Sounds like... music reviews from the pages of Think Magazine.
Lost in Love (Perfecto Fluoro Records)
A classic of some years back remixed, repackaged, rehashed and rereleased on an unsuspecting public. This is old skool trance with a capital T, reminiscent of many of the Bonzai records from days of yore, which although not a bad thing, makes for a slightly dated feel.
On the one side is a Red Jerry mix which is inutterable pants and should be avoided like the plague, whereas on the other is the original mix which has the stereotypical trancey swirly noises, a massive breakdown, a ghostly female vocal sample and a Goa-esque kick drum, all of which should keep the fluoro crew more than happy.
It will of course, be massive on the dance floor, but I can't help but get the feeling of Deja-Vu. - Chris Sadler
Planet Alfa Picture Discs (Planet Alfa Records)
Three mysterious looking slabs of vinyl with no information regarding artist or title, merely the Planet Alfa logo on one side, and a picture on the other - one of three priests looking celestial, one of King Kong with a strange erection, and one of a bloke with glasses (who transpires to be former East German prez Erick Honnecker). None of these records though hail from Germany, but rather straight from the London acid-techno underground. The priest's record is two tracks of minimal groove acid that start with simple, catchy 303 loops that build and mutate, growing ever more urgent as the tracks progress.
King Kong has two unashamed party tunes, with the track on the picture side based around a slightly clichéd, but none the less effective breakdown and build-up with snare-rolls and air horns leading to an acid explosion. The logo side is prime-time pumping stuff but with a subtle doff of the cap to trance. Mr. H is obviously a dark horse, boasting two tracks of mass acidic delirium. 303's wail and scream, shards of razor sharp percussion shoot off dangerously, and great head rush inducing whooshing noises make for an intense listening experience. My only criticism would be that the below average quality of these pressings mean the tunes lack some of their potential depth of sound. - Chris Sadler
La Casa (Ultraxx Records)
This is a schizophrenic record if ever I heard one. Borrowing influences from all over the shop, "La Casa" has tight American-style percussion, a latino vocal sample and a psychedelic, phased synth-line reminiscent of Basement Jaxx and the plethora of British Nu-house tracks.
The resulting effect is a surprisingly effect is a surprisingly funky and uplifting tune that works very well and probably wouldn't sound out of place played by Loutka. On the B-side is "te Sign", a moving, end of the night sort of tune with just the right mixture of happiness and melancholy; and "Low F" a bass driven house number that glides along, taking you on something of a sonic journey. High quality house music. - Chris Sadler
X Factor (Cluster Records)
Cyborg X a.k.a. Julian and Chris Liberator with the engineering skills of D.A.V.E. the Drummer bring us four slices of dark, rhythmic techno, laden with complex drum patterns and industrial noises that pound out of the speakers like an angry metal worker having a bad day.
The stand out track is the malignant and warped strut that is "Scary Disco", the resulting sound being much as its title would suggest. Frightening. - Chris Sadler
Glow (Sony Music)
If you can get over the initial shock of Neal Handley's vocals, and their piercing similarity to Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame, you can ride the wave of this marvellous collection of straight ahead rock and roll.
The initial three tracks are straight rockers and it doesn't prepare you for the mellow and groovy textures that make up the later two thirds of the record.
It might be just the summer fix for the solo traveller, in that it has the transcendental feel of the last Jane's Addiction record (however immutably English sounding). Perfect pop is still your sweetest musical value. Rock On. - Keith Kirchner
THE INNER FLAME
A Rainer Ptacek Tribute (Atlantic Records)
Mr. Ptacek was born of Czech descent in East Berlin, raised in Chicago, and resides in Arizona. For 20 years he has been an obscure musical force on the Dobro Steel guitar.
Except of course in the appreciation of his music by the likes of Robert Plant and fellow desert dwellers Giant Sand, who put this collection of his songs together by the likes of PJ Harvey, Evan Dando, Jonathan Richman, as well their own interpretations of his moody blues.
