Other Music New Release Update
February 20, 2002

In This Week's Update:

Boards of Canada
"Definitive Jux Presents" Vol. 2
Vibracathedral Orchestra
Richard Hawley
Minotaur Shock
Leslie Winer
Six Organs of Admittance
Dimitri From Paris
Dan the Automator
Airport 5 (Pollard and Sprout)
DJ Spinna
Mountain Goats
Kid America and the Action Figures

Golden Boy & Miss Kittin

Featured New Releases:

BOARDS OF CANADA "Geogaddi" (Warp)  Ltd. Ed. CD/CD/3xLP $18.99/$15.99/$23.99
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Boards of Canada's "Geogaddi", the most eagerly anticipated
electronic album of 2002, finally drops -- four full years after
the release of their startling debut LP "Music Has the Right
Children". Sonically, however, it seems like hardly a day has gone
by. "Geogaddi" picks up right where "?Children" left off as
Board's signature sound remains entirely intact. The difference is
only in its intensity. "Geogaddi" is eerier, creepier, and more
thoroughly chilling than even its predecessor while offering up a
broader vision of Board's surreal sonic landscape. Disembodied
voices (a BOC trademark) populate the album, broadcast seemingly
from another realm. On 'Gyroscope' a young boy recites numerals
randomly over an aggressive tribal beat as if it were a coded
transmission airing on an eastern European numbers station.
Simple, child-like melodies turn vaguely sinister on 'Music is
Math' amidst beats that are warped and squished. The strains of
an ancient calliope swirl hauntingly amidst layers of lush
electronica and fractured percussion on 'Julie and Candy'.
Elsewhere, the progression of 'Dawn Chorus', another standout,
unwinds ominously -- recalling the magnificence of Joy
Division's 'Decades' -- amidst a woman's groans of ecstasy.
Interspersed throughout are several short, ambient interludes
including the sublime 'Corsair' and 'Over the Horizon Radar' Far
from filler, these songs operate as beautiful segue-ways but also
stand quite nicely on their own. After 23 tracks of music of
this magnitude, the overall effect is nothing short of
otherworldly. "Geogaddi" is an astounding album and the perfect
soundtrack to your strangest dreams. [TC]
"Geogaddi" Ltd. Ed. CD (deluxe packaging)
"Geogaddi" Reg. Ed. CD (jewel box)
"Geogaddi" 3xLP

V.A. "Definitive Jux Presents Vol. 2" (Def Jux) CD/LP $14.99/$14.99
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I can't believe that it's only been a year since Def Jux first
introduced themselves to the world with the amazing "Definitive
Jux Presents Vol. 1". Featuring new tracks from the now-defunct
Company Flow, then-newcomers Cannibal Ox and RJD2, and underground
MC Aesop Rock, the comp clocked in at only around half an hour,
but it was an incredible beginning. Next, Def Jux released mind
blowing LPs from Cannibal Ox and Aesop Rock as well as numerous
12"s and EPs, each one essential to any underground hip hop fan.
Slowly establishing themselves as the force to reckon with in
indie hip-hop, Def Jux has built up their roster and are now ready
to unleash them onto the world with "Def Jux Presents Vol. 2".
This is not just another hip-hop comp but an incredible record in
its own right with amazing tracks by the Weathermen (an indie hip
hop supergroup of sorts featuring El-P, Vast Aire, Copywrite,
Cage, and Masai Bey among others), Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif, Murs, Camu
Tao, Rob Sonic, RJD2, Masai Bey, Vast Aire, Y@k Balls, and Atoms
Family. Label head El-P himself contributes two previously
unreleased tracks. If you buy one hip-hop comp this year it better
be this one because no other will compare. Dark and dirty, just
the way you like it! [JS]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60030888492&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60030888491&refer_url=email

