Other Music New Release Update
June 27, 2002

In This Week's Update:

Sonic Youth
Slum Village
Arto Lindsay
Prefuse 73/Savath and Savalas
Vincent Gallo
Mr. Lif
Takagi Masakatsu
Bobby Konder featuring Massive Sound
Plate Tectonics & Sensational
Bill Wells & Isobel Campbell


SONIC YOUTH "Murray Street" (Interscope) CD $16.99
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Sonic Youth, 2002. Whatever vague opinions you have about career
bands that simply won't quit, it would be difficult to support an
argument that Sonic Youth has been coasting for the last 15 years
on the fame they earned with their groundbreaking late '80s
records. Huge critical favorites and college radio staples that
created much of the blueprint for indie rock, classic recordings
like "Sister" and "Daydream Nation" blended dissonance and melody
to perfection, and made the band underground superstars. Since
that time, the group has consistently pushed forward musically,
swinging both towards the center on some of their early major-
label releases, and deep into leftfield in the last several years
with their self-released improv and modern classical explorations.
Of course they have challenged fans with all of their twists and
turns, but their strong integrity and constant championing of
quality underground music has kept them near the top of our little
alterna-heap throughout. And so, 2002 welcomes the Youth with a
new major label pop release, the first featuring collaborator Jim
O'Rourke as a full-time member of the band and their producer from
start to finish. Jim's subtle production is a welcome addition to
any project and his work with Wilco, Stereolab and others reflects
a keen ear for focusing noise and skewing pop, perfect for a group
like Sonic Youth who explore both territories. "Murray Street"
unfolds as a series of lazy dreams -- more clear, layered guitar
tones than electric storms. The sounds are relaxed and
uncomplicated, from the shimmer of the cymbals to the crack of the
snare and the quiet hum of the guitar amps. It is always a
pleasure to hear this band enjoying their instruments, and from
the loose precision of Steve Shelley's drums to the spiraling
feedback of the dueling guitar heroes, this record captures the
band in their element. One song each from Kim and Lee, but these
are mostly Thurston's sad, poetic musings. Despite their quiet
life in the country, as per the title this is very much a city
record, full of aspirations and disappointments. There are no big
surprises within, but many wonderful moments, and it a welcome
friend at the beginning of this long hot city summer. [JM]

SLUM VILLAGE "Dirty District" (Sequence) CD $16.99
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There's a new Slum Village album coming out July 30, called
"Trinity." This isn't it. THIS is "Dirty District," a Slum Village
compiled hour-long trip through the Detroit underground, pasted
together by DJ Dez. On this record you will find some of the
nastiest, doped-out, funk that hip-hop has to offer. Think Jay Dee,
though he's nowhere to be found on this record. Some of the
production on here is gritty and seemingly sloppy, until you find
the direction, then it simply grooves (the stuff that breaks
necks). "Dirty District" features new music from Slum Village
("One," also found on "Trinity"), my favorite upcoming emcee, Phat
Kat, Elzhi and a stable of others, whom together, offer a nice
mixture of writtens and freestyles. Production credits fall mostly
on the shoulders of T3 and Young RJ with contributions from Black
Milk, J. Rawls, and the Alchemist to name a few.  A party staple
for the summer heat. [JD]

