Other Music New Release Update
October 17, 2001

In This Week's Update:
Le Tigre
Erase Errata
Anti-NY comp.
Velvet Underground Quine box
Larry Young reissue
Fugazi (single and full album)
Femi Kuti
Lali Puna
Giorgio Moroder reissue
"Barry 7's Connectors" production music comp.
C.O.B. reissue
Bebel Gilberto remixes
Comae (Hampson, Schaefer)
Tindersticks soundtrack
Aki Onda
Kid Loco

Just In:
Pierre Henry reissues (4)
Section 25 live
New Order domestic
Markus Guenter

Featured New Releases:

LE TIGRE "Feminist Sweepstakes" (Mr. Lady) CD/LP $12.99/$9.99
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One of the key phrases to emerge from second-wave feminism
was "the personal is political".  Unfortunately, it became a
cliché and was quickly drained of its radical political
implications--because it was never taken far enough. Kathleen
Hanna, very much part of third-wave feminism, understands that
idea's significance quite well, in fact, it shines at the core of
her ideological, brilliant music. The result is "Feminist
Sweepstakes", a peerless punk electronic pop album. After
listening to 'Dyke March 2001' four or five times, I'm hoping for
a remix, because this Pet Shop Boys-inspired track is custom-built
for the dancefloor. If youre looking for 'riot grrrl' music, look
elsewhere. Throughout this album, particularly on songs like 'Fake
French' and 'Tres Bien', Hanna, with Johanna Fateman and new band
member JD Samson (Sadie Benning has left to concentrate on film
once again) make clear that queer solidarity doesn't require
that 'Im like you' or even that 'I like you'. The latter songs
dispense with that kind of sentimentality for realistic scenarios
of dyke life in the everyday. Hanna and her band retain the power
of the finest moments of Tribe 8 or Fugazi, now in a setting with
electropop touches. Indispensable, a must-purchase. [TH]
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ERASE ERRATA "Other Animals" (Troubleman) CD $10.99
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Erase Errata are bound to evoke some comparisons: the no wave/post-
punk stylings of the Slits and Kleenex, the cut-up frenzy of The
Scissor Girls and The Need. Yet Erase Errata have quite their own
thing going, and their debut, "Other Animals," is a brilliant,
unrelenting showcase for it.  Every instrument is played tightly
and frantically. Sexy trumpet collides with sharp guitar, only to
be blindsided by a deep rhythm section. It's this rhythm that
tears through every song, never letting all the precision stop the
dance party. The unpredictable collage that results (can you find
that momentary slab of rock guitar?) is just the environment
needed for Jenny Hoysten's segmented vocals. Somehow she
keeps up with the urgency, using the repetition of clipped phrases
and a whole range of separate voices to do so (borderline
mechanical delivery gives way to sheer volume, then back again).
The result is intoxicating and commanding, so by the time she
instructs a schoolboy to "loosen your tie and listen", you can't
_not_ obey. "Other Animals" is twisting and powerful, injects some
much-needed life into the current state of punk rock. [KS]

