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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

CD review

Beastie Boys "Hello Nasty"

Grand Royal

The New York trio known to everyone except possibly their mothers as Ad Rock, Mike D and MCA are taking a break from saving Tibet to produce their first full-length album in four years. And a fine album it is, too.

"Hello Nasty" exudes the same kind of appealing idiot chic that has brought the threesome such success and, as ever, there's no shortage of the signature daft lyrics -- including the plain silly rhyming of "soft-spoken" with "pannenkoeken" (Dutch pastries, apparently).

"Super Disco Breakin'" is a gutsy opener with booming beats. "Song For the Man" is a breezy, summery slice of pop, and the current single "Intergalactic" bizarrely enough features rapping over a chunk of Rakhmaninov's Prelude in C minor.

"Can't, Don't, Won't Stop" is another high point with its descending riff, limping beat and Grandmaster Flash sample.

"Hello Nasty" is a fitting return for an old favorite. If this sells it will be for all the right reasons.

DJ Krush and Toshinori Kondo "Ki-Oku"

Apollo (R&S Records)

Japan's leading purveyor of moody hip-hop beats returns to the fray with an excursion into jazz, with trumpeter Kondo as his accomplice. The album has inspired moments, mostly in the beginning, but it seems to lose its way in the middle.

"Toh-Sui" is a sprightly, tuneful opener driven by an insistent beat, while "Mu-Getsu" features haunting, reflective trumpets over a sulky hip-hop backing.

Thumbs may well be twiddled during "Mu-Chu," one of the longest tracks but also the weakest. Things look up, though, when the swing beat of "Bu-Seki" sees DJ Krush pick up the tempo.

This is an interesting idea that probably shouldn't have been stretched to a whole album.

Lo-Fidelity Allstars "How to Operate With a Blown Mind"


The latest offering from Skint, the home of the Big Beat, is an intriguing hour of funk with a ragged electronic edge. The Lo-Fidelity Allstars blend live instruments with programmed beats and make intelligent use of samples, resulting in an album that gets going roughly every other track.

"Kasparov's Revenge" is a chunky, dirty piece of funk and has mercifully little to do with chess. The title track builds from slow muttering to a mellow, but slightly menacing, hook. "Battleflag" also stands out as a complicated, slinky journey to the heart of funk.

Listening to this gives you the impression that the band is probably fantastic live, but their debut album doesn't quite hold up to close scrutiny.

Catatonia "International Velvet"

Blanco y Negro (Warner)

Catatonia excels at the kind of music you hate to find yourself humming in the shower -- but do anyway. It's not awful as such, but the word "predictable" doesn't do it justice.

It passes by pleasantly enough -- even the frequently asinine lyrics, which can be amusing. On the title track, Cerys Matthews declares in her girlier-than-thou voice that "Every day when I wake up / I thank the Lord I'm Welsh," which just has to be ironic. Doesn't it ?

It has catchy tunes. People will probably buy it -- and hum it in the shower.

All of the above releases are available at Purple Legion, 44 Ulitsa Svobody, 495-7391, M. Skhodnenskaya and 7/4 Ulitsa Gvozdeva, M. Taganskaya.