Other Music New Release Update
May 2, 2002

In This Week's Update:

Felix da Housecat compilation
"Disco Nouveau" compilation
CQ (Soundtrack by Mellow)
Paul Westerberg
Craig Armstrong
Sage Francis
Etienne Charry
Badly Drawn Boy
Smash TV
Henry Flynt
The Streets
Oneness of Juju (reissues)
"Tech Pop" compilation
Peter King
Yeah Yeah Yeahs (re-release)
Black Dog
Smith & Mighty
Dr. Nachtstrom

Just In:

Closer Musik
Justus Kohncke

Featured New Releases:

FELIX DA HOUSECAT "Excursions" (Obsessive) CD/LP $16.99/$17.99
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Tell Felix Stallings, Jr. that there's an electro revival going on
and he'd probably chuckle because for him, that music never went
off the radar at all. Just throw on a copy of his 1995 single "In
Thee Dark We Live," a mammoth club record that year, and you can
see that Bambaataa, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Hashim, and Kraftwerk
have been part of his daily musical vocabulary since the mid-1980's.
"Thee Glitz," the album he recorded with German sequencer
chanteuse Miss Kittin, is so much nostalgia for Stallings, only he
gets to romp around in the world of Euroclubbing from which many
of his musical heroes emerged. Felix da Housecat's entry in the
thus far exemplary "Excursions" series is superb. He opens the mix
with Ladytron, moving into the now mandatory Tok Tok vs. Soffy O
from Berlin. After building unbearable suspense on his remix of
Dot Allison's "Substance," he plunges into the harsh, metallic
Bolz Bolz only to surface with his most recent hit, "Silver Screen
(Shower Scene)." But he doesn't leave the hard techno alone,
pulling in Tim Taylor, User, and the Detroit kick-drum abuser Jeff
Mills. He concludes the exhausting set with some of his older,
harder, house tracks. Simply put, you're not going to find a
better and equally well-juxtaposed set of electronic dancefloor
tracks for a long time to come.  [TH]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=74321922742&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=74321922741&refer_url=email

WILCO "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" (Nonesuch) CD $15.99
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With each release, Wilco mutate into something quite different
than before. Like their 1996 album "Being There," Jeff Tweedy and
company are pushing way beyond the alt-country tag carried over
from their Uncle Tupelo roots. But with all the changes and genre
crossing, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" is not only the band's most
experimental moment to date, but also their finest. The album
title, more than a nod to Tweedy's interest in short wave radio,
is named after a frequency operated by the Israeli intelligence
agency. It's also no coincidence that static, artificial voices
and Morse Code-like bleeps flow as an undercurrent throughout the
record. Jim O'Rourke, who enlisted Tweedy in his back-up band
during the recording of last year's "Insignificance," carves his
unique production stamp with multi-instrument layers and
interesting sounds in between some of Wilco's most introspective
songs to date. Opening with "I'm Trying to Break Your Heart,"
Tweedy sings unaffected by fractured percussion fills and droney
sounds enveloping his vocal. At times reminiscent of a later-
period Pavement record and more fully realized than say "Terror
Twilight",  "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" is as cohesive as an album can
get. Even amidst the hiss and drones, Wilco's songwriting is never
foreshadowed. "Ashes of an American Flag," poses sad, emotion-
pointed observations following September 11, complete with a
Beatles-inspired refrain and ends with a "White Album" styled
collage of sounds. "War on War," propelled by guitar strums, is
one of the album's lighter moments with a sunny chorus offset by
its bleak proclamation: "You have to learn how to die/If you wanna
be alive." Preceded by a year of legal wrangling with their former
label who wanted a more radio-friendly record, and more line-up
changes including the departure of guitarist Jay Bennett, "Yankee
Hotel Foxtrot" is the album Wilco wanted to be heard as-is. By
sticking to their guns, they've created that rare record which
should please staple fans and still bring many more into the fold
without artistic compromise. One of this years best. [GH]

