Other Music New Release Update
September 27, 2000

In This Week's Update:

OOIOO (Yoshimi from Boredoms)
Ryan Adams
"Goodnight Tokyo" and "Midnight Tokyo" comps.
Daniel Givens
Sun Ra "Lanquidity" reissue
Sun Ra "When Angels Speak of Love" reissue
(other Sun Ra reissues)
Charlemagne Palestine live
Cornelius Cardew & Scratch Orchestra
"Cleveland Confidential" comp. reissue
Jacques Lu Cont 2 CD mix
Pinback EP
Marquis de Tren & Bonny Billy EP
Julie Tippetts
Esquivel "Latin-esque" reissue
Go-Betweens (w/Sleater Kinney)
Escalator Records comp.
Attica Blues
Takayanagi tribute (O'Rourke, Weasel Walter & Lonberg-Holm)
Werner Dafeldecker & Dean Roberts

Featured New Releases:

OOIOO "Green and Gold" (Shock City/Trattoria, Japan) CD $24.99
"Green and Gold" begins and ends with epic horns that sandwich an album of
mature, psychedelic shimmers, middle- to far-east instrumentation, and the
faintest shadow of samba. The project of the Boredoms' Yoshimi P-We and
friends, their last album, "Feather Float," joined a number of cute,
kitschy electronic sounds; this album concentrates on exploratory jams and
coherent song structure. That's not to say the quirky samples and toy
squeaks and tinkles are gone. 'I'm a Song' alludes to the plunky, space-age
jams first introduced on their Kill Rock Stars 7". Yoshimi's primitive
beats emerge later, with a simple turned and rhythm-shifted melody that
sounds lifted from a munchkin movie. Other highlights include some tracks
with chanted vocals, others that showcase Yoshimi's pipes, and on others,
funky synths that would make Herbie proud. By far their most ambitious,
(and best) album yet, it has a fully-realized aesthetic of folksy hand-
crafting (P-We herself did the beautiful illustrations) and sophisticated,
propulsive technology. [LG]

PLURAMON "Bit Sand Riders" (Mille Plateaux, Germany) CD/LP $15.99/$14.99
The list of collaborators alone on this amazing remixes/reinterpretations
album is enough to make one foam at the mouth. Mogwai's version of
'hintergrund' interpretation is incredible, as they take the post-rock of
the original source tape, adding clicking electronics, hushed vocals, and
their beautiful repetitious guitar warbles to create a track that blows
away most of their own recorded output. Atom TM takes 'Tel.bell' and rips
it down to its basic chugging melody, then adds electronics, keyboard
melodies and muted horns to form a track that would make Tortoise jealous.
Matmos not only take 'hintergrund' and remix it, but they add so many
extras (bowed banjo, toy piano, thermos, more) that the track is credited
to Pluramonthermatmos--further collaborations should be considered, please!
Lastly, snd give 'res' a sound treatment that would not sound out of place
on a Stock, Hausen and Walkman record: instruments are stretched out to
sound like screeching animals, piano keys are patchworked into melody, all
the while tape loop sound effects warp in the background next to the beat.
Also included are contributions from High Llamas, Merzbow, FX Randomiz,
Pluramon himself, and more. Highly recommended, this breaks as many
boundaries as the first Pluramon record ("Pick Up Canyon") did a few years
ago. [JS]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=71875080911&refer_url=email

RYAN ADAMS "Heartbreaker" (Bloodshot) CD $14.99
Even though its songs range from supine threnodies to
"hit-the-gas-in-the-pickup" blue-collar romps, "Heartbreaker," the first
solo record from Whiskeytown's Ryan Adams, strongly coheres. All the
ingredients for comparisons to the godfathers of country rock are present:
slide and acoustic guitars, harmonica, beautifully sad melodies, heartache.
But a proper description of Adams' music requires more than surface
parallels. These songs are the progeny of an attitude that is unmistakably
his. Despite working in a far from nascent genre, Adams approaches it with
a striking confidence. When he sings of past loves and homesickness, he
comes across as one who thinks himself the saddest man alive. When he
sings of getting high and being a part of a downtown fiasco, he exudes a
cockiness that would give Dylan a run for his money. Every once in a while
a singer-songwriter comes around who deserves to be remembered. Adams
falls into this category, and he knows it. [JC]