[V/A] "Anti-NY" (Gomma) CD/LP $15.99/$15.99
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This startling and much-needed album arrives at a paradoxical time
in the vertiginous history of NYC. The title refers to the stance
taken by the artists found here, who, in the late '70s and
early '80s struggled amidst the apathy of the Koch administration,
escalating crime and the city's near-bankruptcy. Under such
conditions, artists such as Basquiat, the now well-known writer
Vivian Goldman, and graf artists such as Rammellzee and Futura
2000 took hold of the ruined Lower East Side and in rooms like the
Mudd Club rubbed shoulders with Madonna and Yohji Yamamoto. This
collection was curated by Michael Holman, who put on some of the
first hip-hop shows in NY and was Jean-Michel Basquiat's partner:
thus it includes The Death Comet Crew & Rammellzee's 'Exterior
St.', a lost gem of punky hip-hop. Goldman's scrappy, punk
scrawl 'Laundrette' is a perfect period piece, and Konk's 'Love
Attack' would go on to be released on the Sleeping Bag label. The
remixes have an ambiguous place here. On the one hand,
Funkstorung's hip-hop heavy re-working of Ike Yard's 'N.C.R.' is
perfect because it grasps the violent energy that lies beneath the
original. But Syrup's reworking of 'If I Gave You A Party' by
Sexual Harassment (who would go on to have a big Studio 54 hit
with 'I Need A Freak') feels a little overwrought. But don't let
that put you off this essential collection of music from a period
when parts of NY possessed a real punk ethos, rather than the one
Interview or Paper tries to manufacture in the present. [TH]
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VELVET UNDERGROUND "Vol. 1 Bootleg Series: The Quine Tapes" (Universal) 3xCD $27.99
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It would be difficult to over-document the live sound of a band as
powerful as the Velvet Underground was in the late '60s. "Bootleg
Series  Vol. 1: The Quine Tapes" consists of three concerts
recorded in 1969, with a near classic lineup (Reed, Morrison,
Tucker and Yule) and even with the far-from-perfect sound quality,
it captures the raw energy and primal emotion of VUs live sound.
At times the Velvets plow through some rocking, feedback-drenched
renditions ("White Light / White Heat") of their finest, but they
also include some renditions of quieter material: gorgeous and
startlingly primitive.  Listening to the Velvets stretch out the
songs is the most revealing aspect of the recordings, as they open
up into flurries of white noise and shambling rock, they transform
gorgeous moments of pop music into angst-driven noise.  More than
just a worthy audio document, "The Quine Tapes" is three discs of
completely essential recordings. [PW]

LARRY YOUNG "Lawrence of Newark" (Castle, UK) CD $13.99
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A remarkably rare early '70s LP led by an organ player living in a
mid-Atlantic state mentioning 'space' in song titles? Thinking Sun
Ra? Listening to this, your first inclination is to see which
Saturn LP this originally came from: and how hard it is to find,
and how it was issued in an edition of 60 in 1972 and only
distributed at gigs where the month was a Fibonacci number and the
wind was blowing South-West. But you'd be wrong, as this is a
Larry Young record. Moving from his early '60s modal recordings
for Blue Note, Young kept on going further and further out until,
following his high-profile recordings with Jimi Hendrix, Miles
Davis ("Bitches Brew") and work with Tony Williams' Lifetime, he
disappeared and ended up in D.C. playing along with some very
fried hippies outside the White House frightening Richard Milhouse
Nixon. The document of that (Love Cry Want's eponomyous CD on
Newjazz) was pretty great and the only Young work available from
the early '70s, but always hinted at better things, more expansive
things--like this reissue. "Lawrence of Newark" came out in 1973
on the Perception label (remarkably just two years before his
return to high-profile recordings with the fusion album "Fuel" for
Arista) and I've known exactly one person who had ever seen a
copy. The tracks on here are pretty incredible large ensemble
(featuring James Blood Ulmer on Guitar, Juni Booth on Bass, and 20
or so more) cosmo-space jazz-funk. From the subdued pleasantries
of 'Saudia', to the Terry Rileyesque intro to 'Hello Your
Quietness (Islands)' and the massive wall of reverb in 'Khalid of
Space Part Two - Welcome'. Is this the point where I mention that
it's actually better then Sun Ra? That might be sacrilege, and it
might not be true (I'm specifically referring to the two Ra studio
reissues from this era, which are good but really not all that
special--"Space is the Place" the Soundtrack, and "Space is the
Place" the Album); this definitely fills a void which hereunto
had, for most of us anyway, been only hypothesized. [MG]

FUGAZI "Furniture" (Dischord) CD EP $4.99
FUGAZI "The Argument" (Dischord) CD/LP $10.99/$8.99

