Other Music New Release Update
November 29, 2000

In This Week's Update:

Faust's "Wumme Years" box set
Boards of Canada EP
The Fall
Ryoji Ikeda
Iso 68
Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions EP
Ural 13 Diktators
Company Flow/Cannibal Ox 12"
Mouse on Mars' "Instrumentals" reissue
Boredoms "Rebore Vol. 2" remix by Ken Ishii
Lyricist Lounge Vol. 2
Schaffelfieber comp.
Met @ Music comp.
Shake Sauvage: music from French sex, thriller, & freakout films
Lucky Kitchen's Find More Hits comp.
Sounds of gastrointestinal blockage 7"

Featured New Releases:

FAUST "The Wumme Years 1970-73" (Recommended, UK) 5xCD Box $67.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Bbcfaust.rm
Can & Faust, Faust & Can. Inexorably linked as the Beatles &
Stones of Krautrock, a genre that, save for our own selfish
trainspotting purposes, never truly existed. Their respective
oeuvres are nothing less than mind-numbingly essential. Can was
a collective of virtuoso musicians in pursuit of higher artistic
concepts. Faust were low-art conceptualists assembled and
exhaustively directed toward music by Svengali/producer Uwe
Nettlebeck. But while Can have been extremely well-documented over
the past 30 years, the early recorded works of Faust have remained
elusive. Caught up in the stranglehold of major-label (Polydor)
bureaucracy, their first two albums have been largely unavailable
outside of Japan (and, even then, only for a heartbeat) with their
remaining works dangling on under-distributed labels like poor
relations. And yet Faust's innovative juxtapositions of melody,
improvisation, electronics and sonic collage manage to resonate
through the works of post-punk stalwarts (Swell Maps, Alternative
TV, The Fall), post-industrialists (Sonic Youth, Section 25, Nurse
With Wound, 23 Skidoo) and present-day hotshots (Pavement, Chicks
On Speed, Olivia Tremor Control) alike. This limited-edition box
illuminates the mysteries of Faust and finally provides an
accessible context for the enormity of their achievements. The
five remastered CDs include "Faust" (1971; their legendary clear-
sleeved debut album), "So Far" (1972; the heretofore impossible to
find black-sleeved 2nd album), "The Faust Tapes" (1973; for the
first time ever with a track listing), "71 Minutes" (posthumous
archival tapes collecting The "Last LP" and 'Munic And Elsewhere"
albums), and "BBC Sessions' (a rare 1973 radio session plus
substantial unreleased material). The gorgeous 40-page booklet,
packed with unpublished photos from private collections, details
what might be considered the original Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle
through enlightening interviews with many of the key players in
the Faust story. Nettlebeck and legendary sound engineer Kurt
Graupner speak here for the first time, along with band members
Jean-Herve Peron and Joachim Irmler. I can offer no higher
recommendation for boxed-set delight this holiday season. [JG]

BOARDS OF CANADA "In a Beautiful Place" (Warp, UK) CD EP/12"  $5.99/$5.99
Their first new material since 1998's transcendent "Music Has a
Right to Children". Four tracks, in sharper-edge beat settings
along with their poured-smooth keyboard melodies. Surprises?
Vocals via vocoder added to the title track, which is already
flecked with kids' laughter. The last track draws on the rhythms
of masterpieces of '70s minimalism (a la Terry Riley, Steve
Reich). 24 minutes total. It's lovely, and quite in keeping with
their previous work. Need I say more? [RE]

THE FALL "The Unutterable" (Cog Sinister/Eagle, UK) CD $24.99
RealAudio: /ramgen/othermusic/Unuttfal.rm
An incredibly strong sequel to the brilliant "The Marshall Suite"
(Top 5 on my 1999 hit parade). Now I've been hearing the
phrase "Oh, another Fall album..." from my colleagues for years
and years and years. Inevitably, the tone is rather dismissive and
accompanied by an exasperated roll of the eyes, followed by
maybe "I can't believe they're still around..." or even "I thought
Mark E. Smith was in prison or dead or something." Perhaps Picasso
endured such indignities midway through his own career. And rather
like Picasso's work, all the elements that make up "The Unutterable"
are by now quite familiar, if not very nearly cliché. Post-punk
fuzz-guitars, furious polyrhythmic vamps, rockabilly twangs,
Smith's inimitable snarl-sing-speak stream-of-consciousness, etc.
are here somehow deconstructed and reassembled factory-fresh. Mark
E. Smith declared recently: "If it's just me and your grandmother
on the bongos, it's still The Fall!" After 24 years and
forty-something albums of dizzyingly high quality, and while he
might in fact more resemble your grandmother these days than
Picasso, his work will stand. Mark, my word-uh! [JG]

