Other Music New Release Update
September 26, 2001

In This Week's Update:

Brigitte Fontaine
Techno Animal
Jean Guerin
Filippo 'Naughty' Moscatello
Ryan Adams
Cocadisco comp.
Jose Maceda
Ikue Mori
St. Etienne
Macitajs On Acid
Fort Lauderdale
Other People Place
Black Box Recorder
Keith Rowe & Toshimaru Nakamura
Gert-Jan Prins & Cor Fuhler
Men w/ Boxes comp.
Nick Lowe
Yesterday's New Quintet
Ya To I

Just In:
Mum EP
Jay Farrar
Masada live at Tonic
Modest Mouse
Ride box set

Sigur Ros & Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson (new low price)
Kraftwerk reissues:
    "Ralf and Florian"
    "Tone Float"
Clinic, domestic

Featured New Releases:

SPIRITUALIZED "Let It Come Down" (Arista) CD/Ltd. CD $16.99/$18.99
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"Let It Come Down" marks the fourth full-length release by
Spiritualized in nine years. On the path from 1992's "Lazer Guided
Melodies" to this, Jason Pierce has slowly lost his idealism with
the lifestyle he used to advocate in his former band Spacemen 3.
Pierce's subject matter has always danced with the dark side of
substance abuse, and done so with great self-awareness. "Let It
Come Down" is now the song of a weary and worn-out soul. It works
like a sequel to "Ladies and Gentlemen (We're Floating in Space)",
opening with two strong rockers, one a piano-driven blues number,
into the melodically engaging and very Beatlesque 'Do It All Over
Again'. Pierce's arrangements are grander than ever, often with an
entire symphony behind him. This adds an elevating effect to some
songs, though on the drearier, more maudlin ones, the
embellishment highlights the melodrama. His love of gospel comes
through with the help of -- what else? -- a full choir (the song
titles, too, track a fall-and-redemption cycle). "Let It Come
Down" doesn't come close to "Pure Phase" or "Lazer Guided
Melodies", but what could? [CK]
Regular Edition CD (Standard Jewel Case)
Limited Edition CD (Special Packaging)

N.E.R.D. "In Search Of" (Virgin, UK) CD $24.99
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By now a Neptunes-produced track is as de rigueur as the massive
airplay that will certainly follow.  Having given the bump-and-
grind to tracks such as Noreaga's 'Superthug', Mystikal's 'Shake
Ya Ass', Ol' Dirty Bastard's 'Got Your Money' and 'Give It 2 Me'
by Jay-Z, their immediately recognizable sound is an amalgamation
of Marley Marl's crisp rolling drums, go-go's booty bass elasticity
and the raw amphetamine fueled guitar crunch of AC/DC. Laced with
raunchy rhymes and surprisingly convincing psych-soul vocals, the
N.E.R.D. project is an album length extension of the Neptunes'
sound. Rather than simply handing the beats mercenary-style to
their employer and an engineer, Pharrell and Hugo's ideas are
fully fleshed out from the MPC to out the recording room door.
Certainly not the first attempt at synthesizing elements of rock,
hip hop, funk and soul, "In Search Of..." succeeds by seamlessly
stitching those pieces together with genuine heart and (puerile)
humor. Sound intriguing? You might consider picking up this
import version then, as the domestic release will sound completely
different since the Neptunes recently decided to re-record the
entire thing with live instrumentation. [KC]

