Other Music New Release Update
June 13, 2001

In This Week's Update:

Toby Dammit
Belle & Sebastian single
Taj Mahal Travellers reissue
Acid Mothers Temple
Supersilent 5
Jorge Ben reissue
Jon Sheffield
DJ Spinna All Mixed Up comp.
RU:Electronic Russian comp.
The Yeah
Stilluppsteypa & TV Pow
Spring Heel Jack (+ contempo jazz artists)
Joseph Spence reissue
Incredible Bongo Band reissue
Bollywood Songs comp.
The Night Watch comp./Section 25 rarities
Calling All Kings and Queens Mr. Lady records comp.
Axel Dorner & Kevin Drumm
RKK 13 comp. (Hrvatski remixed)
Soul Explosion V.1
Kool Keith (w/Esham)
Tied & Tickled Trio
Fennesz (full review next week)
Kid 606 remixed
Nicola Conte domestic
Sebastian Tellier domestic
Songs in the Key of Z outsider music comp.
The Spacious Mind

Featured New Releases:

TOBY DAMMIT "Top Dollar" (Omplatten) CD/LP $11.99/$9.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/tdammit2.rm
Pseudonyms both hide and reveal, often leaking into the work of
the artists who choose them. For example, The Residents, with
their cool, deliberate name and music. But when somebody goes
another way, taking his moniker from a Fellini short based on a
Poe story, what does it do to the music? Well, everything. This
wild, unclassifiable disc freaks it all over. And, except for a
bit of harpsichord and some vocal blurps, it's all done with
percussion, so everybody who's worn out a copy of Hal
Blaine's "Psychedelic Percussion" has a new playlist pal. Full-out
propulsive, but chuggy-chug enough to satisfy the prog-rocker
within, this heavy dose of swirling trancey-dance is a mushroom
ride to the center of your mind. But it isn't hippie chic. It's a
DRUM record, baby, and rhythm-heads will bob along to the
relentless rat-a-tat of its sharp-stepping beat. And lounge brats
will certainly respond to the atmospheric production of OM
favorite Bertrand Burgalat. A message in a bottle from Wherever,
brisk as a sock in the jaw from your favorite uncle, it's a stone
cold gas. But what is it? [AL]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=66733600081&refer_url=email

BELLE & SEBASTIAN "Jonathan David" (Matador/Jeepster) CD EP/12"/7" $5.99/$4.99/$3.99
Eleven minutes of pop glory (if you get the 7", it's missing the
languid 'take your carriage clock and shove it' led by maudlin
strings). The title track places a piano line that's become nearly
habit to B&S amidst lovely pop with more harmonies than usual,
and a touch of a minor key. 'Loneliness' tracks along with electric
piano and a bopping late Beatles guitar sound (a la 'Octopus'
Garden'). Lyrics that view a/your life with a kind of detachment,
which they and St. Etienne are so good at writing. Album still not
scheduled. Though not raising the bar, they're keeping it quite
high with this EP. [RE]
12 /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=74486105101&refer_url=email
7 /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=74486105107&refer_url=email

CLOUDDEAD "Clouddead" (Mush) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/bikept2.rm
Let me introduce you to the young quest of Anticon and its spawn
cLOUDDEAD. As a 14-member collective, Anticon have redefined
(some might say trampled upon) hip-hop conventions to concoct
a mutant music that is extremely and intentionally eccentric. As
neophytes, they are allowed to take chances, and so they do --
like combining free speak with ambient synths, DAT recordings of
pedestrians and live rhythm, or singsong voice with darkwave
beats. As artists, they are subverting everything they touch. In
short, Anticon are the snotty punks of avant hip-hop. That said,
cLOUDDEAD is three Anticoni: odd nosdam, a producer of freaked
ambience; Doseone, the squeaky freeflow MC; and why? who
does a little of both. This particular release is a compilation of six
10" singles, pressed between 1998 and 2000, recorded mostly in
Cincinnati. cLOUDDEAD experiments within "movements," one for
each side of a 10". So, the CD is 12 movements of way-out
soundscape. The most effective tracks are atmospheric in nature:
'Apt.A (2)' includes a 7-speed blender, Boards Of Canada synthy
beats and wine glasses. 'Cloud Dead Number Five' is strictly
ambient, and quite pretty. 'Bike,' (tracks 11 and 12) is all sewn
collage, at different times recalling Negativland, Terry Riley,
Daniel Johnston, Monty Python and Basehead. cLOUDEAD show
no regard for boundaries, definitions or categories, both their
most positive and most dubious distinction. The strange, and
sometimes strangely beautiful cLOUDDEAD is only the first
mutation to spring from Anticon's head...one can only imagine
what's to come. [DD]

