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   June 16, 2010  
Dom Thomas (Mix CD)
Andy Votel (Mix CD)
Taylor Deupree
Native America Calling (Various)
Timeless (Mochilla 3DVD Box)
Woven Bones
Zulu Stomp!! (Various Artists)
To Scratch Your Heart (Various)
Gabor Szabo
Mazing Vids (LP)
Psychogeographical Dip (Various)
Charlemagne Palestine
Luc Ferrari


Parson Sound (3LP Set)

All of this week's new arrivals.

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JUN Sun 13 Mon 14 Tues 15 Wed 16 Thurs 17 Fri 18 Sat 19

  FREE SECRET BAND OF HORSES SHOW THIS FRIDAY Band of Horses will be in New York this weekend supporting their fantastic new album, Infinite Arms. Their Sunday show at the Williamsburg Waterfront is sold out, but an additional FREE secret show for AOL this Friday evening has just been announced, with the location to be revealed here tomorrow. Other Music has five pairs of passes to give away, which will guarantee entry into this special performance on Friday. To put your name in the hat, email enter@othermusic.com and we’ll notify the two winners tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon. Good luck!!
JUN Sun 13 Mon 14 Tues 15 Wed 16 Thurs 17 Fri 18 Sat 19

This Saturday, Karen Elson will be stopping by the Studio at Webster Hall performing in support of her excellent solo debut full-length, The Ghost Who Walks, (produced by her husband Jack White). This intimate setting should prove to be perfect for the English model/singer-songwriter's gothic-country tinged murder ballads. To enter to win a pair of tickets, email contest@othermusic.com. We'll notify the two winners this Friday morning.


JUN Sun 20 Mon 21 Tues 22 Wed 23 Thurs 24 Fri 25 Sat 26

With their Terminal 5 show already sold out, the New Pornographers will be bringing their Together tour to Brooklyn's beautiful Bell House this Sunday June 20th. In the spirit of togetherness, they have offered Other Music two pairs of VIP passes to this intimate -- and now also sold out -- performance, which also lets our winners get Together with the band at their soundcheck that afternoon! Enter by emailing tickets@othermusic.com and please leave a daytime phone number where you can be reached. We'll notify the two winners on Friday morning. Good luck!!

THE BELL HOUSE: 149 7th Street, Brooklyn NY

JUN/JUL Sun 27 Mon 28 Tues 29 Wed 30 Thurs 01 Fri 02 Sat 03

This year's New York Asian Film Festival runs from June 25th to July 8th at multiple theaters throughout NYC with a fantastic selection of films being screened. One that caught our eyes was director Tetsuaki Matsue's Live Tape, a single 74-minute take of singer/songwriter Kenta Maeno -- who has been called the "Bob Dylan of Japan" -- playing the streets of Tokyo and then tearing through an outdoor show with his full band. The director will be attending the two screenings as will Kenta Maeno who will perform a short set after the film accompanied by his drummer, POP Suzuki. We've got two pairs of passes to give away to either of the film's showings, which will be at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater on Wednesday, June 30th and Thursday July 1st. To enter, email giveaway@othermusic.com and please list the date of the screening you'd like to attend. We'll notify the two winners on Monday, June 21st.





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Due to technical difficulties, Subports was not able to process orders for items featured in last week's Other Music Update. These issues have since been resolved and we apologize for any inconvenience.









The Exploding Disco Inevitable

Track 3
Track 13

Vintage Voltage Mix
(Fat City)

Track 2
Track 11

This week we've got two killer mix CDs by two of the founders of the Finders Keepers/B-Music labels, and they're both doozies. First up is Dom Thomas' Exploding Disco Inevitable (on the Brutal Music subsidiary), the follow-up to his previous B-Music mix Miscellaneous Mutant Mishaps. Where that record focused on the wild and wooly world of psych rock and international funk grooves that the label specializes in, Exploding takes that aesthetic and wraps it up in dancefloor glitter and mirror ball shine, accentuating tracks and grooves that fall under a more direct 4/4 house/disco/funk throb. All of the usual ingredients are here, though, so fear not -- Thomas mixes up Bollywood disco bangers with Eastern surf jams, Krautrock beat science, and a bit of psychedelic fizz on the top, never letting anything stick around for too long, but letting everything last long enough to have an impact. There's no tracklist available because these aren't just a bunch of tunes cross-faded in and out of each other; instead, he's taking multiple pieces of music and chopping, blending, and stitching them together like an international disco Frankenstein. His aesthetic fits in nicely with similar mixes by the Gaslamp Killer, Purple Brain, Paul White, and even Madlib; these guys all take their source material and make it their own -- the true mark of any talented tastemaker, DJ, and composer. It's doubtful you're going to hear a mix that's as simultaneously brain-melting and butt-shaking as this one. Tune in, drop out, and get down!

