Other Music New Release Update
August 28, 2002

In This Week's Update:

Blue Skied an' Clear (Morr Music tribute to Slowdive)
Playgroup (DJ Kicks)
All's Fair in Love and Chickfactor (Various Artists)
Computer Soup/Jan Jelinek
Michael Hurley
DJ Jazzy Jeff
Patty Waters
Saint Etienne (New singles)
The Microphones
The Asthmatic Worm (Various Artists)


[V.A.] "Blue Skied an Clear" (Morr) CD/LP $16.99/$17.99
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Considering the impact left on so many of today's electronic artists
from the effect-laden sounds of the early-90s shoegazer bands, it's
fitting that Morr Music would dedicate their 30th release to the
legendary Slowdive. Titled after a track from the group's final and
most ambient album, "Pygmalian," "Blue Skied an' Clear" is a
beautiful new double CD compilation from the Berlin label. Disc
one features the Morr Music roster covering a range of tunes
throughout Slowdive's brief five-year history. Interpretations by
Manual and Lali Puna actually don't stray too far from the
original arrangements, their covers both performed in a way that
conveys an admiration and kinship of two music styles which in
some form or fashion have defined two different decades. Ulrich
Schnauss's instrumental version of "Crazy for You" (well, almost
instrumental save some very buried voices that appear halfway
through) is warm and dreamy, like waking from an early
afternoon nap on a sunny isolated beach. B. Fleischmann &
Ms. John Soda's take on "Here She Comes" is playful in feel
and a stark contrast to Mum's delicate yet haunting version of
"Machine Gun." As a tribute record, "Blue Skied an' Clear" is
absolutely gorgeous and almost every artist's contribution
succeeds in reinterpreting and recreating the qualities of
Slowdive's stunning dream pop. And while it may not be
deliberate, disc two underscores how this early-90s movement
lives on in today's music. Featuring new upcoming original tracks
from established Morr Music acts as well as some artists making
their label debut, Italian newcomers Guitar are a wonderful
inclusion to a compilation loosely paying tribute to the scene that
celebrated itself. Their swirling guitars, white noise blasts and a
hypnotic drum loop could have been lifted directly from a
"Loveless" session. [GH]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=401569818912&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=401569818911&refer_url=email

PLAYGROUP "DJ Kicks" (K7) CD $16.99
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At first glance, Trevor Jackson (Playgroup, Underdog, et al.)
would seem an unlikely candidate to join the tony, sporting ranks
of the DJ Kicks cabal. More of an unrepentant and eclectic
enthusiast than an urban-casual marketing consultant-in-disguise,
he is now responsible for what I'm sure is underground house
legend Ralphi Rosario's first appearance on any K7 release.
While many of the cuts will not seem familiar, this is a more
populist mix than I'm perhaps letting on. Unless you really need
to know the song in order to dance to it, I can't imagine anyone
objecting to the narcotizing, dubby subjectivity on hand here.
Excellent. [DHo]

[V.A.] "All's Fair in Love and Chickfactor" (Enchante) CD $11.99
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For the past 10 years, Chickfactor Magazine has quietly
published a definitive, opinionated journal of pop music, women,
photography, gripes, road trips, and whatever else that struck
their fancy. They have long championed understated, DIY pop,
and have come to represent a bona-fide movement in the
independent rock scene. Over the years, they have also curated
a series of concerts, usually at the Fez in New York, to celebrate
the magazine and the music. To commemorate the last 10 years,
help publicize the upcoming launch of their new website, and
bring some (quiet) noise to your fall of 2002, they are releasing a
compilation CD and hosting a concert series in late-October. The
CD features a host of popstars who have graced the pages and
stages of Chickfactor over the years. Until its official release in
late-October, this excellent collection of great pop music from a
wide array of international artists will be available only at Other
Music. I'll keep it simple... EXCLUSIVE TRACKS FROM: Dump,
Would-Be-Goods, the Pines, Flare, Stuart Moxham, Gilmore
Tamny, and Hercules featuring Fan Modine. EXCLUSIVE TO
THE US: Pipas, Foxgloves, April March. EXCLUSIVE
Wright, Jim Ruiz, Cannanes with Steward. FIRST TIME ON CD
(PREVIOUSLY 7" ONLY ): Magnetic Fields, Aislers Set. NON-
EXCLUSIVE: Clientele, Pacific Ocean, Graeme Downes, Low,
True Love Always, Marine Research. Enjoy your Chickfactor! We
wish them a happy 10 more. We are also now carrying tickets to
the 3-night 10th anniversary soiree at the Fez in NYC. See the top
of the update for more information regarding each night, as well as
a discounted 3-day pass. [JM]

COMPUTER SOUP/JAN JELINEK "Improvisational Edits/Tokyo…"
(Soup Disk) CD $19.99
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Jan Jelinek, also known as Farben, is probably best known for his
clinical, dub-a-delic glitch house. Here, on "Improvisations and
Edits/Tokyo 09 26," Jelinek collaborates with Computer Soup to
expose subdued emotion with music best described as "liquefied
jazz". (Not Acid Jazz.) Translucent, muted horns expand, contract
and penetrate clouds of confused hiss, bleeps and static. There is
a sense of mourning and searching that is devoid of cliche'. (Miles
would smile.) The cryptic information on the CD sleeve: "Tokyo
9/26/2001" is enough to illustrate the fact that this is music
attempting to somehow connect with a post-September 11th
NYC. A sincere effort: recommended. [SM]

