Other Music New Release Update
May 24, 2000

In This Week's Update :

Harry Smith Anthology part 4
Francoise Hardy
Television Personalities comp.
Young Marble Giants demos
Dilated Peoples
Cornelius "EUS" video
Dafeldecker, Kurzmann & Fennesz improvisations
Michael Prime
Fennesz' Music for an Isolation Tank
Piano Magic
Kahimi Karie "prog-rock" EP
Momus "Fakeways" documentary CD

B. Fleischmann
"Harpsichord 2000"
Polnareff box
out of print Pavement and Yo La Tengo singles and EPs

Featured New Releases :

CLINIC "Internal Wrangler" (Domino, UK) CD $19.99
What happens when you've been the victim of an evil eye? Clinic know,
they've carelessly passed many, and the curses left behind only makes their
music better. The curses? They have to make their music out of the sounds
rejected by others, and, at the same time, they have to imitate the
overly-imitated and still make it sound fresh. Throbbing with killer
rhythms and sung in thick Scottish accents, their first full-length album
is frantic, furious space-punk. "Internal Wrangler" merges the edgy beats
laid out first by Can and the Silver Apples with the ghosts of the Ronettes
and Johnny Cash, meanwhile dark Nick-Cave-ish arrangements draw in sick
melodica, seagull, and oboe solos, and they use a bitter, sour organ and
burbling electronics for rhythm. While not as far out or far-ranging as
their last CD -- which was a collection of singles anyway -- this is solider
under your feet, punker, and keeps an ebb and flow of mood you can follow.
You have to hear to believe -- (in a perfect world) this album should grant
them a huge audience. [RE]

[V/A] "Harry Smith's Anthology Of American Folk Music, Volume Four" (Revenant) 2xCD $29.99
It's almost fifty years since Folkways released the three volumes of Harry
Smith's "Anthology Of American Folk Music," and thousands of words have
been written about the thousands of lives it supposedly changed. But even
the thunderous publicity given the 1997 CD reissue didn't reveal that we
were only given three-quarters of the story. The original three volumes
were colored green, red and blue, which, in Smith's highly personal
alchemical system, were meant to symbolize water, fire, and air. Smith
intended to complete the series with a fourth volume, colored yellow and
symbolizing earth. He assembled a track list and began work on his notes,
but the release was derailed by an argument with a Folkways representative,
who insisted that he include a Delmore Brothers song celebrating the
reelection of FDR. Now Revenant has reverentially stepped in and released
the 28 items on Smith's list, on two CDs tucked into a beautiful 96-page
hardcover book featuring essays and descriptions by Ed Sanders, Greil
Marcus, John Fahey, John Cohen, and Dick Spottswood. Nothing can replace
Smith's lost notes, though, so the correlations he intended to make between
his selections will remain a mystery. And, ironically, the excitement which
Smith's efforts first engendered might even make this volume a bit
superfluous for some collectors, as other reissues have rendered the works
of performers such as the Carter Family, Uncle Dave Macon, Leadbelly,
Robert Johnson, and others considerably less esoteric than they once were.
Nevertheless, there are rarities here, by the likes of the Arthur Smith
Trio, Sister Clara Hudmon, Al Hopkins and His Buckle Busters, and more, and
every selection is worth owning. Dark, haunting, an elegant work of
American backyard surrealism, this set comes as close as anything probably
ever will to completing a seminal work of recorded popular music. [AL]

FRANCOISE HARDY "Clair-Obscur" (Virgin, France) CD $16.99
That Voice! After nearly two decades of hiding out within a vast wilderness
of disco, astrology, and even grunge (her last album, 1996's brilliant "Le
Danger" could well have been credited to Francoise Hardy & Crazy Horse),
the sublime Ms. Hardy returns to the genre she helped define, Le Chanson
Francaise. In fact, the entire album is presented as a celebration of song
as art form, milestone and talisman. Each selection (original and cover) is
footnoted simply by the year that the song was written, an elegant comment
on the way songs are employed to mark time. 'Puisque Vous Partez En Voyage'
(1935), a duet with Jacques Dutronc, her companion of 33 years, begins the
album on a nostalgic note. (This was a very big deal in France, marking the
first time these two legends had sung together, with the exception of
occasional back-ups.) Next, Hardy adapts a Django Reinhardt/Stephane
Grappelli number, 'Tears' (1937), that features son Thomas Dutronc on tasty
guitar lead. While I once said that I'd pay to hear Francoise Hardy recite
from a phone book, her vampy duet with labelmate Iggy Pop on 'I'll Be
Seeing You' (1938) is not far off that mark. Fortunately, it's the only
misstep on the album and her duet with Etienne Daho on Don Everly's 'So
Sad' (1962) more than makes up for any lost ground. The remainder of the
record consists mainly of melancholic Hardy originals ever-so-smoothly
navigated by her silken pipes, highlighted by a masterful reworking of 'Tu
Ressembles A Tous Ceux Qui Ont Eu Du Chagrin' (1970), the title track
(1990) and her lilting adaptation of an abandoned film theme by Eric
Clapton (1998). In short: enchanting. Welcome home. [JG]

