December 20 , 2005  



Dear Friends:
The Holiday Season is upon us and with that comes the last Other Music Update of 2005. For the rest of the week, the store will be operating under our normal weekday hours of Noon until 9:00 p.m. through Friday. On Christmas Eve, we will open an hour hour earlier at 11:00 a.m. and close at 5:00 p.m., and open back up at Noon on Monday, December 26. Thank you for all of your support this past year, and we hope that you have a wonderful Holiday and a Happy New Year!

-All of Us at Other Music





Songs of Green Pheasant
Panda Bear (CD single)
Diplo (FabricLive 24)
Cocteau Twins (Box Set)
Cat Power (7" single)
The Travellers
Tropicalia (Soul Jazz Compilation)
3/4 Had Been Eliminated
Fonotone (Box Set)
Sonic Youth & Tim Barnes


Voice of the Seven Woods (7")
Samandtheplants (7")
Jane Weaver & the Meadows (7")


Aoki Takamasa + Tujiko Noriko
KK.NULL/Chris Watson/Z'ev


DEC Sun 25 Mon 26 Tues 27 Wed 28 Thurs 29 Fri 30 Sat 31

Photo by Nikola Tamindzic

In a season known for revelry, we like to think that our annual bash at APT can hold its own. The recipe: you take one part DJ mayhem (round-robin DJ sets from the entire Other Music staff), add a healthy dose of killer sound (courtesy of APT's amazing new system), just a splash of alcohol (or to vodka bar 9 to 10 p.m., $5 rum punch until the well runs dry), mix well, and serve with good friends. Plus, if the subway strike is still on, they usually light a couple of garbage can fires in front of the meat-packing warehouses around 4 a.m., so you can huddle comfortably until daylight! No cover, drink specials, and great music guaranteed. See you on Tuesday!

APT: 419 W. 13th Street NY, NY
Tuesday, December 27
9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Open Vodka Bar from 9 to 10:00 p.m.
$5 Rum Punch all night

DEC Sun 25 Mon 26 Tues 27 Wed 28 Thurs 29 Fri 30 Sat 31

Peanut Butter Wolf

Celebrate the Eve of New Year's Eve with a holiday throwdown featuring DJ sets from Stones Throw's Peanut Butter Wolf, Koushik and Baron Zen, plus Duane Harriott (Other Music/Negroclash/Audio Archaeology.) Everyone who attends will also receive an exclusive Stones Throw Holiday Mix CD!

CAPONES: 221 N. 9th Street Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Friday, December 30

JAN Sun 1 Mon 2 Tues 3 Wed 4 Thurs 5 Fri 6 Sat 7

The Double
Photo by Wesley Law

Other Music is giving away two pairs of tickets to the Double's upcoming show at the Bowery Ballroom, with special guests, Celebration. To enter, e-mail The two winners will be notified by 3:00 p.m., Friday, December 30th. Leave a daytime phone number where you can be reached.

Saturday, January 7th








Songs of Green Pheasant

"Soldiers Kill Their Sisters"

A solo project of Sheffield native Adam Sumpner, this unassuming yet infinitely intriguing debut is atmospheric folk-pop at its best. The album is full of lovely acoustic guitar and vocal pieces, but strategically curtained in just enough haze to keep you staring deeply into the fog. José González meets Flying Saucer Attack, or the Clientele fronted by Panda Bear…this late-comer would no doubt be topping a number of top 10s this year if you could just hear it over the din of Christmas music blaring all over town. Listen up. [JM]








I'm Not/Comfy in Nautica

"Comfy in Nautica"

While this has been a hell of a year for the Animal Collective, they're not content to rest just yet. Keeping himself busy in Lisbon, Panda Bear follows up his minimal Young Prayer with this new single, and it melds his many loves into two sweet sides. There's that murmuring, electronic bubbling familiar to his Jane side-project with our own Scott Mou on display, as well as that vocal layering that always reminds folks of Beach Boys, and just enough droney weirdness. [AB]








FabricLive 24

"Don't Go" / "When I Hear the Music"
"Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)" / "Nightdrive (Thru Babylon)"

