Other Music New Release Update
September 4, 2002

In This Week's Update:

Incredible String Band (reissues)
Peanut Butter Wolf (singles compilation)
Nightmares on Wax
Sonny and Linda Sharrock (reissue)
Sugar Minott (reissue)
Felix da Housecat (re-mix single)
"I Hear Voices" (compilation)
James Yorkston
Opensource.code (compilation)

Just In:



INCREDIBLE STRING BAND "Incredible String Band" (Sepia Tone) CD $12.99
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"Liquid Acrobat as Regards the Air" (Sepia Tone) CD$12.99

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A must have for anyone who owns/appreciates other ISB records,
this first album, born of Clive Palmer's Incredible Folk Club (then
just the duo of he and Williamson), sets the stage for the whimsy
and mystic music to come. An album that could be a historical
primer of both English and American folk, the three musicians
craft gorgeous songs using not just folk but blues, traditional
balladry, nursery rhymes, minstrel riddles songs and middle
eastern elements. There are indeed incredible string performances
on this recording. The basis being fiddle and banjo jigs from the
hills, but don't be fooled by that simple description. The beauty of
ISB is the elaborate technical wizardry behind what are ostensibly
childlike fairy songs. Listen closely and be transformed. (Also available,
"Liquid Acrobat as Regards the Air," ISB's first release on Island
Records. Here, the band is a quartet with the appearance of Malcom
Le Maistre and Licorice McKechnie, a holdover from their previous
album "U." This is considered by many to be the last record of their
golden era.) [NL]
"Incredible String Band"
"Liquid Acrobat as Regards the Air"

PEANUT BUTTER WOLF "Jukebox 45's" (Stones Throw) CD $14.99
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The fine folks from the Stones Throw camp have blessed us with
another stellar compilation of top o' tha line funk, soul and hip hop.
This particular collection compiles all of the 7"s Stone Throw has
been putting out over the past few years. Highlights include the
Yesterdays New Quintet cover of the Stevie Wonder song "I am
Singing," which was only available on a super limited release and
long out of print. Also included is the soothing breakbeat suite by
A-trak and exclusive Quasimoto remixes and instrumentals by
resident genius Madlib. If you've been a fan of the previous Stones
Throw releases, this one will not disappoint you. IF you are a fan of
BBE, Soul Jazz, and Strut releases, add Stones Throw to your list
of labels to trust. IT's almost a guarantee that it'll be good. [DH]

NIGHTMARES ON WAX "Mind Elevation" (Warp)
LTD CD/CD/LP $19.99/$16.99/$20.99

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Four albums in twelve years, you can't really call George Evelyn
prolific; but for his newest Nightmares on Wax album the founding
member has changed things up. Noticeably absent is "Night's
Interlude," practically the N.O.W. theme song which kicked off
his previous three albums in one form or another. For "Mind
Elevation," dub textures frequently take the forefront in spite of
Evelyn's reported cutback on dope smoking. The BPM's pick up
as the album plays on, and by track four, "Date with Destiny," an
infectious soul arrangement accompanies female singer Chyna B's
breezy feel-good vocals. It's certainly a head-scratcher, but you'll be
humming it long after your first listen. For this record, Evelyn enlisted
live musicians to mix in with his sample and sequence building, and
throughout there are traces of disco string accompaniment and
Kraftwerkian melodies scattered alongside hip hop, reggae and
blunt-funk beats. "70s 80s" features LSK's Lee Kenny toasting over
ragga style production while "Know My Name" is soulful and bouncy
with Chyna B returning to sing a multi-layered vocal melody that could
easily spell a crossover hit for Evelyn in the R&B charts. Throughout,
"Mind Elevation" genre bends and some might even consider the record
bipolar. So while there's still plenty of downtempo bliss to help you come
off your late night, don't get too comfortable in that couch; the evening's
not quite through. (Limited Edition CD includes bonus retrospective
disc.) [GH]
LTD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106180952&refer_url=email
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106100952&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106100951&refer_url=email