TELEVISION PERSONALITIES "The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming" (Vinyl Japan, UK) CD $13.99
For anyone whose interest might have been piqued by my frothing review of
"The Painted Word" a few weeks ago, here's the next-best available thing: a
62-minute, 17-track singles compilation spanning 16 or so years of
brilliant Dan Treacy songwriting, with many rarities appearing on CD for
the first time! While far from comprehensive (this man's catalog knows no
depth), this collection features the singles that immediately followed and
carried forward the vibe of "The Painted Word" ('How I Learned To Love The
Bomb,' 'The Grocer's Daughter,' and 'The Dream Inspires'), an outstanding
cover of The Raincoats' 'No One's Little Girl,' and loads of overlooked
tunes that appeared on limited Vinyl Japan label EPs in the early '90s. But
you might ask yourself before proceeding further: can I afford to have my
heart torn asunder several times over the course of a single CD? I can't
afford not to. Highest recommendation. [JG]

YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS "Salad Days" (Vinyl Japan, UK) CD $13.99
The largest-selling post-punk album of all time here at Other Music is not
Wire's "Pink Flag." It is not "Unknown Pleasures" by Joy Division. Nor any
title by The Fall. It is "Colossal Youth" by the Welsh trio Young Marble
Giants. We can never keep enough in stock. There is a reason for this.
"Colossal Youth" is not really a post-punk album at all. It is a minimal,
luminous celestial convergence that somehow managed to transcend both time
and civilization. And these 1979 home recordings by Alison Statton and the
brothers Moxham comprise the blueprint for that classic. A fascinating
document that conclusively demonstrates that music, even from the gods, is
the product of sweat and tribulation. Have at! [JG]

DILATED PEOPLES "The Platform" (Capitol Records) CD $15.99
Take one Irisicience, the metaphysical dream warrior MC possessed of heady
linguistics; Evidence, the straight up b-boy spitting battle strong verses;
World Famous Beat Junkie DJ Babu, who just cuts SO nice; and a manifesto
expressed in the title track "The platform takes respect to perfect the art
form?" Add whiplash-inducing sonics from the likes of Joey Chavez and
Alchemist and the result is the long-awaited, highly anticipated debut
album from Dilated Peoples. The aftershock of 1998's bomb ass independent
"Work the Angles" resonates throughout and posits the LA-based trio with
the hip-hop album of the summer. But lest you think "The Platform" is just
some compilation of their previous singles, new tracks like 'Right On' with
the Alkaholiks bring back the joy of a dope posse cut; 'Last Line of
Defense' sees Evidence on a tear through a nice and grimy minor key beat;
and 'Service' lets Babu flex his exceptional skills over some mad low-end
theory. [KC]

SAINT ETIENNE "The Sound Of Water" (Mantra, UK) CD/LP $23.99/$22.99
It seems that Saint Etienne can never truly win. They are so very deft and
facile, so subtle and painterly, so endlessly CLEVER, that they are
frequently dismissed as being soulless dilettantes by the nasty British
press with the short attention span ("how dare they release a 9-minute
dance single you can't dance to..." blah, blah, blah). And will Sarah ever
stop singing about transport and waking-up and preparing to go out? I hope
not. I'm all for the elevation of the mundane into art. It's where we're at
most of the time anyway. No, Saint Etienne are not stupid enough to attempt
to remake "Foxbase Alpha" or even "So Tough." Assisted by To Rococo Rot and
Sean O'Hagen, the aptly titled "The Sound Of Water" flows and washes over
the listener, recedes and is gone. 43 minutes and you'll miss it if you
blink (I set my player to "repeat"). Even more cinematic than their
"Misadventures..." soundtrack. This is their "Surf's Up". I can't wait to
see how they tour behind this one! Domestic release June 6. [JG]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=60900810181&refer_url=email