RYOJI IKEDA "Matrix" (Touch, UK) 2xCD $21.99
RealAudio /ramgen/othermusic/RIkeda2.rm
Ikeda is the reigning master of what might be called ambiglitch.
Unlike most of the artists who make their music from the sounds of
skipping CDs, computer malfunctions, and other technical
disasters, Ikeda works at the edge of rhythm and sometimes even
audibility, using his clicks sparingly over shifting patterns of
jostling low tones. This can have a Cagean effect; the rattle of
my heating pipes never sounded more musical than when the first of
these two discs was playing. Entitled "matrix (for rooms)", it's
an hour-long mix of ten tracks assembled from oscillating hums,
which evolve through repetition and variation a la Philip Glass,
but, oddly, both faster and less urgent. Sometimes there's a nyaah-
nyaahing quality, sometimes you're sure these frequencies were
chosen to make your poodle lunge at your neck, but sometimes a
kind of white-noise peace ascends. Ikeda intends it to form
an "invisible pattern which fills the listening space. The
listener's movement transforms the phenomenon into his/her
intrapersonal music." Don't ask me -- the same thing happens when
I listen to Bach or Kraftwerk. Disc 2, ".matrix", has as many
tracks but is half as long, and more like Ikeda's other work,
mostly terse sub-bass rhythms bumping up against each other with
tweety bits on top. It's also twice as fun -- call me shallow, but
I prefer a record that moves, doesn't make its points through
irritation, and doesn't overstay its welcome. No instructions,
either. Smart, entertaining, invigorating yet relaxing, it
would've made a fine release on its own. A divided offering; will
couples break up over which disc each one prefers? [PN]

ISO 68 "Mizoknek" (Hausmusik, Germany) CD/LP $15.99/$12.99
RealAudio /ramgen/othermusic/iso682.rm
A placid merging of jazz and electronics. No third wave here, Iso
68 are looking for the nth wave, the flatline, the dead calm. In
slick gurgles and burbles, soft thumps of bass, muffled fusion
keys and little electronic slides, "Mizoknek" is all puff and
whisper and skitter. The beats lope slowly, but purposefully --
they don't laze or slump, and they're doubled and echoed by light
jazz drums, sometimes live, sometimes cut into digital fragments.
Throughout, the faintest syllabic sampling peeks in, many
fractions of a second of a spoken voice run backwards. Very
pretty, very mellow, very warm. [RE]

HOPE SANDOVAL & THE WARM INVENTIONS "At the Doorway Again" (Rough Trade, UK) CD EP $9.99
After long silences from Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval and My Bloody
Valentine's Colm O'Ciosig, the two have now alloyed their talents
as Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions and issued this 4-song
EP (a full album is due in the spring). A sullen collection of
reverb-inflected songs, the release proves that it was well worth
the wait. Sandoval's listless, whispery vocals are more entrancing
than ever, matched and mirrored by the atmospheric
instrumentation. The resemblance brings about an unremittingly
somber work that serves quite well as the soundtrack to a rainy
afternoon. Sandoval and O'Ciosig, with the help of a few auxiliary
musicians (including British folkie Bert Jansch), meet and even
surpass the expectations one may have for this seemingly
consummate pairing. [JC]

