Other Music Update
March 29, 2000

In This Week's Update :

Summer Hymns
JazzActuel 3-CD box set
Pierre Henry Mix 02.0 reissues
Escalator Records comp
Rashied Ali reissues
Mahjun reissue
Los Samplers
Morton Feldman 4 CD set
Gogogo Airheart
The Dylan Group
Pan Sonic & Charlemagne Palestine
Mika Vainio
Beachwood Sparks
Mira Calix on Warp
Sonig Records comp
Centipede reissue
I Saw it All Happen from Beginning to End...(sounds of life support
The Winner Is The Loser comp (Time Stereo and Friendly Science Records)
Men's Recovery Project
Dylan Willemsa's subway violin
DJ Cheb I Sabbah remixed
A Silver Mt. Zion

Sonny Sharrock's "Black Woman"
Neu "Neu 1"

Featured New Releases :

SUMMER HYMNS "Voice Brother and Sister" (Misra) CD $13.99
Somewhere between Neutral Milk Hotel and Galaxie 500 live the Summer
Hymns. With members borrowed from Of Montreal and Elf Power, this five-
or six-piece balloons to nine for this CD, rounding out their sound with an
array of instruments: cellos, farfisa, clarinet, hammond, banjo, wurlitzer,
and more. Zachary Gresham's voice approximates the warm hollows of Neil
Young's softer moments, is a dead ringer (minus the NZ accent) for Dean
Wareham on two tracks. But amidst this gorgeous flurry of sound, notes of
country music, the gentle South (they're from Athens) and pretty '60s psych
come through. A very pleasing record that gains more from the small
surprises and turns that their lazy pop songs take -- for instance, in the
middle of 'New Underdressment', Gresham grafts in a few lines from ELO's
'Sweet Talkin' Woman'; others might include long abstract fuzz-and-keyboard
bridges next to the steel guitars. A beautiful, humid and heady record. [RE]

[V/A] "JazzActuel" (BYG/Actuel/Charly, Germany) 3xCD $36.99
Subtitled "A Collection Of Avant Garde/Free Jazz/Psychedelia From The
BYG/Actuel Catalogue Of 1969-1971." Easily the most fully realized
compilation of out music ever assembled! Nearly 4 hours of non-stop
action! All original non-hits by the original artists, lovingly selected and
exhaustively annotated by Thurston Moore and Byron Coley! You get: Sunny
Murray, Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, Daevid Allen, Sonny Sharrock, Grachan
Moncur III, Clifford Thornton, Sun Ra & His Solar-Myth Arkestra, Art
Ensemble Of Chicago, Andrew Cyrille, Don Cherry, Anthony Braxton, Paul
Bley, Dewey Redman, Musica Elettronica Viva, Jimmy Lyons, and many many
others! Why waste time with sullen, snooty hipster friends and their
crackly BYG mix tapes? Throw them all away, and enjoy crystal-clear
fidelity the modern, re-mastered way! But wait, there's more! Act now and
you also get entire LP sides from Frank Wright, Kenneth Terroade, Dave
Burrell ("Echo", name-checked in Thurston's free jazz top 10 in Grand
Royal), and Alan Silva's Celestrial Communication Orchestra (ditto, a copy
of the triple-LP recently fetched over $450 on eBay!). With recent advances
in home-CD technology you could assemble a similar or equivalent comp from
the 52 original albums, but why would you? You'd be out nearly $3500!
That's almost $68 a week for an entire year! Just think of what you could
do with that kind of money! 36-page booklet with 8 vintage photos, genuine
non-stick coated cardboard-ette box, while supplies last. [JG]

PIERRE HENRY "Mix 02.0" (Philips, France) 4xCD Box $64.99
PIERRE HENRY "Mix 02.1 Symphonie Pour Un Homme Seul/Le Voyage" (Philips, France) CD $24.99
PIERRE HENRY "Mix 02.2 Mouvement-Rhythm-Etude" (Philips, France) CD $24.99
PIERRE HENRY "Mix 02.3 Le Livre Des Morts Egyptien" (Philips, France) CD $24.99