BRIGITTE FONTAINE "Kekeland" (Virgin, France) CD/2x10" $18.99/$17.99
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A veritable cornucopia of styles as visited by the reigning queen
of "La Decadanse". And just in case you miss the point, she's
depicted on the cover in full Queen Elizabeth I regalia! So who
wants to argue with a woman who managed to pick up where Serge
Gainsbourg AND Francoise Hardy left off in the early '70s and
never looked back? Certainly not acolytes like Sonic Youth and Jim
O'Rourke who lend their talents in full on two cuts. Ditto Archie
Shepp and French collaborators M, Noir Desir, Sound Orama, Loo
& Placido, Ginger Ale, and Les Valentins. If this sounds like
another case of too many cooks, think again, because Fontaine's
longtime partner Areski is on hand to keep it surreal! Dig where
Bjork learned some of her tricks. Easily her finest work since the
Saravah label years. [JG]
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TECHNO ANIMAL "Brotherhood of the Bomb" (Matador) CD $13.99
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The hell Techno Animal fans have been through waiting for this
momentous album has come to an end. When "industrial music" was
consigned to the periphery of electronic music for its horrible
excesses, who could have known that Godflesh guitar demon Justin
Broadrick and longtime avant jazz and post-industrial genius Kevin
Martin would form a group that would bring together Martin's love
of hip-hop and Broadrick's heavily processed guitar work? The
result is Techno Animal, and their new album breaks with
the dogma of contemporary music completely. You think that
the "rap/metal" hybrid is as tired as a security guard on the
graveyard shift at a recycling plant? Not a chance. When the
vastly underrated Rubberoom belt out their angry lyrics on 'Cruise
Mode 101' (RA above, wow), the drum break is distorted to paint-
stripping levels while Broadrick's guitar moves through the mix
like a buzz saw running during a power surge. Fred Durst would
kill to make a record with half the energy of "Brotherhood of the
Bomb". 'Robosapien' is a roaring instrumental, moving above a hip-
hop tempo and dropping shrapnel into the echo chamber only to have
it fly back to the surface. I could go on for pages, but suffice
it to say that this qualifies for album of the year (in any
genre). Finally comes a record so desolate and so loud that it
forces you to pay attention to sonic subtleties that feel like a
head wound. [TH]

CORNELIUS "Point of View Point" (Trattoria, Japan) 3-inch CD $5.99
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The unbearably long wait for a new Cornelius album is nearly over!
"Point of View Point" is the first single from Keigo Oyamada's forth-
coming LP "Point" slated for release in Japan at the end of
October (domestic release January 2002). And it's a true teaser.
This limited-edition 3-inch CD contains just one track -- a minimal,
Stereolab-ish headphone epic brimming with tense drum patterns,
a terse acoustic guitar, and phase-shifted vocals all tweaked with
precision. "Point of View Point" only hints at what's yet to come.
Limited supplies available. [TC]

JEAN GUERIN "Tacet" (Futura / Elica, Italy) CD $15.99
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Another crucial piece of the OUT from France's obscure Futura
label (Semool, Red Noise, Jacques Berrocal, Mahogany Brain, etc.)
circa 1971. Guerin was a classically-trained percussionist much in
demand on the French bebop circuit. "Tacet" is a bizarre and
wonderful thrill ride that grew out of a soundtrack Guerin had
been composing in 1970 for "Bof," a subversive film by Claude
Faraldo. "With the instrumental contributions of Bernard Vitet and
Jean Paul Rondepierre on trumpets and trumpet-in water, Philippe
Mate on tenor saxophone, Francoise Achard on vocals and gloup
tenor, Dieter Guevissler on double basse and himself on bass
guitar, darbouka, gloup tenor, percussions, rhythm machine,
generator and VCS3, Jean Guerin through many months of studio
work on the elements recorded for the film soundtrack -- which
made this the most expensive production of the whole Futura
catalogue -- created an indescribable and surreal, futuristic and
mysterious, liquid and spacious, echoing and sometimes grooving
blend of electronics, instruments, abstract vocals and treatments
unlike anything else ever recorded."-Elica Records. So
astonishingly ahead of its time and, yes, it's on that blasted List.
Highest recommendation! [JG]