URAL 13 DIKTATORS "Total Destruction" (Forte, Germany) CD $18.99
RealAudio /ramgen/othermusic/Ural132.rm
A lot of lip service is being paid to electro-funk at the moment,
but some names are missing: Bobby O, Sylvester, Patrick Cowley,
and Divine. For a brief period in the late '70s and early '80s,
these producers and artists were the vanishing mediators who made
the contemporary electro revival possible. ' Finnish producers
Ural 13 Diktator pay superb homage to these overlooked artists in
the most tasteful manner possible. Which is not to say that
they're earnest about the project, just that it sounds like a
labor of love -- they even purport to be integrating electro with
traditional Russian and Polish melodies of their childhood. The
title track hearkens back to Divine's 'Shoot Your Shot', and a
number of other tracks make direct reference to Sylvester tracks
without ever sounding like blueprint revivalism. Some producers
simply mimic their idols too closely and make embarrassing
records. Not so in this case. [TH]

COMPANY FLOW/CANNIBAL OX "s/t" (Def Jux) 2x12" $12.99
Well, I knew it was going to happen sooner or later, what with
all the sci-fi/space travel imagery popping up in major hip-hop
releases (Sun-Ra inspired?)…prog-rock hip-hop. Company Flow
presents two 7-minute+ epics, complete with synth breakdowns,
different 'movements'. The Cannibal Ox 'Iron Galaxy' beat is
incredible: "Blade Runner" synths clash with sledgehammer 'Levee
Break' snares, creaks. Excellent, crazed. [DH]
Definitely the indie hip-hop record of the year. Cannibal Ox are
produced by El-P, and he complements their ingenious lyrics with a
sound that most closely resembles the atmospheric, avant-garde
production on Marvin Gaye's seminal "What's Going On". I'd
practically written off indie hip-hop 'til this came along. You
never expected this in a hip-hop record, yet here it is. Blew my
mind, anyway. Vinyl only. [TH]

MOUSE ON MARS "Instrumentals" (Thrill Jockey) CD $13.99
RealAudio /ramgen/othermusic/Subnubus.rm
Recorded between 1995 and 1997, Mouse On Mars originally released
this LP on their imprint, Sonig, in a painfully small edition of
1300. Now reissued on CD, it's probably Mouse On Mars' most
sonically diverse album, detailing their transition from quirky
dance outfit to esoteric-electronic pop group, the music falling
somewhere between the abstract melodies of "Autoditacker" and the
glitch ambience of "Glam". Themes and ideas they would use later
are slowly developed and manipulated, the focus shifting from
melodic hook to DSP-generated texture and back again, all within
the span of eight minutes. This is the closest that Mouse on Mars
have come to Jan St. Werners' solo project, Lithops -- fans of
that should be quite pleased with this. Containing something for
everyone, this album has by far the most universal appeal of any
of Mouse on Mars albums yet. [JZ]

BOREDOMS "Rebore Vol. 2 (Ken Ishii) remixes" (Polystar, Japan) CD  $31.99
RealAudio /ramgen/othermusic/Rebore22.rm
Part two of the "Rebore" project, in which producers take the giant
ball of string which is the entire Boredoms catalog, and unwind it
into different craft projects. This time the knitter is Ken Ishii,
and he works it into a frenzy -- big unruly pom-poms of sound.
Ishii has a lot of fun with the Boredoms' giant sweeps and fast
polyrhythms, and he runs the energy on the disc very high
throughout, using one or two moments of calm in 50 minutes as
palate cleansers, adding a five-minute cool-down at the end. He
likes transformations: a guitar feedback hum becomes a massive
vacuum-cleaner buzz, a snare drum riff turns into helicopter
blades. He starts out drawing from "Super Ae" and "Vision Creation
New Sun", with some very recognizable segments, then wades further
in and further back, bringing in their earlier grunty growly
gibberish vocal work (lots of sound from former member God Mama)
and embedding spastic funk-metal in masses of reverb. This is less
trance-inducing than UNKLE's "Rebore 1", or than the Boredoms' own
recent work, for that matter -- more 'mainstream' than both, Ishii
keeps you awake in friendly static blasts and relentless drum-
switching, sparkling showers of beats. [RE]