ENSEMBLE "Sketch Proposals" (Rephlex, UK) CD/LP $15.99/$15.99
Imagine a strange mixture of the sweet Sarah Records sound and Square-
pusher or Pan Sonic. Enter Ensemble, the very young duo of Brit Chanelle
Kimber and Frog Olivier Alary. Kimber's breathy voice rests on a tickly,
awkward pillow of skittish electronics. Her vocals don't quite match the
rhythms (or vice versa) and her voice pours out of the speakers far out
of phase -- an effect that isn't unpleasant, like reading the funnies when
they've printed the colors offset too far. A nudging, brushing record, they
work a little like a blanker extension of Broadcast, but intimate, without
any sweep or grandeur. 12 songs that crunch and melt like ice crystals
under your feet in the summer. [RE]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=66690801011&refer_url=email

CORNELIUS "EUS" (Trattoria, Japan) VD $26.99
"EUS" is a video compilation of footage from the Cornelius "Fantasma"
tours of Europe and the US (hence the title). The approach at first seems
fairly straight-forward and even a bit amateurish: opening shots of scenery
filmed from the tour van window, fans milling about in front of a venue, Keigo
Oyamada and company peeing on the side of the road. But soon after the
predictable intro is over, video mayhem ensues. With somewhat grainy
live footage as the backdrop, the makers of "EUS" attempt to saturate each
frame with every low-budget special effect known to video post-production.
The results range from the ridiculous to the sublime. Some of the video
manipulation is clearly overwrought (like the heavily pixelated "Count Five
or Six" for instance). But on "E" the cheesy special effects have Oyamada shooting
laserbeams Godzilla-like from his eyes while blowing up the heads of unwitting
audience memebers! Later, lightning bolts shoot from his theremin during a
spirited solo, turning the stage into a scene out of "Frankenstein". It's absolutely
hilarious. Other highlights include several bits of "video scratching" in which the
audio/video is looped, repeated and reversed like a DJ would manipulate a record.
Overall it's an entertaining filmed document of an artist who has made video an
integral part of his live performances. [TC]

(Charhizma, Austria) CD $13.99

An album of improvisations for powerbooks, electronic instruments, electric
instruments and acoustic instruments. Edited from hours of material, this
CD is, so far, perhaps the best evidence of the good wrought by such
combinations yet. They harness the sounds well, aided by Jim O'Rourke,
Kevin Drumm, and Martin Siewert in turn. We just got a limited number of
these in, but that's all we'll have, so jump now if you're interested. To
give you an idea of the quality here, we got 5 copies in two weeks ago, but
they were snapped up entirely by our own staff!

AROVANE "Tides" (City Centre Offices, UK) CD/LP $13.99/$13.99
Arovane return with their second album this year alone, and this time they
shed the Autechre-style breakbeat glitch for a more subdued, downtempo
affair, closer to the work of ISAN or B. Fleischmann. The record starts
with a beat that could have been stolen from the banks of Kruder and
Dorfmeister, a subtle snap of a snare that repeats itself, then ducks under
lush, fluid electronics, all topped with an enchanting harpsichord melody.
And this is just the beginning. Further in, there's acoustic guitar, warped
vocal samples, retro organs, nature sounds (crickets, running water, etc.)
and more. A beautiful piece of work. [JS]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999130591&refer_url=email

MARUMARI "The Wolves Hollow" (Carpark) CD/LP $12.99/$9.99
While Marumari's debut album seemed, to me at least, to be (yet) another
Boards of Canada exercise, this one is much more original. His new tracks
rock gently, hang on a sweeter, funkier beat, child chatter and funny
scrabbling insecty scratching, presided over by high-pitched, resonant
synth tones. In a way, he's edging towards Nobukazu Takemura territory,
only staying upbeat, not succumbing to chill. A few tracks even have a
weird technopop vibe to them, as if he took old Howard Jones songs and
butchered them into rhythm, removing the lyrics and melodies. Even though
he builds the album around mythical wolf themes, more of it sounds recorded
underwater than in the forest. Pretty, fun and novel, it nonetheless lags
at the end, but the first half of the disc more than makes up for it. My
favorite thing on Carpark yet. [RE]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=67751700041&refer_url=email

