Other Music New Release Update
January 23, 2002

In This Week's Update:

Neil Halstead
Stephin Merritt soundtrack
Malaria reissue
Matthew Shipp
Nobukazu Takemura multimedia
Mighty Flashlight
"Montreal Smoked Meat" comp.
Agolrithm/Force Lab Edition comp.
"All Tomorrow's Parties Vol. 1.1" comp.
Mouse on Mars EP
David Kilgour
Horace Andy meets Naggo Morris/Wayne Jarrett reissue
Sunshine Fix
Japanese Telecom
Mates of State
The Byrds
The Hives

Just In:
Serge Gainsbourg soundtracks box
Iannis Xenakis electroacoustic reissue
"Invictus Club Classics 2" comp.
Thomas Koner
The Notwist
Mr. Lif live
Blue Six

Felix da Housecat domestic
Cornelius "Point" domestic

Featured New Releases:

NEIL HALSTEAD "Sleeping On Roads" (4AD) CD $14.99
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The best release on 4AD since?well, a very very long time. Neil
Halstead, formerly of Slowdive and then Mojave 3, blasts past any
ensemble work he's ever done on this solo debut. And it's probably
the best singer-songwriter record I've heard released in at least
five years. It doesn't hurt that his voice has a folky rasp of the
best British folk and, to get more specific, the smooth phrasing
of Nick Drake. Any fan of Drake (and, I know, there are a lot of
them now) will NOT be disappointed w/Halstead. It's not an overt
rip, but Halstead distills the same essence out of Drake that
Belle and Sebastian did a few years ago. His production style is
certain, airy and unobtrusive, resting on a foundation of light
ripples of piano and the rustic strum of a guitar. His songs take
that amazing dramatic path, leading you from wallowing in sorrow
to soaring in hope. Absolutely remarkable and recommended to
everybody. [RE]

STEPHIN MERRITT "Eban & Charley Original Soundtrack" (Merge) CD $13.99
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NYC pop icon Stephin Merritt's first effort since the unlikely
triumph of the Magnetic Fields' much-lauded 3xCD set ("69 Love
Songs") is a sparse yet unnerving soundtrack to the film "Eban &
Charley". Bracketed by a bevy of chillingly melancholy
instrumental vignettes; reverbed pianos (standard, toy, and
player), bouncing balls, blocks, bells and various and sundry
percussive metallic warblings, are six fully developed songs.
These, which include Merritt's unmistakeable baritone beltings,
stand out as deceptively simple, yet classically powerful mini-
masterpieces of pop artifice and finely tuned songwriting. Taking
a less baroque/layered path than his work with Magnetic Fields,
Merritt combines simple instrumentation (electric guitars,
ukuleles, pianos and drum machines) with his signature plaintive
and sharp lyricism, delivering a cluster of hauntingly delicate
songs and lyrical sketches. From the twanged eulogy to lost love
and ruined happiness of 'Some Summer Days', to the tear-jerking
ballad 'Maria Maria Maria' (which sounds like the singing nun on
Quaaludes, listening to Cole Porter -- and is it a subtle
Bernstein/Sondheim tribute?), and even the slow rocking dada-esque
dirge 'Water Torture'. "Eban & Charley" serves as further proof
that Merritt's prolific investigations within the limited template
of the pop song continues to produce unforeseen and compelling
results. [MC]

BOLA "Fyuti" (Skam, UK) CD/2xLP $16.99/$17.99
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Skam records returns to form with the sophomore full-length from
Bola. Darryl Fitton takes us on a journey through the history of
IDM flowing from crunchy downtempo beats to warm synths and
ambient melodies, all the while making it sound so easy. Slightly
less ambient and atmospheric then his debut "Soup", but just as
beautiful. With extremely high expectations, and 3+ years in the
making, this record is well worth the wait and propels him into
the stratosphere next to the greats of contemporary electronic
music. An instant classic! [JS]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999170602&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999170681&refer_url=email