[V/A] "Lyricist's Lounge Vol. 2" (Rawkus) CD/LP $15.99/$12.99
RealAudio /ramgen/othermusic/ProdNoyd.rm
The now widely-known freestyle night in New York, Lyricist's
Lounge is where rappers such as Mos Def launched their careers.
The Rawkus label documented the spontaneity and excitement of
those nights on the first volume in this series, which featured Q-
Tip's hilarious commentaries throughout the record -- he appears
here providing the outro. Where the first record featured a wealth
of nascent talent, the second features primarily well-known MCs
from the Tri-State area. Some may balk at this move towards the
mainstream, but this album, overall, assembles stronger tracks,
among them The Cocoa Brovaz ceaseless 'Get Up', their best track
to date. Perhaps the strongest moments here are the collaborative
pieces. Kool G. Rap & M.O.P. wipe the stage clean with 'Legendary
Street Team', while Big Noyd & Prodigy (of Mobb Deep) rip up the
carpet on 'The Grimy Way'. Macy Gray makes a surprise appearance,
singing 'I've Committed Murder', then remixed by Gang Starr. Will
not disappoint. [TH]

[V/A] "Schaffelfieber" (Kompakt, Germany) CD $15.99
RealAudio /ramgen/othermusic/Groupies.rm
Kompakt continue to amaze with this, their eighth CD release,
proving they still make the best tech-house today. Schaffelfieber
is an outstanding collection compiled by the one and only label
head, the mysterious Wolfgang Voigt ( Mike Ink, GAS, Freiland,
etc...). Some of these tech-house masterpieces were borrowed from
like-minded contemporary labels Klang Elektronik, Ladomat or
others; a few tracks appeared on other Kompakt releases. From the
beautiful vocodered downtempo melodies of Sensorama's 'Star
Escalator' to some of the dirtiest production ever put to house
music on Christian Morgenstern's 'Gem Club pt. 1', from start to
finish there's no filler. 12 tracks fit for every use, from the
domestic (your living room) to the public (your nearest supper
club) -- and a must-have addition to a record collection. [JS]

[V/A] "Met@Music" (Force Inc., Germany) CD $16.99
RealAudio /ramgen/othermusic/MetClay.rm
To celebrate the label's 200th release, Force Inc.'s owner Achim
Szepanski decided to put together a smoldering collection of
previously unreleased tracks from all your favorites.
At this point in the development of minimal electronic music,
who's going to complain about a compilation with new tracks by Kit
Clayton, Vladislav Delay, Stewart Walker, Gez Varley, Auch, Jake
Mandell, Sutekh and others? Like last year's "Clicks & Cuts"
collection on Mille Plateaux, this is a less grand/ambitious
project but it nevertheless serves as another state-of-the-art
collection of what analog minimalists are up to, from San
Francisco to Berlin to Boston to Paris. Highly recommended. [TH]

[V/A] "Shake Sauvage: French Soundtracks 1968-1973" (Crippled
Dick Hot Wax, Germany) CD/LP $15.99/$15.99

RealAudio /ramgen/othermusic/FLai.rm
What German label Crippled Dick did for the revival of German soft-
porn soundtrack music with the "Vampiros Lesbos" collection (then
party, then tribute album) and for Italian cinema with the "Beat
at Cinecitta" series, they now turn to France's 'le sleaze' for
inspiration with "Shake Sauvage". From soundtracks of B-movie
thrillers, soft-porn, hippie freakouts. Mostly instrumental
tracks, these are spectacular (and spectacularly rare) articles of
hybrid degeneracy: blaxploitation funk with exotica and lounge.
That makes for some nice combinations: one track is as if the JB's
composed the theme for a game show, another is somewhere
between yeh-yeh and 'right on!', a third meshes funk guitar and
twittery vibraphone. Music for car chases, seduction scenes, break-
ins, performed on sputtering psych guitar, wanky horns, full choirs
on choruses, chants doubled on strings. Not a lot of familiar names,
only Claude Bolling, Frances Lai, and a host of others, mostly
Frenchmen (including Andre Arpino with a wonderful Afro-funk
track); Georges Garvarentz and Michel Magne providing multiple
tracks. Great stuff, most formerly only available on those little
European picture-sleeve 7"s -- and if you found any one of those,
it would be a treasure -- and there are 18 of them here. [RE]