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Since the last release, "Instrument", played itself out as more of
a soundtrack than a new Fugazi album proper, the seminal DC punk
quartet now brings you an album -- plus a three-song EP. "The
Argument" comes with beautiful packaging designed by "Instrument"
documentarian, Jem Cohen, and Fugazi. The stark suburban city
images seen in the film find their way inside the fold out (plus
lyrics, of course). "The Argument" is sprinkled with firsts: the
delicate attention to packaging aesthetics, intricate melodies,
guest vocals, and instruments. For the most part, it takes the
demos, jams and edits of "Instrument" and expands on the more
subdued aesthetic found on "Red Medicine" and "End Hits". Words
like driving, angular, and layered still adhere, as the first
couple of tracks speed by with a familiar angry tempo. Standouts
include: the light, almost poppy 'Life and Limb', accented by a
couple of hand claps and guest vocals by ex-Unrest bassist Bridget
Cross; 'Strangelight', with a Can-like cello and piano melody; and
the dynamic build from radio samples to clean guitars and folkily
sung lyrics to familiar distortion of the title track.
"The Furniture EP" is for those who miss the straight-out punk of
earlier Fugazi. All three songs don't slow down for experimental
jams or quirky interludes, but take their structure
from "Repeater" and "Steady Diet of Nothing" to convey the innate
energy fueled by their ever-present political senses. These two
releases show that ten-plus years of being a band has not dulled
their ability to do both this and more forward-thinking material.
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FEMI KUTI "Fight To Win" (MCA) CD $17.99
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As Africa continues to be blocked from the world's consciousness,
the original continent needs more voices like Femi Kuti. Yet,
there can be only one Femi. Under the gargantuan shadow of his
father, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Femi takes up the moral mantle on his
broad shoulders. Using the same bombastic political rhetoric of
his father, and under the nose of the Babangida regime, Femi
wrote 'Traitors Of Africa' as a protest of Nigerian corruption.
With moral guidance from his mothers, and in the face of Christian
and Islamic law, Femi preaches safe sex on 'Stop AIDS.' And with a
vision all his own, inspired by his convictions, Femi calls for
African nations to unburden themselves from their colonial names
on 'Alekbu-Lan' (believed to be the original name of Africa). All
the time, Afro-beat and its brusque, circular rhythms underpin
every message with dense, irrefutable funk. Guest spots from Money
Mark, Mos Def ('Do Your Best'), Common ('Missing Link') and Okay
Player's Jaguar Wright ('Fight To Win') serve only to focus the
spotlight on Femi's urgency. While Other Music does not pretend to
be foremost authorities on what has come to be known as "world
music," Femi transcends such a notion with overpowering
originality and emotional truth, and with "Fight To Win," Femi
writes one of the most substantial albums of 2001. [DD]

LALI PUNA "Scary World Theory" (Morr, Germany) CD $13.99
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Beats like sharp slaps--Valerie Trebeljahr's voice, more laconic
than ever, is salve for the sting. Lali Puna contain members of
Console and Notwist, other German acts--this is their second full-
length. But "Scary World Theory" is less bouncy and poppy than
their last, now somber, whispery and paper thin, with the
production crisp, empty and sandblasted. They're oft-compared to
Stereolab, but that's a bit of a red-herring--it's mostly
Trebeljahr that evokes Sadier, everything else is quite different:
there's no retro charm here, instead the underpinnings are darker,
smokier and more Cologne-contemporary-sounding, while retaining
the pop. Lali Puna make dry but lovely, tense and brittle modern
music unlike anyone else. [RE]

GIORGIO MORODER "E=MC2" (Repertoire, Germany) CD $15.99< /STRONG>
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Moroder's 1978 album, a work of electropop GENIUS, though as long
as three years after 'Love to Love You Baby'-- and Moroder nearly
abandoned the disco the rest of the world embraced, moving on to
the next thing. Which was technopop, I guess--though this has more
of the feel of a digitized ELO. "E=MC2" is also the first album
recorded straight to digital! Classic new wave keyboards that
inspired a generation, a treasure trove of funky danceable pop
tunes w/that irascible vocoder. This 'uns got two bonus tracks:
one from a 1979 album he did with Chris Bennett ("Giorgio &
Chris"), the other from the soundtrack to "Battlestar Galactica".
One of the best albums in this genre ever. If you love modern
wonders Zoot Woman or Moroder's "From Here to Eternity",
oh boy will you like this. [RE]

