Australia is not the first place you think of as a crate-digger's paradise. But these 20 slices from the country's early-Seventies season in commercial R&B and pop-jazz fusion are a lively lesson in the ingenious adaption of imported trends over an extreme distance. This is overwhelmingly white funk: "Back on the Street Again," an Etta James cover by Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, and the ID's "Feel Awlright" are examples of hot shots from Australia's Sixties-beat and heavy-rock scenes finding their dance-floor feet; a track by the progressive-rock band Tamam Shud comes from the soundtrack to a 1971 surfing documentary. But it is all robust fun with intriguing sampling prospects.
LIKE an early taste of summer, the new double CD compilation of ‘So Frenchy So Chic’ is here, with yet another great line up. Now is the chance to hear some of the musical acts who will appear at the January picnic parties in Melbourne and Sydney, such as Lou Doillon, who will be playing songs from her highly acclaimed folk rock record ‘Lay Low’. There is also the wonderful voice of the Franco-Moroccan singer Hindi Zahra, whose music is drenched in a hypnotic world blues universe.