April 23, 2015

record store day recap

All of us here at Other Music would like to thank everyone who came out this past Saturday on Record Store Day, and once again made it such a memorable event. From the line stretching down the block to the packed store inside, every customer was patient and seemed to be having as much fun as we were, and it was truly great seeing old familiar faces and making new friends throughout the day. We also want to thank 75 Dollar Bill, Matana Roberts, and Laraaji for their truly mesmerizing performances, our pals at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery who gave us two special edition Dogfish Head Crosley portable turntables to raffle, and all of the labels, artists and folks at RSD for organizing such an exciting day for music lovers, record collectors, and indie stores around the globe.

in this week's update


Pale Blue
Drew Lustman
Speedy Ortiz
Alabama Shakes
Daniele Baldelli
Lloyd McNeill & Marshall Hawkins
Ariel Kalma
Nils Frahm
Passion Pit
Mac DeMarco (Pre-Order)

ticket giveaways



Terminal 5: 610 W. 56th St.  NYC  

Toro Y Moi returns to Terminal 5 on Friday, May 1, in support of his excellent new full-length, What For? It's an excellent triple bill for fans of cerebral pop sounds, with Sinkane and Vinyl Williams also performing that night. Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets and all you have do enter for your chance to win is email



The Kitchen: 512 W. 19th St. NYC

The nom de plume of multi-media artist and musician Roberto Carlos Lange, Helado Negro makes a very special performance at the Kitchen on Wednesday, May 6, premiering Private Energy, a collection of new songs for computer, voice and other instruments. As you might have guessed, the show is already sold out but Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to this night. Email for your chance to win!



Output: 74 Wythe Ave. Brooklyn
Red Bull Music Academy Event Page

Red Bull Music Academy returns to New York for its third year, offering an exciting, genre-spanning selection of performances, DJ sets, club nights and more held at various venues across the city throughout the month of May. You can get a look at the full calendar of events here, but one show that we are particularly excited about is May 13th's Nothing Changes: Raw Sound Transgression. On that night the Nothing Changes party will take full advantage of Output's incredible soundsystem, hosting a slew of experimental luminaries including Merzbow, Genesis P-Orridge & Aaron Dilloway, Pharmakon, Prurient, Marshstepper, and Uniform in the main room, along with Ron Morelli, Becka DiamondJR Nelson & Ciarra Black, Jock Club and Scott Mou in the adjacent Panther Room. Other Music is giving away one pair of tickets to this incredible night of extreme sounds and for your chance to win, email

Many of our Update subscribers will be interested in knowing that tickets to FKA Twigs' May 17th presentation of Congregata for Red Bull Music Academy are now sold out, but there are still some tickets remaining for the May 18th performance, which can be purchased here.

this week's update

The Past We Leave Behind
(Captured Tracks)

There is a long and storied past to Pale Blue's Mike Simonetti: the hundreds of releases from post-hardcore to post-punk to noise on his Troubleman Unlimited label; dozens of dance records on his Italians Do It Better imprint that went on to define the dancefloors of the past decade (Chromatics, Glass Candy, Desire); his astounding rise as a club DJ. Yet with The Past We Leave Behind (Simonetti's latest project, a collaboration with vocalist Elizabeth Wight), the pride of Bayonne, NJ issues forth a head-clearing double album of breezy electronic pop, racing into a horizon from a running start off a white sand beach. The soundtrackish direction that IDIB products have taken in the past few years have colored this work, but not overtaken it; there's little in the way of noirish darkness here, outside of a predilection for house music in the twilight hour.

