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   January 6, 2012  




We hope that you and yours had a fantastic holiday! While the first week of January is traditionally a mellow time of year for record release schedules, we wanted to share a handful of new arrivals that we're excited about as well as listing a couple of Other Music-related events and ticket giveaways.

Also, though we are looking ahead to this new year in music, we've taken one last glimpse back at 2011 and have published our staff members' personal Best-Of lists. (If the link doesn't work on your browser, you can access these pages directly off our mail order site's home page.) We'd like to thank all of you for your support this past year, and we look forward to sharing lots of great new music in 2012!

Serge Gainsbourg (Melody Nelson Box)
Sea Lions
Daphne Oram (LP Box)
Demdike Stare (12" Box)
Lego Feet
The Quick (7" Single)
Roberto Cacciapaglia
Medicine (7" single)
Dive (7" single)
Olivia Tremor Control (CD reissue)
Tindersticks (Claire Denis Film Scores - Sale Priced)

All of this week's new arrivals.
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JAN Sun 01 Mon 02 Tues 03 Wed 04 Thurs 05 Fri 06 Sat 07

The Bunker celebrates 9 years tonight and their line-up is a doozy! Chicago house legend Derrick Carter will be taking over the decks in the back room of Public Assembly, along with Bunker resident Derek Plaslaiko. In the front room, the spotlight will be shining on the Netherlands' Clone Records with live sets from Legowelt and Steve Summers, and a DJ set from Serge, plus Long Island Electrical Systems' Ron Morelli and Xosar. Come out and raise a glass to the Bunker crew for keeping NYC's electronic and techno scenes alive and forward thinking! Other Music is offering two pairs of passes to this anniversary party, so enter right away by emailing tickets@othermusic.com. Please include your phone number where you can be reached.

PUBLIC ASSEMBLY: 70 N. 6th Street, Brooklyn

JAN Sun 01 Mon 02 Tues 03 Wed 04 Thurs 05 Fri 06 Sat 07

Fellow Brooklynites Barbes and Electric Cowbell are invading Manhattan this Saturday night, presenting a killer, eclectic showcase at Drom, featuring: the congolese musings of Smokey Hormel, the electric cumbias of Chicha Libre, the improvisations of Malian griot Cheick Hamala Diabate, No BS! Brass' brand of funk, the Brooklyn-Balkan hybrid that is Raya Brass Band and the Pan-Latin tropical sound of DJ Geko Jones. We've got one pair of tickets to give away and the winner will also receive a couple of 45s from NO BS! Brass and Cheick Hamala Diabate, courtesy of Electric Cowbell. Email giveaway@othermusic.com to enter for tickets. (For a limited time: free download of NO! BS Brass' cover of "Take on Me" on the Electric Cowbell website.)

DROM: 85 Avenue A, NYC
$10 | Free with APAP Badges

JAN Sun 08 Mon 09 Tues 10 Wed11 Thurs 12 Fri 13 Sat 14
  Sun 15 Mon 16 Tues 17 Wed18 Thurs 19 Fri 20 Sat 21
  Sun 22 Mon 23 Tues 24 Wed 25 Thurs 26 Fri 27 Sat 28

Other Music returns to the gorgeous lobby of the Ace Hotel every Wednesday during the month of January. Each night will feature a different OM DJ, each with a style and flare as unique as the store itself.

January 11: Andreas Knutsen & special guest Tres (Psychic Ills)
January 18: Chris Pappas
January 25: Gerald Hammill

ACE HOTEL: 20 W. 29th Street, NYC
8PM Until Late | No Cover
Facebook Event Invite

JAN Sun 15 Mon 16 Tues 17 Wed18 Thurs 19 Fri 20 Sat 21
  Sun 22 Mon 23 Tues 24 Wed 25 Thurs 26 Fri 27 Sat 28

Howler's been creating quite a loud buzz out of their Minneapolis garage these past several months, thanks to their undeniably catchy fusion of classic CBGBs punk and '60s West Coast pop influences. The group will be celebrating the release of their debut full-length, America Give Up (Rough Trade), on the day of its release with a live in-store performance at Other Music on Tuesday evening, January 17. This one's going to be packed, so get here early!

