Other Music New Release Update
December 5, 2001

In This Week's Update:

Honey Cone reissue collection
"Now Thing: 15 Dancehall Instrumentals" comp on Mo' Wax
Biochip C
Ulf Lohmann
Bertrand Burgalat
Dukes of Stratosphear reissue
Carsten Jost
The Fall
"Love, Peace & Poetry" comps (2: Japan, Britain)
Barry Adamson/Pan Sonic collaboration
"Cinemaphonic Vol. 2" comp
Disk Orchestra
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
Caural EP
Diverse EP

Just In:
Otto Von Schirach
Clifford Thornton reissue
ESP reissues (Gato Barbieri, Sonny Simmons, Marzette Watts)
GBV Fading Captain Series #16
The Hives

Featured New Releases:

HONEY CONE "Soulful Sugar: the Complete Hot Wax Recordings" (Castle, UK) 2xCD $18.99

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One of Holland/Dozier/Holland's most agile groups, this female
trio benefited from HDH's keen and impossibly punchy production
style between 1969 and 1976. HDH, who were responsible for so many
of Motown's hits, kept that formula when they started their Hot
Wax and Invictus labels in the late '60s. Yet, taking into
consideration the musical climate, they added much more to the
music beyond straight soul. So you have the benefits of Motown
(pop that just won't quit, amazing singers with a gospel
background), with the occasional tendril stretched out to funk,
psychedelia, Latin music. Forceful harmonies, strident horn
arrangements, and a killer backbeat were the foundation for Honey
Cone, sometimes referred to as "the female Jackson 5" for their
sound. Listening to this group (and a few others on the HDH
labels) is like getting prime Motown without the icky "Big Chill",
Blues Brothers and butter commercial associations. Edna Wright
(Darlene Love's younger sister), Shellie Clark (a former Ikette)
and studio veteran Carolyn Willis send their vocals blasting out
of the mix, with screaming, gospel solos, call and response, or
slithery soul. On the strength of even as few as eight songs, this
group makes (at the very least) my top 20 groups _ever_. If that's
not enough to move you to buy this, start re-listening to any RZA
production, particularly Wu-Tang--bits and pieces of Honey Cone
are a staple sample for his beat-work. All four albums and twelve
singles are here, spread over two discs. [RE]

[V/A] "Now Thing: 15 Dancehall Instrumentals" (Mo' Wax, UK) CD  $22.99
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The Jamaican music industry is the most active in the world.
Nearly 200 new records are released every week in the Caribbean
island and there is no sign of slowing. Dancehall is still the
most popular genre in Kingston. Many reggae fans associate the
form with the digital slackness, homophobia, and misogyny of '80s
dancehall, back when Buju Banton called on his brethren to
administer a beatdown to all "batty bwoys" (gay men). Now, the
sounds, styles, and lyrics have changed, radically. 'Conscious'
dancehall artists such as Sizzla, Anthony B, and some other
now 'reformed' musicians are making a much bouncier, less
cluttered music, which concerns itself with Rastafarian themes of
redemption. The versions of the new dancehall tracks are hot
enough to fry an egg on, and this absolutely essential collection
brings together flipsides of recent dancehall tracks. If this is
not a late contender for album of the year, knock me over with a
feather. Go straight to track two, 'Z2010', produced by Lenky and
if you're not at least nodding your head, there's something very
wrong. Lenky moves the track as if he were driving a train without
brakes, as the tempo picks up and a rolling, rattling percussive
attack comes hurtling down the track behind him. That aspect of
this track alone would knock your glasses off, but over the beats
he runs a lithe bassline which plays the melody. You wanna talk
about studio pressure? This is it. There should have been a
warning sign on this record stating that anyone with a
hypersensitivity to heavy beats, cavernous low end, and crackling,
decayed melodies ought stay away. This is a leviathan of a
compilation and should by no means be left behind. Not one dull
moment. Highly recommended. [TH]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=67494801452&refer_url=email