The second mix up for grabs from the team is by Andy Votel; his Vintage Voltage mix (on the Manchester-based Fat City label) is subtitled "Plugged-In-Prog and Concrete Pop," and it's definitely more of a headphone journey than a dancefloor excursion. He takes a pile of autobahn machine drums, Pakistani library music, Japanese new wave, a bit of British hauntological forebears, and lots of the usual Eastern European underground esoterica, but with a higher emphasis on electronic processing and manipulation in the source tracks this time around. He takes an early jazz-funk jam by Annette Peacock, complete with ring-modulated vocals, and mixes it with Japanese new wavers the Plastics' "Robot;" he throws in a random synth interpretation of "Apache" amidst a set of kosmiche head-swirl, and he's not afraid to mix everything up with the reckless abandon and sense of fun that runs rampant in mixes like Madlib's Medicine Show series. It's a total winner, but honestly... is that really a shocker? The only shock here is the fact that I managed to actually recognize about 1/4 of the tracks used here, which is no mean feat considering the subterranean levels of obscurity Votel relishes in his mixes. Top-notch sounds by one of the most top-notch labels going these days. [IQ]

Order Dom Thomas CD by Texting "omcddomexploding" to 767825
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$9.99 MP3


Shoals EP



Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

I've long held out that American sound manipulator Taylor Deupree is one of the finest practitioners in his field. From the early days of his 12k label there was a sense that the music he was creating and curating was running alongside any trend or movement (unlike, say, larger contemporaries Mille Plateaux) rather than being directly a part of it. The music was alien, and the small-scale, glacial beauty that revealed itself over repeated listens drew me to the label early on and still piques my interest to this day.

Shoals is the latest full-length in Taylor's steady (and some might say slow) stream of solo works and his first since 2007's Northern. It dials his sound back to the syrupy slow precision that made up the backbone of his earlier work and curbs the poppish leanings of its predecessor; the acoustic guitar is gone and replaced by gamelan instruments and digital hiccups. Given free reign over the York University music center and its enviable collection of Javanese and Balinese instruments, Taylor dubbed source material for Shoals and piped these alien clanks and drones through his well-tried Kyma setup.

As with all of Taylor's finest work, this is patient and mature in its outlook. If a track needs to take twelve minutes to evolve, then Taylor allows it, and I never have the sense that anything is rushed or too closely edited. Saying that, there is no waffle or surplus that would have needed to be cut -- the album is a lean forty-five minutes, a far cry from many of the belt-busting 'experimental ambient' albums we're exposed to these days. Each track is a quiet triumph, drifting in and out of the consciousness, with the occidental rustles and clangs underpinning haunting resonant metallic drones and tones. Reflective and gorgeous, Shoals is a hugely successful exploration into its subject matter and Taylor manages mercifully to sidestep the tedious sickly sweet ambient excesses of many of his peers. While this might be a very obviously beautiful record, it always remains subtle and retains an air of mystery and icy cool crucial to repeat listening, and I can hardly ask for more than that. Essential listening. [JT]

Order CD by Texting "omcdtaylorshoals" to 767825

Also available: Mini EP download (originally released on 7") that's the perfect accompaniment to Shoals, Taylor Deupree's more expansive masterwork. Condensing his palette of gamelan orchestra sounds (sourced from the collection at York University), these tracks are only around five minutes apiece, but manage to give a succinct, punchy summation of his calming and effortlessly distinct sound. It serves as the ideal addendum for those who have already absorbed the full-length, or possibly as an appetizing taster for those unsure whether to take the leap. [JT]







