Other Music New Release Update
September 19, 2001

In This Week's Update:

Aesop Rock
Felix Da Housecat
Saul Williams
"Berlin 2001"
"Superlongevity" comp.
Theatre du Chene Noir
Roots Manuva
Drag City Supersessions
Mercury Rev
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
Lambchop singles collection
Oren Ambarchi
Novos Baianos
Hadja Kouyate & Ali Boulo Santo
John Zorn's "Filmworks X"
Sieg Uber de Sonne
Morcheeba "Back to Mine" series comp.
Richie Hawtin

Simian (now at a domestic price)

Just In:
"Cafe Apres-Midi" compilations
Cannibal Ox EP
Yesterday's New Quintet
Other People Place (1/2 of Drexciya)
Alva Noto

Featured New Releases:

AESOP ROCK "Labor Days" (Def Jux) CD/LP $14.99/$14.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/aesoproc.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/asoprock.rm
Anyone following the rising undercurrent of indie hip-hop knows
the name Aesop Rock. Since his 2000 release "Float" for Mush
Records, he's been dropping rhymes with El-P's Def Jux
crew. "Labor Days", actually his fourth full-length, is a
collection of twisted tales of urban anxiety, rap machismo, aging
artists, and late night in front of a glowing cube. Along with
cohort Blockhead, they break jazz chords into hip-hop's dark boom
bap, using toms, tablas, heavy base, ethereal vocal samples,
flutes and strings. He delivers his words and messages in a
constant stream of dense monologues, staggered and dizzying like
channel surfing, singing his own chorus and answering his own
questions. Aesop paints a picture of an artist as a young man well-
aware of his potential status: "You can dream a little dream, but
I'd rather live it 'cause dreamers often chase it but never get
it." [DG]
CD  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60030888402&refer_url=email
LP  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60030888401&refer_url=email

FELIX DA HOUSECAT "Kittenz  and Thee Glitz" (City Rockers, UK) CD  $22.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/felixda1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/felixda2.rm
This unusual collaboration is one of the most exciting and
boundary-pushing dance records of the year. Why doesnt someone
release this gem in the States? The househeads among you will
immediately recognize Felix Da Housecat. A Chicago staple, Felix
Stallings Jr. has been making strange, unsettling house since the
early '90s and his oeuvre is enormous, including at least two
dozen records on his Clashbakk label and his Dave Clarke remixed
Red series for the UK Bush label, which have become highly
collectable. Miss Kittin, the German DJ and chanteuse, has long
admired Felix's odd aesthetic and the two made this extraordinary
album together. Felix provides beats both clean and dirty. He can
make sleaze menace in the blink of an eye, the slow, bump-and-
grind music played in gay clubs during after-hours when things
really start to take on an erotic and dangerous charge. 'Silver
Screen(Shower Scene)' is where Felix and Miss Kittin strip away
the veneer of clubbing 'til noon, Prada jeans, coke, and days
without sleep as Miss Kittin repeatedly intones sex, and drugs,
and rock'n'roll are over. The best disco always contains a
slight edge of melancholy, the sense that beneath the dancefloor,
beneath the beach lies the banality of the everyday. This stonking
dancefloor leviathan understands that and it is all the more a
masterpiece for it. This is a record that cannot be overlooked.

SEMOOL "Essais" (Futura / Mellow, Italy) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Essais1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Essais2.rm
One of the greatest avant-jazz/psych albums ever made! I saw an
original vinyl copy at a record fair in Belgium three years ago,
very nearly wet myself and quite happily parted with an outrageous
amount of cash. Semool was comprised of three obscure freaks from
Paris (Philippe Martineau, Olivier Cauquil & Remy "Dede" Dreano)
and this monster was recorded between 1969 and 1971, eventually
to be released on the impossible-to-find Futura label. An
exhilarating roller coaster ride of musical styles and semiotics
that continually defy any listener expectations, "Essais" has long
held a place of honor on Steven Stapleton's (Nurse With Wound)
list of crucial influences. For further frame of reference, we
might consider the likes of MEV, Scratch Orchestra, Red Noise,
Mahogany Brain, Anima, Fille Qui Mousse, Gruppo Di Improvvisatione
Nuova Consonanza, etc. but, really, "Essais" is a truly unique and
wonderful experience. Complete with backward masked "sampling"
and a rather cheeky reference to "Interstellar Overdrive", this
is what might've happened if an absinthe-laden Pink Floyd had
cut a session for Actuel/BYG! Dare I say essential? [JG]