RealAudio /ramgen/othermusic/Investig.ram
Second of four (or is it 5?) box sets to be issued documenting the complete
works of electronic/musique concrete titan Henry, with some CDs available
separately. The titles are somewhat misleading, because the works are
original versions, not re-mixes, all remastered for the new millennium. Mix
02.1 is comprised of Henry's pioneering 1949 work in collaboration with
Pierre Schaeffer (crucial primitive concrete tape-collage), and the
proto-psychedelic 1962 masterpiece "Le Voyage," written in conjunction with
Maurice Bejart's experimental ballet based upon The Tibetan Book Of The
Dead. A terrifying exercise in experimental rhythm and noise, an organic
combustion of sounds natural and supernatural, this 50-minute work held my
cats at rapt attention throughout. Its importance reverberates to this day
as a favorite of sampling artists everywhere. Mix 02.2, recorded in 1970,
consists of 21 etudes for dance, again for Bejart. Beginning with simple
rhythms and layering in the sounds of body movement, respiration, and
finally electronics, Henry constructs sonic images of the dance and its
possibilities. In Mix 02.3, recorded in 1988, Henry revisits the
book-of-the-dead club with an Egyptian twist. Bid farewell to the pyramids
as you journey to the other side through this harrowing descent into drone.
Sit tight as your guide Pierre steers you through Navigation, Dislocation,
Transformation, Negation, Judgment, Attention, and finally Affirmation.
Exclusive to the box set and adding to this embarrassment of riches is Mix
02.4, "Investigations," recorded in 1959 and never before released. Written
for an exposition of paintings by the 'lyrical abstrationist' Degottex,
this 34-minute electronic piece recalls certain works by Stockhausen --
realized 6 years later! This man's outtakes can still make my year. Can
scarcely wait to see what's next. Unfathomable! [JG]
Mix 02.0 4CD Box
Mix 02.1 "Symphonie Pour Un Homme Seul/Le Voyage"
Mix 02.2 "Mouvement-Rhythm-Etude"
Mix 02.3 "Le Livre Des Morts Egyptien"

[V.A.] "Escalator Records, Tokyo" (Bungalow, Germany) CD/LP $14.99/$11.99
Although the many hardcore Japanese pop fans that shop with us need no
introduction to the Escalator Records label, the folks at Bungalow Records
and Le Hammond Inferno (one in the same, really) have kindly provided one
for everyone else. Whether you refer to this music as "Shibuya-kei"
(so-named for the trendy Tokyo neighborhood where the label is based) or
Japanese 'clubpop', the result is the same: ebullient, sample-heavy
electro-pop that's dancefloor-friendly without delving into house-music
inanity. The label's core artists are represented here along with a few
others. Cubismo Grafico's French-flavored 'Mississippi One' comes across
like a more indie-sounding Fantastic Plastic Machine while Yukari Fresh's
'Paul Scholes' is a childlike Casio-pop exercise. Neil & Iraiza are the
most traditional pop act here, but the kazoo solos on 'Candy Favorite
Shoes' indicate that this band, like the label itself, is interested in
creating its own identity. The perfect complement to Bungalow's popular
'Sushi' compilations. [TC]
LP  /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=71875615751&refer_url=email

RASHIED ALI "Rashied Ali Quintet" (Knit Classics) CD $13.99
RASHIED ALI QUARTET "New Directions in Modern Music" (Knit Classics) CD $13.99
RASHIED ALI & FRANK LOWE "Duo Exchange" (Knit Classics) CD $13.99

