September 29 , 2004  




Panda Bear
Akufen (Fabric Mix)
Musica Dispersa (Reissue)
Jaume Sisa (Reissue)
Studio One Funk (Various)
Brian Wilson Presents Smile
Harmonia (Reissue)
Talib Kweli
Wolf Eyes
Mick Softley (Reissue)


Galt MacDermot
Yuka Honda
Ramon Sender
Ilhan Mamaroglu
M.I.A. (CD Single)


Nguni Sound (Various)
Foreign Exchange

Hot Snakes

OCT Sun 17 Mon 18 Tues 19 Wed 20 Thurs 21 Fri 22 Sat 23


Other Music is again proud to be riding a team in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's New York City MS Bike Tour. We've done this for the last few years, and always have so much fun, while raising thousands of dollars for research and support services for New Yorkers suffering from MS. The ride is a traffic-free 30-mile circle of Manhattan, or a longer 45, 60 or 100-mile route that then takes you through the Lincoln Tunnel and up the Palisades and beyond.

This year, in addition to the usual sporty types with their fancy rides, we've been joined by the Brooklyn Civic Riders Bicycle Club, and we're riding a group of vintage Schwinn cruisers, for a relaxed one-speed cruise around the city. I can't emphasize enough that all levels of riders are welcome. Team members can choose their own distances and ride at their own pace, but we hope to make a show of force at the starting line and the after-party, and your participation or financial contribution would be deeply appreciated. To join or contribute, go to Team Other Music's Homepage, or visit for more information. Thank you, and please ride civic!

OCT Sun 3 Mon 4 Tues 5 Wed 6 Thurs 7 Fri 8 Sat 9


Other Music is pleased to announce a special in-store book release party for Damon Krukowski (Damon & Naomi, Galaxie 500, Magic Hour), who will be reading from his wonderful new book of prose poetry, The Memory Theater Burned, on Turtle Point Press. There will be music, refreshments, a short reading, plus a chance to buy the new book and hob-nob with the author.

OTHER MUSIC: 15 E. 4th Street NY, NY
Wednesday, October 6 - 8:00 p.m.

Memory Theater Burned










Young Prayer
(Paw Tracks)


Panda Bear of the Animal Collective steps out on his own with Young Prayer, a breathlessly introspective and beautiful full-length written and recorded in his childhood home just after the death of his father. As you might expect, this is a sad and reflective collection of soul-baring songs. Panda's compositions on here are similar to the longer, more atmospheric pieces on Sung Tongs and on last year's Campfire Songs, with endless percussively strummed guitar chords laying a bed under his abstract mid-to-upper-register vocalizations. I can't help being reminded of the stunning and otherworldly vocal arrangements on David Crosby's fantastic If I Could Only Remember My Name album. Young Prayer is easily the most personal, spiritual, and deeply moving record to come out of the Animal Collective camp thus far. Highly recommended. [RH]








Fabric 17

"LFO Drive"- "Dog's Day" Philippe Cam - Matthew Dear (Pantytech Remix)
"Little Tiny 1/8 inch Jack" - "Smoke on the Water" Rip-Off Artist - Senor Coconut

Two years ago, Mark LeClair (a/k/a Akufen) raised the bar for tech house with his funky, micro-sample packed "My Way," a truly classic genre-defining album. Rumor has it that LeClair is getting ready to record its follow-up, meanwhile his DJ contribution for the latest installment of the Fabric club/label mix series will hopefully tie us over until then. Most of the 21 tracks which the Canadian producer selected are by artists that are friends of his, and recorded in just one take, there's a great live DJ set feel to the compilation.

Kicking off with a mash-up between Philippe Cam's "LFO Drive" and the Pantytec re-mix of Matthew Dear's "Dog's Day," Akufen hits the decks running. LeClair is instinctive in his track selection, knowing when to take a small break from the minimal house and interject a little fun, like when he comes out of the Rip-Off-Artist's glitch filled "Little Tiny 1/8" Jack" and into Senor Coconut's cha-cha cover of "Smoke on the Water." Akufen also seems to be drawn to tracks that mirror his own micro-sample aesthetic -- from the stutter beats in Pantytec's "Alabaster" to the super tight edits throughout Crackhaus' "Ample Stacks." But for 73 minutes, he keeps the mix interesting and flowing, with selections from Ultrakurt, Matthew Herbert, Serafin & Luciano, and Horror Inc. (to name a few more) and fittingly sends us off with Steve Beaupre's vocal sample heavy "My Old Lady." Definitely a fun mix and one of Fabric's best installments. [GH]










