March 2, 2005  




Justus Kohncke
Jean-Claude Vannier (reissue)
Triple R Selection 3 (various)
The Mars Volta
Alva Noto
Nagisa Ni Te


Nils Okland
David Sylvian
Harold Budd
Cold Bleak Heart

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


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

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/MAR Sun 27 Mon 28 Tues 1 Wed 2 Thurs 3 Fri 4 Sat 5

Clem Snide

w/The Marbles (Robert Schneider of Apples in Stereo) and Archer Prewitt

Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to this show! Enter right away by e-mailing Please leave a daytime phone number where you can be reached. Winner will be notified by 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 4.

Saturday, March 5
Bowery Ballroom: 6 Delancey Street NY, NY

MAR Sun 6 Mon 7 Tues 8 Wed 9 Thurs 10 Fri 11 Sat 12


w/Airborn Audio, The Epochs & Aarktica

Other Music is giving away one pair of tickets to the Hood's upcoming show at the Mercury Lounge! Enter by e-mailing Please leave a daytime phone number where you can be reached. Winner will be notified by 4:00 p.m. Monday, March 7.

Friday, March 11
Mercury Lounge: 217 E. Houston Street NY, NY







$12.99 LP



"Wo Bist Du"

WARNING: This is not a typical Kompakt techno record. That being said, Justus Kohncke's second full-length for the Cologne label is a great album with the producer infusing elements of disco, techno and electro to create his own brand of pop music. And when I say pop, I mean pure pop!

Most of the songs are lush, downtempo numbers with vocals sung in German. Tracks like "Alles Nochmal" (which is actually a cover of Carly Simon's "Coming Around Again") and "Wo Bist Du" could make Kylie Minogue blush. If I didn't know better I would have guessed that "Schwabylon" was the new Daft Punk single, with its disco strings, filtered synths and vocoder vocals. You might already be familiar with the club tracks "Elan" and "Timecode" (which I have to say was one of last year's most dancefloor friendly jams), and both are included as well. Doppelleben is definitely a broad journey through electronic music. I may not speak a bit of German, and damned if I know what he is talking about, but it all sounds so good. [JS]








L' Enfant Assassin des Mouches
(Delay 68/Finders Keepers)

"L' Enfant au Royaume des Mouches"
"Mort du Roi des Mouches"

It sounds too good to be true. Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson had a follow-up! But maybe I should backtrack...

Jean-Claude Vannier was a self-taught musician and a collaborator on many of Gainsbourg's celebrated soundtracks (Cannabis, Les Chemins de Katmandou). He was also the arranger of the aforementioned Melody Nelson. That album has always been a "must have" for record collectors of rock, rare groove, funk and French pop. Placed over a psychedelic, orchestral backdrop of swooping strings, funky backbeats, fuzzy guitars and male choruses, Gainsbourg's mostly spoken word story of a fictional encounter with a young English girl is considered by many to be one of the best and most original concept albums ever made.

The problem was trying to find a decent follow-up to this tour de force. Not to say that Gainsbourg didn't create some fine post-Nelson music; it's just that he never really returned to that crazy, crazy orch-funk style and left many fans craving a sound from an era that was never really revisited again…Or was it?

In 1972, a teeny French label gave the now in-demand arranger/producer an opportunity to produce a solo album. This time around, Vannier took the innovative sound of Melody Nelson and pushed it even further. The idea was to create an avant-garde ballet score that combined the musique concrete and Orchestra Klaxon ideas that he was exploring at the time with the sound he was primarily known for.

What came out was this phenomenal record. The classic Melody Nelson elements are all here, but with more of a dark, experimental edge. The album didn't fare too well due in part to all of his unbridled experimentation; and the nebulous artwork (featuring the nude arranger on the beach, and macabre liner notes written by Serge Gainsbourg) didn't help either.

You can hear traces of Isaac Hayes, Hermann Nitsch, Galt MacDermot, David Axelrod, Barry White and Xenakis in this piece -- it's that eff-in' good! But to compare this record to any one of those artists would be wrong. Vannier is an innovator in his own right and maybe this record, paired with the classic Melody Nelson, will give him some well-deserved aplomb that the aforementioned artists have enjoyed for quite awhile. [DH]







Some Cities

"Black and White Town"
"Walk in Fire"

The Doves haven't strayed too far from home on their newest; Some Cities is a tightly constructed, melancholic and yet somehow uplifting set that begs easy comparison to their finest work on Lost Souls and The Last Broadcast. But rather than simply recreate their classic sound, the Doves have refined what they do with touches of Motown, Northern Soul and trippy splashes of psychedelia, creating a beautiful and hypnotic album that becomes more and more alluring with each listen.

