October 20, 2005  




Animal Collective
Boards of Canada
Lightning Bolt
Erasmo Carlos (Box Set)
Silver Jews
Mr. Jews
Burnside Project
Clube Moderno (Various)


Tetuzi Akiyama
Good for What Ails You
Sound Directions
Gang of Four
The Beautiful Born Children

Múm (Yesterday Was Dramatic)
Welsh Rare Beat

OCT Sun 16 Mon 17 Tues 18 Wed 19 Thurs 20 Fri 21 Sat 22


BHANGRA, BAILE FUNK, NEW MEDITERRANIO & AFRO BEAT PARTY VJs + DJs in their PJs with belly and African dancers. Resident DJs: DJ Rekha (Basement Bhangra/Bollywood disco), DJ Shotnez (Rubulad/ex-Gogol Bordello), DJ Handler (Afronomics/Modular Moods), Elsewhere (Sound Advice/Modular Moods), VJ Nicole Jaquis (Projectile Arts)

First four people who send an e-mail to djhandler@modularmoods.com will get in free.

TONIGHT! 11 P.M., October 20th
THE CANAL ROOM: 285 W. Broadway NYC
$8 at the door or E-mail rsvp@modularmoods.com for reduced, $5 admission

OCT Sun 16 Mon 17 Tues 18 Wed 19 Thurs 20 Fri 21 Sat 22


Other Music is giving away three pairs of tickets for Acid Mothers Temple's show this Friday at the Canal Room. Enter by e-mailing contest@othermusic.com. The winners will be notified by 1:00 P.M., Friday, October 21st. Leave a daytime phone number where you can be reached.

THE CANAL ROOM: 285 W. Broadway NYC

OCT Sun 23 Mon 24 Tues 25 Wed 26 Thurs 27 Fri 28 Sat 29


The Novay w/ Kevin Micromini Mchugh welcomes Berlin's techno beatmaster, Magda (m_nus).

Tuesday, October 25 - $5 advance tickets @ Other Music / $7 at the door. Doors open at 10PM.

We're giving away one pair of tickets to this great night. To enter, e-mail giveaway@othermusic.com. The winner will be notified by 4:00 P.M., Monday, October 24th. Leave a daytime phone number where you can be reached.

APT: 419 W. 13 St. NYC

OCT Sun 23 Mon 24 Tues 25 Wed 26 Thurs 27 Fri 28 Sat 29

The Rogers Sisters

Next Wednesday, October 26, Too Pure artists the Rogers Sisters, Scout Nibblet and Young People will be performing together at the Mercury Lounge. Other Music has two pairs of tickets to give away to this night. You can enter to win by e-mailing tickets@othermusic.com. The winners will be notified by 4:00 P.M., Monday, October 24th. Leave a daytime phone number where you can be reached.

MERCURY LOUNGE: 217 E. Houston St. NYC

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



CD Release Party
Monday, November 7 @ 8:00 P.M.

15 East 4th Street NYC
(212) 477.8150
Free Admission/Limited Capacity







(Fat Cat)

"The Purple Bottle"
"Turn into Something"

Well, Animal Collective certainly haven't let us down yet. Their latest masterpiece Feels definitively places them as the most consistently innovative American band since at least Sonic Youth or Talking Heads. Like those bands, or even Pavement for that matter, AC realize that simply being avant-garde or far-out doesn't solely cut it. You've got to have the songwriting ability to make it worthwhile on a meaningful level for most people, and in that sense Feels will probably be their most popular and celebrated release yet--even more so than the exquisite Sung Tongs. This is in no way a compromise of their artistic vision; it's simply a gift that they've been blessed with. Everything about Feels seems huge: the sounds, the scope, the emotional depth, the newfound personal-ness, the sheer epic-ness of the production. Despite having an ostensibly conventional rock framework--electric guitars, drums, vocals, etc., it ends up being anything but. Just one close listen renders any comparison to Polyphonic Spree, Arcade Fire, Flaming Lips, et al., totally preposterous. AC get a lot of press for the supposedly childlike quality of their presentation, but it's only totally appropriate in the context of how seriously children take their play, how they go about it with a single-minded determination of vision. And in that sense Feels is like the most elaborate sandcastle you ever dreamed of constructing as a child. A year of solid touring on the material has given Avey the ability to turn in his most resonant vocal performance yet (witness "Banshee Beat" in particular), and the rest of the group are operating on so many levels and so far ahead of today's popular music that their striking originality will simply not be denied. Recorded by Scott Colburn (Sun City Girls) and featuring amazing contributions from Kristin of Múm and the extraordinary violinist Eyvind Kang, Feels is absolutely my vote for best record of the year. [MK]







