Other Music New Release Update
November 5, 2003

In This Week's Update:

B. Fleischmann
U.S. Maple
Baby Ford
The Fall
Sun Ra (CD compilation and DVD)
Kid 606
Six Organs of Admittance
Deadbeat Vs. Stephen Beaupre
Tommy McCook (Reissue)
Secret Shine
Hymie's Basement


Ed Askew


B. FLEISCHMANN "Welcome Tourist" (Morr/Charizma) CD $19.99
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The man that started the Morr Music phenomenon returns to the label to
present us with his new double album. "Welcome Tourist" is a slight
departure from B. Fleischmann's previous works; gone are the simple
groovebox beats, but they are now replaced by lush instrumentation alongside
his own brand of bedroom electronics. A track like "Guided By Beats" starts
off with gently plucked guitar, followed by heavy Def Jux style hip hop
beats, then halfway through tremelo-ed synth washes float by. "Pass By"
begins with a delicately tapped piano melody, followed by a live bass rhythm
until the heavy downtempo beats kick in and cut-up female vocals are
dispersed throughout; then at the two-minute mark, beautiful washes of
guitar distortion permeate the song -- it is absolutely stunning. On
"Grunt," he probably comes up with his most catchy melody yet; all the while
Fennesz-style electronic static floats in and out of the song as if to not
make it sound too pretty. "Welcome Tourist" contains 11 amazing tracks on
the first disc alone while disc two is one 45-minute track that spans the
whole spectrum of what Mr. Fleischmann is trying to accomplish. The second
disc utilizes acoustic guitars, live drums, piano, strings, cut up vocals,
ambient electronics, crunchy beats... you name it, it's in there. "Welcome
Tourist" is B. Fleischmann's masterpiece and definitely one of Morr Music's
finest hours. What more can I say, but that the man has done it again!
Highly recommended. [JS]

PLAID "Spokes" (Warp) CD $15.99
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While Plaid's new LP is a definite change for Warp's number-one
party-rockers, in many ways it is not so much a new direction as an old one.
As the world of electronica continues to tread water, unsure if it should
sink or swim, one of the latest tricks is a look back to the "classic"
years, and longtime fans of the group will recognize some of these sounds as
reminiscent of the (pre-Plaid) Black Dog days. There is less of a
hip-hop/big beat groove here, and a strong classic techno/acid influence
(similar to Luke Vibert's new one, although not as overt, or as sunny). The
sounds are dark and unsettling, the beats are skittering and slippery.
Tracks build slowly, often starting as dark ambient washes and adding sounds
in careful layers. This is still dance music, but maybe not for those who
need huge backbeat to hit the floor, and it is still the Plaid you know and
love, but not in their time-tested easy-to-digest formula. [JM]

MOVIETONE "The Sand & the Stars" (Drag City) CD $13.99
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I looove Movietone... really I do. They're one of the few contemporary bands
that I feel makes timeless music consistently. Most of their music is
inspired and recorded while at seaside, and you can hear it in the way the
acoustic guitars, woodwinds and hushed vocals roll in out in unpredictable,
sonic ebbs. The dynamics rise and fall with an incredible deftness that it
makes many so-called "dynamic rock" bands sound amateurish. This, their
follow-up to the incredible "Blossom Filled Streets" from four years back,
isn't as sprawling and expansive as that album, but that's not a bad thing.
The songs are shorter and take less time to build, making them a bit more
immediate to first time listeners. The hushed vocals, beautiful melodies and
impressionist lyrics are still there, and one might be surprised to find the
edition of male vocals courtesy of co-writer Matt Jones, but the overall
effect is still as majestic as the others. If you are fan of Mark Hollis'
solo album, Velvet Underground drones, or Tom Verlaine's lyrics, will find
much to sink their teeth into here. If you are already a fan, then I
guarantee that you won't be disappointed. Oh and by the way!  We just
received copies of their long outta print debut this week and you should
that get one while, errrr, supplies last. Did I just say that? [DH]

