Other Music New Release Update
May 16, 2001

In This Week's Update:

Anti-Pop Consortium Japan-only album
Cannibal Ox
Squarepusher single
Deltron 3030 Instrumentals
DJ Hi-Tek
Spaceheads & Max Eastley
Major Organ & The Adding Machine
Tangerine Awkestra
Thai Elephant Orchestra
Kali Fasteau
Low Japan-only live album
Roscoe Holcomb reissue
Biosphere reissue/new
Eugene McDaniels reissue
The New Tweedy Bros.! reissue
Elyse reissue
Keiji Haino
Continuous Mode
Sun Ra reissue
Dixon, Koglmann & Lacy reissue
Nurse With Wound reissue
Company reissue
Modular Systems 18th St. Lounge comp.
Absolute Zero comp.
"Fueled for the Future" Compost DJ comp.

Fantastic Plastic Machine
Aesop Rock

Featured New Releases:

AUTECHRE "Confield" (Warp, UK) CD/LP $13.99/$14.99
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The common wisdom concerning the music of Sean Booth and Rob
Brown is that they've achieved a practically godlike status, yet a
handful of their acolytes have made records even better than
Autechre's own achievements. In other words, Autechre are the
old guard, and some that have historically followed them have
surpassed their powers of innovation. Against this commonplace,
one must assert that it is precisely Autechre, despite their global
fame and association with Warp, who remain the dangerous,
subversive artists operating at the fringe of electronic music.
'Pen Expers' is laced with land mines, rusted steel spikes, and
underlined with a funereal melody. But at the same time, this
breathtaking track sees the group revealing their roots in electro-
era hip-hop. One almost expects to see The Latin Rascals, Chep
Nunez, or Mantronix listed in the credits -- the artists Booth and
Brown were breakdancing to in the gray concrete shopping malls
of Northern England sixteen years ago. 'Pen Expers' encapsulates
Autechre's nearly clairvoyant abilities. The paradox of the gray
and hopeless alongside the manically energetic in one track is
extraordinary. The sweeping, panoramic 'Uviol' is another
standout, one that finds Autechre very close to the currents of a
fallen world. In the face of the strong melodic turn that has
moved into contemporary electronic music, "Confield," is, without
doubt, the darkest, grimmest album Autechre have yet made. [TH]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106101282&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=502160312811&refer_url=email

ANTI POP CONSORTIUM "Shopping Carts Crashing" (Nippon Crown, Japan) CD $22.99
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If Cannibal Ox is "Escape From New York", Anti Pop is "Blade
Runner"; neon chaos, artificial construct, overwhelming
atmosphere. The lyrics, printed in both English and, remarkably,
Japanese, are unnecessary, one must let go and let Anti Pop rain
verbiage. And rain it does. Beans, Priest and M. Sayyid are a new
breed of mouths, ripping impossible head rhymes like Dr. Seuss,
replicants programmed to flow like no one has flowed before.
"Shopping Carts Crashing" sees them improve their design,
where 2000's "Tragic Epilogue" was stainless steel, "Shopping
Carts Crashing" is clean titanium. From the second track
("Angular") APC proves that, as other crews come rough and
rugged from the street, Anti Pop comes supremely scrubbed from
the sky. The almost exclusively non-sampled production of Earl
Blaize is uniquely arranged to accommodate the three lyrical killers,
who met in the spoken-word battles of downtown New York. A few
tracks: 'Technocracy' imagines Priest as machine, Beans goes it
alone on 'Starring Me As Me' blowing out lines like "Tempestuous
contempt for contemporaries have temporarily lost the plot," and
Sayyid may sum up the record on 'M', spitting "Ways wit the flow
and throw data / Laid in the glow of mics as nights splatter." The
Japanese packaging and art only enhances the near-future enigma
of these rap wizards and their own Arkestra. Phenomenal and
decidedly other. Welcome aboard Starship APC. [DD]
[Please note: no domestic release of this album is planned.]