Native America Calling: Music from Indian Country

"Shan Ooh Jhee" Ulali
"Dohinoo" Morley Loon

While oh-so gently poking at the inflated iconicity and dubious appropriations of indigenous blood -- from "Hollywood Indians" to "fat, skinny, tall, blond Indians" -- Taos Pueblo musician / flute-maker Robert Mirabal opens the new Trikont compilation, Native America Calling, by rapping (think the Last Poets NOT Jigga) to the effect of our great diversity and, most importantly, that we are still here. Despite its unfortunate title (yes, there is a live call-in radio program of the same name), this Music from Indian Country is most welcome, the disc demonstrating that we have not only survived o'er centuries since European first contact and Columbus NOT discovering the Americas, but done so with the keen ability to process the surreal state of being reduced in the national imagination to (largely) Hollyweird Indians, city Indians, rez radicals-turned-thugs, and ever-stoic-and-earth-loving founts of eco-consciousness to be harvested at will by rapacious hippies. With brilliance and biting wit, the roll call of artists herein -- from those better known to the masses as thespians like Floyd Red Crow Westerman (1970's "Custer Died for Your Sins") to those often hidden in plain sight (rockabilly titan Link Wray, represented by "Shawnee Tribe" (1973); O.G. Zappa acolyte / Geronimo Black man Jimmy Carl Black) and adopted as a Magna Mater of freak-folk like Buffy Sainte-Marie (mercifully honored by inclusion of her pointed 2009 "No No Keshagesh," ultramodern enough to split the flock from the wise) -- proffer music that parallels the postwar progress of peoples reawakening and revolting after the previous era of genocide, resettlement, and the pernicious mis-education of far too many lost birds.

This collection owes little to the stereotypical native chanting every Westerner can readily summon like sugarplums in the mind (although the great Ulali be bringin' it beautiful... "Mahk Jchi" would be this here city Injun's new ringtone if she weren't such a frightful Luddite), nor to hoary themes of classic Hollywood films where "the entire Sioux nation" is about to swarm out and attack ye olde homestead; interestingly, the majority of the songs show an intriguing creolization whereby the African-derived aesthetics of their fellows in oppression (blackfolks) fuse in blends of rock & roll, jazz, reggae, disco, hip-hop, blues, and assorted other roots forms (with nods to holler music, too, of course). As a redbone, can sho'nuff appreciate the hybridity and recognition we ain't preserved in amber: you gotta thrash through Blackfire's "Is This Justice," headbang to (doubtless RATM Rosetta Stone) "Genocide in Progress" (Julien B., 1994), and create cyber cradleboards with Sistah Buffy. I, for one, am already eagerly anticipating the sequel (hopefully, faux sweat lodge-free). Indians, Indians, Indians -- yes, you can dig it, Hoss. [KCH]

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Timeless: 3 DVD Box Set

"Velho Parente" Arthur Verocai
"Yègellé Tezeta" Mulatu Astatke
"Suite for Ma Dukes / Don't Nobody Care Bout Us"

The excellent Mochilla label delivers what is without a doubt their most special, impressive, and outright stunning release thus far -- a three-DVD boxed set of films shot at their Timeless composer concert series which took place in Los Angeles in early 2009. These three shows each spotlighted the work of a legendary master: Ethiopian composer/ musician Mulatu Astatke, Brazilian composer/arranger/musician Arthur Verocai, and deceased LA hip-hop renaissance man James "Dilla" Yancey. Each concert had the added attraction of some sort of heavyweight wild card: Mulatu's concert had him leading a big band filled with jazz heavies like Phil Ranelin and Bennie Maupin, playing classic tunes from his repertoire alongside new compositions; Verocai's set had him conducting a 30-piece orchestra including heavies like Airto Moreira, Ivan Conti, and Carlos Dafe, and was the first time Verocai had performed his self-titled 1972 album in its entirety, along with eight other pieces he'd written and arranged. Perhaps most monumental of all, though, was the live Suite for Ma Dukes, in which a 60-piece orchestra performed a full concert program of Dilla's music, arranged and conducted by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and featuring a plethora of guest appearances by Bilal, Dwele, Shafiq Husayn, Illa J, Amp Fiddler, Talib Kweli, Posdnuos from De La Soul, and others.