[VA] "Good Night Tokyo: A Collection of Japanese ClubPop Music 1967-1972"
(Readymade, Japan)  CD  $29.99
[VA] "Midnight Tokyo: A Collection Japanese ClubJazz Music 1966-1981"
(Readymade, Japan)  CD  $29.99

/ramgen/othermusic/WorldofY.rm (GNT)
/ramgen/othermusic/Aquarius.rm (GNT)
/ramgen/othermusic/SnakeHip.rm (MNT)
/ramgen/othermusic/Windy.rm (MNT)
Two excellent archival collections compiled by Yasuharu Konishi (P5) and
Comoesta Yaegashi (ex-Fifth Garden) of otherwise impossible-to-find
Japanese club music mostly from the late '60s/early '70s. Ostensibly the
"pop" collection, "Good Night Tokyo" can get rather jazzy at times while
the "jazz" collection often delves into kitschy pop. The main difference is
that "Good Night Tokyo" consists mostly of vocal tracks while "Midnight" is
almost entirely instrumental. What's evident on both collections is the
ability of the Japanese to devour Western pop conventions and recombine
them into something absolutely crazy -- all the while retaining a sense of
innocence at a time when the West had all but lost it. Lounge jazz, Hammond
organ-driven go-go, bossa nova, funky breaks -- it's all here with nearly
20 tracks per disk. The long-lost source code for modern Japanese acts like
Pizzicato Five and Fantastic Plastic Machine. [TC]
"Good Night Tokyo"
"Midnight Tokyo"

DANIEL GIVENS "Age" (Aesthetics) CD/LP $13.99/$13.99
The debut album from this Chicago DJ, producer, poet and photographer
combines elements of free/improv jazz, electronica, soul, spoken word, dub,
post-rock, and ambient music with the spiritual music of Africa and India.
Musicians include Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Isotope), Fred Lonberg-Holm
(lots), Nikki Mitchell and Glenda Baker (David Boykin Outet), and an array
of other vocalists. Givens himself plays over a dozen music-making devices,
from melodica to computer; his vocals can shift from abstract poetry to
Black Power prose. Points of reference? Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra, Tricky,
Terry Riley, Innerzone Orchestra, Miles Davis, Gil Scott-Heron, Art
Ensemble of Chicago, Don Cherry. Yet this is unlike all of those, though
continues the traditions they're all a part of. 'Album of the year', say at
least two Other Music employees. [GA]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999138771&refer_url=email

SUN RA "Lanquidity" (Evidence) CD $14.99
The centerpiece of Evidence's resurrection of Sun Ra reissues, "Lanquidity"
is a gorgeous album of soulful electric jazz that might be Sun Ra's
funkiest ever. Recorded in 1978, it's all about the groove, with Ra
switching back and forth between bubbling space sounds and smooth piano.
"Lanquidity" is a majestic recording, dense with funky rhythms and a
soulful horn section. When the spacey voices appear, "Lanquidity" takes its
oddest turn, shifting to haunting and distant. The Arkestra's mastery of
layering methods is astonishing; they create waves of electric and acoustic
instruments that move together as one soulful, psychedelic voice. This
album makes for a nice addition to any collector of Sun Ra's recordings,
yet has a wider appeal, as anyone who enjoys electric Miles Davis or Herbie
Hancock should be floored by the power here. [PW]

SUN RA "When Angels Speak of Love" (Evidence) CD $14.99
Recorded in 1963 and released on Saturn in '66, "When Angels Speak of Love"
is known as one of the rarest Ra LPs around (private pressing of under
100); this CD reissue comes as a blessing to the masses. Echo-drenched
percussion, screeching saxes, group chants and downright sick piano playing;
it's all here and with a certain sparseness and intensity that, for me, places it
right up there with "Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy" and "Strange Strings"
for great Ra. [TP]

[other Ra titles newly released]

SUN RA "Greatest Hits" (Evidence) CD $14.99
What it says -- the best introduction for those who have never heard the Ra.
A winsome collection of shorter, more cohesive tracks. Spans 1956 to 1973.