Light-as-air streaks of synthesizers and relatively basic rhythmic patterns leave room for Wight's multi-tracked vocal sibilance to draw lines through the songs, whether they glide on in opener "The Past We Leave Behind/The Scars" and "Myself," or cool the burn of Springsteen cover "Tougher." Elsewhere, guest vocalist Jana Hunter (Lower Dens) adds a depth to brooding bass pounder "Dusk in Parts." The music is synonymous with the name; electronic strings shine and shimmer along extended, droning runs beneath beats and snips of melody that feel like a breeze rushing past. It's a long record that plays like a DJ set, and a more inviting sound this spring you may never find. [DM]

$13.99 CD
$29.99 2LP+MP3

The Crystal Cowboy
(Planet Mu)

New York-based electronic producer Drew Lustman ditches his FaltyDL moniker for his latest Planet Mu-released full-length, The Crystal Cowboy. As a kind of reboot, DL delivers an album of free-flowing, across-the-board rhythm selections. Much like Four Tet or even Jamie xx, he finds new inspiration in the rolling and clanging patterns of percussion with album opener "When a Man Die," offering his take on drum-n-bass rhythms, which is a recurring motif throughout. The record is definitely filled with the tight production techniques he built his moniker on, and he adds his own melodic touches -- such as the springy, cascading, and swirling textures of quirky hardcore tune "Green Technique."

Like most of his work as FaltyDL, Lustman moves across the electronica spectrum from filtered house to techno, or soul chop-ups to jump-up jungle, yet the overall feel is a bit more cosmopolitan and rugged. A favorite track here is "Wolves," which is a splashy and tight drum workout with slivers of synths and textures not moving too far from the sound of his Mean Streets Part One EP for Swamp 81. Another standout is "Onyx," featuring vocals by Le1f, where with dripping and sparkling sound design, they create a sparse yet intimate moment of queer-bent electronic soul. (I would love to hear more of that!) All in all, The Crystal Cowboy is a galloping ride through some familiar territory, yet made with a new set of eyes and ears -- another of-the-moment electronica collection from someone who keeps keeping up. [DG]

$13.99 CD ON SALE

Foil Deer

Speedy Ortiz thrives under the inherent tension between their image as slack indie rockers, while frontwoman Sadie Dupuis delivers some of the most thoughtful, barbed and poetic lyrics on the current pop scene. Dupuis comes from an academic background, yet despite the care and thought she puts into her songwriting, the music is visceral and immediate, and on the band's second full-length LP, more hook-filled and fun than ever. Like other indie rock lyriqueens Courtney Barnett, the Crutchfield sisters, or Mitski, Dupuis writes with a sharp, clever eye that focuses on the strange nuances of life, but Dupuis has a bigger agenda here, changing her focus from the personal bloodletting of her earlier work, to something more broad and empowering. In "Raising the Skate," she throws her gauntlet: "I'm not bossy, I'm the boss. Shooter, not the shot." She continues on "Dot X," commanding, "Don't ever touch my blade, you fool." The hooks are clearer on Foil Deer, a continuation of the more refined tracks we saw on last year's Real Hair EP, but never do they dilute the rough edges. All in all, it's great. One of the freshest, most precocious bands out there today, and no bad words to attribute to this follow-up record full of wit and pride. [MM]

$13.99 CD
$16.99 LP+MP3

Sound & Color

Since releasing their debut album Boys & Girls in 2012, Alabama Shakes have become legitimate stars -- a major headliner and festival draw, who have spent most of the last few years on the road. As such, the group's sophomore LP is practically pulsing with the kinetic energy of a fierce live band deep in their groove and really coming into their own. At the same time, front woman Brittany Howard has both literally and figuratively found her true voice; her subtle and powerful guitar playing is mesmerizing, and that soul-bearing singing is positively in charge throughout, leaning heavily on her expressive falsetto, and the occasional primal scream. The band takes a firm step away from the retro soul aspirations they were tagged with early in their career, and while Sound & Color is deeply indebted to '70s-era Southern rock and soul, the songwriting, performances and production are all so genuine, it never comes off as imitation. If there was any question before, Sound & Color proves once and for all, Alabama Shakes are the real deal. [JM]

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$23.99 2LP
$27.99 2LP (180 GRAM)

Damogen Furies

Two decades ago, Tom Jenkinson, who records under the name Squarepusher, blew apart the boundaries of what music could sound like. His spasmodic take on breakbeat was unlike anything that preceded it, and during this innovative period of electronic music making, he formed a sort of holy trinity with fellow pioneers Aphex Twin and U-Ziq. (The three of them have remained productive, all of them releasing new music within the last year.) While the quality of his output could be debated, Jenkinson has at least been the most prolific and ambitious of the aforementioned, with various excursions into funk-lite, solo bass and an all-robot band. Then, with 2012's Ufabulum, he made a notable return to his original sound, but with a added coat of digital sheen.

