February 10 , 2004  




Sublime Frequencies (six releases)
Out Hud (new single)
Mia Doi Todd
Bubblepop (RPM compilation)
High On Fire
Mike Ladd


Two Culture Clash (various artists)
Postal Service (CD single)
David Last
Kemialliset Ystävät
Deb Players (reissue)
Rapper Big Pooh

David Sylvian (Blemish remixes)
Harold Budd

FEB Sun 20 Mon 21 Tues 22 Wed 23 Thurs 24 Fri 25 Sat 26
MAR Sun 27 Mon 28 Tues 01 Wed 02 Thurs 03 Fri 04 Sat 05
MAR Sun 13 Mon 14 Tues 15 Wed 16 Thurs 17 Fri 18 Sat 19
MAR Sun 20 Mon 21 Tues 22 Wed 23 Thurs 24 Fri 25 Sat 26

Matt Sweeney & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy


(record release party)
Monday, February 21 @ 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 5 @ 9:00 p.m.

MICHAEL GIRA (record release party)
Monday, March 14 @ 8:00 p.m.

BRENDAN BENSON (record release party)
Tuesday, March 22 @ 8:00 p.m.

15 East 4th Street NY, NY
Free Admission/Limited Capacity

FEB Sun 20 Mon 21 Tues 22 Wed 23 Thurs 24 Fri 25 Sat 26

Matthew Herbert




Friday, February 25
Spectrum de Montréal: 318, Sainte-Catherine St. West Montréal, Quebec

$33.50 + tax and service CANADIAN DOLLARS
Purchase tickets on-line: mutek.ca & ticketpro.ca Reservations: 1-866-908-9090


Ricardo Villalobos

(rare North American performance)
plus a collective performance from STEVE BEAUPRÉ & SCOTT "DEADBEAT" MONTEITH (of the duo Crackhaus), MIKE SHANNON, MOSSA and JAY HUNSBERGER

Saturday, February 26
JUST FOR LAUGHS MUSEUM: 2111 St-Laurent Blvd 5th Floor, Montréal, Quebec

First 300 tickets @ $25 + service CANADIAN DOLLARS
All others @ $30 + service CANADIAN DOLLARS
Purchase tickets on-line: mutek.ca & admission.com
Reservations: (514) 790-1245

Special NUIT ELECTRONIK & PLAT DU JOUR packages at $49.50 (+ tax and service) Available in limited quantities at mutek.ca and ticketpro.ca

Tickets for both nights also available at:
*MOOG AUDIO - 3830 Saint-Laurent Blvd. Montreal
*ATOM HEART - 364B Sherbrooke East Montreal







Out of Breach

"Out of Breach"

Maurice Fulton and performance artist Mutsumi Kanamori have just released their new album after a successful, expectations-blowing tour. Like the last one, Out of Breach simultaneously rocks and challenges the dancefloor. But unlike the last one, dancefloor nazis won't find that this album's best tracks are available on the single.

The single "Paris Hilton" is cool and all, but it's the title track that kills it for me. Deep, dank and forbidden sounding with Kanamori using the pitchshifter on her voice to impersonate an S&M dungeon master like the one featured on Anthony Rother's "Red Light District." The live, yet non-DFA rumbling bass rocks the killer track, "Tigerbastard." It's vaguely similar to "Let's Get Sick" but you WILL play this jam. The same goes for "Throwing Up." "Extreme" too.

Kanamori continues to call out all her naysayerers in her lyrics, cutting down all the haters who might accuse her of being a Yoko Ono wannabe. This time around, Fulton leaves all the wacky craziness for Kanamori and focuses on keeping the jams going. There is some sick, effective production throughout, bent and solid in all the right places. Good enough that there could have been an instrumental version worth grabbing as well. Get this one first. [SM]








"Culture for Dollars"
"Ever Somber"