The Knitting Factory is starting to release OOP LPs from Rashied Ali's
Survival label, all long overdue for reissue. The Rashied Ali quintet album
(featuring James "Blood" Ulmer, Bob Ralston, Earl Cross, and John Dana),
recorded in 1973, dances between dense flurries, Ali's thunder leading the
interplay of horns, Ulmer's fierce guitar work, and spacious moments of
building tension between the musicians. Ali's drums here are absolutely
punishing, and when he takes a solo there is absolutely no question as to
who the leader is. "New Directions in Modern Music" by the Rashied Ali
quartet, recorded in 1971, stretches even further. Staford L. James,
saxophonist, and Fred Simmons, pianist, venture into moments of interplay
that are absolutely sublime, demonstrating versatility as melodic players
who know how to really tear it up. Again, Ali's presence is at the
forefront here, as he pummels his drums into near-oblivion. This is an
absolutely massive quartet recording, quite possibly on par with Ali's work
later with Coltrane. The pinnacle of the three Ali reissues thus far is
"Duo Exchange", a fierce dialogue between Frank Lowe and Rashied Ali.
Completely relentless, it's even more powerful than Coltrane and Ali's
classic "Interstellar Space." Lowe and Ali fill up more space than larger
ensembles, and create a forceful wall of sound that never lets up. "Duo
Exchange" is an emotional outpouring that is always on the offensive,
screaming and pounding in a blissful, magical way -- it meets all
expectations with the utmost power and glory. These reissues catalog two
excellent albums and one absolutely essential one from one of the most
gifted drummers in the history of jazz. [PW]
Ali Quintet
Ali Quartet
Ali & Lowe

MAHJUN "Mahjun/Fils a Colin-Maillard" (Saravah/Mantra, France) CD $16.99
A warehouse find, issued on CD by the now-defunct Mantra label in 1992.
Obscure French band's second and third albums (released in 1973 and 1974),
featuring members of Lard Free and Mormos, but far more psychedelic than
either of those. A schizophrenic blend of folk (imagine Fairport Convention
as an oompah band!), free improvisation (Albert Ayler c'est formidable!)
and communal stonerisms (Yahowha 13/Taj Mahal Travellers) all delivered
with the deft togetherness of "Third"-era Soft Machine. Add to all that a
love for Zappa's Mothers Of Invention that only the French can truly grasp
and it's easy to understand why these records hold down spots on the Nurse
With Wound "list". 70 minutes of experimental bliss. The quantity that
we've been able to obtain will not last long. You know what to do. Highest
recommendation. [JG]

LOS SAMPLER'S "Descargas" (Rather Interesting, Germany) CD $19.99
A knot easily unraveled. Atom Heart, endlessly fond of eviscerating the
music of the '50s and '60s, takes as his newest disguise this (virtual)
7-piece, samplers-only group from Chile. And it's the conceptual flip to
his Senor Coconut disc profiled here a few weeks ago. But where Coconut
took Kraftwerk's mechanistic electronic pockets of sound into a '60s Cuban
club, Los Sampler's (sic) make Latin music (the mambo, the rumba, etc.) out
of pieces of Autechre's toolkit. So the click click becomes a cha cha,
warping glitches are given concrete, specific form and beats that are just
as danceable as any _son_ or _guaracha_. He even tackles classics like 'La
Vida', and 'Vamos con San Pedro' murmuring the vocals through a metal
screen. Did I mention I love this? I do. [RE]

MORTON FELDMAN "All Piano" (London Hall, UK) 4xCD $39.99
Classical pianist and AMM-collaborator John Tilbury offers here the most
generous survey to date of piano works by America's greatest composer/dry
cleaner. 4 discs, 3 1/2 decades of work in 3 1/2 hours, from 1950's 'Two
Intermissions' to 1986's 'Palais de Mari,' and all of it blissfully free of
the cobwebs which, in most recordings, usually obscure the clarity of
Feldman's shifting patterns. Tilbury's approach is muscular and precise,
passionate yet unsentimental, always respectful but never hiding behind the
composer's often maddeningly inaudible markings and slow tempi. Every
impeccable performance manages to weave spaciousness and timelessness with
a human pulse. The truest test is 'Triadic Memories': this 79-minute
version leaves the competition in the dust, making Hinterhauser seem wimpy,
Fafchamps drippy, Woodward bombastic, and Takahashi rushed. If you've ever
found Feldman's music too glacial, Tilbury masterfully reveals the fire
beneath the ice. A tremendous accomplishment, an invaluable resource, an
essential purchase. [AL]

