Other Music New Release Update
August 16, 2000

In This Week's Update:

B. Fleischmann
Noonday Underground
"Kompakt 2" compilation
Volcano the Bear
"Le Jazz Non" comp. (noise from Norway)
"La Generation Readymade 2000" comp.
2080 (modern German electro/new wave) comp.
Joy Division BBC sessions
Chris Lee  
Kraan (2 reissues)
Nara Leao reissue
Broasted or Fried (Latin boogaloo/funk) reissue comp.
The Shrine Afrobeat reissue comp.
Giuseppi Logan ESP reissue
Analog Brothers (Ice T and Kool Keith)

Featured New Releases:

B. FLEISCHMANN "A Choir of Empty Beds" (Fuzzy Box) CD $12.99
B. Fleischmann's latest collects nine cohesive tunes of pop-laden
electronica. Bubbling like Aphex Twin and melodic like Eno's "Another
Green World", B. Fleischmann injects melodies into an electronic framework
in a way rarely accomplished by his peers. The slow beats provide a steady
backbone for the layered electronics that wave in and out of the mix,
better suited for light head-bobbing than the dancefloor. Songs such as
'Play the Big A' and 'Sono' capture a slightly more acoustic feel, with the
simple xylophone taking a playful lead over the textures and beats. "A
Choir of Empty Beds" is a highly imaginative hybrid of melodic
sensibilities and computer music. [PW]

NOONDAY UNDERGROUND "Self-Assembly" (M21, UK) CD $13.99
Along with Jim Beattie (of Spirea X and Primal Scream), Simon Dine was a
core member of the first incarnation of Adventures in Stereo -- you know,
when they still used all the '60s samples and had a sense of how to make
gorgeous, timeless pop songs from history's fragments. But Dine left the
group after their second album together (that awesome collection of their
earliest singles), to work on his own project, Noonday Underground. Noonday
captures that same combination of cut-up Phil Spector with the fierce side
of girl-group soul, samples of the punchiest (or the smoothest) early '60s
pop records formed into swelling, crashing beats. And Dine had the
foresight to skip over any run-of-the-mill sweet girl singer and landed
vocalist Daisy Martey on half of the tracks, whose powerful pipes sound
like a smoother, more polished Janis Joplin. Imagine De La Soul without the
rap or a patchwork Dusty Springfield and you're close. Really splendid. [RE]

[V/A] "Kompakt Total 2" (Kompakt, Germany) CD $15.99
The second label compilation from Mike Ink's excellent German
techno/minimal house imprint Kompakt, with roughly half brand new tracks,
the other half taken from previously-released 12"s on Kompakt and other
labels. A super, furred merging of minimalist electronics (the sterile
scratch) and styley 4/4 house, most tracks are beat-friendly, a little like
the excellent "Deutscher Funk" compilation from a few years ago. These
tracks seem to all exist in the same production space -- chilly, serene, a
little murky -- not underwater so much as under vodka or under solvent. And
vocals! They actually include vocals, from fragmented divas to hesitant
tenors a la Aphex Twin: Brinkmann's soul direction must be rubbing off.
Includes Dettinger, Reinhard Voigt, and Jonas Bering as well as some  
newcomers, notably Lawrence and Jimmi Moon. Much, much better than
even the very good "Kompakt Total 1". [RE]

VOLCANO THE BEAR "The One that Burned Ma" (Misra) CD $12.99
You'll wonder what the hell provoked this four-piece into making these
sounds. Like Can with four Damo Suzukis, or the Magic Carpathians minus all
psych and Eastern-European cultural references, Volcano the Bear's approach
is rootless, mysterious, blob-like. While their music is vaguely ethnic in
scale and rhythms, it's ethnicity (they're from Leicester, England) is
either Gondwanalandian or a conglomerate like Vietnamese/Guatemalan/Pygmy.
Wordless howling, different tunings, bird decoys, torrential rains,
artificial screams set it apart; doubled acoustic guitar echoes and urgent
strings and bagpipes bring it back to the world of the 'real'. Cathedral
chambers of drone -- monkish vox and baritone bees -- fill hollow spaces of
rhythm, rough twangs and damaged tambourine. Psychedelic without any
stereotypical motifs or trappings, they've made a record so good you don't
need drugs to appreciate it. I find it way more engaging than their first
two, and not entirely unsilly. [RE]