Forget funky loops, machine gun tongued rhymes, or cartoon samples, Dalek have never been your typical underground hip-hop crew. Named after their MC, this New Jersey trio are more than likely to seek inspiration from a Faust or My Bloody Valentine record than some long-lost funk obscurity. That said, their third album (second on Mike Patton's Ipecac imprint) is by far their most abrasive. Amidst simple yet gritty beats, factory noises grind, wheeze and whir like a room full of circular saws. In this setting DJ Still's skilled scratching is shriller than the sound of a dental drill. Meanwhile, Dalek raps about his disdain for hip-hop's commercial culture, politics, organized religion, and all things apocalyptic. Not for your backpacker, this sh*t is heady, dark and ominous. [GH]







$13.99 LP


Outside Closer

"The Negatives"
"The Lost You"

Leeds quartet Hood return (after having nearly broken up) from a three-year absence with a record that further expounds on their ever-burgeoning palette of 2001's Cold House (itself trumping the lo-fi roots of the group). A sense of warmth pervades the group's fifth album even as it deals with large spaces. Opening track "The Negatives" gives directions such as "Go to the furthest place from your house/ Stand there awhile/ Make sure you're broke/ And watch the birds fly around." The sonics suggest openness as well, and it's not too hard to trace a similar pastoral affection (and affinity for open-ended songs) shared by folks like Movietone, Bark Psychosis, or later Slowdive. But the group also excels at merging acoustics and electronics into glitchy-pop. Check the thumping beauty and rippling guitar of "The Lost You," which at times stutters as much as Mouse on Mars and yet has a melancholic sweetness akin to the Notwist. As the album progresses though, it's also quite apparent that Hood shares a love for grandfatherly Robert Wyatt, airing out wispy voices to merge with delicate filigrees of piano, noisy reverberations, and cymbal-heavy drums. For fans of the above-mentioned bands. [RB]








Living in the Gleam of an Unsheathed Sword

"Living in the Gleam of an Unsheathed Sword"

Remember the majestic sludge that was "Extra-Capsular Extraction" -- pure stoner metal that came from the gut, could go on forever, and didn't just sound like an epic intro to a Troll-metal jam? Well the 15-minute solo guitar performance by Dylan Carlson (played live on WNYU's New Afternoon Show in 2002) that makes up track one of this album is a step into that head loosening territory. Slow, heavy riffs double back and fold into each other endlessly and tirelessly without accompaniment, and without needing it.

The second and final song is a single 59-minute long track of Earth playing live in the Knitting Factory on the same night as their radio appearance. This is Earth-style drums and guitar hacking their way through the tundra. This is not merely the hypnotic groove of fellow stoners Pharaoh Overlord. Here, Earth force the riffs to climb, arch and hang over the beats again and again. Riffs and drums stage a lumbering dual-attack, regroup for a few measures and begin yet another slow-motion attack. As Earth display an affinity for dizzying repetition, their capacity for soul-scraping cannot be ignored. Heavenly Hell. [SM]








Volume 2 / Various
(Sublime Frequencies)

"Talang Denti" Syamsudin

Alan Bishop has put together a much-appreciated companion volume to the first Sublime Frequencies CD, Folk And Pop Sounds Of Sumatra. Volume Two guides us through six distinct musical traditions from the world's largest matrilineal culture and throws in a great Western-influenced '60s pop song for good measure. A number of the selections are in the Dangdut style, in which a violin or flute melody follows the vocal line. The rhythm on these songs isn't too far from reggae. One track is described as Pop Minang and features an ensemble of percussionists playing Talempong (a small malleted gong); it's one of the highlights of the disc. Tari and Traditional Minang are more stripped-down folk styles associated with religious ceremonies and dances. One track features Sitogol singing, a form of musical storytelling performed in unison by a male and female vocalist. My personal favorite tracks on the collection are the elegant, heavily orchestrated Bollywood-ish Orkes Gambus songs, a style which was brought to Sumatra from Yemen by Islamic settlers. [RH]








Various Thai Country Groove from Isan
(Sublime Frequencies)

""Mai Ow Mai Ow (Don't Want Don't Want Marriage)"

