Other Music New Release Update
October 31, 2001

In This Week's Update:
"Electric Ladyland: Click Hop Version 1.0" comp.
Greg Weeks
Makoto Kawabata & Richard Youngs
"Funky 16 Corners" comp.
"Farewell Fondle 'Em" comp.
The Clean live
Black-Eyed Snakes
To Rococo Rot
"Output 64" comp.
Bogdan Raczynski
Kings of Convenience remixes
Miss Dinky
Les Savy Fav
Broadway Project

Just In:
Circus Devils (GBV series)
Joe McPhee reissue

Pilote (domestic)

Featured New Releases:

[V/A]  "Electric Ladyland: Clickhop Version 1.0" (Mille Plateaux, Germany) 2xCD $18.99
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This is the seventh "Electric Ladyland" compilation on the Mille
Plateaux label, and you can be sure that this imprint is no longer
going to be remembered as just the "clicks & cuts" label. This
stunningly diverse two-CD collection which, once again, truly
defines the state-of-the-art, that art being experimental
electronic groove music. Where to start? AGF/DLAY's 'The Return
of Us' is Vladislav Delay's pop debut with vocals by Antye Greie-
Fuchs. But that is by no means the highlight. Montreal microhouse
genius Akufen contributes 'Little Hop of Horror', so dry you feel
like your ears are full of sand. Thank goodness that Anti-Pop's
Priest is represented here, proving that analog sandpaper funk and
hip-hop are but a hair's breadth apart. The standout here is
undoubtedly Errorsmith's 'Rubbercement', in which the air is as
thin as the peak of Mt. Everest and the snapped rubber band sounds
break like wafers. (Erik Weigand's former record under this name
must be obtained!) Two Soundlab bricoleurs, the indefatigable Beth
Coleman (M. Singe) and the constantly moving Craig Willingham (I-
Sound) are thankfully part of this project. The latter's track is
a hand-sharpened snare and distorted hi-hat gem, while
Singe's 'Ghost Breaks' is littered with ghostly, rattling toms, an
eye-shaking electro bassline and massively distorted breakbeats
stripped of the low-end, leaving a beautifully shrill
underpinning. Last but not least, the sadly underrated Dalek go
into the ring with Kid 606 for a soundclash that could have lasted
forever. But you know that the winner is always fixed in advance.
This time, it's "Electric Ladyland Volume 7". [TH]

PULP "We Love Life" (Island, UK) CD $24.99
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For a band that endured well over a decade of struggle to hit
it big, Jarvis Cocker and Pulp have become remarkably adept in the
past several years at being able to release the right record at the
right time. Just the title of their new album -- "We Love Life" --
seems prescient in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks.
And fitting for the current climate, the album is an inward-
looking, almost sentimental work (by Pulp standards at least) --
the exact opposite of the biting cultural critique that was
1995's "Different Class". Produced by '60s musical icon Scott
Walker, the album is an expansive pop record as sonically rich as
anything they've ever done. But the overall tone is muted
somewhat, requiring repeated listenings before the melodies start
to lodge in your head. The extra effort pays off, especially
on tracks like 'The Trees'-- one of the most beautiful and
sweeping tracks Pulp has ever released. "We Love Life" is full of
wonderful touches -- the 'Melody Nelson'-esque angelic choir
of 'Sunrise', the not-so-subtle jab at producer Walker on 'Bad
Cover Version' -- making for a very rewarding listening
experience. Cocker and company have captured a sub-cultural
zeitgeist yet again. [TC]

GREG WEEKS "Awake Like Sleep" (Ba Da Bing!) CD $12.99
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Week's arrangements are his strong suit, and without them, he'd be
just another nice singer-songwriter bleeding-heart type. But as
he's adorned this, his second full-length album, with arcing
swipes of harmonium, Omnichord, Theremin, mini-Moog and Mellotron
(and tons more unusual instrumentation), his record instead
considers greatness and takes one, tiny, thoughtful step back from
it. Just listen to the two RA tracks above to hear how Weeks'
integrates a late '60s folk psychedelia (using the electronics of
the early '70s) into a powerful electronic sound that's awfully
contemporary--this record recalls Broadcast set up with a mournful
male singer. He makes a few Pink Floyd moves ('Sun Way Off'), has
some tracks which could be easily mistaken for Optigonally Yours
('Made', 'Past Four Corners'). He also wraps his voice, a strong
clear tenor with some vulnerability to it, into minor key strokes
and entwines it with Spanish guitar, goes into minor ecstasies
without ever, ever approaching melodrama. A record with a nice
scope to it that I might even be convinced, the more I listen to
it, that it never takes that one step back from greatness at all,
but stands solidly in the center of it. [RE]

