Other Music New Release Update
August 27, 2003

In This Week's Update:

Prefuse 73
Matt Suggs
Paul St. Hilaire
The Darkness
Sound of Young New York (Various Artists)
GD Luxxe
Roots Underground (Wackies Compilation)
Guided By Voices (Reissue)
Zig Zag - 20 Junk Shop Soft Rock Singles
DJ Broken Window

Just In:

U.N.K.L.E. (CD Singles)
Radiohead (CD Singles)


PREFUSE 73 "Extinguished Outtakes" (Warp) CD/LP $10.99/$10.99
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The prolific Scott Herren, a/k/a Prefuse 73, bookends the summer of '03
with the release of a whole album of new material, sort of. Formed from
outtakes, alternate versions, and forgotten beats, "Extinguished Outtakes"
is in his own words, "better than the official album." I agree.
Twenty-three pieces are cut and sliced into 37 minutes of laptop funk and
MPC sampled madness -- the longest being 6 minutes, the shortest 16
seconds, most fall between the 1 to 2 minute mark. Songs are sequenced and
positioned up against each other with little or no space between and the
sound and flow are consistent with the "One Word Extinguisher" long player.
Feeling like a live DJ, Herren cuts between beats, mini-songs, and voices
to create a dizzy yet head-nodding groove based journey. If you have any of
the previous Prefuse releases this one is just as good and noteworthy, even
if it is only his throw-a-ways. [DG]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106191642&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106191641&refer_url=email

MATT SUGGS "Amigo Row" (Merge) CD $13.99
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In 2000, Merge records released Matt Suggs' first solo LP "Golden Days
Before They End." I told anybody who'd listen that is was the year's most
criminally underrated record. 2003 finds Merge blessing us with a fantastic
sophomore effort by the man, and hopefully this time around he'll get the
audience he richly deserves. "Amigo Row" finds Suggs stretching out and
expanding his songwriting ability to brilliant effect. His piano playing is
more to the forefront on this album, bringing to mind a less flamboyant
Rufus Wainwright. There's a communal sense to many of the arrangements that
bring to mind the classic work of the Band. And while there is many the
disparate influence, from soul to dusty country-folk ballads, there is also
the sense that Suggs, like Stephin Merritt or the aforementioned
Wainwright, knows how to intimately shape these elements to his own vision
and lyrical ingenue. An amazing and unheralded pop songwriter who truly
deserves to be much more widely known. [MK]

PAUL ST. HILAIRE "Unspecified" (False Tuned) CD $16.99
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An OM favorite and possibly the best collections of vocal digital-dub in
the last few years has come from the excellent collaboration between
producers Rhythm & Sound and vocalist Tikiman. Together they bridged the
gap between minimal techno ala' Basic Channel/Chain Reaction and modern
reggae. Years later, Tikiman drops his alias and resurfaces as Paul St.
Hilaire. His solo debut "Unspecified," on his False Tuned label, is a tasty
selection of modern digital reggae and dubby, bubbly lovers rock and soul.
Having learn a few things from R&S, St. Hilaire creates less of dark techno
inspired set, yet maintains the bass thump and digital sound while letting
his upbeat and joyful personality come shining through. Tracks were created
using Native Instruments software in combination with live organ, sax, and
piano. His sweet vocals are slightly reminiscent of Horace Andy, half
singing/half toasting, moving from falsetto to lower tones effortlessly, a
mix of Mad Professor style lovers rock and more soulful Pole flavored
rhythms. Fans of Stereotyp (he's featured on their debut as well),
Greensleeves, Wackies, Dub Syndicate, Groove Corporation, or just good new
digital reggae (not dancehall) should check this out. My only one, well two
complaints are that the songs are too short and that it should have been
released at the beginning of the summer rather than the end. This is
perfect for any activity involving warm weather, but should work just as
well for some cool, smoke filled nights indoors. Recommended! [DG]

