Other Music New Release Update
July 18, 2001

In This Week's Update:

David Axelrod (new album)
Xhol Caravan set
Philip Jeck
Cerrone remixed by Bob Sinclar
My Salsoul disco remixed by DJ Dimitri from Paris
Biz Markie reissue
Beta Band
Mikron 64
Buffalo Springfield box
Dylan Nyoukis
Julien Ribot
Current 93/Nurse With Wound
Lift to Experience
Married Monk
Sonic Catering Band
Keith Whitman
Kiyoshi Izumi
Hyperjinx tricycle (daniel johnston proj, avail through triage)
Starfish Pool
On-Air Library
Radio Birdman
This is Next Year Brooklyn comp.

Noonday Underground (domestic with bonus tracks)
Matching Mole

Featured New Releases:

SIMIAN "Chemistry Is What We Are" (Source, UK) CD $21.99
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On their debut album, Simian veers from minimal (just voice and
air organ) to electronified, fabulously-produced near-Britpop,
with sky-high harmonies and propulsive farfisa engine. They've
been called a "British Air", but their form of spaciousness relies
on more negative space and less of the disco, even if the vocals
are very close (though warmer, not as electric) to those
on "10,000 Hz Legend". Think the '60s BeeGees and Jim O'Rourke
combined: orch-pop meets laptop. Just one play in the store last
week and we sold out of what we had (yes, we have more now). [RE]

DAVID AXELROD "David Axelrod" (MoWax, UK) CD $24.99
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It's damn near unheard-of for an artist to, with a separation of
30 years, make two records in the same style (or make a modern
record using the techniques of an earlier incarnation). This is
such a record -- in fact, it may even surpass some of Axelrod's
early work. Asked to record something for Mo'Wax, Axelrod headed
back into the studio, rounding up even some of the players and
singers that appeared years and years previous. Though it doesn't
have any breakbeats to steal, "David Axelrod" (2001) has
arrangements you just can't imitate -- complex, exquisite, fitting
together but from obvious parallel lines -- where barely any
instrument is playing even the same rhythm or melody to another.
Engulfing and orchestral, this record goes over the top with the
addition of Ras Kass on vocals (delivering a solemn, rhythmic
rap), or Lou Rawls delivering such a classic soulful jazz take
that it's 1968 again. Giant-size orchestral jazz in a psychedelic
frame. [RE]

XHOL CARAVAN "Motherfuckers Live" (United Durtro, UK) 3xCD $24.99
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Another sublime Krautrock excavation courtesy of Steven Stapleton
and David Tibet (with Christoph Heemann). Like the project that
preceded it, Sand's "Ultrasonic Seraphim", this set is entirely
obscure and utterly fantastic! Put Xhol on a bill with Parson
Sound and I don't believe anyone would have survived! "Their three
classic albums, 'Electrip', 'Hau Ruck' & 'Motherfuckers GMBH & Co
KG', are considered to be amongst the most extreme, mindbending,
freeform psychedelia ever created. United Durtro, with the
assistance of Xhol Caravan themselves, now release two beautifully
recorded live shows from 1968 & 1969, one of which reproduces in
its entirety the infamous 'Freedom Opera', which includes a
mesmerizing expanded version of Donovan's classic 'Season Of The
Witch'. The other live show is a cosmic space improvisation
broadcast for German radio. A bonus 15-minute CD completes this
package with Nurse With Wound, Current 93, and Christoph Heemann
covering favourite moments from Xhol's wonderful back catalogue.
Full colour package, with striking psychedelic artwork by Babs
Santini (Stapleton), as well as liner notes by Stapleton, Tibet
and Heemann, with reproductions of old Xhol posters and group
photos."-United Durtro. Highest recommendation. [JG]

