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   April 5, 2007  
It’s been months in the making but we’re finally just weeks away from launching Other Music’s mp3 download store! We’ll be announcing the official launch date soon, here in this update, as well as sending out additional details to a new, separate email list. You can subscribe to this list by going to digital.othermusic.com. Interested labels, distributors and bands should contact labels@othermusic.com.
Pantha Du Prince
Alela Diane (Limited 10")
New York Latin Hustle (Various Artists)
Colombia! (Various Artists)
The Field
Dominik Eulberg
Masayuki "Jojo" Takayanagi
Twilight Sad
Florida Funk! (Various Artists)
Matthew Herbert
Optimo (Mix)

Triple R Selection 5 (Mix)
Chie Mukai
Erik Enocksson (Farval Falkenberg OST) Wolfgang

Jarvis Cocker

LSD March (Limited LP)
Hasegawa Shizuo (Limited LP)
Yoko Ono (Remixes)
Kings of Leon
APR Sun 15 Mon 16 Tues 17 Wed 18 Thurs 19 Fri 20 Sat 21

One Last Wish - D.C. 1986


Other Music invites you to the opening night of a showing that we'll be hosting in the store featuring the photographs of Bert Queiroz. Many of you probably know Bert, as he's been a longtime OM staff member. Growing up in Washington D.C., he got his start in photography during the late-'70s taking pictures of fellow skateboarders, and soon after began documenting the city's burgeoning punk and hardcore scene. Bert still takes his camera everywhere, from shooting concerts to chronicling his frequent travels. Many of his photos have appeared in publications such as SPIN, NME, Melody Maker, Our Band Could Be Your Life, and Banned in D.C. We hope you can join us.

Opening Night: Wednesday, April 18
6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.
Other Music: 15 East 4th Street NYC







This Bliss


Highly-anticipated, already much-lauded sophomore album from Pantha Du Prince. It's about time we got this album in since the release date was slated for January! (I hear the reaction in Europe was stronger than anticipated and no one in the States could get a hold of it till now.) Honestly, I managed to snag a promo in December and couldn't help but throw it into my top 10 of 2006...oops! Alright, what can I say that I haven't said before about this guy? His SOUNDS just take his tracks over the TOP. The first album, Diamond Daze, caught my ear with its uniquely manicured textures. This Bliss follows suit with an even more pronounced feel, at times slightly edgier production ("Saturn Strobe" and "Walden 2" open up so nicely), and characteristically unique atmosphere ALL reigned in by an overall, undeniable "personality" that is sorely lacking in recent techno releases.

A perfect example is the lead track, "Asha." Instead of using producer comparisons, it's easier just to say that it sounds like soaring through water or an all night-drive with someone you love. Live-set dynamics come into play throughout the album, especially in "Urlichten" and "White Out." ("White Out" and "Florac" are the closest thing to stompers here, but even they cannot shake the sensitive touch of the album.) It's hard to imagine any other new producer managing to combine such gravity and fragile beauty like Pantha Du Prince. The only relevant touchstones would be labelmates Lawrence (for the overall melodic chime), Carsten Jost (for the aforementioned gravity) and the drive of fellow newcomer Efdemin (who also has an excellent album on the horizon) -- killer company to be in. This guy made my favorite techno album of 2004, and, I guess, unofficially in 06; This Bliss is definitely an early contender to do it again in 2007. Highly recommended! You'll love it too. [SM]

PS: All die-hard techno connoisseurs take heed: I'm proud to announce that Pantha Du Prince is due to return, for his second appearance ever in NYC as our guest for June's Other Music Presents night at APT! All of you who kicked yourselves for missing the first, here's your early warning! Get ready.








