August 31, 2004  




Zolar X
Foreign Exchange
Apostle of Hustle


Rogers Sisters
Patty Waters
Version City Rockers
The Clogs
Secret Frequency Crew

AUG Sun 29 Mon 30 Tues 31 Wed 1 Thurs 2 Fri 3 Sat 4

Photo by Shai Rao

Join us tonight, Tuesday, at APT for our End of Summer Blow Out! Practically all of Other Music's Staff will take turns on the decks and keep you movin' with a fantastic variety of music, plus drink specials all night long.

APT: 419 W. 13th Street NY, NY
Tuesday, August 31
10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
No Cover







(Vicious Sloth)

"A Love Song"
"I Feel the Sun"

Mixing the delicate acoustic textures of British folk legends such as Pentangle and Mellow Candle with a freer more open-ended approach, Extradition (ex-tradition) recorded their sole album Hush in 1970 for the tiny Sweet Peach label in their native Australia. While the album revolves predominantly around main songwriter Colin Campbell's carefully understated guitar and piano playing and singer Shayna Karlin's beautifully lush vocals, it's the sounds and instruments that exist between these elements which make this record so unique. Water, palm leaf, sticks, stones and tree are featured instruments alongside harpsichord, dulcimer, harmonium, organ, cello, and various drums and gongs. The album balances moments of almost hummable catchiness and full on orchestrated arrangements with darker patches of sparse percussion and experimental texture in such a seamlessly effortless manner, the dynamics never feel jarring or forced.

Extradition was created as an outlet for its members to extend out of the increasingly conservative traditions of the folk music scene at the time. Though not for purists, Hush is an outstanding document of a group exploring new sonic territory. Also included on the disc are several live performance tracks from a Folk Festival in Sydney in 1970. Recorded shortly prior to the album, the live tracks show a tighter more upbeat side of Extradition with covers of Leroy Carr and Tom Paxton as well as several Extradition originals, none of which were included on the original vinyl edition of Hush. While I've heard this record compared to Linda Perhacs' psych-folk classic Parallelograms (there are certainly similarities in Shayna Karlin's almost spooky vocal delivery) it has a much sparser British vibe overall. Need I say highly recommended? [KH]








(Alternative Tentacles)

"Space Age Love"

If it's true what they say about the '90s' post-modern culture of ironic thinking dying with the 20th century, then I can't think of a better time than now to explore the alternate universes inhabited by so-called "outsider" artists like Gary Wilson, Bobby Conn and now ZOLAR X!!!! The story sounds too good to be true. Early-'70s 4-piece surfaces in the pre-punk LA rock scene, claiming to be aliens, dressing in silver space suits 24-7 and playing hard early glam-metal rock operas about life on this planet Earth as they saw it. Songs such as "The Horizon Suite," "I Pulled My Helmet Off (I'm Going to Love Her)" and "What Is Music" were huge dramatic foot-stompers complete with fey falsetto lead vocals, punchy guitars and bass kicks that hit like a velvet glove to the face. Awesome! Yet boasting a rabid local fan base that included Kim Fowley and Ace Frehley from Kiss, world domination was always a half step out of reach...until now! If the Darkness' debut album saved your life last year, and Suffragette City is a place you often visit, pick this great reissue up and bow down to your new masters. [DH]







$21.99 CD
Limited Digipack




"Who Is It"
"Sonnets / Unrealities XI"

Our favorite Icelandic chanteuse returns with another genre bending assault on the senses. Bjork finally jumps off the deep end and into the intimate sound of her own voice and those of hand picked collaborators including Mike Patton, Robert Wyatt, Rahzel, throat singers, and both the London and Icelandic Choir. Medulla was recorded in various bedrooms and spaces around the world over the past year, including a deserted volcanic island off the coast of Africa. What sets this apart from past albums? Originally recorded with live instruments, she removed them for the final mix leaving this un-nerving yet starkly beautiful set of songs. This is mainly an a cappella assemblage; the focus and weight falls upon the voice more than ever before

Fitting in line with both Selma Songs and Vespertine, Medulla is an exercise in deconstruction and reinvention. How can something so natural like the human voice sound so foreign and alien, or beautiful and frightening? Over 14 short and sweet pieces that find her whispering, screaming and harmonizing, being both present and translucent, you'll find the answer. Co-production comes from now mainstay Mark Bell with a few clicks from Matmos, whose expertise in dissecting the human body in musical form is utilized to great effect. Most beats come mainly from Rahzel (formally of the Roots), giving her tons of bass and low end to work with.