$18.99 LP


Campfire Headphase

"Chromakey Dreamcoat"
"84 Pontiac Dream"
"Dayvan Cowboy"

A third Boards of Canada album? The Nirvana of IDM has managed to update their sound in 2005, without the risk of alienating their fans. Campfire Headphase is the closest to the heart and soul of their PBS namesake. Get ready for this: a futuristic-'90s feel is almost ABSENT from this one. The atmosphere is like the antique wow and flutter filled loops and melodies of early-Susumu Yokota or Colleen. Even the breakbeats are rounded and more acoustic; but don't worry, the kids in the playground sound is still there. Despite the blue cover, the music is markedly more "brown sounding"--sounding a lot like a collaboration between David Pajo, Yokota and Tommy Guerrero. There's a strong California-breeziness-recorded-in-the-bedroom feel that adds a heaping amount of realness that doesn't exist in previous BOC albums. The tracks are also played slower with feelings, in a way that displays their genuine enthusiasm for their sound. [SM]







$15.99 LP


Hypermagic Mountain

"2morro Morro Land"

With the artistic leaps taken by similar acts, be it Black Dice, Hella, Ex-Models, etc., the newest from noiseniks Lightning Bolt finds them refreshingly in the camp of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Their brand of drum and bass (which evokes that singular genre of 'deranged gorilla pummeling' rather than 'jungle') has been running at the same peak levels at least since Ride the Skies. If anything, the two Brians have cooked down their formula to its stickiest, most viscid essence here. The recording captures their telepathy at its rawest, most attuned strain, with every gesture and drop of sweat captured right to tape. Songs seem of less import than the rush of gushing torrents pouring forth. Like sticking your head out the window on the highway, or at the top of Magic Mountain, Lightning Bolt's blasts refresh and exhilarate even as they wedge bugs in your teeth. [AB]








O Tremendão Box Set
(Sony Brazil)

"Nao Quero Nem Saber"
"Baby, Baby"
"Nao Me Diga Adeus"

Stupendous box set of the waaaaaay under-heralded (in the U.S. anyhow) work of Brazilian superstar and former teen idol, Erasmo Carlos. O Tremendão is comprised of the six albums Carlos recorded for RGE Discos between 1965 and 1970, and it wonderfully charts the transition he made from being a relatively straightforward rock-n-roller to an increasingly ambitious songwriter and experimenter who was capable of digesting the changes taking place in Brazilian popular music. Rock and roll had been on the scene in Brazil since the late-'50s, but when the bossa nova explosion really kicked off around 1960 it was pushed to the background. This didn't deter three extremely gifted friends however; Roberto Carlos, Erasmo Carlos, and Tim Maia continued to play in garage bands around Rio De Janeiro and by the time the Beatles changed the face of music worldwide, they were more than able to step into place as homegrown standard bearers.

The scene that had developed around them was dubbed the Young Guard and chart success and television programs were soon forthcoming, as was increasing animosity from the bossa nova crowd. The influence of the Young Guard spawned hundreds of garage bands all over the country, and soon enough they even had some key converts and sympathizers from the younger wave of bossa nova influenced songwriters--notably Jorge Ben, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Before you knew it Tropicalia was born. Erasmo Carlos' main songwriting partner was Roberto Carlos, who was one of the hugest stars of his era but mostly made pretty palatable teeny bopper stuff. However, the work he did with Erasmo has a much more rough hewn quality. The two earliest records in this set, from 1965 and 1966, are both really fun, slightly mod albums with tons of energy.

