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Simon J. Whight "fourfourfun" (Manchester)

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Another Late Night: Zero 7
Another Late Night: Zero 7
Price: £15.56

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Late Nights should all be like this, 18 Nov 2003
This is probably the best in the Another Late Night series (run by the people who do the also fabby Back To Mine, Another Fine Mess, Late Night Tales series), Zero 7 turn from smooth production artists to turntable masters in this selection of after hours grooves. I actually missed the entire Simple Things hype and ended up buying that after getting this. Simple Things was ok, if a little coffee table/hairdressers salon background music. This, however, pushes all the right buttons. Wonderful jazzy hip hop breaks open up the album with Sunrays, Quasimodo giving us hip hop lyrics that come from the school of intelligent thought, not the 'in da club' thought. Its not all sickly smooth either, the dub version of Roots Manuva's 1 Witness gives it a bit of grit, swinging dub beats, echoes that remind me of The Orb's Tower Of Dub. Great stuff!
The duo's musical talent shines through on the quality of mixing from one track to another. Listen to the way the lovely latin vibe of Pra Mahna slips into Herberts deep house reworking of Bonnie & Clyde. It just sounds like those two tunes were always meant to sit together like that, seamless. Its like that all the way through. Howie B's one of these mixes sounded like someone who was a bit over happy with the crossfader, this ... well its a completely different class. You journey from the opening hip hop grooves through soulful latin, a little sprinkling of acousitc guitars before finishing off with a smooth soul and 70's selection at the end. As in the tradition of the Another Late Night series, you also get a special cover by Zero 7 included just for this compilation, you won't find it on anything else aside from the limited 1000 7" copies of the track that were released at the same time as the album.
Its a really cracking mix, I think its the elements of all the styles used by Zero 7 here that works the magic, hip hop, funk, dub, house, latin, soul, acoustic ... all these give a perfect blissed out chill selection. If you have Simple Things, this is an essential purchase, if you don't, this is an even more essential purchase! It covers more ground, more moods than Simple Things, its got a better replay value, plus the mixing skills will wrap you up in a cosy little bubble of your own. You won't just listen to one track off here quickly, you'll listen to huge whole chunks!
If this perks your interest, check out Fila Brazillia's Another Late Night, equal fave for me. Plus as mentioned earlier, the other series that this company offer, mostly a stamp of unique quality. You'll find an insight into an artists mind and find the gems that make them all tick.

Ministry of Sound Sessions Vol.3
Ministry of Sound Sessions Vol.3
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £19.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic wintery electronic garage!, 11 Nov 2003
Something from the glory days of Ministry, when a new Sessions release was an exciting moment. Its currently a grey foggy wintery day as I write this and Clivilles & Cole (of C&C Music Factory) Ministry mix is perfect for moments like this. Surprising how well this mix has aged now that the now that the all ruling US House & Garage days are over, now been replaced by generic trance and disco filtered house beats. This was always one of the better sessions, less emphasis on battling diva's and more on nice electronic atmosphere (like the epic 10 minute intro which is their own 'O'). There are the occasional camped up vocal house moments in the form of Donna Giles and Dajae, but I guess that stays true to their Gonna Make You Sweat and Pride (A Deeper Love) classic cuts, sit these aside the deep latin house of Agora, the dark electronic london house of Xpress 2 and Erick Morillo in Reel 2 Real mode with his dub of D-Mob and you've got a wide ranging mix. Mixing is ALL exceptional, I used to sit at home with copies of Voices In My Mind, Rock 2 House and One Day, trying to replicate the spine tingling mixes between tracks.
Try and dig this one out, its a gorgeous mix and almost 10 years later, still sounds fresh ... Ministry have started to rehash lots of old classics on their generic as you like compilations, so get this (which has a bit of sparkle and magic to it) rather than the dullness that they pump out nowadays. Possibly the best of the old skool Sessions mixes.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 6, 2010 5:40 PM BST

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 Days [DVD]
Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 Days [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Palin
Price: £12.34

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just move the mouse up and click on the 'Buy' button...., 6 Nov 2003
Just a point to clear up, does the quality of the picture REALLY detract from a quality programme? Firstly, when watching this I didn't even notice much of a problem with the quality of picture, and secondly, if you take a piece of arse filmage and polish it up, does it make it good? No. The purpose of Around The World In 80 Days wasn't to be yet another celeb glam travel programme, it was meant to be a proper trial, a task, a race against time. The gritty film style gives a wonderful earthy, 'real' feel, backs up the impression that this is a bunch of people desperately trying to get round the world in 80 days. I found this series unique in that respect, several moments arise when the entire project could be scuppered thanks to delays here, strikes there, unforseen circumstance x .... sometimes there is no time for Palin to explore some of the exotic locations that his journey take him through. Just enough time for a quick hello before moving onto another form of transport. No carefully set up panning shots of your typical glitzy holiday programme, the essence here is the race. As a result of this dash around the world, the locations take second place to the characters that Palin meets. Everything is served up with the wonderful commentry by Palin himself, rather than just sitting back and vegetating in front of this, it actually excites.
You don't find that much in the way of extras with this, but its a nice lengthy series anyway ... plus you do get a nice interview with Palin on the third disc. Its something that you can find yourself returning to time and time again, feeling sad each time as Palin journeys through England to the finish line as you know that the adventure is over again. A fine DVD, and definately looking forward to other such as Pole To Pole and Full Circle being mastered to DVD. Unique.

