Other Music New Release Update
July 24, 2002

In This Week's Update:

Roots Manuva
Harry J
Floating Flower
Spacemonkeyz VS Gorillaz
Dennis Brown


Philip Cohran and the Artistic Heritage Ensemble


The Go Betweens


RJD2 "Deadringer" (Def Jux) CD/LP $15.99/$15.99
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Maybe not a new direction for hip hop, the debut full-length from
Ohio producer RJD2 is nonetheless a refreshing and entirely
satisfying record that stands apart from most all of what we've
heard lately. Almost entirely instrumental, save the many soulful
vocals lifted from the samples that build these songs, it will be
hard for RJD2 to dodge the DJ Shadow comparisons (especially to
Shadow's earlier records). But he has built an album with its own
strong personality and the textured, melodic grooves and organic
production beautifully forge something new from the seemingly
infinite vintage soul and pop records that are its building
blocks. Let the people decide! When we played this one in store
yesterday, I must have had 10 people asking about it, some
dedicated rap fans, and some clearly not. Great indie hip hop with
wide appeal. [JM]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60030888582&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60030888581&refer_url=email

SCION "Arranged and Processed Basic Channel Tracks" (Tresor) CD $15.99 
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The well respected Basic Channel/Chain Reaction label, known for
their dub-inspired, beautifully repetitive, post-Detroit techno
masterpieces (insert long list here), serve up a heaping plate of
classics mixed and reconfigured by Scion. Each track is lovingly
accented with bits and pieces of the Basic Channel palette, again
I use the word "reconfigured," since the tracks are mainly changed
in a way to enhance the movement of the mix -- almost like a live set
performed by the entire Basic Channel stable. The mix climbs into
minimally tribal swells that swoop down into a deep pulse, only to
climb back up again. The music you know and love as techno
beautiful enough to read philosophy to is pushed up a notch to shake
the dancefloor. Necessary for any fan of the label, if not just for
curiosity's sake, but don't worry... you're curiosity will stand well
rewarded. [SM]

FENNESZ/O'ROURKE/REHBERG "The Return of Fenn O' Berg" (Mego) CD $15.99 
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A powerbook power trio, they've managed to conflate the acute
sensibilities of, say, a Pierre Henry with those of a stoned
college kid utilising his finger as an impromptu pitch control on
an old copy of Buffalo Springfield's "Expecting to Fly," including
the part where the needle flies off and scrapes around every
which way but loose. I think I chose that particular Jack Nitzsche-
produced, Neil Young-sweet warbled tour de force to mention as it
is so strings-laden, and I've now heard that type of hallowed,
swelling sound on a number of Mego releases. Shot through with
composerly cogency, generally defeating the villainous interlopers
of doom (and boredom). [DHo]

ROOTS MANUVA "Dub Come Save Me" (Big Dada) CD/LP $13.99/$15.99
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A new full-length from Roots Manuva, this is sort of a companion
piece to last year's "Run Come Save Me." It features new dubbed-
out versions of several of the tracks from that album, plus a few
new songs to fill it out. Deep and swampy without losing the
clarity of Roots Manuva's trademark sound, the tracks put his
signature rapping/toasting in a new and entirely appropriate
context. Dub come save your summer? [JM]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=62597840402&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=502139204088&refer_url=email

ARNOLD "Arnold" (Lucky Pierre) $8.99
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Fans of Alan McGee's Creation and Poptones labels are probably
already familiar with Arnold's wonderfully symphonic psychedelic
pop. If the world were a fair place, their name would be on the
tongue tip of every NME reader and Oasis would be begging for an
opening slot. Though no fault of the band's, both of McGee's
consecutive labels folded following each of their releases and,
despite glowing reviews from the fickle British press, Arnold have
never received the full-support that they truly deserve. That said,
my fingers are crossed for these Londoners who's latest EP is
full of orchestral guitar washes and shimmering pop. Equal parts
Doves and Flaming Lips with a trace of Spiritualized, each of the
five tracks on this limited edition release are diverse standouts.
Opening with the driving fuzz-twang of "Wild Colonial Girl," Arnold
then turn up the "Anglo" a few notches for "You're a Star,"
complete with a Madchester back beat, dizzying guitar effects and
an out-of-this-world string arrangement that carries the chorus into
the stratosphere. Throughout, there are hints of Nick Drake and
John Lennon among more recent British contemporaries, supported
by lush production that should have Dave Fridmann's name by the
credit. Arnold have a new full-length coming out in the fall, and if
this is any indication, they may be finally getting their due.
Fantastic! [GH]

AQUANOTE "The Pearl" (Naked Music) CD $16.99
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After releasing several singles under the guise Aquanote, Gabriel
Rene finally releases his Naked Music full-length "The Pearl," a
mixture of soulful vocals and silky smooth deep house. A bit toned
downed from the traditional Naked Music dancefloor grooves, this
album glides with an obvious R&B influence that blends the best of
programmed and live instrumentation. Vocalists Lisa Shaw, Caetlin
Cornwell and J-Soul are among the many that lend their emotional
gems to "The Pearl."  This album reminds me of early D-Influence,
Incognito and Soul II Soul. Perfect accompaniment to a relaxing
afternoon or late night excursion. [JD]