TAJ MAHAL TRAVELLERS "July 15, 1972" (Drone Syndicate, Sweden) LP  $29.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/SixForty.rm
Yet another prayer answered! An extremely well done gray-area
reissue of the first LP (originally released via CBS Japan) by
this commune of psychedelic Fluxus heads, led by the legendary
Takehisa Kosugi (Group Ongaku). Recorded live at Sohgetsu Hall,
Tokyo the album documents three lengthy drone-infused
collective improvisations. In addition to standard acoustic
instrumentation, violinist Kosugi and trumpeter Seiji Nagai are
armed with audio and radio frequency oscillators and all six
musicians are augmented by an echo machine at the command
of producer-member Go Hamada and electronic engineer Kinji
Hayashi. As each piece evolves and the Travellers gradually
unleash their arsenal, collisions between instruments and sound
ensue and the quest for higher ground commences. Harmonica
battles bass, violin vies with vibraphone, trumpet (frequent-flyer
Miles!) takes on tuba, and percussion punctuates ghostly vocal
chants wafting through the ether, all deliciously swirled to
lysergic perfection! Our man Michael K. swears this one even
shreds their double-disc monster "August 1974" (P-Vine) and
while I'm not quite there yet, I'm giving it careful consideration.
Limited run of 300 copies, so don't think twice. Highest
recommendation. [JG]

ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE "New Geocentric World Of Acid Mothers Temple" (Squealer) CD $12.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/StillNow.rm
If ever I should decide to quit my job, I'd consider Acid Mothers
Temple and the bands immediately splintering off their unique
orbit (Mainliner, Toho Sara, Musica Transonic, etc.) as my next
full-time career. So magnificent, so incredibly prolific (dozens
of official releases, 100+ CD-Rs and counting) I would happily
become lost in their vortex of psychedelic sonic bliss. As their
roadie, I would tend their instruments, fetch them yogurt and
learn to braid their hair. Guitarist Makoto Kawabata would be my
guru and I'd sell incense and bumper stickers. We'd never have
to travel in a van, not even between cities of close proximity,
because Acid Mothers Temple fly everywhere. And when I'm old,
this CD will remain a distant but happy memory but at least my
children will know I was somebody. Yeah. [JG]

SUPERSILENT "5" (Rune Grammofon, Norway) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Kulturki.rm
Supersilent is perhaps Norway's best-kept musical secret, a hot
polar opposite to the chill of Sigur Ros. Of course, Sigur Ros hail
from Iceland, but I just wanted to get your attention. Supersilent
are more than another band du jour; they are jazz musicians,
elektro mavens, and sonic scientists. "5" consists of five lengthy
tracks selected by member Helge Sten (aka Deathprod) from over
30 hours of recordings made at shows between February 1999
and November 2000. Which results in a slow-burning 71-minute
adventure in innerspace, an unimaginable realm where ambient
meets fusion (the dreaded F-word; Supersilent dig Miles!) meets
improv just until the center can hold no longer and I am
devastated. Werner Herzog, anyone? Supersilent know their
Popol Vuh, too! And while I'm loath to invoke the T-word, in a
truly just world Supersilent would be as widely hailed as Tortoise.
But we know all too well that this world is not just. Not to worry,
though, we'll just keep Supersilent to ourselves. [JG]

JORGE BEN "Africa Brasil" (Philips, Japan) CD $21.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/jorgben2.rm
In my personal pantheon of Brazilian musicians, Jorge Ben sits
next to, not beneath, Ze and the Mutantes. Yet among Tropicalia
fans, he always seems to slip through the cracks, never mentioned
in the same breath as Veloso, Gil, Costa. Maybe that's because he
didn't rock as hard, nor did he take as outspoken of a political
stance--but his pop melodies are the kind that etch their way into
their brain, oft-covered by his contemporaries across the board,
from bossanova musicians to experimentors. This CD reissue has
been available for about three years, but has been really hard to
find. Many cite it as his best, and a bunch of tracks from this
album alone were lifted for the very first Luaka Bop "Brazil
Classics" comp. For me, it's tied with "A Tabua de Esmerelda",
and though both albums were only recorded two years apart,
they're further than that stylistically--"Tabua" is straight Brazilian
pop, "Africa Brasil" has been called the best Brazilian funk album
ever made. With a 26-piece band (well over half of those being
percussionists), the rhythms, both African and Brazilian in
origin, are king. Yet this army of drumming (and squeaking, and
spattering) is shaped and definable, never running ragged but
toughly contained, a powerhouse of energy whirling in pop's
service, and absolutely magnificent. [RE]