FUNKSTORUNG "Appetite For Disctruction" (Studio K7) CD/2xLP $15.99/$18.99
It's Funkstorung's first proper full-length album, and the duo of Michael
Fakesch and Chris de Luca take some chances--in the form of creating actual
'songs' rather than a succession of interesting, barren beats. In a way,
they've become a modern version of Kraftwerk. Their rhythms are tireless
and mechanized--they don't snap or pull you in--but their made of so many
little pieces, a jigsaw puzzle formed into choppy waves. And so when they
add MCs and a diva, there's a push-pull between the organic and the
mechanical, a tension which is both jarring and interesting. Cool
razor-slices whiz by their MC (unnamed here--why?) and he levels out his
words, subtly conforming, delivering them in more of an unusual monotone to
match; the beats cover him like a shroud. Their diva's smooth vocals are
marched to an odd, spitting beat, a landscape painting patched with duct
tape (she's on a hidden bonus track on the CD, too, that culminates in
robot frog vocalizations). This venture into the world of song is
overwhelmingly odd--especially since their method is to usually strip
everything out of a song (evidenced by remixes they've done of Wu-Tang,
Bjork, Faust, Notwist, and War?)--and some fans may not adjust. A shotgun
wedding of crisp beats and song structure. [RE]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=73000370871&refer_url=email

MICHAEL PRIME "L-fields" (Sonoris, France) CD $14.99
Wherein the Morphogenesis leader takes on Stevie Wonder: "The sound
materials used on this CD are derived from bioelectrical recordings of
living plants and fungi. All living things possess electrical fields which
fluctuate according to the physical or mental state of the organism...The
tiny voltages produced by the plants were amplified and used as control
signals for battery-powered oscillators recorded in situ. Environmental
sounds from the locations where the plants were growing were also used in
the compositions. I chose to use hallucinogenic plants as subjects because
of their long history of interaction with humans, and because of the large
amount of music that has apparently been influenced by their
usage."--Michael Prime. So, for the horticulturally inclined, we begin with
'Cannabis Sativa' in Brussels, wend our way through the 'Amanita Muscaria'
of Honor Oak, and conclude with a delightful 'Lophophora Williamsii' in
Orpington, wherever that may be. Actually, a pretty swell
electro-soundscape recording. When I was a little-bitty baby my mama would
rock-a-me in the cradle in them ol' Poppy fields back home?. [JG]

FENNESZ, ZEITBLOM & RANTASA "Music For An Isolation Tank" (Rhiz, Austria) CD $16.99
Quiet and meditative, "Music For an Isolation Tank " is based on a sound
installation by artist Oswald Wieners, in which a participant would have
the natural sounds of their bodies (breathing, heartbeat, etc.) recorded
and digitally manipulated, then played back whilst soaking in a
sensory-deprivation chamber. Led by Christian Fennesz, who forgoes his
usual aesthetic in place of a more Bernhard Guenter/Trente Oiseaux style of
minimal audio pinpricks and crackles. Eerily organic at times, each sound
is presented in small, almost polite gestures, quietly introducing itself
and disappearing. When listened to on headphones, this release burrows
directly into one's mind, creating a unique and rather intense listening
experience. Quite bizarre and unexpected. [JZ]

PIANO MAGIC "Artist's Rifles" (Rocket Girl, UK) CD/LP $14.99/$13.99
Piano Magic's new rallying cry is soft, but it concerns the fate of the
artist fighting the modern world. Less experimental than their previous
releases, this album, with a subtle war theme, rides in and out on keen,
marching rhythms. But then wilts into an intellectual Britpop vibe circa
1989 or so, with Felt-like ringing guitars and the seriousness of the Blue
Aeroplanes. Told and sung by two vocalists, Caroline Potter and Glen
Johnson, the songs in the middle wax misty and purposefully repetitive,
sinking in gradually, tingling with long draughts of strings that blow in
and out, sparkling guitars that can only play one note at a time. Ah, the
beautiful, romanticized literary life, marred by the insistent tapping of
loneliness! [RE]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=501626610191&refer_url=email