CANNIBAL OX "Cold Vein" (Def Jux) CD/LP $14.99/$14.99
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As hip-hop advances and matures, its vision of the future becomes
more and more complex. Hip-hop-futurism, once embodied in the
stone-cold sound of Afrika Bambaataa, the Jonzun Crew and Planet
Patrol, is now adopted and made palpable in the Road-Warrior-
apocalyptic vision of "The Cold Vein." Cannibal Ox, the Harlem-
based duo of Vast Aire and Shamar, join up with producer El-P to
bring a scarred and fearsome new sound to indie hip-hop. Their
debut brings to life a NYC not seen since the Wu-Tang Clan, as the
two reference a multi-ethnic slang, illustrating scenes from the
mean streets with unflinching pinpoint accuracy. The dirty,
irregular-beats of El-P (formerly of Company Flow, and who now
runs the defiantly independent Def Jux) advance far beyond hip-
hop's usual territory. El-P's startling production techniques are
no clearer than in 'Raspberry Fields,' (at one point you can
clearly hear the crew laughing in the background). As Vast Aire
pronounces that "the sample's the flesh and the beat's the
skeleton," El-P just shreds the mixer, blown beats coming at you
from all sides, while a clipped guitar riff circles your head. And
although this is El-P's best work since "Funcrusher Plus", the
astonishing debut of Shamar and Vast Aire is the real story
here. 'Iron Galaxy,' included on the recently Company Flow EP, is,
for my money, the single of the year. With this duo on the mic,
every other track kills as efficiently, if not as effectively.
Vordul Megilah's fatlip flow at times rolls like Jay-Z, self-
assured and consistent. It's a perfect fit with Vast Aire's
calculated cadence, in which every word seems geometrically
trimmed to fit the next. "Straight out of the depths of hell,"
Cannibal Ox proclaim that "New York don't love you." Combustible
hip-hop poised at the cusp of '01. Jaw-dropping good. [DD]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60030888242&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60030888241&refer_url=email

SQUAREPUSHER "My Red Hot Car" (Warp, UK) CD $5.99
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?and the creator of the most infectious, inventive dance single of
the year is?Squarepusher? 'My Red Hot Car' is a catchy skittery
ditty with dubby exuberance, the structure of 2-step, and a great
vocal hook (You'll be singing "I wanna f**k you with my red hot
car" for the next two hours, whether you want to or not). It's one
of those rare songs that manages to redefine 2-3 genres at once
(in this case, 2-step, IDM and drum'n'bass). 'Hardcore Obelisk' is
all meshed overtones, like playing notes on a pipe organ and
adding more over time (or like Charlemagne Palestine), 'I Wish You
Obelisk' filters vocal samples into near-abstraction, like those
little vibrating machines people who have had throat injuries put
up to their necks in order to talk. A 46-minute single? yep --
except that the first three songs hover at about five minutes
apiece, then there's a fourth, about 20 minutes of silence, then
a 'hidden' track. We've heard that the forthcoming album is
ridiculously good, too. [DH/RE]

FREESCHA "Kids Fill the Floor" (Attacknine) CD/LP $14.99/$15.99
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I can not tell you how long I have been waiting for this record to
arrive, and to tell you it is great is an understatement. With but
two limited edition 12" and a CD EP (all self-released) under
their belt, they have created a slight buzz within the IDM and
melodic techno underground. This record takes what has been done
before with distorted crunchy downtempo beats, washes of vintage
synth, and melodies galore, and puts a whole new twist in, melodic
organs, live percussion, ambience and space in all the right
places. While the world is twiddling their thumbs awaiting the new
Boards of Canada album and scratching their heads regarding Air's
upcoming one, they should pick up this, for it is probably better
than both. I just don't understand why this California duo is
still relatively unknown, but, trust me, that won't last for long.
A brilliant debut! [JS]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999155672&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999155751&refer_url=email

DELTRON 3030 "Instrumentals" (75 Ark) CD/LP $15.99/$13.99
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I have to say, many rap instrumentals records tend to the staid,
because often the hooky loops that might back up a rap in a fun
way don't hold up to scrutiny when taken solo -- becoming a grind
rather than a bounce. This is NOT one of them. With the primary
forces here being Kid Koala and Dan the Automator, how can you
go wrong? It's absolutely epic in scale, lorded over by horns and
fake pedal steel, loops exist but change all the time, this album
acts more like a virtual soundtrack than just an album sans
vocals. The most recent example of how hip-hop production
increases in sophistication all the time. File next to the
Avalanches record and the (Japanese version) "Ghost Dog"
soundtrack (which we have in stock and we'll review soon, even if
it did come out months ago...). Give me hooks made out of weird
noises and funk made out of early classical music, give me
orchestra sweeps and a sense of the tremendous in towering sound
and I'll fall over with glee. [RE]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=67621750442&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=67621750441&refer_url=email