The entire compilation has a dusty sweetness throughout, with many standouts, including a trip hop driven Plant Page epic, and a nasty version of 'Losing Ground' by miss Harvey. Proceeds help Rainer in his battle against brain cancer. - Keith Kirchner
97 (Warner Music)
OK, this movie was really crap, however, it has spun out a pretty interesting collection of summer hits. There is rarely a blockbuster movie soundtrack without a couple duds on it, it's the nature of the biz and the dribbly Casio sap R Kelly bleats is the low point, that and the throw away Jewel and mindless Goo Goo Dolls tracks are the most unbearable.
On the other hand the Smashing Pumpkins, Bone-Thugs-and-Harmony, Arkarna, and Moloko tracks are all quite enjoyable, and the Underworld's weirdness on 'Moaner' tips the scales in favour of the soundtrack. 10 solid tracks. - Keith Kirchner
The Carnival (Sony Music)
Lots of interludeness. "The Carnival" sticks with you after a few listens. I was personally pleased that he lost the girl, and her cover song fever.
This set of jams has a lot of different flavours on it, latin, straight disco 'We are trying to stay alive' (the only high profile sample), ska, and a jam with the Neville Bros. The enigmatic hard core styles mixes well with his sensitive jams, as well as his 'anything can happen' title referenced freestyles.
If you want hardcore check Blackstreet, but if you want to kick it at a bar-b-cue (don't know? ask a friend). Or kick in at Divoká Šárka, this is it. I wish I had my camera the other day when I saw that freak dude with the 70's style cassette player distorting Rick James in his purple-pink polyester shirt. - Keith Kirchner
DIMITRI FROM PARIS
Sacrebleu (Warner Music)
Do you remember your first trip to Paris, where romance lurks behind every corner? Well, it doesn't really exist, but here we have a soundtrack to the mythology. My pick of the month, it could make you forget to go to work, so quit your job first, just like they did in the 20's. It's like Esquivel over ice, blended with a housey version of Paris Pusette.
Memories of places you have never been, the eyes of a certain Monty or Monique asking, dropping an eyelid, "Do I look good?", why "Magnifique" you replied. Not to be confused with the other Dimitri, but a pleasant case of mistaken identity is usually a victimless crime. Available at Radost FX. - Keith Kirchner
Substances (Inflammable Records)
A green velvet (perhaps a curtain) sleeve, with highlighted ripples is a somewhat appropriate metaphor for this release from Massive Attack's DJ Cam. Crossing fair terra with a ball of strings, some break beats, Malcolm X soundbites, and a lovely vocalist in Kakoli Sengupta, we reach some bluer moods.
This thing has a real jazzy feel throughout, more so than the 'Attack' but is crispy enough to keep its head above the live acid jazz feel.
For cleaning the bathtub with a bottle of red, or having a sleazy phone call, or perhaps for those up at 4 am writing record reviews. - Keith Kirchner
Crappy Crispy Magic Music (Apollo arts)
I don't know what's in their name, but, I know they're from Brno. Each song has a little different twist on this first release. 'James Bondage' is an absolute drum and bass smash, just enough Cabaret Voltaire style dirtiness to keep it raw.
Other tracks sound like the dust brothers, with swirly distorted bass, completely sonically enhanced checking the breaks, and still others are almost straight house, and at least one is a very Underworld style repeto-rant. The live stuff I heard at Roxy was very cool, and I think they will find their strong suit is the D and Bass sound, especially on the aptly named track, 'Grand Prix'. - Keith Kirchner
JOHN PARISH & POLLY JEAN HARVEY
Dance Hall at Louse Point (Island)
Although not a new release, PJ's fourth release bears a mention 1) because she doesn't get enough press here, and 2) because this is a wonderful recording. Stripped down torch songs, minimally arranged, and razor sharp dirty little melody (minds) lines prevail.
Cool production, melding two guitar lines that seem completely different into perfect counterpoints, sparse and intelligent drums fill out the arrangements. PJ hangs on every note, or twists it, or melts it, her soulfulness and the range of things she can do with her voice should make Bjork envious. Her version of 'Is that all there is?' is wistful, and hilarious. In short, it's the bomb! - Keith Kirchner