FILIPPO "NAUGHTY" MOSCATELLO "Disco Volante" (Int'l Deejay Gigolo, Germany) CD/LP $15.99/$16.99
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Moscatello has coproduced and engineered a lot of work w/ DJ Hell,
remixed Chicks on Speed. But most importantly, he has his own
brand of disco/house, one which steps an extraordinary line
between late disco, early gay house and Italian disco (okay, they
ain't that far apart). His work, though contemporary, would fit
right in next to Patrick Cowley (though not 'electro'), with huge
rises and dips, swarms of divas way off in back. His gospel-
influenced 'Open Up' as is good as _anything_ by Machine, other
tracks step faintly into Sylvester territory. He also remembers
you need a range of moods and a few spaces even within one
song to really get disco drama right. This album is, strangely,
8 tracks by Moscatello and three eurodisco classix from Moroder,
Space, and Full House. Warmer, more tenderly human than
electro-disco or hiNRG, above all he makes it look so easy.
'Cause if he's just starting here (this is his first album!) -- who
knows how far he can go? Anyone who gives a whit about The
Loft, Paradise Garage, or Body and Soul style, get on this. [RE]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=71875275652&refer_url=email
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RYAN ADAMS "Gold" (Lost Highway) CD $17.99
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Adams' "Heartbreaker", released last year on the Bloodshot label,
was a haunting portrait of a failing relationship. Lonely and
beautiful, it was a rare record in the genre that not only
captured the style of classic '60s/'70s Dylan/Young/Byrds, but had
songwriting to back it up. Adams and his seemingly bottomless bag
of heartbreak (this is country music, after all) churn out another
70+ minutes of pain and passion. "Gold" notably returns to the
rock. This album churns along with electric guitars, fat Hammond
Organ, and a soul-inspired vocal swagger. Much of it sounds ready
for the big time that Adams is rocketing towards (even in the
subverted "Born in the USA" album cover), with traces of the Black
Crowes, sometimes the Stones' country-soul. The production is
notably bigger and slicker, with large string arrangements, gospel-
y background singers. Though he's more confident than ever, "Gold"
is still haunting, and justifies, without a doubt, Adams' acclaim
as one of the finest artists from the American alt-country scene.
(NOTE: Buy it now...initial ltd. edition comes with a bonus CD
featuring 5 extra tracks.) [JM]

THE PARALLAX CORPORATION "Cocadisco" (Viewlexx, Netherlands) CD  $12.99
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When I heard about this I was hoping it would be "Mixed up in the
Hague II" (which hopefully hasn't fallen off of I-F's release
schedule indefinitely!)--instead, it's a fantastic mix of the 12"
released on I-F's Viewlexx label, of both current neuelectro
artists (I-F, Alden Tyrell, Lowpass Puppets), and some circa-1979
Italo-disco (a remix of Easy Going's 'Fear', others). And even
when they're not circa 1979, the tracks are often evocative of
Italian electro pioneers and/or Yello (Melvin White's vox
especially). As there are 14 tracks from 5 singles, I have the
feeling I-F threw in some of his favorite rare tracks into this
mix, too, sans credit. As this is also from so few Viewlexx 12",
they will probably do a volume II on this eventually, too. '80s
drum machines + mechanical vocals + relentless beat = yum.
73 minutes. [RE]

SMOG "Rain on Lens" (Drag City) CD/LP $13.99/$13.99
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Once again, Bill Callahan rolls up his sleeves, goes into the
studio and crafts a fine collection of reports from the
interior. "Rain on Lens" continues on the path of Callahan's last
effort, "Dongs of Sevotion". The approach is stripped down,
streamlined. The newly parenthetical Smog takes his reductionist
tendencies one step further here, as "Rain" is markedly devoid of
acoustic guitar, piano, pedal steel, or choirs of singing
children. As a result, the album has a stark, claustrophobic feel
that well suits Callahan's detached narratives of disabled love,
strange weather, and physical and spiritual atrophy. Whereas
recent Smog albums "Knock Knock" and "Dongs of..." reflected the
involvement of producers Jim O'Rourke and John McEntire, "Rain on
Lens" is Callahan's affair entirely. Aided by axe-man Rick Rizzo
and former U.S. Maple drummer Pat Samson, he navigates a course
through chooglin' boogie rock ('Song') and motorik minimalism that
will have listeners checking the credits for Michael Rother's name
('Keep Some Steady Friends Around'). [DHi]
CD  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=03617291872&refer_url=email
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JOSE MACEDA "Gongs and Bamboos" (Tzadik) CD $14.99
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A true original in integrating music of South Asia with Western
ideas (and instruments) Maceda's work has been recognized in Japan
for years but has remained largely unheard in the U.S. This is the
Filipino composer's American debut, yet contains pieces (but
three) composed in 1968, 1985, and 1999. 1968's "Pagsamba" has
the emotional weight of a Bach mass, tenors of groans, trills, shakes
and moans, assembled on a massive scale (though piece of his have
used up to 800 performers at once, this one has but a paltry 241
singers and players!). Hearing the massed sighs and murmurs of the
instruments is beautiful and terrible, torturous and nearly
overwhelming, beyond radical. This music, obviously influenced in
a textural way by Xenakis' early electronic works, concerns itself
with the human expression as poured into a cloud of pointillistic
noise. He works spatially like Henry Brant, positioning his
players so that every audience member's experience is a distinct,
unique combination of volumes. The second piece is a bit of weird
chamber music, the last somehow miraculously fuses the approaches
of Terry Riley, Aaron Copland and traditional Indonesian music
into one 17-minute fantasy. Thank you, Tzadik, for sharing Mr.
Maceda with us. [RE]

