11/1994 Melody Maker

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Melody Maker November 1994

DICKS FOR BRAINS

JENNIFER NINE gets snowed under by an avalanche of RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS re-releases and digs her way out to discover Peppers’ bassist FLEA working out with the 70-year old grandmother of Rai. She is not a happy bunny

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS

PLASMA SHIFT

WEA 9362-45649-2/25 tks/112 mins/Double CD

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS

OUT IN LA

EMI (DMTL 1017/19 tks/54 mins/CD/LP/MC

RIMITTI SIDI MANSOUR

Absolute 2/8 tks/66 mins/CD

WELL, deck the goddamned halls.

It’s only November, and already I’ve been informed I’m getting the usual stuff this year. Socks and underwear. Rather more of the former than the latter, as it happens. And, as Santa’s clearly run out of lumps of coal, the stockings have come, hyuk, stuffed, hyuk, with long-haired funk-mewl dickdom, instead.

WEA, current homed of Flea, Anthony and the other ones, ticks me off its Christmas list with “Plasma Shift”, a slipcased affair containing the 1991 releose,”BloodSugarMagik” -yes, again -which is that one featuring the tender grunts of “Suck My Kiss”, 100 per cent tune-free hit, “Give It Away”, and the comparatively less horrible Lollapalloozer MOR ballad, “Under The Bridge”. The usual cased getting something you already hove or never wanted … but wait! There’s something else under the tinsel! An eight-track companion CD, bristling with demo versions, “in progress” mixes, “Radio edits” (which, being shorter, are progress) and something called “Fela’s Cock” to keep the dick quota up.

And, in case you thought Hmmm, plasma shaft, perhaps that refers to something else?-the headachy groovy logo includes a tiny lithe penis. Wit, it must be said, worthy of the music itself.

EMI ,for its part, remembers me with “Out In LA”, which at least reminds us which capital of good taste the Peppers call home. One of those seasonal bumper-pock compilations smelling strongly of leftover turkey, its indignant product manager will doubtless refer to “strong fan demand” for these exciting” remixes, demo Peppers’ and /oh, my aching sides) mixes”from the Peppers’ back catalogue. But if you don’t figure this one got laid in a manger after somebody at the Christmas sales planning meeting piped up, “Hmm, anyold shit, lying around from those sock dudes.”you’re more forgiving than I am.

Yup, 19 tracks, that socks-on-cocks shot on the back, baggy, Y-fronts overleaf, and ominous, over-optimistic references to some funky jam (straight from our hearts) in the liner notes. And, oh he he ho, the obligatory Christmas carol, a minute-long version of “Dick …”, sorry, “Deck The Halls”. With somebody singing an awful lot like Kermit The Frog, and what may be the noise of sales reps rockin’ round the Christmas tree.

Rimitti’s album features  Pepper bassist, Flea on thunk, more-or-less indistinguishably from other musos (in this case, some French blokes and the interminable Robert Fripp) who think working with exotic (in this case, 70-yearold Algerian) singers is horizon-stretching activity. Which it is, thankfully you can’t even see LA from here… [Remainder not copied]

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