Other Music New Release Update
August 23, 2000

In This Week's Update:

Kim Gordon/Ikue Mori/DJ Olive collaboration
Thievery Corporation
Thomas Brinkmann
Angus MacLise
Philip Corner's gamelan music
Caroline Now! Brian Wilson tribute comp.
Vic Chesnutt and Mr. and Mrs. Keneipp
Thee Headcoats singles collection
Oneida EP
Chris Knox
Mirror (Christoph Heemann & Andrew Chalk)
Jac Berrocal 10" EP
Bride of No No
Erratum #3 sound art comp.
A Guy Called Gerald

Lolita Storm (now available domestically)

Featured New Releases:

GORDON, MORI & OLIVE "SYR 5" (SYR) CD/2x12" $8.99/$12.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/syrgmo2.rm
A collaboration that is more than the sum of its (collaborators') parts.
Ikue Mori's drum patterns are no more drums than strands of glassy,
metallic shards. DJ Olive adds ballast: weighty drones and textures. And
Kim Gordon's vocals are all about breath and its interruption -- no girly
thing or screaming -- her approach is close to that of Bjork, including one
track that sounds like an outtake from the latter's remixes album.
Combined, they are a huge, hand-cranked music box rolling over a ceramic
landscape, they are crystal squelch of subway wheels, snapping metal
diving boards. Their controlled centripetal chaos is contrived from brusque,
insistent taps, cowbells, hydraulic creaking, oscillator tweets, and Sonic
Youth-style off-tune guitars (used with restraint). Exactly the culmination
of Mori's avant/no-wave background, Olive's turntablist schemes, and
Gordon's grilled-rock history. All catapulted well above the ordinary. [RE]
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THIEVERY CORPORATION "The Mirror Conspiracy" (18th St. Lounge) CD $14.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/thieve2.rm
TC's second actual album takes no new, broad steps, save a few ventures
into dub and a lot more vocals (guests include Bebel Gilberto and deep
reggae styler Brother Jack). Their soft, warm electronic soup of lite
bossa with trip hop breakbeats is innocuous, yet distinctive for its lack
of rootedness in either place or time (and that quality allows them to show
up on nearly every mix album over the past year, from Ibiza comps to
collections of nouveau samba). A few tracks have appeared on their singles
('Lebanese Blonde', 'So Com Voce', 'Samba Tranquille', 'Indra'). Twinkling
keyboards, relaxed lounge beats, funky guitars, a few horns and a
sub-equatorial vibe. Lifestyle music for the leisure set. [RE]

THOMAS BRINKMANN "Rosa" (Ernst, Germany) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Brink2.rm
On Thomas Brinkmann's series of 12-inch singles that traced the alphabet,
he skipped the letter "R". Now we see it was to fill it in with this mysterious
CD. While probably a collection of the singles from that series ("Anna/Beate",
"Clara/Doris", etc.), it might be all new material. We're not sure, and he's
certainly not telling. All we know is that it's more of his prime minimalist
'techno' of carefully scratched and scuffed pressing plates; he nearly makes
'funk' out of a popping vinyl surface and barely anything else. Twelve songs
in 75 minutes. Highly recommended. [RE]

ANGUS MACLISE "Brain Damage in Oklahoma City" (Siltbreeze) CD $13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Dreamwea.rm
The second archival reissue of the music of Angus MacLise released here in
the States. A list of MacLise collaborators reads like a who's-who of the
late '60s underground: LaMonte Young, Tony Conrad, Velvet Underground,
Terry Riley, etc. "Brain Damage..." plays sequentially as a compilation of
MacLise's work, shifting from idea to idea as it shifts from track to
track. 'Haight Riot Mime' is a harsh rhythmic workout, with MacLise
providing a mind-bending pulsing bongo flurry. He furthers this technique
on 'Epiphany, a duet with his wife Hetty on organ, this one closer to the
sound of his work in the Theater of Eternal Music. 'Dreamweapon Benefit for
the Oklahoma City Police Dept. Pts. 1 and 2' features an ensemble which
includes Tony Conrad (credited with 'limp string'!) and Jackson MacLow.
Their spirit and energy far exceeds any notion of musicianship -- this is
easily one of the most primal and spiritual moments on the recording (of
which there are many) -- the group jams frantically, free-form, for over 40
minutes. "Brain Damage in Oklahoma City" is a perfect follow-up to the
fantastic "Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda", both essential documents and
powerful listening experiences. [PW]

