sorted magazine - issue 3

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Various Artists - Spawn - The Album (Sony)

A few years ago a soundtrack album came out that broke the mould of soundtrack albums. Instead of featuring b-sides and reject tracks by popular bands, it featured some of the most experimental music of the time. The album - "Judgement Night" and it paired hip-hop artists with indie/metal bands, creating some of the most exciting sounds of the time.

This album seems to be based on the same idea, but instead of hip-hop it pairs techno bands with indie/metal. Though, the division is not quite that clean cut.

In the main, these tracks are collaborations, so there really is something new in here. In the past, techno acts have done a lot of remixes for heavy bands, but they have not been involved in the original work. Here it's different, and it shows.

The best tracks on the album are the Butthole Surfers and Moby's "Tiny Rubberband" - a slow ditty with a wall of sound backing, Incubus and DJ Greyboy's "Familiar" - a very soulful dance piece which sounds very like classic Faith No More, and DJ Spooky's drum and bass remix of Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" - sacrilege in the eyes of most metal fans.

The divide between the bands gets blurred on Marilyn Manson and Sneaker Pimps' "Long Hard Road Out of Hell", Stabbing Westward and Wink's "Torn Apart" and Soul Coughing and Roni Size's "A Plane Scraped...". The question is which band is the indie band and who's doing the remixing? It shows how deeply techno has infiltrated all genres of music.

There are agressive heavy techno pairings like Filter and the Crystal Method, Korn and the Dust Brothers and Silverchair and Vitro, as well as dancier tracks like the reworking of Orbital's Butthole Surfers sample-based "Satan" featuring Kirk Hammet on guitars and,surprisingly, the edgy drum and bass of Henry Rollins and Goldie's "T-4 Strain".

There are one or two duff tracks, in particular the scream fest pairing of Slayer and Atari Teenage Riot. "No Remorse (Iwanna die)" is just a lightening fast mess of guitars, drum bears and male and female screaming.

It is very nice to see that somebody out there has an interest in trying to do something new, and in general this album is a great success.

by Donnacha DeLong