Other Music New Release Update
January 10, 2001

In This Week's Update:

Bilongo afro-funk comp.
Faust reissue
Mass Producers
Morricone 2001
Heavyweight Art Installation catalog (w/Kid Koala, Amon Tobin)
Margret Ornolfsdottir
Of Montreal

Bertrand Burgalat
Sigur Ros' "Von" and "Von Brigdi"

Featured New Releases :

MUM "Yesterday Was Dramatic -- Today Was OK" (TMT, Iceland) CD  $27.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/mum1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/mum2.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/mum3.rm
This came out last year, but we sold out of them right away,
we're just now able to get more. This Icelandic group is not
to be confused with the Austrian duo of the same name.
While they use some of Boards of Canada's 'pastoral'
electronic effects (ticky sweetness and bell-like synth
tones), they warm it up by blurring the line between the
acoustic and electronic. Sure, there are lots of skittery
patterns and beats, but they really become pioneers
when they pull in and out of sped-up bouncing
harpsichord notes, real trumpet, clarinet, guitar and
strings, lovely vocal chanting, and a glockenspiel that I
can't tell if it's real or faux. Acoustic guitar tones might
start a song and make you think it's going to become indie-
pop, until the whole thing collapses delicately on a fainting
couch of fireplace crackles, Casios that imitate birds' trilling
and chirping, and resonant triangle tones. They've supported
countrymate Bjork on tour, which makes perfect sense --
Mum's work resembles her at her most lulling, lullaby-ish, not
that they can't rip it up in woodshop sounds and drum'n'bass.
10 cracking tracks, 67 minutes. Fans of Sigur Ros or Autechre
will like. Primarily instrumental, but one song drifts in and out
on breathy, multitracked angel vox. An absolutely exquisite
recording. [RE]

SCORN "Greetings from Birmingham" (Hymen/Ant-Zen, UK) CD  $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/scornGB1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/scornGB2.rm
Mick Harris created his Scorn alias in 1981 and used it to pick
up the debris left behind by Throbbing Gristle and Einsturzende
Neubauten (lest it go to waste). What he did was to create
some of the heaviest, dirtiest guitar driven electronics on
earth. He inspired an entire generation of Birmingham
techno producers -- Surgeon, Female, and Regis -- with his
breakbeats, which sound like they were dragged through a
sewer, accumulating sludge. It sounds like Harris recorded
'Soon Come' through six rusty mattresses. The guitar chords
are so thick and fattened they provide the _basslines_ to
tracks 'Melt' and 'Flap'. As an antidote to minimalism, this
nasty, brutal record is a real treat. [TH]

MOKIRA "Cliphop" (Raster Noton, Germany) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Palm.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Same.rm
"Cliphop" by Mokira (Andreas Tilliander) does for breakbeats
and Warp-style IDM what snd and "Clicks and Cuts" did for
techno and Pole did for dub. Each of these artists imploded
(or simply turned inside-out) what they loved, creating a new
sound in the dissection of the old. Jay-Z/Cash Money-style
bounce/herky jerky rhythms are here, but broken into bits,
blunted, halved. Tilliander's vision of introverted electronics
chops 808s and hard drum sounds, and works with the
'negative space' of the music -- what it creates in your head
as much as with the sound itself. For instance, there's no
payoff in bass kicks, instead he implies the bass into your
head. While the Schematic and Chocolate Industries labels
turned hip-hop on itself similarly, those labels expanded the
beats into polyrhythms -- and Mokira makes those rhythms
latent by their absence. [DH]

