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   December 6, 2012  
DEC Sun 09 Mon 10 Tues 11 Wed 12 Thurs 13 Fri 14 Sat 15

There are few artists of any era who are as central to the spirit of Other Music as Klaus Dinger; an early member of Kraftwerk and founder of NEU! and La Düsseldorf, Dinger's life was dedicated to making beautiful, ground-breaking music that has touched too many lives to count and has deeply affected the course of modern music. Dinger died in 2008, and his estate has recently published an amazing book of photos, flyers, artwork and essays about Dinger and the fertile Düsseldorf electronic music scene of the 1970s which he was central to. Other Music is thrilled to be hosting a release event for this wonderful hard-cover book with publisher/editor Miki Yui, where we will be selling copies of the limited edition, and screening rare footage from throughout Dinger's career. Please join us!

OTHER MUSIC: 15 East 4th Street, NYC
6:30-8:00 p.m. | Free Admission | All Ages

Moon Wiring Club
Scott Walker
Jason Lescalleet
John Talabot
Leslie Winer
G.I. Gurdjieff
The Return of the Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of (Various Artists)
Imaginational Anthem Vol. 5 (Various)
A.R. Kane
Blissed Out Fatalists
Atoms for Peace (Limited 12")
The Ghetto Brothers

How to Dress Well
Brian Eno

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This Friday, the Bunker will be setting up at 12-Turn-13 and welcoming Prosumer, who will be making his fifth appearance at the party, and DJing a four-hour-long set. You can expect to hear some of the best dance music ever from this former Panorama Bar resident, who will be joined by Bunker residents Bryan Kasenic (Spinoza) and Mike Servito. We're giving away two pairs of tickets and you can enter for your chance to win by emailing contest@othermusic.com.

12-TURN-13: 172 Classon Ave, Brooklyn
Presented by theARTcorps & Beyond Booking

DEC Sun 02 Mon 03 Tues 04 Wed 05 Thurs 06 Fri 07 Sat 08
  Sun 09 Mon 10 Tues 11 Wed 12 Thurs 13 Fri 14 Sat 15

Paul Banks

Our good friends at Bowery Presents are offering Other Music Update readers a chance to win a pair of tickets to one of these upcoming shows. To enter for any of these nights below, just email tickets@othermusic.com, and make sure to list what show you'd like a chance at in the subject line.

The Faint perform their 2001 "dance-rock" milestone, Danse Macabre, in its entirety, with Trust and Icky Blossoms opening.

Of Montreal's triumphant return to Webster Hall, with Foxygen and French Horn Rebellion supporting the night.

Band of Horses play two shows this night at the Manhattan Center; the early acoustic set is sold out and tickets to the electric show are going fast, but we'll give two lucky winners each a pair of passes to catch both performances.

The Interpol frontman headlines Webster Hall supporting his great, new self-titled solo full-length, out now on Matador.

The Polyphonic Spree's 10th Annual Holiday Extravaganza Tour pulls through NYC, with the band promising family friendly fun, peforming both holiday and rock sets. All ages, 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

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

New York City's kings of Afrobeat, Antibalas are performing a week from Friday at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, along with Red Baraat and DJ sets from Chief Boima and Deadly Dragon Sound System. Other Music is giving away two pairs of tickets to what is sure to be a killer night of music and grooves, and to enter, email giveaway@othermusic.com.

BROOKLYN MASONIC TEMPLE: 317 Clermont Ave Brooklyn
Presented by BOOM Collective, Defalco Presents and Le Poisson Rouge





$23.99 LP


Today Bread, Tomorrow Secrets

"To the Woods"
"Body Switcher"

UK producer Ian Hodgson returns after nearly a year of radio silence with two new dispatches that are possibly his finest releases to date, strengthening the focus of his psychedelic, haunted rhythm séances into two distinct halves, spread across two formats. The CD edition of Today Bread, Tomorrow Secrets is the most perfect distillation of his trademark sound yet, combining the blunted boom-bap of J Dilla and the RZA with the ghostly esoterica of Belbury Poly, Pye Corner Audio, and Leyland Kirby, draping vintage UK bedsit drama with a foggy Technicolor dreamcoat. It's not quite hip-hop, not quite hauntology, but falls somewhere between the cracks of those worlds, creating as unique a sonic environment as similar travelers like Boards of Canada or Plone. If you're a fan, you won't be disappointed, and if you're new to his sound, this is easily the best place from which to start.