DJ HI-TEK "Hi-Teknology" (Rawkus) CD $15.99
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The other half of Reflection Eternal, Hi-Tek has decided to add
his name to the ever-growing list of hip-hop DJ/Producers-turned-
solo artists. But not just content to provide an album of
instrumentals, Hi-Tek assembled an impressive array of guest
vocalists (Cormega, Vinia Mojica, Common) to create an airtight
collection of breezy hunks of funk for the summer. The beats are
organic, neo-soul and inspired (think Jill Scott, Mos Def, etc.),
with a simple live Rhodes or scratch guitar riff carrying the
melody. There's a few tasteful forages into R&B, but for the most
part, it's hip-hop through and through. For those looking for a
banger this summer, check this out. Surprisingly solid. [DH]

MANUAL "Until Tomorrow" (Morr, Germany) CD/LP $14.99/$12.99
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Morr Music have done it again and released another incredible
record! This time it is the debut full-length from Manual, and it
could possibly be Morr Music's finest hour. Manual have only a 12"
EP on the much lauded Hobby Industries label and select tracks on
various compilations. Jonas Munk (aka Manual) is a "one man band"
one might say, incorporating effects-laden guitars, live percussion
(including steel drums), and various analog organs amongst the
crackling electronic beats, melodic synths and an amazing pop
appeal. Just close your eyes and imagine a record that is one part
Durutti Column, one part Brian Eno, and one part Aphex Twin.
Well, here it is! Just listen for yourself. Truly sublime. [JS]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999155642&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999155731&refer_url=email

SPACEHEADS & MAX EASTLEY "The Time of the Ancient Astronaut" (Bip-Hop, France) CD $14.99
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The superb Spaceheads expand to a trio with the addition of sound
sculptor and instrument inventor Max Eastley. Eastley, in my
opinion, blew away all others in last year's Sonic Boom exhibition
in London, his were the most creatively organic, both sonically
and kinetically. Their recording, from a live performance, starts
with a distantly eerie set of music with soaring trumpet, drums in
irregular march and Eastley's 'Arc' (an electroacoustic monochord)
imitating an out-of-tune violin for the feel of a soundtrack to a
particularly grim part of a '60s Biblical epic. Though recorded as
one long piece, they've thoughtfully indexed the CD into 'songs'
or sections as the sounds change. Andy Diagram's trumpet flutters
like a voice in tremolo, other times filling the space with
impossibly long notes (he blows then expands the sound beyond
the temporal range of human breath). Richard Harrison's work is far
more detailed than his usual sensitive funk, mostly altered bowed
and scraped and bent metal. Eastley dances in slow curlicues
around them both (at least I think that's him). Very, very nice.

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Major Organ and the Adding Machine is the musical project that
features almost everyone involved with the Elephant Six collective
in Athens, Georgia. At first listen, this lo-fi psychedelic album
may seem a bit self-indulgent, with its cluttered and chaotic pop
approach. But this is more of a celebration of friendship and
collaboration, a vehicle for many of the musicians to perform with
each other outside of the bands for which the collective is known.
It's also a recording not bound by a need for even underground
commercial viability. Songwriters include Julian Koster (Music
Tapes, Chocolate USA), Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel), and Kevin
Barnes (Of Montreal), with musical (and perhaps songwriting)
contributions from members of Elf Power, Of Montreal, Music Tapes,
Olivia Tremor Control and more. Sounding like, in a way, a tribute
to themselves, Major Organ and the Adding Machine contains all of
the characteristics one expects from the collective: dense
orchestration, carnival-esque tape cut-ups, overblown sound
effects, skewed and not-so-skewed pop hooks. Major Organ is a
wild, rapid-fire dose of psychedelic strangeness, one which
encapsulates everything unique about this group of musicians.