[V/A] "Berlin 2001" (Bpitch Control, Germany) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/toktok.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/martinib.rm
Ellen Allien is a busy woman. One glance at her C.V. makes clear
that when she's not in the studio, she's flying from pillar to
post to spin records. Back in Berlin, her immensely popular Bpitch
Control label is releasing some of the most exciting and
challenging music in the city. Although the label has been in
existence for only a year, Allien has drawn to her imprint a
roster of extraordinarily talented artists, and they were on
display in a series of four vinyl-only EPs which, with a couple of
exceptions, are collected here. And despite what some might think,
hers is not only an electro label, though that motif runs through
many of the tracks here. The already-established Barbara
Morgenstern (known for her work on the superb Monika label) lends
this compilation an operatic beauty on 'Dr. Mr'. Smash TV's 'Body
Rock' was a favorite on wax and its inclusion here is a real
treat. With a bassline that would make John Robie or Arthur Baker
proud along with some disco flourishes which move like a winding
sheet, this sounds like Tom Moulton meets Giorgio Moroder sans
vocals. In other words, a electro-disco leviathan whose vocoder
lines will cut a path straight through the dancefloor. One of
Allien's mentors, Paul Kalkbrenner (who has already released a
sixteen track EP for the label), offers the maddening,
compelling 'Meute', which has subtle chord changes and tricky
percussive effects which highlight his nuanced sense of melody.
The production if reminiscent of Patrick Cowley's work with Divine
and Sylvester and captures the same faint trace of melancholy
which ran through the best disco. You see, no matter what the
public might think, disco is going to return. It is a perfect
example of the return of the repressed. If something is buried
and made extinct, it will rise again, in different constellations,
different forms until it is acknowledged as a true art form.
Berlin 2001 is unafraid to bring disco's finest moments back
to the center of dance culture. [TH]

[V/A] "Superlongevity" (Perlon, Germany) 2xCD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/babyford.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/akufen.rm
German electronic music has earned a reputation for being wholly
un-soulful. Nevertheless, dance music producers are fond of making
perfectly honed and sculpted tracks that still have a toxic
groove. The Kompakt crew in Cologne and the Hard Wax constellation
in Berlin have spent the last few years making records that retain
the cold. But another clusters of labels, Playhouse, Ladomat 2000,
and Perlon have a passion for classic U.S. deep house. Perlon is a
particularly curious case. Like every house label outside Chicago,
New York and Northern New Jersey, Perlon so dearly wants to sound
like Frankie Knuckles and Tony Humphries, Blaze or Ten City. And,
like all those labels, it can't reproduce Zanzibar or The
Warehouse. But in trying to do so, the artists on this Perlon
compilation make dance music that'll scrape the wax off the
dancefloor. If you're not at least in a deep head nod when
Akufen's 'The Unexpected Guest' slides through your chest cavity,
you're probably catatonic. Peter "Baby" Ford makes two appearances
here, with tracks that have the uncanny effect of heat rising off
hot tarmac, as bodies jerk just to stay awake. Long time Perlon
fans may be perplexed by the compilation's title, because the
label released two collections with the same name only 18 months
apart. Nevertheless, this reasonably-priced compilation w/29
tracks is a state-of-the-art manifesto for German house. Not as
dry and crunchy as the Kompakt school, this is music made
expressly for the dancefloor and none of the five senses elude
its capture. [TH]

THEATRE DU CHENE NOIR "Aurora" (Futura / Mellow, Italy) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/LeBonheu.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/LeConteD.rm
Another insane artifact from that most desirable Futura label.
Recorded in 1971 by a theatrical troupe/musical commune led by
percussionist Gerard Gelas (and still active after 32 years in the
French province of Avignon), "Aurora" runs the gamut from tribal
improvisation to grandiose operatic chanting to medieval
psychedelic woodwind swirl. Blend one part Magma with a jigger of
Third Ear Band, fold in a dash of Popol Vuh and agitate with a
pinch of Brigitte Fontaine and we're talkin' one tasty melange! As
seen on the Nurse With Wound list. Highest recommendation! [JG]

