Posts from 15th August 2000

15
Aug 00

Pop quiz at

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Pop quiz at not so soft – is the first Underworld album good or bad? I’d say OK – some gorgeously sprawled dark chocolate techno grooves, marred by Karl Hyde’s hammy voice and back-of-a-bus-ticket ‘observational lyrics’, which turned the album into a manual for urban folk trying to convince themselves that their chi-chi loft spaces or sadly typical post-student flatshares constituted edgy, noir and modernist living. Still, the music remains lovely and it’s a hell of a lot better than their second album….

SPILLER – “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)”

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SPILLER – “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)”

Spiller’s turned respectable heads, and people sharper than you or I are saying Single Of The Year to this easy-sliding disco confection. Let’s hope not – oh, it’s very good, it takes that Stardust/Moloko formula and turns it into something no less cynical but a lot less strained and glassy. And it makes you dance better than either, too.

If it feels so good, why ain’t this love? Because….I don’t know, because it’s disco maybe. And I’m not saying that because disco sucks, I’m saying that because disco rocks, because there are records in perpetual circulation which do disco with more cold swagger and passion than Groovejet can. Hailing Groovejet as a classic feels a little like giving in, like calling Belle And Sebastian’s “Legal Man” a classic, or a CD by that slick-chopped funk band who played in your local last Sunday. I want joy from a single, which Spiller provides most adequately, but I want surprise too. Maybe that’s shallow, or theoretically somehow unsound, but the old stuff isn’t and mustn’t be as good as the new stuff, or what’s the point? Single of a year, maybe. But not this one.

Big thanks to Mike for going to the Insound Zine Conference

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Big thanks to Mike for going to the Insound Zine Conference and spreading the word about the dubious and contrarian virtues of Freaky Trigger. Read his account of the conference and wonder. Oh, and from her sickbed Tanya let me know how embarrassed she was to be mentioned by indie rock fans.

Stop the presses! It’s a

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Stop the presses! It’s a good review of the new Belle And Sebastian album. (At what point is a given band’s album not “the new” anymore?). This comes from stopsmiling.net, a new popculture zine which has quickly demonstrated its independence from the backstabbin’ world of indie zineblogs by a) hiring Brent DiCrescenzo (whose slacker-Meltzer writing style and taste for overegged puddings remain satisfyingly consistent, but he’s still the only online rockcrit anyone can remember by name, which is saying a lot) and b) having a go at indieshite. Who themselves have posted a lengthy response, prompting another response, etc. etc. Only for the deeply incestuous, or for argument voyeurs. (I fall into both camps, so executive summary: Indieshite aren’t actually British and have links to Splendid. Indieshite rightly say “So what?” to the first charge and dance guiltily around the second, to which “So what?” surely also applies. And if anyone thinks British people aren’t morbidly interested in generic low-selling US indie rock, they’ve clearly never been to Scotland.)

All of which shouldn’t detract from stopsmiling.net: it’s mainstream, jolly, and worth a look once you get beyond the introductory attitude. At worst it’ll end up a pop-culture uber.nu, at best it’ll turn into a Pitchfork for late twentysomethings who want to stay informed.