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   January 10, 2013  

Ex Cops

Nude Beach
Other Music Recording Co.'s third full-length album arrives on January 22 in the form of Ex Cops' shimmering pop confection, True Hallucinations, and the band has put together what is sure to be an awesome record release party that night at Glasslands. Email tickets@othermusic.com to enter to win a pair of tickets to the show and a copy of the album, and stay tuned for more Ex Cops news!


We also have a pair of tickets for a rare Manhattan performance from our own Nude Beach, who bring Brooklyn's best rock & roll to the Mercury Lounge on Friday January 18. Email enter@othermusic.com for your chance to win two spots on the guest list.


Yo La Tengo (Pre-Order)
Luc Ferrari LP
Shoes (4 LPs)
Buddha Machine 4
Felt (Limited Book)
Arthur Magazine Issue #33
Crystal Castles
Andy Stott 12"s (Back in Print)

January's Customer of the Month

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While all eyes and ears here at the shop are fixed upon the upcoming releases of 2013, we invite you to take one last glance at the year just passed on Other Music's mail order site, where you'll find our staff's personal favorites of 2012 listed in our News section. We also thought it would be fun to include picks from some of our longtime store regulars as well as a few of our recent Customers of the Month. We hope 2013 is off to a good start for you and we look forward to sharing lots of great music, both new and old, in this New Year.

JAN Sun 06 Mon 07 Tues 08 Wed 09 Thurs 10 Fri 11 Sat 12

We have a pair of tickets to see Dirty Projectors and the yMusic ensemble tomorrow night at Carnegie Hall, presented by Wordless Music. Need we say more? This is the kind of event that made you move to NYC, so try your luck and enter to win by emailing giveaway@othermusic.com.

CARNEGIE HALL: 57th St. and Seventh Ave, NYC

JAN Sun 13 Mon 14 Tues 15 Wed 16 Thurs 17 Fri 18 Sat 19
  Sun 20 Mon 21 Tues 22 Wed 23 Thurs 24 Fri 25 Sat 26
  Sun 27 Mon 28 Tues 29 Wed 30 Thurs 31 Fri 01 Sat 02

Other Music returns to the gorgeous lobby of New York's Ace Hotel, with a different staff member DJing every Wednesday night throughout January. Come and grab a cocktail or two with us, and enjoy a wide array of tunes, with Mikey IQ Jones spinning next week. And while you're at the Ace, make sure to check out our new release display located next to the front desk, filled with Other Music's latest favorite albums and reissues. Here's the schedule for the rest of January:

January 16: Mikey IQ Jones
January 23: Pam Garavano-Coolbaugh
January 30: Andreas Knutsen

ACE HOTEL: 20 W. 29th St. NYC

JAN Sun 13 Mon 14 Tues 15 Wed 16 Thurs 17 Fri 18 Sat 19

Luke Templeton's eclectic pop project Here We Go Magic brings it back to NYC next week with a headlining show at LPR; as great as their records are, this band really comes to life on stage, and in front of the hometown fans this is sure to be an electric and inspiring night. Email contest@othermusic.com for your chance to win a pair of tickets.

LE POISSON ROUGE: 158 Bleecker St. NYC





$21.99 LP+7"



"Stupid Things"

The most amazing thing about Yo La Tengo is not their longevity or the consistent quality of their output, but instead it's the trio's ability to still surprise us after all these years. For Fade, the band took a detour from their usual recording protocol and traveled to Chicago to work with John McEntire, who embraced their aesthetic while pushing the group into new sonic territory, a place they seem to thrive, and the album is both instantly embracing and fresh. Mellow, sweet, melancholy and joyful, it's a great ride from start to finish and we're sure you won't want to miss out on the limited deluxe LP, which comes with a bonus 7", now available for pre-order right here, along with the CD.

The deluxe edition LP is an indie exclusive that comes with a bonus 7" (Todd Rundgren & Times New Viking covers) and is numbered. The regular edition LP will be available on January 29th.






Berberian Sound Studio OST

"The Equestrian Vortex"
"Collatina Is Coming"

There's a brief scene in Peter Strickland's 2012 film Berberian Sound Studio that has really stuck with me over time. The film is about a timid British sound engineer who goes to Italy to work on what he discovers is a horror film, and the scene finds him playing with a Space Echo machine in the studio when one of the voice actresses comes in and asks what he's doing; he demonstrates the disorienting power the effects processor can add to a simple tape loop of a female voice singing a haunting, wordless melody. The voice behind that melody belongs to Broadcast's Trish Keenan, whose tragic death last year leaves this film score as one of the group's final recordings; the tracks were finished by her longtime partner and collaborator James Cargill, who completed not just a great soundtrack but an album that sits beautifully in the band's discography as well, while standing apart from anything they've done previously.

