Having trouble viewing this email? Go to othermusic.com/2013june20update.html

  June 20, 2013  
JUL Sun 07 Mon 08 Tues 09 Wed 10 Thurs 11 Fri 12 Sat 13

We could not be more excited for the upcoming July 9 release on Other Music Recording Co. of Anna von Hausswolff's stunning Ceremony album, and her first ever US performance on July 10 at Glasslands. We were blown away by this record when we brought in a few copies of the Swedish release on Kning Disk late last year, and press outlets including Pitchfork, NPR and the NY Times seem to agree, it's something special. We've been told her live shows are not to be missed, and you have just one chance to see Anna perform in the States before her full tour this fall, so get your tickets to Glasslands now, and we are giving away a pair every week until the show. Email enter@othermusic.com for your chance to win.

Jon Brooks
Sigur Rós
Father Yod & the Source Family
Kanye West
Primal Scream
The Offset: Spectacles
Barney Wilen
Steve Gunn
Five Days Married & Other Laments
75 Dollar Bill
Case Studies
Digable Planets
Public Image Limited
JD Emmanuel
I Signori Della Galassia
Efterklang (Limited 2LP)
William Basinski
Octo Octa
Hard Art, DC 1979 (Photo Book)
Alex Bleeker & the Freaks
Lily & Madeleine
Wire Magazine #353
Shindig! Magazine #33

Toncho Pilatos

Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/othermusicnyc
Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/othermusic

JUN Sun 16 Mon 17 Tues 18 Wed 19 Thurs 20 Fri 21 Sat 22

Barbarossa, the nom de plume of London singer-songwriter James Mathé, has been making waves with his soulful, electronic-tinged folk, and has a full-length coming out later this summer on Memphis Industries. Mathé will be performing with Pacific Air, tonight (Thursday, June 20th) at the Mercury Lounge. We're giving one pair of tickets away to this show, so enter right now by emailing contest@othermusic.com, and we'll also throw in a copy of Barbarossa's latest 7" single, "The Load."

MERCURY LOUNGE: 217 E. Houston St. NYC
Doors at 6:30PM | Tickets Available Here

JUN Sun 23 Mon 24 Tues 25 Wed 26 Thurs 27 Fri 28 Sat 29

Christopher King, producer of acclaimed compilations like Aimer Et Perdre and People Take Warning! Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs 1913-1938, will be hosting a very special evening at Other Music on June 23, being held in conjunction with the release of his latest collection, Five Days Married & Other Laments: Song and Dance from Northern Greece, 1928-1958, out now on Angry Mom Records. (The LP is featured in the review section of this week's Update.) King will be discussing the music and performers on this great new compilation as well as playing an assortment of tracks from his personal collection, along with a special reading by noted music author and critic Amanda Petrusich. It all gets underway at 5:30 p.m. and we hope you will join us!

SUNDAY, JUNE 23 @ 5:30PM
Free Admission | Limited Capacity

JUN Sun 23 Mon 24 Tues 25 Wed 26 Thurs 27 Fri 28 Sat 29

Brooklyn's NYMPH will be celebrating the release of their new album, New Millenium Prayer (out Tuesday on Northern Spy) next Thursday, June 27, bringing their sprawling, original fusion of free jazz, psych-rock and Middle Eastern music to the stage of Union Pool, along with Bird Names, Nass Gwana, and Zebulon DJs. Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to this great show, and you can enter for your chance to win by emailing tickets@othermusic.com.

UNION POOL: 484 Union Ave. Williamsburg, BKLN

JUN Sun 23 Mon 24 Tues 25 Wed 26 Thurs 27 Fri 28 Sat 29

It's hard to imagine a more endearing rock & roll tale than that of these two young brothers who, in the late '70s, wrote and recorded Dreamin' Wild, a full album of imagined pop hits in a fully functioning recording studio that their father had built them on their family's rural Washington farm. While very few noticed at the time, decades later DIY pop savants like Ariel Pink began to champion this LP and Light in the Attic's reissue from last year made it on countless critics lists, including the very top of our Best of 2012 list. On Saturday, June 29, Donnie & Joe Emerson will be playing their first ever NYC show (and first performance outside of their home state) at the Mercury Lounge, and Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets! Email giveaway@othermusic.com for your chance to win.

MERCURY LOUNGE: 217 E. Houston St. NYC
Doors at 7:30PM | $15 Tickets Available Here

Other Music's summer Monday residency at New York City's Ace Hotel continues through to the end of August! During these next few months, you'll find a different member of our staff DJing their favorite records and countless varieties of music inside the gorgeous lobby bar every Monday evening from 8pm to midnight, and we hope you'll come and join us as we shake off those dog days that are finally here. So mark your calendar: Other Music's Summer DJ Residency at Ace Hotel, every Monday in June, July and August. Here's the schedule:

6/24 - Gerald Hammill
7/01 - Mikey IQ Jones
7/08 - Amanda Chouette
7/15 - Pam Garavano-Coolbaugh & Michael Stasiak
7/22 - Andreas Knutsen
7/29 - Scott Mou
8/05 - Amanda Chouette
8/12 - Chris Pappas
8/19 - Ryan Naideau
8/26- Pam Garavano-Coolbaugh & Michael Stasiak

ACE HOTEL: 20 W. 29th St. NYC
8:00pm to Midnight | Facebook Event Page






(Clay Pipe Music)