DIVERSE "One A.M." (Chocolate Industries) CD $13.99
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FINALLY! After almost three years of guest-lacing joints, this flowmaster
drops the shit-hot anticipated record heads have been waiting for. If you
haven't heard of this Chi-town MC before, you will now. While homey Common
rode the mainstream fame-wave, this underrated cat worked diligently,
building his resume all while anticipating this debut-already-turned-classic,
"One A.M." This is the same cat that burned Mos Def on the Urban Renewal
compilation cut, "Wylin' Out" -- and if you don't recollect that number, no fear,
'cause it's featured here as a bonus track. Interweaving weighty guitar-rock
licks, smooth downtempo experimental beats, and true school "get live"
b-boy jams and presenting a stimulating mix of guest artists repping the East
to the West, "One A.M." contends for hip hop album of the year. Listening to
this record immediately conjured the beat-palettes of Pete Rock, and feels
like what the Root's latest effort could have been. Hip hop producers are
delivering the riff-rock in an innovative context, and who other than RJD2 to
furnish us the ideal congruence with funk/soul infused joints. Opening track
"Certified" perfected what the Roots merely toyed with on "Phrenology"
(which consequently somewhat wound up like a Beastie Boys record.) RJD2
laces half the record; beat-wizards Madlib and Prefuse 73 also shine. Embracing
his hometown, Diverse also has invited Jeff Parker of Tortoise to spot. Diverse
drops true, ruling the rhymes without the bling and with sound delivery. And
if this party wasn't already bangin', also on the vocal tip are Jean Grae,
Vast Aire of Cann Ox, and Lyrics Born. [MT]

U.S. MAPLE "Purple On Time" (Drag City) CD $13.99
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What do you expect a group, whose mission has been basically deconstructing
rock 'n' roll to do when approaching their fifth album? Mixed by John McEntire,
U.S. Maple's latest album is the band's most straight-ahead in their eight-year
history, though any fan will tell you anything that they do will be far from
traditionally accessible. On "Purple On Time" the band's fractured, bluesy
avant-rock styling isn't exactly conventional: time signatures still shift, guitar
lines are murky and unpredictable, and of course singer Al Johnson's familiar
whiskey drenched voice still warbles. The difference here is that the melodies
and rhythms are actually decipherable; even a cover of Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay"
is fairly straightforward not counting new drummer Adam Vida's drawn out rests
between verse and refrains. Hearing U.S. Maple mix their idiosyncratic flourishes
with a more conventional sensibility is what makes "Purple On Time" just as
intriguing of a listen as past attempts of decoding the band's disjointed chaos.

BABY FORD "Basking In the Brakelights" (Force Inc.) CD $15.99
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I'll save you from all of the "anticipated album" talk. All we need to know
is that Baby Ford's last collection of tracks, "Sacred Machines," with the
I-Fach collective was deep and sick. That, and the fact that there aren't
many dudes who made acid house hits for major labels in the late-'80s that
still produce up-to-date tracks of note -- tracks for Sender, Perlon, Klang
and now Force Inc. -- all varied in style and focus, while every one of them
is unmistakably Baby Ford. Peter Ford makes tracks that have all the edge of
the high-falutin', so-called "experimental/microhouse" producers of late.
They share affection for minimal funk, small sounds, deepness, etc.; the
difference is Baby Ford isn't putting on any airs of sophistication. These
tracks aren't dry, fresh out of the dormitory, dancing is funny/ain't-I-white
bullshit. Besides all the well-arranged micro-CLASSIC STYLE house beat
arrangements are bouncing acid funk basslines that are wet, juicy and full of
ASS. Think Losoul from London without any rave casualty symptoms. (More
techno, less house right?) Another key element to the beauty of these tracks
is their complete refusal to beg for your attention. With Baby Ford, if you
don't place yourself INSIDE the track you will miss it. What may at first
seem just long, repetitive and "funky" is actually expertly arranged bits of
classic house over layers of subterranean tones, post-4 a.m. soul and, I say it
again, ASS. I want my own copy! [SM]

