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   July 13, 2012  
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Other Music is thrilled to again be working with our friends at the Fort Greene Park Conservancy, presenting a couple of free shows this summer in our favorite (and the first) Brooklyn park. We'd like to thank all of you who came out this past Tuesday to see Lee Fields & the Expressions, Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang, and DJ Akalepse. It was a truly great night of music and you can join us once again on the Myrtle Lawn of Fort Greene Park on Tuesday, July 24, for our next show featuring Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, and OM's own DJ Daniel Givens.

TUESDAY, JULY 24 - 6-9 P.M.
THE MYRTLE LAWN OF FORT GREENE PARK (enter Myrtle and N. Portland), Brooklyn

Dirty Projectors
Echo Lake
Dark Day LP
Twin Shadow
Donnie & Joe Emerson
Bruno Spoerri & Betha Sarasin LP
Cupp Cave
Ramp 50 (Various)
Loren Nerell LP
The Clean LP
Helm LP
Scott Walker (The Drift 2LP Reissue)
Motion Sickness of Time Travel (Now on CD)

July's Customer of the Month

All of this week's new arrivals.
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Os Mutantes
We are thrilled to announce a major new hub in Brooklyn's music scene with the opening of The Well, a massive yet truly refined new space in Bushwick at 272 Meserole Street (two blocks off the Montrose stop on the L train), featuring a 4000 square foot bar with 60 taps and 300 beers, full liquor bar and top-shelf pub food, and -- get this -- an 11,000 square foot private outdoor space that will feature public activities, community events and sports in addition to amazing music performances.

There are just a few shows announced so far, and we have two pairs of tickets to give away for the opening performance tomorrow night, Saturday July 14, from none other than Cam'ron, with special guests Flatbush Zombies, Asaad, and Reese. You can get more info and purchase advance tickets here, and enter to win tickets by emailing giveaway@othermusic.com.

Two weeks later, The Well will host one of Other Music's all-time favorites, Brazilian Tropicalia forebears Os Mutantes, on July 28. Tickets for that show are also on sale now here, and if that was not enough, the band will be performing an intimate acoustic in-store right here at Other on Monday July 30. More details on the way, so stay tuned and check out The Well online at thewellbrooklyn.com for much more excitement to come!

THE WELL: 260 Meserole St. Brooklyn, NY

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With a new Best Coast album under her belt, this Tuesday, July 17, Bethany Cosentino and her band return to NYC to perform at Terminal 5, along with Those Darlins and Other Music faves DIIV. This is most likely going to be a sell-out, so email us right away at tickets@othermusic.com for your chance to win a pair of tickets to this great triple bill.

TERMINAL 5: 610 W. 56 St. NYC
JUL Sun 15 Mon 16 Tues 17 Wed 18 Thurs 19 Fri 20 Sat 21

Mississippi singer-songwriter and Panda Bear favorite Dent May is coming to town next Friday, July 20, performing at the Mercury Lounge in support of his new album, Do Things, on Paw-Tracks/Pawrecks. His latest set is as whimsical and charming as ever, though here he seems to be taking a cue or two from his Dent Sweat dance project by incorporating more synths and beats. We'll see if he breaks out his ukulele, but it's sure to be a great show and you can enter to win a pair of tickets by emailing: contest@othermusic.com.

MERCURY LOUNGE: 217 E. Houston St. NYC


Chelsea's Eyebeam Art + Technology Center kicks off the summer with an artful selection of vinyl and CD selections curated by Other Music and displayed in the Bookstore Gallery. This project runs in tandem with Eyebeam artist-in-residence Brian House's "Quotidian Record" installation (on display July 12-August 12), showcasing a limited edition LP that features a continuous year of his personal location-tracking data which compresses 365 days to 365 rotations, while mapping habitual places to harmonic relationships. House's recent works invite us to follow data collections from physical realms to digital forms and back again. Stop by Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m., where you can also view "Surface Tension: The Future of Water Exhibition" and Heather Dewey-Hagborg's "Stranger Visions."