The vinyl release shares a title with the CD, but little else; on the LP edition, he's managed to eschew beats almost altogether, instead exploring a hypnotic drift that pulsates like Glass or Reich, implying the rhythm while never depending upon it. Gorgeous passages of woodwinds, strings, and chiming bell tones float and dance in circles around stuttering, pulsating bass and synthesizer tones, creating a world that sounds akin to the Caretaker plundering with the Moondog catalogue. It is, quite simply, stunning, evoking classical suites, arcane silent films, and a sonic witchcraft whose terror and menace is coated in a deceptive sweetness, as though Hodgson were a witch luring you into his boiling kettle via a candy-covered exterior. Both of these releases are essential listening for fans of the aforementioned axis of UK haunted electronic music, and both rank quite highly on my personal favorites for the year. [IQ]




$16.99 LP+MP3


$9.99 MP3


Children of Desire
(Katorga Works/Jagjaguwar)

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store"

Merchandise were definitely one of the bigger buzz bands of 2012, yet it has been next to impossible to find any of their records in stores, until now. Though it would be hard to tell this from their music, the band came up on the Tampa hardcore scene, and Children of Desire is their second LP, originally released (in limited vinyl, and free download) on Katorga Works last spring. Despite their fierce DIY aesthetic and punk rock pedigree, the music owes a lot more to '80s British pop -- emotional, theatrical melancholy that alludes to bands like the Smiths and Echo & the Bunnymen, or even the outsized synth-pop of Tears for Fears, but with an American bent and a few hints of the intensity of their roots. The group has been touring as a three-piece, with vocals, guitar, bass, and a rhythm box and some samples, but the core is the duo of Dave Vassalotti and Carson Cox. Both are multi-instrumentalists, and while the album is beautifully layered with piano, strings, and much more, the band's success largely hangs on Vassalotti's swirling, mesmerizing guitar, which delivers sweeping textures as well as incredible, precise earworm hooks and leads, and Cox's soulful, swooning tenor. Those vocals are front and center, sad and sexy and smart too, with purposeful, poetic lyrics that speak to the group's quiet ambitions and thoughtful approach. On album centerpiece "Become What You Are," Cox sings with empathy and real emotion about the folly of hanging all your hopes and dreams on your favorite band; "The music started, I realized it was all a lie, the guitars were ringing out, last year's punk." 

A few choice websites like Pitchfork yanked Merchandise from their routine of touring punk rock houses and DIY spaces and started a major bidding war -- this is definitely a band you will be hearing a lot more from in 2013, and now, finally, with the help of Jagjaguwar, Katorga should be able to keep up with demand for Children of Desire; it's a great album that deserves all the attention it's been getting, and at long last it's available at your friendly neighborhood record shop. [JM]





$29.99 LPx2+Booklet


$9.99 MP3


Bish Bosch


The past half a decade has found this influential songwriter, composer and vocalist back with a public profile not seen since his days as a member of the chart-topping Walker Brothers. Undoubtedly much of this has been due to his well-received 2006 album, The Drift, and Stephen Kijak's acclaimed Scott Walker documentary, 30 Century Man. This enigmatic artist suddenly found himself with an entirely new audience demographic, both young and old, and while his contemporary output since 1985's underrated Climate of Hunter has been sporadic, it's safe to say that his "late period work" divides opinion rather sharply -- people tend to either wildly love or completely dismiss these albums, finding them to be either pure, undiluted genius or overblown rubbish. I fall into the former category, but am the first to admit that these records take work on the fan's part; Walker's lyrics are dense, multilayered affairs whose references may not be caught until numerous listens, yet they are delivered in a fashion that leaves them open enough to individual interpretation, as any good song should. These works tell stories with open-ended morals and sentiments, and it's an understatement to say that since the first announcements of Bish Bosch's release, which began to slowly eke out a few months earlier, the anticipation to discover what Walker had in store for us was thick enough to cut through with a chainsaw.

