Other Music New Release Update
January 3, 2001

In This Week's Update:

Thomas Brinkmann
Rachid Taha
Marva Whitney reissue
Matthew Herbert mix
Lume Lume live mix
Bund Deutscher Programmierer
Pilote EP
Shirley Bassey remixed
Bill Dixon
Jon & Utsonomia
Dumb Type performance soundtrack
Oswald Wiener tribute comp.

DJ Pica Pica Pica

More Staff Top 10s
Best Sellers of 2000

Featured New Releases :

THOMAS BRINKMANN "Klick" (Max Ernst, Germany) CD $15.99
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There are great producers in electronic dance music,
and a number of true innovators, but there are few
who can be termed geniuses. Thomas Brinkmann is one
of them. This Cologne artist has been making music
since he left architectural school about four years
ago, and his unerring imprecision and ability to
dwell both within the rarified electronic avant-
garde and dance worlds is exemplary. This record
consists of ten tracks made with, as he notes, "two
decks, an isolator, and a mixer with a TC
multieffect". That'll mean more to some of you than
others, but suffice it to say that the ten tracks
here alternate between high-pitched, broken stylus,
Ex-acto knife-cut vinyl microscopic symphonies, and
tracks that can put you in a deep head-nod almost
despite themselves. Once again, this prolific artist
confirms his stature as a singular composer and
inventor. [TH]

RACHID TAHA "Made In Medina" (Barclay, France) CD $15.99
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Rachid Taha, an Algerian living in France, has
always identified himself as a diasporist, even
naming his former group Carte De Sejour ('Residency
Permit'). His music, which might be termed post-Rai,
has often used a nomad's bag of sources. But unlike
the many world-music stars who only look outside
their traditional styles when taking their
mainstream shots (generally yielding the kind of
bland, watered-down results that such cynical
endeavors deserve), Taha uses what he finds to
further his own vision. And never has this vision
been clearer and more powerful than on this
blistering, propulsively rhythmic disc, certainly
his masterpiece. Produced and arranged by Steve
Hillage, recorded in London, New Orleans and Paris,
it's a journey by pinball, bouncing between
innumerable bumpers: ecstatic trance (of the Middle-
Eastern variety), electronica, pulse music, you name
it. Sometimes rooted in extended two-and-three-note
motifs, sometimes layered over squealing guitars and
bits of programming, it leaps from the speakers
exploding with life. Even the obligatory guest-vocal
ballad in English (sung by Femi Kuti) has soul and a
beat. Hypnotic, electrifying? it's hard to avoid
piling on the kind of adjectives which will only
seem hyperbolic. Let's put it this way: I listened
to this more times than any other record, old or
new, last year. And I only bought it in November.
Hit the RA links back up next week and you'll hear
why. [PN]

MARVA WHITNEY "It's My Thing" (Soul Brother, UK) CD $21.99
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Of the holy trinity of Jame's Brown's funky divas
(Vicki Anderson, Lyn Collins and Marva Whitney),
Whitney's work was the edgiest, the hottest, and the
poppiest. This album, released in 1969, is finally
(_way_ about time!) available on CD. While Collins
and Anderson knew how to smolder and testify,
Whitney, who started out in gospel, perfected the
funky scream. "It's My Thing" is a cornucopia of
snapping, straight-up, fast-paced popcorn-style
funk, a collection of ten singles worked into an
album that included hits at the time for her
(especially 'It's My Thing', later lifted in chunks
for EPMD's hit of the same name) and sounds that,
once sampled, would carry hip-hop hits into chart
stardom. You'll recognize so many bits that are
foundations for hip-hop, like the 900 number break,
used as Ed Lover's theme on 'Yo MTV Raps' and later
for DJ Kool's massive hit 'Let Me Clear My Throat'.
Marva Whitney, like James Brown, casts a hip-hop
shadow in vocal fragments -- her voice stripped and
captured in raw syllabic form, in yelps and howls as
much as lines of song. And could she ever belt. But
this reissue, surprisingly, also highlights a
smoother style she used in ballads (five bonus
tracks here), like her duet with James Brown
on 'Sunny', and a sultry version of 'This Girl's in
Love with You'. "It's My Thing" is the definitive,
classic funk diva record, a wailing throat matched
with pop sensibility that no one's come close to
since. [DH/RE]