TANGERINE AWKESTRA "Aliens Took My Mom" (Mulatta) CD $14.99
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There's an apocryphal story about Charles Mingus in which Mingus
supposedly staged a free jazz concert behind a curtain. As the
audience clapped and cheered, the curtain was pulled aside to
reveal children playing all of the instruments. That rumor, though
delightful, is unsubstantiated, but the thought behind it is very
true: children are born talented improvisors. Like the "Big Music,
Little Musicians" CD of a few years ago, all the members of the
Tangerine Awkestra are children, here between the ages of 2 (!)
and 9. Often kids get short shrift musically -- they're either
automaton prodigies or shoehorned into performing awful material.
Here, they're given free range of expression, and the results beg
for more. Ayanna Cunningham and Hannah Ahlers provide a
particularly sensitive duet for piano and harp lyre, the big band
(all 11 players) recordings contain a stop-start force that swings
from sparse solos to quite cohesive 'chaos'. There are even fluid
improvisations built around the music of Bach and Sonny Rollins.
The kind of recording that makes one wish all kids were encouraged
to express themselves this way. Particularly fun, playful free
jazz. [RE]

THAI ELEPHANT ORCHESTRA "s/t" (Mulatta) CD $14.99
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A few years ago, Russian artists Komar and Melamid worked with
the Thai Elephant Conservation Center for an exhibition of paintings
made by elephants. Musician Dave Soldier, who had worked with
K&M before, met with the Center and, with "Professor Elephant"
Richard Lair, developed special instruments for the elephants,
mostly forms of percussion: marimbas, gongs, drums, but also a
string instrument, harmonicas (which they would play with the tip
of their trunks as they carried them through the forest), even a
theremin! The music contained on this CD is the development of
the elephants' own style, which, as one might expect, has a
heavy, stately, often very slow nature, yet one that's consciously
rhythmic, lightened by moments of delicacy (some of the elephants
caress the marimbas with sticks, make up rhythmic melodies on the
harmonica). A rapturous recording, with moments of high energy
and placid intensity. This is the same principle, and it is an
absolute gift to hear music made by another species. Half of the
recording here is 'pure' elephant music, the other half has,
variously, improvisations between elephant and human, one with
human assistance (musician Ken Butler changing the length of a
wind instrument as an elephant plays it), elephants playing a
programmed electronic keyboard, and a few other pieces. Most
animals make noise not just to communicate, but also because
sound waves usually just feel good -- think about that next time
you're humming. [RE]

KALI FASTEAU "Vivid" (Flying Note) CD $13.99
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In my private journeys of musical discovery I have traversed the
well-worn bridges between free-improvisation and psychedelia
often enough, for too many years ignorant of the sea of ethnic
and indigenous world music lying beneath. Only recently have I
begun to brave those waters in consideration of The Source. Multi-
instrumentalist improv-goddess (Zusaan) Kali Fasteau has been in
the swim for decades, as it were. First as a half of the Sea
Ensemble with husband Donald Rafael Garrett whose 1974 album
"We Move Together" (ESP) simply defied categorization, then as a
sideman (sidewoman?) for Archie Shepp, Joseph Jarman, etc. and
later on her own throughout the '90s via her label, Flying
Note. "Vivid", recorded live in 1998 and 1999, brings it all full
circle. Supported by a stellar line-up consisting of William
Parker (contrabass), Joe McPhee (soprano saxophone, pocket
trumpet), Sabir Mateen (alto & tenor saxophone, bamboo side
flute), Hamid Drake (drums, bindir), and Ron McBee (djembe &
African percussion), Fasteau (soprano sax, voice, Nai & Kaval
flutes, Mizmar, Moursin, Sanza, percussion, whew!) freely explores
the synthesis of improvisation and worldly sounds. Close your eyes
and this is a truly wonderful digestif to follow any classic Art
Ensemble of Chicago album. Highest recommendation! [JG]

LOW "Paris '99: Anthony, Are You Around?"  (P-Vine, Japan) CD $24.99
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A Japanese-only live album from Low taken directly off the
soundboard during a Paris club performance in 1999. Most of
the songs are circa "Secret Name", but the album does include
some older (and rare) material that the band rarely performs.
This is a legitimate release, but it does have a definite "bootleg"
feel to it -- albeit a high quality one. Overall, a very intimate
document of Low in concert.