ROOTS MANUVA "Run Come Save Me" (Big Dada, Canada) CD $14.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/rootsma1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/rootsma2.rm
Rodney 'Roots Manuva' Smith can take a big, deep bow--his newest
album is a fresh breeze through hip-hop (both mainstream--he's
bigger in the UK than here, and underground), a very British
approach (merging hip-hop and dancehall elements with impunity)
stuck w/great jazz breaks and strings sliding under the fence. His
delivery is clear and passionate, yet sometimes whimsical, or
cryptic. One thing that appears to me rare is that on this album,
whenever Smith used a sample of music, the samplee got co-writing
credit on the CD--is this unusual? I've never seen it on a U.S.
release. And his video for 'Witness (1 Hope') had me laughing out
loud while watching it on my computer yesterday, a flip-flop on
the seriousness of hip-hop--even though the song's somber, the
video sure ain't--he manages to make the song mean two entirely
different things by framing it this way. Go to ninjatune.net,
click on 'videos'...it provided me with a much-needed laugh
this week. [RE]

POLE "R" (~scape, Germany) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/poleR1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/poleR2.rm
Stefan Betke has taken on the mythic figure of a mariner who's
traveled to every ocean. Only in a modern fashion, he's carried
with him sounding equipment that allows the user not only to
record the depth of the ocean but also record its strange, cold
and somehow inhuman sounds, which are at the same time pulsing
with warmth.This is the best way to describe Pole's extraordinary
sound excursions that continue to haunt the imagination. This
album is not a collection of new tracks. Rather, it contains new
pieces and variations on 'Raum 1' and 'Raum 2', the first tracks
he released on the brilliant DIN imprint. The original version
of 'Raum 1' can still make my hair stand on end, with its fragile,
decaying minor key chords generated by a machine that you can
only feel and a bassline that enters the chest cavity, bypassing
the ears altogether. San Franciscan Joshua "Kit" Clayton has
been close to Pole's project for some time now, as the first artist
to record for Pole's ~scape imprint. His re-tooling of 'Raum 1'
and 'Raum 2' are perfect, respectful treatments that convert the
tracks from aquatic arias to slip-n-slide groovy tracks. All the
imperfections remain but are sewn together with a dry fragility
that still bumps. Would someone release these final two tracks on
vinyl? You needn't be disappointed to find Pole hasn't released a
full-length album with new material. With the amount of variation
to be found here, he might as well have. [TH]

SAUL WILLIAMS "Amethyst Rock Star" (American, UK) CD $24.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/saulwil1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/saulwil2.rm
Mr. Williams has made an epoch-defining record. His is the moment
when the ghosts of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe come home, set to
hammering, lease-breaking, Bomb Squad-style beats. Williams'
vocalization evokes the deliberate mis-timing that has
characterized African-American vernacular expression since slaves
sang to each other in plantation fields. Their songs communicated
densely coded messages that were carried in the tone, cadence, and
timbre of the voice rather than the actual lyrics, which sounded
harmless to the overseer. In 2001, Williams can read poetry that
makes oblique and direct references to the (underground) railroad,
lynching, Paul Robeson, and John Galt. The guitar skronk
of 'Fearless' reveals the loneliness of being left behind by a
lover and the realization that the only meaningful conversations
I have with men are about music. Is this masculine self-
awareness? Perhaps a pointed observation many refrain from?
Williams listens as much to Hendrix as to Rakim, and he is
unafraid to confront the most uncomfortable feelings. This is the
record that the Black Rock Coalition tried so hard to make. It is
the record that so many MCs will be emulating for years to
come. "Amethyst Rock Star" is ten years ahead of its time,
unafraid to bring the noise and bring the truth. Breathtaking. [TH]

JUKEBOXER "Learns the Alphabet" (First Love) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/jukebox1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/jukebox2.rm
The ragged guitar and drums of math-rock, the dainty keyboard
patterns of Magnetic Fields, the off-kilter mechanics of Dymaxion
all come together on the debut album of Jukeboxer, also known as
Brooklyner Noah Wall. Wall's debut is one of those marvelous CDs
that straddles genres and styles without being neatly pegged as
any--for a DJ, his work makes fabulous transitions--between rock
and electronics, between punk and clinical pop. Each track feels
like a miniaturization of music--even the longest, which only
breach four minutes, feel like a small, transitory vignette. And
the arrangements are intricate, both clean and dirty at the same
time. A few vocals, but mostly instrumental pieces. For fans of
Pierre Henry, Brian Wilson, or any of the above-mentioned groups.
Excellent! [RE]