There were six years between the release of The Drift and Bish Bosch, actually a speed record in Scott Walker time, and one of the first things you notice about his latest is just how URGENT the whole thing sounds. It's foolish to compare this album to either The Drift or Tilt -- though Walker has stated that they are indeed a trilogy of sorts -- but it's difficult to ignore the way that Scott sounds as though he NEEDS to release these songs from his system with an almost brutal intensity and tension. Bish Bosch's material sounds more alive, closer to a thick, thorny, knotted jungle, than The Drift's more barren, shadowed, and dusty textures. There is an increased rhythmic element throughout these songs, employing a diverse percussive palette that utilizes jackhammering rock drums, the sounds of marbles spinning against tightened skins, the hypnotic clatter of four-foot machetes slicing against one another, and even a full-blown samba school. Perhaps the most surprising part of this is the way that many of these songs actually have a kinetic, hypnotic pattern that one can actually lock into; as much as Walker loves to state that he "doesn't make groove records," this album often moves with a heavy, lumbering swing that can be followed from beginning to end, even through rests and stops. This is most evident on "Epizootics!" which features a combination of lower-register brass jazz and twisted Hawaiian guitar lines; it's also one of the best examples of the amplified streak of black humor that has run throughout all of his records, yet which has been most heavily commented upon regarding this album.

The characters in Bish Bosch's songs range from his usual fallen dictators and men flailing against the tides of existential doubt, yet here he also casts himself in the mind of Attila the Hun's court jester on the 20-minute centerpiece "SDSS14+13B (Zercon, A Flagpole Sitter)," spewing mama jokes and barbed insults that will actually induce laughter. His lyrics this time out feature that same urgency displayed in the music, with more brutal descriptions of withering bodily functions, malformed sex organs, and an increased sense of confusion and despair, balanced and tempered with the aforementioned humor. Walker's increased usage of his impressive vocal range on this album is also to be recognized and commended; not simply utilizing the strained operatic tremble that made the last two records so gripping, he is here barking, bellowing, crooning, and even shrieking at times, showing sides of his vocal talents that had previously never been unleashed.

While other artists sonically utilize methods that are both informed by and equally inspire the work that Walker produces contemporaneously, he is still in a class of his own, framing his music in a vision no other artist of the modern age can touch. This record's immediacy will likely polarize listeners even further -- while rooting itself more in the vocabularies of rock than perhaps any album of his since Climate of Hunter, it is by no means more accessible -- and if you haven't been on board with Tilt or The Drift, it's doubtful that this record will sway your opinions. We're fortunate enough now, though, to have a cache of artists who have managed to provide more suitable context for Walker's unique creations, and those with ears adventurous enough and minds open enough will find much on which to chew with Bish Bosch. It's personally one of my favorite albums of 2012, and it's astonishing to think that at just a month shy of his 70th birthday, Scott Walker is still producing work that is more brutal, layered, and gripping than many peers a fraction of his age; that he sounds so revitalized on Bish Bosch, and ready for wherever his muse next leads him is simply a beautiful thing to behold. [IQ]






Songs About Nothing

I kind of hate the concept of "Desert Island" albums, but if you put a gun to my head and made me pick a few, one of them would definitely be Big Black's 1987 swan song Songs About Fucking. My first real exposure to Steve Albini, every single thing about that record had an impression on me, from the guitar tones, to the acidic (yet apparently meaningless) lyrics, and the bizarre credits and liner notes ("Melvin Belli follows and endorses the fibrelife meatloaf diet plan"). It inspired in me an infinity for assholes that, honestly, I'm still trying to shake.

