VICTORIA SEGAL checks out the latest Various. Find your own link....
Abuse Your Friends 2
A gathering of 19 bands of impeccable obscurity. Largely exuberant indie nonsense – but still, few records combine Croydon-based ska (Know It Alls), intriguing chamber-Aphex madness (The Understudy Inferior), white noise apocalypse from Suffolk (Hex Minora) and ‘Wham! Rap’ done big beat-style (probably wiser not to name names.)
Necessary or evil? Hit and miss like an under-fives’ darts match, yet its heart is in the right place. Behind the speakers, vomiting lager. 6/10
Go! – Music From The Motion Picture
Doug [I]Swingers [/I]Liman‘s new film is about life on society’s edge – so what better musical vibe than new songs by No Doubt and Natalie Imbruglia? Even new Leftfield track ‘Swords’ is worryingly turgid, so it’s up to the familiar drunken charms of Lionrock and Fatboy Slim to save the day.
Necessary or evil? Gwen [I]and [/I]Natalie on one CD! There will be feasting in hell tonight… 4/10
The Best Blue Note Album In The World… Ever!
Unfortunately tacky marketing strapline for legendary jazz label. But let the purists sneer as they sneak off to lick their original vinyl – cherished tracks by John Coltrane, Horace Silver and Jimmy Smith make this worth their censure.
Necessary or evil? Excellent for luring the curious novice into a life of moody lighting and heavy smoking. 8/10
Idiosyncratic collection of Japanese music from the late-’80s onwards, which means much feyness of a Pizzicato 5/Cornelius persuasion, but also thrilling electronic invention from Ryuchi Sakamoto and the alarming yet lovely Koto-jazz of Kiyoshi Yamaya‘s ‘Osorezan (Ghost Mountain)’.
Necessary or evil? Despite incoherent sleevenotes, ‘Showa 64’ is big (24 tracks) and clever (a koto is a kind of harp. Impress your friends.) 7/10
Clash tribute album, which sees The Afghan Whigs – sigh – breaking hearts with ‘Lost In The Supermarket’ and Moby, Silverchair and Rancid breaking hearts for altogether different reasons. Cracker‘s Appalachian ‘White Riot’ is quite amusing, though. Once.
Necessary or evil? Yes, say it once more, a Clash tribute album. Truly the world can learn to love again. 5/10