JON SHEFFIELD "It's Been So Long Since I've Seen the Ocean" (Tom, Germany) CD $14.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/jonshef2.rm
After wracking my brain for weeks now trying to think of what
Sheffield's work reminds me of, it finally came to me this
afternoon: it's most like the music and sounds that the Magnetic
Fields put on "Distant Plastic Trees". That electric-yet-friendly
sound, loop-driven but not always predictably so. Melancholy
but optimistic, Sheffield's sounds and rhythms spring from the
acoustic, then shift somewhat, like a spinning top moves laterally
across a floor but doesn't stop its circular motion. This approach
is a lot like that of Max Tundra or labelmates Sack & Blumm, with
a giddy and wry charm that's neither too cute nor too sweet. [RE]

[V/A] "The DJ Spinna Collection - Part I: All Mixed Up" (Urban Theory, UK) 2xCD $18.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/wiseguys.rm
DJ Spinna is on a roll. After years of remixes, singles, DJ gigs
and other underground tasks, DJ Spinna (Vincent Williams) is
coming to the foreground with a quickness. It's like this: The
Jigmastas (Spinna and Kriminul) just released a full-length on
Landspeed, Spinna recently compiled the superfantastic 3xCD
"Strange Games And Things" for BBE, and the Panamanian
Brooklynite has yet to unleash his "Beat Generation" for that
same label (not to mention working on the great Stevie Wonder
'tribute' CD "Wonder Wrote It" recently). Clearly the hard work is
paying off... Like many an underground DJ, Spinna has earned
respect from Paris to Tokyo. It's no surprise that Britain's Urban
Theory felt compelled to release this 2-CD collection of Spinna's
remixes. Like the K&D Sessions, disc one of the DJ Spinna
Collection is Spinna's own mix of his own remixes. 23 tracks
(74 minutes) of smooth hip-hop features Les Nubians, Attica
Blues, Nightmares On Wax, Shirley Bassey and 4Hero. Spinna
even drops his jazzified remix of the Wiseguys 'Start The
Commotion' towards the end (thankfully, he left out his bill-
paying 311 remixes). Disc Two has twelve tracks unmixed.
Spinna's put together a pulsing, rhythmic collection of soul-
soothing hip-hop, illustrating his own worldview and rightful
place among Brooklyn's finest. Keep one eye on Spinna,
something tells me he's just getting warmed up. [DD]

[V/A] "RU:Electronic" (Lo Recordings, UK) CD $16.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/klutchRU.rm
I'm now quite wary of glitchy electronic comps. It's become that
every startup electronic label does at least one, and usually with
the seeming castoffs from more famous musicians--the songs that
an artist did but didn't quite love enough to put on his or her own
album. Sigh. This is not that. Instead Lo Records assembled their
favorite electronic tracks from, this time, Russian artists, and
the majority of the tracks are taken from the artists' (quite hard-
to-find) LPs, EPs, and singles, a big chunk of them on the Russian
label Cheburec. This makes the comp much higher quality than
the usual, and the mavericks within collectively have defined
something that drifts away from Suction Records' '80s kitsch
and towards tigerbeat records' severe glitch, making a few
stops along the way to don fake "Logan's Run" soundtrack
disguises and reconfigure heavies from Cologne. A few tracks
here are spectacular, like PCP's weird bubbling sounds that
erupt unexpectedly into funk, Tenzor's antiqued audio
transmissions polished to a gleam. Quite well done, with
surprises that reveal themselves gradually. [RE]

