November 12, 2003  



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Triosk Meets Jan Jelinek
Sun Kil Moon
Sublime Frequencies Comps
NY No Wave (Various)
Mutant Disco (Various)
Dead C

  Superlongevity 3
600% Dynamite (Soul Jazz Comp)
Amon Düül II (DVD)
Grachan Moncur III (Reissue)
Guided By Voices (Box Set)
Riow Arai




NOV Mon 24 Tues 25 Wed 26 Thurs 27 Fri 28 Sat 29 Sun 30



(Live Performance)
With Other Music Guest DJs:
Scott Mou
(Casio) & J Dennis

APT: 419 W. 13th Street NY, NY
9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Featuring Ciroc Vodka from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
$5 advance - only in store at Other Music







The Complete Studio Recordings NYC 1977-1978
(G3G/Spooky Sound)

"Helen Fordsdale"
"Outside Africa"

A system of reductive thinking or a process of stripping away... Singer/guitarist Sumner Crane described it as a regression from ten to one. No Wave was a new way of thinking about noise and MARS was at the center of the movement. Inspired by the dissonance of the Velvet Underground and excited with the boundary pushing possibilities put forth by the then current crop of CBGB's bands, MARS set out to free themselves from any semblance of rock oriented form and permanently shifted various paradigms along the way by reducing their music to the most extreme base elements possible. Instead of using chord progressions or verse/chorus structures, odd sounds, vague lyrics, and emotionally charged vocals became part and parcel of their intense mix of noise.

Owing a debt to jazz and free music in general, it only makes sense that sonic purity became paramount. No effects or overdubs were ever used during the recording process and everything was performed live in the studio straight-to-tape. Even on stage the vocals would be free of artificial reverb and the guitars were always plugged directly into the amplifiers. These raw primitive explorations of electricity and rhythm proved to be incredibly disorienting and jarring to listeners. Their influence was immediate and both DNA and Teenage Jesus & The Jerks formed in response to their lead.

Up until just a few days ago I would've insisted that "78+" on Atavistic was an essential purchase but now that collection has been superceded by this new compilation that contains the band's entire studio recorded output. The two song 7" on Rebel, the four songs from "No New York" on Island, and the five song EP on Lust/Unlust are now for the first time all available on one CD. The compilation is lovingly packaged with a full lyric sheet and extensive liner notes by China Burg and Mark Cunningham.

Anyone hesitating to take the plunge because they already own "78+" should know that when Jim Thirlwell assembled that compilation he substituted some of the studio recorded songs with live versions. Please understand that I am not saying that the Atavistic release is now obsolete because it does actually contain some incredible live material that you won't find elsewhere. Those of you lucky enough to own an original vinyl copy of the hard-to-find EP will also be surprised by the vast improvement in sound quality that this release offers. It is a rare occasion that a CD of this importance appears, capable of forever changing the way you will approach and appreciate music, "MARS LP" is essential listening. (Very Limited!) [AG]








"On the Lake"

How many killer incarnations can this man generate??? As Farben, Jelinek produced pinprick, micro-funky minimal house. As Gramm, Jelinek eased the seat back with the ultra jazz ambience. I could go on. Triosk meets Jan Jelinek beautifully fleshes out and solidifies what I've previously described as "liquefied jazz". It's as if the murky and melted sound of the "Live in Tokyo 9/01" has hardened and crystallized like so many mid-December snowflakes, and in almost as many varieties.

Here Jelinek sharpens the quality of his sounds by capturing the sound of jazz trio, Triosk (L.Pike, A.Klumes and Ben "Donny" Waples) in all their live acoustic glory. Each instrument must have been painstakingly mic'ed because the crystal clear sharpness of the instruments is gorgeous, ESPECIALLY the drum sounds. Where other producers like to take live jazz samples and "throw them in a blender," Jelinek lines them up and arranges them in modern, modal, melodic deconstructions. The tracks ride that beautiful line between modern electronic music and modern live jazz. Although loops are used throughout, there is a definite "live" tension retained throughout the album. Maybe if Four Tet and the Necks collaborated the results would be somewhat like "1+3+1," but I have to admit, probably not with results as good as this one.