Over the past two years, Diplo has been building his productions like a stop-animation film, carefully choosing and exposing each (very different) track like a single frame, to create a moving story that describes his musical foundation. On his FabricLive mix, he starts right off the top with the sweet vocals of Nina Sky, and then moves onward to '80s electro-pop classics like Yazoo's "Don't Go" and Debbie Deb's "When I Hear Music," only to change course a little later with Aphex Twin's "Windowlicker." And of course it wouldn't be a Diplo production without M.I.A. and some baile funk thrown in, not to mention opposite musical forces like Ludacris, Le Tigre, Outkast and the Cure. I'd like to say that this is a true glimpse into the musical mind of Diplo, but being a commercially cleared mix, I'm not so sure--much of his allure has come from his disregard for copyright law. Either way, Diplo's selection is all over the place, just as we'd hope for. [LM]








Lullabies to Violaine

"Aikea-Guinea (Alternate Version)"

In spite of numerous imitators, there is truly no other group like the Cocteau Twins. During the better part of the '80s, the shimmering, ethereal chimes emanating from Robin Guthrie's guitar and Elizabeth Fraser's otherworldly fluttering melodies were quite literally the 4AD label's calling card. While the Cocteau Twins' 'mystique' diminished a little during their slightly more earthbound days on Capitol Records--and coincidentally as Fraser's oblique vocal textures became occasionally comprehensible--they stayed true to their singular gossamer vision until quietly breaking up in the late-'90s. Of course, with such a rabid following still spreading the Cocteau gospel to the uninitiated, there are already some compilations out there, most notably 2000's best-of collection Stars and Topsoil. But Lullabies to Violaine isn't a "greatest hits" package, but rather an essential release for both the diehards as well as those looking to sample the Cocteau Twins' heavenly sounds.

This four-CD set chronologically compiles every single, EP, B-side and extended track released during the band's lifespan; and this is actually the first time that all of the Cocteau Twins' non-album tracks have been included in one set. Lullabies to Violaine audibly traces the group's evolution from their darker, murkier days, and into the lovely shimmering dream pop which they would be best remembered by. Over the 59-tracks, we get hard-to-find early singles; a 12-inch version of "Sugar Hiccup;" the magnificent Tiny Dynamine and Echoes in a Shallow Bay EPs; alternate mixes of "Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops" and "Aikea-Guinea;" acoustic versions of "Bluebeard, "Rilkean Heart," "Pink Orange Red" and "Half-Gifts;" as well a few downtempo remixes of '90s-era tracks from Seefeel's Mark Clifford, including "Cherry-Coloured Funk" off of Heaven or Las Vegas. Featuring beautiful album artwork by Vaughan Oliver, this deluxe version of Lullabies to Violaine is limited to 10,000 copies and comes in a beautiful fold-out package made from creamy, description-defying material aptly called Curious Soft Touch Milk. [GH]








The Greatest / Hate

"The Greatest"

Rumor has it that Chan Marshall was approached with the question, "What would it take for you to record a new album?" The answer will be heard on January 24, 2006, when the highly-anticipated new Cat Power full-length, The Greatest sees release. Until then, Matador has released this seven-inch single with the album's title track backed by the hauntingly destructive "Hate." Thank you Matador for the 99-cent preview! [LM]

We will begin taking pre-orders for the new Cat Power album off of our website on January 10th.








Black Black Minds

"Black Black Minds"
"Natty Dread at the Controls"

Just a few years before legendary Waterhouse producer Prince Jammy introduced digital rhythms and forever altered the course of reggae, he was busy working with two vocal harmony groups: Black Uhuru and the Travellers. The former went on to become international reggae stars while the latter would be relegated to obscurity and cult status. Why? I'm not so sure, but what I do know is that this collection of 16 rare sides shows a group at the top of their game. Beautifully woven harmonizing, led by Neville 'Lerch' Hoffman's nasally voice, perfectly compliments the jangly rhythms of their topnotch band. (The group's line-up includes the Aggrovators with Sly and Robbie, Tommy McCook, and Ansel Collins.) This CD also features some wonderful dub versions that showcase Jammy's impressive studio skills. While many of these songs have never been widely available they somehow sound familiar and immediate, in a good way. [GA]








Tropicalia: Brazilian Revolution in Sound
(Soul Jazz)

"Alfomega" Caetano Veloso
"Tuareg" Gal Costa

The Tropicalia movement in Brazil was a short-lived musical, political and cultural freak-out that lasted little more than a year (effectively quashed in 1969 by the politically-motivated deportation of its visionaries, the songwriters/performers Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil), but its impact has been deep and long lasting, throughout Brazil and the world. The political climate in Brazil at the time was far too complex to discuss in a record review, but suffice it to say that this was a deeply controlled and repressed society, where freedom of expression was out of the question and the government tried to dictate everything, right down to the rhythms of the drums (literally).