DYNAMO "Aussen Vor" (Din, Germany) CD $15.99
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From the label that first introduced the world to Pole and
Arovane, here is the full length from Dynamo on the amazing Din
record label. Coming out of Germany with connections to the
Hardwax/Chain Reaction school of artists, Dynamo takes the
standard tech-house formula and blows it straight out of the
water. Dynamo knows the funk! He takes the submerged ambient dub
base of Pole, the dirty repititious techno of Porter Ricks, and
adds his own sounds from his amazing bag of tricks and speeds it
all up for the dancefloor. Think of a very dirty Perlon production
or an amazing track from the up and coming Akufen. Once again Din
has introduced the world to an amazing talent. Keep your eyes and
ears peeled, for this is the future! [JS]

MALARIA "Compiled 1981 to 1984" (Moabit, Germany) CD 14.99
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This is the future of the past! With "'80s again" post-punk so
prevalent now, not only should Rapture, Erase Errata, and Life
Without Buildings take notice of Malaria, but also those of you
looking for a taste of something real. This document to the
greatness that was Malaria has been in print for almost 10 years
now, but has been criminally hard to come by in the U.S. They have
been noted by many as a mere footnote to Einsturzende Neubauten,
as the result of one member's involvement. This compilation offers
the pop of 'Kaltes Klares Wasser' (which Chicks On Speed have
covered), the electro of 'You You', the no-wave of
'Eifersucht/Jealousy', the cabaret of 'Macht/Power', and an
infectiously danceable masterwork in 'Your Turn To Run'. Liliput,
Raincoats, and the Slits come to mind, but please put aside any
irrelevant socio-political rant that tends to plague an all-female
band, and welcome what is Malaria's unique, and sometimes
dissonant sound that can not be ignored, dismissed, or forgotten.
If your collection has recently been swelling with post-punk, make
room for Malaria, every bit as important as those Rough Trade
albums you already have. [AG]

JOSHUA "Gold Cosmos" (Feather One's Nest) CD $12.99
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There is a mysterious and haunted place out in western Mass.,
where indecipherable whispers rise out of the dark woods and
ghosts of folk legends can be heard gently plinking through the
night wind. Actually I am referring to Joshua Burkett's home,
where he recorded this beautiful and mesmerizing album. I imagine
these songs were recorded in the dreaming hours, the muffled
lyrics, found sounds, and instruments like wire harp and "moon
guitar" are perfect bedtime accompaniment. Joshua has one foot
rooted in folk (he dedicates the album to OM fave, Jackson C.
Frank) and the other testing the waters of experimental and
effects-laden psych. His friends help out, among them Noah Wall
(Jukeboxer), Matt Valentine & P.G. Six (Tower Recordings), Matt
Moran (Sideshow). If you missed "Life Less Loss", which both blew
my mind and introduced me to this ethereal spirit,check this out.
The 14 tracks tend to blend so seamlessly, that I am always
shocked to have reached the end of the record--so I just start it
again. [NL]

MATTHEW SHIPP "Nu Bop" (Thirsty Ear) CD $15.99
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Shipp's been artistically helming Thirsty Ear's Blue Series of
recordings, and, even after only five or so recordings, it's not
only one of the best jazz labels in the world already, but it has
its own niche, one where the electronic world of beats and the
free jazz improv world meet (and not only shake hands but embrace
tightly). Shipp's the sort of artist that I can, now, take or
leave, and he has so many records I no longer quite rejoice when a
new one comes out. But "Nu Bop" may change that -- all of his
sensitivities spring forward and delicately arrange themselves in
front of you. He works with his usual improv partners --Parker,
Carter, Guillermo Brown, and then brings in electronic artist Flam
to add beats, textures to the proceedings. The result is a
sensitive meshing of the two worlds. It's reminiscent of that
Spring Heel Jack CD (also part of Shipp's Blue Series) that came
out last year, building something really impressive on top of that
bridge between the worlds. Antecedents would be the best parts of
Jazz Fusion of the early '70s (Placebo, Herbie Hancock), but with
teeth that bite harder than any fusion could, the muscle of the
players and of the propulsive electronics eating up the
competition so fast they can't even blink as they're swallowed.
This record is a classic in modern jazz fusion--in the best sense
of the word. [RE]