On "Theme from Trioskinek", piano loops are sliced and diced with high definition hi-hat rolls and a beautifully plodding double bass loop. Over and over, lush digital hums, clicks and bleeps lift the live-sounding endless drum loops, thick buzzing double basslines and piano melodies. Again, it's easy to imagine these tracks being played live with Jelinek joining the Trio stage-side, laptop in front of him, yet the simple elegance of the arrangements proves that these tracks aren't live productions.

More than one person has commented that this was the album that Herbert's "Goodbye Swingtime" should have been more like; I have to agree. Superb album. Recommended. [SM]








Ghosts of the Great Highway

"Glenn Tipton"

Before every single person knew who Nick Drake was, understood their debt to Neil Young, or admitted that everyone liked (Hello? Worshipped!) the Smiths, Mark Kozelek and his band Red House Painters were busy making irascibly idiosyncratic dirges of depression, isolation and secret wonder, and were summarily ignored by all but a select few. Kozelek's voice, a multi-octave and completely unique instrument that ventures like no other vocalist (save Neil Young) into the expressive properties of the falsetto and the flat, was accompanied by equally compelling guitar work, ranging from plucked melodies to fuzzed roars and the whole drunken boat was held aloft by mysteriously melancholy military style drums.

After an astonishing solo turn doing cover versions of AC/DC songs, essentially turning them into lost Leonard Cohen elegies, Kozelek is back. His new band Sun Kil Moon is basically the second coming of Red House Painters and features the same drummer and producer. Taking a few more risks with his already risky vocal stylings, and inventing even more surrealist vernacular lyrical poetry with introspective odes to Portuguese boxers and Judas Priest guitarists, Sun Kil Moon may finally herald Kozelek and co.'s arrival.

It seems the time is ripe for this honest, oddball, heart-wrenching, country and rock drenched slice of Americana with its hyper-personal vocals meshing perfectly into slow motion melancholy crescendos of guitar and drum. The newest chapter in an already prodigious career. [MC]

Enter to win a very limited Mark Kozelek 10" and autographed poster. Deadline is November 14. For more info visit:









Radio Java

Various (Sublime Frequencies)
"Rubber Television"
Various (Sublime Frequencies)
"Sitogol #1" Haba Haba Group
Various (Sublime Frequencies)
"Radio Jakarta #1"

A new series of world music CDs spearheaded by the Sun City Girls' Alan Bishop, the first three volumes are dedicated to the sounds of Bali, Java, and Sumatra. "Folk and Pop Sounds of Sumatra Vol. 1" features commercially released cassettes, while "Radio Java" is essentially a snapshot collage of tracks taped directly from the radio in cities like Jakarta or Bandung.

"Night Recordings From Bali" is comprised of field recordings Bishop made at night in Bali. Thus we have a number of gamelan (metal gong orchestras played at incredible speed for those not familiar with the Balinese form) recordings, but also some really incredible ambient pieces featuring the sounds of lotus pools and barking dogs, etc., not to mention an insanely bizarre recording he made off of Balinese television that works well as a piece of music.

It's nearly impossible to encapsulate the variety of sounds being presented here; the diversity is simply astounding. There are so many gorgeous melodies, virtuoso folk forms, hybrid pop songs, and sorrowful laments that these three records alone seem to contain a world. Well worth investigating to remind oneself of the ever shifting nature of sound and song. [MK]







Various Artists

"Empty Eyes" Teenage Jesus & The Jerks
"Contort Yourself" James White & the Blacks

These two compilations signal the rebirth of irreverent '80s label, Ze Records. In the vinyl-collecting world, Ze's yellow-checkered cabbie design causes pause - in some cases, the originals fetch a pretty penny. If you never got (or got into) the No New York compilation, these are worth picking up. "N.Y. No Wave" and "Mutant Disco" explore both the experimental, fucked up funk and the danceable art-punk confronts of New York underground music that began in the late-'70s.

On "N.Y. No Wave," most of the songs come from the James White and The Contortions/Blacks/Pill Factory camp. Although the first track is the compilation fave "Contort Yourself," the other incarnations of the James Chance-led outfits slip into songs that feature not only the famous skronking sax and minimalist funk soul syncopations, but also female vocals, as on the happily un-PC call and response number, "Almost Black."

