This week's Rock and Dance album releases

MOBY | Moby/ Ambient/ Rare/ Early Underground HOT TUNA | Best of Hot Tuna: Uncanned SEB FONTAINE | Prototype 3 GUS GUS | Gus Gus vs T-World
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The Independent Culture

MOBY | Moby/ Ambient/ Rare/ Early Underground (Pinnacle)

When Play was released early last year it got a rather underwhelming response from most critics, who'd long since tired of trying to keep up with Moby's vast and eclectic output. But everybody else slowly warmed to it, and now he's enjoying his highest level of popularity since the 1992 rave anthem "Go". Inevitably, Pinnacle has reissued everything he recorded before signing to Mute in 1993. From house to thrash metal, from the underrated Ambient album to "Thousand" (which peaks at just over 1,000 bpm), Moby has tried the lot. Much of it has dated, much of it was unlistenable in the first place, but a surprising amount of his material remains fun, fresh and lively. LAURENCE PHELAN

HOT TUNA | Best of Hot Tuna: Uncanned (Eagle Rock)

Hot Tuna, the semi-acoustic breakaway from 1960s psychedelic politicos Jefferson Airplane, was based round guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady. This compilation is drawn from 1970s recordings, most long discontinued. Tracks range from sparse bass-and-guitar arrangements of blues standards ("Death Don't Have No Mercy") to plangent rock ("Hit Single No 1" - which, sadly, wasn't). Kaukonen's finger-picking guitar is excellent throughout, while Casady's jazz-influenced bass-lines plunge from top-of-the-register icy keening to threatening distant thunder along the bottom string. A must for bass freaks who like their blues with a tang of acid. ANDY FARQUARSON

SEB FONTAINE | Prototype 3 (Boxed)

The Global Underground series has tended to be a cut above your average compilation of hit-singles-mixed-by-astar-DJ-on-their-night-off, and this is no exception. Fontaine, a resident at Cream and the latest DJ to get promoted from Kiss FM to the premier league of Radio 1, is renowned for experimenting with new styles and integrating different genres in his mixes. Prototype 3 takes you on a deep and dark journey through progressive and hard house, underground techno, big beat and trance, finding a couple of crowd pleasers (Chemical Brothers, Moby) along the way. Let's hope Fontaine has to create many more Prototypes before he's satisfied with the real thing. LP

GUS GUS | Gus Gus vs T-World (4AD)

Since last year's well-received This Is Normal album, the nine-piece Icelandic band Gus Gus appear to have shed six band members and all their live instruments. It was a wise move - Stephen Stephensen, Biggi Thorarinsson and Herb Legowitz have produced a purely electronic, tight, sparse and beautiful album of trance and tech-house. Hypnotic melodies undergo subtle changes and the dubby bass-lines gradually mutate, while the percussion takes its time building up. The result is akin to a very mellow strain of Goa Trance - somehow both tranquil and majestic - and I find it rather evocative of Iceland's vast, glacial expanses. Not that I've ever been there, of course. LP

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