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Stunning. Makoto Kawabata leads Acid Mother's Temple, and Richard
Youngs, among many other things, has often been tied to Simon
Wickham-Smith in a duo form. Together, Makoto and Youngs
absolutely complement each other. This album is a relentless
shimmer of fingerpicked acoustic guitar, layers of autoharp,
organs and keyboards that slip out of rhythmic phases and cycles:
it's a delicate scene that barely holds together, as if made from
sugar spun golden. Young's ability to make an extraordinarily
drawn-out track that loses no interest, even if it doesn't shift
much, is called on in a big way. On two tracks he sings! for the
first time in a while, the voice making something already so human
and warm, folky and psychy even more so. Makoto and Youngs make
music to make your bloodstream pulse in relieved understanding and
ears happily purr along. [RE]

[V/A] "Funky 16 Corners" (Stone's Throw) CD $14.99
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I love it when collectors of rare records share all their secret
super finds, when they have big enough hearts to let the public
nose around their virtual shelves. The folks at Stone's Throw,
including Peanut Butter Wolf, put together their favorite obscure
funk 45s on CD for you (and me!). Obscurity is key here -- they
didn't want to do yet another funk comp with a lot of overlap with
existing CDs on the market. Selections are great, from the
classic 'Funky 16 Corners' of the title to some political
strangeness from Co Real Artists and Revolution Compared to What.
There's a Californian undercurrent to this, though the singles are
from all over -- SF/LA Black Panther funk. The liner notes are
impeccably researched (better than any comp. I've seen), they even
track down the artists of some of these 30+-year old singles for
interviews. A labor of love. [RE]

[V/A] "Farewell Fondle 'Em" (Def Jux) CD $14.99
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Bobbito Garcia, once half of the infamous Stretch & Bobbito radio
show on KCRW, compiles the final release from his Fondle 'em
label, a document of independent hip-hop from 1990-95. In keeping
with the rough energy of the show, dozens of unsigned and
unreleased MCs got their chance in the cipher, placed on this CD
next to the cream of underground '90s hip-hop. This comp brings
together raw freestyles from Kool Keith, Arsonists, J-Treds, and
El-P, along with full tracks that originally appeared on
Fondle 'em 12": MF Doom, Scienz of Life, Juggaknots, & Lord Sear.
Includes one unreleased track recorded esp. for the project and
some new mixes, too. Bobbito's next project is called "Fruitmeat";
we wish him luck. [DG]

THE CLEAN "Slush Fund" (Arc, NZ) CD $6.99
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The Clean's most recent U.S. tour, scheduled for Sept. 14-28,
regrettably coincided with the aftermath of the Sept. 11th events,
and this CD got delayed. Originally slated as a tour-only CD to
sell on the road, now anyone can have it, including those who
couldn't make it to one of those shows out of geographical
limitations, Sept. 11th depression, or both. "Slush Fund" contains
8 tracks of classic, glittering Clean, driving rhythms and
delicate crooning, the unusual addition of solid piano on a few
(even taking over the guitar lines). Recorded in Dunedin and
Wellington in 2000 and 1999 respectively, they're joined by Lisa
Siegel (Mad Scene) and Martin Phillips on a few trax. Selections
include the impeccable 'Point that Thing Somewhere Else', 'Fish'
and six more. [RE]

BLACK-EYED SNAKES "It's The" (Chairkicker's) CD $12.99
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With "Chicken Bone George" as their the frontman (yep, Alan
Sparhawk of Low), the Black Eyed Snakes take from the Christian
tradition -- if the Christian tradition of music consisted only of
snake-handling, speaking in tongues rockabilly. This Minnesota
trio recalls Jon Spencer, or, even more closely, the first
Railroad Jerk album -- angry blues transformed into a divine
delirium of delusion and ranting. They even cover Moby (the
song 'Honey', known for its raw Bessie Jones sample) which sounds
perfect here. All vocals sung through a dirt filter; music has a
steam-powered energy. Zak Sally from Low guests too. Amidst all
the growly goodness, The Fall, and Bill Dixon covers, they create
the classic blues number 'Cheerios on the Floor'. [RE]

FREEFORM "Audiotourism" (Quatermass, Belgium) CD/LP $14.99/$10.99
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Simon Pyke, aka Freeform, seems to labor in every IDM circle there
is, having recorded for most prestigious labels in the field (Skam,
Warp, Kompakt, Schematic, Ninja Tune -- the list goes on and
on). He has put out at least six CDs already, and collaborates
with the esteemed Designers Republic graphic designers often (they
also did an incredible job on the packaging here). His newest is
as creative and invigorating a work as I've heard in the IDM scene
in a long time. Why? Because "Audiotourism" is made from samples
of the instruments of Vietnam (and a bit from China and Hong
Kong). But Pyke didn't just sit in his bedroom and piece this from
bits of ethnographic records...no, these samples are from his
travels throughout the entire country with his handy minidisc
recorder. There are no attempts to retain an ethnic 'feel' in
melody -- instead he's using the sounds as building blocks for
Skam or Warp-style IDM, for an odd, twangy, occasionally catchy,
complex and interesting recording. The whole thing is like a tour
of the country though fly-eye goggles -- a view of Vietnam
segmented, dubbed out, jittery and western. The effect can also
be like Harry Partch making funky IDM. [RE]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=541186717107&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999165991&refer_url=email