NOBUKAZU TAKEMURA "Sign" (Thrill Jockey) 2xCD $14.99
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With "Sign," the fine folks at Thrill Jockey have smartly packaged
two of Mr. Takemura's singles with some considerable incentives.
Firstly, the namesake 'Sign' is magnificent, Takemura's digitally-
structured abstract funk powering a schizoid automated vocal track
-- one of his best. 'Meteor', the other 12" included, is broken,
stuttering, beat-riddled, complete with squelched vocals--and is
about as funky as Takey gets. The real aural bonus, though,
is 'Souvenir In Chicago,' a monumental creative collaboration
between Mr. T and the Chicago whiz kids (McCombs, McEntire,
Brown, Rice) that clocks in at 35 [!] minutes. All told, "Sign" has
over 60 minutes of music. The second disc is essentially a video
for 'Sign', produced by Japanese visual design godhead Katusura
Moshino, who most recently designed the Sony Aibo, the coolest
fucking toy on the planet (Takemura, it turns out, provided the
voice for Aibo, a robot dog). The Quicktime video is a deceptively-
cute parable, not without its share of gory details. Wonderful
stuff. For only $14.99, this is the best multimedia deal we'll see
this year. [DD]

DREXCIYA "Harnessed the Storm" (Tresor, Germany) CD $15.99
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According to Drexciyan belief, the millions of Africans who died
and were tossed overboard slave ships during The Middle Passage,
from West Africa to the 'New World', became semi-aquatic
creatures, eventually building their own world beneath the sea.
This is what the lost city of Atlantis represents. Every now and
then, Drexciyan wave jumpers are spotted in the Atlantic. Using
these ideas as a stepping off point, the two-person group has made
some of the most adventurous Detroit techno of the last ten years.
What is less widely acknowledged is that Drexciya prefigured the
current electro revival by at least six years. This is not a
question of "who did it first?", rather it points up the
inequities inherent in who receives the accolades and who does
not. In other words, Adult are the new jacks of electro, the
condition of possibility for their popularity is Drexciya. The
shuddering, mournful beauty of "Digital Tsunami" is the finest
moment here, as the rumbling low-end is offset by the fragile
analogue percussion skating across the bassline, while the keys
play a minor-key figure. But make no mistake; this is a pounding
dancefloor track. The Detroit electro movement has many
practitioners. Drexciya are light years beyond their peers, and
this is made quite clear on this magnificent album. [TH]

MIGHTY FLASHLIGHT "s/t" (Jade Tree) CD/LP $11.99/$8.99
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As the sticker on the CD will tell you, Mighty Flashlight is Mike
Fellows from Rites of Spring. Don't let this mislead you, though--
Fellows, since his work with Bonnie Prince Billy (on "Ease Down
the Road") and The Silver Jews (on "American Water") has set down
the bass for an acoustic guitar. The influence of Gram Parsons
comes through in the simple, melodic fingerpicking and solid song
structure. Other bands Fellows has worked with including Smog,
Palace Brothers, even Royal Trux, and those influence this album
in it's dark, kooky lyrics, smart, lo-fi twang. The subtleties on
this album make Mighty Flashlight not just another indie country
hybrid, though. 'Go On, Die, It's Easy', an instrumental, features
layered guitar and low-end feedback loops that swim delicately
through the nylon-stringed melody. 'Hala Hanan Di Halida' also
fishes for experimentation with sampler sounds and loops, this
time with lyrics. In general, think a mellower Beck without the
funk influences and richer poetics. On this album, Fellows creates
a sense of the sum of his parts, where bits of himself in past
musical lineups make an honest, interesting result: pleasant,
experimental, countrified folk rock. [LG]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=79225810662&refer_url=email
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ELECTRELANE "Rock It To The Moon" (Mr. Lady) CD $12.99
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After a string of superb singles, the four-woman group Electrelane
released their towering, immense debut album on their own Let's
Rock label in the UK in April 2000. To this listener, the band
left this earth behind a long time ago, making music that
alternated between howling, loud passages and moments of unbroken
serenity. The effect was overwhelming, like two galaxies
colliding. The impeccable taste of Kaia Wilson and Tammy Rae
Carland, owners of Mr. Lady, resulted in the label licensing the
album for the States, and releasing it in the dead of winter, just
when we need an album with the manic-depressive quality of "Rock
It To The Moon". 'The Invisible Dog' opens with 'Wish You Were
Here'-era Pink Floyd chord changes, melancholic and without
redemptive possibility. But it explodes into a torrent of guitar
noise that shakes the listener out of any rest or complacency. The
band are completely uninterested in the teleology of song-
structured instrumental music, opting instead for wide-open spaces
which suddenly condense, claustrophobic. Recent comparisons to
early Mogwai and Godspeed miss the point entirely. Electrelane
moved beyond the horizon of those bands years ago. [TH]