ZORN "The City's Collapsing (But Not Tonight)" (Lux Nigra, Germany) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/zorncit2.rm
I have waited four years to include a record on Berlin's Lux
Nigra label in this newsletter. From the label's inaugural release,
a compilation called "Biophilia Allstars," Lux Nigra has been at the
forefront of path-breaking electronic music, period. Though the
label's owners are close friends of Morr Music's Thomas Morr, the
music is like chalk and cheese. Zorn's (Michael, not John) "Tower
Park" EP actually redefined a new genre, no matter how hopeless
a cliche that may be (It is now out of print). He extends that
innovation on his first full-length record by making an uptempo,
electronic dance record that covers the nighttime city like a
giant searchlight. But the danceable tempo is rendered invisible
by the difficult melodies and occasional 3/4 time signatures. The
central paradox of the Zorn record lies in its analogy to classic
jungle insofar as, in jungle, one can dance to the bassline, which
moves at the calm tempo of roots dub or to the percussion which
tears along at around 150 BPM. Tracks like 'Deconsoiled' and 'Rock
The Boat' are perfect examples of this. They sound like tranquil,
awkwardly melodic pieces, but have a nearly inaudible, fast
moving rhythm. The sound clips will alert you to the fecundity of
Zorn's imagination. He is an artist to watch carefully as Lux Nigra
is an imprint that will continue to move forward where few labels
are willing to go. [TH]

IDA "The Braille Night" (Tiger Style) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/solong.rm
Recorded during the sessions for last year's "Will You Find Me"
(including some Warn Defever production), "The Braille Night" is
a slower, duskier album, with fewer live favorites and more of an
emphasis on atmosphere and arrangements (those three-part
harmonies! that violin! wow!). It finds Ida taking after the
mellowest moments of mid-'70s Neil Young and Brian Eno, and
drifting through long instrumental passages. But it's also got the
staggering seven-minute rocker 'Blizzard of '78,' one of their
career highlights, and Karla (K.) Schickele's precisely sketched
'Arrowheads.' Bonus: 'So Long,' in which Dan Littleton cops the
first two syllables of 'I'm Sailing Away.' [DW]

THE YEAH "s/t" (Wondersound) CD $11.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/theyeah2.rm
Holding up the Beach Boys and sunny So. Cal new wave (Bangles)
as spiritual ancestors, The Yeah throw down some orch-rock, but
bring in the thumping bass and beats of dance music. A bit like
big contempo J-Pop (I could see this on Emperor Norton no prob.),
and for fans of everything from Thievery Corporation to the Aislers
Set. Great sampling use and choice (OM NYC's DJ Duane
contributed some production tidbits in this dept.), especially in
the approximately one-minute intros that usually precede and
contrast (but complement, too) each song. Lightweight but not
fluff, my only complaint is that the band (DJ Wade and Jackie G)
are a bit disingenuous in how just plain/pop-template-ish their
lyrics are -- mostly because you can tell, from the music especially,
that the band is much, much smarter than their words reveal
(something I now dub the "Redd Kross effect"). [RE]

STILLUPPSTEYPA & TV POW "We Are Everyone in the Room" (Erstwhile) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/stilpow2.rm
A fascinating document of the use of the laptop in a live setting.
With the immense amount of documentation that "dangerous
improvisation" has received over the past years, sometimes, I
worry that the genre will work itself into a rut and become
complacent with itself. This, a joint project between
Icelandic/Dutch laptop & electronics group Stilluppsteypa and
Chicago-based laptop & electronics trio TV Pow perfectly avoids
any such failings. The humorously-titled pieces were recorded
live during the groups' fall U.S. tour, showcase a unique gestalt
formed by the exposition of ideas from the works of both bands
past. With Ferrari-style giggling girls, Nurse with Wound dada,
Mego laptop noise, text, & found sounds, their sound quilt would
be more readily recognized as a Metamkine 3", if stuck together
in a workshop in southern France over the course of eight years,
rather than being the work of six laptops recorded live in
Detroit. [MG]