Mark Gergis, the man behind the excellent Cambodian Cassette Archives disc, makes another great contribution to the label with Molam: Thai Country Groove From Isan. This compilation documents the fusion of Western pop and traditional folk music that occurred in Northeastern Thailand in the 1970s and '80s. These songs include indigenous instruments--khaen (bamboo mouth organ), phin (similar to a lute), sor (bowed fiddle), finger cymbals, hand drums, and more--in addition to distorted guitars, electric organs, and drum sets. While most of this stuff isn't as zany as anything on the Cambodian Cassette collection, there's an overt playfulness to nearly all of the songs. Gergis has kindly translated the songs titles, which include "Husband Drunk, Wife Drunk," "Ganja Better Than Booze," and "Don't Want, Don't Want Marriage? No Way!" Of the six new discs released by the label, Molam is definitely the most eccentric and probably the most fun. [RH]








Folk Sounds From Nepal
(Sublime Frequencies)

"Snake Charmers/Radio Nepal IV"

Robert Millis of Climax Golden Twins released his own collection of field recordings from Southeast Asia back in 2002, quite a while before the Sublime Frequencies discs started to trickle out. Now he's joined up with Alan Bishop for a collection entitled Harmika Yab-Yum: Folk Sounds From Nepal. Robert's own music tends to incorporate a lot of field recordings and sound collages, so it is fitting that this particular compilation has plenty of both. The CD was put together from recordings made on a two-month long trip to Nepal in 1996 in addition to uncredited "archival sources." About half of the disc is in the style of the label's Radio series, with a nice selection of traditional Nepalese songs and instruments and indigenous automobile horn noises. The best tracks, though, are the raw recordings that Millis made during his travels, perfectly realized aural snapshots of incredible scenes and events. He captures a pair of snake charmers, a wedding procession, a group prayer chant in a Buddhist monastery, and -- best of all -- a ritual goat and bull sacrifice accompanied by celebratory gunfire and "crazed orchestra wail(ing)." [RH]








(Sublime Frequencies)

"Father/Son Vocal With Erhu"

Streets of Lhasa is by far my personal favorite of all the new Sublime Frequencies CDs. It was put together by Zhang Jian of the Beijing musical group fm3, who went to Tibet with a cheap microphone and a portable MiniDisc recorder and paid street musicians to perform for him in the parks of the main cities. Like last year's amazing Bush Taxi Mali collection, this is one of those rare Sublime Frequencies releases that has been put together with the sensibilities of a folklorist or ethnographer. The crude voices of the performers and the handmade instruments they use are simple and unbearably effective. It's painful to consider that these incredible musicians are paid by the penny to perform on sidewalks. There are far too many highlights on this disc to list, but I'd imagine that the two recordings of a man singing and playing a bowed string instrument to shrieking accompaniment from his iron-lunged three-year-old boy will probably stick in my mind for a very, very long time. That kid is flat-out amazing. If you're going to start with just one of these new discs, Streets Of Lhasa is the one I would suggest. [RH]






Phnom Penh



Various Indonesian FM Experience
(Sublime Frequencies)

"Karaoke Hit Parade"

(Sublime Frequencies)

"Rebel Guitars in Strange Dialect"

Like previous volumes in Sublime Frequencies' very popular Radio series, Radio Sumatra and Radio Phnom Penh are fascinating collections of programming excerpts recorded right off the airwaves. At times almost surreal, both offer one-of-a-kind glimpses into Indonesia and Cambodia's popular music cultures which adopt and mix Western influences from rock, pop, metal and folk with the respective country's more traditional music. You'll also hear karaoke call-in shows and station IDs you'd swear were coming off your local top 40 station. [GH]







$5.99 12-inch


One Life to Leave

"One Life to Leave"

If Out Hud's new single, "One Life to Leave," is any indication, the group's visceral, dance-party-in-your-head sounds are a-changin'. Band members Phyllis and Molly make their recorded vocal debuts with Out Hud -- that's right, there are vocal melodies on top of the group's esoteric grooves. And while this is definitely intelligent dance music (not of the IDM variety), it's probably the band's most outwardly dancefloor friendly, electro-funkin' track yet. You'll want to check out the remix by Justin Van Der Volgen (who also plays in Out Hud's sister band !!!). I think it's hotter than the original. I can't wait for the full-length. [GH]







(Plug Research)

"What If We Do?"
"My Room is White"

Manzanita is Mia Doi Todd's fifth album and her first for the Plug Research label. Where previous records had solely focused on her small yet full-mouthed vocals, her latest endeavor includes contributions from members of Beachwood Sparks, Dead Meadow, The Tyde, Future Pigeon and Brian Jonestown Massacre. Like folk traditionalists Nick Drake and Sandy Denny, Todd holds a dimly lit torch high in the overcast sky, singing words that reflect our contemporary life, placing them in a once ancient frame that's now modern again.

