Beatles and rhymes
The stoopid-clever high-concept hiphop curiosity of the week award goes to Danger Mouse for dropping Jay-Z 's Black Album rhymes over joints built from the Beatles ' White Album to create - you guessed it - The Grey Album. The disc works better on paper than in your CD player, since Danger Mouse lacks the studio finesse to pull off the Frankensteinian flip, yet it's a highly entertaining novelty piece nonetheless. Since none of the music appears to be properly licensed, The Grey Album is being sold on the down-low. Nobody tell Michael Jackson .
Ever wonder why Super Furry Animals sound so strange? Well, it's not just because they're from Wales. Our Furry friends (at the Phoenix tonight, Thursday, February 5; see interview, page 32) had their minds warped by listening to their parents' trippy Meic Stevens records. Most of Stevens's early-70s releases are sadly out of print, but his rare English-language masterpiece, Outlander - imagine Roky Erickson revising Nick Drake 's Pink Moon - has recently been reissued by Rhino 's online collectors subsidiary Handmade (www.rhinohandmade.com) with nine unreleased bonus tracks. And if you happen to be in Cardiff, stop by the City Arms and buy Meic a pint for me.
Some of the most adventurous music ever to cause a dance-floor ruckus was created by New York's Arthur Russell and slipped into the sets of forward-looking DJs Larry Levan and Walter Gibbons during the early 80s disco boom. Russell's jazzy, dubbed-out club bangers - recorded under aliases Dinosaur L and Loose Joints - could make the reckless rhythms of Liquid Liquid and ESG seem oddly conventional. Twenty years on, Russell's jams like Go Bang, compiled on The World Of Arthur Russell (Soul Jazz), still sound remarkably fresh and vital.
While the interest in all things 80s continues, Mos Def couldn't let the trend pass him by without a cash-in bid, and it's a good one. On the b-side of his new white-label 12-inch Ludacris collabo, Jump Off, you'll hear Mos Def getting busy over a loop of the Clash 's Magnificent Dance. Some selectas will undoubtedly seize the opportunity to cut in the Clash's Magnificent Seven, but those blessed with deeper crates will be mixing in Risco Connection 's Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now to mad props from sweaty steppers.