[V/A] "Barry 7's Connectors" (Lo, UK) CD/LP $14.99/$15.99
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Part II of Lo's series of production/library music, part I chosen
by Luke Vibert. Barry 7's selections (7 is a member of Add N to X)
actually drift a bit mellower than Vibert's, though selected from
the same pool. Also more rigid electronics, here, gritty and
cold and retro at the same time. Some of the same suspects: Nino
Nardini, Cecil Leuter and Roger Roger (yep, the same person),
another gem from the Johanna Group (who were they?), Georges
Teperino, a few from Paul Bonneau, and my favorites (RA above),
the lyrical Paul Piot/Paul Guiot, and the wonderful electronic
scrunge of Anthony King. All of these are superb, a worthy follow-
up to Vibert's picks. [RE]
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C.O.B. "Spirit of Love" (BGO, UK) CD $18.99
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Clive Palmer was in the original incarnation of the Incredible
String Band. He took the money he made off their 1st LP and split
to North Africa (and other exotic countries). When he got back, he
formed his own group, C.O.B., using the ideas and influences he'd
gathered in his travels. Like ISB, COB seamlessly fused the folk
of the British Isles with nonwestern scales and instruments. The
result is a very intriguing record that rivals ISB's finest
moments. Worth it for the title track alone (covered by Damon and
Naomi, btw)--perfect folk full of hope and mystery. [MK]

GCTTCATT "AmpErase" (Mego, Austria) CD $16.99
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Since its unlikely that Q-bert or Kid Koala will ever record for
Mego, gcttcatt's debut CD is as close as you're gonna get
to 'turntablism' on this Austrian electronics imprint. A cross-
continental project, the duo is comprised of Mathias "Hiaz" Gmachl
(Austrian laptop saboteur with farmersmanual, Skot, and Fuckhead)
and Martin Ng (Sydney-based vinyl manipulator who's recorded with
Oren Ambarchi, Jim Denley and Rik Rue). Strangely and yet
appropriately, Ng works as a cardiologist by day. Here we find him
performing open-heart surgery on turntables and CD players while
Gmachl processes the results in real time on his computer.  Many
improvisers known for using turntables (Yoshihide, Tetreault,
etc.) have recently shied away from scratching histrionics,
preferring micro-gestures that exist on the threshold of silence.
In sharp contrast, Ng doesn't hold anything back, throwing caution
and sonic shrapnel to the wind. The first couple of tracks
on "AmpErase" record Ng splatter-painting over Gmachl's backdrop
of static and wave-forms with flickering soundbites, wooshes and
shuddering stabs. By mid-way through the fourth track, 'r[stacte]
*', it sounds as if Hiaz has tossed all of Ng's equipment and
records into a woodchipper, spraying out shards of digital
disjecta through the speakers of your home stereo. From this point
on, anything is fair-game as the duo chop and time-stretch the
hell out of breakbeats and distorted guitar riffs, running it all
through with sinewaves and roaring bursts of white noise that will
have you waxing nostalgic for older members of the Mego family
like Pita and Haswell. The last track, 'u r the sony of my life,'
starts innocently enough with melodic, gentle tones and playful,
slurred piano samples, but its not long before Ng's itchy fader
finger gets the best of him and he lays it all to waste as Gmachl
distorts and stereo-pans the resulting chaos to the point of
schizophrenia. Taking a surprising detour from the usually austere
continuum of post-digital improv, the members of gcttcatt make hay
out of the man/machine dichotomy and ideas about 'process' by the
very nature of their symbiotic relationship. Codependency never
sounded so good. [DHi]

SLOAN "Pretty Together" (Murder) CD $15.99
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Ah, Sloan. There are those rock bands that continue to shine,
somehow evading the break-up factor that has felled some of the
best. Continuing to perfect a solid formula of songwriting, clean
production and harmonies, Teenage Fanclub and Sloan deserve the
credit and attention for persevering. "Pretty Together" is, after
all, Sloan's 6th album since "Smeared" appeared on Geffen in 1993.
And each time they've altered their scheme just slightly, evolving
over the years from Sonic Youth clone to a deft rock steamroller.
Here, their slacker ethic long since abandoned, the quartet
assumes some of the qualities of '70s soft rock, chord changes
reminiscent of America, harmonies recalling the Doobies. These are
moves which require impeccable cohesion, and, as the title
suggests, this release is indeed an album in which the band
regroups. Sloan should be happy with this record, a collection
that keeps their sound fresh, simple and most agreeable to those
who appreciate a little natural sunlight in their rock. [DD]