[V.A.] "Tangent 2002: Disco Nouveau" (Ghostly) CD $14.99
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The relatively new U.S. based Ghostly label adds some much needed
spice to the increasingly inbred, same-y sounding electro gene
pool.  ("Yaaaay" and thank you for that!) Instant hits
include "Pistol Oderso" by NYC's own Danny Wang, and Solvent's "My
Radio," the latter being one of the sugar-sweetest electro tracks
you will hear this year. Electro staple artists like Adult, I-f,
DMX Krew, Ectomorph and Perspects are also in attendance, but
offer tracks that aren't just about going through the motions --
all the retro, new wave nastiness that you expect, but with a
little more pop-disco humor thrown in. A really solid and varied
compilation. [SM]

PLAID "P-Brane EP" (Warp) CD/LP $7.99/$7.99
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Straight off of their American tour, the Plaid boys hit us with an
amazing EP featuring four new and exclusive tracks of their
trademarked electronic dancefloor funk. "Coat" starts off beat
oriented but finishes with some of the most melodic keyboard
melodies ever heard, while "Diddymousedid" gets crazy with manic
breakbeats slowly adding a tropical Caribbean rhythm throughout,
steel drums and all. "Stills" begins with an old-school hip hop
beat that soon gets processed, diced and chopped. Meanwhile, dark
synths float throughout. Last but not least, "MFAUS" treads the
fine line between the current two step breakbeat and some sped up
happy hardcore, late 80's style. No doubt, this is an extremely
fine EP from one of Warp's premiere artists who are getting better
and better with each release. Bonus CD ROM video included too!
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106191582&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106191581&refer_url=email

CQ "Soundtrack/Original Score by Mellow"  (Emperor Norton) CD $14.99
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Like Air with "Virgin Suicides," French band Mellow has a go at
scoring and composing the soundtrack to a Coppola film. "CQ,"
directed and written by Roman Coppola, conveys the Coppola
siblings' fascination with the past. The year is 1969 -- a young
director finds himself in the midst of being promoted from film
editor to director in a futuristic sci-fi film called "CQ." A film
within a film, the movie chronicles both the main character's
obsession with cinema verite and his work on a "mainstream" film.
Mellow beautifully parallels the film by creating a montage of
many influences: they sew together their Beatles meets Flaming
Lips with electronica found on last year's album, "Another Mellow
Spring," with Northern Soul and garage pop. The multi-layered plot
comes through with songs like Jacques Dutronc's hip swinging "Le
Responsable" (one of the few non-Mellow penned songs), coupled
with the disparate tune "Multithing," a spooky, futuristic song
that evokes images of miniature foil wrapped spaceships that
twinkle from the influence of a Terry Riley composition. Other
songs of note include "Take Me Higher," a gorgeously delicate
lounge tune, accented by horns and flowing strings, made sexy by
the vocals of Allison David, and the keyboard driven psychedelic
short (think Stereolab) "Car Chase." Fantastic, fun and humorous --
and the movie flags in at a close second. [LG]

PAUL WESTERBERG "Stereo/Mono" (Vagrant) CD $15.99
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Paul Westerberg's latest, "Stereo," is probably his best
collection of songs in years. Where uneven writing and slick
production made one of the best songwriters of the eighties sound
downright tired in previous solo releases, in this case, this
almost-graceful laziness, sans an expensive recording budget,
works quite well. Rather than trying to pen a modern rock hit or
even rock out, Westerberg locked himself in his basement and often
with little more than a guitar, penned some of his most introspective
songs yet. In the liner notes, he explains that "Stereo" was written
and recorded in his home over a two-year period, often in one take,
mistakes and all. And while obviously more tempered than his
early-80's anthems to adolescence, Westerberg's best work still
draws from that same source of spontaneity. Lyrically however,
"Stereo" is more autobiographical, even when sung in third person,
spinning tales of lost love and simply growing up. There is no
mistaking Westerberg's phrasing and imagery, even if he's not
sneering "Gary's got a boner." In "Got You Down," he's
accompanied  only by the languid strum of an electric guitar as he
sings: "Like Rudolph Valentino/Great lover of your life/It's been a
while since you've seen him/I'm sure he's not with his wife." And
while there aren't any straight-out rockers on the "Stereo" disc, the
singer lets loose on the closing, almost lo-fi "Call That Gone?" The
bonus disc, "Mono" (recorded in mono), is a completely different
affair with Westerberg's alter ego, Grandpaboy, sloppily rocking
out. Though missing the punk edge of early Replacement records,
the raw production and unmistakable scruffy-sung melodies are
sure to please most diehards. [GH]