ROSCOE HOLCOMB "The High Lonesome Sound" (Smithsonian Folkways) CD $15.99
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Seriously intense old-timey musician and coal miner Roscoe Holcomb
was discovered in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1960's. The
subsequent records he released on Folkways have had a profound
and lasting influence. Bob Dylan recorded a powerful version of
Holcomb's 'Moonshiner' in the early sixties, nearly 40 years later
another great version of the same song showed up on Cat
Power's "Moon Pix". Holcomb has one of the most forcefully
haunting voices I've ever heard, his banjo playing is intense and
his guitar work is stunning. The few a cappella tracks are,
surprisingly, even stronger. Holcomb was more accustomed to
singing outdoors in the mountains, yet pulls no punches on these
recordings. This reissue has been out a few years now, but due to
all of the exposure that early roots music has been getting via
releases like the "O Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack or the
Dock Boggs recordings on Revenant, we've decided that it was
necessary to draw some attention to this essential document of
raw Americana. [MK]

BIOSPHERE "Substrata/Man With A Movie Camera" (Touch, UK) 2xCD $22.99
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Two discs of the best work of Biosphere, the project (mostly) of
Norwegian Geir Jenssen since 1991. "Substrata", originally
released in 1997 on Eno's All Saints records, has been cited more
than once as one of the most beautiful ambient albums ever
recorded. Gentle and deep (and now remastered), it has a lot in
common with Eno's own work, from the clearer parts (there's muted
singing here and there, lots of softly echoing warm guitar and
bamboo chimes), to the immersive soundscapes of innocent, not
ominous drones and electronic gurgles. The second CD in this set
is the 'soundtrack' to Dziga Vertov's 1929 classic abstract
film "Man with a Movie Camera", that Biosphere executed as per
the instructions left behind by Vertov. This is an essential bit of
film as well as musical history -- Vertov imagined a musique
concrete soundtrack in 1929 (!), but technology wasn't quite up to
it yet. It consists of more deep hums, ship's whistles and altered
church bells, the sounds of twenties nightclubs, jazz bands,
industry and railroad yards fading in and out, words in a thick
Russian accent. A fantastic recording, both historically and in
sound alone--combined with Biosphere's best album, this package
is as about as essential to those interested in the history of the
avant-garde or just want something lovely to do yoga to. At the
very least, this is the best Biosphere recording to have. [RE]

EUGENE MCDANIELS "Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse" (Label M) CD  $11.99
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McDaniels was a songwriter (most famous credits are 'Feel Like
Making Love' and 'Compared to What'), and this is his sophomore
release, originally released in 1971. "Headless Heroes" is a
politically-charged soul record that had an almost folky feel to
it. Which might have something to do with McDaniels' vitriolic
lyrics, railing against the general apathetic political stance the
Nixon Administration was instigating in the public. (Allegedly,
Spiro Agnew called Atlantic Records upon hearing "Headless Heroes"
and demanded to know "what the hell was going on up there".) This
album is one of many rare-groove holy grails, sampled by A Tribe
Called Quest, Pete Rock, Beastie Boys and DJ Premiere. If you're a
fan of Les McCann, Nina Simone, or early Roberta Flack, pick this
up. It still packs an emotional punch 30 years later. [DH]

THE NEW TWEEDY BROS! "s/t" (Shadoks, Germany) CD $15.99
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Obscuro West Coast psych circa 1968 sounds like some sort of dream
hoedown between Moby Grape, Buffalo Springfield, and 13th Floor
Elevators! Due to shady management factors, the original never had
an official release, so this classic languished in the land of rumor
and legend. Resurrected in all its original hexagonal multi-fold
foil-pak splendor. So dust off that fringed buckskin jacket and pounce
already! [JG]

ELYSE "s/t" (Orange Twin) CD $12.99
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Elyse is the inaugural release on the newly-minted Orange Twin
Records, the Athens, Georgia label founded by Laura Carter (Elf
Power) and Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel). Elyse is a reissue of
Elyse Weinberg's solo record from 1968, a lovely psychedelic album
of damaged and beautiful pop songs. Elyse's vocals give this album
a distinct sound, swooning in a way that might be compared to
Janis Joplin drenched in LSD. Full of bizarre orchestration, this
shifts between skewed barroom ballads, damaged acid folk and
effect laden pop, creating a whirlwind psychedelic sound that is
both overblown and catchy. Neil Young (!) joins Elyse here on one
track ('Houses'), a song recorded for her never released follow-
up. [PW]