VIBRACATHEDRAL ORCHESTRA "Dabbling With Gravity" (VHF) CD  $13.99
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From their inception as a quintet back in 1998, Vibracathedral
Orchestra have offered up a plethora of releases: many singles;
collaborations with the likes of Arthur Doyle, Sonny Murray, and
Richard Youngs; CD-Rs; and a few full-lengths. And now their
latest, which I must admit sounds more like a city-block long
procession of snake charmers than four guys and a girl recording
to two-track in someone's kitchen. There is a lot happening in
this cacophony of clattering percussion: warm organs, stretchy
sitar, sleigh bells, cymbals, toy pianos, and who-knows-what
homemade instrumentation incorporated into a free-rock-meets-
Indonesian psyched-out jam. The long whirling tracks are mostly
built around solid chant-like drumming, without any special
attention to one particular instrument. Definitely for fans of
the 'drone' -- this album fills both my hypnotic and meditative
requirements. And it leaves joyful noise explosions echoing in my
head long after I've stopped listening. Highly recommended. [NL]

LAMBCHOP "Is a Woman" (Merge) CD $13.99
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"Is a Woman" is Lambchop's first new studio album since scoring
what must be one of the most unexpected UK dance radio hits of all
time with Zero 7's remix of their pep-pop anthem 'Up With People'
(included on last years "Tools In the Dryer" singles
compilation). Despite the success, Lambchop has hung on to their
integrity and created a subtle, gloomy album that will thrill long
time fans, if not fill dance floors. Chart-toppers aside, the band
is best known for their dark, country-tinged songs complemented by
lush arrangements expertly executed by a rag-tag band of as many
as 20 members. Even on the road, Lambchop usually sports a full
brass section, strings, pedal steel, percussion, and whatever else
they can fit on the stage. They glide effortlessly from country,
to pop, to Curtis Mayfield-inspired soul, holding it all together
with the subtly twisted, introspective vocal delivery of frontman
Kurt Wagner. But "Is a Woman" takes that formula and backs it off
a notch. It may be their mellowest, most straightforward record to
date with mostly just piano, bass, and acoustic guitar fleshing
out a new batch of sweet sickness. The band uses nothing more
surprising here than Wagner's odd turn of a phrase and straight-up
songwriting prowess to create an atmosphere that is at once
melancholy and uplifting. Lambchop have delivered another great
album that is both slightly disturbing and wonderfully satisfying.

DESAPARECIDOS "Read English Speak Spanish" (Saddle Creek) CD  $13.99
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Fronted by Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos is
unsurprisingly a densely lyrical band. But while Obersts distinct
voice and emotive singing style lead the way, slick production and
a punk rock growl make Desaparecidos lean more toward Modest Mouse
or Sunny Day Real Estate than Bright Eyes fuzzed-out folk
recordings. This is unapologetic rock 'n' roll, with crunching
electric guitar and pummeled drums backing Obersts screams and
howls. Lyrically, Desapericidos lacks the dark, confessional
approach of Bright Eyes as Oberst augments his angst-ridden tales
of suburban life with quasi-political anthems befitting the bands
sound. [PW]

RICHARD HAWLEY "Late Night Final" (Bar None) CD $13.99
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I cant quite pin down why I find the new record by sometime Pulp
guitarist Richard Hawley so utterly compelling. But I've narrowed
it down to a short list, and competing for the top spots are the
following: teenage anglophilia resulting in a lifelong dedication
to the Smiths; a vaguely unhealthy predilection towards British
films of the fifties and sixties; and perhaps, most likely,
Hawley's beautiful voice and prodigious talent for creating spare,
seductive pop songs. Hawley's velvety croon, somewhere between Roy
Orbison and Ricky Nelson by way of Scott Walker, meanders through
an album filled with echoey fables of lost love, tough good-byes
and rolling fog. You can almost see Tom Courtenay watching Julie
Christy leave him on the midnight train, or disillusioned teddy
boys kicking a can outside of a suburban dance hall. Departing
from the blazing crescendos of his recent guitar work on
Pulp's "We Love Life", Hawley instead constrains his palate.
Chimes, bells, and shuffling drums support a reverb-drenched
vocabulary of staccato melodies, jangly dancehall lullabies, and
steel guitar moans. Talk about exit music for a film, with their
melancholy narratives and eerie atmospheres, Hawley's songs could
just as easily be soundtracks to the films of David Lynch
(think "Blue Velvet") or even Kenneth Anger. Hawley is more
sincere than fellow Brit-Popers (like Blur and Oasis) who digress
into their own Britishness. The songs on "Late Night Final" emit a
sparklingly evocative Anglo sensibility mixed with obvious
reverence for American music of the fifties and sixties, all the
while conjuring up a completely original album worthy of re-
igniting various and sundry unhealthy obsessions. [MC]