SUNROOF "Cloudz" (VHF) CD $13.99
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Matthew Bower's star continues to shine bright on his latest Sunroof! solo
release. I personally didn't think he could possibly top his latest
Skullflower record or last year's collaboration with Richard Youngs, but it
looks like I was dead wrong. The armadillo crossing the autobahn on the
cover is a bit of a giveaway that there's a strong but off-kilter Krautrock
influence this time around. At times, Bower sounds like Manuel Gottsching
recorded in a basement with sound effects sampled from 8-bit NES games, or
Neu! if their albums had been produced by Kevin Shields. It's hard to
believe how consistent this guy has been lately, from start to finish every
aquatic bleep, guitar texture, and electronic noise on "Cloudz" is
surprising and completely captivating without ever losing a strong sense of
melody and structure. This record is good. Incredibly good. Exuberantly
good. Matthew Bower has practically become a genre unto himself, and this
just might be his best release yet. Perfect for fans of the aforementioned
artists, plus Fennesz, Black Dice, Oval, and minimalism and ambient music in
general. (Also of note are VHF's new releases from Pelt and Vibracathedral
Orchestra.) [RH]

THE FALL "Real New Fall LP Formerly Country On the Click" (Action) CD $23.99
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In the two years since the Fall's last proper full-length "Are You Are
Winner," a messy hodgepodge of a record even by Mark E Smith standards,
there have been countless reissues, live albums and box sets hitting the
shelves at what feels like the rate of one a week. Hopefully this won't
detract from any fanfare that this new album should receive. Originally
mixed by Grant Showbiz and bassist Jim Watts, Watts' departure from the
line-up led to Mr. Smith re-recording and re-mixing a large percentage of
the tracks, so obviously it's back to Fall business as usual. "The Real New
Fall LP" is a slightly different version than when it was originally titled
"Country On the Click," and subsequently leaked over the Internet. (In
typical Fall fashion, there are even a couple of screw-ups in the track
order listed on the back cover.) In spite of the line-up shifts following
"AYAW," the latest in their monstrous catalog is one of the stronger LPs in
the band's more recent history. There's less of a garage/punk/rockabilly
feel than "The Marshall Suite," their fantastic 1999 album and umpteenth
"comeback," but like any good Fall record this one stays familiar and fresh
at the same time. Smith's murky vocals still snarl as he rails against the
country folk in "Contraflow", but in rare contrast, he gets downright
breathy in "Open the Boxotosis #2," both deserving to be considered new
classics. Throughout the album, Smith's sardonic wit is incomprehensibly top
notch as ever, at one point even placing Lord Byron and Dolly Parton
together in a conversation about patriotism. Renamed "Loop41 Houston," Dean
Martin's "Houston" gets a typical Fall deconstruction, Smith stumbling
through the verse while supported by a skeleton backing of fuzzy bass and
weird background vocals and noises while "Recovery Kit" moves against a
repetitive Krautish groove amidst electronic noodling and a sleepy melody.
"The Real New" LP is as schizophrenically focused as you want a Fall record
to be and surprisingly good coming from this 26 year institution of music
and misanthropy. [GH]

OCTAVIUS "Audio Noir" (Mush) CD $14.99
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I have been digging on artists like Techno Animal and Dalek who restlessly
experiment with and break apart the industrial and hip hop genres to forge a
bridge between the two to create beat-crushing soundscapes that defy the
conventions and expand the limitations of both schools. Octavius delivers in
the same fashion, standing out amongst their fellow Mush-mates, providing an
unnerving edge and darkness to the label (home of Boom Bip). Yet Octavius
understand the principles of equilibrium, conveying ethereal and haunting
beauty in coalescence with total sonic obliteration. While some songs blend
old school industrial sounds and loops with deep elusive beats others merge
freeform hip hop with trip hop experimentation, conjuring Tricky at times.
My favorite track on "Audio Noir" is "Vacant/Panic," in which the
multi-textured soundscapes loom into Skinny Puppy territory, almost, while
still retaining a hip hop structure. The album's sense of urgency even
recalls Joy Division in a subtle manner. Highly recommended!! [MT]