The real standouts though are from the lesser known Rosa Yemen and Lizzy Mercier Descloux. Listen to Rosa Yemen's "Herpes Simplex," and in the dark, rhythmic discord you'll catch snatches of Ladytron and Interpol. On the equally rhythm heavy ESG-like "Wawa" Lizzy Mercier Descloux makes sounds that no doubt stock the musical library of Erase Errata. And, of course, what's a no wave comp without Suicide, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks and some project of Arto Lindsey's. Arto/Neto as well as the often overlooked band Mars make the comp's sub-par color version of "N.Y. No Wave" album art forgivable. And a must-have thanks to the lovely liner notes and original album art inside. [LG]







Various Artists

"Funky Stuff" Lizzy Mercier Descloux
"Que Pasa / Me No Pop l" Coati Mundi

"Mutant Disco" reaches beyond the East Village confines of No Wave. This two-CD comp details Ze's passion for diversity, one inspired by another musical rebellion - disco. MD is a bow to all dance oriented experimental combinations with its electric claps, high hats, piano slides and bells that went on to inspire contemporary feet moving artists. From straight bounding bass boogie to Latin and dub vibes, this two-CD set boasts some hot dance floor tracks, weird pre-new wave musings, and wonderfully silly party anthems.

The explosive alchemy of Lizzy Mercier Descloux's "Fire," and Material & Nona Hendryx's "Bustin' Out" show the roots of house, techno and the newly incarnated disco punk (listen carefully for where the Rapture borrowed from). Where "N.Y. No Wave" focused on the desire to contort and distort rock, "Mutant Disco" veers onto more of an electronic avenue - a kind of sparkly, sequined path from the dark synths of Suicide.

Contributions from others like Cristina and Garçons round out the album, making it a must have for all those wondering from where artists like Madonna and the Pet Shop boys took notes. Many more known and not so known songs appear, shuffling, hustling and freaking out on this fun, at times flashy but definitely historical comp - I could go on and on… [LG]







The Damned
(Starlight Furniture)

"Holy Heat"

"The Damned" kicks off with "Truth," which is in a similar vein to their cover of T. Rex's "Children of the Revolution," off the magnificent "Eusa Kills." Drummer Robbie Yeats almost funks (!) up the proceedings with a Bonham-esque (sorry) dropping in and out of the pocket, guitarist/vocalist Michael Morley bleating his typically iffy, wracked anthemics. Back to the usually vocal-less NZ dungeonscapes on the next few tracks. Yeats again Leibezeits/Bonhamizes the encircling fritzed coronas, and eventually succumbs to their cumulative torpor. This is the Dead C rock formula. Anti-anti, a black hole. When they at least appear to intimate some melody it can be thrilling, given an elemental disavowal of any such tropes otherwise. I would say that this is also part of the formula. Why they can be great too. [DHo]







Various Artists

"Strains of Nowhere" STL
"PingPong Voodoo" Narcotic Syntax

The Superlongevity series has always been the most sure-shot place to find MUST-HAVE tracks from Perlon. All the new tracks from Dimbiman, Villalobos, Pantytec, DandyJack, etc. are smokin'. All the cut-up post-Herbert, pre-Akufen house has been blanketed in a hazy, damp, dark, pre-sunrise deepness. The smoked-out minimal bleep funk that Perlon is famous for now has a bit more space, trading some of the hi-hats for more quirky bits and pieces. It's definitely a nighttime album - all the funk, but with some more deep/offbeat textures. As always, the Perlon stable will shake your ass without turning off your mind. Dimbiman's "Papa Puffi's Secret" pumps and shuffles with a strange African/Monk chant looping in and out. Pantytec reclaims the spot-sample technique and KILLS IT with "Alabaster". Later tracks like Narcotic Syntax' "PingPong Voodoo" has a jungle-themed heroin house feel that starts like a Theo Parrish track, but suddenly rises into a deep throbbing bleep house jam. KILLER. The Supelongevity legacy lives on... Don't sleep. [SM]







Various Artists
(Soul Jazz)

"Combination Drifter" I-Roy & D. Walks
"Ready Or Not" Johnny Osbourne

The jams just keep on coming from Soul Jazz, "600% Dynamite" is another in a steadily increasing line of reggae comps that scan across the genre and through the years. Starting off with the great modern day classic which features Mr. Vegas, Alozade & Hollow Point's cover of "Unda Mi Sensi," is pure dancehall/cyber hip-hop fusion. It is then followed by Johnny Osbourne's excellent "Ready or Not," a song later made famous by the Fugees. Track three, Cynty & the Monkeys' sexy "Lady Lady," is a hidden gem produced by Lee Perry. "600%" feels like a roots of hip-hop inspired reggae selection; each song has that flavor and you can hear the influence of the groove, funk and soul which hip-hop has borrowed from reggae and vice-versa.

