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   July 19, 2012  
JUL Sun 22 Mon 23 Tues 24 Wed 25 Thurs 26 Fri 27 Sat 28

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. The first concert a few week's back with Lee Fields & the Expressions, Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang, and DJ Akalepse was an incredible night of music, and this coming Tuesday is sure to be just as great, as we will be welcoming Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, and OM's own DJ Daniel Givens! Bring the whole family and picnic in the grass, or dance all night (or both) -- either way, we hope you join us on the Myrtle Lawn of Fort Greene Park!

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

Shintaro Sakamoto
The Very Best
Dennis Bovell
Dog Eat Dog
John Maus
Michael Kiwanuka
Lost Sounds
Ivory Coast Soul 2 (Various)
Michael Veal's Armillary Sphere
Thomas Koner
Mission of Burma
Mark Leckey 12"

Mehdi Zannad

All of this week's new arrivals.
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JUL Sun 15 Mon 16 Tues 17 Wed 18 Thurs 19 Fri 20 Sat 21

For those of you who missed Hot Chip's sold out performance last night at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park, or perhaps you just can't get enough of the band's infectious live show -- either way, these much-loved electro-poppers will be taking it to the Terminal 5 stage tomorrow night (Friday, July 20) with Chromatics opening. We've got a pair of tickets to give away, so enter right away by emailing giveaway@othermusic.com.

TERMINAL 5: 610 W. 56th St. NYC

JUL Sun 22 Mon 23 Tues 24 Wed 25 Thurs 26 Fri 27 Sat 28
  Sun 29 Mon 30 Tues 31 Wed 01 Thurs 02 Fri 03 Sat 04

Os Mutantes
A great new live music hub in Bushwick, The Well has just opened and will be welcoming one of Other Music's all-time favorites, Brazilian tropicalia forebears Os Mutantes, with M.A.K.U. Soundsystem, Dom and Citay also on the bill! Tickets are on sale here, and we're also giving away two pairs (one pair per winner), which you can enter for by emailing tickets@othermusic.com. And if that's not enough, Os Mutantes will be performing an acoustic in-store at Other Music on Monday evening, July 30 at 8:00 p.m. -- free admission but limited capacity, so get here early!

THE WELL: 260 Meserole St. Brooklyn, NY
OTHER MUSIC: 15 E. 4th St. NYC

JUL Sun 22 Mon 23 Tues 24 Wed 25 Thurs 26 Fri 27 Sat 28

Other Music is offering up two pairs of passes to the NewFest 2012 screening of Kieran Turner's Jobriath A.D., showing on Saturday, July 28 (10:30 p.m.) at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater. The critically acclaimed film traces the life of this boundary-pushing glam rocker who was the first openly gay rock star and hailed as "The American Bowie," yet was quickly shunned by 1970s audiences and critics. Narrated by Henry Rollins, Turner uses rare archival footage, animation and interviews with friends and fans like Stephin Merritt, Marc Almond, Okkervil River's Will Sheff, Joey Arias, Jayne County and Jake Shears to tell the sensational and ultimately heartbreaking story of this immensely talented performer. Check the trailer out here and then email contest@othermusic.com to enter for a pair of passes.



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. 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."








$13.99 LP+MP3


$8.99 MP3


How to Live with a Phantom
(Other Music Recording Co)

"In a Phantom Mood"
"Dancing with Pain"

From as objective a perspective as I can provide, I have to say that Other Music Recording Co's inaugural full-length release is quite a doozy. Late in 2011, we were collectively blown away by the solo debut of Shintaro Sakamoto, former frontman for Tokyo's Yura Yura Teikoku. That group was a powerhouse of contemporary psychedelic rock who gave over twenty years of service (going from a fiercely underground band at the U.F.O. Club, to chart-topping festival headliner and major label artist in Japan), and when they announced their dissolution in 2009, it was unsure where the trio's members would turn up next. When we first brought in import copies of Sakmoto's debut (self-released in Japan), it not only knocked my socks off, but also those of damn near every other employee at the shop regardless of their usual listening habits, to the point that one month's Staff Recommendations list posted on the wall had a header that read "Other Music's 'We Love Shintaro Sakamoto' Picks." Well, we loved it enough to decide to give the album a domestic release, and we're overjoyed to announce that it is finally available!

