Other Music Update
March 22, 2000

In This Week's Update :

Vladislav Delay
I-F's electro mix CD
Kim Fowley reissue
Chicks on Speed collection
Cat Power covers record
Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, and Sun Ra Actuel reissues
Julie Tippett reissue
Charles Hayward live in Japan
Lois Maffeo & Brendan Canty
Asian Travels compilation
Ptolemaic Terrascope magazine and CD
Process on Fat Cat
Sugarman Three
Momus CD-ROM (OM exclusive)
Mighty Bop

Featured New Releases :

BROADCAST "Noise Made By People" (Warp, UK) CD/LP $22.99/$19.99
Following the murkiness of their few previous singles and EPs, the
long-awaited debut full-length from Broadcast is like a high beam
illuminating the dark (admittedly ravishing) road they've traveled so far.
Here, Trish Keenan's crisp vocals ride atop futuristic melodies full of
chimes and bells; this album combines simple melodies with tape loops, the
beats sparse but snappy. Their first track, 'Long Was the Year,' sneaks in
as it uncovers the warm electronic sound that infuses the entire recording,
and it makes what they do seem terribly (and misleadingly) easy. Lyrically,
a pop pattern emerges with catchy lines and bubbly vocals on the
'60s-lounge-ish number 'Papercuts.' On the same wavelength as both
Stereolab and the influential United States of America, Broadcast allow
electronica to be accessible by using traditional rock instruments and pop
music techniques. But it's a revival that is icily cold to kitsch, their
layered orchestrations and electronics, though retro, sound achingly new.
This, the import, has fantastic, 12-panel, multi-layered packaging. Quite
possibly the album of the year -- at least that's the consensus around
here. Bravo! [LG]
LP  /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=502160306511&refer_url=email

VLADISLAV DELAY "Entain" (Mille Plateaux) CD/LP $14.99/$15.99
While Delay's last CD, "Multila" (a collection of singles), plunged into
deep, watery environments, this waxes drier, and goes even further
artistically -- to soundscapes nearest to Delay's everyday. Extraordinarily
simple site recordings (sounds like apartments, shops, quiet streets) are
heavily smeared with truncated bass and fractured snares. One track, for
instance, contains ambient sounds similar to, perhaps, the colonnade
outside a strip mall: glass and metal doors opening and closing, snippets
of speech, cars driving slowly by. And then Delay inserts himself sonically
into this environment much as someone would Photoshop an image of
themselves skillfully into a picture from another time or place -- with
gravelly, irregular pulses and prickles, strings that flap flat like an
out-of-tune toy guitar, and a few of his signature deep-sea diving echoes.
Not beatless, but the beat is not yet the focus, and his melodies never
quite develop. The art here rests in the aforementioned truncation. His
careful touch is like a hairdresser's -- it's not about assembly or negative
space, the central theme is in the precise actual cut into the sound, and
his delicacy handles not seconds, but fractions of seconds in sequence. A
deep, exquisite record from a budding master. (p.s. "Entain" contains two
tracks from his debut album, "Ele," plus four new tracks.) [RE]
LP  /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=71875080801&refer_url=email

I-F "Mixed Up in The Hague" (Panama) $12.99
I-F's own mix album (on his new label) mirrors his own releases of
thoroughly irreverent music: a collection of electro spot-welded with dots
of honey and glitter. From electro pop to hypnotic, wheezing electro with a
strong disco beat, it seems like I-F went back and forth between rare, old
tracks and remixes of such (though I think that's just my imagination).
It's the best comp of vocoder abuse, disco thrum, and strange, spangly
backgrounds I've heard yet. The stunning 'Primitive World' and 'Living Up'
amortizes the CD in one listen alone! Oh, the trials and tribulations of
being robots, the loneliness of outer space! 22 tracks from vintage
Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder and Newcleus, combined with newer releases from
EOG, Nukubus, Electronome, and more, though you won't find any of these
names on the CD itself. [RE]

KIM FOWLEY "Outrageous" (Ascension, Australia) CD $16.99
Kim Fowley started his recording career in 1960 and has since recorded
with, written songs for, was visionary/manager to, and/or
produced/performed with a list of artists to long to include here. But I
don't understand why a record label with albums by Ricky Nelson and Fats
Domino would have anything to do with this, much less ever consider
promoting it, as it falls somewhere between the Social Deviants and Captain
Beefheart. A little like some of Frank Zappa's early albums, with a sense
of shock and humor, "Outrageous" was recorded not long after Fowley's
involvement with the Mothers Of Invention's first album "Freak Out." More
or less a collection of garage-psych jams with inspired vocals by Fowley,
screaming words of prophecy and revolution. My favorite track is 'Inner
Space Discovery,' in which Fowley instructs listeners to report to the
offices of Imperial Records for the answer to all their problems. It begs
the following questions: Was he trying to get kicked off the label? Get
out of a contract? From the radio ad included on the CD: "...Kim Fowley is
the ultimate animal. I am ugly, dirty, filthy, sneaky, horrible, I am going
to kill you! OUTRAGEOUS are you straight! OUTRAGEOUS OUTRAGEOUS well I am
animal man! OUTRAGEOUS Kim Fowley Imperial Records OUTRAGEOUS OUTRAGEOUS
OUTRAGEOUS it's too dirty, it will be banned..." I don't know how long this
has been out of print, but I am very glad to see that it's back. [AG]

