Having trouble viewing this email? Go to othermusic.com/2011january12update.html

   January 12, 2011  
Elan Tamara
The Beets
Wooden Wand
Shackleton (Fabric 55)
David Rodigan (Fabriclive 54)
Broken Records
End of Your Garden | De Ma Vaere Belgiere (Split LP)



Tapes 'n Tapes

The Pastels
The Soft Boys

All of this week's new arrivals.
Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/othermusicnyc
Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/othermusic

JAN Sun 09 Mon 10 Tues 11 Wed 12 Thurs 13 Fri 14 Sat 15

This Friday, the Fader presents One Step Beyond at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in the American Museum of Natural History, featuring Matt and Kim (DJ Set), Araabmuzik (MPC set), Nacey, and Activaire DJ's. These parties are always a blast, with cocktails and dancing underneath stars! Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets that you can enter for by emailing tickets@othermusic.com. We'll notify the winner on Friday morning.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 14 (9pm-1am) | 21 + w/ ID
American Museum of Natural History, The Rose Center for Earth and Space: Enter via the Weston Pavilion located on Columbus Avenue at 79th Street
Tickets are $25 on the Museum's website at amnh.org/osb or by calling 212-769-5200, Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm.

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

Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to this great bill, courtesy of Carpark. Next Wednesday, Cleveland's Cloud Nothings will be performing at the Mercury Lounge, supporting their upcoming self-titled full-length, which hits stores on January 25. (The record is filled with some of the catchiest indie rock this side of the Clean!) Labelmates Toro y Moi area also appearing so you don't want to miss this killer night. Enter to win a pair of tix by emailing contest@othermusic.com. We'll notify the winner on Friday, January 14.





    Many of our customers have been enjoying the ease of texting their orders with their mobile phone. To take advantage of this option with the items listed below, go to subports.com where you can create your free Subports account. Afterwards, just text the corresponding subcode listed underneath each item to 767825.






Emerald Fantasy Tracks
(Magic Wire)


Manchester-based producer Lone, a/k/a Matt Cutler, delivers his most promising and consistent album to date. The eight cuts on Emerald Fantasy Tracks beautifully fuse Detroit hustle and Chicago jackcentric house maneuvers with a smudged texture and dreamlike ghosts of melody in the same way that light looks through a Vaseline-smeared lens. It successfully does for the house template what a group like Boards Of Canada did for hip-hop-inspired IDM and break music, except Cutler never sacrifices the tempo for the sake of the texture. I don't want to come across as hyperbolic, but there is serious potential for this album to be slotted into "classic" status amongst the likes of Theo Parrish, Mr Fingers, Robert Hood, and Derrick May. Cutler has a brilliant gift for arrangement and space with his deceptively simple rhythm patterns interlocking into complex latticework that makes each track breathe and pulsate like a living creature. Seriously, folks, if you're a house music fan, you're going to want to check this. If you're a fan of Warp Records circa the classic selected ambient Aphex/BoC halcyon days, you're going to want to check this. If you ever wanted to splice the two vibes together to create your dancefloor dream, you're definitely going to want to check this. It's an idea so simple that it's amazing no one's really pulled it off before. Give thanks to Lone for doing us a solid, I love this record. [IQ]

Order CD by Texting "omcdloneemerald" to 767825






Shadows EP

"Frog Song"

This 21-year-old London singer and multi-instrumentalist stunned us in '09 with her Gold Fishes EP. Nonchalantly dropping the CD off at OM while she was on holiday in NYC, we were soon blindsided by Elan Tamara's huge dynamic voice and her quirky, kitchen-sink piano-based pop tunes that referenced everything from Bacharach to Gamelan scales and Steve Reich. After heaps of acclaim and garnering fans like Gilles Peterson, she's back with another strong EP that shows her growing musically by leaps and bounds. This time around the sound is augmented by her band, the Bakery, and sure-handed production from her boyfriend/collaborator Kwes.

The opener, "Tubes," is a swirling piano-driven tune, fleshed out by backtracked drums and punctuated by Tamara's soaring melodies. Once again, it's all about her voice -- a powerful, sweeping tool that is simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting. All four songs here are presented as a suite, each one bleeding into the next, slowly building an underlying tension that culminates in the powerful closer, "Find a Way." Lyrically she's all emotional smoke and mirrors, never quite revealing what she's singing of -- a la Kate Bush and Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes -- but when the music is as visionary and powerful as this, you won't mind a bit. In a little over a year, Elan Tamara has established herself as one of the most exciting young songwriters to watch in the UK. I recommend jumping on this bandwagon before it gets too crowded. I'm already on it, behind the wheel and honking the horn!! [DH]