SPRING HEEL JACK "The Blue Series Continuum: Masses" (Thirsty Ear) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/SPJblue2.rm
Thirsty Ear takes curatorial advantage of their label position and
pairs up Spring Heel Jack with label compadres Tim Berne,
Matthew Shipp, and William Parker, Roy Campbell, as well as
Daniel Carter, Evan Parker, and a few others. I can't tell what
exactly the recording procedure was for this, but my guess is that
John Coxon and Ashley Wales made electronic compositions --
fuzzy, dirty, and scrabblingly staticky, then the jazz artists
improvised along with these tracks in the studio. But they could
have been recorded simultaneously, all improv and immediate.
Recorded in both London and NYC, "Masses" has a density that
the clear jazz instruments alone can't quite muster, and a few
tracks never coalesce, the sounds lying on top of each other like
detached lovers. A musical kin to the more pointillist exercises of
George Russell and Bill Dixon, some of the tracks have a chaotic
plunge of sound that slips in and out of refinement, fusion in a
more atmospheric sense (sometimes I think this album could be
called "Messes" instead -- this is NOT a bad thing). 10 shorter
tracks with different combinations of players on each. I wonder
how much tape they rolled to get this much good stuff? [RE]

JOSEPH SPENCE "Complete Folkways Recordings" (Smithsonian Folkways) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/spence2.rm
This is a reissue of a 1958 recording for Folkways that has been
out for a while now, but we decided to give it some added
exposure because we love it that much. Joseph Spence was a
Bahaman folk guitar player whom famed musicologist and field
recorder Samuel Charters discovered on a trip to the island of
Andros in the late '50s. Charters was stunned by Spence's
originality -- his guitar playing was so idiosyncratic that he when
he first heard him he was certain he was hearing two players at
once. Spence took his repertoire from simple folk melodies and
pop tunes, and, against the backbeat of his thumping foot he
would proceed to improvise and deconstruct the songs'
structures. While these recordings tend to focus more on his
guitar playing, Spence was also a fascinating vocalist. He
doesn't so much as sing as swiftly growl nearly incomprehensible
rhymes through his pipe-clenched jaws, while periodically
bursting into laughter. These recordings caused quite a stir
when they were released in 1959, no one had ever heard
anything remotely like them, and I know that when I came to
them several years ago, they were some of the most foreign
music I had ever heard. An essential document of music that
was silenced upon Spence's death in 1984. [MK]

HERBERT "Bodily Functions" (K7) CD/LP $15.99/$19.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/iknow.rm
There is a synergy that snaps into effect when musically talented
persons wrestle into control the very technology that seeks to
take their place. More often than not, that synergy is miraculous
(think Herbie Hancock's "Thrust", Cornelius' "Fantasma", or even
Shuggie Otis). With "Bodily Functions", Herbert proves himself a
true champion. Matthew Herbert (aka Wishmountain, Doctor
Rockit) is one of those classically trained artists that can write
songs as well as he manipulates a sample. For as much as he
rocks the decks, he rocks the Baby Grand just the same. As the
stand-up bass reverberates around Herbert's soft piano and
Dana Siclianos' ethereal vocals, the samples start to leak in --
squishy, playful, a natural combination -- as in 'I Know,' a
thoroughly modern song that sounds like Matmos gigging with
Nina Simone. House lovers don't fret, though, as Herbert gives
us two juicy singles that will undoubtedly get the superstar
remix treatment later. Altogether, "Bodily Funtions" is a
beautiful album, rich with instruments and subtle loops from
original sources (some even courtesy of Matmos). Like Laika,
Beth Orton or Bjork, Matthew Herbert has allowed songwriting
and electronics to converge, trusting his skill to make the
stitching seamless. And it does. [DD]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=73000370971&refer_url=email

INCREDIBLE BONGO BAND "Bongo Rock" (Strut, UK) CD $16.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/bongoba2.rm
Witness the birth of the perfect breakbeat, in 1972. Michael Viner
went from music promoter to Kennedy campaigner (Robert) back
to music executive, and, forming the Incredible Bongo Band,
stumbled onto a great formula: percussion-heavy covers of
popular tunes. The track with the most impact and staying
power was 'Apache', a song also recorded by the Ventures
and the Shadows, which became something entirely different
in the Bongo's hands and worked out to be a staple of old-
school hip-hop producers and one of the uber-breaks of all-
time (and the basis for the Sugarhill Gang's 'Apache Rap').
'Bongo Rock', their first single, was a Kool Herc mainstay.
Later, LL Cool J, Massive Attack, and many others would lift
Bongo breaks: like producers David Axelrod or Dave Pike, the
funkiness was a side-product, one which rose to the surface
decades later in an entirely new context. Includes their two
albums entirely and a single or two. [RE]