PHILIP JECK "Vinyl Coda IV" (Intermedium, Germany) CD $13.99
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British sound artist Philip Jeck creates a haunting sound world
from laminations of discarded vinyl that more closely resembles
the disembodied etherea of dub reggae than the dry self-serious
experimental music. Jeck sets a battery of antique Dansette record
players in motion to sound thousands of beaten and bruised records
that speak to each other in a flickering chorus of cries and
moans. He approaches the vinyl recording as a score, letting the
pops and clicks guide him as he stitches together accidental
synchronicities into ghostly, folk-art assemblages. "Vinyl Coda
IV" is a tactile recording--one can see Jeck's hands on the tone
controls and delay pedal, capturing, worrying, extending. The
element that differentiates Jeck from the growing ranks
of 'glitch' music producers is his patience: instead of forcing
accidental pops and clicks into accessible, head-nodding rhythms,
Jeck allows the accretions of sound to run their own course,
swelling and folding back upon themselves with minimal
interference.  In the music of Morton Feldman and AMM, fragments
of melody often appear briefly, then disappear for stretches of
time only to reappear in a transfigured form, only familiar enough
to raise a faint memory. The same happens here as strains
of 'Little Drummer Boy', Flamenco guitar, piano concerti, mexican
ranchero rhythms, church bells and R&B break-downs all drift to
the surface as if transmitted by a radio on the ocean
floor. "Vinyl Coda IV" is the sound of a record player at the end
of its life, remembering all the records that it has played over
its lifespan in one long, drifting, shuddering free association.

PANOPTICA "s/t" (Certificate 18, UK) CD $13.99
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Roberto Mendoza is a British expatriate now residing in Mexico.
He's part of a group of mainly British artists who call themselves
The Nortec Collective, making what they call "Tech-Mex cut and
paste; the convergence of high-tech, low-tech and traditional
northern Mexican music." His debut full-length is a jaw-dropping,
highly innovative record released on an equally impressive British
label, Certificate 18. Mendoza pulls wholly original breakbeats
out of the archive on tracks like 'Variaciones A Tuxedomoon'
(Mendoza, like DJ Hell, is another Tuxedomoon fanatic) which
manages to bring live Mexican instrumentation into tricky analogue
drum programming. 'Kinky Bitsuri' has a thick stream of acid
running through it, though its caustic bed is tempered by soft
snare hits and hi-hats. This album's overarching tenor is one of
both sonic aggression and restraint, contemplative and
melancholic. In short, this is an auspicious debut and a
confirmation of Certificate 18's keen ear. [TH]

CERRONE "Cerrone Remixed by Bob Sinclar" (Barclay, France) CD  $18.99
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[V/A] "My Salsoul: Disco Classics Selected and Mixed by Dimitri
from Paris" (Toshiba, Japan) CD $27.99
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Two collections of classic disco, brought to the 21st century with
French DJs as the second midwives. Jean-Marc Cerrone (along with
Giorgio Moroder) considered to be one of the top European disco
producers ever, with strings of hits (few of which 'made it' over
here). While Moroder often took a back seat to his vocalists (like
Donna Summer), Cerrone's albums always were released under his
ownname. His work (as Cerrone and also in previous near-ethno-funk
group Kongas) has now been given a welcome remix by Sinclar.
What's nice about the Sinclar effect (a few other remixers take a
bow, too) is that he pumps up the sounds so they're more modern,
better for the dancefloor and less time capsules -- basically he's
giving a light version of the Daft Punk treatment to the original
material, and it's great. Ignore the track with the girls giggling
and cooing about how cute he (Sinclar) is. Dimitri's commission is
different -- he was given a free plundering of the Salsoul catalog,
but to make a mix CD rather than a remix CD. He does a good,
smooth run through of classic and more obscure Salsoul tracks, but
this whole disc has much more of a retro feel -- it retains the
combination of Philadelphia strings, Latin percussion, and smoking
R&B vocalists that initially defined disco's sound. Salsoul was
the first label to commercially release 12" -- it's ironic that this
isn't on vinyl. BTW, this, as a Salsoul comp., is better than the
collection that came out on Charly a few years ago. [RE]
Cerrone by Bob Sinclar
"My Salsoul" by Dimitri From Paris

