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September 18, 2014

special announcement

THE BROOKLYN FLEA RECORD FAIR

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

East River State Park: 90 Kent Ave @ N. 7th St.  Williamsburg, Brooklyn
11am-6pm | Facebook Event Invite

We can't believe it's already time again but the next Brooklyn Flea Record Fair is just around the corner on Saturday, September 27th from 11am to 6pm! Once again held inside the beautifully (and newly restored!) East River State Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn right by the Flea's Smorgasburg food market, there will be 50+ vendors at the fair, including record labels, stores and collectors. (View a full listing here.)

We are also very pleased to be offering a couple of special albums from Other Music Recording Co. ahead of their official release dates. Xylouris White's debut Goats (out October 14th) will be for sale that day exclusively at the fair. Also, stop by the Other Music booth between 2 and 4 p.m. to have your rare records appraised by self-appointed and self-licensed vinyl expert* Wyatt Cenac, and your only chance to pick up a copy of his new LP, Brooklyn, before its October 21st release date.

*Please note: Wyatt's "vinyl expertise" is not record related.

 

in this week's update

FEATURED NEW RELEASES

Shintaro Sakamoto
Roman Flugel
Vessel
Moniek Darge & Graham Lambkin
Shellac
Allah-Las
Spiritual Jazz 5: The World (Various)
My Brightest Diamonds (Win Tickets)
Mac DeMarco (LTD Demo LPs)

ALSO AVAILABLE

GRMLN
Lia Ices
Pulp (Different Class on LP)

NOW ON CD

Eraserhead OST

BACK IN STOCK

Kyle MF Hall (The Boat Party LP)

announcements

WIN TICKETS TO THE REPLACEMENTS!

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

Forest Hills Stadium: 1 Tennis Place Queens, NY

Surely one of the most talked about reunion tours this year, the Replacements are playing in New York tomorrow night (Friday, September 19) at the Forest Hills Stadium in Forest Hills, Queens, along with Deer Tick and local faves the Hold Steady opening for these Minneapolis legends. We’re giving away a pair of tickets so email giveaway@othermusic.com right now for your chance to win!  
 


WIN TICKETS TO THE BUNKER

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

Output:  74 Wythe Ave. Brooklyn, NY

This Friday, September 19, the Bunker is hosting an eight-hour Modern Love showcase at Output, featuring live sets from Andy Stott, Demdike Stare, and Millie & Andreas, along with a DJ set from Demdike's Miles and Sean Canty. Over in the Panther Room, the Bunker will be celebrating the release of two new records: Games Have Rules, a new collaborative album from Function and Vatican Shadow out on Hospital Productions, and Ulysses' Casual Mystic EP on the Bunker New York label. (Click here for more details.) It's an epic night for electronic music fans, and we're giving away a pair of tickets! Email enter@othermusic.com for your chance to win.


WIN TICKETS TO JUNGLE

OCTOBER 1 & OCTOBER 2

Warsaw: Brooklyn | Irving Plaza: Manhattan

Jungle is about to kick off a US tour in support of their great self-titled album debut, and will be coming to New York City at the beginning of next month, performing in Brooklyn at Warsaw on Wednesday, October 1, and in Manhattan at Irving Plaza the following evening, October 2. Other Music has one pair of tickets for each of the nights and to enter for your chance to win, email giveaway@othermusic.com. Make sure to list the preferred night you’re hoping to catch.

this week's update

SHINTARO SAKAMOTO
Let's Dance Raw
(Other Music Recording Co.)

The cover art to Shintaro Sakamoto's sophomore solo album, Let's Dance Raw, gives listeners a fair clue as to the sounds contained within, yet it's tough to prepare oneself for the shocking landscape painted throughout. Released this week on Other Music Recording Co. in North America and Europe, the record fuses together a post-apocalyptic isolation with widescreen, Technicolor hallucinations. Let's Dance Raw is a bit of departure from the offbeat tropical funk of Sakamoto's first solo full-length, 2012's How to Live with a Phantom; here we find him adding to the breezy mix a heavy dose of cartoon psychedelia straight out of Pee-Wee's Playhouse, or the freaky yet inviting surrealist worlds of multimedia artists Wayne White and Tadanori Yokoo.