CRAIG ARMSTRONG "As If to Nothing" (Melankolic/Astralwerks) CD $15.99
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Swelling, sweeping, swaying and cascading around you, Craig
Armstrong's aptly titled "As If to Nothing" is electronic music at its
most epic.  Opening with "Ruthless Gravity," a distorted snare
forms the grounding while orchestral strings fill the air.
Throughout, almost-transparent subtle beats glide underneath the
whispering vocals of artists like Evan Dando, Alpha, Bono and
David McAlmont. The instrumental arrangements standout on the
Mogwai and Photek collaborations, weaving heavy European and
Middle Eastern symphonic string arrangements around an IDM pulse.
In his latest, Armstrong has created a wonderful balance between
the cinematic and the sublime. [DG]

SAGE FRANCIS "Personal Journals" (Anticon) CD $13.99
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Sage Francis is the newest addition to the Anticon stable of
artists, and in my opinion he has probably released the finest LP
on the label. Francis is a master wordsmith spinning sordid tales of
life, love, family and everything in between. Think of the perfect
combination of Eminem's paranoid rhymes, Aesop Rock's masterful
wordplay, and the dirty production in some of Company Flow's early
works. Track after track, Francis draws you into his dark world
with lyrics and emotions that everyone feels but few are able to
express. All the while, production and beats are provided by the
who's who in the Anticon school of producers, including: Sixtoo,
Alias, DJ Signify, Odd Nosdam, Mr. Dibbs, Jel, and many, many
more. "Personal Journals" is a great LP that I cannot get out of
my head (or my CD player) and, along with the new J-Live and El-
P's forthcoming long player, destined to be one of the best hip
hop records of 2002. Recommended!  [JS]
CD  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=65503550212&refer_url=email

ETIENNE CHARRY "Aube Radieuse Serpents en Flammes" (Tricatel) CD $16.99
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Etienne Charry's 1999 debut album "36 Erreurs" was an Other Music,
out-of-nowhere smash hit  -- a French pop tour de force for the
attention deficit disorder set that positively overflowed with
ideas. In the course of a single album, Charry barnstormed through
36 original tracks, weaving his way through a myriad of musical
phrases that referenced and looped back on themselves. Three years
later Charry returns with "Aube Radieuse Serpent en Flammes"
("Radiant Paddle, Snakes in Flames" according to the AltaVista
translator) and sets a completely different tone altogether.
Perhaps he's been taking his Ritalin -- "Aube Radieuse..." is much
more linear, more focused, more sedate than its predecessor and
proceeds at a more deliberate pace. Things start off wacky enough,
though, with the scattershot voice collage of "Lettre Anonyme" but
quickly turn serene with "Rubis" a beautifully pastoral piano-
driven piece. Things get manic again with "Au Matin" and "Bombe A"
which feature Charry's trademark scratchy guitar sound and chirpy
electronics. But the album is dominated by longer, airier --
albeit very quirky -- tracks like the baroquely-tinged "Serpents
en Flammes" and "Osmose" that emphasize the lush instrumentation
over the vocals. Hardcore Charry fans (of whom there are many in
these parts) may not be completely swept away by "Aube Radieuse"
but will find plenty here to savor. New admirers intrigued by
Charry's unique style are strongly advised to proceed directly to
his dazzling debut album before investigating this sophomore
effort. [TC]

BADLY DRAWN BOY "About a Boy/Soundtrack" (BMG) CD $15.99
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The very anticipated follow-up to 2000's wonderful "Hour of
Bewilderbeast" was temporarily put on hold when author Nick Hornby
tapped Damon Gough (a.k.a. Badly Drawn Boy) to score the film
adaptation to his novel "About a Boy." And while Gough steers the
soundtrack down a different road stylistically, he does so
masterfully. Enlisting the help of producers Steve McLaughlin as
well as Tom Rothrock (Elliott Smith's Figure 8), the acoustic
guitar driven film score comes across more upbeat and brighter
than "Bewilderbeast," even during slow moments. Gough's not-quite-
a-whisper vocals and guitar-strum melodrama are sure to win over a
few Elliott Smith fans and in fact, may be a little more filling
than Smith's more recent output. Like "Bewilderbeast," instrumental
segments are interspersed between wistful pop songs; but this time
these are fully arranged and interesting compositions in
themselves -- from the album opener's twenty-second piano
introduction to "I Love NYE," a building piece that crescendos into
full strings and then quietly fades into the piano plucked beginning
of "Silent Sigh." In songs like the rollicking "A Peak You Reach,"
to the jazzy "River, Sea Ocean," Gough's soulful delivery is always
instinctive, underscored by lush arrangements. "About a Boy" may
not be Badly Drawn Boy's anxiously awaited follow-up but it is a
wonderful diversion. [GH]

