Other Music Update
February 2, 2000

In This Week's Update :

Luke Vibert & BJ Cole drum 'n' (steel) guitar
Yukari Fresh Remix Album
Turing Machine
Stock, Hausen and Walkman 7"
John Zorn's "Lacrosse" reissue
John Wall (first record, reissued)
Eulenspygel reissue
Carl Stone (first record, reissued)
BTMZ (Burgener, Teitelbaum, Muller, Zingaro) electro-acoustic improv
Uri Geller sings (reissue)
Crooked Fingers (ex-Archers of Loaf)
Brooklyn Truckers Union Local 003 "Convoy"-meets-DHR sounds

Featured New Releases :

LUKE VIBERT & BJ COLE "Stop the Panic" (Astralwerks) CD $15.99
Not such an unusual match as you might think, the pairing of drum-n-bass
shark Vibert and old-hand steel guitarist Cole. Cole's been a session man
for Bjork, Depeche Mode, the Orb, KD Lang, the Stranglers, Gerry Rafferty
and Scott Walker (among others!). His last solo CD cradled steel-guitar
versions of the music of Debussy and Satie. That hinted at the direction
that "Stop the Panic" takes us. Just as those composers opened up/were open
to the entire world of sound or global cultures, "Stop the Panic"
resurrects those ideas 100 years later. Besides using the cheng (a Chinese
stringed instrument) in the service of hip-hop with '70s guitar, the record
ping-pongs between tracks of mainstream exotic diva glamour and weird '50s
Esquivel-ish drum'n'bass. The two tracks with English violinist Bobby
Valentine doing a western swing drawl puts it over the top; Cole's elastic,
vertigo-inducing ascents are anchored in place by Vibert's
throw-caution-to-the-wind beats. Though both participants are Brits,
they've made a hell of a multi-cultural meeting place of a CD. [RE]

YUKARI FRESH "Cityrama" (Escalator Records, Japan) CD $21.99
A most remarkable release from Yukari Fresh. Purportedly a remix record
of tracks from her two previous Escalator LPs, "Cityrama" comes off
more like a loving tribute album. The array of international artists
involved here don't really remix the tracks per se, but rather use the op-
portunity to put forth their own interpretive covers of Yukari Fresh songs.
Source material is put on the backburner letting each artist's own style come
to the fore. It's most successful when the Pop Tarts punk up "Yukarin' Disco"
(retitled here as "Berliner Weisse") and Fat Coconuts stack "Trip to Aloha State"
full of funky breaks. Less so when Scafull King tries to overwrite ska riffs onto
"Yukarin' Bass". It's most touching when Carsten Meyer (producer of the track
reworked by Erobique) takes the mic to extend a warm invitation to Yukari to
visit him in Europe. Other standout "remixes" include Kate & Keewee's bouncy,
kitschy contribution and the radical "Revolution #9"-like pastiche by
El Records supremo Mike Alway. Overall a very successful (and sentimental)
new take on the usually tired remix album concept. [TC]

L@N "self-titled" (Staalplaat, Netherlands) CD $14.99
L@N's first CD, released three years ago (and technically a compilation
from their early LPs) bobbed blissfully, adventurously between the pop of
Kraftwerk and the sparse, circa-1997 Cologne sound. This, three years
later, bounces more, chatters less. Mechano-beats (the old engine
comparison--a set of tiny actions all working independently, sparkplugs
firing, pistons driving, all propelling the sound forward) here go funking
and swinging in and out of phase, blithe and futurist. Though snotty in
character, the production is pristine. And on a few tracks, the thin beeps
and slams angle off, taking chord changes that, if they were transposed to
the rock sounds of guitar and drums, would sound like the Slits or Wire (If
you wrap your head around it that way). Spectacular in places. [RE]

TURING MACHINE "New Machine for Living" (Jade Tree) CD/LP  $10.99/$7.99
The Turing Machine was a hypothetical device defined in 1935 by British
mathematician Alan Turing, fundamental to the theoretical foundations of
computer science. Behind this new incantation of Turing's invention are two
members of the infamous early '90s DC outfit known as Pitchblende and the
drummer from Vineland. And much like those groups, this three-piece
instrumental ensemble exerts their ability to lock precisely into a
hard-edged groove: rocking explosively, tirelessly staying there. But the
sound isn't dated--Turing Machine fits nicely into Jade Tree's roster of
emo-ish wonder-bands who (like it or not) are rapidly becoming the standard
in independent rock today. "New Machine for Living" will please the
ravenous throngs of teenage emo-guzzlers while also flooring the more
seasoned fans of Pitchblende. [LR]
LP  /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999122631&refer_url=email