SUN RA "Pathways to Unknown Worlds/Friendly Love" (Evidence) CD $14.99
Two LPs on one CD. "Pathways" is mid '70s Ra, his last release for Impulse
records, now remixed, with one track added. "Friendly" is an album from the
early '70s, released here for the first time, which emphasizes the deep
frequencies of a number of woodwind instruments they altered for a lower
pitch (given the colorful appellations of 'space dimension mellophone' and
'Neptunian libiflecto').

SUN RA "Cymbals/Crystal Spears" (Evidence) 2xCD $27.99
Two albums originally recorded for Impulse, then never released. (Also
titled "The Great Lost Sun Ra albums".) Ra plays a rocksichord, dialogues
with Ronnie Boykins on "Cymbals"; "Crystal Spears" maintains an almost
ceremonial, processional feel: slower tempos with lots of horns.

CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE "Schlongo!!!daLUVdrone" (Cortical Foundation) CD  $16.99
Recorded live on Valentine's Day, 1998 in Los Angeles. One of Palestine's
most visceral, physical recordings, his sleepy-eyed, late-night drones are
the result of the interaction between time, a solo pipe organ and a
resonant space (it was recorded in a church and ended at 2:30 a.m.). The
softest Palestine record I've heard, it's a wonderwork of pillowy, buoyant
beauty. As the overtones cluster, mass, collide and disperse, his
manipulation is minimal--simply trying out tones, keeping them constant by
paper wedged between the keys. The effect of the vastness of sound he
creates is awe-inspiring. Best listened to in total immersion (and pretty
loud), it's a deep, warm bath of sound. 73 minutes, one track. [RE]

(Cortical Foundation)  CD  $16.99

A vital document from Cornelius Cardew's Scratch Orchestra. The Scratch
Orchestra has had a rotating cast of musicians, at times including legends
such as Brian Eno, David Jackman, Michael Nyman, Eddie Prevost, Keith Rowe
and John Tilbury. While no musicians are credited on this release, it is
noted as being the first album that Eno ever appeared on. Based on parts of
the "The Great Learning," one of the four classic books of Confucian
thought, it features open-ended compositions that blur the distinction
between composition and improvisation. While rooted in theory, the music is
markedly more primal, 'real' musicians and non-musicians performing in a
large ensemble conducted by Cardew. And his guiding influence takes the
form of an outline with parameters rather than strict notation. Two of the
pieces here, 'Paragraph 2' and 'Paragraph 7' were initially part of the
coveted avant-garde box set on Deutsche Grammophon, the former a thunderous
primitive workout for singers and drumming. Built on layers of untrained
choral voices, 'Paragraph 7' is a cerebral wash of sound, where the vocals
sometimes become distinct, at others fall into the plasma. Alternately
beautiful, volatile, and playful. [PW]

[V/A] "Cleveland Confidential" (Overground) CD $14.99
Originally released in 1980, this punk 'classic' captured a particular
point in time of Cleveland's music scene, and survived one LP reissue
before going out of print (driving prices sky-high). Born(e) out of urban
ruins, infested and crumbling buildings, blocks and blocks of abandoned
cityscape, Cleveland's punk wasn't birthed so much out of style (as in New
York) but out of the need for art -- and that includes music -- to be a mirror
of its surroundings. The artists here spit punk and new wave out through
clenched teeth, eyes propped open, and keyboards at the ready. The anxiety
of the Womanhaters, the Devo-in-an-airplane-hangar sound of Menthol Wars,
or Animals-ish new wave desperation of Keith Matic, all captured as if in
tiny studios or clubs made of raw concrete blocks and dirt. These artists
are the angular, slightly younger half-siblings to the Electric Eels, Pere
Ubu, and the Dead Boys, or long-lost cousins to murky Brits Joy Division or
the Stranglers. New liner notes from producer Mike Hudson of the Pagans
(who have two tracks). [RE]