$21.99 LP+MP3


$9.99 MP3


Swing Lo Magellan

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Here we have it, an indie music summer blockbuster by way of Dirty Projectors' Swing Lo Magellan (with more hit sequels to come from the likes of Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, etc.); let's just say right up front that the bar has been raised high with this one. While Dave Longstreth and his revolving-door collective spent a better part of the 2000s issuing challenging yet overall enjoyable experimental pop records, 2009's Bitte Orca was their big, big breakthrough; the band's profile almost immediately skyrocketed, earning them huge critical acclaim and a highly devoted following that included David Byrne and Bjork, both collaborating with the group soon after (as well as love from the Roots, and a cover of "Stillness Is the Move" from Solange Knowles). In many ways then, and perhaps unfairly, Swing Lo Magellan comes weighted with the expectations of the dreaded sophomore follow-up, even as it is the group's sixth full-length. Add to this, Longstreth's past track record; each Dirty Projectors release is as unpredictable as the one that came before it, and most often loaded with head-scratching concepts and ideas -- e.g. a "glitch opera" with a sprawling theme taking on the degradation of the natural environment and a protagonist named Don Henley (The Getty Address) or an inspired re-imagining of Black Flag's Damaged, shaped from a distant memory of hearing the LP some 15 years before (Rise Above).

Longstreth has been quoted in the press describing Swing Lo Magellan as "an album of songs, an album of songwriting," which considering the source, proves to be an apt predictor of where he and the band have headed. Rather than shaking off the R&B pop embrace of Bitte Orca and flittering back into previously more obtuse, avant-chamber rock territory, Dirty Projectors do quite the opposite. While there are still plenty of off-kilter rhythms, weird strings, dense vocal harmonies, and spindly guitars to be found, it's all been distilled into its purest form, as if meant to be played in heavy rotation on some imaginary top 40 station sandwiched between Lil' Wayne, Philip Glass, the Beatles and King Sunny Ade, with listeners sitting glued to their radios. Album opener "Offspring Are Blank" unexpectedly detours from its sparse hip-hop beat and Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle's lush, soulful harmonies (Angel Deradoorian is absent from this record) into a bombastic stadium-rock explosion of guitars and drums -- a '70s-era Queen reference wouldn't be too far off given Longstreth's elastic vocal acrobatics (which are, however, a lot more Byrne than Mercury) and the thick layers of multi-tracked backing vocals. Still, Swing Lo Magellan proves to be less ornate than past Projectors albums, from the haunting pop of "Gun Has No Trigger," which relies on little more than bass, a simple rhythm, the girls' coos and one of Longstreth's most memorable lead melodies to date, to the even sparser, bucolic title track that's reminiscent of McCartney.

As Longstreth implied, the songs really do take precedence on Swing Lo Magellan, and they are dotted with little candid moments throughout in which the group seems to embrace their imperfections -- at one point, Coffman is caught on mic teasing Longstreth with "Ahh, that doesn't make any sense," following an indecipherable lyric. Yet with this relaxed approach, the band's strange ticks and byzantine arrangements complement the songs more effortlessly than ever, from the joyous stomp of "Unto Caesar," complete with swaying strings and raucous horn stabs, to the Coffman-sung "The Socialites" in which odd electronics bend and warp around skittering beats and jittery plucks of guitar. With the gorgeous, '50s-inspired ballad "Irresponsible Tune" that closes out the set, the oft-cryptic Longstreth seems to lay all his (and the band's) cards on the table, singing, "With our songs we are outlaws / with our songs we're alone / But without our songs we're lost / our life is pointless, harsh and long." It's not only one of Dirty Projectors' most concise moments on tape, it also happens to be their most human. [GH]