With nearly forty short pieces, it features no lyrics from Keenan, though her voice haunts the album throughout, with wordless melodies that flutter and float amidst a dizzying array of sound effects, dialogue, and an instrumental palette that focuses heavily on organ, fuzzy bursts of bass guitar, and swinging jazz percussion. It plays quite logically as a follow-up to Broadcast's previous Witch Cults album with the Focus Group, with a similar collage aesthetic, but that album's fragmented disorientation is here replaced by a more linear collage that pays tribute to the INA/GRM school of French musique concrete composers, Italian prog and soundtrack composers like Morricone, Goblin, and Piovani, and Czech composer Lubos Fiser. Berberian Sound Studio is best appreciated as a single piece of music; it isn't really meant for individual piecemeal consumption, though it does interestingly play quite well on shuffle as well as straightforwardly from beginning to end. Cargill has said that there will indeed be one last Broadcast album to come featuring Trish's lyrics and voice, as she recorded quite a number of vocals before her untimely passing; make no mistake, though, were this to stand as the duo's final statement, they'd be going out on a beautiful, entirely appropriate and fitting high note. And I highly recommend the film as well -- it was one of my favorite cinematic experiences in years, and serves as one of the most lovely and disorienting visual tributes to the art of sound that I've ever seen. [IQ]




$29.99 LPx2


Presque Rien
(Recollection GRM / Editions Mego)

Editions Mego have recently set about reissuing on LP some of the most important archival releases from France's INA-GRM label, including stellar works by Bernard Parmegiani, Ivo Malec, and Pierre Schaeffer, but one of the recordings I'm most excited to see on vinyl again is this great collection of Luc Ferrari's four Presque Rien pieces, originally issued across a number of different albums (some never before on vinyl), all collected onto one 2LP set for the first time. Presque Rien (which in English means 'almost nothing'), and much of Ferrari's work as a whole, differs from much of the GRM's school of concrete composition, as it features next to none of the usual manipulations of magnetic tape composition most associated with the movement. Instead, Ferrari's pieces here are overlapping sets of environmental field recordings presented in an almost poetic simplicity; the sounds of a fishing village at dawn's awakening, a group of girls having a picnic in a spacious field, and the quiet characteristics of a forest at night are all documented here, with Ferrari taking these candid moments and amplifying their intensity via extremely subtle manipulation and processing. He'll overlap layers of cicadas into swirling spirals of micro rhythm, or suddenly fade the sounds of an orchestra's string section into the night air. His work is astounding to me because he uses tape to simply amplify the already musical aspects of natural sound environments, increasing their rhythmic sensibilities or adding a slightly psychedelic atmosphere that creates the impression of the listener as the ultimate voyeur, peering not only at the external activities of the subjects, but also seemingly offering a view into their drifting thoughtforms. That Ferrari does this with such a steady and subtle touch is astounding in a field often marked by over-the-top, rather grand statements of cutting and splicing, and in his approach, he blurs the lines between abstraction, nature, ambiance, and music. This is arguably one of the most important documents of musique concrete composition released, and it's lovely to have these pieces collected all into one place. I simply cannot overstate the importance and beauty of this music, and yes... it is indeed music. 'Almost nothing' has never sounded so full of everything. [IQ]



One in Versailles




Black Vinyl Shoes


Present Tense: Demos 1978-1979


One in Versailles
(Numero Group)

(Numero Group)

The incredible story of Zion, Illinois' power-pop heroes (and DIY trailblazers) Shoes began when brothers John and Jeff Murphy and their high school buddy Gary Klebe, enamored with the sounds of the Beatles, Big Star, Nils Lofgren and local heroes Cheap Trick, formed a band without even owning any instruments, and then, remarkably, made some amazing albums that stand tall with those of their idols. Eventually signed to Elektra in 1979, One in Versailles was recorded at home and self-released in '75, officially their second record (their first release was pressed in an edition of four; this one was issued privately in an edition of 300), while Klebe was spending time abroad studying in France. The Murphy brothers enlisted the help of a local drummer and built a loose album concept about a guy longing for a girl who has moved far away. Shoes hit the ground running on this lo-fi pop classic; ballads like "Song for Her" and "Something I Can't See" are lessons in hushed, proto-indie pop sincerity, punctuated by lovely, overdubbed vocal harmonies. Fans of the surefooted lo-fi pop fragility of Beat Happening or the gentler side of Ty Segall will find much to like here, and while the group gained poise and professionalism on later records, "Why Do I Get So Shy" and "Dance in Your Sleep" are true musical watershed moments for the Murphys. The former boasts an achingly lovely coda punctuated by crunchy electric and acoustic guitar interplay, the latter is a slightly off-kilter yet proper take on '70s stadium rock, and is an awesome representation of what was to come.

