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Lately I've found that, after spending eight hours in a record store,
I'm disinclined to go home and listen to more music. So let me see if
anything from work has caught my ear...
-- UNKLE is the new project by DJ Shadow and Mo'Wax label head James
Lavelle, with lots of guest vocalists. Some really good stuff on here;
Shadow's work is about the most "musical" DJ/sample-based stuff I've
heard, by which I mean that it's amazing how unified and cohesive he's
able to make music constructed entirely out of samples of other people's
music. There's a surprisingly strong prog-rock vibe running through a
lot of this record, too (the main title tune sounds like some long-lost
Rush bit circa "Permanent Waves.") Shadow's beat programming is always
worth checking out.
-- Heard bits and pieces of the new DJ Spooky album and liked it. The
jungle tune "Polyphony of One" blew my *#&@^ mind.
-- Ozomatli is an LA-based latin/funk/hip-hop conglomeration that
produces some pretty happening and unlikely hybrids of the above
influences. One of the more engaging records I've heard in a while, and
probably the only group I've heard at all that features a DJ and a tabla
player trading fours in their live show.
-- Skimmed through the new Soul Coughing, "El Oso," and liked it a lot.
The much-hyped drum & bass influence doesn't add up to much more than a
proliferation of very tightly-played eighth-note rock beats (not that
that's a bad thing), but it's still a very inventive and surprisingly
accessible (though mostly uncompromising) disc.
-- Massive Attack's "Mezzanine" is practically nothing but a collection
of loops. Some of the tunes strike me as being more style than
substance (I can understand why Rolling Stone described it as the "Muzak
of choice of 1998"), but there's some very strong (and very dark) stuff
on here. Probably my favorite "trip-hop/downtempo" record that I've run
Pretty much everything else that comes to mind is either too far removed
from this list or too uninteresting to comment on (I've probably heard
the new Chris Isaak more times than any of the above, but such is retail