Other Music New Release Update
March 12, 2003

In This Week's Update:

Savas Pascalidis
The Beau Brummels (Reissue)
JR Ewing
No Neck Blues Band
Mira Calix
Peanut Butter Wolf (Various Artist Mix)
"We are Getting Bad" (Various Artists)


The Sound (Reissue)

Just In:




BEANS "Tomorrow Right Now" (Warp) CD/LP $15.99/$17.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/mutescre.rm
As a member of the now defunct hip-hop powerhouse Antipop
Consortium, Beans never failed to first disorient, then stun and kill all
listeners with relentless and brilliant flurries of words and ideas. And
although that group's mix of mesmerizing personalities is a near-
tragic loss, the talent that is the Bald Bean has refused to let up
before dropping his solo debut on the world. As with the final Antipop
record, this one is on the eclectic electronica label Warp, and that
goes a long way in explaining the left of hip-hop center from which
Beans launches his attack. Unlike the forays into rock, dub, etc. on
recent albums by Common, Mos Def or the Roots, Beans does not
wear his inspiration on his sleeve; his tastes are varied, but all his
influences are fully digested, and spit out as pure Beans. Crafted from
vintage hip-hop, electro, skewed electronica and blasts of
psychedelia, the new album fully succeeds on its own terms. With
dense, complex rhymes that can be both intensely personal and
broadly metaphysical (and never mundane or expected), Beans'
words are the heart and soul of the record. But his production (the
first half of the album enlists the help of Antipop collaborator Earl
Blaze, the second half recorded with "Chicky"), with tight, angular
rhythms, twisted synth stabs, and plenty of space to breathe, is
pure exhilaration. Beans never takes the easy route, with few
shout-out choruses and no co-opted riffs to make his job easy, but
his thoughtful production and sometimes elusive pop aesthetic make
the bounce all the more satisfying when it hits you, and it will hit you
hard. This is the album I hoped Beans could make, and from his
intense and serious visage on the front cover to his tiny red mohawk
waving at you from the back, the album is full of originality and spirit
that are hard to contain. [JM]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106101032&refer_url=email  
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106101031&refer_url=email

SAVAS PASCALIDIS "Galactic Gigolo" (Gigolo) CD $15.99
Savas Pascalidis' new album brings new meaning to the term
"Disco Nouveau". What seems like "electroclash" to the untrained
ear is actually well informed, aggressive neo-disco that makes all the
overnight, part-time electro acts seem that much more passe'. Dead
mean and dirty grooves coupled with overblown synth arrangements
that are too much and just right at the same time. Definite reworking
of Belgian Industrial techno but injected with personality and live
synth playing that is just plain fun, infectious and uncommonly
engaging. I can't think of the last time I heard synth trumpet stabs
and sizzling violin(!) put to such good use. The fun retro-yet-full-of-
personality quality of Justus Kohncke or Egoexpress, but dirtier and
disco-ier too. Features a reworked Visage cover ("Tar"), a melodic
homage to T. Dolby ("She blinded me with Sciene"- misspelled on
purpose) and those aren't even close to the best tracks. My
decadent party record of the year, so far. Recommended. [SM]

BEAU BRUMMELS "Bradley's Barn" (Collector's Choice) CD $13.99
The Beau Brummels' "Bradley's Barn" album was one of the first
country rock albums recorded, not long after the Byrds and Dylan's
excursions, and it remains one of the finest to this date. They'd been
a fairly successful pop act with folk rock tendencies, and they'd
managed to score a couple of hits in the mid-'60s. In '67 they
recorded an artistically ambitious record called "Triangle" that
seemed to owe a great deal to British ideas popular at the time, but
with a very subtle country undercurrent apparent on a couple of
tracks. The following year found them exploring that undercurrent
more explicitly, by convening in Nashville for what was to be their
final album. The record was recorded at Owen Bradley's famous
studio (hence the name of the album), and they employed many of
Nashville's top-notch session men to fill out the arrangements. What
resulted turned out to be their greatest record, brilliantly laid back,
yet with a forward moving tension that keeps things from simply
being plodding. Truly one of the best experiments of the '60s that
wasn't psychedelic in nature, "Bradley's Barn" demands repeated
listening. Highest Recommendation. [MK]

JR EWING "Ride Paranoia" (GSL) CD $12.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/whenyour.rm
From the very first note of their GSL debut, JR Ewing pummel you
over the head with their full on rock assault. Guitars squeal, drums
pound, vocals scream and so many tempos change that it will truly
make your head spin. "Ride Paranoia" takes you back to an era
where rock is king, where the legendary Gravity Records is the
center of the universe, and bands like Antioch Arrow, Heroin,
Clikatat Ikatowi, Universal Order of Armageddon, and Drive Like Jehu
are gods. Well, to tell you the truth JR Ewing are better than most of
these bands (except for Drive Like Jehu, of course), and this album is
an all-out rock classic. I must say that I have played this album
every day for the past two weeks and it just gets better and better.
JR Ewing have re-instilled my faith in rock music, and if someone up
there in heaven is listening, please bring JR Ewing to NYC because I
would love to see what this band can unleash live on stage. [JS]

NO-NECK BLUES BAND "Intonomancy" (Sound At One) CD $13.99
Further proof that NNCK are serious about the incandescence of
their mission comes with their second digitally recorded LP. The
collective builds upon ethnic recordings and American Primitive while
deconstructing rigid traditions. Beholden to no particular movement,
this music could be anything. The effect of going digital shines a
polite kleig light onto otherwise murky and chaotic proceedings,
revealing the true feeling and power of the ensemble's approach. This
is not improv but it takes a while to hear a "song" as mapped out as
it probably is. Electric and acoustic (and electro-acoustic) devices
are utilized and abandoned, with tribalistic group drumming motifs
and spindly female vocals interspersed most regularly. A national
treasure, this band. [DHo]