Built on simple, driving piano riffs or bass pulses, the tracks are propelled by soaring and sad melodies and crisp snare hits. But subtle production renders these tracks best heard on headphones or turned up loud, for both the soulful rhythms, and even more so, the surprising yet tastefully twisted leads. Bubbling up from the clean waters are hairy, off-kilter guitar solos, percolating analog synth lines, weird and haunting background vocals, and many more little surprises that are much more than just filling space.

The Doves are an unusual pop band who love sound, not just song, and they have crafted a wonderful record full of dreamy pop made all the more powerful by risky, yet perfect production choices (the album is co-produced by Ben Hillier, known for his work with Blur, Elbow and others). A great record, and I love it more with each listen. [JM]







Selection 3

"Cocopuffs" Und
"Are You Talking to Me (Break 3000 Rmx)" Jorge Gebauhr

Starting with the unreleased "Sweet Sensation," featuring Riley Rheinhold himself on vocals, Triple R takes us through an impeccably programmed mix of minimal pop in a way that only he can. The pop bounce of the Kompakt Friends mix is present here, but Selection 3 sports a leaner, groovier techno house groove full of throbbing, hollowed-out bass kicks. The mix builds into a deep, club-rocking section that pushes it a bit further than expected, but without losing any melodic sensitivity or sophistication. Sensual, sweet, rocking and full of texture, there's not a clunker in the set. Excellent and not much more to say except: "Recommended." [SM]








Frances the Mute

"Facilis Descenus Averni"
"Vade Mecum"

Relinquish label and limitation alike, and progress beyond the obsolete categoricals. The Mars Volta have delivered a complex and intriguing new album that transcends any one genre or style. In contrast to their debut De-Loused in the Comatorium, in which the heady tale took place in some sort of sci-fi parallel dimension, Frances the Mute emerges and transpires in our reality, partly inspired by a diary found by late bandmate Jeremy Ward (RIP), of a protagonist's quest for his/her biological parents along a numinous timeline. Seemingly, the 'songs' unconsciously emerge in a sort of surrealistic free-associative affectation -- signifying characters, situations, and circumstance outlying existent detection yet echoing everything familiar. A quiescent latency suspended in our dreams, awaiting manifestation and discernment. These representations are woven into pieces and movements that articulate the epic narrative.

The narrators hover in a discourse of removal, forging gorgeous elucidations of resentment, abandonment, addiction, and loneliness. Vivid aliases, amalgamated characters, fictional fractures, and divided dispositions all distort paradigmatic fact and fiction, creating multivalent dialogues for identification, recognition, and relation. You may not be au fait with what they are saying (granted nearly half the record is sung in Spanish) you can definitely feel it, which is significant to the brilliance of this album. The lyrics elusively accompany the structured chaos of Latin grooves, Afro-Cuban palpitations, riff-heavy psychedelia, Kraut-inspired madness, free-form jazzy breakdowns, soundtrack-y Morricone-esqe segues, minimalist compositions and many more (or none of the above) -- underlying with the flawlessly constructed rhythms of Jon Theodore's drumming. He is Bonham's ghost, a sheer Genius, all of the above. Indefatigably exciting percussives.

Emotionally captivating and undeniably authentic, the Mars Volta exemplify an extraordinary instance in where musical innovation is seamlessly matched by this reflective expressive connection. Paved with a vision that is passionate, intricate, and inexorably inventive, Frances the Mute is a powerful experience waiting to unfold. [MT]







Alone, Not Alone

"Perfect Vision"
"Temps Partiel"