MATTHEW HERBERT "letsallmakemistakes" (Tresor, Germany) CD  $15.99
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Presumably the title is ironic, for whether under
his own name, Doctor Rockit, or various others,
Herbert makes some of the most precise minimal funky
records around. This is his first mix CD, and, to my
ears, his best - in fact, I'm kinda sorry I left it
off my top ten last week. An impeccable blend of 22
mostly soul-meets-electro instrumental tracks by
artists such as Nightmares On Wax, Moloko, Green
Velvet, Plastikman, and the man himself (house music
made with household objects), it manages to be cool,
elegant, and pulse-pounding at the same time. Even
the sound quality is astonishing. Every time I play
it, I find more little surprises. What are all these
crunchy noises that keep bubbling up and floating
around? How can these beats so spare and so varied
at the same time? Herbert's the musician as
magician. And I don't even want to know how he does
his tricks - I just want to enjoy them. [PN]

[V/A] "Lume Lume" (Ars Electronica/Staubgold, Austria) CD  $16.99
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A collaboration between violinist Alexander
Balanescu, singer Isabella Bordoni, and electronic
musicians Rupert Huber, Sergio Messina, Siegfried
Ganhor, and to rococo rot. For four days during the
annual Ars Electronica festival/conference, the
musicians programmed music for the Klangpark, a
public space in Linz. They added live performance
elements to the shifting sea of open-space sound,
and the best of the marathon is encapsulated here.
Ars Electronica itself tends to be a lightning rod
for controversy (this year coming under a barrage of
criticism for some of it's sex-themed programming),
but this blissfully complex CD is enough to raise a
lovely set of blinders over all that. The starting
point is the work of Romania's most popular singer,
Maria Tanase, who died in 1963. The eight musicians,
working together and apart, each approached the
traditional material differently, and they're merged
and overlapped into a well-mixed journey of lilting
Romanian melodies, mournful, slippery violin, funky
electro, samples of water, staticky shards of
musique concrete (reminiscent, to me, of
Varese' "Poeme Electronique", only with more modern
electronic beats and flippant clicky sounds), with
singing and speaking surfacing like debris caught in
the Danube's whorling eddies. If it sounds like too
many ideas stuck together, it's not -- they move
from mood to mood and between disparate forms with a
seamless ease. The whole is like a knife, in that it
has sides of polished liquid mirror next to a sharp
edge and point. [RE]

BUND DEUTSCHER PROGRAMMIERER "Stoffwechsel" (Rather Interesting, Germany) CD$16.99
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I think I should start an Uwe Schmidt pseudonym
count--I think it's gone into the double digits, as
pretty much everything (if not actually everything)
on Rather Interesting is Schmidt (most well-known as
Atom Heart) under a myriad of names (Senor Coconut,
Lisa Carbon, ETC.). Here he masquerades as twenty-
seven German scientists in rigorous exploration of
connections between the beat and our nervous system,
sorta. The sounds -- shattered tics, compressed bass
nuggets, '60s computer sounds, rattling ancestors of
the Casio -- are the same as he used on Senor
Coconut's "El Baile Aleman" and Los
Samplers' "Descargas", only the Latin elements have
been painstakingly sliced off (only to reappear a
few times, little balmily exotic sonic refugees) as
this seems to be his tribute to German engineering
and precision, run a little off the 'precision'
part. In their place? Halfway charges of massed-
voice chanting (also sped up), very Peter-Thomas-
esque sci-fi soundtrack noises, Raymond-Scott's
circular jazz, more. The album takes an interesting
progression from the solemn to the goofy and back
again, like the rise and fall of the bubbly feeling
of having nitrous oxide at the dentist's. I'd get a
better understanding of how funny this CD is if I
read German, definitely. [RE]

PILOTE "3tothefloor" (Certificate 18, UK) CD EP $6.99
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When Stuart Cullen emerged from Ipswich last year
with the "Antenna" album, no one could have
anticipated the reception that album would receive.
Unlike Boards of Canada to whom he is often and
unfairly compared, that debut record was made by
someone who was totally isolated from contemporary
IDM. He had a home studio and decided to make
downtempo electronic music--it just happened that
the results were extraordinary. One can say that
Cullen single-handedly invented 'pastoral techno',
and he continues to work in that vein. 'Fairplay'
has a fast-moving snare and kick pattern while
rising and falling, restrained chords loom in the
background. The melancholy 'Getting Down' is held
aloft by a bittersweet melody and hi-hats rotating
like helicopter blades. This track makes clear that
Pilote is, in many ways, the heir apparent to New
Order, sans lyrics. 'Simple' is organized around a
piano figure that sounds like a howl of regret and
pain, while a spooky, acidic bassline interrupts the
calm. The CD version contains two tracks
from "Antenna" remixed by Sirconical and Bonobo
respectively. Can't wait for the new album. [TH]

