Other Music New Release Update
August 15, 2001

In This Week's Update:

The Strokes
"Bombay Jazz Palace" comp.
"Bombay 2: Electric Vindaloo" remix comp.
"Afro-Rock Vol. 1" comp.
Nightingales reissue
"Darker Than Blue: Soul From Jamdown" comp.
Little Annie
Matt Wand 3" CD
Lisa Carbon reissue
Twink demos
JD and the Evil's Dynamite Band
OR computer comp.

Gescom minidisc

Just In:
Smoke City
Kompakt Total 3
"Shock City Shockers Vol.2" (OOIOO remixed)
Hideki Kaji

Featured New Releases:

THE STROKES "This Is It" (RCA, Australia) CD $19.99
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In less than a year, the Strokes have become the most sought-after
rock band by record labels and fans as well as a pursuit of
paparazzi normally reserved for royalty. Armed only with a 3-song
EP, the NYC quintet has already headlined a slew of sold-out UK
shows, accompanied the Doves and Guided By Voices on US tours, and
had their name placed on the cover of Rolling Stone. "Is This It"
captures the attitude, charisma and semi-charmed lyrics that have
placed the Strokes clearly in the lead of this year's contenders
for anointment as the next rock'n'roll saviors. The band still
proudly wear their influences (most often the sounds of downtown
NYC circa 1977), but several months of constant playing and the
reward of a recording budget has let these Bowery boys show they
have more than a few colors on their musical palette. Guitarists
Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond play nicely off of each other as
they alternate between strums, choppy upstrokes, and yes, the
occasional rock solo.  Meanwhile, singer Julian Casablanca's
supercharged croon-and-sneer falls somewhere between Mark E. Smith
and David Gedge. The Strokes keep the production clean with a
minimal amount of overdubs, and to the band's credit, "Is This It"
is a song-driven record. The album's opening cut, also the title
track, is a surprisingly medium-tempo introduction with
Casablancas sounding downright apologetic as he half-speaks/half-
sings "We're not enemies, we just disagree." Over the next few
songs, the band slowly hit their stride with a retooled version
of  'Barely Legal' played with way more abandon than the version
on their EP. Soon after, the bouncy rhythm and Johnny Marr-
inspired plucks of 'Someday' are convincing enough to earn them
the key to the gates of Manchester. Forgive the hype. The world
just happens to be ready for rock to be fun again, and the Strokes
fill that bill. [GH]

[V/A] "Bombay Jazz Palace" (Outcaste, UK) CD $16.99
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The craze for all things Subcontinental swept the Western world in
the late '60s, with the Beatles leading the way. Outcaste Records,
after re-unleashing the joy that is the Dave Pike Set's 'Mathar'
upon the world, dug up a whole CD's worth of similar material:
rocking, funky breakbeat jazz with all kinds of Indian
instrumentation. Truly the cream of the digging crop here: more
Dave Pike Set, Volker Kriegel (who actually played the sitar
on 'Mathar'), Lalo Schifrin, Ananda, Ravi, and the whole Shankar
Family, even Paul Horn! This isn't quite serious Indian-flavored
jazz (a la Joe Harriott), it's more easy-listening/soundtrack jazz
that took a turn to the East, yet the pendulum swings to funk over
kitsch, and a lot of these tracks are very obscure. Kudos to
Outcaste for providing such an object. [RE]

