February 24, 1999
Having a deep understanding of trainers, finding almost erotic delight in the vintage packaging of sci-fi figures - somehow, in these post-[B]Beasties[/B] times, such behaviour has become acceptable,
7 / 10
Having a deep understanding of trainers, finding almost erotic delight in the vintage packaging of sci-fi figures - somehow, in these post-Beasties times, such behaviour has become acceptable, even desirable, for grown adults.
Yet diluted according to the rules of consumer fetish, music becomes little more than another cool gadget, a lifestyle accessory rather than a way of life. Just ask Cornelius, aka Keigo Oyamada, the man who hit the thrift-store jackpot with last year's 'Fantasma' when he seemingly unearthed three decades of box-fresh US pop culture. This two-disc set - 'CM' being remixes undertaken by Cornelius, 'FM' 'Fantasma' reconstructions demanded as payback - feels like a mutual appreciation block-party; UNKLE, Money Mark and the usual hipster suspects gathering to toast their cleverness with unusually coloured vodka. Any more knowing, they'd be claiming they had the revelations of Fatima on DAT.
Which would be somewhat overconfident. For a man besotted with The Beach Boys and Bacharach, Cornelius has the auditory sense of a Fisher-Price play centre, drawn to whistles and bells like a nylon shirt to a flame, cheerily triggering quiz-show buzzers, spooling tape and a sound unfortunately known as 'boinging'. He's happiest pouring additives and colourings into Buffalo Daughter's twee-dwelling 'Great Five Lakes', or bouncing the rainy NYC melancholy of Money Mark's 'Maybe I'm Dead' into the tougher Toytown 'hood. Whether it works is uncertain - there's a certain vindictive pleasure in Money Mark's reciprocal take on 'Mic Check', bubble-headed harp delirium replaced with, yes, rainy NYC melancholy. Touchi.
If the air of self-satisfaction becomes cloying - The High Llamas deciding the world's youth needs more banjo, the irritating Planet Of The Apes samples - there are moments of connection. Damon Albarn seduces the sickly 'Star Fruits Surf Rider' with Barry White style, while The Pastels take the dreamy 'Clash' and, shhh, calm it down to virtual silence. Even UNKLE, the quintessence of dreariness, provide some much-needed bombast on 'Free Fall'.
It's, you know, entertaining. And really, between the Kojak videos and Grand Royal back issues, that's all that's demanded of it. for 'CM', for 'FM'
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