May 19, 2005  




Animal Collective & Vashti Bunyan
Yamasuki (Reissue)
Superpitcher (Mix CD)
Sexual Life of the Savages (Various)
Gang of Four (Reissue)
Gilles Peterson
Mercury Rev


Magic Carpet (Reissue)
Junior Dan (Reissue)
Bohren & Der Club of Gore
Kings of Hip-Hop (DJ Premier & Mr. Thing)
AFX (Analord 8)
Prince Paul

MAY Sun 15 Mon 16 Tues 17 Wed 18 Thurs 19 Fri 20 Sat 21
  Sun 22 Mon 23 Tues 24 Wed 25 Thurs 26 Fri 27 Sat 28


This weekend, singer/songwriter/violinist/whistler Andrew Bird will be stopping in New York City to play two shows in support of his latest album, The Mysterious Production of Eggs. Opening both nights will be none other than the newly reformed French electro-samba trio Antena. Other Music is giving away one pair of tickets to each of these nights! Enter right away by e-mailing and specify which show you would like to go to. Please leave a daytime number where you can be reached, the winners will be notified by 1:00 P.M. Friday, May 20.

May 20 @ the Knitting Factory: 74 Leonard St. NYC
May 22 @ Southpaw: 125 5th Ave. Brooklyn

MAY Sun 15 Mon 16 Tues 17 Wed 18 Thurs 19 Fri 20 Sat 21
  Sun 22 Mon 23 Tues 24 Wed 25 Thurs 26 Fri 27 Sat 28


Monade, featuring Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier, will perform two nights in a row this weekend at the Mercury Lounge, with openers the Zincs and the Besnard Lakes. Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to each of these shows! Enter right away by e-mailing Leave a daytime number where you can be reached, the winners will be notified by 1:00 P.M. Friday, May 20.

May 21 & 22 @ Mercury Lounge: 217 E. Houston NYC

MAY Sun 22 Mon 23 Tues 24 Wed 25 Thurs 26 Fri 27 Sat 28


Join us at our upcoming monthly party at APT on Tuesday, May 24, when we welcome Kim Hiorthøy. This well-loved Norwegian electronic producer crafts warm, melodic music utilizing weird beats, lo-fi and leftfield electronics, field recordings, electro-acoustic sounds and samples. We're not sure what surprises he has in store, but it's surely a night not to be missed! Special guest DJs will be Other Music's very own Scott Mou and Philip Alexander.

Tuesday, May 24 @ APT
419 West 13th Street NYC
9 P.M. to 4:00 A.M.
Open Boru Vodka Bar from 9:00 to 10:00 P.M.

MAY/JUN Sun 29 Mon 30 Tues 31 Wed 1 Thurs 2 Fri 3 Sat 4


Boston MC and DJ extraordinaire Edan is coming down to NYC to perform a special set at APT. As you are probably aware, his latest album, Beauty and the Beat, is a sonic dazzler and an Other Music staff and customer favorite. Opening the night will be a DJ set from Duane Harriott (Negroclash/Other Music).

Tuesday, May 31 @ APT
419 West 13th Street NYC
9 P.M. to 4:00 A.M.
Open Boru Vodka Bar from 9:00 to 10:00 P.M.







Prospect Hummer

"Prospect Hummer"

It's here, the long-anticipated collaboration between Brooklyn's finest noisemakers and one of the most profound and gentle folk voices to ever sing in the English air, Vashti Bunyan. The boys, devout listeners of Vashti's classic Just Another Diamond Day record from 1970, wound up in the UK with Four Tet on tour, who at that time had just made a few recordings with Ms. Bunyan (recently out of obscurity), and put the two parties in touch, the results finally heard. Perfect as an addendum to last year's stellar Sung Tongs, the acoustic, sumptuously strummed sound of the Collective gets reprised, with the boys as backing for Vashti's more heavenly exhalations. You may want to dust off the Repeat button on your player for this one though, as the sweetest of spring releases is alas, also one of its shortest. Lovely. [RB]







$10.99 LP

(Paw Tracks)

"Slipping Away"
"Agg Report"

Featuring Animal Collective's Panda Bear and Other Music's very own Scott Mou, shadowy duo Jane are evidence of an iridescent undergrowth in the fissuring Brooklyn parking lot. What is this? Hazy beat tableaus with overcome descending angel dervish vox. Home recorded, these "live to tape" takes are unedited and free of overdubs. The album turns through its hazy episodes in a scuttling manner, comprised of vocals and electronics, and almost solely taken up by spatial concerns. Let it fill your room, your space. Music for dancers to dream to. Actually moving. [DHo]







$16.99 LP



"Show Me the Way"
"Birth, School, Work, Death"

Four years after releasing his Headman record (an album that was highly praised in just about every European weekly), Robi Insinna is back with a new full-length, his first under his Manhead guise. This self-titled debut is a quirky downbeat disco gem that is both funky and extremely melodic, with just enough repetitious thump to get the disco diehards shaking their legs.