IKUE MORI "Labyrinth" (Tzadik) CD $14.99
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Finally, a work from Mori that sounds most like what she's been
doing in concert, alone and improvising with others, for the last
four years or so. Gamelan sounds, imaginary automata in and out of
sync, a sense of sampling and rhythm that mimics rushing water, a
crowd running down a flight of stairs, flocks of birds taking off.
Though contemplative, it's nowhere near ambient, being crammed
full of tiny bells and electric rolling ticks, springs and clangs.
This is pure solo work, just Mori and her machines (drum machines,
computer). Varese, Xenakis are just starting points, though they
worked more with textures--Mori's work is more about rhythms and
acoustic space, which goes from dry to lush to reverberant, as if
humid then arid space surrounds the same sounds sequentially.
Unique and brilliant, but what else would you expect? [RE]

SAINT ETIENNE "Smash The System: Singles And More" (Heavenly, UK) 2xCD $22.99
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An ideal balm for these troubled times. Two action-packed CDs of
the coolest, sweetest danceable pop imaginable from England's
finest. An undeniable selection dating back to their astonishing
cover of Neil Young's 'Only Love Will Break Your Heart' right on
up through tracks from all their singles and albums prior to "The
Sound Of Water", with a few rarities thrown in from previously
exclusive Japanese releases. It all adds up to nearly 2(!) hours
of impeccably sequenced, staggeringly consistent perfection.
Completists will appreciate the requisite classy packaging
augmented by lots of fab pix, not to mention some alternate mixes
and versions just to keep everyone on their toes. So load these
in, leave the telly off, indulge liberally and you just might
convince yourself that the world is good again. [JG]

MACITAJS ON ACID "Friki Diki: The Enrique Tapes" (Tornis) CD $5.99
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Those crazy Latvian brothers have finally offered a compendium to
the past nine years (1992 to 2001) as Macitajs On Acid. I am not
going to play like I don't personally know these guys: Laris and
Kristaps hail from DC metro-area Maryland, which I also happen to
call home. I think it is almost criminal that America's only
Latvian punk rock band is essentially unknown here, sadly I
imagine the former Soviet Baltic state is just as resonant in the
minds of the uninitiated. All of their lyrics are sung in Latvian,
which is something almost unheard-of -- even in Latvia -- and
whenever possible, they travel to the homeland to perform.
M.O.A. have evolved over the years, so the CD changes a bit
from track to track, with similarities to maybe Sonic Youth or
Sebadoh. In addition to a fine collection of songs (30 tracks
total), they have also intertwined various soundbites from live
performances, radio appearances, random bits of dialog, and
sound experiments, making this an entertaining listen whether
you know what the heck they are saying or not. I can't help but
to love these guys. Here are a few web addresses to help you
get to know more about the Kreslins.