I can't say for sure if tape manipulator Jason Lescalleet would bring that album with him on a "three-hour tour," so to speak. However, given that Songs About Nothing, his latest two-disc set for the Erstwhile label, uses the art and sounds of that record as its starting point, I'd wager he feels at least a moderate affinity for it. The first half of the set (subtitled "The Trophy Tape") works a number of Fucking samples (and an occasional Shellac allusion) into the fray, pitching down Albini's voice to a cough-syrupy drawl that cuts right to a piercing tone on the opening "The Beauty of Independent Music." Likewise, the beautiful, measured drone of "Tarnished Copper (Copper Will Never Be Gold)" parts ways for a reference to what Albini did to your girlfriend in "Bad Penny." Intros from "Precious Thing" and "Kitty Empire" are teased and hinted at -- bent and looped into new tracks that do a whole new set of damage with Albini's cast offs. For a guy like me who has every last second of the Big Black album tattooed on the inside of his skull, these moments are a nice nod to the past.

More surprising to me, though, are those moments when Lescalleet shows just how much range he has. Squint a tiny bit and tracks like "Old Theme" and "Loop" wouldn't seem terribly out of place on a Demdike Stare release. "Beauty Is a Bowtie (HTDW)" and "10 Amp Waves" both sound like they were rescued from Philip Jeck's hard drive. Clearly, Lescalleet is a capable conjurer with his source material. The second disc, titled "Road Test," takes a much different approach. Jettisoning the unifying theme of the first set, here Lescalleet presents a single forty minute track entitled "The Future Belongs to No One" that's meant to recreate his live set. And while it lacks the concision of the first disc's brief snippets, this extended pull incorporates a generous helping of sounds and ideas to make for an effective listening experience. It even culminates in a few moments that I bet would make fans of both DJ Screw AND 80s synth pop pretty damn happy. I'm not really the list-making type, but if I did one for 2012, Songs About Nothing would very easily make the cut. [MCo]






fIN - Special Edition
(Permanent Vacation)

"Oro Y Sangre"
"Last Land"

Barcelona-based producer John Talabot came out with an excellent debut full-length earlier this year on Permanent Vacation, now re-released here as a deluxe edition, with a bonus disc featuring nine B-sides, outtakes, and excellent remixes by the likes of Bullion, Kenton Slash Demon, and Pachanga Boys. Instantly feeling like an intersection of techno and electronic indie pop throughout the original album's fifty minutes, sonic connections to Pantha Du Prince, Panda Bear, El Guincho, Nicolas Jarr and Delorean (Ekhi Lopetegi is featured on the song "Journeys") all come to mind. Seductive and tropical, Talabot's rhythms are steady, meticulous and purposeful, maintaining the experience of dancing in an open and green field, as opposed to the usual dry and dark-room atmosphere that seems to be a trend of late. fIN, is full of slow-motion house, Balearic beats, fuzzy disco touches, all with an indie pop sheen. You could draw parallels to Washed Out, yet Talabot has a stronger sense of groove and structure, mostly using voices as an accent. Sophisticated yet not stuffy, Talabot leaves enough open space for blissful crescendos and blossoming arpeggios. This is instantly accessible and engaging; fans of the new indie house of producers like Octo Octa or Ital, or elder scene statesman Four Tet or various others should love it. John Talabot lives more on the electronic side, yet has enough sense of melody, groove and clean production to appeal to both sides of the dance floor. This has been in rotation at the shop throughout the year and fIN continues to provide a warm and deep, open and refreshing space to get lost in. Recommended. [DG]







Leslie Winer &c.