All three concerts were artfully shot in black and white with vibrant sound mixes. Verocai's film features a series of insightful interview clips in which he talks about the history of making the album, his growing disownership of the record as time passed, and his astonishment when he first received a request to have his album reissued and to allow his music to be sampled in a hip-hop track. Mulatu speaks about the differences and similarities between the grooves of the world, and how those grooves all hit the same sweet spot while emphasizing the beat in different places. The first thing I noticed while watching these films was the way the shots were edited to give the viewer as close a sense of the PLAYERS' enjoyment of the music they're performing; this is most evident in the the young orchestra performing the Suite for Ma Dukes -- while entirely professional and totally on-point, it's a trip to see these kids' heads nodding to the rhythm of Dilla's compositions while they play sweeping string passages or percussive stabs, or to see the orchestra playing Verocai's music be all smiles, back-patting, hi-fiving, and head bobbing while their bandmates take wicked solos. If you've ever wanted positive proof of the universal power of music and how it truly can break down walls -- walls often constructed by our own closed minds -- this film series does a fantastic job.

As if all of this weren't enough of a blessing already, Mochilla really gives the goods with this box -- also included is a poster and, yes, full downloadable audio of all three concerts. Stop slapping yourself, this isn't a dream. It's one of the most beautiful musical objects you'll be lucky enough to have in your possession all year. It's also limited to a scant 4,000 copies for the whole world, so do the right thing and don't sleep. Absolute highest recommendation. [IQ]

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$13.99 LP


$8.99 MP3


In and Out and Back Again

"7 Year Mirror"
"Creepy Bone"

Following an endless stream of seven-inch singles that have reinvented garage and punk for post-millenials, Chicago's Hozac label comes out with the big guns. Austin's Woven Bones cap off a bunch of garage-oriented singles with a full-length that trades in the pompadour for a shag, and keeps the black leather jacket intact. This is full on JAMC/Sound of Confusion-era Spacemen 3 worship, replete with thundering toms, grinding distorted guitars, and affected vocals. Depending on which side of the modern rock fence you sit on, you either lap up every drop or can't wait for this era to end. I'll have to side with the former: noise is better than none, attitude rules over all, the party rages on until daybreak. Hot stuff for a hot summer. [DM]

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Order LP by Texting "omlpwovenin" to 767825






$31.99 LP


Zulu Stomp!! South Africa Garage Beats!!
(No Smoke)

"Watch Your Step" A-Cads
"Come On, Come On, Come On" Bill Kimber & the Couriers

As far back as I can remember I've been buying garage, psych and R&B compilations, and I've got to say, a large percentage of the collections that have been released over the past decade or so seem to have been spreading it a little thin with the good rockers. It seemed as if the once-bottomless vaults of obscure gems had been finally scraped clean, until fairly recently, when a whole new wave of fuzzed-out nuggets from far away, exotic locales began hitting our shelves, revealing new treasure troves of jams. No Smoke's latest collection, Zulu Stomp, is a great follow-up to their fantastic Cazumbi comps, both of which highlighted '60s-era garage, surf and R&B bands from all across Africa, only here the spotlight is shone on just one country, which also happens to be the current host nation of the World Cup. But backtrack some 40-plus years, it should be no surprise that the beat scene would be flourishing in South Africa, given the country's close ties to the British. And despite -- or perhaps partially because of -- the nasty social/political/economic realities of South Africa during this period, the tracks here are raucous, rebellious fun. (Judging from the pics included in the informative booklet, these bands were made up of primarily white counterculture kids). Zulu Stomp kicks in with the jagged jangle you'd expect from Pacific Northwest/British Invasion bands of the time and then works into more Love-style quasi ballads, complete with some guitar freak-outs. Though there's no shortage of "Road Runner" and "Walking the Dog" covers in the world, the A-Cads' and John E. Sharpe and the Squires' respective versions stand out quite nicely here, while psychedelic-rockers Freedom's Children's take on "Satisfaction" is simply killer. (Because of this band's outspoken stance against apartheid, the group was banned from performing gigs and could only play illegal shows.) Add to this "Work All Day" from the Zeros, and Johnny Congos and the G Men's "900 Miles," you're not going find a much better soundtrack for a hot summer night spent rocking out on the dance floor with a Hansa Pilsener in hand. [CM]

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$10.99 MP3


To Scratch Your Heart: Early Recordings from Istanbul
(Honest Jon's)

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There is no social situation I can conceive of during which it would be appropriate to put this record on. That may be the only broad generalization I can make about this collection, and yet the music here is so interesting, diverse, and deeply introspective, there is surely a song for almost any (meditative) activity you can do by yourself. Istanbul, in the early years of the 20th century, was city at a cultural crossroads, at the heart of a collapsing Ottoman Empire, and host to an intense clash of cultures -- Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Gypsy, Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Italian, French, British -- it was a city in flux, and many of the myriad influences at play can be heard here.

