Other Music New Release Update
August 13, 2003

In This Week's Update:

My Bloody Valentine (Vinyl Reissues)
Kompakt Total 5 (Various Artists)
The Pastels
Villain Accelerate
Teutonik Disaster 2 (Various Artists)
Randy's Allstars
Martina Topley-Bird
Junior Senior


April March (Domestic release of "Triggers")

Just In:

New Deutsch Compilation (Various Artists)


BROADCAST "Haha Sound" (Warp) CD/LP/LTD CD  $15.99/$18.99/$18.99
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For me Broadcast exemplifies what it means to be a part of a 'band' -- that
idea of a group of people existing as a unit taking such great care
together in the crafting of an album, the outcome of which is a beautifully
collaborative vision. It is clear, the time they took so detailed, the
organization of sounds so meticulously composed, and yet the sentiment
conveyed is so delicate, an almost melt-away one like a dreamy sigh. The
songs are intimate and fragile but posses such strength as an album. After
hearing "Pendulum" I was expecting more of a dark and sharp, free-noise
experience; and there are dark bits -- percussive and shattering moments of
electronic noise -- but the record as a whole is a careful gathering of
psychedelia and electronic-pop. The mechanical lullaby "Colour Me In"
explores concepts of creating identity through another's perception. ("If
you cannot choose/which colour to use/it's never too late/ to colour me
in.") "Ominous Cloud" -- a shimmering, buzzing, light filled paean to
escaping reality and finding inner serenity -- recalls a distant time with
its use of male chorus backing vocals. Some tracks are literal toy boxes of
samples and found sounds and tell of misfit clock boxes and bells. The
instrumental tracks, bubbling and joyful, are full of childlike wonderment,
complete with both awe and tantrum. Broadcast appears to take it all in,
past present and future, and turn it into something both timeless and right
on time. This record is contemplative and romantic. Sugary and sad (oh my
heart, waits in winter, now). I have listened to "Haha Sound" every day at
least one time, usually more and I do not know how else to express how
wonderful it is. Surely my favorite of this year. ("Haha Sound" is also
available in a limited edition hardcover booklet with enhanced art by the
band's friend Julian.) [NL]
CD - //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106101062&refer_url=email
LP - //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106101061&refer_url=email
LTD CD - //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106181062&refer_url=email

MY BLOODY VALENTINE "Isn't Anything" (Plain) LP $16.99
MY BLOODY VALENTINE "Loveless" (Plain) LP $16.99

No more putting off that new cartridge for my turntable and this is the
reason why. Two of rock's most quintessential albums, My Bloody Valentine's
1988 classic "Isn't Anything" and their 1991 masterpiece "Loveless" have
finally been reissued on thick, 180 gram vinyl with original artwork and
gatefold sleeves! There is no denying the lulling, sensual intensity of
these two albums, where white noise re-shapes and envelopes melody in ways
never heard before, and to this day continues to inspire countless artists;
but none come close to reaching this grandeur. [GH]
"Isn't Anything" LP
"Loveless" LP

[V.A.] "Kompakt Total 5" (Kompakt) CD $15.99
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What can I say about Kompakt that hasn't been said already? As far as
electronic music goes, I can't think of any other label whose releases I
anticipate more. When it comes to techno, Kompakt is top. And as their
roster and discography grows (seemingly by the week!), the strength of each
release gets better and better. A key strength to this compilation (and
Kompakt comps in general) is that it flows like an album instead of an
uneven showcase, while managing to let each individual's strengths shine.
Superpitcher's "Mushroom" is the perfect summer-drive jam -- full of warm
synth pad drone accompanied by sporadic bubbles adrift a lazy breeze.
Gorgeous. Burger/Voigt's remix of newcomer Phong Sui's beautiful
"Wintermute" is, dare I say, even better than the original.
T.Raumschmiere's "Total" (perhaps an ode to the series?) brings things into
a more banging, grinding territory. Plain and simple, it's a killer. The
beloved Reinhard Voigt ups-the-ante even more by delivering a true thumping
masterpiece called "Leibe Diene Musik" (which roughly translates to "Your
Body Music"). He was born to make music like this. This part of the set
peaks with Joachim Spieth's pumping "Nie Mehr Allien." Thomas Fehlmann's
"Radeln" brings the pace down and sets the scene for the final cuts, and
it's all about lush and ethereal. The comedown is pure heaven. Jonas
Bering's "Normandie 2" is a sweeping, ambient techno gem, ending "Total 5"
on the sweetest note. Also tracks by SCSI-9, Justus Kohncke, M.Mayer, and
Mikkel Metal. Highly recommended. [DD]