THE DARKNESS "Permission to Land" (Atlantic UK) CD $25.99
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Sans the pyrotechnic chops of a Russell Mael or a (hang on) Freddie
Mercury, the reification of falsetto vox would be about the least tenable
of propositions within rock. Particularly inside the post-Seattle
earnestness kick now being experienced. Darkness' music is assiduously
non-precious, non-mopey, and ultimately (gasp) not that romantic. The
singer Justin's admission into such hallowed ranks as represented by those
I initially mentioned is already a done deal in some circles, at least in
the ones who don't have too many copies of No Depression lying around. Or
the Wire. This band so effectively hearkens back to those feverish
seventies clarion calls so as to call out hair metal not strictly for its
queasy novelty but for its simple lack of great songs. A forceful
realignment pact that exhibits further maddening audacity by radiating an
unabashedness which borders on the flippant. It's nice to know you've got a
good idea when you do have it, even as many of the putatively
"serious-minded" won't want to help these guys out on their quest.
Everything about the situation the Darkness would appear to posit is a good
thing right now... BELIEVE ME. I love this record. [DHo]
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REQ "Car Paint Scheme" (Warp) CD $15.99
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Producer Req has been a mainstay of the UK hip-hop scene for awhile now,
having released albums for Warp as well as his own Skint imprint. The
tracks on his latest, "Car Paint Scheme," were assembled from three years
of recordings and selected by Skint label head Damian Harris. Req is
instrumental hip-hop at its most raw, lo-fi, dirty, sparse and funky. His
tracks sound like a garage hip-hop jam; he blurs the line between
programmed and live by combining elements of both, while keeping the loose
groove of a live scene. Old school in spirit and an obvious fan of '80s
hip-hop/electro greats like Mantronix, BDP, Bambaataa, check his drum sounds
and scratching technique (circa '86), but he's also still influenced by the
rhythms of today -- "that bounce." With moody, dark atmospheric loops,
melodies flow throughout the mix keeping things engaging, albeit slow and
spare. Like a raw Autechre, instrumental Beans, or stripped down Push
Button Objects, but not IDM, more like Mo' Wax in their prime (think Major
Force, Shadow, Prunes, DJ Krush) or Warp in their mid-period (Black Dog,
Nightmares on Wax). [DG]

[V.A.] "The Sound of Young New York" (Plant) CD $15.99
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The boys from Plant give us a new CD installment of Rotten Apple
disco-punk. This CD is a bit more disco than punk in sound, but the mix is
blended nicely, and contains a lot of songs by new artists you may not know
(the Glass, Mr. Negative), as well as a few difficult-to-find gems, like
the Rapture remix of French house band Rinocerose, and the superb remake of
"If I Gave You a Party" by the German funk outfit Syrup. If you're a
follower of this particular NYC sound, than this is a great piece to own
because most of these songs have never made it onto CD until now.
Recommended. [DH]

SKULLFLOWER "Exquisite Fucking Boredom" (Tumult) CD $13.99
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Had Terry Riley decided to compose a piece based around a Black Sabbath
riff instead of a line from Harvey Averne's "You're No Good," the result
might have sounded something like "Celestial Highway," the four-part song
cycle that makes up the majority of Skullflower's latest release.
"Exquisite Fucking Boredom," their first album in nearly a decade, is aptly
titled. Some listeners will inevitably get a little sick of the super heavy
and ever-so-slightly-permutating 4-bar guitar lick that is played over and
over again for about the first forty minutes of the record. But others will
be completely enraptured by its massive simplicity and by the washes of
feedback and noise that are layered behind it. The middle part of the album
is noisy, shimmering, and beautiful like Skullflower leader Matthew Bower's
latest collaboration with Richard Youngs on VHF (for a few minutes, it
almost sounds like Fennesz), then the riffing comes back to drive the whole
thing home. This is drone rock at its absolute finest. "Boredom" will put
you in a trance that you will never want to break out of. If you're a fan
of Kyuss, Dead Meadow, Pharaoh Overlord, Sunn O))), Earth, and basically
any stoner rock or heavy psych at all, you will most likely go nuts for
this. Skullflower sounds so good that I can't even believe it. So heavy, so
recommended. [RH]

GD LUXXE "The 21st Door" (Interdimensional Transmissions) CD $14.99
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Before mash-ups, before electroclash crashed, Gerhard Potuznik was making
vocal cold wave that touched on various cornerstone darkwave artists in a
way that didn't sound contrived. Ian meets Bernard-style vocals over Visage
meets Nine Inch Nails production. Do I need to qualify that? Well, the
vocals have both the tone-deaf drone of Ian Curtis (with a recurring
affinity for Joy Division's "Heart and Soul"), and the melodic sense of
Bernard Sumner. The backing tracks have the synth and sharp beats of Visage
(first two albums), but also the dark funk/riffage of Nine Inch Nails (no
vocal similarities, thankfully.) [SM]

SENKING ".Tap" (Raster Noton) CD $14.99
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While at first the overly produced sound of ".Tap" might seem more like
something you would expect from the ~scape label with its subdued yet funky
basslines and heavy reverb, the extremely formalist manner in which Senking
configures his synthetic sounds fit right in with the rigorously refined
style that Raster Noton has become so well known for. Hailing from Cologne
Jens Massel, a/k/a Senking (also Kandis and Fumble), achieves a sense of
playfulness within these tightly constructed rhythms that seems to come so
naturally to many of the electronic artists currently residing in that
city. But it is his acute sense of detail that sets him apart. Each sound
is carefully sculpted, each event precisely placed within the seemingly
loose framework of atmospheric yet clinical beats. While there is some
sense of progression and causality on the seven tracks contained on ".Tap,"
Senking barely ever lets his sound particles develop into fully formed
songs preferring to only leave traces of rhythm and melody letting the
listener fill in the gaps for themselves. Perfect for a quiet afternoon. [KH]

