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September 14, 1999 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-14

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 14, 1999

BREAKING CORDS
IEWS OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY'S NEW RELEA

FRESH 'SPLENDOR' DANCES ELECTRONICALLY

aims for concepts

Not your ordinary Hollywood soundtrack,
"Splendor" features exclusive remixes and
hand-picked rare tracks from a talented line-up
of inventive artists. Each of these 14 tracks
closely balance on the increasingly blurry divi-
sion between guitar driven alternative rock and
digitally driven electronica, making the upcom-
ing film's soundtrack a fresh compilation of cre-
ative material.
While the hard-to-find tracks are a nice addi-
tion, the many exciting remixes are the best part
about the soundtrack. Past omens of today's
electronica such as New Order's "Bizarre Love
Triangle" and Slowdive's "Shine" get special
treatment on "Splendor." Though Steven Hague
does little to the New Order
classic from the 1986
"Brotherhood" album, the
track concludes "Splendor"
Splendor with plenty of bang, sound-
Original ing more innovative and
Soundtrack modern than the majority of
Astralwerks material currently being
Reviewed by marketed as electronica to
Daily Arts Writer America's naive mainstream
Jason Birchmeier audiences still infatuated
with MTV's exploitation of
the genre.
Moby's ambient reworking of Blur's
"Beetlebum" ranks as arguably the most sub-
lime moment on the album excluding the nostal-
gic opening moments of "Bizarre Love
Triangle." Much can be said about the merits of
"Beetlebum," the opening track from Blur's.
genius self-titled 1996 album. Moby chooses to
completely deconstruct the song, opening it
with nothing but a repetitive drum loop onto
which Moby lays Damon Albarn's sampled fem-
inine-sounding vocals: "Nothing is wrong/ She
turns me on."
After 22 seconds of sparse drumbeats and the

reverb-drenched vocal loop, Moby's signature
synthesizers enter, instilling a mood defining
utopian tranquility. More synthesized strings
swirl through the song as the vocal sample con-
tinues to loop over and over. Eventually the
drum loop alters, a strange sound appears, and
the songs begins to build with a new vocal sam-
ple: "Oooooo, lovin' you." This flash of intensi-
ty dies down for a moment of ambience before
Moby again adds several new elements lifted
from the original song. The reconstruction of
the song includes guitar riffs and ends beauti-
fully with 20 seconds of only Albarn's soulful
vocals.
Another great moment on the soundtrack is
My Bloody Valentine's remix of Lush's
"Sweetness and Light." The opening track from
Lush's legendary 1990 debut album gets the
trademark My Bloody Valentine treatment:
impossibly chaotic guitar feedback mayhem,
scrambled drum beats, oodles of sonic alien
sounds and the dreamiest processed vocals

you've ever heard. To say the remix gives
dynamic intensity to Miki Berenyi's fragile
voice and the band's usually soft sound would
be a huge understatement.
Other highlights on "Splendor" include a
light-drum and bass remix of Slowdive's
"Shine" and Everything But The Girl's "Before
Today," adding rhythmic complexity to these
two absolutely serene songs. Air's "Kelly Watch
The Stars," gets a funky mix while early 1990's
British shoegazers Chapterhouse get a dub
reworking of their song, "Mesmerize," and
London Suede's 1996 romance tune, "Chemistry
Between Us," gets a fresh remix by Lionrock
that respects Brett Anderson's vocals enough not
to mess with them.
In addition, New York house music producer
Armand Van Helden's internationally loved hit,
"Flowerz," counts as the dancefloor scorcher on
"Splendor." The songs from Fatboy Slim and
The Chemical Brothers are also included to give
the soundtrack some commercial marketability
though they sound a bit bland in comparison to
the other songs on the soundtrack.
There really aren't any boring moments on the
soundtrack at all, even for listeners biased
against either alternative rock or electronica.
Time, effort and a lot of thought were put into
the compilation of this soundtrack by
Astralwyerks, currently the most exciting record
label in America.
If the film ends up being popular with the
right demographic segments, this soundtrack
could be a huge success, similar to
"Trainspotting." If the film bombs, it might not
sell too well, and that would be a wasteful
shame since this soundtrack is a wonderful all-
around listen with numerous moments of bril-
liant collaboration between many talented
artists more interested in being musically inno-
vative than commercially successful.

Entombed embraces new sound with 'Same Difference'

One time Death Metal band
Entombed's new album, "Same
Difference," brings the band's music to
its logical conclusion since the group's
flirtation with bluesier, Rock N' Roll
sounding music two albums ago on
"Wolverine Blues." In short, "Same
Difference" owes more to MC-5 than
Venom.
Although on the surface this may
seem like a Metallica "Load" maneuver
destined to shun away older fans,
Entombed has actually succeeded better
at making the change to a blues based

rock band. The band's choice of blues
riffs and grooves is well done and there
are plenty of meaty and ballsy numbers
throughout the album. "Addiction King"
and "Kick In The
Head" are great
**** examples of this
as they groove
Entombed and rage massive-
ly.

much abandoned his subterranean
growls to sing on most of the tracks. The
man's singing voice, roughened up no
doubt by years of Death Metal style
screaming, posseses the timbre of a
blues singer who has been to hell and
back - a characteristic that well suits
the group's current style.
Bonus tracks of the band covering the
likes of Black Sabbath, King Crimson
and MC-5 were included, possibly as
compensation to American Entombed
fans as "Same Difference" was released
outside the US. earlier this year.