SUN RA "Spaceship Lullaby" (Atavistic) CD $14.99
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This CD reissue of singles, rehearsals and previous unreleased songs
recorded, arranged and directed by Sun Ra is a great slice of otherworldly
doo-wop. Before taking a great leap into the outer realms of sound and
melody, Herman "Sonny" Blount (see the extremely charming studio portrait in
the liner notes), crafted some of the best, strangest, slightly familiar,
largely unknown vocal quartets of the late-'50s. The three vocal groups
showcased here -- Nu Sounds, the Lintels, and the Cosmic Rays -- are sweet,
dark crooners, with spooky vocal harmonizing, mostly accompanied by Ra on
solo piano, while the Cosmic Rays utilize the full Arkestra. Part rhythm and
blues, barbershop quartet, cabaret, and vocal jazz as only Sun Ra could
imagine and mostly pinned by Ra, with the occasional twist on popular songs
of the era like "A Foggy Day", "Nice Work If You Can Get It" or "Stranger in
Paradise". "Spaceship Lullaby" also includes a few vocals to classic Ra
songs like "Holiday for Strings." A great glimpse into the pre-solar eclipse
that became the myth known Sun Ra, imagine a "Blue Velvet" Lynch-style
cabaret meets Jarmusch's ride on the "Mystery Train." Seeped in spirit, and
the essence of some of the edge of the alter destiny. Recommended!! [DG]

SUN RA "Space Is the Place" (Plexifilm) DVD $21.99
In 1971, Sun Ra moved to Oakland into a house provided by Bobby Seale and
the Black Panthers; but due to conflicts of interest they soon spilt,
sending the Arkestra back to Philly. From '71 to its release in '74, with
the help of film producer Jim Newman, Ra created what would become his
signature piece in visual form. "Space Is the Place" is basically the story
of good (Ra) versus evil (The Overseer), the prize being the soul of the
Black race. Blaxploitation styling meets science fiction camp and with great
live performances by the Arkestra, Ra wrote all his lines for the film,
bringing his myth science philosophy to the masses. This fully remastered
and restored director's cut includes an additional 20-minutes of racier
moments as well as 17-minutes of home movies showing Ra and crew in Egypt in
front of the pyramids, and at protest rallies in San Fran and Philly. A
welcome glimpse into the visual aura, myth, reality, and man know as Sun Ra.
Recommended!! [DG]

KID 606 "Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You" (Ipecac) CD $15.99
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Kid 606's follow-up to last year's "Action Packed Mentalist" shows the
mash-up master just won't let up; "Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You,"
pummels through acid, technopunk, gabber, jungle, bass and dancehall at a
brutal, sweaty pace. Opening track "The Ilness" has a mid-'90s hardcore feel
but totally sliced, diced and tweaked-out through the Kid's laptop, it lands
right in the 21st century. The frenetic BPMs of "Who Wah Kill Sound?",
"Powerbookfiend" and the digi-core dancehall of "Buckle Up" will spin you
dizzy and leave you in a gritty daze. "Kill Sound" isn't all sonic assault
though; Kid 606 sprinkles a few ambient interludes so you can catch your
breath, and following the hyper-skitter of the bass-heavy "Woofer Wrecker,"
he peacefully leaves us floating in space wrapped in a fluffy montage of
sounds.  [GH]

SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE "Compathia" (Holy Mountain) CD $13.99
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It can sometimes be difficult to improve on a good thing, but that's exactly
what Ben Chasny has done on the new Six Organs Of Admittance album,
"Compathia." Once a mostly-instrumental psych-folk project influenced
heavily by John Fahey and Robbie Basho, Chasny's vocals have successfully
snuck up to the front of the mix. His dark eastern melodies sit comfortably
behind bare-bones arrangements for acoustic guitar, percussion, and
multi-tracked vocals; the ghost of Marc Bolan looms large. Ben has some
pretty big shoes to fill, and he does an admirable job without sounding too
derivative of his most apparent influences. It's good to see a really
memorable album like this one come out of the so-called "New Weird America"
scene now that it has received so much attention in the music press (most
notably from the cover article in the Wire a few months back). "Compathia"
confirms Ben Chasny's status as one of America's most "important"
contemporary folk singers along with OM employee favorite Devendra Banhart.
Highly recommended. [RH]