Even though I realize my youth is fading, I've found that every now and
then a recording enters into my life and makes me feel young again. GoGoGo
AirHeart have arrived, immediately reminding me of Washington, D.C.,
specifically the Nation Of Ulysses, and more recently the Crainium. Caustic
and vital, whether improvisational or not, it feels like a product of the
moment, yet courses with echoes of the No-Wave movement--it's obvious that
these guys have heard The Fall, PIL, and the Birthday Party. Although more
often than not a band will become irreparably ensnared in the sound that
inspires them, GGGAH avoid such paint-by-numbers song styles, instead
opting to blend their influences. What is verse/chorus/verse, anyway? A
song can start with a rhythm, but who's to say it can't also turn and fall
in on itself? Bass and drums wail away inside the flailing vocals and
clashing guitars, not simply clubbing you over the head with one idea at a
time. Working you through, up and down, breathing inside each movement,
then forcing you to hit repeat when it finishes. And, trust me, you won't
be put off by the inclusion of a Pop Group cover. It's carefully chosen and
executed, and maintains continuity with the rest of the tracks. But rather
than ride on the sincerity of my words alone, (through the miracles of the
internet) Ben White, GGGAH's guitarist, posted an entry on the Pop Group
web site message board I'll excerpt here: "?our band owes so much to them,
but constantly gets naive comparisons to bands like the Make Up, or perhaps
if the reviewer is a little more well read...Can, Gang Of Four, even Pere
Ubu...very rarely has someone told us that we reminded them of a 'Pop Group
type thing'...which was totally flattering to us. So we decided to start
doing a Pop Group cover ("Trap") so we can let people know who the fuck the
Pop Group is... ya know?" What about the mysterious subtitle to this album,
'out every window the snap of envy and greed'-- is it art? It is now.
Simply the best new album to hit my desk. [AG]

THE DYLAN GROUP "Ur-Klang Search" (Bubblecore) CD $12.99
The Dylan Group's best CD yet. With modest beginnings, they've now built up
not only their sound into areas no one's dared venture, they've caught the
ears of a receptive world bit by tiny bit (as evidenced by the fact that
this album is released on Fat Cat in the UK, P-Vine in Japan). And it's
vastly different than their previous work. Though not eschewing their
electronic past, they're embracing live instruments and improvisation in a
strong, connected way. The vibraphones positioned centrally, they place
drums, gamelan, stylophone (!), marimba, trumpets and many more in a circle
around it, and play with resonances of all. With painstaking attention to
small details and the ability to cut a broad, shallow groove, they're
sending their work into the yawning gulf between improv jazz, electronics,
and even chillout music. [RE]

PAN SONIC & CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE "Mort aux Vaches" (Staalplaat, The Netherlands) CD $14.99
This collaborative effort, the latest in the limited edition "Mort Aux
Vaches" series (a mere 1000 copies each) is a radio commission from the
fall of '99. An hour-long piece, it's a kind of sonic horror movie in which
a shifting organ tone vibrates like a hummingbird's wings and builds
towards burbling oscillations which begin then suddenly drop out as the
tone becomes gothic and there's pounding at the door and mysterious
otherworldly forces waft in through the barred windows and then the
oscillations come back like a rescue helicopter blasting through the fog
and flying off as the tone resolves and fades leaving the helicopter in the
distance. At least, that's what copy #51 sounds like. [AL]

MIKA VAINIO "Kajo" (Touch, UK) CD $14.99
A studied, formal CD. Vainio's fourth (under his name) takes the tabula
rasa back to the rasa. "Kajo" intimates that there was, once, much more
there, but that selectively, swaths were erased, leaving only throbbing
bass tones that seem to emanate from the floorboards, and piercing hums
that ebb and flow, build and stop abruptly. Rotating webs of static throw
soft nets of sound that pass quickly across your hearing field: it's more
fun than listening to your dishwasher, but not by that much (then again, I
find the dishwasher _very_ calming). Fans of stark, pointillistic material,
take note. 9 tracks, 54 minutes. (Vainio is one-half of Pan Sonic, fyi) [RE]