$9.99 MP3


Wild Peace

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Echo Lake's debut LP is yet another fine offering from Slumberland, and a nice fit on the label's dream-pop/shoegaze roster. The South London band formed as a duo in late 2010 and have set out to pursue the sounds of their idols: My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Cocteau Twins, and the like. Last year's Young Silence EP gained Echo Lake quite a bit of attention from both sides of the Atlantic, and their full-length follow-up, Wild Peace, is a gorgeous album, and its slicker more mature approach adds the psychedelia-pop of Galaxie 500 to the mix of influences. Singer Linda Jarvis' voice is layered and glazed in reverb, and although the lyrics are rather unintelligible, her melodies create an ethereal landscape, gliding on top of electric guitar rhythms, droning synths, and muffled drums. "Even the Blind" is the highlight on this record, an upbeat electro-pop tune, with shimmering hints of New Order. The sleepy instrumental "Monday 5AM" breaks up the album without disrupting the pace, and is followed by "Young Silence" and "In Dreams" -- cleaned-up versions of two tracks on the EP. Occasionally, there are touches of Spector-esque wall of sound pop, especially prominent on "Last Song of the Year." The album wraps up with the beachy seven-minute long "Just Kids" and epically ends on a Galaxie 500-style guitar/tambourine melodic jam. No doubt, this record affirms the build up for this emerging young band, and is one of the best debut albums this year. [ACo]







Hikari to Nazukeyo - Let's Name the Light

Japanese guitarist Keiji Haino, an explorer of the outer limits of rock music's darkest reaches for over 30 years, revives his most infamous group, Fushitsusha, for what is arguably their most direct, streamlined album ever. Long known for a pummeling brew of psychedelic atmospheres, wild improvisatory structures, and some of the most damaged riffing and vocalizations ever put to tape on what could arguably be called "rock music," with Hikari to Nazukeyo (translation: Let's Name the Light), they return with a vengeance. After a near ten-year hiatus, the group adds new influences and sonic ingredients into an album of razor sharp, jagged-edged no-wave trauma that wallops with total brute force, yet also displays a limber spontaneity amidst the aggression. It's astonishing to realize at the record's start that Haino is now 60 years old; from the outset, he seethes with a venom that few vocalists a fraction of his age possess. The band's previous flights of dense sonic excess, though, are trimmed away, leaving only a brutal skeleton of thick, knotted bass lines, bursts of mangled guitar, and wild yet controlled drumming. I knew something special was in the air from the get-go upon seeing the album's sleeve; where the group's previous records were almost always swathed in black-on-black designs, here the album is bathed in a bleached splatter of blue and gray, and that light definitely shows through in the songs' arrangements. The one band I'm most reminded of throughout, if one can draw any comparisons, is Arto Lindsay's DNA, particularly the group's latter-day lineup with bassist Tim Wright. At a trim 35 minutes, it's also possibly Fushitsusha's shortest, most concise record, and that no-bullshit approach works wonders. When the band do loosen up and explore a bit, the results are staggering, as they just as quickly take a hairpin turn into a tight pocket of ragged glory. I'll be honest, I'm not even an avid fan -- Haino was always an artist whom I respected more than I enjoyed, if that makes any sense -- yet this album has truly touched me. Those who enjoy the more tortured, brutal strains of rock, metal, and no wave should hear this post-haste, it's easily one of the best records I've heard all year, and definitely stands as a high-water mark in Haino's seemingly never-ending discography. [IQ]






Exterminating Angel
(Dark Entries)

Hands down one of the strongest US minimal synth records of the early-1980s and a lost classic of the now-infamous downtown NYC scene, Robin Crutchfield's first full-length under his Dark Day moniker finally gets the proper reissue treatment from Dark Entries. Originally released on the downtown no wave label Lust/Unlust in 1980, Exterminating Angel finds Crutchfield shedding the jagged immediacy of his work as an original member of DNA for a creeping subtly and near-psychedelic wooziness that picks up right where his brilliant "Hands in the Dark" single from 1979 left off. Full of Crutchfield's hypnotic synth work and yawing, discordant guitars courtesy of Del-Byzanteens guitarist (and Glenn Branca collaborator) Phil Kline, there's an understated tension here that's strengthened by the added acoustic instrumentation (toy piano, live drums, cat's meow) and Crutchfield's distant, echoing vocal delivery. Anchored by an artful experimentalism and a strong sense of structure and melody, it's a dark, winding trip down the rabbit's hole into the surreal that grows all the more special with repeated listens. Exterminating Angel was one of the first minimal synth records I purchased over a decade ago, and its strange, alien beauty drew me deep into the synth underworld of the 1980s; yet, even after all my digging since, Dark Day still holds up as one of the most curiously original bands of the decade. A must hear for fans of the genre, downtown aficionados, and anyone who picked up Dark Entries' 2010 reissue of Crutchfield's equally fantastic second LP Window. Top weirdo minimal synth here, folks! [CPa]







