August 3 , 2005  




Arcade Fire (Limited 7")
Ras Michael
Alan Braxe & Friends
San Ul Lim
Free Design: Now Sound Redesigned


Milk from Cheltenham
Shinki Chen
Fruit Bats

Link Wray

AUG Sun 7 Mon 8 Tues 9 Wed 10 Thurs 11 Fri 12 Sat 13

Victor Gama
On Monday, August 8th, Other Music will be hosting a very special in-store performance by internationally acclaimed Angolan artist, composer, and instrument builder, VICTOR GAMA. Gama is the only non-electronic artist to be signed to Aphex Twin's Rephlex label, and this will be his very first visit to the United States. Since the early-'90s, Gama has been constructing an impressive array of finely handcrafted and beautiful homemade instruments upon which he performs mesmerizing compositions, influenced not only by his own Angolan folk traditions but also those of the entire African diaspora. Gama is one of the most innovative instrument builders since Harry Partch, and this event should prove to be quite unlike any other we've ever hosted. Not to be missed!

Monday, August 8 @ 8:00 P.M.

15 East 4th Street NYC
Free Admission/Limited Capacity

AUG Sun 14 Mon 15 Tues 16 Wed 17 Thurs 18 Fri 19 Sat 20
AUG Sun 21 Mon 22 Tues 23 Wed 24 Thurs 25 Fri 26 Sat 27


Monday, August 15 @ 8:00 P.M.

Monday, August 22 @ 8:00 P.M. (Record release party and in-store performance)

15 East 4th Street NYC
Free Admission/Limited Capacity





$4.49 7-inch


Cold Wind / Brazil

A brand new seven-inch from everybody's favorites, Arcade Fire. This new single is pressed on clear vinyl, lovingly packaged in a screen-printed vellum sleeve, and wrapped in a polyurethane bag with "Arcade Fire" embossed in the corner. It contains two brand new songs, "Cold Wind," a track written exclusively for HBO's Six Feet Under, and the flip-side is a cover of the old, 1930's standard, "Brazil." In typical fashion, this probably won't be around for long. At just under $5.00, do you need to even think about it? I didn't think so. [JS]







Dadawah Peace & Love

"Run Come Really"
"Know How You Stand"

This is a Trojan two-for-one CD of Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus' first and second LPs. It's been available for a while, but we've never written it up until now. The second-half of the disc is a fairly straightforward album of Nyahbinghi drumming and singing. In a nutshell, Nyahbinghi is the real Rastafarian roots music with a history that goes all the way back to the slavery opposition and resistance movement, and then of course, in its rhythms, even further backwards than that to West Africa. Modern reggae itself is said to have been kick-started by the hand drum rhythms on the early Folkes Brothers hit, "Oh Carolina." Next to Count Ossie (whose troop played the drum tracks on the aforementioned song), Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus are probably the most famous practitioners of Nyahbinghi.

But the album that really interests us here, Dadawah Peace & Love, was their debut record, and its lengthy first four tracks open this CD. In 1974, producer Lloyd Charmers invited Michael and his group to his studio, where he would augment the minimal rootsiness of Michael's troop with topnotch, uncredited sidemen who were no doubt some of the heavies of the day. With songs that go on for upwards of 10 minutes, as layers of soulful chanting and trance inducing electric guitar are slowly piled on, they succeeded in making one of the deepest, most psychedelically spiritual records these ears have ever heard. It's one of those albums that consistently transcends its genre; the only other reggae albums I'd even place it on par with would be Count Ossie's Tales From Mozambique, The Congos debut, and Keith Hudson's Playing It Cool. For Real. [MK]






The Upper Cuts

"Music Sounds Better with You" Stardust
"In Love with You" The Paradise
"Intro" Alan Braxe & Fred Falke

He may be the man behind Stardust's "Music Sounds Better with You," undoubtedly one of dance music's most infectious, feel-good anthems of all time, but French producer Alan Braxe's name will probably ring a bell only to the most serious disco-house connoisseurs. Braxe has always kept a low profile while remixing other artists' tracks and releasing that occasional 12-inch under his name to little fanfare, aside from dancers' sweat and fists raised in the air. Needless to say, when I saw Upper Cuts sitting on Other Music's record rack, I knew what I'd be taking home with me that night. This compilation features a dozen of Braxe's productions, including the aforementioned "Music Sounds Better with You," which he co-wrote as one-third of Stardust (alongside Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter and French vocalist Benjamin Diamond). That track alone is probably justification enough for many to drop their hard-earned beans (and francs) for this comp, but there are at least seven more reasons, and even the few non-essential cuts are pretty good.