[V/A] "Le Jazz Non: A Compilation of Norwegian Noise" (Smalltown Supersound) CD $13.99
Clever Norwegian response to Corpus Hermeticum's same-titled 1996
compilation of New Zealand outsider noise (via Bruce Russell of the Dead C)
features knowns (Supersilent, Lasse Marhaug, Kjetil D. Brandsdal,
Jazzkammer) and lesser-knowns (everybody else) demonstrating the kinder,
gentler side of noise. "I rapidly formed the opinion that without any
direct influence, 'fringe' sound artists in both New Zealand and Norway had
come to occupy uncannily similar positions within the full spectrum of
'outside music' experimentation. While both nations have produced harsh
noise artists in the classic Japanese style, overall both tend towards the
quieter, more melancholy and 'cool' (as in glacial) side of the tracks.
Norwegian noise artists are more likely to unsettle the listener with
almost-listenable improvisations that teeter constantly on the edge of
ugliness, rather than bludgeon you with an all-out assault on your
hearing."--Bruce Russell, from his liner notes. And quite a spectrum it is:
white noise to free jazz (contrary to the title), haunting electro-ambient
to agile musique concrete, with some beats tossed in for good measure. Over
70 minutes running time. One of the most diverse yet consistently rewarding
compilations I've heard in quite some time! [JG]

[V/A] "La Generation Readymade 2000" (Readymade, Japan) CD $22.99
The Readymade Records stable of artists is a small but close-knit group,
and this album showcases the current state of their union. Label producer
Yasuharu Konishi is represented on three of the disk's nine tracks: as
remixer on 'Punch the Monkey', with his side project Rocketman, and with
Maki Nomiya as Pizzicato Five. Miss Nomiya also appears here as a solo
artist along with newcomer Mansfield (aka Masanori Ikeda), whose sweeping
'Mansfield's Theme' is one of the album's best tracks along with Comoestas'
Latin thriller 'Mambo Kuroneko' (RealAudio above). The most notable track,
however, is the J.Girls fantastic 'World of Yellow' (RA above) culled from
the Readymade release "Good Night Tokyo" which compiles Japanese clubpop
from 1967 to 1972(!). It's remarkable not only because it's a great song,
but because it reveals (for Westerners at least) some early influences on
this unique style of modern music. [TC]

MANSFIELD "6 Complexions of Mansfield" (Readymade, Japan) CD EP $22.99
The mighty Tomoyuki Tanaka of Fantastic Plastic Machine casts a long shadow
over the world of international clubpop. If anyone can emerge as a contender
to his throne, my money's on Masanori Ikeda, otherwise known as Mansfield.
Ikeda (also the DJ behind the recent "Spinout" mix CD) has an M.O. strikingly
similar to Tanaka's: loop vintage lounge and rare groove samples from the
'60s, saturate them with funky breaks and space-age electronics and wrap
them up in vaguely exotic rhythms to create infectious, danceable pop songs
of the highest order. Ikeda's tracks differ in that they veer slightly more
towards big beat -- the booming kick drum is present on a lot of these,
including the great cover of Beck's 'New Pollution'. But Ikeda likes to vary  
the textures: on 'Groove Room' (featuring Yukari Fresh) he goes for
futuristic boogaloo while 'Mansfield's Theme is an epic, cinematic
pressure cooker. A _very_ impressive debut. Six songs, 30 minutes.
Limited quantities on hand at the moment. [TC]