Tall T & the Touchers' "Touching the President" could be the smoked out version of James Brown's "Impeach the President" -- funky and dark, another excellent track. Dennis Brown's great, Al Green inspired "Westbound Train" and the Sly & Robbie produced, Prince sampling "Give Her the Credit" are both pure joy. Jumping from past to present, from dancehall to roots yard, the selection here is stellar -- the Uniques, Dennis Brown, I-Roy, Yabby You, Earth & Stone, Sister Nancy, Tenor Saw, it gets no better. One of my favorites in the series, so far. Recommended! [DG]







$8.99 LP


Dangerous Magical Noise
(In the Red)

"Start the Party"
"Earthquake Heart"

Detroit's Mick Collins is semi-famous for confounding expectations. After the disintegration of the Gories (who have achieved a posthumous "Garage Valhalla" status), his bands were either short-lived or, in the case of the Dirtbombs, their output was spotty or spread out over 7" singles on small labels worldwide. Even the diehard fans had a hard time keeping up and/or caring. Then came 2001's "Ultraglide In Black," an album that was 99% soul and R&B covers. It was a fantastic record which, combined with lots of hard touring and an "all eyes on Detroit" media frenzy expanded the profile and fanbase of the Dirtbombs considerably. Dangerous Magical Noise" is the follow-up that many were more than a bit skeptical about.

Could they possibly make an album as good? Were they going to write their own songs? The answer comes in the first second of "Dangerous Magical Noise." Mastered hot and loud "Start the Party" is a great intro to an even better album that is equal parts garage rockers, '70s glam stompers and '60s Detroit jams that should cement Mr. Collins' standing as a musical visionary of the highest order. Seriously folks, this is like a big love letter to rock'n'roll (not at all like Ryan "Surely I must be famous now" Adams either.) 100% action, 100% fun. It should be noted that the first edition of the CD comes with two bonus tracks: Totally aces covers of Brian Eno's "King's Lead Hat" and Robyn Hitchcock's "Executioner Of Love." The LP comes with a bonus 7" where they cover lesser known labelmates the Cheater Slicks to great effect. [DM]







Play Phallus Dei DVD

It begins with a grainy line-riddled, almost silent sunrise on a gray morning. Eerie voices introduce vivid Technicolor-wheel drips -- oil and water projections that make succinct, ominous shadows of the artists' guitar strumming, tambourine smacking, drum pounding, fiddle screeching, microphone mouthing while long hair shakes and bodies sway -- stopping only for the sun's progression and images of Münich's countryside.

Percussion break. A coat comes off, a bird call on the mic then a pause for some dancing. A bow waves, he nods and the fiddle pipes up to lead the psychedelic jam into Wicker Man territory. And back again. The sun sets, signaling the end with rings of light oscillating around those sinister operatic vocals, into blackness.

With its poor film quality and wonderfully accidental blue tint to the nature shots, Phallus Dei is a dip into Amon Düül II's primordial soup of sound -- a 28-minute morsel of the group's creation. Get this DVD. Now. If not only for the Wim Wenders credit (he was on the camera crew), the aural discography and the trippy menu title background. [LG]







New Africa/One Morning I Woke Up Very Early

"New Africa"
"Tiny Temper"

Two of my all time favorite BYG/Actuel records on one CD by the single most underrated player and composer of the '60s New Thing. Grachan Moncur III first gained critical attention as a sideman on Jackie Mclean's most important Blue Note recordings. McLean recorded a number of Moncur's originals and he was soon presented with an opportunity to record as a leader. The two albums he put out as a leader for Blue Note are amongst that illustrious catalog's most moody and innovative releases. Their critical worth is only just now beginning to be fully appreciated -- see the New York Times' massive profile of Moncur from a couple of Sundays ago for further proof.