The songs fall into a number of genres that span across Turkish culture of the era. Some are traditional like the gazel (an improvised vocal performance set to music that has all but died out) and others are more modern like the sarki ("heart-melting female vocal performances," according to Honest Jon's Records, the label that put this collection out). Some are distant, vague sketches of a musical landscape that is part Western and part Middle Eastern. Others are ecstatic celebrations of sound that leave you stunned and confused, trying to decide what instruments are being used and what they could possibly look like. To Scratch Your Heart collects all of the master instrumentalists of the period, and it covers a lot of ground, but at the core these songs are deeply spiritual and meditative music. The earnest, warbling voices and plaintive instrumentation will hypnotize you every time, and the songs are as haunting as any Appalachian ballad. Tune in and enjoy. [AS]

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Jazz Raga
(Light in the Attic)

"Walking on Nails"

Another fabulous reissue from Light in the Attic Records, Jazz Raga is a showcase of sitar-soaked tunes from master genre bender and blender Gabor Szabo. Recorded in the mid-'60s at a time when carelessly adding a sitar to a pop tune was a common (if often misguided) practice, Szabo's approach is much more integral to the music, and comes off as less of a novelty than true musical exploration. Backed with a Latin beat provided by the incomparable Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, the Hungarian guitarist guides us on a trip across the landscape of popular music, painting well-known as well as original jazz, rock, and traditional Eastern European tunes with East Indian sitar melodies, and a broad psychedelic palette. The Rolling Stones famously used sitar on their own version of "Paint It Black," but here in Szabo's hands, the already mysterious track morphs into something much more timeless and wonderful; the runs of notes give way to a chase across an expansive fusion of sound as it pours from the speakers, surrounding the listener but never overwhelming him. In his own search of sonic combinations unknown, Szabo treads lightly but ever purposeful, providing us with a new soundscape with which to explore the world around us. This sentiment is best expressed in his rendition of the Ellington tune "Caravan;" a moody drum rhythm leads the would-be gypsy caravan east, towards the unknown, all the while teasing as to what might be found along the way. Your search for sonic Nirvana won't end with this record but there are plenty of sublime moments that will fuel your travel down the musical path. Whether one is daydreaming of trips to take or of memories already made, Jazz Raga provides the perfect summertime soundtrack. [SL]

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Drastic Mirth

Here's a true find that's hard to come by and even harder to classify: available only on vinyl, Mazing Vids' first 12" full-length is a blast of post-punk energy and manic dancehall jitters, fed through a fierce and all-consuming weirdness. Utilizing some bombed-out Roland drum machines and a penchant for unnerving electronic squeaks and squawks, Ryan Crypten and C.R. Sovereign keep Brooklyn weird with their psychotic minimal wave-meets-the Stooges aesthetic.

The record kicks off with the most straightforward song Mazing Vids will probably ever make: "Insects" is almost all anticipation and build-up. An insistent four-on-the-floor bangs away underneath a skronky guitar scratch and the repeated line, "Insects/I'm waiting for the insects." The beat and the guitar create tension through endless repetition and looping that builds and builds until reaching a climax that is cruelly cut short. Crypten and Sovereign's songs are characterized by this kind of manipulation; they know exactly what an audience would expect, and they delight in deconstructing conventional grab-and-release pop music tactics. The builds rarely explode, the rhythms beat a repetitive tattoo when they should be switching up, and the vocals (when there is a melody) never go where you would imagine. This kind of toying creates a wonderful and palpable tension between Crypten and Sovereign themselves, as well as between the listener and the Mazing Vids experience.

