Sun City Girls "Static From the Outside Set (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vol. 14)"
I had heard absolutely no SCG before listening to this record, and it probably wasn't the greatest place to start. I immediately got the distinct impression that "radio show" records never work. It's a quirky concept on paper - make an album sound like a continuous flow from some ethereal DJ (in this case Mexican film legend Cantinflas), but it rarely, if ever, works in practice. Sun City Girls, however, created this album especially for the On The Wire show at BBC Radio Lancashire and was played in its entirety once on the airwaves, so the aesthetic is at least given some legitimacy, despite still being pretty irritating.
Probably best known for their Sublime Frequencies label, which puts out a huge range of folk, pop and other genre-less musics from around the world, here the Sun City Girls are at their most enjoyable at their most "foreign" sounding. The lilting piano melodies and acoustic guitar drones create a far more palatable atmosphere than the "joke" songs (like a cover of Summer Dream). I'm totally not digging the cheesy jazz-metal blasts, and then it takes longer to get back into the album than necessary because of the numerous "radio" excerpts.
Perhaps it warrants one listen, but surely after that it would take only the most dedicated Sun City Girls fan to give it repeated chances. There are some good moments - Mysteries Behind the Curtain, and the Eastern strings of Instant Archaeology make you wish the whole album sounded so unique, but really even these best bits are like 2-minute endings to great pieces you never heard. I'm gonna go check out a buncha other SCG cds to find the great ones. This one probably should've stayed as a one-off radio broadcast. 6/10 -- Evan Rhodes (27 June, 2006)