As one of the forefathers of a genre that became known as "clicks & cuts," Stefan Betke and his Pole project, not to mention his ~scape label, paved the way for the minimal, dub-infected sludge of rhythms and sounds from a new generation of electronic producers at the start of the millennium. Surprisingly, or maybe not so, with his newest album, Steingarten, Betke reinvents himself and offers the tightest collection of upbeat rhythms he's ever produced. Gone are the slow burning, crackling dub meltdowns from his classic works; he's now focused on the brighter side of life and seems rejuvenated and energized. Betke's progress over the years has always been an interesting listen, and this one may be his most accessible to date. Sure, he's still flirting with dub and hip-hop rhythms, but now you can hear minimal house, techno and trance all coming through the mix and enhancing the scope of his methodology. Steingarten is an excellent, engaging record that continues to reveal new elements with repeated listens. If you're a fan of Thomas Fehlmann, Jan Jelinek, Kompakt, and the like, you know what to do. [DG]






Songs Whistled Through White Teeth

Import-only, vinyl-only six-song EP that finds Ms. Alela Diane Menig teaming up with Mariee Sioux (another rising star in the contemporary folk singer-songwriter scene) and her dad, who plays most of the instruments here. This can be seen as a step forward from her brilliant debut album The Pirate's Gospel, in that the songs have more going on in them in terms of traditional folk structure, and deeply resonate within the listener. On one track in particular, she seems to be pushing for a style similar to the Marine Girls, using her voice (Karen Dalton with the expressiveness of Chan Marshall) and it's more lovely and moving than I have the space to describe here. Out of the crop of performers trying to get a piece in this particular musical vein, Alela Diane is making the most progress, finding ways to make the familiar sound personal and heartfelt in ways that few of her contemporaries have been able to muster. Highly recommended. Only 500 copies were pressed, so you'd do well to act on it now rather than later. [DM]






New York Latin Hustle
(Soul Jazz)

"Nos Nos Pararan" La Charanga 76
"Shoot the Pump" J Walter Negro & Loose Jointz

Hipsters, get ready to pick a fight. As much as I enjoy the three volumes of Soul Jazz's New York Noise compilation series, THIS -- to me, at least -- is the real sound of the New York dance underground. An excellent 2CD collection documenting hybrids and crossovers of the NYC Latin scene with funk, disco, and early hip-hop cultures, Latin Hustle is representative of the dynamic melting-pot aesthetics which make twenty-something nerds like myself pining for the days of NYC Downtown culture during which we were either not yet born or still in Pampers. The timeline for this set runs parallel to that of one of Soul Jazz's earliest anthologies, the highly-recommended (yet sadly out-of-print) Nu Yorica 2!, and pretty much picks up where that one left off -- music by individuals who, having realized a firm grasp of their cultural roots, were now looking to the present (and in some ways the future) for deeper inspiration in establishing the evolution of their sound. Heavyweights from the Fania camp like Ray Barretto, Joe Cuba, Willie Colon, Tito Puente, and Machito are represented alongside a juicy selection of cuts from labels like Salsoul, Tico, and a few lesser known and almost forgotten labels, and the track list nicely displays exactly how influential Latin music was in upping the groove factor in many of club music's greatest songs. To very much oversimplify, your "More Cowbell" t-shirt would disintegrate like the McFly children in Back to the Future, and chord changes in most of your fave dance tracks up to present day would be replaced by something that'd probably sound like Randy Newman or Billy Joel. Be thankful, boys & girls.

A few of the collection's highlights happen to be covers, among them a grooving version of Archie Bell's "Tighten Up" by Al Escobar, a stomping wah-riffic run-through of People's Choice/Gamble & Huff's "Do It Any Way You Wanna" by Louie Ramirez, and a 10 minute trunk-junkin' monster cover of "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" (here re-titled "No Nos Pararan") by La Charanga. Elsewhere, the Alexander Review's "Snidely Whiplash" turns a Hanna-Barbera cartoon character into a stone-cold pimp(!) via a blaxploitation funk workout, Ismael Quinones replaces his piano with a fuzzed-out electric organ in "Control" and ends up sounding like Sun Ra at Spanish Harlem block party, while Willie Colon's Mooged-up "Angustia Maternal" sounds like Spanish Harlem vibing out in Sun Ra's Philly commune. Other highlights include the classic, underrated hydrant-busting instructional "Shoot the Pump" by J Walter Negro and the Loose Jointz (no relation to the Arthur Russell project, though oddly enough it sounds somewhat inspired by Arthur's disco lunacy), Family Affair's heavy just-say-no lament "I Had a Friend," and Nature Zone's funk bomb "Porcupine." I'm honestly really blown away by the solidity of this set; I'd begun to be a little let down by some recent Soul Jazz sets which seemed to be playing it a bit too safe with their track selections or which were just really treading water thematically for my taste, but they've fully redeemed themselves with this set -- one of their best thusfar. Essential spring/summer listening! [IQ]