After "Insects," Drastic Mirth sounds like a Walkman chewing up Iggy Pop's The Idiot. The drum machines churn, that cat-scratch guitar injects looped feedback samples, and Crypten spits out catchy rhythmic nonsense. "We've Been Red" feels like a Hacienda ecstasy party and devolves into "Rings On," a minute-long effects flip-out that successfully sounds like a swarm of angry bees. "Could You Die" is definitely my favorite; with a rhythm like a hypnotic, amped up heartbeat, a couple of phenomenal synthesizer hooks and a chorus delivered like Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks, it transcends the deliberate stylistic challenges imposed by the duo and just sounds like a damn fine pop song. Lovers of vinyl and lovers of post-pop pop songs: Drastic Mirth is a fast little trip down a very strange rabbit hole. Don't be late! [MS]

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Stars and Angels: Songs 1971-75


Arising this morning after yet another endless stretch of nightmares, to hear the birds singing as they have since the primordial times -- to realize that even in High Harlem the birds do still sing -- was to know that the world is just alright. (Even with Obama 'bout to report on the Gulf oil disaster today). It is to know that only the simplest things like the miracle of birdsong matter -- and that is the enduring power of folk music at its finest. Lost to time and fashion as they have been, the un-vaulted recordings of early 1970s Scandinavian singer-songwriter Turid upon Stars and Angels also sonically illustrate this meaning. Originally released on Swedish indie Silence in 1971, '73, and '75, Turid's oeuvre has been likened to that era's Linda Perhacs -- and she, too, is being fully primed to retroactively receive the thorny crown of acid/psych-folk, freaky darling. Yet I just like that her rare name fuses my hero Thor the thunder god and fridr which means 'peace, beautiful, fair' in Old Norse. And that on simply named opener "Song," her voice rings just so...like the birds chorusing on concrete-girt branches outside my window on dystopia. [KCH]

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Psychogeographical Dip
(GD Stereo)

"Mirage" Geoff Dugan
"Wednesday’s Miracles" If Bwana

First in a pair of compilations illuminating/confronting the resonant properties (historical, acoustical, and otherwise) of urban spaces by way of assorted avant-garde sound tactics. Specifically, the two releases -- Psychogeographical Dip, and The Architecture of the Incidental -- constitute a dialogue with the ideas of the erstwhile Situationist International -- you might know members like Raoul Vaneigem or Guy Debord as the forces behind 1960s texts like The Revolution of Everyday Life and Society of the Spectacle, which continue to transfix and politicize some of the more forward-thinking children of global capitalism today -- on the influences of urban environments on the individual. "Psychogeography [a Situationist concept]," clarifies the liners to Psychogeographical Dip, "sets for itself the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment on the emotions and behavior of the individual.... The production of psychogeographical maps contributes to clarifying wanderings that express not subordination to randomness but complete insubordination to habitual influences, influences generally categorized as tourism." This CD serves as such a map of the then-burnt-out (this was released in 1997) McCarren Park Pool in Greenpoint, Brooklyn "composed of the actions performed by the [artists], implying the use of the dérive, a technique of transient passage through varied ambiances."

Each piece here is its own radical sonic investigation of the space, from Geoff Dugan's Ferrari-esque "Mirage," which threads the low drone of the city with magnified birdsong, airplane engines, and the sounds of his belches and footsteps reverberating through the pool's body of silence, to Sean Meehan's "Neglect," in which he lets an array of mysteriously activated metals navigate the space for him via brazen howling. The nine map-points here are thoroughly distinct, but most -- or, at least, those most successful -- seem fixated on meditative amplified silences, the glorious natural reverb of McCarren, and illustrating the pool as a hollowed nucleus to the busier city membrane. But particularly striking is the recurring employment of liquid sounds, of the sonic image of the ghost of water at the gutted pool that is herein etched deep. "Sous les pavés, la plage!" went one of the more famous graffiti from the tumultuous Paris of May, 1968 -- where the Situationists were perhaps the primary political provocateurs (or the primary provisioners of politico-philosophical rhetoric for the art students there determined to overthrow the whole system) -- "under the paving stones, the beach!" and the artists on this disc seem almost to have literalized the allegory. Largely unparalleled as a rebel document of the New York City landscape, and a timely response to some of the most incisive and indelible revolutionary thinking of the past long while. Music bent on getting to the beach, and where else would you wanna be? [AKa]

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Four Manifestations on Six Elements
(Alga Marghen)

"One Fifth in the Rhythm 3 Against 2 for Bosendorfer Piano"
"Sliding Fifths for Piano"