BIZ MARKIE "The Best of Biz Markie: Goin' Off + The Biz Never Sleeps" (Landspeed) 2xCD $15.99
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Biz Markie's early singles for Marley Marl's and "Fly" Ty
Williams' Cold Chillin' label and the Prism imprint have become so
thoroughly interwoven in hip-hop history that even the most casual
listener is familiar with his exemplary body of work. His singles
are all out-of-print, fetching absurdly high prices at record
fairs. Frankly, this compilation is worth sixteen bucks just
for 'Make the Music with Your Mouth Biz', featuring the hilarious
off-key singing of TJ Swann set against the incomparable but
deliberately flawed human beatboxing of Biz Markie. At the time
his records were released, he was as much the butt of jokes as
such overlooked beatboxing visionaries as The Fat Boys.
Nevertheless, both artists' records are in greater demand now than
they were in the mid-'80s. Is it any wonder? Marley Marl's four-
track production leaves you feeling as if Biz were on the verge of
an aneurysm, stretching his vocal chords to seemingly impossible
excess. The essential 'Vapors', with the jaw-grinding vocals of TJ
Swann once again present, is a series of anecdotes about how bad
luck befalls those who fall outside Biz's moral compass. Ignore
this collection and you will miss a crucial moment in hip-hop's
vertiginous history. [TH]

MIKRON 64 "sys 49152" (Storage Secret Sounds, Germany) CD EP $14.99
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This 6-song EP came out in 1999, but sort of disappeared -- maybe
it was just waiting for its moment. Which I think is now. This is
absolutely solid electropop in the Germanic tradition of
Kraftwerk; in that fabulous pink area between new wave and disco
that didn't fill up with imitators (though is starting to,
methinks, with bands like Little Computer People and Adult?I like
Mikron 64 better than both of them), closer in aesthetic to
the "Pop Tics" comp that came out in 1999--that he really should
have been on. I probably like it because A: he sings the whole
thing in German, which I can't understand--and therefore can't
have stupid lyrics; and B: has a great sense of small harmonies,
an array of sounds and frittering beats like dripping water,
sizzling digital pancakes. C: he only uses a vocoder. Like
Skittles for robots; excellent! [RE]

PUB "Do You Ever Regret Pantomime?" (Ampoule, Scotland) CD $15.99
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The tiny East Kilbride label Ampoule released Pub's first gorgeous
EP three years ago, and it went unnoticed largely due to the total
lack of information, save that in the run-off groove. It was a
pastoral electronic jewel, released just after Boards of Canada
had released their debut EP on Skam. Their next release,
the "Summer EP" on the superb Vertical Form imprint, with remixes
by Pole and Arovane, was a beautiful, elegiac record, one that
left any BoC comparisons in the dust. Pub's first full-length is
clearly a record that was recorded with a great deal of patience
and love. From 'Heavy Metal (Hand Over Fist)' which recalls the
panoramic splendor of the Cornish countryside to 'Luddite', a
gentle lullaby that has a strong undertow. This album is a
strongly melodic, delicate hymn that never loses any of its subtle
power. [TH]

MONOS "360 Degrees" (Anomalous) CD $13.99
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Third release by Monos (aka Darren Tate), better known as Andrew
Chalk's collaborator in Ora. Working with esteemed engineer Colin
Potter, himself a frequent collaborator with Nurse With Wound,
Organum, Current 93, Jonathan Coleclough and, indeed, Ora, "360
Degrees" is a fascinating exploration of organic field recordings
processed electronically to yield dark, yet dreamy atmospherics,
ala much of best work of Morphogenesis and the aforementioned.
Somewhat akin to lying in a field waiting for a thunderstorm to
hit, then remaining there transfixed when it finally does. Nice.