Insinna's cover of "Birth, School, Work, Death," by '80s one hit wonders the Godfathers, has been rocking dancefloors from NY to London to Japan for months now, meanwhile the funky, vocodored monster "Show Me the Way" could make the likes of Daft Punk run back to the studio in envy. "Doop" is pure laidback disco, thrown into the 21st century à la Metro Area, and "Dancer" is, well, just that, a song to rock dancefloors of all sizes! Manhead's self-titled album is a great record that will surely be one of this year's standout debuts. Just wait till the word gets out. [JS]







Les Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki
(Finders Keepers)

"Kono Samourai"
"Yama Yama"

Andy Votel's new Finders Keepers label, which brought us the phenomenal Jean-Claude Vannier reissue, unearths yet another obscure French treasure from the early 1970s. Les Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki was conceived as a choreography project by pop composers Jean Kluger and Daniel Vanguard, who set themselves to learning Japanese and assembling a children's choir in order to realize their incredibly unusual vision. The album is very cool and very strange, a funky, percussive, kitschy, and catchy Franco-Oriental Samurai pop orchestra, begging to be sampled by the Wu Tang Clan or used by Quentin Tarantino in a Kill Bill sequel. It feels like the soundtrack to a great, unrealized French New Wave martial arts film. You've literally never heard anything like it. [RH]








"Marz & Blouse" / "Happiness"
"Let's Help Me" / "Love Food"

Dreamy, heavenly and sometimes sinister, Superpitcher's mix CD for Kompakt delivers in a way that some may say his album did not. All the dark atmospheric moodiness of artists like Lawrence (personal fave), Mayer, Hacke, Max Mohr, Wighnomy Bros. and Superpitcher himself create the mood and focus of this mix. Angst-filled bouncy bliss prevails throughout Today, making this one of the first singular mixes to come through in a short while. (Other Music's J Dennis claims it to be the best mix EVER.) Thankfully, there's not a clunker in the set, and not a drop of rave nostalgia in sight. Fans of Closer Musik, Lawrence, Jost and classic Klang will drool pools over this one. [SM]







$21.99 LP


The Sexual Life of the Savages
(Soul Jazz)

"Panico" As Mercenarias
"Rock Europeu" Fellini

Great record collector hipster minds think alike, it would appear, as this is the second compilation of Brazilian new wave to hit the stands in the last two weeks. Surprisingly enough, both Man Recording's Não Wave and this, Soul Jazz's The Sexual Life of the Savages only share three tracks between them. And much as Brazilian culture always does, the artists assimilate popular music forms and weld it to their own indigenous rhythms. As Mercenarias riff like early X, frantic at a breakneck rockabilly pace, while Fellini sound like New Order. Sambas meet punk-rock speeds, synth melodies worthy of Fad Gadget are set to Brazilian drums, and voices sharing more than a passing resemblance to icons like Mark E. Smith or Ian Curtis are rendered in a Portuguese tongue. Elsewhere, the ambience is eerie like early English industrial. As always, lovingly crafted and curated by Soul Jazz. [RB]







$14.99 LP

And Everything Else...
(Plug Research)

"Wake Up and Smell the Millennium"
"You Can Know Her"

Soon after Nobody released his sophomore album, Pacific Drift in 2003, it seemed like every hip-hop break producer borrowed his hallucinatory cues; artists like Four Tet, Manitoba, Koushik, Prefuse 73 and Edan all began adding psychedelic flourishes to their productions. Two years later, Nobody's newest album, And Everything Else, is not much different than its predecessor; only the songs here are more accomplished, the beats are tighter, and even more psychedelic flourishes are added.

It seems that more and more crate diggers are scouring for that rare trippy beat, as samples from hard to find records by artists like Brainticket to Millennium are working their way into hip-hop and electronic productions. Of course, Krautrock and psych collectors have always known that these records had great drum breaks in them. Could this turn out to be the year of psych-hop? Recent releases point to it, from the psychedelic hip-hop of Edan's record a few weeks back, and the two incredible psych-rock mixes from Andy Votel, hell… even '80s aficionados Optimo are releasing a psychedelic mix CD.