Starting in 1967, Erasmo's albums get increasingly more complex and you can start to hear the influence of Jorge Ben creeping in. The songs get more diverse and the production and arrangements become more sophisticated with lots of background hand claps, weird song titles and covers ("I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman", "Mellow Yello"), a wilder live sound, etc. The records of 1968 and 1970 go even a step further, with truly great and accessible songwriting matched to some pretty far out psychedelic studio trickery. There's so much breadth to what he was capable of doing that these records still sound immediate and fun. These works are truly a crucial and essential moment in Brazilian song and I can't recommend them enough. [MK]







Tanglewood Numbers
(Drag City)

"Punks in the Beerlight"
"K Hole"

Five albums in, David Berman's Silver Jews have never sounded bigger. Tanglewood Numbers' opening track "Punks in the Beerlight" makes this immediately apparent, a propulsive number that twists about winding guitars that carry classic Berman lines like "Where's the paper bag that holds the liquor/just in case I feel the need to puke?" and "Punks in the beerlight, two burnouts in love/I always loved you to the max." Still a joyously shambolic mess of countrified indie rock, Silver Jews have never been this tight, with fleshed out arrangements and a giant roster of contributors. On again/off again member Stephen Malkmus plays guitar on every song, and his former Pavement cohort Bob Nastanovich is back too; while notables like Mike Fellows (Miighty Flashlight), Will Oldham, A Perfect Circle/Papa M's Pat Lenchantin and ex-Jesus Lizard guitarist Duane Denison are also listed in the credits, as are Mark Nevers and country music veteran Joe Funderbunk manning the recording console. Berman's droll, low-voiced delivery has always given his absurdist-detailed lyrics a soul, but here, there's a new urgency to his voice as he growls and, at times, belts baritone melodies. Having pulled through a serious bout of depression which led to a suicide attempt, it's easy to draw parallels with the album's apparent themes of sadness and recovery. But juxtaposed against the often rollicking, at times honky tonkin' accompaniment, as well as the sweet-as-molasses vocal backings from Berman's new wife Cassie (who also sung on 2001's Bright Flight) ensures that things are far from hopeless. Though not as classic as Starlite Walker or American Water, Tanglewood Numbers comes close. [GH]






The Search for the Elusive Silver Palace Record
(Sea Note)

Here we have an ultra-limited seven inch from the Mr. Jews called Search for the Elusive Silver Palace record. Long have there been rumors of such a collaboration, but is it really here or isn't it?? David Berman and Will Oldham together on the same record, it's a Drag City wet dream. Well, this seven-inch is a comedy companion to the new Silver Jews album which may or may not answer your question...does an album of this caliber exist? All I can say is that with a little help from our man Bert here, and some research on the internet, we kind of figured out what these jokers were getting at. This little slice of vinyl is an homage to one Dickie Goodman who had a hit record in 1975. I don't want to give too much away but for just under $5.00 you can find out for yourself. And maybe, just maybe, the Silver Palace album will appear in the bin at your local record store sometime in the not so distant future. Well, what are you waiting for? By the way, this record will probably be gone in a few days for there are only a limited number of copies on hand. [JS]







  SUNN 0)))
Black One
(Southern Lord)

"It Took the Night to Believe"

Sunn 0)))'s new album Black One is their darkest release so far, wading neck-deep in black blood. Legend has it that some serious ritual was applied in order to tap into the evil within. For example, to create the right mood, vocals were recorded inside of a closed casket that was placed in the back of a hearse. Listen close and you'll hear some of the dark claustrophobia seeping through.

As usual, there are plenty of dark post-Earth sludge stylings, but Black One produces a new level of soundtrack vibe that uses worm-slow changes side by side with textural jump cuts and sudden endings. The base of Black One is similar to past Sunn 0))) albums but with added layers that shift and ebb through each extensive track. Subtlety and suddenness operate side by side.