CHICKS ON SPEED "The Un-Releases" (Chicks On Speed) CD $15.99
A "self-bootleg" from Chicks on Speed, assisted by Hans Platzgumer and
Ramon Bauer. The Chicks, a German/American/Australian trio based in
Munich, release a collection of their wildly divergent singles as their
first full-length. 33 tracks of Casio weirdness, textural complexity (lots
of waves of machinery and static), vocals as delivered through airport
loudspeakers, cardboard drums and guitars. Their love of forceful '80s
chick bands (Delta 5, Malaria, Grace Jones, and TWO B-52's covers) is well
in evidence, and they have a bit of the DHR aesthetic, though the artillery
is toned down to a conversational level. This band is all about surface,
but it's a shredded, grated one, scraped by creaks, chains and spikes,
presided over by a wry, blase sneer, tongues forked into both German and
English. Techno, pop, art, and procrastination angst from girls who do too
much (TV production, fashion design, music). Sample chorus: "deep down,
they say I'm vermin -- got more faces than Cindy Sherman." [RE]

CAT POWER "The Covers Record" (Matador) CD/LP $9.99/$9.99
By doing renditions of classic tunes from the Velvet Underground, Rolling
Stones, Michael Hurley, Moby Grape and others, Chan Marshall further
establishes herself as a premier folk singer. Her treatments of these songs
turn them into Cat Power material, where they gain new identities as
haunting, spacious creations -- her use of silence within a song gives it a
certain somber honesty, something so prevalent in her originals. The finest
moments here include the chopped version of the Velvet's 'I Found a
Reason', her one original tune, 'In This Hole', and the somewhat upbeat
take on Dylan's 'Paths of Victory.' This excellent collection does absolute
justice to a collection of songs that otherwise might seem too sacred to
touch. Plus, the package mimicking/mocking the ESP-records design is
perfect for this already referential recording. [PW]
LP  /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=74486104261&refer_url=email

DON CHERRY "Mu" (BYG/Actuel/Charly, Germany) CD $18.99
This was the first release in the classic BYG/Actuel series, the Holy of
Holies for the free jazz fan, documenting the month-long Parisian recording
sessions of August 1969, which assembled just about every 'out there'
player you could name, and set them loose. Cherry, already the post-Ornette
nomadic griot, met up with fellow former Coleman sideman Ed Blackwell and
recorded two albums' worth of spare and elegant music. In addition to his
beloved pocket trumpet, Cherry plays piano, Indian flute, bells, percussion,
and even chants a bit, while Blackwell provides a steady bottom on drums,
percussion, and bells. You can almost see Cherry in the studio, running
from instrument to instrument, idea to idea, assembling fragments which
ebb, flow, sputter, start and stop abruptly, and leave aural souvenirs
scattered like cigarette butts and lipstick-stained glasses after a party.
And Blackwell is always there, following, preceding, filling in, instinctively
understanding the path they're weaving. A delightful mix of freedom and
discipline, jazz and world elements, the innocent and the holy. The newly-
remastered sound destroys the previous Affinity CD, and adds the cover
art from the original LPs. [AL]

ARCHIE SHEPP "Blase/Live at the Pan-African Festival" (BYG/Actuel/Charly, Germany) 2xCD $28.99
My parents always told me about what a traumatizing year 1969 was for Black
nationalists. The previous year saw the assassination of the iconic social
leaders Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The infiltration of
conservative scare-tactic politics on white America seemed to be working:
Reagan in the Governor's seat in California three years after the Watts riot.
And J. Edgar Hoover's bloodthirsty witch-hunt for 'crazy radicals' landed
many an activist in prison on trumped-up charges. It was enough to send
many shell-shocked black artists fleeing the country in search of clarity
of thought. And Archie Shepp's own emotional journey made it onto these two
LPs. "Live at Pan-African Festival" finds Shepp improvising with Algerian
musicians at this festival (in Algiers). But what stands transcendent is
"Blase." All of the sorrow and pain of 1968 manifested itself here.
Anxious, hyperventilating harmonica strains, the soft moans and wails of
Jeanne Lee (terrifying lyrics, too), and Shepp's own cathartic blasts of
horn combine in a chillingly sad, yet uplifting listening experience. With
Malachi Favors, Lester Bowie, and many more. "Blase" was Shepp defining his
path for political free jazz, that led to the astonishing "Things Have Got
To Change" "Yasmina/Poem for Malcolm", and "Attica Blues." If Nina Simone's
icy quiver ever held you spellbound, or if Miles' low C ever made you cry,
than you must hear this. [DH]