Order CD by Texting "omcdelanshadows" to 767825






$9.99 MP3


Stay Home
(Captured Tracks)

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

Queen's #1 wild men are back, following up 2009's gem, Spit in the Face of People Who Don't Want to Be Cool, with a concept album about...staying home? What? Genius. While Stay Home treads similar ground as the debut -- '60s garage meets Modern Lovers meets punk -- the overwhelming lo-fi vibe has been cleaned up, if only slightly. I can actually make out some of singer Juan Wauters' words here and there. But who cares anyway? It's the sheen over his snotty sneer that makes the band and the Beets play to their strengths embracing simplicity of both their instruments and recording values. Constantly chugging guitars over sparse drums coupled with an impressive arsenal of infectious melodies turn Stay Home into a pretty great record. It's tough to dislike a trifecta of songs about (a) hanging out with your dad, (b) hanging out with your girlfriend and (c) watching TV -- there are even a couple of tracks on here that sound exactly like you'd want Black Lips to in 2011, had they not become unbearably annoying. In fact, what makes Stay Home so easy to love is its lack of pretense and posturing. It's a huge breath of fresh air. Brooklyn's for posing, Astoria's for havin' fun! [BC]

Order CD by Texting "omcdbeetsstay" to 767825






$16.99 LP+MP3


$9.99 MP3


Death Seat
(Young God)

"The Mountain"
"Hotel Bar"

James Toth has famously had some ups -- and more importantly downs -- over the past few years. But for a country troubadour, drunken benders, band blowouts, soured label deals, arrest and divorce are sort of par for the course, right? As is pouring it all out in the music, a tried and true path to redemption for any broke-down artist. And, as much as we'd like to jettison such tired clichés, Toth seems to be living it, and making some of the best music of his career in the process. Death Seat, recorded for Young God Records, with label owner and Swans mastermind Michael Gira at the helm, shoots straight down the middle of all the chaos and backtalk, delivering ample doses of the pain, heartache and wrong-headed mistakes, right along with the joy, hope and love that make these sort of songs soar.

Overall it's a fairly straightforward album, with strummed acoustic guitars defining the sound, embellished with everything from lap-steel to tinkling piano, pumping organ and various other haunting touches, with a swaying rhythm section and lovely arrangements. And Toth's songwriting is fairly straightforward too, on a series of succinct, emotional songs that tell dark, sometimes uncomfortable tales, but always with memorable choruses and real, raw passion that is as hard to dismiss as Toth's wonderfully expressive singing, at turns haunted, frightened, lovelorn and lost. The tone is pure '70's back-room midnight jam, a bit off-kilter and raw like many of our favorites of the time, and Toth has the songs and the emotion to pull it off. Here's hoping the bad times are behind this wonderful young artist -- as long as that doesn't mean great records like this one are behind him as well. [JM]

Order CD by Texting "omcdwoodendeath" to 767825
Order LP by Texting "omlpwoodendeath" to 767825






Fabric 55

"Operatic Waves"
"Busted Spirit"

Sam Shackleton takes charge of the prestigious console for the latest edition of Fabric's seminal mix series. Best know for his stellar work with the Skull Disco collective and a dark, forward-thinking sound that might not obviously speak to this club-centric series, here Shackleton brings his sub-bass and Middle Eastern percussion aesthetic into techno and dubtep arenas with a whole CD worth of his own productions. Across these 22 selections, Shackleton presents new, exclusive versions of tracks released on Perlon, Hotflush and Skull Disco, as well as loads of previously unreleased cuts, making this a must for fans.

For the uninitiated, his music can be compared to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, with sub-aquatic descending decays and springy reverb defining the sound -- like air bubbles from your snorkel, the sparse rhythms breathe. Congruently, his sound can be compared to a tribal journey across the Sahara desert, full of rolling, slow moving sand drifts, echoing hand drums and deep bass wavering like a flag in the wind. Distant vocals are buried in the mix, adding to the haunting and lost-spirit atmosphere throughout. Though throughout these selections the ambience is deep, the mood is rich and bubbling with clipped emotion, and as a recreation of one of Shackleton's live sets at the Fabric club, you can practically feel the energy in the room. In the middle of the mix, he strings together a two-part track called "Man on a String," the title itself a perfect description for his sound. Shackleton is the guy on a tightrope, balancing time, energy, and gravity while moving across space. Fabric 55 is a deep and hypnotic mix from one of the better new producers of the last decade. The Fabric mixes are top notch, constantly fresh and forward-thinking, and this is one of their best. [DG]