BEBEL GILBERTO "Tanto Tempo Remixes" (Six Degrees) CD $15.99
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Hairstylists of the world unite! Most of us are now very familiar
with the smooth Brazilian electronica of Bebel Gilberto, the
bossanova princess who smartly updated the art form with chic
technique. And for fans, the remixes are no letdown. Firstly, the
remix pool is unfathomable: Faze Action, 4 Hero, King Britt, not
to mention names like Truby and Kruder. Considering the original
music was first summoned by Thievery and Tobin, the remixes are
doubly suave. Quickly: Kruder commits to deep house, which he is
known to spin live, King Britt sticks with the Philly phonk, and
Rae & Christian commit to more breaks than a novice skier. Mario
Caldato Jr. revisits his 'So Nice' production, stripping it down
into a Tropicalia tribute, Tokyo's Chari Chari's mix will find its
way into the deepest mixes at Japanese Bungalows. Such a
collection could easily have been bungled, but the Ziriguiboom
people have poured over the talent and conjured some truly magical
mixes. "Tanto Tempo Remixes" is sure to charm the shampoo girl
within us all. [DD]

COMAE "s/t" (Rhiz, Austria) CD $16.99
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Cinéma pour l'oreille--cinema for the ear. On their first
collaborative project, thresholders Robert Hampson and Janek
Schaeffer of Comae create something quite remarkable: a sightless
movie. They turn off the picture and rely on sound to indicate a
veiled narrative. There is a point on the album where we hear what
sounds like waves breaking and receding--it's an apt visual
metaphor for entire recording. Hampson and Schaeffer shift between
planes of focus with such patience that the listener is hard
pressed to tell where one sound ends and another begins. The
composer Takemitsu (who loved and composed for film) once wrote
an essay about "ma," the Japanese word referring to "the space
between things."  The members of Comae focus in on this interstice
all the way down to the granular level, where it becomes evident
that there is no separation between individual sounds, just space
where their particles are interwoven. Avant-grandaddy filmmaker
Stan Brakhage referred to this phenomenon as "the new
romanticism." Through Hampson's past work has been with field
recordings and Shaeffer's background is as an architect and an
installation artist, they have honed their abilities to refer to
an environment (natural or constructed) using only a minimum of
means--as if employing computers to depict a snow-covered
landscape where only the outlines of trees are visible. Comae's
transparencies hark back to a time when industrial groups like
Hafler Trio, HNAS, and P16.D4 were composing psychodramas from
recorded elements of found sounds, improvisation, and the noise of
faulty technology. Hampson's non-linear guitar work in Main no
doubt had some influence on later guitar abstractionists such as
Drumm, Toral, Fennesz and Roberts--if you're not familiar with
Hampson's earlier work but have listened to these more recent
comers, youll find the all-enveloping curtains of sound that are
deployed on Comae familiar. Shaeffer's doppler recordings of his
adapted, triphonic turntable (documented for Fat Cat) were marked
by the haunting collision of past fragments in a way that recalled
disintegrating traces of memory. This sense of something almost
lost, like a fading photograph, hangs over the atmosphere of this
record. One can imagine Hampson and Schaeffer as the astronauts
in "Solaris" whose memories are brought forth and materialized by
the haunted landscape of an alien planet. [DHi]

TINDERSTICKS "Trouble Every Day Soundtrack" (Beggars Banquet, UK) CD $21.99
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Soundtrack to Claire Denis' controversial film starring Vincent
Gallo, import CD. This is their second soundtrack for Denis and
supposedly affected the shape of the film as well. Strings and
hand percussion delineate the music, defining a life adrift,
without security; noting tension and clarity. Melancholy and
dramatic, Tindersticks' work here is primarily instrumental, in
compositions that seem deliberately, yet abruptly unfinished--as
if they left a burning building in the midst of writing them. So
the music seems like an outline of something lusher, existing in
long pulses of activity amidst dead space. 3 vocal tracks, 41
minutes total. Evokes of the decay and chill of late autumn. [RE]