BEACHWOOD SPARKS "Beachwood Sparks" (Sub Pop) CD $11.99
These dudes have it down pat. The cryptically bucolic moniker, the gingham
& dungarees, the 213 area code, the churchy organ runs and twelve string
twang -- for chrissakes, their pedal steel player even has a nickname
(Sneaky Pete Kleinow, meet Farmer Dave Scher). And while Byrds/Burrito
Bros. emulation is all too common these days, the Beachwood Sparks are
uncommonly good at it. With a pedigree that includes Further and The Lilys,
you might question the Sparks' sincerity, but that question doesn't
diminish the inspired space-trucker romp of 'Sister Rose' or the spot-on
Notorious Byrd Brothers soundalike, 'Something I Didn't Recognize.' Still,
it's a bit disheartening that the Sparks' best songs are also the most
derivative. Maybe next time around they'll invest as much care in their
craft as they do in their image. 'Til then, do the Beachwood Sparks a
solid -- buy this record so they can afford to rent Nudie suits for their
next photo shoot. [MH]

MIRA CALIX "One on One" (Warp, UK) CD/2xLP $12.99/$22.99
Calix's first CD. And she has a gift for certain new-ish textures, even if
the arrangements are just okay. The sounds she uses are/were/evoke the
building blocks for the new wave -- big chords sandblasted, the debris
brushed off into melody. She runs a deep buzz throughout "One on One" that
blooms lushly in large, amorphous flourishes. And this is one of the layers
to her record. The other, a tracery of scissor snips, ticks, tappy beats,
and suspense movie percussion, seems to exist on an entirely separate
plane. But these have a familial, if incidental relationship and/or
middling synchronization, linked by the vocals (mostly 'aaahs') mired in
the mix, modern electronic marimba sounds, and midrange broken-record
loops. [RE]
LP  /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=502160307311&refer_url=email

[V/A] "Sonig Compilation" (Thrill Jockey/Sonig, Germany) CD $12.99
There must be something in Cologne's water--cologne, perhaps? Whatever
it is, that city is still the white-hot epicenter of current electronic music.
And this strong survey of local talent is from the Sonig label, a project
of Mouse On Mars and Frank Dommert. 9 tracks, all of them exclusive to this
release, glitchy but never cold, funky but smart, every one blasting into
your head space. FX Randomiz's jumpy beats, Microstoria's glorpy
stops-n-starts, Mouse On Mars' distorted boombeats, Scratch Pet Land's
headbanging stuttercore, Vert's haunted lost pianotones, Lithop's housy
bassilations, Du (Randomiz and Mouse's Jan St. Werner)'s assembly-line
techno, C-Schultz & Hajsch's exploded traffic jam, Wang Inc.'s music boxes
detonating in the house of dub, and home you go before your visa expires. A
trip that will actually earn you frequent flier miles, which can be redeemed
for future, edge-of-your-seat listenings. [AL]

CENTIPEDE "Septober Energy" (RCA/BGO, UK) 2xCD $22.99
Sprawling, incorrigible, yet ultimately fascinating large ensemble exercise
spearheaded by Keith Tippett and produced by Robert Fripp in 1971. The
group could swell to upwards of 50 members at a time and included Robert
Wyatt, Mike Patto, Julie Tippett, Elton Dean, Dudu Pukwana, Gary Windo,
Paul Rutherford, Brian Godding, Maggie Nicholls, Harry Miller, Karl
Jenkins, Ian Carr, Zoot Money, to name a few. Lots of gorgeous, sloppy
free-form crescendo action juxtaposed with swirling, riff-based jazz-rock
and topped off with stratospheric vocalizing that plays like some dated
Broadway musical gone terribly awry. Too much and never enough. [JG]

WHAT I SAW "Life Everlasting, Amen" (Firework Edition, Sweden) CD $16.99

It sort of doesn't matter what the hell this CD sounds like -- it's the
sounds of a life support system, ostensibly in use for the duration of the
recording: converging hydraulics, electronic beeps, and a number of hums.
The CD is programmed in odd ways: you can only listen to sections of it in
their entirety (it won't let you skip around), and the bulk of the CD counts
down (time only) in reverse. The 'body' in question being supported remains
anonymous, and the project is credited to two guys, one of whom is
associated with Elgaland/Vargaland (a virtual 'country' of artists).
Whether it's an art project (the cover photos of medical equipment are
credited as being taken at a film studio, after all) or a macabre field
recording, either way it's a remarkable comment on the exact meeting point
between being a machine and being human. [RE]