It's 1995 in the middle of nowhere Texas and our ever-expanding heads are looking for the purest ambient music possible. We've gobbled up the Orb and Aphex Twin's SAW II, checked out Glass and Reich, tried to make it through LaMonte Young's Forever Bad Blues Band CD, dosed ourselves on Nurse With Wound's Soliloquy for Lilith, and still, our ears were hungry. What drone dealer it was that turned us onto Charlemagne Palestine's Four Manifestations on Six Elements, I don't recall, but as the dreamy opening piece, "Two Fifths" wafted within hearing range, we knew we had attained Nirvana. A contemporary of the New York minimalist scene (and also heavily into the conceptual art/performance art scene), Palestine's renaissance began with this privately-pressed double album (for the Sonnabend Gallery) getting a CD reissue, and after being out of print for ages, it returns now on the esteemed Alga Marghen label (in their ongoing investigation of Palestine's work, Golden Research). Manna infuses every performance here, from the beatific electronic drones that bookend this disc to the glorious Bösendorfer piano minimal pieces that comprise the middle section; this is one of the most heavenly minimalist works out there. [AB]

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Éphémère I & II
(Alga Marghen)

"L'Ordinateur Ça Sert À Quoi?"
"Lyon 75"

Éphémère I & II is quite a startling entry in Luc Ferrari's sprawling discography, and its two pieces are not found in the recent ten-CD box on INA-GRM. These two long tracks from 1974 represent the only time Ferrari decided to experiment with the idea of leaving the final realization of the pieces up to the performers. "Éphémère I" is a work for tape only, and juxtaposes a continuous electronic low-end drone with fragments of voices. This creates an ominous tension over 27 minutes and achieves Ferrari's goal of creating a sea-like continuum. In this case, the sea is volatile and there may be a storm on the horizon. Sonically, it has as much in common with Robert Ashley's "Automatic Writing" as it does with the work of any number of current drone practitioners. The sparse, subtle guitar figure and sporadic reverb-laden percussion that are heard during the second half of the piece foreshadow the heavier acoustic presence in "Éphémère II." At 51 minutes, "Éphémère II" represents a calm sea. Again, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were listening to the work of a contemporary artist. Whereas "Éphémère I" has a similar palette to Hive Mind or Nurse With Wound, "Éphémère II" has more in common with the meditative work of Mirror, or even Emeralds. The electronics and pulsing guitar slowly develop an ebb and flow that recalls the motion of waves on a tranquil sea. The acoustic guitar improvisation that begins around the 32-minute mark takes the piece beyond simple drone territory and makes this one of the most beautiful recordings in Ferrari's career; the juxtaposition of blues-riffing and shimmering electronic nuances is simply gorgeous. Éphémère I & II is a perfect entry point into the world of Luc Ferrari for those who feel a bit stifled by the idea of academic music. Alga Marghen continue to succeed in their quest to present important, unheard works with this exemplary edition. Let's hope there's more to come. [MM]

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$11.99 MP3


Parson Sound -3LP Box Set
(Subiminal Sounds)

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Subliminal Sound finally releases this holy grail of Swedish psychedelia on vinyl. The deluxe package is a three-LP boxed set, with newly revised extensive liner notes, interviews and photos. Limited to 1,000 copies.

"This set gives both studio and live concert samples of one of the most remarkable Swedish underground bands, Parson Sound, known in a later incarnation and continuation as International Harvester and Trad Gras & Stenar. The recordings date from 1967/68 while the band explored unknown musical territory as well as inner and outer space. While discovering and perfecting their unique approach towards mixing rock and minimalism, parts of the musical concepts of Terry Riley influenced them to create some of the most remarkable tribal trance-drone-pre-noise music-rock sounds of its time. The marriage between repetitive structures and tribal rock'n'roll-sounds in the music of Parson Sound is absolutely comparable to the most intense moments of Velvet Underground, Grateful Dead, the early Pink Floyd or Cornelius Cardew's experimental group AMM. It evolves, expands, starts to have a resonance with the inner systems. There's a light in this music that is corrosive and completely hypnotic; it's softer than 'Sister Ray', slower than 'Interstellar Overdrive', more utopian than 'Dark Star'. Heavenly reverberations, shimmering fragments, circular rhythms: something is photographed in these concerts and field recordings, an alternative future maybe, or a more vivid now." --Magnus Haglund, from the liner notes.

Order LP by Texting "omlpparsonparson" to 767825
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