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The High Llamas | Lollo Rosso (Alpaca Park)
Man on the case, Sean O'Hagan, procures the six trendiest avant-garde artists on the planet to make the remix of Cold & Bouncy and produces the surprise of the year. In interviews from the last two years O'Hagan has been at pains to not over stress the BEACH BOYS/BRIAN WILSON influence. That influence may have peaked with the Hawaii album and waned considerably on Cold & Bouncy. Out go all the old NEIL YOUNG, STEELY DAN and LENNONisms too. Instead we are asked to embrace a music with little specific human personality and yet which, curiously, has a 'free us and refresh us' quality rather than a cold alienating effect. Even more than most remix albums the invited players put their own stamp on the seven tracks and several produce career highlights. MOUSE ON MARS' Showstop Hic Hup is a great opening track ?? play it loud and it is Premier League dance music whilst at living room volume its gentle humour and eastern flavour recalls the best moments on Taora Tahiti. KID LOCO's The Space Raid Remix finds its own intoxicating little groove but, before we get too comfortable, pulls the rug from under our feet and replaces the experience with something even more sexy. When you consider the other artists featured ?? CORNELIUS, SCHNEIDER TM, STOCK HAUSEN & WALKMAN and JIM O'ROURKE ?? it could be a good introduction to rock's avant-garde. Those who hope for Holland and Smile may be stretched a little uncomfortably. Those who've tired of conventional song structure and melodic developments will have fun.

Stephen Ridley
CWAS #4 - Winter 1998/9 - The Lost Issue