The Rootsman vs. Muslimgauze : Return to the City of Djinn (Third Eye Music- 1999) (8.7)
The Rootsman's dub sounds have been reworked by Muslimgauze in this disc that was released only days after the death of Bryn Jones. The 67-minute disc (with 23 tracks from 1:59 to 3:48) is a bit lighter than usual Muslimgauze fare, what with all the islandic festivities in the air. An elastically surging bass and (of course) plenty of ethnic beats drive Rawalpindi. Cairo takes an extra-dancey approach which I find irresistible. Another personal favorite, Esfahan is empowered by a gritty organ(?) riff, wails, drumbeats and tiny chirping birdies. With a more subdued air, Oran reverberates with slower bass pulses and rhythms, and weird radiowaves flow through Dakar, along with a groovy vibe.
These tracks are definitely more about the music, than the politics, so those who are turned off by the strident messages of other Muslimgauze releases may find this disc more palatable. It's a limited edition though, so I recommend you get it when/where/while you can...
Various Artists: Electro Lounge (The Right Stuff - 1999) (8.3)
Lots of fun, this one... assorted electronica-makers have revamped tracks from the '60s (and before), injecting modern beats and remixism with varying degrees of success. Überzone's energetic reworking of Hypnotique (Martin Denny) opens the disc on a strong note; wailing sax is pumped to the nth by driving electrorhythms. Dean Martin and Julie London receive a dose of modern coolness when The Rip-Off Artist updates the rhumba stylings of their Sway. The James Bond Theme strays disappointingly far from its original, losing its spy-powered spirit. A more-successful soundtrack adaptation occurs in the gusgus version of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, adding gritty percussion to the westward sounds. The spooky sounds of John Barry's Seance on a Wet Afternoon are admirably revivified by the Omni Trio, with drifting synth, stand up bass and newly-rendered beats.
Other remixers include such notables as u-ziq (applying his trademark drum-madness to Dean Elliot's Lonesome Road), Utah Saints (King Curtis' Watermelon Man), Luke Vibert (April Stevens' Do It Again), Q-Burn's Abstract Message (Yma Sumac's Gopher (Mambo)), Meat Beat Manifesto (Elmer Bernstein's Staccato's Theme) and Eat Static (journeying along with The John Buzon Trio's desert-jazz Caravan). If you need a splash of retro-fun to perk up your holiday festivities, this'll do it!
Posted November 27, 1999 | 1999 Overviews Index