Veloso and Gil took a cue from the burgeoning British and North American psych and folk scenes, but with a fierce national pride and musical background, and created a new sound that blended traditional rhythms and forms with electric rock, psychedelia, African grooves, political double-entendre, performance art and raw passion. Working with a small group of like-minded artists, including Os Mutantes, Gal Costa, Jorge Ben and Tom Ze, they sowed the seeds for change in Brazil, but not before the iron fist of the man crashed down on their collective heads.

Anyway, all this and much more is detailed in the excellent 50-page booklet that comes with the new Tropicalia compilation on Soul Jazz. (Don't confuse this comp with the original, and now unavailable, 1968 collection, Tropicalia ou Panis et Circenses.) Essentially a primer of this fertile and inspirational time, Tropicalia is not essential for the dedicated collector, as its 20 tracks are not obscurities, but rather the best of the best. It's a killer mix-tape of the greatest tracks of the period from all the major players--most of whom have since gone on to become huge stars in their native land as well as internationally, and none of whom have given up their ideals for mainstream success. Beautifully remastered, packaged with classic Soul Jazz flair, and a perfect gift to boot! [JM]








A Year of the Aural Gauge Operation

"Wave Bye Bye to the King"

Fusing the live interaction between electronic and acoustic instruments (a mish mash of electronics, guitar, bass, field recordings, turntables and random objects) while treating the studio itself as a separate instrument (effects, tape loops etc.), Italian four piece 3/4 Had Been Eliminated create a meandering flow of sonic lava that rarely fails to hypnotize. The nine pieces on A Year of the Aural Gauge Operation are all quite different, from organic drones to atmospheric guitar-led compositions, some of them recalling Hapna house band Tape's soundscapes, but with the addition of occasional vocals, or some of the recent Kranky releases, and the band's studio manipulations give a nod to This Heat. Another recommended Hapna release. [AK]









This is the second heavy, luxurious package from the folks at Dust-to-Digital, who were responsible for the jaw-dropping Goodbye Babylon box from two years back, this time digitizing the recordings made by the King of Record Collectors, Joe Bussard. If you've ever heard any old 78 comps, be it on the Yazoo or Revenant imprint, there's a high chance that these sides were on loan from Bussard, who boasts the greatest collection of American music from that era. But he was no mere hoarder/collector, as this box set reveals that Joe Bussard also recorded others, and the set culls all the reels of tape and shellac sides that have never before seen laserlight. There are heaps of songs from hillbilly and bluegrass bands of the early-'50s, but the greatest thrill comes from Joe and his drinking buddies picking and grinning on their own. Fans of John Fahey should take special note, as this set has the man's earliest sides, when he was recording under the nom de plume, Blind Thomas. And dig the nickel-plated bottle opener that comes with it, perfect for sipping on a bottle of sarsaparilla. [AB]








Still Valley
(Die Stadt)

"1 Valley"
"2 Valley"

Lest you think that modern renaissance man Jim O'Rourke abandoned his electro-acoustic roots completely to play with Sonic Youth, Wilco, and produce Beth Orton and Judee Sill, his appearances with Mirror suggest that he still has an ear for the stuff. Not that he is the focus of the group, as it remains firmly within the realms of its two core members, Germany's Christoph Heemann and England's Andrew Chalk, but his presence on Still Valley can be felt. For those new to Mirror, it's all about the drone, but rather than be overwhelming and in your face (as in the instances of Tony Conrad or Phill Niblock), theirs is always slipping just out of reach, to where it seems to be ever-receding and always in flux, never settling into an easy pattern. Whereas some other releases gently massage in field recordings and acoustic instrumentation, Still Valley has some primitive sinewave generators and tones in its midst, or rather, mists. Ever so gently, the trio moves through the peaks and valleys such waves suggest over three long pieces, elucidating warm drones while at the same time eluding easy capture. [AB]