[V/A] "The Very Best Bollywood Songs" (Outcaste, UK) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/sholay.rm
Three decades of Bollywood pop--the best songs from the '90s
(modern classics like A.R. Rahman's 'Chaiya Chaiya', which will
probably sound familiar to you, one of the biggest Indian hits of
the past 10 years), a few from the '80s, and the cream of 1970s
songcraft. Where Outcaste's last Bollywood comp dug up the
hardest and oddest funk in mid-'70s Indian soundtrack music,
here they cast their ear towards the pop form. More lilting and
slower, these don't have the wallop-you-over-the-head
weirdnesses, though touches of incongruity are everywhere,
subtle but no less affecting (like a whole track where the
vocals are eerily filtered, a track with Italian folk music riffs,
minor key Yiddish melodies [complete w/cantorial phrasing],
or the tough dub effects of 1994's 'Tu Cheez badi hai mast').
You'll also find the rollicking spaghetti western 'Haa Jab Tak
Hai Jaan' from the classic "Sholay"; some bizarre minimal
electronics in the recent 'Na Tum Jano Na Hum' (which sounds
like they used a modified Brinkmann track as the base or
something), and the mesmerizing 'Chalte Chalte', of even
rhythms and a near-monotone melodic line. I'd love to see
Outcaste do a DVD comp of Bollywood 'music videos' next!

[V/A/Section 25] "The Night Watch/Illuminus Illumina" (Les Temp Modernes, UK) 2xCD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/RigiRigi.rm
I might be inclined to say that Les Temp Modernes has played
host to a roster of also-rans (Section 25 and Crispy Ambulance
unjustly slammed as poor man's Joy Divisions, Josef K written
off as second-tier Orange Juice, etc.). But then I'd also hasten to
add that in the grand scheme of things, this is most preferable.
Disc 1, "The Night Watch", is a 17-track gathering of highlights
from LTM's intermittent 17-year history and includes select cuts
from the aforementioned plus The Names, Paul Haig, Tuxedomoon,
William S. Burroughs, Ultramarine, Jean Cocteau and a few other
artists few would recognize. The selections here flow quite
smoothly and I am favorably reminded of all those El Records
and Trattoria compilations (second bananarama!) we can never
keep in stock and no wonder, digging through labelmeister
James Nice's exhaustive liner notes/life story we find him to be
an unabashed admirer of same. But that's not even half the
story. In addition to a first-rate comp that puts you one-up on
your friends in the department of cool, LTM tosses in an entire
18-track, 73-minute bonus CD of previously unreleased Section
25 material! Disc 2, "Illuminus Illumina" features rehearsal jams,
live tracks, alternate takes and other ephemera details about
which are maddeningly absent from the liners. Fittingly, I
suppose, because LTM was never about words anyway. It's
really all about TEXTURE, friend. [JG]

[V/A] "Calling All Kings and Queens" (Mr. Lady) CD $12.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/crownsKQ.rm
First, it is crucial to assert that, though Mr. Lady is clearly
interested in exposing dyke music that routinely gets ignored by
earthy-crunchier 'women's music' labels, many of the artists here
do not wear their politics on their sleeve whatsoever. The
standard (and false) claim made about grrl punk bands is that
they possess both a monolithic sound and political agenda. This
18-track, and quite diverse, collection of queer bands covers
North America and dives beyond dyke into all kinds of alt-gender
fronts. Amy Ray's 'Lucy Stoners (Live)' is a Billy Bragg/Phranc-
esque acoustic punk song that sends the audience into a frenzy.
California singer-songwriter Shelly Doty contributes the alternately
serene and ferocious 'Seems Unlikely' and electronic resident
aliens Tracy + The Plastics go into full on Casio playground with
'Oh Maria'. I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the flailing 4-track
basement punk of Bloomington's The Sissies, whose 'Everything
in the World' flies like a rocket sled on rails. Let us hope we hear
more from them soon. This compilation demonstrates that a
new generation is just emerging. [RE]