Some could say that Nobody was one of the first to explore this territory, and he definitely will not be the last. And Everything Else is right up there with the aforementioned artists. Here's hoping this album will get the acclaim it deserves. [JS]







Entertainment - Remastered

"Not Great Men"
"Outside the Trains Don't Run on Time"

Remember in the '90s when it seemed like every new band, from Olivia Tremor Control to the High Llamas, were either mentioning the influence of, or getting compared to, the Beach Boys? Fast-forward a couple of years, and everyone from Franz Ferdinand to Bloc Party to the Rapture have been linked to a group from another era yet again, this time it's Gang of Four. And like the Beach Boys, whose Pet Sounds was the album du jour for so many '90s artists, you do have to wonder what direction popular modern music would have taken during the first half of the 2000s had it not been for the existence of the watershed LP, Entertainment. It's not that Gang of Four's influence wasn't felt during the latter part of the '80s, and carried through the next decade, you could hear it in the sounds of bands like Big Black, Fugazi and Unwound--groups who all openly acknowledged their love for the Leeds post-punkers. And that's not even mentioning the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Gang of Four's 1979 debut full-length, Entertainment, is an album that still stands on its own as one of the most brilliantly subversive (anti-pop) pop records to come out of the latter part of the 20th century. Andy Gill's razor sharp-guitar work, Jon King's dry, spoken/shouted commentary on capitalism, gender politics and media, and bassist David Allen and drummer Hugo Burnham's propulsive and often funky rhythm base collectively seemed to spit in rock music's eyeball, all the while still being catchy, hummable and most of all, exhilarating.

Available only as an import for almost a decade, we finally have a domestic version again. Rhino's edition is newly remastered (and noticeably crisper), featuring the 12 original tracks plus eight bonus cuts, including 1980's four-song Yellow EP, which contains two of my favorite Gang of Four tunes, "Outside the Trains Don't Run on Time" and "Armalite Rifle." There's a live recording of "Blood Free" (a rare track that was never properly put to tape in the studio), as well as a cover of "Sweet Jane." For me, Entertainment is ground zero, an album that, while barely a teenager, saved me from the songs being played on 98 ROCK FM and made me search left of the dial and beyond. The music I listen to and buy hasn't been the same ever since. [GH]






In Africa

"Ajo" / "New Beli"
"Maw Expensive (A Tribute to Fela)"

Last year, our main man in London, the internationally renowned selector Gilles Peterson, followed up his inspiring Worldwide compilations with a trip through Brazil, jamming with the likes of Djavan, Sergio Mendes, 4Hero and Joaquin Claussell. Now he's back to fly us to another polyrhythmic continent. Ethiopia, Cape Verde, Cape Town and Lagos are all represented on In Africa, a two disc set. The "Soul" side features classic excursions in Afrobeat and funk, with artists like Peter King, Manu Dibango, Letta Mbulu, Abdullah Ibrahim and, of course, Fela and his Africa 70 group. Disc two, "Spirit," moves into the modern day; highlights include Masters at Work (with Wumni), Carl Craig's remix of Cesaria Evora, Thievery Corp (with David Byrne), IG Culture's remix of Lekan Babalola, and the African ensemble of the moment, Konono N°1. Since the untimely death of Fela Kuti a few years ago, the world has taken more notice of Africa's wealth of great music, past and present; this set is an excellent primer to the funkier side of the continent. Definitely worth checking out if you like any of the aforementioned artists, as well as compilations like Nigeria 70, Ghana Soundz, etc. [DG]







The Secret Migration

"Moving On"

Previously only available as an expensive import, the new Mercury Rev LP has finally been made a bit more palatable to the working stiffs, with a domestic issue on V2 (beware the lovely limited edition, priced for the collector). The Secret Migration is another Dave Fridmann production, and in many ways it stays true to the orchestrated psych-pop sound that they discovered together oh-so-many years ago, and Fridmann has gone on to explore with the Flaming Lips and many others. Soaring, epic love songs, with fluid yet tightly controlled rhythms, gently strummed guitars, swirling strings, and the occasional errant electronic blip or ringing flourish like well-aimed handfuls of fairy-dust to dress up the affair. Mercury Rev staked out their ground long ago; somewhere between dreamy, trippy psych-pop and emotional, yet controlled Britpop, this new album is yet another chapter in the story. [JM]






Heavy Rocks

"Death Valley"
"Heavy Friends"

I thought it necessary to review Boris' Heavy Rocks, which is not only my favorite record amongst the bottomless pit that is their discography, or in a mythical, supposed sense of one (I seemingly discover a fantastical seven way picture disc 8" split on some obscuro label site every other day or so), but Heavy Rocks could also contend for an album WHOLLY compromised of uncompromising and unrelenting SICK ROCK... an actualization that hasn't been quite realized since Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath. Boris are the only operation that hold an honors PhD in noisy-doom-rock-n-roll, specializing in a type of razor sharp delivery and execution, while simultaneously paying ode to the sweet leaf. And due to the prominent, hyper-detailed fixation on the latter--well, dudes, hate to break it to you--they're probably not even stoned.