Montag is in fact Antoine Bédard, whose first album Are You a Friend was released in 2002 on the Gooom label, home to M83 and Cyann & Ben. For his follow-up, the Montreal resident invited some notable guests including Broadcast's James Corgill and Amy Millan (Stars, Broken Social Scene), and also had Sixtoo master the album. Utilizing, among other things, sound sources of 17 different classical instruments that he sampled at the Conservatoire de Montréal, Bédard's songs are often crafted around '60s-inspired pop melodies. Tracks like "Perfect Vision," which pairs Bédard's understated vocal with Millan's, and his duet with Ariel Engle in "Grand Luxe" are what I imagine Stereolab would sound like if they were a part of the Morr Music roster. Harpsichord, glockenspiel, harp, and bubbling synths come together in an otherworldly manner and swirl around the speakers. But tracks such as "Les Choses se Placent," with a subtle vocoder vocal, and "All I See" are more impressionistic as shimmering melodies bring to mind contemporaries like Isan, Nobukazu Takemura and Marz. Alone, Not Alone best reveals itself when played from start to finish. Morr Music fans should definitely check Montag out. [GH]







(Raster Noton)


Transspray is the third, and so far most aggressive installment in Carsten Nicolai's Trans series. Packaged in the same elegantly simple fold-over booklet, and comprised of the similar ultra-clean digital bits/shards/bursts as the previous two, Transspray sets itself apart by adding a dark groove with the atmosphere of a rabid (robot) rat losing it in his cage. Rhythmically -- and I'm certain by accident -- there is a vague similarity to Nine Inch Nails (thanks to Duane for pointing this out). Creepy-crawly grooves, bleeps and static resembling a radio struggling to lock on a signal, and riffy bass bursts accent the beat (see "R/Re/Repeat" featuring I-Sound). If only graver-goths would lose the trance-goth and get hip to Alva Noto! On track seven, "Autoshape," the stutterfunk returns and gets enveloped in an Arctic wind. Another one worth checking out. [SM]







Dream Sounds

"Me, on the Beach"

One year since the release of Same as a Flower, Nagisa Ni Te's new album isn't exactly the follow-up, nor is it an EP or a greatest hits package. Four songs long, Dream Sounds does however serve as a great fan pleaser as well as being the perfect introductory album to one of Japan's most magical psychedelic exports. While bands like Ghost or Acid Mothers Temple often blow minds with more commune minded freak-outs, Nagisa Ni Te could be considered the shy child. Shinji Shibayama, along with his cohort and muse Masako Takeda, takes a much subtler route. Nagisa Ni Te's songs are filled with romantic melodies that conjure dreamy naturescapes and usually move at a lucid pace, cresting with a soaring guitar solo or two before falling back into the fragile psych-folk atmosphere.

Totaling over 40-minutes, three of the four songs on Dream Sounds are re-recordings of previously released Nagisa Ni Te Tracks. Included are new versions of band staples like "The True World," "The True Sun" and my favorite, "Me, on the Beach." (Fans will want to check out the latter, where Masako's voice handles the lead vocal.) These tracks are a little more produced than the originals but the production doesn't step on the band's loose, almost lo-fi charm. I believe the bouncy Velvet Underground-inspired "Anxiety" is a new song, and it shows the band's playful side with a jangly, up-strummed rhythm guitar. Dream Sounds definitely captures the many moods that shape the magical pop world of Nagisa Ni Te. Recommended to fans of Maher Shalal Hash Baz, (who played on previous Nagisa Ni Te records), the pastoral explorations of Ghost, and western artists like Neil Young. [GH]







(Rune Grammofon)

"The Youth of Mysterious Conversations"
"Severe Punishment and Lasting Bliss"

The third album from Norwegian duo Alog, Miniatures comes hot on the heels of member Espen Sommer Eide's fantastic second solo release as Phonophani. Eide and his partner Dag-are Haugen expertly process acoustic instruments using analog equipment and custom software to create their lush and playful soundcapes. The album is really lovely and understated and is bookended by incredible opening and closing pieces. "Severe Punishment and Lasting Bliss," a soaring and sublime processed guitar drone, gets things started in top form. The closing track, "Building Instruments," is absolutely gorgeous and is the most organic track on the record. The acoustic guitar, harmonium, and trumpet arrangement is reminiscent of the great Swedish trio Tape. The songs in between range more or less between the two extremes, with plenty of looping melodic flourishes and subtle underlying rhythms. Of the three new releases from Rune Grammofon, Miniatures is the most suited to my own taste. If you loved either of the previous Alog or Phonophani releases, this one will not let you down in the least. [RH]







(Rune Grammofon)