[V/A] "Bilongo" (Comet, France) CD/2xLP $14.99/$16.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/zombie.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/gislaine.rm
The third CD in the series that started with "Racubah!"
and continued with "Ouelele", Comet records once again
scours the EC for music that, if not always being strictly
African in origin, at least might have virtual roots there.
As with the other two, it's a very consistent set, with funky
Afro-Jazz represented (rather than jazzy Afro-funk a la
the "Club Africa" series): Richard Raux' long jam with a
Coltrane-esque sax filigree, Michel Sardaby's long jam
with an electric piano filigree, more funky electric piano
splendor by Georges-Edouard Nouel, and a grunty trebly
drum-heavy jazz number used on the early '70s animated
French "Tarzan" series. Other peaks? A piano-driven,
disco-ish version of Fela's 'Zombie' (imho his best song
ever), the Art Ensemble backing up Alfred Panou's very
Pierre Akendengue-like spoken work. Most here appear to
be an interesting 'filter' of sorts -- French Musicians (or
African/Caribbean expats) doing their own, Afro-tinged
contemporary work that touches '70s jazz fusion but
remains funky enough to be heavy (or heavy enough to
be funky!). Thirteen tracks add up to nearly an hour's
worth of material. [RE]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=376001816015&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=376001816014&refer_url=email

FAUST "So Far/s/t" (Collector's Choice) CD $14.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/PicnicOn.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/IveGotMy.rm
It isn't every day that one of my all time favorite albums is
reissued, and now within several months two versions of Faust
"So Far" have seen the light of day. The first rerelease was
part of the essential "Wumme Years" box and now "So Far"
is available on Collectors Choice as part of a two-albums-
on-one-CD release, paired with their almost equally brilliant
self-titled debut. "So Far" could loosely be described as
Faust's pop record, with the timeless classics 'It's a Rainy Day,
Sunshine Girl', 'Me Lack Space' and 'I've Got My Car and My
TV'. Full of dada vocal ranting (where else might you hear a
verse like "Daddy take the banana, tomorrow is sunday"?),
acidic folk balladry, disjointed free-jazz bursts and washed-out
guitar fuzz, "So Far" is an unmatched classic (except maybe
by Faust themselves on "Tapes") welcomed back onto compact
disc, and finally at an inexpensive price. While this reissue lacks
the extensive liner notes and packaging of the "Wumme Years"
box, the music here is nothing short of totally essential. [PW]

MASS PRODUCERS "Performances for Large Saxophone Ensemble"
(Dark Beloved Cloud) CD $10.99

RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/MasProd1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/MasProd2.rm
Caroline Kraabel, last of the Honkies, X-Ray Eyes and the
Shock Exchange, assembled her orchestra of 20
saxophonists in workshops over the past few years.
Wanted to break off from the cutting-jazz-improv-rock she
had been doing, she started writing pieces for brass, and
stood her 20 performers (all female, in the long-gone
tradition of the 'ladies orchestra') in a circle to give the work
a complementary physical form. Two long pieces grace this
CD. One is of a more varied, improvisatory nature (at least
it seems that way), with sparks of humor, some chanting,
and the sounds scattered among the players in 3-D. On
the second, the notes travel around the circle in waves,
repeating rhythms in long, complex (literal) rounds of sound.
As the overtones accumulate (think Terry Riley's "In C"), so
does the intensity -- you can just imagine some sort of
massive energy being coming to life in the air above them,
curling and yawning and stretching in a ravishing asymmetry.

MONOLAKE "Gravity" (Monolake/Imbalance, Germany) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Monlake1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Monlake2.rm
Robert Henke and Gerard Behles spend hours locked in
their Berlin studios, and the results have been three full-
length records and a clutch of singles. Borne of the Chain
Reaction school of minimalism, this pair have made a
substantial break from that aesthetic with this album,
which strikes the listener like a towering wall of air, only
to drop into a plateau of hesitant but thick synth chords
and time signatures that vary from 3/4 to 4/4. So it never
allows for an easy dancefloor reception. And it shouldn't.
That's not the intent. They want to create sound
environments that are at once claustrophobic and
liberating. "Gravity" is evidence that minimalism has had
its moment in German electronics, and that while 'maximalism'
hasn't yet arrived, Monolake are moving in that direction. [TH]