On How to Live with a Phantom, Sakamoto channels an era and sound from 1970s Japan that I'm a bit of a fanatic about, often referred to as "city pop" -- it's a sophisticated, cosmopolitan blend that fuses loping, stoned grooves straight out of a Meters or Little Feat album with a hint of country soul glazed with a hearty helping of sun-soaked breeze that nods to everything from Van Dyke Parks and Buffalo Springfield to Ned Doheny and Steely Dan. The beauty here, though, is that he's taking American influences and re-contextualizing them in ways that Americans seldom pull off due to the lack of distance from the source; he's fusing these sounds because they simply sound great together, and he pulls it off with astonishing results seldom heard since Haruomi Hosono's pre-Yellow Magic Orchestra solo career (which many longtime Update readers will know is perhaps one of the highest compliments I can bestow to a musician... those Hosono records are sacred texts to me!). It's also worth noting that Sakamoto not only wrote all of the material, he's also performing nearly every note on the record himself, save for percussion, horns, and the chorus of female backup vocalists. He allegedly learned how to play a few of these instruments for the making of the album, and he nails it with the precision of a seasoned session player, knocking things down like a one-man wrecking crew.

As sunny and groovy as the album sounds in vibe, the song topics are a whole other ballgame, with Sakamoto's dark-hued lyrics (full English translation included in our edition) dealing with death and despair, but more so in learning how to reconcile those emotions and struggles. It is, quite simply, an astonishing, rock solid, and hugely impressive debut outing for Sakamoto as a solo artist, and one which proves his skills as a songwriter, arranger, and producer. You don't have to be a fan or even familiar with the sounds and history of Yura Yura Teikoku to get down with this album; it appeals to the stoned psych and folk set, the cosmo fashion heads, the worldbeat/international funk diggers, and many demographics in between. I feel proud that we are introducing our label with such an indestructible debut album, and if you've ever enjoyed a record taken on my recommendation in the past, I cannot stress enough that this album gets the highest possible recommendation I could bestow upon it... and that was the case before we'd even decided to release it ourselves! This is my ultimate summer jam of 2012, and it'll be nice to be able to put it on my Best of the Year list (again)! Enjoy. [IQ]

Follow Other Music Recording Co on Twitter and Facebook







$17.99 LP+MP3




It seemed impossible that the Very Best could possibly top the ecstatic dogpile of sounds that filled their first free mixtape and studio album, The Warm Heart of Africa. On those releases, the group managed to make Afropop, Michael Jackson, M.I.A., Vampire Weekend, and even an Architecture of Helsinki sample into a cohesive world party of bright jubilant songs. And while producer Etienne Tron bowed out for their follow-up, MTMTMK, the Very Best (now just producer Johan Karlberg and singer Esau Mwamwaya) have elevated their sound. We'll be damned if it doesn't begin with the drone of a vuvuzela on "Adani," before veering into rave and superclub-sleek productions. That's not all that the Very Best ingest the second go-round: they embody the whole of Africa, with appearances from Miriam & Amadou, K'naan, and Baaba Maal, while also gobbling up input from Top 40 folk like Taio Cruz and Bruno Mars. To top it off, for their first single "Yoshua Alikuti," they even transport Lil Wayne's "A Milli" to a derelict shantytown in Nairobi. It's a more club-friendly album to be sure, but it speaks volumes that so many people and nationalities can pour into MTMTMK and yet have it still sound distinctly like the Very Best. [AB]







$9.99 MP3


Mek It Run
(Pressure Sounds)

"Mek It Run (Run Rasta Run)"
"Regole Pas"