ROB "Don't Kill" (Source/Virgin, France) CD/LP $21.99/$22.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Dontkill.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Delamusi.rm
If you think the Phoenix/Air/Les Rythmes Digitales crew is too
decadent in their tributes or excessive in the synth patters, Rob
will help you decide. And as you listen, you'll be convinced
they're not. That nouveaux French school imitates, or rather
updates, '80s production techniques to great effect. Rob one-ups
Phoenix in his use of clean, layered guitar harmonics on the pop
songs, and out-texturalizes Air with hand-claps, sitars and moog
funkiness. For the most part, "Don't Kill" is soft and lite, want
to not harm anything (as its title suggests). From the ambient-
soul opener 'De La Musique', with its broad vocal chorus, to the
soaring, guitar-powered crescendo of the title track and back down
again with the Clementine Dream squish of 'Don't Kill Me'. 14
tracks produced in collaboration with members of Phoenix
(arrangements), Air and their mixmaster Stephane "Alf"
Briat, "Don't Kill" deserves to stand alongside the best of this
Gallic gallimaufry. One only hopes they continue to reinvent and
transmit their scrupulous soft sounds to soothe an over-burdened
world. Viva La France! [DD]
CD  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=72438498612&refer_url=email
LP  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=72438498611&refer_url=email

DOM "The Edge Of Time" (Second Battle, Germany) CD $19.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Dream.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/EdgeOfTi.rm
I've treasured a bootleg copy of this 1972 gem for many years and
now it's finally available as a fabulous-sounding legit CD with 5
bonus tracks. In my personal pantheon of unheralded Krautrock
classics, this ranks right alongside the first Siloah album,
Kalacakra's "Crawling To Lhasa", and Amon Duul's "Paradieswarts
Duul". A hypnotic and ecstatic blend of space rock, eccentric
hippie folk and Eastern mantra, "The Edge Of Time" is not merely
content to lay about and be adored; brothers Gabor & Laszlo Von
Baksay and company construct intricate 10-minute suites dripping
with lysergic inspiration and sublime revelation. Caveats: the
final bonus track was recorded in 1998 and features a
Plunderphonics-esque vibe completely incongruous to the original
material; no RealAudio sound clip can begin to do justice to the
insane greatness of this record and the treasures lying within! A
most perfect album, precisely what present day favorites like Acid
Mother's Temple and The Spacious Mind aspire to sound like.
Highest recommendation! [JG]

SOLEX "Low Kick & Hard Bop" (Matador) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/solex5.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/solex6.rm
Ms. Esselink shakes off any reserve for her new album, her third,
which transforms her into a magical mixture of Beck, ESG, Liz
Phair, Jackson 5, and the Danielson Famile. Going way beyond
anything else she's done, this here's indie-rock hip-hop slap-
jazz, the kind that sounds best on the street coming out of crappy
speakers on beater automobiles and duct-taped boomboxes.
Playground yowls, percussion like a roomful of schoolchildren,
soul bass, Buddy Rich drumrolls, Arthur Lyman production sounds,
a bit of Adventures in Stereo in the samples' arrangement, a lot of
booming and more booming from big drums and big brass. Fun
and more fun. 15 songs in 42 minutes. [RE]

CHOCOLAT "Henry" (Warner, Japan) CD $29.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Justine.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/MyChicag.rm
Somewhat of a rarity in Japan, Chocolat has managed to pursue a
rather mainstream pop career while at the same time staying true
to her indie roots. With major label backing she's sought out
collaborations with some of Tokyo's finest independent and
independent-minded artists, arrangers, and producers over the past
several years. While she's pared down considerably the number of
people she works with on "Henry", her third album, she hasn't
sacrificed her quality, vision or integrity one bit. New to the
fold is Andy Chase of NYC's Ivy who writes and produces four
tracks and enlists the help of bandmate Adam Schlesinger on bass
and Eric Matthews on trumpet. Chase's melodic, guitar-driven pop
compositions are a perfect fit for Chocolat's feminine but
powerful vocal delivery. Genius producer Tomoki Kanda steps up
and offers Chocolat five electro-acoustic gems layered with rich
textures and rhythms that bubble-up and sparkle beneath her voice.
Overall, "Henry" is more mature, less immediate than earlier
records like her exuberant debut "One Too Many". While it takes
repeated listening to bring the subtleties to the surface, "Henry"
is just as rewarding a work as anything Chocolat's done before.