Colombia! The Golden Years of Discos Fuentes

"Pacifico" Afrosound
"Tifit Hayed" Wganda Kenya

The fertile breeding ground of musicians and musical exchanges in Colombia from the '50s to the mid-'70s has much to do with the first and largest record label in the country, Discos Fuentes. Founded in 1934 by Antonio Jose Fuentes (1907-1985), a musician and avid music lover who set out to distinguish his label from the European classical music -- favored by the white upper class -- that ruled the airwaves. Discos Fuentes utilized the strong African influence of the musicians from rural farm towns scattered throughout this enormous country. Bands began to emerge that fused a powerful combination of salsa and cumbia with American big band jazz arrangements to create a highly rhythmic and extremely danceable new sound. During the "Golden Age" of Fuentes, Colombian bands ruled the dance floors, from Manhattan to Mexico City...from Caracas to Buenos Aires. And so here we have 20 hand-selected cuts from the coveted Discos Fuentes vaults. The Latin Brothers' piano and horn-driven workout "Patrona De Los Reclusos" receives beautiful tango flourishes while the Brothers sing in unison about their ailing mother from the back of a prison cell. On Wganda Kenya's mid-tempo chugger "Tifit Hayed," timbales and hypnotic piano skip over a lumbering bass line that I'm sure must have set dance floors in motion at the drop of the needle. For anyone with even a cursory interest in Latin dance music this is a superb place to start. [GA]






From Here We Go Sublime

"A Paw in My Face"

Pop Ambient meets Wolfgang Voigt's Gas plus a slight dancefloor feel equals the Field. That's all that needs to be said, really. To elaborate more on the "dancefloor" part: Imagine the ideal combination of M. Mayer covering Gas and you'll get a sense of what I mean -- soft, pulsing and vibrating. After repeated listens I was reminded in particular of M. Mayer's remix of Donna Regina's "Star Ferry" or even Jackson's killer M83 remix -- that same psychedelic pop feel translated into a dance track is thoroughly explored here.

Maybe that sounds like a one-trick album to you; don't worry, it's not. Within the first three tracks, From Here We Go Sublime manages to hit the "dancefloor Gas" comparison in three different ways: 1.) Straight-ahead 2.) With a Nightshift-esque ode to Lionel Richie that'll catch you by surprise 3.) With more of a softly pummeling beat. The variety doesn't stop there and neither does the quality of the album. This is one that possesses the rare quality of listenability from beginning to end plus a high amount of tracks that you'll wanna add to your set. Recommended. [SM]






Heimische Gefilde

"Die Alpenstrandlaufer von Spiekeroog"
"Der Buchdrucker"

Dominik Eulberg has quietly ascended in esteem amongst techno-literati mainly through his solid debut album of un-pretentious, slightly cut-up Brinkmann sample stylings, and a solid double mix CD of effective dancefloor experimentalism -- he has an ear for details in sound and is unafraid of funk. Aside from the spoken interludes in German between, believe it or not, EVERY TRACK (is this the CD version of DVD commentary?), this album is full of uninterrupted, high-quality techno jams. The first song alone is a perfect example of how his tracks pump and elevate with ease and end with authority before you want it to. (A lot of 'em do.) Like his mix, the overall feel is pumping, in-the-pocket grooves that still manage to "float," full of interesting sounds/sampled bits and arranged to be no-nonsense, tight and in-control. The distinctive, consistent quality Eulberg retains is his just-ahead-of-the-curve sound design and flair for delivering consistently energetic, to-the-point tracks that are never heavy-handed. No trance. No anthems ("Feldgrille" is the closest thing to being "anthemic" but it remains lean and mean.) No clickity/clackity esoteric-tronica either. For their strength, it's remarkable how uncluttered these tracks are. They display a certain gracefulness. Another recommended album. (Authors note: Winter must really be over if I can highly recommend three techno albums in one week!) [SM]