KEIJI HAINO "Abandon All Words At A Stroke, So That Prayer Can Come Spilling Out (Alien 8, Canada) 2xCD $17.99
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Two sublimely primal journeys accompanying Haino's incredible
voice on hurdy-gurdy and wave drum respectively. Disc 1,
subtitled "Whereto can I cast away this fragment echo called The
End, so that I may summon an awakening from the other side?" is
a slowly evolving 48-minute lament with Haino's astonishing hurdy-
gurdy providing a myriad of unexpected textures in support of his
agonized, yet controlled wails. Minimalist in concept maybe, but
in his magisterial hands more like a symphony from the heart of
darkness. Disc 2, "I have decided to tear you to pieces. Whether
you become darkness or light depends on you. I wonder, which
shall you choose?" is a 44-minute rollercoaster orgy of voice and
percussion, in which Haino unleashes a dizzying array of rhythmic
fragments and vocal shards flying hither, thither, and yon. Don't
forget to duck! Fantastic purple-on-black (what else?) textured
packaging more than stands up to his legacy on import. [JG]

CONTINUOUS MODE "Disinformation Design" (Klang Electronik, Germany) CD $15.99
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Continuous Mode is Andy Mellweg, better known in the electronic
world as half of Porter Ricks, whose pathbreaking singles gave
birth to a new aesthetic that radiated like an explosion from the
center of Berlin. In his Continuous Mode guise, Mellweg is
thoroughly interested in the novel ways dub can be made to
perform musical acrobatics. Mellweg can still build a towering
groove utilizing the sparest of parts: a 909 kick drum, laptop, and
a delicately handled echo box. The album's title track is certainly
one of its strongest moments. It begins with a rattling click
track, and a bassline of seismic proportions and soon Mellweg revs
up the echo box and things take a deeper turn, with snares and hi-
hats cut short or fired into the horizon only to bounce back like
boomerangs. 'Criminal Funk' is another belting Mellweg analogue
dub symphony, with sharp snares that tear a hole in the already
jagged bassline and an eerie echo effect which seems to emerge
from an unlocatable place in the track--it approaches the listener
from every direction. Andy Mellweg is a formidable producer and
Disinformation Design makes that clear once again. [TH]

SUN RA & HIS INTERGALACTIC ARKESTRA "It Is Forbidden" (Total Energy) CD $13.99
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Subtitled: "At The Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival In Exile 1974".
A board recording from Windsor, Ontario following the festival's
banishment from Ann Arbor for failing to clean up the year before
(the money appropriated for the arduous task mysteriously
disappeared into a $20,000 dope deal gone sour). Sun Ra went
onstage before a sparse crowd bummed-out by strong-arm
Canadian police tactics and on-the-spot deportations of
suspected "offenders". Nonetheless, The Arkestra tore it up
something fierce that night and while the fidelity won't please
audiophiles, this is another wonderful document of their
magnificence. [JG]

BILL DIXON, FRANZ KOGLMANN & STEVE LACY "Opium" (Between The Lines, Germany) CD $15.99
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A most welcome compendium of two long forgotten LPs originally
issued on the obscure Pipe label, as well as one of the most
elusive pieces in Dixon's concise but storied discography. "Flaps"
(1973) was an improv meeting between Lacy and Viennese trumpet/
flugelhorn master Koglmann augmented by Gerd Geier's electronics.
Fluid and challenging, this album would not have been out of place
on FMP at the time or indeed on Erstwhile today. "Opium/For Franz"
(1976) was borne out of two distinct sessions. The first again
features Lacy along with the Italian drum legend Aldo Romano
and picks up where "Flaps" left off, sans electronics. The second,
"For Franz", is a stunning side-long Bill Dixon composition pitting
the agit-bass playing of Alan Silva against the dueling trumpets of
Dixon and Koglmann. Imagine "Jack Johnson"-era Miles Davis
chilling out with some ESP cats and you're well on your way.
Superb! [JG]

