album reviews

    The Apes

    The Fugue in the Fog

    French Kiss

    *

    Fugue, n.: An imitative, polyphonic composition in which a theme or themes are stated successively in all of the voices of the contrapuntal structure.

    The Apes’ use of the word fugue is almost as distorted as everything else of on their first full-length album. A more appropriate and easily understood title could have gone something like: “”Marilyn Manson at a Carnival With a Stomachache.””

    Rather than pushing the edge of experimental music by doing things that have never been done before, The Apes take the very worst from the very best and make it their very own. Harsh and indistinguishable lyrics drown in a dark void of heavy guitar and an even heavier electric organ (complete with distortion) throughout the album.

    The Apes perform their music with a complete disregard for the notion that someone may have to listen to it someday — perhaps the way actual apes really would, had they the ability to play music.

    If one thing can be said of them, it is that they stay true to their name. It is a name that they are truly proud of, since four of their album’s song titles contain the word “”ape.”” They even announce on their third track that “”the apes are going to turn it on now,”” and screaming ensues.

    While the apes turn it on, the audience is only encouraged to turn it off by the harsh German whispers that linger in the back of their speakers’ cone.

    For those looking for the newest tangent of mirth in music, The Apes may be the best out there, but for those who are looking for music to actually listen to, a much better bet would be any other member of the primate family: either The Monkees or Gorillaz.

    — David Bynum

    Staff Writer

    Peter Murphy

    Dust

    Metropolis

    **

    While Peter Murphy’s latest album, “”Dust,”” is certainly original, it leaves much to be desired. Though Murphy describes his latest effort as “”part Trance, part alt-prog-rock, part classical, part pop,”” the album actually tries to please everyone and ends up pleasing very few.

    Classical and Turkish music are both prevalent throughout the album, but while both styles of music are beautifully composed and performed, the two are not well-combined; instead of complementing each other, they tend to clash. The final effect is like trying to watch television with the radio playing, which detracts from what could be nine very beautiful pieces of music.

    Even more distracting than the poorly arranged music are the lyrics. In some of the pieces, including “”Things to Remember,”” which opens the album, the lyrics are spoken rather than sung. The result gives the impression of a recorded poetry reading rather than a musical album.

    Even when the lyrics are sung, they don’t sound as serious as they’re supposed to. And with lyrics such as “”With every move now/ I’m the mover with the groove now”” from “”Just For Love,”” some of the songs are almost comical.

    However, some of the songs do have some rather interesting lyrics. “”Things to Remember”” opens with the somewhat thought-provoking lyrics, “”Things to remember when writing figures of speech and sound/ The power of poetry comes from the ability to defy logic.””

    Overall, “”Dust”” is a unique album with an interesting sound, even if it is somewhat flawed. But if this kind of music appeals to you, Peter Murphy will be here in San Diego on May 26, so you can hear him live.

    — Jessica Long

    Staff Writer

    Various Artists

    Verve Remixed

    Verve

    *****

    Grab 12 records from the world-famous jazz label Verve Records and toss it in a stainless-steel shaker with 12 of the best electronic music producers. Shake well, pour into your ears and you get “”Verve Remixed.””

    The album is filled with classic jazz tunes from the likes of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Astrud Gilberto and Shirley Horn. They were respectfully remixed by producers MJ Cole, the Thievery Corporation, Rae & Christian, and Tricky.

    The concept behind “”Verve Remixed”” took three years to develop while the right producers were selected to remix the best jazz records.

    The result is familiar jazz tunes via slick productions with deep, lush sounds.

    Dinah Washington’s classic tune “”Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby?”” was remixed by Manchester duo Rae & Christian. They drop deep bass grooves along with a simple trombone melody underneath Washington’s sultry vocals.

    UK garage specialist MJ Cole drops a sexy two-step beat to Carmen McRae’s “”How Long Has This Been Going On?”” The signature pizzicato melody adds a modern and upbeat motion to this tune.

    Masters At Work remixed Simone’s “”See-Line Woman.”” MAW said they have always been big fans of Simone and see Simone’s song as “”ahead of its time.”” Their respect for Simone shows in their production. MAW preserves some of the warm analog tones of the original recording with slight uses of digital production.

    For fans of jazz and electronic music, this is the perfect combination that pays homage to old classics with a great deal of respect.

    — Joseph Lee

    Hiatus Editor

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