Independence: Tread on Sure Ground

Track 4
Track 1

Up until his death in 1991, guitarist Masayuki "Jojo" Takayanagi was a perennial force in Japan's jazz community, pursuing an unbridled and relentless vision of free music and improvisation that was as uncompromising and blindingly intense as it was hauntingly dark and strangely beautiful. Sadly, though, much of his catalogue has languished out-of-print, only sporadically available to a larger populace. That injustice has been changing as of late, with a clutch of insanely great reissues of lost albums, live sessions, and long obscure studio dates showing up on shelves at a pretty regular clip. Independence: Tread on Sure Ground is the latest of these to arrive, and in many ways it's one of the best yet. Capturing one of the earliest of his New Directions groups (this one featuring bassist Yoshizawa Motoharu and drummer Toyozumi Yoshisaburo), Independence also marks Takayanagi's first date as a leader, and one in which he began sketching out the ideas and approaches to improvisation that he would continue to refine throughout his career.

Recorded and released in 1969, the album doesn't quite cut with the same intensity that his later Mass Projections would, with whole sections betraying an affinity for Derek Bailey's occasionally Spartan approach to the six-string. That said, though, it's still a stunner, with the trio locking into a series of tense improvisations that layered oft-excoriating guitar and frantic percussion into manic bursts of raw power. Much like then-contemporaries Ray Russell and Sonny Sharrock, Takayanagi used feedback as a fierce weapon, peeling off withering runs in tracks like "The Galactic System" and "Piranha" that could strip the paint of a Buick. Similarly, the early look at a "Mass Projection" that closes the album is nothing short of ferocious, a terse explosion of abstract guitar, pounding drums, and passionate screams that howl from the speakers. Pristinely recorded and capturing every strum and thrust with a stark clarity, Independence is a fantastic document of transition, hinting at Takayanagi's big band origins while foreshadowing the corrosive sides to come. Whether you're a newcomer, a devoted fan, or in search of some new sides to spin after your Dead C or Flaherty and Corsano discs, Independence is pretty essential stuff. [MC]






Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters

"Walking for Two Hours"
"That Summer, at Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy"

You might have caught the Twilight Sad late last year, when they held their residency at Pianos. By all accounts, the Scottish quartet puts on a great show, which, after listening to their debut album I'm kind of kicking myself for missing. I'm not sure how they would have pulled a lot of these tracks off live, as there's a hell of a lot ear candy in the production -- courtesy of producer/mixer Peter Katis, who's also turned the knobs for Interpol, Mice Parade and Mecury Rev -- but on record, the Twilight Sad seem to have mastered, and then taken the whole epic noise rock thing in new directions. The overused "anthemic" descriptor really does fit here; like Mogwai or Spiritualized, the group covers an extreme range of sonics, from molten blasts of feedback to quiet, almost ambient bliss. But there's also a pop sensibility that seems Doves-esque at times, with deep-voiced singer James Graham's heavy-accented, melancholic melodies cutting through the thick, acidic washes of guitar and piano chords. There's enough tremolo and reverb in the mix to haul out another oft-used descriptor, "shoegaze," and there are indeed plenty of psychedelic vignettes of church bells, warbling amplifier hums and various other spacey oddities. But make no mistake; the Twilight Sad won't leave you staring down at your boots for very long. [GH]






Florida Funk! 1968-1975

"New Generation" The Universals
"Super Cool" Carrie Riley and the Fascinations

Noted UK record collectors and writers "Jazzman" Gerald Short and Malcolm Catto present us with another collection of obscure American funk. This time around, the focus is on the sensuous soul originating from the Sunshine State. Not as raw as the Midwest Funk compilation and not as unhinged as Texas Funk, the sound emanating out of Florida was a lot more dance floor oriented, and the playing was airtight from tons of performances at the offshore clubs and resorts, no doubt. There's also a strong Afro-Latin element representative of the Cuban immigrants that arrived in Miami in the late-'60s and early-'70s. Every track is a highlight but my personal faves are the tunes written or produced by cracked geniuses Clarence "Blowfly" Reid and Wille "Little Beaver" Hale. They operated out of the Criteria and TK Studios in Miami and the solid material presented here gives strong hints at the poppier funk/disco direction that the label would make a mint off of less than three years later. These blessed Brits have provided the funk enthusiast with 22 more reasons to jump for joy! Excellent stuff! [DH]







"Cafe de Flore"
"Gang of Boys"

Brit Matthew Herbert has staked his reputation on a keen ability to pull left-of-center samples into taut, lean dance floor electronics, crafting a grip of great house tunes in the process. Over the past few years, though, his focus has become far more political and his productions bolder, using big bands and the sounds of the food industry as a means of exploring leftist dissent in a more rhythmic context. But while he was turning the sounds of oil tankers and chicken farms into surprisingly propulsive beats, Herbert was leading a double life as a composer of film music, lending his unique talents to a few different European flicks. Score, Herbert's latest album, collects some samples of his varied compositional work dating back to 1997. Those expecting the usual soulful sounds and hyperkinetic beatscapes that have come to define his recent records are in for a bit of a surprise, though, as much of Score is far more sparse and brooding than anything he's released thus far.