NURSE WITH WOUND "Funeral Music For Perez Prado" (United Dairies, UK) CD $17.99
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"Man, I never knew Nurse With Wound were so cool!" Not an unusual
phrase to overhear in a busy record store, I suppose, but coming
from OM's resident emo-electro bon vivant, Jeremy Sponder, this
was cause for me to sit up and take notice. So, on a whim, I
decided to check out the new title by Nurse With Wound.
(Note: "Funeral Music?" consists of the long-deleted "Yagga Blues"
(1995) and "Soresucker" (1990) EPs plus the previously unreleased
33-minute version of the title track, for a running time of nearly
80 minutes.) I opened up the impressive-looking digipak (with
awesome artwork by someone named Babs Santini) and put the
CD in my Discman. All of a sudden there was this weird raga number
with a girl singing. I felt like I could be in India. Then there was
this ambient chillout track that went on for something like a half
an hour that sounded a lot like Sigur Ros, really beautiful and
mysterious. Then things started to get even weirder, like Ween or
something, only scarier! I couldn't wait to get home to walk my
dog. Thanks, Jeremy; Nurse With Wound IS cool! [JG]

COMPANY "5" (Incus, UK) CD $18.99
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Derek Bailey, Leo Smith, Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy,
Tristan Honsinger, and Maarten Van Regteren Altena blew on things
and banged on stuff in 1977. Duo, trio and all-hands-onstage
configurations. This reissues the long sought-after Incus LP 28.

[V/A] "Modular Systems" (18th Street Lounge) CD $14.99
Modular Systems is the third installment in Eighteenth Street
Lounge's Soundtrack series, compiled by none other than Thievery
Corporation. Featuring tracks by Nicola Conte (including the
much sought after Thievery Corp. remix of 'Bossa Per Due'),
Blue States, Ursula 1000, Desmond Williams, Thunderball, Farid,
and Thievery Corporation themselves. Most of these tracks appear
on recent singles with a few unreleased gems thrown in for good
measure. [JS]

PUFFYAMIYUMI (aka PUFFY) "Spike" (Sony Music Imports) CD $13.99
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The first-ever domestic release from Puffy, dubbed in this country
as PuffyAmiYumi for obvious reasons. "Spike" is the fourth and
latest album from the energetic female pop-rock duo. While not
their best record (it doesn't have nearly the hit-to-miss ratio of,
say, "Jet CD"), it is the first disk available in America for under
$30. And as such, it may be the best introduction to the Japanese
juggernaut that is Puffy. Superstars at home (they have their own
weekly TV show for pete's sake!), they're barely known in the US.
"Spike" is not likely to change that, but some will no doubt
appreciate their unique brand of arena-sized rock, chirpy vocals
and ultra-catchy choruses. At their worst, Puffy can be a bit hokey
and contrived. At their best, truly inspirational and proof positive
that female pop stars don't need to be overly aggressive or
overtly sexual to unleash power. [TC]

[V/A] "Absolute Zero" (Charrm, UK) CD $18.99
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A compilation created for Saburo Teshigawara's avant-garde dance
troupe, KARAS. Eight musicians/groups working around the concept
of "Absolute Zero", which is perfectly suited to the chilly
soundscapes from Biosphere, zoviet*france, Monolake (the most
active one here, with many layered pulses and scritches that
sweep back and forth like a broom), Hallucinator, Jiri Ceiver,
Disinformation, Hazard and Gescom. Electronic murmurs, circular
winds, radiating hums. The kind of music best suited to the
slightest of motions, like a finger vibrating slightly or a
torso's minute convulsion. After all, this is, literally, dance
music! [RE]

RE: "Mnant" (Constellation, Canada) CD/LP $13.99/$13.99
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The 'international' project between Aden Evens in Boston and Ian
Ilavsky (A Silver Mt. Zion, also half of the Constellation label)
in Montreal. A record that rests uneasily between the mores of
post rock and minimal electronics, edited from scores of tapes,
audio files, field recordings, and performance. It evokes, in the
path from the acoustic to the electronic and back again, a version
of Godspeed's mountains and molehills, only their path zigzags
sideways rather than being strictly a ballooning and shrinking
force. [RE]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=66656100152&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=66656100151&refer_url=email

KHAN "No Comprendo" (Matador) CD $13.99
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A quite variable record in which Khan smoothes out his sleazy
tendencies as if laying out clean sheets over the dirty for his
guests. Who are many, and are in fact, the focus of this record.
Francoise Cactus (Stereo Total) does a punchy hip-snapping turn
on 'Les Gros Nichons', Lenni Schipp and Julee Cruise do slick and
rough takes (respectively) on _almost_ the same song as a
centerpiece to the record. Khan's music is jagged, a bizarre
merging of sinister roadhouse blues/rock and tense electronics
for Kid Congo Powers, Jon Spencer and Andre Williams, Diamanda
Galas' and Hanin Elias' given songs evoke the haunted-house
version of creepy and 'dangerously' sultry, respectively. For some
reason, this has the same swagger I associate with someone like
Lydia Lunch, Ministry or My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult. In fact,
this uses a lot of WaxTrax sounds in the guitars, keyboards, and
drum machine. Is Khan ahead of the revival curve or much behind?