ARTO LINDSAY "Invoke" (Righteous Babe) CD $14.99
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Since his early atonal days with DNA, through his stint leading
the art-dance squad Ambitious Lovers and into now, Arto Lindsay
has been one of the city's most fascinating purveyors of truly
original music. For fans it will come as no surprise that the
Brazilian born songwriter continues to merge his early influences
of bossa nova, samba and tropicalia with the aesthetics of
downtown Manhattan's avant-jazz, electronic and art rock scenes.
Like his acclaimed 1999 album, "Prize," Lindsay's distinctive
hushed melodies hover above subtle electronic beats, shuffles and
even some occasional skronk, but for this one the songwriter has
created something that's a little more abstract yet most of the time
still soothing and seductive. Joined by bassist Melvin Gibbs and
guitarist/programmer Andres Levin, "Invoke" opens with the velvet-
smooth "Illuminated." But the broken rhythms and dissonant organ
stabs (contributed by Brazilian rock band Nacao Zumbi) which
follow in "Predigo" quickly shatter the first track's mellow textures
as Lindsay's Portuguese sung vocals slide around fuzzy electric
piano accents. The record calms again with his gentle crooning
supported by a framework of fractured beats and atmospheric
texture. During "In the City That Reads," music experimentalists
Avey Tare and Panda Bear weave a delirious shroud of chirps and
etherworld sounds around Lindsay's guitar scrapes. Longtime friend
and collaborator Vinicius Cantuaria pays a return visit to play guitar
on the equally mysterious "Unseen" and also the bouncy bossa of
"Beija-Me." By now, Lindsay's tropical explorations are as much of
a defining point in his career as his no wave guitar skronks, but
the songwriter's seductive blend of melody and the abstract mark
"Invoke" as one of his most compelling releases to date. [GH]

PREFUSE 73 "92 VS 02" (Warp) CD $6.99
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SAVATH AND SAVALAS "Rolls and Waves" (Hefty) CD/LP $9.99/$6.99
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The line between abstract electronica and abstract (instrumental)
hip hop is blurry at best, with mainstream rap producers like
Timbaland and the Neptunes forever pushing sonic boundries to the
limit, and many recent "underground" electronic artists who work
in lazy, downtempo grooves addicted to the classic hip hop head-
snapping beats. So what is it that separates Atlanta/Brooklyn
producer Scott Herren's two new EP releases? All of his
productions share a warm, organic groove with subtle clicks,
pops, handclaps, and fuzz intertwined with live-sounding drums
below shifting melodies. The new Prefuse 73 record on Warp takes
this blueprint and snaps it up a bit with a straight ahead snare crack
anchoring the sound and filled in by soulful keyboard stabs,
bouncing bells, syncopated counter rhythms and vague echoes of
the missing MC that would put this music among the best of
underground hip-hop. With the new Savath and Savalas EP, "Rolls
and Waves," he pushes the sound in a lazier almost acoustic
direction, with drums courtesy of Tortoise's Johnny Herndon, plus a
bit of upright bass and sax in the mix. Throughout, Herren lets the
melodies guide these songs with percolating beats just below the
surface. All in all, two excellent short-form records from a many
sided artist who is gently pushing the boundaries of our classic
genre definitions. [JM]
Prefuse CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=90106191562&refer_url=email
Savath CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60840100382&refer_url=email
Savath LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60840100381&refer_url=email

VINCENT GALLO "Recordings of Music for Film" (Warp) CD/LP $16.99/$18.99
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Vincent Gallo's "Recordings of Music for Film" is an intriguing
compilation of music that he wrote and recorded as scores to four
different films. Rather than start from the earliest pieces and
move forward chronologically, the collection begins with the 1983
soundtrack created for Eric Mitchell's "The Way It Is," jumps to
1998's "Buffalo '66," and then works backwards finally ending in
1979 with the score to Gallo's first short film. Throughout the
mood is constant: eerie and quiet with minimal instrumental pieces
spaced between hypnotic drones. The "Buffalo '66" soundtrack,
obviously Gallo's best known score includes "Lonely Boy," the
compilation's only vocal track. Originally written for "The Way It
Is," some 15 years later the instrumental guitar piece was
recycled with haunting vocals overdubbed on top of the original
recording. (Both versions are included.)  Also included are three
songs that Gallo recorded for "Downtown '81," which he
intentionally withheld from the movie's original soundtrack
release. "Recordings of Music for Film" features a six-page
booklet written by the musician/actor detailing the history of
these recordings and some pretty frank opinions of the people
involved. This mysterious collection, however, is perfect for late
nights or even right now, staring out the window on an unbearably
hot summer day watching an afternoon rainstorm cover and cool
the city.  [GH]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106100962&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106100961&refer_url=email