Koncertas Stan Brakhage Prisiminimui

A live recording from 2003, Koncertas Stan Brakhage Prisiminimui is the sixth volume in Sonic Youth's SYR series, where they explore territories slightly left of center (and even further from the Geffen headquarters). Performed at, and as a benefit for, Anthology Film Archives, New York's bastion of avant-garde film making, Sonic Youth are joined by percussionist Tim Barnes (Tower Recordings, Silver Jews, etc.) in an hour-long free-spirited romp that goes from percussive silent film soundtrack, via a trance-like heavy drone attack, to full on rhythmic feedback devastation with effortless ease. Overwhelming and essential, it's the best of the SYR's so far. [AK]





Voice of the Seven Woods




Jane Weaver


An Hour Before Dawn
(Twisted Nerve)

Progressive youngster Rick Tomlinson has been diligent and operative in Manchester's vivid and diverse sonic landscape, communally sharing the same passion for delectable jazz, folk, and prog obscurities from twice round the globe. Having shared studio time with Badly Drawn Boy and Aidan Smith and recently (personally!) asked by John Renbourn to back him on future live performances, Rick (a/k/a Voice of the Seven Woods) has finally released his debut on the Twisted Nerve label. Supported by drummer Chris Walmsley (who has recorded with Broadcast), Rick's traditional yet forward-facing folk vision and acoustic-six-string dexterity and ingenuity rings authentically true on this four-track vinyl EP, which is now slowly but surely making waves across the Atlantic to find peers amongst American newbie-but-goodie acid-folkers such as Six Organs of Admittance and Jack Rose. The young virtuoso takes his rootsy, time-honored vintage influences (a la John Fahey) and hypnotically melds the tunes with ecstatic kraut-y drive, tropicalia flavor and psych-pervy eastern jams (especially when outfitted with a sitar), subtly echoing the best of John Martyn and Davy Graham. Lovingly packaged in a foldout screen-printed sleeve, a highly recommended and very limited Other Music exclusive.

Also, along with the Voice of the Seven Woods release we've received just-as-limited seven-inch offerings from Twisted Nerve labelmates Samandtheplants, and Misty Dixon frontwoman Jane Weaver's solo 45 with the Meadows--released on her own label, Bird. Where the "two-headed acidic folk outfit [Samandtheplants] provide Faust-esque commune schlock" (as deciphered by label-man Andy Votel), Jane Weaver's three-song 45 is an endearingly precarious lo-fi, hazy, soft-pedal warble. Her silvery sweet purrings (also heard on Doves' "Seven Day Smile") carry her happy-sad delicate tunes, which boast talented songwriting sensibility comparable to Cat Power and White Magic. Dreamy melodies and flourishing instrumentation (like the fuzzy washes on "You're a Riot")--with a gorgeous lilt creeping on a 'gossamery dissonance' with kin lady sounds perhaps being vintage psych folk paisley-poppers Wendy & Bonnie, Hope Sandoval, and Drag City's Nina Nastasia. [MT]








Remembering Today

"In Tandem"

Best known for his 2002 breakthrough Stars on My Ceiling, Caural's (a/k/a Zachary Mastoon) fusion of electronic, hip-hop and Eastern sounds has earned him a place next to Four Tet, Caribou (formerly Manitoba) and Prefuse 73, while his productions are still very much his own unique style. Remembering Today is an excellent overview of the music from this Chicago native (who now lives in New York City and is currently working on a new full-length), featuring unreleased material recorded between 2003 and 2005.










The album's title comes from the shared age of these two Japanese artists, both who now reside in France. The result of a three-year collaboration, 28 features the delicate push and pull between the warm, ambient tones and the icy cut-up electronics, as well as some abstract trip-hop undertones, meanwhile Tujiko's breathy melodies lulls the listener into a beautiful dream state.








Number One


On the Touch website, composer/percussionist Z'ev recalls how Boyd Rice e-mailed him commenting, "This is the first avant-garde piece I have heard in years that is truly avant-garde." Number One merges former Cabaret Voltaire/Hafler Trio member Chris Watson's East African field recordings with Z'ev and Japanese composer/performer KK.NULL's electro-acoustic compositions, creating a surprising dialogue between natural outside noises (i.e. insects, birds and elephant calls) and synthetic sounds and rhythms.




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[GA] Geoff Albores
[AB] Adrian Burkholder
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[JM] Josh Madell
[LM] Liane Moccia
[MT] Mahssa Taghinia

- all of us at Other Music

    Copyright 2005 Other Music Newsletter Design Big Code