SHIRLEY BASSEY "The Remix Album? Diamonds Are Forever" (EMI,UK) CD/2xLP $24.99/$27.99
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In the jazz vocal world, Shirley Bassey's the diva
with a difference: a tone so strident that her own
concert sound man used to brag about her records
being used to scare birds off the runways at
Heathrow! This voice can stand up to anything, as
Propellerheads so amply demonstrated in the chart-
topping big beat onslaught of 'History Repeating'.
Now the 'heads, Kenny Dope, Nightmares On Wax,
Mantronik, Groove Armada and others pay her their
ultimate form of homage, dipping into her back
catalogue and remixing her Bond tunes and other
chestnuts for today's rhythm-crazy kids. And it's a
multi-megaton delight. Whether in full howl ("Gold-
fing-aaaaah!") or valiantly attempting a bit of
subtlety (the "Love Story" theme 'Where Do I
Begin?' - to which one is tempted to
reply, "Anywhere you like, Ma'am!"), the Tigress
from Tiger Bay is always an invigorating template.
When this lady commands 'Light My Fire' (as she does
twice here), it's only a formality, because she's
already spitting flame. Her 'Spinning Wheel' is an
axle-snapper, her 'Big Spender' could break the bank
at Monte Carlo (and I mean the building itself).
Fortunately, all ten of her beatmasters are up to
the task of hauling the material to the dancefloor,
sometimes thumpily, sometimes trippily, producing an
invigorating platter that's always fun but never
merely an exercise in camp. [PN]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=72435258732&refer_url=email
2xLP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=72435258731&refer_url=email

BILL DIXON "Berlin Abbozzi" (FMP, Germany) CD $18.99
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The latest addition to the lengthy Bill Dixon
discography, "Berlin Abbozzi", is a gorgeous,
distant masterpiece from this legendary trumpeter.
Joined here by Tony Oxley (percussion), Matthias
Bauer (double bass - left channel) and Klaus Koch
(double bass - right channel), Dixon's quartet
stretches uses texture and sound to fill up space in
a way that relies more on subtlety and detail rather
than ferocious bombast. Led by the melancholy echo-
laden tone of Dixon's trumpet and flugelhorn, this
group paints a wall of sound full of intricacies
that makes this a near perfect cerebral/headphone
experience. "Berlin Abbozzi" is a powerful recording
that maintains a splendid inventiveness in the
crowded world of recorded improvisation. [PW]

JON & UTSUNOMIA "( )" (Horen, Japan) CD $14.99
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Another album from Jon, the little Japanese lady who
wears cow suits and now wolf suits, with her
primally murmuring stream of consciousness songs,
accented by accordion, scratching (literally, not
with a turntable), acoustic guitar and primitive
percussion drumbeats from her patient pal Utsunomia.
Jon's 'songs' are not like Daniel Johnston (she does
use the same kind of air organ), but they're like
Daniel Johnston's _subconscious_. The charming
meanderings and contented chatter of a child who
sings and murmurs to herself: a window onto a open,
yet nearly vacant mind (!). There are even tracks
that sounds like she's singing as she wanders around
in a garden with gravel walks, a sort of Carrollian
audiotrack of buzzing bugs and flighty freedom.
Either that or she runs around the studio while she
records, obviously retreating and careening around
the mic. It gets more sophisticated and formed as it
nears the end, as if she's aging from track one
(baby chatter) to track 20 (tender songs of a
prodigious child). I think this is on purpose, at
least I hope so. [RE]

DUMB TYPE "memorandum" (CCI, Japan) CD $19.99
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Dumb Type are a Japanese collective started by six
art students, who produced their first work back in
1985. Their work is dense, arty, and opaque, with a
dark seriousness that could almost become self-
parody. They've nonetheless managed to carve out
international art careers with it -- it's the kind
that modern art programmers and curator lap
up. "Memorandum" is a multi-media performance work
(dance/video/sound), and this CD is its soundtrack.
Produced by Ryoji Ikeda, fourteen or so contributors
(including Simon Fisher Turner on a few tracks) chip
into thick, glossy black ice to carve a sonic
sculpture that no one can see or touch. Murmuring
minimalist electronics and some spoken bits thrum
and create atmospheres--it's muddier, less pointed
than Ikeda's solo work, but retains a lot of the
hypnotic sonic elements, though they're reduced to a
style here, rather than an (effective) effect.
Imagine Brian Eno's ambient work separated into
layers as if by a centrifuge. [RE]

