Other Music New Release Update
February 14, 2001

In This Week's Update:

Matmos EP
Nurse with Wound/Aranos
Stetsasonic reissues
Fall live in Iceland
Stephen Malkmus
Mark Fry reissue
Duncan Browne reissue
I'm A Good Woman Vol. 2 soul sisters comp.
Gerald Hawk
Mark Kozelek
Robert Scott
Mottomo Otomo comp.
Selofane 74
Bill Cole
Boredoms domestic
New Orleans Funk comp.
Barbara Morgenstern

Featured New Releases:

E*VAX "Parking Lot Music" (Audio Dregs) CD/LP $12.99/$9.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/WhatWeMe.rm
Straight off of the Morr Music compilation comes E*Vax with his
debut, and boy is it a stunner! Evan Mast takes his bedroom
electronics to new levels with downtempo beats that pitter and
crunch, underwater synth sounds, electronic whistles and whirrs,
and a sense of playfulness that gives Aphex Twin and Boards of
Canada a run for their money. There's not a dud in all eleven
melodic tracks on the record -- it's a little like the best soundtrack
to all of your favorite videogames wrapped up in one. After three
fabulous 7-inch singles and various tracks for compilations, Evan
has lived up to his potential and created a masterpiece of down-
tempo electronics. His brother Eric, also known as E*Rock, runs
the label that released this (as well as the last two Dim Dim
records!), which has a particularly fun Web site at
www.audiodregs.com. The "B.Fleischmann of 2001"? Most
definitely! Keep an eye out for a mini LP on Morr and an LP on
Tom later this year. [JS]

MATMOS "California Rhinoplasty" (Matador) CD EP/12" $9.99/$8.99
Probably dressed as white-coated lab techs, Matmos entered the
surgical room as a nose job was being performed on a patient in
a California clinic. This aural voyeurism is what constitutes their
forthcoming "A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure" album. The
instruments of this record are electronic, save the Snowdon Pender
Endoscopes and Leiblinger titanium microscrews and other cosmetic
surgical tools (with which I'm sure you're all familiar). What makes
this EP so thoroughly disturbing and intensely satisfying is that
they've turned electronic musical innovation back onto the body
itself, driving it so deep that electronic music becomes once again
completely organic. As it's the most dense, complex electronic record
to have been released in ages, it's also the least "computerized".
The body becomes the music-making apparatus, not merely the
receiver towards which it is directed. And the remixes aren't just
remixes of music Matmos put together from the hours of surgical
tape, instead, they gave each mixer the same source they started
from, so the remixes are of the surgery itself. Birmingham electronic
visionary Surgeon (so apropos!) chooses to take spoken word
segments from the surgeon and run it over dark, slippery keyboard
sounds, the scalpel looming in the foreground. Matthew "Dr. Rockit"
Herbert's rendition is closer to Matmos' ten-minute original, with a
clinical, metallic edge that does not sit well with a lot of listeners.
And that it is as it should be. [TH]

NURSE WITH WOUND / ARANOS "Santoor Lena Bicycle" (United Dairies, UK) CD $39.99
An OM semi-exclusive! Ultra-limited edition of 500 copies originally
sold only via mailorder from Ireland. The music is exactly what we've
come to expect from these two: a magic hour of brilliant full-throttle
Dada-thunk combined with unparalleled sonic tomfoolery. Ho-hum!
But what's really special about this one is the spectacular handmade
packaging! In June 2000, Steven Stapleton and Aranos created large
double-sided paintings (8 feet by 4 feet) on wood, working
simultaneously on every one. All eighteen were exhibited for one day
in Town Hall Studio, Galway. As the paintings hung from the gallery
ceiling on swivels they swayed and twisted to the strains of "Santoor
Lena Bicycle". On the following day, they were cut into 1000 pieces
and crafted together in hinged pairs to form 500 unique encasements
for the CD. The titles on the eleven-track CD correspond to the names
of eleven of the paintings, each of which are represented (pre-
dissection) in an accompanying full color poster, ideal for playing
"spot-the-source-painting" with your copy! Very few available. [JG]

STETSASONIC "In Full Gear" (Tommy Boy) CD/LP $15.99/$15.99
STETSASONIC "On Fire" (Tommy Boy) CD/LP $15.99/$13.99