$15.99 LP+MP3


$9.99 MP3



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Dominican born, Florida raised, and forged in Brooklyn, George Lewis Jr. a/k/a Twin Shadow returns with Confess, the quite brilliant follow up to his critically acclaimed 2010 breakout Forget. Unlike that debut, which was produced and mixed by Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear, production duties are helmed by Lewis himself here, giving the new record a more intense intimacy as well as a sometimes disquieting feeling that Lewis is exorcizing -- or perhaps reveling in -- his personal demons, inhabiting dark characters and singing with the passion and intensity of a lonely man in an empty room. And yet it's far from a solo effort, and in fact the Twin Shadow band really comes into their own here, with muscular rhythms, melodic bass, and soaring melodies (and even a few co-writing credits) from keyboardist Wynne Bennett. More personal and varied than his debut, this is a definitely a summer traveling record; you could blast this in a pitch tent in the cool desert night or under the bleachers whilst cheerleaders bounce like lemmings above your teenage angst. The '80s synth-pop allusions are thick (as much Prince and Bowie as Simple Minds), yet rarely overdone, and perfect for wearing headphones in your motorcycle helmet, zooming dangerously down the Autobahn. Opening with a wash of heavy synth and a sampled chorus that sounds as if it came from the soundtrack for The Never Ending Story Part 12, the album brings many timeless touches from the past without feeling dated or forced; yes, that bass line does recall a long lost Japan B-side from 1979, but you should cry out in joy that it has been duly dusted off and replenished into something even more classic. Lewis has made a strong power move here, refining his stage persona into that of a tortured, torrid pop idol pin-up, and somewhat surprisingly, he pulls it off, and then some. [MF]







$9.99 MP3


Dreamin' Wild
(Light in the Attic)

"Good Time"

It's hard to imagine a more endearing rock & roll tale; two winsome young brothers spend endless hours writing pop hits on their family's sprawling farm in rural Washington. Their old man, noting their enthusiasm for all things music, builds 'em a fully-functioning home studio, stocks it with all the gear they can dream of, and even constructs their own venue (with snack bar!) in an unused field. The siblings diligently record and self-release an entire album, Dreamin' Wild (Enterprise & Co., 1979), and few seem to notice or care, least of all their classmates. Maybe Dreamin' Wild sounded a little too dated; it was '79, after all, and rather than adapt to the increasing popularity of hard rock, new wave or disco, brothers Donnie and Joe Emerson cobbled together influences that were, by decade's end, falling off the radar: AM-dialed pop, light-as-a-feather soul, hazy Stax-like rock/funk strut. Indeed, the Emersons may have been subconsciously -- perhaps naively -- nostalgic for sounds that dominated teen culture some five to six years prior to the recording of their opus.

And for the better. As Light in the Attic Records' reissue of this LP illustrates, the Emersons' naïveté belied a genuine knack for songwriting and craft, for solid harmonies, for fairly inventive dynamics and production techniques in the face of homespun limitations. As a result, they made a charming and timeless album. In a song like "Good Time," you hear an exemplary mix of Donnie and Joe's aw-shucks earnestness and self-made fuzz -- which sounds, on this track in particular, very similar to Midwestern self-recorded contemporaries the Shoes. It's hard to pick one song, since the entire record is a humdinger, but with tunes like "Baby" (Emitt Rhodes/Marvin Gaye amalgam) and "Give Me a Chance" (funk strut peppered with overloaded keys effects), Dreamin' Wild is a no-brainer. The folks at Light in the Attic spared no expense in the quality here -- they even filmed a short documentary teaser about the Bros. Emerson -- so if you're even remotely interested in unheralded pop/kitchen-sink gems, you'd be remiss to pass this one up. [EC]







AX+BY+CZ+D=0 (a/k/a Kunst Am Computer)

