ELEC­TRON­ICA

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - CDs REVIEWS - Jim Car­roll Jim Car­roll

SUSANNA & THE MAG­I­CAL ORCHES­TRA Melody Moun­tain Rune Gram­mo­fon ★★★

The kooky cover ver­sion has had many cham­pi­ons in re­cent years. It was their spacey, grainy, trou­bled take on Dolly Par- ton’s Jo­lene, for in­stance, that stole all the head­lines on Nor­we­gian singer Susanna Wal­lum­rod and pro­lific in­stru­men­tal­ist Morten Qven­lid’s de­but album, List of Lights and Buoys. Per­haps this ex­plains why the duo have aban­doned their own com­po­si­tions for this voy­age in favour of tack­ling a range of rock and pop stan­dards. Min­i­mal­ist in range and mono­chrome in tex­ture, it’s left to Wal­lum­rod’s voice and Qven­lid’s ar­range­ments to spike each tune. Stripped of their usual bom­bast, metal an­thems from Kiss (Crazy, Crazy Nights) and AC/DC (It’s a Long Way to the Road) are turned into melan­cholic, soul­ful odes. While the world re­ally doesn’t need any more ver­sions of Hal­lelu­jah or Love Will Tear Us Apart, the duo’s treat­ment of Depeche Mode’s En­joy the Si­lence is beau­ti­fully haunt­ing and lovelorn. www.su­san­na­m­ag­i­cal.com

VAR­I­OUS The Kings of Techno BBE

Any­one who pur­chases the latest in the ex­cel­lent Kings of . . . se­ries ex­pect­ing a straight-ahead techno com­pi­la­tion should keep the re­ceipt to hand. Both Laurent Garnier and Carl Craig are techno roy­alty, but they’re also DJs/pro­duc­ers who have the mea­sure of the sound’s width and depth. As a re­sult, their in­di­vid­ual takes on where techno is com­ing from are hugely idio­syn­cratic as well as highly en­ter­tain­ing. Garnier’s Detroit per­spec­tive is a con­sid­ered trib­ute to the mu­sic of the Mo­tor City, from the star­ried soul singers (Aretha Franklin’s Rock Steady) and scuzzy garage rock of the ’ 60s (The Stooges) to the mu­sic cre­ated when the ma­chines aban­donded the car as­sem­bly lines for the dance­floor, such as BFC’s Galaxy and Ar­panet’s alien NTT DoCoMo. Craig’s Euro­pean per­spec­tive is a cull of the sounds from the old world that have in­flu­enced his­made-in­Detroit sounds, in­clud­ing Vis­age, Nitzer Ebb, The Black Dog and the slip­pery, slith­ery pop of Yello. It’s very much the far side of the techno equa­tion. www.bbe­mu­sic.com

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