The throbbing beat that kicks off opener "Stor Eiglass" is fairly indicative of what you're in for with Squarepusher's newest album. Indeed, most of Damogen Furies is a relentless rave-up, as breakbeats stack up on top of one another, and then tumble and ricochet into space. Yes, the chirpy melody on said track is a little too similar to the Cure's "Just Like Heaven," and yes, the underground is going to sniff at some of the festival-ready, hands-in-the-air moments on this record, of which there are many. But fear not, if you get bored or annoyed, the tune is going to morph into something else within 2.2 seconds. At one point, "Kontenjaz" sounds like happy hardcore, then shifts into something off of a Weather Report album; chin-scratchers should stick around for some of the later, better tracks ("Baltang Arg" and "Kwang Bass") which have ample moments of Aphex-acid, glitch, and video game bleepery. Overall, Damogen Furies might be a bit ridiculous to consume all at once, but it's all good fun, and it's definitely not made for sitting. [KV]

$15.99 CD
$25.99 2LP

Cosmic Drag
(Endless Flight)

The psychedelic dance sounds of cosmic disco have made a pretty big resurgence these past couple of years and its roots can be traced back to Daniele Baldelli, whose pioneering DJ sets were a huge influence on the European underground of the early '80s. A resident at the Cosmic nightclub near Lake Garda, Baldelli's selections pulled from disco, dub, African music, Krautrock and lots of other adventurous globe-spanning sounds. With the tracks often pitched down to a slower speed and mixed with electronics and effects, his alien style separated him from the more commercial Italo disco that was coming out of Northern Italy at the time.

Utilizing the same exotic array of influences and beats, Baldelli's own productions are meant for both the club and headphones. His first release for the Japanese Endless Flight imprint (responsible for great titles from Optimo, Eddie C. and Prins Thomas), Cosmic Drag follows a teaser EP of the same name released in 2014, and sees Baldelli drawing from the influences of his personal collection of 65,000-plus records. Indeed we find Baldelli at his cosmic peak, as cascading synths pump over 808s pulsating with arpeggiating bass and handclaps. Album opener "Cosmic Particles" glides by with smooth Balearic vocal samples while a track like "Chop and Roll" utilizes a slowed rhythm against deep, gurgling analog tones. It all makes for a heady slice of cosmic disco and electro funk that will undoubtedly appeal to fans of everyone from Daft Punk to Carl Craig. Nice! [RN]

$21.99 CD

Tanner Suite
(Universal Sounds/Soul Jazz)

The excellent archive-focused Soul Jazz Records subsidiary Universal Sound once again bears marvelous fruit with the re-release of this most rare of records by multidisciplinary artist Lloyd McNeill. Originally issued in 1,000 copies on McNeill's own Ashra Records in 1969, Tanner Suite was commissioned by the Smithsonian's National Collection of Fine Arts in Washington, DC. Produced to accompany the first US retrospective of Henry Ossawa Tanner, the first African-American painter to gain international recognition after leaving the US for France in the late 19th century, the record also convinces as a steady spiritual jazz experience in its own right.

Tanner Suite presents a set of arcane improvisations between flutist Lloyd McNeill and double bass-player Marshall Hawkins. Melodic yet free, the musicianship is uplifting, with rapid flute flights and full, harmonic bass punctuations. This shouldn't surprise, as McNeill performed alongside the likes of Nina Simone, Eric Dolphy, and Cecil McBee. Each of these musicians have furthered deep, forward-looking jazz idioms, their playing equally rooted in a profound understanding of diverging jazz and blues traditions. Undoubtedly informed by these rich traditions, the recording offers a truly immaculate, always-inspired musical exchange, its transcendental sounds suggesting unique modes of black self-definition post-civil rights. Hugely recommended! [NVT]

$21.99 CD
$29.99 LP+MP3

Open Like a Flute
(Black Sweat)