In 1988, the same year in which Eric B. & Rakim and Public Enemy
emerged, Stetsasonic roared into the public consciousness like a
brush fire. "In Full Gear," produced by Prince Paul was a party-rocking
album, that included a hilarious parody of the '70s slow-jam hit 'Float
On' by The Floaters. They were also prescient -- tracks like 'Talkin'
All That Jazz' prefigured even DJ Premier's use of jazz in hip-hop.
Stetsasonic's debut record "On Fire" initially brought this four-piece
band to the attention of New York and beyond. Prince Paul's dexterity
on the unforgettable 'Just Say Stet' and 'Go Stetsa I' will never be
erased from the minds of hip-hop listeners -- if only because those
songs have been sampled more times than you've had hot dinners.
"In Full Gear"
"On Fire"

!!! "s/t" (GSL) CD/LP $13.99/$9.99
(Pronounced chik chik chik or, frankly, however you want to -- it's
filed under 'chik' on our web site.) !!! are a seven-member group
who share a few with Outhud (with whom they also split a spectacular
12"). They keep a similar, muscular intensity that veers away from the
punk scene they come from into the steady, lolloping funk rhythms.
This record came out a few months ago (and Outhud's is due soon),
but we've had a hard time keeping it in stock at all. Their singer
keeps a direct drawl amidst the slow disco beats (real drums, nothing
artificially generated/virtual here) and grated shards of guitar, and
the other members chime in as a counterpoint, off and on. Good
reference points: Cure's 'Love Cats', a rougher Big Audio Dynamite
(okay, way better!), or Pigbag w/out any jazz. They make the
skeletons of funk and punk dance together, rattling bones, a dance
that sounds better every time you hear it, wiggling its way further
into your spine. [RE]

THE FALL "Live Reykjavik" (Cog Sinister, UK) CD $19.99
Finally, a live CD by my very favorite incarnation of The Fall, the
core line-up responsible for the mighty "Hex Enduction Hour" (an
easy all-time top-fiver). This set was recorded in May 1983 with the
stripped-down yet percussed-up roster of Mark E. Smith (vox), Craig
Scanlon (gtr.), Steve Hanley (bs.) augmented by the dual-drum attack
of Karl Burns and Paul Hanley. "As always, here Smith is
simultaneously the unstable molecule that suspends the performance
in a riveting tension, and the rogue element that threatens to capsize
it altogether. Like Fela Kuti's organ playing, his keyboard 'solo' on
'Backdrop' is either a triumph of attitude over technique, or a ham-
fisted aside to the main action of the song--depending on your point
of view18 years ago it might have been just another night's work for
Mark E. Smith and his 'boys': no ceremony, no compromise -- just
get out there and do it. Today, transferred to CD, it becomes another
document to add to the bulging Fall file; another scrap of evidence in
the case for The Fall being the hardest thinking band in anti-showbiz."
-Tony Herrington, from the liner notes. [JG]

STEPHEN MALKMUS "s/t" (Matador) CD/LP $12.99/$10.99
When I first heard that Stephen Malkmus would be putting out a solo
record, I, a maniacal Pavement fan, scoffed wearily at the thought.
How could any one part of the equation be as good as the whole?
Paging critically through the booklet, I thought the amateur-looking
photographs and inkblot- and whiteout-adorned collages looked,
well, kinda familiar. My thoughts about the artwork correspond eerily
to my thoughts about the sound of this record. The first song, 'Black
Book,' has the reverb-heavy, almost psychedelic sound of a few
songs from "Terror Twilight", Pavement's last record, which makes
this immediately feel like simply a continuation of that. 'Jo Jo's
Jacket' and 'Discretion Groove' bring me back to the rougher
Pavement of "Wowee Zowee" and "Crooked Rain". But on 'Jenny
and the Ess-Dog' and 'Fantasies,' Malkmus is definitely using
Pavement as a reference point, but brought a more apparent pop
sensibility to the making of his solo work. All in all, this record will
satisfy the thousands of hungry fans seeking anything reminiscent
of their much-beloved Pavement. Though it may not be the same
lineup as the good old days, the ideas are still the same. [MC]
CD /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=74486104442&refer_url=email
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=74486104441&refer_url=email

