January 18, 2006  




Love Is All
Gold Leaf Branches (Various)
This Heat
Triple R Selection 4 (Mix CD)
Lost Sounds (Various)


Sugar Minott
Talib Kweli
Wolfgang Press


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


Other Music and Screaming Mimi's are throwing a One Day Garage Sale at Botanica on Sunday, January 22nd. Music and fashion will be the order of the day, with a great selection of records and CDs priced anywhere between 99 cents to $9.99, and men's and women's vintage clothing and accessories going for a mere $5 to $25. Plus there'll be Other Music DJs playing records while you peruse the bargains, as well as happy hour drinks to quench your shopper's thirst.

BOTANICA: 47 E. Houston Street NY, NY
Sunday, January 22nd (1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.)

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

The Clogs

Other Music is giving away two pairs of tickets to this great triple bill. Featuring members of the Arcade Fire, the Bell Orchestre create a stirring blend of instrumental chamber music and post-rock sonics. The Clogs--who share musicians with local favorites the National--hold a similar affinity for orchestrated instrumentation, playing brooding music that seems borne from the avant-classical world. Opening the night will be none other than NYC's Diane Cluck, bringing her beautifully intimate folk songs to the Bowery's larger stage. Enter by e-mailing tickets@othermusic.com. The winners will be notified by noon, Friday, January 20th. Leave a daytime phone number where you can be reached.

Sunday, January 22nd - $13 adv/$15 door

JAN Sun 29 Mon 30 Tues 31 Wed 01 Thurs 02 Fri 03 Sat 04


This month, we're taking over both floors of APT! Downstairs, we're very excited to welcome Nightshift's Marcel Hüppauff (Dial Records) who will be spinning an exclusive set. Opening the night will be Other Music DJs J Dennis and Scott Mou. In the upstairs lounge, the Domino Records crew will be screening select clips from Four Tet's Everything Ecstatic Part II and Caribou's Marino DVDs. As always, we'll have an open vodka bar from 9 to 10 P.M., and $5 rum punch specials all night long!

APT: 419 W. 13th Street NY, NY
Tuesday, January 31st (9:00 P.M. to 4:00 A.M.)








Nine Times That Same Song
(What's Your Rupture)

"Used Goods"
"Ageing Had Never Been His Friend"

Just in! Following a slew of seven-inch singles, Sweden's Love Is All finally delivers their long-awaited album. Nine Times That Same Song is nothing less than a lo-fi barrage of chaotic, yet instantly catchy guitars, funky bass and drums, and female yelps, with occasional bursts of sax and organ. All the urgency of Huggybear, all the swagger of Nation of Ulysses, and all the perfect pop of any of the Subway or early-Creation bands, Love Is All's new album is the perfect companion to that Delta 5 reissue which comes out next week. [RS]








"A Stranger"
"Ulysses and the City of Dreams - Episode 2"

AOI is a very interesting new record from one of Japan's most enigmatic composers, Ayuo. He was born in Japan in the early-'60s but spent a formative decade in New York City (English is actually his first language, not Japanese) where he lived with his mother and an Iranian-American stepfather who exposed him to a great deal of Persian music as a child. He returned to live in Japan as a teenager and joined an early incarnation of Keiji Haino's Fushitsusha in 1979. Since then, he has released nearly a dozen albums and performed or collaborated with a staggeringly diverse group of individuals, including Kan Mikami, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Peter Hammill, Danny Thompson, the Fairport Convention, and Steeleye Span.

Though an eclectic artist, he seems to have a few predominate interests that don't seem to be too hard to reconcile, and this latest disc displays many of them. Ayuo is a wonderfully sensitive performer of pastoral psych-folk that touches on both Japanese and Anglo-Scots traditions--he's even covered Robin Williamson songs in the past. He is adept at recasting ancient Noh plays in modern settings without abandoning their strict forms, while simultaneously making them contemporarily relevant. He writes hugely epic world music synthesis that seem to have a lot in common with the direction the Boredoms have been heading in the last couple of years (i.e., an emphasis on the drone and a diverse array of multi-layered instruments like sitar-guitars and soft synths).