A heavy-duty double-LP reissue of a rare cassette and other obscurities from 1982-84. French by way of NYC composer Ariel Kalma's particular vision of ambient music was not only proto new age in scope, but was also predominately focused on traditional Indian motifs and the circular breathing techniques in meditation music. This is a practice he began perfecting as early as 1976, documented on the excellent An Evolutionary Music compilation which uncovered rare gems from his time at Pierre Henry's GRM (Groupe de Researches Musicales). On his website Kalma tells stories of encounters with snake charmers and Indian spirits which he credits as influencing his sonic experiments. He's a truly deep, prophetic kinda dude whose catalog we've been excited to revisit as well as discover.

Open Like a Flute is a series of long-form, positive vibration pieces that are said to "relax, daydream and infuse the brain with cleaning frequencies for the well-being." A peaceful set for sure, Kalma is the sole performer on these lengthy tracks, infusing waves of synth with overdubs of electric piano, drums, organ, jaw harp, voice, bells, harmonium, soprano sax and plenty of flutes. In fact, flute is the main focus here, with much of the melody being held out for long stretches then fading softly into a heady abyss. A must have for fans of I Am the Center, La Monte Young, rare synth albums and Terry Riley. [RN]

$39.99 2LP

(Erased Tapes)

Recently declaring March 29 as Piano Day, the free album download that Nils Frahm released to mark that 88th day of the year (88 keys on a piano, get it?) was well-received instantly and is now available on CD and LP. Solo collects eight transcendent, bare-skinned piano pieces, each recorded in one take with the Berlin-based musician improvising every selection on a gigantic Klavins M370 created by piano maker David Klavins. A deliberate and successful exercise in technical restraint, the sense of warmth that emanates from these meditative compositions is at once grounding and cosmic; during album standout "Wall," Frahm turns simple melodic phrases into vibrant counterpoints, to these ears resembling Steve Reich's approach in Music for 18 Musicians. Solo isn't a multi-layered, highly conceptual set; instead, the album comes across like a captivating live performance, wonderfully capturing the many different moods of this elegant instrument, all the while transporting the listener to some pretty unexpected places. For fans of John Cage, Erik Satie, Harold Budd, et al., a portion of the record sales will help support various piano projects, including the building of the world's tallest piano, the Klavins 450. [HW]

$15.99 CD
$24.99 LP


It's hard to recall now if Passion Pit was supposed to be some sort of "alternative" band in the beginning, but at this point, the only way to describe this music would be "pop," as Michael Angelakos has stopped dancing around his passion for the trappings of populist radio hits. If you've heard the shimmering single "Lifted Up (1985)," don't expect the whole record to be quite that bubbly -- there are quite a few mid-tempo ballads here -- but the vibe is loaded with slick and sugary electro grooves and even some heavy pop bass drops. For some, this will be a defining album of summer.

$12.99 CD ON SALE


Another One EP
(Captured Tracks)

Pre-order Mac DeMarco's forthcoming Another One EP, out August 7th. Home-recorded entirely by Mac, by himself in his Far Rockaway, Queens apartment, Another One features eight new songs, many sure to be staples during his summer tour which will include festival appearances at Shaky Knees, Austin Psych Fest, Pitchfork, Outside Lands, Bonnaroo, and Solid Sound, as well as a four-night run in NYC, playing at the Bowery Ballroom, Webster Hall, Music Hall of Williamsburg, and Warsaw. (Your pre-order will be shipped to arrive at your door on or near its August 7th release date.)


also available

You've Been Watching Me

$18.99 CD

Modern Nature

$19.99 CD

(Tryangle / Drag City)

$14.99 CD

Wild Man Dance
(Blue Note)

$14.99 CD
$27.99 LP

(Soul Jazz)

$31.99 2CD+DVD
$44.99 2LP+DVD

Black Snakes
(Drag City)

$21.99 LP

Malefactor, Ade
(Drag City)

$21.99 LP

Amor and Language
(Drag City)

$19.99 LP

(Lion Productions)

$17.99 CD

(Pink Flag)

$14.99 CD

the big picture