whose uncluttered, stately style is always informed by the blues. He contributes some beautifully funky block chords to "Close Your Eyes", the sole up-tempo number. Webster remains unruffled, his feathery ardour intact: he quotes a few R&B licks to show that he knows where the music is at , but expertly folds in his own whispered lines. O n "I Got I t Bad", the famous tune he wrote with Duke Ellington, he milks sax subsonics - the excellent production lets us hear every breath.
Ben Webster's poignancy suspends time, but he has such a keen grasp of the melodies he improvises on that the effect is never directionless or impressionist. There is enough weight in his timbre to make sure the honey is never cloying. The rhythm section (Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, bass, and Alex Riel, drums) is fine, Pedersen sell the notion of techno as a virtual trip. Nowadays, techno as the hallucinogenre of all audio worlds is really no big news anymore, and yet, on this record, when all place is being dissolved - with text, by music into McLuhan's idea of acoustic space, the indissoluble outer limit seems to be the sound of the exotic "other" (chants of New Guinea, etc). What ghosts are being resurrected in the 36 minutes of the seven sound worlds of this single? The "techno-pagan" (as David Toop has called it) acts as the astrobattery, the boost which lifts techno into a gravity-less state.
JAMAND SPOON TALESFROM A DANCEOGRAPHIC OCEAN12" EP (RGSIOuter Rhythm RSUK 14). Wi t h its title, it performs a cheeky resurrection/recirculationof Yes and their legacy. In fact, the three tracks on this EP inap out an audio Real which has nothing to do with Yes at all. It's still funny, though. "My First Fantastic F.F." is especially interesting for its use of the EEG pulse, which i t drops over a weightless open surround of synth as if the hollows of the inner body were as limitless as space itself. "Stella", a pretty glissando of a swoon has been remixed again by Moby and Jam and Spoon themselves. Moby brings the suburban sublime of "Go" (his hit single based on the opening bars of the Twin Peaks theme tune) to bear on the tune. Jam and Spoon go via the "technopagan", dropping in snatches of Amazon Indian type chants into the environment. Is the pagan already futuristic?
last heard on Eno's Apollo LP. It's like the soundtrack's the moment in an advert when some heavy object starts to rise into the orbit. "Didgeridoo" takes a derided (because trivialised) "exotic" instrument and lifts off into the audiosphere with it. Nothing unusual there except that the Aphex Twin stays with the drone, rides out the monotone until it starts to be scary, dangerous, way in excess of its former status. No wonder only Rolf Harris can be trusted with such music.
THE SANDALS PROFOUNDGAS (Open Toe JAZ ID 47T). Gas in the "beatnik sense, meaning joke, put on, spoken after a hilarious thing has happened. Five mixes: the Profound Dud extracts the extraneous and leaves alarm clocks, whistles, vibes, and cavernous silences to stretch out like a 90s cartoon version of the opening of the Art Ensemble's People in Sowuw. A crossover between a hairy, "groovy" multi-racial vibe and the smooth, polished production style of Leftfield.
GAUlANO SKUNKFUNK(Talking'Loudpre). This is by far the best thing they've ever done. Growling buried, hairy vocals chanting "Skunk Funk . . . in our bones". Funny and far away call and response chanting, continuous crescendo, blowing, moaning horns somewhere in the legacy of Archie Shepp's "Attica Blues" and Doctor John's "Walk on Gilded Splinters". Murky, messy and anthemic.
particularly lustrous on "Autumn Leaves". The cover amusingly demonstrates why Webster was nicknamed "Frog".
c l u b l i c k s
Kodwo Eshun tr$s the soand fantastic
IRRESISTIBLE FORCE THE UNDERGROUND EP (Rising High pre). For Mixmaster Morris, only space is the place which paradoxically signifies an outer limit. "Flow Motion" is the "ambient" track, bearing in mind that "ambient" like "techno" and "house" don't really refer to any specific genre these days. Still, "Flow Motion" is beautiful. More EEG pulse - the sound of sound gone liquid, gone visual, ultra-emerald light which hips and hops as i t echo-answers the signals it receives from the bodies answering contours. Liquid silence; the gentle blinking of unknown planets.
cFor sultry latenight listening this music cannot be beat. Perfect. BEN WATSON
CHEZ DAMIER CANYOU FEELIT (KMSRecord KMSUK 3 ) . Paradise retooled and refitted. Devotional techno from the man who sings on Inner City's new single "Pennies From Heaven", and the Reese Project's "Direct Me", both Kevin Saunderson projects. The Detroit Three - Saunderson, Juan Atkins, Derrick May - were and are interested in the connections between emotions and circuitry, in producing an electricity of different empathies: hardly the deep freeze Palladians their enemies and friends took them for, Saunderson least of all. Bodes well for the soon come soul-on-ice fission of Inner City's third album Praise.
FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON - PAPUA NEW GUINEA JUMPIN' AND PUMPIN'12' EP (12 TOT 17R). Heliocentric effect: rising spirals of analogue synth, cascades of keyboard runs, the rings of Saturn, a female impersonation of the Siren from outer space you know the sort of thing. Three years ago, one half of F.S.O.L. was called Stakker, an awkward cyberpunk desperately hoping to
APHEX TWIN DIDGERIDOO (RGSIOutw Rhythm RSUK 12. Twenty-year-old Richard James, who produced this EP, has been touted as a genius (a resurrection-effect term if I ever heard one). Like "Flow Motion", "Analogue Bubblebath" is liquid liquid, this time with a cosmic Mid-West country twang
BLACK BEATS DUBWISEEP (Wawiors Dance WAF T 2 4 ) . Four tracks from the Addis Ababa studio who released the epochal "No Smoke" by Koro Koro a few years back. "Madam E" by The Land of Plenty (aka Kid Batchelor) is a whispered threat just out of earshot - all you hear is the fadeout of