ASTROBOTNIA "Part 01" (Rephlex) CD $13.99
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Astrobotnia, Rephlex's newest signing, is also rumored (in the
close-knit IDM circle) to be the Aphex Twin himself. Is it
possibly because he is extremely prolific with three albums
already completed and waiting for release? Or could it be that the
music itself runs through many electronic music genres as if it
were crafted by a seasoned pro? Well whoever Astrobotnia is, he
has created a great debut album entitled "Part 01". From the Aphex-
like ambience of "Lightworks" (circa Selected Ambient Works Vol.
2) or the Boards of Canada influenced downtempo gem
of "Acidophilus," to the cut up breakbeat funk of "The Wild
Thing," every track is worthwhile. My only qualm is that with nine
tracks clocking in at 33 minutes, he probably could have fit "Part
02" onto the album also. Keep an eye out for this one, for soon he
will be a star! [JS]

MR. LIF "Emergency Rations" (Def Jux) CD $8.99
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Mr. Lif is back with a new EP on Def Jux, a great new collection
of his fun-loving yet forward-thinking rhyme style. He tries to be
progressive and intelligent without coming across as too didactic,
and on the new record he succeeds fairly well mixing KRS 1 style
politics with a loose tongue-twisting delivery. Nice, simple
production throughout from Lif, El-P, Edan, DJ Hype and Fakts One
keep things jumping, and Lif delivers some of his most musical and
interesting rhymes yet. [JM]

TAKAGI MASAKATSU "Eating" (Karaoke Kalk) CD $14.99
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"Dancing across the water," a beginning of bucolic, organ led (?)
emanations. Of xylophonesque and accordion-like tendrils, running
around one another like strands of DNA... Or like freeway overpass
ramp interstices against idyll skies. (Or spaghetti?) A kind of
digital muffling occurs, and throughout. Music for cricket playing
and/or crickets playing, is this the real 'guided by voices'? The
many spouts and pulsations are organized by means of a tick-tock,
narcotic (Steve) Reichian/Eno logic. With intentionally excessive
adornment and, as previously mentioned, passages of almost
overdriven layering, it's hopefully a sign of more good things to
come from this capable multimedia auteur. (Check out his stuff on
Carpark too.) Keenly melodic.  [DHo]

"A Lost Era in NYC/1987 to 1992" (International Deejay Gigolo) CD/LP $15.99/$21.99
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WARNING: If you are buying this record simply because of the
International Deejay Gigolo logo on the bottom right corner of the
CD, this is NOT some new NY electro house record. But it is an
important historic document of New York rock-n-soul. Bobby Konders
is primarily known for his dancehall productions and radio show,
which has been a staple on New York's Hot 97 for years. But back
in '87 he, Timmy Regisford and Vicotor Rosado were purveyors of a
new deep house scene in NYC. This was before Giuliani's gentrified
New York, so this music reflects the city of days gone by -- dark
"after-after hours" grooves that were meant to suspend time
instead of speeding it along. This was house music made to roll a
spliff to, not do a bump to. The parties that Konders and Co.
would throw generally started after 2 a.m. and went until... The
sound was less strident than their Detroit counterparts, slower in
tempo and less busy than their Chicago counterparts. The basslines
you felt more than heard, the keyboard lines were simple minor key
chords held for whole notes. If there were any vocals, they were
righteous, conscious spoken word pieces, or eerie, subdued
freeform vocals. This music definitely defined a time and place
that NYC may never see again, but the influence of this music is
still heard in the dubby reverberations of Vladislav Delay and the
releases heard on the Kompakt label. The minimal lo-key funk of
Massive Sounds has found a new home in the grooves of Metro Area
and Daniel Wang records. And the all-inclusive urban after hour
party has followed Timmy Regisford to Club Shelter and Bang the
Party. If you are a fan of any of the aforementioned artists, please
pick this up. This is one of the places it all started and I urge you to
investigate. Props to DJ Hell for rescuing this one from further
obscurity. [DH]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=71875275932&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=71875275936&refer_url=email