Upper Cuts is a sort of best of collection, spanning 1997 to 2005. If you've been going out to house parties during any of these years, I guarantee that you will recognize Braxe's signature discofied production; even the older tracks on this compilation still feel fresh. There's no shortage of funky bass (most often played by Braxe's music partner, Fred Falke), crisp synthesizer beds, squelched strings, and pulsing Moroder-esqe arpeggiations riding atop the four-on-the-floor thump. It's impossible to not want to dance. Put on "Rubicon" and close your eyes; the throbbing synths might make you imagine this track accompanying the infamous water-soaked dance scene from Flashdance--only this is a lot more sexy than "Maniac."

"Intro," which places a fluid, funk-bass underneath a vocal sample lifted from "Crush on You" by the Jets;" the airy swoon of "In Love with You," surely an answer to 10cc's "I'm Not in Love;" the tight and taut, Rhodes propelled "Palladium." You probably won't recognize any of these tracks by title, but when you hear them pumping out of your stereo speakers, chances are, you'll reminisce about some late, debauchery-filled night where you were getting down to one of these underground classics. If you're a fan of French house masters like Daft Punk, Alex Gopher, Benjamin Diamond and Cassius, and have worn out your Super Discount and My House in Montmartre comps, or you simply can't get enough modern disco, this collection is the audio heat wave to your summer. [GH]






(World Psychedelia)

"Track 1"
"Track 5"

This cool clique of clean-cut Korean bros (and one sis) was accidentally one of the most unique, striking and hip bands in the psyched-out '70s scene in Korea--poles apart from the occidental group and folk sounds already brewing. Though, you're not likely to acquire gray hairs researching this regional genre's musical panorama (not much deviates outside of Shin Jung Hyun's umpteen assemblies and Kim Hong Tak's killer He 6 crew) but these dudes were, unlike their peers, jamming with a sort of f**k-all amateurish mentality. San Ul Lim was three brothers in college with rich 'rents that bought them enough musical tackle to pursue their dream-delight in sounding like an AC/DC-inspired power trio. Though ultimately for the best, their technical shortcomings spontaneously directed them to skeletal psych-essential savoir-faire, like groovy organs (played by the elusive sister) and fuzz guitar. This second (and arguably the best) San Ul Lim album came out in 1978, five months after their first effort. Don't let the release date send you record delvers and purists wayward because most of the songs culled on their first three releases were supposedly conceived from 1971-1975. A definite must for all global jam enthusiasts, especially for those that enjoyed the recent excavation of Shin Jung Hyun and the Men's album. A neat album decked with pop sensibility and cool-groove head-bobbers, with my favorite cut being the opener, a brazen acid-plodder that conjures scenes out of a fantastical made-up Tarantino-esque thriller. Sweet. [MT]







Pine Cone Temples
(Strange Attractors)

"Track 3"
"Track 22"

Pine Cone Temples, the epic new double album from Jewelled Antler Collective supergroup Thuja, weaves together eight extended improvisations that the band recorded over the last six years. Comprised of Steven R. Smith (Hala Strana), Loren Chase (the Blithe Suns, the Franciscan Hobbies), Glenn Donaldson (the Skygreen Leopards, the Ivytree), and pianist Rob Reger, Thuja touch upon just about every element found in the disparate recordings of the extensive Jewelled Antler catalog. As the album's title suggests, the members of this San Francisco group share a deep reverence for nature and prefer to do most of their recording outdoors, sacrificing the polished sound of a "proper" recording studio for the ambience provided by wind, water, rustling leaves, and the sounds of insect and animal passersby. Of course some instruments--piano, for instance--are difficult to drag into the forest, so a couple of overdubs are inevitably a part of the process. Long passages of Pine Cone Temples are extremely sparse and minimal as acoustic instruments (guitar, percussion, bells, toy piano, accordion, recorder) begin to drift ever so gradually into the sonic landscape and gently lull the listener into a dreamlike state. If you treat this as background music there's no way you'll be able to appreciate its subtleties, so seek out a nice quiet place and spend some time alone with this lovely release. You'll be happy you did. [RH]







