audio jon arga & txabi fun-tsak



When you listen to "California" you might be forgiven for thinking that this Irishman has left behind his trip-hop crooner roots. He's much lighter and more organic on this, his third studio recording. He probably felt that if he didn't change the style he started with the amazing "Perry Blake", he would end up trapped by his own creativity. That's what normally happens to most artists who neverendingly repeat themselves. This certainly seems to have inspired him to strip his pop songs of trip-hop and dress them up in soul instead. You could say that he had Motown and Burt Bacharach in mind when he recorded this one. There's a nod to Marvin Gaye and his "What's going on?" and a few brief glimpses of David Bowie, too. There's sensational orchestration and some wonderful play-around with falsetto and his naturally deep voice. There's some great melancholic yet hopeful melodies here, too. Mister Blake has come up with a dinger of a record at the right time. The results of the record more than justify his reasons for changing. The change even reinforces the quality of the previous records.



No other love (New West Records)

I think we got one of the best records of the year here. I really do. The ex-Green On Red man seems to have finally come up trumps with his seventh solo release. At times it sounds like this man is redefining the sound of alternative country. This could be where the future is at. Fortunately for us, it's not the future yet and we can listen and enjoy this now. He has been defined as a 21st century traditionalist, and not without reason. He is up to his neck in his way of doing new americana, a style of music he knows like no-one else. He's somewhere between Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Beck. But he's Chuck Prophet, he's no imitator.



“Reset” G-Stone/Satelite K

Another release from the German factory known as GStone. This time round they offer us a re-mix of a record released a couple of years back by Peter Kruder under the name of "Tosca". Yep, yer man with the plaster. It's certainly worth a listen. There are very few re-mixes knocking around these days with this global level and that do justice to the originals. Well, this is one. The whole thing has been supervised by the author and the likes of Truby Trio, Meitz, Gotan Project or Zero Db do a more than acceptable job of numbers like "Double Drums" or "The Man" (on two occasions just like domination). This album full of breaks, touches of Latin, a bit of dub and potent bass, all given a different sheen thanks to the particular filter used by the re-mixers in question, results in a very dignified album for all those cantidadde bluffs that hide themselves away in remixed compilations. If we had to single out any of the tracks, we'd have to mention Raw Deal, ideal for the dance floor, and "The Man" by Kosma, ideal for all you couch potatoes.



“Hitchhiking Non-stop with no particular Destination” K-7

So, here we have German boys Terranova's latest album. This lot are responsible for some of the most electronic hip-hop. That definition is actually a bit misleading this time round. Terranova have gone down into the cellar for this one - darkness and apocalyptic voices abound. Hip-hop is still the main thread to their music but on this new record they look back in time and reminisce with sordid rock and punk and look forward to the future as they explore new sound frontiers. This record sounds dirty, unnerving and is certainly not easy to listen to. Pure underground. There are some great guest appearances on vocals from Cath Coffey (Stereo MCs) and the New York poet Mike Ladd. He raps of a stunning track titled "Sublime". Terranova are back! I hope all the pretty boys are ready!