This dichotomy of bright, innocent beauty and subtle perversity is the essence of Let's Dance Raw, and here the music is blown wide open, with the steel guitar as the unifying force throughout. Sakamoto purchased and learned how to play the instrument just prior to writing and recording the album, and it enriches the dark, soulful exotica on these ten songs. Let's Dance Raw combines the bright and breezy shimmer of Hawaiian slack-key hula melodies, the dusty shuffle of southwestern desert blues, and the space-age bachelor-pad music of postwar suburban dreamers. It's all anchored by deep, jazzy grooves straight out of a 1970s AM radio broadcast, and peppered with flourishes of Brazilian and Latin percussion throughout.

Atop the music, Sakamoto sings of the human race's downfall, the weight of the lyrics made contrastingly perverse via duets with robotic Vocoder voices and helium-voiced cartoon chipmunks cooing in an unsettling fashion alongside him. The result is an album that revisits the soundtracks of musical escapism made popular in postwar American and Japanese cultures, and deftly updates them for contemporary audiences. It proves to be one of 2014's most engrossing, beguiling, and rewarding albums (and we'd say that even if we weren't releasing it!). If you enjoyed Shintaro's debut, this is an astonishing expansion of the magic created on that record, showing us that his craft continues to expand and refine itself with time. [IQ]

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$15.99 LP+MP3

ROMAN FLUGEL
Happiness Is Happening
(Dial)

While Roman Flugel has been churning out hugely popular house and techno tracks for close to twenty years now, he's never been much of a household name. Possibly a result of his numerous aliases, or just the low profile he tends to keep, the man has never been that strongly connected to his music. This makes even more sense when you consider that Flugel has never been one to conform to a particular genre or sound, preferring to go where his mind and studio full of vintage equipment take him. His latest LP, Happiness Is Happening, looks to change that though, connecting all the dots between his past releases and giving us a glimpse at where his music might be heading. These tracks meld kosmische, house, braindance-style IDM, and ambient into the mix without ever nearing even a drop of cliché, and the end result is without a doubt one of my favorite long players of 2014.

The album opens with a gorgeous ambient piece in "Connecting the Ghost" and then slides right into an oddly pleasing combination of Krautrock and Rephlex-era IDM with "Friendship Song." On "Stuffy," Flugel lays down one of the craziest basslines I've heard on a house track in a while, almost recalling the UK funky craze of a few years ago. The real highlight of the record for me is "Tense Times" which displays an insanely spaced-out vibe while simultaneously showing a sense of restraint that feels very unique to Flugel's sound in general. The album sounds incredible on a great hi-fi and many of these tracks would fit perfectly in a DJ's opening set, but its real beauty seems to come out when you throw on a pair of headphones and get a chance to catch all the hidden sonics swirling beneath the surface. This isn't just another good record from Roman Flugel, but a true artistic statement and one that should firmly cement Flugel's name in the dance music canon for a long time to come. [CW]

$17.99 CD
$29.99 2LP

VESSEL
Punish, Honey
(Tri Angle)

For his sophomore release on the Tri Angle label, Bristol-based producer Sebastian Gainsborough, a/k/a Vessel, makes a distinct and uniquely individual departure. As a member of the vibrant Young Echo collective and Killing Sound, Gainsborough has been heavily involved in the resurgence of the bass-filled minimalism coming out of Bristol, and his 2010 solo debut full-length, Order of Noise, was a standout record amongst the loose-knit crew. And yet his latest album, Punish, Honey, brings a different kind of order to the wonderfully dense and rich noise he makes. Yes, the bass, the darkness, the rhythms, and the haunting vibrations are all still present, but this time he displays them in a form that we really haven't heard before, or at least in a few decades. In the two years since his debut, Gainsborough spent time building his own instruments -- horns made from bicycle parts, percussion made from sheet metal -- and began creating his own harmonic guitars, as well as exploring more organic sounds and field recordings. The resulting album is a weighty and textural journey through the barren English countryside, where factories and barns are left to decompose in the elements, half-destroyed castles still shape the landscape, and foggy woods cover the mountains.