Renowned for his expertise with the Hardanger fiddle, a hand-carved and ornately decorated instrument, Nils Okland is one of Norway's most highly acclaimed fiddlers. On his second album for Rune Grammofon, he also plays several other bowed string instruments including violin and viola. Bris is quite different from the majority of the records that this label is known for. It has no electronic elements to speak of, it doesn't sound like it has any jazz influence, and most of the album isn't all that "experimental." Okland is essentially a folk revivalist, composing and improvising his own melodies in the spirit of the oldest Scandinavian traditions. His music is simple, fragile and sad, but also very powerful, at times overwhelmingly so. The arrangements are straightforward and minimal, with subtle accompaniment on harmonium, double bass, and percussion. There's a ton of passion and drama in this album. It almost seems like it ought to be the score to some kind of epic nautical period film. Truly excellent. [RH]







In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster
(Rune Grammofon)

"Aliester Explains Everything"
"Where Death Comes to Cry"

In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster is a really unusual, practically schizophrenic album. It begins with a mellow progressive rock jam-out that suddenly flies into metal mode and then just as quickly fades into a lovely wash of synth and flute before exploding into full-on Goblin horror soundtrack frenzy. What follows is a sonic adventure that is hopelessly difficult to map. Shining, a quartet that features two members of Jaga Jazzist, move effortlessly from film noir jazz clarinet to video game music to funky '70s Miles Davis fusion to out-of-control Weather Report meets Ennio Morricone sci-fi western weirdness. Just check out some of the instruments these guys toss in and out of the mix like some kind of prodigious musical juggling act: saxophone, Rhodes, guitar, mellotron, harmonium, church organ, celesta, drum machines, clavinet, piano, Casio sampler. You have to hear this to believe it. [RH]








"Horuksen Oikean Silman Mysteerikoulu"
"Sataa Nuuskaa"

Wow, this is so damn good. Yet ANOTHER essential sonic document from far-away Finland, this time from the awesome, magical, musical beast known as Avarus. Ruskeatimantti is a massive 2-CD, two-plus hour set that compiles five absolutely killer out-of-print releases (originally on 7-inch vinyl and CD-Rs -- all tiny pressings numbered between 50 and 300) of both studio and live performances. When I say studio, I mean that loosely -- it's probably more like one microphone set up in a big musty cabin in the woods. This space is integral to their collective sound, which is so deliciously fresh and unpolished. Similar to the album title, which roughly translates to "tanned diamond," imagine that the precious gemstone, newly unearthed, sun-baked and raw, is just like Avarus.

Musically, this is the equivalent to being lost in a forest at the edge of the world, naked as a newborn babe, caked in earth, covered in flora, chomping on handfuls of psychedelics and experiencing all the otherworldly peaks and troughs. Using hand drums, de-tuned guitars and other string instruments, horns and winds, organs, amplifier feedback, hiss and crackle, and occasional vocals that range from strange, primal warbling and yelping, to white-eyed chant/prayer, to red-eyed hypnagoggic murmurs, Avarus covers an impressively wide spectrum of color and possibility. Untamed, drum-heavy animistic freakouts... lurching, throbbing, and head-nodding ur-rock grooves... jaw-droppingly gorgeous cosmic shimmer... funereal drones... delicate, folky meanderings... marching-band-parade-on-acid cacophony, and everything in between. Listen. [DD]







Good Son Vs. Only Daughter - Blemish Remix

"The Only Daughter" Jan Bang & Erik Honore Remix

After five releases David Sylvian's Samadhisound label has begun to define itself as a fine new outlet for minimal decadence. There is a certain, almost romantic feel to most of the contributions, thus far which seems to be the main underlying element to the label's overall oeuvre.

Good Son Vs. Only Daughter is a remix album in the traditional sense. Some well-known names (Ryoji Ikeda, Burnt Friedman, Akira Rabelais) are mixed in with a few lesser-known ones (Tatsuhiko Asano, Jan Bang and Erik Honore), not too many surprises here. While most of the remixers are content to work off the original structure adding an arrangement and perhaps some more rhythmic elements, the most interesting reconfigurations come from the artists working outside these aesthetic restraints. Jan Bang and Erik Honore, and Akira Rabelais contribute two of the most engaging reworkings on the album, extending the concept and structure into something uniquely their own while still making clear references to the pieces' origins. Ryoji Ikeda takes a classical approach underlying the original with violin, cello and French horn while Burnt Friedman and Yoshihiro Hanno opt for the mellow electronica that we have come to expect from them.

