April 28, 2005  




Shin Jung Hyun & the Men (reissue)
Stereolab (DVD & 3-CDs)
Forest (reissue)
COB (reissue)
Negroclash (various artists)
Best of Disco Strut (various artists)
Russian Futurists
The Cure (3 reissues)
Milk 'n' Cookies (reissue)
Maulawi (reissue)


New Order
Umbrellas in the Sun (DVD)
Glimmers (DJ KiCKS)

Feist (domestic)

Architecture in Helsinki

MAY Sun 01 Mon 02 Tues 03 Wed 04 Thurs 05 Fri 06 Sat 07


live! Record Release Party for So Underground It Hurts (Abe Duque Records/Disko B./Int. DJ Gigolos, NY)
NEUROTIC DRUM BAND Tag Team DJ set! (a.k.a. John Selway/Memory Boy Ulysses/Scatalogics, NY)
IN FLAGRANTI DJ set! (Codek/Tigersushi, NY)
Plus: MARCOS CABRAL (Trapez), DJ TRENT (WNYU), G. RIZO (DJ, Codek Records), Visuals by SEEJ

Thursday, May 5th @ Rothko: 116 Suffolk St. NY, NY
Doors: 10 p.m. $8 Advance (Other Music & Ticket Web) / $12 Door Ticket Web

WIN TICKETS: Other Music is giving away one pair of tickets to Start It Up! Enter by e-mailing tickets@othermusic.com. Leave a daytime phone number where you can be reached. Winner will be notified by 5:00 p.m. Monday, May 2.







It's a Lie
(World Psychedelia)


Shin Jung Hyun was the undisputed master of Korean rock for a 20-year stretch that began in the late-'50s and lasted until the mid-'70s. He began performing professionally as early as 1955, and in 1962 he founded the group Add 4, who would be the very first Korean rock and roll band. Hyun was a tireless performer with a fascinating artistic evolution. As an enormously gifted and innovative guitar player with the capacity to be boldly experimental, he was able to easily master and mix together garage rock, surf rock, folk, pop, Korean traditional song and even psychedelia as the decade progressed into the '70s. He released scads of albums under varying configurations and was the backing band and musical director for countless Korean female pop sensations.

The record at hand was recorded with his group The Men and probably dates from around 1973. It's comprised of three wonderfully long psychedelic rock jams, and on every single song his rhythm section provides a chugging forward beat (imagine a Korean Neu! perhaps) over which Hyun and his cohorts play astonishingly inventive solos. The band will periodically drop out and Hyun will then chime in with his lovely sing/whispering and somehow turn a 20-minute extended jam into a pop tune.

In 1975 Park Jung-Hee, the president of South Korea's then military regime, demanded that Shin Jung Hyun record a song in praise of the South Korean residential palace; he refused and recorded a song lauding the beauty of Korea's rivers and mountains instead. He was promptly arrested on trumped up charges of marijuana use and was banned from playing or recording until the mid-'80s at which point he only had a few more years left to live. [MK]





3xCD w/DVD


Oscillons from the Anti-Sun
(Too Pure/Duophonic)

"You Used to Call Me Sadness"

As if I needed another reason to gaze, somewhat perplexed, at that shelf-and-a-half of Stereolab discs on my CD wall. Here it comes, their 17th long-player, a lovely three-CD plus one-DVD bargain-priced box set that collects eight UK EPs from '93 to 2001, plus all the accompanying videos and some bonus live BBC TV appearances. Basically, this picks up where Switched On ends, really at the beginning of the groop's (sic) most important period, as their heavy, melodic two-chord drone began to take on elements of easy-listening, bossa nova, psychedelia, and assorted sci-fi soundtrack ephemera, and suddenly a cultural phenomenon was birthed. What do we really need to say? Without a doubt, some of the band's finest tracks are here, the vast majority of which have never been released domestically. Included are: "Fluorescences," "Wow and Flutter," "Ping Pong," "Cybele's Reverie," "Jenny Ondioline," "Captain Easychord," "The Free Design," "Miss Modular," plus the b-sides, the videos, the live stuff, and in the initial pressing, some pretty cool stickers of all the original EP cover art. But as rather shabby record collector, I still need to ask; does this mean that I can now get rid of all the original EPs, thus creating another six-inches or so in the overcrowded "S" section, or do I actually lose an inch or two by simply adding this new box to the ever-growing pile? Anyone, anyone? [JM]