Jon Brooks is perhaps best known for his work on the Ghost Box label as the Advisory Circle, but he has built up quite a diverse and exemplary discography under his given name as well, mostly via a series of digital-only releases on his own Cafe Caput imprint. He steps out once again sans alias for Shapwick, a gorgeous LP of pastoral etudes and radiophonic folk melodies that's arguably his finest release to date overall. There's a sophistication here that hints at the work of everything from the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and Harold Budd to early Art of Noise productions, where gentle melodies are blanketed by thick, woolen ambience, and the experimentation is always derived via a kitchen-sink playfulness that evokes the anything-goes tape-splice spirit of Delia Derbyshire's BBC Radiophonic Workshop pieces. These are heavy comparisons to be making, yes, but that's the beauty of this album; it soaks up all of these sonic references and creates something that nods to them yet never wholly apes or imitates. Brooks has shown ample talent in the past via similar releases, but this feels like one of the first in which his compositional talents AND production talents work together without the heavy contextual constraints of his Ghost Box and Caput output, creating an album that ranks highly upon my list of personal favorites of this year. This is an extremely limited edition LP -- less than 400 copies were produced for the world -- so if your appetite has been whetted, I urge you not to hesitate in picking this up. It's most highly recommended to fans of the usual Ghost Box/Radiophonic frippery, as well as more pop ambient fare. It's an album whose sounds are seemingly designed for the listeners to lose themselves inside. [IQ]




$22.99 LPx2+MP3
$29.99 LP+10"+MP3


(XL Recordings)


Sigur Rós are one of those rare, iconic groups whose sound is so distinctive, so singular, they are unmistakable. Many people love them, some deeply hate them -- I guess that is the mark of true art -- but few fans of underground music would ever mistake a new Sigur Rós track for anything but. And while you still can't miss Jónsi's elfin vocals or bowed guitar on this great new LP, there is a refreshing newness to Kveikur that finds the nearly two-decade-old group subtly reinventing themselves, reinvigorating their sound in a way that they have not in some time. After releasing the soporific Valtari last year, the band lost their longtime keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson and perhaps using that changeup to reexamine their own music, Sigur Rós have returned sounding edgier, more percussive and far heavier than they have in many years -- perhaps ever -- letting the stellar rhythm section define these new songs, with Jónsi's singing both sharper and louder than we've grown used to from this ethereal crooner. That one word -- ethereal -- has probably been the band's most common descriptor over the years, and Kveikur is not an ethereal album. It swoons, sure, and there is that inimitable sense of magic, but they sound tougher, more primal and far heavier than we've all grown used to, and it is a welcome change that shows that Sigur Rós have by no means become stale or complacent, and many fans will find their interest in the group similarly reinvigorated. [JM]




$13.99 CD
$19.99 LPx2+MP3



"Painful Like"

Album #2 for Toronto's dynamic new wave revivalist trio Austra builds off of the dark and sultry environments they brought us two summers ago with Feel It Break. Olympia is a more nuanced record than its predecessor, with driven, emotionally charged synth-pop battle cries (credit Katie Stelmanis' operatic vocal stylings) and sly nods to the whole of '80s keyboard music, from Goth to house. These influences are blended together so that no seams are shown, the group makes the logical connections between art and commerce -- the leap between Kate Bush and Martika, if you will. Olympia plays like music chiseled out of marble and polished to a creamy countenance. [DM]




$18.99 LP

The Source Family Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(Drag City)

"Penetration" Ya Ho Wa 13
"Every Morning" Father Yod & the Spirit of '76

The Source Family formed out of the vegetarian Source Restaurant in LA during the late 1960s/1970s. Father Yod, the family's leader and spiritual guide, led legions of like-minded individuals through a life of polygamous, often glamorous, spiritual enlightenment and artistic expression.

Music was also an integral part and during their time in the Family, Father Yod formed an improvisational psych-rock outfit called Ya Ho Wa 13. Their vinyl output from the '70s, nine LP albums that were sold at the Source Restaurant for $10 (!) a pop, have become total collector treasures over time. Here we have a compilation of tunes to complement a 2013 documentary film about the Family. The team at Drag City, along with filmmaker/mastermind Jodie Wille and No-Neck Blues Band multi-instrumentalist Dave Nuss, have handpicked some unreleased gems from the Ya Ho Wa 13 back catalogue of tape, unearthing rare recordings by off-shoots Father Yod & the Spirit of '76 and Children of the Sixth Root Race.

"Home" kicks the collection off with lyrics detailing the Family's prosperous life accompanied by finger-picked folk guitars. Folky! There's also no shortage of ritual chanting, and wacko esoteric jamming -- album highlight "I'm Gonna Take You Home" pairs amateurish, pounding, rhythmic drums with HEAVY fuzz guitar, in a style that pre-dated Sun City Girls by some 20 years. Closer to the end, "Kahoutek" sounds like it could have been an outtake from Ya Ho Wa's influential suite Penetration: An Aquarian Symphony, with Father crooning heavily over timpani drums, gongs, and hippie flute. It's a great -- if scattered -- collection of psch-o-delic music from one of the most interesting 'families' of the flower power gen. Definitely grip this collection, or perhaps track down some of the original album reissues floating around, and more importantly: SEE THE DOCUMENTARY!!! [RN]






(Def Jam)

"On Sight"
"Bound 2"

Within this year of big releases and strong returns, one of the most complex and problematic personalities with a fresh album to dissect is the somewhat re-booted Kanye West. His sixth solo record is his darkest and weirdest production to date, and could be called West's minimalist, EDM, new wave, Chicago-inspired album; many creative artists, after making a "masterpiece," seem to feel the need to fuck things up and shift gears, for themselves and their public, and Yeezus fits that bill. He did it before after the success of Graduation, with 808s & Heartbreak, and here, once again, West makes the move from 'rapper' to 'artist.' On the one hand it's an amped-up electronic noise/drums and synth exercise in (or should I say exorcism of) restraint facing off against bloated self-importance and gratification. On the other hand it's a well-crafted mess of potent and fiery emotion, pungent language, cyber-immediacy, anger, pornography, noise, soul, and, umm... Kanye. Almost nowhere do you find the young producer turned MC who made The College Dropout. (A lot has happened in ten years).