MOTIONS "Introduction/Their Own Way" (Pseudonym, The Netherlands) CD $13.99
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The Dutch band The Motions were the sharpest mods in Holland
during their brief existence, from 1966-69. This release collects
their first two albums, which featured chief songwriter Robbie van
Leeuwen, who went on to later form Shocking Blue. The Motions were
great in that they had a tenderness, a vulnerability in their
musical approach in contrast to the tough, unsmiling mod image.
They even impressed legendary curmudgeon Scott Walker, who did
their 'My Love is Growing' as a Walker Bros. B-side. If you are a
fan of early Small Faces, the "Nuggets" series or any '60s pop,
you need to check this out. [DH]

FORT LAUDERDALE "Time is of the Essence" (Memphis Industries, UK) CD/LP $15.99/$12.99
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Take Tipsy, and then try to turn them into Air. Fail, and you have
a different duo: Steve Webster and Toby Jenkins are Fort
Lauderdale, whose second album outshines their first by miles and
makes an _extremely_ pleasant space in which to nestle one's
ears. "Time..." often feels like the late '60s projecting a
musical vision of 2001, with piano jazz, string sections, a funky
groove, tickly beats and sharp little baby teeth. Their production
loveliness resounds with both of Air's albums, with an atmospheric
psychedelia and a placid way to form a catchy beat out of others'
material that's remarkably akin to stuff on the Source label.
There's a synth pop element here too, comparable in sweetness to
music from German labels Morr or Tomlab, but far less abstract.
I'm buying this -- what greater endorsement can I give?  [RE]
CD  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=66601702392&refer_url=email
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THE OTHER PEOPLE PLACE "Lifestyles of the Laptop Cafe" (Warp) CD $14.99
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The latest installment in the narrative of the label that
reluctantly gave birth to "IDM" is the mysterious release which
many claim is recorded by half of Drexciya. They are the Detroit
producers who are interested in The Middle Passage, during which
thousands of Africans were killed by disease and starvation or
simply thrown overboard. Drexciya hold that the missing men and
women have formed an underground world not unlike the Atlantis
myth. Thus, in all likelihood, this is the work of the reclusive
Black Nationalist "Mad" Mike Banks, and it is some of the most
intriguing and challenging music he's made in ages. "Lifestyles?"
opens with an eerie track strongly reminiscent of early Chicago
house records by Farley "Jackmaster" Funk, Bam Bam, and Lil'
Louis. Ironically this album is far away as one could get from the
DSP/laptop IDM movement. It reflects a deeper engagement with the
Todd Edwards/Dance tracks style of a simple 4/4 kick, handclap,
and serpentine bassline coasting beneath a melodic synth
figure. "Lifestyles?" is also, unquestionably, a dancefloor
record. As Frantz Fanon once commented, "no radical thought ever
dawns without casting an uncertain dark." As a follower of Fanon,
Mike Banks makes that thought manifest through this entire,
emotive album. [TH]

BLACK BOX RECORDER "The Worst of Black Box Recorder" (Jetset) CD $13.99
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Somewhere in Britain there is a graveyard for dead pop songs by
one hit wonders of the '60s and '70s. Luke Haines often visits the
chapel there to replenish his almost spiritual need to make music
that resembles songs you think you've heard somewhere in your
past, only that never really existed. This unique talent is
seemingly endless. He's just released two full-length albums and
now Jetset compiled the B-sides, CD-single bonus tracks, and
remixes by his group. What is uncovered is a series of pop songs
so immaculate they'd be another band's A-sides. 'Factory Radio'
continues the driving motif that runs through the two peerless
Black Box Recorder albums, with Sarah Nixey reminiscing about
listening to pop hits on the sparse British radio dial as she
tries to escape her dreary, enclosed village life. Sound familiar?
It's a theme that resounds in Bruce Springsteen's early albums,
and is woven through the American zeitgeist so deeply, it's almost
invisible. But Haines' & Nixey's use of that motif is filled with
Bowie-esque camp and a defiant Marc Bolan strut -- all that
masculine energy gone in a puff of clove smoke. The group do a
stunning take on 'Seasons of the Sun', the 1974 US Top 40 hit by
Canadian artist Terry Jacks. If this song does not contain the
most sickly sentimentality ever packed into three and a half
minutes, you can knock me over with a feather. But its seed is an
immense grief, and Nixey both holds onto that and ridicules it at
the same time. And that is just one more reason why Black Box
Recorder is Britain's best pop band. [TH]