STOCK, HAUSEN & WALKMAN "Hang Ups" (Hot Air, UK) 7" $7.99
Return to a real bratty state, one they haven't visited since the hacks of
"Hairballs" in 1996. A 7-inch of wonderful, skeletal gabber, where one side
uses body noises as percussion, pureeing burps, punches, oofs, squeaks, and
roller-rink organ with amazing dancefloor velocity. On the flip, they
ransack their own back catalog for the gabber fodder -- I think they're
transplanting pieces of "Organ Transplants", their "Me" single, and
possibly "Stop" into a faster-than-200 bpm bed. It's stupid, it's
expensive, and it's really great. [RE]

JOHN ZORN "Lacrosse" (Tzadik) 2xCD $20.99
From 1977, "Lacrosse" is not only the first of John Zorn's game pieces
(collaborative, guided improvisations), it's also his first adult recording.
Influenced by composers Mauricio Kagel and Christian Wolff, Zorn
corraled Eugene Chadbourne (strongly affixing his aesthetic stamp to the
work), Polly Bradfield, Davey Williams, LaDonna Smith and Mark Abbott to
execute his own discrete events and creaky strategies. Unexpected furling
and unfurling of strings and reeds in serenely abrasive order. Also
available on Zorn's "Parachute Years" box, Tzadik is now releasing the
works individually. [RE]

JOHN WALL "Fear of Gravity" (Utterpsalm, UK) CD $20.99
In 1993, John Wall's work already had a distinct method of construction,
plus the hyper-consciousness of sound that allowed his following albums to
flourish and expand. Compared to his later work, this is more industrial
and indelicate. On "Fear of Gravity", Wall makes obvious comparisons: a
piece built around an improvising soprano sax anchors similar sounds from
violin and middle-eastern musics, all set in a synthetic space. Here, he
breathes with larger, longer samples, rather than his recent finely-cut
ones, and the whole CD bristles with accentuated, quicker rhythmic
structures. There is more film soundtrack music used, and abstract
operatics in combination with metallic guitar yields music reminiscent of
that used for the films of Dario Argento: _both_ Morricone and Goblin. A
track for spasming horns, chopsticks, and violin in sequence hangs over a
thin bass thrum and filtered humming vocals. A thick, pulsing record,
nearly cruel, with the veiled/implied theme that religion distances man
from nature. [RE]

EULENSPYGEL "2" (Garden Of Delights, Germany) CD $19.99
Brilliant, over-the-top, infuriating Kraut-psych from 1971 in the tradition
of Floh De Cologne, Necronomicon, Out Of Focus, and Eiliff. A sublime
fusion of dual guitars, beyond-heavy keyboard, flute, and violin blending
into a ridiculous concoction of Teutonic folk culture, pseudo-classical
"rock", and "political" songwriting with strongly accented (and,
mercifully) native German lyrics. In short, just the kind of stuff that
throws our Duane into uncontrollable fits of joyous laughter when played on
the sales floor here at Other Music. When the proto-Magma whoops and
hollers dovetail into rich veins of Black Sabbath riffery; when Ian
Anderson flute figures give over to the sarcastic strains of 'Deutschland
Deutschland Uber Alles' on organ, fugue-style finally segueing into a 'Take
Five' vamp, it's all over: love it, or trash it. Their debut effort, the
title references Eulenspygel's previous incarnation as the Royal Servants.
Superb reissue restores original disturbing and withdrawn
chick-and-egg-in-frying pan sleeve art motif; adds copious liner notes and
band photos. [JG]

CARL STONE "Four Pieces" (Electro Acoustic Music) CD $15.99
Here's a welcome reissue of this 1989 disc, with remastered sound and new
cover art. The decade since its initial release has brought Stone wider
popularity via his discs on em:t records and various collaborations, but
this is still the one to beat. Like much of Stone's other work, all four of
these pieces (named for his favorite restaurants) were made with analog
samples fed into a Macintosh. The opener, 'Wall Me Do', is the most
computer-y, gamelan tones mixed with synthesizer bleeps into a sprightly
collage. 'Hop Ken' chainsaws the 'Promenade' from Mussorgsky's "Pictures At
An Exhibition" into a bloody and even irritating mess, then melts down and
follows a twisted course before resolving into a skittery, glitchcore-like
return to the Mussorgsky. The third piece, named after the late, lamented
Shing Kee is slower. As a woman sings, her voice is tenderly stretched out
until it takes on an almost elegiac quality. 'Sonali' brings us full
circle, sampling 'Wall Me Do' and other bits of Stone's own oeuvre,
chopping it all into a kind of scratch mix. The remastering is superb;
sounds leap from the speakers with demonstration-disc clarity. This disc
may be computer music, but it's much warmer and more human than the term
usually connotes. A keeper. [AL]