Kanye, like Madonna, has a knack for pulling some of the best talent from the underground to help make his high profile albums, and persona, feel current and edgy (both freely use sexual and religious themes as well). Unlike Madonna, West started as an award winning, talented producer, but he's not afraid to face off with the best, and production assistance on Yeezus comes from a hand-picked crew of dark-minded beat makers, electronic masterminds, new-era Chicago talent, and I'm sure you've heard, Rick Rubin. Pushing the buttons, in various combinations, are Daft Punk (five songs), RZA (one), Hudson Mohawke/TNGHT (four/one), Arca (three), Young Chop (five), Evian Christ (one), Travi$ Scott (five), and mainstay Mike Dean (seven), all offering some dark, thick, rich, and abrasive source material to be sculpted. West himself is only credited on four of the ten songs, with Rubin's reductive hands helping to tie all the raw material into a cohesive whole. Still, things don't quite sound like they read.

West continues to experiment and expand the perception and expectation of himself and his art. It's a risky roll of the dice, for sure, yet he has a talent combining elements that feel radical and off-putting, and for the most part this has worked well for him. His last few albums have been bursting with sound and voices, like he was scoring an epic big budget film (one track famously included 42 people). To keep the record 'minimal,' Rick Rubin's input as executive producer feels like the blessing that Yeezus needed. Rubin apparently removed a lot of the original layers of sound, reframing elements and offering assistance in the final thick and heavy yet spacious feel of the album. Oddly enough, at times the production is not so removed from the frenetic NYC black-queer hip-hop scene -- artists like Le1f, Mykki Blanco, and Zebra Katz, all have used similar assaulting, druggy soundscapes and motifs on their indie-released mix-tapes; even Saul Williams' work with Trent Reznor, or Death Grips' overload, feels like it lives in a likeminded world of sound. Yet Kanye takes this trend of black goth, noise, cloud rap, drill, trap, ratchet, slowed-down house, electro-rock, acid, dancehall, and industrial, and turns it all up a notch. He crafts a personal story full of unfulfilled relationships, interracial politics, class frustration, misogyny and machismo, corporate player hating, club hopping, and dick swinging. This is bleak and deep mood music, and isn't bothered with an obvious or easy single this time around, however, it is still full of polarizing moments. Tribal drums, drum machine bass drops, video game bleeps, screechy high register sounds, choppy rhythms, spooky synth chords, and sonic drops and cut outs make up most of the music landscape. A slew of 'playful' samples come from Asha Bhosle, Wee, Gary Glitter, Omega, Brenda Lee, Ponderosa Twins Plus One, and Kenny Lattimore, with the more eerie moments coming from bits of Beenie Man, Capleton, C Murder, and Nina Simone.

On the vocal side it is relatively short on guests, yet strong on presence. Frank Ocean, Justin Vernon, Tony Williams, Kid Cudi, King Louie, Iamsu!, Charlie Wilson, and Chief Keef all get worked into the final mix, mostly during the second half. Together they construct a hip-hop version of The Hangover, with Kanye as ringleader -- all rowdy, vulgar, liquefied, spiteful and heated. The record does have an overall arc, loosely, from awkward frustrated player to awkward outsider. Since some of the vocals were recorded days before the album was due, at moments West's verses feel like rushing freestyles. Though musically it feels forward thinking, his subject matter still seems somewhat stagnant. Rapping was never his strongest talent, yet his message is heavy, and his rhymes are becoming more unhinged. Vocoder crooning, screaming, rapping, auto-tuning, testifying, boasting, chopped and screwed choruses, all often as brilliant as it is ridiculous.

Yeezus is Kanye's Kid A, or better yet, his Black Album (the Prince one, not Jay-Z), a fractured, personal tale of an artist who feels trapped, yet he's not scared; he's confrontational, creative, and screaming his head off. After a few listens I'm starting to hear a message, where at first it was just sort of a mess. Fans of any of the above (sans Bon Iver), or Kanye's work since 808s, this feels like that album's black eyeliner and leather kilt-wearing, not-so-distant older (male) cousin -- a purposeful side step in a still forward-moving career. Is it great? It has many moments, and the short running time definitely adds to its strength. Yeesuz is a perplexing listen, that's for sure, and perhaps one of West's creative best. [DG]




$18.99 LPx2+CD

More Light

"Tenement Kid"