"Orthodox Caveman" is a nine-minute drone driven song punctuated with riffs and a layer of radio inferno. "Cry for the Weeper" begins with a slow drone that introduces a riff that is joined by higher riffs that careen and crash until they are finally integrated with a high pitched synth-organ blast. Track seven, "Bathory Erzsebet," is the aforementioned casket/hearse track. Vocalist Malefic (of black metal band Xasthur) praises evil while cursing the darkness--coming across like a trapped demonic falcon--over doom riffs and eventually a distant-tolling church bell. Much of the vocal works on Black One comes across like demonic spoken word. Delve into the tomb of Sunn 0))) if you dare. [SM]







The Finest Example Is You

"And So It Goes"
"What's Said Was Spoken"

A sputtering staccato drum-machine drowned out by the thwack of a hand on a stick on a snare drum, a bubbling synth nestled against a soulfully strummed guitar groove, Richard Jankovich's emo(tional), melancholy, and utterly human vocals floating atop a pulsating robotic bass-tone…this is Burnside Project. Many of the moods and melodies that were hinted at on their enjoyable Bar/None debut (The Networks, the Circuits, the Streams, the Harmonies) have reached full maturity on their latest, The Finest Example Is You. The group has grown from a studio project to a full-fledged real band, refining their knob-twiddling with an often four-on the-floor bottom and swirling, hypnotic overlays, but upping their human element at the same time, with more live drumming and a stronger presence from (Other Music website editor) Gerald Hammill's beautiful guitar melodies and keyboardist Paul Searing. A great record that will appeal to fans of indie-tronic heroes the Postal Service or the Notwist, both of who similarly craft sad indie-pop from the building blocks of dance music, but you can also draw a line from '80s superstars like Depeche Mode and Echo and the Bunnymen. [JM]






The Weed Tree
(Locust Music)

"Rosemary Lane"
"Dead King"

To tide over eager fans awaiting their second full-length, Greg Weeks and his band Espers offer this mini-album in tribute to their musical heroes. Included are inspirations you might have expected--Bert Jansch, Nico, Clive Palmer, and Michael Hurley--as well as two that are a bit more surprising, the Durutti Column and Blue Öyster Cult. Espers' interpretation of "Afraid" from Nico's Desertshore album is particularly lovely, and Blue Öyster Cult's "Flaming Telepaths" is an epic and unexpected rocker. For fans of the current psychedelic folk revival who aren't as familiar with the aforementioned artists, this will be a great starting place to discover some of the movement's progenitors. Did I mention that there's a brand new Espers original on here too? If that song is any indication, then their next album might be even better than the first. [RH]





$14.99 CD


Essential 1970-1996
(Mr. Bongo)

"Adeus Maria Fulo"
"Aldeia De Ogum"

Probably no other Brazilian vocalist has personally effected me more than this beautiful singer. Her music may not be as goofy and kaleidoscopic as Os Mutantes, or as experimental as Caetano Veloso or Gal Costa, but over the past three decades, she's released an astounding number of timeless albums that seem to touch upon all things of its time, but it never ever dates itself. This is including her newest records that came out two years ago. Yes folks, she's still good! From the get-go, Joyce always seemed to be the torchbearer for the more traditional samba sound than all of her contemporaries, which I think is the reason you don't see her name associated with any of her tropicalia cohorts. I guess you could say her style is closer to the folky soul of '70s-era Jorge Ben and Gilberto Gil, but a bit more sparse and subtle like Joao Gilberto. She also probably did about as much as Veloso to fearlessly write about the artistic oppression the military dictatorship imposed on many artists there. My favorite album by her is Passarinho Urbano, a sparse guitar/vocal samba record recorded in Italy, that featured original songs by banned or exiled artists such as Veloso, Chico Buarque and Mario Quinatana, and a stunning vocal version of "Pelo Telefone," which was the first samba ever recorded, and is included on this album. Other artists you could compare her to are Joni Mitchell or Linda Lewis maybe, but she's just as good or better than them in my humble opinion. This collection came out eight years ago, and has been very difficult to find until just recently. It was the first thing that I ever bought by her and I'm happy that I can again recommend it to everyone. Amazing! [DH]