[V/A] "2080: the eighties now" (Dutzend, Germany) CD $15.99
A collection of Deutschland's newest tributaries of the growing stream of
electrofunk. No, it's not just in your mind -- the 'eighties' revival is in
full force, and this slides in just before the plethora-to-come of mesh
t-shirts and zipper pants. Armed with powerbooks full of videogame samples
and Michael Jackson and Afrika Bambaataa's breakbeats, these artists also
wield a vocoder as handily as a blowdryer. This synthetic retrofuturism
from Console, Antonelli Electr, and more has the dense, dry humor of
"Sprockets", owes Kraftwerk big-time, and gets a hefty boost from New
Order's keyboard riffs and sound. One hour of sounds as cold and hard as
stainless steel, arranged into tingly, fun dancepop. [RE]

JOY DIVISION "Complete BBC Recordings" (Strange Fruit, UK) CD $19.99
On their albums, Joy Division's music was stark, cold and uncompromising.
The contrast of the icy, distant melodies with Ian Curtis' desperate,
mournful and emotive vocals created an atmosphere of complete and utter
isolation. Live, they were equally as distant. Little, if no words were
ever exchanged between band and audience. Usually lit by a single harsh
light, the band became virtual statues while Curtis, a man possessed,
flailed about wildly. Recorded between albums, the Peel Sessions show a
different side of the band, and offered them a means to bridge the gap
between studio and stage. Not holding back, Joy Divsion comes across as raw
and powerful. 'Exercise One', 'Twenty Four Hours' and 'Love Will Tear Us
Apart' are performed with much intensity, revealing a wealth of new
meanings and emotions within known material. Released on the 20th
anniversary of Curtis' death, this CD compiles the Peel Sessions, two
previously unreleased tracks, and an interview with the band. [JZ]

BAXENDALE "You Will Have Your Revenge" (Le Grand Magistery) CD $12.99
"You Will Have Your Revenge" is the debut album from Pulp-damaged English
trio Baxendale. Frontman Tim Benton, however, makes a clumsy Jarvis Cocker,
who sings a lot like Edwyn Collins. He's awkward, not quite as elegant nor
as clever in turning a phrase (samplelyric: "I lost all my defenses, when I
made contact with your lenses"). But it's clear that he knows all this, and
doesn't care much -- on one song he proudly admits that he's 'Blown It Big
Time' while elsewhere he professes his abashed love of what others call 'Music
For Girls'. But this doesn't stop Benton from taking many of the album's 16 tracks
straight over the top to the accompaniment of Pet Shop Boys production,
synthesized crescendos and hopelessly sappy confessionals. There may be a
lot to laugh at while listening to this record (it can get a bit silly), but there is
plenty to enjoy -- the album is chock-full of catchy hooks and kitschy charm.
The only downside is that the record compiles many previously released UK
singles (but adds four bonus tracks on the domestic ), and the alternate version
of 'Electric Trains' is clearly inferior to the one found of the Invicta Hi-Fi compilation
"Special Skool". But this doesn't dampen the fun one bit. "Revenge" may be
a guilty pleasure, but it's a pleasure nonetheless. [TC]

CHRIS LEE "s/t" (Misra) CD $12.99
There's but one bit of text in the booklet that comes with Chris Lee's
debut album. He simply asks "So where did all the Dan Penns go?" (referring
to the classic soul songwriter, who wroted 'I'm Your Puppet', 'Do Right
Man' and other Memphis soul classics). He answers his own question with
this album. While coming from an indie/experimental background -- he
performed in Pine State, that odd raw-country band that used chainsaws and
vacuum cleaners on stage, and has been an occasional writer for The Wire.
Somewhere along the line Lee must have discovered he had this voice --
a little like Jeff Buckley's -- and wondered what to do with it. But this is
not a calculated, tongue-in-cheek stab at a mainstream soul album. It's a
guileless plea for intellectual tenderness (Stax just wouldn't have published
a song called 'The Sexual Politics of Me'). Not super slick but not raw in the
slightest, Lee's guitar work is reminiscent of "imperial f.f.r.r."-era Unrest --
though less suave. Lee's world is internal and personal, with an uprooted
urbanity that is many-times-removed, any connection to dirt roads and fields
only seen through cloudy memories. [RE]