THE WALKMEN "s/t" (Startime) CD $6.99
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On the basis of this, their debut EP, ex-Jonathan Fire Eaters The
Walkmen are only going to make sense far beyond the dreary realms
of the sub-journalese, where comparisons of absolutely anybody's
music to, say, that of fucking Radiohead's are still to be deemed
valid/useful. The arbitrary attempts to do so with this band have
so far seemed more tantamount than ever to a kind of lazy, knee-
jerk "crying wolf," perhaps serving to illustrate that the
enterprise of formulaic critical assertions is not something any
fan of music (not to mention purchaser) should exactly
countenance.  A Pixies reference, however, would not be nearly as
inappropriate (though they've been an influence on many bands for
many years now); yes, a few of the guitar touches here have
something of the color of Joey Santiago's distinctive palette.
There is another influence embedded deeper still within the lush
sonic economy presented on this short disc; filtering thru the
confident, unfettered lyrics, which are more literal than
literate. It's a hearkening back to those pioneers of triumphant
ultra-specificity: U2, circa "October". Perhaps these Walkmen have
taken into account how a similarly subjective, self-trusting
approach could aid them in a quest to make all of these things
(gtr, drums, keyboards, vox) sound new again.  For their efforts,
in a modern age of 'soon-to-be-legendary' EPs, this may actually
become one. [DH]

BETA BAND "Hot Shots II" (Astralwerks) CD $15.99
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Call it the luck of the Scottish, but the Beta Band seems to have
everything going its way. After landing a starring role in the
defining moment of "High Fidelity", and a spot opening for
Radiohead's 2001 tour, the quartet has put together its most
succinct and definitive release in "Hot Shots II". 11 likeable
tracks of Beta-Band rock: flowing, melodic jams with spaced-out
beats. Steven Mason's vocals are simple, phrase-turning exercises.
The music supports his carefree lyricism by exploring elements of
Krautrock, blues, downtempo, among others. Everything feels
extemporaneous, as if you're peering through the knot in their
seaside shack. And that is the most appealing element of this
sweet, young group: each track reveals more and more of their
creative process. And whether you end up nodding along or not,
there's no denying that the Beta Band have a distinct and natural
sound. [DD]

BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD "Box Set" (Atco/Rhino) 4xCD $54.99
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Box sets are a bitch. They're chock full of compromises,
questionable aesthetic decisions, and gushy liner notes, seldom
delivering on our expectations as they seek to both encapsulate
and yet revise history. Box sets are awkward and they don't fit
well on shelves. While this 88-track package unleashes a torrent
of previously unreleased music, it repeats 20 identical tracks
over the course of the set. The first three CDs clip along
chronologically and pepper tracks from Buffalo Springfield's three
albums alongside the demo and rarity goodies (which in this
context, tend to interrupt the flow). By the time we get to Disc
4, which pairs "Buffalo Springfield" (mono mixes) and "Buffalo
Springfield Again" (stereo mixes) in their entirety, we've already
enjoyed 20 of the 23 tracks! Perhaps "Box Set" would have been
more accurately served by the title "Buffalo Springfield Again!
Again!! Again!!!". Rhino appears to have hastily added a sticker
claiming "Box Set" is in fact a 3-disc compilation with a "bonus"
disc, but the list price might reflect otherwise. A real bonus
would have been more intelligent sequencing and possibly some
killer live recordings, not just a tepid chronology of tour dates.
Or better still, a reconstruction of the aborted 2nd
LP, "Stampede", long documented on the bootleg circuit. At the
very least, Rhino could've squeezed in the remaining five tracks
from "Last Time Around" for the sake of completeness, but they're
undoubtedly being held in reserve for "Box Set II" (my suggestion:
one 3" CD in a shoe box filled with buffalo chips, yum!). Oh, and
the music? The venerable Springfield, during their tempestuous
existence between 1966-68, was the launching pad for songwriter-
guitarists Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, drummer Dewey
Martin, and bassist Bruce Palmer. Pop-Psychedelia, proto-Alt-
Country, 36 previously unheard selections, one powerhouse-hot
band. For what it's worth, nothing short of essential. [JG]