Musica Dispersa



"Retorn al Vans"
"Le Clau del Foc"

Two new re-issues of what are generally considered to be the greatest folk records produced in Spain during the 1970s, performed in the then illegal Catalan language. So first, here's a brief history lesson to provide the context in which they were made. The territory and language of Catalan has existed within what is now modern day Spain since the Middle Ages. Catalan has seen periods of both autonomy and Spanish domination throughout its history, with the most recent suppression of its traditions and inhabitants beginning during the Spanish civil war of the thirties. During the length of Franco's iron rule, Catalan as a language was officially illegal and its people generally tyrannized.

A Catalan protest movement began developing in the 1950s that sought to reclaim its suppressed heritage; both Musica Dispersa and Jaume Sisa's albums from 1970 are a part of that continuum. Like the Tropicalistas in Brazil, these musicians seem to have absorbed mid-to-late sixties popular musical trends in England and America and adapted them towards their own radical agenda, with the results being an almost entirely new musical form. There are certain Dylanisms in Sisa's record and more than a hint of the Incredible String Band on MD's, but overall they seem strikingly original.

Musica Dispera's sole album was created first, with a backdrop of mandolins, pianos, organs, percussion and acoustic guitars providing layers of atmosphere to the largely onomatopeyic singing. This was surely a political statement -- "If we can't speak in our language, then we'll sing in one you can't understand" -- they may be implying. Regardless of the intent the results are frequently beautiful.

Jaume Sisa was one of the main movers in MD, and his album Orgia was recorded later that same year with many of the same contributors. The songs here are a bit tighter, with a more humorous and whimsical vibe overall. There are still plenty of delightfully experimental and moving moments though, not least of which is when his group is rocking out to a typewriter playing in perfect time. These albums and artists are seriously overdue for a reconsideration (Wire, Mojo where are you?), and are sure to appeal to fans of psych, folk, tropicalia, etc. [MK]





$14.99 CD


$10.99 LP



"Public Pervert"
"Slow Hands"
"Take You on a Cruise"

On the new Interpol album much of the ardent cathexis on hand could be said to frequently succumb to an outright lambency. Also improved is the singer's zinc prosody, in that while it can occasionally veer toward the almost logorrheic, this detracts from it only slightly...well, not too much at all actually on this one. That was just at a few points on the last record.

Anyhow, there's a song on Antics called "Take You On a Cruise." Something more like I would want to personally hear from a guitar-driven band these days. It treats the lyrical ellipses and mordant scope of its subject matter as an opportunity to revel in general, confident sway. It might not end up being considered one of the standout songs, but it is indeed allusive of their story: quondam relegated-to-afterthought-by-the-auto-jaded band renewed by, of all things, the process of recording (a proven band-killer in their field).

Surmount the field they have done, but it is with an increasing dexterity. To the degree to where they are perhaps achieving an unmatched air about perhaps even their own expectations for the music. Again this is not the kind of thing rock bands are engaging in much these days: searching for where ambition meets grace. Some who almost appear to then seem to lose their nerve, or break up during recording/touring, and actually with most who cares as they just suck really bad INNA TEENAGER STYLEE. Interpol are now, somewhat shockingly, in a position to show how this can be done right. And they're American! And on Matador, of course. [DHo]







$22.99 LP


Various Artists
(Soul Jazz)

"African Descendents" Alton Ellis
"Now" Lee Arab

After the Dynamite compilations, Hustle! Reggae Disco, and previous Studio One gems, it seems fitting to unearth the funk from the Studio One vaults. By now Soul Jazz has dug their place in the rich soil of compilation-land, and you can bet the roots-reggae on this one secures that place.

Studio One Funk doesn't half-step it -- an unreleased track by sax man Cedric IM Brooks starts it all off with a cover of Isaac Hayes' "Shaft." The soulful growlings and sexy chorus in the original is replaced by saxophone melodies that hint of that innovative sound later compiled on Light of Saba. Lloyd Williams kicks it up with the JBs infused "Reggae Feet." As the man says, "just a little bit a soul, in this reggae beat - UH!" If that don't get you dancing, well, listen on...