DRAG CITY SUPERSESSION "Tramps, Traitors, and Little Devils" (Drag City) CD/LP $12.99/$8.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/dragcit1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/dragcit2.rm
The Drag City Supersession brings together an amazing lineup of
the label's veterans, with Neil Michael Hagerty as the ringleader.
The ingredients are Bill Callahan of Smog, Edith Frost, and
Hagerty each contributing two songs, then add Jim O'Rourke, Tara
Key, and the Murphy brothers (Rian and Brendan) to the mix and the
result is dangerous. Not only do they tackle each other's music,
but they perform some knockout versions of Lou Reed, Randy Newman,
and Black Sabbath songs! Musically 'Tramps, Traitors, and Little
Devils' takes on a jangly, country sound, fit for some western bar
on a roadside in the middle of nowhere. But don't be deceived,
with Hagerty behind the production controls you can be sure the
sound not only rocks but it gets out there too, as in the
simple 'Leaving the Army', a Frost tune which becomes a paced-out
dance between fuzzed guitar drones and reed instruments. Smog fans
will delight in the crushing, hopeless 'Nothing Rises to Meet Me',
and Hagerty's 'Texas Dogleg' maintains the Royal Trux spirit in
all of its rock glory. The songs in this collection seem to have
been shared by the artists whose work has run parallel for many
years. What a supergroup it is, too, the Harmonia or Traveling
Wilburys of the Drag City community--not just a funny gem, but a
truly enjoyable gift. [CK]
CD  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=78148402102&refer_url=email
LP  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999163981&refer_url=email

MERCURY REV "All is Dream" (V2) CD/LP $16.99/$22.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/mercury3.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/mercury4.rm
Mercury Rev blew the minds of critics and fans alike with
1998's "Deserter's Songs." Considered by many to be the companion
piece to Flaming Lips' "The Soft Bulletin," both albums were
masterfully original with their otherworldly orchestrations and
movie-score grandeur. Their follow-up was originally intended to
be a tribute of sorts to one of their biggest influences, film
score veteran Jack Nitzsche, who died just days after agreeing to
produce this record. But with Dave Fridmann's assistance, it's
hard to imagine what Nitzsche could have done differently.
Beginning with the melodramatic 'The Dark is Rising,' "All is
Dream" is more personal than its predecessor.  Divided into two
halves, the first four songs are a collection of eerie lullabies
and narcotic paranoia; all propelled by singer Jonathan Donahue's
helium-speak vocals. The latter part is lighter, however,
recalling the sunnier psychedelic ambiance of their 1996
release, "See You On the Other Side." (Tony Visconti even receives
an orchestration credit.)  Like "Deserter's Songs," All is Dream'
is equally ambitious in its lush orchestration and varied
arrangements--from the giddy show-tune inspired 'Drop In Time' to
the prog-rock leanings of 'Lincoln's Eyes.' What separates "All Is
Dream" from its predecessor is that Mercury Rev have clearly left
the stratosphere. Beautiful and classic! [GH]
CD  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=503319717528&refer_url=email
LP  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=503319717521&refer_url=email

GORKY'S ZYGOTIC MYNCI "How I Long to Feel That Summer in My Heart" (Mantra) CD $16.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/gorkysz1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/gorkysz2.rm
A sweeter, more mournful and breezy Gorky's grace this album,
their seventh. They nearly entirely eschew the rock (suprisingly--
it's one of the things they do best!) for a Canterburyish/Kevin
Ayers folk/pop approach. The album is still packed with their
eclectic instrumentation (banjo, strings, harpsichord, harmonium,
horns, etc. etc.) but this time it's used in the service of
something purer, the instruments framing lovely soft harmonies and
sad couplets rather than taking center stage. Where their previous
albums emerged from a dense forest of Welsh psychedelia, crowded
with magick and absurdity, this lifts far above, into clear air,
songs of a personal and emotional, rather than cryptic, nature.
Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub) guests. [RE]