We're excited to welcome Laura Gibson to Other Music, who will be playing an intimate set at the shop on the eve of the release of her new album, La Grande, on Barsuk. The Portland, OR singer-songwriter has received much acclaim over the past half-a-decade or so, and her upcoming full-length is a stunning, timeless collection of mysterious, atmospheric folk with guest appearances from members of Calexico, the Dodos and more.

OTHER MUSIC: 15 East 4th Street, NYC
Both in-Stores: Free Admission | Limited Capacity







$39.99 CDx2+DVD


Histoire De Melody Nelson - Deluxe Edition
(Philips/Universal France)

In celebration of this landmark record's 40th anniversary, Philips/Universal France have issued a jaw-dropping deluxe edition of Serge Gainsbourg's essential Histoire De Melody Nelson featuring the original album remastered, a stunning bonus disc which creates an alternate version of the record out of extended/unedited takes, instrumental versions, alternate vocal takes which add key lines into the classic story omitted from the final master, and two versions (vocal and instrumental) of an excellent, previously unheard song written and recorded for the album but omitted at the eleventh hour. As if that weren't enough, there's also a fantastic DVD which features the record mixed for 5.1 Surround Sound, and a 45-minute documentary which details the making of the album with interviews of Jane Birkin, composer/arranger Jean-Claude Vannier, sound engineer Jean-Claude Charvier, Birkin's brother Andrew, photographer Tony Frank, and vintage period footage of Serge himself all talking about Melody Nelson's creation. Good news for the bilingually impaired, too -- the DVD is subtitled!

If you've read this far, chances are that you know the deal with this album but I'll sum it up, Cliffs Notes style: This is not only widely regarded to be Gainsbourg's masterpiece, but one of, if not THE greatest albums in French music history. A song cycle about a wealthy French man who hits a young English teenager with his Rolls-Royce while she's riding her bike, the man takes her to a no-tell motel, deflowers her, and he becomes obsessed with her. She departs for her home in Sunderland and the man calls upon a cargo cult, a pre-industrial tribal society who seeks material riches from modern cultures through magic and voodoo-esque rituals, to return her to him. The cult makes the plane crash and Melody dies. Our man then leads a screwed existence which teeters on the unbalanced memories of that one fateful encounter. The album was arranged and conducted by OM fave Jean-Claude Vannier, with some of his most goosebump-inducing orchestral arrangements fused to a stark, sensual bass/drums/guitar rock combo rocking slowly in an acid-laced motion. It features one of the most iconic record sleeves by Tony Frank and as a total package the album is, quite simply, a work of art.

While the 2CD/DVD set is a thrilling edition in itself, there's also a deluxe box set for those of you who need more than an easy fix, and it's worth every penny. Limited and numbered at just 10,000 copies for the world, it features the two CDs, the DVD, vinyl versions of both the original album AND the session tracks, and a stunning hardcover coffee-table book featuring loads of unpublished photos, reproductions of Gainsbourg's handwritten lyrics for the record, the best translations I've yet seen for the album in English, and essays in French and English, including one about the ongoing mysteries surrounding the session musicians who actually played on the album written by Finders Keepers mogul Andy Votel, who has given Vannier new critical legs via his excellent JCV releases on FK.

I'm not a big box set nerd nor am I crazy for retread "Deluxe" editions of many albums, but those of you who know me know that Gainsbourg is my man, the one guy I get obsessively completest about, and among all of the Serge boxes I have, this one is one of the best. It's put together with the love and care of a true fan, and quite simply, it looks fucking gorgeous. Anyone who has fallen prey to its magic and craves more will find much to love here; Vannier enthusiasts needing a deeper fix of his brilliance will need a diaper change after listening to the second CD, and from a style perspective, this is one of the most prime documents of the convergence of style and substance you'll see on a record store shelf. The original album is essential listening, but incredibly, this expanded package does nothing to dilute Melody Nelson's magic; in fact, it only strengthens the hex. Don't say I didn't warn you. Wear proper protection when handling this box set. [IQ]







