old Artificial Intelligence comps. Beautiful tracks by Boards of Canada, Autechre, Mira Calix and other Warpsters. So far my favourite is the Plone track ‘Plaything’ for its sheer fartiness and similarity to the theme music from Moody & Peg. Buy this album just for its amazing variety of flatulent diarrhea(sp?) noises.

Harthouse Retrospective – Harthouse
I saw this and had to snap it up. Of course, it’s more four-on-the-floor than any of the Warp stuff and probably to a lot of ears less experimental. But twenty quid for four CDs of some of the finest thumping, creaking and weebling ever recorded just can’t be wrong. Great tracks by Speedy J, Metal Master, Arpeggiators and, of course, Hardfloor. The Laurent Garnier remix of the Resistance D. track also captures that floaty, zonked feeling perfectly (mind you, I say this as a teetotal, kinda-straight-edge guy so I could be wrong).

Chinese Whispers – Sprawl Imprint
I reckon the insert sums up the concept of this album succinctly, “Stereolab remixing T-Power remixing Subtropic remixing Si Begg remixing Bedouin Ascent remixing Slang remixing Freeform remixing Mike Paradinas remixing Ultramarine remixing The Sons Of Silence remixing Stereolab.”


Of course, this results in one hell of a mixed album. I liked pretty much all of it, especially the nastily aliasing Paradinas samples in his intro. Very Commodore Pet. Again, I’m running out of real words to describe most of these tracks. Apart from the Bedouin Ascent one being fairly traditionally clattery in a cutlery-dropping-on-marble-floor way. Buy it if you like all the Warpy kind of stuff more than the more ‘traditional’ techno/electronic/house/deep bolivian skunk stuff. It’s definitely more Boyd Rice than Carl Cox.
I better go now cos I’ve more records to babble on about…
love and kisses,

Cappadonna, Sunz of Man, Big Punisher

(Now that I’ve moved to Norwich, I have access to all the hip hop I’ve been wanting to buy for ages…)

Finally got that Jurassic 5 album and it’s good. The obvious first comparison is to De La’s ‘3ft High’ period but there’s other things in there as well. Some of the early Del (TFH) stuff and even 3rd Bass. My favourite so far is ‘Concrete Schoolyard’ which is just a great pop song. It should be number one if times weren’t so strange and the oxymoronic spectacle of a corporate punk band didn’t hold that crown. Gits. J5 also win Marvel No-Prizes for not having the ghost of Wu-Tang hovering over them like too much stuff around now.

Cappadonna – The Pillage
I s’pose that’s unfair since Cap’s actually produced by Rza and the Wus. But still… Even though his flow’s brilliant on track’s like ‘Pillage’ , the sonics drag me down a bit. I mean, I still love the sound but it’s still that sound. Innit. Buy it for the rapping – it’s worth it.

Sunz Of Man – The Last Shall Be The First
What’s that smelll?? I smell….WU! But I like this album more than Cap’s mainly cos of the scope of the lyrics. A track like ‘Illusions’ has that kind of world-weary cynicism that can’t be faked – it has to be learned the hard way. It reminds me a lot of Nas. Yep, there’s the usual sword clashes and Wu-trademark Les Dawson piano riffs but I still rate this CD. Like the first Gravediggaz LP, they create this claustrophobic world of Illuminati, superheroes/villains and NOI splinter sects.

Big Punisher – Capital Punishment
Now poor old Punisher got a terrible review from that staunch guardian of white, middle-class morality, the NME. Apparently, he’s a nasty sexist who doesn’t even sound like Tzant so how can he be hip hop?? It was nearly as good a hatchet job as when Momus got 0/10 from Barbara Ellen for much the same reasons. Though he’s a lot skinnier… I like this album. It most reminds me of Chubb Rock, he’s got that kind of teacherly pissed-offness but coupled with a nastier vocabulary and artillery delivery. The album does suffer a bit from guest-aritus, with Noreaga, Fat Joe, Mobb Deep, Wu (arghhh not again), Busta Rhymes and the inevitable Wyclef. Even so, BP’s got his own style sonically as well as lyrically. Weirdly, it reminds me of old Katch 22.

Has anyone seen the vid for ‘I’m Not A Player?’ I mean, I’m a very fat bloke (wheezing when I get up etc.) and Ant Chapman’s what I’d call tubby. But BP’s like our combined weight welded into a short bloke. Seeing him dancing round in his pyjamas was one the most surreal things on MTV this year…
love and kisses,

Fila Brazillia – Power Clown

Fila Brazillia

Oooh, this ties with the Warp comp for being my fave today. Apparently FB got bored with doing house so they decided to go insane with a couple of guitars and a load of samplers and then release the bugger. Which is exactly what I want more bands to be doing. This is where today’s happening guitar beat combos usually fail so boringly. Look at bloody Kenickie – now they’ve come back as Steps. Next week they’ll probably lob some baggy skate trousers on and declare they’ve always had a hip hop element to their music.

FB astound me track after track. The closest mainstream CD this sounds like (and it doesn’t) is perhaps Air, at a loooong stretch. Really, to describe it more accurately, you have to imagine disturbed members of Swell Maps or Modern English locked up in a room with Lalo Schifrin and William Shatner. Really. Honestly. It’s like This Mortal Coil discovering the funk in a very small purple box that their goth kitten had shat on. FB’s use of guitar is at once familiar and totally disconcerting. This is Brechtian pop music (just as I wibbled on once that The Day Today was Brechtian comedy for much the same reasons).

Now if FB heard me saying all that, they’d probably call me a fat cunt and poke me in the eyes. But I don’t care:I like this album that much. For entirely different reasons, it excites me as much as the first time I heard Penthouse & Pavement, Criminal Minded or Tigermilk. I’ve listened to it twice since I bought it today and I’m now gonna ration myself so I don’t prematurely wear it out.