AXEL DORNER & KEVIN DRUMM "s/t" (Erstwhile) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/dordrum1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/dordrum2.rm
Despite whatever credits may appear on this album, this not
just another duo between a German trumpet player and a
Chicago guitarist-turned-electronic musician. While Kevin
Drumm's electronics & guitar playing are known quantities, it is
Dorner's playing which makes this album unique. While Dorner's
instrument looks like a trumpet, and, placed in the hands of
another musician might make sounds like a trumpet, Dorner's
use of it is unencumbered by any preconception or history of
what a trumpet is or does. However, Dorner is one of a handful
of improvisers (Austria's Radu Malfatti, Boston's Greg Kelly, and
Japan's Taku Sugimoto spring to mind) who have continued the
work in improvisation developed by Company and the
insecticide improvisation of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble
into a new direction. As Henri Chopin does with text, Dorner
breaks down the sound which can be generated into its
composite parts, delivering reconfigured, unrecognizable
vibrations and decays which meld with the vibrant, perfectly
sculpted sound concoctions of Drumm. The result is a fascinating
and disorienting array of sounds, ranging from moments of
extreme sparseness and near-silent restrain to Merzbow-esque
sheets of noise and Pita/Supercollider electronic buzz. A formative
moment in the still-developing history of electroacoustic
improvisation. [MG]

[V/A] "RKK 13" (Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge) CD $12.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/RKKmoore.rm
Hrvatski is at the center of a vortex of experimental electronic
music. His wide range of friends, colleagues, and collaborators
has resulted in this mammoth, ambitious thirty-five-track
compilation. Hrvatski's ambidexterity around a wide range of
electronic, live, and electro-acoustic instruments resulted in a
debut album entitled "Birds", which was in very limited supply.
The follow-up record, "Oiseaux 96-98" enjoyed slightly better
distribution. RKK 13 (also the record's catalogue number) consists
of a large group of artists who were asked to use parts of Birds
to construct a track no longer than two minutes. I won't bore you
by listing the 35 artists represented here, but suffice it to say
that It includes a range of musicians from Thurston Moore to Pita
to Jim O'Rourke to Chessie to Push Button Objects, with little
concession to fashion. We're treated to the electro-acoustic work
of O'Rourke, a DSP abattoir from Kid 606, delicate melodies of
Cathars, and Kim Cascone's clinical beauty of a track. Carefully
sequenced, and with no two tracks even slightly alike, it's grand
undertaking which succeeds admirably. [TH]

[V/A] "Soul Explosion V.1" (Funk City) CD-R $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/MeanJohn.rm
The people that brought you the (now-deleted) crowd-
pleasing compilations "Nymphomania" volumes 1 through 3
return with a super-heavy, super-funky collection of super-rare
soul 45s from the 60s and 70s. While the fidelity is sometimes low,
the party quotient here is sky high. Includes scorchers from Lou
Courtney, the Soul Suspects, Detroit 9000, Gloria Walker, Scacy &
the Sound Service, the Reggie Sadler Revue, Lynn Westbrook,
Ron Buford and many more. As a bonus you get seven radio
spots from classic Blaxploitation films like "Superfly" and "Coffy".
22 tracks in all including the ads. [TC]

KOOL KEITH "Spankmaster" (TVT) CD/LP $15.99/$9.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/KKspank2.rm
Believe it or not, this is very nearly a full collaboration with
Detroit's Esham (Esham is enlisted for quite a few tracks here) --
which makes sense -- both Keith and Esham place themselves as
wacked-out loners in the hip-hop underground who use tons of
mutilated pop-cultural references; why wouldn't they team up?
(Keith appears on Esham's "Tongues", too, out next week). I
especially like the sound of 'Eldoradoes' and 'Maxin in the Shade'
so far, though I couldn't tell you what this album's theme is this
time. [RE]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=01658122701&refer_url=email

TIED & TICKLED TRIO "Electric Avenue Tapes" (Clearspot, Germany) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/TTTave2.rm
Now reduced to a six-piece, this is jazzier and occasionally even
becomes jazz, even if it's a bit fusiony at times, for better and
for worse. The percussion has a very nice travelling quality
(not 'driving' but def. moving), the basslines are all dub in
origin yet there's not an echo in sight. Five long, softened
tracks, not lulling but rather a sharp reflection of lull. [RE]

FENNESZ "Endless Summer" (Mego, Austria) CD $16.99
Fennesz' work on the "Plays" single mapped out to become
the foundation for his third full-length release. Full review
next week. Already selling FAST here in the store.

KID 606 "P.S. You Love Me" (Mille Plateaux, Germany) CD $15.99
Tracks from the Kid's "P.S. I Love You" remixed by Matmos,
Farben, Geeez'n'Gosh, Electric Company, Rechenzentrum,
Pan American, Twerk; plus two of Kid 606 on Kid 606.