"A Glade Somewhere"
"Sylvie (We'd Better Not Pretend)"

At the beginning of 1969, tucked in between Pink Floyd and the Beatles in the studios at Abbey Road, a "merry group of minstrels and pranksters" who called themselves Forest were recording their debut album. The group was championed by John Peel, who often drove them to their gigs and at one point intended to sign them to his own Dandelion label. Instead they ended up inking a deal with Harvest and releasing this phenomenal eponymous debut. Peel, at least, was given the honor of writing the notes for the back of the sleeve, which described the band's music as "full of sunshine, leaves and falling water."

The Incredible String Band made an enormous impression on the young trio and were instrumental in the development of their sound. Bandleader Martin Wellham reminisces in the liner notes that the ISB "were pioneers and as influential as the Beatles to many musicians at the time--something that's not properly acknowledged today." It could be said that Forest were the Dando Shaft to the ISB's Fairport Convention, if only because they came a little later and were never nearly as well-known but were still terrific. This is a charming album if ever I've heard one, sure to win the hearts of anyone who appreciates the whimsical psychedelic folk of Vashti Bunyan and Tyrannosaurus Rex. Quoth Peel, "it would be nice for the Forest if you purchased these results of their lives and labours--but nicer still for you." [RH]







Moyshe Mcstiff and the Tartan Lancers Of The Sacred Heart

"Eleven Willows"
"Oh Bright Eyed One"

COB (Clive's Original Band) was the trio formed by Clive Palmer a couple of years after he left the Incredible String Band. Their wonderful second album Moyshe McStiff and the Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart was released by Polydor in 1972 and has, until now, been tough to come by on CD, so cheers to Radioactive Records for getting it out there for all of us to listen to. Like their first album Spirit of Love, this one was produced by Ralph McTell and features Palmer, Mick Bennett and John Bidwell, the three of whom jubilantly sing and play acoustic and bass guitars, clarinet, whistle, organ, tabla, banjo, balalaika, bongos, violin, drums, and dulcitar (a modified dulcimer of the band's own design that resonates like a sitar). Moyshe McStiff has a similarly intimate and traditional approach to the ISB's earliest work, when Palmer was still a member, and it's on par with Robin Williamson's and Mike Heron's first solo albums, both of which came out around the same time as this fantastic LP. COB might as well be in the room with you when you put the album on, you can really feel how much fun they're having and it's quite apparent that they made every effort to put the entirety of themselves into their music. [RH]







"When Boys Talk" / "Having Your Fun"
"Saturday Love (Negroclash Mix)" Cherelle w/ Alexander O'Neal

The Negroclash mix CD is finally out! After three successful years and still counting, the party run by DJs Duane (who is also a member of the Other Music staff), Lindsey and Language--with guest DJs ranging from Afrika Bambaataa to Mr. Fingers and Juan Atkins (my drunkest night ever) et al.--has set out to, and succeeded in presenting "the innovative role that black music has played in integrating electronic sounds into both underground and popular music." As daunting and heavy as that may sound, Negroclash parties have always been, first of all, fun! The educational/informative part is largely subliminal except for the many times you will exclaim "Oh...sh*t!" as one jam blends into the next unexpected gem.

The magic of this mix is the wide range (old and new, obscure to well-known) of music blended together in and out of context masterfully to create a listening experience that is FUN (in capital letters) AND "educational," but without the clever part getting in the way of the fun. To blend a 24-song mix ranging electronic soul, b-boy electrofunk, electro-synth-funk, choice bits of '80's radio synth soul, early-Detroit techno, house, etc., and make it work (i.e. it's presented as "music," un-ironically in a way which makes you bob your head and dig it, not snicker about it) takes a deep collection and the know-how to put it together. That's what this mix exemplifies: three people who know and love their sh*t presenting it in a way that makes you love it too.