MARK FRY "Dreaming with Alice" (Akarma, Italy) CD/LP  $16.99/$21.99
For me, far too many psych-folk reissues fail to live up to their
promise or my expectations--and often something seems to be
lacking that I can't quite put my finger on. Fortunately, Mark Fry's
"Dreaming with Alice" more than lives up to its promise. Originally
released in Italy in 1972, Akarma now gives it the wider exposure
it deserves. Fry somehow manages to evoke the gentle hippiedom
of Donovan's "A Gift From a Flower to a Garden," the dark magic
mystery side of the Incredible String Band, and the propulsive
commune-rock of the first three Amon Duul records. And the strength
of the songwriting keeps it on a par with all of the above. Witches,
lutes, Egyptian fireflies, sitars, mandolin men, backwards guitars,
and pyramid prostitutes ensure Mark Fry a place in the psych-folk
pantheon. [MK]

DUNCAN BROWNE "Give Me, Take You" (Immediate, UK) CD $13.99
Originally released on Immediate Records (Small Faces, Billy Nichols,
The Nice) in 1968, Duncan Browne's folk/baroque masterpiece has
been neglected for over thirty years. Comparable in scope and
quality to work done by contemporaries such as the Zombies, The
Kinks, or the Left Banke, Browne's record is a delicate, softly-
stated collection of exquisite story songs enhanced by tastefully
lush production. Harps, woodwinds, subtle psychedelic studio
trickery (courtesy of Immediate producer Andrew Logg Oldham),
and Browne's own low-key guitar fingerpicking give the record a
distinctly melancholy vibe. "Give Me, Take You" would make a
wonderful Sunday morning companion to Nick Drake's "Bryter
Layter". Highest recommendation. [MK]

[V/A] "I'm A Good Woman Vol. 2" (Harmless, UK) CD/LP  $20.99/$23.99
Volume Two from the excellent Harmless label (who did the
Africafunk series, too), and it's -- you guessed it -- better than the
first. They loaded Volume One with a few more hits, and there are a
few here, too, like Ann Peeble's 'I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse
Down', where she gets smoky, slow, and downright dangerous. The
lead singer for the Apollas (who IS she?) belts so hard that her voice
tops out, skidding on gravel (as does, of course, Marva Whitney, in
the fine 'Daddy Don't Know About Sugar Bear'). Helene Smith's sole
recording (that anyone can tell) is pure, tight faux-James Brown
production, fancy horns as punctuation, accented by her alto that
climbs a few octaves when you least expect it. You also get the
answer song to 'Soul Man' -- somewhat misguidedly-titled 'Soul Girl'
by Jeanne and the Darlings, plus tracks from the supremely sensual
Camille Yarbrough (sampled aplenty by Fatboy Slim), chunky guts of
Mable John, and, of course, a few names, like Jean Knight, Vicki
Anderson, Aretha, and Betty Davis. (We also just got the re-reissue
of Ms. Davis' "Nasty Gal" in stock, too.) [RE]

GERALD HAWK "King of the River Canoe" (Abduction) CD $11.99
"G Hawk" comes across like a more dangerous cousin of Jandek's.
He sounds as though he's subsisting, somewhere, on his own
fingernails plus copious "fingers" of whisky (and is perhaps in the
presence of bears). This transmission from the Sun City Girls galaxy
(is "hawk" Alan Bishop in disguise?) endeavors to mine the legacy of
ascetic doomsterism, from Cobain to the recently-reissued Simon
Finn. The atmosphere on this record is made up of pure, bedroom-
recorded nuances of a dark complexion: fragmentary chops at an
acoustic guitar, a slash or two of abused harmonica, and maybe
even a keyboard at one point. Often there are an assortment of
vocal tracks, all mixed and spoken/sung at varying levels. Though
less arch than the vocal-era recordings of those grandaddies of
mercurial waywardness, the Dead C, some of the material here
aches its way forward on similarly interstellar cruise-control.
Initially I felt there should be the sound of fire crackling mixed in
as well, but that would only have cheaply externalized what is
perfectly clear after more listens: This whole thing is crackling.