$15.99 LP


$9.99 MP3


Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sea Lions but Were Afraid to Ask

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

Get ready to be charmed to within an inch of your life by "The Sound of Young Oxnard," as stated by a breezy and bracing debut LP from Sea Lions. This five-piece indie pop band rides the razor thin line between tweeness and rage, the influence of Northern soul, eternal wallflowers, and a smattering of Felt -- particularly in the shimmering "Untitled (Guitar)" -- colliding in an irresistible package. Frontman and songwriter Adrian Pillado built Sea Lions up from a guitar/drums duo in his own image: understated, except where it counts; melodic and sturdy, but with a winsome, homemade feel that likens to local favorites the Beets, but more polished and versatile. Start your new year off the right way with a cheery, sunny surprise, across these 15 songs of joy. [DM]







The Oram Tapes: Volume One
(Young Americans)

Modern Love subsidiary Young Americans issues the latest in what is said to be an ongoing series of releases archiving unheard material from British sound innovator and BBC Radiophonic Workshop founder Daphne Oram. When Oram passed away in 2003, she left behind what is estimated to be over 400 reels of tapes that are currently being catalogued and documented. What's astonishing is that in spite of her being such an important figure in the history of electronic music and experimental composition, outside ears had heard only a tiny portion of her works; save for a few 45s and a promotional LP of musique concréte-inspired Radiophonic pieces, there was but a drip documenting Oram's vast ocean of sound. The compilation CD, Oramics, changed that; drawn primarily from commercial music a la Raymond Scott's Manhattan Research, music for theatre/dance performance, and pieces made with her innovative Oramics machine (which created electronic sound by reading painted strips of unused film stock), a critical floodgate was opened. Young Americans reissued Oramics as a 4LP set in 2010, and they follow that format here.

The Oram Tapes: Volume One delves into darker, more overtly experimental works, with drone pieces, cut-up musique concréte tape edits, field recordings, and sound effects and music created for films like Jack Clayton's The Innocents and Kubrick's 2001. While many will be quick to draw comparison to the brilliance of Delia Derbyshire, another pioneering woman who came out of the Radiophonic Workshop, Oram's approach here is less percussive or harmonically "musical," drawing instead upon a rich textural field to create dreamlike states that mirror works by everyone from Eliane Radigue to Luc Ferrari. Anyone with a remote interest in electronic and tape-based music needs to hear this work at least once before they die; Young Americans is doing the arts world a proper service by helping to archive and document this vast treasure chest of inspiring music, and their package is absolutely stunning. There's a CD edition to follow in the spring, but vinyl heads should act fast and throw down some of that extra holiday cash they have in their wallets, because this music is not only important, it's also beautiful. Absolute highest recommendation, folks. [IQ]






Elemental - 12"x2 Box
(Modern Love)

Demdike Stare return with a stunning package of tracks that pick up where their highly acclaimed Tryptych left off; they up the epic ante here, though, with Elemental being spread out across four 12"s, each pressed on a different colored vinyl and packaged in a massive quadruple-gatefold binder which houses the sleeves of each individual record. This set contains the first two 12"s, Chrysanthe and Violetta, pressed on yellow and purple wax, respectively, with the following two records coming out in the spring and a CD set to follow which collects all of the material, but in different mixes and edits than the vinyl versions. Got all that? In other words, start saving your lunch money now because completists are going to want to cash out on the full monty.