(For 4 Ears, Switzerland) CD $13.99

Live, improvisatory electronics submerged with two-channel acoustic and
electric violins (Burgener in one channel, Zingaro in the other). Their
style of channel separation messes with your head thoroughly, as there's so
much going on in each. Linked more texturally than anything else, these
separate universes bisect your brain. It reminds me of a 4-dimensional
version of Ikue Mori's live works -- birdlike and buglike, twitters and
spasms counter shimmering long strands of violin. Threads of classical
melody rise to the surface, buried by stochastic, classic electroacoustic
sounds and electronic congas randomly trading off. Nicely concise, each
piece lasts about five minutes. Tightly-wound confusion reigns. [RE]

URI GELLER "s/t" (Fork Bender, UK) CD $14.99
When Rhino Records launched their "Golden Throats: Celebrities Sing!"
series in the mid-'80s, they overlooked the prodigious talents of Mr.
Geller, whose voice and, uh, 'phrasing' quite nearly rivals his status as
'the world's most celebrated paranormalist'. Growing up in the '70s it was
impossible to miss Geller's astounding acts of mental kinesis on
television: common keys and metal utensils were bent by the sheer will of
his mind before astonished audiences on the "Tonight Show", the "Mike
Douglas Show", etc. But clearly his greatest feat of all was securing the
contract that resulted in this fascinatingly silly recording. "Uri Geller
is known by millions for his extraordinary mental abilities, he has created
fervent admiration (Michael Jackson, Bee Gees, Elton John, Vice President
Al Gore, Peter Gabriel, The Spice Girls and Mohammad Ali are all friends)
or controversy since he became a worldwide figure in the '70s. This album
originally appeared in the '70s, resulting from poems and song texts where
Uri expressed his thoughts and feelings about human beings, life, love and
the universe. Del Newman (arranger for Paul Simon, Elton John, Paul
McCartney), composed half of the tracks and arranged them all. Maxine
Nightingale sings vocals on 'This Girl Of Mine' and 'A Story To Tell', also
featured is the renowned American pianist Byron Janis."-- uri-geller.com.
As a genuinely scary kitsch tour-de-force, this CD is unsurpassed. Marvel
at the 'heavy' orchestrations as Uri is accompanied by a cosmic choir!
Thrill as he duets with a Karen Carpenter clone! Amaze your friends as
Uri lisps his way through not one, but FOUR different language versions
of "Mood", the album's mind-bending psychedelic finale! Uri was most recently
spotted in the "National Enquirer" preparing to sue the Pokemon juggernaut
for naming one of their bad-guy monsters "Ungeller". Adios, Yanni. Step
off, John Tesh. The New Age begins here! [JG]

CROOKED FINGERS "s/t" (Warm) CD $13.99
Back in the early '90s, you couldn't pick a band that defined the
indie-rock aesthetic more essentially, centrally than Archers of Loaf. When
they later broke up, singer Eric Bachman took a solo route as "Barry
Black", pulling away from the big rock, pushing himself toward a form of
maturity. Enter Crooked Finger, Bachman's latest collaboration with Brian
Causey of Man Or Astroman. For all the orchestration, effects loops and
found sounds contained within, it's a surprisingly simple and refreshingly
straightforward work. His gruff voice is still present, but it has
developed from an incomprehensible scream to a Tom Waits-ish tender
drunkard's croon (plus he mentions his drinking problem in almost every
song). Crooked Fingers is perhaps the final incarnation of Bachman's
efforts, what he always meant to sound like. So while the album never rocks
the way the Archers did, it still yields an amazing amount of beauty,
insight, melody and subtlety that they never had. Bachman, as a songwriter,
thus far created a body of great music all the while keeping us guessing
what he will next sound like. [LR]

BROKLYN TRUCKERS UNION LOCAL 003 "s/t" (Broklyn Beats) CD-R $7.99
This futuristic album by Criterion and Heather (who run the nascent Broklyn
Beats label) draws conceptual comparisons between hard Driving music and
hard drive music. When they're slipping bits of static in between '70s
country trucker songs and riffs, they can be annoying, albeit novel. But
when they put in aural comparisons between the acceleration of a giant
engine and the buildups to rap hits, they produce something startling.
Standouts include a twelve-minute giant of electronic scrapes and
vibrations midway through, and electronically-generated stray fiddlish
noises interlocking with clicks in a 'dueling-banjo' structure. Spotty yet
redeeming. [RE]

This week's newsletter given up by Tom Capodanno, Robin Edgerton, Jeff
Gibson, Andrew Leigh, and Lyndon Roeller.

Thanks for reading.

-all of us at Other Music

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