V/A "Montreal Smoked Meat" (Force, Inc., Germany) CD $15.99
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"Montreal Smoked Meat" (don't ask me what's with the title) is
worth it for the Akufen track alone: 'Severed Finger Samba' in
which he/they/it go nuts with the tape splicer, cutting up samples
into something resembling a samba in the rhythms but in no other
way. The rest of Montreal's finest follow suit, chopping and
cramming and lolling their way to funky spastic electronic heaven.
Mostly very warm sounds here, rattly and choppy and resonant, like
handfuls of materials (wood, glass, wool, steel wool) smashed
together or stirred into a bowl of funk. It's funny how, though
there are 12 different artists on this disc, it's as if they all
used the same sound sources to work with. Electronic comps are a
dime a dozen lately, and not always worth that dime. This one does
not fit in that pitiful category, is instead a reflection of a
growing scene with some creative intelligent life. This really
defines the scene, does for Montreal what "Clicks and Cuts" did
for Cologne. 71 min. Recommended. [RE]

[V/A] "All Tomorrow's Parties 1.1" (ATPR) CD $13.99
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In compiling the CD summary of their gigantic festival (March 15,
16 & 17 in Los Angeles), Sonic Youth clearly put some thought into
the sequencing. Most of the acts are familiar (Unwound, Cat Power,
Stereolab, Papa M, et al), and each track is exclusive to this
release. And like the first in the series, this dream mix-tape
ends in a flurry of scraping sound: After the Boredoms
expansive 'Super Now', we get Kevin Drumm's crackling bolt of
noise. And, to top it all off, the twelfth track comes from
Satan's Tornade, a collaboration between Merzbow and Russell
Haswell. Get in the basement, lay flat on the ground and keep your
radio on. Throw in the Dead C, Bardo Pond, Cannibal Ox and a
subdued but twisted Sonic Youth and you've got a massive
compendium of modern composition. [DD]

MOUSE ON MARS "Agit Itter It It" (Thrill Jockey) CD $8.99
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On this release we see the trio stepping sideways to produce some
of the bubbly electropop that first gained them recognition. This
EP isn't as 4-on-the-floor as their collaborations with Matthew
Herbert, rather, the beats twist and turn unexpectedly, leaving
room for thick IDM-inspired bass kicks. This EP is just another
example of how the Mouse On Mars crew can pretty much do anything
they want within the genre. This one's for fans of 'Red Hot Car'-
era Squarepusher, Cylob, or their breaky "Autoditacker" album. [DH]