On their first new album in five years, Primal Scream return to the experimentation of their best work, though it's a much more organic (and slighter) affair than Screamadelica to be sure. The sonic palette is closer to Vanishing Point tracks like "Get Duffy" or XTRMNTR's "Blood Money," but what's immediately striking about More Light, and sets it apart from classics of the past, is the emphasis on brass, which provides more light indeed. A mixture of the many styles they've attempted in the past, the record benefits from textural subtlety. Rock & roll swagger is evident in places, but is a lot more tempered and hazy than it was on '90s tracks like "Rocks" or "Medication." "Tenement Kid" rides a 3/4 jazz vamp into exciting uncharted territory. "Invisible City" echoes the straight-ahead motorik vibes of Evil Heat. "Walking with the Beast" is a lovely ballad on par with "Kill the King" or "Shine Like Stars." "It's Alright, It's OK," perhaps the catchiest number, closes the set with gospel vibes not a million miles away from "Movin' On Up" or "Come Together." There are guests ranging from Mark Stewart to Robert Plant to longtime members of the Sun Ra Arkestra, but the strength of the writing from core duo of Gillespie and Innes, combined with the widescreen production of David Holmes, assures that the contributions of outsiders are just subtle touches used to enhance their vision. More Light feels like a glorious return to form and is certainly Primal Scream's strongest effort of the last decade. [NN]




$17.99 LP

The Offset: Spectacles
(Rose Mansion Analog)

Excellent debut LP from Beijing's the Offset: Spectacles. Equal parts downer psych, lonesome Siltbreeze-ian dirge rock, and dark fuzzy guitar weirdness, it's one of the most interesting releases of the year, landing somewhere between a mysterious Far Eastern-tinged version of Eusa Kills-era Dead C and the melancholic "live" vibe of early Velvets. Heck, these dudes even back up Dirty Beaches on some of his new album! Totally cool, and for fans of DIY art punk of all varieties, the OG Velvet Underground, early Fall, LSD March, and much, much more. A great LP -- limited Chinese imports, one-time pressing of 500 already sold out at source! Enjoy. [RN]




$29.99 CD

Moshi Too

"Zombizar Reloaded"
"Leave Before the Gospel"

Barney Wilen was a French composer and tenor saxophonist who recorded and played with luminaries like Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk, and Martial Solal; as a leader and composer, he has made albums that range from straight-ahead jazz to flirtations with psychedelic rock and even early synth/sequencer technologies. One of his most unique recordings, though, was Moshi, an album recorded for the Saravah label which saw him load up a cargo van with Nagra tape recorders and a handful of microphones, joined by a bevy of band mates as they traveled across the African countryside. They'd jam and improvise with local tribesmen, seasoned local vets, and even the occasional street musician, recording everything and releasing the results as a sprawling two-LP opus that fetches insane sums on the collector market.

This is essentially an augmented/alternate version of that record, compiled from alternate and extended takes of the original Moshi's best cuts, as well as a number of recordings from those same road trip sessions that never saw the light of day until now. It's a stunning, hypnotic, and celebratory album and a lovely document of the sociopolitical power of music, overflowing with deep grooves, wild performances, and entertaining interactions; the studio cuts move into hybrids of African griot traditions and soulful pop and gnarly psychedelic fuzz, while the street performances get wholly wild and raw, filled with some deep, trance-inducing invocations, impassioned vocal chants, and ample polyrhythmic percussion workouts. Yes, it's somewhat pricey, but considering how much coin an original copy of Moshi is going to set you back, I cannot recommend this absolute monster of an album enough. Weirdo jazz heads, esoteric groove hounds, and those who dig a bit of cultural fusion blended with your Afro-jams should grip this IMMEDIATELY!! [IQ]




$24.99 LP

Time Off
(Paradise of Bachelors)

"Water Wheel"
"New Decline"

Okay, here's the thing. Many of you have never heard OF Steve Gunn as a solo artist, but you've heard his guitar sprinkled all over. Whether it's performing DIY avant-weirdness (GHQ & co.) or with indie rock stalwarts (Kurt Vile's backing band), or perhaps you've seen him opening up for someone in the greater East Coast folk-dude community; he's there and he's been playing his heart out. Steve Gunn has steadily and quietly been refining his brand of finger-picked Fahey styling over the last few years, culminating with 2009 masterpiece Boerum Palace on Three Lobed. When that record came out -- for the people who heard it -- it made a lot of sense. Soft guitar moves with buried, heavy, raspy vocals, and the kind of repetitive melodies that build and build only to eventually burn out and reside in a peaceful place. It felt like a record for people who loved music and were well versed in classic albums of yore.

Time Off is Gunn's first proper LP with a "band" and oh boy is it good. Front-porch jammer "Water Wheel" kicks the album off and really sets the pace, with Gunn playing guitar softly against a solid rhythm section, awash with crackling percussion. Next up, "Lurker" burns bright like an American Beauty b-side with shimmering acoustics and a wandering electric solo sealing the deal. This song absolutely KILLS it for seven minutes, leaving the listener both beauty-ful and stoned. "Street Keeper" has a nice late '60s/'70s baroque vibe -- maybe Left Banke? Moby Grape? -- while "New Decline" riffs on the road-weary chug of Boogie with Canned Heat. Everything on here is superb and sounds like that classic Americana record you've been waiting for this year. It's Gunn's vision come to life! Slide guitars, in-the-pocket playing, and thoughtful singing. Take this one on your next road trip! [RN]




$22.99 LP


Five Days Married & Other Laments: Song and Dance from Northern Greece 1928-58
(Angry Mom)

For more than a decade, Christopher King has proven his mettle as a foremost collector, curator, and restorer of vintage American vernacular music. And, for the past several years, he's been exhibiting a similar adeptness with regard to early commercial recordings of Polish, Ukrainian, Greek, and Albanian traditions. Five Days Married & Other Laments is King's second volume devoted to the demotika (folk music) of Epirus (Northern Greece and Southern Albania), following 2011's Don't Trust Your Neighbors, a staggering compilation of Albanian lyric songs and dance tunes originally released on 78-rpm recordings in the 1920s and '30s. Five Days moves further south to incorporate material from Roma and Greek musicians, and although the religions and languages change, the music -- made by keening clarinets, frenzied fiddles, throbbing vocal polyphony, and a shrieking shepherd's flute -- remains profoundly affecting.