THE PASTELS "The Last Great Wilderness" (Geographic/Domino) CD $9.99
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Has it really been six years since the Pastels' last left us with
"Illumination?" Actually it's not too surprising considering the group's
sporadic recording career. Their soundtrack to David Mackenzie's
debut film "The Last Great Wilderness" doesn't exactly qualify
as a full-length follow-up, but their newest work is full of charming
melancholy and lilting arrangements befitting the dark comedy-thriller.
This time Stephen "Pastel" McRobbie and Katrina Mitchell are joined by an
impressive guest roster of admirers which includes Bill Wells, Teenage
Fanclub's Gerard Love, and Tortoise's producer/drummer extraordinaire John
McEntire. Eight of the 10 tracks are in fact instrumental compositions
which are gently edged along by repetitious guitar strums, ambient washes
of keyboard and electronic loops, music box melodies, strings and often
breathy, drawn-out notes from a lone trumpet. Much of the music was loosely
improvised in the studio while watching the rough cut of the film, McEntire
working in tandem with McRobbie, and at times the production and
arrangements are reminiscent of some of the tracks on the Pastels' 1998
re-mix album, minus the heavy electronics. The inclusion of their cover of
Sly and the Family Stone's "Everybody Is a Star" (first appeared last year
on a compilation for the band's Geographic label) is distinctly the
Pastels, Mitchell's voice light and lethargic, while the album closes on a  
sugary pop note with "I Picked a Flower" and features guest vocals from
Jarvis Cocker. The Pastels are rumored to be working on a new, proper
full-length; in the meantime, "The Last Great Wilderness" is a soft,
alluring reminder of why six years is way too long. [GH]

GUTHER "I Know You Know" (Morr) CD $16.99
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Morr Music's newest hitmakers, the duo of Julia Guther and Berend Intelmann
approach songwriting much differently than their labelmates. Guther seem to
take their cue from the early-'90s pop music that appeared on labels like
Slumberland and TeenBeat. The songs are super simple, with catchy choruses,
jangly guitars, and quirky melodic electronics. Julia's vocals at times
recall the Spinanes' Rebecca Gates, or Laetitia Sadier, singing in
beautiful deep tones, and with a monotone delivery not unlike the Stereolab
chanteuse. Her lyrics seem to be spontaneous with songs about lost love,
failed relationships and various other personal issues. Ten songs in all,
and another fine album for the Morr Music label. "I Know You Know" is a
beautiful listen for these last few days of summer, and a must for fans of
the Postal Service, Stereolab, and the Spinanes. [JS]

VILLAIN ACCELERATE ""Maid of Gold" (Mush) CD $14.99
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One of the latest in a slew of new releases from Mush Records is a
collaboration between Sixtoo and Stigg of the Dump, calling themselves
Villain Accelerate. Their debut "Maid of Gold," is a strange yet accessible
record in the vein of Boom Bip, DJ Shadow, Fat Jon and early Mo' Wax.
"Live" instrumental beat science is at hand, with live bass, Rhodes,
guitar, and turntables. Beat heavy, post-rock flavored tracks bring to mind
Boards of Canada, Manitoba (live), or Tortoise. Dark moods with light
melodies atop, heavy on the beat banging, a heady psych-hop journey. For
those seeking moody instrumental hip-hop with live elements, this one's for
you.  [DG]

[V.A.] "Teutonik Disaster 2" (Gomma) CD $17.99
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Germany's Gomma record label brings us even more totally amazing
obscurities on this second volume of their "Teutonik Disaster" series. If
you're looking for some seriously strange and funky disco-influenced
post-punk jams, then stop searching because this is where you'll find them.
The two Munich DJs behind this collection dug up tracks that are every bit
as good as anything on those "New York Noise" and "Rough Trade Post-Punk"
comps that are all the rage right now. Some of the stuff is quirky but
danceable like Thomas Fehlmann's early work with Palais Schaumburg, and
some if it just plain rocks. Don't pass this up, it's too much fun to miss. [RH]

RANDY'S ALLSTARS "Vintage Dub Selection" (Jamaican) CD $14.99
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Jamaican Recording continues in their pursuit of the finest unreleased
versions from some of reggae's greatest, and this collection of dubs from
the vaults of Randy's studio (circa 1969 to 1975) is another winner.
Produced by Bunny Lee with lots of dubs featuring the sporadic voice of
Cornell Campbell, your usual suspects are at hand to supply the rhythms and
include Sly and Robbie, Tommy McCook, Vin Gordon, and Ansel Collins.
Randy's store turned studio is renown for having a certain sound that
larger studios of the time couldn't capture and the selections presented
here offer a glimpse into the magic that made the studio a favorite.
Swelling reverb and delay submerge Hammond organ or guitar under a warm
wash. Drums sound wide, solid and heavy, the bass is fat and punchy.
Rockers soul style. Recommended for lovers of the dubby. [DG]