LAMBCHOP "Tools In The Dryer" (Merge) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/upzero7.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/OrThousa.rm
Subtitled "A-sides, B-sides, live tracks and remixes," Lambchop
does the right things and gives some of their rare or early
remarkable tracks a proper forum to be heard. Like many
collections of this variety, "Tools" is best enjoyed on random
play, as the sequencing, although poured-over, is inconsequential.
For the uninitiated, this is a great collection of tracks to begin
appreciating the joyful, organic descent of this Nashville troupe.
Complete with extensive liners notes from instrumentalist Jonathan
Marx, "Tools" demonstrates how distinct Lambchop is. Similar to
Will Oldham in their re-invention of rustic Americana, Lambchop is
distinguished by the unaffected vocals [and the everyday poetic
laments] of its ringleader Kurt Wagner, and the expansive
Countrypolitan production technique. Each of its 16 tracks give us
another perspective on the 'chop, from the brilliantly downbeat
Zero 7 remix of "Up With People" to the cassette-only early
tracks, from the acrobatic lyricism of "Miss Prissy" to the
instrumental complexity of "Or Thousands Of Prizes." Truly a
unique American band, Lambchop should be appreciated, and seen,
by anyone interested in independent music and the communities it
harbors. And "Tools" will either increase your valuation of
Lambchop or acquaint you with their swirling, grin-inducing
opulence. [DD]

OREN AMBARCHI "Suspension" (Touch, UK) CD $14.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Vogler.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/ThisEven.rm
Oren Ambarchi has worked with Keith Rowe, Christian Fennesz, and
Phill Niblock to name a few. I find this, his newest album, fits
somewhere between the work of those three, with a similarity to
fellow Touch recording artist Hazard (B.J. Nilsen), as well as the
solo work of a longtime favorite of mine, Thomas Koner.
"Suspension" is a unique experience where as a listener you
are carefully suspended inside surging waves of tonality, drifting
somewhere beneath the surface and above whatever lies below--
unaware of either. The sounds come together and pull apart with an
irregularity that allows you to travel repeatedly without a
preconceived destination and each listening has proven to me to be
just as intense. All sounds are generated by guitar, processed and
recorded live without the use of a computer. No post-production,
no editing or re-editing, no recontextualizing--this is pure
improvisation live-to-tape. As a fellow guitarist, I have nothing
but high praise for this beautifully realized and executed
document of unconventional guitarwork. I look forward to whatever
Oren should offer next. [AG]

SUPERCHUNK "Here's to Shutting Up" (Merge) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/superch5.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/superch6.rm
For the better part of Superchunk's twelve years, Chapel Hill's
finest rock export have always been synonymous to "indie rock."
And while Mac and company have certainly tempered themselves
since their pogo inducing days of "No Pocky For Kitty," they're
that staple food -- like peanut butter in a college kid's dorm
cupboard.  On their eighth outing, "Here's to Shutting Up,"
Superchunk's latest collection continues to travel the pop path
of their past six or seven years, but this time includes the kind
of deliberate hooks that made 1994's "Foolish" a classic.
Surprisingly keyboard-heavy, the addition of violins and cello
seems more natural than ever. Superchunk have also invited along
some old friends that read like an indie Who's Who. Brian Paulson,
is back in the production chair while various members of
Japancakes, White Lights and the Rock*A*Teens provide additional
support to make this one of Superchunk's creamiest albums to date.

NOVOS BAIANOS "Acabou Chorare" (Som Livre, Brazil) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/novosb1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/novosb2.rm
Originally recorded in 1972, between the MPB peaks (for me) of the
early Os Mutantes albums and mid-'70s Jorge Ben albums. Novos
Baianos drew inspiration--as many did--from the vocal style of
Joao Gilberto, but tempered it into a rock-jazz setting. Still
swingy and mellow, the Brazilian percussion still crashes around
the slinky vocals of Moraes Moreira and sharp voice of Baby
Consuelo. A superb slab of Tropicalia, not going to psych peaks or
sinking into pillowy samba, instead they tempered their rock with
twangs of wood (both acoustic and electric) and string. Every time
I play this on the radio, too, it elicits lots of calls--resonates
with listeners. [RE]