And while it's a definite switch from what we've all come to know and love in Matthew Herbert, the seventeen tracks gathered herein are no less enjoyable. Cuts like "Bull and Cloth" make overt nods to Ennio Morricone's work on Sergio Leone's classic spaghetti westerns, albeit charged with subtle electronics that bend and shift in the background. Even more surprising are pieces like "Indiscretion" and "Forest Montage," all minimal tone shifts and gentle shuffles that efficiently convey an eerie mood. His big band work pops up again and again throughout Score, lending a swinging air to "Rivoli Shuffle" and "The Apartment." But far from just an exercise in cinematics, Herbert's sense of humor still permeates the whole of the disc, as evidenced by his spry update of the classic "Singing in the Rain." Undoubtedly a move away from the tracks that have made Matthew Herbert a household name for modern dance music fans, Score still proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that there's more to this polymath than just clever samples and thick beats. [MC]






(Mule Music)

"Hapatus" Pan Sonic
"Bay of Figs" Marc Houle

A surprisingly abstract, deep mix from Optimo DJs Twitch and Wilkes, their pop and spaced-out, all-inclusive charms having made themselves manifest in their Kill the DJ and Psyche Out mixes (as well as countless Sunday nights on their home turf in Glasgow, where it's said that some employers have made their workers sign a contract stating that they will not attend Optimo at the Sub Club as a stipulation of their hiring). Seamless mix, as usual, reaching into the old (TG, Suicide), the wild (Marc Houle's massive "Bay of Figs," Black Dice's propulsive "Manoman," and synth/psych freakouts by Godsy a/k/a Cherrystones) and the WTF (possibly the first and only DJ mix to feature a cut from Boris' Pink). Warm, inviting, and challenging mix action, worthy of your attention. [DM]






Shock Value
(Mosley Music)

"Oh Timbaland"
"Give It to Me"

For the past decade, Tim "Timbaland" Mosley has been the man behind many of the tastiest songs broadcasted across the airwaves, shifting popular taste to digest his sound. From his beginnings with Missy Elliott and Aaliyah to, most recently, Justin Timberlake and the forthcoming Bjork full-length, his beats and arrangements have always been a much sought-after. What's nice about Timbaland is that he "sculpts" songs with a broader scope than his contemporaries, with an unmistakable futuristic, funky, freaky, and often funny mind frame. His talent lies in the ability to seamlessly merge genres with ease, and styles such as Bollywood, crunk, dub, electronica, house, trance, classical, new wave, pop, and soul are all filtered through a southern hip-hop lens.

His latest, Shock Value finds him as the focal point, not merely a producer. For over 60 minutes, Timbaland takes us from the cipher to strip clubs, dance spots, smoke shops, video shoots, and even a safari and an island cruise, with sex being the continuous theme throughout. What separates Shock Value from his previous releases as the duo Timbaland & Magoo, is that here he's the main vocalist, and he's fresh and inspired, continuing to push the edge of what popular music in 2007 should sound like. Granted, he has a positive, though dirty, mind and uses it with humor (i.e. "I killed The Game, I ain't even used a gun"), so this definitely won't be the place to look to for insightful lyrics or a mind-blowing listening experience. This is disposable pop after all. And that said, his guest list is a surprisingly diverse selection of who's-who from the pop world with expected names like Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Missy Elliott and Magoo, as well as Dr. Dre, the Hives, 50 Cent, She Wants Revenge, Fall Out Boy, Tony Yayo, Nicole Scherzinger, and Elton John. Sure, not every song is a keeper, yet among the likes of P Diddy, Pharrell, Swizz Beats and Kayne West, Tim stands tall as both a creative front man and a skilled knob twister, going places none of them have ventured. If you like his half of Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds, you should check this out. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, yet guaranteed to get any party started. [DG]