[V/A] "2:3 Oswald Wiener Zum 65" (Suppose, Germany) CD $15.99
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Put together by the Suppose artspace in Cologne, a
band of theorists and minimalist electronic
musicians made an odd CD that's not just a tribute,
it's kind of a meta-tribute. Wiener was one of the
founding members, in the early '50s, of the concrete
poetry/art Wiener Gruppe (Vienna Group). Also a jazz
musician, Wiener's aesthetics of language spilled
over into theories about music and art, namely in
studies of poetry in the Viennese vernacular dialect
(studying the raw sounds of language and their
connotations), and moved on to the "aesthetic of
failure", conceptual art about "embarrassment,
disgrace and limitation" (I love this!). Thomas
Brinkmann (who is included here, in a piece
collaborating with Marcus Schmickler) studied with
Wiener, and I wonder if it wasn't Wiener's influence
that originally led Brinkmann to create music out
of 'flaws' (scratches into vinyl). In any case, the
CD itself is a varied listening experience. There
are quite a few long spoken works (in German and
English), a piece by the Nihilist Spasm Band (whose
theories and methods are quite similar [music
shouldn't be made with skill]), a few pieces of
sound poetry, contributions from Mouse on Mars and
Wolfgang Muller (Die Todliche Doris), and more. It's
the random nature of the selections that makes it
meta--I'm still mulling over as to why/how reading
an 8-minute text on a biological function fits, but
that's exactly why it does. [RE]


DJ PICA PICA PICA "Planetary Natural Love Gas Webbin'" (Comma, Japan) CD $34.99
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DJ Pica Pica Pica is Eye from the Boredoms, and this
is his first solo mix CD. Even though I no longer
subscribe to the "Eye can do no wrong" philosophy,
this might throw me back into that mode of thinking.
Closest to the "Shock City Shockers" compilation
from two years ago, his mix integrates beats from
all over the world. Any description of this 72-
minute CD would be inadequate, but to give you the
first 90 seconds: koto and turntable-twisting
electro flows into African water-music, to Balinese
gamelan and monkey chant. Eye twists the records all
over the tables--you can hear him smoothly speed up
and slow down beats, usually sweeping them past 45
rpm, making a world of gabber munchkins at a million
BPM, then slowing down for punk beats, casiotones,
even Riverdance crap formed into contemporary
eurodisco, electronics, rock drone and jet plane
fuzz beats (also worked into long, enthralling
jams). The CD lists 98 sources, arranged into 26
tracks. I hear ones that aren't listed (Melt-Banana,
the aforementioned monkey chant) -- so god knows how
high a stack of vinyl he had to put this together.
Given the Mo'Wax endorsement, too, as one of these
tracks showed up on their last compilation. Fucking
awesome packaging. [RE]

AOA "Surfin' Alright" (Comma, Japan) CD $26.99
The third of the AOA records, "Surfin' Alright"
emphasizes the collective hippy jam/drum circles
direction, but it's still slamming in the way the
1999 Boredoms stuff is, circling your head and
subjecting you to an blast of irregular water
torture. Here, they match up a dijeridu with frits
of tribal drum, cascades of wooden rods (trembling
wooden xylophone wind-ups), bass noodles, sweeps of
radar-searching vroom plus blip, pulses, growls,
dripping water in caves noises, crickets and
chirps. "Surfin' Alright", in 54 minutes, shifts
from super-analog to headswimming electronic stereo
speaker pans, goes from hippy to raver and back. AOA
take the scariest elements of modern-world
technology and rave culture, and make it
interesting. [RE]

This week's scribes: Robin Edgerton [RE], Duane
Harriott [DH], Tim Haslett [TH], Penelope Namiki
[PN], Phil Waldorf [PW].