The Free Design: The Now Sound Redesigned
(Light in the Attic)

"Redesigned" / "Where Do I Go?"
"Don't Turn Away" Sharpshooters

There was a time in the poptastic indie world of the late-'90s, when old Free Design records were expensive, in-demand items for the hipster record collector. At that time, when releases by Belle & Sebastian, Stereolab and Magnetic Fields were burning a trail on the OM Hot 100 sales chart, it seemed fit that music fans would rediscover the breezy, defiantly soft vocal pop of this late-'60s family quartet. But a remix album featuring Madlib, Peanut Butter Wolf and Danger Mouse? Apparently, all of these beatmakers fell under the sugary spell of these records, while diggin' for beats to sample, which is kind of awesome. It's easy to understand why the second wave of Free Design mania could be led by many of the underground hip-hop elite. Just imagining a blunted Madlib getting all sunshine-smiley upon first listen to "Kites Are Fun," getting in touch with his inner cuddlecore does my heart good. And honestly, it makes sense. Any aspiring engineer or producer would be blown away by Enoch Light's subtle, nuanced touch on these recordings; the vocal arrangements are stunning and make amazing loops to cut up and filter.

That's basically what's going on. Progressive indie beatmakers are cutting up and remixing all of their favorite tracks here. The Now Sound Redesigned also features remixes by indie IDM luminaries Styrofoam, Caribou and Nobody, and includes tracks by indie pop supastars such as Super Furry Animals, Stereolab and Mellow. All in all, a nice, pleasant and refreshingly solid remix project that actually presents the songs in a different musical light and causes you to hear things in the originals that you didn't pick on up before. We love when that happens. [DH]






Viking Burial for a French Car
(Plinkity Plonk)

"Viking Burial for a French Car"

Mirror, the longstanding duo of founding HNAS member Christoph Heemann and noted British sound artist Andrew Chalk, is tough to parse. Not just because the group can expand to include friends like Jim O'Rourke or Andreas Martin, but because the type of diffuse, illumed, organic drone that the group trades in is usually only released on LP in beautiful hand-colored sleeves. And in absurdly small batches.

So it's a coup to have one of the most cinematic and dynamic pieces from Mirror come out in a quantifiable edition. Based around a rare 2003 live performance by the band in Scotland where they provided the soundtrack to the film Haxan, the group expanded to include David Keenan, Gavin Laird, and Alex Neilson. The celestial drones that Chalk and Heemann always bring to the table has been girded by the extra folk, and more percussive textures and bowed cymbals help their ability to crescendo and descend deftly. The intense sections bring to mind sections of Hermann Nitsch's aktions or prime AMM and Organum, as much as they do Tarkovsky's films. Recommended. [AB]







Faintly Blowing

"Faintly Blowing"
"Do It Again for Jeffrey"

There were three psychedelic rock acts called Kaleidoscope in the 1960s, but as far as I'm concerned the only one that really mattered was the group that came from the UK. I'd imagine that many OM update readers will probably know the band's songs "Flight From Ashiya" and "A Dream For Julie," which were highlights of the second Nuggets box set. Faintly Blowing, released by the Fontana label in 1969, was the second and last album Kaleidoscope made before signing to Vertigo and changing their name to Fairfield Parlour. Faintly Blowing falls right in the center of the band's discography, so it shares elements with both their earlier and later recordings. For every acid-drenched rock song with overdriven guitar feedback, phased drums, and heavy organ, there's a folky ballad and a wonderfully orchestrated and whimsical psychedelic pop gem. This is the most diverse of all the band's releases, and fans of the Pretty Things, the Kinks, Blossom Toes, Tomorrow, and early Pink Floyd will find a whole lot to love among the album's 12 tracks. This CD reissue includes the singles "Do It Again For Jeffrey" and "Balloon," as well as their respective B-sides and both sides of the single that the band released under the name I Luv Wight in 1970. This is a personal favorite of mine, a great album by one of the finest British bands of the psychedelic era. [RH]






Mabuta No Ura
(Catune Import)

"The Slow Ripple of a Puddle"
"Smoke Sequence"