Order CD by Texting "omcdshackletonfabric" to 767825






Fabriclive 54

"Waterhouse Rock" Big Youth
"Stop That Train" Cadenza

The German-born, UK-based David Rodigan is an unassuming bespectacled 50-something-year-old gentleman who has an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Bateman, my ninth grade Algebra teacher in Nebraska. But I'm nearly certain that Mr. Bateman didn't have a secret life as a seminal British selector, who counted King Tubby, Augustus Pablo and my uncle Derrick (Harriott) as close personal friends and garnered a reputation as Sound Bwoy Murderah for three decades and counting! The real Mr. Rodigan spent most of his adult life devoted to the championing of reggae music in all of its forms. Over the years, Rodigan has expressed his disappointment in the production direction that Jamaican reggae has taken, and is one of the few noteworthy DJs who has actively supported reggae artists from other countries. With this mix, Rodigan is able to bridge the old with the new sounds, and exposes some of the lesser heard, yet excellent new artists emerging today from around the world.

There are a variety of styles here from every era, but it all sounds "classic"; highlights include the lovely "one drop" protest sound of female vocalist Etana's "August Town," the blazing dancehall vibes of Swedish-based Million Stylez's "Police in Helicopter," and "lighters up" anthems like Super Cat's "Don Dada," Collie Budz "Come Around," and "Ring the Alarm." But as with any great DJ mix, it's all in the sequencing here; each track is left to simmer, slowly building the vibe, with a strong helping of sirens and gunshots to nice it up a touch. My middle-aged West Indian upstairs neighbor came to my door 20 minutes ago while I was playing this comp. He didn't tell me to turn it down; instead, he wanted to know what was on my stereo and asked me to "burn him a copy, to mash up a party fi next week." Not a bad recommendation to purchase this one. [DH]

Order CD by Texting "omcddavidfabric" to 767825






$14.99 LP+MP3


$9.99 MP3


Let Me Come Home

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

A few months after its UK release, 4AD delivers Broken Records' sophomore album for American audiences. This band makes grand music, lush, dynamic and full of drama -- imagining a Scottish Bruce Springsteen or Arcade Fire gives you some idea of where they are coming from, with a touch of the National maybe, if you need another meticulously arranged, tightly orchestrated, sweepingly emotional reference point. Let Me Come Home, a melancholy suite of songs loosely based on themes of home, love and a quest for emotional security, is more subtle, less bombastic than their 2009 debut, a bit darker in tone and with more simplicity -- a welcome respite from a sound that can be dense and almost overwhelming at times.

Frontman Jamie Sutherland sounds more comfortable in his role here, still confident and brash, but a bit more relaxed, relying on his go-to falsetto far less frequently to make his statements while exploring his rich baritone. And the natural sound of the recording does his singing and the music a nice service; warm, breathy strings, organ and piano melodies make these songs sway and soar above the taut military percussion and strummed reverb guitar that form the base of these musical journeys. Overall, it is still a big-idea, big-sounding record that will thrill you or kill you depending on your taste for that sort of stuff, but it is also rich with nuance and intricacy, and a few surprises too. [JM]

Order CD by Texting "omcdbrokenlet" to 767825
Order LP by Texting "omlpbrokenlet" to 767825






(Dark Entries)

Released concurrently with the excellent Borghesia LP (reviewed in last week's Update), the Dark Entries imprint offers another limited edition vinyl-only release to whet your coldwave appetites. Compiling two singles by obscure Danish groups End of Your Garden and De Må Være Belgiere who recorded for the (equally obscure) Replik Muzick label, this split LP veers away from Dark Entries' focus on synth-based bands and moves us into straight-up post-punk territory.

The 1981-released single "Celebration" from End of Your Garden is pure DIY melancholia. Certainly influenced by Joy Division (they take their name from the JD song "Eternal"), these tracks borrow that inspiration and strip it down to the bare essentials. Employing a cheap rhythm box, synthesizer, guitar, violin, and heaps of DIY mentality, End of Your Garden deliver a sparse, endearing take on the sound of the early '80s. The real treat for me, however, is the De Må Være Belgiere single from 1983. The group pounds out three killer tracks of classic post-punk: deep, driving bass lines and swirling guitar melodies reminiscent of early Xmal Deutschland or Factory bands like the Wake and, of course, Joy Division. While neither of the groups featured on this LP have the technical chops or forward-thinking vision of the influences they reference, this is still a fantastic document of a little-covered scene of the time. [CPa]

Order LP by Texting "omlpendsplit" to 767825






Early Works
(Rush Hour)