SMASH TV "Electrified" (B Pitch Control) CD/LP $15.99/$16.99
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Driving straight out of Ellen Allien's window office at Bpitch
Control HQ like an entire tank division, Smash TV's full-length
record is about as subtle as the WWF, and far more enjoyable.
After three exhausting, burnout EPs, the group make clear that the
present electro revival (which is beginning to bore some of us
silly) is hardly monolithic. For Smash TV, electro is a mere
stepping-off point for a whole range of tuff electronic sounds.
One can hear the nasty, warbling kick drum of Thomas Heckmann or
Adam Beyer all over these tracks. For every vocoded line, there's
a harsh, sharpened snare waiting to pounce. The complexity of the
percussion here is outrageous. Just when you think there couldn't
possibly be another hi-hat, slam! Though I don't wish to take
anything away from the accomplishments of Arpanet, Dopplereffekt,
Adult, Le Car and their circle, Smash TV is having fun and making
dance music with the energy of an exploding star. Ms. Allien's
stellar label has released another lease breaking monster.  [TH]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=66195666402&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=66195666401&refer_url=email

HENRY FLYNT "Spindizzy/New American Ethnic Music" (Recorded) CD $15.99
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A casual listener may perceive this as just some oddball old-timey
mountain music. But upon closer inspection, the sense of urgency
found in the fiddle playing along with some strange compositional
ideas combine into - yes - another incredible artifact of
deconstructed hillbilly hoedown that Henry Flynt is now famous
for. "Spindizzy" is the fourth archival release to be offered on
CD and the second volume of three issued on John Berndt's label,
Recorded. This is possibly the most straightforward collection
yet -- bringing together the familiar elements of bluegrass,
southern boogie rock, Indian raga, and minimalist theory --
seamlessly unifying the separate worlds of Tony Conrad and Charlie
Daniels. Recorded between 1968 and 1983, the overall sound has
more in common with "Graduation" than the drone-y "C Tune"
and "You Are My Everlovin'/Celestial Power." A student of Pran
Nath, a key figure in George Maciunas' Fluxus activities, an ally
to La Monte Young, he even played violin for awhile in the Velvet
Underground. Flynt's music bridged sounds of his North Carolina
upbringing with avant garde ideas, and in 1983 he retired from
music to pursue a career in philosophy. This collection offers us
another valuable look at the genius of this man's work... an
essential document. [AG]

FARBEN "Textstar"  (Klang/Elektronik) CD $13.99
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Jan Jelinek is just the sort of boundary rider so desperately
needed at this moment when piles of mediocre "minimal ---------- "
are clogging up the bins. His early work as Gramm, on a terrific
record called "Personal Rock," only hinted at his ability to
balance the mammoth and the microscopic. Early EPs on Klang such
as "Beautone" and "Raw Macro" presaged the so-called "micro-house"
phenomenon by at least two years. And the music he's made under
his own name has demonstrated a penchant for the echo chamber and
for making tracks a lot more disheveled and cranky than the ones
to be found on this retrospective, which comes as a CD or as four
12" singles, including his latest, "Says: Don't Fight Phrases."
Why is this collection of crystalline tracks, so delicate that a
bump against the tone arm would shatter the silence, so highly
recommended? The answer is simple: Farben is making music for
hypnosis, ecstatic hypnosis in which the listener's most malevolent
dreamworld is turned calm. And damn if you can't nod your head
to this guy's tracks. [TH]