DYLAN NYOUKIS "The Shield that Pierces the Earth" (Catsup Plate) LP  $10.99
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Dylan Nyoukis, most known for his work with the Scottish sound
collage ensemble Prick Decay, has recently unearthed his first
solo full length. Self-described as a folk album, "The Shield
that Pierces the Earth" doesnt exactly mimic Dylanisms a
la "Highway 61", as Nyoukis instead explores otherworldly terrain,
inspired partially by indigenous music from around the globe. From
the gamelan-like percussion explorations to the howling monkish
chants (and so much packed in between), "The Shield that Pierces
the Earth" is a one-man tribute to a large portion of the Folkways
library. Nyoukis also incorporates odd looping bits of sound and
electronics, and with the lo-fi recording and crackle of vinyl,
these fragments could easily be mistaken for a lost recording of
classic concrete sounds. Seaming it all together is Nyoukis
ability to give each sound a distinctly old-timey feel, producing
a fluid continuity between folk and non-folk terrain.  Packaged
gorgeously as a handmade gatefold LP (complete with pink
vinyl!) "The Shield that Pierces the Earth" drops from the skies
as a lost experimental classic immediately upon release. [PW]

JULIEN RIBOT "Hotel Bocchi" (Ici d'ailleurs, France) CD $16.99
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Though he mixes with good company, Julien Ribot has nonetheless
managed to keep a low profile on the French independent music
scene. He's shown up on a compilation put together by Philippe
Katerine and written songs for Kahimi Karie, but has been
overshadowed by his more prominent peers, until now. "Hotel
Bocchi" is Ribot's debut album. And while it's unlikely to make him
a household name even in his native France, it firmly places him in
league with other French indie luminaries like Dominique A, Bertrand
Burgalat, and the aforementioned Katerine. On "Hotel Bocchi", Ribot
expertly crafts baroque-tinged orchestrated pop that drips with equal
parts of ennui and angst. His modern-day take on French chanson
and cabaret is sprinkled with echoes of Mancini and Bacharach (and
even New Order on 'La Montagne De L'Espace'), but he also knows
how to rock a beat, twisting weird analog-synth sounds and muted
trumpets around the rhythm of '7000 Dollars'. Though he has a flair
for the dramatic (especially on 'Je Dormais Sous La Neige', a version
of which shows up on Karie's album "Tilt") his songs remain both
intimate and down-to-earth. A splendid debut through and through.

CURRENT 93 / NURSE WITH WOUND "Bright Yellow Moon" (United Durtro, UK) CD $16.99
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"Bright Yellow Moon" is a continuation of the harrowing soundtrack
to one man's near-demise. Beginning with the life-flashing-before-
one's-eyes collage that was "The Great In The Small", David Tibet
has sought to come to terms with his encounters with The Grim
Reaper following the death of his father and his own recent
hospitalization for peritonitis caused by a ruptured appendix.
While it might be tempting to suggest that Tibet has been dancing
with death for the last 20 years, with Current 93's relentless
exploration of existential industrialism and apocalyptic folk, it
is indeed comforting to discover the humility he displays in his
reportage from the front. No one is ever prepared. Although billed
as the first-ever joint album by Current 93 & Nurse With
Wound, "Bright Yellow Moon" is essentially a continuation of the
longstanding partnership between Steven Stapleton and David Tibet.
As Tibet recites his testimony over Michael Cashmore's lush
acoustic guitar and the hypnotic eternal swirl of a harmonium,
Stapleton is given carte blanche to tweak and shape-shift the
sonic backdrop in the inimitable NWW style. Ethereal effects,
psychotic swoosh and cartoon voiced pastiche effectively duet with
Tibet's anguished tales of the ever-expanding whole. The Small in
the Great? Beautiful. [JG]

