Arts and Entertainment Disclosure, Settle (PMR)

The Lawrence brothers duo Disclosure has been touted as the saviour of UK dance music, which makes one wonder at just how bad a state UK dance music must be in. Featuring track after track of drab, methodical beats plodding along laboriously behind finicky little hihat moves and quacking synth lines, it's the kind of dance music that makes dancing a dreary duty.

Pop review: Into the world music zone

Dreadzone The Junction, Cambridge

Preview: Rock: Explosions from a chemistry set

The Chemical Brothers The Point, Belfast

POP: Spiritualized, Royal Albert Hall, London

The Albert Hall is an appropriate spot for the climax of Jason Pierce's spiritual mission to date. Versed in pop's most arcane languages, transcending them in tandem with chemical experiments intended to put him and his listeners beyond earthly cares, Pierce's mission has never been better understood or supported. From The Verve's Urban Hymns to The Chemical Brothers' Dig Your Own Hole, we're all spiritual now. The LP by Pierce's band Spiritualized, Ladies and Gentlemen, We are Floating in Space, a reverie on the edge of a fading relationship, is this mood's most perfect expression. In the Albert Hall, the ghosts of Pierce's predecessors were all about him.

A typology of turntable technicians

The Disc Jockey Superannuated personalities like Jimmy Savile used to chatter inanely while a white-coated technician lowered the needle on the latest 45.

Live and direct

Wall of Sound All Stars Special Mary Ann Hobbs' Show, Radio 1

No more Orange Juice...

His tunes snarl, his lyrics sneer, he snipes at pop music's pets; but perhaps selling two million records has given Edwyn Collins something to smile about. The self-cast outsider says never. By Nick Hasted

Too old to rock? The Professor of Pop thinks they may be

In the fickle world of rock 'n' roll, where overnight sensations frequently become overnight has-beens, only the truly gifted (or the truly fortunate) can make the distance.

Poetry, art, music? I'll take mine without the blood

It was a remarkable day, said one commentator, which all the people involved would remember for the rest of their lives. "This is no occasion to croon softly," announced the song sheet handed out as they descended in their thousands from coaches, trains and private cars, "We are just a few yards from the West End, so let's really put on a show."

Pop & Jazz: Lionrock play the Essential Music Festival, Brighton

Now we live in the era of The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers and Underworld, the phrase "dance music has no identity" has long since been pensioned off, thankfully. But live, the somewhat less than sexy banks of computers and electronics tend to be as much in your face as the music. Which is one reason Justin Robertson can't understand why his fully formed band Lionrock regularly get thrown in the regular dance camp. "People still compare us to The Chemical Brothers and a lot of other techno bands, but we are just nothing like them," he insists. "My roots are in a dance background, and I'm good friends with The Chemical Brothers and we've played with them, but we are trying to do something different. Dance music was very liberating for me because it destroyed the band format. But now it's forming its own kind of rules, but we step out of that trap."



Rock Records: Charlatans: Tellin' Stories (Beggar's Banquet, CD/LP/tape ).

Respect, as they say, is due. The Charlatans have swum through a sea of troubles - most recently, the death of their organist, Rob Collins - but they have kept their heads above water, and kept themselves sounding upbeat.

Chemical Brothers Brixton Academy, London

How do you perform the album of the year? The Chemical Brothers' Dig Your Own Hole holds the title for now, opening up techno to rock'n'roll, funk, hip-hop, folk and psychedelia, warping the chemical beats of their debut into something more startling still. They could have been forgiven for expecting a similarly wide-ranging crowd at their post-album London homecoming, a gathering of the tribes which would require careful sonic catering. The reality was very different. It wasn't a hip-hop crowd, as scratch and breakbeat originators Kool Hero and Grand Wizard Theodore, 1970s rap legends brought to Britain in tribute by the Brothers, found out as they were howled off the stage.

Knob-twistingly powerful


The Chemical Brothers Dig Your Own Hole Virgin XDUSTCD2

ANDY GILL ON ALBUMS; 'They're the group least likely to do an MTV "Unplugged" session'

Beth Orton The Garage, London

"This is my favourite," said Beth Orton. "It's called `Galaxy of Emptiness' and I like it because I'm a miserable cow." Backtrack to 1990, and the age of the shoegazer, and you'd be bracing yourself for a deafening wall of noise that used to have a tune attached.
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