The opening verse sets the mood: "I've been looking for a way out of this crazy situation now / The world in crisis seems like paradise was lost and won't be found / And all of life is endangered and on the verge of breaking down." Instruments like dulcimer, mandolin, piano, strings and horns, along with rock instrumentation, bring her words to life and shift the scene from calm to almost tension-filled landscapes.

As the profiles of new folk acts like Joanna Newsom, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Devendra Banhart, and even Antony & the Johnsons have been on the ascendance, Todd has been waiting for the listening public to catch up to the simple power and beauty of her voice, yet she doesn't just run aimlessly through the green hills of the countryside.

A few of my favorites tracks are the rock steady (yes reggae) fueled song "Casa Nova" which features all the members of Future Pigeon, the handclap-led "Tongue-Tied," and the rolling piano driven "Deep at Sea." Co-produced by Brent Rademaker of Beachwood Sparks and Frausdots. [DG]







Bubblepop - Lipsmackin' Volume 5

"Motorbike Annie" Del
"I Am an Astronaut" Ricky Wilde

Bubblepop is the fifth release in RPM's Lipsmackin 70s series of compilations, curated by junkshop pop guru Phil King. This collection focuses on singles released by the UK record label, which existed for about five years under the leadership of producer/songwriter/impresario Jonathan King. Among his stable of artists were Ricky Wilde and Simon Turner, both of whom were featured on 2003's incredible Velvet Tinmine CD and are now on Bubblepop as well.

What do you get when you combine long-forgotten teen idols, a deadpan soft rock cover of "Satisfaction" with a banjo player and a full string section, a guest appearance by Richard Thompson of Fairport Convention, a strange Jackie Mittoo-esque anglo-reggae muzak instrumental, a song written by Gerry Rafferty of Stealers Wheel, and a 12-year-old boy singing a brilliant Ziggy Stardust knock-off called "I Am an Astronaut?" Only one of the most unforgettably strange and entertaining collections of British pop music you'll hear in this or any other lifetime. There's even a rare b-side by Tractor, a band that released an utterly mindblowing self-titled album on John Peel's Dandelion label!

Here's another indispensable collection of eccentric and incredibly fun bubblegum masterpieces, and this one is so damn good I can hardly believe it. Outrageous, it feels like Christmas in February. [RH]







Blessed Black Wings

"Blessed Black Wings"

Matt Pike shreds unholy riffage through a viscous cloud of green smoke -- and Green Amps. You might know the dude from Sleep, but nonetheless, High On Fire is an entirely other impious, doped out fiend. Blessed Black Wings is their third album, and most ripe release to date. Not to say that the previous albums didn't rip, this time around we have the immortal Joe Preston present as a permanent fixture in the group. He is the bassist in the glorious one-man-band Thrones, and played with the famed Melvins. And now he is delivering his skull-crushings and chest-cavings into the High On Fire domain, and we couldn't be feeling more deliriously blithe.

They have sonically amplified infinitely on Blessed Black Wings thanks to Steve Albini's stellar mic-ing duties and engineering, with his razor sharp ability at capturing a bombastic sound more akin to a live performance. The incredibly mighty and powerful drumming is one of the grandest aspects of the album. High On Fire bestow storm-tossed slabs of dark and heavy riffs paired with cacophonous melodies that boast Motorhead and Sabbath-savvy orchestration. With fervid distortion to burn your brain, endless sinister shredding, and vocal stylings that are blood to Wino, High On Fire weave and blend the subtleties that differentiate stoner rock and metal. Though who f'n cares…these guys are simply SICK. Paired with that Big Business record that just came out… 2005 is looking heavy, keep it coming. [MT]







Misch Masch w/Bonus Disc

"Listen to the Hiss"
"Mickey Mouse Muthaf****s"

The much requested mix and remix collection from Tiefschwarz! Two generous CDs, the "Misch Masch" mix features rockin' electro tracks from acts like Sleep Archive, Max Durante with Keith Tucker, Think Twice, Kiki and M. Johnson. The other is an 11-track collection of remixes done for artists like Unit, Lopazz, Spektrum, DJ Hell and Mocky.