TO ROCOCO ROT "Kolner Brett" (Staubgold, Germany) CD/LP  $15.99/$14.99
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The Kolner Brett is a shoebox-shaped structure, built in 2000 and
designed by the architects b+k. Located in Cologne, each of its
twelve modules efficiently and artfully contains both a living and
working space. To Rococo Rot worked up this 12-parter as a tribute
to the building. To Rococo Rot's modules aren't identical, they
have a flexibility that mirrors the building itself, beat structures
variable and deep tonal keyboard supporting them. It's hard to
tie music to architecture, unless you do it through mathematics.
To Rococo Rot may have used that method, but they also
sympathetically examine the space and then reveal structures
through implied sounds of wood, metal, sheetrock, tiles, as well
as (possibly) imagining the spaces in use and making music from
that. In a way, their piece chips away at the building that b+k
created -- they're undoing the structure and in doing so reveal
more about it. It's conceptual, but it works. A reflection of the
bustle (or reflection itself) that goes on within the building. [RE]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=401176099216&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=401176005492&refer_url=email

SOLVENT "Solvent City" (Morr, Germany) CD/LP $13.99/$12.99
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Canadian Jason Amm is wound really tight. But his CD is like
watching him relax, uncoiling and unfurling and unticking to a
late-80s Warp-style techno beat. And these springy, ticky sounds
nestle between some really pretty OMD-ish synth that he's often
fond of using (it's all over his last two albums). He really
shines with a vocalist, whether that vocalist is man or machine.
His last album's best track had a sort-of mechanical sound poet as
soloist, and this album's best track does too, as he fragments a
vocodered voice's gruff eruptions to a keyboard theme that's quite
cheery, like a TV show theme. He also makes songs as if they're
the soundtrack to a lively videogame, one that's bouncy, even,
and uneventful -- with an absolute absence of danger. Fans of
B. Fleischmann will enjoy this a lot. [RE]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=401569805542&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999165311&refer_url=email

[V/A] "Output 64" (Enduro, Germany) CD $15.99
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We reviewed the "Input 64" comp. a few months back, the amazing
collection of original music composed for videogames of the
Commodore 64 computer. Though those compositions stood well
on their own, they were obviously too fun as source material for
artists to keep their remixing hands off. The instrumental
compositions are the perfect bed for vocals, the resulting songs
seem to complete music that wasn't incomplete to begin with. A few
mixes chop the sounds up into techno or disco (Raumagen does one
electrodisco track worthy of Moroder). Plundersonics use their
track as a bed for some cool blase storytelling, others even set
the '80s sounds backward in time (notably the one from
Chazam/Perrey [yes, Jean-Jacques]/Arrebatado). More fun comes
from Germans Mikron 64, Jeans Team, Ovuca, Mina, more. [RE]

BOGDAN RACZYNSKI  "My Love I Love" (Rephlex, UK) CD/LP  $15.99/$15.99
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Raczynski's albums have always lurked around the edges of the
modern electronic music scene; this album establishes him not just
as a fringe character, but a true outsider to the genre. This
album, called a 'Soundtrack for Sobbing', is to IDM what Daniel
Johnston is to indie rock. The songs, which range from simple
acoustic instrumentals (guitar, strings, accordion, trumpet) to
fuzzy electronic mournfulness, coalesce along the emotional path
that a long sobbing session would take, from despair to recovery,
with loci of indecision, frustration and relief along the way. In
so it swings from tunefulness to dissonance. He refrains,
thoughtfully, from making it super-obvious by including sobbing
sounds themselves -- but he seems to include everything but.
This is a really strange record, a dirge that resembles both
Vincent Gallo's most recent, and Aphex Twin's quirkiest, work. [RE]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=66690807152&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=66690807151&refer_url=email

PINBACK "Blue Screen Life" (Ace-Fu) CD $13.99
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A rock band without the rock, Pinback keep up the sad emo (is that
redundant?) without ever breaking out the feedback -- and I can't
complain -- I always liked sweetness over the kind of rock pose
that's been done too many times already anyway. Their songs have
a tragic aspect, as if the aftermath of something struck down alone,
in the wilderness -- and the album is the investigation into it. A
few songs feel like that hardcore intro -- one that never breaks
into a big-punk head nod, instead keeping a subtle side-to-side
head tilt and meander. Unlike their first record, they don't do
the singing in parallel lines/call and response so much (though
their guitars still do), preferring to concentrate on one singer
at a time (Rob Crow [Heavy Vegetable, Thingy, Optiganally Yours]
and A.B. Smith [Three Mile Pilot]). I can't help but smile at the
fact they're still using amazing images in the artwork throughout
of someone's 1950s Banff camping trip. [RE]