LIFT TO EXPERIENCE "The Texas Jerusalem Crossroads" (Bella Union, UK) 2xCD $24.99
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The CD opens with a voice intoning "I hear the train a-comin'"?
and that train's horn blares the Denton, Texas spacerock of Lift
to Experience. All atmospheric guitars and thick layers of
spirituality-meets-Spiritualized; are Lift to Experience religious
fanatics or marketing geniuses? Secular or not, (ok, obviously
not), I am suprised the NME is not all over this: the Simon
Raymonde (Cocteau Twins)-mixed double CD features Josh
Pearson's Rufus Wainright-meets-Bono vocals over and
underneath intense wau-wau, flanger and reverb-soaked guitar
melodies ("ladies and gentlemen, we are playing with just one
guitar", says the cover). All parts peak on stand-out tracks
'The Ground So Soft' and 'When We Shall Touch.' Both are
grandiose nods to My Bloody Valentine dynamics, melted into
minimalist ballads by the hot Texas sun. If you are not a fan of
the Lone Star State, you'll probably be one after listening to this
concept album. [LG]

SONIC CATERING BAND "Artificial Additives" (Peripheral, UK) CD  $15.99
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The Sonic Catering Band is a conceptual project of anonymous UK
sound terrorists whose shared passion is recording the preparation
of food (!) and treating the recordings through processing,
cutting, mixing and layering. "No source sounds other than those
coming from the cooking of the dish are used and as a commitment
to artistic integrity, every dish is consumed by all members of
the Band. The aim of the project being to plough and furrow as
meticulously as possible every possibility inherent in the cooking
process, both sonically and conceptually?"-www.soniccatering.com.
Over the past five years, the mad chefs have mainly released
limited edition singles. This release complies remixes of their
mixes by En Eye, Nurse With Wound, They Came From The Stars; I
Saw Them, Nish, Clear Spot, Clare Connors, Greg Kurcewicz & Dan
Hayhurst. More pseudonyms, I imagine, since I only recognize NWW.
It's all pretty great, however, especially the Caterers themselves
answering the age-old question: What if the sequencer on 'Won't
Get Fooled Again' suddenly went beserk and devoured Pete
Townshend & Co. whole? Top-notch! [JG]

MARRIED MONK "Rocky" (Ici D'Ailleurs, France) CD $16.99
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Maybe best described as post-modern cabaret, something like a
cross between Leonard Cohen and Robert Wyatt. Aside from a few pop
moments, Married Monk provide us with dark yet unique observations
of life with carefully constructed arrangements that create an
unsettling sense of despair. Contains an amazing version of Robert
Wyatt's 'Sea Song'.  [AG]

KIYOSHI IZUMI "Orange Sunshine Selected Works 1998-2000" (Childisc, Japan) CD $19.99
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One of the (many) things that made the last Boredoms album so
splendid and unique was not just the sounds they made, but how
they arranged them--and then how all those sounds ended up being
reprocessed electronically. A lot of that processing was done by
Kiyoshi Izumi, who also recorded a single for Rephlex back in
1997. "Orange Sunshine" has some of the shimmering weirdness and
unexpected vectors he applied to his work w/Boredoms (and a lot of
the same sounds and effects), but also has more of the cute
ambient melodies oft-associated with Childisc's label head's
(Takemura) work. Izumi, however, avoids extremes. His work is
steady, but contains smaller rhythmic (and melodic) instabilities
within. It can be corrosive, but never too much so--after abrading
you for a while with carefully-placed bursts of noise and the
rhythms associated with a game of ping pong, he'll start up the
music boxes. It's a kind of music that requires a computer to keep
track of not just how everything is placed, but maybe even why.