'tiny Reminders'
'tiny Reminders'
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £13.13

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just another electronica album...., 3 Nov 2003
This review is from: 'tiny Reminders' (Audio CD)
I'm just catching up on the wonderful world of Andrew Weatherall. I've missed it all so far, Sabres Of Paradise, Two Lone Swordsmen ... I've been missing alot too! Weatherall is responsible for more than you probably know, alot of Primal Scream productions, founder of Junior Boys Own records which went on to spawn Underworld, Chemical Brothers, Xpress2, Farley & Heller ... lord of techno and championer of the electro sound WAY before it became fashionable this year to be into it.
Tiny Reminders is home to ALOT of fine electro, mashed up with some breaks and alot of bass along the way. Its nice when alot of artists that pop up nowadays are like identikit Aphex Twin to have something like this. Check the furious breaks and bleeps of Neuflex, machine like with a certain melodic quality. Death To All Culture Snitches is bleeping bubbling grungy house. The pure bass and breaks of Brootle. Kraftwerk style inflences creep in on You Are... with 'those' synth noises and robotic German vocals. Its not all furious bass and breaks though. Akwalek soothes away with watery and icy synths while not losing that machine like electro quality. Rotting Hill Carnival is one of my favourites, melacholic synths (very Plaid-y) and well programmed intricate percussion. The Bunker thunders along in mechanical house fashion, quality stuff ... shows why they popped up in Deep Dish's track selection for their Cream mix ages ago. Foreververb, Section and Very Futuristic take the tempos down to a more chilled level... and thats a QUICK overview of what there is on this album. So much for your money without filler material being introduced. Such a wide variety of sounds to be had here, a truely wicked album that stands out from the crowd, Weatheralls talents as producer really shine through. All lovers of things electronic should own this. Now I just gotta go pick up everything else they've done....

Offered by Get it in a Jiffy
Price: £14.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wicked tribal fare!, 3 Nov 2003
This review is from: LIGHTS OUT VOL 2 (Audio CD)
Steve Lawler weighs in with another mix for Global Underground with his second in the Lights Out series. While the usual Global Underground DJs have been broadening their sound by exploring different regions of house and even chill, Lawler serves up two discs of pure tribal. Its a good thing that Lawler does it like no-one else otherwise this could easily be just another compilation in the racks. When Lawler is in control its like having your average African tribe running riot in your headphones for a few hours. Punchy beats, tribal chants and deep stabbing bass is the order of the day ... with a few New York vocals scattered here there and everywhere to liven up proceedings. It makes me wonder if this is what Junior Vasquez could have ended up sounding like if he hadn't lost the plot oh so many years ago.
Aside from Lawlers usual tribal sound, you can find a slightly 80's edge creeping into what he plays nowadays. Phat twanging electro ... none of this Electroclash malarky. Plus a few updated classics (and favourites of mine) in the form of Alcatraz's Gimme Luv and Jaydee's Plastic Dreams (which brings back memories of trekking around record shops asking for "the one that goes 'DUM ....... de-DUM! .... de-dum-de-DUM!'").
Initial opinion of this is that its a much better sounding mix than the first Lights Out, I liked that but after a while, I got bored of it. This has a bit more meat and punch to it, the vocal tracks and 80's moments really do help bring life to the tribalness of the mix. The main problem is the competition Mr Lawler is facing in the mix market; James Zabiela, Danny Howells, Lee Burridge, Deep Dish, Nick Warren, Layo & Bushwacka! have all fired out frankly corking mixes recently, all exploring, up to now uncharted regions of house, tech and breaks ... all worthy of your money. I suppose its a bit lucky really, everyone has been off doing something slightly different in mix compilation that there isn't really anything like this about at the moment! So if you're up for some pure clubbing tribal beats, give this a go. Its bumpy and grindy and ever so chunky. Does exactly what it says on the tin material. MUCH better than Lights Out 1.

