January 15, 2015

in this week's update


75 Dollar Bill
Panda Bear
Matthew Mullane
Xylouris Ensemble
Mega Bog
Else Marie Pade

Afrikan Sciences
100 Wild Styles ('Zine)
Jordan De La Sierra
Flat Static
Juju & Jordash


Parkay Courts (Now on Vinyl)



JANUARY 16 & 17

Jazz at Lincoln Center - Frederick P. Rose Hall: 10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY

Jazz at Lincoln Center presents Bill Frissell: When You Wish Upon a Star this Friday and Saturday, in which the ever-versatile guitarist will draw upon the sentimentality of music heard on classic film and television and how it shapes and informs our emotional relationships to what we see. Violist Eyvind Kang, bassist Thomas Morgan, drummer Rudy Royston, and singer Petra Haden will join Frisell in re-imagining time-honored gems. Other Music is giving away one pair of passes to a lucky winner, so enter right now by emailing, and be sure to list the show you'd like to attend. Update subscribers who would like to purchase tickets on-line can receive a discount by entering 'Jazzfan25' in the promo code field on the ticket page.



Output: 74 Wythe Ave. Brooklyn, NY

The Bunker welcomes Detroit techno legend Jeff Mills this Saturday, along with Dasha Rush (Raster-Noton, Fullpanda) and Bunker resident Eric Cloutier spinning in Output. Over in the adjacent Panther Room, DJ Godfather (Databass), Bunker resident Mike Servito (Ghostly), Atomly (Atomiq), and Unjust will be delivering a mix of ghettotech, booty house, acid, jack trax, electro and Miami bass, while Nihal Ramchandani and Scott Mou will be spinning in the Stilton House. We're giving away a pair of spots on the guest list and to enter for your chance to win, email



Bowery Ballroom: 6 Delancey St. New York, NY

Don't miss this great bill at the Bowery Ballroom next Thursday, January 22, featuring Amen Dunes, whose Love full-length landed a spot on our Best of 2014 list, great pals Nude Beach (Other Music customers will certainly recognize the band's drummer), and Kevin Morby (the Babies, ex-Woods)! Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets and you can enter for your chance to win by emailing

this week's update

Wooden Bag
(Other Music Recording Co.)

Hot on the heels of two fantastic cassette releases comes the absolutely ripping LP debut for Other Music Recording Co. by 75 Dollar Bill, the willfully primitive sounding duo of electric guitarist Che Chen and percussionist Rick Brown, both of whom have previously cut a wide swath through the underground. Brown, since arriving on the New York scene in the early '80s, has recorded and toured with numerous bands including V-Effect, Run On, Timber, Fish & Roses, and Chris Stamey, and has collaborated live or in the studio with Tortoise, Matmos, Yo La Tengo, Charles Hayward, Fred Frith, Malcolm Mooney, Elliott Sharp, Jean Smith, and Mark Cunningham, amongst many others. Chen, in addition to being an Other Music alumni, has recorded and toured playing violin, guitars and other instruments with a diverse set of artists including True Primes, Jozef van Wissem, Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Che-Shizu, and Robbie Lee.

With a motto that reads "Wood/Metal/Plastic/Pattern/Rhythm/Rock," the two draw from a wellspring of influences whose source probably begins with Mauritanian electric guitar music -- Chen briefly studied guitar in that North African country with one of its greatest performers and players, the legendary Jheich ould Chighaly. However, the duo takes the repetitive and trance-like desert blues of Moorish guitar music, and then blast and refract it through a distinctly American lens, combining the minimalism of Henry Flynt with the endless, loping riffs you hear in John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, or Junior Kimbrough. And while 75 Dollar Bill have been known to collaborate live with a whole variety of other interesting instrumentalists, Wooden Bag is a beautifully raw and direct album of duo recordings.

Pretty much anything you read about 75 Dollar Bill is going to end up using descriptors like "shreds" or "boogies," and while listening to the ecstatic sound that these guys make you remember how thrilling and visceral those concepts can be. Using the cheapest of instruments (cardboard or homemade wooden boxes, a janky looking Japanese guitar), they've endlessly woodshedded over the last couple years, playing tons of residencies and even hauling their gear out onto the crowded streets of Chinatown to perform before befuddled locals. At this point you can practically hear two heads in perfect communion, and I can't tell you how exciting it is to immerse yourself in the wonderful combination of these jagged and raw riffs and percussive patterns, while following along in your own mind with their inspiration of creation. [MK]

$11.99 LP+MP3

Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper

Over this past decade, Animal Collective's Noah Lennox, a/k/a Panda Bear, has arguably been one of the most beloved artists on the indie scene. In between breaks from his band, Lennox has ventured down the lonely wanderer road releasing stunning solo albums filled with beautiful psychedelia. His latest, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, is not as dark nor as frightening as the title may suggest, but it is an emotive and infectious journey informed by exuberant vocal performances and a fragrant cornucopia of sound, and one that explores broad themes of life, death and parenthood over some of the deepest grooves we've heard from him yet. Like a cross section of Panda Bear's last two albums, Grim Reaper feels like the naturally maturing next step, being overall more rhythm-based than 2011's Tomboy and stylistically as solid and awe-inspiring as 2007's Person Pitch; this time, however, it all comes into tighter focus.

