Utah Saints

  • Utah Saints
  • Something Good EP (ffrr/London) 1992 
  • Utah Saints (ffrr/London) 1992 
  • Two (UK Echo) 2000  (Nettwerk America) 2000 

Poised stylistically and chronologically between the cut-and-paste acid house of Bomb the Bass and M/A/R/R/S and the towering trip-hop of the Chemical Brothers, Leeds’ Utah Saints — DJs/artists Jez Willis and Tim Garbutt — took samples of other people’s records and fashioned them into great singles. The first, “What Can You Do for Me,” incorporates sweet bits from Gwen Guthrie (“Ain’t Nothin’ Going on but the Rent”) and Eurythmics (“There Must Be an Angel Playing With My Heart,” a sample the boys would recycle again when they remixed Annie Lennox’s “Little Bird” in 1994). The subsequent “Something Good” built its hook around a snippet of Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting,” the first time Bush authorized any such appropriation of her work. Both those cuts, in multiple versions, appear on the Something Good EP and the eponymous album that followed it, alongside equally worthy tracks like “Trance Atlantic Glide” (meant to be played at either 45 or 33 rpm) and a surprisingly faithful cover of Simple Minds’ “New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84).” Since that initial surge of activity, however, Willis and Garbutt have been relatively inactive as recording artists, devoting their energies to remixing (including a bizarre take on the Osmonds’ “Crazy Horses”), although they did release a new single, “Ohio,” in late 1995.

[Kurt B. Reighley]