[V/A] "The Winner is the Loser" (Time Stereo/Friendly Science) CD $15.99
A compilation of two labels flexing their small but congenial muscles,
separately and in group collaboration. Time Stereo mostly release work by
Warn Defever (His Name is Alive) and friends under a myriad of names,
Friendly Science's roster is more mysterious and includes Oneironaut (Ian
Masters, formerly Pale Saints) and Luminous Orange. The best stuff here is
Defever's pseudo-'30s Carter Family-style "I Hate the Capitalist System", a
chaotic pots-and-pans bashing session from Hemulen, The Friendly Science
Orchestra's mannered British pop with sitar ululations. This compilation
runs the gamut: from an Adventures in Stereo kind of pop to V/VMish beated
noise. I was hoping this would be include Friendly Science's excellent and
out-of-print singles, but, alas-maybe next time. [RE]

MEN'S RECOVERY PROJECT "Bolides Over Basra" (Load) CD $11.99
Rumor has it that MRP recorded this, their first CD on the Load label (they
formerly adorned the Vermiform stable) somewhere in the Middle East. That I
highly doubt. But they write about that region a little like Paul Bowles
did about Morocco--observationally, detachedly, descriptively, and quite
viscerally. But it's all in a punk context, because the music is spazzing
keyboards, back-and-forth anxious pacing that wears through the carpet,
whizzing, twittering, blurping guitars that act like steel pans: and all
noises are sharpened to points. They add saxophone, too, and treat the
vocals like a dodgeball--kicked, scuffed, and finally burst. An amalgam of
punk and new wave with a catchy angularity that ends up sounding like the
Residents gone feral in regressive evolution. I love this (quite accurate)
description of the record's 'themes', from Load: "water use negotiations,
illegal detention, deception and loss, airport security, North African
cuisine, missing merchandise, Persian nightlife, assassination ennui,
secret monkey auctions, depression and denial, general wretchedness, shit
and filth, public leprosy and advanced clap." [RE]

DYLAN WILLEMSA "Ion Sports" (Dylan Willemsa) CD $12.99
You can find Dylan Willemsa often along the L-train that runs from Brooklyn
to Manhattan. And there he'll be grinding his viola into powder in
creative, spasmodic fluctuations. As he enters the studio for this CD, he
can do a lot more, and does. The viola is multiprocessed, reedited,
reconfigured, rendered nearly unrecognizable in places. Between the pure
sound and the digital alterations he casts waves of statics that open out
of viola chords, filters upon filters, murmurs of voice, a little electric
guitar, and odd '50s shortwave-broadcast sounds (classical and '50s rock:
like scanning--thwip!--through the dial). He then adds a few text
fragments, some fake ethnographic chanting that slumps into more
electronics, and croons with himself. A markedly different recording that
fans of string experiments (a la Polly Bradfield or Eyvind Kang) will
especially enjoy. [RE]

DJ CHEB I SABBAH "MahaMaya: Shri Durga ReMixed" (Six Degrees) CD $15.99
Sabbah's "Shri Durga", from last year, was one of the best desi-anglo
fusion records made (yet, of course), a well-integrated conglomeration of
beats and subcontinental vocals and instruments. While these remixes (by
notables Bally Sagoo, Fun Da Mental, TJ Rehmi, etc.) don't make the
originals any _better_, they at least branch off tangentially, taking the
original material in different lateral directions--from Sabbah's own '50s
African-chant remix of his own material to a few transformations into even
larger dancefloor productions. [RE]

A SILVER MT. ZION "He Has Left Us..." (Constellation) CD $13.99
Another side project of Godspeed You Black Emperor. Full review next week.


SONNY SHARROCK "Black Woman" (East West, Japan) CD $24.99

NEU "Neu 1" (Germanofon) CD $19.99

This week's newsletter penned by Tom Capodanno [TC], Robin Edgerton [RE],
Jeff Gibson [JG], Andrew Giles [AG], Andrew Leigh [AL], Matt Hanks [MH],
and Phil Waldorf [PW].

Thanks for reading.

-all of us at Other Music

15 E. 4th Street
New York, NY 10003