Other Music New Release Update
October 1, 2003

In This Week's Update:

Ricardo Villalobos
DFA Collection #1
MF Doom ("Special Herbs" Volumes 3 & 4)
Andrew Thomas (Kompakt)
Sascha Funke


VILLALOBOS "Alcachofa" (Playhouse) CD $16.99
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Recent minimal house releases have been more "yawn" than "Yeah!!", But I
have to say, when I walked into the OM office while this was playing I had
to stop in my tracks and say "WHAT is this?! Is this the new Villalobos?!"
Ever since "What You Say (Is More Than I Can Say)", this man is
single-handedly reinventing the use of the vocoder for psychedelic
stimulation. No ironic robot vocal delivery here, just pure wooziness that
sounds like an intoxicated person talking to himself. All tracks segue
nicely into each other for an uninterrupted listening session. All the
sharp, dry funkiness that this man has been refining for the last five years
has culminated in "Alcachofa," his finest recording yet. Deep, dry, funky,
sharp, and pumping as ever, but these tracks have a new found sense of focus
that is unwavering. Villalobos is no longer satisfied with finding a sick,
deep, ultra-stoned loop and drawing it out. Now he seems to hack at it with
machetes, thrash it about and turn it inside out. These tracks dig deep into
you and rewire your psyche. Sick. Guaranteed to be as influential as
Akufen's "My Way", but personally, I like this one better. Another thing:
Before he sounded like a German-born Chilean, but now he sounds like a
hot-blooded Chilean-born German. Guess what? RECOMMENDED. [SM]

[V.A.] "DFA Compilation #1" (DFA) CD $13.99
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Hear ye hear ye No Vinyl Buying Public, your d(f)ay has come. No longer will
you have to hunt down mix CDs in an effort to compile the Goldworthy and
Murphy hit factory. Despite all the hype, the fact remains a good song -- be
it a disco rock anthem, a psychedelic audio exploration or funked out punk
pop -- is still a good song. They are all here. All the 12"s from the
Rapture, Black Dice, LCD Soundsystem, and Juan Maclean that DFA released
this past year while waiting for Britney to make up her mind. As history has
taught us, all good things must come to an end so I would pick this up while
you can and save for it later. You will enjoy it then, possibly more.
(Includes a new unreleased track from the Rapture.) [NL]

LFO "Sheath" (Warp) CD $15.99
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Mining the largely neglected, halcyon layers between naive glorification of
the preset and otherwise unknowable software abandon, Mark Bell is seasoned
enough to guide a lean spectrum of equipment and their possibilities through
to results that then seem familiar and automatic. A seldom-acquired art and
now pretty much a lost one, the one called Bjork has drawn from his arsenal
at times, and her chosen arms dealers of late, Matmos, might qualify among
his few real peers. The somewhat lurid titles notwithstanding, "Blown,"
"Moistly," and the closing "Premacy" are my favorites, though the
innocuously titled "Sleepy Chicken" would certainly seem to have lent itself
to our favorite Icelander's oeuvre, but somehow never did I guess. [DHo]

MF DOOM "Special Herbs Vols. 3 & 4" (Nature Sounds) CD $12.99
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Ahhh, another week, another great CD from MF Doom. The prolific, to say the
least, Mr. Doom, collects 16 tasty tracks from his endless spice rack of
beats. "Special Herbs 3 & 4" gathers instrumentals from his latest releases,
classic songs, as well as giving us a glimpse of forthcoming tracks yet to
be voiced, and there's a bunch on the way. I'm running out of words, catch
phrases, and creative ways to convey what his music is like. Most tracks are
2-3 minutes long, with layers of guitar, strings, vocal, or horn samples
shaping the track, while warm keys outline the melody. If his motor mouth is
sometimes too much for you, this is the next best thing: all the beats with
none of the rhymes. Essential for Doom fanatics, the recently converted beat
junkie, back in school backpacker, and anyone looking for the perfect beat.
Check his deconstruction of Hall & Oates for some next sh*t. Once again
recommended! [DG]

ANDREW THOMAS "Fearsome Jewel" (Kompakt) CD $16.99
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Kompakt's latest installment features New Zealand resident Andrew Thomas
with a breezy 35-minute mini-album that leans more on the ambient than the
pop side of things. While he may be somewhat distant from the Cologne based
label geographically speaking, Thomas is obviously well in tune with the
label's aesthetic. Most of the pieces on "Fearsome Jewel" are based around
micro-melodic piano loops supplemented by warm washes of synth strings and
the obligatory digital clicks and pops. Thomas uses these ingredients well,
focusing more on creating a general sound rather then trying to get too
caught up in details. The loopy, ambient nature of Thomas' album of
miniatures reminds me a bit of Novisad's "Seleya" or some of the more calm
installments of the Kreisel 7" series from a few years ago. An extremely
pleasant overall atmosphere that would make a wonderful soundtrack for
daydreaming. [KH]

SASCHA FUNKE "Bravo" (Bpitch) CD $16.99
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Sascha Funke has always had an ability to flirt with electro, post-punk, pop
and techno with ease, and all at the same time. He made standout rock-pop
techno tracks for Bpitch that prefigured the current dance-rock formula, but
with a German pop feel. He's released tracks of sensitive minimal house for
Kompakt. He's also released full-on vocal party electro hits like "When Will
I Be Famous?". "Bravo" is, for the most part, a melodic pop techno record,
with some tracks featuring vocals and song-structure. This album is full of
tracks that would be at home on Ellen Allien's beautiful "Flieg Mit" mix CD.
Sexy, shimmering electro-disco/techno that works equally as a track and as a
pop song. (See "Forms & Shapes", "Twingo" and "Quiet Please.") My favorite
has to be the single "Bravo" that stomps, grooves, grinds and climbs in
signature Sascha Funke style. In contrast, "Quiet Please" is a beautiful
minimal pop-house jam with small vocal phrase and beepy bits. A jack of all
trades that refuses to be watered down. One of my favorites. Solid album.

This week's contributors: Daniel Givens [DG], Koen Holtkamp [KH], Dan
Hougland [DHo], Nicole Lang [NL] and Scott Mou [SM].


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