BRATMOBILE "Ladies, Women, and Girls" (Lookout!) CD $13.99
RealAudio /ramgen/othermusic/girlfrie.rm
Welcome to the everlasting realm of three-chord garage rock. For
Bratmobile, it's a welcome back -- not much has changed since
the last release, "The Real Janelle". The catchy, simple Joan Jett
and the Blackhearts-meets-Zombies guitar rock continues, as do
their speak/sing vocals. But six years later, it's not all about dirty
chords and spreading the grrrl gospel by whatever means
necessary. On "Ladies, Women, and Girls", songs like 'You're Fired'
inject spooky organ harmonies (like Joy Division mixed with the
Munsters' theme) underneath an angry din. Amongst the recycled
one-guitar melodies that fans (past and present) are familiar with
by now, is a cover, 'Girlfriend's Don't Keep' (originally by K band
Spook and The Zombies) which strays away from the distortion.
As feminist as ever, Bratmobile tries their best at appealing to the
next wave of ladies, women, and grrrls to show they can still make
the people tap their toes. [LG]

PEACHES "The Teaches of Peaches" (Kitty-Yo, Germany) CD $15.99
Peaches: foul-mouthed, '80s-derived, raunchy-girl electro/rap.
Might this be the white-chick equivalent of 'Supersonic' by J.J.
Fad? Perhaps the sequel! Lots of drum machine, handclaps, moaning,
vibrations, early synth grooves for the ultimate cheap sex
soundtrack -- time to let Peaches chain your ass to the ceiling.
Explicit and 'dirty', this record will make your nose scrunch up
and make you wish you had wilder friends. [GF]

[V/A] "Find More Hits" (Lucky Kitchen) CD $14.99
RealAudio /ramgen/othermusic/semicFMH.rm
Lucky Kitchen's first release, "Find the Hits" (hear it at
http://www.luckykitchen.com/lk001/) consists of sounds and
recordings seemingly chosen at random -- field recordings of the
everyday, bedroom quiet electronics and solo singalongs, taped
conversations. Not your typical choices for remix fodder. But, of
course, Lucky Kitchen has never been the typical label. With a
very specific aesthetic that drifts between artsy, conceptual
field recordings of an artists' own life and boppy electronic
music, Lucky Kitchen now folds in on itself with "Find More Hits",
remixes of the aforementioned "Find the Hits". Eighteen musicians
selected tracks from the original. Their remixes are subtle, mild
affairs of plastic cracklings and murmur, plinks, water, truck
rumbling, the stacking of dishes, trilling electronics…
interspersed with new modest lifestyle documents, for 32 fragile
tracks in all. Electric Sheep took the most traditional approach,
adding beats and melodies and sampling the original into funky
loops. Semiconductor took lots of fragments of the original and
bounced them on a virtual trampoline. Actually, most artists turn
in works that are not transformed, but balanced lightly, in
reduced form, on top of each original--It's as if each was somehow
made more malleable, softer, tenderized by the modest* nature of
the source material. Participants include Sachiko M, Matmos, I-
Sound, Janskynoise, to rococo rot, Pimmon. [RE]

[THE UNRULY GUTS] "Peristaltic Sounds in Gastrointestinal Obstruction" (Hot Air, UK) 7" $7.99
My vote for the 7" of the year! Leave it to Stock, Hausen and
Walkman to reissue an obscure medical recording that provides one
of the most alarming things I've heard, ever. Ever. This 7"
features 'peristaltic sounds in gastrointestinal obstruction'.
That's right, this small record transports you to inside a not-so-
happy human stomach: enter an ecosystem of gas and pressure. This
7" has already provided me with endless memories. I play it during
dinner parties, for my grandparents, really any place is good for
the 'pyloric obstruction'. Don't miss the killer leaflet with more
than enough medical photos of some truly frightening digestive
tracts. My favorite track is 'Pitch Relationships & Sphincteric
Incompetence'. Good times! [GF]

Contributors: Joe Cleaver [JC], Robin Edgerton [RE], Gian Carlo
Feleppa [GF], Lisa Garrett [LG], Jeff Gibson [JG], Duane Harriott
[DH], Tim Haslett [TH], Penelope Namiki [PN], Jeremy Sponder [JS],
Joshua Zucker [JZ].

[Note: last week's Ulan Bator review was written by Lisa Garrett. ]

Thanks for reading.
-all of us at Other Music