Other Music New Release Update
December 13, 2000

In This Week's Update:

Bertrand Burgalat
Tomoki Kanda
DJ Sushi
Brad Pounders
Weekend reissue
Gram Parsons' early recordings
Family Fodder
Charlemagne Palestine (2)
DJ Hell
Phoaming Edison
Hrvatski 7"
"Pop Shopping" compilation
The Kosmik Kommando
Angus Maclaurin
Muckraker CD/mag
Cubismo Grafico EP

Featured New Releases:

BERTRAND BURGALAT "The Sssound of Mmmusic" (Tricatel, France) CD  $16.99
Up until this point, most of us have experienced the real genius
of Bertrand Burgalat only through his work with other artists
(Air, April March, Kahimi Karie, Valerie Lemercier to name just a
few). "The Sssound of Mmmusic", Bertrand's first proper debut
album, changes all that. Written, arranged, produced and
performed almost entirely by the artist himself, this is the full-dose
of BB that many of us have been anticipating for years. To say that
it's been worth the wait is an understatement: "Mmusic" lives up to
all that we'd hoped for and delivers quite a bit that we'd never
imagined. Over the years Bertrand, like Serge Gainsbourg before him,
has mastered the art of restrained, effortless cool. And by track two
he gratefully acknowledges the godfather of French pop with a bass
line and string interlude that's classic "Melody Nelson". But by the
next track he's already left '60s swinging Paris for a modern-day take,
Bertrand-style, on trance techno with the hypnotic 'Aux Cyclades
Electronique'. In fact, the album is punctuated with musical left-turns
finding Bertrand laying down disjointed funk and abstract hip-hop on
'Ile De Beton and 'Attention Amiante' all with an air of experimentation
worthy of any European laptop composer. But the tracks with country-
man Katerine old fans will find most satisfying: 'Ma Recontre (RA
above) absolutely shimmers and comes complete with a skronky,
dissonant saxophone solo that ratchets up the tension on what may
be the finest song that either of them have performed. Other
collaborations with April March, Eggstone, and Michel Houellebecq
round out the album beautifully. With a nod to the past, but with
both feet planted firmly in the future, "The Sssound of Mmmusic"
is easily one of the finest records of the year. The unqualified
choice for a new gggeneration. [TC]

TOMOKI KANDA "Landscape of Smaller's Music" (Crue-l, Japan) CD  $29.99
Headphones record of the year, hands down. Japanese producer
Tomoki Kanda (known previously for his work with Chocolat, Kahimi
Karie, etc) has produced an organic, electro-ambient masterpiece
in "Smaller's Music" that is lushly appointed while maintaining a
distinctly minimalist sensibility. On 'Safari', crickets and bullfrogs
chirp overtop sultry washes of sound, electronic pulsebeats and
tribal drum thuds. But rather than drift off into "Deep Forest" country,
Kanda drops a very alien-sounding electronic bleep into the mix; it's
a startling contrast to the natural sounds humming about. On 'String
Driven Thing', repetitive melodic elements seemingly go nowhere,
but nonetheless manage to transport you somewhere quite magical.
While 'Golden Weed' wouldn't sound out of place on Cornelius's
"Fantasma", it's on 'Small Music' where Kanda is most effective.
Mimicking 10CC, Kanda doesn't sing as much as exhale while a
gentle but insistent acoustic guitar nudges forward over a drum
beat of patter and buzz. A RealAudio sample played through computer
speakers can't begin to convey the richness of this record. Play it on
the most expensive stereo system you can afford. [TC]

DJ SUSHI "The Lost Dub Plates" (Hip Hop Slam) CD $6.99
For the past couple of years, a customer would wander in and ask
for DJ Sushi recordings. "Who is he?" I would ask, and get as a
response "Oh, he's this reclusive teenage DJ from Japan who killed
himself. But he could cut better than Q-Bert and Kid Koala. DJ
Shadow and Rob Swift have mentioned him in interviews." We'd never
heard of his stuff, and I almost wondered if his story was hip-hop
folklore. But it isn't. He did exist, and these are his only recordings.
Sushi was awesome. The opening track, 'Devastating Devastator',
is 158 seconds of transformed electro-scratch bliss that sounds
like a crazed Ryoji Ikeda, Grandmaster Flash . 'Invasion of the
Incredible Giant Crab Sandwich' takes Q-bert's crab scratch and
transforms it at such a breakneck speed that it sounds organic.
DJ Sushi. Yes, he did take his own life at age 20, but he left behind
an amazing document and a challenge to all takers. [DH]