Jackie Mittoo swings out on the soundtrack beat with an organ-jamming version of "Hang 'Em High." Guitar and keyboard playfully call and answer like the one-liners slug by its western namesake. And who could forget Delroy Wilson's version of "Funky Broadway;" it smokes with some extra bit of rhythm and nible keyboard action!

Other elements of Studio One surface -- dub, ska, toasting, haunting melodica tunes -- done funky by groups like in-house faves the Soul Defenders, Sound Dimension, as well as other not so known side men and obscure bands like the Underground Vegetables (who do a pretty mean version of "Melting Pot"). My favorite is a toss up between the dubby drum-machined "Music" cut by the Sharks and the bass heavy Motown song "It's A Shame" done by Alton Ellis. You're sure to find a favorite of your own, so don't shuffle your feet in adding this to your Soul Jazz collection. [LG]








Presents: Smile

"Roll Plymouth Rock"
"Cabin Essence"

In the meager space that this forum allows, I'm not gonna try to really get into all the ups and downs of this long-awaited (understatement) and brilliant (another vast understatement) album, but here's the lowdown of this stellar re-imagining of Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks and the Beach Boy's lost classic. Originally conceived at the height of the Beach Boys early fame, this album was slated to be Wilson's groundbreaking follow-up in the wake of the astronomical success the group was enjoying from the Pet Sounds album, followed closely by the million-selling "Good Vibrations" single. Wilson began working with lyricist Van Dyke Parks on his self-styled "teenage symphony to God." There are a variety of stories regarding the record's eventual shelving, and perhaps they're all true, but despite several of the tracks being reworked for later Beach Boys releases, and the myriad of static-filled bootleg Smile collections that fans have snapped up for years, this oft-mentioned masterpiece never saw the light of day, and became the keystone to the huge Wilson myth.

This newly recorded album, being hyped as the final word in the Smile saga, may not answer all the questions still hanging in the air nearly 40-years later, but I'll be damned if it isn't a wonderful and satisfying plateau in the continuing tale. Wilson left the Beach Boys long ago, and that group has become a staple of the county-fair nostalgia circuit. Wilson himself has recently resurfaced on the scene, with a number of acclaimed live performances over the last several years, capped by the recent Smile shows in London, where Wilson for the first time presented this legendary and legendarily unfinished album in its entirety. And now he has returned to the same studio where he recorded many of his 1960s classics, and presents us with a complete and beautiful album of sad, joyful, simplistic and deeply complicated pop, perhaps not exactly the lost Smile sessions, but as close as we may ever get, and well worth the wait.

Wilson's voice is remarkably strong and supple after all these years, and his deft touch in the studio is with him in full force. Grandly orchestrated, yet so natural and personal at the same time, this is a classic right out of the box. Essential listening for any fan of the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, or the many imitators that they have spawned. The time has come to Smile. [JM]







$11.99 LP


Forget Me

$10.99 12" EP



"Forget Me"

Excepter's debut LP is finally re-released on CD. Featuring former No Neck Blues Band's J.F. Ryan and Other Music's very own Dan Hougland, KA is a heavenly hellish miasma of bent-stretched vocals and a drawn-out assemblage of cosmic, but definite "gang-mentality" assaults. Track one, "Vacation" (which was originally released separately on their two-track vinyl only EP and is included on the CD version of KA) is spacious and lumbering dub that catapults off of the palm trees into the starry night sky. Track two, "Forget Me" (also from the same EP) takes a majestic Neu! vibe and turns into a pagan orgy ritual. Things get rocking by track five, "Be Beyond Me," that throbs forward with an ominous bass beat and drone littered with skittering digital waste and unintelligible musing. Track nine and 10 sure are pretty. Excepter takes its sweet time getting anywhere, but get there you shall. Also includes sonic appearance of UCLA Fine Arts grad candidate, Macrae Semans. [MKl]








Music Von Harmonia
(Brain / Universal)

"Sehr Kosmisch"

In 1973, Michael Rother took a break from Neu! and trekked to the countryside studio of Cluster's Hans Joachim-Roedelius and Dieter Moebius. The informal jam sessions which ensued would lead to the '74 release of the stellar Musik Von Harmonia. The album cover, a simple yet striking pop art inspired image of a plastic detergent bottle, was purposefully baffling. But contained within was an inspired blend of the signature elements from the two German super-groups: Cluster's clinical, spacey electronic explorations met the motorik pulse and drones of Neu! Kosmische musik of the highest order!!

