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Black Gold

Price: £9.99
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£9.99 Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by Mo's Music & Media.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 May 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Poptones
  • ASIN: B000ENV3T0
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,096 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. C I AM 15
2. Izzum
3. Impossible Ride
4. Kwangchow
5. Lefteye
6. All Over You
7. The Way You Walk
8. Paperhead
9. Rising Son
10. Metal Biscuit

Product Description


As lead singer for The Beta Band, Steve Mason brought a solemn, bespectacled presence to psychedelic-tinged lunatic baggy-pop--a formula that proved frequently fascinating, if never quite destined for mainstream appeal. Here, Mason reverts to his solo pseudonym--named after a classic US blues radio program as well, one suspects, as a doff of the cap to dub pioneers King Tubby and King Sunny Ade--for a debut album steeped in Jamaican bass culture, anti-Bush/Blair polemic, and mournful psychedelic folk.

"CIAM15" bumps along on an insistent dancehall riddim decorated with wisps of acoustic guitar, bashment MC Topcat declaring "It’s a worldwide war/ It’s a foreign affair" over drumming-on-bins percussion. For all Mason’s enthusiastic dalliances with dance music, however, it’s indisputable his skill comes in crafting moments of startlingly beautiful melancholia: see "Impossible Ride", layered vocals and lone, echo-treated melodica summoning up a ambience that’s positively Zen-like in its hushed simplicity. Mason once sung about "going totally round the bend" on the Beta’s debut album, Black Gold suggests he’s learnt to ride that curve. --Louis Pattison

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JuJuDollie on 5 Oct. 2008
Format: Audio CD
An amazing collection of songs from the former Beta Band member Steve Mason. He has played about with various forms of music (mainly electronica) and tempos to produce a record that melts in the mouth and makes you want more. If you like husky male vocals, indie/electronica and original sounds then I think you'll enjoy this one.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By disco_daveuk on 2 Jun. 2006
Format: Audio CD
The arrival of King Biscuit Time's full-length debut is one of the year's most anticipated musical happenings. The pet project of ex-Beta Band frontman Stephen Mason and his first foray back into his artistry since the band split in 2005, 'Black Gold' should mark a magnificent re-invention and re-introduction.

Yet it has had the rug pulled from under it with Mason seemingly announcing his departure from music and calling time on his latest venture, before the album has even been released. Sure it could all be a shoot; a cunning ploy to get the momentum behind the record but even the most cynical of critics would cast that notion aside as quickly as they conjured it. So we are just left with why? A question that becomes even more poignant when you consider that this opus could be Mason's masterpiece.

Throughout its entirety, the album is a hypnotic fusion of country-tinged trip-hop, acoustic folk and lush electro/acoustic ambience, a testament to the imagination of the creator. What it lacks in direct accessibility it more than compensates for with a playful and effortless eclecticism, and a richness that rewards the listener with new layers and emotion each and every time. A prominent example being one of the albums highlights, 'Impossible Ride'. Initial listens present a beautifully atmospheric acoustic track, diverse in instrumentation yet cloaked in such amazing subtlety you barely realise how intricate it truly is until you hear it over again and look inside the layers Mason has crafted so lovingly. You cannot fail to be thoroughly absorbed by the collision of simplicity and experimentation exhibited, and yes that is a challenge!

'Kwangchow', on the other hand, seems to look back to Mason's days with the Beta Band.
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By allan wilson on 11 April 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
great album. nice change in direction for the beta stuff. best so far from fifes finest
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I wish more people would appreciate music like this..... 2 May 2009
By R. Pucherelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I can't really get into a detailed review since i don't want to come off as sounding pretentious like most Amazon reviews. All I have to say is that I'm a huge fan of The Beta Band, and the first King Biscuit album. This follow up to "No Style" expands upon that electro-trip-hop-spacey style Steve Mason is known for. This really is one of those beautiful listens from beginning to end. The melodies are just SO soothing and have a LOT of replay value. Steve Mason really has an ear for this kind of sound and you can tell he's not afraid to explore. "All Over You" is such an awesome tune, as is the rest of the album. The import price may be steep.. and I've seen it on Ebay going for much less. If you're a fan of Steve Mason/Beta Band.. i highly recommend this album. 5 stars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Steve Mason, master of melody and scottish 21st century folk/funk 12 Jun. 2008
By Craig Beezley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
..i am not sure i need to say more. this is great great music. i might give it 4 and a half stars only because it isn't *quite* as profound and perfect as the Beta Band, but screw that. i need to offset the ONE other reviewer that only gave it 3 stars.

steve mason needs to be honored, cherished and encouraged. this is me doing just that. screw y'all. this is absolutely emotional music.
Fairly fair 8 Dec. 2011
By Dan S. Higgins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'll preface by saying I've been following Steve Mason since I discovered the Beta Band in the early 2000's. I find his solo stuff hit and miss but have some favorite tracks: Boys Outside, I Let Her In, Am I Just a Man, I Walk the Earth, Yesterday, All Come Down, Hound on My Heel, and I Love You. Those are all indispensable. Ghosts Outside, the dubbed version of the album Boys Outside is, well, give it a listen is all I can say. With Black Gold I think we find Mason going through an experimental phase, to put it politely. He tries to rap a bit, then there are songs that sound like bad b-sides, all followed up by Kwangchow which makes as much as its title. Then, out of the murk comes Lefteye which starts off awkwardly and really isn't all that good but serves nicely as a segue to the beautiful All Over You. The album seems to take a turn here as if Mason recorded the first half of the album during a turbulent time, took a break, then finished it in the middle of peaceful body of water in a canoe with a bottle of wine and incense. Now we're talking. All Over You is the reason I listen to Steve Mason with a building foundation of acoustic and fleeting electric guitar. I hear such beauty in this but also feels a bit unfinished to me. The next track, Way You Walk, is equally splendid. This harks back to the beauty of my favorite Beta Band song, Pure For. Paperhead does nothing for me and the minute and a half instrumental Metalbiscuit seems to serve little purpose. After a few listens Rising Son really started to grow on me. If you don't buy the album, get your hands on Way You Walk.
7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Beta by a different name 27 Jun. 2006
By Brian J. Greene - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Beta Band albums were always inconsistent and the same goes for the solo work of their former leader, Steve Mason, aka King Biscuit Time. KBT's debut Ep, No Style, had two stellar tracks and the rest was filler. And Black Gold, the first full-length, is in about the same place. The weakest song is the opener (and also, apparently, the first single), "C I Am 15," - the track is going nowhere to begin with, but the lame guest rap that comes in at the end brings it to a new level of weakness, and is actually kind of embarrassing. The best of Black Gold is the three-song run of tracks 6-8, all slow, dreamy ballads with fat, lazy beats and anthemic vocals - all qualities contained in the best Beta Band songs. When you finish listening to this album you are left with the feeling that it was kind of tired. But if you go back and listen to just the few best songs, you start to believe again. I always felt the same way about Beta Band albums.
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