There is also a piece for solo bouzouki as well as a lyrical post minimal solo piano suite, here beautifully performed by the celebrated pianist Yuji Takahashi. His work touches on so many interests that intersect with those of the typical Other Music customer that I don't doubt for a moment that his profile is only going to be increasing over the next couple of years. [MK]







Gold Leaf Branches

"Friday Morning" Timothy, Relevator
"Lily, Henry, & the Willow Trees" Marissa Nadler
"A Mess of Cedars" The Juniper Meadows

A massive 59-song, three-CD set chronicling the ever-brewing psychedelic underground. Curated by Brad and Eden Rose (of the excellent Foxy Digitalis online magazine) Gold Leaf Branches focuses on the US but reaches as far as Finland and the UK, and what you get is a boiling cauldron of bedroom psych, avant noise, broken folk, drone, and sound collage compositions. Highlights include a sweet slide workout from the Charalambides, the haunted folk of Lau Nau, James Blackshaw's trancey raga, and a Six Organs live jam. Of course, it doesn't end there...Dead Raven Choir, Marissa Nadler, Hala Strana, Hush Arbors, Wooden Wand, Kuupuu, Maniac's Dream, and a million more. This will last you long into 2007. [AK]







This Heat

"Horizontal Hold"
"24 Track Loop"

Every week our update features a healthy amount of reissues which sometimes even outnumber the amount of new releases. And while occasionally some of these oft-lost gems rightfully receive our "highest recommendation," I dare say that the remastered reissue of This Heat's self-titled (Blue and Yellow) album will probably be one of the most important records to find rebirth in 2006--a watershed release which hasn't been available in about a decade.

In 1976, Charles Bullen, Charles Hayward and Gareth Williams formed This Heat in Camberwell, South London. Unlike most of the three-chord punk bands coming out at the same time, the trio took a distinctively avant-garde approach, filtering progressive rock, free jazz, world, dub, early-industrial and experimental music into their radically singular sound. Recorded between '76 and '78, in an old meat freezer which they converted into their "Cold Storage" studio, the mixing console, tape loops and reverb effects were as essential to the songs as the musical instruments themselves. Many of the production techniques which This Heat utilized were akin to those used in music concrète and dub recordings. (It's no surprise that future Flying Lizard David Cunningham's name is listed in the production credits; he also managed the band and originally released this album on his Piano Records imprint.)

If any group's output built a bridge between past and future, it was This Heat's. Long before sampling technology arrived, the drum and organ arrangement of "24 Track Loop" is echoed and pitch-shifted through an old harmonizer, the poly-rhythms and odd noises creating an early blueprint for electronic music that producers like Aphex Twin and Squarepusher would consult many years later. (Hayward once said that the production in "24 Track Loop" owes as much to the techniques used in dub as it does Terry Riley's Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band.) In contrast, the dissonant guitar chimes and chilling vocals of "Twilight Future" predates the disquieting moments of Slint's Spiderland (and basically the birth of '90s post-rock) by at least a decade. You can also hear the influence from late-'60s/early-'70s German experimentalists like Can and Faust in the frantic guitar scrapes and hammering propulsion of the linear "Horizontal Hold;" but here Bullen, Hayward and Williams also borrow a page from punk's nihilistic playbook, channeling these elements into a crash-and-burn sonic assault that is all at once tightly-coiled and explosive. With "The Fall of Saigon," the album winds down amidst clattering industrial-scaped drones, but the atonal vocals are a hint of things to come by way of their final, more "song-oriented" album Deceit, nothing less than the band's socio-political masterpiece. We'll get to that record when it sees its reissue in the very near future (not to mention an upcoming box set). In the meantime, if you haven't yet heard This Heat, every piece in their small discography is truly essential and there's no better place to start than this. [GH]