Finders Keepers offshoot label Dead-Cert follow up their lovely reissue of Suzanne Ciani's recorded debut with another souvenir of private-press art gallery sonic exploration, this time with a collaboration between sound sculptress Betha Sarasin and Swiss composer Bruno Spoerri originally recorded in 1982. Spoerri has a wildly eclectic discography that veers between jazz, experimental electronics, advertising music for corporate jingles, and even collaborations with members of German pioneers Can; on Kunst Am Computer, Spoerri is seemingly juggling them all together, blending staccato bursts of synthesizer tones with the slow clang and drone of Sarasin's metal sculptures, vocoder lullabies, and a coating of noir jazz overtop. Side A of the record at times recalls the heady drone of Eliane Radigue shrunk down to miniaturized form, as the sculptures rumble in the distance via electromagnetically charged oscillations underneath eerie organ drones and computer malfunctions. Side B is my personal favorite, though, as Spoerri conjures a noir jazz nightmare in the recording field, playing a mournful yet passionate horn in the cavernous gallery as electronic tones reminiscent of Kraftwerk's pocket calculators hypothesize in the distance, making way to the clatter of tribal percussion and another horn solo by Spoerri, this time echoing the early work of the Art Ensemble of Chicago during their exploration of "small instruments" and a drummerless lineup. The album reveals a lovely, heretofore unheard side of Spoerri's work, his offbeat nature toned down in favor of a slowly evolving exploratory headspace that gives the album a meditative quality unlike any of his previously released work. Limited to 700 copies worldwide, this is a lovely piece of avant electronic jazz, heavy on mind-altering psychedelic tones and most highly recommended. [IQ]







Retina Waves

The newest addition to the RAMP Recordings roster is Belgian producer Francois Boulanger, who records under the Ssaliva and Cupp Cave aliases. He's been releasing cassettes, 12"s and albums for a number of years on various labels including Leaving, and with this latest mini-album, Retina Waves, it feels like he's finally starting to receive some wider attention. Across his projects he uses laptops, samplers and four-track machines, and while Cupp Cave lives primarily through his laptop, it still feels organic. Processed, slowed and smeared samples, dirty beats and gravely synths converge to create a loopy sonic tapestry that falls between instrumental hip-hop/IDM, like a brighter Clams Casino, and post-techno minimalism in the vein of Actress, Zomby, or Andy Stott -- again a brighter version -- yet he also has a hazy nostalgia quality reminiscent of the Caretaker. A favorite piece for me is "Kid's a Loner," where wavering synths rise and fall, bass thumps stutter, and a single snap keeps the time, yet it all feels like it could spin into the cosmos or disintegrate into dust. Nine tracks at thirty minutes ensures that the journey is short, tight and pretty sweet, and for those that can't get enough of the techno-not-techno, syrupy beats and spacey atmosphere of any of the above mentioned, Retina Waves is definitely worth checking out. [DG]







Continuing in Britain's long tradition of small labels with big tunes, RAMP Recordings (Records Are My Pillow) has been pushing things forward for the last six years, and to celebrate their 50th release, they've compiled a great selection from the top notch underground electronic artists on their international roster. Being one the first labels to showcase the "wonky" sub-genre and the bass/grime/funky fusion that has now become commonplace, the track listing is spot-on, and the comp is sequenced nicely, keeping the pace steady and moving throughout. Beginning with Zomby, there are selections from SBTRKT, FaltyDL, Maxmillion Dunbar, Dro Carey, Cupp Cave and others, with a handful of remixes from Jamie xx, 2562, and Ras G. Many of the tracks come from previously vinyl-only 12"s and 10"s, or haven't appeared on CD in an unmixed form before. It's the sound of today's dance floor: lots of low-end rumbles and bass swells, melodic synths, bouncing and thumping drums, micro-tone percussion, vocal snippets and cut-ups. RAMP is similar in overall style to labels like Hot Flush, Rinse, Numbers, Hessle Audio, or Night Slugs, and this is recommended for those that like their electronica up-tempo, bleepy, soulful, and with a lot of bass. [DG]







Point of Arrival
(Forced Nostalgia)