Long considered by power pop fanatics as a lost classic, Bazooka is the sound of this young band's growing confidence as songwriters, players, and producers, and it's here that they really start to come into their own. Recorded immediately upon Gary Klebe's return from France during the summer of 1975 (in just a matter of weeks), Bazooka sounds like a stone cold classic, a record that you'll swear you've heard all your life -- even on the first spin. Album opener "Pinheads" is the aural equivalent of a carbonated Coke bottle eruption, all flanged-out drums, thick power chords, self-deprecating lyrics, and rich Beatlesque harmonies on the bridge just to keep your heart honest, followed by the one-two punch of "Move It or Lose It," a great snot-nosed, Midwestern rock & roll riff-off and kiss-off to a wishy-washy girlfriend. Other near classics include the "Mod Lang"/"20/20" tribute "New Meat" ("It's gotta come out bitter/It's gotta come out sweet... time for some new meat"), the OG version of Shoes standard "Like I Told You" and... Hell, the whole album's great and though it was only originally released on a limited cassette run, those few who did hear it, like Bomp! founder Gary Shaw, considered it one of the best rock albums of the era. Why it was ultimately shelved by the band is still a head scratcher -- the official answer is that the group's first drummer Barry Schumaker quit almost immediately after it was recorded, the band ran out of money to press it properly, and ultimately felt that they could make a better record than Bazooka. They found a new drummer and then set about doing exactly that on their follow-up masterpiece, Black Vinyl Shoes, which we'll feature in next week's Update along with Present Tense Demos. Stay tuned! [DH]




$27.99 LPx2


Quarter Turns
(Blackest Ever Black)

"The Last Foundry"
"The Walker in Blast and Bottle"

Another stellar release from Blackest Ever Black that astounds in the first few moments by its sound quality alone. Raime's stark, foreboding, spatial, dungeon-esque soundscape explored on previous BEB releases (akin to Emptyset, Yves De Mey, Vatican Shadow, etc.) is expanded to include a mysteriously richer tone that places the listener dead center. The explanation for this expanded sound is as wonderfully simple as it is subtle: they introduced more acoustic instruments to the mix. This is definitely not apparent, though, as there aren't any overtly instrument-like sounds in the record. But the great surprise of Quarter Turns was approaching it with the preconceived notion that Raime would have difficulty spreading their sound effectively through an entire full-length. Well, they did it, and wonderfully so. [SM]






Green, Orange, Red, or Yellow

These oddball looping devices are still one of the most intriguing and talked-about items in our shop, a popular handheld Chinese meditation device reconfigured by Beijing-based experimental sound artists FM3 (a/k/a Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian). The fourth generation of the Buddha Machine finds the duo returning to the dreamy tones of the original box, featuring several new ambient sound loops of their own creation (mostly derived from electronic drones). The Machine runs on two AA batteries (not included), and even has a headphone jack for private listening (or outputting to an amplifier). Not exactly an instrument, yet much more than a simple recording, a ton of fun yet not a toy, these machines are a blast. Comes in four Day-Glo colors: green, orange, yellow, and red (which is more of a magenta/hot pink).






The Book
(First Third)

Fans of seminal UK indie group Felt will not want to miss this gorgeous, limited edition book that documents the band's ten-album, ten-single, ten-year career via a vast archive of never-before-seen photographs, gig posters, and assorted ephemera. Frontman Lawrence breaks down each year of the group with a series of vignettes and lists of relevant music, film, and pop culture that essentially fed the band's creativity during its lifetime. His texts are enlightening, witty, and lucid, and the forward by Bob Stanley, pop culture author and one third of the equally influential pop group Saint Etienne, wonderfully describes the unique allure that Felt held during the beginnings of contemporary "indie" culture. This book proves that the band was not only unique and special in sonic terms, but for the first time accurately paints a picture (both via the photos and from Lawrence's texts) of the group's meticulously curated visual aesthetic as well. It's a stunning 176-page volume presented in a lovely hardback, clothbound embossed cover, with a full illustrated discography, limited to just 1,000 copies for the world, each one individually autographed by Lawrence himself. [IQ]




$5.00 MG

Issue #33, January 2013

After a four-year hiatus, Arthur magazine is back, no longer free, but well worth the price of admission, a beautiful oversized treat packed with great writing and beautiful artwork (it's now a publishing partnership with Portland's Floating World Comics). Edited by Jay Babcock, issue #33 features an interview with cartoonist Roarin' Rick Veitch, a wonderful and extensive interview with Jack Rose from just months before his death (plus a definitive discography), columns on Waylon Jennings, Frank Haines, an underground culture column by Byron Coley and Thurston Moore, and much more. Welcome back Arthur, we missed you!





