SOURCElabs – 16 Classiques de 1995 –  2002

Back in 1995 Source released their first compilation album, Sourcelab 1, calling in favours from the new downtempo French artists that had come to the fore in the 90’s. Two more compilations followed, Sourcelab 2 and 3, featuring the now internationally successful laid back electronic pioneers like Air and Daft Punk. This album is the distillation of the best of those compilations.

This collection has jazz tinged sixties echoes alongside brooding urban menace, soul snippets and funk riffs, scratching and samples galore. From the sweet beginnings of ‘Espéce Funk’ through to the disco madness of Daft Punk there is a barely a common thread between the tracks, but nonetheless, the whole album manages to gel into a magnificent whole.

’16 Classiques…’ is a fine primer if you want to get into downtempo and an excellent buy if you already are. The UK version of the album also comes with an additional disk of bonus material from current Source artists.

Label : SOURCE

Release Date : 27 January 2003

Tracklisting

  • CD1
  • DJ Gilb’r – Especefuink
  • Air – Modulor Mix
  • Daphreephunkateerz – Nuphunk
  • Motorbass – Bad Vibes
  • La Chatte Rouge – Ecouter Fumer
  • Alex Gopher – Mandrake
  • Main Basse Sur La Ville – Hunt One Connection
  • Daft Punk – Musique (version longue)
  • CD2
  • Alex Gopher – Gordini Mix
  • Air – Casanova 70 (Brendan Lynch Mix)
  • Chateau Flight – Mondorama
  • I:cube – Power Sandwich
  • Scratch-Pet-Land – Post-It
  • Le Tone – Jean-Jacques Et Les Dauphins
  • Mozesli – Sunshine
  • Black Strobe – Paris Acid City
  • Liars – They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top

    Hailing from New York and frequently sharing the bill with acts like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are the frantic Liars. Mixing stacatto vocals with hard throbbing guitars, great bass lines and the all important pounding drums; The Liars have a contagious spirit that you can’t ignore. Boasting some of the most intriguing song titles ever thought of they are more than just another New York garage rock band. There is an expectation you get when listening, wondering where they are going to take you next. The Liars do not dissapoint in any aspect. These guys should be great stars, and I’m sure they will be before long.

    It’s hard to think of another band that has the same disregard for convention that can so seemingly effortlessly create a record that surprises with out falling into the ‘challenging’ category of unlistenable drivel.

    A massively talented band who will blow you away. 5/5

    Label : Mute

    Release Date : Out Now

    Tracklisting

    Grown Men Don’t Fall In The River, Just Like That
    Mr Your On Fire Mr
    Loose Nuts On The Velodrome
    The Garden Was Crowded And Outside
    Tumbling Walls Buried Me In The Debris With ESG
    Nothing Is Ever Lost Or Can Be Lost My Science friend
    We Live NE Of Compton
    Why Midnight Walked But Didn’t Ring Her Bell
    The Dust Makes That Mud

    Miss Black America – God Bless Miss Black America

    I can see what Miss Black America were tying to do, they wanted to be the voice of the disaffected youth of today, sum up the mood of a million quashed teenage dreams and have the Daily Mail demonise them as inciting barely post pubescent depressives to acts of public disobedience. But where The Specials and The Jam (for example) had tapped the mood of a generation and arguably took music in new directions, MBA’s debut retreads old and dated ground.

    There is a problem with is kind of music and that is that politics and music rarely mix well. The tune or the flow of the lyrics is so often stretched to breaking point by the weight of the message. Not so much here, although the views expressed are frequently expressed by laughable analogies. Leaning by rote is equated to indoctrination in the style of NAZI propaganda. I mean, seriously, that is just absurd. Like oh-so-many agit-popsters and protest song writers, Miss Black America end up sounding like whining malcontents with not only the weight of the world on their shoulders but the oppressive mass of the huge chips they have lodged there permanently.

    Despite those problems this album is still pleasant, unobtrusive, and upbeat background music. Turned up a few notches on your stereo it has some numbers you can thrash about to (I hesitate to call the movements I make to music ‘dancing’ for fear of trading standards taking exception). The whole album would have benefited from being so much harder and up-front. God Bless Miss Black America is too much like a high fibre, low fat, and caffeine free rebellion. Too clean, too precise and way too sanitised. This album has ended up being a harmless piece of indie pop fluff rather than a riotous aural affront to the senses and the mind. It pulls back from the brink when it should soar triumphantly, and is blandly pedestrian when it should be building raw emotion.

    If you have never heard any MBA then I can tell you that they are very much like Power Of Dreams and a bit like The Police (And not just the bit of ‘Message in a Bottle’ they have nicked wholesale – sorry, it’s probably paying homage – for the opener ‘Human Punk’),

    All in all, it’s too nice. This could be down to their producers rather than the band. I have never seen them live, but don’t believe they would have the reputation they have without a far more powerful live set than this CD would have me imagine.

    They sound like they have had a forced charisma-ectomy. 2/5

    Label : Integrity Records

    Release Date : Out Now

    Website : www.missblackamerica.net

    Track listing

    Human Punk
    Strobe
    Car Crash For A Soul
    Infinate Chinese Box
    Roadkill
    Personal Politics
    Talk Hard
    Scream For Me
    Don’t Speak My Mind
    Miss Black America
    Montana

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