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The Stone Turntable

The Stone Turntable

9 May 2011
4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Ever heard a bad album by TGU? If you know the band then you also know what you are in for and can buy this CD in the blind. No big surprises here, but a continuation on the road they once set out on. As usual pure quality and The Stone Turntable is a logical successor to Moonshout, because quite in the same vein. If you don't know the band than this album is as good as any for trying: expect an eclectic mix of hip- and trip-hop, rap, bhangra, polka, beats, dance, you name it... African, Indian, Eastern European, it's all there. Sounds messy? Well, after eight albums and 18 years of playing this band surely knows how to mix it into their own, cohesive and always uplifting sound. These are the pioneers of ethno-dance and have no equals. If ever you feel gloomy, TGU gets you out of it.
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This is a great new album from TGU, the UK world-ethno-dance ensemble that has been around since the early '90s. It's not as good as their now classic masterpiece of 1995, INTERNATIONAL TIMES, but it may be their best since then. On the strength of that album I checked out the next couple of TGU releases (Psychic Karaoke and Rejoice, Rejoice), but found them lame by comparison, and so I had given up on the band until now. I haven't heard the intervening albums beyond sound clips -- this is their 7th since I.T. -- so I'm not 100% sure it's their best since then, but THE STONE TURNTABLE is definitely worth hearing for anyone who has ever enjoyed the band's music.

The two core members of the group are Tim Whelan and Hamilton Lee, but they often go by pseudonyms in album credits. Here, Lee retains his usual name of "Mantu," while Whelan uses his given name. The great Natacha Atlas, who sang "Temple Head" on I.T., no doubt their best-known song, is no longer with them, but great female vocals are still part of the sound. TGU's sound is the relentless advance of the multinational working class, with the Caribbean and South Asian contingents most strongly represented.

I find that THE STONE TURNTABLE gets off to a weak start, hence the 4 stars. The opener, "Be As One," is a nice spiritual introduction, a chant with instrumental backing. But the next four tracks don't do much for me. Things really take off with "Tribe Organiser," a great propulsive number, and are then maintained at a high level through to the end, Track 15, "Mazboori.
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I have to admit I love transglobal underground, its not the most innovative of their albums , but there are some gems on it.
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I really like TGU and the Stone Turntable didn't make me disappointed, this was good buy.
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