SONNY AND LINDA SHARROCK "Paradise" (Water) CD $14.99
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"Paradise" is where Sonny and Linda Sharrock get funky. Where
electric piano, moog and mellotron almost overpower Sonny's
signature freak-out electric guitar. Almost: the not-for-everyone
atonal energy that emanates from Sharrock's axe breaks free from
the den of disco funk groundwork on "Apollo." It screams and
squawks like a parrot on acid on "Miss Doris," and creates its
own circles to swoop in and out of on "1953 Blue Boogie Children."
And Linda, with her otherworldly vocals, flies along with the orinthian
theme. The red feathers that form a whispy plume in her hair (yet
another amazing photo of her on the cover  - see "Black Woman")
clue in to what is to come. Her vocals (think Yoko Ono with soul)
play with textures, volumes, and altitudes, creating an even better
accompaniment than anything found on "Black Woman." No joke.
"Gary's Step" showcases her chords the best, as her voice seems
to create a gospel like reverence amongst the instruments. In that
respect, this is Linda's record. The instrumentation on Black
Woman may be Sonny's shining light, but on Paradise, the fire music
comes through in her voice. Intense and beautiful. [LG]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=64631571042&refer_url=email

TARWATER "Dwellers on the Threshold" (Mute/Kitty Yo)
CD/LP $15.99/$15.99

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While I'm sure the fellows in Tarwater probably intended any
number of deep, philosophical meanings in choosing the title
for their new record (these boys are intellectuals after all -- they
borrow an entire song worth of lyrics from early-twentieth
century poet Hart Crane), what you need to know is that this
German duo, much like their colleagues in the Notwist,
straddle the musical line between electronic and organic. The
cover of the record, which depicts two pixilated human figures
intertwined in a mess of chaotic wavy lines, is an adequate, if
simplified analogy of what the album offers. Cold synth bleeps,
keyboards, and drum machines are engulfed in a wash of lush
acoustic guitar strings, some percussion by Fela Kuti alumnus
Nicholas Addo-Netty, and the deadpan-but-beautiful vocals of
Ronald Lippok (also a member of To Rococo Rot). Experimental
but not at all inaccessible, this record has elements that should
appeal to fans of many different genres of music, including but
not limited to krautrock, post-rock, and electronica. The chorus
of "Tesla" finds Lippok chanting, "it's not easy being a god," and
while I'm not sure that these guys should be considered deities
just yet, this is an awfully pleasant listen. Extremely satisfying.
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=72459691882&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=72459691881&refer_url=email

POLWECHSEL/FENNESZ "Wrapped Islands" (Erstwhile)
CD $14.99

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Avatars of 'microsound,' which expands like cracks inside a
crystal, Polwechsel have been going about this sort of risky
business for almost a decade. This is their first meeting with
post-guitar god Fennesz. Double bass and acoustic guitars
are torqued and framed within complementary laptop textures,
not to mention cello and sax. The idea is to selectively magnify
the minimal albeit crucial occurrences over several listens.
That's the only way really to fully engage it. [DHo]

SUGAR MINOTT "Wicked Ago Feel It" (Wackie's) CD$13.99
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Thank God that Labor Day marking the summers unofficial finish
hasn't meant the end of these excellent reissues. Basic Channel's
Wackie's re-releases have been the one thing keeping these past
couple of sweltering months cool and almost sweat-free. The latest
(and first time on CD), Sugar Minott's "Wicked Ago Feel It," is
another classic recorded at the Wackie's Studio in the Bronx with
the notable production team of Lloyd "Bullwackies" Barnes, Douglas
Levy and Junior Delahaye applying the shine. By 1984, when
"Wicked Ago Feel It" was originally released, Lincoln Minott
(a/k/a Sugar Minott) was already a significant name in Jamaican
music having released a pair of LPs that many consider to be the
first contemporary dancehall records, running the respected Black
Roots label, and recording a string of hits that helped push Studio
One back in the forefront. For a good percentage of his early-80s work,
Minott crossed over into the lovers rock territory, and here this style is
most prevalent. True to the raw Wackie's signature sound (and
accompanied by the main members of Itopia along with piano maestro
Jackie Mittoo), the bass is deep with an occasional synth providing
playful counter-melodies, a light touch of echo and crisp drums laying a
heady but soulful foundation. The backing voices offer sensuous
harmonies as Minott sings love songs laced with positive messages of
Rastafarian hope and equality and some political undertones. The title
track feels like an old spiritual put through a wonderful wash of dub, while
"Good Thing Going," a Michael Jackson cover which had previously
landed Minott a UK hit, is re-worked again Wackie's-style. (This record
also includes the full-vocal versions of Minott's songs featured on the
dub album "African Roots Act 3.") "Wicked Ago Feel It" is another
must-have reissue to come out of these amazing NY sessions. For
those who haven't yet discovered this great era of roots and lovers
rock, here is a great place to start! [GH]