"Remote Viewing"
"Dream 1"

Frequent Update readers and Other Music shop regulars have heard me sing the praises of writer/musician/poet/former model Leslie Winer many times over; her 1990 album Witch is arguably my all-time favorite record, and I've long wished for a compilation as comprehensive and delicious as this new collection. The title, Leslie Winer &c, is a nod to her ferocious, seemingly determined anonymity after holding such a high profile as one of the first "supermodels" in 1980s international fashion; her Witch album was originally released not under her name, but was instead credited to a single copyright symbol, fashioned on the cover as an ouroboros encircling the letter C. That record has, over the years, become a cult classic, fetching high collector prices and causing puddles of drool under the chins of dub/dance/hip-hop connoisseurs thanks to her razor-sharp blend of dub-infused downtown avant-soul that fused together the likes of the Last Poets, Annette Peacock, Captain Beefheart and Public Image Limited. That album hinted at the innovations of the Bristol sound pioneered by Massive Attack's Blue Lines and Tricky's Maxinquaye, featuring significant bass contributions by Jah Wobble, and her relative silence after its release was deafening to those who'd fallen prey to its spells.

Leslie Winer &c brings together about half of the Witch album's tracks, many in previously unheard mixes, along with equally powerful material recorded both before and after, ranging from her earliest experiments in the late 1980s, through her two unreleased 1990s Witch follow-ups, into the 2000s, which saw her collaborate with the likes of Vincent Gallo, CM Von Hausswolff, and Jon Hassell, amongst others. The set concludes with the final track from last year's excellent 12" release as Purity Supreme, which I've reviewed in full on OM's digital site, and of which we also currently have vinyl copies in stock. The music here is anchored in deep grooves, fractured loops, sensual textures, and most importantly, Leslie's razor-sharp lyricism, balancing softly sung looped passages with her inimitable nicotine-stained spoken vocals, uttered in raw cadences that balance world-weary wisdom with hallucinogenic stream-of-consciousness poetry striking comment on the politics of sex, war, commerce and community. I say without hesitation that this is easily my top archival release/reissue of 2012; it's a release that is beyond overdue and which paints a wide portrait of an artist who creates simply because she knows that she must. Money, fame, and recognition were never sought out -- she simply understands that the voice is meant to be heard, and those who want to listen will find it reverberating somewhere down the path. In my world, this is essential listening, and I can't really give a higher recommendation than that, folks. [IQ]







An extraordinary collection of harmonium recordings by Russian-born mystic G.I. Gurdjieff, a controversial figure in the earlier part of the 20th century. He counted Rene Daumal and Frank Lloyd Wright amongst his disciples, but was alternately disparaged in the press as a cult leader and even caricatured as a phony in Leanora Carrington's surrealist masterpiece The Hearing Trumpet. Noted British director Peter Brooks made a great dramatic film about the earlier part of Gurdjieff's life called Meetings with Remarkable Men, and I most recently saw his name pop up in Daniel Pinchbeck's Breaking Open the Head, a study of modern shamanism and psychedelic drugs. His philosophies continue to have adherents around the world and there is even a Gurdjieff foundation located right here in New York.

The earliest part of Gurdjieff's story is shrouded in mystery, but what is known is that at some point in his late-teens or early-twenties he went off on an extended quest throughout Persia and the Far East looking for religious mystics, ascetics, and holy men. Through these individuals he believed he discerned certain truths about the condition of man; he believed that the vast majority of mankind is sleepwalking through life, unable to reconcile the various splits in their psyche. Through dance, music, and literature he formulated specific practices that would condition a person to awaken to their surrounding reality. His "novel," Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, was purposefully very densely written to require the utmost concentration, for it is only through hard work and concentration that mankind can awaken from its slumber. Gurdjieff also wrote a good deal of piano music that has been widely available for some time, but the harmonium improvisations presented here have been much more difficult to find.

I'd been lucky to discover several battered privately issued LPs a while back, and was immediately struck by what is surely one of the most enigmatic accomplishments of Gurdjieff's life. This album, comprised of an improv session recorded in 1948, seems instantly familiar, yet quite unlike anything I've ever heard before. There is a certain "old world" quality to the pieces, with melodies deliberately exuding airs of mystery. The music is languorous and haunting, never droning on for too long or getting shrill as the harmonium is wont to do. One gets the feeling in these performances that Gurdjieff is very consciously attempting to distill his soul through music, and I'm sure that there is a case to be made that these pieces constitute a little-discussed forerunner to ambient music. [MK]