NICK LOWE "The Convincer" (Yep Roc) CD $15.99
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Nick Lowe's third album in his trilogy (others: "The Impossible
Bird", "Dig My Mood"). On most of it, he's impeccably channeling a
mainstream early-'70s country style (even down to some Willie
Nelson-ish vocals on a few tracks, esp. 'Only a Fool Breaks His
Own Heart'). He ventures once to blues ('Homewrecker'). Like the
best country music, pain is just in the details ('Lately I've Let
Things Slide'). His songwriting is so completely great that I was
surprised to find out that only one in the bunch was a cover -- it
seems like he unearthed a whole cache of great forgotten country
tunes. The arrangements, too, are superb -- from classic
Nashville/Memphis style to the incorporation of a Bacharach-like
precision. [RE]

KEITH ROWE & TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA "Weather Sky" (Erstwhile) CD $13.99
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This year marks the 35th anniversary of Rowe's (and AMM's) debut
album, "AMM Music 1966", produced by Joe Boyd (Nick Drake, Vashti
Bunyan, Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention etc...), a brutally loud
and anarchic affair which featured a guitar sound that would
influence a young Syd Barrett (brought by Boyd to watch the
recording). Since then, Rowe's sound has emerged distinct and
alien from anyone else to come out of AMM (Derek Bailey, for
instance). And unlike Bailey, Rowe has continued to innovate and
develop this sound. Over time, the massive wall of noise has given
way to the sparkling of electronic buzzes, ranging from the
minimal ambient hum of a fan to the massively dense drone. With
the fairly recent formation of M.I.M.E.O. (Music In Movement
Electronic Orchestra), Rowe showcased electronics in an
improvisational setting. On "Weather Sky", Rowe finds himself with
Toshimaru Nakamura, who plays the no-input mixing board (a mixing
board with the output channels plugged directly into the inputs,
creating a feedback loop). Nakamura's work has shown itself to be
full of small, Zen intricate sounds. On "Weather Sky", Nakamura
provides Rowe with an ideal partner to develop a microscopic sound
portrait of varying warmth and textures. A high point of Rowe's
non-AMM work. [MG]

GERT-JAN PRINS & COR FUHLER "The Flirts" (Erstwhile) CD $13.99
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Despite releasing one of the most interesting solo piano albums of
last decade ("7 CC in 10"), Cor Fuhler isn't exactly a household
name. Unfortunately, that album received remarkably little
distribution, even in Europe. Here, playing with Dutch electronic
musician Gert-Jan Prins (fellow member of M.I.M.E.O. & well
documented on the X-OR label he founded with Luc Houtkamp),
Fuhler abandons the piano in favor of synthesizer, turntables, and
other electronic paraphernalia. The result gives little reminder of
the tranquility of his earlier work, instead creating a vivid, rapidly
shifting work of electronic edits more in tune with the Austrian
School of contemporary abstract electronics (Farmer's Manual or
Pita) then Morton Feldman. Ranging from reverb-drenched
percussion sound to harsh electronic grating, "The Flirts" dissects
the dynamics of the relationship between improvisational duos. [MG]