BIOCHIP C "2001" (Lux Nigra, Germany) CD $14.99
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There can no longer be any doubt that the most progressive German
electronic label is Lux Nigra. Hiding away in an obscure corner of
Berlin since 1997, this imprint has been releasing music that puts
anything else originating in that city to shame. And the label
formed in 1998 around a group of musicians who were
disciples of Biochip C, a.k.a. Martin Damm: the first record being
a compilation entitled "Biophilia Allstars". Damm's resume is
highly impressive. He's been making belting, hard electronics
since the late '80s new beat phenomenon for the German Boy label.
With the evolution of dance music, Damm began recording as Speed
Freak, making demonic, impossibly fast hardcore for labels such as
Monotone. His Biochip C guise landed him several roles on Force
Inc. singles, notably "Go Bang!" and a cluster of others. Damm
also runs the Ultradyne label. Over seventeen tracks, he
demonstrates delicate percussive work evident in his earlier work,
but adds to that a lean, sinewy quality, particularly on tracks
such as 'Sunblocking', in which dark, rising and falling synth
chords loom behind the melodic xylophone chords, acid lines and a
kickdrum heavy as a breeze block. The astonishing 'Strinkz' opens
with symphonic, long chords and slowed voice box effects before
giving way to pure percussion: snare snaps, nervous, shaking hi-
hats and an attenuated kick. Damm has made the best album of his
career. [TH]

ULF LOHMANN "Because Before" (Kompakt, Germany) CD $15.99
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Kompakt is on fire! This amazing label makes record after record
that, one by one, becomes an essential part of the electronic
music landscape. Ulf Lohmann's newest ranges from the brilliant
Dettinger-like opening track with its waves of ambient synth,
downtempo snares, sampled human and animal voices, to warped
ambient keys and backwards tape-looped beats of track 2, to the
amazing Eno-ish ambience of track 3 with its sampled chimes and
bells, deep synth and various clicks and pops. And this is just
the first half of this incredible record. A must for anyone who
purchased the Markus Guentner, "Pop Ambient 2001", and any
ambient record released this year. Keep an eye out for "Pop
Ambient 2002", another Kompakt stunner out next week! [JS]

BERTRAND BURGALAT "Meets A.S. Dragon" (Tricatel, France) CD  $16.99
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I'll be blunt. I don't care much for rock 'n' roll. So when a
personal hero like Bertrand Burgalat decides to team up with a
little-known French rock band to play live in support of his
brilliant "Sssound of Mmmusic" album, I consider it cause for
alarm. Fortunately "...Meets A.S. Dragon", the recorded document
of the resulting tour, confirms only a few of my worst fears.
Through eleven songs -- a nice selection of Bertrand originals,
choice covers, and collaborations with his backing band -- A.S.
Dragon performs ably, generally keeping the rock excess to a
minimum. The major missteps come during the inexcusably over-the-
top cover of Smokey Robinson's 'Tears of a Clown' (they might as
well have done 'Louie Louie') and the badly butchered version
of 'Sugar' (a swirling pop classic penned for April March) sung by
labelmate Count Indigo apparently doing his best Tim Buckley
impersonation. But Bertrand and band hit high points on 'Follow
Me' and 'Aux Cyclades Electronique', adding a shot of adrenaline
to the originals while staying within the bounds of good taste.
Sound quality and production are remarkable for a live recording,
and the group generally seem to be enjoying themselves throughout.
I'm being overly critical of this record, but I'm hoping that
Bertrand enlists the aid of musicians more in tune with his
highly refined aesthetic for his next project. Guitars belong in
the background, and BB belongs back in Studio Tricatel. [TC]

DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR "Chips from the Chocolate Fireball" (Virgin, UK) CD $18.99
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XTC responsible for some of the best psych recordings of the '80s?
When XTC released "25 O'Clock" under the alter-ego The Dukes of
Stratosphear, it sounded like a lost Nugget, chock-full of reverb-
drenched vocals, smoking lead guitars and blasts of organ fuzz.
The Dukes of Stratosphear only lasted through the  "25 O'Clock" EP
and "Psonic Psunspot" album, and both are conveniently compiled on
this CD. Equally adept at catchy pop songwriting and overblown
psychedelic weirdness, their songs bounce along, hook-filled and
effected into oblivion. Perhaps most similar to the work of
Tomorrow (responsible for the great psych-pop anthem, 'My White
Bicycle'), the Dukes were the '80s equivalent to Olivia Tremor
Control and Apples in Stereo. The "25 O'Clock" EP contains some
of the finest psychedelic pop ever, and with "Psonic Psunspot"
falling only a few small steps behind, this collection is simply
essential for any fan of psychedelic pop past or present. [PW]

CARSTEN JOST "You Don't Need A Weatherman To Know Which Way the Wind Blows" (Ladomat, Germany) CD $17.99
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Carsten Jost's debut CD overtly political music that never
preaches, panders, offends, or gets ideologically stupid or dull.
How? It's minimal techno with no vocals, and while one can
assimilate styles as an audible political gesture, Jost, from East
Berlin, just crafts excellent, sharply outlined beats with a faint
house influence. Imagine L'Uomo made into pure instrumentals
remixed by Reinhard Voight or Arovane. Obscure references, to be
sure, but Jost's beats are sprightly but made serious with booming
echoes, the occasional flock of birds. I hear, too, the sounds of
very early electronic music (the Princeton/Columbia artists or
Pierre Schaeffer), too. Jost seems to abstractly bemoan his city's
dippy rave scene's blithe lassitude while making music they'd
love, sliding his message in right under their noses. 10 tracks, a
number of which have appeared on Kompakt 12"s. [RE]

ANDEREGG "When Rectangles Roll Under Cities" (Apestaartje) CD $12.99
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Contributing to what is becoming a very distinct voice in the new
music community, Anderegg's first album is one of two new full-
length offerings from the Apestaartje label (the other from Aero
was reviewed last week). An ever-shifting composition of nervous
trembles, ticks, and spasms is gently coaxed from acoustic
instruments, field recordings, and all things electronic. That
composition is then obsessively obscured as if beneath a veil that
only allows brief glimpses of detail while carefully filtering the
remainder. I imagine there could be another model for this method,
but I see it as the aural counterpart to the blurred imagery of
Gerhard Richter's paintings from the '70s. The act of using one
sound as a framework to create another is a trail that seems to
lead in circles, yet results in a masterful effect that not only
invites but demands repeat investigation. [AG]

THE FALL "Are You Are Missing Winner" (Cog Sinister, UK) CD $14.99
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The Fall's 22nd non-compilation studio album is one of their
weirdest and messiest ever, right up there with "Room to Live" for
the "what the hell were they thinking?" factor. "We are the new
Fall," the band bellows, and once again it's true -- the
indefatigable Mark E. Smith and lead guitarist Ben Pritchard are
the only survivors of last year's lineup. A mangled cover of
Leadbelly's 'Bourgeois Blues' is inexplicably credited to "R.
Johnson arr. M.E. Smith," and they've dipped into the R. Dean
Taylor catalogue again for 'Gotta See Jane'; otherwise, the band
approximates rockabilly, Smith attempts with some difficulty to
form words, and the album's filled out with a ProTools collage of
session fragments. The disc's centerpiece is 'Ibis-Afro Man,' a
freeway-blocking pileup with several discrete recordings of a
galumphing groove superimposed for almost ten minutes, along
with random parakeet squawks and semi-coherent Smith mutterings
("I eat a monkey for breakfast-uh! I use no fork or knife-uh!"). Either
his brain has completely dissolved, or he's a deeper genius than
we'll ever understand. [DW]

[V/A] "Love, Peace & Poetry: Japanese Psychedelic Music" (Normal, Germany) CD/LP $13.99/$15.99
[V/A] "Love, Peace & Poetry: British Psychedelic Music" (Normal, Germany) CD/LP $13.99/$15.99