He next spent a period of time as one of Archie Shepp's most important foils and sideman, contributing a number of stellar compositions to what was to be Shepp's most fruitful period. Moncur, like most of the late-'60s avant-garde, set off for Paris for the promise of work and recording contracts. The epic suite "New Africa" features a brilliant ensemble: Roscoe Mitchell, Archie Shepp, Alan Silva, Dave Burrell, and Andrew Cyrille. Somewhat similar to John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme," Moncur's arrangement is both dirge-like and airy. The band of five play like an entire orchestra, which isn't to say they make a din. The mood is generally subdued but the sound is incredibly full.

For "Aco Dei De Madrugada", Moncur assembled a band of local French players who were more than up for the task. All four tunes have a distinct Latin vibe, and while as a whole it lacks the intensity of vision of some of his earlier work, it still manages to be swinging, engaged, free, and listenable. Moncur's work is essential for those who want the whole picture of what '60s free jazz entailed, presented here in its most accessible form. [MK]




Box Set


Best Of GBV



Watch Me...

Hardore UFOs Box Set
"Game of Pricks"
"Echos Myron"

More than just a rehashing, this set actually is pretty essential for Pollard's fanboys (and you know you're one of 'em too). The best of disc is just that, but for a pop band this prolific, that actually might be needed, the perfect GBV mixtape for long drives and late nights (this disc is also available separately, ordered not chronologically, as it is in the set, but instead by Bob's own set list, and it's the perfect introduction to the band).

Disc-2 collects the now out-of print Matador singles, with some b-side gems you might have missed. Disc-3 is all unreleased studio stuff, 23 tracks, and many of them are unheard classics. Disc-4 is high quality live stuff from '95 to '02. Number 5 is their '86 debut, "Forever Since Breakfast", available here for the first time on CD. This is not their most original stuff, owing a large debt to REM's jangle, but at the very least it is an interesting historical document of a young band in search of themselves.

And the last disc (also available as a stand-alone) is the "Watch Me Jumpstart" DVD (previously available as a VHS on Matador). Some live stuff, plus a pile of great behind the scenes footage of Pollard and company doing what they really do best, drinking and laughing, plus some videos and extras. Completed with an 80 page book, with hysterical essays on the band by Byron Coley, Matt Sweeney, Tom Lax and others, "Hardcore UFOs" cleverly frees you from figuring out how you will possibly find another three-inches on your CD shelf for more GBV by delivering 5 hours of great music, an hour and a half of visuals PLUS some great reading, thus ensuring a near-permanent spot in the listening pile. [JM]







Mind Edit


"Mind Edit" is a modern hip hop record harkening back to the simple, effective beat manipulations of DJ Krush. Unlike most post-Autechre releases (although Arai has released records on Skam) which replaces the tried and true acoustic drum sample with a cold, glitchy and "futuristic" drum hit, Arai's "Mind Edit" depends on the cut-up, MPC-driven rearrangement of the beat to make it fresh. When he's not doing the laid-back slow jams of "Gold" and "Dine at Daybreak", Arai is kicking it out and cutting it up like DJ Krush breakdancing with Akufen. Lots of stuttering stereo effects to keep the beat lively, doubling back and kicking it forward. Oftentimes the tracks resemble the collaborations between DJ Krush and DJ Shadow from the mid-'90s, ("Strictly Turntabilized" and "Meiso" ) with some updates on the arrangements. The dark, noir-ish hip hop of DJ Krush is suddenly thrown into the deep piano-led beat attack of vintage DJ Shadow. Nice. [SM]







Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone
(Alien 8)

"The Clap"

A new Canadian band, the Unicorns' shambling indie-psych-pop sound owes much to the Elephant 6 stable, with a touch of Land Of The Loops or Postal Service thrown in for good measure. Loose, lo-fi fun, mixing strummed guitars with chirping synths, alternating between bang-on-a-box drum set and fuzzed out beat box banging. Your love of this album will no doubt be directly proportionate to your passion for the charms D-I-Y silliness. Catchy, funny, offbeat and sometimes off-key, the Unicorns have made a consistently fun album with real passion, whose simple pleasures surpass the sum of its parts. [JM]




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[MC] Matt Connors
[LG] Lisa Garrett
[AG] Andy Giles
[DG] Daniel Givens
[DHo] Dan Hougland
[MK] Michael Klausman
[JM] Josh Madell
[DM] Dave Martin
[SM] Scott Mou

- all of us at Other Music