KEITH FULLERTON WHITMAN "21:30 for Acoustic Guitar" (Apartment B) CD EP $8.99
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21+minutes of, as the cover states: "?Acoustic guitar and voice
tracking, sine wave generator, 4-channel tape delay simulator,
zooms(?) stereo field shuffler, & 5-second hand reverb VST plug-
ins." My translation may be off, but essentially there are two
tracks here, guitar that's no longer guitar, acoustics that are no
longer acoustics but are instead something that you're inside the
computer, you're like Tron if you can hear them at all. And it's
the prettiest concert Tron no doubt ever would have heard,
tingling, droning delicate tendrils of sound springing forth and
waving in the same lovely undulations as seaweed under water.
Recorded in 1999. Whitman also goes by the name Hrvatski. [RE]

HYPERJINX TRICYCLE "The Songs of Jack Medicine, Daniel Johnston & Ron English" (Shortwave) CD $13.99
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I approached this project with enough trepidation to fill a truck.
Johnston, being the quintessential 'outsider' musician has already
proved over time that his music is, in fact, timeless, evolving
and heart-wrenching in one way or another every time.
Other 'outsiders' have not fared as well, and even less when they
start to play with others rather than revealing their world and
their world alone to us (can I say "Wesley Willis"?). Johnston's
chosen the ideal collaborators here, in Ron English and Jack
Medicine. In fact, English and Medicine both model their own songs
after Johnston--so much so, that, strangely enough, you can have a
hard time telling them apart. Johnston's voice is the primary one,
and English and Medicine are but echoes of his, adding a little
depth and force. The arrangements are quite good here, with a
California country gloom here, a wry failing wind-up there, a
smooth sound that doesn't dominate but supports nicely. A cover
of 'Seasons in the Sun' is the capper, an inevitable few minutes
of dense warpage. Two tracks on the end are alternates of songs
on the album. [RE]

STARFISH POOL "Illusions of Move-The Golden Cycle" (Hymen, Germany) CD $15.99
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It's necessary to clear up some of the common misconceptions
surrounding the Hymen imprint, and its parent label, Ant-Zen.
They've both been long regarded as home to third-rate slow, dark,
ambient, industrial music that either served as a replacement for
Halcion or was only of interest to third-generation goths. But
things have changed a lot over at Hymen & Ant-Zen HQ. Fresh A&R
staff have turned Hymen in particular into a highly innovative
electronic label releasing music a lot of other indies wouldn't
touch. Records by Scorn (Mick Harris), Neutral (Nicole Elmer of
Planet Mu), Bochum Welt (of Rephlex), and others have made Hymen
indispensable. But poor distribution and old associations made
obtaining the records difficult.  Starfish Pool's stunning debut
album, following their recent EP, makes my point perfectly. It
moves effortlessly from lengthy, heavily echoed, tape loop pieces
like 'Sinked', scattered with trickling percussion to melodic
pieces that have three chord pop hooks and drifting female vocals,
such as 'Break the Sea Below' to distorted, crunchy kick-drummed
numbers that envelop one's entire aural range. This album is
evidence that Starfish Pool's extensive back catalogue needs
mining. [TH]

ON AIR LIBRARY "s/t" (Bellhop) CD $6.99
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Great new NYC trio, On Air Library offer us beautiful drifting pop
songs reminscent of the finer moments on 4AD records, lush late
night atmospheres of guitar and bits of electronica with female
and male vocals. 6 song EP. [AG]

OSUNLADE "Paradigm" (Soul Jazz) CD/LP $18.99/$18.99
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Osunlade, an ordained Ifa priest from NYC, runs the Yoruba label.
This is his first album, and falls somewhere between downtempo
dancefloor material (afro-House?) and African Pop, with covers of
Brazilian tunes, too. It works best one track at a time, the
sounds and influences mingling to create some quite striking work.
Taken continuously, the beats don't vary much from song to song.
But the vocals stand out: some quite gruffly African, others
slinky and Sade-like, with Wummi (Masters at Work) as a guest.
CD  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=502632810052&refer_url=email
LP  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=502632800052&refer_url=email