Don't Trust Your Neighbors, Five Days Married, and King's four-CD Beyond Rembetika set (released last month by JSP) could be considered correctives for the enduring emphasis placed on rebetika, the music of the urban Greek underworld, and, as such, they're essential: there's a hill-country wildness to these performances that are a welcome counterweight to the (ironically) more sober sounding singers of the cafés and hash dens of the cities. But this music isn't remotely of value only because of what it's not -- each of the fourteen selections of Five Days Married is a bona fide masterpiece, some full of gasping longing, others of boundless joy, but all of them succeeding in reaching, in King's words, "the very discreet act of catharsis as a collective whole and [converging] on a higher plateau of harmony and vitality." This record features that rarest caliber of music: the music you had no idea existed, but that, now that you've heard it, you couldn't bear to be without. [NS]




$6.99 CS


With Whiskey Hail Cassette

If we had a "Cassette of the Week" feature this one would definitely hold the title, the debut EP from a pretty great new NYC duo who have been making the rounds of late. Che Chen (12-string electric guitar) and Rick Brown (percussion -- including a big old wooden box, if you happen to be partial to those) each have deep roots in NYC underground, from the current avant-garde and improv scenes back to the days of post-punk, with many stops in between, but this is the first time the two have played together, and it's an inspired combination. 75 Dollar Bill's most obvious inspiration is the deeply hypnotic Tuareg blues scene from West Africa -- desert blues, itself influenced by American blues, which grew out of African traditional music, and so on, and so on, but now filtered through Brooklyn 2013. Chen's guitar is both drone-heavy and intricately detailed, fluid and full of movement and light and yet often stuck in a rutted and muddy one-note grove, and Brown's rhythms manage to stay deep in the pocket throughout, yet add lots of color and texture. Appropriate to the African cassette culture that inspired it, this is a cassette-only release, limited to 100 copies, and it smokes. [JM]




$16.99 LP


This Is Another Life
(Sacred Bones)

"In a Suit Made of Ash"

Case Studies is the new-ish project of former Dutchess & the Duke singer/songwriter Jesse Lortz, and continues where that group left off on 2009's excellent Sunset/Sunrise, with a string of melancholic, subtlety rocking, world-weary country-leaning ballads and songs. However, Case Studies is different from D&D; it's lonelier, slightly more desperate, and ultimately pretty far-out. Calling on a cast of characters far and wide (rumor has it Crystal Stilts dudes played on the last one and Gris Gris people helped jam on these tunes), Lortz sounds better than ever with his gentle baritone steadily carrying the tracks. An opening suite, "Passage/Me in the Dark," pairs heavy plodding piano with a wailing single-string guitar note solo, fading out into the darkness. Marissa Nadler even guests on "Villain," lending her weeping vocals for an Emmylou style tearjerker. An easy contender for folk-rock record of the year, file this one next to Ocean Beach, The Boatman's Call, Rehearsals for Departure, Wit's End, and keep and ear out for further 'studies.' [RN]






Blowout Comb
(Modern Classics)

In 1994, Digable Planets released their second -- and, as it turned out, final -- album, Blowout Comb. The trio of Doodlebug (Craig Irving), Ladybug Mecca (Mary Ann Vieria), and Butterfly (Ishmael Butler, who would resurface almost two decades later with the excellent Shabazz Palaces project) were riding a wave of success and inevitable backlash at the time, after scoring a top-20 pop hit and a Grammy with their debut the previous year. They were not the first to explore a jazz-rap formula, but their breakout success led haters to tag the trio as a novelty act, or, harsher still, not 'real' hip-hop. With Blowout Comb, Digable Planets set out to show that they were deeper and more valuable to the genre that anyone could have predicted, and it has since become a much-loved cult release within the elder hip-hop community. The album is essentially the soundtrack to a black power block party; instead of relying primarily on Blue Note-era jazz to sample and weave into their tracks, they brought in more live players to give the record a party-in-the-park jam session vibe. Also removed is the "cool like that" type of phrasing and cutesy lyrics, replaced with deep reflections on '90s boho New York, and a strong embrace of the self-empowerment, mythology and fight of the past civil rights movement. Yet it never gets overwrought or too heavy to simply enjoy. With only a few guests -- spot-on vocals from Guru, Jeru, and Sara Webb -- the trio established a tight-knit crew of heady and funky messengers. There's a bit of jazz, some bohemia, lots of vibing and prophesying, some funk, and a whole lot of love, making for a classic time capsule of a lost era in hip-hop. This excellent vinyl reissue brings back memories of when hip-hop was fun, musical, and above all thoughtful, opening the minds and souls of its listeners, and meant to be enjoyed across generations. For me, this record sits next to great hip-hop album of the 1990s like Gang Starr's Daily Operation, A Tribe Callec Quest's Low End Theory, or Pete Rock & CL Smooth's Mecca and the Soul Brothers. For those that like their hip-hop earthy, jazzy, and thought provoking, this is one that has remained solid and classic through the years. If you don't already have Blowout Comb, here's your chance. The new double-vinyl packaging also comes with a poster and liner notes from Larry Mizelle Jr. [DG]