JACQUES LU CONT "Digital Blueprint of Abstract Dance" (Blueprint, UK)
2xCD/2xLP  $31.99/$31.99

Not a DJ mix, but a mix tape of both old and new influences on Lu Cont,
otherwise known as Les Rythmes Digitales. The selection here is a dazzling
array of funky, digital pop (save the Beach Boys and Pixies inclusions).
Starting with the inspired 'Ashes to Ashes' remake by perennial prankster
LB (Atom Heart), this moves to the brilliant but little-known Mantronix
vocal track 'Got to Have Your Love', and the slamming, yet all too rare DMX
crew remix of Cylob's 'Rewind'. He sneaks in two tracks of his own work,
one from his new (and new wave) band Zoot Woman. Lu Cont truly shows just
how young he is with the inclusion of wedding reception floor burners 'I
Feel for You' and the Fatback Band's 'I Found Lovin''. But that's fine,
because the songs are presented with nary a wink of irony. It's hard not to
like '80s revivals, especially when observed through the eyes of someone in
their early twenties who looks upon shiny suits and glitter eye makeup of
'80s pop stars without nostalgia. A must-hear. [DH]
LP /perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=503324682011&refer_url=email

PINBACK "Some Voices" (Tree) CD EP $8.99
Rob Crow (Heavy Vegetable, Thingy, Optiganally Yours) joins A.B. Smith
(Three Mile Pilot) to make a group that, so far, jumps from label to label
(aside to Crow: settle down already!). Their full-length from the beginning
of the year traveled in two parallel lines, here, they start weaving them
together. Remarkably nice songs with grand arrangements, in the sort of
yearning pop mode that appeals to everybody (I think they're every speck as
good as Elliot Smith, and on this, they enter a similar mold, though not so
weepy as ES). Only four songs here, one cutely weird with lite hip-hop
beats and tweaked electronics, three in more conventional
drums/guitar/piano grand rock arrangements. [RE]

The Marquis (Mick Turner of Dirty Three) and the Bonny one (Will Oldham)
combine their maudlin urges for six songs. Their musical abilities
purposefully withered and shakier than ever, this supremely mopy EP (this
is a good thing, mind you!) limps along on gentle pushes from harmonium,
light strokes of the violin, and a vibrato note or two from an acoustic
guitar. All songs are only given numbers, as if the pair want to detach
themselves from the burden of creation. Even so, they somehow fail, because
in the doubled vocals shakily produced, the notes handed out with struggle
and effort, there's more heart and connection than on most of the solo
releases from either. [RE]

JULIE TIPPETTS "Shadow Puppeteer" (Voiceprint, UK) CD 14.99
Though "Shadow Puppeteer" was recorded last year, you wouldn't know it.
Tippetts' newest uses all acoustic instruments in experimental forms
associated more with the period between 1969 and 1975. Tippetts composes
for voice and 'small instruments' -- mostly zither, kalimba, recorder, chimes --
and the instruments provide a tingling echo to the vocal movements
of chatter, glottal stress, bleating, and what sounds like bird language,
Tippetts as translator. Within the polyphonic (Maggie Nicols and Phil
Minton are among the guests) choppy speech and clouds of lacy sound is a
vague strain of old-time gospel yearning, tumultuous to calming. These are
all put into the service of a pretty flaky story line (the whole CD is a
song-cycle) that, thankfully, is so fragmented that the silliness doesn't
stick. The whole thing has a bit of the sound of Steeleye Span, only
scrambled beyond coherence, it also contains vocal structures like Meredith
Monk, but gentler by far, and without Monk's melodrama. Barely classifiable
as jazz (or anything else for that matter), Tippetts blows whirlwinds to
zephyrs from her lungs. [RE]