The Return of the Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

"The Panama Limited" Washington (Bukka) White
"Bath House Blues" Ashley's Melody Men
"My Ozark Mountain Home" George Edgin's Corn Dodgers

For many diehard collectors of classic American recordings, the release of the first Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of collection in 2006 was like every Christmas rolled into one. Yazoo Records had put together a wish-list set of amazing old 78's -- the kind of stash only the most financially stable and personally committed vinyl obsessive could ever hope to amass on his own. From Son House to the Georgia Pot Lickers, it was perfection. So when I found out Yazoo had a follow-up coming out, I was pumped beyond belief, and now The Return of Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of has arrived, and it's everything you could want and more. A whopping 46 tracks of music from classic American performers such as Geeshie Wiley, Ishman Bracey, and Charlie Poole & the North Carolina Ramblers, this compilation is a perfect set of old-time American classics, a handy reference for collectors, and one of the best introductions to the genre that any first-time listener could hope for. From "Last Kind Words" to "Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed," if it's a classic, it's here. The whole package is a dream, with a really well written booklet and gorgeous cover art by Drew Friedman. If the history of American music intrigues you or excites you, this is a set not to be missed. [AS]






Imaginational Anthem Volume 5
(Tompkins Square)

Tompkins Square's ongoing Imaginational Anthem series has become a must-hear for its meticulous exploration of the history and promise of the acoustic guitar, with the first three wonderful volumes collecting both historic masters and talented young players together, and last year's fourth volume focusing strictly on young players who have been keeping the flame alive. Imaginational Anthem Vol. 5 also focuses only on the next wave of players, but unlike the previous sets, this new one was not curated by the label's own Josh Rosenthal, but instead by the player Sam Moss, who appeared on the last set, and has released many of his own albums both as a solo artist and in various groups. As such the sound here is not a radical departure for the series, which has always walked the line between tradition and innovation on this bedrock instrument of modern music, but Moss comes at the series with a fresh outlook and his own set of tastes and contacts. There is a distinct Takoma vibe running throughout, which is inevitable I suppose, but it's a diverse offering that includes standouts from names like Daniel Bachman, Steve Gunn, Bill Orcutt and Alexander Turnquist, and once again the series has proven itself to be essential listening. [JM]






$17.99 MP3


The Complete Singles Collection
(One Little Indian)

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

Prescience can be just as much of a curse as a gift. For proof of that, one need look no further than the career of A.R. Kane, a group formed around the partnership of Alex Ayuli and Rudy Tambala. Bounding from noisy, guitar-driven psychedelic pop to dub-inflected dance music often within the same release, the pair forged a curious existence, issuing releases on seminal labels like Rough Trade and 4AD that prefigured a lot the guitar-heavy indie music AND oddball rhythm excursions that would follow later in the 1980s and early 1990s. They even crashed the charts at one point, too, as part of M/A/R/R/S (along with aesthetic kinsmen Colourbox) for the massive "Pump Up the Volume." Somehow, though, their work has generally gone unrecognized in the pantheon of shoegaze, dream pop, and dance music, even though they managed to stay one step ahead of the game for much of their time together. Unfortunately, it seems like a couple of the band's LPs may have slipped out of print over the years. Thankfully, though, One Little Indian's new Complete Singles Collection goes a ways towards giving people a chance to hear some of A.R. Kane's best material.

Spread across two discs, the thirty-three tracks gathered here clear a path through every non-album track the band released (save, unfortunately, for "Pump Up the Volume"), documenting their earliest days as a group that sounds as though it could have given My Bloody Valentine a run for their money on "When You're Sad" and "Haunting," to M/A/R/R/S' b-sides, like the pair of "Anitina" versions that showcase the band exploring their own brand of spaced out, psychedelic dance music. Best of all, though, are the multiple different versions of classic album songs (like "A Love from Outer Space" from 1989's i) that were previously only available on a number of singles. Ultimately, it's these later tracks that hammer home just how groundbreaking this band was in its short run, as they managed to dip a toe in everything from overdriven guitar pyrotechnics to beatific, almost Arthur Russell-esque passages (of the disco and ambient variety) while never losing a trace of their own identity. [MCo]