Matt Chicoine, a/k/a Recloose, is a Detroit native (and current New Zealand resident) who came up listening to the legendary groundbreaking radio that was the Wizard a/k/a Jeff Mills and the Electrifying Mojo Midnight Funk Association show, and was a vital part of the Detroit scene of the late '90s. J Dilla, Theo Parrish, Kenny Dixon Jr., Dwele, and Waajeed were just a few of his contemporaries, friends and collaborators during that time. It was Chicoine, in my opinion, who drew first blood with his classic debut 1999 EP, Spelunking, released on Carl Crag's Planet E imprint. At the time it was a genre-defying release that utterly defied categorization. The Afro-tech shuffle of "Soul Clap 2000" and "Get There Tonight" predated the West London broken beat sound by at least three years, and tracks like "First Off (Dub Version)" sound like an old Dilla production sped up to 45.

There are traces of hip-hop, jazz fusion, acid techno and R&B in every song here. In an earlier OM review from 2002, I described his sound as "Stevie Wonder circa Secret Life of Plants meets Derrick May," which is close, but in retrospect, these early records remind me of the space age future funk of Flying Lotus, Dam-Funk, J Dilla and Jimmy Edgar. The fact that these records were made over ten years ago lets you know how truly ahead of his time he really was, and it's also an amazing testament to the depth of talent that was coming out of Detroit at that time. Any hardcore fans of any of the aforementioned artists should jump on this collection if you aren't already familiar... and he's STILL really good! [DH]

Order CD by Texting "omcdreclooseearly" to 767825






$15.99 LP+MP3


$9.99 MP3



Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

The last five years have been a rollercoaster ride for this Minnesota quartet, from unknown fanboys to web sensation to next big thing and back again. The Loon, the group's self-released 2005 debut, stumbled into a pile of blog-bred praise that elevated the simple indie-retro record to the top of many year-end roundups and earned them a big contract with XL. But when they tried to make good on the hype, the band stumbled, with a big-budget album produced by Dave Fridmann that failed to charm the scribes or the school kids the way their first had.

Tapes 'n Tapes lost their corporate backing and perhaps a bit of their youthful shine, but they have returned with another self-released (and self-produced) effort that recaptures the spirit of their early work -- if it can recapture the excitement remains to be seen. If The Loon was equal parts Pavement and Pixies, Outside throws its net a bit wider, delivering taut, hooky indie-rockers that are well-constructed, well-played and confident, and probably contains several of the group's best songs to date. If many of them sound like other band's best songs, so be it. If you've hung in there since the start, you will likely be pleased; if you were always bothered that these guys did a great job of sounding like great groups, but didn't really add much to the conversation, Outside might not change your tune. [JM]

Order CD by Texting "omcdtapesoutside" to 767825
Order LP by Texting "omlptapesoutside" to 767825






Medicine Show No. 11: Low Budget High Fi Music

"Blast Your Radio Theme" Louder
"Cheaters: Episode #3" Med & Poke

Otis "Madlib" Jackson continues his ongoing "monthly" series into the new year with Madlib Medicine Show Volume #11: Low Budget High Fi Music. It's a 28-track full-length hip-hop album that flows like his sample-laced records as Madvillian, Quasimoto, or records he produced for Guilty Simpson or Strong Arm Steady, both of whom make guest appearances here, along with Oh No, MED, Karriem Riggins, AG, J-Rocc, and even Dilla, on a track from the unfinished/unreleased second Jaylib album. Built from smoky basement beats, snippets of '70s movie dialogue and other found sounds, and miles of clever wordplay, all in all it's a nice and loose hip-hop album with lots of low-fi thumps, and high-def imagination. [DG]

Order CD by Texting "omcdmadlibmedicine11" to 767825




180 Gram Vinyl


Up for a Bit with the Pastels

"Up for a Bit"
"Get 'Round Town"

What to say about the Pastels? One of my favorite bands of all time without a doubt, the Pastels were the original slackers and the ultimate rejection of music biz professionalism. While never following any standards of how a band should operate, they've still managed to exert a marked influence on the international pop underground of the last 25-plus years. Mainstay and default leader Stephen Pastel was an indie tastemaker before "indie" meant anything (wait, what does it mean again?), running a record shop in Glasgow and helping to bring the music of Jesus & Mary Chain, Shop Assistants, and the Vaselines into the world via his record label.

In a scene known for downplaying musicianship, the Pastels took technical naivete to a new level. But they also created some of the most beautiful, genuinely moving pop music ever in the process. What really separated the Pastels from every other C-86/twee/jangle-slop group though was Stephen Pastel's low, mumbling vocal delivery, acting as the perfect reflection to the music's shambling pop mess. It sounded like it took everything he had to get out of bed and into the studio to deliver a music industry roast like "See them pass by yesterday -- spit on your old photograph, look away" with the utmost exhaustion. It was as if hippie-burnout Neil from The Young Ones had started an indie-pop band just so he could call out other bands/scenesters in his lethargic drawl.

