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Album Cover Q-Burns Abstract Message - Feng Shui (Astralwerks)

Named after the anally retentive Chinese philosophy that concerns itself with the best place to put your furniture, Q-Burn's debut lives up to its prissy namesake. In theory, Q-Burns is American big-beat. Appearances on Wall of Sounds Compilations and moody 12s would seem to back this up. However, in practice Michael Donaldson spends the best part of an hour playing housewife to Big Beat's sloppy teenager.

With the exception of the gasoline driven 'He's a Skull' and the Air on adrenaline of 'Talking Box', Donaldson does his best to tidy up Big Beat's sloppy great beats and ugly great riffs with an immaculate production and shiney warm techno strings. Sometimes it pays of with the Balearic stabs of Leela, but mostly it lazes about the pool polishing its nails. Worse than still, he appears to have followed Deep Dish some way along the road of naff vocalists and employed a drippy sixth former to write and sing over a couple of the tracks. With less care and attention "Feng Shui" wouldn't be the aural equivalent of someone plumping up the cushions. Right time, wrong place.

by Rob Lowe.