And a few stray top 10 lists for 2000:

Kris Chen (nyc)

*Aesop Rock - Float
*Kreidler - s/t
*Anti-Pop Consortium - Tragic Epilogue
*Outkast - Stankonia
*Drexciya - Neptune's Lair
*Archie Shepp - Blase/ Live at the Pan African Festival reissue
*Henry Cowell - Piano Music
*Susumu Yokota - Sakura
*D'Angelo - Voodoo
*Art Ensemble of Chicago- Les Stances a Sophie

Joe Cleaver (nyc)

*Big Youth - Natty Universal Dread box
*Pinetop Seven - Bringing Home the Last Great Strike
*Gas - Pop
*Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker
*Various - Kompakt Total 2
*Billy Bragg & Wilco - Mermaid Avenue Vol. 2
*Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions - At the
Doorway Again EP
*Jackie Mittoo - Keyboard King at Studio 1
*Dettinger - Oasis
*Broadcast - The Noise Made By People

Melissa Cox (nyc)

*Radiohead - Kid A
*Outkast - Stankonia
*Art Ensemble of Chicago w/ Fontella Bass - Les Stances a Sophie
*Broadcast - The Noise Made By People
*Anti-Pop Consortium - Tragic Epilogue
*Avey Tare & Panda Bear - Spirit They're Gone, Sprit They've Vanished
*At The Drive In - Relationship Of Command
*Phoenix - United
*Belle & Sebastian - Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant
*Grandaddy - Sophtware Slump

Andrew Giles (nyc)

*At The Drive In - Relationship Of Command
*Avey Tare & Panda Bear - Spirit They're Gone, Sprit They've Vanished
*Black Dice - s/t (Number 3)
*Einsturzende Neubauten - Silence Is Sexy
*Get Hustle - Earth Odyssey
*GoGoGo Airheart - s/t
*Pinkie Maclure - From Memorial Crossing
*Modest Mouse - The Moon And Antarctica
*Brad Pounders - She Shakes
*Vivian Girls - s/t

Matt Hanks (nyc)

*Vladislav Delay - Multila
*Phoenix - United
*The entire Trikont Flashback series
*Joe McPhee - Nation Time
*Bablicon - Orange Tapered Moon
*Barbara Morgenstern - Fjorden
*Skip Spence - All My Life (I Love You) single
*U2 - Beautiful Day single
*Papas Fritas - Buildings and Grounds
*Sonny & Linda Sharrock - Black Woman
*Brigitte Fontaine & the Art Ensemble of Chicago - Comme A La Radio

Noah Lennox (nyc)

*Vashti Bunyan - Just Another Diamond Day reissue
*Quasimoto - The Unseen
*Various - IF's Mixed Up in the Hague
*Vladislav Delay - Multila
*Eyvind Kang - Story of Iceland
*Tyrannosaurus Rex - Prophets Seers and Sages, The
*Angels of The Ages reissue
*Everything But The Girl - Temperamental
*Tomas Jirku - Sequins
*Thomas Brinkman - Klick
*Various - Schaffelfieber

Other Music Top Sellers of 2000 :

1.  Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
2.  Belle & Sebastian - Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant
3.  Broadcast - The Noise Made By People
4.  Cat Power - The Covers Record
5.  Godspeed YBE! - Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
6.  Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun
7.  Amon Tobin - Supermodified
8.  Kid Koala - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
9.  Tosca - Suzuki
10. Radiohead - Kid A
11. Air - The Virgin Suicides
12. Bjorn Olsson - Instrumental Music
13. Sea and Cake - Oui
14. Anti-Pop Consortium - Tragic Epilogue
15. Various - Clicks and Cuts
16. Thievery Corporation - The Mirror Conspiracy
17. ESG - South Bronx Story reissue
18. Boards of Canada - In a Beautiful Place In the Country 
19. Bebel Gilberto - Tanto Tempo
20. Belle & Sebastian - Legal Man
21. Dreamies - Program 10/Program 11 reissue
22. Kruder & Dorfmeister - K+D Sessions
23. Blonde Redhead - Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons
24. Etienne Charry - 36 Erreurs
25. Belle & Sebastian - EP Box Set
26. Bjork - Selmasongs
27. Sleater-Kinney - All Hands on the Bad One
28. Le Tigre - s/t
29. Os Mutantes - s/t reissue
30. Badly Drawn Boy - Hour of Bewilderbeast

The Big Picture :

To see a complete list of Other Music new releases for the week
ending January 2, 2001:

To see a list of new releases from previous weeks:

To see new release updates from previous weeks:

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the links following each review or visit our website at

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