More playful than any of Cluster's albums up to that date, Music Von Harmonia is a perfect example of the sum of three parts equaling the whole, but you are still able to pick out the players' individual styles. In "Dino" Rother's echoed guitars glide over a stiff metronomic beat and could pass for a shortened reworking of Neu!'s "Hallogallo." (Rother barely plays any live drums on the album, most of the mechanical rhythms coming from an automated drum machine.) "Hausmusik" is classic man-versus-machine as Roedelius' pastoral piano textures are swallowed by industrial factory ambience.

The hypnotizing delayed guitars and bubbling electronics of "Veterano" almost pre-dates Manuel Göttsching's explorations of similar soundscapes, while the epic 11-minute long "Sehr Kosmisch" ("Very Cosmic") is reminiscent of some of Tangerine Dream's earlier works. Almost rhythm free, it floats like its tongue-in-cheek title suggests. In contrast, the mad scientist laboratory ambience of "Ohrwurm" harkens back to Cluster '71 as the dark oscillations from Moebius' synthesizer slowly rumble and grind underneath monster growling guitar sounds.

The same line-up would reconvene again a year later to produce the fantastic follow-up De Luxe, and then again in '76 to record with Harmonia fan Brian Eno. (Strangely, these sessions never saw release until 20-years later.) Meanwhile, Rother's influence on Roedelius and Moebius would continue to be felt as he would co-produce Cluster's next album, the breakthrough Zuckerzeit, a record which steered the duo well away from the confines of their extended space rock drones and into their place in history as electronic pop godfathers. If you are a fan of any of the aforementioned artists, or are simply wishing to finally get your toes wet in our Krautrock section, do not hesitate in checking out Music Von Harmonia. [GH]







The Beautiful Struggle

"Broken Glass"
"A Game"

With Talib Kweli's new solo album, The Beautiful Struggle, he shows a lot of love for his favorite borough, Brooklyn, and he continues the vibe that last year's single "Get By" established. This set puts Kweli straight into the boho-ghetto-fab-Fort Greene scene. With production from Hi-tek, Neptunes, "Supa" Dave West, Charlemagne, Just Blaze and Kanye West, it's a toss up between 50 Cent style shimmering production and homegrown, localized, socio-political lyrics of self empowerment, positive living, and taking out MCs. Kweli also enlist the voices of Common, Faith Evans, Mary J. Blige, Res, Anthony Hamilton, and Jean Grae to keep things radio friendly -- part adult contemporary hip-hop, with Harlem shake inspired rhythms and TK trying to bring knowledge to the inner city, and the inner city to the radio waves. Fans of the Okay Players crew (Roots, Common, Jean Grae, etc.) won't be disappointed. [DG]







New Face of Smiling

"Hurricane or Sunshine"
"Your Ears Across the Fences"

For the last two years, many a laptop producer has tried his hand at crossing over into vocal territory. Unfortunately, too many are just album-long essays that could be entitled I Heart My Bloody Valentine. Or even worse, I Heart Two Songs by My Bloody Valentine Way Too Much. Signer's follow up to Low Light Dreams is a successful step into minimal vocal pop that has an actual variety of influences and elements that are used in a sincere and heartfelt way. And unlike some of the crossover attempts I mentioned earlier, Signer's tracks had a songlike quality from the start that always had room for vocals but didn't necessarily need them. Track two, "Hurricane or Sunshine?" has a beautifully deep, Marz / "Chelsea Boys" feel. Track one, "Low Light Sleep" has a neo-electronic Tortoise-with-vocals feel which breezes into a Swirlies' slow dream pop drone. Track three, "I Was Dressed as the Ant..." has a synth filled, electropop (not clash), Kings of Convenience -esque (though more subtle) indie synth pop thing going on.