MIRA CALIX "Skimskitta" (Warp) CD $16.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/youopena.rm
I'd like to think that this album is the soundtrack to a place called
Skimskitta, a strange world of chrome jungles, mechanical fauna,
mysterious rituals, and deeply textured landscapes. All of these
elements combined form a uniquely creative soundworld that is
electronic and earthen. Beats often follow odd patterns that are
somewhat tribal and off-kilter. Interludes are beautiful piano motifs,
droning synth melodies, and ambient sketches that segue the longer
songs beautifully while giving the album more depth. Mira Calix
seems to prefer whispering shyly from behind a tree than actually
sing. Her vocals are like the angel breaths heard on her previous
album "One on One", but here they are a little more hidden. It might
take a few listens to settle in and enjoy the playful, yet moody
experimentation permeating throughout, but it's worth it. In a
nutshell, this is a good album that could be very rewarding for those
who spend some time with it. [DD]

PEANUT BUTTER WOLF "Badmeaninggood, Volume 3" (Ultimate Dilemma) CD $16.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/newadven.rm
I was listening to a Q & A with Josh Davis (DJ Shadow) on the radio
recently and he was talking about his deep affection for new wave
and freestyle bands like Duran Duran, Nuance and Human League.
"If you were a kid who grew up in the '80s, you listened to the radio
all day waiting for the Run DMC song to come on, so this is what
you heard." And some of that stuff effected my hip hop
consciousness as well. Peanut Butter Wolf's excellent mix CD is a
prime example of this "consciousness". Grandmaster Flash, Human
League, Jungle Brothers and Joe Jackson seamlessly blend together
to create a beautiful aural history of a b-boy. Don't let the
aforementioned artists confuse you into thinking this is some sort of
mash-clash thing -- this is a hip hop mix through and through. If you
but only one mix CD all year, I hope this is the one, and if you buy a
lot of them, please pick this one up, 'cuz it swings harder than a Roy
Jones right hook! [DH]

[V.A.] "We Are Getting Bad" (Motion) CD $16.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/heyyou.rm
Lately I feel like I have heard some questionable reggae reissues.
With the mid to late-'90s reggae revival still simmering at a medium
boil, labels (I won't name names but you know who you are) are
rushing to get the "essential -unreleased until now - from the vaults,
etc., etc." material out. So with such a glut of repackaged/reissued/
re-released/refashioned compilations out, it is refreshing to hear
some new (to most of us anyway) and little known artists do their
thing. From the rumbling rhythms and vocal harmonizing of the
opening track by the Untouchables to the echo drenched rasta dub
by the Chantells (who many of you will remember from the excellent
"Chantells and Friends" compilation that Blood and Fire put out a few
years ago), this is very high quality roots reggae and dub in a rockers
fashion. Featuring some of JA finest players and producers including
Joe Gibbs, Sly & Robbie, Dean Fraser, Ansel Collins, and many
others. This is one of the better compilations I've heard in awhile.
Strongly recommended. [GA]

JELLO "Lungbone EP" (Peacefrog) CD $10.99
Following last year's wonderful "Voile" album, Darrell Fitton (a.k.a.
Jello, Bola, and also a collaborator with Autechre in Gescom) returns
with an EP of new songs and a few remixes of tracks taken from his
acclaimed Jello LP. Opening with a re-working of "Lungbone," guest
vocalist Dennis Bourne builds upon the trip hop production with
rhythmic wordflow that is spooky and bionic. One of Fitton's
strengths, however, is night and day dynamics and the verse's
metallic hip hop beats break off into a hushed soul chorus
accompanied by quiet gurgles and glitches. Tracks like
"Damask" and the Reconix Mix of "Conokut" show off Fitton's
soundcraft as he mixes analog sounds like sweeping strings and
electric piano against funky IDM breaks, while the Ronnie Radar
produced "Vibe A Rolla" (Scump Mix) ventures into dance territory
with tight minimal tech beats running beneath lush synthesizer
washes. For over 30 minutes, the "Lungbone EP" moves across
many electronic styles and textures but it is far from sterile; the
machine does indeed have a soul. From BPMs to beautiful
ambience, the atmosphere is always warm, restrained and beautiful.


THE SOUND "Jeopardy" (Renascent) CD $21.99   
Remember when you were in high school and your older friends
turned you on to the Gang of Four, Wire, The Only Ones, Pere Ubu,
and all that other awesome post-punk from the late-70s when you'd
just been listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers or something? Well,
why the shit didn't they mention The Sound?!? This record will
certainly fulfill your post-punk jones. The Sound's 1980 debut,
"Jeopardy" was a stunning album of propulsive rhythms, jagged
guitars, catchy as hell hooks, and frighteningly emotional. It just
doesn't quit. If you've been into all that Rapture and Radio 4
business, you gotta get it. As good as it gets! [MK]


CALIFONE "Quicksand/Cradlesnakes" (Thrill Jockey) CD $13.99
(Full review in next week's update.)

This week's contributors: Geoff Albores [GA], Daniel Derogatis [DD],
Gerald Hammill [GH], Duane Harriott [DH], Dan Hougland [DHo],
Michael Klausman [MK], Josh Madell [JM], Scott Mou [SM], and
Jeremy Sponder [JS].  


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