Mabuta No Ura is another stellar release by one of my favorite bands, the undisputed masters of hyper-detailed explorations in tonal cogitation, feedback reverie, and hallucinogenic guitar musings. This soundtrack to a rumored imaginary film is Boris' most quintessential and poignant recording to date, with an ever-expansive transcendent chaos latent in its minimal sonic landscape ready to subconsciously pilot the listener through the shots and stills of his or her own imagination. The whole of this piece is a dynamic, shadowy and incandescent sonance, with a warm, guitar-driven force that slowly dilates through an ambient affair. There is only one heavy track, "A Bao A Qu," (released on an ultra-obscure picture disc 7" some while ago) that is in Heavy Rocks fashion (though slightly sludgier) with its vintage obsessed, thundering psych-blues-metal. The rest of the "soundtrack" is satiated with dreamy vibes, tribal rhythmics, and fuzz-damaged Kraut grooves, like the best parts of Mogwai, Pink Floyd, Low, and Harmonia.

There are four versions of this album: this Japanese version, TWO Brazilian versions to be released in late-August, and an ultra-swank, you'll-never-see-this-again vinyl release with over a dozen photo prints. So don't sleep! [MT]







(Planet Mu)


I don't know much about the two guys behind the Vex'd. A friend, who recently got back from a trip to London, suggested that I look out for their debut album on Planet Mu. I did, and now I can't stop listening. Degenerate is a limited two-CD collection of new material (Disc-1) and old singles (Disc-2) by this duo. It's the freshest thing that I've heard come out of the grime/dubstep-2-step/breaks/drum 'n' bass/drill 'n' bass scene in quite some time. Bridging the off-kilter, rapid-steady pulse of 2-step or D 'n' B and the shredded digital aesthetics of the grime and breaks genres, the music is sure to tear the roof off some unsuspecting listeners homes, or send the diehard raver into an ecstatic frenzy. The rhythms are hard, tight, and irresistible. You'll be entranced by the start-stop distortion, the time-stretched synths, understated hip-hop, reggae, and techno references, and the sharp, shimmering sounds coming from the speakers. Vex'd are the toast of the Dubstep scene at the moment, and it's obvious why; they make infectious dance music.

The blazing first single, "Pop Pop," is included here, with a V.I.P. remix. You've heard all these elements before (dark synths, whip-snapping snares, bowel-rumbling bass, pounding kick drums, and stretched vocal drops,) but Vex'd's approach is both fresh and instantly classic. Check out tracks like "Thunder," "Fire," "Lion," "Smart Bombs," and "Destruction;" its all dark, dangerous and explosive, for sure. Their use of space and silence within the five-to-seven-minute-long cuts, is probably the most intoxicating skill of their productions. Aside from the rhythms, the sound is most reminiscent of Photek's classic releases. The duo's intentional drop-ins/drop-outs and sonic manipulations work its way into the head and down the spine. Minimal elements (electronic bass, drums, synths) make up the music's foundation with digital treatments that take you into the dark and frenzied regions of rave culture, conjuring images of glow sticks dancing in the air, sweat dripping down your face and back, eyes glazed.

This debut from Vex'd is better than the grime comps on Rephlex, and much more raw and rave influenced than any of the MCs currently riding that wave. Another interesting aspect of this record would be the slight variations of the rhythm styles from all the aforementioned sub-genres. Vex'd seem to have taken the last 10 years of underground music, in its different mutations, and blended them all together into one cohesive album. If you're into the likes of Venetian Snares, Team Shadetek, the ragga-dub influence of classic D 'n' B, producers like Dj/Rupture, Mutamassik and Muslimgauze, or if you're just waiting for the UK to give you a grime classic not aimed at the pop charts, here ya go. Not for the lightweight, but don't say I didn't warn you…fear not the bass. Or a good rave. Another "lighter in the air" type of t'ing. [DG]







Triptych of Poisoners
(Alga Marghen)

"The Man Who Cried"
"Snappy Fingers"

Italy's Alga Marghen unveil the first of its Homosexuals-related reissues in the form of Milk from Cheltenham's Triptych of Poisoners. Amos (aka L. Voag) of the Homosexuals released this gem on his It's War Boys label in 1983, in a limited run of a measly 300 copies. The material was recorded, mostly on a cassette recorder, between 1979-1981, and although band leader Lepke claims to have wanted Milk from Cheltenham to sound like the Beach Boys, Triptych of Poisoners is a barrage of twisted avant pop, art rock, sound collages, and experimental noise that bears some semblance to This Heat, Residents, and Henry Cow, but primarily explores uncharted musical waters. Highly recommended and best snapped up quickly since the CD is limited to 500. Now bring on the Amos & Sara reissue. [AK]