No Such Thing
No Such Thing
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £12.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Swag I've heard in a while!, 3 Nov 2003
This review is from: No Such Thing (Audio CD)
This is the first Swag offering I've heard in a long time. The Collected Works 1995-1998 is a collection of tech and house genius ... timeless classics (get it!), Felony Funk saw Swag head deeper, funkier, with live and a more listening approach to their sound. After that, things got a bit worrying. The next few singles and remixes from Swag that I heard tended to be on the dull side of deep house, like the Naked Music sound but not as good, endless deep house beats with nothing interesting going on over the top. Its nice to see that Swag have got a fine return to form with this album.
Its quite catchy, lots of good fun bouncy funky house music. Bouncy basslines, chunky drums ... but with a bit more urgency that alot of their recent works. Wire Me Up and I Need A Freak are good examples of this, nice bouncing house, with a bit of a gritty, techy odd edge. Good stuff! Them Drums will appeal to those who remember Swag of old. Jumpy beats, deep bassline tech material. Aside from letting some of their older days chunk float back into their work, the album would also appeal to those who like the Naked Music sound ... soulful funky house with smooth vocals.
Swag might not be as catchy as, say, Basement Jaxx in the funky house stakes, but I think it deserves more listens and has a higher replay value than Jaxx offerings. I still find myself wandering back to Felony Funk but not Remedy (released around the same time) and the collected works from the distant past will never leave my box. On the whole, its a better produced album than Felony Funk, catchy enough to have appeal to your casual funky house head, gritty enough for a moody type like me ... just wish a bit more of the collected works sound would infiltrate what they do nowadays. Recommended though. Summer material!

Ignition Key
Ignition Key

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ignition Key hits the right buttons, 3 Nov 2003
This review is from: Ignition Key (Audio CD)
Apparently an album from top Swedish DJ Adam Beyer. I didn't have a CLUE who or what he was before listening to this, but it appears that he has a decent loyal fanbase that rave about his DJing talents ... plus after searching through past Fabric flyers I find that he's DJed there too. So think of that as a stamp of quality.
The thing that got me hooked into this is the absolutely STONKING title track Ignition Key. One of the BEST tracks I've heard full stop, I think of it as Plaid meets epic tech-house-breaks! The lovely orchestral synth structures of a Plaid track but with the grit and urgency of top flying tech house. Brilliant! The album is worth it for this alone. Great for listening too on those grey wintery days, top for dancing to (in your own head as you sit on a bus for another dullathon at work).
Aside for that, you get some nice gritty tech house in there, for usage in a more standard DJ set, bassline hypnotic stuff ... very Tyrant. The rest of the album is made up of edgy experimental techno material and the odd ambient skit ... not firing fast hard stuff, but plenty of angular synths, odd structures and noises ... putting this album definately in the 'listening' end of the market. I certainly wouldn't be dropping any of the odder stuff!
If tech house and Plaid float your boat, give this a try you might just like. DEFINATELY check that title track whatever you do! Inspiring.

No Title Available

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breaks, tech house, acid house, hip hop, EVERYTHING!, 3 Nov 2003
If you've stumbled upon Layo & Bushwacka via Love Story (and the AWFUL Finally bootleg version), checked out and liked the fantastic Night Works and Low Life, stop in here for a bit of a different journey. It lets you know why they're both so respected as DJs on the club circuit. Very different in mood to their actual artist album material (especially with the very tech house 2nd disc), it showcases tracks which lets you know the sounds that have influenced them and also the tracks that currently rock dancefloors which they're in charge of.
Those of you who were lucky enough to pick up Layo & Bushwacka!s Ibiza Cheese Free Mix off the front cover of music should know what you're in store for here. A real treat. This is L&Bs first mix outing and showcases their loves for beats and breaks. Disc 1 smoothly blends together fun party time hip hop cut up tracks before shifting up a gear into more housier territories via some lovely acid house. All the mixing is smooth as you journey from rough hip hop breaks into electronic house ... pure quality. Kenny Dope's take on Resin Dogs Rock The Record is pure fun hip hop, but then take note as the mood gets deeper when Layo & Bushwacka's remix of Orbital kicks in. The Detroit Experiment's Think Twice starts the housier section of the CD, wickedly disco funky, before Dread Flimstone and Fast Eddie reminds you of house music past, rising pianos and hypnotic acid lines. 4 Hero rounds off the disc in jazz and bass stylee while the track from Midas hints at the tech house sound that is to come on Disc 2. The second disc opens up deep but the absolute class which is the Jay Tripwire remix of Dumbek lets you know this is going to be a nice punchy chunky journey. Rough and grimey house, sometimes tribal, sometimes bassy, sometimes electro, always class. Never obvious tracks, no big cliches, just good solid dancefloor movers. Top track is the fantastic 'la 11eme march' right at the end of the disc. Deep pulsing bassline, very Slam/Youngsters in nature. The slightly indie dance section of Depeche Mode and Pyromaniac Gardeners break up the mix slightly, adding a few choice guitar licks and breaks into the fray to make things nicely interesting. Definately pumping club fare all the way!
Alot of moods for your money here, all quality. Another fine compilation that stands out from the crowd ... and just about time they got round to doing a bloody DJ mix too!

