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Saint-Just, Diorama, Regent's Park
French revolutionary-named beat combo want to instill the terror

I like the way Saint-Just emerge unannounced from a small crowd of bystanders who think they've turned up to an exhibition by a YBA. This is situationism at its most hilarious. An arts centre is a low-key venue for a gig, although if their taxi driver is to be believed it's the only place in town that'll let them play.

A minute into their set and we find out why when a fight breaks out between the drummer and the wheelchair-bound Hammond player. Amazingly, despite the obvious mismatch, the Hammond player gets the upper hand in an instant with a decisive headlock (it wasn't clear to me that this person's disability was genuine).

Once order is restored it's on with the show and 'Defenestration Girl', a song which you wouldn't dedicate to a relative without a sense of humour: 'I went out of my mind/you went out of your window'. Obviously not one to be swayed by good taste, the guitarist dedicates the next song to dead dictator-Asian hater Idi Amin.

Saint-Just don't sound remotely 'in tune' with the times. They've even made a deliberate effort to de-garage themselves. What they do have is a complex take on modern dance: Keith Moon drum fills, guitars obviously, an inaudible Hammond organ (best place for it), and a vocalist who gyrates like a stripper (who's had lessons) and sounds like Joni Mitchell (and could do with some). It all makes for an incongruous rhythmic racket that isn't easy listening.

The final song of the evening, 'Talkin' 'Bout the Intifada Blues', has not so much an air of controversy about it as commercial suicide written all over it.

You can't help but like their style, but I leave the venue watching my back.

Plenty more reviews can be found at the WhoreCull's Sonic Truth blog


Got a drug problem? Read Mallarmé? Aged between 18-25 with a militant ambition to blow up the contemporary music scene? If so then we demand to hear from you.

Producer and impresario seeking fe/male lead singer to front nihilist pop group. Good voice essential, good singer secondary. Guitar playing and long legs may be an advantage. Influences: themselves.Auditions will be held in central London at the end of November at a venue tba. More details to follow.

To make the auditions write and tell us why you should be there:

Absolutely no stage school kids so don't even waste your time.

click here for an old interview with MB
In an interview in DJ, LFO's Mark Bell argued that mass availability of cheap software programmes is blunting musicology: "There are so many producers using software [rather than 'machines'] to produce and so much of it is music by numbers. People think modern electronic music is experimental but it's not, the tones and frequencies were explored 60 years ago… The difference between making music with software and working a track through machines is like playing football with a Playstation rather than in your local park." Fancy, we are now in a world where 'machines' are the luddite's objects! So Bell would concede his new Sheath album is hardly the groundbreaker of the first LP, but at least there is quality in them there bleeps and squeaks.

What else has been filling our ears and adjusting our cameras? Is the musical lingua franca of the day, urban r&b, beginning to look a bit des temps perdu? Missy Elliot in sickening Gap!!!!!!! Ad with child book writer Madonna. Relentless exploitation of form by every poppish up-and-coming or indeed established act. Oh sure the Neptunes' latest lp was top of the charts on both side of the atlantic but those perfectly-formed stutter beats are getting tired. They themselves seemed to have realised by doing the odd dancehall thing. we love you really Missy! click here for her UK site

Scions of the garage scene have gone back in time. Decrying the futuristic side of Horsepower Productions, Darqwan, Phuturistix et al, this lot are now being bracketed as 'urban house' as the garagers look to a bit more linear four-beat to keep the funk. Spoony and co have been going back on it for a while. 'House FM' is one of the popular pirates, but it gets as much missed calls for the rewind, the mcs checking the last three numbers for their coded recognition. In some cases it's the 95/96 'speed' strain they played anyway: ie, it's backward looking. But there are handy commercial similarities with the funkier strands of mainstream house.

Keeping their energy up by looking back too, House & Techno Inc has been mining the 80s themes, and ravier sounds have been creeping in for a while too. Scene 'giants' The Chemical Brothers doff cap on B-side 'Nude Night', yet A-side with Lips' Coyne sounds like U2!!! Reports of clubbing's demise have to be ignored. When a pill is less than a pint it will remain a viable youth culture option for instilling neurosis, psychosis and erasing brain cells...

So the garage-breaks scene is where drum & bass was when it went more techy - still 'forward' but too cutting-edge for the happy uncomplicated masses. There are links to the wider breaks and d&b scenes. Others, like Wookie, are doing their own thing; look for his stuff on Casual.

Back to rock, and Travis' Healy was accusing all non-travisites as lying to themselves about the quality and the attraction of their music. We must like it, he twanged. No, our musical guidebooks are set in 2003 and we really are too sophisticated to fall for this plastic celt shit. Not according to him. Yet Rabid's music and those of their nu-acoust pop contemps remain mostly a contagion, the aural equivalent of eating stale Ginster's while car fumes foul your senses at Watford Gap. Elsewhere, their mainstream collaborators radio 1 continue to grind teeth. Northern Irish Colin and Scottish Edith are certainly enthusiastic enough. Every tune, band, gig and festival is presented with ultra-subjective misguided passion - every act 'genius'. No wonder listeners turn off in droves to the auntie's popular music offering when everything is viewed in rose-tinted glasses.

Fin: Simon Munnery on Resonance fm: "Saying one thing and doing another - that's hypocrisy. Saying many things and doing nothing - that's democracy."



[ DONT NEED TO KNOW 20/05/2006 05:36:17]

[ DONT 20/05/2006 05:36:30]

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