PHILIP CORNER "3 Pieces for Gamelan Ensemble" (Alga Marghen, Italy) CD  $16.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Phcorner.rm
Subtitled "Son Of Lion Plays Philip Corner". In the past year or so, I've
stumbled into the vast realms of indigenous music. I say stumbled, because
I realize now that it was always there waiting for me. It's with Sun City
Girls, throughout their works -- likewise Muslimgauze, whose twisted
distillations inhabited a life of their own. And it lurks subtly within
much of the psychedelic, Krautrock, and other out genres I've been
listening to for years. But recent releases like the Ethiopiques series,
Siamese Temple Ball, and "Doob Doob O'Rama" have inspired me to seek out
the real deal. So it's a real kick when a sound-shaper of Philip Corner's
stature absorbs an ancient form like gamelan, applying his rarefied Fluxus
experience with the same innocence that a child approaches a new toy. Here
he presents three works of seismic magnitude, informed by his passion for
the music of Indonesia. The first, titled simply 'Gamelan', was composed in
1975 as a continuation of the struck-resonant instrument compositions he
began with "Gong" and "Metal Meditations". As recorded in 1981, the piece
sounds like a bizarre 78-rpm salvaged from a time capsule. Complete with
scratches, clicks and tape hiss, the work commences with single struck
percussive resonance, gradually building into full-fledged mantric bliss.
"Barcelona Cathedral" from 1978 finds New York's Son Of Lion Gamelan
Ensemble attempting to capture Corner's impression of a single bell he
heard in Spain. Their ten hammers pummeling downward in unison are used
to paint a distinct sonic portrait. Finally, 'Belum', from 1992, is a 33-minute
structured improvisation that begins gamelan-y enough, then erupts into an
unbelievable drone-infused freakout! Highest recommendation. [JG]

[V/A] "Caroline Now! The Songs Of Brian Wilson And The Beach Boys"
(Marina, Germany) CD $14.99

RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Nowcaro.rm
Tribute albums come, tribute albums go, but how many have any genuine
lasting value? I believe the true test resides in the compilation's ability
to pique interest in the tributee. Granted, Brian Wilson has never suffered
from lack of attention. In the U.S., however, his larger output has been
marginalized, cliched, and ultimately trivialized through the gauzy haze of
made-for-TV movies, commercial jingle appropriations, his own bouts with
the pendulum swing of mental illness followed by "triumphant" comebacks,
and the often snarky nostalgia tours mounted by the band he founded. It's
been no secret for some time now that the real Wilson scholars have resided
across the pond in Europe and the UK, where his genius is unconditionally
celebrated in much the same way Americans revere the works of Lennon and
McCartney. Assembled by an odd consortium of Germans and Scots, "Caroline
Now" eschews the obvious hit material in favor of lesser-known obscurities.
The international cast includes: Eugene Kelly (Vaselines), Alex Chilton,
Saint Etienne, Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), The Free Design, Stevie
Jackson (Belle And Sebastian), Jad Fair, Aluminum Group, Souvenir (a
spectacular French-language rendition of 'Girl Don't Tell Me'), High
Llamas, Eric Matthews, Douglas T. Stewart (BMX Bandits), Peter Thomas
Sound Orchestra, Katrina Mitchell (Pastels), Kim Fowley and nine others. The
choice of material, arrangements and performances speak straight to the
essence of each composition and are nothing less than inspired. And
inspiring -- makes me wanna run right out and track down all the originals.
Lavishly packaged with dozens of seldom-seen pix of Brian and the Boys.
Truly something to Smile about! [JG]

