March 23 - March 29, 1995

[Quick Scans]


To Bring You My Love
Island Records
4 Stars
SPIN ALI FARKA Toure's The River right after the Stones' Beggars Banquet, follow it with Howlin' Wolf's Moaning In The Moonlight and then drop Harvey's latest into your CD player. Now, try to define blues or rock and roll--you can't without resorting to puritanical rantings. The music obliterates borders, cultures, age, color, gender and time.

This is blues and rock for the ages, with Harvey's bared soul and hoarse cry over a crescendo of serpentine, fuzzed guitar; "I've lain with the devil/ cursed God above/ forsaken heaven, to bring you my love."

Forget prejudices: This Englishwoman makes music as honest and savage as any blues/rock fan could hope to hear today.
--Michael Metzger


The Trip Hop Test Part1
3 Stars
Drum & Bass Selection 3
1 Star
Stylistic roots encompass Acid Jazz, Techno, Hip-Hop, Dub and Ambient. Trip Hop seduces the feet and brain, alternative-style. Saint Etienne, remix kings The Dust Brothers, and Paul Weller (Portishead remix) appear. Even better is the minimalist, spooky funk of Skylab that falls into Portishead territory. This is high-tech rock.

Drum is quirky and exhausting, with frantic breakbeat percussion samples overpowering the reggae grooves; vocals sound like video games. Even the promisingly titled "Dread Bass" by Dead Dread turns into an electro-wonk/plink/plonk aerobic workout.
--Fred Mills


Made In USA Soundtrack
Rhino Records
2 Stars
DO WE REALLY need a re-mixed version of a soundtrack for a 1986 movie that didn't even make it onto many big screens? Someone must think so, but not because the film deserves a second look. Sonic Youth has gone on since this early oddball exercise to move some major units at the chain stores, so I guess Rhino thought it's worth a try to wring some bucks out of these forgotten sounds. Much of this guitar-generated ambient noise is actually quite effective background music, and seems to evoke an edgy cinematic mood--but really--is this of interest to anyone but hardcore Sonic Youth fans?
--Timothy Gassen


The Carl Stalling Project, Volume 2
Warner Bros.
4 Stars
STALLING IS ONE of the anonymous architects of our collected youths --his musical scores for Warner Brothers cartoons from the 1930s to late 1950s are almost as identifiable as Bugs Bunny's Bronx accent or Daffy Duck's lisp. His whimsical piano, laughing violins and playful woodwinds are fully half the greatness of the mighty Looney Tunes, and for many kids his nuttily ingenious and classically based soundtracks are the first music they actually enjoyed. Current composer Richard Stone sums it up, saying "The clever musical language he created and nurtured for 30 years has become synonymous with the cartoons themselves."
--Timothy Gassen

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March 23 - March 29, 1995

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