HADJA KOUYATE & ALI BOULO SANTO "Manding-Ko" (Frikyiwa, France)  CD  $14.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/kouyate1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/kouyate2.rm
An odd release to come from Frikyiwa records (whose collections
of are of a higher-energy Afro/worldbeat nature, merged w/modern
electronics). This release would nestle nicely next to Ali Farka
Toure, Amadou & Mariam, John Fahey, Pierre Akendengue. The
duo of female singer Hadja Kouyate and singer/kora player Ali
Boulo Santo has a gorgeous acoustic rusticity supporting the
expressive, sinuous vocals. Both Kouyate and Santo come from
the griot tradition, but, Kouyate's roots are in Guinea, Santo's
origins are in Senegal. (Griots are storyteller/singers for hire
w/usually a patriarchal lineage [Kouyate's participation seems to
spring from her father's involvement].) The voice and strings are
all here, the rhythms but a finger or palm patter, taps on the bongo
or faint claps. And the kora's delicate patterns dance circles around
Kouyate and Santo's already elusive voices (they tend to sing
separately, though one dialoguing duo track on here is
exceptional). One of the odder tracks brings in rhythms
reminiscent of rock-steady! Quite lovely African pop thankfully
not at all dolled up in the Parisian overproduced style. [RE]

JOHN ZORN "Filmworks X: In The Mirror Of Maya Deren" (Tzadik) CD $14.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/johnzor1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/johnzor2.rm
This tenth release in John Zorn's film music series is the
soundtrack for a documentary on Downtown's voodoo heroine,
filmmaker/writer Maya Deren. Scored for variations within a trio
of cello, keyboards and percussion (with Zorn himself sometimes on
piano), its references include Deren's Jewish roots in Kiev, her
love of classical music, Haitian drums, and the world-music
interests of her collaborator, composer Teiji Ito. Mostly a series
of low-key chamber pieces (including solo tracks for cello), with
a few jazzy moments, a ritual drum blast, and even some gamelan-
type sounds, it's often quite lovely, and always marked by Zorn's
compositional rigor. Definitely a film score rather than a
structurally integrated disc in its own right, it nevertheless
offers many pleasures for more than just the hard-core Zornhead.

THUNDERBALL "Scorpio Rising" (18th St. Lounge) CD $14.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/thunder3.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/thunder4.rm
As the newest release from the star-studded label 18th Street
Lounge, Thunderball gracefully maintains the label's aesthetic of
impeccable downtempo. Exploiting the subtle nuances between
breakbeat, dub, and drum'n'bass is what has garnered them a
worldwide reputation as the true 'Ambassadors of Style.' "Scorpio
Rising" plays like an ESL mixtape, from the drum'n'bass of the
opener Heart of a Hustler with Curtis Mayfield-ish vocals; to
the afro-beat groove of  'Sapphire', including vocal chants and
syncopated horn stabs; to the bossa nova clave of  'Solar'. Their
penchants for world travel as well as '70s action movies truly
create a special atmosphere. Quite like the Thievery Corporation's
debut, too. [NF]

SIEG UBER DIE SONNE "(-)*(-)=(+)" (Multicolor, Germany) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/siegube1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/siegube2.rm
Don't know if there was some falling-out with Fax (did Fax stop
putting out discs entirely?) but Atom Heart seems to have moved to
newish German label Multicolor for a few releases. Uwe Schmidt and
Tobias Freund (Pink Elln) have worked together before, but now
they are under the name Sieg Uber die Sonne. Pink Elln, also a
studio Engineer, also collaborates with the graphics group Saas
Fee in Germany (whose work as well as CD releases are excellent)
and has had trax on Perlon, too. While this is missing the kitsch
that Atom Heart seems to hardly be able to keep from injecting
into anything, instead are welcome unusual minimal tech-house
tracks, edgy kicky and scratchy. A few nice vocal tracks are more
pop/house, one with very odd, composed female vocals, a few w/vox
by one Jorge Gonzalez, who has really a cool and
friendly 'everyman' vocal style. The Chilean influence as well is
felt here and there (twinges of Latin rhythms in a flailing style,
coming from Schmidt). [RE]