Triple R Selection 5

"Kitchen" Noze
"Fillertet 2" Shane Berry - Dominik Eulberg Rmx

Is it already time for another installment of the Triple R Selection series? Riley Reinhold is back on the decks, steering us through an hour-plus set, which includes more than a handful of tracks that still have yet to see release on his Trapez and Trapez LTD imprints. Highlights include Reinhold's throbbing (and unreleased) "Point Zero," followed up by a killer remix of Shane Berry's "Fillertet 2" from Dominik Eulberg. A few tracks after, the beats get stripped down and the bass gets big and bouncy, by way of Gabriel Ananda's great reworking of Marek Bois "You Got Good Ash," which leads into the sleek techno groove of SLG's "Rushour," followed by a little acid via Luke LeMans' "The Docks." Too many artists to do a Scott Mou-styled play-by-play, you'll definitely want to check out newcomer Andrea Ferlin's "Clear" (submerged sounding minimal-funk), Noze's "Kitchen" (a pretty strange track for Trapez, with some hilarious German accented Muppet voice talking about making trips to the fridge) which seamlessly flows into UND's "Fox in the Box," and of course, Oliver Hacke's remix of Eyerer & Atto's "Supersnack." My one small complaint about this mix is that Reinhold packs in so many songs that sometimes you're not quite ready for one track to end before the next comes in. That said, Triple R Selection 5 is the best volume yet. [GH]






Solo Improvisations

"January 24, 1999"
"July 14, 1997"

Perhaps the most striking characteristic of this record is Chie Mukai's complete, almost devotional commitment to the moment at hand. In these three longform improvisations, she does not build linear melodic phrases or rhythms that propel -- and there are definitely no tricks or showboating here -- but still, her playing is anything but static. Since the mid-1970s, when she studied with Taj Mahal Traveller Takehisu Kosugi, Mukai has been playing er-hu (or kokyu, in Japanese), a Chinese, two-stringed, upright fiddle predisposed to a kind of modal approach, and an instrument from which Mukai is capable of extracting sounds that recall the ragged-nerve viola playing of John Cale or the watery sonorities of distant, singing whales. Mukai seems content to simply allow sounds to exist in time, and this record, accordingly, feels like a precious handful of fleeting moments captured from an invisible continuum that could extend effortlessly in all directions. The ancient, ritualistic feeling of Mukai's playing is heightened by her periodically ecstatic, wordless vocalizations and histrionic cymbal crashes, all contributing to an atmosphere in which the bowed ebb and flow of her er-hu seems to have more to do with the elemental movements of planets and tides than with any conception of proper "musicality." Highly recommended for fans of Takehisu Kosugi, the Taj Mahal Travellers, La Monte Young, John Cale in the '60s, etc. [CC]






Farval Falkenberg
(Kning Disk)

"The Joy of DH Lawrence"
"The State the Sea Left Me In"

There's an eerie and melancholy tone that permeates Erik Enocksson's soundtrack to Swedish coming-of-age indie feature Farval Falkenberg. It perfectly captures that one last, slightly cold, night of summer before everyone goes back to school or moves away. That air of uncertainty and inevitable and reluctant change. Guitar, piano, and organ mingle with choirs and glockenspiel, to create background music that is so hauntingly beautiful it demands and deserves a front seat. I hear slight traces of Ryuichi Sakamoto, and maybe even some Ry Cooder's soundtrack work, but music this achingly gorgeous is much better off listened to than written about. Now, let's go see the film. [AK]






The Wicket Truth Abou Loving a Man

"Any Way You Want It"
"No Coincidence"

According to the label's Web site, the story behind this album involves Wolfgang, a 25-year-old musically talented robot capable of human emotions and an encyclopedic knowledge of '80s songs, who is rescued from a rusty eternity in Fresh Kills, when someone happens to find him abandoned in a Brooklyn dumpster. Naturally, Wolfgang develops feelings for his rescuer, and begins composing these sweet electro-pop (in the truest sense of the word) tunes in order to win his hero's affections. Hmmm...didn't I already see this in a Star Trek TNG repeat, where Data beams down to Luxx and falls in love with Larry Tee? Android jesting aside, these catchy songs connect the dots between Kraftwerk and a John Hughes movie soundtrack (I dare you not to start singing the Thompson Twins' "If You Were Here" over Wolfgang's "Not in Love"), or how about I Am the World Trade Center with a vocoder? File under: Electroclash minus the cocaine buzz. The only sniffing sound here accompanies the tears of a robot with a broken heart. [GH]