$25.99 LP


Phases II
(Strawberry Rain)


Here's the long-awaited LP reissue of Blo's second album from 1974. The Nigerian band's sound incorporates slow-burning funk, extended guitar solos, catchy vocal choruses and group chants, and even a bit of post-Hendrix voodoo stew; you can hear elements of everything from Cream (two of the group's members actually spent time in Ginger Baker's ranks before starting Blo), Traffic, Grand Funk, ET Mensah, Can, and even some Grateful Dead. They aren't copying, though, much in the way Can took international music influences and mutated them into what they called "ethnological forgeries," Blo do the same with British and American rock sounds, blending them into something akin to a middle ground between Tago Mago's free-flowing canvases and Ege Bamyasi's more tightly-wound rhythmic workouts. Bottom line: this stuff is brilliant, funky, heady, and damn near essential listening.






Shades of...
(Plush Safe)

"Cut It Up High Priest"
"I Saw You Liking Everything"

Formed by NYC performance artist Michael Holman and painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gray were a chameleonic ensemble of likeminded multimedia artists involved with downtown NYC's fertile cultural scene during the post-punk era. They counted among their ranks Nick Taylor, Wayne Clifford, and Vincent Gallo. They thrived at CB's, the Mudd, and Hurrah's, and ably juggled a mixture of ambient drift, industrial texture, and the embryonic bounce of hip-hop and a pinch of jazz. Until the release of Shades of Gray, their only recorded evidence was the now infamous "Drum Mode," from Basquiat's tenure with the group which was featured on Gomma's Anti NY compilation, a cut made for Julian Schnabel's biopic Basquiat, which saw the group's members reunite for the first time, and the will'o'wisp jazzy lullaby "I Know," featured in Edo Bertoglio's film Downtown 81. This collection compiles those cuts along with fifteen other impressive experiments, all interwoven with excerpts from a Basquiat prank call/performance piece made to an unsuspecting suicide hotline.

What's impressive about this collection is the way it manages to absorb the musical, cultural, and environmental elements that surrounded the group's lifespan, and spits them back out in ways that both echo and foreshadow. I hear everything from This Heat and Cabaret Voltaire to John Lurie, Guru, and Diamond D in there, being chewed up, digested, and always respected, but released in fusions which evolve in ways similar to that of downtown Manhattan itself -- as the years jump-cut forward to the late-'80s/'90s, the production's a bit snazzier, the chords are a bit gentler, but the modus is still there, and the dirt and grit is still under the surface. There's an impressive foreshadowing/parallel to the current crop of LA-based beat science coming from Flying Lotus and the Brainfeeder crew as well; anyone who's shown interest in what those new cats are up to, or anyone with anthropologic feelers on the downtown/post-punk NY scene should scope this limited LP pressing immediately. [IQ]




$21.99 LP


$9.99 MP3


Live 1974

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

German electronic super-group Harmonia produced only a pair of albums during their brief mid-1970s run. Featuring Michael Rother of Neu! and both Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Mobius of Cluster, the trio managed to create the perfect merger of its members' parent bands, blending an unmistakable motorik pulse with a sweeping, melodic ambience to create music that has had a lasting impact to this very day. Recorded after the release of the band's 1974 debut Musik Von Harmonia, Live 1974 captures a welcome snapshot of the group in concert, presenting a document of what these guys sounded like out of the studio. Far less meticulously composed than Harmonia's studio work, Live 1974 contains five mostly lengthy passages that document the trio's effortless interplay.

More stretched out than anything on either of the rather buttoned-up studio releases, tracks like "Veteranissimo" wander through chugging beats and glorious synthesizer din, allowing ample space for ascendant guitars to weave in and out of the mix. The 15-minute long "Holta-Polta" is the easy winner of this set, though, as it showcases Harmonia working through an undulating dub-like rhythm as they explore the farthest reaches of their synth baubles and drones. While a lot of archival live recordings are definitely discs that should have stayed buried in some long-forgotten vault, Live 1974 is that rare treat -- a stellar release from a great group at the top of their game. [MC]




$17.99 LP


Crystal Castles (III)

"Sad Eyes"

