Ok, call it cognitive dissonance- the idea of a
forty-something Boomer/Gen-X cuspie buying and enjoying some of the whacked-out
stuff that passes for music today. I mean, aren't I supposed to be listening to
NPR or something?
Heck, it was NPR who turned me on to some of these things.
Suddenly, instead of being a demographic has-been, as most of the rest of the
world thinks anyone over the age of 35 should be, I'm a 'prime target audience'
on NPR, and they aim their programming right at mature, savvy, interested,
intellingent, and still adventurous people like me. Nyaah!
So, with that digression, let's get to the meat of this
review. This is the latest item in my acquisition and enjoyment of trance,
chill, electronica, and oddball blender mixes:
These two Brits have taken bits and pieces of everything
from Bhangri beat and hip hop to Gospel and Blues, and run them through some
sort of sonic blender and turned out something that can be best described as
indescribable. Then, they score coups by getting Souxie Soux and other people
who ought to know better to sit in, and you have an indescribable mixture with
Interesting Surprises. Sometimes they sound like they've mindmelded with Wendy
and Lisa, or found some Artist I Still Call Prince In Spite of All His Name
Changes outtakes, and redid them while on acid. It's that good. There's a
couple of cuts on this latest album ("Right Here's the Spot",
"Plug It In") that I think dear ol Prince whats-his-name would
probably envy for their delicious over the top naughtiness. "Lucky
Star", the first single off this album is a heady combination of rap and
Middle Eastern rhythms that will get you out of your seat.
"Supersonic" is an interesting hybrid of Southern Gospel and dance,
with some "Hollerin" by Rev. Craig Pringle.
The botton line is that this is an ultimately danceable
party platter that should be in every eccentric eclectic's collection- for
shock value, if anything. Their earlier album, Rendez Voux is also one to have.
My only complaint, if I should be so bold, is that the
engineers have cranked up the on-board levels to sad distortion. Yes, on my
lovely high-end gear, I can tell, and I even ripped a segment to see if they'd
done the ugly things WIRED magazine says are being done to today's CDs: cranking
them up to where they sound awful. They did. Shame, shame on you guys. Can't
you trust your listeners to use the volume knob ourselves? I guess this is the
way of today's disposable music- make it as loud as possible, because it is
going to be in the scrap heap tomorrow. Craftsmanship is out the window, it
seems. Which is why I don't buy so much music as I used to- I haven't totally
hosed my hearing in dance halls or with headphones, and I can bloody well hear
Reviewed by Lorie Johnson for