Although he was not a Jamaican, it would be wrong not to consider Dennis "Blackbeard" Bovell one of reggae's top producers. Born in Barbados, raised in London, Bovell was a key figure in the rise of British reggae, and the cross-genre pollination of dub and punk, helping to shape the sound of post-punk. He has run his own label, DEB Music, his own sound system, Jah Suffer, led his own band, Matumbi, and produced diverse artists including Orange Juice, the Slits, Pop Group, X-O-Dus, Janet Kay and Linton Kwesi Johnson, to name a few of his accomplishments. He is also a great bassist, but Bovell has often found the heavy instrument at odds with an ongoing neck problem. During the recovery from his last surgery and unable to play bass, Bovell opened his archive of '70s and '80s material with a plan to give a new 'dub' life to some of his favorite tracks; using the original 2-inch tapes, Bovell took a trip to Mad Professor's studio to re-mix the songs. The resulting Mek It Run follows Pressure Sounds' excellent compilation of Bovell dubs, Decibel, but where that was an archival collection of tracks, this set features all new dubs of older material.

Across the hour-long journey, familiar and lesser-known songs are treated with both Bovell's vintage gear and Mad Professor's more modern digital technology. The resulting dubs are fresh, clean and crisp, shining with a new vibrancy; every element of the rhythms is present, occasionally leaping from the speakers and into the cosmos. A favorite track (and title), "Saxophonagravaparachuterreggae" is Bovell's musical vision of a reggae saxophonist apparently parachuting from a plane back to earth. Beginning with chaotic and punchy horn stabs, the rhythm then opens up into a floating reverb and heavily delayed cascade of percussion, keys, guitar, and of course saxophone. Bovell has a great imagination and his skills are sharp, creating a whirlwind of sounds with grounded and steady rhythms. Along with Keith Hudson, Scientist, Mad Professor, and Lee Perry, Dennis Bovell is a son of King Tubby, a technology master, man of many hats, and a name any reggae fan should know. If you are familiar with his productions, yet don't own his personal music, begin to complete the picture by picking up this lil' gem of tasty dub delights. [DG]







Dog Eat Dog
(Claremont 56)


Here we have a slice of heretofore unreleased vintage NYC no wave/post-punk funk from the early 1980s, and hoo-boy, is it good! Dog Eat Dog were a part of the scene associated with Club 57 on St. Marks Place, which included the likes of Ann Magnuson, Keith Haring (whose art graces the sleeve of this album), Pulsallama, and Liquid Liquid. In fact, Liquid Liquid frontman Sal Principato provides liner notes to this compilation of studio and live recordings by a band who never released anything during their initial lifetime, but who now have been properly documented thanks to the Claremont 56 label. Dog Eat Dog's sound is in tune with the loose-limbed, arty do-it-yourself junkshop funk of groups like Liquid Liquid and ESG, but who also move into a bit of a jazzy direction akin to the likes of the UK's Rip Rig + Panic. Fronted by three females, with additional percussion by the likes of Al Diaz -- perhaps best known as Jean-Michel Basquiat's partner in creating the infamous SAMO graffiti tags throughout the Lower East Side during the time period -- the band takes their punk-funk sound and puts a decidedly feminine spin on it; though, where ESG had a Motown-goes-punk approach, these ladies tap into an aesthetic more akin to the scrappy, improvisatory jams of NYC's loft jazz scene, fused to the same "it was easy, go and do it" approach that made this period in music so exciting and energetic. The tunes are overflowing with knotted thickets of Afro-Latin percussion, honking saxophones, and a cubist sense of pop craft; everything is catchy, yet in a fragmented way that feels as though every puzzle piece is assembled in a manner different than the "intended" outcome proper instructions would dictate. Anyone who has enjoyed records by the aforementioned artists, not to mention Talking Heads' art-funk explorations, UK/Euro post-punk rhythm scientists like Kleenex/LiLiPUT, the Slits, and the rest of NYC's 99 Records roster, this is pretty much essential listening. It's hard to believe that after the massive new/no wave revival from 10 years back, that anything remained hidden between the cracks, but here it is, and it was well worth the wait. Three cheers to Claremont 56 for this important archival release. [IQ]