Yes, they have doomed doom and out-sabbathed Sabbath, all you headbangers can go home crying and cut that hair now. Or just pay attention and take notes on this 2002 opus, that hails somewhat insidiously as an import, still. (Southern Lord, are you reading?) The orange album (Orange Amps!), decorated with Roger Dean inspired-graphics is an instant signifier of the gloriously damaged groove-dirge mammothosity that is contained within. Akuma No Uta is still deemed as a great introduction to Boris' abounding multifold talents, but Heavy Rocks is a perfect prescriptive dose of solid rock 'n' roll, which precluded Akuma's more straightforward rock moments. Though straightforward is contextual within Boris' realm, as they define rock 'n' roll spatially within a realm that embraces various worlds of influences and inspiration, but also extends to crush their rogues and transcend the very predecessors, exalting to a sound that's wildly un-paragoned and truly unique. [MT]






Magic Carpet
(Magic Carpet UK)

"The Phoenix"
"The Black Cat"

One of the finest and most legendary examples of eastern infused psychedelic folk, Magic Carpet's self-titled LP was originally released in 1972 on the renowned British Mushroom label. The recipe includes the prerequisite acoustic and electric guitars, as well as sitar, esraj, tamboura, tabla and other percussion, all of which is emphasized by radiantly charming female vocals.

It seems as if there are countless albums that tap into non-western music which quickly delve into kitsch territory, but Magic Carpet is an exquisitely performed and genuine integration of various musical languages. The band takes advantage of the sitar's resonant qualities, creating a psychedelic atmosphere around which their loosely constructed and lavishly ornamented concoctions are created.

While many new bands seem to reach near mythical status simply through cynical regurgitation, Magic Carpet made this kind of music imbued with a wonderfully un-jaded sense of optimism, more typical of records of this vintage. [KH]






Glasgow Sunday
(Corwood )

"Don't Want to Be"

Blood curdling live set from his recent unannounced live debut in Glasgow. Here, Jandek displays surprising force and confidence, seemingly hammering away at the guitar with a closed fist while accompanied by Richard Youngs on bass and local kindred spirit, Alex Neilsen, masterfully stuttering alongside Jandek on the drums. Unlike the bootleg floating around the Internet, the drums and vocals mesh together well in the forefront, while the bass drone/throb and rattled cage guitar falls back. Compared to the bootleg, it is simultaneously clearer, better integrated and more textural. Enthusiastic applause also included. [SM]






Junior Dan
(Honest Jons)

"Look Out for the Devil"
"Mr. Big Shot"

Honest Jon's, the London based store and label, brings us yet another fine reissue. This time from Junior Dan, and deep roots music is the order of the day. Having spent time at legendary Jamaican studios (including Channel One, Harry J's, Black Ark), with a who's who of Jamaican producers (King Tubby, Lee Perry, Burning Spear), and members of the Light of Saba among the uncredited list of contributors, this collection gathers a slew of hard to find seven-inches with their accompanying versions. Though not as "spooky" or mind altering, fans of the roots music of Yabby You and Keith Hudson should check this out. This is roots music in the rockers style. Are you ready for those Coney Island bonfires? [DG]







"Kleiner Finger"

Cologne's Bohren and Der Club of Gore's beginnings go all the way back to 1988, when several key members performed together in various incarnations of bands (most notably 7 Inch Boots) playing metal-based hardcore. But by the early-'90s they had adapted the Bohren moniker, a German word for drilling, and transformed themselves into a "horror jazz" ensemble, a style that would blend slow jazz with Black Sabbath-inspired doom themes. Releases like Sunset Mission and Black Earth were dark, yet with song titles like "On Demon Wings" and "The Art of Coffins" (not to mention the skull gracing the cover of Black Earth), you could tell that the band were also having fun with their cabaret noir sounds and not taking themselves too seriously. All the while, their saxophone and keyboard led music could have been a filmscore to an old, black and white movie.