ENNIO MORRICONE "Morricone 2001" (Dagored, Italy) CD/LP  $14.99/$14.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/1mor2001.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/2mor2001.rm
The second in the series of compilations of Ennio
Morricone's music chosen for their lounge, camp, and
beat qualities by Alan Bishop (of the Sun City Girls, an
incredibly thorough Morriconologist). And this is a lighter,
more lilting affair than the last. Morricone's orchestrations
have a sparse, but thick sound, and they're cut through
with unusual effects, like an open-string piano and
strangled rhythms, clipped organ, woodblocks, anonymous
but not generic female vocals that have a faltering quality,
a hesitance that comes from being overwhelmed rather
than inept. The rhythms have a 'waiting' quality that's
very Bacharach. Jumping from the hip, the tracks selected
here put aside punchy foxiness for a solemn, lush
sensuality. [RE]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=801325201252&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=801325201251&refer_url=email

HEAVYWEIGHT ART INSTALLATION "Phase One: 1999 North American Tour,
Live Painting Series" (Ninjatune, Canada) 7" and catalog  $19.99
A 24-page exhibition catalog/ 'live' document of work by
the Heavyweight Art Installation, a group of eight artists
who make 6'x6' paintings live during concerts. Making
backdrops for the music, the Heavyweights paint as DJs
spin. Their documents were made during Coachella Fest
(Amon Tobin, Afro Poet, more), the Montreal Jazz Fest
(Galliano, Vibert, Thievery, more), CMJ (etc.) and during a
Roots Manuva/Herbaliser tour. But if you think you'll get
images of the gaping audience and static DJs twiddling
knobs, instead Heavyweight take the visual equivalent of
the DJ's methods--melancholy/powerful pictures of boxers,
dancers, musicians backed up by grunky space lettering
and loopy graffito, audio equipment and stark figures all
rendered in thick, contrasting monochromatic tones. And
the corollary vinyl? Live sides from Kid Koala and Amon
Tobin, the soundtrack for the paint. [RE]

SWINGSET "Flag" (Bambini, Japan) CD $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/swingst1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/swingst2.rm
Swingset merge the Elefant records, swingy lite '60s/'70s
lounge pop sound with weightless froth a la Pizzicato 5, but
with more depth and less attention to STYLE only. Pensive
chord progressions lead you through the songs, and there's
neat stuff to keep you interested in along the way: all kinds
of tiny burblings, but also beautiful arrangements with horns,
strings, flutes, and more. They're not a retro revival kind of
group, even if they do use instruments for the way they
evoke specific classic pop songs (Beatles, Cat Stevens)
instead of standing alone, because they bring it all into
the modern era with soft, well-integrated electronics and
mild beats (a la St. Etienne). A stilted singing style that's
non-affected and striving, with songs in English, but in a
thick Japanese accent. Nice. [RE]

MARGRET ORNOLFSDOTTIR "Mar" (Smekkleysa SM, Iceland) CD  $27.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/MARgret1.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/MARgret2.rm
A combination of '70s love story soundtrack and pizzicato
fantasy, with a Vangelis synth sweep and woodwind
chamber echoes, solid piano, short and long bursts of
accordion, waves lapping at the shore, banks of wordless
vox. Ms. Ornolfsdottir's work for TV, films and theater can
descend upon the same gaga twinkliness you find in
movies about friendly aliens and christmas (or in Danny
Elfman/Tim Burton soundtracks), but can also bowl you
over with it. Nearly Disney-esque (think '50s Disney
soundtracks, at least), though abstracted in that cold,
Scandinavian serious way. A multilayered, complex,
placid, and very pretty work. [RE]

CONSOLE "Console Yourself" (Payola, Germany) CD/LP  $15.99/$15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/ConsoleY.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/ConsolY2.rm
Console's collection of tracks and remixes from singles
and comps reveal, almost uniformly, metronomic pop
songs on the fringes of electro, with intersecting and
interacting rhythms and bounding keyboards (but
bounding within limits, like a ball bouncing between two
boards). Choky and sweet, dotted with pieces of violin,
they're music is catchy without pounding you over the
head with it -- you'll tap toes but not nod head or get
the funky butt. [RE]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999146612&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999146671&refer_url=email