These pieces hit with a harder percussive wallop than much of Tryptych's dronework, with greater emphasis not only on broken and battered machinery but a larger palette of acoustic instrumental textures as well, with prepared pianos, choral vocal drones, evil ghostly whispers and some of the most crunchy, clattering beats I've heard since prime Neubauten. They're taking a more composerly approach here, building tension and counterpoint with different instrumental textures and movements. The records also feature a few locked grooves that up the trance/drone factor, looping things like banjo riffs into hypnotic ouroboros strips of sound. I won't front -- I'm a huge fan of these guys and I've been waiting for this release for quite a while; I'm happy to say that they didn't let me down, and if you enjoyed Tryptych and the hazed, fractured soundworld it sculpted, you'll love this. The CD release will come in the spring after all four parts have been issued on vinyl, and the vinyl itself is strictly limited to 1000 copies; those of you who missed out on the previous records, or the Andy Stott 12"s from last year, should grab this while you have the chance. Between the new Demdike Stare and the Daphne Oram set, the Modern Love family is off to a whip-cracking good start to the year; keep your ears peeled, because I have a feeling they've only just begun. [IQ]







Lego Feet

Part 1
Part 3

Rob Brown and Sean Booth have produced the bulk of their music as either Gescom or Autechre, but their first and most sought after EP had the name Lego Feet attached to it. Twenty years after its release, Skam has finally reissued what remains one of the duo's very best records. Originally composed of two side-long tracks without a clear index, here we get the original music plus two additional pieces, all molded from industrial textures, hip-hop breakbeats, computer melodies and fragmented audio that skips and leaps in the way that tape collage usually does. Anyone disappointed by Autechre's output over the last ten years will be elated to hear this; whiffs of Incunabula and Amber are abundant, as are danceable rhythms, big bass lines, and strong melodies. That's not to say this is like a techno version of Rob and Sean's early output, but there are some seriously funky moments spread across all four songs, and anyone happy with their colder, harder sound from the 2000s will be pleased to hear flashes of their future abstraction in these productions too. Booth and Brown make excellent use of sudden edits and dizzying cuts, and at times they splice themselves closer to the algorithm than to the dancefloor -- either way, it's exciting to finally hear where and how Autechre got started. Literally everything that made Ae among the most loved of the '90s-era IDM groups is present, from the soulful synth lines to the frazzled rhythms and the hypnotic loops. There's a reason fans have shelled out close to $300 for a copy of the original vinyl. This is undeniably essential music, whether you're an Autechre fanboy like me or not. [LS]







On Holiday with Earle Mankey

You may know this mid-'70s L.A. power-pop group from their lone 1976 Mercury LP, or from some cool demos that Rev-Ola unearthed a few years back. But this new limited 7" from Burger is a woozy doozy of a record that might be the coolest thing the band ever recorded; side A, "Bigger Than Life," is a track written by the group's producer Earle Mankey (original guitarist for Sparks) and recorded as a demo in '77 -- an epic, swirling pop song that truly lives up to its title. The B-side, "Beautiful Island," is an Eno-inspired gem penned by the Quick's lead vocalist Danny Wilde, and back-to-back these tracks make for the best single I've heard in a long while. Get it! [JM]







$29.99 CD


The Ann Steel Album
(Half Machine)

I bought my first copy of this album as an expensive Italian CD import back in 2006 while working at a shop that specialized in avant garde/experimental music, prog rock, and free jazz releases, and it's a very special record to me. Italian composer Roberto Cacciapaglia is a pianist who studied electronic music and musical computer applications in his early years, yet whose early works were focused more on Terry Riley-inspired Kosmiche sounds recorded in the early 1970s during Krautrock and prog's heyday. Cacciapaglia's Sonanze (also recently reissued on LP -- we carry it, check it out, kids!) was the first of his albums that I'd heard from my prog-obsessed bosses at that shop, with its spiraling synth textures, thick layers of voice and jaw harp creating trance-inducing percussive tones. I loved it. Then we got this CD and I was as confused as I was delighted; in 1979, Cacciapaglia wrote and produced an album of electronic artpop for aspiring American model Ann Steel, and released the LP under Ann's name on the Durium label in Italy, France, and other European territories (my original vinyl copy is from the Netherlands). The record is, quite simply, astonishing; its songs are instantly catchy and hummable, its rhythms very upbeat and dancefloor friendly, and its lyrics overflow with sly, winking nods to everyone from Andy Warhol and Sigmund Freud to Marshall McLuhan and the Hilton hotel empire. Steel's voice combines an untrained girl-next-door charm with a stunning range of unorthodox pop emotion; she warbles, chirps and coos in an odd midrange that really sounds quite unlike anyone else I've heard, evoking a housewife with dreams of operatic grandeur, singing to herself alone as she cleans her home, dreaming of the life she either left behind or will one day finally have. The music is very much in line with some of the Japanese and French waves of "technopop" coming out around this time, drawing parallels to everything from Yellow Magic Orchestra to Lio and Telex.