THE STREETS "Original Pirate Material" (Pure Groove/Locked On) CD $25.99
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Twenty-something cockney musical autodidactic Mike Skinner,
calling himself the Streets, broke out of the UK garage scene
earlier last year with his self-produced white label 12", a
swinging two-tone inspired hip hop/dance hall hybrid called "Let's
Push Things Forward." Apparently, there was much need for things
to be pushed forward because his skin-of-his-teeth, mix and match,
smart-ass approach to the multiple genres he plunders caught on
like wildfire. Skinner's debut album "Original Pirate Material"
has garnered a huge buzz in the UK and a mounting interest in the
States. Just this side of being over-the-top precocious, the
Street's epic release mixes hip-hop, dance hall, U.K. garage and a
bit of the aforementioned two-tone horn and organ grooves
(although Skinner claims to have never heard the Specials). Laid
over all of this is a seesawing, heavily accented spoken
soliloquies, pedestrian poetry-cum-rapping that circumvents its
own preciousness to become fascinating and even super catchy.
Fourteen tracks of stripped-down bumping bass and beats follow
Skinner's itinerant ego (and various alter egos) as he represents
for the hyper-stimulated musically adept next generation raised on
the breakneck trend cycles of UK musical fascinations. Whether be
design or as a happy accident, the result is indeed original and
highly enjoyable, (not to mention danceable).  [MC]

ARPANET "Wireless Internet" (Source) CD $18.99
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Arpanet's (featuring members of Dopplereffekt, on Air's Source
label) brand of electro differs from the Moroder obsessed
arpeggiations and pop-crossover appeal of the Electroclash set's.
For one thing, it tends to be much slower and more preoccupied
with a feeling of galactic suspense. There is also more deadpan
humor in the first track, "The Analyst," than in Miss Kittin's
entire ouevre; a robo-Russian accent outlines what amounts to a
CNN-style tech update gone horribly messianic. "One day we will
all be wireless and that is a fact..." [DHo]

"African Rhythms" (Strut) CD $16.99

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"Space Jungle Luv" (Strut) CD $16.99
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About 10 years ago, I received a tape from a friend of mine who's
father was an ol' jazz head. The cassette said, "Oneness of Juju,"
and it absolutely blew my mind. I spent the next few years
crooning in the shower (driving my lady-friend crazy), scotch-
taping the cassette back together (after snapping it no less than
seven times due to continuous playback), and searching for the
originals. To my dismay, I found that this Virginia based group
was impossible to track down in the States. Never before had I
heard such a beautiful blend of percussive-based African funk,
mixed with avant-garde jazz, gospel, R&B, and soul. Oneness of
Juju went mostly unnoticed beyond music aficionados until most
recently when Strut released a compilation of the band's greatest
material, recorded between 1970 and 1982. Now the same label has
reissued two of their best albums, "African Rhythms" and "Space
Jungle Luv." They include the original recordings and artwork,
accompanied with a brief write-up of the group's history, and just
happen to be sides A and B of my tape. "African Rhythms" is the
more funk-oriented album of the two, laced with social and
political undertones -- a definite body-mover. It was also sampled
a few years back by KRS-ONE and most recently, the title track was
reinterpreted by Jay Dee on his "Welcome to Detroit" released on
BBE.  "Space Jungle Luv" is just that, spacey, and continues in
the theme of thought provoking messages. The group spent time in
New York during jazz's avant-garde era with the likes of Pharaoh
Sanders, Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra; their influences are apparent
on this album. Both albums are complete pieces, with songs that
begin and transcend into the next with subtle changes, creating a
very wavy experience. I now own copies of the compilation and both
reissues but I will always play that tape. Enjoy! [JD]
African Rhyth //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=67586500272&refer_url=email
Space Jungle  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=67586500282&refer_url=email

[V.A.] "This is Tech-Pop" (Ministry of Sound) CD $16.99
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Yes, another electro compilation, but this one offers the British
seal of approval on a group comprised of mostly New York artists.
(Props to Soviet and Crossover for making the cut as well as
Fischerspooner and John Selway.) There's your standard fare of new
wave electro from some of the biggest names like Green Velvet,
Felix da Housecat and Tiga, with some of the cuts leaning towards
mainfloor techno-electro to fill in the gaps. So if you've heard all
about this new electro craze and don't know where to begin, this
would be the place to start. [SM]