$19.99 LP+MP3


$9.99 MP3


A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material
(Ribbon Music)

"The Fear"

It's only been a year since this Minnesota-born composer, academic and onetime cohort of Ariel Pink and Panda Bear came almost out of nowhere with his warbling, gothy synth-pop masterpiece, We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves. So the prospect of releasing an odds-n-sods type collection does seem a bit premature by about, oh let's say a decade, especially considering that his entire solo full-length discography spans only six years and three albums. But John Maus has been producing for longer that you may realize, and while the aptly titled A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material culls together songs recorded between 1999 and 2010, it's not like the murky production here is really any different than his proper albums which themselves sound like they were sourced from decaying VHS tapes of 25-year-old 120 Minutes episodes; the confounding "Fish with Broken Dreams" is the earliest track that appears and ironically enough is also the cleanest recording we've heard from the man -- it has to be for the complex latticework of cascading MIDI pianos to make any sense in this dense piece of proggy art-pop. But over these 16 songs, Maus' signature is ever apparent, from the icy new romantic "North Star" which plays like a worn-down 4-track demo of pre-John Hughes era Simple Minds to the cold-wave call to arms, "Castles in the Grave," which finds his deep, dramatic baritone drenched in echo and reverb belting out the song title over organs and synthesizer arpeggios. Elsewhere, standout "Bennington" is downright creepy, with Maus obsessing over "those fucking eyes" atop a stiff, martial dance beat and '80s synths. All in all, A Collection is surprisingly cohesive given the nature of these types of releases. While it doesn't offer too many new clues about this peculiar music maker and performer, it is a solid supplement to Maus' discography with more than enough highlights to make this well worth the price of admission for any fan. [GH]







Home Again

"Tell Me a Tale"
"Home Again"

Man oh man, take note of this wonderful debut album that's finally available domestically by this London soul singer who has been making waves in the UK after a string of great EP releases and a spot opening for Adele on her last tour. Michael Kiwanuka possesses a stunning voice which reminds me of Bill Withers singing the Randy Newman songbook; it's got a rich, velvety tone with a bit of Newman's odd inflection that resonates with emotion, and on Home Again, produced by Paul Butler of the (Band of) Bees, it's framed in arrangements of gently swinging acoustic soul peppered with subtle baroque flourishes. Driven by acoustic guitars, piano, and quietly thumping brushed drums, these ten songs are given soft psychedelic touches of birdlike flute calls, a bit of Indian raga drone, multi-tracked doo-wop vocals, and lovely but subtle strings that never suffocate the proceedings. You can hear a bit of Roy Ayers, or Charles Stepney's work for Terry Callier in the mix, but also that of Van Morrison and Donovan's pastoral sun-soaked daze. Kiwanuka's not a belter; his voice aches rather than wails, and while a few tracks can settle into a mode whose too-polite subtleties beg for a bit of fire, on the whole this is a gorgeous, promising debut with much replay value. This is an album of top-notch gentle folk-soul that fans of everything from the aforementioned Callier, Ayers, and Newman to the likes of Nick Drake circa Bryter Later, Mumford and Sons, or even Bon Iver should check out immediately. Keep an eye on this guy, something tells me we'll be hearing more from him soon. [IQ]






$37.99 LPx2



"Spinning Top"