This album, in all honesty, has blown me away. Loren Nerell was a sound designer for Oberheim Electronics who studied anthropology and ethnomusicology, specifically gamelan music from Bali and Java; he recorded this album in 1986 utilizing an array of gamelan, metal percussion, and a heavy arsenal of analog synthesizers, releasing it on cassette in tiny numbers. Forced Nostalgia comes to the rescue once again and offers it up on the vinyl it has long deserved. Point of Arrival, quite simply and from the get-go, propels with an energy and hypnosis that is breathtaking. It at times recalls the likes of UK industrial/post-punk pioneers 23 Skidoo (whose Urban Gamelan album explored similar collusions), Coil circa Love's Secret Domain, and Craig Leon's classic Nommos LP; the album's rhythmic core is unshakable, yet it stretches out into areas of quiet tone-drift that lull the listener into points of calm that foreshadow Nerell's future work as a new age synthesist. Vocal chants build up as the percussion clatters in lockstep loops, the synths dancing in interlocking circles around them, while the second side's epic "Waves of Time" adds pulsating arpeggios akin to classic Tangerine Dream. This is without question Forced Nostalgia's best archival release to date, and that's really saying something considering how much I love their previous reissues of the Pump and Pelican Daughters albums. If anything I've said here strikes a chord for you, I urge you to grab this ASAP, as it's limited to a mere 500 copies, and trust me... you'll be kicking yourself if you miss it. This one has effortlessly slotted itself high on my list of 2012's best reissues and archival releases. [IQ]







(Five Four-O)

The almighty Clean were founding fathers of New Zealand's Dunedin sound as well as key players in the inception and success of the iconic Flying Nun label in the early 1980s. Their debut single, "Tally Ho," made the local top 20 charts, providing the label with some cash flow necessary to introduce Kiwi underground music to fans across the Northern Hemisphere, and the rest is history. The Clean broke up and reunited myriad times over the years, but the band's early discography consists of a few EPs and singles, as well as two posthumous Odditties cassettes. Long out of print, the first installment of Odditties is now accessible in a well-deserved format of a double-LP, thanks to Austin's Five Four-O label. It's a collection of obscurities, basement demos, drony alternate takes, and straight-up oddball tracks recorded between 1980 and 1982. The fuzzy lo-fi quality of these cuts gives the collection a Syd Barrett-meets-Dan Treacy twist, if the two were best buds dawdling around a 4-track. This reissue is a brilliant addition to any Clean fan's library, and although it might not be the best introduction to the band, fans of fuzz-pop in the style of White Fence or Times New Viking ought to give Odditties a listen. [ACo]







Impossible Symmetry

Luke Younger, formerly of avant-drone outfit Birds of Delay, returns with a new album under his Helm alias, and it is arguably his best, most fully realized offering yet. Impossible Symmetry delivers five pieces of stunning, focused physical textures that ably combine lush low-end drones, thumping rhythmic anchors, and whirring electronics, rich in detail and design. While his Birds of Delay bandmate Steven Warwick's Heatsick project explores the rituals of dancefloor hypnotism via house and disco repetition, Younger's music as Helm moves more into the sorts of black magick environmental energy mastered by the likes of Coil circa Black Light District and Musick to Play in the Dark. There is rhythm here, but it is all implied in the music's structure rather than stated in its heartbeat, which pulsates slowly and assuredly; instead, Younger opts for processed acoustic strings, the ominous symphonies of pummeled orchestras, and the terror of manipulated field recordings. The whole thing sounds like a black mass led by Doctor Who, all archaic science and futurist terror. It is most certainly not for everyone, but is absolutely stunning and soothing listening for fans of the more haunted corners of the avant garde, not to mention those who find pleasure in negative spaces and reading between the lines. Impossible Symmetry is striking in that it is entirely without compromise, yet still displays a heart of warm blackness after you have crawled underneath its thick, gelatinous density. Play this record as loudly as possible, first on headphones and then on the best stereo you can find. This is magic of the darkest variety, and I cannot recommend it more highly. [IQ]






The Drift

With a new album slated for release later this year from one of music's most famously confounding and reclusive artists, 4AD has reissued a double LP pressing of Scott Walker's now classic The Drift. Here's what we wrote back in 2006 upon its release:

