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CD REVIEWS


DAVID BYRNE / Look Into The Eyeball
(Virgin)

"I had been wondering if there might be a way to include the warm, lyrical, beautiful, emotional sounds of strings with groove music," former Talking Heads frontman Byrne says of his latest album, his first since 1997' Feelings. "I want to move people to dance and cry at the same time." The first record under the Virgin umbrella for his indie label Luaka Bop, Look Into The Eyeball matches strings straight out of a '60s Motown arrangement with Brazilian and African percussion - a longtime fascination for Byrne - for a joyously danceable 12-song workout. Typical of Bryne's barbed but kindly lyrical depictions of the human animal is the unforgettable "Like Humans Do," which could stand alongside the best work he did with the Talking Heads. With luck, Byrne will grace Japan with a long-awaited tour for the new album.


MEKON / Relax With Mekon
(Toshiba EMI)


While it's difficult to recall amid the flood of styles that come and go with all too alarming frequency in UK pop, there was a brief moment about three years ago when big beat and digi-rock were it. Along with the Chemical Brothers, the Propellerheads and a few other acts, John Gosling's Mekon was one of the top groups purveying this throw-your-arms-up-in-the-air-like-you-just-don't-care blend of electronica and rock. His new album, all fat, raunchy beats, old skool breaks and zany samples, would have sounded fresh and funky at the time, but now it sounds way past sell date. Another indication of how difficult it is to make enduring music in the postmodern era of throwaway, cut'n'paste samples and too-hip-for-our-own-good references.


KEN ISHII / Millennium Spinnin' at Reel Up
(Sony)


I was taking off in Narita airport as this event was taking off in Shinjuku's famed Liquid Room last December. The thought that I was missing a top night was hard to dismiss, which this CD, a recording of the event, proves right. Mixing it up that night were several of Japan's finest, including Big Beatmeister Captain Funk, for whose recently released album the gig was in part intended. But it was for the robust grooves of the most famous Techno DJ from these shores that many punters turned out. While the album has old skool (YMO, via Malawi Rocks), a few funkier numbers (including an unusual moment of off-beat Jeff Mills) and even the odd samba or tribal rhythm, it's nonetheless shot through with the driving techno beat for which Ishii (when not acting as abstract alter ego Flare) is known. After a somewhat slow start though, the CD concludes on a personal favorite, "Dragon" by Jeffed, before fading out into the neon-filled Kabukicho night. Simeon Paterson


CD REVIEWS ARCHIVE:
OCTOBER
394:
NATALIE IMBRUGLIA/White Lilies Island
DAFT PUNK/Alive
VARIOUS ARTISTS/Trance Progression
GERLING/When Young Terrorists Chase The Sun
THE CHARLATANS/Wonderland
SEPTEMBER
392:
LAURIE ANDERSON/Life On A String
BLAKE/Step Into The Light
ROGER SANCHEZ /First Contact
BUDDY GUY/Sweat Tea
VARIOUS ARTISTS/WIRE01 Compilation
391:
The strokes
New Order
Grant-lee Phillips
390:
Ben Folds
V.A
Jamiroquai
Bjork
Cake
389:
Tantric
Turin brakes
Herbie Hancock
august
388:
Roots Manuva
Green Day
V.A.
Bran
V.A.
387:
Super Furry Animals
Usher
Boz Scaggs
386:
Farida's Cafe
Freaky Flow
Laura Liza
385:
Rhona
Dan Bryk
Jose Padilla
384:
Catatonia
Deep Dish
Manu Chao
Pre_Shrunk
Taraf De Haidouks
JULY
383:
The Cult
Sphongle
Tomb Raider Soundtrack
382:
Ursula Rucker
The Rembrants
Perry Farrel
Iggy Pop
Feed
381:
Stone Temple Pilots
Inner Circle
Gorodisch
380:
Joe Hisaishi
Plaid
Sugar Ray
Tarika
Travis
JUNE
379:
Goo Goo Dolls
Tonino Baliardo
Bran Van 3000
378:
Shur-I-Kan
Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot
Pete Rock
Frankie Valentine
Masanori Ikeda
377:
Depeche Mode
Chilldren ov Paradise
Our Lady Peace
376:
Backyard Babies
Taj Mahal & The Hula Blues Band
ebz
Solid Ground
Weezer
375:
David Byrne
Mekon
Ken Ishii
MAY
374:
AIR
Martires Del Compas
V.A.
Coil
Cosmic Rough Riders
373:
G. Love & Special Sauce
Ben Harper
Neil Finn
372:
Alternative 3
Stevie Nicks
Snake Hip Shakes
Soul Scramble
The Slackers
371:
The Black Crowes
Dirty Beatnisk
DJ Spinna
Mogwai
Tokyo-Mirai
APRIL
370:
R.E.M.
Makyo
Missile Girl Scoot

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