Gainsborough has spoken about searching for a sense of "what it means to be English" while constructing the record. With the organic yet industrial instrumentation, the clunky and grinding rhythms, and the widescreen foreboding sense of history, this music could soundtrack a miniseries about the wars that developed the Europe of today. Distant references from Coil to Death in June, Cabaret Voltaire to :zoviet*france: come to mind, within the glam, electro-industrial, drone, and dub sonics in this visceral mix of energy and earth. Gainsborough is not drunk on nostalgia, however; instead here he brings the dissonant and melodic aspects of musique concrète and post-punk tinted free jazz into the world of 2014. With live drumming driving most of the tracks, he pushes the noises into broken dancefloor frames that recall the tense techno of Kerridge, Shifted, or Sigha.

This is a hypnotic and mesmerizing listen that constantly surprises and shocks through the sense of imagination and the weight of the actual sounds along with the physicality of the rhythms. Unlike many producers, Gainsborough's work has a very hands-on feel; rhythms aren't locked into quantized grids and he works with a great sense of space, whether vast and open, or dark, dank, and claustrophobic. I can honestly say that I haven't heard a record quite like this, maybe ever. Fans of Tri Angle artists like Forest Swords or the Haxan Cloak, or Cut Hands, Demdike Stare, etc., this is the best example of defiantly British and undeniably 'avant noise as dance' confections around. Much like the title may suggest, Punish, Honey is so sweet it hurts. [DG]

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$18.99 LP

MONIEK DARGE & GRAHAM LAMBKIN
Indian Soundies
(Kye)

This CD-only release of 400 copies pairs avant-flux composer Graham Lambkin with musique concrète legend Moniek Darge in a first-ever recorded collaboration. Lambkin's past work with the Shadow Ring has come to represent a certain period in DIY that mined the depths of 20th century experimentation while keeping the same primal aesthetics and thought behind the then burgeoning punk and lo-fi community. His work with said cabal and subsequent solo releases has not only come to define this certain concept, but he has ultimately produced some of the most beautifully simple, challenging avant pieces of this early century. Moniek Darge, a Belgian sound artist whose recordings have been released on Lambkin's excellent Kye label, has single handedly furthered the discourse surrounding short works of the "field" variety, or what Darge refers to as "soundies."

Indian Soundies is the result of the two collaborating, dissecting a batch of found sound and field recordings from Darge's personal trips to India, as well as drawing from various blurbs of pre-recorded source material. The result is a collage-like patchwork of street sounds, natural habitats, miniscule fragments of musique and feedback. It's a celebration of culture and experimentation unlike any other and comes very highly recommended. [RN]

$17.99 CD


SHELLAC
Dude Incredible
(Touch & Go)

Most record stores treat a new Shellac record like an event. They should. Customers who don't buy music by any other band will make a special trip for a new Shellac record. With no promo copies in circulation, and few if any pre-release leaks, a new Shellac record is the kind of thing that engenders event listening and consumption. With only five commercially-released albums over the course of the past 20+ years, and two of those five records having been loaded down with patience-testing exercises in between more legitimate rock-based releases (the static 12-minute opener of Terraform, the radio theater experiments of Excellent Italian Greyhound), that's not a lot to chew on, but with Dude Incredible, it's time to get excited again.