DEADBEAT VS. STEPHEN BEAUPRE "It's a Crackhaus Thing" (Onitor) CD $16.99
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Are you fan of Akufen, Herbert, or the Soft Pink Truth? Do you buy records
just because they are on Perlon, Playhouse, or Kompakt? If you have answered
yes to any of the above then this is for you! Deadbeat and Stephen Beaupre
have created a fabulous, funked-up tech house album with "It's a Crackhaus
Thing." Like the previously mentioned artists, this duo incorporates the
popular chopped-up style of beats and vocals to their own brand of house and
it comes out nothing short of funky. With a track like "Shine Your Light"
with its pumping house rhythm, cut-up blues horns and soul vocals you would
swear that it was off of Akufen's "My Way". "Little Cosmonaut" starts off
all distorted and dirty, with shifting rhythms and a cut-up sample of what
sounds like a woman's laugh put through about 50 processors. Then right
before the two-minute mark, everything drops out just to reveal the lone 4/4
beat which lasts for about 30-seconds until the rhythm, chopped backwards
and forwards, comes charging back in while completely new vocal comes in and
the melody completely changes. Nothing short of amazing, this record is one
for the headphones and the dancefloor. I have to say that the Onitor label
is on a roll with last week's amazing Gustavo Lamas CD and now this... There
is no stopping these guys. Recommended. [JS]

TOMMY MCCOOK "Blazing Horns/Tenor In Roots" (Blood & Fire) CD $16.99
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In 1962, Tommy McCook named his then new band the Skatalites, and then from
'64 to '65 he recorded almost exclusively for Coxsone Dodd at Studio One.
(His tenor saxophone can be heard on productions by Vincent Chin, Lesley
Kong, and Clive Hunt.) When he left Dodd to work with Trojan label owner
Duke Reid, he renamed his band the Supersonics, and moved to shape the sound
of rock steady. The '70s lead way to McCook working with both the
Revolutionaries and the Aggrovators, as well as the material which this new
Blood & Fire collection focuses on, his work with Vivian "Yabby U" Jackson
and Glenmore Brown. Featured on this past summer's "Studio One Scorchers"
compilation, McCook's great, spirited soaring sax sits atop driving
rockers-style rhythms and fits nicely alongside the recent Cedric Brooks
collection. Blurring the lines between reggae, jazz and dub, and full of
roots and vibes, with drums and bass by Sly and Robbie, what more do you
need? Recommended! [DG]

SECRET SHINE "After Years" (Claire) CD $13.99
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Forget the "newgaze" because someone has finally stepped up to re-issue the
tragically overlooked Secret Shine Sarah Records discography that's been out
of print for far too long. Secret Shine debuted in 1991 with two singles of
slightly twee pop (neither are collected here) then quickly made a turn for
a much louder, rawer shoegaze sound while still retaining their melodic pop
sensibility. Collected here is their "Ephemeral" and "Loveblind" singles,
the "Untouched" album, and the "Greater Than God" EP, all showcasing their
version of blissful dreampop with distorted and reverbed guitars, boy/girl
harmonies and hazy production. Of course this CD is for fans of MBV and
Slowdive, but also for fans of shoegaze who've felt a little burned by the
recent less than stellar new offerings in the genre. [RS]

HYMIE'S BASEMENT "Hymie's Basement" (Lex) CD $16.99
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Yoni Wolf (self-warranted prolific MC of Why? and of Clouddead fame) and
Andy Broder (of Fog) have paneled together to deliver us their unique cast
of experimental folk-hop. Taking advantage of the fact that hip hop has no
lyrical boundaries, they perfect the nonsensical vocal stylings the Anticon
MC's are notorious for and serve us eccentrically with Tourettes flow over
hazy lo-fi clamor. The album doesn't fall short of conceptual morose musings
with sinister/sarcastic undertones over fertile beats and even the
occasional toy piano ballad. For fans of Anticon, Ninja Tune, Lex, and K
Records. [MT]
//perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=80106151902&refer_url=email l


ED ASKEW "Little Eyes" (De Stijl) LP $14.99
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Brilliant outsider folk from 1970. Ed Askew cut one record for ESP in 1969
and this was to be his follow-up, but the label ran out of money making this
the first release of this material. "Little Eyes" is even better than his
first album. He plays an adapted lute and piano and the whole record was
recorded in one take. Quality wise, it ranks right up there with the very
best of Pearls Before Swine. Limited pressing. Awesome. [MK]

This week's contributors: Daniel Givens [DG], Gerald Hammill [GH], Rob
Hatch-Miller [RH], Duane Harriott [DH], Michael Klausman [MK], Josh Madell
[JM], Scott Mou [SM], Jeremy Sponder [JS], Roy Styles [RS], and Mahssa
Taghinia [MT].


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