London Highbury Garage

Necessary or evil? He's both. He's Piers Martin, and he's pilled off his margin....

INCredible: Sound Of Trevor Nelson

Comprehensive introduction to the occasionally exciting world of contemporary R&B and coffee-table hip-hop as compiled by Radio 1 DJ and MTV presenter Trevor Nelson, possibly the only man to take Will Smith‘s musical career seriously.

Necessary or evil? Two discs visit the sanitised ‘street’ sounds of Westside, Tatyana Ali and Mica Paris. Respect, however, goes to superfly cuts from Noreaga and Monifah, especially because the latter’s ‘Touch It’ is written by someone called ScrewFace 6/10

Pete Tong Essential Selection Spring 1999

Tongy rolls his umpteenth ‘fat one’ as he cashes in on that traditionally mad Easter rush to buy commercial dance compilations. Chart-bound house is competently mixed with chart-bound house, though the tunes, most definitely, are large.

Necessary or evil? As marvellous as tracks from Cevin Fisher and Armand Van Helden may sound when pilled off your margin on a podium, their ‘uplifting’ effect the next day at home is somewhat diminished. 6/10

Renaissance Presents…

Self-consciously stylish Superclub pays two modish DJs – Anthony Pappa and Rennie Pilgrem – vast sums of money to play their favourite records back to back.

Necessary or evil? Pappa‘s trance-house journey is efficiently bland and, today, irrelevant , while nu-skool breakz guru Pilgrem mangles key tracks from Beber, Freq Nasty and Ils in a definitive guide to the filthy [I]Mad Max[/I]-style electro-breakbeatin’ sound of now. 8/10

It’s A Shifty Disco Thing Volume Two
[I](Shifty Disco)[/I]

Increasingly prolific Oxford indie compiles the lead tracks from its 12 singles released last year for the benefit of those not [I]au fait[/I] with the predictable but enthusiastic generic guitar band underground.

Necessary or evil? Negotiate the prevalent rampant power-chordage and you’ll be wooed by intriguing fare from Pan Tonic (arf!), Joey Herzfeld, Creeper Lagoon and, of course, SPUNKLE AllstarsRadiohead-baiting ‘Where Will You Be This Christmas?’. 7/10

Mint Records Sampler

Debut release from this fledgling Glasgow-based label and a taster of the guitar-shaped things to come from new bands Manganese and Mainline from Glasgow and Birmingham’s Luca.

Necessary or evil? Manganese plug the gap between Oasis and Cast; Luca‘s twisted pop encourages comparisons with early Throwing Muses; and Mainline enjoy dirty, smacked-out anthems. 7/10