The mix is exactly what you'd expect from the tasteful German electrohouse production duo. It sounds like they're rockin' the posh hotel fashion party with a tiny bit more pop disco dust for the ladies. Lots of arpeggiation laced with the laptop-DFA style drum hits that Tiefschwarz are known for. Rockin' electro house with the new wave replaced with some house-based funk: "Electroeuroclashtrash"?

As fun as the mix is, it's the second CD that really drives the sound home. Stomping rock-electro-house where big synths weave and swell when necessary. Their production is a cross between Metro Area and DFA on Bpitchcontrol. Synthy, club-rocking jams with pseudo-natural drums to keep the fists pumping, you'll see why everyone and their brother were looking for their remixes. [SM]







$16.99 LP


(Thirsty Ear)

"Field Work (The Ethnographer's Daughter)"
"Shake It"

Mike Ladd continues to push hip-hop into new territories with his latest collaborative release on Thirsty Ear's Blue Series. His album is inspired and named after Petrine Archer-Straw's Negrophilia, a book that dealt with the French avant-garde's love of black culture during the 1920s.

From the opener, "Field Work (The Ethnographer's Daughter)," to the closing "Sleep Patterns of Black Expatriates Circa 1960," we move through a multi-layered musical of shifting scenes. Across the 12 songs, Ladd and Co. invoke and connect the vast spirits which float through the African American's journey in the U.S. and beyond -- from Josephine Baker to Beyonce, and Paul Robeson to Andre 3000.

The essence of the group is Ladd on vocals and programming, Guillermo E. Brown handling drums, electronics, and co-production, and keyboardist Vijay Iyer on piano, organ, and synthesizer. Also in the mix are trumpeter Roy Campbell, Andrew Lamb playing woodwinds and Bruce Grant manipulating the tape loops. The digital montage of voice and sound is actually very organic as they interweave hip-hop, blues, modern classical, field recordings, slave songs, R&B radio, jazz, music concrete and the roots of electronic composition.

Based on a solid marriage of improvisation, programming, deconstruction and groove, songs move and shift as if performed by a fluid jazz ensemble. Meanwhile, the genres blur together. It's an imaginative approach that'll make you forget you were listening to a "jazzy hip-hop" record.

References are vast and include Gil Scott-Heron, Saul Williams, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Burnt Sugar, Boom Bip, Sixtoo and Subtle. Negrophilia dodges the Afro-punk tag and continues to shed some much-needed light on the underground. If you are familiar with Ladd's work, this is as good as, if not better than, Welcome to the Afterfuture. If you haven't heard him, then here's the perfect place to start. Ladd's outdone himself. [DG]







Two Culture Clash
(Wall of Sound)

"Love Guide" Ms. Thing vs. Switch
"Fly High" Horace Andy vs. Howie B

Is there another region in the world where the music produced is as adaptable to new strains of music as it is influential on other genres other than in Jamaica? Hearing broadcasts of R&B from New Orleans led to the island creating ska and rocksteady, just as a few years on, race-conscious soul and funk helped birth roots and reggae. But roots-reggae helped fuel early UK punk just as experimental dub and dancehall influenced a generation of European and American electronic producers. The interplay between island soundsystems sparked the creation of hip-hop and even today, dancehall continues to push into American mainstream radio with its newest permutation, reggaeton.