fabric12: The Amalgamation of Soundz
fabric12: The Amalgamation of Soundz
Price: £14.25

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh so ... good ... very very good!, 24 Oct 2003
So there I was, gushing about how I liked the Bent FabricLIVE and stating that the Saturday night CD's needed a right kick up the arse after its recent releases. So what goes and happens, the best Fabric CD thats been done in AGES is released.
In the context of the past releases, its something a bit different, Slam took the techno option, Radioactive Man the electro route, Swayzak and Doc Martin didn't really reach the interesting buttons, and its been a fair whack since the wonderful house/tech mixes of Jon Marsh, Terry Francis, H-Foundation and Craig Richards. So up come Amalgamation Of Soundz on mixing duty. To be honest, I've never really heard a THING from them, I think they tend to play up in the more eclectic Room 3. After listening to this, I will be searching out any form of album I can find from them! Man, makes me wish I had a few phat ones I could have with me to experience this live with up in the loft reaches of the third Fabric room.
Its a real tour of sounds, doesn't just head straight to the 4/4 as the usual Fabric CD does. Builds up with some ambience, showcases some lovely mixing too, especially the mix where ICE: A String Tribute To Bjork - Come To Me has the chilled electronic beats of Geche - Htrs introduced over the top of it in . Moves from the beatless ambience into a nice hazy, Saturday afternoon, chilling on your patio in the sun with a big bifta style session. The entire mood is very Cafe Del Mar chilling. Some Amalgamation Of Soundz own works are thrown into the mix, wonderfully moody beats of their rework of Richard Davis - Meaning. Some classics appear in the form of The Future Sound Of London's Papua New Guinea Translations project. One of the many interpretations they've done of their classic Papua New Guinea track. Takes the groundbreaking rave/breakbeat original and takes it to jazzier territories. If you're into the moodiness of DJ Shadow, a wee excerpt from Rjd2 - Chicken Bone Circuit should float your boat, especially when the similar mood of Amalgamation of Soundz - Simply So slips in. By this time you will have noticed that the chilled beats have picked up a bit of urgency and meaning about them. More getting the kecks on to go out and have a FINE one on the town than patiobifta music. Angelo D'Onorio signifies a shift right up into tech territory, houseybreaks hybrid with washing walls of sound flowing over you. Hi-Lo, Jeff Bennett & Soultek provide a stripped down tech beats and bass journey before the final cut from Amalgamation Of Soundz floats in. Up tempo, breaksy and jazzy. The finishing track is fooking wicked. Still Phill - Bey Un Bey (MKL Vs SosSos remix). Reminds me of Bushwacka's more techy journeys, mixed with wicked violins over the top, nice double bass and some ragga chanting.
All in all, a top top top mix, definately riding SO high in favourite Fabric mixes ever. One to check, alot of thought and care has gone into this one. Well well well crafted.

Price: £11.31

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plaid bang on ... AGAIN, 24 Oct 2003
This review is from: Spokes (Audio CD)
Plaid ramp up the grittyness and angry values for their latest outing. Where Not For Threes and Rest Proof Clockwork painted very chilled sonic soundscapes, Double Figure moved back to the more electro sound of Plaid past. Spokes moves further in this direction, several tracks being set to furious electro breaks, much more pace than Double Figure. Where the production is more lively you still get the wonderful orchestra electronica that you'd associate with Plaid. You end up with an album that'd press all your Chiastic Slide buttons while simultaneously yanking on your Music Has The Right To Children lever. Yes.
Taking a few tracks out of this to show you the kind of quality we're dealing with, lets head to the opener Even Spring. THOSE melancholic Plaid keys ease you into the album, eerie vocals before halfway through adding skittery electronic beats. Crumax Rins has a wickedly sinister bassline running through it, fresh and lively breaks and towards the end of the track the sounds used become angrier and more frantic. Something that crops up alot on this album. A great effect, harmony of soft and harsh. B Born Droid is one of the more chilled tracks on here, having a very Eastern vibe. Marry goes straight back to dark electronic breaks theme set against 'church bells ringing' synths. Get What You Gave is more like Not For Threes era Plaid, shuffly bouncy happy beats.
If you liked Double Figure you'll definately love this, absolutely NO dip in quality from Plaid whatsoever, in fact, if anything, they've bettered themselves here. Consistantly great album, lively and fresh!

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