NICOLA CONTE "Bossa Per Due" (18th Street Lounge) CD $14.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/nConte2.rm
Though Nicola Conte made this record last year, it sounds like
an unearthed time capsule, and a damn good one at that. Mr.
Conte's appeal is particular to those who adore Burgalat and
Thievery Corporation, only his music is anchored in time rather
than being a transparent layer of sound connecting the decades.
With a little Dave Pike, a little Umiliano, a little Swingles Singers,
Conte draws a long bridge between India and Brazil, his rhythms
(a lot of hand percussion) jump from tabla to cuica, a sitar sings
over batucada jams. Though inspired by Italian movie
soundtracks, Jet Sounds lacks anything stiff or sinister, flexibly
hep with sparkling piano, 'bop-baaaah' vox. Though he's not
breathing new life into the genre, he's certainly perking it up
more than a little. I don't think Conte could get any better at
what he's doing; he's at an apex right out of the gate. [RE]

SEBASTIEN TELLIER "L'Incroyable Verite" (Astralwerks) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/tellier.rm
Sebastian Tellier's music sounds like it comes from a different
culture, but one which has not been present for a long while
and may have never really existed at all. A sense of madness is
evident in even the opening string of interludes (placed before
anything has transpired, mind you). Then, as the end of one
manages to trail off into a sweet, faint thrill.. .a sense of
chamber-psych know-how in the offing. The center of the album
a concatenation of events peppered with moments of
aforementioned sweetness (a surging melody in birdcall), and
mercurial abandon (woman screaming at the top of her lungs),
even the seemingly distracted portions of AM-radio stylings
replete with lulls into dissonant territories, if only to remind you
that there are always things lurking just around the
arondissement. The general impression is that of a distraught
Parisian schoolteacher with a drink in his hand and a tear in his
eye. [DHo]

[V/A] "Songs in the Key of Z" (Which) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/legendar.rm
Back in print following a feature in the June 10 New York Times.
This is the companion CD to the book of the same name,
subtitled "The Curious Universe of Outsider Music." Taking the
art-world's delicately appreciative label for work by those who
act on (usually 'nutty') artistic impulses, the concept is not alien.
But some of the music certainly is! Like Joe Meek's original demo
for his hit 'Telstar', where he sings the melody, shaky and
wordlessly; like Shooby Taylor's scat imitations of jazz horns;
or like the incredibly talented Luie Luie's dance number that
sounds like Sun Ra doing Latin soul -- where he plays all the
instruments himself. Sometimes the 'outsider' frame of reference
is through lyrics alone, like Sri Darwin Gross' cult recruitment LP
that sounds like he got the Ray Charles Singers to execute his
bizarre spiritual ballads, or The Legendary Stardust Cowboy's
love song set in a pile of viscerally described garbage. A
_broad_ range of expression contained within 20 tracks. [RE]

THE SPACIOUS MIND "The Mind Of A Brother" (Delerium) CD $18.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/spacious2.rm
Wow! A magnificently satisfying return to form for these Swedish
freaks, following the subdued Grateful Deadisms of 1996's
"Sailing The Seagoat" and the conceptual mannerisms of 1998's
vinyl-only "Garden Of A Well-Fed Head." Rounding out the trilogy
begun by "Cosmic Minds At Play" (1993) and "Organic Mind
Solution" (1994), this is the full-throttle burner I'd hoped for!
Combining the swaggering energy of The Stooges circa "Fun
House," the stoned ambition of Hawkwind's "Space Ritual" and
all the lysergic Krautrock brilliance in between, "The Mind Of A
Brother" sets its course for the heart of the sun and never looks
back! The final two tracks constitute a 30-minute collage suite
that would seem to indicate that The Spacious Mind have been
listening to the Dreamies almost as much as we have. 75
minutes, (no track shorter than 10 minutes) brilliantly conceived
and flawlessly executed. Highest recommendation! [JG]

This week's reviews provided by: Tom Capodanno [TC], David Day
[DD], Robin Edgerton [RE], Jeff Gibson [JG], Michael Goodstein
[MG], Tim Haslett [TH], Dan Hougland [DHo], Michael Klausman
[MK], Andrew Leigh [AL], Douglas Wolk [DW].

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