MARK KOZELEK "What's Next to the Moon" (Badman) CD $13.99
Mark Kozelek's newest recording, "What's Next to the Moon",
transforms ten AC/DC songs. Even though Kozelek's spectacular
songwriting is nowhere to be found, he makes their songs
somehow unmistakably his, with gorgeous guitar plucking and a
deep, somber croon. Still barer and bleaker than any of the work
he did with Red House Painters, he has an uncanny ability to
transform utterly the unlikeliest of songs -- they're almost
unrecognizable. Red House Painters and Mark Kozelek's output
has been nothing short of flawless: "What's Next to the Moon"
contains all of the greatness we've come to expect from one of
the most distinctive voices in recent American songwriting. [PW]

ROBERT SCOTT "The Creeping Unknown" (Thirsty Ear) CD $14.99
The wayward Mr. Scott! Following the sad decline of one of the
most tender and transformational of pop bands, the Bats, Scott
moved his attentions to the folky, similarly tender and thoughtful
Magick Heads. Now he is trying to find his solo voice, and it
includes strands of the past: there is the slightest bit of that
classic '80s NZ pop sound behind large sounds of guitars ringing
slowly, nearly impenetrably, masked and throaty (like the guitars
themselves are in the throes of pretty bad, raspy colds). He has a
few electronic experiments/tiny mellotron and mandolin paintings
here that are very successful -- his ears broaden even into IDM
territory, only more organic, squishier. There are only a few (four)
songs with actual singing of words (two with a precarious grip on
the notes), but he runs the pulse of a piano steadily through much
of the CD, assisted by David Kilgour on much of it. Drums are used
on only two tracks, and the lack of a measured tick throughout
makes time seem to slow even your heartbeat in empathy. It's
like watching flies buzz, circle and hover over meat without ever
landing. [RE]

[V/A] "Mottomo Otomo" (Trost, Austria) CD $16.99
Music that by its very nature requires an audience to interpret,
so says Otomo Yoshihide. Then again, if a tree falls in a forest
Yoshihide's been moving away from the turntable for the last
five years or so, and what started out as a turntable fest curated
by Yoshihide became something much different, instead a festival
of improvisation in particular, loaded with musicians from Japan
as well as those who oft work with electronics. And in many cases,
some of them give their least concrete work yet, like Radian's
minutely pulsing jazz that's like a Charlie Parker tune with 98% of
the notes removed, or Kaffe Matthews, Andrea Neumann and
Annette Krebs' piece that seems like it's made more for the space
of the silences than what fills them. Nagata Kazunao's piece for
arpsynth (which has a very early synth sound) sounds like he's
constructed a partner for 2001's Hal and given them a duet.
Novo Tono do giant Japanese power rock, improv-style, vibrating
with guitar chords that spread from the stage, over-monumental
vocals and pure posturing, Yoshihide's own New Jazz Quintet
combines soulful Dexter Gordon or Monk styling, heart-tugging
solos and all, with some near-silent randomness. Martin Tetrault
and Dianne Labrosse sound like they're abusing a Roland,
slapping it around and hitting it with lit matches. [RE]

KAWABATA PAUVROS "Extreme-Onction" (Fractal, France) CD $14.99
A meeting of two avant-guitar titans, Makoto Kawabata (Acid
Mothers Temple) and Jean-Francois Pauvros, recorded in Paris,
1999. "A long, disturbing and totally improvised instrumental suite
cut into three distinct tracks. This album owes much to the high
dynamism of the recording session, enhanced by the combination
of effects and harmonic guitar work, which go to create a
kaleidoscopic sound space rich in contrasts. Atmospheric, floating
music which vibrates and loses itself or becomes restless, even
sickly, with strident friction from the bowed guitar work which
imbues the album with real evocative power."-Fractal Records.
In the tradition of Keiji Haino and Manuel Gottsching's more
textural workouts, Kawabata and Pauvros have woven a sonic
tapestry of subtly rich delights. [JG]

SELOFANE SEVENTY-FOUR "s/t" (Poptones, UK) $18.99
It came out in September, but we just got it. This is the 'library
music' release of Tony Barber (Buzzcocks!) and Joe Foster, along
with moog whiz Peter Towndrow. And it's a somewhat accurate
facsimile of good '60s-'70s 'mood songs', right down to the
production and arrangements by Richard Tayter, who did all
kinds of cheesy covers records in Britain (a la the 101 Strings
here or James Last in Germany). It's mostly instrumentals -- vocals
are limited to a few exclamations -- and each has it's own gimmick.
One is rock w/sitar, another is windy, percussion-heavy funky
vibraphone jazz, etc. 'Modern' easy listening that you wouldn't
quite know was modern, and what happens when a group sets
out to make one of those records from long ago that by accident
yielded lots of breaks and beats. [RE]