[V/A] "Men with Boxes" (Dub, Netherlands) CD/LP $13.99/$13.99
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Rotterdam's Dub label, run out of the Clone record store in
Rotterdam, has grown from a small, poorly-distributed organization
to the label of record for anyone interested in where neo-electro
is going. Their early 12" releases are nearly impossible to find,
and this, the third compilation on the label, is a perfect  way to
find those vinyl tracks. Phako's stomach and chest-
rumbling 'Bolnes 1' is just the beginning. This track's immense,
thundering kick drum is offset by ghostly synth chords that linger
in the ether like a faux demonic presence. The ripped-up up
handclaps & snares combined with some chainsaw distortion add
more meat to a track that already weighs a ton. The brothers
D'arcangelo offer a characteristically beautiful yet chaotic
track. A gentle, slow-moving minor key melody, almost a threnody
underpins 'Certy'. Above the distorted bassline, cricket chirps
and comb-flicking gentle percussion provide a skittish groove,
almost hesitant to emerge. There are other grand moments here,
like Funckarma's 'Cellular', which trips over itself in an attempt
to keep the distortion levels and groove running. "Men with Boxes"
is yet another compilation that contains as much variety as it
does bring together the most up-front deep electro-funk. [TH]
CD  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=871040214806&refer_url=email
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YESTERDAY'S NEW QUINTET "Angles Without Edges" (Stone's Throw) CD $14.99
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Madlib leads a four-man jazz/groove ensemble who re-cut tunes with
live instruments and sampling. They're emulating the imitable Mr.
Davis even as the groove slows, a laid-back jostling of marimba,
beats (drum and electronic) that lag so far they're almost
syncopated, stirred electric piano, samples of fusion and exotica.
All in all an exposition of an extensive collective knowledge of
jazz and groove circa 1970-75, all rising to the surface in the
modern world like bubbles in beer. A very chill record with a
particular kind of neat reverberation that makes a lot of it seem
gurgly, as if underwater. [RE]

YA TO I "The Essence of Pop Self" (Flavour of Sound, Japan) CD  $29.99
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Pop work from a group including Seichi Yamamoto (Omoide Hatoba,
Boredoms) and Okata (The Moonriders)--even prettier and more J-Pop
than the direction Omoide Hatoba was heading in last we heard from
them ("Vuoy").  This collects singles over a span of 5 years -- a
very schizophrenic five years. Ya To I in that period went from
pop samba to sweety J-Pop (this section a bit spineless) to killer
Haruomi Hosono-esque electropop (above), to neat disco. It's like
they tried on a new outfit every year. And had a big closet. [RE]

Just In:

MUM "Please Smile My Noise Bleed" (Morr, Germany) CD EP/12" $13.99/$12.99
Two new 'uns from the co-ed Icelandic quartet, plus remixes from
Morr's finest: Christian Kleine, Styrofoam, B. Fleischmann,
Phonem, Arovane, and I.S.A.N. Whoa.
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=401569805532&refer_url=email
12 //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999164231&refer_url=email

JAY FARRAR "Sebastopol" (Artemis) CD $14.99
The Son Volt branch leader with a solo record -- including
guest appearances from Gillian Welch, Kelly Joe Phelps.

MASADA "Live at Tonic 2001" (Tzadik) 2xCD $21.99
I swear, some of the best Masada concerts have taken place at this
tiny Lower East Side jazz venue, and here's the tape to prove it.
Lucky us and lucky you....

MODEST MOUSE "Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks" (Epic) CD $11.99
4 tracks pulled from the vinyl-only "Night on the Sun" EP, three
new songs, one remix.

RIDE "Box Set" (Ignition, UK) 3xCD $31.99
Three discs from this British shoegazing outfit: the first a 'best
of', second unreleased tracks, third all live material. (We also
have/will have all four reissue CDs, too)


HILMAR ORN HILMARSSON & SIGUR ROS "Englar Alheimsins" (Krunk) CD $13.99
Now available at a domestic price! Here, Sigur Ros add simple
guitar melodies to soundtrack composer Hilmarsson's Icelandic
Michael Nyman stylings and string patterns. The sweet strings
and guitar can be extremely beautiful for the sake of beauty;
akin to the work of Bjorn Olsson, it's actually best when the
beauty drops out for a minute and they start playing with tiny
dissonances in the string sounds. Add a little free-jazz drum
rumbling discord -- the storm before the calm -- and it
becomes sinister, murderous. Repeating themes within a
series of conflicts and resolutions. [RE]

