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NEW RELEASES

Frank Black: Teenager of the Year (4AD, CD / LP / tape). As leader of the Pixies in the late 1980s, Frank Black (then called Black Francis) revolutionised cerebral, noisy rock. Over cacophonous guitars, he screamed extraordinary, punning songs about science-fiction and film noir, intermittently slipping into Spanish to show off his education. As an ingenious touch - much copied - he would omit the fourth beat of every second bar, impatient for acceleration. For similar reasons, he split the band in 1993. Teenager of the Year is his second solo album, a mammoth, kaleidoscopic follow-up to last year's Frank Black. It sounds like the Pixies on the beach: three-fifths bubblegum pop to two-fifths crazy surf. Lengthy and diverse, it's a 22-song toyshop for Black to play around in. Best of all, punctuating the sci-fi laments is a new, engagingly childlike look at Americana from a writer with limitless potential. David Cavanagh

Allan Barnes and David Newton: Like Minds (Fret, CD). Resolutely unfashionable, and with a catholicity of taste that works against easy pigeon-holing (he has played with both Humphrey Lyttelton and Mike Westbrook), Barnes has perhaps the most beautiful saxophone and clarinet sound of any British player. This excellent duo album shows him off to great effect, in flights of fancy given a holding weight by resourceful pianist Newton. The tunes are mainly standards - with lovely, heartfelt versions of 'Round Midnight' and 'The Peacocks' - and the delicate settings create an ambient jazz that bears hearing again and again. Phil Johnson

Mario Bauza and the Afro- Cuban Jazz Orchestra: 944 Columbus (Messidor, CD). Steaming salsa and Latin jazz from the godfather of the New York Afro-Cuban scene, who played with Dizzy Gillespie in the Cab Calloway band of the late 1930s and then directed his brother-in-law Machito's band for 35 years. This was recorded two months before Bauza's death last July, and features a 24-piece band including four screaming trumpets and five percussionists. Fat horn licks, ticking timbales and greasy-kid-stuff vocals are the order of the day, with expertly arranged brass and horn-section riffs chasing each other's tails around the faster tracks. PJ

THE IoS PLAYLIST

THE FIVE BEST SOUNDS OF THE MOMENT

David Byrne: David Byrne (WEA, CD / tape). Uneven, by his standards, but several of the 12 tracks get under your skin, led by the cheerfully lugubrious 'Sad Song'. Tim de Lisle

King Tubby & Friends: Dub Gone Crazy (Blood & Fire, CD). Pure listening pleasure from visionary Jamaican knob- twiddlers. Ben Thompson

Pulp: The Sisters (Island, EP). 'One man's fear of domestic interiors set to music.' BT

Strangelove: Time for the Rest of Your Life (Parlophone, single). A compelling panic attack from a hotly tipped Bristol band. DC

Primal Scream: Jailbird (Creation, single). Two great, nasty guitar riffs over a perfect drum loop. Simple, really. DC

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