HARRY J "Dubbing at Harry J's/1972 to 1975" (Jamaican)  CD/LP $15.99/$14.99
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Harry J started out at Coxsone Dodd's legendary Studio One,
scoring a few hits in England in the late-'60s and early-'70s
before opening his own studio in 1972. The studio was the choice
for such seminal artists as Burning Spear, the Heptones, Augustus
Pablo and Bob Marley (who recorded his first three Island records
there). Like Studio One before, Harry J's was a seemingly endless
fountain of creativity. Jamaican Recordings has provided the good
service of pulling together 14 rare dub gems from the vaults. This
is classic dub; weighty, soulful, liquidity rhythms get sent through
the echo chamber while plenty of trippy effects bounce back and
forth for a full aural experience. [GA]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=503684800128&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=503684800129&refer_url=email

FLOATING FLOWER "1st and 2nd" (Black Plastic Sound) CD $12.99
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Ostensibly a Japanese folk-power couple (plus Acid Mo-fo Kawabata)
who routinely tour India, and FF fashion their efforts thusly...
some may even crassly refer to the first track as so much 'nice
restaurant' music, others who are more endearingly crass might
say 'parlor' music. I thought it was enticing enough when I first
heard and can only say I felt, perhaps, karmic reward by the
ensuing and ever more convincing aural 'templescapes.' And I'm
pleased to confirm such psych-meditations as these do ultimately
comprise the body of this disc of, essentially, two albums.
Melodramatic courtyard-under-the-stars jams. [DHo]

SPACEMONKEZ VS. GORILLAZ ""Laika Come Home" (Astralwerks) CD/LP $19.99/$16.99
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The Gorillaz album gets a fine remix treatment in much the same
way Massive Attack and Primal Scream did several years ago: Dub
Stylee. With this session they enlist legendary reggae vocalist U-
Brown, Tom Tom Club/Talking Heads' Tina Weymouth and Terry Hall
from the Specials. The results are good with a very authentic
roots dub treatment of the original with thick bass and echoed
drums. (CD comes in limited edition packaging.)  [GA]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=72435405222&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=72435399821&refer_url=email

DENNIS BROWN "Promised Land" (Blood and Fire) CD $14.99
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From the timely and often on point Blood and Fire label comes a
celebration of the "Crown Prince of Reggae," the magnificent
Dennis Brown. Often overlooked for his lack of crossover
ambitions, Brown managed to be one of the most consistently loved
and respected solo performers of the Isle until his untimely death
in 1999. He always offered to those who'd listen a wealth of reality
songs containing conscious lyrics for the every-man addressing the
concerns of the lovers and the militants. Compiled mostly from his
"Joseph's Coat of Many Colors" album with selected 45s released
from '77 to '79, the mood is tight up-tempo rockers style with strong
rhythms provided by Sly Dunbar and other leading session players
recorded at Channel One, Harry J's and Joe Gibb's studios. Brown
is in excellent form as he gives his guidance, wisdom and
influence, singing tales of right against wickedness including
excellent covers of Marley's "Slave Driver" and John Holt's
"Man Next Door." [DG]


JELLO "Voile" (Peacefrog) CD $16.99/$17.99
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Darryl Fitton has been floating around the IDM world of electronic
music for many, many years. Having released tracks on Warp's
original "Artificial Intelligence" series, he is one-third of the
legendary Gescom. (The other two-thirds being Autechre). Fitton
has also recorded for Skam under the name Bola, but now drops
his first full-length using the Jello moniker for the legendary
Peacefrog label. Tracks range from the cut-up vocal and IDM funk
of "Vibe-a-Rolla," to the Boards of Canada influenced floating
atmospherics of "Ephemex." The beautiful "Vamilaglade" is an
ambient, synth-washed masterpiece while "O'Verb" features some
of the best production heard all year. Almost like two totally
separate tracks fused together into one, Tegwen Roberts' beautiful
vocal is backed by some of the most insane and dirty breakbeats
ever placed behind a voice. (The Bola-man pulls it off with ease!)
Fitton's debut album as Jello is indeed his finest moment with each
of the 11 tracks contained herein a masterpiece in their own right.
This is a beautiful and essential record for any electronic music fan,
and right up there with Akufen for electronic album of the year.
Amazing! [JS]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=505029412152&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=505029412151&refer_url=email

"On The Beach" (Aestuarium) CD/LP $14.99/$8.99

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Originally released in Chicago on his own Zulu Records label in
1967, Philip Cohran's Artistic Heritage Ensemble used a broad
musical pallette (flutes, vocals, saxes, congas, thumb pianos,
violins, Chinese Musette and instruments of his own creation) to
create free rhythmic spirituals. Percussion-heavy, congas go head-
to-head with trap drums, anchoring the music while violins, flutes
and strong vocals from Mrs. Ella Pearl Jackson reverberate and
bring to mind June Tyson of the Sun Ra Arkestra. Drawing on
Cohran's own experience with Ra, "On the Beach" has a linear free-
flow/exchange of ideas that reveals new depths over time. This is
a landmark expression to actualize cultural identity and heritage
through music, and another welcome branch from the idiom expressed
by Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Don Cherry, Joe Henderson's Elements,
the Art Ensemble and AACM. Highest recommendation! [GA]
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LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999182061&refer_url=email


THE GO BETWEENS "Before Hollywood" (Circus/Jetset) CD $18.99
THE GO BETWEENS "Spring Hill Fair" (Circus/Jetset) CD $18.99
Classic Go Between albums originally released in 1983 and 1984 respectively, these reissues each;
include a second disc with un-released tracks, non-LP singles and extensive liner-notes.

This week's contributors: Geoff Albores [GA], J Dennis [JD],
Daniel Givens [DG], Gerald Hammill [GH], Dan Hougland [DHo],
Josh Madell [JM], Scott Mou [SM] and Jeremy Sponder [JS].

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