SUN RA/ARKESTRA "The Solar-Myth Approach Vols. 1 & 2" (BYG/Actuel/Charly, Germany) 2xCD $28.99
Perhaps the most satisfying glimpse of Sun Ra's studio prowess is now
available on CD in its entirety for the very first time. 'Commissioned'
specifically for BYG (it remains highly questionable as to whether any
artists on the label were ever paid for their efforts) and recorded in New
York (or Philadelphia, depending on the source) between 1970-71, "The
Solar-Myth Approach" effectively serves as Sun Ra's State-of-the-Universe
address. So utterly complete in scope, it's as if he had consumed the
revolutionary essences captured within the Actuel catalogue recorded in
Paris throughout 1969 (Cherry, Shepp, AEC, Alan Silva, Braxton, Frank
Wright, etc.) and accepted the challenge of presenting his version of the
story. Oscillating wildly between solo flights of Moog, stripped-out
percussion romps, and full-on Arkestra explorations; serving forth free
improvisations and revisiting favored themes ('The Satellites Are
Spinning,' 'Outer Spaceways, Inc.,' 'Strange Worlds'); and embracing the
newly-forged relationship between free jazz and rock cognoscenti (MC5,
Stooges). Sun Ra's keyboard playing is at its most inventive, evoking modal
harpsichord figures one moment, emulating electric guitar riffs the next,
complimenting the repertoire of space-age magic we've come to expect.
Nicely remastered, considerably punchier than the less-than-optimal
original vinyl pressings. Highest recommendation. [JG]

JULIE TIPPETTS "Sunset Glow" (Blueprint, UK) CD $14.99
A real stunner. Julie Tippetts began her career in the mid-60's as Julie
Driscoll, a white soul chanteuse in partnership with Brian Auger. Over the
years she's developed into one of the most distinguished voices in
contemporary jazz. Recorded in 1974, this is one of the most powerful, yet
enchantingly seductive vocal efforts I've ever heard. "Sunset Glow" begins
politely enough in a ballad-y mood somewhere between Dusty Springfield and
Sandy Dennyland, but featuring arrangements by husband Keith Tippett and
support from the likes of Elton Dean, Brian Godding, Louis Moholo, and
Harry Miller, it could scarcely remain there for very long. In fact, toward
the end of the first track and throughout the second, "Sunset Burn" might
seem a more apropos title as Ms. Tippetts demolishes conventional song
structure and launches into beautiful and harrowing vocal improvisations
that recall no less than Linda Sharrock on "Black Woman"! The remainder?
More incredible singing over angular Canterbury backing and poetic
ruminations worthy of Nick Drake circa "Five Leaves Left". [JG]

LOIS MAFFEO & BRENDAN CANTY "The Union Themes" (Kill Rock Stars) CD  $11.99
Canty, from Fugazi, signs up as the silent (well, non-singing) partner to
Lois' soft soul. Lois' work has gained tons through maturity--her voice has
deepened, her elisions are smooth and sure, she weaves (or rather,
carefully steers) her singing around simple piano, guitar, and cocktail
drums. Even though her songs can string together cliches (and cleverly
subverted ones) like any top-40 track, like the best pop hit, it just plain
doesn't matter. There are echoes of Rufus Wainwright's simple minor-key
torch songs (esp. on 'These Parts'), and I can imagine K.D. Lang turning
any track here into a huge hit! Plus she does the incredible, blue "Being
Blind", which she's performed live for a while. [RE]

CHARLES HAYWARD "Near + Far/ Live in Japan Vol. 3" (Locus Solus, Japan) CD  $21.99
The third installment of This Heat/Camberwell Now maestro's 1996 Japanese
tour, supported by a cadre of resident musicians including Otomo Yoshihide,
Tatsua Yoshida (Ruins/Musica Transonic), and the group Eye Was Ear. Once
again Hayward's signature propulsive drumming blends effortlessly with his
unique vocal delivery; post-modernist sea shanties delivered through edgy
progressive synth washes. OM's Phil W. strolled by my desk while this was
playing and asked if I was listening to the Boredoms. I could only smile
slyly. Beyond intense, the faithful will not be disappointed. [JG]