MICHAEL HURLEY "Blueberry Wine" (Locust) CD $14.99
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A long, long, long unavailable and mythic first record by Michael
Hurley, "Blueberry Wine" was originally released on the legendary
Folkways label in 1965. Recently, most people know of Hurley,
if at all, due to the inclusion of his song "Sweedeedee" on the Cat
Power covers record. She also frequently performs his "Werewolf
Song" (first recorded for this album) and it's easy to see why.
Technically this is a folk record, yet there hadn't been anything
remotely like it before when it was released. If anything, it seems
similar to a lo-fi bedroom recording from the 90s, albeit to my
ears about ten times better than anything from that said genre. For
nearly 40 years since, Hurley has continued to record and perform
sporadically and it's amazing to discover that his vision was fully-
formed from the start. He has an aesthetic that includes cowboy
songs, sea shanties, ragtime guitar, Jimmie Rodgers blue yodels,
comic books and B-movies. Yet everything is subtly refined through
his singular and eccentric worldview. The songs are frequently
lonesome, yet never humorless. Michael Hurley has created some
of the most timeless and endearing music I've ever been privy to and
if it were a just world, the accolades and fame would have been
heaped on long ago. [MK]

KANDIS "Airflow" (Karaoke Kalk) CD/LP$14.99/$12.99
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Under the pseudonyms of Fumble, Senking and Kandis, Jens
Massel's warm ambient electronic musik is a Karaoke Kalk
signature and attributed to no-less-than half of the Cologne label's
releases. But whereas Senking has been Massel's alias for more
soundtrack-like stretches, and Fumble for his busiest excursions,
the poppier (in the most abstract sense of the word) sound of
Kandis is probably his most recognized and realized. His newest
album, "Airflow," is a brilliant collection of melodic minimalism
with hypnotic loops and, at times, gravelly dub textures. A little
darker than previous Kandis releases, songs build from cold,
detached foundations; but the delicate additions of various layers
of sound slowly transform every track into something very warm
and melodic. Each song is distinct in itself, from atmospheric to
abstract. The skittish "Fingers" burps along the same minimal
funk beats as Mouse on Mars only executed with a restraint that
actually accents the song's playfulness. In contrast, the title track
floats around a deep dub pulse and a haunting vocal melody (taken
from Alejandrea and Underwood's "Children's Record") that leaves
a soundtrack-like impression. "Airflow" is undeniably full of feeling
and moods, defining an album that evolves and changes from
song to song, but unexplainably remains cohesive to the end
and continues Karaoke Kalk's tradition of lilting, textural mastery.
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=401569818482&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=401569818472&refer_url=email

DJ JAZZY JEFF "The Magnificent" (BBE) CD/LP $16.99/$17.99
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While Will Smith was in LA battling aliens and caddying for rich
white people on the silver screen, his former partner stayed in
Philly, assembled a crack production team and slowly began to
mentor and nurture a small yet immensely talented group of singers
and emcees from the area. Jill Scott and Musiq Soulchild were two
of those singers and Jazzy Jeff's "Touch of Jazz" production crew
was responsible for most of the production on those two albums.
Two platinum and gold plaques later, Jazzy Jeff decides to unleash a
solo album showcasing the truly unique sound that he helped nourish
and create. This album features a heavy-duty guest list of Philly
brethren. Highlights include the buttery true-school funk of "Charmed
Life" (which features J-Live), and the poignant love letter to hip hop,
"For da Love of da Game." If you are a fan of Slum Village, 4-Hero,
any of the aforementioned artists, or how 'bout this... If you love soul
music, do yourself a favor and pick this one up. If you are still
bumping the Nellyville record, don't bother. [DH]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=73000390082&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=73000390081&refer_url=email

PATTY WATERS "College Tour" (ESP) CD $14.99
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Patty Waters recorded two fantastic records for New York's original
avant-garde label ESP-Disk in the mid-60s. "College Tour" was her
second for ESP and her final album, period, before fading into
obscurity. Since that time however, her stature as innovator has
continued to grow. She was one of the first female singers to explore
extended vocal technique in a purely experimental setting, before
Yoko Ono, Diamanda Galas, Joan LaBarbara, et al. She was
recommended to the label by none other than Albert Ayler himself.
Her first album had some very quiet and mellow vocal tunes, however,
for these recordings she had fully embraced the prevailing
underground aesthetic towards spontaneous improvisation. Waters is
notably joined on these recordings by such ESP-Disc luminaries as
Burton Greene, Dave Burrell, Giuseppi Logan and Ran Blake. "College
Tour" is definitely an essential edition to the catalogue. [MK]