KRAAN "S/T" (Spiegelei/Intercord, Germany) CD $14.99
Trippy 1972 debut from one of the more underrated Krautrock mainstays
finally sees a legitimate reissue with the addition of four killer early
demos for nearly 30-minutes of bonus material. Combining over-the-top
fusion elements of Krokodil and Floh De Cologne with the ethnic-inspired
adventurousness of Embryo, Kraan could instantly switch gears from
quasi-metallic prog-psych to intricate Arabic-textured modal figures and
back again, all anchored by Peter Wolbrandt's extraordinary guitar work,
Helmut Hattler's sinewy basslines, and Johannes Pappert's superb saxophone.
Topics of discussion include a song entitled 'M.C. Escher' and a 19-minute
workout simply called 'Head'. Grandiose, visionary and rock solid. [JG]

KRAAN "Live" (Spiegelei/Intercord, Germany) CD $14.99
In October of 1974, legendary producer Conny Plank set up his 16-track
mobile studio at the Quatier Latin in Berlin to record Kraan in concert on
two consecutive nights. The band played so brilliantly during the first
show that no material from the second was utilized. Kraan clearly relished
the opportunity to really stretch it out before a live audience, even
adding a bit of boogie to their arsenal and the Berlin crowd does not
disappoint. Nearly 80 minutes running and seriously hot! [JG]

ROLLERBALL "Bathing Music" (Road Cone) CD $12.99
Rollerball's music is a little like Bablicon or Eyvind Kang's ensemble
compositions, only darker, older, more serious, and more infected. The nine
separate tracks on their third recording are made continuous by different
techniques: melodic motifs birthed in track one pop up again by the middle
of the disc, only given vocals on the second time through, their segues
between recordings (and this was recorded on six different locations)
somehow given a similar reverbatory space. They like jazz fusion, but take
it and decay it. The violins of the Third Stream scrape and slip way out of
tune, an electric piano is disjointed, and loses its rhythm repeatedly.
They might fall into a march rhythm here, of be overpowered by a cacophony
elsewhere. Along with the usual guitars and drums, they graft in clarinet,
trumpet, accordion. Or the whole company might sing in unison, vaguely
Canterbury-folk style, their voices getting bum-rushed by their own wave of
seemingly cistern-recorded free jazz. Smeared and interesting. [RE]

NARA LEAO "Vento De Maio" (Mercury, Japan) CD $27.99
Utterly lovely 1967 album finds bossa chanteuse Leao flirting with the
roots of what was to soon erupt into Tropicalia. Features selections penned
by Chico Buarque, Gilberto Gil, Vinicius de Moraes, and Sidney Miller. Lush
string arrangements give way to spirited indigenous rhythmic outbursts of
Brazilian whoops and hollers as heard on the early Veloso and Mutantes
albums. A silky-smooth spoonful of musical honey! [JG]

[V/A] "The Shrine Afrobeat" (Ocho, UK) CD $19.99
In 1971, Fela Kuti opened a club in a suburb of Lagos, Nigeria, and called
it The Shrine. But that legendary club died soon after Fela himself did, in
1997 -- it was bulldozed. So three British DJs started "The Shrine" nights at
a London club in 1999, encouraging a budding Afrobeat revival (the rash of
compilations over the past year as evidence). If you're already a fan of
Afrofunk, Afrorock and other forms of African music of the '70s, you'll
probably have a lot of the stuff on here: the best tracks from Fela, Mulatu
Astataque (fr. the Ethiopiques series), Manu Dibango, and King Sunny Ade.
Even so, there are a few rarities like Ghananian funkster Captain Yabaa,
and the very Shaft-goes-highlife track from Gyedu Blay Ambulley & Zantoda
Mark III, and quite a few more (a total of 12). This compilation is the
most excellent introduction/overview yet on the market to the range of
styles that came from (mostly) Western Africa for the span of the '70s.
(Though there is '80s stuff on here and Tony Allen's track came out last
year.) Congolese Latin jazz, highlife with weird synth from Mozambique,
Nigerian Afrofunk: all funkier than ringy highlife, and 90% excellent. [RE]