KINGS OF CONVENIENCE "Versus" (Astralwerks) CD $15.99
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Remixes of songs by the Norwegian duo of Erlend Oye and Eirik
Glambek Boe, this CD also includes collaborations, brand new
versions of songs from the last album that the band themselves
worked out -- a grab bag of KoC-related material. The remixes that
stand out come from countrymates Royksopp (whose new album est
superb--review will come when we can keep enough copies in stock),
Four Tet, and Ladytron, the latter of whom really create a
Ladytron song with new vocals. Not just for KoC fans; some
of these are better than the originals. [RE]

MISS DINKY "Melodias Venenosas" (Traum, Germany) CD $15.99
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Miss Dinky, aka Alejandra Iglasias, lives in NYC, though she's
originally from Chile. She, along with three other female djs,
founded the Angels on Vinyl, an NYC DJ collective. This is her
first, released on the German Traum label (home to Ilpo Vaisenen,
Gustavo Lamas, others). Her work has the charm of music from the
Morr and Tomlab labels, only simplified about three times. Her
beats are glassy, vitrified, with an ambient purr that soothes.
She can attain a squishy depth aka Vladislav Delay, yet she
doesn't have the darkness within her to let it take over. An
interesting new 'voice' in ambient techno, stemming from a history
growing up listening to disco and djing in gay NYC clubs. [RE]

LES SAVY FAV "Go Forth" (French Kiss) CD $13.99
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Brooklyn's Les Savy Fav have slowly built up a name for themselves
with their screechy guitar hooks and endearingly enthusiastic
vocal stylings. Their songs flow from unadorned catchy rhythms to
melodic interludes, divulging an epic pop-flavored breakdown
before unleashing the requisite chanting, repetitive outro.
Recently, with releases like last spring's "Rome" EP, the band's
sound has progressively become more thickly produced, and "Go
Forth" is no exception. But Les Savy Fav's strongest moments are
found when they stick with the basics -- a natural play of bass and
percussion, coupled with their trademark underscored vocals and
outspoken riffs. A few of the new tracks betray this fundamental
grounding, and as long as they hang on to the backbone of their
music, these guys should be OK. [SB]

BROADWAY PROJECT "Compassion" (18th St. Lounge) CD $14.99
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Broadway Project are inspired by movie soundtracks, Portishead.
This album, their first, is so sleepy in tone yet has an
undercurrent of invigoration (probably due to the beats). Strings
and a high, yet still smoky female voice are predominant, horns
come in in the number two role, then tingling electric piano. Her
voice (singer is not identified) rasps and then smooths out -- she
does the wordless vocal thing especially well -- their arrangements
are impeccable but capable of relaxing a little too completely.
It's almost aural morphine -- you feel pain, then none, then it
creeps back in. Even though this is quite mellow, it's not 'easy'
music by any means. They draw from Alice Coltrane as much as
Portishead, render songs as Ennio Morricone sent through an
ESL filter. [RE]

Just In:

CIRCUS DEVILS "Ringworm Interiors" (Fading Captain) CD $13.99
Next installment in the limited-edition Guided By Voices-related
Fading Captain series -- one per month, it seems!

LIARS "They Threw Us All In a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top" (Liars) CD/LP $11.99/$7.99
Full review next week.
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60006400592&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999166901&refer_url=email

JOE MCPHEE "Underground Railroad" (Atavistic) CD $18.99
Reissue of the 1969 album (his first) with a bonus live concert

4HERO "Creating Patterns" (Talkin' Loud, UK) CD/2xLP $24.99/$31.99
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=73145860572&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=73145860571&refer_url=email

Restock, domestic:

PILOTE "DoItNowMan" (Domino) CD $13.99
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Stuart Cullen makes gently progressing tracks that are profoundly
disquieting. Pilote's music reflects the paradox of rural
tranquility and the ancient violence that took place at sites like
Stonehenge centuries ago. "DoItNowMan" puts the listener ill at
ease because many of the delicately carved, beautiful melodies
here are rudely interrupted by long spoken word passages which
seem difficult to trace or comprehend the meaning of. Let it be
said the man has a sense of humor, which is manifest on the
opening, 'Paul Oakenfold', in which the half-heard words of a
frustrated, tired DJ demanding lavish back stage treatment are set
against the sudden orchestral synth stabs de rigeur in
current 'progressive' trance. [TH]

This week's contributors: Sandra Barrett [SB], Tom Capodanno [TC],
Robin Edgerton [RE], Daniel Givens [DG], Tim Haslett [TH].

The Big Picture:

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