(Rough Trade)

"Don't Let Him Waste Your Time"
"I Will Kill Again"

As the front-man of Pulp, Jarvis Cocker earned a reputation as a mouthpiece for the freaks, an eloquent leader of the pill-popping UK underground -- elegant, sophisticated, down and dirty, hilarious and cruel. He is older and wiser and a rock and roll success story now, and his first solo album shows some of that newfound mellowness without losing much of Cocker's bite. He is joined by a band anchored by his mate Richard Hawley, who was a sometime member of Pulp, as well as Pulp's bassist and sometime songwriter Steve Mackey, so you can imagine that the sound is not too far from that band's later work; clean, sometimes soaring production, with simple intertwined guitars, keys, and taught rhythms. Many of the best songs sound oddly familiar, some with good reason, like "Black Magic," which is built around a blatant (and credited) sample of "Crimson & Clover," but even the surprises will seem homey and welcoming to Jarvis' longtime fans. As should his lyrics, still going for the jugular, but only when deserved, like his warning in "Don't Let Him Waste Your Time" not to count on that selfish oaf cuz "then some skinny bitch walks by in some hot-pants and he's a-running out the door". Or even more prescient and hilarious in "Fat Children," Cocker's nightmare of being attacked late at night by wobbling hordes of coddled thugs, the chorus chants "Fat children took my life. Oh," and the punch-line reads "Oh, the parents are the problem; giving birth to maggots without the sense to become flies. So pander to your pampered little princess- of such enormous size. Oh." [JM]






Empty Rubious Red
(Tequila Sunrise)

Originally released on the Japanese White Elephant label in 2006 (and long since gone), LSD March's Empty Rubious Red sees domestic, although limited, release thanks to Tequila Sunrise. Not the full on psych explosion as on some of their previous works, most of these tracks are intimate, not unlike Les Rallizes Denudes' more quiet moments, or Velvet Underground, except for the title track which is mindblowing trance-psych at its very best. Limited to 800 copies outside Japan, you'd do yourself a favor by snapping this up quickly.






Songs of an Umbilical Cord

Absolutely massive follow-up to their PSF debut, Songs of an Umbilical Cord (on the always reliable Tiliqua label) by Hirotomo Hasegawa and Shizuo Uchida is minimal in its approach but the outcome is vastly expansive. The two sidelong tracks are reminiscent of La Monte Young's drones but with a decidedly improvisational free jazz approach. One of the most intense psychedelic excursions we've heard in a while. Limited to 400 copies.






Open Your Box

"Will I" John Creamers & Stephan K
"You're the One" Bimbo Jones

A follow-up of sorts to her collaborative album Yes, I'm A Witch (which featured names like Cat Power, Antony, and the Flaming Lips), Open Your Box compiles some sought after dance floor remixes of Yoko Ono classics. House heads will be happy to have Danny Tenaglia's Walked Across the Lake mix of "Walking on Thin Ice" and Peter Rauhofer's Reconstruction Mix of "Hell in Paradise" might bring back some fond memories to any Saturday night Roxy regular of Yoko's 4 A.M. surprise visit to the now-defunct club a few years back, where she got on the mic and improvised over the DJ's set. Other tracks include: an old school electro mix of "Walking on Thin Ice" by Pet Shop Boys alongside a new electro version from Felix da Housecat and remixes of classics like "Kiss Kiss Kiss (Superchumbo Remix)" and "Yang Yang (Orange Factory Down & Dirty Mix)."






Because of the Times


Third album by the Lynyrd Skynyrd of the MTV2 generation. This pretty much sticks to the same formula, a mix of Southern rock and alternative anthems, with stadium ambition. We recalled a number of different influences while listening to it: Stones, Pixies, Allman Brothers, U2, Oasis, Molly Hatchet. It's only rock n roll and they do it well.
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[DM] Doug Mosurock

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