Fri, Aug 29, 2003 - Page 19 News List

CD Reviews

By Gavin Phipps  /  STAFF REPORTER

The 12-track compilation takes no prisoners. From the get go Brazilian act Angra and its fiery version of Kashmir sets a wicked pace.

The album goes on to see Germany's Primal Fear thrash through a version of The Rover, Spain's Mago de Oz knockout a prog-rock-inspired version of Whole Lotta Love and Italy's White Skull make the over-covered Stairway to Heaven sound fresh.

The highlight of the album, however, is when Spain's Tierra Santa breaks the land speed record with its version of Communication Breakdown -- a cover version that knocks the spots off The Dickies 1983 rendering.

It might not be everyone's cup tea, but full marks should be awarded to the bands that appear on this compilation. What could so easily have been an embarrassing dud is actually a remarkably good accolade to Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham.

Four Tet

Rounds

Silent Agreement

After releasing four albums -- three by local dance/trip-hop talent and one a collection of recordings of Greater China club favorites -- local label, Silent Agreement, has made it inaugural foray into the UK experimental scene with the release of Four Tet's Rounds.

Once, one half of post-rock band Fridge, Four Tet creator, Kieran Hebden was to make a name for himself on the UK scene after collaborating with experimental-dub pioneer Pole. The ensuing 12-inch, Four Tet vs. Pole, proved a minor underground hit.

Hebden's solo career debut was 1999's Dialogue which was followed in 2001 by Pause. His latest album, Rounds, continues from where both these previous recordings left off.

The experimentalist manipulates and mixes every sound imaginable in order to generate a musical otherworld in which even the most oddball collection of sounds has melody.

Produced in an apartment using only a computer to download, loop, slice and paste the numerous samples and rhythms the album has a real lo-fi feel.

Beginning with Hands, a track that combines out of time drum beats and samples with over a backdrop of ambient guitar-and-keyboard atmospherics, the album is a well rounded and unpredictable piece of experimentalism from start to finish. And although a wee bit nauseating at times Rounds offers something for nearly every type of audience.

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