The arc of Scott Walker's career has followed the reverse path that I consider typical as an artist continues to grow and create through the years, at first crafting lovely, accessible pop music and gradually moving farther and farther afield of the mainstream. Walker first came to prominence in the early-'60s with several massive radio hits with his group the Walker Brothers, including the timeless "No Regrets;" but by the end of the decade he had tired of the pre-packaged youth market the group was mining and turned to a solo career that has spanned nearly 40 years. His subsequent solo records, beginning with four thrilling self-titled albums in quick succession in the late-'60s (Scott, Scott 2, Scott 3 and Scott 4), were surely anomalies in the hippie era, with lush orchestrations backing Walker's dramatic croon more redolent of past generations of pop stars like Sinatra or Jacques Brel, from whom Walker clearly took a cue on his intense and stark lyric imagery of the seamy underbelly of society, sung albeit in an embraceable, theatric baritone.

These early solo efforts were huge hits in England, although they only reached cult status here in the States, and throughout the '70s and '80s he continued to record, with often wonderful, but mixed results, until eventually slipping off the radar completely. After more than 10 years of silence, Walker returned with a bang (or a low rumble perhaps) with the bold and nearly revolutionary 1995 album Tilt. Walker crooned desperate tales over largely ambient electronic soundscapes that bubbled ominously, perfectly complimenting his songwriting and creating a singular sound that was received with open arms by the avant-garde music community, while still clearly relating to his earlier, less "challenging" work.

Well, you thought that was a difficult listen? Eleven years later, Scott Walker has again dropped an atom bomb on us with The Drift, a stunning new epic that pushes him further out on the ledge of both musical adventure and lyrical despair, with a brilliant, theatrical, intense and comically pretentious album that is sure to be one of the most brutal and rewarding listens we will have this year. The production is reminiscent of a month spent in the Alaskan tundra, cold wind and shades of white nearly blinding, alternating between wide empty spaces and pounding claustrophobia. Swirls of electronics, vibrating strings, pounding percussion…the music surges and then disappears with a seeming randomness that only slowly reveals its logic. Add the chilling sound effects, weird whispers, gurgling screams, a prolonged and disturbing percussive segment that sounds frighteningly like fists on flesh, and you have a chilling background to Walker's disarmingly warm, eloquent and musical singing.

And sing he does, as THAT VOICE is always the center of any Walker production. As his accompaniment becomes colder and colder, the warmth and depth of Walker's singing is even more arresting, and it is hard to ignore the lyrical content in these harsh climes. Walker is inspired by such earthly horrors as Mussolini's brutal public execution, and Clara Petacci's decision to die alongside him. Or a desperate swallow stuck in the attic smashing against the wall in vain hopes of freedom. Or Elvis Presley, deep in the throes of drug addiction and despair, speaking to his stillborn twin Jesse. And yet, miraculously, Walker fills these harsh tales with humanity and life. This record is not for everyone, and surely not for every time, but it is a remarkable and pure artistic statement that is full of beauty and pain on a level few of us would ever allow ourselves to explore, and coming as it does from such a storied and accomplished songwriter, with little to prove, it is all the more fascinating. It is possible to draw a line connecting all Walker's work, from "No Regrets" to "Clara", and the constancies may in some ways outweigh the innovations, but as this true artist continues to challenge himself, and the listener, with his sonic and lyrical explorations, despite the pain that The Drift wallows in it is hard not to be inspired by the joy of the creative process. [JM]






Motion Sickness of Time Travel
(Spectrum Spools)