STARSAILOR "Love Is Here" (EMI) CD $11.99
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Starsailor are the next band to claim the "conquer America" throne
like fellow Brits Oasis, Verve, Radiohead, Travis, and Coldplay.
They have been touted as the "next big thing" for some time, being
cover stars of the British weeklies, having Top 10 singles in the
UK, and having a highly a acclaimed debut which made many a
European magazines' "top 10 of 2001" list. With a line-up
consisting of acoustic guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums,
Starsailor keep the rocking to a minimum, instead concocting
beautiful sweeping melodies filled with lyrics of tormented love
and loss. All while the listener is mesmerized by the amazing
vocals courtesy of 21-year-old James Walsh who has a vocal
delivery that lies somewhere between the Verve's Richard Ashcroft,
Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Jeff Buckley (the band's name is taken
from an album by his father Tim Buckley). Starsailor have made an
incredible debut album (one that will probably make my top 10 of
2002), so pick this one up before they are selling millions of
records and selling out huge venues and you could say "I knew of
them when...." [JS]

DAVID KILGOUR "A Feather in the Engine" (Merge) CD $13.99
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Not a moment too soon after last year's magnificent Clean album,
David Kilgour offers his new solo effort, '"A Feather in the
Engine". It echoes some of the material from "Getaway", with
Kilgour's simple yet thick guitar and piano arrangements present
throughout. There is a pastoral feel to some of the songs,
especially the acoustic instrumentals where the melodies feel like
variations on much older, traditional themes. But Kilgour's pop
mastery dominates the album with a handful of blurry, sun-blinded
songs that keep pace with the drifting, droney elements that have
defined his music over the years. Another fine album from Kilgour.

[V/A] "Horace Andy meets Naggo Morris/Wayne Jarrett-Mini Showcase" (Wackies) CD $15.99
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There are many unusual movements in the oft-confusing world of
roots reggae. The sheer number of artists, producers, studios,
label owners, and crooks makes any accurate assessment difficult.
One of the more fruitful and unusual stories is that of
Lloyd "Bullwackie" Barnes, who moved to the Bronx from Kingston in
the mid-'70s and established one of the earliest US reggae labels,
Wackie's. The music that came out of his studio combined the heavy
roots sound of the period with a gritty New York flavor. Figures
such as Junior Delahaye and rocksteady duo Lovejoys recorded for
the label. Jamaican legends such as Horace Andy cut sides in the
Bronx. This cult label is the place of worship for Mark Ernestus
and Moritz von Oswald, the two Berlin producers responsible for
Rhythm & Sound and Maurizio records which had a profound effect on
electronic music, bringing deep echo and cavernous basslines from
mid-'70s Jamaican music straight into the heart of experimental
dance music. The pair is now reissuing the entire Wackies
catalogue and may your god bless them for that. This 16-track
collection brings the finest moments of Horace Andy, Wayne
Jarrett, and Naggo Morris to light. This is an album without a bad
track. Wackies should now move to the center of interest in roots
rather than lying at the periphery. [TH]

SUNSHINE FIX "Age of the Sun" (Kindercore) CD/LP $14.99/$12.99
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The Sunshine Fix is the new band for Bill Doss, who continues in
the tradition of his former band Olivia Tremor Control on "Age of
the Sun", the Fix's first full-length. The psychedelic element is
in the music, but this is very much a pop record. "Age of the Sun"
is by no means straight-ahead, though, the songs change
constantly, evolving so that the next song can pick up where the
last left off without missing a beat. The arrangements keep the
music in outer space, swirling with a slew of different
instruments and electronics, a craft that Doss executes
effortlessly. Fans of the Circulatory System will not find "Age of
the Sun" as mysterious as William Hart's record, as it is more up
front and runs one catchy song after another (some fans might even
find themselves taking sides). On its own, the Sunshine Fix is pop-
psychedelia in great form, echoing the Chiffons and Jeff Lynne and
Agitation Free all at once. [CK]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60721770482&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60721770481&refer_url=email