Album number two from Geoff Barrow's BEAK> is finally here, and as you might expect from the Portishead leader's most adventurous project, it's something else, and it's pretty amazing. The band creates their music from extended studio jam sessions, which are then picked over and edited into concise songs (like Krautrock icons Can, an obvious influence on the group), and while this process has remained consistent across their two LPs, this album seems more thought out and cohesive, with better pacing, and some downright disturbing moods. Sounding like a lost Dario Argento film soundtrack -- I wish someone would remake Suspiria and use these songs -- the music is spooky without being scary, and yet a heavy black cloud hangs over every note. The group has added layers of synthesizers to their original sound, and these menacing and paranoid keyboards protrude out of wobbly and weirdo droning guitar interludes throughout. Warped beats and shifting string sections seem to swirl around the room until you are totally entranced, as if being controlled by a Ouija board -- this is fully engrossing stuff. More than just music, this could be thought of as a movement, a cult, a window into an alternate reality. Have you ever been to the other side? A lotus flower blooming; a butterfly hatching from his cocoon and then dying a few days later. Do you ever wish a page or scene in a book or play would never end? I'm not saying this is a Yoga soundtrack, but while listening to this album something definitely changed for the better. These are the sci-fi lullabies and analogue pulses from the dark side of the other moon. Pick it up and see what it can do for you. [MF]







$9.99 MP3


Lost Lost Demos, Sounds, Alternate Takes & Unused Songs

"Black Coats/Whitefear"
"Die Alone (Promise Me)"

I could understand your questioning if you actually needed a collection of unheard demos and alternate takes from Jay Reatard's odd post-Reatards/pre-solo years, synth-heavy Lost Sounds -- I mean, even the studio LPs from the Memphis group he fronted with keyboardist/singer Alicia Trout, drummer Rich Cook and bassist Patrick Jordan are hiss-filled freak-outs, an unlikely new wave synth-punk garage-rock hybrid that, great as it was, may not have automatically screamed out for deep cuts. Well, turns out you were wrong -- this is pretty enticing stuff that shows many sides of Jay's deep talent. The guitars crash and burn, but there is a handful of mellow acoustic numbers too; Trout's synthesizer swoops and pulses (and her vox is pretty great as well), and there are also a few stoned indie-psych jams to round out the set. Much of this stuff is the documentation of a band (and a man) finding its sound and style, but for an artist with the innate songwriting skill and wide-ranging tastes of Jay Reatard, that can actually be a pretty cool thing. [JM]







Ivory Coast Soul 2: Afrofunk in Abidjan from 1976-1981
(Hot Casa)

"Mansou Djouwi" Pierre Houon
"Bravo Sotra" François Lougah

It's been a while since you've heard me utter these words, so hold on to something sturdy as you read this, because the Afro-Jam of the Week is back!! The Hot Casa label returns with a second volume of their stellar Ivory Coast Soul series, and this time out, it's a double-disc behemoth cataloguing some of the finest funk and soul bombs coming out of Africa's Cote D'Ivoire between 1976 and 1981. Cote D'Ivoire has always been a personal favorite regarding African regions with strong vintage vinyl gems, and I'm happy to see that after the wells of Nigeria and Mali have been seemingly mined dry (or at least tapped to exhaustion for a while), wider audiences are finally getting a stronger taste of what the Ivory Coast had to offer. Spread across two CDs or three slabs of vinyl, this collection offers up hefty doses of a region's music that has no defined style; where Nigeria is known for Afrobeat, South Africa for its jive, and Mali for its griot, the Cote D'Ivoire was more of a melting pot, fusing together western funk, soul, and Latin styles with African dance band grooves, and even a bit of European chanson and Caribbean reggae bounce, for a sound that is one of the most rootless and cosmopolitan in West Africa. This is solid party music, working sweaty JB's-style jumpers and skittering disco grooves into fevered yet relaxed frenzies; a few tracks get into some slow-burning Curtis Mayfield-inspired modes, and any collection that includes music by François Lougah -- one of my favorite Cote D'Ivoirien singers -- gets a solid thumbs up from me. Every time I put this record on in the shop, we sell at least a handful of copies; it's one of the most lovely, percolating, and diverse sets of Afro-funk I've heard in ages, so much so that it's led me to resurrect an old Update tradition. You know how this works, people; it's the Afro-Jam of the Week, thus it gets my highest recommendation! [IQ]