When this duo first appeared on the music radar six years ago, their dark, claustrophobic electro-pop was an anomaly of sorts; by this point nu-rave had run its course and synth kids were getting hip (again) to all things 8-bit, including Crystal Castles' Ethan Kath, who was plugging old Atari sound chips into his keyboards. However, he and singer Alice Glass were mining bleaker, woozier depths than most, all the while holding on to a strong sense of melody and pop. One couldn't help but be intrigued by the duo, even if simultaneously skeptical about their shelf life given the overenthusiastic blog buzz (not to mention the band getting caught skirting copyright laws with some sample usage). In hindsight, Crystal Castles might have unknowingly been a precursor to the spooky undercurrent that's been pulsing through music as of recent, a la witch house and all the other goth-tinged sounds that have been turning countless white earbuds black.

It seems that the duo have gotten caught in the spell too; on (III) they've eschewed their chiptune assaults for ominous, flickering, synth swells and even a couple of slo-mo rhythms that you'd expect to find on a Balam Acab or oOoOO record. But where the music of the aforementioned is sultry and subtle, Crystal Castles are maximalists at heart and here they are sinisterly focused, in part due to the heavier presence of Glass' voice, which moves from crystalline coos to banshee shrieks and back again, with some haunting screwed-down vocals in between. Forget the vintage '80s Atari game from which Crystal Castles derived their name, album opener "Plague" and "Affection" could double as a score for the latest spine-tingling PlayStation 3 thriller (rate M for maturity). Even clubbier tracks like "Sad Eyes" or "Transgender" are delivered with the weight of a demonic possession, coming across like the last few moments before you black out at a rave and wake up in the arms of the devil. It's all about as far from the icy pop charms as you can get from Crystal Castles' 2010 take on Platinum Blonde's "Not in Love," which the duo famously covered twice, the second time enlisting the Cure's Robert Smith for vocals. But in this case, that's a good thing; Kath and Glass have come into their own here without the help of illicit samples or a cameo from a mope-rock godfather, proving that the third time really is a charm, albeit a dark, dark one. [GH]




Passed Me By


We Stay Together


Passed Me By
(Modern Love)

We Stay Together
(Modern Love)

These two limited vinyl double-packs from Andy Stott set the high bar for rumbling, bass-heavy, dub-infused techno back in 2011; both of these LPs have sold out of a few pressings now, but thankfully we've got 'em back on our shelves once more. Too slow to be techno, too earthy to be industrial and too fast to be hip-hop, there's a subtle sensuality in these tracks; rather than pummeling you with such extreme, stark textures, Stott gives everything ample breathing room and lets his creations swim in an almost aquatic environment. Many have tried to emulate the slow, deep majesty of this Manchester producer's work, but few have come close.


How long have you shopped at Other Music?

Leyla: Since about 2010.
Justin: I'm not sure, though I think since around 2008.

Favorite bands/genres:
Leyla: Genres -- I like many genres of music ranging from electronic to country, surf rock to blues. Bands -- Leonard Cohen, Bjork, Johnny Cash, Beirut, Billie Holiday.
Justin: Genres -- Rock, Blues, British Folk/Traditional, Jazz; Bands: The Kinks, The Smiths, Fleetwood Mac/Peter Green, Love, Roland Kirk, Son House, the Beatles, Frank Zappa, Django Reinhardt, Little Richard.

Favorite record cover artwork:
Leyla: The Division Bell (Pink Floyd)
Justin: Electric Warrior (T Rex)

Favorite sections at Other Music:
Leyla: I like perusing the vinyl section to see the album artwork in a larger format.
Justin: I find a lot of great albums in the Then, Jazz, Blues, and Used sections.

Top 3 albums/bands you were turned onto at Other Music:
Leyla: Delia Derbyshire/BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Justin: The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark, Bulletproof Brass, Thin Lizzy

Why record stores over online shopping?
Justin: Truly, shopping online affords convenience and availability that probably can't be matched. However, the inimitable atmosphere produced by a good record store cannot be supplanted by the ability to conduct one's shopping at any time of the day or, more likely, night, from the comfort of one's own home, or the cafe at Barnes & Noble, or work, or practically anywhere. Amazon doesn't know or care why I compulsively buy albums, many of which I've never even heard, but the staff of Other Music do!

Also, when I go to the shop, I get my records right away, rather than having to wait for them in the mail.

 I'm DJing the biggest, awesome-est music fest of the century. I have to be sure to drop "________________" in my DJ set:
Leyla: "Rip It Up" (Little Richard)
Justin: ""God's Children" (The Kinks)

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[MC] Michael Crumsho
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[DH] Duane Harriott
[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[SM] Scott Mou

- all of us at Other Music

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