MINOTAUR SHOCK "Chiffs Chaffs and Willow Warblers" (Melodic) CD  $15.99
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It seems that many melodic electronic artists are incorporating
live instrumentation into their creations these days. Take
Manitoba, Fourtet, Manual, Freescha, Kuchen and many more. Now add
Minotaur Shock to that list. Minotaur Shock is David Edwards, a 20-
something Brit who recorded this entire LP in his bedroom. It's a
beautiful excursion into down-tempo pastoral electronic music.
Acoustic guitars are delicately plucked, while the most beautiful
melodies are tapped out on a Fender Rhodes with beautiful synth
washes floating by and warm crunchy beats keeping the rhythm --
and this is all on one track! On some songs vocals are cut up and
stretched out, dogs bark, and trucks go by. On others, sitars are
plucked and horns blast. Minotaur Shock seem to throw everything
into the mix and come out with one amazing album. The perfect
companion to your Boards of Canada purchase this week! [JS]

LESLIE WINER "Witch" (Virgin, France) CD $16.99
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The debut album from Leslie Winer draws on a colorful past which
includes living with William S. Burroughs and transcribing his
poetry, doing extensive modeling in Europe (she has appeared on
the covers of some of France and Italy's top fashion magazines),
and having a close friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat who
provided the cover art for this album. Originally released in
1990 "Witch" is a unique record, even for the genre-defying times
of early 90's dance music. Her darkly delivered protest-poetry-
soul speaks of societal contradictions presented in an almost
stream of consciousness prose. Her slow, unforced words are
underpinned by throbbing, bottom heavy, dubby electronic/acoustic
rhythms. This unique NYC record is truly a lost treasure! Highest
possible recommendation! [GA]

SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE "Dark Noontide" (Holy Mountain) CD  $13.99
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Bedroom psychedelia is a sub-genre of music that, at its worst,
encompasses aimless noodling, amateurish experimentation, and just
plain bad songwriting. However, when done correctly, home-recorded
psych provides a deliriously satisfying brand of music that is
both intimate and inventive. Six Organs of Admittance's "Dark
Noontide" is an album that attains this sort of greatness,
combining elements of 60's psychedelia, eastern-tinged drones and
meandering, finger-picked guitars. Recorded on cassette four-
track, "Dark Noontide" maximizes this limited technology, covering
a vast array of somber folk sounds. With kindred spirits that
include Jandek, Syd Barrett, John Fahey, Current 93, Angus MacLise
and more recently Joshua, PG Six, and all things Siltbreeze, Six
Organs of Admittance have conjured a majestic, free-flowing album
of hypnotic psychedelic folk. [PW]

SEAWORTHY "The Ride" (Jetset) CD $14.99
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As creator of some of the most hypnotizing music filed in the
genre of indie rock, Macha frontman Josh McKay has always fused an
exotic array of instrumentation with less-than traditional rock
arrangements. Seaworthy, his first proper solo outing, is by no
means a giant leap from his previous efforts, but it is certainly
a change of course. McKay has traded his zither for darker
textures thereby losing most of the Eastern stylings that Macha
was so loved for. While his craft still floats over a calming sea
of drone and hush-speak singing, sonic waves of an otherworldly
sort are more brooding than ever. Joined by old friends like Tim
Hankins, (whom McKay collaborated with in his early 90's band
Emperor Moth) and his drummer/brother Mischo McKay, Seaworthy
introduces a few new acquaintances. 'The Day' is a beautiful
pairing with Japanese singer Haco, a member of both Osaka's
experimentalist outfit After Dinner and female trio Hoahio. Azure
Ray's Orenda Fink is almost alien sounding in 'Identifying the
Body', her voice floating over a trip hop shuffle abruptly trading
places with an equally eerie piano refrain. Although "The Ride" is
far more ambient than any Macha album, the push-pull tension
between sounds is unmistakably Josh McKay. [GH]