Though the mix is an extension of an actual party, it actually doesn't have a stomping dancefloor vibe. Instead, the unmistakably funky tracks are presented more for listening, constantly making subtle, real connections through programming, mixes and blends between music that is years apart. Though every Negroclash event is always full of people getting down (with the occasional dancefloor acrobat doing impossibly slow backflips in the low-ceiling basement of APT--I saw this), this mix is much more like a danceable Back to Mine, where all the DJs involved are giving you a guided tour of what breathes so much life into modern, black dance music. To give you an image: Imagine a hot New York summer with the streets transformed into a roller disco...Yeah! That's what this is, the soundtrack to an outdoor urban roller disco, perfect for bouncing through the urban landscape with the headphones on. Excellent mix, excellent job and uh, guys…can I get on the guestlist? [SM]







The Best of Disco Strut
(Disco Strut)

"I Love You More" Rene & Angela
"Dance & Free Your Mind" Sins of Satan

This is a CD compiling a few jams from the prodigious Disco Strut series, otherwise only available on vinyl. The cool thing about this series is that it attempts to document an important, yet forgotten musical movement from the late-'70s and early-'80s. Once the mainstream disco whirlwind started to die out, the music moved back underground and began to morph into a different kind of monster. The grooves slowed down to half-speed and started to get more elegant with more of an emphasis on electronic drums. Taana Gardner's "Heartbeat" or Mary Jane Girls' "All Night Long" are good examples of this sound, which some refer to as roller boogie.

This collection concentrates on this sound, and gives you a lot of rare, independently released songs that otherwise may have been forgotten about. Within this music you hear the roots of modern day hip-hop, burgeoning electro and house proto-rhythms that producers in Chicago and Detroit would later hone. But Daft Punk, Phoenix, Dimitri from Paris and the like probably are the artists who were more influenced by this particular era's sound more than any other. If you are into any of those bands at all, this double-disc CD is an amazing document of the roots of their sounds. But I could also still recommend this to any fan of soulful dance music, so I will. [DH]







Our Thickness
(Upper Class)

"Still Life"
"Sentiments vs. Syllables"

There is a curious dichotomy in Matthew Adam Hart's recordings under his Nom de Song, the Russian Futurists; it's a dichotomy between the sunny, lo-fi pop and the sad, literate poetry that he sings. I read an interview with Hart where he described his artistic youth as drunk on red wine with his head against the A.M. radio, freaking out his roommates. I think that's a clear starting point for his sound. Written and recorded alone in his room, Hart builds symphonies one note at a time, with simple drumming or drum machine loops, and layer upon layer of repetitive guitar and keyboard piled high, with flourishes of horns, strings, and weird pilfered samples creating a fuzzy, churning bed for his melodic vocals.

Hart's lyrics, though, take an unusual turn for music as sunny as this, with sad-sack lost-in-love persona and smart, witty storytelling that may seem out of place in this context, but lends an air of melancholy to the sugar, and has definitely endeared him to the Bright Eyes/Decemberists clan. Sometimes his wordiness gives short shrift to the choruses, and it is somewhat remarkable that songs this sweet and bouncy are so short on vocal/lyrical hooks. Despite Hart's A.M. radio ambitions, he does not pen sing-along singles but rather private, personal pop meant for headphone commuters and late nights alone. This, the third album under the Russian Futurists moniker, is both sweeter and sadder perhaps than its predecessors, and it should be a welcome new volume for the fans, and is a great starting point for the curious. [JM]





Seventeen Seconds








THE CURE - Deluxe Reissues w/Bonus CD (Fiction/Rhino)

While last year's souped-up Rhino reissue of Three Imaginary Boys was essential to any Cure fan, I'm more excited to explore the next three records in line, deluxe editions of Robert Smith's dark, unofficial trilogy: Seventeen Seconds, Faith and Pornography. The remastered albums sound great and each disc comes with a bonus CD, a detailed booklet that includes lyrics and rare photos, plus commentary by British music journalist Johnny Black. In the 20-plus years that have followed since the original release of these records, Smith--along with Siouxsie Sioux--has inspired many boys and girls to avoid sunlight, tease their unnaturally jet black hair, and apply copious amounts of eyeliner and smeared lipstick to their faces. Not to mention Edward Scissorhands or SNL's Goth Talk. While this has certainly worked in Smith's favor--as I'm sure very few Batcave alum are living as large as he--I'm afraid his association with the gothic tag does a great disservice to these albums. (Mr. Smith himself has gone on record many times disavowing this gothic categorization.) There's nothing cartoony about these three records. If anything, minimalism and restraint underscore the dark, brooding atmosphere--especially of the first two. For the uninitiated, here's a quick primer.