Rachel Evans' Motion Sickness of Time Travel project has been one of the best examples in recent memory of a female sound artist utilizing the capabilities of the drone as a springboard for deep textural, harmonic, and emotional resonances. Her last solo album, 2011's Luminaries & Synastry, was a personal favorite, crafting a soundworld of thick, foggy dream-pop in the eye of a storm of drones and tape hiss, her voice echoing wordlessly up from the center of a slow-moving whirlpool. On this new eponymous set on Spectrum Spools, she sheds the homegrown DIY charm of her numerous past cassettes, split LPs, and self-released CD-R dispatches in favor of a more clean sound environment. While many DIY performers tend to lose their magic once their music is stripped of the safety of its ramshackle armor, Evans instead shines, displaying the obvious chops and craft to prove that she indeed knows what she is after and how to reach it. Comprised of four sidelong tracks, each clocking in at twenty minutes and change, this music dispels the ominous epic clouds of such a running time in order to give you music that organically shifts and mutates as the music progresses, finding core sonic anchors but never clinging to them for safety. The synthesized textures quaver, pulse, and hum with rich, colorful texture, but retain a harmonic quality that is quite beautiful as well. It also doesn't hurt that her voice has never sounded better, at times crying out from a distance amongst the waveforms, but at one point even coming to the foreground for actual discernible lyricism. It'd be lazy to lump this is with the current crop of noise kids discovering new age synth music, as this is not music to be relegated to the background; it is meant to be paid attention to fully, and its symphonic nature at times recalls the majesty of prime Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, and Suzanne Ciani's classic Seven Waves album. Fans of Grouper and Julia Holter's recent work will also find much to love here, and I can honestly say that this ranks up there with Holter's Tragedy and Grouper's A I A albums in terms of necessity. This is a surprisingly wide-reaching set of music, and is easily one of the best releases on Spectrum Spools yet. This is not just music to listen to, it is music in which you can fully inhabit. This absolutely stunning work stands as one of the best releases of the year in the outer limits, but with a surprising amount of accessibility to those who don't normally get very experimental. [IQ]

How long have you shopped at Other Music?
Since I was seventeen years old, so I would say since 2007. Although I frequent the shop more often after I moved back to NY from the Northwest in 2009. I remember the first CD I ever brought was a used copy of Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space) by Digable Planets, asking myself why would someone ever give away such a gem? Then I discovered the power of recycling in the Buy-Sell-Trade world of CDs.

Favorite bands/genres:
La Lupe, Dance/Electronic, Afro-Latin, R&B + Soul, Hieroglyphic Being, Drexciya, Erykah Badu, Bjork, Arthur Russell, TheeSatisfaction, Sade, Tricky, Fiona Apple, Outkast mostly anything from Mathematics Recording, HOUSE: NY house, Chicago house, Acid house!!!!!! To name a few.

Favorite sections at Other Music:
Used International Section, Used Electronic Section, New Electronic Section, Africa + Afro Latino Section, Soul Section, Used Hip-Hop Section

Top 3 albums/bands you were turned onto at Other Music:
Hieroglyphic Being's So Much Noise 2 Be Heard, Bangs & Works: A Chicago Footwork Compilation (Volumes 1 & 2), BAZZERK: African Digital Dance

Your go-to people in the shop:
Daniel, Scott and Mikey

Why record stores over online shopping?
I really like the physical aspect in experiencing music: holding CDs, looking through the booklet, the cover art etc., as well as the community that is formed from having dialogue about music with other music heads, but in person, though not in a virtual space. I prefer more hands-on experiences than just clicking a screen; although I still do that, cuz I love music so much. It's just cool when you are going through shelves of music and start talking to someone about producers, record labels, etc. It's more real that way, bottom line.

I'm DJing the biggest, awesome-est music fest of the century. I have to be sure to drop "____________" in my DJ set:

Actress "Jardin"
Hieroglyphic Being "Vibrations & Harmonies"
Drexciya "Andreaen Sand Dunes"
Zomby "Natalia's Song"
Goldie "Sensual"
Leo Zero "Energy"
Fatima "Cinnamon"
Hype Williams "Warlord"
Nguzunguzu "The Boy Is Mine (Remix)"
Sonora & Mundaca "Love You Down"
Courtney Jackson "Everybody (Amp Fiddler Remix)"
Scuba "In 2"
Siinai "Anthem (Physical Therapy 3-Step)"

This is more of a chillwave, early-Sunday-afternoon-at-the-beach kinda vibe, DJ set. I also wanted to add that the goal is always to find the soul with music, in electronica, Afro-Latin, Afro-beat, R&B… it's about understanding those gut emotions, experiencing them!

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[EC] Eric Cecil
[ACo] Anastasia Cohen
[MF] Michael Fellows
[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[JM] Josh Madell
[CPa] Chris Pappas

- all of us at Other Music

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