Another thing: This guy likes his guitars and his synths and his beats EQUALLY. The songs on this album alternate all over the place without losing focus -- electronic beats ease into live drums and back seamlessly. Track eight has the slow build of MBV but with a well-placed glitch beat that some 30-something-year-old shoegazers haven't even heard the likes of yet. Well, not like this anyway. It seems Signer also loves My Bloody Valentine, but he actually does his homework and demonstrates his love for you too. Maybe you'll love him back for it. Recommended. [SM]







Burned Mind
(Sub Pop)

"Stabbed in the Face"
"Village Oblivia"

I slowly glimpsed at the heavens, and what dawned upon me was the visualization of the forthcoming of the apocalypse. Soon enough the cosmic infinitude parted in thee most malevolent manner to give birth to the blackest of black, and a myriad of lighting bolts suddenly descended onto earth, with the mythic, inhuman velocity only the hand of Zeus could possess. The animal kingdom and civilization as known diminished to mere ash and cinder, and I, the seeming Omega Man, am left with nothing but this excruciating, burned mind in accordance with the totality of this all-consuming paranormality. I was no longer standing in familiar ground, but amidst a panorama of destruction, a sort of village oblivia. Time ceased to subsist and moments seemed to elapse in capricious segments of an agonizing ancient delay. 43785642 light years later and covered in urine burn, I staggered upon an oozing pond of decaying matter and unidentified liquid that glowed the strangest of green and emitted the stench of demise. As I outstretched my hands towards an object that once resembled a tiny vessel, I became acutely cognizant of the crescendo of ear piercing sonic reverberations. All came to a stone-like silence, and amidst my haze I thought I perceived a rattlesnake shake. I dismissed my senses to hallucination - then - the wail of the reaper's gong reached my ears as the sound danced in the decayed air. In an unbearable bout of hesitance I, slowly, turned my head, only to be stabbed in the face. In a trail of my black vomit, I was carried to the middle of the pond, where I was left, almost dead, in a boat.... only to soon awaken in reality, yet with a burned mind still intact... [MT]

Editor's Note: Comments or feedback? Only responses utilizing song titles from the Faint's "Wet From Birth" LP will be answered.







Midnight Theme
(Dope Brother)

"Space Funk (Dopebrother 7-inch Remix)"
"Midnight Theme (Dopebrother 7-inch Remix)"

In 1975, a struggling yet talented keyboardist, who was also a lieutenant in the US Army, approached the small Ohio indie label Fraternity wanting to record some original funk instrumentals that he had written. Though he didn't have much money they allowed him and his band -- comprised of friends and cousins Larry Van Dyke (guitar), Steve Garner (drums) and Bennett Higgins (sax) -- to lay down 10 instrumental tracks. Of those, "Space Funk" and "Jump Street" were released two years later on a 7-inch. Although radio was receptive to the spacey keyboard funk laid down, sales were low and it failed to interest any majors. Soon after, Manzel got stationed in Germany, the group disbanded and the recordings, for the most part, were forgotten about.

Fast forward 25 years later…the engineer of those sessions was shocked to find out that the Manzel single was now a collectors item that fetched upwards of $1,500 a piece, and the songs had been sampled over a hundred times and were now infamous hip hop breaks. This was unbeknownst to either of the parties! What we have here is all 10 tracks, unearthed and remastered by Kenny Dope, and presented together for the very first time as a full-length, and it's phenomenal. Fans of Patrick Adams and Peter Brown's sweeping synth work will find a lot to appreciate, but it's not disco, it's heavy minimal funk. If you are a fan of early Mark Moulin's Placebo recordings, Stevie Wonders' keyboard work, Herbie Hancock and the like, then this would be a fine edition to your collection. Highest recommendation. [DH]







Songs for Swingin' Survivors

"All I Want Is a Chance"

Mick Softley was a close friend and associate of Maddy Prior, Clive Palmer, Davy Graham and Jack Elliott. He was a major inspiration to Donovan, who saw him play around England's folk clubs as a young man and covered a couple of his songs early in his career. Songs for Swingin' Survivors, his 1965 debut for EMI, is a simple and stripped-down singer-songwriter album in the vein of Bob Dylan's work from the same time period. Like Dylan and so many of the other folk singers from his generation, he was hugely influenced by Woody Guthrie and this album concludes with an inspired rendition of his "Plains of the Buffalo." Softley's more-than-capable writing shines through on protest tunes, love songs, ramblin' road ballads, and a pair of subtly virtuosic acoustic guitar instrumentals. Those of you who adore Jackson C. Frank's work will no doubt find much to love about this superb UK folk rarity, available on CD for the first time ever. [RH]





