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Music for Grassbars

Trance music can be deadeningly monotonous. Plateau's Music for Grassbars, a grab bag of "electrance," is no exception. Music for Grassbar's seventh "tune," "Chateau Plateau," starts out with the steady beat of ersatz tom-toms, which is quickly subsumed by what sounds like the Starship Enterprise sluicing through the intergalactic gloom. A stream of beeps and burps, hydraulic lift noises--and that's all there is. "Superskunk #3" is more like it. A circular percussive pattern is aided and abetted by staccato outbursts of synth sounds. "Purple Passion," surprisingly, is everything its name implies. There's real emotion here, unlike almost all the other dull gray tracks. Still, as Todd Rundgren (no stranger to electronic music) once put it, "A little more humanity please!" (Nicky Baxter)

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Da Organization
Da Organization

Da Organization must have missed the memo sent, oh, three years ago, that champagne sipping and women dissing went out like a Different Strokes reunion episode. Six rhymers appear on this self-titled rap sheet, but half of them sound like Bone Thugs-n-Harmony ("Dope Shit," "Can't Stop No Playa"). There are freaky tales ("The Back Door," "Get That Bitch") and Miami bass booty calls ("Dance 4 Me," "Bend Over"). It's all so played and plagiaristic that even Bill Gates couldn't save this Organization. Downsize immediately. (Todd S. Inoue)

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Long Hind Legs
Long Hind Legs
Kill Rock Stars

Listening to Long Hind Legs is about as thrilling as San Jose night life for under-21 college kids. Band members Wolfgang and Paul collaborate on sleepy, melodramatic and repetitive meanderings with industrial tendencies. The opening track, "Icarus Flew," a piano exercise straight out of the "Learn Arpeggios Through Repetition" workbook, sets the album's tone. Lack of variation again becomes the theme in "Alphabets of Unreason," with its quirky combination of milk-bottle percussion, leering guitars and the frequent, pained utterance "I want to kill." "What Are We Doing" and "A Curtain Is Drawn," which consist only of muffled guitars and hushed vocals, bastardize musical minimalism. Happily, the tragic twosome sets aside its ennui long enough to create a few successful--though unoriginal--modern-rock tunes: "Dogs Restrained" and "Open Wide." (Bernice Yeung)

Tu Plang
Warner Bros.

Regurgitator could be North America's answer to the Gang of Four if it had a sense of direction. Noisy and often sharply critical of the status quo, Tu-Plang (a pun on Wu Tang?) is an aural account of a society in decline. Unlike Jon King and company, however, Regurgitator seems set on staying static--it has no game plan. The lyrics to "Kong Foo Sing" are enigmatic, but the stomping, outsized beat--half Blue Oyster Cult metal, part Beastly Boyz rap--rips it up. "Social Disaster" flaunts a flotilla of pulsating drum beats, ringing bells and incomprehensible vocals. (NB)

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From the August 14-20, 1997 issue of Metro.

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