So take the title with a grain of salt, as these "clashes" have been birthing crossbreeds for quite some time. This go round, Wall of Sound has pitted Jamaican vocalists both classic and current with the finest of UK electronic producers. And unlike most collaborations, which happen by tape correspondence, everyone involved was hands on and present. Not as consistent as, say, Rhythm & Sound (or Massive Attack's work with Horace Andy), the overall presentation is multi-hued and listenable, something few comps like this can attest. Some of my favorite voices, such as Horace Andy, Barrington Levy, and Big Youth are teamed with fun(k)-first producers like Howie B and Jacques Lu Cont (aka Les Rhythms Digitales). Elsewhere, complex and spastic beatsmiths like Kid606 and Roni Size appear, along with more straight-ahead thumpers like Cassius and Monkey Mafia, but it generally comes down to the voice. Lady dancehall DJs, like Patra, Ms. Thing, and Ce'Cile are personal favorites; and while they unsurprisingly give the springiest performances of the set, the hit ratio remains high throughout. [RB]





$4.99 CD-single


We Will Become Silhouettes
(Sub Pop)

"We Will Become Silhouettes" (Matthew Dear Rmx)

Two years later, Give Up is the album that keeps on giving. The snail mailed tape exchanges between Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard and Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello seems to have superseded both of their respective main projects, and here's one more single from Postal Service's lone album. The bouncy indie-tronica ode to nuclear obliteration, "We Will Become Silhouettes," is taken from their full-length, but fans will want to check out the three backing tracks. "Be Still My Heart" is a brand new song, while Styrofoam remixes "Nothing Better" and Ghostly International's Matthew Dear puts a nice subtle tech-pulse into a remix of the single's A-side. [GH]







The Push Pull

"The Push Pull"
"Posca Kid"

Thanks to DJ Olive's Agriculture label, New York-based video artist and programmer David Last brings his ethno-dub-electronic (dare I say IDM) fusion to the masses. While we first heard Last's exploration of the digi-dub/dancehall genre with his teaser 12-inch, "Badlands," The Push Pull takes things even further. You'll find similarities to DJ/rupture's Special Gunpowder, but without the vocals; Deadbeat's laptop dub minus the coldness; the sonic palette of grime sans the rave, as well as Prefuse 73's chopped vocals and textures.

Last's polished 'n' distressed digital vocabulary is fully showcased and he breathes some fresh vibes into the scene. He blends live guitar, steel drums, bells and whistles into the mix while also adding an exotica element, as well as some occasional crunchy laptop constructions. Last has a unique sense of sonics and melody that, while based on dancehall, goes way beyond that style. On "Posca Kid," he introduces a Spanish feel over a bouncing rhythm and skanking horn. There are plenty of tracks that'll either heat up an eclectic dancefloor or set the mood for a low-key house party. Recommended. [DG]





$18.99 CD




What a mysterious and delightful earthen clattering. Emanating from the shores, forests and arctic desert expanses of southern Finland, Kemialliset Ystävät's main-brain Jan Anderzén and his occasional cohorts -- Sami Sänpakkilä (Es, Kiila, Fonal Records owner), Campbell Kneale (Birchville Cat Motel, Celebrate Psi Phenomenon owner), Dylan Nyoukis (Prick Decay), and a few other Finnish friends -- create a unique and special blend of music that HEAVILY embodies the word "psychedelic." This is music that defies easy categorization: why stifle the grandeur with labels? This is sound covered in brambles, twigs, dew, sticky plants and surrounded by eerie mists, sunbeams, strange scents, and hallucinatory visions. Perhaps these visions inspire Anderzén's enchanting artwork of colorful, ornate patterns and neo-cave paintings that adorn the covers and inside panels of the album.

Alkuhärkä is Kemialliset Ystävät's second full-length recording for Fonal, and its 44 minutes flit by like different scenes that connect a drugged, waking dream. Instead of the long meandering jams that other bands of this ilk might opt for, Anderzén begets short, mossy mandalas of sound that rarely reach the three-minute mark. Although small in timeframe, each of the 18 pieces are packed with detail, fug-dense, and totally brilliant.