Up for a Bit with the Pastels contains some of the group's all-time classic jams, and might just be my favorite album of theirs as a whole (but Mobile Safari is up there too). Of all the bands that came out of the Glasgow pop scene in the '80s, they most closely resembled the Vaselines at this point (Eugene Kelly actually joined the band for the follow-up, Sittin' Pretty), and anyone who enjoyed Sub Pop's recent retrospective of that band owes it to themselves to pick this up. Fire's reissue doesn't add anything extra (knowing this band's work ethic, there probably wasn't any) but it seems churlish to gripe when the album itself offers more than its share of memorable moments; "Address Book" and "Crawl Babies" are definitely going on my Pastels greatest hits comp. -- cassette-only, look for it. [JTr]

Order LP by Texting "omlppastelsup" to 767825




180 Gram Vinyl


180 Gram Vinyl


A Can of Bees
(Yep Roc)

Underwater Moonlight
(Yep Roc)

Yes!! After languishing out of print for far too many years, the Soft Boys' first two albums are back on the racks as vinyl pressings for a new generation of miscreants to embrace. Formed in Cambridge, England during the start of the punk era, the Soft Boys took punk's bile-soaked gob-in-the-face attitude, applied it to frontman Robyn Hitchcock's more cerebral, surrealistic songwriting, and combined it with a lean angularity that could only have been birthed in punk's wake.

Their debut, A Can of Bees, is tense, taut and jagged in all the right places, similar to early Magazine if someone had given Howard Devoto a bit of blotter behind the scenes. They blend the cubist blues fracture of the almighty Beefheart with a barbed wire duel-guitar attack reminiscent of Television, some odd vocal harmonies, and a pinch of irreverent Englishness that makes for one of the most unique debuts in punk history. Songs like "The Pigworker," "Leppo and the Jooves" and the classic "Sandra's Having Her Brain Out" still seethe with bile and wink with mischief, and these newly remastered versions sound fantastic. This version also features an additional nine bonus cuts available by way of a download code. My only gripe here is that I wish the single version of "I Wanna Be an Anglepoise Lamp" would have been included.

It's the follow-up, Underwater Moonlight, though, that really takes the cake for me. Opening with the classic "I Wanna Destroy You," one of the catchiest, most tuneful punk rave-ups ever recorded, the album as a whole takes the template established on Can of Bees and perfects it, adding a heftier dose of Syd Barrett's lyrical and melodic hallucination to the jagged proceedings. (The band would even go on to release a cover of Barrett's "Vegetable Man" as a b-side to the excellent "Kingdom of Love" single, included in the bonus material.) The tempos slow down a tad, and the interplay between the guitars is given more emphasis, the similarities to Television coming through a bit stronger here. This was an album that, like the first Velvets album, was heard by few, but those who did hear it went on to extol its virtues via their own bands' recordings and interviews, to the point where there was a time when more people had probably heard OF the Soft Boys rather than had actually HEARD them proper. Quite simply, Underwater Moonlight is near flawless, a hint to the jaded masses that psychedelia could adapt and take on a new set of clothing but still retain its core mind-bending ideals. Its songs are innovative square pegs trying to squeeze through elliptical holes, and this reissue comes with downloadable bonus material that totals a whopping thirty extra tunes, featuring all of the material previously available on Matador's excellent but now-deleted 2CD/3LP reissue from a decade ago, including demos, single A- and B-sides, live tracks, as well as a handful of additional cuts never before heard. This is one of my all time faves, a record that most music fans should hear at least once before they die. Three cheers to Yep Rock for these -- both records are essential listening. [IQ]

Order Can of Bees LP by Texting "omlpsoftcan" to 767825
Order Underwater Moonlight LP by Texting "omlpsoftunderwater" to 767825
  All of this week's new arrivals.

Previous Other Music Updates.

Visit www.othermusic.com.


Phone orders are accepted at
(212) 477-8150 (ext. #2, mailorder) Mon-Fri, Noon - 7pm EST

For general inquiries or other information please email sales@othermusic.com. Do not reply to this message.

This is an automated list. If you would like to be removed for any reason, please visit: digital.othermusic.com/subscribe.php


[BC] Baxter Cardona
[DG] Daniel Givens
[DH] Duane Harriott
[[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[JM] Josh Madell
[CP] Chris Pappas
[JTr] Jon Treneff

- all of us at Other Music

    Copyright 2011 Other Music
Newsletter Design Big Code