Engineers Steve Albini and Bob Weston and warehouse vampire Todd Trainer return to their thistle-parched, dried-blood blues stylings, with minimal silliness and a very mannered, down-to-business approach reminiscent of their debut At Action Park. "At the Surveyors" and the harrowing "Gary" (named after the town in Indiana) might be the closest Shellac will ever get to Fairport Convention, with a decidedly light touch at the guitar for most of the song and a pronounced English countryside feel, at least before the volume starts to swell. It's a good fit for them, better than expected. After all this time, it's refreshing to hear these guys embrace whatever and wherever their roots may lie (industry, dominance, fated narrative), leaning on earlier triumphs and recognizing there's still juice in those accomplishments rather than kicking at the walls around them. They still make one hell of a dent, the sort of fine-tuned noise rock scraper that's built to last a Chicago winter, or a New York one, for that matter. [DM]

$15.99 CD

ALLAH-LAS
Worship the Sun
(Innovative Leisure)

This California quartet formed while most of the band were employed at Amoeba Records' mammoth L.A. shop, and though the music Mecca stocks a staggeringly diverse selection that attracts fans of all genres, I think it's fair to say that Allah-Las' retro '60s garage rock is the true sound of record collectors at work. As with their 2012 debut, Worship the Sun was recorded by vintage production guru Nick Waterhouse, and though the title may well be a Felt reference, that just proves how deep these heads go in their fandom. A bit mellower and more thoughtful that their earlier work, the Byrds jangle is still in full effect, not to mention the warm acoustics of the production, the reverb, the four-part harmonies, and the chugging riffs. Yet it's less of a beach party rave-up than the soundtrack to a late-night desert highway -- think straightforward rock 'n' roll songwriting circa '65, but with meticulous little flourishes, like the pedal steel on "Better Than Mine," or the vibes and guitar dueling it out on the instrumental "Ferus Gallery." Reverential without losing its spontaneity, Allah-Las have made a 50-year-old aesthetic sound fresh and vital. [JM]

$12.99 CD
$18.99 LP+MP3


VARIOUS ARTISTS
Spiritual Jazz 5: The World
(Jazzman)

The best compilations not only expertly sequence great music, they introduce us to an exciting new world. England's Jazzman label has been responsible for one of the great anthologies in recent years, Spiritual Jazz, showcasing unknown jazz -- well, unknown to Americans -- from around the globe. Previous installments have been more specialized, but this one casts a wider net, featuring jazz recorded in the 1960s and '70s from a diverse array of nations, including England, Argentina, Japan and South Africa. I thought I knew my jazz, but I was not familiar with one name here: Louiz Banks, Hideo Shiraki, Oladepo Ogomodede, Fitz Gore, for starters. The influences are obvious -- Coltrane, Mingus, Ornette, Miles -- but the music is highly idiosyncratic, fusing American jazz with the artists' native sounds and traditions.

Soooo many highlights -- there isn't a dud on the album -- but I'll give you a few of my favorites: a terrific (if too short) rendition of "Take Five"; the sprightly, Brubeck-esque "Koy Yolu"; the lovely harp-and-flute "Fiesta." Fans of the Ethiopiques series will also dig "Raga Rock," "Gisele," and "Trane Ride." Mostly unreleased, the music beautifully represents the best of the period with none of the tacky excesses. Hate fusion? You won't find it here. Loathe shrieking saxophones? Ditto. Have no use for dirges and chants about the Almighty? Relax: Despite the name, there's nothing overtly "spiritual" about the music. I'm so grateful to Jazzman for showing me how much jazz I've been missing! Comes with comprehensive liner notes and 16-page booklet. [JBr]

$15.99 CD
$27.99 2LP


MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND
This Is My Hand
(Asthmatic Kitty)

Email enter@othermusic.com for a chance to win tickets to see My Brightest Diamond in New York City on Thursday, September 25 at  Bowery Ballroom

Two things always stick with you when hearing something new from Shara Worden's intense and beautiful My Brightest Diamond: Worden's powerful and instantly engaging voice, and her equally dynamic arrangements. This is pop music, but Worden's classical training and influence extend well beyond her vocal acrobatics. The entirety of This Is My Hand is packed with complex and ear-tickling diversions, dense percussion workouts, subtle and soulful horn arrangements, electronic interludes and a lot more, but remarkably, it never sounds overstuffed or forced. Worden has refined her craft to include the complexity of classical with the immediacy of top 40 radio pop, and the first half of this record is positively mesmerizing, full of alternate universe hits. And though it mellows out on the flip, it never fails to fully engage, and is clearly some of the best stuff we've heard from My Brightest Diamond. [JM]