Kemialliset Ystävät (translation: "Chemical Friends") use a variety of hand drums and percussion, dank and dusty electric guitars and a bevy of acoustic string instruments which all seem to have been (de)tuned to an otherworldly tonal logic. They'll plink, pluck, buzz, drone, spin, and fuzz woozily to the core of your soon-to-be-blown-out senses. Woodwinds, musty keyboards, various small toys, wheezing accordions, frozen whistles, bestial call-and-responses, genderless voices chanting Finnish and/or wordless prayers are woven with primitive electronics, effects pedals, and heavy doses of altered-state magick. Some songs are grounded by primal rhythms, while others soar freely. Underneath and betwixt the very loose flow of the playing is a variety of different recording techniques, i.e. speeding sounds up, sloooowing them down, running things backwards, and recording outdoors. This experimentation is integral to the wonderfully mind-melding results, which is that each song literally pulsates with a fascinating and inexplicable logic. There are perfect balances of seriousness/playfulness, light/darkness, vivid/hazy, frozen/warm, ancient/now...

I hear a kinship with other sentient beings like Moondog, Angus Maclise, Amon Düül, and International Harvester. Comparisons aside, Anderzén still walks/hovers on his own original path. Each listen to Alkuhärkä is like peeling off a new layer only to discover something even more breathtaking than before. Did I just hear a happy gurgling baby during "Kyyn Sisukiissa", way, way back in a deep crevice of my left inner ear, or am I in a dream? Within this album of utter loveliness is some of the most inspired and fantastic music being made today, anywhere. Just listen... Alkuhärkä is timeless. [DD]

As of this writing, KY's first record for Fonal has been out of print, but it's due for re-release this spring, as well as a cassette/double 8" from 2000. There are a bunch of other vinyl, cassette, and CD-R releases that are probably out of print, or extremely hard to find. Hopefully that will soon change.







Umoja Dub Love & Unity


So if you haven't already guessed, we've stocked a bunch of titles released on Dennis Brown's great London-based DEB label. In our last update we featured the splendid 15-16-17; this week we're highlighting the Brown-produced house band, DEB Players' Umoja Dub Love and Unity. Recorded in 1978 at Channel One, and at King Tubby's and Joe Gibbs' famed studios (Prince Jammy handles the engineering duties), this is dub at the height of the rockers period. The band's line-up was stellar and counted Sly & Robbie, Junior Delgado, Ansel Collins and Cedric Brooks among the seasoned players.

Songs start off in a smoke cloud of sound before opening into a steady driving assault on some classic rhythms. Cymbals bounce, shimmer and fade into the abyss, only to return at the right moment to splash across your speakers. If you were blown away by last year's great Dub Trio record, you need to hear the roots of their sound. Tight playing, great rhythms, moving bass, smart and tasty effects -- it's all here and it's all good. [DG]







(6 Hole)

"The Strongest Man"
"Every Block"

Hailing from North Carolina's Justus League -- the same crew that brought us Little Brother and Foreign Exchange -- Rapper Big Pooh steps out with his solo debut. Released on Kansas City Royals' second basemen Desi Relaford's 6 Hole label, Sleepers is a solid album that shows Pooh flexing his maturing skills. The album itself straddles the line between underground and commercial, and is equally satisfying pulling from the same stylistic lineage as Pete Rock (Pooh was a guest on his Soul Survivor II album), Murs (who appears on this album), and Nas. Featuring production by 9th Wonder, Nicolay and Khrysis, there's plenty of musicality on par with the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, Hi-Tek and the Roots. Sleepers will definitely hold you over until the release of the next Little Brother record. [DG]









Good Son Vs. Only Daughter - Blemish Remixes

"The Only Daughter" Jan Ban & Erik Honore Remix

David Sylvian's introspective album, Blemish, is revisited and reinterpreted by a choice selection of electronic music producers. Includes remixes by Burnt Friedman, Ryoji Ikeda, Yoshihiro Hanno, Akira Rabelais, Sweet Billy Pilgrim, and more. (Full review in next week's update.)









Avalon Sutra / As Long As I Can Hold My Breath

"Arabesque 3"

Harold Budd's stunning new album is reportedly going to be his last recorded music. Two CDs released on David Sylvian's Samadhisound label, disc-one features 14 tracks of his distinctive piano and beautifully flowing etherscapes. Disc-two contains a 70-minute reinterpretation of Budd's work by Akira-Rabelais. (Full review in next week's update.)




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[RB] Randy Breaux
[DD] Daniel DeRogatis
[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[SM] Scott Mou
[MT] Mahssa Taghinia

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