MAHOGANY "Dream of a Modern Day" (Burnt Hair) CD $11.99
Back in the '80s and early '90s it seems that my favorite releases
were from the labels Creation, Factory, and 4AD. It was their
whole aesthetic -- from the beautiful packaging to the mysterious
catalog numbers, not to mention the music. The quinessential
artists from that period: My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Pale Saints,
Cocteau Twins, Lush, New Order--etc.! Some of these bands took
a '60s pop formula and piled on layers of distortion constructing
a beautiful fuzzed-out symphony yet still retaining an underlying
melody, while others embraced the world of electronics and
technology and combined this into a pop structure. Mahogany take
their cues from these artists, right down to the Factory-like
packaging. Four musicians meld cello, melodica, vintage synths,
distorted guitars, various sequencers, and hauntingly beautiful
vocals into one package that can definitely hold its own with
those aforementioned classics of yesterday. A great record that
fits neatly in between Broadcast and Sigur Ros as one of the
year's best pop albums. [JS]

BRAD POUNDERS "She Shakes" (Larson/Bulb) CD $11.99
Imagine a criminally forgotten or simply yet to be discovered new-
wave gem has just been plucked from the vaults -- an album that
can go track for track with the greatest hits of OMD or Ultravox. Brad
Pounders' (ex- Clears) first solo album picks up where the New
Romantic movement left off. In the seclusion of his home studio,
Brad utilized an array of analog equipment to build upon the glimmer
of innovation that was all too quickly extinguished by the arrival of
the digital age. Four of the songs on "She Shakes" were originally
recorded for a second Clears album with backing vocals on 'The
Assembly' from former bandmate Shelby Bryant. While many seem
to be working off of a 'what was old, is new again' ethos lately,
Brad steps out a little further by using lessons from the past and
simple technology to greet the future with sincere and intelligent
songwriting, all the while avoiding the camp/style-dominated
content of his contemporaries. Wins my vote for one of this year's
best albums. [AG]

WEEKEND "La Variete" (Vinyl Japan) CD/LP $21.99/$18.99
In 1980, the very short-lived but massively influential group
Young Marble Giants disbanded. While the Moxham brothers went on
to form the perfect (and so overdue for reissue) the Gist, singer
Alison Statton joined up with two musicians, Simon Booth and the
one-named guitarist Spike to form Weekend. Adding a little swing,
Weekend drew patterns from Latin, Brazilian, and African highlife
music to make gently sparkling, swanky jazz. This CD reissue
includes four tracks of demos which are much closer to YMG's soft
robotic movements. The original LP is a kittenish, tantalizing,
yet nearly emotionless set of vocal jazz (a few slick instrumentals,
too), where Statton's voice is a blank slate, down to earth yet
following the flitting rhythms perfectly. Completely underrecognized,
Weekend took a path barely followed by anyone since, 'cept maybe
the Wayfarers, or, more recently, the Legendary Jim Ruiz Group and
Spain's Le Mans. [RE]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=502196912731&refer_url=email

GRAM PARSONS "Another Side of This Life: Lost Recordings 1965-66"
(Sundazed) CD/LP $14.99/$14.99

Revealing a side of Gram Parsons heretofore unfamiliar to most,
this new collection supplies us with a glimpse of his formative
years as a musician. The signature vocal twang that characterized
his legendary "cosmic american music" is conspicuously absent.
Instead, Parsons' voice seems more in line with that of Fred Neil
or Jackson Frank. Folkie protest-songs abound, but the standout
track is an early version of 'Brass Buttons,' a song Parsons would
later perfect on his ethereal masterpiece "Grevious Angel." An
historically important set of recordings with a surprisingly high
level of fidelity, or the blueprints to the mind of a genius. [JC]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09077150761&refer_url=email

FAMILY FODDER "Water Shed" (Dark Beloved Cloud) CD $10.99
Last year, 'Savoir Faire', a collection of late '70s/early '80s
recordings from the UK band Family Fodder made it's way to OM, the
group's odd, avant-pop sound became a deep favorite among both
customers and employees. Nearly 20 years later, Family Fodder
decided to record a new album. On this, a great deal of the
brilliance of "Savoir Faire" is retained, particularly their slightly
tweaked pop sensibility with Slits-like dub influence. Using space-
age effects, dubby studio experimentation and odd vocal styles,
Family Fodder's music is the perfect combination of sweet pop
melodies with subtly strange sounds. Much of the material on
"Water Shed" is on par with the classic Fodder sound, yet they
stretch out the songs more than ever, with many of them clocking
in at 5+ minutes. As they they use this space for experimentation
within the songs, they almost always return to that perfect hook.
Unlike most unwarranted comeback attempts, Family Fodder return
with a cohesion and quality that makes it seem as if they never left.

CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE "Holy 1&2/Alloy" (Alga Marghen, Italy) CD  $16.99
CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE "Continuous Sound Forms" (Alga Marghen, Italy) CD $16.99
More pieces in the puzzle that is Mr. Palestine. Beginning with
the earliest: 'Holy 1 & 2' were recorded originally in Palestine's
apt. in 1967. A work for the textures of oscillators, he makes a
thick, 3-D carpet of sound, of shifting overtones and piercing
shards that is much like La Monte Young's 'Dream House' -- only
years earlier. 'Alloy' was performed by an ensemble including Tony
Conrad, on huge instruments made of aluminum siding or long
strings, it's an ebbing and flowing, 'shamanic' piece, full of
abstract yowling and chanting, clangings of all types and an
ominous drone throughout. This stunning 22-minute work dates to
1969. "Continuous Sound Forms" contains sections of a lengthy,
fantastically mesmerizing harpsichord duo with dynamic elements
(1978), and a 22-minute work (1972) he did of thickly played piano
chords and grace notes that work themselves in and out of trickling,
streamlike rhythms. These CDs are the first in the Golden Research
series of significant unreleased works by Palestine. If you think all
of his work is the same, these definitely provide a more complete
picture of the man's work, the depth and breadth of his solemn,
intense creations. Definitely some of the best minimalist compositions
ever. [RE]
"Continuous Sound"

DJ HELL "Fuse Presents Hell" (Music Man, Belgium) CD/2xLP $14.99/$19.99
The international deejay gigolo himself spent a night playing
Belgium's renowned hedonist venue, Fuse, hammering the crowd
with a brilliant set of electro-funk, minimal techno, and Hi-NRG.
Hell has had a reputation for eclecticism -- he's the Larry Levan of
Germany, unafraid to play Tuxedomoon next to Phuture and The
Flying Lizards after Italian lounge lizard Filippo 'Naughty'
Moscatello. The particular appeal of this collection lies not only
in its floor-slamming, ceaseless energy, but also its historical
value. You're not likely to find Che's 'The Incident', Liaisons
Dangereuses' 'Avant-Apres Mars', or Patrick Cowley's epic mix of
the Giorgio Moroder-produced sequencer disco classic ' Feel Love'
by Donna Summer, anywhere anytime soon (and the LP contains
original, unmixed versions!). Like Hell's "Munich Machine" album,
this album is as much about dance music history as it is about
lean, clean bassbin shuddering funk. [TH]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=541416500481&refer_url=email

PHOAMING EDISON "Happy Nap Casino" (Dark Beloved Cloud) CD  $11.99
With such a firm grip on such an evasive form -- pop weirdness --
Phoaming Edison (aka James Kavoussi from Fly Ashtray) releases
his third all left-footed swerving ramble of an album. 20 songs of
early '90s guitars (ringy ringy) twisted into surprising minor-key
pop melodies, in unexpected structures. Each track is like plowing
your face into a sweet mystery pie. Loping like a cowboy in the
appliance store, everything is tossed into our favorite gallimaufry,
scratching, gamelan, surf music, Bacharach and Beatles covers,
all of it shredded into coleslaw by the guitars. Hearkens back to
the sounds of Volcano Suns and Ashtray themselves, but shaded
with lo-tech videogame sounds: this is a man with a complete
vision. Birds appear whenever he's near, but they're all drunk,
flapping about haphazardly and squawking. When he slows
down, he doesn't quite know what to do with himself, but luckily
he's a perpetual motion machine. About 50/50 on the inst./vox
track ratio.[RE]

HRVATSKI "Raume" (Tonschacht, Germany) 7" $5.99
With the starting point of Pierre Schaeffer's "Solfege", Hrvatski
creates a mini-masterpiece of avant beat formation. Pressed on
super heavy-duty vinyl, this little disc pieces together cacophony,
clatter, creaking, and scattered beats for a cohesive clash of
space and rhythm. Unique and really splendid, the best part
about it is he somehow maintains a warm, acoustic room tone --
these electronics don't take place in a digital vacuum (and hence
the title). Get your own -- I'm keeping this one. [RE]

[V/A] "Popshopping Vol. 1" (Crippled Dick Hot Wax, Germany) CD/LP  $15.99/$16.99
If you had to name an apex of kitsch, a place and time where every
piece of the prevailing cultural aesthetic is both fascinating and
eminently cringe-worthy, I'd have to say Germany from the
late '60s into the early '70s. Just think, that's Heino's heyday!
Watch any piece of German television from that period and you'll
see what I mean. And no where is this captured in an aural time
capsule better than on this CD, in condensed, concentrated form.
With 28 tracks of commercial music, from the :30 bleep to the
longer, three-minute form, each track was designed to grab the
attention of the radio or TV audience member in the service of
selling -- whether it be coffee, chocolate, cars, appliances, gum,
safety in the workplace, or something much more mysterious (I'm
wondering where the two 'Minikillers' soundtracks come in --
violent miniature psychedelic cinemas for the ear). Some have
earnest proclamations in smooth German, but the majority are
punchy, frantically zippy instrumentals whose ability to wake and
shake was blocks away from the library (background) music of the
same era. [RE]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=71875044221&refer_url=email