OPIATE "While You Were Sleeping" (April) CD/LP $13.99/$12.99
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Opiate is one hell of a renaissance man. Besides creating one of
the most highly acclaimed bedroom electronic records (the
gorgeous "Objects for an Ideal Home") and owning one of the most
respected indie electronic labels, Hobby Industries, he has also
produced and recorded tracks for Bjork, as well as collaborating
with Noto, Dub Tractor and many others. Thomas Knak has also
contributed tracks to so many compilations I'm sure that even he
can't keep up. This is where "While you Were Sleeping" comes in. A
compilation of some of his favorite tracks culled from a variety of
sources, this album is a perfect introduction and overview for those
who are familiar with his work. We get the beautiful "1% in 2/3
Speed" (which is also the original source material for the track off of
Bjork's "Vespertine" album), as well as the gorgeous "GM Memory"
from his split with Goodiepal. With a total of eight tracks taken from
rare and out of print sources this record is a must for any fan, and a
perfect introduction for those who purchase records on Morr Music or
City Centre Offices. [JS]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=570949810592&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=570949810591&refer_url=email

"Plate Tectonics and Sensational" (Tapes) CD $12.99
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For the world outside of New York City, Plate Tectonics bring Fort
Thunder noise and combine it with an ESG/Liquid Liquid dance
allying their mutant beat with the likes of OOIOO and Out Hud.
Formerly known as Pixel Tan they released an EP (on Troubleman
Unlimited) with Hisham of Black Dice handling the drumming and it
was his departure that made room for the heavier pounding metal
derived style of Adam Autry. When Autry joined the band a new
beast was born, a beast that deserved a new name, Plate Tectonics.
Still reliant on off-kilter beats to move the room, they now take
things a little deeper and sludgier that could have ever been
possible before. Slow it down and dub it up, then add Sensational,
a crunked-out Jay-Z counter part from East New York. This release
compiles various live recordings made at recent shows. Hip-hop
freestyle over post no-wave beats... 100% NYC. [AG]

STEREOTYP "My Sounds" (G Stone) CD $17.99
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Stereotyp, the project of Stephan Moerth under the guidance of
Peter Kruder (K&D and Peace Orchestra) can be divided into two
distinct parts. The first half of "My Sound" features vocalist
Sugar B on one track and Tikiman (known for his excellent work
with Rhythm and Sound) on three others. These songs range from
deep, dubwise pressure to digital dancehall with Tikiman trading
back and forth between rub-a-dub and DJ stylings. The second half
of the album shifts more towards the UK garage/digital soul side
but I also hear American garage (house), West London breaks and
even dancehall/ragga elements in the production. Overall, "My
Sound" is full of very futuristic breakbeat explorations. [GA]

BILL WELLS & ISOBEL CAMPBEL "Ghost of Yesterday" (Creeping Bent) CD $15.99
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If it were just a Billie Holiday tribute record, it wouldn't work.
This release, thankfully, goes a little deeper than your average
tribute. Jazz veteran Bill Wells, together with Isobel Campbell
(Belle and Sebastian's now former chanteuse and current Gentle
Waves' bandleader), rework this seven heart-stricken song
collection of Ms. Holiday's lesser known work. Six of which were
written or co-written by Lady Day herself. Campbell's gentle-
whisper-soft vocal execution lulls and charms over Well's stark-
minimalist-sample driven re-orchestrations resulting in a
surprisingly earnest and exquisite homage to one of the greatest
voices of the 20th century. [JO]

This week's contributors: Geoff Albores [GA], J Dennis [JD], Andy
Giles [AG], Gerald Hammill [GH], Duane Harriott [DH], Dan Hougland
[DHo], Josh Madell [JM], Jennifer Orozco [JO] and Jeremy Sponder

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