[V/A] "Bombay 2: Electric Vindaloo" (Motel) CD/LP $14.99/$14.99
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I had the biggest bone to pick with Volume One of this (now)
series, "Bombay the Hard Way". On that disc, Dan the Automator
took the music of Kalyanji & Anandji Shah ('70s/'80s Bollywood
music directors/composers) and just stuck, nay, Scotch-taped
breakbeats on top of it. It was a pathetic effort, actually
serving to very nearly ruin their the Shahs' interesting
arrangements. (Plus the fairly ethnically exploitative
presentation didn't help.) Thankfully, Volume Two doesn't have any
of those problems! Instead, Motel took K&A's music to a number of
remixers (most who have good ideas, a few don't), who made solid,
fun, organic works out of the fertile raw material. Then the label
mixed in some short bits of incidental music taken from not the
soundtracks but the scores to the original films, killer funky
tidbits that were never released in any form. My only beef now is
that they don't tell you what films any of the source material
came from--which means, probably, that the exploitation continues--
are the Shahs seeing any royalties from this? [RE]
CD  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60259800052&refer_url=email
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[V/A] "Afro-Rock Vol. 1" (Kona, UK) CD/LP $15.99/$15.99
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Kona's collection of Afro-funk (the 'rock' is a bit of a misnomer)
goes beyond the "Africafunk", "Club Africa" and "Ouelele/Racubah"
comps, into the dark continent itself (and stays there). Where
those had a lot more 'Westernized' tracks (from Europeans and
North Americans), "Afro-Rock" has African musicians only,
recording in their own countries. They must have tapped a major
collector of this stuff for the comp, because these tracks never
made it onto the shelves of record stores outside Kinshasa, Accra
or Lagos.... Re-mastered off of vinyl, mostly, out of pure
necessity (most original '60s or '70s African pop master tapes
were usually recorded over--the tape itself being worth more than
the music [which had ephemeral market value] at the time). These
obscure predecessors and followers of Fela reveal the influence of
Western soul and funk in 11 tracks of fantastic musical hybrids.
Raw and slamming rhythmic energy. [RE]

NIGHTINGALES "Pissed and Potless" (Cherry Red, UK) CD $16.99
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From the UK, the Nightingales were members of the 'Rough Trade
elite' (Swell Maps, TV Personalities) often co-headlining gigs,
yet they never recorded for Rough Trade itself. Alan McGhee was a
big fan, even booking many of their shows, yet they never recorded
for his label Creation (they claimed they didn't like any Creation
bands previous to Jesus and Mary Chain). They were critic's
darlings, yet sold few records. All this might explain why such an
exceptional band was overlooked. The Nightingales had all of the
brilliant propulsive wordplay that the TV Personalities and the
Smiths were known for, the sprawling Beefheart-on-speed rock-n-
roll dynamics The Fall perfected. Discovering bands like this is
what keeps me in the business. "Pissed and Potless" is the kind of
record that makes you smack your forehead in disbelief that such a
group even existed (even if you're thrilled once you come around
to it). Recommended! [DH]

[V/A] "Darker Than Blue: Soul From Jamdown (1973-1980)" (Blood & Fire, UK) CD $13.99
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Can the Blood & Fire label release a bad record? Do indie kids
sport wallet chains? "Darker Than Blue" is an exquisite,
thoughtful collection of roots vocalists covering often deeply
political soul and R&B of the late '60s/early '70s United States.
This album unearths such dancehall distress calls as Tinga
Stewart's cover of Timmy Thomas' 1972 hit 'Why Can't We Live
Together'. Thomas' version, on a division of the famous Hialeah,
Florida TK label--later home to KC & The Sunshine Band--was soul
stripped down to the bare essentials, a spare plea for sympathy.
Stewart adds another dimension to this simple question by plunging
the heartache into a bassline that can absorb tears. If Ken Boothe
had been born in Detroit, he would have been as big a star as
Smokey Robinson or Marvin Gaye. But that didn't prevent him from
recording dozens of beautiful songs, including a gorgeous cover of
Bill Withers' 'Ain't No Sunshine', in which the percussion tries
to keep time with the desperation of the vocal. Syl Johnson's
controversial 1970 Memphis soul classic 'Is It Because I'm Black'
is given a roots rendering here by Boothe, and he adds some
painful minor-key chord changes to the original, making one want
to return to the Johnson version and play the two back-to-back.
This album has only one fault: like other Blood & Fire releases,
it slowly drains my bank account to a zero balance. [TH]