[VA] "Fueled for the Future: DJ Mixed by Michael Reinboth" (Compost/Sony Japan) CD $26.99
Compost Records founder (and the man behind Beanfield) Michael
Reinboth personally mixes up selections from the Compost catalog.
15 non-stop, down-tempo staples from the likes of Fauna Flash,
Minus 8, Les Gammas, Truby Trio, A Forest Mighty Black, Beanfield
himself and many others. Limited quantity available at this time.


FANTASTIC PLASTIC MACHINE "Beautiful" (Emperor Norton) CD $13.99
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For his third album Tomoyuki Tanaka (aka Fantastic Plastic
Machine) delivers his most straight-up house record to date. Those
who picked up FPM's 'Take Me to the Disco' single from late 1999
could probably hear this one coming, for the rest it may come as a
bit of a surprise. On "Beautiful" Tanaka has moved to replace most
of the funky breaks and chaotic samples that characterized his
first two records with a steady 4/4 house beat. Luckily for us he
doesn't totally abandon his patented cut-and-paste approach and
adds a lush string section on many tracks worthy of some of the
classic '70s disco that he's trying to evoke. But the best tracks
here are ones that go beyond the straight-ahead house/disco
formula including 'Paragon' with its skittering, cut-up Brazilian
rhythms and 'Whistle Song,' a breezy down-tempo number. On
'Love is Psychedelic', an Isaac Hayes imitator inexplicably recites a
poem over a beefy bass line and a chorus of violins -- weird, but
it works. "Beautiful" may not be the FPM album you expected from
Tanaka, but there's plenty here to savor. Domestic edition has an
extra track and different packaging from the Japanese edition. [TC]

KMD "Black Bastards" (Sub Verse) CD $12.99
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DJ Subroc and his brother Zen Love X (now known as MF Doom)
rocked everyone's world with their guest shot on 3rd Bass' 'Gas
Face' single back in 1989. Their debut, "Mr Hood", itself a lost
classic, followed in 1991. Not exactly a reissue, this duo's
infamous "Black Bastards" album was never released. Tragically,
DJ Subroc died in a car accident after they had finished the album.
In a particularly sick move, even for the music business, Elektra
dropped the band later that same week. Straddling the line
between righteous 5-percenter ideology and witty Native Tongues
finesse, KMD dropped hard, jazz-laced funk beats into a thoroughly
compelling and soulful album that contained a harsh examination
of racial stereotypes from both sides of the fence. Better late than
never, and on top of that, essential. [KC]

AESOP ROCK "Float" (Mush) CD/LP $13.99/$13.99
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Aesop Rock has created an extraordinary work of downtown science,
one that maintains its intensity for 70 minutes. Largely self-
produced, elliptical, loping beats thud with a minimalist
sensibility, fleshed out with uncommon bits of sound at once
menacing and funky. On the mic, this kid raps circles around your
ears -- pausing only briefly to let you catch up before pushing
forward with a controlled and literary verbal attack as dense and
surreal as the New York City streets where hip-hop (and Aesop
Rock) was born. Like the 4th chapter in the reinvention-of-the-
artform (following Organized Konfusion's "Stress: The Extinction
Agenda", Company Flow's "Funcrusher Plus", and Anti-Pop
Consortium's "Tragic Epilogue") "Float" reveals itself as a text
that requires several listens to understand. Ultimately, however,
and at the risk of hyperbole, it's the best album to come out this
year (2000). [KC]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=66340512022&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=66340512021&refer_url=email

This week's newsletter from: Tom Capodanno [TC], Kris Chen [KC],
David Day [DD], Robin Edgerton [RE], Jeff Gibson [JG], Duane
Harriott [DH], Tim Haslett [TH], Michael Klausman [MK], Jeremy
Sponder [JS], Phil Waldorf [PW].

The Big Picture:

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