AUCH "Remix Tomorrow Goodbye" (Force Inc., Germany) CD  $15.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/AuchDAT.rm
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Auchself.rm
Auch's somewhat more academic work from "Kiss
Tomorrow Goodbye" is given the beat treatment
(occasionally working out into near-full-blown techno)
by colleagues Donnacha Costello (a lightly rattling,
moody number with subtle speaker pans), Sutekh,
Goem, and many others. Auch's own remix of himself
and Ricardo Villalobos' track are pounding/sputtering
techno numbers that snap like metal strips. Dat Politics
barely retain any links to Auch's original work, theirs a
construction like a Lambretta and an overwound music
box grafted onto one another. Nearly all the tracks have
an especially reverberent bass, so there's a unified flow
throughout the CD. [RE]

OF MONTREAL "Early Four-Track Recordings" (Kindercore) CD  $12.99
For their fifth CD Of Montreal present their lo-fi storybook
psychpop from when it was one rung lower on the ladder,
a few steps backwards in time. Seven years ago, at age 19,
Kevin Barnes had this vision that would become sympatico
with the Elephant 6 sound.


BERTRAND BURGALAT "The Sssound of Mmmusic" (Tricatel, France) CD $16.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/MaRecont.rm
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: "Mmmusic" 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 countryman 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]

Sigur Ros "Von" (Smekkleysa SM, Iceland) CD $22.99
The first album from Icelandic natives Sigur Ros. Even
though it was recorded while they were a trio, "Von"
fans the flame of ever-increasing interest in the dynamic
orchestral sound made popular by Godspeed You Black
Emperor and Mogwai. Their sparse soundscapes, soaked
in My Bloody Valentine reverb, ignite images of the land of
fire and ice, seem directly inspired by the environmental
extremes of their homeland. The beginning ambient notes
float eerily like glacial drift slowly falling apart, accented by
warped seagull cries. It's not until the second song that
the high male vocals gently fade in to subtly carry the
melody. By the third song, 'Hun Jord,' the traditional
instruments carry the mark of mid-'80s experimental pop
bands with pounding drums, distorted guitars, and the
best part: an unexpected loop, creating the effects of
skipping CDs and pitch- shifted vinyl. More quiet
experimentalism characterizes this album than their
later work, making "Von" a primeval journey into a
groundbreaking future. [LG]

Sigur Ros "Von Brigdi" CD $22.99
Their album "Von," remixed. What is emphasized? Jingling
keyboards, faint vocals, revving hums. "Recycle Bin" makes
"Von"'s placid qualities diverse, often adding drum-n-bass
rhythms and videogame noises, emphasizing a bone-shaking
guitar rattle, or rolling a track out into a long, low ambience.
The best tracks: Bassbraeour's layering of eerie choirs and
vocalists into a grinding guitar edge, and Sigur Ros remixing
themselves with beats, saxophone solos, and ululating vocals
in a way that's techno meets technopop. The majority of the
artists here are Icelandic and/or unknown (though a few familiar
names crop up: Mum, Curver, Gus Gus). Basically, this puts
edges and styles into music that already has a contemplative
depth, in some ways tarting it up superficially, in others revealing
structures you didn't know were there. Calls to mind We or
Photek, too, here and there. [RE]

This week's contributors: Tom Capodanno [TC], Robin
Edgerton [RE], Lisa Garrett [LG], Duane Harriott
[DH], Tim Haslett [TH], Phil Waldorf [PW]

The Big Picture :

To see a complete list of Other Music new releasesfor the
week ending January 9, 2001, use this link as a shortcut:

To order any of the items you see on these pages simply click
the links following each review or visit our website at

Phone orders are accepted at (212) 477-8150 (ext. #2, mailorder).

For general inquiries or other information, please email
"sales@othermusic.com". Do not reply to this email.

Thanks for reading.
-all of us at Other Music

Other Music NYC
15 E. 4th Street
New York, NY 10003

Other Music Harvard Square
90 Winthrop Street
Cambridge, MA 02138