SHELL "Shell is Swell" (Abaton) CD $13.99
Marianne Nowottny, teen queen of the glissando vocals, teams up with her
best friend Donna Bailey for their second release. These spokeswomen for
freaky girls everywhere give us a reminder that men do not understand women
(and never will!). It's girl's night out, and throbs of distortion set the
scene: spooooky. Minor chords march up and down: PJ Harvey and early Tom
Waits are definite influences, but Nowottny's style is her own -- not even
the late Marc Bolan could slide up to notes like this. If you love the
first minute, you'll love the entire record. [GF]

KAHIMI KARIE "Journey to the Centre of Me" (Polydor, Japan) CD $22.99
The much-anticipated "prog-rock" EP from Kahimi Karie and long-time
collaborator Momus. Analog synthesizers and medieval folk instruments
add an ornate veneer to these five very fanciful songs. "Pygmalism"
finds Karie straining farther beyond her (admittedly limited) vocal range
than ever before while a chorus of mystical synths swirl endlessly around
her. I'm a sucker for this stuff. 24 minutes. [TC]

MOMUS "Fakeways: Manhattan Folk"(Fakeways) CD-R $19.99
"An audio documentary by Momus made in New York City, Spring 2000
featuring Ford Wright, Casey Spooner, Steve Lafreniere and other folk."
Primarily a spoken-word release documenting (through a series of
interviews) a segment of the current downtown NYC art/music scene.
Available only through Other Music and the Momus website. [TC]


B. FLEISCHMANN "Pop Loops for Breakfast" (Charhizma, Austria) CD $14.99
B. Fleischmann has created one of the finest downtempo electronic records
to date. Bleeps and blips flutter about like a wind-up toy, downtempo beats
act as the backbone, and distorted sounds rinse and float through the
speakers. It's an amazing record--a soundtrack to a beautiful morning that
captures the feeling of a day filled with limitless possibility. [JS]

[V/A] "Harpsichord 2000" (Shado, Italy) CD $14.99
A friend of mine once said "you can't go wrong with any pop song that uses
harpsichord or bagpipes." Well, skip the bagpipes here, but finally, 35
years or so after the first wave of pop-with-harpsichord, Shado records in
Italy has had both the fore- and hindsight to encourage more use of the
delicate, clear and sunny, yet odd tones of this instrument. And, now, you
certainly don't need a 300 year-old cabinet -- the sound is easily duplicated
by most music-making machines, on everything from Hammonds and Casios to
Eko Pandas and Elka Solists. Includes Die Moulinettes' Stereolab
double-take, Stereo Total's wonderful pop/hip-hop/scratching, The Barry
Gemso Experience's harpsichord flamenco, Valvola's neat soft indie-pop, and
a number of neat electrolounge drawing room/dancefloor numbers. Plus new
tracks by Momus, Cinerama, the Make Up, and more, for 23 tracks in all. [RE]

MICHEL POLNAREFF "Les Premieres Annees" (Universal, France) 3xCD Box Set $61.99
Even with the tremendous amount of attention focused on French-language
music icons, the name Michel Polnareff continues to go essentially
unrecognized. And his best work, his early work, has been largely
unavailable in the U.S., until now. Polnareff had a unique voice and
possessed a mysterious creative energy akin to Serge Gainsbourg's...on
speed! It's all here: three CDs, 60 tracks covering the years 1966 through
1971, every EP and 45, all staggeringly high in quality! Marvel as he
develops from a '50s-riffing yeh-yeh Boy into a baroque-pop juggernaut
using every hook and cliche in the book, yet still sounding years ahead of
his time. Highest recommendation. [JG]

MR. WRIGHT "Is Always the Fancy Man" (Le Grand Magistery) CD $12.99
Sadly overlooked first album from El Records veteran Kevin Wright. An
impressive collection of beautifully melancholy pop songs. [TC]

This week's newsletter by Tom Capodanno [TC], Kris Chen [KC], Robin
Edgerton [RE], Giancarlo Felippa [GF], Jeff Gibson [JG], Andrew Leigh [AL],
Jeremy Sponder [JS], Joshua Zucker [JZ].

Thanks for reading.
-all of us at Other Music

15 E. 4th Street
New York, NY 10003