"Oculus I"

Multi-instrumentalist and composer, noted author, Yale professor, ethnomusicologist -- Michael Veal is a busy man. He's written about Fela (whom he played with) and dub culture, and is currently finishing a book about John Coltrane and Miles Davis. His musical side also has many aspects, along with his Aqua Ife Afrobeat project, he also directs an "ambient free-jazz" group called Armillary Sphere, where he plays soprano saxophone and their self-released debut is a great listening experience. Anyscape effortlessly blends spiritual and cosmically minded jazz with ambience, found sounds and subtle digital elements from a core group including Bennett Paster (electric piano), Nioka Workman (5-string electric cello), and Trevor Holder (drums), with the occasional addition of Chris Lightcap (upright bass) and Rene Akhan (electric guitar). Though the recording is less than thirty minutes, the senses of time and space are effectively stretched and manipulated, as pieces weave and dissolve into one another creating a flow and movement. Solos are approached with a restraint, like on the beautiful piece, "Impluvium," where all the instruments create an open atmosphere for each element to take the lead, yet never diverge from the overall picture being created. Reminiscent of Miles Davis' electric years working with Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, and Joe Zawinul, or the post-Coltrane work of Pharoah Sanders or McCoy Tyner, Veal's Armillary Sphere is keeping the NYC jazz tradition alive and well, yet not rehashing the fabled history or experimenting for pure self-fulfillment. This music is passionate, approachable, engaging, original, and quite listenable for all of those reasons. If you've enjoyed the reemergence of Phil Cohran, or simply are lacking in your New York jazz department, this will fill the void. Recommended. [DG]







$9.99 MP3


Novaya Zemlya

"Novaya Zemlya 01"
"Novaya Zemlya 02"

Thomas Koner is fixated on desolation -- every album he's made since his 1990 debut Nunatak Gongamur is testament to that. His sonic meditations, often inspired by a particular place or region, mesh field recordings with evanescent melodies and guttural drone, producing results at once beautiful and terrifying. Koner's latest for UK ambient/drone giant Touch, an album in three parts, is named for and inspired by the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. A forsaken sliver of land, Novaya Zemlya has been for years a nuclear test site; it's where, in 1961, the USSR detonated Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear bomb in history. Koner's compositions on Novaya Zemlya communicate that destruction and, more notably, its ghostly aftermath -- the expansive emptiness in the wake of annihilation.

The record begins with a crack of thunder, the rumblings of a distant storm. Imperceptibly low frequencies, more felt than heard, fill the track with a sense of imminent doom. Koner balances the low-end with a winding, haunted series of notes, like ice clinking from deep vibration. At around six minutes, the album's first hint of consonance and chord structure rises, as if from a distant horizon -- a shimmering chorus, faint and mirage-like. It's soon overtaken by the violence of ice caps creaking and splitting apart. On the second track, bass fluctuations crescendo into a sprawling ambience; then, from deep within the haze, barely intelligible human voices crop out, radio transmissions as if from explorers lost in the storm. It's the album's eeriest moment; suddenly, in the presence of the human, the listener realizes how otherwise bleak and foreboding Koner's interpretation of the archipelago is, how otherworldly.

What makes Novaya Zemlya such an effective depiction of remote geography, and, ultimately, a masterpiece, is Koner's use of space. Nowhere does his music feel busy or rushed; instead, patient, careful sounds and a healthy dose of silence come together to give the impression of expansiveness and natural grandeur. Field recordings are deftly layered to create an orchestral feel -- glacial groaning and wind, for instance, "harmonize." It's a sensation unique to Koner's work. Ultimately, these aren't musical compositions as much as they are sonic models of an alien, ruined place; listening, one can readily imagine the real-life Novaya Zemlya. It must be enormous, unforgiving, and very, very cold. Highly recommended. [JK]








"Semi-Pseudo-Sort-of Plan"
"Part the Sea"