"I'm a Cult Hero"
Coming off of their spindly British pop-punk debut, Three Imaginary Boys, in 1980 the Cure threw a complete curve ball with Seventeen Seconds. Replacing bassist Michael Dempsey with Simon Gallup (who would go on to play on more Cure records than any other member besides Robert Smith) and the addition of a keyboardist, Smith steered his band in a sparse, moody, atmospheric direction.
ALBUM HITS: "A Forest" and "A Play for Today"
OTHER ALBUM HIGHLIGHTS: "Secrets," driven by the subtle, rhythmic interplay between the guitar and bass, and the somnambulant "In Your House."
BONUS DISC: The 15-song bonus CD includes unreleased studio, demo and concert tracks (including live tracks off the Curiosity cassette) recorded between '79 and '80. Stand-out cuts include the catchy, slightly art-damaged punk songs "I'm a Cult Hero" and "I Dig You," released under their Cult Hero pseudonym, previously available only as a vinyl single.

"Primary (Morgan Studio Out-take)"
Released in 1981, with Faith the Cure sunk into deeper, albeit lush melancholy. Smith delivers some of his most eloquent lyrics, delving into the topics of loss and depression. That doesn't mean all the songs move at snail pace. Most fans are familiar with the speedy, double bass edge of "Primary" but atmospheric laments like "Funeral Parties" emphasize the beautiful sadness found throughout the record.
ALBUM HITS: "Primary" and "All Cats Are Grey"
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: The paranoid "Other Voices," as well as the aforementioned "Funeral Parties." Plus the 26-minute "Carnage Visors," a soundtrack to the Faith tour film (directed by Ric Gallup, Simon's brother), previously available only on the original cassette version of Faith.
BONUS DISC: The 15-song bonus CD includes unreleased studio, demo and concert tracks (including live tracks off the Curiosity cassette) recorded between '80 and '81. Stand-out cuts include the unreleased "Drowning" and "Going Home Time" (the latter features Smith singing a pretty falsetto melody), a slowed-down, echo-drenched version of "Primary" as well as one of my all time favorite Cure songs, "Charlotte Sometimes."

"One Hundred Years"
By far, the Cure's gloomiest offering. Released in 1982, Robert Smith--who was also moonlighting in Siouxsie and the Banshees during this time--sounds genuinely angry in the opening track, "One Hundred Years." With lots of tribal drumming, backwards guitars and Smith's now fully developed wail, the Cure trade in the restrained atmosphere of the last two albums for sludgier, effects-laden production that emphasizes the band's desolate laments.
ALBUM HITS: "One Hundred Years" and the nightmarish, Banshees-inspired "The Hanging Garden"
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: The dark post-psychedelia of "A Strange Day," which features an incredible guitar refrain, and "Siamese Twins," a bleak tale about the loss of virginity set amidst chiming guitars and wrapped in a dirgey, hypnotic haze.
BONUS DISC: The 14-song bonus CD includes unreleased studio, demo and concert tracks (including live tracks off the Curiosity cassette) recorded between '81 and '82. Stand-out cuts include five previously unreleased songs plus an alternate take of "The Hanging Garden," which is more straightforward than the album version and could have easily been included on Seventeen Seconds or Faith. [GH]







Milk 'n' Cookies

"Not Enough Girls in the World"
"Chance to Play"

Milk 'n' Cookies, a forgotten Long Island band featured on RPM's Glitterbest junk shop glam compilation, now receive the label's deluxe reissue treatment. Their eponymous Island Records debut, recorded in 1974 but shelved for two years, was an under-appreciated bargain bin staple at the time of its release and has since become a sought-after cult favorite. The band straddled the line between glam and early New York punk rock but never fully fit in with either scene. They should have been a successful teenybopper group, but stardom evaded them in part because of their staunch refusal to be associated with the Bay City Rollers.