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$14.99 LP (LTD RED VINYL)


MAC DEMARCO
2 Demos
(Captured Tracks)

Vinyl demos for Mac's two full-lengths -- 2 from 2012 and 2014's Salad Days (not pictured) -- these home-recorded versions don't add a ton of new insight into DeMarco's woozy pop (and truth be told, many fans have already heard these demos), but it's still satisfying to listen to the original versions, and they sound pretty great. With mostly just one guitar and/or keyboard track, vocals, and sometimes a simple drum machine holding it together, DeMarco's proper LPs are not known for their high fidelity or meticulous production, but nonetheless these stripped-back versions have an off-the-cuff spontaneity that nicely fits the songs, and the big fans will not be disappointed. We're sure these won't stick around forever, so get 'em while you can. [JM]

$16.99 LP - 2 Demos
$16.99 LP - Salad Days Demos

pre-order

KINDNESS
Otherness
(Mom + Pop)

Other Music is offering a very special, limited LP for pre-orders. Otherness, Kindness' follow-up to his excellent 2012 debut World, You Need a Change of Mind, will be in stores on October 14. Customers who reserve their vinyl copy now will receive this unique pressing which comes with a photograph insert that Adam Bainbridge (a/k/a Kindness) shot using his Polaroid 600 during a recent tour spanning California and across Europe. Pre-orders will be shipped to arrive on or near the October 14 release date. Offer good, while supplies last.

$13.99 CD
$22.99 LP (LTD EDITION)

also available

GRMLN
Soon Away
(Carpark)

The joyous California pop-punk of Yoodoo Park's GRMLN is the very best sort we know of: fast, direct, hook-filled and fun, but still loose, lo-fi and sloppy. These days, when even the good bands in the genre can come off sounding like they were manufactured in some shiny music factory in L.A., Park kicks sand in your face and then jumps in the water with his guitar still strapped on, and plugged in for that matter.

$13.99 CD
$14.99 LP+MP3


LIA ICES
Ices
(Jagjaguwar)

On Lia Ices' third album, it becomes clear that this restless and ambitious songwriter will never have a defined "sound" beyond the clear and powerful sound of her voice. Giving up the largely acoustic instrumentation of her earlier recordings, Ices uses ethnic percussion loops and shimmering keyboards, layered vocal effects, and experimental hip-hop producer Clams Casino on a few tracks, resulting in a record that brings to mind Bat for Lashes, and even Kate Bush at times. It manages to expand and upend Lia Ices' sound without abandoning her strengths, and there is much to enjoy.

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$14.99 LP


PULP
Different Class
(Plain)

Pulp's 1995 masterpiece, Different Class -- their undisputed best, and arguably the high point of all Britpop -- is for the first time available domestically on vinyl, in Plain Recordings' ongoing quest to reissue every great '90s album on LP. No bonus material, but that's a good thing when you have a record as tightly knit as this one. "Mis-Shapes," "Common People," "Disco 2000," "Something Changed," "Underwear"... so many classic, smart, funny, literate and undeniably hook-filled hits, now on wax.

$25.99 LP

available on cd

DAVID LYNCH & ALAN R. SPLET
Eraserhead OST
(Sacred Bones)