PETER KING "Shango" (Strut) CD $16.99
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The story of 70's funk, jazz, highlife and Afrobeat continue to
unfold well beyond Fela. Thanks in part to the Strut label's
digging we are presented with another treasure of Nigeria's rich
musical history. Peter King's ensembles pushed the fusion of
highlife, jazz and funk in new directions. With obvious nods to
James Brown, King utilizes jazz flutes and horns with heavy
syncopated percussion sections to build rich layers of jazz funk.
Themes of African freedom, religion and culture are laid out
sparsely but effectively over shifting liquid guitar lines and
rumbling bass. King's sax playing can even get a bit free, but is
always held together by the bottom-heavy rhythm section. The band
is tight enough to be loose, creating a weighty, funky tension
that works well with his spacious compositions.  The work
of "Shango" was recorded in London while on tour of Europe in
1974. It has lay hidden (and unreleased) until now! [GA]

YEAH YEAH YEAHS "Yeah Yeah Yeahs"  (Shifty/Wichita) CD $9.99
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I want to be up front about this: I hold no grudge against Nick
Zinner for quitting my band to spend more time on the Yeah Yeah
Yeah's. Easily one of the hardest working groups I know, heralded
as NYC's answer to Detroit "raw-rock," named one of "10 Artists To
Watch" by Rolling Stone, their debut EP offers proof that they are
more than just another hook-heavy rock act, and deserving of all
the attention that they have received. Their songs strut with a
style and sense of humor rarely seen these days. Karen O. sings
with a scratch and purr schoolgirl flirtation that embraces all
that is sexy. Nick's guitar playing breathes new life into the
blues drenched rake and reverb of the Gun Club, Cramps, and Flesh
Eaters. Centering it all with counter-punch backbeat, Brian Chase
(also of 5RC recording artist, The Seconds) is the tie that binds.
This is a UK re-release of their now out-of-print self-released
EP, and from what I understand they are currently entertaining
offers from labels for a full length release, which with any luck
we will see come out later this year. [AG]

BLACK DOG/BLACK SIFICHI "Unsavory Products" (Hydrogen Dukebox) CD $16.99
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It's been several years since Black Dog initially released their
highly influential brand of jazzy, Detroit inspired techno. Since
then, members have broken off to form projects like Plaid, As One
and Offworld. Meanwhile, Black Dog resurfaces again with a new
album entitled "Unsavory Products," a curious release recalling
the William Burroughs collaboration with Disposable Heroes of
Hiphoprisy. Working closely with poet/performance artist Black
Sifichi, it's a very soundtrack-y affair with unusual song
structure. Low-end spy movie beat-scapes intermesh with Sifichi's
chopped up vocal phrases to create a surreal audio montage. By the
end I'm left a little confused but strangely drawn in. [GA]

SMITH & MIGHTY "Life Is..." (!K7) $16.99
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By now, you've probably all heard the story of how Rob Smith and
Ray Mighty effectively created the "Bristol sound" with their
giant sound system and multiple tracks on their More Rockers label
years before Massive Attack, Portishead, and Tricky rose to
prominence. The good news is that their creativity remains intact
and they're as passionate about making music as they were in 1989,
when they were crafting extraordinarily beautiful house tracks for
vocalist Carlton. Those songs were submerged in the pair's dubwise
production techniques. They return to that consummate fusion with
vocalists Louise Cordova and Tammy Payne, while speeding up the
tempo that of slightly downbeat drum-n-bass, the speed of Roni
Size's "Reprazent" projects. They've not lost their touch with strings,
which have to be handled with the delicacy of radioactive material.
"1,2 Mic Check" is the standout here, with MC Kelz toasting over a
floating minor-key melody and a bassline that threatens to vanish,
only to return with a quickness. "Try" is another gem with a
bassline resembling the best work of the Twinkle Brothers and
subtle though powerful percussive chops and changes. There's
a good reason why Bristol is a city of such amazing musical activity:
Smith & Mighty. [TH]