What I love so much about this album, though, is the way it really couldn't have been recorded during any other era; it was made during a rare time in modern culture where the beginnings of portable, digital innovations and personal computer technologies in everyday household life created a sense of simultaneous confusion and confidence in citizens, where all of the promises but none of the detachment and terror were in view. The songs are filled with ad sloganeering, psychological morsels from Jung and Freud, and the shiniest plastic optimism covering a dark, biting wit. Half Machine Records out of the UK have done a stunning job with this reissue, slightly redesigning the original sleeve, with its winking Ikea typography keeping the spirit of the album's messages alive in present contexts just as much as our current socially networked and brand name-obsessed wired lives keep us in tune to the record's central themes. The reissue also includes the two songs from her only other release, a 7" released shortly after -- these two non-album tracks being of equal delight. This is a desert-island record for me, no question about it, and I'm thrilled to see it available to an audience that needs to hear it, regardless of whether or not they'll get the message. I know that 2012 just started, but I kid you not, this is one of the year's most important reissues, the definition of "highest recommendation." For those of you who don't do vinyl, we also have the pricey CD import. It's worth every penny. [IQ]








$1.99 MP3


Time Baby II
(Captured Tracks)

(Captured Tracks)

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

Brooklyn's Captured Tracks ushers in the New Year with something old and something new. For the something old, we've a limited edition reissue of Medicine's "Time Baby II" on 7". Ironically enough, this is one of their most "popular" songs (see The Crow), but never available on wax. Check out their version of noisy pop in the early shoegaze tradition of seminal bands like Ride and My Bloody Valentine and see why Medicine were one of the handful of American bands signed to the UK's Creation Records.

As for what's new, we've got another new song from Brooklyn's Dive (i.e. Cole Smith of Beach Fossils). It's bright, winding guitar-pop at its finest, ready to turn your winter blues into feelings of spring and summer. This is one "buzz" band we can get on board with and we're excited to hear their upcoming full-length later this year.






$9.99 MP3


Black Foliage: Animation Music, Vol. 1 - Expanded, Remastered

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

While there's a long, long awaited new full-length reportedly in the works from the Olivia Tremor Control, the group's now-classic second album, Black Foliage: Animation Music, Vol. 1, is finally back in print on CD as an expanded remastered version. An incredible mix of lo-fi surrealism, Beatles/Beach Boys-inspired psychedelia, tape manipulations, and free jazz- and electronic-influenced experimentations, this is one of the best records to come out of the Elephant 6 camp -- yes, right up there with Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. Includes bonus disc featuring an hour of unreleased music, rarities, b-sides and live recordings.





On Sale


Claire Denis Film Scores

"Le Rallye"
"Coré on Stairs, Love Theme"
"Petites Chiennes"

A stellar 5CD collection of Tindersticks' soundtrack works on sale! Since the mid-'90s, Tindersticks have been scoring the wonderful films of French director Claire Denis, and this set brings it all together in one place, ranging from Nenette et Boni (1996) to the recently acclaimed White Material (2009), it also includes 35 Shots of Rum (2008), Trouble Every Day (2001) and two solo soundtracks: Stuart Staples' score for The Intruder (2004) and Dickon Hinchliffe's music for the sensual Vendredi Soir (2002). Tindersticks pretty much set the stage for all the swooning orchestrated indie pop that has proliferated over the last decade, and they are still one of the very best. As such, their music is perfect for film, rich with mood and emotion, and this is great stuff.

  All of this week's new arrivals.

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[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[JM] Josh Madell
[DM] Doug Mosurock
[LS] Lucas Schleicher

- all of us at Other Music

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