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Numbers four and five in this international series of excellent,
super-obscure psychedelia from the late '60s and early '70s. The
Japanese one is not quite what you'd expect -- it's less Eastern
than some of the Western comps in the series: while the Westerners
dabbled in the exotic, the Japanese were producing spot-on heavy
psych with hardly an accent. Still, there is very creative use of
structure and buried melody, and it's fantastic to hear
psychedelic rock sung in a language that bops and lilts as much as
Japanese (about a third retain their native tongue). And the bands
are all for the heavy feedback distortion and big rock guitar
shudders that knock you right over. You will never find this music
any other way, unless you are an extreme psych obsessive, and
isn't it nice that you can hear this music without having to
change your lifestyle?
While the Japanese edition of the "Love Peace and Poetry" series
is (not just merely) good, the British one is spectacular. Most of
the groups included here eschew the ROCK for a heavy British folk
influence, folded into a whole lot of catchy weirdness. This one
CD rivals the entire run of "Nuggets" compilations, a remarkable
excavation job digs up obscurities that even some of the psych-
heads around here have never heard of. Excellent liner notes on
both. [RE]
"Japanese Psychedelic Music"
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80167005482&refer_url=email
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"British Psychedelic Music"
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BARRY ADAMSON / PAN SONIC "The Hymn of the 7th Illusion" (Kitchen Motors, Iceland) CD $14.99
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A classical choral work, modern and abstract and sometimes
breathlessly gorgeous. The way Adamson (Birthday Party, Bad Seeds,
film composition for David Lynch) structures the Hljomeyki Choir
make that any spaces he leaves ache for their presence, and each
note they sing (crushes of unison harmony) press relief into one's
ears. This work has antecedents in Meredith Monk and Robert Wilson
(with and without each other's collaboration), and the expanded,
booming THX chord you hear before a movie (composed by Andy
Moorer, btw). As the first piece settles, you hear Pan Sonic's
contribution to the piece, which has been there all along, only
subtler, come to the fore. They take the choir's sounds and add
subtle layers that move around the singers, snaking in and out.
The second half of the CD is my favorite, where Adamson and Pan
Sonic give their baby to Hafler Trio, who move voices around,
occasional cover/vibrate them with a different kind of digital
interference, and make something that is rawly beautiful, capable
of startling the listener's expectations without actually
startling the listener. [RE]

[V/A] "Cinemaphonic Vol. 2: Soul Punch" (Motel) CD $14.99
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Seems everyone's emerging with comps of '60s and '70s library
music, but each successive one only serves to show that the stream
seems far from tapped out--flowing from an unknown, and fertile
source. Britain is one of those sources, and this comp tries to
delineate exactly why British production music of this era sounds
so damn good to modern ears. First, Library music was used most
around the same time that the musical world opened up to new
sounds--by the early '70s it was acceptable, fun even, to
incorporate new electronics, world and popular influences into
background music. This comp draws on the collections of the
Amphonic, JW Media and Themes International companies, and
standout composers are Syd Dale, Alan Hawkshaw, even Dick
Hyman. [RE]

DISK ORCHESTRA "K" (Rather Interesting, Germany) CD $17.99
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The newest of Atom Heart/Uwe Schmidt's umpteen aliases. This is
his foray into the "Plunderphonic" universe of collaged
miniatures, mostly electronic beats and pop with a little Latin
influence. The tracks here are funky, tiny, and, believe it or
not, not cheesy at all (okay, on one track he adds some Richard
Strauss and it gets there -- but that's the only one with a
recognizable origin). Atom's 99 bitsy tracks either flow together
as a whole, or can be separated out on random play (this is my
favorite)--the latter providing more contrast between tracks, as
his 1-2 second transitions become irrelevant and the whole disk
leaps and skips like an unruly puppy. This guy's mind just
effortlessly spits out excellent track after excellent track, as
if music is his first and words his second language, the
compositions here are that effortless. Atom himself said the
hardest part of making this record was giving each less-than-
a-minute-long track a unique title. [RE]

CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE "Pocket Symphonies for Lonesome Subway Cars" (Tomlab, Germany) CD/LP $14.99/$11.99
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Lo-fi songs in the tradition of Beat Happening (audio naivete), a
little Momus (chord progressions), Magnetic Fields (gilt backdrops
for dry singing), only bolstered with the shoddiest electronics
imaginable. Thunkily charming music that's confessional yet still
opaque, realized by Owen Ashworth (mostly) and Jason Quever. Songs
rarely break the two-minute mark; exist as tiny personal
narratives a la Mountain Goats (okay, Mountain Goats w/a crappy
beatbox!): about travelling via public transportation, living with
roommates in a city, having mice--undercurrents of tension and raw
emotion kept just under the rough surface. Recorded during the
past three years. If you like Moldy Peaches you will like this.
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=426000402018&refer_url=email
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CAURAL "Paint" (Chocolate Industries) CD EP $8.99
DIVERSE "Move" (Chocolate Industries) CD EP $8.99

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Two new EPs from Chocolate Industries. Caural's EP, only four
songs, is the sound equivalent of a brief, but breakneck plunge
into a pile of Lego pieces. There are sharp bits, familiar bits,
and it's a novel experience. He even samples Magnetic Fields and
the Smiths, gentle classical guitar, whistles, murmurs. And makes
sections that impossibly merge clicky cutty electronics with giant-
size Britpop sounds. These are all used in the most upbeat of
ways, with the same all-over-the-place catchiness that Amon
Tobin's been known to effect. I wanted to put all four tracks up
in RA for you, that's how good this is. One softish vocal track
(which shifts frontwards and backwards without losing velocity),
all others instrumental.
Diverse is good, modest underground hip-hop from Kenny Jenkins and
Ted Sirota, both of Chicago. Nice piano samples; rhymes that seem
to slide off the music, a few guests. There's a lovely relaxed
vibe here you rarely find in hip-hop--a refreshing asset that they
should develop. [RE]
Caural "Paint"
Diverse "Move"

Just In:

OTTO VON SCHIRACH "Escalo Frio" (Schematic) CD/LP $12.99/$12.99

A mixture of horror movie elements, spastic SF-style electronics,
twinges of hip-hop and Miami Bass = more mayhem.
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=65067000202&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=65067000201&refer_url=email

CLIFFORD THORNTON "Freedom & Unity" (Unheard Music Series/Atavistic) CD $13.99
Thornton, trombonist and bandleader, has been shamefully neglected
by jazz fans; but how could they have heard his music? Long out of
print, this album was given the nod by both Ornette Coleman and
Archie Shepp, in the form of liner notes. Also Joe McPhee's first
recorded appearance. More next week.

GATO BARBIERI "In Search of the Mystery" (ESP) CD $14.99
SONNY SIMMONS "Staying on the Watch" (ESP) CD $14.99
MARZETTE WATTS "Marzette Watts" (ESP) CD $14.99

Three new ESP reissues.
Gato Barbieri
Sonny Simmons
Marzette Watts

TOOG "Easy Toog For Beginners" (Le Grand Magistery) CD $12.99
Gilles Weinzaepflen's newest.

GUIDED BY VOICES / AIRPORT 5 "Selective Service" (Fading Captain) CD  $9.99
11 songs: 10 from 7" singles by either GBV configuration above,
and one exclusive Airport 5 track.

THE HIVES "Your New Favourite Band" (Poptones, UK) CD $16.99
Everybody says: akin to White Stripes/Strokes; i.e. nouveau
Brit/Grit-rock. Poptones just folded so we may not be able to get

This week's contributors: Tom Capodanno [TC], Robin Edgerton [RE],
Andy Giles [AG], Tim Haslett [TH], Jeremy Sponder [JS], Phil
Waldorf [PW], Douglas Wolk [DW].

The Big Picture:

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