VIC CHESNUTT & MR. AND MRS. KENEIPP "Merriment" (Backburner) CD $12.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Preponde.rm
Vic Chesnutt's new album is a slight departure from his most recent album,
on which he was supported by Lambchop. Though not as dark as Chesnutt's
early recordings, "Merriment" also lacks the overblown orchestral style of
"Salesman and Bernadette", instead falling squarely between the two, with a
nice, simple pop approach. Joined by Kelly and Nikki Keneipp, "Merriment"
contains lo-fi orchestration, sparse piano, bubbling keyboards and
Chesnutt's unmistakable Southern croon. This might be the least bleak
recording in his career, and this newfound happiness gives "Merriment" a
more playful perspective that resonates in both the lyrics and music. He
once again delivers a recording full of wonderfully vivid songs. [PW]

FREESCHA "Lift" (Attacknine) CD $9.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/freesha2.rm
The highest tics, the boomingest bass: Freescha's debut is a 6-song EP of
prettiness and menace, a mechanization of Gainsbourg's lush sensuality
without much of the pop remaining, or an instrumental Cure revival
performed on a G3. There are no melodies, instead Freescha opts for rafts
of change. White noise is shaped into textures or (irrelevant) beats,
wobbly and sweet, a little like Boards of Canada, too. His deep, pretty
'80s-synth sounds are evocative of Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre, or
contemporary J-pop -- but there's no urgency. Confused yet? The EP wraps
up with a long passage of cinematic, John-Lennonish piano. Now I really
want to know where (he? she? they?) are going next. Lovely and quite
interesting. [RE]

THEE HEADCOATS "Elementary Headcoats: Thee Singles 1990-1999"
(Damaged Goods, UK) 2xCD $18.99

RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/headatv.rm
Thee Headcoats are a hard, kicking monster of a trio. They put out 23
albums over a little over 10 years. They've always rocked tight, raw,
direct, and instant, nowhere as much as on the concise blasts they
flash-etched into seven-inch spans of vinyl. With an evil '60s beatpunk
frenzy (think The Monks) as their guide, their levels are always hot and
distorted, their bar chords punching and snare crunchy, all joined by Billy
Childish's cockney snarl. The ultimate infectious rock party, and a bargain
at that -- over 140 minutes of material on two cds. The fifty songs here
culled from their 48 singles include no less than three different tributes/
reworkings of 'Louie Louie' (they wrote new lyrics for each based on
what they imagined the lyrics might be), and their version of 'Help' is
done as if delivered by a trapped, senile 90-year-old, and stands as
possibly the weirdest Beatles cover of all time. The Headcoats' best stuff
so far resides on these singles -- this collection of them may be the only
record of theirs you'll ever need. [GF/RE]

ONEIDA "Steel Rod EP" (Jagjaguwar) CD EP $8.99
Five songs, half an hour of the band who are making out as pretty much
the best active soul/punk band around. Oneida do what the Make Up keep
trying to -- make forceful, ball-of-fire songs that charge around unflaggingly.
Driven (and kept in line) by their catchy and oft-overwhelming Farfisa,
there's no posturing here, just pounding playing and streaks of feedback
that suck you into their slipstream. If I heard this on an AOR station, I
wouldn't blink -- it's very big-slab-of-big-rock, a la Deep Purple or maybe
Blue Cheer. I'm so looking forward to their second full length, but in the
meantime this five-song EP (plus a long jab of a 'hidden' track) will have
to do. [RE]

CHRIS KNOX "Beat" (Thirsty Ear) CD $14.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/cknox2.rm
Chris Knox is the hardest-working man (musician) in New Zealand. But when
will someone buy him another Omnichord? (A beer-spilling incident a few
years ago sent his last one to an early grave.) I miss the odd, cascading
sounds and fake drumbeats with which he used to embellish his music. Here,
he returns to muddy, overmodulated guitar rhythms and slappy, sloppy
Casio. "Beat" is more lo-fi than ever, yet has an odd clarity to it. Lyrically, he
gives a summary of all the themes he's returned to for the past 20+ years:
love which overwhelms and calms, misanthropy, disgust, and the rail against
the decline of civilization as he knows it/the corruption of our culture in
commercialism. After hearing "Beat", I see him now as sort of a postmodern,
explicit Pete Seeger. [RE]