RADIO BIRDMAN "The Essential Radio Birdman, 1974-1978" (Sub Pop)  CD $14.99
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Radio Birdman was founded in Australia by Ann Arbor, Michigan
native, guitarist Deniz Tek. Growing up amidst the music of the
MC5, he incorporated that sound into his own Antipodean outfit,
adding poppier elements to make a sound that would precede and
possibly even influence the Ramones and the Clash. Muscular
guitars, a sense of fun, synchronous + forceful vocals are some of
the main elements in their work.  This CD, of 22 tracks, includes
songs from their "Burn My Eye" EP, the classic "Radios Appear"
album (which was reissued in the U.S. in 1978), the "More Fun" EP
(a live recording from 1977) and the "Living Eyes" album, which
was recorded in 1978 but released in 1981. [RE]

[V/A] "This is Next Year Brooklyn" (Arena Rock, Brooklyn) 2xCD  $14.99
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Regional compilations always have to fight a particular kind of
randomness in aesthetics-meets-geography, and Brooklyn even more
so: since many of its denizens are imports, that's an extra layer
of randomness on top of the initial geographical coincidence.
Considering that Brooklyn is the home of so many pockets of
culture from around the world, this compilation is overwhelmingly,
culturally Euro-American: forms represented are country, punk, new
wave, experimental, rock, a little etcetera. Which is not to say
what's in here is pallid or weak. In fact Brooklyn houses some of
the best country acts in the nation: Hoagy, Laura Cantrell, Hem,
Cub Country, Boggs--almost enough to make up a whole disc. The
new wave trax are great, by the Ex-Models and the Seconds. The
Walkmen's song is fantastic. There's over 140 minutes of music
here, randomly sequenced, with all the proceeds going to the
Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition (BARC). Other acts here: Ida,
Mink Lungs, They Might Be Giants, Ranier Maria, The Birdwatcher,
Home, more. [RE]

This Just In:

MARKANT "Infam" (Markant, Germany) CD $15.99
Carsten Endrass' first CD, following the long series of
elaborately packaged 12"s on his label. Collects two EPs plus
extra tracks, full review next week.


NOONDAY UNDERGROUND "Self-Assembly" (Bar None) CD $13.99
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Now domestic, with FOUR new tracks. Along with Jim Beattie (of
Spirea X and Primal Scream), Simon Dine was a core member of the
first incarnation of Adventures in Stereo -- you know, when they
still used all the '60s samples and had a sense of how to make
gorgeous, timeless pop songs from history's fragments. But Dine
left the group after their second album together (that awesome
collection of their earliest singles), to work on his own project,
Noonday Underground. Noonday captures that same combination of
cut-up Phil Spector with the fierce side of girl-group soul, samples
of the punchiest (or the smoothest) early '60s pop records formed
into swelling, crashing beats. And Dine had the foresight to skip
over any run-of-the-mill sweet girl singer and landed vocalist
Daisy Martey on half of the tracks, whose powerful pipes sound
like a smoother, more polished Janis Joplin. Imagine De La Soul
without the rap or a patchwork Dusty Springfield and you're close.
Really splendid. [RE]

MATCHING MOLE "Smoke Signals" (Cuneiform) CD $12.99
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A beautifully packaged treasure-trove of previously unreleased
recordings from Robert Wyatt's initial post-Soft Machine project.
Recorded in 1972 during Matching Mole's most intensive touring
period, this assemblage draws largely on "Little Red Record"
material, but the live performances are starkly different. Wyatt
on drums and vocals propels the Mole through intricate
compositions and expansive improvisations.Top-notch! [JG]

This week's contributors: Tom Capodanno [TC], David Day [DD],
Robin Edgerton [RE], Lisa Garrett [LG], Jeff Gibson [JG], Andy
Giles [AG], Tim Haslett [TH], Dan Hirsch [DHi], Dan Hougland
[DHo], Phil Waldorf [PW].

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