Nearly a decade into a career resurrection that has found this iconic Boston post-punk band not just enjoying a victory lap, but rather training for a marathon, Mission of Burma returns with Unsound, a fierce new album of noisy mayhem that might be mistaken for a group imploding, if they had not thoroughly proven their stability by now. Perhaps the most surprising thing here is just how raw and unwieldy these guys sound, even with producer Bob Weston as their fourth member (behind the boards and the tape-loops); the album sounds positively un-produced, with the cacophonous rattle of the band sometimes coming off more like an instrument fight than a song, despite sharp riffs and hooky, if off-balance and uncomfortable vocals. It's powerful, explosive stuff, and while this is likely not the best entry point for the band, it's an enjoyable stop on the journey. [JM]







Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore
(The Death of Rave)

This AMAZING 12" features the complete audio score to UK Turner Prize-winning multimedia artist Mark Leckey's influential 1999 video collage "Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore," which documented and paid tribute to the history of UK's vibrant club and dance culture scene from its Northern soul salad days through to the dawn of '90s rave culture. He plunders samples from classic tracks, looping and pitch-shifting them into knotted soundscapes blending field recordings of dance club nights, young clubbers in their element, and environmental snapshots of the British urban areas from which these kids were trying to find escape. The result plays like a plunderphonic forefather to what artists like the Caretaker and Burial have perfected into craft, but coming at it from a more obtuse, abstract, yet nonetheless hypnotizing angle. The flipside is an excerpt of audio from a 2010 Leckey installation entitled "GreenScreenRefrigeratorAction," in which a large, ominous home refrigerator recounts its contents, thoughts, and emotions in a screwed-down voice that recalls Hal 9000 on a DJ Screw tape. All in all, this is a stunning souvenir of gorgeous sound art that appeals to club culture while managing to stay away from imitating it. It's not going to slot smoothly into your next DJ set, but more adventurous listeners who enjoy the more haunted aspects of the leftfield will find MUCH to enjoy here. Copies are limited, so don't sleep. [IQ]







$19.99 LP


$9.99 MP3


(Third Side)

"Au Revoir"

I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to offer up this delicious slice of contemporary French pop by Mehdi Zannad, best known to indie-pop fans from the two excellent albums he recorded as Fugu in the early 2000s, along with a batch of singles made in collaboration with the likes of Stereolab and Saint Etienne. Those albums remain some of my favorite pop music of recent memory, ably blending the sunny '70s singer-songwriter vibes of classic Emitt Rhodes or early solo McCartney with string and horn arrangements sounding like a baroque Brian Wilson. Those records were written and sung in English, yet with Fugue, his debut release under his own name, Zannad delivers ten songs in his native French, co-written with filmmaker Serge Bozon (responsible for the excellent Mods and also La France, whose soundtrack included vintage 1960s tunes from John Pantry as well as new tracks written by Zannad and Bozon). This album continues the Rhodesian power pop of the Fugu records, but adds a touch of Todd Rundgren and Big Star influence to the mix, not to mention a bit of the lean French-rock efficiency of Marie & Les Garçons or Michel Polnareff, and more of that baroque light-psychedelia; overflowing with instantly hummable melodies and luscious vocal harmonies floating atop concise, catchy arrangements, this is sunshine pop of the highest caliber. This is one of the best, most beautiful records I've heard all year, and much like Arnaud Fleurent-Didier's La Reproduction from 2010, is one of the finest examples of modern French pop out there today. If you enjoyed that record, you'll find much to love here, and similarly, we're the only people in the United States carrying Fugue. The first Fugu album was a big album for Other Music upon its release back in 2001, and it feels good to have Zannad back on our shelves. This is one of those records that grabs the attention of anyone within earshot when I play it in the shop, and for my money, it's one of the best releases of last year. Don't sleep if this sounds like your thing; let the sunshine in! [IQ]

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[AB] Adrian Burkholder
[[MF] Michael Fellows
[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[JK] Jacob Kaplan
[JM] Josh Madell

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