For their latest album, Geisterfaust (which translates to ghost fist), Bohren have stripped their music down to absolute bare boned minimalism. Just shy of an hour long, the five songs-"Zeigefinger," "Daumen," Ringerfinger," "Mittlefinger" and "Kleiner Finger"--are each named after one of the digits on a hand. Christoph Clöser's electric piano is the dominant instrument and for much of the album there's practically no detectable tempo. Every chord from his Rhodes is allowed to decay before he hits his next series of notes. Low rumbles from a stand-up or eight-string bass, occasional vibes and maybe a percussion accent here and there are sparingly used to emphasize the skeletal minor key melodies. Songs don't really move, but rather creep into lucid ambience like a sinister and unimaginably restrained Tortoise. Geisterfaust is definitely an album to be listened to late at night with lights off and headphones on. [GH]






Compiled by DJ Premier & Mr. Thing

"The Message from the Soul Sisters Pt. 1 & 2"
"Fakin' Jax" / "The Bizness"

A killer double-disc mix CD featuring two talented big dogs in the hip-hop underground. No disrespect to Mr. Thing, who turns in an awesome 60-minute-plus, true-school hip-hop mix, but the real reason why you wanna pick this up is for the Premo mix. We would've all been satisfied with a mix similar to the classic mid-'90s underground hip-hop series he did for Tapekingz, but with this serving he offers something a bit more special. Premo collects some of his favorite soul/jazz/funk records and deftly cuts each one up individually.

Rarely do the songs blend into each other, but what you get in return is a rare glimpse into the creative process of a production genius responsible for the present day blueprint for underground hip-hop. He cuts up two copies of Screaming Jay Hawkins "I Put a Spell on You," extending the three-bar 3/ 4 sax intro over and over again, creating an effect similar to the CD skipping. It may sound slightly jarring and perplexing at first, until you realize that the intro is what he sampled to make the beat for "Kick in the Door" by Notorious BIG. He's showing you exactly how he did it, revealing his unique ear for arrangement and melody. He does this throughout the mix, with songs as diverse as Nina Simone's version of "Don't Speak" and Ohio Players' "Skin Tight."

In short, if you're a fan of this guy, you gotta hear it, and for me, being a lifelong fan, it's a joy to hear how such a mind works. Definitely worth checking out. [DH]






Analord 8

An exercise in the most unfashionable sounds in electronic music today, Analord 8 is the softest release in the series yet. AFX is either revisiting old TV memories or he's at home laughing his ass off. Track one has Miami Vice at dinner melody, driven by a sizzling hi-hat straight off the Casio. Track three is a soft and bouncy number, with feather-light undulating synth melodies that massages the head nicely between some headphones. It would also be totally at home in an '80s home fitness video. A strange fence to straddle but look who we're talking about here. [SM]






(The Workers Institute)


Having met at the Reykjavik College of Music in 1998, the four ladies of Amina have an impressive resume. Perhaps best known as Sigur Ros' string ensemble (featured on two of the albums, and an essential ingredient in that band's live act), Amina also backed up Efterklang on their widely acclaimed Tripper album, and laid down some string love on one of the Album Leaf records. However, AnimaminA, the group's debut EP, sees them as much more than a back-up band. Centered around violin, viola and cello, the four compositions have a cinematic and otherworldly quality to them, enhanced by the addition of glockenspiel and glassophone. Clocking in at an all-too-brief 18 minutes, this is beautifully meandering and hypnotic music, warm enough to melt the polar caps. [AK]






(Female Fun)

"Yes, I Do Love Them Ho's!"
"The Boston Top"

Prince Paul has given us yet another peak into the inner depths of his psyche with Itstrumental, a sort of instrumental album of beats, sketches, tracks, ideas and thought patterns which he has produced over the last 15 years or so. Along the way, he's worked with a multitude of artists too long to mention, but I'll try to name a few: De La Soul, Stetsasonic, Boogie Down Productions, MC Lyte, 3rd Bass, Big Daddy Kane, GraveDiggas, Paul Barman and Handsome Boy Modeling School, as well as his various solo projects. Now is as good of time as ever to dig into his library and discover what's never seen the light of day.

Anyone familiar with the aforementioned should have an idea of what to expect, but for the newcomers, you'll hear skits about pigs, hoes, playas, degos and devils interspersed amidst lazy, soulful, jazzy hip-hop, train wrecks, a bit of dancehall, schizophrenic self-help monologues, and passion-filled '80s slow jam dramas. There's even a track played live entirely by the man himself. So when people talk about "I remember when hip hop was...." or "today everything sounds like _____, but back in the day...", chances are they're thinking about Prince Paul. [GA]




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[GA] Geoff Albores
[RB] Randy Breaux
[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[DH] Duane Harriott
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[KH] Koen Holtkamp
[DHo] Dan Hougland
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[JM] Josh Madell
[SM] Scott Mou
[JS] Jeremy Sponder
[MT] Mahssa Taghinia

- all of us at Other Music

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