[V/A] "Morcheeba: Back To Mine" (Ultra, UK) CD/LP $15.99/$31.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/krishnas.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Chevrole.rm
Another 'Back To Mine' in the pike, and this time we're treated to
the tastes of Paul Godfrey, one of three members of Morcheeba.
Half the fun of these mixes is seeing what gems are uncovered, and
Godfrey surely comes through. Annette Peacock kicks it up from
track 1, tamer than Betty Davis but just as funky. Godfrey also
drops classics by Taj Mahal ['Chevrolet' has a couple of weeks
before it lands on a hip TV spot], Dr. John and our beloved Os
Mutantes. The conceptual element of the series [i.e. "Chill out
mixes from artists you love"] is fulfilled with rare groove and
recently-overlooked hip-hop (which makes this the best Back To
Mine in the series to date, rivaled only by Groove Armada's and
their inclusion of Al Green's 'Light My Fire'). Krishna Shah has a
super track with one of the nicest flute solos I've come across.
And David McCallum's flute, supported by the string arrangements
of Mr. David Axelrod, gets his props with 'The Edge,' a track
famously sampled by Dr. Dre [McCallum gets a reissue later this
month]. The forgotten trip-hop acts nicely round out this comp.
Where Godfrey falters is in his tribute-paying incorporation of
tracks from past collaborators New Kingdom and Jim White which,
although pleasant, seem out of place. All told, big ups to
Godfrey. Next up in the series: a smooth, worldy jungly mix from
Talvin Singh in October. [DD]

RICHIE HAWTIN "DE9 Closer to the Edit" (Novamute) CD $16.99
Not at all the smack upside the head one typically expects from
Plastikman, this is instead an approximately hour-long mix of
bubbly little rhythms undulating this way and that, like a snake
dancing its way through the chugga-chugga of a funky washing
machine. Really good work music, too, for those who concentrate
better with a beat. [AL]


SIMIAN "Chemistry Is What We Are" (Astralwerks) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/simian1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/simian2.rm
Domestic edition with video and two bonus tracks! Simian veers
from minimal (just voice and air organ) to electronified,
fabulously-produced near-Britpop, with sky-high harmonies and
propulsive farfisa engine. Think the '60s BeeGees and Jim O'Rourke
combined: orch-pop meets laptop. One of those records that
everybody likes at least part of, a lot. [RE]

Just In:

[V/A] "Cafe Apres-Midi: Azur" (Sony, Japan) CD $27.99
[V/A] "Cafe Apres-Midi: Vigogne" (Canyon, Japan) CD $27.99
Two brand new releases in the popular international easy/pop
reissue compilation series.

CANNIBAL OX "F-Word" (Def Jux) CD EP/ 12" $7.99/$5.99
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60030888412&refer_url=email
12 //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60030888416&refer_url=email

YESTERDAY'S NEW QUINTET "Angles Without Edges" (Stone's Throw) CD  $14.99
Madlib leads a four-man funk/jazz/groove ensemble who recut tunes
with live instruments and sampling.

THE OTHER PEOPLE PLACE "Lifestyles of the Laptop Cafe" (Warp) CD $14.99
1/2 of Drexciya, supposedly?Warp Records site just says "Detroit

ALVA NOTO "Transform" (Mille Plateaux, Germany) CD $15.99

This week's contributors: Tom Capodanno [TC], David Day [DD],
Robin Edgerton [RE], Nick Follett [NF], Jeff Gibson [JG], Andy
Giles [AG], Daniel Givens [DG], Gerald Hammill [GH], Tim Haslett
[TH], Casey Keenan [CK], Andrew Leigh [AL].

The Big Picture:

To see a complete list of Other Music new releases for the
week ending September 18, 2001, use this link as a shortcut:

To see a list of new releases from previous weeks:

To see new release updates from previous weeks:

To order any of the items you see on these pages simply click
the links following each review or visit our Web site at

Phone orders are accepted at (212) 477-8150 (ext. #2, mailorder).

For general inquiries or other information, please email
"sales@othermusic.com". Do not reply to this message.

Thanks for reading.
-all of us at Other Music

Other Music NYC
15 E. 4th Street
New York, NY 10003

Other Music Harvard Square
90 Winthrop Street
Cambridge, MA 02138