ROOTS UNDERGROUND "Tribesman Assault" (Wackies) CD $16.99
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Full steam ahead. "Tribesman Assault" opens with "High Times," a unique
track for its heavy funk drum breaks (not something normally associated
with roots music from this time period) while still being dubwise. The
slow, heavy, hallow rhythms test how much love you can expect from your
bass bins while accents of intricately woven guitar flourishes push ahead
or trail behind a beat, reminding me of Ernest Ranglin's work. And of
course there are plenty of freaky effects and vacuums of sound that we have
come of expect from a Wackies production. The final track is the only vocal
cut featuring the Love Joys and KC White with a cover of "Open the Gates."
Another exceptional slice of trippy dub music. [GA]

GUIDED BY VOICES ""Get Out of My Stations" (Siltbreeze) CD $10.99
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A week after releasing their new LP "Earthquake Glue," Guided By Voices
resurfaces again with a long out of print EP from their golden era.
"Get Out of My Stations" was first put out in 1993 as a seven song 7"
on Siltbreeze, right between "Propeller" and their breakthrough "Bee
Thousand," so you can imagine the lo-fi goodness. (All the tracks are
lovingly fucked with by Mike "Rep.") "Melted Pat" shows off all the GbV
strengths at once with classic guitar interplay between Tobin Sprout, Mitch
Mitchell and Jim Pollard, Robert Pollard's obtuse lyrical rhymes and his
super hooks, and the song doesn't come close to reaching the two minute
mark. This CD edition also includes four bonus live tracks, recorded between
1992 and 1994 including a supercharged version of "Motor Away." [GH]

[V.A.] "Zig Zag - 20 Junkshop Soft Rock Singles" (RPM) CD $17.99
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It's a good year to be RPM Records. Their stupendous "Velvet Tinmine"
compilation started the summer off with a resounding bang, and their latest
release is every bit as outstanding. A continuation of the "Lipsmakin'
70's" series that includes "Tinmine" and "Magpie," "Zig Zag" collects 20
junkshop soft rock singles, some of which are among the most perfect pop
songs I've ever laid ears on. It's full of great voices, incredible string
arrangements, unforgettable melodies, and the finest in British and
American singer-songwriter balladry that hardly anyone ever got a chance to
hear. It's impossible not to sing along when the Starstedt Brothers sing
"it's good to be back home among the laundromats and the Chinese
restaurants." If you walk around with this CD playing on your headphones,
you'll feel like you're living in a Hal Ashby movie. This is a totally
essential compilation, another sure-fire year 2003 top ten favorite for me,
and maybe for you too. [RH]

DJ BROKEN WINDOW "Parallel Universe #2" (Violent Turd) CD $10.99
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A zany collection of mash-ups designed to make you go "huh??". As a bonus,
the liner notes explain exactly how to perform the mixes at home on your
own Technics 1200's complete with sleeve art, pitch control percentages,
where to start the mix etc. Major Figgas with Killing Joke, Underground
Resistance with Wendy Carlos' Beethoven's 9th. "Owner of a Lonely
Superbitch" (JT Money/Yes mash up) is one of the most successful --
bitch/ho lyrics over Yes' white radio funk. "League or Die" is seamless,
you wouldn't know that it was Naughty by Nature and SIMPLE MINDS. Front 242
and Jersey Avenue is workin'. Roscoe P. Coltrane over Kit Clayton is a bit
dodgy, but great for laughs. Same goes for Jarboe and M. Gira singing over
Jam City and Warp label tracks respectively. Perfect for your next bong
session (dude), mix tape, or your college radio show... [SM]


U.N.K.L.E. "Eye For an Eye" (Mo' Wax) CD-1/CD-2  $9.99/$9.99
Two CD singles featuring "Eye For an Eye" from U.N.K.L.E.'s upcoming album,
"Never Never Land." CD-1 features 3 different re-mixes of the song, while
CD-2 is enhanced with a video, plus alternate versions.
CD-1 //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60249808498&refer_url=email
CD-2 //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60249808497&refer_url=email

RADIOHEAD "Go to Sleep" (EMI) CD-1/CD-2  $9.99/$9.99
Both CD singles for "Go to Sleep," taken from their recent album "Hail To
the Thief" also feature new exclusive tracks.
CD-1 //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=724435529522&refer_url=email
CD-2 //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=72435529532&refer_url=email

This week's contributors: Geoff Albores [GA], Daniel Givens [DG], Gerald
Hammill [GH], Duane Harriott [DH], Rob Hatch-Miller [RH], Kean Holtkamp
[KH], Dan Hougland [DHo], Michael Klausman [MK], and Scott Mou [SM].


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