And hooray for Bonnie Greer and that gloriously icey response to holocaust denying fuck-tool Nick Griffin.
Hello chums! I've been on holiday back up North, which was jolly nice until I came down with food poisoning. Ho hum. Anyhow, here's a batch of reviews by me from the last couple of month's worth of Clash magazine.
Major Lazer – Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do
Diplo and Switch working on a dancehall record should be a mouth-watering prospect – and indeed this gets off to a flying start, full of bass-heavy bashment goodness. Halfway through though and something has gone very wrong. With a tired weed gag, ‘Mary Jane’ kicks off an awful flip side.
So there’s ‘What U Like’, with Einstein muttering “you like it when bad man gives you stiff cock” alarmingly. ‘Keep It Going Louder’ is worse: an auto-tuned horror that goes nowhere. It’s not the only appearance of Cher’s Folly – one track features a crying robot baby.
Judged on its first few tracks, this is a fine thing indeed. Unfortunately, the latter half sounds like a dancehall parody. Seriously, what the hell happened?
ZE 30: 1979 - 2009
In 1982 Ze were “the most fashionable record label in the world”. With a roster of avant punk, funk and, in their own words, mutant disco artists, it was no wonder The Face loved them so.
This compilation may look like a fairly straight selection, with tracks from Was (Not Was) and Kid Creole, but there’s an abiding weirdness.
Take Cristina’s ‘Things Fall Apart’, which descends into a rant about Christmas trees. Or Lizzy Mercier Descloux wittering, “You are not tempted to whore unless you want to be whore”.
Ze was always like this, brilliant and baffling in equal measure. This is hugely enjoyable, but you’ll always have one finger on the skip button.
Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue
Now this is a surprise… After three previous albums characterised mainly by mutant folk guitar and found sounds, the opening track here sounds very familiar. But hold those horses, young ‘un, as Ambivalence Avenue immediately takes a sharp left turn into warped funk. A couple of tracks later ‘Fire Ant’ reinvents it again, this time as juddering glitch-hop.
The sudden presence of beats and vocals on a Bibio record is startling, but welcome. And Stephen Wilkinson has a pretty impressive range. ‘Lovers’ Carvings’ could easily appear on a Badly Drawn Boy album, while ‘Jealous of Roses’ sounds like André 3000. The result is that Ambivalence Avenue manages the rare feat of being diverse, while maintaining a consistent atmosphere. Impressive.
3 weeks ago