Frontman Justin Strauss's ultra-fey vocals weren't androgynous like Bowie's or Jobriath's, but instead had a non-threatening but still kinda creepy quality along the lines of KISS' quasi-feminine womanizer, Paul Stanley. The band's insanely catchy anthems were pure high school locker room posturing, girl-crazed odes to underage lust with titles like "Rabbits Make Love," "Not Enough (Girls in the World)," and "Little, Lost and Innocent," in which Strauss playfully laments, "She's so young, and oh, would it be wrong?" It may sound dirty in writing, but it's actually about as innocuous as Joey Ramone cooing "hey little girl, I wanna be your boyfriend," and just as much fun. Milk 'n' Cookies were superb purveyors of pop bombast with pounding drums, pinwheel guitar leads, and more than enough adolescent libido to keep you going until the end of the summer. [RH]







(Soul Jazz)

"Root in 7/4 Plus"

Coinciding with the New Thing compilation, Soul Jazz Records is releasing a trio of full-length albums from three different artists that were featured on that double-CD collection. The first lost classic is the lone recording from saxophonist Maulawi Nururdin. A contemporary of the AACM and Art Ensemble of Chicago, Maulawi recorded his debut in 1973 for the Detroit-based Strata East Records.

The opening track, "Street Rap," is set at a wedding after-party; the song is a soundtrack to the streets of Chicago during the early-'70s with crowds of voices flowing atop the fuzzy bass and funk-inspired groove. The musical instrumentation includes: piano, trombone, two bass players, two percussionists (one of which is the 16-year-old Adam Rudolph) along with alto and soprano sax, and vocalists. The rich urban texture shifts to the soothing, stretched-out vocal treatment of "Root in 7/4 Plus," a track that feels similar to the work of fellow Strata East artists Doug and Jean Carn. The third song is the Latin-influenced "Elition," with rolling piano, congas, and sparse vocals. Maulawi's style isn't so much free as it's more of an experience in groove, displaying how soul and Latin music can blend with the structure and tradition of jazz. The album's final track, the 12-minute "Sphinx Rabbit," is a great workout of bass and drums with a slow building saxophone and vocal breakdowns.

It's nice to hear Soul Jazz digging up the lost deep jazz gems again. Recommended to those looking for the roots of the new jazz ( à la 4-Hero and Jazzanova) or those who are simply fans of the soulful, spiritual jazz of Pharaoh Sanders or Phil Ranelin. [DG]







Waiting for the Siren's Call

"Waiting for the Siren's Call"
"Guilt is a Useless Emotion"

In 2005, no one really expects New Order try to return to their golden Factory era, however, Waiting for the Siren's Call definitely shows more hints of the past than their last three albums. Unlike 2001's modern rocking Get Ready, the group are happy to inject some dance beats back into this diverse offering. Tracks like the first single "Krafty," which pairs an electro pulse with Peter Hook's rumbling bass, "Jetstream," featuring guest vocals from the Scissor Sisters' Ana Matronic, "Guilt is a Useless Emotion," a song begging for a minimal house remix, and the dancehall bounce of "I Told You So" aren't necessarily groundbreaking, but they do prove that Hook, Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris--who are all pushing 50--are still very in touch with the dancefloor.

That's not to say there aren't any rockers. With Gillian Gilbert absent tending to family, the three remaining original members invited their tour guitarist Phil Cunningham to join the band for the making of this album. You can definitely feel his presence in guitar-heavy tracks like "Who's Joe," "Hey Now What You Doing" and "Morning Night and Day." Hell, in what is sure to be the most non-New Order moment of all time, the group ends the album with the rousing, Stooges-inspired garage rock stomper, "Working Overtime."