Megadeth gets risky

Same Difference
Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by
Daily Arts Writer
Adlin Rosli

The biggest
surprise of all is
that vocalist L.G
Petrov has pretty

Blues adds 'Xtra' on 'Acme'

For a white boy, Jon Spencer has soul. Lots of
soul. And on"'Xtra Acme USA" it shows.
This 74 minute double LP/CD is pure
Blues Explosion, all excerpted from the band's
most recent release, "Acme." Through 19 tracks,
the Blues Explosion, with Spencer at the helm,

takes listeners on a
Xtra Acme USA
Matador
Reviewed by
Daily Music Editor
Gabe Fajuri

voyage through the new sort of
blues and soul that the JSB
has been exploring ever since
its inception.
From the opening
chords and downbeat of "Wait
a Minute," in which Spencer
croons about how he likes
"Apple pie and Eskimo pie,"
the record, despite being
made up of non-album mater-
ial, grabs your attention. It's
not-until the 6th track, "Get

record, but don't slow its momentum at all.
The next number on the disc, "Bacon,"
picks up where the record begins - with wonder-
fully eccentric guitar riffs and vintage Spencer
wailing all set to the perfect beat. The addition of
a 70's disco-style string section on the song makes
for an especially interesting combination, which is
offset nicely by a pounding rhythm section, pro-
viding a rock-solid beat. Scratchy guitar noise as
only the Blues Explosion helps round out the
song, and characterize the entirety of the record.
And so the record goes. The rest of the
tracks are just as musically interesting as "Bacon,"
if not more so. Much of "Xtra Acme USA" was
changed or remixed for inclusion on this record,
making for fascinating soundscapes. The talents
of Moby, Jim Dickinson, Money Mar, and Andre
Williams, to name a few, were enlisted to expertly
re-shape tracks like "Blue Green Olga,"
"T.A.T.B.," and "Heavy."
As an old Showbiz adage states, "Always leave
'em wanting more." That's exactly what "Xtra
Acme USA" does after a brief spin of the record.
Don't be prejudiced by the B-side and remix tag

,
t
bd '

'' a

MegadethI

ing track,
"Insomnia,"
has some string
sonics on it and
is not dissimi-
lar to klezmer
or gypsy music
mixed with
heavy metal.
"Wanderlust"
also has a simi-
larly experi-

Risk
capitol
Reviewed by
Daily Arts Writer
Ted Watts

line this disc carries. It has absolutely no trouble
standing on its own.
While this record may only made up of leftovers
from the "Acme" sessions, it'll be sure to make
you sign up for a full sized portion of the main
course. The disc serves as a perfect introduction to
the band, and you'll be ready for a second hearty
helping of JSB soul-rock before "Xtra Acme
USA" leaves the stereo.

mental aura, although leaning more
towards the James Bond theme than
Eastern Europe.
The band still indulges in
embarassingly obvious topics on
tracks like "Prince of Darkness."
And the band, in spite of the
changes, doesn't sound all that dif-
ferent than it did five or 10 years
ago. The guitars still wank although
they are lower in the mix, the

Ij
themes are watered down but are
recognizeable holdovers from the
band's history. At the same time,
there's something still slightly mag-
netic about the band's sound, and
it's less offensive than it used to be.
As a bonus, there's a bit of vide
on the CD. Unfortunately, it's horri-
bly self serving interviews about
the band's progress instead of a
music video or live track. Just
ignore it if you're not a big fan.
Megadeth persists. If you're ever
going to listen to them, do it now
before they begin their inevitable
slide into VH-1's Where are They
Now?l

Old," that the usual JSB flair for unexplored
musical territory kicks in - barnyard sounds,
including a rooster, donkey and horse, get mixed
in with the bass, drum and guitar sounds of the
band. Other moments of weirdness punctuate the

Pickett hits grooves
with 'It's harder now'

Don't call it a comeback -
Wilson Pickett refuses to adhere to

Wilson Picke
It's Harder Now
Impulse
Reviewed
for the Daily by
Alisa claeys
that worked for

today's music
standards that
many comeback
artists obedient-
ly follow.
While many
musicians
attempt to mod-
ify their style to
keep up with
modern trends,
Pickett keeps
the same style
him with hits like

"Mustang Sally."
In "It's Harder Now," not much
has changed since Pickett's earlier
days. There still exists the authentic
blues sound that gives the feel of a
live recording, not something pre-
mixed on a synthesizer or over-pro-
duced by a studio design.
Pickett's passionate effort, refusal
to conform and guts are the main
thing this album has going for it.
"Outskirts of Town," "Soul
Survivor," and "Stone Crazy World"
all show promise, but none of the
tracks are as foot-tapping as his
older hits.

Bega's
'Mambo'
blends
genres
Somewhere in between the swing
revival and the so called Latin inva-
sion lies Lou Bega and his current
hit "Mambo # 5." Following in the
footsteps of "Mambo..." is his debut
release aptly titled "A Little Bit of
Mambo. "
The real strength of this album is
its diversity. It manages to combine
a traditional big band sound with its

"It's Harder Now" may not be a
classic, but it definitly carries itself
well and shows Pickett in fine form
still after 35 years of being in the
business. We can only wait and see
what Pickett has left to share with
the world.
Whn lcnw ? ive ik ett o

- - 'rn~

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