$14.99 LP+MP3


$9.99 MP3


Blissed Out Fatalists
(Body Double)

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store"

Body Double Ltd. is a new reissue imprint of Captured Tracks, operated by Corey Cunningham of the band Terry Malts, and Matt Kallman, former keyboardist of GIRLS. The label plans to focus on obscurities, and they have found a nice one in Blissed Out Fatalists, a little-known LA band from the mid-'80s who had a small fanbase and a few nice reviews in the day, but largely came and went without a blip. Blooming out of the nearly-as-obscure Blue Daisies, BOF were a dark post-punk group falling somewhere between droney space rock and gut-punch noise, with tracks built on simple drum loops, layers of ringing, overloaded and heavily reverbed guitar, and dark gothy vocals, with real songwriting and melody, but without any pretense of fashion. It's hard to find an appropriate comparison; this album reminds be of music as disparate as F/i and the Birthday Party, it's lurching, echoey and narcotic, intense and engaging from start to finish -- it finishes with an (almost) piano ballad, which in this context is disorienting and refreshing -- and while it's no great surprise that we've never heard this band before, I'm glad Body Double has resurrected the album, and I plan on enjoying both Blissed Out Fatalists, and this label's future releases, for some time. [JM]






$1.11 MP3



A limited 12" for the first single from Thom Yorke's new Atoms for Peace project, which also features longtime Radiohead collaborator Nigel Godrich, Flea, Joey Waronker, and Mauro Refosco. On paper it's a little bit difficult to describe how this track, "Default," differs from Yorke's main gig -- it's a hybrid of electronics and live playing that blips into existence, then swoons forward with melodic keyboards and stuttering percussion, to be joined by Yorke's inimitable croon. Good stuff, with an album due in late February. B/W "What the Eyeballs Did," and an instrumental version of the single.





Power Fuerza
(Truth & Soul)

Truth & Soul does right by this ultra-rare early-'70s soul-funk collectible from the South Bronx's Ghetto Brothers. The group, and the street gang that shared their name, was formed by a Puerto Rican immigrant family, and along with running street life on East 162nd, the Melendez brothers put their hearts and souls into this genre-bending band, blending influences ranging from traditional salsa and more modern Latin fare like Santana with psych-rock (the Melendezes had previously been in a Beatles cover group), soul, and folk. Utilizing electric guitars, bass and drum set layered with electric piano, traditional percussion, and sweet vocal harmonies sung in both English and Spanish, the Ghetto Brothers were actively trying to bring together black, white and Latino music fans into the melting pot of the South Bronx. They had developed a nice local following by 1972, when record shop owner Ismael Maisonave brought them into a midtown studio with Latin music producer Bobby Marin, and released Power Fuerza on his own Salsa Records imprint. The band continued to connect with a local audience, but never really made it out of the 'hood, and this album has been rarely seen or heard, even in collectors' circles, until now. [JM]




$17.99 LP+MP3


$9.99 MP3


Total Loss

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

Ironically, when this album came up in my iTunes, Big John Hamilton's vintage southern soul tune "How Much Can a Man Take?" showed up for the crying party as well. I had to chuckle to myself a bit when I saw it, as in essence Tom Krell's ghostly subversive almost-R&B begs this question time and time again. His solid yet uneven debut album Love Remains was more of a critical curiosity than a darling, but the lo-fi slow jam abstractions, punctuated by Krell's awkward, sincere falsetto, was an audacious enough idea in 2010 to garner praise from plenty of enthusiasts. Total Loss hits the shelves post-Channel Orange, with the mainstream R&B world temporarily enamored with the minimalist, downer abstractions of a complex, bisexual African-American 20-something; what's a nerdy, Caucasian, graduate student to do? Thankfully, Krell hunkers down and stays the course. Truth be told, the R&B wasn't really the meat of the whole thing. Krell loves the pain of love, and his music is about conveying those emotions through performance -- something he has in common with many of his heroes who happen to be R&B stars, like Aaliyah, R. Kelly, Beyonce, Keith Sweat, Gerald Levert and Al B Sure; in R&B the vocal performance trumps the lyrical content (and everything else) all day, every day. Paraphrasing KRS-One, How to Dress Well is Krell's attempt to break R&B "down to its very last compound." He's not the first to try to do that and he's not necessarily great at doing it, but the results are more than intriguing and a lot more compelling than one would think.