MIRROR "Front Row Centre" (Die Stadt, Germany) LP $17.99
Fourth release in a series of collaborations between Andrew Chalk and
Christoph Heemann. Two more side-long hypnotic drone pieces of supreme
organic transcendence. Our flight time: just under an hour. Edition of 700
numbered copies with insert. Don't be left behind. [JG]

BERROCAL, JAC "Flash!" (Alga Marghen, Italy) 10" EP $16.99
This French wildman has been confounding expectations since the '70s. His
work with Pascal Comelade, Steven Stapleton, Lol Coxhill and Chris Cutler
among others are the stuff of legendary indifference. This full color
10-inch picture disc presents seven new selections of his unique brand of
musique-concrete mayhem including odd covers of "I Wanna Be Your Dog"
(featuring James Chance!), 'Ain't She Sweet' and a reprise of Vince
Taylor's 'Rock N Roll Station' (which he performed on the Nurse With Wound
album of the same title). Edition of 40 copies, of which we've got 10. [JG]

BRIDE OF NO NO "B.O.N.N. Apetit" (Atavistic) CD/LP $13.99/$13.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/LastMinu.rm
After three years of silence, former Scissor Girl Azita returns with her
new quartet. Eschewing the lo-fi cut up shrapnel of her former band,
B.O.N.N. prefer flat-out aggressive abstraction, with no-wave timbres and
textures. Similar in feel to the early Skin Graft label records such as
Colossomite, Shorty and Mount Shasta, the songs take off in unexplained
directions yet still maintain total cohesion. [JZ]

[V/A] "Erratum #3" (Erratum Musical, France) CD $14.99
[V/A] "Erratum #2" (Erratum Musical, France) CD $14.99

RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/jjoy.rm
Billed as an "Art Jukebox", Erratum also exists as an audio magazine, or
simply a compilation. Issue #3 focuses on sound art that reaches from
language and audio poetry into music. Contributions include Ghedelia
Tazartes' kid singing the "Titanic" hit with weird noises, Charlemagne
Palestine's incredible segment for sheep noises, sheep imitators(!),
murmurs, ducks and drones, John Giorno's elegy/eulogy to W. Burroughs,
altered electrical hums from Disinformation, and Gilles Richard's piece for
gargling/choking sounds, and more, for a total of 74 minutes. "Erratum #2"
is still available, on the theme of 'electro-plastics conjugations' (wha?)
and includes mostly installation work: shifting waves of sound from Paul
Panhuysen, Jerome Noetinger, Philip Corner, Bernard Heidsieck, etc., plus
one extraordinary abstract duet for voices from Jerome Joy. [RE]
Erratum #3

A GUY CALLED GERALD "Essence" (Studio K7) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Feverora.rm
It seemed as if a follow-up to A Guy Called Gerald's seminal "Black Science
Technology" was as mythical as a new My Bloody Valentine LP. But after
nearly three years of delays, it's here and it's lovely. Boasting an
impressive guest list (Lady Miss Kier, Louise Rhodes of Lamb, more)
"Essence" is a keeper for those who like a little soul mixed with their
drum'n'bass. Lucid washes of keyboards, strings float over the sparse,
tight breaks, creating a sultry backdrop for bittersweet vocals. What
separates this record from the rest in the game is that even at it's
mellowest, it's still incredibly funky. Definitely worth checking out. [DH]

Restock, domestic price:

RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/storm.rm
An X-Ray Spex/Bratmobile/Atari Teenage Riot amalgam? Unison shouting, beats
so fast they stumble violently, and preset Casio melodies, sped up even
further. Underage sex and a little cybersadomasochism makes for an obvious
record -- anyone could do this, but they chose to -- redeemed by their cute
fangs and the ability to cram 15 songs into 26 minutes! Over the top and
really fun. [RE]

This week's contributions from:
Robin Edgerton [RE], Giancarlo Feleppa [GF], Jeff Gibson [JG], Duane
Harriott [DH], Phil Waldorf [PW], and Joshua Zucker [JZ].

Thanks for reading.
-all of us at Other Music

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New York, NY 10003