Clube Moderno: Esquina Do Mundo

"Saidas E Bandeiras" Milton Nascimento
"Catavento" Alaide Costa
"Nada Sera Como Antes" Elis Regina

Okay, so you've finally worked your way through all the tropicalia stuff, loving the works of Caetano Veloso and Os Mutantes and finally realizing that they are but a gateway drug that leads to the vast and multifaceted pleasures of Brazilian popular music, or as it's generally called, MPB. But 'tropicalia' as movement lasted a mere three years into 1969, so what was up in the '70s? Shopping in the store, you may have had various employees gush over the brilliance that is Milton Nascimento's Clube de Esquina, which is not just the watermark of '70s MPB, but one of the most stunning examples of pop, period. Drawing from the rich heritage of their own culture, this 'corner club' of musicians commingled carnival, bossa nova, and tropicalia, as well as hefty doses of Beatles orch-pop and early fusion for their sleek, singular sound. Centered on the players involved with Clube de Esquina, these 14 tracks touch on their numerous solo releases through the decade. Fine artists in their own right, selections by Lo Borges, Nelson Angelo e Joyce, Toninho Horta, and Elis Regina shine here, alongside Nascimento's various collaborations with other songwriters. The only problem now is that you'll want to track all these records down, too. [AB]







(Locust Music)


The third installment in Locust Music's Wooden Guitar series--following a compilation and an album by the Sun City Girls' Sir Richard Bishop--is this astounding acoustic disc by Tetuzi Akiyama. Pre-Existence is about as anti-virtuosic as it gets. The title suggests a possible concept or story behind the compositions. This is what it might sound like if some pre-human life form were jettisoned forward in time to stumble across a modern day acoustic guitar. The creature explores the instrument, nearly pulling the strings off the neck at times, as he gradually discovers sonically pleasing noises, tunings, melodies, harmonics, intervals, and, occasionally, chords. This is the experimental guitarist's first studio album since the vinyl-only Don't Forget to Boogie, and it's a very satisfying follow-up. Pre-Existence's loose, almost completely intuitive compositions offer a nice counterpoint to that album's repetitive genre exercises. Against the seemingly endless stream of pleasant Fahey apostles who never hit a wrong note, it's great to hear a master of the instrument intentionally forget how to play. [RH]







Good for What Ails You - Music of the Medicine Shows
(Old Hat)

"The Spasm" Daddy Stovepipe & Mississippi Sarah
"The Cat's Got the Measles, the Dog's Got the Whooping Cough" Walter Smith
"Sweet Sixteen" Charlie Poole with The North Carolina Ramblers

Old Hat has never skimped when it comes to reintroducing our own past back to us. Their previous sets (like über-collector Joe Bussard's favorite 78s and fiddling comps) are hefty and dense, and their newest, looking at the music of American medicine shows, is quite a package, documenting that bygone form of entertainment that ruled the heartland from the Civil War on through the Depression. Okay, so you'll miss the scents of greasepaint, kerosene lamps, burnt cork, cactus juice, Indian herbal remedies, and snake oil, and the other performers from such shows: snake handlers, sharp shooter, mind readers, geeks, and medicinal hawkers are absent. All that's left is the shellac that captured some of these old tunes. These medicine shows, while no doubt giving PC folks fits with their minstrelsy base and Indian stereotypes, were a vital outlet of leisure for rural regions up until radio gave the music away for free. These post-Civil War tunes and their influence on music are profound, with the songs slowly seeping in to make the basis of the greatest hillbilly and blues artists. Folk like Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, T-Bone Walker, Sonny Terry, and Hank Williams had the medicine shows make great impressions on them, even traveling with them for spells. Nestled among these two CDs and thick booklet documenting the forgotten history of this strain of entertainment are some bawdy sawing, comb and jug blowing, stovepipe hats and stovepipe brass, and some mighty fine picking. The daddies of American music are here, like Charlie Poole, Henry Thomas, and Emmett Miller, as well as ensembles like the Memphis Sheiks and Carolina Tar Heels. Take a big swig of this most potent cure-all for post-modern ails. [AB]