SKANFROM "Hand-Picked Fragments" (Suction, Canada) CD/LP  $13.99/$10.99
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Skanfrom releases his debut album, and it is a stunner. He uses
lots of '80s electro sounds (ala I-F), but then places them into
slower forms than usual, like getting great Italian disco played
at 16 rpm (except the few tracks where he instead speeds them up
to the equivalent of 45). He's influenced by Aphex Twin (who
isn't?) and, like the rest of the stuff on Suction, classic '80s
electronic new wave, only places these influences into a steady,
solid frame. It's a compilation of various tracks culled from
ultra limited 7"s and 12"s with 8 new tracks thrown in for good
measure. Extremely addictive! [JS/RE]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=77502020242&refer_url=email
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PHONEM "Ilisu" (Morr Music, Germany) CD $14.99
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Funny, for an album about the politics of water, this is an
extremely dry-sounding record. Which is probably
the point. Phonem's newest is his third in the water trilogy of
albums. This one takes the theme of last year's "Hydro Electric"
and gets specific -- it's dedicated to the Ilisu project (or,
rather, those fighting the Ilisu project), a hydroelectric dam
planned for the Tigris river as it runs through Turkey. It's a
project that will, should it be completed, not only piss off
neighbors Syria and Iran, but displace a large percentage of
Turkey's Kurdish minority. How does Phonem tackle the issue? Well,
abstractly (and in the liner notes). There's no real flow
to "Ilisu"--it's about the disjunctive elements of the music, the
conflict manifested in hydraulic robot crash beats, in light
melodies that feel like strings of distinct points instead of
smooth, looping lines. He'll build up a mechanical construction
project in sound then topple the whole thing over. This still
feels like a Morr Music release, with prettiness coyly smiling
throughout, it's just smiling through dry static, a brittle sandy
crunch. [RE]
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JAPANESE TELECOM "Virtual Geisha" (Int'l Deejay Gigolo, Germany) CD/LP $15.99/$16.99
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"Virtual Geisha", the second Japanese Telecom album, flaunts many
of the same sparse beats and '80s synth melodies of this group's
first, but with more cheese than ever before.  Repetitious
melodies, and warm, washing synthesizer tones are paired with
mechanic burps and cold monotonous vocals (as on 'Cigarette
Lighter'), creating the kind of nostalgia that makes you want to
play Donkey Kong again. Songs like 'Pagoda of Sin' sound like
exactly that: visions of joysticks and dancing pixels across a
screen. 'Virtual Orgami' appears in a sequel form--'Virtual Orgami
2' echoes the alternate sequencing technique used in songs from
Detroit-based Dopplereffekt (who share a member at least). Some
less melodic moments sneak in on 'Enter Mrs. Suzuki' where the
bleeps, digital tones, and faulty connection sounds put the
telecom in Japnese Telecom. The remainder of the album shuffles
between dramatic moments and synthesizer interludes a la B-films
of the '80s (very Moroder-esque), to hints of more modern minimal
techno dance beats. A release that points to greater things... [LG]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=71875275672&refer_url=email
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ALGORITHM/V/A " Forcelab Edition: Composure" (Forcelab, Germany) CD  $15.99
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The recombinant concept taken to an extreme -- Algorithm, Jeff
Milligan from Montreal (also on the "Smoked Meat" comp., above)
was charged with an extensive remix project by the powers that be
at Force. It's a record with an interesting, multilayered concept
that ends up, in a way, working as a solo album for him. He takes
pieces of Forcelab 12" and starts cutting them into tiny, tiny
pieces; pureed Matmos, hopped Kid 606, whipped Donnacha Costello
(and many, many more). His tracks are somewhat funky and sticky,
with the originals glowing in opalescent, tiny fragments within.
As each track contains at least four other tracks, this is no
point-to-point remix but a record that evokes Forcelab's history.

MATES OF STATE "Our Constant Concern" (Polyvinyl) CD $12.99
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A bit of a novelty in this world, Mates of State are Jason and
Kori, a couple (married July 2001) who make music on top of
cohabitating. Jason plays drums, Kori holds down the rest of the
music on a keyboard (though that's the live lineup -- the album
includes bass, trumpet, etc.). This, their second album, was
recorded post-honeymoon but pre-tour (they've got an EXTENSIVE
touring schedule--lucky they get along!). Dave Trumfio (Pulsars,
Sally Timms, Wilco) produces, and effectively is the Pledge to
MoS's furniture--makes them sparkle and shine a bit. They make
simple pop music, dominated by the vocals, which both use a sort
of speak-shout-sing style, sometimes in unison, at others
branching out to harmonies and back. This record is like emo gone
domestic--lots of personal feelings expressed as if amidst an
impulsively delivered, surreal argument in verse. The exchange is
quite engaging, though in the music you do get that effect as if
sitting on the court during a tennis game -- you're dodging as
much as being able to watch. [RE]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=64411000462&refer_url=email