First Issue
(Light in the Attic)

"Public Image"

First Issue was a statement of intent as well as one of liberation, the 1978 debut of John Lydon's post-Sex Pistols endeavor having the need to carry a lot of weight in terms of the singer's former output, and its inevitable implosion. First Issue indeed hauls a ponderous weight, but one of purely musical heft, Lydon exonerating himself from his Rotten responsibilities, taking down Malcolm McLaren ("Public Image") and former bandmate Sid Vicious ("Low Life") with them. This was a fresh start for Lydon, and with bassist Jah Wobble's impossibly deep low-end and guitarist Keith Levene's endless sustain and sheet-metal clang (thank his Veleno for that), the group explored the spaces between dub reggae and rock with tremendous success. "Theme" and "Religion II" deliver concussive, slow blasts of deliberate instrumental torture, with seasick bass and invective that would find its way all over the album. After side one closer "Annalisa" (based on a true Exorcist-style story that took place in a German family), the record picks up, and all but defines the New Wave that would move forward from here, particularly in the radio-ready "Public Image," all its rock 'n' roll snarl sawed off in favor of minimal, strident chords and a massive chorus. The record was enough of a hit to keep PiL moving forward, and though the albums that followed -- 1979's Metal Box and 1981's Flowers of Romance -- pushed the envelope even further, First Issue is a joy to behold, a simplistic and effective break from infamy into real art. Light in the Attic's reissue, the first-ever US pressing of this classic, includes B-side "Cowboy Song" and an enlightening hour-long interview with Lydon on BBC Radio 1 from the fall of '78. [DM]






Trance Formations II: Into Separate Realities
(Deep Distance)

JD Emmanuel made some heavy waves a few years back when his epic Wizards album saw rerelease; its hypnotic invocations of synthesized compositional minimalism caused the hair on the backs of many necks to stand upright, and we're delighted to be able to offer another rare dispatch by the man for limited edition consumption. Trance-Formations II is a set of recordings made using Yamaha QY-10 and Korg X5DR synth modules during the 1990s, and these recordings take his sound a bit further into the present tense, but in the best possible way. This is easily the most kinetically driven release he's made, and it shows more diversity in his approach, with the soothing ambiances augmented by fluttering tickertapes of stuttered breath, deep bass pulsations, and heavy stereo panning. The album paints an environment utilizing a broad palette of sonic textures, from chiming bell tones, saw-toothed waves, and slowly hissing gaseous emissions, anchored by the circular, ritualistic thump of tribal cymbals and drum pads. Fans of Coil's more psychedelic 1990s work should pay close attention to this, as it evokes a similar territory to their Nasa-Arab/Love's Secret Domain period in pure vibe. If you're a fan, you definitely want this; if you're new to Emmanuel's world and are curious, don't wait long, as this LP is limited to just 500 copies and is already out of print. We won't be seeing these ever again, so grab this quiet killer while you still have the chance! [IQ]






Yessir Whatever
(Stones Throw)

"Broad Factor"
"Am I Confused?"

Of Madlib's many projects, perhaps his most beloved is Quasimoto. Like Prince Paul and early De La Soul, Madlib's "bad character" is actually a lot of psychedelic hip-hop fun; Lord Quasi is a blunt-smoking, brick-throwing, crate-digging, jazz- and soundtrack-loving oddball with a pitch-shifted voice, and his songs are little gems of sampledelic beauty. He ran with MF Doom and J-Dilla, living in the same abstract-hop part of town, and Yessir Whatever is a scrapbook from the old neighborhood, a collection of twelve tracks recorded over the last twelve years. These are b-sides, compilation cuts, rare and out-of print singles, a die-hard's collection for the backpacking crate digger. Maybe not as good as a new album could have been, but good to have just the same. (Includes a peel-away sticker cover!) [DG]







Will Wiesenfeld a/k/a Baths was not in a good place while he was recording this album; his second long-player was made at a time when he was bedridden for months with an E. Coli infection. He was alone, trapped and bereft, and if you have ever had a blood transfusion, you know that when the ice-cold blood injection mixes with your own warm blood, it can create quite a shock of confusion and rage. It was here in this gloomy and dank frame of mind that Obsidian was created. This is rough and aching music filled with staggering moments of pure beauty amid the loss. Pagan piano dirges help lift the record as Wiesenfeld builds songs in layers, with the proficiency of his classical music training. You have to have a keen and patient ear to discover each part; dark gothic and experimental in texture, it's pure, raw pathos with no hint of fluff -- sampled rain runs down the roof mixed with basic bright chord bleeps; high falsetto vocals break through the murkiness throughout the record, sounding as if a phantom boy choir was trapped in the highest arches of an abandoned and withered cathedral.

