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FAITHLESS/Outrospective
(BMG)

Amidst the tsunami of forgettable techno-one of the negatives of the spread of digital technology-comes a memorable work of vision and passion. Taking a year off from touring to recharge, the UK trio of Rollo, Sister Bliss and Maxi Jazz on their fourth album emerge with a range of powerful songs that span from the eerie trip-hop sensibility of “Not Enough LoveEto the pounding Balearic dancefloor grooves of “We Come 1Eand the dreamy ambient pudding of “One Step Too FarEwhich features the vocals of longtime Faithless collaborator and sister of Rollo, singer Dido. “If the last albums were us being introspective, then this is us more open,E Bliss told djmixed.com. Despite their name, with Outrospective, Faithless offer reason for continued faith in electronica as it searches for direction a decade since bursting onto the pop scene.

LENNY KRAVITZ/Lenny
(Virgin)


If any artist can be accused of betraying early promise, celebrity child Lenny Kravitz can. Since breaking in the early 90s as the decade’s answer to Jimi Hendrix and Prince all rolled into one, Kravitz has become increasingly self-absorbed and formulaic. And notwithstanding a layoff of three years since 5, the singer-songwriter doesn’t seem to have made stylistic progress. Lenny finds him treading the same old ground, firing off funky, but by now clichéd acid rock riffs that recall late 60s psychedelia without the cultural context to give them meaning. Techno-tinged “Dig InEis the first single off the album, while “Bank Robber ManEis based on an incident in Miami last fall, when Kravitz was mistaken for a bank robber by police. Verdict: Kravitz-who plays every imaginable instrument on the album-demonstrates on Lenny why a surfeit of talent and a deficit of taste is the worst of all possible worlds.


CICALA MVTA/Deko Boko
(Respect)


Another offering from Japan’s offbeat Respect imprint, Cicala Mvta (pronounced shikala moota) sounds as unusual as their name, which means “mute cicada.EFounded by former practitioner of Japan’s chindon marching music, Wataru Ohkuma, the group combine the brass band strains of chindon with free jazz, progressive rock, and elements of Gypsy and Kletzmer music. The result on their second album Deko Boko is an unlikely yet winning sound that recalls the days when chindon groups were a common sight in Japan, but would also be equally at home in a trendy downtown New York jazz club. Ohkuma’s clarinet collides with distorted electric guitar, booming tuba and propulsive chindon drums for an effect that is disarming yet stirring. With Deko Boko, Cicala Mvta-who created a stir backing Blur across Europe last summer-show that the Japanese underground not only apes what’s going on in New York or London, but is also busy mining its own musical traditions.


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' 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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