THE BYRDS "Preflyte Sessions" (Sundazed) 2xCD $28.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/preflyt1.rm
I have a confession to make. I don't own any Byrds recordings. No
old scratchy vinyl picked up at a garage sale, or in $1 bins at
record fairs. No cheap used CDs. No good reissues (and there are a
lot of them out there). I listened to this well-packaged,
wonderfully remastered recording of their first work, and
thought, "God I'm an idiot. What am I doing not having this music
in my life?" Which is not to say that I haven't heard many of
these tracks before, in the general cultural landscape. But not so
clearly. Tracks like 'The Reason Why', 'You Showed Me', 'Mr.
Tambourine Man', 'Tomorrow Is a Long Ways Away'. You could
probably hum all of these off the top of your head. But that's
not, as I've recently realized, the same as having these songs
accessible in their full wondrous nature, with harmonies shadowy
beneath crisp notes on the guitar, not muddied from memory;
production starkly glittering and genius. And in Sundazed's recent
repackaging of this material, a more complete picture of what
made/makes this songs great, with instrumental versions, rare
singles, and a few unreleased tracks. My first Byrds! Can you
believe it? [RE]

THE HIVES "Your New Favourite Band" (Poptones, UK) CD $17.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/hives1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/hives2.rm
In writing a review of The Hives "Your New Favourite Band," album,
I am forced to introduce into the realm of critical discussion the
concept of "Strokedar." This term is the radar-like sense used to
detect The Strokes, a member of The Strokes, or Strokes-like
things. A fair employment of this term would occur upon spying
Julian Casablanca picking up a copy of the new Heavenly reissue at
Other Music. The sentence you could make use of when talking to
your housemate the following morning would be "yesterday at OM, my
Strokedar went off -- I found myself standing right next to
Julian!" Or even (miming Spiderman's usual sentence structure) "my
Strokedar is tingling." The use and acceptance of this term may be
crucial to the future of all rock journalism.
     The Hives are a delightfully clean-cut (two members of which
are suitable for framing on your 12-year-old cousin's wall; two of
which are suitable for having paper bags stuck over their heads)
yet somehow devilish five-some (ding ding my Strokedar has been
set off) from rural Sweden. I gather from the recording dates
listed on this new compilation (which may very well be one of the
most worthy releases on Alan McGee's Poptones label) that the
Hives produced worthwhile music as far back as 1997. But fairly
recently, the Hives have been discovered by McGee and the music
press, and are now presented as THE GREATEST ROCK BAND IN THE
KNOWN UNIVERSE. (Strokedar alarm here). Their exposure has already
so saturated my universe that, when one of my friends recently e-
mailed me to inform me of waking up in bed with hives on the
morning after Thanksgiving, I parsed the sentence as "waking up in
bed with The Hives," and congratulated her for getting lucky with
the famous Swedes. In a completely round-about way, this brings us
to the music contained on "Your New Favourite Band".
     I have a desperate usual search for anthemic fist-pumping
life-affirming pure ROCK (Strokedar alarm!), sometimes for its
properties as an antidote to exhaustion, nausea, hangovers, etc.
From the opening notes of 'Hate to Say, I Told You So', that
curative ROCK is found here. The Hives channel the big production
sound of the Stooges, Radio Birdman, or the Fun Things, or that
band with the ass on the original record cover, but The Hives are
more then the Corey Haim to the Strokes Corey Feldman, or the Ikea
to the Strokes' Pottery Barn. They use head-scratching spacey
keyboards (which at times sound like the bleeps from a less-poppy
song off a mid-'90s Stereolab album) like no other band that I
have ever heard, and their earlier work (included from
their "Barely Legal" album and the "aka IDIOT" single) ranges from
sounding like it was influenced by the Monorchid to pretty
straight-forward pop-punk. And, of course, they write pretty fine
songs. Not great songs, but much like another band full of dark-
haired lads (need I even bother saying it now), songs that are
good enough to make you want to kick yourself for agreeing with
the British music press, and that's a horrible feeling. [MG]

