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  Listen Up! 4/3/02 Listen Up!

Wednesday, Apr. 3

Various Artists, "D'Afro Disco: Garri Mix," Codek Records. Very mysterious packaging lets me in on few secrets. This is African music of some sort, Nigerian sounding to my admittedly less than knowledgeable ears, remixed into something that could fit on contemporary Western dancefloors. These grooves build up into monsters, with percussion and guitars and flutes and trumpets and keyboards and percussion and percussion and the occasional special effects. Actually, even in the remixed form, the biggest difference between this music and contemporary Western dance music is the ebb and flow and climaxes of these cuts. Everything seems related to what comes before and what comes next. The remixes raise the bass drum to the forefront, and maybe more of the cymbals, but these rhythms are so complex, so alive with movement, that you can't kill them. Very exciting stuff.

Mummydogs, "Mummydogs," Frontier Records. I don't know when this is coming out, but it's the welcome return of former Thin White Rope guitarist/singer/songwriter Guy Kyser. His distinctive growl remains intact, and here he's joined on several songs by a thin female vocalist harmonizing with him. His nasty guitar tone is also intact, though I seriously miss the intertwining lines of his former partner Russ Kunkel (that was his name, wasn't it?). The rhythm section may be a little thin, especially the drummer, who stays out of the way, but doesn't pack enough wallop. I'm not sure if these songs are as strong as the best of his old band, though I'm very much enjoying "Red Bandana." He has the sense to drop in a few obscure covers, especially the exquisite "Ask Me No Questions" from the late Johnny Thunders. I'm not sure when this will be released, but I'm quite happy to be able to hear it.

Rolling Stones, "Singles Collection: The London Years," Abkco Records. Once upon a time, this was the only CD box set I owned. Hard to believe it's been out for 13 years now. Suffice it to say there's very little filler on a collection of the singles released by the Stones in the 60s. Three CDs of blistering r'n'b transforming into rock'n'roll originality before your very ears. There's nothing I can say but remind you of its existence: you already know if you need it or not.

--Steve Pick



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