$13.99 CD


Galt MacDermot in Film

"Tango" from Woman is Sweeter
"Fortune and Men's Eyes"

Galt MacDermot in Film is an excellent collection of mostly instrumental music that has inspired a generation of beat makers and crate diggers like Madlib and the Beatnuts. Soulful, funky, moody, groovy and unique, this gathers selections from his film scores dating 1969-1973. Having established his theatrical career by composing the soundtrack to Hair, MacDermot went on to work for Ossie Davis on Cotton Comes to Harlem, as well as lesser known gems like American Express, Fortune and Men's Eyes, Rhinoceros, The Nucleus, Woman Is Sweeter, and Moon Over the Alley. His working bands included Bernard Purdie on drums, MacDermot on keyboards, and a wealth of handpicked rock and jazz players, along with string session musicians. More swinging groove-based than Lalo Schifrin or Henry Mancini, but just as valid. If you're a fan of movie music, hip-hop's sampling roots, or anything cross cultural, nostalgic and funky, check it out. [DG]








"Humming Song (Alone Together)"
"I Dream About You"

Yuka Honda's new album on John Zorn's Tsadik Records should go a ways towards calming the abstract angst many of you have been suffering from since Honda's previous group, Cibo Matto, disbanded several years ago. As with that group's work, Eucademix is based around her fun and funky drum programming, keyboards and multi-instrumentation. Honda creates subtle, lazy rhythm beds for herself and her collaborators to play with, and the record features many great instrumental contributors, like Marc Ribot, Trevor Dunn, and Timo Ellis. Add to that some lovely vocal contributions from Petra Hayden, Thomas Bartlett, and Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori (on three tracks), and you have a collection of mellow mood music that combines elements of lazy trip-hop, soul, downtown jazz and much more in an easy to digest and coherent album. [JM]







$14.99 CD



"Worldfood VII"
"Worldfood XII"


"Tract: A Composition of Agitprop Music For Electromagnetic Tape"
"To Kill a Sunrise: A Requiem for Those Shot in the Back"

Ramon Sender is a name unknown to many in the world of experimental music, but his influence is vast, if often unheard. The Spanish-born composer helped Morton Subotnick figure out early Buchla boxes, which would in turn birth Subotnick's Silver Apples on the Moon, the first full-length electronic music album. Before that, he worked with Terry Riley on the tape loops that would comprise his groundbreaking "Mescalin Mix." Add to it that his San Francisco Tape Center also midwifed work for Pauline Oliveros, and that he helped the infamous S.F. street guerilla theatre troupe the Diggers, not to mention setting up successful commune living, and you have a legend in our midst.

Locust Music have kicked off an archival dig of the man with World Food, two enormous pieces recorded in those heady early days before the Summer of Love. "Worldfood VII" is a miasma of choirs singing "To see him with my eyes" as bells and echoes hang, the looped sounds fermenting in the air. It feels eternal, without beginning or end, just a mighty presence that seems to have always been in the annals of tape music. The longer "Worldfood XII" ambles a bit more with primitive Buchla sounds, but the promise of greater discoveries lies ahead for the man.

Locust has also brought into the digital age yet another unheralded foreign-born composer whose electromagnetic tape work was crucial to the experiments of the sixties. Turkish composer Ilhan Mimaroglu worked at Columbia around the same time as Ussachevsky and Berio, and in the seventies produced strange records by Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Sharrock, and Charles Mingus. Agitation cobbles together two rare Folkways records from the early-seventies. "Tract" is a heady concoction of what Ilhan called "agit-prop," short for agitation-propaganda, using spoken voice snippets and tape noise in a non-rational manner to get political points across. Quotes from Mao Tse-tung, Bertolt Brecht, and the Paris Commune get recited over an ever-shifting landscape of affected sounds.

"To Kill A Sunrise," from 1975, premiered at the Kitchen the night of the Weather Underground bombings. It's an even headier concoction, as names from Kent State get read, intermingling with an autopsy report of Che Guevara and poetry from Guatemalan poet Marco Antonio Flores. Dense, disquieting, thought-provoking, anomalous electronic work still ahead of its time. [RB]





CD Single


CD Single




With only two singles released, there's already a big buzz going about London based dancehall-hip hop-grime (or whatever) artist M.I.A. Big, chunky production and bouncy vocal delivery make this a very immediate floor filler. In "Sunshowers," large bass drum kicks, warped guitars and wobbly basslines march in staccato under her equally rugged rhymes. As the bass drops, a hypnotic vocal hook draws you closer while a distortion smear shoots in and out. The flip "Fire Fire" is just that -- a rapid-fire machine gun beat pelts and snaps over her dancehall rhymes.