If you were wondering how she could outdo herself, she's done it -- and this in a world continuing to loose touch with the human element, with the pure primal power of the human voice. Bjork more than re-invents herself; she makes the most of what's she got, dodges the trends, and comes up with an intriguing, challenging, and heartfelt way to use them. Medulla is NOT a dance record, though it has its moments of energy, nor is it super sleepy or chill. Bjork still can create a tornado out of a whisper and this is a fully realized experiment that will inspire. [DG]








"Raw Life"
"All That You Are"

This modern hip hop/soul record is exactly what their name suggests. North Carolina based MC Phonte Coleman, of acclaimed underground hip hop group Little Brother, and UK based producer Nicolay recorded this album by exchanging sound files, never once meeting face-to-face until after the album was finished. The results are pretty great, and at times stunning. It's an impressive balance of mature progressive soul similar to the sounds emanating out of Detroit and Philadelphia as of late. But props must go to Phonte for infusing some surprisingly candid and insightful lyrics throughout. The overall theme lyrically seems to be a chronicle of Phonte's daily struggle of getting older and the difficulty in trying to balance his pursuit of his hip hop dreams with the reality of caring for a family. Nicolay's production is solid throughout, and any fan of Jay Dee, Kanye West, Madlib or even Prefuse 73 productions will find a lot of things to enjoy about this album. This is the record I play to get me up in the morning. [DH]







Folkloric Feel
(Arts & Crafts)

"Sleepwalking Ballad"
"Energy of Death"

You can practically play the Kevin Bacon game with the amount of projects emanating from and connected to the ever-prolific Broken Social Scene camp. Unlike the recent BSS spin-off Valley of the Giants' sprawling, desert sun drenched sounds, Andrew Whiteman's Apostle of Hustle takes more of a pop approach, albeit enshrouded with mysterious spacey textures and with subtle hints of Latin music. Though the big rock grandeur of "Energy of Death" wouldn't sound out of place on You Forgot It in People, most of Folkloric Feel is far more intimate. With a tremolo voice reminiscent of Jeff Buckley, Whiteman's stories point at a person who has lived a troubled life but he's not afraid to laugh at his own misery. In "Sleepwalking Ballad" he sings, "I went into the wrong house last night and I crawled into the wrong bed / I kissed the wrong woman, I got the wrong head."

And while "folkloric" is a good overall descriptor, the songs are all strangely familiar yet alien. Whiteman and his contributors are imaginative in their production and arrangements. At times slightly psychedelic, a sparse but sparkling acoustic guitar can suddenly be joined by playful electronics, or odd percussion. It makes for some intriguing dynamic shifts that can go from loud to soft without you even realizing, all the while remaining atmospheric and organic. Broken Social Scene fans should make note. Folkloric Feel is a solid album, filled with great songs and one of the best records to come from Arts & Crafts since You Forgot It in People. [GH]








"The Way I Feel"
"Winter Winds"

Trader Horne, Sandy Denny And The Strawbs, Richard And Linda Thompson, Steeleye Span, Matthews' Southern Comfort. It would be exceedingly difficult to name a group with as many excellent and fascinating offshoots, side projects, and solo efforts as Fairport Convention. You'll now be able to add one more excellent Fairport-related album to your CD collection. Fotheringay's self-titled album, released on Hannibal in 1970, holds its own alongside records by the aforementioned bands and Fairport's own incomparable recordings from the late-'60s and early-'70s. The group was led by Sandy Denny and her future husband (and future Fairport member) Trevor Lucas, who takes lead vocal duties on three of the album's 10 tracks. Exactly half of the songs are Denny originals, the rest are traditional tunes and covers of Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot. This was Sandy Denny's follow-up to the amazing What We Did On Our Holidays album, and the sound is very much in the spirit of that wonderful record. This CD version includes three really nice live bonus tracks. Fotheringay is a true folk rock treasure, well worth the import price. [RH]







Three Fingers

"The Secrets of Civilization"
"Freight Elevator"

Troubleman Unlimited brings us another stellar Rogers Sisters release, this time in the form of a seven song EP. I'm pretty happy that Rogers Sisters never really got caught up (or blended in) amongst the over-saturated jungle of post-punk / rock from New York…. or Brooklyn, to be specific. The Rogers' earmark of amazingly catchy girl / guy fronted rock and pop attracted my ear at first listen, because they actually sounded (and looked) unpretentiously fun. And I'm not talking bubblegum or pogo-pop fun here, either. These guys are pretty tight, crafty musicians whom let their influences shine through in a tasteful manner. Consciously or unconsciously -- that is not to be determined by me -- but they seem to conjure the best of '60s garage, B-52s, Tom Verlaine's musings, and some free-jazz in one short but sweet EP… leaving me wanting to hear some more! [MT]







You Thrill Me

"Love is the Warmth of Togetherness"
"Jax Beer Commercial"