AKI ONDA "Precious Moments" (Softl, Germany) CD $15.99
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Onda's newest solo CD is for a new sub-label of Germany's Tomlab
Records. Onda's been immersed in a residency at Dartmouth (!)
and this is his most recent work. Like his last few, his environment
strongly affects his compositions, mostly because he starts with a
cassette recorder and works from tapes of what's around him. Do we
get bucolic Vermont? Well, not quite, as he's been spending some
time in NYC lately (anyone seen his live shows at Tonic?). This CD
consists of strange little duos and trios, like a trio for two
clarinets and (what sounds like) a television, or a duo of plucked
bells and electronics, or just (literally) bells and whistles--all
plus some sort of everyday aural atmosphere simmering in the
background, providing a loose structure. His previous group,
Audiosports, a project which he abandoned in 1996, is nowhere in
evidence. In his avant-garde guise since, he's worked with a host
of luminaries: Blixa Bargeld, Steven Bernstein, Eyvind Kang, Noel
Akchote, Nobukazu Takemura, Linda Sharrock--and done production
work for Jyoji Sawada and Simon Fisher Turner (notably on one of
my favorite Turner records, "Oh Venus"). Very nearly opaque in
intent while transparent in structure. [RE]

KID LOCO "A Grand Love Story" (Atlantic) CD $16.99
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Kid Loco returns after an extended hiatus with…a pop record?
Anyone looking for the sequel to his masterpiece that was "A
Grand Love Story" will not find it here. With 3 tracks of vintage-
sounding material, the rest of the album is lush pop songs of the
Gainsbourgian sort. Still present are the strings and lithe
vocals, as well as horns that sound like they were directly lifted
from A Message to you Rudy, but lacking is the general ambient
feel of anxious calm that "Kill Your Darlings" precursor captured
so eloquently. While fans may have trouble adjusting to his new-
found pop sensibilities, he will no doubt garner a whole new lot
of listeners with this, his most accessible effort. [NF]

Just In:

PIERRE HENRY "Mix .03.0" (Philips, France) 4xCD Box $59.99
All "3" series discs (see below) plus a bonus: "Hugosymphonie/
Gouttes d'eau", a 21-minute symphony recorded in 1985
based on the work of Victor Hugo.

PIERRE HENRY "Mix .03.1 Variations Pour Une Porte Et Un Soupir & La Reine Verte" (Philips, France) CD $21.99
"Variations For a Door and a Sigh" from 1963 (one of Henry's very
best, atmospheric and disturbing while being mellow), also "La
Reine Verte" (The Green Queen), a 30 minute electronic work
from 1963.

PIERRE HENRY "Mix .03.2 Futuriste" (Philips, France) CD $21.99
70-minute tape piece from 1975 dedicated (and based on) the work
of Italian Futurist and sound-art pioneer Luigi Russolo.

PIERRE HENRY "Mix .03.3 Antagonismes IV" (Philips, France) CD $21.99
Electronic collage from 1996.

SECTION 25 "From the Hip In the Flesh Live in America 1985" (LTM, UK) CD $15.99
Second live archival disc from this gritty early '80s electronic

EARDRUM "Side Effects" (Leaf, UK) CD/LP $14.99/$14.99
2nd album from this experimental/dub-ish group. A little like a
more moderne version of Muslimgauze....
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NEW ORDER "Get Ready" (Reprise/London) CD/LP $16.99/$22.99
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MARKUS GUENTER "In Moll" (Kompakt, Germany) CD/LP $15.99/$16.99
Guenter's debut (following a few 12").
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This week's contributors: David Day [DD], Robin Edgerton [RE],
Nick Follett [NF], Lisa Garrett [LG], Michael Goodstein [MG],
Tim Haslett [TH], Dan Hirsch [DHi], Michael Klausman [MK],
Katie Serva [KS], Phil Waldorf [PW].

The Big Picture:

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week ending October 16, 2001, use this link as a shortcut:

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