on 2 March 2000
This a blistering album of post-punk psychedelia which flows from mindnumbing intensity to smokey chill. Don't be alarmed by the seamingly insensible rhetoric which accompnies many of the tracks, it has its place within the album. The opening minute and a half of the album is confused monotone, which finally bursts into a monumentally energtic collage of sound and lyrics, that totally justifies the wait. The album continues within this vein, with the slow instrumentals only wetting the appitite more. On the downside it can take a while to get into the album and the initially impressive tracks tend to deguise the others. However, stick with it, this album is worth the effort.
The Lo-Fi All-stars were perhaps the coolest band around when they burst on the dance scene a few years back. Laid back Quasi-American vocals courtesy of The Wrekked Train, funky hip-hop beats and grooved up disco melodies made the Lo-Fi All-stars one of the most credible and creative bands in the leftfield dance scene. So how then does this debut album shape up? Well, it's pretty darn...cool!
'Battle Flag' is perhaps the best track on the album. A funky bass line rips through the tune and there are harsh b-boy vocals from Pigeonhed and the track climaxes with evangelical organ sounds. 'Kool Roc Bass' also stands out: it's a musical cocktail of slick vocals, reverberating bass and electro beats. There's more head rocking sounds in the form of the ten-minute eclectic classic 'Vision Incision' and also in the form of the disco flavoured 'Laser Ship Deep Funk', which sounds a little like 'Fly Life' by Basement Jaxx. There are even elements of Detroit techno on 'Will I Get Out of Jail'.
On the whole, the record doesn't have the bouncy beats and crashing guitar hooks that are common in other Big Beat artists. Instead, the influences incline towards seventies funk, eighties hip-hop beats and modern lyrical poetry. Where the album does flag a little (such as on the lazy 'I Used To Fall In Love'), the whole aura of cool and creative feel of the record makes up for it.
on 27 January 2001
If, like me, you felt Fatboy Slim had some good ideas but was far too nice about things, then How To Operate with a Blown Mind is probably a decent approximation to what you're after - the same kind of ideas as the Cookster uses permeate the album (they share the same label) but the Allstars are a lot more upfront than the new Mr Ball. It generally sticks to a dirty funk and breakbeat soundtrack - plenty of 70s guitar licks and sampled drum breaks in here - with occasional nods to early 90s baggy (Screamadelica era) and even the odd house-ish moment.
The production on that album isn't as clean as I'd perhaps like - it could do with tightening up in places (have they never heard of a compressor?) and never really gets as full-on as you possibly expect it to. But these are minor faults. Overall, though, this is a great album and well worth getting hold of.
on 27 September 2008
This record came out around may 1998 and soundtracked that summer for me. "Big beat" was a very short lived scene and in my opinion this record along with The Chems Dig your own hole are the only two great records that came out of it. I have loved this record since then and it still sounds better than any other dance lp i have heard as it is very diverse and uses wonderful samples to create the hypnotic effect along with the Trains amazing punk vocals and lyrics. As per the previous poster to get the full effect of this record some sort of substance will definitely help (the clue is in the title folks) but it can still be enjoyed without chemical assistance. Obvious standouts are Kool Roc Bass, Blisters on my Brain, Battleflag, Will i get out of Jail & the amazing vision incision but all the songs are cool. Should be seen as one of the landmark records of the 90's but for some reason it isnt. Weird!!!
on 28 March 2000
After starting off with a manic depressiv message to god this is album featuring thundering beats in harmony with energizing psychedelic synth sounds explodes into a supernova of revolutionary electro vibes. The Allstars must have spent ages recording and producing it, I have never heard another album that included that much care about details (except for 'six' by Mansun). Although some songs might seem monoton, freaky or dark in the beginning it will overwhelm you with its perfection after listening to it a few times. Still now, after having it for over a year, I always discover new musical excellencies in it that I did not notice before everytime I listen to it. "It ain't about Punk, and it ain't about the sceeeeene...." it's just about
ALLSTARS TAKIN' OVER !