ARTS / RECORDS

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The Independent Culture
NEW RELEASES

Classic Electro Vol 1 & Classic House Vol 1 (Mastercuts, CD/tape). An invaluable and authoritative (not to mention danceable) series of reissues reaches its 20th release in fine style. How do the Eighties' two main blueprints for the future cope with being the music of the past? Very nicely, thank you. The first of these collections will fill even those who might have sneered first time around with the desire to lay their breakdance mat down on the pavement. The second will shame anyone (myself included) who did not see straight away that house music was soul music. It's still a joy to listen to in its own right, not just as the roots of rap and techno. Early landmarks such as 'The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel' and the Peech Boys' 'Don't Make We Wait' are present on the Electro album in the full glory of their original 12-inch mixes. They sound remarkably fresh too, given how many times their innovations have been recycled. Once Electro had made dance-floors safe for Gary Numan, you'd think nothing could surprise anyone, and it now seems bizarre that house's combination of machine-driven rhythms and unabashed vocal sensuality should have provoked such hostility. From the Night Writers' hypnotic 'Let the Music Use You' to the enthralling 'Voodoo Ray' by the enigmatic A Guy Called Gerald, Classic House is a summer breeze. Ben Thompson

Vangelis: Bladerunner (East West, CD). Press 'play' and prepare to enter another bygone future. Contributions from the rather old-world Mary Hopkin, Demis Roussos and Peter Skellern lie alongside Vangelis's Fairlight synthesiser, the very latest word in digital technology in 1982. Samples of dialogue add to the sense of this being the definitive soundtrack, though its exact status remains problematic (the original album was largely an orchestral re-recording of the music from the film; this version includes material recorded but never used). Ethereal string sounds, techno-in-the-making rhythms and the delicious swooning sax (by Dick Morrissey) on the 'Love Theme' combine to make a marvellous memento of the film. Ambient house long before its time. Phil Johnson

THE IoS PLAYLIST

THE FIVE BEST SOUNDS OF THE MOMENT

Beastie Boys: Sabotage (Grand Royal, single). Exhilarating rap-metal racket, with a perfect Seventies-spoof video. BT

The Genuine Article - The Best of Howlin' Wolf (MCA, CD/tape). Among these 25 numbers are several of the most complete realisations of the devil's music ever recorded. BT

Crazy Horse: Crazy Horse (Warner Reprise Archives, CD). At last, a chance to hear Danny Whitten's original 'I Don't Want to Talk About It', since covered to death. PJ

Lully: Phaeton. Les Musiciens du Louvre / Minkowski (Erato, CD). A notable world premiere recording of one of the great Versailles spectacles, with which Lully forged the form of 17th- century French opera. Michael White

Bach: Cello Suites. Mischa Maisky (DG, two CDs). Distinguished 1985 recordings, resonant and thoughtful. MW

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