SAINT ETIENNE "Action/CD Single 1" (Heavenly) CD $9.99
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SAINT ETIENNE "Action/CD Single 2" (Heavenly) CD $9.99
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No one makes super sugary sweet techno pop like Saint Etienne.
More than ten years into their career, and the formula hasn't
changed much at all. Sarah sounds as light and airy as ever,
purring and whispering her way across the three tracks included on
CD-1. "Action" is the perfect soundtrack for your afternoon stroll
through Chelsea, upbeat, happy and gay. (Check out the two
B-sides, "Anderson" and "7 Summers"!) That goes for the
re-mixes on CD-2 as well. DJ Tiesto gives it the handbag
treatment, slightly trancey, but still bright and shiny enough not to
frighten. Meanwhile, Laub's deconstruction gives way to a bouncy
and swirling, yet open laptop shuffle with nice breakdowns of
silence and digital smears. [DG]
CD Single 1 - "Action" (with 2 B-Sides):
CD Single 2 - "Action" (3 re-mixes):

COLDPLAY "A Rush of Blood to the Lead" (Capitol) CD $17.99
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For a young band, what's more terrifying of a precipice than to be
standing on the edge of the first song on your sophomore album? I
know for me, this was a make-or-break moment, having only
recently gotten over the oft-invoked Dave Mathews comparisons and
heavy radio/MTV rotation, and finally giving in to the guilty
pleasures of the smooth, emotional and idiosyncratic Britpop of
Coldplay's debut album, "Parachutes." "Politik," the lead track on
the new album, "A Rush of Blood to the Head," however, comes on
strong and assured. Dark, throbbing guitar bursts and piano refrains
drenched in the dramatic narrative of a polyphonic 70s rock opera
show the band at their best: simultaneously simple and complex,
aesthetically and conceptually channeling a sincere emotionality while
showing off their pop chops with hooks and production galore. The
album's first single, "In My Place," is a bit more predictable, with a
swinging yearning vocal and guitar motif leading a somewhat
heavy-handed power ballad; but it still manages to make you forgo
your normal suspicion of such things, and you listen. Centered
around Chris Martin's compelling throaty intonations and falsetto
plaints, the band's subtly inventive weavings of soft and loud piano
and guitar (acoustic, fuzzed, backwards looped), veers in and out of
pop sweetness, country melancholy (at times seeming like a British
Wilco), and melancholy classic rock anthem stylings (Bowie crossed
with Nilson?), relieving the band, their fans, and any skeptics from the
worries of a sophomore slump. Beautiful. [MC]

THE MICROPHONES "Song Islands" CD $13.99 (K)
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Last year's epic "The Glow Pt. 2," by lo-fi psychedelic whiz kid (and
then 22-year old) Phil Elvrum, aka the Microphones, blew many
minds. Marking a rather ambitious and impressive growth spurt,
this record was a gutsy collage of styles full of evocative imagery
and ultra-personal yearning  -- from folksy ballads to fuzzy
psychedelic noise and pop accented by crazy production tricks that
sounded even more amazing on headphones. As a result, the album
topped many critics' year-end lists and introduced Elvrum to a much
larger audience. So with only a three-year recording career it seems
kind of early to release a collection of B-sides and hard to find singles,
however, the Microphones' prolific output justifies this one. "Song
Islands" compiles 22 tracks that, while certainly not as cohesive as a
proper album, showcases Elvrum's magical songcraft that juggles
Nick Drake and Beat Happening influences with noisy chaos and
avant-sonics. Many notable guests make brief appearances including
Calvin Johnson, Mirah and members of the Blow and Little Wings.
Also included are new songs taken from the International Pop
Underground single series that previews a few songs from the next
Microphones' album, "Mt. Erie," slated for release early next year.
For starters, I definitely recommend "The Glow Pt. 2." But while
"Song Islands" contains some material that will appeal to fans only,
there are still plenty of gems in this collection and even
non-Microphone completists will end up picking this one up sooner
or later... probably sooner. [GH]

[V.A.] "The Asthmatic Worm" (Mobile) CD/LP $14.99/$15.99
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"The Asthmatic Worm" is a compilation of melodica/electronic
accordian-based tracks ranging from the pastoral and melodic
songs of Mum, Marz and Dntel to the neo-cafe dub of Dr.Rockit
(Herbert), Burnt Friedman (with Jaki Liebezeit) Gotan Project
and Atom (with Pole). A clever compilation recommended for those
who either simply enjoy the sound of the melodica (the instrument
famously associated with Augustus Pablo), digital dub, or those
seeking to explore down-to-earth, new melodic electronic music
without all the cut-up, abstracted melodies. Two exclusive tracks:
Dntel's "Your Hill" and a strangely atypical, non-house track from
Perlon's Markus Nicolai. A chillout compilation that sidesteps the
generic jazz facelift. Take it to the beach. [SM]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=401569817872&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=401569817871&refer_url=email

This week's contributors: Matt Connors [MC], Daniel Givens [DG],
Gerald Hammill [GH], Duane Harriott [DH], Dan Hougland [DHo],
Michael Klausman [MK], Josh Madell [JM] and Scott Mou [SM].

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