FELIX DA HOUSECAT "Madame Hollywood Silver/Remixes" (Emperor Norton) CD $6.99
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Newly revived electro sensation, Felix da Housecat keeps the
dream alive with remixes of "Madame Hollywood", "Silver
Screen..." and "What Does it Feel Like?" done by a few of his
pals. While some simply offer "their" version of the song,
others (Adult, Ursula 1000, and Jacques Lu Cont) take the
tracks to other levels. Eight (!) remixes in all that range from
poppy electro birthday party jams (Ladytron), to deep party
house (R.Myerz/J.Herren Band), to cold electro futurism (Adult),
to magnum synthwave opus (Jacques Lu Cont). Ursula 1000
adds Prince-like hand claps and Miss Kittin lyrics cut up into
speak-and-spell style syllables. Nice! A track for everyone in
the family. One size fits all.  [SM]

[V.A.] "I Hear Voices" (Record Makers) CD $13.99
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An insistence on chroma key (bluescreen) shots with
shoestring special effects, ending up more like the vintage
Star Wars "bar scene" than Phantom Menace-Clone-Alien...
uh, tronic... electro, thankfully. Mucho intent on beguiling
the listener, yet delicately. Rawk guitarres arrive. Delicately.
Vocals: Frenchly accented. Jack Lahana sounds (this time)
like Ian Svenonius tackling "Somebody's Watching Me," the
remix...  Anyone know the Meco records? (Disco "Close
Encounters," etc.) Like those. And/or the memory: feeling
futuristic at the Salvation Army. Mr. Learn gets 'avant' among
the surfeit of Luc Skywalkers. I'd like to take a copy over to a
new bar in my neighborhood called Waikiki Wally's. And listen
particularly to the nice closing suite of ballades. [DHo]

JAMES YORKSTON "Moving Up Country" (Domino) CD $14.99
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The first record from this young Scottish singer-songwriter and
his band, "Moving Up Country," features gorgeous production by
former Cocteau Twin Simon Raymonde and guest vocals from
Lone Pigeon (ex-Beta Band). This subtle, soothing album is
chock full of mandolins, violins, accordions, steel guitars,
harmonicas, and organs. If you enjoy Badly Drawn Boy,
Lambchop, or the rootsy Americana on Gorky's Zygotic Mynci's
"The Blue Trees," or if you've worn out your copy of "Pink
Moon," you should definitely check this out. He may not be the
next Nick Drake, but James Yorkston is definitely someone to
look out for. An astonishing debut. [RH]

[V.A] "Opensource.code" (Source) CD/LP $14.99/$8.99
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Once in a while a compilation arrives which seems as though a
preliminary meeting was held where the label head announced,
"O.K. guys, no messing around, just give me your favorite (deep
ass) track. Make it good. No old tricks... surprise us!!!" That's
exactly what "Opensource.code" seems like. Every track seems
like a personal fave from every artist involved. The underlying theme
seems to be fresh, deep, simple, intimate, atypical and grooving.
Fresh new sounding techno with deep muted bass kicks that have
none of the nerdy, antisocial, academic quality of all the imitators.
Veteran pros like Brinkmann, Jan Jelinek, Monolake and R. Lippok
(To Rococo Rot) offer tracks that seem culled from some high-security
archive meant for storage in a time capsule marked "timeless minimal
techno". Minimal arrangements, dub without cliche', undeniable
DANCE grooves, and expertly picked and arranged sounds. Other
highlights include tracks from Akufen, S .E. Berlin, B Ton, Sutekh
and Move D. Highly recommended. [SM]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=71875025712&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=71875025716&refer_url=email


LADYTRON "Light and Magic" (Emperor Norton) CD $14.99
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Having paved the way for the electro revolution, these Liverpool
fashion plates are still the best. Their chic new album, "Light
and Magic" is full of breathy robot pop taking cues from Kluster,
Kraftwerk, Human League and early '80s new wave, but with jet
setting flair that's undeniably Ladytron. Too good to be retro.
(Full review next week.)

DJ/RUPTURE "Minesweeper Suite" (Tigerbeat6) CD $13.99
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DJ/Rupture's latest, "Minesweeper Suite," features an amazing
deconstruction-then-reconstruction of artists including Cex,
Foxy Brown, Donna Summer, Kid 606 and Shinehead to name
a few. Using three decks, you never know where he's headed
as he tears down genre walls. An incredible mix.  (Full review
next week.)

This week's contributors: Lisa Garrett [LG], Gerald Hammill
[GH], Duane Harriott [DH], Rob Hatch-Miller [RH], Dan
Hougland [DHo], Nicole Lang [NL] and Scott Mou [SM].

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