Things Fall Apart
Stevie Chick sifts through a themeless batch of multifarous Various...
File alongside ‘Soundbombing’, ‘Black Whole Stylez’ and ‘Phax & Phixion’, another flawless raid on the verdant hip-hop underground (a movement linked only by a reluctance to go sampling Sting‘s back catalogue).
Necessary or evil? Boasting essential turns by Jigmastas, Rasco featuring Planet Asia, and the ubiquitous, peerless Mos Def (on the street soul scamming ‘If It’s Alright Y’All’), ‘Superrappin’‘ is worth its weight in import 12″s! 9/10
Coming Up From The Streets
Wherein various pop stars donate tracks in support of [I]The Big Issue [/I]Foundation Scotland. Endlessly worthy cause. Unbelievably heinous CD.
Necessary or evil? Exactly how Jamiroquai (lives in a big mansion) and Phil Collins (famously promised to leave the UK should Labour get in and raise his taxes) can contribute to this CD is almost as unfathomable as the revelation that Cast‘s track is pretty rockin’. 1/10
John Peel’s Sounds Of The Suburbs
Not, thankfully, field recordings of sordid wife-swapping parties in Isleworth, rather the soundtrack to Peelie’s new TV series, charting British music’s indebtedness to commuter belts.
Necessary or evil? Featuring The Delgados‘ sublime ‘Everything Goes Around The Water’, The High Fidelity‘s dub-pop meisterwork ‘Lazy B’, a sumptuous slice of prime Robert Wyatt, and many other excellent oddities in-between, this double CD set is like a fantasy Peel show. Except with all the records at the correct speed. 8/10
Organ Radio 5
Wildly eclectic manifesto of what tomorrow’s pop stars will sound like from the perpetrators of [I]Organ[/I] fanzine. Only the compilers could love everything here, but a spirited dip amongst the tracks is its own reward…
Necessary or evil? Indispensable for Cay‘s ‘Better Than Myself’ and My Vitriol‘s ‘Grounded’ alone (this band will be fucking huge, I wager), plus many other murky gems. Like the Dublin Castle in your living room. 7/10
Sound Of The Nu Skool
A selection stretching from 1995-1999, as heard by Fresh/Freskanova records (home of Freestylers et al). The challenge? Try and play all the way through without shaking your thang once.
Necessary or evil? A bitchin’ stew of (cough) big beat, [I]nouveau [/I]old skool, perfecto disco and danceable decknology, like a mad night out without getting lager stains on yer suede Pumas. So, a good thing, then. 8/10