His Return
(Troubleman / Megablade)

"In the Shadow of a Mountain"

If you use words "guitar" and "drone" next to each other, most will think of Earth and Sunn O))), both acts known for their ominous doomscapes. Growing are also masters of pulling slow-building drones from their guitars, but theirs is of a less wicked ambience. During "In the Shadow of the Mountain," one can picture Brian Eno leading a band of bagpipe players to the foot of the Alps, intent on awakening the villagers with a rumbling, early-morning soundtrack. [GH]







The Funky Side of Life
(Stones Throw)

"Fourty Days"
"Play Car"

Madlib's newest project is an expansion of the ground he laid with Yesterday's New Quintet and various solo releases, as well as the Blue Note remixes. The only difference here is that the other members of his ensemble are actually living, breathing players. With Sound Directions' The Funky Side of Life, Madlib is finally crossing the border from samples to musicians. Though he is a multi-talented musician, the inclusion of other heads brings his crate digging philosophy to life. The band is comprised of organ/keyboardist Morgan Adams III, "Sloppy" Joe Johnson on drums and percussion, and Derek Brooks on bass and synth, as well as various members of Breakestra, Dap Kings, Antibalas, Keystones, and Macy Gray.

With additional arrangement by Connie Price and Kamala Walker, Madlib loosens up and lets the musicians play and jam. Madlib shows off his influences here; they turn out perfect covers of "Forty Days" by Bill Brooks (sampled to perfection on A Tribe Called Quest's "Luck of Lucien"), "A Divine Image" by David Axelrod (another classic sample), and "Wanda Vidal" by Marcus Valle, not to mention songs from J.J. Johnson and Oliver Sain. If you're into releases from the new-is-old Soul Fire label, Blue Note's Blue Break Beats series, and rare groove or funk comps, you should check this out. No irony, no samples, and no fillers, just groove after groove, kinda like Madlib's break beat jam band. In any case, the best and tightest of his jazz/funk experiments so far. [DG]







Return the Gift

"To Hell With Poverty"
"Damaged Goods"

The Gang of Four's early records have always been among my favorite rock albums, and after a year or so of fans and imitators taking center stage around the world, I was thrilled to see that the group was getting together for a spate of reunion shows earlier this year, and I uncharacteristically ran out and paid full price for tickets to their first NYC show. The band was (and is) great, as fierce and fun and funky as ever, and the shows have been a triumph. I was also pleased to learn that the group had no intentions of stretching out this surprise second go-round with new material and fresh releases…we all know that there are few, if any, artists that can still write a winner 30 years down the line, even if they can have a blast playing the classics.

Well, the band does have a new release, and it is a brand new studio recording, which is helping them stretch their original few shows into a full-fledged world tour. But rather than NEW material, what we get is the band taking a second shot at their classics from the first two records. Why exactly? I want to believe that this anti-consumerism conglomeration is not simply in it for the advance, and hoping to pacify the fans looking for souvenirs of the concerts. From what I'm told, the theory behind this was simply that the band was never fully happy with some of the production decisions that were made on Entertainment and Solid Gold, feeling that their most applauded releases never fully captured the power of their live set.

Well, what we get is a great record of some great songs played really well by one of the best bands of the modern era. The new versions are remarkably similar to the originals; this is not a re-imaging of the form, just a refining of the details. The big fans may note a simplified bass line or stripped-down chorus, and overall the sound may be a little bigger, and the vocals cleaner and a bit easier to follow lyrically. But overall, even the band seems to agree that they got things pretty close to right-on back in the '70s, and these versions could easily be mistaken for the originals at many times. Simply "repackaged (to) keep your interest"? Well maybe not quite… [JM]







Hey People!