DIMITRI FROM PARIS "After the Playboy Mansion" (Astralwerks) 2xCD  $19.99
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The suave Parisian laces us with yet another collection of disco-
fied French funk. But what separates Dimitri from the rest of the
folks in that scene is his sense of elegance and his allegiance to
deep American soul. This double-disc finds Dimitri keeping the
four-on-the-floor thump but loosening the groove with Brazilian
and Afro-beat as well. As the title suggests, this one is for the
after-party at home, so it's a lot deeper and smoother than the
first "Playboy Mansion" mix. If you love the sound of Paris but
find Daft Punk and the like a little too poppy, then you might find
the soul you're looking for with Dimitri. Definitely worth
checking out. [DH]

DAN THE AUTOMATOR "Wanna Buy A Monkey? A Mixtape Session" (Sequence) CD $16.99
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The market for mix CDs is increasing, not only because of the
proliferation of Napster-like file-sharing (and who has the time
to actually mix their MP3s?), but also because of the credence
given to artists who do love music. The now-ubiquitous Automator,
AKA Dan Nakamura, clearly loves good music. And his mix CD "Wanna
Buy A Monkey" reflects his love of the underground. Surprisingly
eclectic, the 15-track mix includes the hip-hop of Masta Ace, the
Jigmastas, and Black Rob as well as tracks from Tortoise, Zero 7,
and the Doves. Of course, DJ Kicks-style, Dan drops his own dope
from the Gorillaz, Deltron 3030, and his remix of Air's 'Le Soleil
Est Pres De Moi'. A fine mix from a fine man. [DD]

AIRPORT 5 "Life Starts Here" (Fading Captain Series) CD $13.99
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It's always heartening for Guided By Voices diehards to see Robert
Pollard and Tobin Sprout collaborating again. "Life Starts Here"
is the second full-length from the reunited dynamic duo under the
guise of Airport 5 and also the eighteenth release in the Fading
Captain Series. It wouldn't surprise me if some old-school fans
choose this home-produced feel over the big studio sounds of
modern day GBV. A long-distance collaboration, Sprout constructs
the instrumental tracks in Leland, MI, and then ships them to his
old stomping grounds in Dayton where Pollard adds his voice. While
melodies and words are unmistakably Bob, his arena-rock tendencies
are tempered here by gated guitars and imitation drum beats
courtesy of Casio. But the technology and craft in home recording
technology have certainly evolved over the past decade, so don't
expect 4-track fuzz and amplifier buzz. Still, the less-is-more
arrangements and home-demo feel capture some of that old GBV
magic -- even if subdued. The melody and lyrics of the final
refrain of 'We're In the Business' could seamlessly be swapped
with the ending of 'A Salty Salute' -- Bob's beer-swilling call-to-
arms in the opening track of 1995's "Alien Lanes." Together as
Airport 5, however, Pollard and Sprout are more loose and playful
with the arrangements, from the piano driven stops-and-starts
of 'Intro' to the seven-and-a-half minute (whew!) 'Wrong Drama'.

AIR "Everybody Hertz" (Astralwerks) CD $7.99
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I once read an interview with Snoop Dogg in which he relayed not
exactly boredom with his situation but at least a seasoned
ambivalence. What he really wanted now, he said, was the Nobel
Peace Prize. Patrons of a similar spirit, the French band Air
responded to the success of "Moon Safari" in the most quizzical
fashion ever (even in the admittedly brief annals of electronic
pop) with "10,000 Hz Legend." On that album, a masterpiece, they
channeled both the high and low pop arts, offering one of the
rightest wrongs yet committed to the contemporary sphere of
marketable musical influence. On their remix record "Everybody
Hertz" Air mostly involve their sundry French peers -- their
reworkings speaking more extensively to the exacting lunacy behind
most everything our Heugenot juggernauts have released. The
choices of both the Neptunes and The Hacker as remixers reveal an
up-to-the-minute pop philosophy. Their summoning of Adrian
Sherwood (with Junior Delgado) for a dubbed-out Culture Club
treatment of 'Don't Be Light' (not to mention the super-beguiling
Jack Lahana mix of 'People In The City') reveals perhaps something
else. I'm not sure what exactly, but it's excellent. And the last
song, 'The Way You Look Tonight', is a simple yet elegant gem in
keeping with much of the material on "10,000 Hz". [DHo]