[V/A] "Broasted or Fried" (Harmless, UK) CD/2xLP $22.99/$23.99
While German and British labels continue to reissue the fringes of American
soul and funk, American labels still won't touch the stuff if it doesn't
say "James Brown" on the spine (and even then?). "Broasted or Fried"
focuses on the soul music coming from the Latin (Puerto Rican, primarily)
community in Harlem (nods to Trinidad and San Francisco, too) throughout
the late '60s and early '70s. 'The Boogaloo' was the best Latin equivalent
to soul's 'the Popcorn', the subject of countless dance tracks with easily
identifiable tense, funky rhythms. (The Shingaling is an offshoot, btw.)
The lyrics here are not stellar (though the chorus of a Joe Torres
song -- "get out of my way, ugly woman" -- has a certain charm); the
rhythms--made of bucking cowbells, overmodulated flutes, stomping piano,
nasty horns and deluges of maracas and tambourine--appeal to the entire
body. If you're already an aficionado of Latin soul, you'll recognize most
everything here: Bobby Valentin, Latinaires, Eddie Palmieri's amazing
Harlem River Drive, Tito Puente, Joe Bataan, plus a few rarer tracks, for a
total of 54 minutes. If you want a primer, this is a good sidecar to Soul
Jazz' "Nuyorica" series, or Charly Record's sadly out-of-print "We Got
Latin Soul" comps. Nicely complete liner notes. Sabroso! [RE]

GIUSEPPI LOGAN "s/t" (ESP/Calibre, Germany) CD $14.99
Leading a quartet and recorded in 1965, Logan, an outsider who was mostly
self-taught, performs on tenor sax, alto sax, bass clarinet and Pakistani
oboe. Milford Graves is in on drums, Don Pullen on piano, Eddie Gomez,
bass. Though dark, and nearly depressing, Logan's debut has a constant
movement, fueled mostly by Graves kicking ass on the drums. Logan wields
the oboe superbly -- it's a hard and very dominant instrument to integrate
with a small ensemble -- but his use is subtle, jumping free in places. Logan
went on from this to record two lesser records, then just disappeared -- not
just from the jazz community, but entirely, in the early '70s. [GG]

MOOSE "Highball Me" (Le Grand Magistery/Saltwater) CD $12.99
Moose, with their fourth album, keep a particular kind of British pop
vibrant: in 11 sweet songs with nicely grand arrangements, it's a time
capsule of 1989. Traces of Felt and the Divine Comedy in the vocals, Field
Mice and Pale Fountains in rhythms that sweep along under you. Their
songs ride in on caffeine jitters and feedback, kooky roller-rink organ,
harpsichord, and echoing spaghetti-Western guitars. Their well-done,
ingenuous pop won't challenge any paradigms, but does stand as an
excellently-crafted stylistic exercise for 38 minutes. [RE]

ANALOG BROTHERS "Pimp To Eat" (Pimprex) CD/LP $14.99/$13.99
How can you go wrong with a Kool Keith and Ice-T collaboration? For Keith,
this is back to Dr. Dooom territory, sharp and hard analog production and
dirty synths. Ice-T's rhymes are dead-on, like his best work in the
"Iceberg" era. The beats ain't all that, but with these two tag-teamed
doing sex rhymes and comedy, this could be acappella and blow plenty of
recent dreck-called-hip-hop out of the water. [GG]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=65965720261&refer_url=email

This week's newsletter written by: Tom Capodanno [TC], Robin Edgerton [RE],
Jeff Gibson [JG], Graham Gulden [GG], Phil Waldorf [PW], Joshua Zucker

Thanks for reading.
-all of us at Other Music

15 E. 4th Street
New York, NY 10003