This expanded reissue of the soundtrack to hugely influential director and multimedia artist David Lynch's first full-length feature, Eraserhead, is a stunning tribute not only to the man's unique, dark vision, but also to that of his longtime sound designer Alan Splet. Music and sound design have always played central roles in establishing the distinct atmospheres of Lynch's environmental portraits, but this record in particular is a stunning, gorgeous, dystopic world of industrial noise, beautiful dronescapes, and haunted organ melodies. There is no traditional score per se -- Lynch has explained that when they first released the soundtrack on LP in the late '70s, they really had no idea exactly how to do such a thing; as a solution, they simply removed all parts of dialogue from the film's sound reel, edited down the audio vérité into manageable sidelong "suites," and left it at that. The sounds documented in turn create an environment that's meant to be fully lived in and immersed into. It's old news that many artists have cited Lynch to be a profound influence on their own work, almost to the point of parody at times, but there has been a keen resurgence as of late for the same sorts of simultaneous marriages which find romance in bleak, shadowed corners of the mind and heart, so wonderfully executed in sound by the likes of Leyland Kirby and the Modern Love record label, right down to the likes of recent black-hearted nostalgic crooners like Dirty Beaches and Daughn Gibson.

Sacred Bones really pulls out all the stops here, the soundtrack wonderfully remastered with a 16-page booklet, a double-sided, four-panel fold-out poster, and a digital download. In addition to the "suites," the CD also includes the infamous "In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)" once covered by artists like Pixies, Bauhaus, and Zola Jesus, who has recently seen one of her songs remixed by Lynch himself, bringing everything full circle. The real delight for hardcore fans and completists, though, is the inclusion of "Pete's Boogie," co-written by Peter Ivers, who also authored and performed the music for "In Heaven." As someone who owns the original pressing of this album, I've got to say, this reissue blows it out of the water; it gives the film, the soundtrack, and its creators the respect it deserves without pandering in condescending manners, and helps reestablish the importance of this work as truly influential beyond the cult midnight movie world. [IQ]

$15.99 CD

back in stock

KYLE MF HALL
The Boat Party
(Wild Oats)

Released on his own Wild Oats label, Kyle Hall's The Boat Party knocks debut LP expectations out of the park by doing exactly what he's been doing so well for the last so many years since being announced as the new up 'n' coming young gun of Detroit: confounding expectations! I mean, a double-LP album coming out on the heels of the recent Zug Island EP??! What were we supposed to expect after being delightfully flummoxed by that one? Something as ill, loose and psychedelically unhinged as that can only make us throw up our hands and say, "Okay, whatever you wanna do, just don't stop!" And with The Boat Party, he manages to push his style forward while making it even less precious.

First thing about this record: listen to it loud! Not that it is an album of mindless big-room bangers, but it's just that we made the mistake of playing this in the shop at a medium-low volume the first time and missed some of its special, subtle qualities that are revealed when turned up on the stereo or headphones -- the main one being that this is a really l-o-o-s-e and r-a-w batch of tracks with many of the cuts sporting select bits tastefully pumped into the overdriven red-zone. There's a very "live," controlled yet on-the-fly/jamming feel to these tracks that keeps your ears perked. At times samples, kicks and snares come and go at what seem like randomly varied volume levels, but when played loud the composition of these volumes prove to be an integral part of the Kyle Hall sound. (It's almost in the same way that the vinyl-esque clicks and pops in Stefan Betke's Pole project prove to be set into a delicate pattern, rather than just random as they first seem to be.)

The "live feel" also extends to the sounds themselves -- some seem like they were mic'd acoustically with foot pedal-driven metal percussion, and there's lots of well-placed swinging, (soft) clanging, banging, bumpin' and thumpin' goin' on here!!! There's a very intentionally un-polished, imperfect quality to the sounds that ultimately arrive at perfection in the way he arranges and delivers them. This quality, mixed with the typical space between the elements that Hall does so well, just sets this record even farther apart from the pack than expected. And finally we have the effectively wonderful, careening style shifts that range from the rather pretty, sultry "Crushed" to the straight-up juke of "Finna Pop," to the raw, jamming "Dr. Crunch" and "Spoof" and then back to the soulful, beautiful, almost turntable-edited, side-long "Measure2Measure," all given the patented rough-edged, deep, heady treatment by KMFH. While Omar S is doing such a great job of refining his sound, Kyle Hall seems to be inviting even a bit more wildness in his "Wild Oats." It works beautifully here. [SM]

$22.99 LP

the big picture

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