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The Independent Culture
dEUS `The Ideal Crash' (Island) Following the excellent new album by Wilco, these quirky Belgians spring a surprise on their third CD by largely eschewing their chaotic indie pop moments, delivering a great and more mature album that even has a country-rock track. Warm but still deliciously wicked. HHHH

Bis `Social Dancing' (Wiija) On one level this is an annoying Eighties disco rehash with noodles inspired by the Human League, but there's enough madness going on here for it to attain an endearing quality. With its Andy Gill production, it's ultimately well worth checking out. HHH

Skunk Anansie `Post Orgasmic Chill' (Virgin) When they thrash around, Skunk Anansie are certainly exhilarating, but the more they add - drum'n'bass, hip-hop, swirly eastern noises - the more Skin's vocals sound overly theatrical. No epic tracks and few thrills. HH

Various Artists `Sound of the Suburbs' (Channel 4/Shifty Disco) Considering its extreme eclecticism, this flows well from the jangly pop of the Samurai Seven through to the Delgados and Robert Wyatt. It's mostly a host of unknowns trying everything from country to drum'n'bass. Just like listening to one of Peel's madder radio shows, really. HHH

Various Artists `The Trip' (Channel 4/Shifty Disco) A concept double CD tied in with the C4 series featuring more than two hours of space-themed dance sounds from the chilling Mogwai to the banging techno of Luke Slater - with lots of good cheesy space-age samples thrown in for good effect. HHH

HHHHH outstanding HHHH very good

HHH good HH average H poor