The other single, "Galang," is a massive meltdown of molten electronics, distorted drums, processed handclaps, and swaying bleep shifts while M.I.A. punches out big London dancehall toasting. This is pure hype music. For fans of everything from Autechre to Antipop, Ms. Thing to Kid 606, the Egyptian, Diwali, Coolie Dance, and Clappas rhythms, Missy, the dancehall Ms. Dynamite songs, Squarepusher, Super Collider... I can't wait for the album! [GA]









South Africa & Swaziland

"Inkulu Into Ezakwenzeka (Something Bad is Going to Happen)"
"Two Flute Tunes"

Hugh Tracey began recording African music in the 1930s, carrying cumbersome disc cutters to the most remote reaches of the continent. His impact on African music is immeasurable. With his exhaustive documentation he forever captured vanishing music forms. An extraordinarily driven man, he eventually began to record to tape, and if laid out end to end would probably reach to Venus and back. While Alan Lomax was able to keep most of his recording equipment in the trunk of his car, Tracey took his mammoth gear all over the Dark Continent in a caravan, parking his generators behind anthills and huts, recording almost exclusively out of doors.

Tracey founded the International Library of African Music, which collects all types of African instruments and released a stunning set of 210 LPs drawn from his recording trips. These were in turn distilled into the more digestible Music of Africa Series, which introduced the greater public to African music for the first time. Now the Sharpwood label has hand picked some of the finest examples for their impeccably remastered CD series highlighting the amazing work of Hugh Tracey.

The Nguni Sound collects gems from a recording trip to southern Africa in the late-'50s. The opening cut, "Something Bad is Going to Happen" ("Inkulu Into Ezakwenzeka") couldn't be more-true. This is some of the most captivating and bad ass musical bow playing ever. If you've never heard this deeply personal instrument before, don't wait another moment. The musical bow vibrates in several modes at once creating devastating overtones. This can be done either in the player's mouth or in a hollow, vessel like a gourd. This disc provides some generous selections of bow playing including Princess Magogo, who published a hopelessly rare LP.

If that weren't enough, there are beautiful choral groups, loping jazz progenitors, ill flute, and the fantastic, searing guitar style signature to South Africa. A crucial release for traveling souls. [JR]










"I'm Getting Closer"

After a long absence, M83's precursor to their breakthrough album Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts is finally back in stock. Like Air, M83 are a French duo with a fetish for old synthesizers and rich orchestration, but that's where the similarities end. The aesthetic of Nicolas Fromageau and Anthony Gonzalez is far more epic, stretching and layering minor chords of dense, buzzing analog sounds and guitars over drum machine beats and occasional voices hauntingly manipulated via musique concrete inspired techniques. First released in 2001, M83's self-titled debut is made up of the same elements as Dead Cities... but the stripped down production lends a minimal, more mysterious, and occasionally a slightly post-rock quality to the arrangements with faint vocal samples and loops (never cheesy) being applied more liberally. At times, the music gently deconstructs into nothing more than slight static or hiss. However a few tracks, like the deceptively titled "Slowly," actually pick up the tempo and while still atmospheric and moody, move along an electro dance beat. A must for fans of M83's Dead Cities… [GH]










"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]









Audit in Progress


Hot Snakes are back with their highly anticipated third full-length, Audit in Progress. Featuring Drive Like Jehu's Rick Froberg and John Reis (also a member of Rocket From the Crypt), the band continues to pummel us with their mighty sonic assault of ch-ch-chainsaw guitars, searing vocals and powerhouse drumming, and they show no sign of letting up!




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[GA] Geoff Albores
[RB] Randy Breaux
[LG] Lisa Garrett
[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[DH] Duane Harriott
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[DHo] Dan Hougland
[MK] Michael Klausman
[MKl] Miscott Klaussmou
[JM] Josh Madell
[SM] Scott Mou
[JR] Jeremy Rendina
[MT] Mahssa Taghinia

- all of us at Other Music
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