Triple R Selection 4

"Manty" Artificial Latvamaki
"Like You" Franklin de Costa

Okay, this is one of those mix CDs that might not sound so exciting if you just skip through the tracks expecting something to jump out and grab you. This is from Trapez after all--a label marked by its soft tech-house subtlety--this selection mixed by the illustrious Riley Rheinhold, a DJ/producer known for his delicate touch with the melodies and textures. The ride is soft and bumpy, and a little funky throughout, the groove rising and falling with the slightly altered strength of the bass kick, layers of melodies, or just a filtered snare hit. Some of the recent Trapez Limited 12-inches have been on the "deep trance/house" side that leaves us a bit uninterested. As backhanded as it sounds, this mix actually makes good use of those elements, downplaying the trance and working towards a deep, melodic techno-house feel that has a good bit of funk in it. A long-burning 15-track mix that displays, yet again, Rheinhold's impeccable programming capabilities, probably my number two or three pick among all the Trapez Selection mixes. [SM]







Lost Sounds: Blacks & the Birth of the Recording Industry 1891 to 1922

"Down on the Old Camp Ground" Dinwiddie Colored Quartet
"Some Jazz Blues" Memphis Pickaninny Band

"Virtually all history goes unrecorded. And what was recorded by African-Americans in the late 19th and early 20th century goes virtually unheard--stashed away for decades when not thrown away for good." So state the notes of Lost Sounds, focusing on the former situation rather than the latter, unearthing some century-plus lost sound documents on this amazing wellspring of long-gone voices and groups. Taking as its cut-off point the first recordings of Mamie Smith, widely hailed as the first recorded African-American, it delves into the secret history of all that came before her. It's hard to tell of all the hidden treasures here (54 cuts in all), from the days of minstrelsy on into vocal singing groups. Names of turn of the century minstrel performers like Bert Williams and George W. Johnson are here, not to mention the blow-by-blow account of Jack Johnson's title fight, as recounted by Jack himself! Gospel and jubilee groups are in abundance, and late in the set, ragtime jazz and blues make their appearance. Curated to coincide with the Lost Sounds book by Tim Brooks, it seems natural to have the Arioso from Pagliacci alongside "God Down Moses," which then moves into "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child." A fascinating listen, to say the least. [AB]







Cold Fact
(RCA Australia)

"Sugar Man"
"Establishment Blues"

Here is yet another story of an artist oblivious to his cult status. Rodriguez was working on a building site in his native Detroit when he, some 25 years after Cold Fact was released, found out he was a star in South Africa. His music was spread via pirate radio (as he was too controversial for other mediums) and word of mouth, and the poignant protest songs struck a chord with South African youth. Despite his status there, Rodriguez remains unknown in the US and Europe.

Released in 1970 on the Sussex label (primarily known for its Bill Withers releases), Cold Fact is an amazingly accomplished protest record. Aided by session greats such as Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore, the often straightforward folk/pop songs are sprinkled with eerie electronics and string arrangements. Sixto Rodriguez's lyrics are bleak, as he tackles inner city disillusion, drug addiction, and political discontent, but his humor and intelligence prevents the record from becoming heavy-handed. Worth it for the opening salvo of the swirling, tripped-out "Sugar Man" and the fuzz-heavy "Only Good For Conversation" alone, Cold Fact delivers 10 more gems where Rodriguez proves to be José Feliciano, Bob Dylan and Love's Arthur Lee, all in one.

Up until 10 years ago it was widely believed Rodriguez was dead; one of the more imaginative legends told the story of how he killed himself on stage. It turned out to be false, as he was tracked down by a few avid fans in the mid-'90s, and subsequently toured South Africa, where he's now mentioned alongside Dylan and Neil Young. About time we give him some respect here too. [AK]






The Roots Lover 1978-1983
(Moll Selekta)

"Hold On"
"Three Wise Men"