THE KOSMIK KOMMANDO "Laptop Dancing" (Rephlex, UK) CD/2xLP $15.99/$18.99
Mike Dred has been recording for the Rephlex imprint nearly since
that label began. And he has probably been obsessed with the
Roland's TB-303 bassline generator for even longer. Used ad
nauseam in electronic music, it ought to be handled as little or
as carefully as radioactive material. Yet, the sounds Mr. Dred
coaxes from this amply-used machine continue to surprise. On 'Big
Up Yourself,' a dense, cut-and-scratch old-school hip-hop track
that simply won't quit, the bassline undergirding the track is an
impossibly deep 303 thunderclap. 'American Offline' is a vocal
tape loop rant against US xenophobia. '98K Platinum' is another
Marley Marl/Mantronix influenced electro-funk that the kicks like
a horse at the stable doors. Overall, this is Mike Dred's dirtiest,
hardest record to date. He retains the heavy acid and 808
basslines of yore, but inserts thick and nasty drum programs
which don't let the listener off the hook. [TH]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=66690800081&refer_url=email

ANGUS MACLAURIN "Glass Music" (Bubblecore) CD $12.99
Music made on glass instruments has a long history in this
country: going back to Benjamin Franklin's invention of the Glass
Armonica in 1761. More recently (okay, more than 30 years ago),
Annea Lockwood created her "Glass Concert", an experimental work
which explored the sonorities of this material in and out of
rhythms (reissued a few years ago as "The Glass World"). Even
Harry Partch's magnificent cloud chamber bowls fit into this
lineage. MacLaurin's work, by contrast, is less melodic, and much
more modest. And he, very intentionally, he 'clouds' his ringy,
clear music with music with tape loops and other aural imagery,
backwards guitar and chatter, kalimba, theremin. Much in a gamelan
tradition, his clankings and tollings are of thick, dense materials,
not the twinklings of the fragile. He even draws on glass'
'shuddering' capabilities, the ominous vibrations of a medium
transforming in waves. [RE]

MUCKRAKER #9 Magazine and CD $8
Muckraker evolves as a full-fledged magazine (with CD), lack of a
publication schedule notwithstanding. Basically a (slightly) more
coherent version of Bananafish, with the same sort of noise scene
covered, though Muckraker ventures more into free jazz and not as
much into coprophilic noise. Profiles of Incus Records via an
interview with Derek Bailey, Majora Records, Roswell Rudd, Tamio
Shirashi (in mag and on CD), unreleased tracks from Eddy Detroit &
the Sun City Girls, also Reynols, Ceramic Hobs, Eddie Prevost. [RE]

CUBISMO GRAFICO "St. Nicolas" (Escalator, Japan) CD $14.99
Gakuji "Chabe" Matsuda follows up the brilliant "Mini" EP with a
holiday-flavored 6-song offering. A pseudo-Christmas track and a
dreamy New Year's theme bookend two Tahiti 80 remixes of old
material and two brand new songs. Quite nice. [TC]

NICOLETTA "Cranky" (Escalator, Japan) CD $19.99
New German DJ Nicoletta Gerlach offers up a nice but decidedly
lite and breezy mix of bossa nova, techno, breakbeat, and Casio-
pop on her debut album for Tokyo's Escalator Records. [TC]

HANAYO "Gift" (Geist, London) CD $19.99
Hanayo's a Japanese chanteuse (though I hesitate to call her
shaky, interestingly hesitant voice chanteuse-like) who has made
an album of fascinating collaborations with a panoply of
international electronic artists. Includes work with Terre
Thaemlitz, Christoph de Babalon, Curd Duca, Merzbow, Console,
stilluppsteypa, more. Mostly she sings her simple pop songs along
with the designated artist's different grinding, sandy, staticky
textures and beats. Varied, but with some lovely highlights. [RE]

This week's scribes: Tom Capodanno [TC], Joe Cleaver [JC], Robin
Edgerton [RE], Andrew Giles [AG], Duane Harriott [DH], Tim Haslett
[TH], Jeremy Sponder [JS], Phil Waldorf [PW].

Thanks for reading.
-all of us at Other Music

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