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CD REVIEWS


SHUR-I-KAN / Advance
(Freerange)

With no convenient stylistic tag to slap on the much-anticipated debut LP from UK keyboard supremo Tom Szirtes (it contains elements of jazz, house, hip hop, funk and fusion), explaining Advance is a bit of a challenge. Suffice it to say that, overseen by chill out master Tom Middleton, and with positive feedback from Mixmaster Morris and LTJ Bukem, Szirtes' Shur-i-kan is a heavyweight contender for electronica's chill out crown. The leadoff track, "Niomi's Dream," hitherto released on Tom Middleton's Jedi's Night Out for Mixmag, is a tantalizing morsel of future jazz, and the rest of the album proves equally beguiling, with funky fusion bass lines set against out-of-this-world samples, delicate piano lines and the odd soulful house vocal.


MISSY "MISDEMEANOR" ELLIOT / Miss E...So Addictive
(eastwest japan)


"This album is retro meets techno; house meets futuristic. It's got so many different places to go. When people to listen to the album, I wanted them to not know what category to put it in," New York hip hop homegirl Missy Elliot told Launch.com about her new release. And with tracks recalling everything from '70s funk to '90s house, the album really does stretch the boundaries of what one expects from a rap album. Enlisting help from Redman & Method Man on the soulful "Dog In Heart," Ludacris on the warning to potential lovers "One Minute Man," Eve on the hard-hitting "4 My People," and Busta Rhymes on the loopy "Bus-A-Bus," Missy E makes the best of the various talents of her all star cast. From the sounds of this diverse set of songs, Missy E's third solo release looks set to have plenty of legs on the charts this summer.


PETE ROCK / petestrumentals
(bbe records)


Starting out in NY in the late '80s and moving on to collaborations with rapper CL Smooth in the '90s, DJ and producer with impeccable credentials Rete Rock is a master of a more soulful style of hip hop. Without the fig leaf of lyrics (12 of the 14 songs are vocal-free) the groove is all, and groove it does. Multiple samples are cut up and overlaid on one another to create rare depth and funkiness culled from his vast crates of jazz, reggae, soul and even rock records. He doesn't slack on the rap tracks either, particularly on "Nothin' lesser - Jamie's Mix," where UN provide a fierce lyrical punctuation to Rock's downbeat backing. Simeon Paterson


FRANKIE VALENTINE / Deepburnt: deep house grooves mixed by Frankie Valentine
(R2 records)


No newcomer to Japan - this Brit toured the island DJing and produced stuff with a friend under the Tokyo Offshore Project moniker - Valentine's compilation album would go down well in the heat of the summer. All laid-back "good vibes" and lightweight snare drums, it could have been a great soundtrack for a BBQ but is generally just too pleasant to drag you in (or repulse you). The exception is opening number "Que Pasa" by Nigel Hayes, which is a great buildup track and features the only really "twisted beats" on the album. The tracks by Osunlade and Eddie And The Eggs hint at something darker and harder, too, but the positivity remains, like it or like it not-so-much. Simeon Paterson


MASANORI IKEDA / Spinout 2: non-stop DJ mix by Masanori Ikeda
(V2 records)


Another compilation, this one is mellow, especially in the latin-ey first half, but with 26 tracks there is plenty else, too. The tempo picks up with a sped-up version of Beck's "New Pollution," featuring Yukari Fresh, and it's breaks from there on in, with a short house chill out from Japan's Yukihiro Fukutomi. With so many tracks no one will like it all. My favorite, Scanty Sandwich's "Because of You," which was a bit of an underground club hit here, is pure silliness, but silliness with an awesome vocal sample and a bass line that just demands you tap your foot. 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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