If Love Remains was a conceptual album about the complexities of chronic melancholia, then Total Loss seems to be a conceptual album about the sharp directness of the pain of loss and how one deals with it. It's an uncomfortable thing to see someone struggle with loss and the fallout of it; beauty and inspiration can spring from the pain, but it ain't pretty. Krell collaborates with xx engineer Rodaidh McDonald here, a man who knows a thing or two about the importance of sentiment and open space. The album opener, "When I Was in Trouble," is a sparse three-chord piano ballad that pushes that shaky falsetto up front and center. It's jarring, awkward and confrontational in all of its flaws (like the pain of loss), and a markedly different approach to the ghostly abstractions of Krell's earlier recordings. Songs like "Cold Nites," "& It was U," and "How Many" aim for the fully realized R&B trappings of his aforementioned heroes and they're a bit uncomfortable to listen to on their own, simply put, because he's overreaching. But tracks like "Ocean Floor for Everything," "Say My Name or Say Whatever" and the string-laden instrumental centerpiece "World I Need You, Won't Be Without You (Proem)" are heartbreaking in their simplicity in a way that I can't quite put my finger on, which I suppose is the point of the whole thing, right? This might be the first record I've listened to in a while that simultaneously made me want to turn it off and turn it up; I let it play through, and then I started it again. It's not pretty, but it just might be beautiful -- I haven't decided yet, but it's definitely worth hearing. [DH]




$24.99 LPx2


$9.99 MP3


Order of Noise
(Tri Angle)

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

Tri Angle is at it again. From the dark corners of the Earth this label continues to pull artists fully formed from their color bulb-lit bedrooms and into the light of day (or at least the blackness of night). The newest project is called Vessel, the album Order of Noise, and the vibe is a bit less spooky, more groovy, yet still existing on the darker side of the moon. Like the work of Ital/Mi Ami or Hype Williams, Vessel reminds us that elements (sounds, machines, and tempos) usually associated with house and techno were also the backbone of cold wave, industrial, avant-garde, and goth. Vessel mixes these ingredients together across the album, but it's all covered in a shroud of muslin. By only working with a few elements in each piece, the record easily, simply, and nicely moves from groove to spook and back, yet keeps you engaged throughout. This may be too raw for the button-down techno crowd, but there are similarities between Vessel and artists on Modern Love or Blackest Ever Black, exploring deconstruction and minimalism, while still being danceable. Fans of John Carpenter, Hieroglyphic Being, Sun Araw, or any of the above mentioned, as well as followers of the Tri Angle label in general, should find something here to get them through the night. One of the better dance-not-dance releases around. [DG]




$25.99 LPx2+Download
180 Gram Vinyl


"Lux 1"
"Lux 3"

This is Brian Eno's first solo album in a good long time, and a pretty great one at that -- but still, I'm not sure there is a ton I can say about this beautiful ambient piece beyond this: it will soothe you. Four tracks that blur together across the 75-minute run time, Lux was recorded for an art instillation, and while it's easy to see how this music could transform a white room, it might be best consumed in headphones. Shifting synth tones, gently played piano notes, and aching string drones crisscross in endlessly evolving patterns, evoking slo-mo scenes of nature's quiet evolution and drift, and simultaneously putting the world at bay for an hour or so. Eno invented ambient music, and he still does it better than just about anyone. [JM]
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[MCo] Michael Crumsho
[DG] Daniel Givens
[DH] Duane Harriott
[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[MK] Michael Klausman
[JM] Josh Madell
[AS] Andrew Siskind

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