[V/A] "Asian Travels" (Six Degrees) CD $15.99
Well, more like 'Indian Subcontinent Travels.' But this ain't just Techno
with a tabla. It blasts out of the box with Transglobal Underground's
'Karachi Deathcult Mix' of Fun Da Mental's 'Ja Sha Taan,' possibly one of
the hookiest tracks ever to bubble up from the Asian Underground. A hard
one to take off repeat play, but do so and move on, for many other
pleasures await; dj Cheb i Sabbah, Talvin Singh remixing the sublime Najma,
Banco de Gaia remixing themselves, and a few chill episodes, including a
violin-and-sax duet by Shankar and Jan Garbarek. Even the inevitable Nusrat
Fateh Ali Khan remix works ('Sweet Rain,' with Michael Brook, remixed by
Joi.). A ten-track trip into the heart of club fusion. [AL]

[V/A] "Ptolemaic Terrascope" (Ptolemaic Terrascope, UK)  MG+CD  $9.99
Latest issue continues in their tradition of covering a wide range of
psychedelia from past to present. Number 28 includes pieces on Arco, Six
Organs of Admittance, Kinks, and a Captain Beefheart interview from 1978.
The Beefheart piece represents Byron Coley's first ever professional Q&A,
and is an insightful glimpse into the mind of the great Captain besides. PT
also comes with a compilation CD, this one featuring tracks from Wellwater
Conspiracy, Deviants, Six Organs of Admittance, Mac Macleod, Donovan's
Brain, and others. [PW]

PROCESS "Shape Space" (Fat Cat, UK) CD/LP $13.99/$12.99
Burning twigs, sugar crystals rhythmically shifting in a cardboard box,
sand sifted out of a towel: Process' minimalism works on a micro scale, but
looped as you'd expect, rhythms that grind over and over, like a polishing
wheel. Plus some of the sounds you'd imagine would come over a phone line
when there are no voices, and a bit like an endless intro to a trip-hop song
(the triphop that never starts, but is held in a state of arrested growth).
Now based in Cologne, Process is British expatriate Steve Barnes. [RE]
LP  /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=502454510211&refer_url=email

DRACO "Enter the Draco" (Slabco) CD/LP $11.99/$7.99
A more indie-rock version of Cibo Matto, with bigger boombox hip-hop beats
backing up their mini-Spice Girls style pop songs, except all lower-fi and
only two girls. Their head-twitchy tracks probably don't come off live at
all, but here it's cute and catchy, not throwaway. The singer Mima's sweet
unfiltered vox are a bit Tsunami-ish, and can Naoki Morimoto wail on
guitars, drums, beats, everything else, playing Doo-Rag style guitar on one
track, crafting perplexing beats on the next. They're not part of any
posse, but do they need one? 10 songs in 37 minutes. [RE]
LP  /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=66444500441&refer_url=email

SUGARMAN THREE "Soul Donkey" (Desco) CD $13.99
The Soul Donkey's got a heavy funk load to carry on this one, although
they've got turtles and chickens to pick up any slack left over. This
sextet's tight rhythm section loosens your hips, cascading roller-rink
organ, rooms full of people clapping hands, and unison chant vocals loosen
your brain. Sugarman's sax swings over the top, and all authentic early
'70s-style soul-funk, served up straight and cool. Snap that back! [RE]

MOMUS "This Must Stop!" CD-ROM (MAC-only)  $19.99
We're quite pleased to announce the re-release of this interactive CD-ROM
authored, designed, programmed, manufactured and autographed by Nick
Currie aka Momus. This 1996 release has been out of print for some time
now and is available again exclusively through Other Music. The disk takes
you into a bizarre world full of grotesque and disturbing characters. While
following them through a Kafka-esque house you'll discover short films, slide
shows, text mazes, and ten unreleased Momus songs. It also includes a
current version of the entire Momus website including pictures, bios, song
lyrics, writings, and much more. An essential resource for every Momus fan.
Please note, however, that the CD will play on the Mac OS only. [TC]

MAPSTATION "Mapstation" (Soul Static Sound, UK) CD $15.99
Stefan Schneider from To Rococo Rot, on his first solo journey.

MIGHTY BOP "Spin My Hits" (Yellow, France) CD $19.99
Collection of singles from this dancefloor-friendly Frenchman.

CONSOLE "Rocket in the Pocket" (Matador) CD $12.99
Nu-electronic side project from Martin Gretschmann from the Notwist.
Groovy, melancholy pop melodies with vocoder and more.

This week's newsletter from: Tom Capodanno [TC], Robin Edgerton [RE],
Lisa Garrett [LG], Jeff Gibson [JG], Andrew Giles [AG], Duane Harriott [DH],
Andrew Leigh [AL], and Phil Waldorf [PW].

Thanks for reading.

-all of us at Other Music

15 E. 4th Street
New York, NY 10003