Just In:

SERGE GAINSBOURG "Le Cinema de Serge Gainsbourg: Musiques de Films 1959-1990" (Universal France) 3xCD $44.99
A 72-track, 3-CD box set that surveys the extensive array of film
music composed by Serge Gainsbourg throughout his long career.
Three of the tracks have never been released before (including one
sung by Nico) while many others are available only on this
collection. Featured films (some of which Gainsbourg acted in or
directed) include "Je T'aime Moi Non Plus", "Strip Tease", "Stan
the Flasher", "Cannabis", "Slogan", "Sex Shop", "Un Petit Garcon
Nomme Charley Brown", "Manon 70", and "Goodbye Emmanuelle"
among many, many others. Sadly, only one track from "Anna" (which
features some of Gainsbourg's finest soundtrack work) is included
here. Otherwise this is a stellar and unique collection of French
film music. Limited quantities available at this time. [TC]

IANNIS XENAKIS "Musique Electro Acoustique" (Fractal, France) CD  $15.99
One by one, the late Xenakis' electro-acoustic projects make their
way back into print. This contains "Pour La Paix" (1981)
and "Voyage Des Unari Vers Andromede" (1989).

[V/A] "Invictus Club Classics 2" (Castle, UK) CD $14.99
Vol. 2 of tracks from one of the best soul labels ever, Invictus,
headed by Holland Dozier Holland. While the first half contains
some really weird (and sometimes questionable) covers, the rubber
hits the road for the second half, with psych soul funk epics

THOMAS KONER "DaiKan" (Mille Plateaux, Germany) CD $15.99

THE NOTWIST "Neon Golden" (City Slang, Germany) CD $22.99

MR. LIF "Live at the Middle East" (Ozone) CD $11.99

CROSSOVER "Fantasmo"  (Int'l DJ Gigolo, Germany) CD/LP $16.99/$15.99
This NYC electro duo's debut, now released on the fabulous
International Deejay Gigolo label.
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=71875275792&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=71875275796&refer_url=email

BLUE SIX "Beautiful Tomorrow" (Naked/Astralwerks) CD $15.99
The first solo LP from Naked Music is producer Jay Denes' Blue Six
project, soulful house with vocalists Catherine Russell, Lisa
Shaw, and Ada Dyer.


FELIX DA HOUSECAT "Kittenz  and Thee Glitz" (Emperor Norton) CD $14.99
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. A Chicago staple,
Felix Da Housecat has been making strange, unsettling house since
the early '90s and his oeuvre is enormous. 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, with 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 is all the
more a masterpiece for it. This is a record that cannot be
overlooked. [TH]

CORNELIUS "Point" (Matador) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Fly.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/IHateHat.rm
"Point", Cornelius' 4th, stands in stark contrast to his
popular "Fantasma". "Point" is stripped down and airy -- an almost
minimal piece of pop craftsmanship and studio wizardry with mostly
repetitive structures. Rigid acoustic guitar patterns, digitally-
manipulated vocals, natural sounds galore, often the warm acoustic
paired with the electronically-generated for contrast. A
devastating album in the new, almost introspective "Nakame-kei"
style, named for the area of Tokyo in which Cornelius lives.

This week's contributors: Tom Capodanno [TC], Matt Connors [MC],
David Day [DD], Robin Edgerton [RE], Lisa Garrett [LG], Andrew
Giles [AG], Duane Harriott [DH], Tim Haslett [TH], Casey Keenan
[CK], Nicole Lang [NL], Jeremy Sponder [JS].

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