LITTLE ANNIE "Diamonds Made Of Glass" (Streamline, Germany) CD/12  $8.99/$7.99
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Beginning in the late '70s, Annie Anxiety fronted notorious NYC
punk legends the Asexuals. She then emigrated to the UK to join
Crass and subsequently became a frequent collaborator of Adrian
Sherwood and Keith Leblanc. Since the mid-'90s, as Annie Anxiety
Bandez and Little Annie, she has been an On-U-Sound dub diva and
has also entered the rarefied inner circles of Coil and Current
93. Her first release for Christoph Heemann's Streamline imprint
finds her deftly negotiating a torchy aesthetic territory
somewhere between Peggy Lee and Brigitte Fontaine. Three tracks,
19 minutes, including a radical extended remix of the title track
by Heemann (returning to his H.N.A.S. roots!), and the achingly
exquisite 'Lullaby', quite possibly my favorite song so far this
year, and one which Nick Cave or Tindersticks would do well to
cover immediately. [JG]
CD  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=78148410212&refer_url=email
12  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999161641&refer_url=email

MATT WAND "1 1/2 Volt Music" (Hot Air, UK) 3" CD $7.99
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Wand, who is also half of Stock, Hausen & Walkman, has made an
avant-garde masterpiece in miniature in "1 1/2 Volt Music". It's
an 'infinite symphony' for 12 Gameboys (or Gameboy-type machines).
Recorded at the Holden Gallery, Wand's piece is 21 minutes of
vacuum-cleaner buzz, orchestral whine and videogame palimpsest.
It's like entering a mall in which the teeming, reverberant air
sound is occupied further by teenagers walking about with
Nintendos. On headphones, you hear this in three dimensions, but
it's not the overwhelming room-full-of-slot-machines effect--notes
emerge from the sonic haze revealing strands of melody and then
disappear again. Genius. [RE]

LISA CARBON "Trio De Janeiro" (Quatermass, Belgium) CD $14.99
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So far as I know, there still is no actual 'Lisa Carbon'--it's
another cipher attached to that musician with more aliases than a
grifter or a spy, Uwe Schmidt. And it's the alias Schmidt most
attached his 'Latin' projects to before he moved on to the Senor
Coconut and Los Samplers projects. (It's also the alias he's been
most adamant about it NOT being an alias.) Originally released in
1997 on Schmidt's own Rather Interesting imprint, "Trio De
Janeiro" caught the ears of Haruomi Hosono, who later released it
on his own Daisyworld label. This third version, now part of
Quatermass' limited "Electro-cocktail Lounge" series, is identical
to the Daisyworld one (includes the two bonus tracks added then).
All of these connections inadvertently reflect on the "Trio" album-
- this is almost Atom Heart/Senor Coconut as filtered through
Hosono's early electro (YMO) aesthetic, or a merging of Telex and
a vaguely Latin exotica (this one vaguely Puerto Rican in origin).
And the album itself has passed the test of time with flying
colors. While tinged with computerized smirks, the neat way the
latin rhythms are expressed in early '80s electro sounds are
awfully cute, sometimes rising above into actually heartfelt. [RE]

TWINK "The Never Never Land And Think Pink Demos" (Get Back, Italy) CD/LP $14.99/$14.99
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John Alder was a semi-marginal figure in the psychedelic freak
scene that was late '60s London. As a drummer he had made his
reputation manning the kit behind the likes of Tomorrow and "S.F.
Sorrow"-era Pretty Things. But in his alter ego, Twink, he managed
to find ultimate immortality as a seeming caricature of both the
hippie movement and its insatiable drug consumption. The
convergence of John Alder, musician, and Twink, madman, was in
full flower when he rounded up members of the Deviants in 1969 to
form Pink Fairies while simultaneously working on a "solo" album
with members of Hawkwind. Both the Pink Fairies' debut "Never
Never Land" and Twink's "Think Pink" have long been revered as
classics in the realms of stonerism, veritable templates for the
tribal-psych likes of Acid Mother's Temple and The Spacious Mind.
On this collection, Twink unleashes working versions of many of
those tracks which only enhance their stellar reputation and
confirm the strength of his vision, that, during those brief
couple of years, was essentially unsurpassed. [JG]
CD  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=801325235992&refer_url=email
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JD & THE EVIL'S DYNAMITE BAND "Explodes Across The Nation" (Soul Fire) CD $13.99
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From the somewhat mellower, darker end of the Soul Fire retro
aesthetic comes JD & The Evil's (sic) Dynamite Band. Solid '70s
funk struck in various molds: afro-funk; funk w/an abstract
quality; surf funk; funk edging to lo-fi. The Band makes
an  'authentic' reproduction of a number of styles that avoids
being schizophrenic by the fact that the whole record has a coolly
laid-back, shadowy cast to it. [RE]