During "Worsening" Wiesenfeld intones, "Where is God when you hate him the most," and his scatterbrain textures and primal rhythms mix and meld into a heady soup of introspective poisoned poetry. It's not too far off from Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine, but more abstract and offbeat. The main theme here is depravity and mortality, and who else could make you want to sing along to the twisted line, "It is you who made me want to kill myself"? As with Bath's debut, he recorded this alone in his bedroom, but this time tied to his intravenous drip and his family of computers and synths. A bedroom is a sacred and safe place, it is a place you share with someone you love the most. It's not a place to be violated, but in these solemn hymns to strained love and unexpected loss, Wiesenfeld does not feel safe anywhere. Your lover, or a piercing needle, can penetrate you when you least expect it. Your soul consumed and swallowed whole. Still, in any arcane and dire place there can be hope. Within this album, he is in the corner of that bedroom holding that one lone candle in the darkness. Beauty can peek and filter out of almost anything, and within a tired and fragile soul, Wiesenfeld has found his inner redemptive spirit. [MF]




$19.99 LP


(Medical Records)

Though they emerged from the Italo disco scene in the late 1970s, Italian space rockers I Signori Della Galassia embraced an approach that was more far-reaching than their contemporaries. While the group utilized the analogue synths and drum machines popular with other cosmic disco artists of the era, they also accessed many disparate elements, including proggy keytars, choral vocals, and baroque harpsichords, their avant-garde technique delivered with a sensibility more in tune with sci-fi movie soundtracks, but still appropriate for a dance party. With its genre-bending themes, Iceman aims to both excite and distort the listener throughout a mélange of ethereal soundscapes. I Signori Della Glassia (translated as "the Men of Galaxy") disbanded in 1980, yet this 1979 LP has been a much sought after record and will surely be appreciated by fans of prog-robot-rock, retro-futurists, and collectors of Kraftwerk rarities. This otherworldly delight is reissued by Medical Records on 180-gram silver-colored vinyl in a limited edition of 650 copies. [ACo]






The Piramida Concert

Recorded over the course of two sold-out nights in Efterklang's hometown at Copenhagen's Royal Academy of Music Concert Hall, this limited 2LP is a stunning document of the Danish band presenting their fourth album, Piramida, in its entirety, backed by the 33-piece Copenhagen Phil Orchestra directed by German conductor Andre de Ridder, along with guest musicians like Peter Broderick, Katinka Fogh Vindelev and Budgie (Siouxsie and the Banshees/Creatures). Also includes a live performance of "So" (a song written during the recording of Piramida) and "Valev," a classical piece commissioned by the band and composed by Karsten Fundal. Double vinyl comes housed in a gatefold sleeve designed by Danish artists Hvass&Hannibal.




$14.99 CD


(Temporary Residency)

"The Trail of Tears"

Composer and experimental sound artist William Basinski's anticipated Nocturnes is his first new solo recording released in four years. There's just something about the way that Basinksi is able to stop time for the listener, and he does just that with the first piece, the forty-minute title track (originally written between 1979 and '80), with ghostly loops of prepared piano slowly unfolding and sounding as if they were emanating from the remains of a wrecked ship at the bottom of the ocean. The second piece, "The Trail of Tears," was originally recorded for Robert Wilson's 2009 opera, The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, and is a denser, gauzy 28-minute cycle of orchestrated tape loops and delay recordings divided into two distinct sections and true to his best work, is emotionally affecting even as he lures you into a dreamlike trance.






Between Two Selves
(100% Silk)

"Come Closer"
"Who I Will Become"

Excellent full-length debut from Brooklyn-based producer Michael Bouldry-Morrison, whose output as Octo Octa has always been more refined and dancefloor friendly than most of his label mates on 100% Silk and its parent label Not Not Fun. Here Bouldry-Morrison builds upon earlier 12" singles like 2011's Amerie-sampling "I'm Trying," his soft-focus house productions naturally inspired by earlier classics from Chicago, Detroit, New York, New Jersey and the U.K. but updated with a nice dreamlike sheen that's of his own, making for music that's all at once cerebral yet club-ready. Recommended!




$23.99 BK

Hard Art, DC 1979 - Photo Book
(Akashic Books)

A fantastic collection of photographs taken by future Pulitzer Prize winner Lucian Perkins capturing the then nascent D.C. punk scene with oft-exhilarating images of the likes of Bad Brains, Trenchmouth, the Teen Idles and more. Hardcover, 100 pages, with commentary throughout by Alec MacKaye and an essay by Henry Rollins. Also of note: this Thursday, June 20th, St. Mark's Bookshop in NYC will be hosting a book event for Hard Art, with Lucian Perkins and Alec MaKaye and special guests TBA!






How Far Away

"Don't Look Down"
"Home I Love"

Accompanied by a rotating cast of players that include members of Big Troubles, Mountain Man, and Woods, Real Estate's Alex Bleeker follows up his self-titled full-length from 2009 with How Far Away, which injects his main band's DIY jangle with some countrified flourishes and subtle hippie vibes. All in all a nice, easy-going set that stands in stark contrast to the oft-experimental and icy pop sounds of Real Estate bandmate Matt Mondanile's Ducktails project.




$9.99 CD
$11.99 10"

The Weight of the Globe
(Asthmatic Kitty)

"These Great Things"

The bare-bones black and white video for Lily & Madeleine's first ever original, "In the Middle," racked up over a quarter-of-a-million views on YouTube last fall and Asthmatic Kitty has since taken these teenaged sisters from Indiana under their wing, releasing their debut EP. Produced by Paul Mahern, The Weight of the Globe belies their young age with timeless melodies and harmonies and gorgeous accompaniment that fans from First Aid Kit to Laura Marling will want to check out.




$9.00 MG

Issue #353 July 2013
(Wire Magazine)

July 2013 issue of Wire features New Zealand underground rock luminaries the Dead C on the cover. Also inside: Berlin-based engineer Rashad Becker (Dubplates & Mastering), The Primer featuring Don Cherry, Invisible Jukebox with Pangaea, Japanese sound artist Ryoko Akama, Hong Kong's Kowloon, and more.