Shinki Chen
(World Psychedelia)

"Requiem of Confusion"
"The Dark Sea Dream"

Ahhhh, Shinki Chen. One of my favorite mind-bending axe-jammers next to Eduardo Bort, Pappo, Sterling Morrison, Bo Anders Persson, Koray... this amplified mushroom-hair-cloud dude-in-orbit wails in serious volume. Dope-demon Shinki Chen released this most degenerate pharmaceutical party in 1971, somewhere in between his weird Foodbrain outfit and the incredibly whacked and far-out Speed, Glue, and Shinki. Shinki and his Friends prelude the heavy-jam booze-blues of S, G and S, in line with their fellow Japanese peers Blues Creation and Jun Kamikubo, with loads of fuzz, attitude, and dope-damaged tunes--with Shinki's critically wastered vocals musing off explicitly in boorish-male, Paleolithic fashion. I love this sh*t. Red blooded stoned 'n' zoned psych rock at its finest. If you don't believe me, check what fuzz-man Wally Gonzales of the band Juan de la Cruz has to say about Shinki Chen and his crews:

"The words of Sniffing and Snorting say he's snorting out of the hands of a stgranger. That's pretty cool I guess. He's smoking a J on a beutuful day. He took a sip of wine and started loading his gun and shot it in his veins, By the time I pull it out I'm gonna feel so strange. No sh*t. I feel pretty strange too with I do that. Speed Glue is great when they play fast too, but we ain't talking about that right now. Lying in a pool of yourself on some hillside turning in to the earth and sucking up the vegetation and letting weather just happen. This is the fukcin ggroup man, Speed Glue and Shinki. Thankfull ball attention." [MT]







Spelled in Bones
(Sub Pop)

"The Wind That Blew My Heart Away"
"The Dark Sea Dream"

It's true, summer is almost over. In another month, the sun will dimmer and the leaves will change color. No more lazy days at the beach and BBQs that last late into the night. For some reason, Spelled in Bones made me come to this realization. With its mellow percussion, twangy guitar sound, melodic piano/keyboard moments, and nostalgic retro-indie lyrics (think early Beulah, Mojave 3, Apples in Stereo, etc.), all I can think of is summer bliss. Listen to this album with all the windows rolled down (or top down if you're lucky enough to come across a convertible) while driving on an empty open road, with the sun shining. [AC]








Wray's Three Track Shack
(Arcadia Import)

"Fallin' Rain"
"Canyon Girl"

Wray's Three-Track Shack chronicles the phenomenal, yet not widely-known, early-1970s output of living rock and roll legend Link Wray. Famous the world over for his ferocious instrumental hits from the 1950s, including "Rumble" and "Rawhide," Wray recorded sporadically throughout the 1960s before reaching his creative pinnacle with a series of albums produced in a makeshift three-track recording studio, located in the chicken coop on his family's farm in Maryland. This two-disc set is made up of Wray's complete chicken coop recordings, which include his eponymous 1971 release, the UK only Beans And Fatback--released in 1973 but recorded simultaneously with the earlier record--and another release from 1971, featuring pianist Bobby Howard singing Wray's songs under the pseudonym Mordicai Jones.

This is some of the most exhilarating and authentic American roots rock that you will ever hear. If you're a fan of the Band, the Sir Douglas Quintet, Neil Young, or any of the Stones' albums from around the same time period, specifically Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile On Main St., then prepare to have your mind completely blown. Wray's hits are great and all, but they don't even compare to anything on these three records. His voice is spellbinding, sometimes managing to sound like Van Morrison, Charlie Feathers, and Captain Beefheart all at once. Howard is aptly described in the liner notes as a "more conventional" singer, but he sounds especially gorgeous and majestic on the single "Walkin' in the Arizona Sun." Every song on Wray's Three-Track Shack is amazing, from scorching boogie rock burners to heartbreaking ballads steeped in country, gospel, and delta blues. Unless you already know and love these records, you're not going to believe how good this is. [RH]




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[RB] Randy Breaux
[AC] Amanda Colbenson
[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[DH] Duane Harriott
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[MK] Michael Klausman
[JS] Jeremy Sponder
[MT] Mahssa Taghinia

- all of us at Other Music

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