PLUSH "Fed" (After Hours/P-Vine) CD $25.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/greyhoun.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/whatllwe.rm
Surely evocative of earthy 70's masterworks by Chilton, Ham, Nyro,
Rundgren, et al, the ensemble Plush has chosen to play on this
record (he was unaccompanied on his last, "More You Becomes You")
deserves accolades for a clear allegiance to what must be an
almost completely subjective attention to detail. The record's
plain modernity, however, is evinced by such adroit overall
handling of this type of material which never fails to suggest
wracked, tangential splendor. Thus Liam Hayes' voice (as in
creative voice) is trading less on its alleged mystery and more on
its International Man of Mystery -- more on it James Bond than its
Jandek in other words. And this is one of the better records out
there right now.  [DHo]

DR. NACHTSTROM "Leidenschaft" (Mego) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/interste.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/theblues.rm
Dr. Nachtstrom's "Leidenschaft" LP is a FUN, tongue-in-cheek,
collage-y, rollercoaster ride of a record and more like an epic
rave album released on the Cheap imprint, than Austria's chin-
scratching, yet brilliant, Mego label. Blobby, funked-up, sub-bass
pulsates through everything -- from epic club-pop to disassembled
drum and bass -- very taste challenging stuff that pokes you in
the ribs but doesn't fail to deliver in terms of texture and concept.
Apparently Dr. Nachtstrom also creates soundtracks to films, and
it shows in the way he creates tracks that seem to move in a
visually narrative way that connects different genres, turns them
upside down, and then dares you to categorize them. Not for
purists. [SM]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999174592&refer_url=email

POIRE_Z "+" (Erstwhile) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/kickoff_.rm
The saying goes that, given typewriters and an infinite amount of
time, a roomful of monkeys could write the complete works of
Shakespeare. By that logic, if the same chimps were given a table-
full of consumer electronics and a couple of hours, they would
likely produce a decent album of electronic, improvised music. I
feel safe in guaranteeing, however, that it wouldn't be anywhere
as compelling and listenable as the new recording by this quartet
of highly developed mammals known as poire_z. Over the course of
its existence, the Swiss/French quartet has made a practice of
inviting other musicians to sit in with them as unofficial fifth
members. For this CD on Erstwhile, group member Gunter Muller
selected performances featuring contributions by turntable
saboteur Christian Marclay and Japanese dynamos Otomo Yoshihide
and Sachiko M. The first thing that struck me upon listening
to "+" was the departure from the group's earlier, more analogue
sound. Muller has increasingly augmented his amplified percussion
setup with digital processing -- same for Norbert Moslang and Andy
Guhl and their arsenal of cracked everyday-electronics. The
quartet's fourth member, Erik M, has abandoned turntables
altogether in favor of mini-disc players and fx. Of the three
tracks here, the one with Sachiko M feels the most cohesive and
focused. Her sine waves act as threads that unify the disparate
scraps of noise produced by the other players. The subtlety of her
approach has a noticeable effect on the rest of the group who take
a more restrained approach in her presence. The tracks with
Yoshihide and Marclay are busier affairs, full of transmissions
from the aether and dislocated voices from the vinyl graveyard.
poire_zs aesthetic doesn't fall in line with the typical call and
response ethos of free-improv that often builds from silence to
chaos and back.  Instead, the electro-acousticians of pz work with
laminal procedures -- they juxtapose textures, alternate currents,
and combine signals into dense meshworks. Huddled over their tables
of equipment, Muller, Moslang, Guhl and M often look like scientists,
but the fruits of their labor reflect the twisted sense of humor and
sly word play of lexicon artists. [DH]


CLOSER MUSIK "After Love" (Kompakt) CD/LP $15.99/$16.99
Full review next week.
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JUSTUS KOHNCKE "Was ist Musik" (Kompakt) CD $15.99
Full review next week.
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=71875260312&refer_url=email

MANUAL "Ascend" (Morr) CD/LP $15.99/$12.99
Full review next week.
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=401569816372&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=401569816371&refer_url=email

DOVES "The Last Broadcast" (Heavenly) CD/LP $25.99/$28.99
Full review next week.
CD  //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=72438122322&refer_url=email
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This week's contributors: Geoff Albores [GA], Tom Capodanno [TC],
Matt Connors [MC], J Dennis [JD], Lisa Garrett [LG], Andy Giles
[AG], Daniel Givens [DG], Gerald Hammill [GH], Tim Haslett [TH],
Dan Hirsch [DHi], Dan Houghland [DHo], Scott Mou [SM], Jeremy
Sponder [JS].

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