ESQUIVEL "Latin-esque" (RCA, Spain) CD $19.99
Reissued (so far) only in Spain, this classic of Juan Garcia Esquivel's is
terribly tardy. Certainly, about half of the tracks have appeared on other
compilations, but there are around six others, including the fantastically
weird version of 'La Raspa', that haven't. Returning to his roots with a
number of traditional Mexican and other Latin melodies, he runs them
through his usual treatments -- ping-ponging the melody between
speakers, employing scores of singers on sequences of abstract syllables,
arrangements that even give the word 'bouncy' a boost. [RE]

GO-BETWEENS "The Friends of Rachel Worth" (Jetset) CD $14.99
On which, after a 12-year separation, Grant McLennan and Robert Forster
reconvene, only this time without Robert Vickers, Amanda Brown and Lindy
Morrison. With, as a backing band, Sam Coombes from Quasi and all of
Sleater Kinney (!). The sparkling, bitter pull between the songwriters is
still felt, if mellowed, as are the song's subjects. The band's sound
itself now is split: a dichotomy of warm, resonant wood-chambered acoustics
and Sleater Kinney's well-defined richocheting guitar dialogues. They've
lost the gloss imparted by their former collaborators that gave them extra
powers, such as the ability to soar -- this album is grounded, in both senses
of the word. "The Friends" will certainly make old fans happy, and might
even draw a few new ones who didn't even know they existed. [RE]

[VA] "Collection" (Escalator Records, Japan) CD $17.99
A best-of collection from Tokyo's finest independent purveyors of Japanese
pop. Escalator Record's "Collection" compiles some of the best tracks --
past, present, and future -- from nearly its entire roster of artists. Includes
previously-released songs from Yukari Fresh, Neil & Iraiza, Montparnasse,
Cubismo Grafico and others as well as yet-to-be released tracks from newer
artists like Miniflex, Losfeld, Nicoletta, Lee Buddah, and Fonda 500. Of
the bunch Miniflex gets my vote for rookie of the year, but the contribution
from Losfeld (aka Escalator chief Naka Masashi) ain't half bad. Also includes
a brand new offering from Le Hammond Inferno's forthcoming "My First
Political Dance Album". Eighteen tracks at a budget price -- for a full-length
Japanese import at least. [TC]

ATTICA BLUES "Test Don't Test" (Sony, UK) CD $24.99
Former Mo'Wax artists Attica Blues continue their sonic beat science on
this, their sophomore release. It seems time has caught up with them--once
alone in their forward thinking approach to hip hop/soul/R&B, they work
like other avant-gardists of present (namely due to the addition of 4 Hero
and IG Culture). Joined by the strong and delicate vocalist Roba, Attica
Blues create a sprawling, cinematic, thoroughly modern, urban and British
album. [GA]

Takayanagi" (Grob) CD $15.99

Takayanagi, along with Keith Rowe, pioneered the technique of using a
guitar on a table, playing it like a psycho surgeon with an unanaesthetized
patient to extract broad ranges of improvised noise. This collaboration
finds music 'ho O'Rourke in the guitarman's position, Lonberg-Holm on his
usual cello, and Walter (from Flying Luttenbachers) changing off on both
drums and guitar. Two recording sessions are here, one from 1996, the other
from 2000. Squalid, obstinate, aggro noisescapes! [RE]

Roberts of Thela and White Winged Moth meets Austrian Dafeldecker from
Polwechsel, in a grinding, frictional guitar works that mostly shape sine
waves and metal. Guitars and electronics gust in trebly intensity, severely
abstract, and with an absence of melody or constancy. A stiff, formidable
recording. [RE]

This week's newsletter sprang from the pens of: Geoff Albores [GA], Tom
Capodanno [TC], Robin Edgerton [RE], Lisa Garrett [LG], Duane Harriott
[DH], Tom Pratt [TP], Jeremy Sponder [JS], Phil Waldorf [PW].

Thanks for reading.
-all of us at Other Music

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