MARTINA TOPLEY-BIRD "Quixotic" (Independiente) CD $22.99
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Martina Topley-Bird, the voice that adorned the first three Tricky albums,
finally releases her solo debut. Beginning with a multi-tracked voice and
bell intro, we get a rootsy, bluesy, rocking, and trippy mix of emotion,
mood, and character. Produced by members of Queens of the Stone Age, David
Holmes, Tricky, and herself, the first half is mostly acoustic, seeing
Martina croon, coo, and sway her way through a varied collection of
backdrops. Acoustic, slightly country-esque guitar gives her room to
breathe on "Anything". "Soul Food," a slow '60s R&B number with Fender
Rhodes, a horn section, and strings arranged by David Arnold, is
reminiscent of a frail Aretha Franklin in her Memphis era. The sweet
"Lullaby," with reversed piano, again acoustic guitar, and brushed drums,
is something of a rare piece, reminding me of a cross between Devendra
Banhart, Bjork, and Karen Dalton. The beats mainly come in the latter half;
the three Tricky produced tracks are the best he's done in years -- weird,
rough and sweet. She still possesses the beautiful honey coated, haunting
ghost of a voice that made her input in the Tricky project so memorable.
She knows her voice, range, possibilities, and motivations; she uses them
skillfully, playfully, sweetly, and just right. If the latest Tricky
release was a bit of a let down, you owe it to yourself to check out his
better half. Fans of Via Tania, Martin Gore, Bjork, Portishead, and of
course Tricky should check it out. Recommended. [DG]

JUNIOR SENIOR "D-D-Don't Stop the Beat" (Mercury) CD $13.99
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This record is the sound of a party. Sorry all you haters (and you know who
you are, OM staff not excluded). Seriously, I have discussed this
extensively with folks who dance, folks who make dance music, and folks who
simply like to party, and we have decided that anyone who flat out dislikes
this record is a hater. I mean come on, lets stroll through some titles:
"Chicks and Dicks", "Good Girl Bad Boy", "Shake Me Baby"... No wait! What
about the title itself, "D-D-Don't Stop the Beat" !! Have you seen the
video for the single? Go find it! You will start to wiggle and smile. I
promise! This record has it all: rock hooks, party lyrics, handclaps,
shouting, and general cheerfulness. The authenticity of these fellows'
excitement in the sound they are making is infectious. Sure, it's gimmicky,
some call it white kid funk, but so what? They are white, and from
Denmark!! Besides, they are borrowing less from disco or funk and more from
'60s Britpop, '70s soul and late '80s/early-'90s UK club music. I hear they
cover "Twist and Shout" and also Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" on stage and
create a frenzy. Perhaps too playful or goofy for snotty NYC types who like
it darker on the dancefloor, but if you have ever purchased any or danced
to the B-52's, Happy Mondays or classic rock, then you will most likely be
feeling Junior Senior. [NL]


APRIL MARCH "Triggers" (Tricatel/Pias) CD $14.99
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It's been four years since April March's last full-length, "Chrominance
Decoder," quite a while for a woman who has been right under the pop radar
for well over a decade. With a fascination for all things French that dates
back to her childhood, Californian singer April March (a/k/a Elinor Blake)
has made a slew of great '60s European pop and ye ye inspired records,
performed with Ronnie Spector as well as Brian Wilson, plus held a career
as a cartoon animator with credits that include the "Ren and Stimpy Show."
Her newest album is her second full-length collaboration with French
producer extraordinaire Bertrand Burgalat, (she also appears on his
"Sssound of Mmmusic" LP) and it's immediately apparent that the two have
become natural in their working relationship. Burgalat's electronic
retro-futurist production stylings are very prevalent, while Blake's vocal
performances seem more at ease. With some additional support from real life
husband (and Del Fuegos guitarist) Warren Zanes, as well as Tricatel
staples Eggstone and AS Dragon, her voice can be sweetly reminiscent of
Petula Clark, the songs here equally divided between French and English.
Blake and Burgalat should be role models for the recently chilly relations
between their two respective countries. Together the pair work masterfully,
her gentle voice is fueled by fun sometimes-funky doses of melodic
Continental pop with extravagant electronic arrangements, I hope their next
collaboration comes sooner. (Finally available domestically.)[GH]


[V.A.] "New Deutsch Compilation" (Gigolo) CD $15.99
Compiled by Thomas Bar and DJ Hell, the latest Gigolo release features the
first wave of German electro and industrial dance music from the
early-'80s. Includes classics from Grauzone, Stratis, Pyrolater, Za Za, Der
Plan, and many more. (Full review in next week's update.)

This week's contributors: Daniel DeRogatis [DD], Daniel Givens [DG], Gerald
Hammill [GH], Rob Hatch-Miller [RH], Nicole Lang [NL], and Jeremy
Sponder [JS].


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