KRAFTWERK-ORGANISATION "Tone Float" (Crown, Italy) CD $15.99
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A reissue of the first pre-Kraftwerk outfit. Before Ralf and
Florian set the cone on the front sleeve of the next two Kraftwerk
records, the pair, along with Basil Hammoudi, Fred Monics and
Butch Hauf named themselves Organisation. In this incarnation,
traces of the electro masterpieces these Krautrockers are known
for are virtually absent. "Tone Float", the only album recorded
with this lineup, hovers over fusion instrumentation and bongo
rhythms that fly and bump organically into all sorts of sounds
ranging from almost ambient to Eastern. At times, these
improvisational jams have the darkly mysterious elements of a
Morricone soundtrack, at others the acerbic eeriness of fellow
prog-rockers, Can. Anyone who wants to hear a document of one of
the most influential bands spreading its wings before clamping
down on a signature sound should have this. [LG]

KRAFTWERK "1" (Crown, Italy) CD $15.99
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Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider, the duo that is the nucleus of
Kraftwerk, will always be considered pioneers of electronic dance
music. However "Kraftwerk", their self-titled debut recorded in
1970, is a different beast entirely. The linup includes Klaus
Dinger on drums and production by Conrad Plank (who not so long
after recording "Kraftwerk" produced the highly influential first
recording by Dinger's other outfit, Neu!). This album is an
experimental classic. Raw and powerful, it's rhythmic and artistic
frenzy pull influnces from Schneider's classical background
(flutes have never sounded so abrasive), the duo's improvisational
work in "Tone Float", and the mechanized pulse of industry of
their Dusseldorf home. Combined this makes for an album so unique
it still beats the hell out of anything made today, and proves
that inspiration is more powerful than technology. [CK]

KRAFTWERK "2" (Crown, Italy) CD $15.99
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Out of Kraftwerk's large catalog, only several albums have stood
the test of time for me. "Kraftwerk 2" is one of these albums,
falling nicely between the more experimental recordings on the
debut and the futuristic sounds of their mid-'70s output, making
it a satisfying bridge between ambient electronic sounds and
subtle sound experiments. Contains the epic 'Klingklang' (clocking
in at 17+ minutes), which skitters along with repetitive grooves
and skewed editing that sounds like a template for Tortoise's
famed 'Djed'. Throughout the rest of the album Kraftwerk use
simple sounds, like feedback or scraped guitar strings, and these
subtly converge together into a structured ambience that shifts
between melodic and atonal. [PW]

KRAFTWERK "Ralf & Florian" (Crown, Italy) CD $15.99
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Kraftwerk's completely fascinating but bizarre path from "Tone
Float" to "Autobahn" connected here. Following the drug-fueled
basement noise scuzz of "Kraftwerk 2", "Ralf & Florian" abandonned
the guitars & grit which had so interested them in 1971 in favor
of the more recognizable, melodic, repetitious electronic beats.
Recorded two years after "2", the flame hinted in 'Klingklang' is
expanded upon with the lush orchestration  and near-Yma
Sumac/Esquivelish vocal additions on 'Tanzmusik' and a sound
recognizable as Kraftwerk, not the wreckers of electronic
equipment & pre-Throbbing Gristle charters of post-industrial
destruction, but the voice of the ever-smiling mass-produced
robots, the fashion walk, the dance club etc. [MG]

CLINIC "Internal Wrangler" (Domino) CD $13.99
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New domestic price! Throbbing with killer rhythms and sung in
thick Scottish accents, Clinic's first full-length album is
frantic, furious space-punk. "Internal Wrangler" merges the edgy
beats laid out first by Can and the Silver Apples with the ghosts
of the Ronettes and Johnny Cash, meanwhile dark Nick-Cave-ish
arrangements draw in sick melodica, seagull, and oboe solos, and
they use a bitter, sour organ and burbling electronics for rhythm.
This is solid under your feet, punker. You have to hear to
believe. [RE]

This week's contributors: Tom Capodanno [TC], Kris Chen [KC],
Robin Edgerton [RE], Lisa Garrett [LG], Jeff Gibson [JG], Andy
Giles [AG], Michael Goodstein [MG], Duane Harriott [DH], Tim
Haslett [TH], Dan Hirsch [DHi], Casey Keenan [CK], Josh Madell
[JM], Phil Waldorf [PW].

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