V/A "DJ Spinna: Raiding The Crates" (Shadow) CD $15.99
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I told you Spinna was just getting started. This time, Brooklyn's
worldwide supastah takes on massive deep house label Guidance.
Guidance, best known for their "Midnight Express" mix and Hi
Fidelity series, is one of a handful of dance labels that has
helped to define deep house -- their smooth, soulful bass-lines
and the dissipated, warm bass kick rolling you through the night.
Spinna does his best picking from the label's fathomable catalog
with cuts from Joe Claussell, Kevin Yost and Pascal featuring Mr.
Day. He also has the knowledge to include A:xus's
fantastic 'Baghdad Cafe' featuring the diva-pop of Naomi Nsombi.
Of course, Spinna comes correct with the mix, smoother than satin
sheets. If you're looking for a way to set the party straight,
dial up Spinna. The people will thank you for it. [DD]

MOUNTAIN GOATS "All Hail West Texas" (Emperor Jones) CD  $13.99
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With John Darnielle's long-rumored signing to 4AD, the real
question is?what will happen to the RX-FT500? Darnielle's beloved
boombox has whirred alongside him for years, and it continues to
whir throughout the Mountain Goats seventh full-length "All Hail
West Texas." Darnielle, the pride of Iowa, weaves yarns of West
Texas with his distinctive, and somehow comforting, tenor piercing
the boombox fuzz. For the most part the album is just Darnielle
and his memorable phrasing of everyday events. As in 'Fall Of The
Star High School Running Back', wherein Darnielle recounts
the "Chrome spokes on your Japanese bike / But selling acid was a
bad idea / And selling it to a cop was a worse one." There is
something so comfortable when the nasally, slightly-lisped whine
of Darnielle bursts through your speakers, accompanied by his
acoustic guitar and of course his trusty Panasonic boombox. A new
Mountain Goats classic. [DD]

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Maybe the prodigy/music-maker most worthy of the ubiquitous Kid
moniker (Kid Acne, Kid Koala, Kid Loco, Kid 606 etc), Kid America
and his mysterious posse of "action figures" emerges from the East
Village with a super-fun album of samples and beats resulting from
what must be a hefty collection of childrens records and a pretty
serious case of ADD. Refreshing in its pursuit of head-nods as
well as gut-laughs, the Kid's musical endeavors are also
excitingly free of the de rigueur, unoriginal electro references
and egomaniacal self-consciousness of most hip electronic music
these days. The adolescent energy that courses through the low-fi
mayhem of Kid America's debut album recalls the recent triumph of
The Avalanches' jubilant "Since I Left You", the prodigious
irreverence of Kool Keith, and even the raucous trouble-making
of 'Cookie-Puss'-era Beastie Boys. Demented voices, robot
proclamations, and snippets of terrifying children's albums mingle
with pitch-shifted synth melodies, fuzzed-out child MCs, and
chugging beats to create a sincerely stoney and original album of
bouncing sonic tomfoolery. [MC]

Restocked (Now available domestically):

GOLDEN BOY & MISS KITTIN "Or" (Emperor Norton) CD/LP  $14.99/$15.99
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(Another) electro-disco (mini) album. Tracks are alternately poppy
and dancefloor friendly for your listening pleasure. What's
special about this one? Well, first, Ms. Kittin of "...and the
Hacker" graces us with her vocal presence, most effectively on the
soon-to-be-a-hit, 'Rippin Kittin': an ill-fitting track name,
since the track is neither grinding nor macho at all. Instead it
has that '80s disco-pop feel-cum-integrity that the Ladomat label
pulls off so well. Other tracks vary from the J-pop-ish 'Autopilot',
to the full-on rumbling dancefloor grinder, 'Nix'. The whole package
is very tastefully wrapped up w/the sophisticated, deep disco of
'kopfstand'...my vote for 2nd-best track on the album. [SM]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60721770492&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60721770491&refer_url=email

This week's contributors: Geoff Albores [GA], Tom Capodanno [TC],
Matt Connors [MC], David Day [DD], Gerald Hammill [GH], Duane
Harriott [DH], Dan Houghland [DHo], Nicole Lang [NL], Josh Madell
[JM], Scott Mou [SM], Jeremy Sponder [JS], and Phil Waldorf [PW].

The Big Picture:

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