BILL COLE "The Untempered Ensemble" (Boxholder) CD $15.99
Cole's duets and solo pieces w/William Parker, Cooper-Moore
(on his hoe handle harp) and Warren Smith. Cole's odd wind
instruments can sound like a motocross cycle in spitty hums, or
wavery and sinuous (the shenai, a middle-Eastern instrument),
or eerie as heck (Tibetan trumpet), or florid, curlicued (an
especially painterly flute solo). [RE]


BOREDOMS "Vision Creation New Sun" (Birdman) CD $12.99
Now available at a domestic price! The zenith in 30 years of
stoner-rock. Boredoms' music holds unexpected glitches, with
vocals electronically repositioned, instruments spun well out of
their usual orbits via manipulation/re-modulation. Battalions of
drums are multiplied a hundredfold, and towers of vocals are built
up only to fall over. And it's all constructed on an unstable junkpile
that oozes slime and ejects jets of fluorescent, unknown gases.
More percussion heavy than even their previous CD, they're still
toying with textures and rhythms in a more sophisticated and
powerful manner than (in my very biased opinion) anyone else.
Period. "Vision" is intelligent music that is, above all, purely
visceral and extraordinarily transcendent. [RE]

[V/A] "New Orleans Funk" (Soul Jazz, UK) CD/LP $19.99/$27.99
New Orleans is a wellspring of one kind of funk, one raised under
tarpaper rather than on top of the pavement, one that comes out
of funeral parades (where the bands play jubilantly for dancers/
marchers), not club glamour, one who heard more Hank Williams
than Duke Ellington in the playpen. Coming in with Professor
Longhair's odd, bouncy piano rhythms, New Orleans started to
funk early, but it was a different kind of funk. This compilation is
an excellent overview of its birth and flowering. It's not full of
rarities (I think every track here has appeared on one CD or
another) but this grouping is particularly nice. You get the Meters'
sparse, even sour form, slipping a twang between gurgling bass
notes. Classics from Eddie Bo and Allen Toussaint (the impeccable,
yet raw 'Get Out of My Life Woman'), and Nevilles all over the place.
Over 24 tracks, certain patterns emerge: there's an ever-present,
empty melancholy behind the music of New Orleans. Even
something as innocuous as Robert Parker's 'Hip-Huggin' can
contain a slight bitterness along with the party vibe. Dr. John
might fills the holes in songs, but he makes those holes, too.
Which all makes sense: as the second-line dancers strut down
the street, they think of their friends in heaven, resting between
the up beat and the down beat. [RE]

BARBARA MORGENSTERN "Fjorden" (Monika, Germany) CD $15.99
Morgenstern's an odd mix -- a reclusive networker. Like her first
album, she recorded this one alone. But unlike it, here she got
some high-profile electronic artists to mix/produce some of the
tracks: Robert Lippok (to rococo rot), Thomas Fehlmann, and Pole,
who does five of the twelve here. "Fjorden" mixes her stiff Deutsch
vocals with smooth, pretty trip-hop beats, her calm voice singed by
the purposeful electronic flaws and odd samples in the music. She
captures odd sounds in her net -- cello draughts, a fly buzzing
through a room, electric guitars that blast like gridlocked trucks --
and flows them seamlessly into the pop. It adds an air of
unpredictability, but never shockingly so. Moody and fused,
'orchestrations' -- banks of synth -- keep the flow, and her voice
drops languidly at the end of each phrase. Despite this giving the
whole CD a jaded, dazed quality, the whole never lags. Despite
some chill she embraces intimacy, and unlike some contemporaries,
she's not a fan of melodrama. [RE]

Contribs: Marisa Cerio [MC], Robin Edgerton [RE], Jeff Gibson [JG], Tim
Haslett [TH], Dan Hougland [DHo], Michael Klausman [MK], Jeremy
Sponder [JS], Phil Waldorf [PW].

The Big Picture:

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