Two + 1/2 Stars
THIS IS NO rave, kids. This is more like Laserium. That's the first image that pops into your noggin when you listen to In Sides, a mesmerizing two-disc set of trance-inducing ambient bliss--an uncharted musical solar system with infinite possibilities. This trippy cosmic slop is neither techno nor house. Instead, elements of trip-hop and jungle abound. No brain-numbing, rapid-fire, repetitive dance assault from this brotherly Brit duo. Orbital is graceful, pleasant and warmly hypnotic. More opiate, less amphetamine. More Ozric Tentacles, less Kraftwerk. More environmentally conscious, and less blatantly political than previous works. Orbital soothes your senses, mellows your mood and eventually lulls you to sleep. If you love to feast on space-shop loads of sensory ecstasy, you'll want to snack on Orbital.
KENNY GARRETTPursuance: The Music Of John Coltrane
GARRETT'S CAREER HAS suffered since the death of Miles Davis, in whose last band he held the position of saxophonist/flutist. Lack of chops is not the issue, obviously, or he wouldn't have been chosen to dance with Mr. D. in the first place. The problem is there's no shortage of new saxmen who can blow hot--Joshua Redman, David S. Ware and James Carter are just a few of the more formidable players Garrett's competing with. (If the association with Davis was to his advantage, the presence here of Pat Metheny may reestablish a big-name association.) Garrett revisits the Coltrane catalog with the same dry tone that constituted Coltrane's signature sound. Fortunately, mimicry is not the intent. The restructuring of the complex "Giant Steps" is novel, and the reading of "Dear Lord" is better yet, showing Garrett veering even further away from Trane toward a more romantic, personal style. It's not a disc that will be reissued on whatever weird software we'll have 10 years from now, but it's a solid statement by a figure still in development.
NEIL AND THE boys are in fine form as they revisit, through the medium of chunky guitars and smacked floor toms á la "Cortez the Killer," the promised land and all its lies. Tunes like "Big Time" and "Slip Away" are pure Crazy Horse in all its raging "Live Rust"-era glory, with the usual swipes at California ("land of suntan lotion") and homages to the simple life. The waiting world could probably have endured without the closing cut, a lackluster 12-bar take on Jimmy Reed's "Baby What You Want Me to Do," but the rest of the disk more than makes up for the lapse.
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