Seemingly out of the blue, this subtle and beautiful collection of unreleased material has surfaced from the enigmatic Patty Waters, the legendary avant-garde jazz vocalist. Compiled by the singer herself from her personal archives, the tracks' origins vary, but the majority are from the early-'70s, a few years after her mid-'60s ESP records that made her name (the dates span from the early '60s to the late-'70s). Waters' stunning and serene voice was strangely matched by her singular artistic vision; she was a skinny white hippie who could sing the standards with the depth and passion of Billie Holiday, but also pushed the limits of jazz with her free-form vocal freakouts. The 15 tracks here focus more on her mellow side, lovely ballads with spare, simple arrangements for voice and piano that generally are as strong and moving as anything on her two classic records. Many of her own compositions appear alongside standards by Holiday, Carmichael, and Rodgers and Hart, among others. And for something REALLY freaky, enjoy Patty's 1964 Jax Beer commercial that opens the disc. [JM]





$13.99 CD


Darker Roots

"Nah Bodda Wid It" Sugar Minott
"Why Dem a Galong So" Congo Ashanti Roy

These days, reggae reissues are a plenty but what's more of a challenge is finding a new selection of tunes by those same singers getting a second wind. Version City Rockers' Darker Roots offers a quality slice of new reggae stylee, straight out of New Brunswick, New Jersey. These new, live dubby roots and rockers rhythms get the blessing from a few of the current living legends of reggae. Glen Brown, Sugar Minott, Ranking Joe, Yabby You, Sister Nancy and Congo Ashanti Roy are featured vocalists while Cedric Brooks, plays tenor saxophone. Produced by King Django, it's refreshing to hear live, new non-digital reggae, with the spirit of quality first. Congo Ashanti Roy keeps things current by offering a tale of Babylon based around the events of 9-11. Fans of recent releases by the Congos, Paul St. Hilaire, or Sugar Minott, this is a needed addition, with original artwork by Damon Locks of the Eternals. Recommended. [DG]





$14.99 CD


Stick Music

"Pencil Stick"
"River Stick"

The Clogs are a bit of an anomaly in the music world. The four members' roots are clearly steeped in their classical training, yet partake in a writing process that's more similar to a rock or jazz ensemble's. While pulling inspiration from composers like Eric Satie, Steve Reich and Philip Glass, their music seems akin to artists like Tin Hat Trio, Dirty Three, or the Rachels. And like those artists, the Clogs have found themselves very accepted in post-rock circles all the while receiving prestigious grants from the National Endowment of the Arts and Chamber Music America, and with members performing in various orchestras and Bang on a Can.

Their third album is an offshoot project written by group co-founder Padma Newsome, an acclaimed Australian born composer and violinist. He and Clogs guitarist Bryce Dessner are joined by a few guest musicians that include cello virtuoso Erik Friedlander (a veteran musician in NYC's Downtown music scene), violinist Jennifer Choi and percussionist Tim Feeney. An exploration of strings, Stick Music is probably the band's most ambitious and avant effort to date.

Throughout, the ensemble deconstructs various classical and world musics to their most primal essence, stirring sounds and traditions together until it's almost unrecognizable in form. "Pencil Stick" utilizes the strings in a percussive way, with some instruments being plucked while others lightly struck. As the piece builds with more layers being added, the rhythm hints at African folk music -- a prepared guitar imitating the simple pulse of a soukous bassline under what sounds to be sanza (thumb piano) accents -- while the central violin explores an Eastern sounding melody. Sticks and Nails is a much more brooding track, with eerily bowed strings answering gamelan percussion breaks. But it's the sudden rare appearance of a voice in track five, "Lady Go," that serves as an indicator of the even more mysterious sounds that follow. [GH]







Forest of the Echo Downs

"Black Moss Caves Pt. 1"
"Pollen and Spores"

With the new full-length Forest of the Echo Downs, Florida/New York collective Secret Frequency Crew take their hazy IDM textures to a new musical level. They downplay the instrumental hip-hop rhythms they've become known for by embracing an overall more electronica aesthetic. SFC combine laptop fuzziness, popping beats, and warm bass along with the surprising addition of live horns; these horns give the album a nice live interjection to the digital backdrops. Feeling warm and southern, sonic creatures lurk in the crystalline patterns, with lots of little sounds that putter about, sliding across the slick framework. Imagine riding through the Florida Everglades on a small boat, heading into the warm thick vegetation that forms a canopy above you, the water splashing around you as crickets sing mating calls. A slight sense of danger begins to calm as you lose yourself in the maze of melody. Check out "Black Moss Caves Pt.1," with its distorted vocals and wah guitar, the track sounds like a male version of Portishead. They keep the balance between the couch and the dance floor equal. Secret Frequency Crew's new album is on par with releases by Boards of Canada and Prefuse 73; it's good stuff, and a bit of a surprise from Schematic. Recommended. [DG]




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[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[DH] Duane Harriott
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[KH] Koen Holtkamp
[JM] Josh Madell
[MT] Mahssa Taghinia

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