"Paper Mill"

Along comes this mysterious release from the Beautiful New Born Children. The Domino Records website announces its arrival as the result of receiving an unlabeled CD-R in the mail, which led to a super sleuth process of tracking the group down to offer them a record deal. (Young bands make note: fire your lawyer and manager, burn your bios, and no need to make a fancy label for your CD-R demo.) Hailing from deep in the heart of Northern Germany, guitarist/singer Michael Beckett is a cohort of Schneider TM, however, the BNBC is as far from electronica as polka. Though nine-songs long, a majority of the tracks on this EP come in at under the two-minute mark, every cut a highly-charged fusion of garage rock and early-'90s indie rock. Beckett's voices wails like Stephen Malkmus throwing a temper tantrum, while the hyper backing band-- who sound like the Fall after ingesting handfuls of uppers--tries to imitate the Music Machine. [GH]








Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Is OK

"Smell Memory"
"There Is a Number of Small Things"

Strange how so many bands' landmark albums can suddenly go out of print, as was the case for Múm's Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Is OK. This classic is absolutely essential for fans of the Icelandic group's more recent albums who haven't had the chance to hear this record. Here's an excerpt from Robin Edgerton's review which we ran in early-2001:

While they use some of Boards of Canada's 'pastoral' electronic effects (ticky sweetness and bell-like synth tones), they warm it up by blurring the line between the acoustic and electronic. Sure, there are lots of skittery patterns and beats, but they really become pioneers when they pull in and out of sped-up bouncing harpsichord notes, real trumpet, clarinet, guitar and strings, lovely vocal chanting, and a glockenspiel that I can't tell if it's real or faux. Acoustic guitar tones might start a song and make you think it's going to become indie- pop, until the whole thing collapses delicately on a fainting couch of fireplace crackles, Casios that imitate birds' trilling and chirping, and resonant triangle tones. They've supported countrymate Bjork on tour, which makes perfect sense-- Múm's work resembles her at her most lulling, lullaby-ish, not that they can't rip it up in woodshop sounds and drum'n'bass. Primarily instrumental, but one song drifts in and out on breathy, multi-tracked angel vox. An absolutely exquisite recording.








Welsh Rare Beat
(Finders Keepers)

"Breuddwyd" Bran
"Mathonwy" "Huw Jones

From the label that brought you reissues of Jean-Claude Vannier and Yamasuki, as well as the excellent Folk Is Not a Four Letter Word compilation, comes a musical guided tour of Wales in the 1970s. Welsh Rare Beat features 25 folk rock songs released by Sain, a label that defiantly provided a politically charged Welsh-language alternative to the popular music of the time. By far the most well-known artist on the compilation is Meic Stevens, whose Warner Brothers album Outlander was reissued by Rhino Handmade a couple of years ago. He appears as a sideman on a number of cuts, and two of his own songs are on here too. Stevens' "Y Brawd Houdini" is one of the best songs on the CD, with huge acoustic guitars, joyful handclaps, and "la la la"-ing reminiscent of T. Rex's "Hot Love." Another highlight is "Hedfan" by Gillian Elisa, which slowly builds an organ and piano accompaniment behind lovely multi-tracked vocals, before bursting forth with an ebullient instrumental hook dominated by a distorted guitar line that could have been lifted straight from the Spiders from Mars. And the ethereal five-part harmonies of girl group Sidan's "Di Enw" are even more enchanting than they were on the group's song from Folk Is Not a Four Letter Word. The CD's exemplary liner notes include compact but comprehensive biographical information about all of the artists in addition to an informative essay titled "Welsh-Rare-Beat (in political context)" by Super Furry Animals frontman and Sain label expert Gruff Rhys, who helped select the tracks for this fine release. This one's a gem! [RH]




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[AB] Adrian Burkholder
[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[DH] Duane Harriott
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[MK] Michael Klausman
[JM] Josh Madell
[SM] Scott Mou
[JS] Jeremy Sponder

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