$8.99 MG

Issue #33
(Shindig! Magazine)

The newest issue of Shindig! features LA garage-punks the Seeds on the cover. Also inside: Sandie Shaw, Detroit psych-rockers the Third Power, Australia's You Am I, Kim Fowley, Francoise Hardy, Pied Piper Records, Michael Chapman, Led Zeppelin, and more.




$14.99 CD

(Lion Productions)

Man, this album. It's still one of my favorite discoveries in all of my years of working and writing reviews for Other Music. I'm also still amazed that Chris and Josh let me do an initial order of one hundred copies of it from Argentina back in 2005! We did end up selling all of them though, and many more besides. That original edition has been hard to come by the last few years, however, and thankfully Lion Productions has brought out a brand new domestic version which includes an incredible 32-page booklet that fills in some of the mystery surrounding the architect of this amazing masterpiece. It looks and sounds better than ever, and whether you're one of the lucky customers who picked it up the first time around, or someone who has unfortunately never heard this sublime music, then you owe it to yourself to grab this definitive version.

An undeniably beautiful gem from the early-'70s Chilean underground, Congregacion's album Viene is a rarely heard masterpiece full of delicate atmospherics and dreamy textures. Congregacion (not to be confused with those other OM Chilean favorites Congreso) were a group spearheaded by the apparently mythical figure of Antonio Smith, whose progressive and hopeful lyrics no doubt earned him the enmity of the Chilean military dictatorship; he was forced to flee the country and Viene proved to be Congregacion's only release. I personally think that if things had worked out differently this album would be held in as high regard as comparable masterpieces like Milton Nascimento's Clube de Esquina or Joyce and Nelson Angelo's eponymous work from the same year as the present release. Viene shares with those albums a highly evocative sense of space, using natural sounds and lots of acoustic texxtures to foreground Smith's soaring melodies. The results are incredibly romantic, and this is one of those perfect records that works just as well on a Sunday morning as it does late on any given night. Like another album that Viene reminds me of, Bulent's Benimle Oynar Misin (featured below), it has just the perfect balance of gently arranged pop and plaintively sorrowful folk. This is a very highly recommended album that is surely one of the pinnacles of Latin American folk. [MK]






Benimle Oynar Misin

Another one of our all time favorite releases that's finally available again, and at a new lower price than when we first carried it on our shelves back in 2004.

Every once in a while, you hear a record for the very first time and it becomes instantly ingrained into your memory. You intuitively know every note before it comes, you can hum along from start to finish, you feel that it has always been with you and will stay with you for eternity. Bulent Ortacgil's absolutely phenomenal 1974 debut Benimle Oynar Misin is considered a landmark album in his native Turkey, but after all these decades the singer-songwriter remains virtually unknown in the United States. Bulent's songs are written and arranged simply and tastefully, with his voice and gorgeous fingerpicked guitar playing in the forefront of almost every track, and sparse accompaniment on piano, trumpet, saxophone, strings, and several other instruments played by a long list of sidemen and women. The music on this record follows in the tradition of Nick Drake, Donovan, Duncan Browne, the Pentangle, Dando Shaft, Fairport Convention, and other like-minded British folk singers and folk rock bands. The mood is melancholic, but with a strong underlying sense of hope and joy.

Even though I don't understand a word of Turkish, this is one of the most moving and engrossing albums I've heard in ages. It's sort of unfortunate that the liner notes don't include English translations, because it's hard to imagine that the lyrics are anything less than brilliant. At the same time, it's refreshing to listen and pay attention only to the emotion in the voice and not to its verbal content. It's truly too beautiful to put into any words that I've ever heard, and after spending just a few weeks with it I already consider it one of my absolute favorite albums of all time. Don't sleep on this one, folks, this is a record that promises to stick with you for a long, long time. [RH]






Toncho Pilatos
(Universal Music Mexico)

"Dejenla en Paz"
"Tommy Lyz"

We snagged a small stack of this extremely ripping early-'70s Mexican rock record back in 2009, which we proceeded to sell out of in about a day after we reviewed it. Much to our dismay, it's taken four years (!) to get it back in stock, and who knows how long we'll be able to keep it around this time, so if you're remotely interested we'd say you'd best act fast. And oh, by the way, it actually sounds even better to our ears four years later!!!

A totally sick, jamming, blues-damaged Mexican psych band that was somewhat famously lauded by Beck at some point or other, these dudes sound tough and even vaguely threatening on tracks like "Drunk Again" and "Dejenla En Paz" (Let Her Be), no doubt due to an over-exposure to the Jagger/Richards and Free songbooks. But they take those influences and make them sound all crazy and loose, creating a super off-kilter and cocky mess that is easily the most rockin' reissue I've heard from south of the border in ages. A short, sweet, wicked little masterpiece that's nearly impossible to fully convey how awesome it is. [MK]
Previous Other Music Updates.

Visit www.othermusic.com.


Phone orders are accepted at
(212) 477-8150 (ext. #2, mailorder) Mon-Fri, Noon - 7pm EST

For general inquiries or other information please email sales@othermusic.com. Do not reply to this message.

This is an automated list. If you would like to be removed for any reason:
Click here to unsubscribe


[ACo] Anastasia Cohen
[MF] Michael Fellows
[DG] Daniel Givens
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[MK] Michael Klausman
[JM] Josh Madell
[DM] Doug Mosurock
[RN] Ryan Naideau
[NN] Ning Nong
[NS] Nathan Salsburg

- all of us at Other Music

    Copyright 2013 Other Music
Newsletter Design Big Code