While Good Son Vs. Only Daughter is somewhat predictable in its individual contributions, its strength lies in the overall trajectory: a continuously flowing mix that lets each piece evolve into the next often without reference to beginning or end. [KH]







Avalon Sutra / As Long As I Can Hold My Breath

"Arabesque 3"

According to the label, this is pianist/composer Harold Budd's final album. While Budd has never been the most prolific artist, his delicate piano playing on Eno's Ambient 2: Plateau of Mirror, and collaborations with Robin Guthrie, Daniel Lanois, Jon Gibson amongst many others, as well as his recordings such as Pavilion of Dreams and The Pearl, are all stunning examples of why he is such a major influence on contemporary ambient music and electronica.

For his last recorded work, Budd has collected a series of short ambient piano improvisations. Of the 14 tracks collected on Avalon Sutra, four feature the aforementioned Jon Gibson on sax and another four feature a string quartet. While most of the contributions are pleasant (the sax is a bit heavy handed at times), the largest and most successful section of the album is performed by Budd solo. His rolling, almost liquid delivery continuously resonates the piano creating a series of alluringly gaseous forms for the listener to absorb. Budd ends the album with a repetitive piano refrain entitled "As Long as I Can Hold My Breath" -- a fitting title for a final work as well as the title for a full-length remix CD by LA based electronic composer Akira Rabelais, also included in this two-disc package.

Rabelais contributes a hauntingly beautiful 70-minute remix that comes across more like a collaboration, or perhaps even a tribute. Rabelais incorporates his own sense of finely tuned dynamics and timing to Budd's well-defined, classically ambient aesthetic. Rabelais utilizes repetition, layering and subtle filtering to create a hypnotically engaging piece that slowly permeates your consciousness and encapsulates the environment around you. A bit like passing the torch from one generation to another. [KH]







(AGF Productions)

"Explode Baby"

AGF is short for German singer Antye Greie-Fuchs, who has been going steady with Finland's Vladislav Delay a good number of years now. It's her voice adding another woozy layer to Naima, his reimagining of 2001's Anima that even alludes to his love of John Coltrane (and his first wife). And one can follow that with The Present Lover's lyrical investigation into the minutiae of relationships and interpersonal communication (even the drudgery of language itself), she was somewhat 'present' as well.

The couple returns with Explode, a strange, dark record indeed. David Toop considers it "a dream diary of 21st century ennui, written on broken beats." Any anticipation of house-y propulsion (á la Delay's Luomo alias) will find in its stead a lugubrious, drunken sense of palpitation, not dreamy as much as restless at 3am. Slumbering slow motion is the movement of the album, allowing plenty of space for AGF's whispery observations. She meditates not just on petty things like shopping for Milano fashion at the mall and visa problems, but also on suicide bombers and the art of wuwei. AGF even croons a snatch of Sade over a lurching, hesitant track from her beau. Consider it a late-night downtempo record for people who find Portishead to be too fast. [RB]







It's Magnificent, But It Isn't War
(Family Vineyard)

"Never Give 'Em What They Want"
"You Only Live for Infinity"

A new free-jazz group made up of one gray-beard and a trio of young guys who are all tied to the east coast avant/psychedelia scene, but nonetheless are talented and accomplished players. Featuring Paul Flaherty's melodic and intense saxophone, Chris Corsano's fluid, musical drumming, the No-Neck Blues Band's Matt Heyner on upright bass, and Greg Kelly on trumpet, It's Magnificent, But It Isn't War is fairly dynamic -- the record comes out hard and wailing, but takes time out for introspection. The players keep it fresh and fun throughout. [JM]




  All of this week's new arrivals.

Previous Other Music Updates.

Previous week's releases.



Phone orders are accepted at
(212) 477-8150 (ext. #2, mailorder) Mon-Fri, Noon - 7pm EST

For general inquiries or other information please email Do not reply to this message.

This is an automated list. If you would like to be removed from it for any reason, please send an email from the address you wish to delete to and make sure the word "Remove" is included in the subject line.

[RB] Randy Breaux
[DD] Daniel DeRogatis
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[KH] Koen Holtkamp
[DH] Duane Harriott
[JM] Josh Madell
[SM] Scott Mou
[JS] Jeremy Sponder
[MT] Mahssa Taghinia

- all of us at Other Music
   Newsletter Design Big Code