For those of us who came of age with Power, Corruption and Lies and Low-Life as our soundtracks, Waiting for the Siren's Call obviously won't replace any of those albums as our favorite. But while bands like the Killers and the Bravery duke it out in the NME, New Order have returned with a record that definitely could teach new wave's second wave a lesson or two about substance (no pun) over style. The title track drives this point home; the wistful longing in Sumner's voice, Hook's percussive bass melodies and the lock groove drumming from Morris tap into the same spirit of "Love Vigilantes," but quite ironically, the track still feels fresh. It's probably the best New Order song that I've heard, well, since the '80s. [GH]







Umbrellas in the Sun

During a week in which our update features reviews of three classic Cure albums and marks the return of New Order, it seems more than appropriate to mention this music DVD. Umbrellas in the Sun derives its name from a 1982 released video compilation on the Les Disques du Crepuscule label and features select clips from that collection, as well as additional videos from A Factory Complication, A Factory Video and A Factory Outing. The footage was all shot between 1979 and 1987, so you can be assured that almost all of the clips are pretty primitive and made under limited budgets. That said, this is priceless stuff to fans of the Les Disques du Crepuscule and Factory Benelux rosters.

Featuring over two hours of music, highlights include rare promo clips for Antena's "The Boy from Ipanema," Cabaret Voltaire's "Sluggin' Fer Jesus (Part One)," A Certain Ratio's "Back to the Start," Section 25's "New Horizon," the Names' "Nightshift," Durutti Column's "Marie Louise Gardens" and Josef K's "Sorry for Laughing." Also included is live performance footage from artists like Malaria!, Tuxedomoon, Paul Haig, Quando Quango, plus the earliest ever released video clip from New Order, playing "Everything's Gone Green" to a Brussels crowd in May of 1981.

Also included: Minny Pops, Thick Pigeon, Swamp Children (and two videos from their spin-off project, Kalima), as well as a short film tagged on the end culled from Super 8 footage of Marine. The DVD is in Region 0 (multi-region), NTSC format. [GH]








"Get Down" Connie Case
"Kels' Vintage Thought (Out Hud Mix)" Magnetophone

Known as the Glimmer Twins before Keith and Mick's lawyers came knocking, Mo and David Glimmer have been rocking parties in Britain for the last half-decade or so. Delivering disco to the post-punk set and cold, white funk to the house heads, the Glimmers back catalog include the awesome two-volume Serie Noire series, chock full of non-disco, dance damaged new wave and jacking house. I mean, if you don't want to party with two dudes who throw down Adonis and Green Velvet, only to kill you with an insane P.I.L. remix, then I'd rather not party with you.

The Glimmers' DJ-KiCKS mix follows the same eclectic pattern, from some serious Kerri Chandler deepness, via Connie Case's disco not disco classic "Get Down," to an extremely righteous Idjut Boys remix of Hamilton Bohannon and a sweet edit of Chicago's "I'm a Man" by Rub N Tug. The post-punky stuff is there too, although I'm not sure I needed to hear Peaches and the Bis version of "Shack Up" again. The death of dance music as you know it. File next to Tigersushi, Optimo and Weatherall. [AK]





$10.99 CD




Let It Die

"L'Amour Ne Dure Pas Toujours"

A member of the first incarnation of Broken Social Scene, Leslie Feist sang their runaway hit "Almost Crimes" and then mysteriously disappeared from the band. Feist did not lay dormant for too long because here is a debut full-length, Let it Die, and it is a beautiful album filled with five originals and six covers that run a gamut of styles including jazz, folk, disco and French pop. The album was recorded in Paris with Gonzales and it definitely has that distant airy feel to it. Let It Die is a must for fans of Joni Mitchell, Keren Ann, and Herbert's muse Dani Siciliano. [JS]








Azure Vista

"Clear Skies Above the Coastline Cathedral"

Following several collaborations, Jonas Munk goes it solo again, and his first Manual full-length in three years is his best. Azure Vista marks a return to his pop-oriented work and finds Munk expanding on the melodic, shoegazy electronica of Ascend.








In Case We Die

"Maybe You Can Owe Me"

With their new album, Architecture in Helsinki bring to the forefront all of the grand moments from their debut, Fingers Crossed. Using everything but the kitchen sink, the playfully sweet, catchy pop music coming from the Australian eight-piece collective is indescribable.




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[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[DH] Duane Harriott
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[JM] Josh Madell
[SM] Scott Mou
[JS] Jeremy Sponder

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