Sugar Minott is one of Jamaica's most important roots vocalists and an early dancehall innovator, a Rasta man with a golden voice whose contributions to reggae can't be understated. Here we are presented with a two-disc collection of some of his finest roots and lovers rock singles. Most are "disco mixes" (extended versions), where the emphasis was placed on the drums and bass, with plenty of delay and reverb effects. After a successful career in Jamaica, Minott moved to the UK in 1980 (where he resided for three years) and became entranced by the lovers rock movement. It also proved to be a very fruitful time as he recorded many singles that are now considered to be classics. Mostly backed by the great Roots Radics and the Black Roots Players, this collection features some of Sugar Minott's finest moments, recorded both in Kingston and London, performing roots and lovers rock, all in a heavy dancehall style. [GA]







Right About Now

"Right About Now"
"Fly That Knot"

Talib Kweli returns to the underground with his "official sucka free mix CD." Right About Now is as close to the good ol' days of Rawkus as Kweli has sounded in years, with production from the likes of J-Dilla, 88-Keys, Dave West and Kareem Riggins, as well as guest appearances from MF Doom, Mos Def, Jean Grae, Planet Asia and Phil D. Agony. Times change, good MCs go with the flow, so while the streets aren't as welcoming to the indie stylings that brought Kweli to the front of the stage, he's shifted his message ever-so-slightly to incorporate his new status and sound: a heaping mix of street cred, positivity and knowledge--check his message to Lauryn Hill in the "Ms. Hill" track. If you thought Kweli's Beautiful Struggle was a little soft, Right About Now should remind you why you cared in the first place. His best in a while, Right About Now will hold us over until the extremely overdue Black Star reunion record comes out. [DG]







Burden of Mules

"Complete and Utter"
"On the Hill"

Awww...s**t! 4AD finally got around to releasing the oft-slagged, oft-slept on early albums from Wolfgang Press. Maybe it was that lame Funky Little Demons record that was the final nail in the coffin (Dear Beggars Banquet, don't bother re-releasing that one...) but seriously folks, Wolfgang Press put out some dope albums in their day.

Fronted by Michael Allen (possibly the only white dude that looked good in bleached dreads--it WAS only 1983), with production duties taken up by Mark Cox and Andrew Grey, plus Richard Thomas on drums, Wolfgang Press were heavily-influenced by the caustic, urban dub assault of prime Pop Group, the proto-industrial synth dub of D.A.F., the British beatnik/caveman funk of Alternative TV, plus the primal art leanings of This Heat. 'Borrowing' ideas from such seminal groups might not be such a good idea for most bands, but being a 4AD band, Wolfgang Press played down the 'punk' qualities and added a layer of gothic/romantic, art-school sophistication that their main influences barely cared to mess with. To me, they came across as a moodier, electronic Fall, obsessed with doing songs like "Bombast," "Kurious Oranj" and "Paintwork." Well, kinda. Like most prime 4AD bands, they had impeccable production, full of space, subtlety and cinematic found sounds. And of course, it was dark.

Burden of Mules is full of that dank, dub business I was talking about. Like the cover suggests, it's a bit moody; but as low, slow and dubby as this album gets, it's still marked by that subtle, artful 4AD production. It's neither as raw as their early record as Rema-Rema and definitely not as clubby as their later, not so successful efforts. A great winter album too, by the way. It's about friggin' time, man, what's up with Standing Up Straight?? [SM]







Wheel in the Roses


Also available: The final copies of the limited edition reissue of Rema-Rema's Wheel in the Roses. On the heels of the first four Axis singles and Bauhaus' "Dark Entries" 7-inch, Rema-Rema's lone four-song record helped launch the then-young 4AD label 26 years ago. Artfully dark, funkless post-punk with murky rhythms and often barely intelligible vocals, Ivo Watts-Russell would later include a cover of "Fond of Affections" on the first This Mortal Coil record, and Big Black would do a faithful reworking of the song "Rema-Rema." Wheel in the Roses was released posthumously and the various members of Rema-Rema went on to form Wolfgang Press and Mass, while guitarist Marco Pirroni became one of Adam's Ants.




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[GA] Geoff Albores
[AB] Adrian Burkholder
[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[MK] Michael Klausman
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[SM] Scott Mou
[RS] Roy Styles

- all of us at Other Music

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