[V/A] "OR Some Computer Music 2" (OR, UK) CD $14.99
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Volume two in the OR Computer Music series, an international
periodic collection of some new (and some not-so-new) computer
music ideas and constructs. Phoenecia, farmersmanual, Atau Tanaka
& Eric Wenger (whose photo-derived piece is a conceptual replika
of the work of Yasunao Tone from nearly a decade ago), Curtis
Roads (acoustic-particle object programming), Jim O'Rourke, more.
An overview, academy to underground. Sort of the equivalent to
sitting on the jury for the Prix Ars Electronica, only takes up
100th of the time and is of much higher quality overall. [RE]

SLICKER "The Latest" (Hefty) CD/LP $12.99/$13.99
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Slicker, the electronic project of John Hughes III (Bill Ding,
Hefty Records), puts forth album #2 (not counting the remix
record). A wobbly, clean, Warp-style record of clean blips and two-
note bass lines, cash-register loops and hydraulic programming,
catatonically clear piano. When the high points hit they sound
like pared-down Timbaland backdrops, the lower points are Warp
Records-ish stylistic knockoffs. Always the presence of the idea,
at least, of a movie soundtrack, albeit much more teeming, fertile
than just a backdrop. His wife and Asia Argento (the latter
another filmmaker progeny) provide rudimentary, monosyllabic vocal
accompaniment on a few tracks (even though the voice is but a tiny
sampling element, you pick it out more than, say, a drum pattern
from the mass of sound). Matmos also chip in. [RE]
CD  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60840100342&refer_url=email
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GESCOM "minidisc" (OR, UK) Minidisc $15.99
Gescom's (aka Autechre + ...) 45-track minidisc now available
again. Though 88 hyper-programmed segments (67 minutes), which
can be played in different configurations, but on a minidisc player
only. From 1998, this was the first minidisc-only release (and
there haven't been too many to follow, yet). Not just a novelty or
a throwaway, the music within stacks up well against any other
Autechre release; it's a pity (though, I know, is not the point)
that they didn't put this stuff out on a more popular format,
like, say, CD.... [RE]

Just In:

SMOKE CITY "Heroes of Nature" (Jive, UK) CD $21.99

[V/A] "Kompakt Total 3" (Kompakt, Germany) CD $15.99

[VA] "Shock City Shockers Vol.2: OOIOO Remixed" (Shock City, Japan) CD  $24.99
The Shock City posse (EYE, Rovo, Nobukazu Takamura, and many others)
remix material from OOIOO's latest album -- the Japan-only "Gold and Green".
Also includes one new song from OOIOO.

HIDEKI KAJI "From Cafe Scandanavia With Love: For Cafe Apres-Midi" (Trattoria, Japan)  CD  $22.99
Just in and already one of my favorite Kaji albums. How's this for
cross-culturalism?: Japanese artist Kaji and friends from the
Swedish pop underground play breezy bossa nova inspired by a
French-named cafe (tucked away in Tokyo's trendy Shibuya district)
famous for its friendly atmosphere and the wildy popular Brazilian
music compilations which bear its name. Very nice. [TC]

This Week's contributors: Tom Capodanno [TC], Robin Edgerton [RE],
Jeff Gibson [JG], Gerald Hammill [GH], Duane Harriott [DH], Tim
Haslett [TH].

The Big Picture:

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