Picking apart and looping moments of his own singing, and playing an array of keyboards and modular synths along with what sounds like lots of drums nicked from reggae songs, Lennox, as we've come to expect, creates a vibrant and cosmic collage of energy, with his vocals at the center and a kaleidoscope of sound swirling around. Working again with Peter Kember a/k/a Sonic Boom, they further embrace the electronic side of the psych-folk equation with a fusion of elements that include the breakbeat-assisted swagger of Brit-pop's baggy phase (think the Charlatans and Soup Dragons), cathedral-filling choral vocals (Brian Wilson), sublime autumnal hymns (Arthur Russell), Krautrock flutters (Cluster), passionate soul (Toro Y Moi), and the booming bottom of hip-hop (9th Wonder).

Lennox has never sounded this upfront and self-assured, his unique celestial lullabies imbued with a new sense of clarity and, at times, a lovely pop attitude. His formula of beat, psychedelic texture and voice has matured into a flowering array of moods, spanning intimate reflections to something universally felt by all. His vocal range now includes a glowing assortment of gems as well: from yodels and yelps to sassy, soaring soul and repetitive, self-reflective mantras. Each solo effort from Lennox continues to build upon and explore the sonic worlds that he has long made his home. If by some chance you have missed out on the joy that is Panda Bear, I still might say that Person Pitch is the place to start, but his latest is absolutely a great evolution and a wonderful place to be. The deluxe edition includes last fall's Mr Noah EP, which was an introduction of sort to Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, featuring three more beat-driven, spacey jams to the playlist. It's definitely worth it, if you are at all intrigued. [DG]

2CD & 3LP versions include the previously download-only EP, Mr Noah.

$14.99 2CD ON SALE
$22.99 2LP+MP3
$39.99 LTD 3LP+MP3

Hut Variations
(Vin du Select Qualitite)

The acoustic guitar is certainly a malleable instrument, and one we've heard played in a variety of styles. From the mighty blues twang of Lightning Hopkins to the noisy deconstructions of Derek Bailey, to John Fahey's American primitivism or the expressive fingerpicking of Elizabeth Cotten, and on to André Segovia's distinctive classical pluck, this boxy, hollow instrument has always been a blank slate for highly personalized, artistic freedom. Brooklyn label Vin du Select Qualitite's output thus far has been primarily focused on the guitar and the transcendent nature of the music emitted from its strings. So it's no surprise, then, that they would shine their light on Matthew Mullane, an up-and-coming guitar slinger from Ohio, whose approach is more modern classical than studied Americana. Although Mullane is more focused on the rough-hewn edges of the soul rather than technical proficiency, the dude still has some serious chops, yet it's in his restrained approach that the beauty truly lays.

Mullane's Hut Variations LP is a deeply beautiful set. Album opener "Knife, Hut and Thatch" bleeds emotive, intuitive chord changes, while a few songs later, "The Middle Trench" features arrhythmic, dramatic drops in pitch and volume before settling into its lush melodic groove. Flip over to the B-side and you'll hear Mullane trading in for an electric tone with "Ink Shapes the Warped Hand," which pulls smoky notes from the guitar neck in the minimalist blues-minded idiom carved out by the likes of Loren Mazzacane Connors or even Chris Brokaw. Let's just say a solo guitar record really hasn't hit me like this one since I first heard Fahey's Days Have Gone By, Richard Young's Sapphie, or Six Organs of Admittance's flawed yet genre-defying School of the Flower. And while Mullane's style isn't particularly similar to any of theirs, it's the thoughtful arrangements, heady emotional weight, and fluid musicianship that has kept me coming back to this LP. A great record to start 2015 off with, Hut Variations is highly recommended for winter listening and beyond! [RN]

$14.99 LP


Wow, we've been waiting years for this to be re-released, and it's long been near the top of the list of things that I've personally wanted to see back in print. If Furia had landed at the shop a few weeks sooner, the record would have of undoubtedly made it to our Best 30 Reissues of 2014 list. Originally released in 1985, the Fates was the brainchild of UK DIY pioneer Una Baines. Baines first gained fame as one of the earliest and most integral members of the Fall, and her striking keyboard sound is as part and parcel a signature of some of that band's early defining moments as Mark E. Smith's instantaneously recognizable snarl. The intensity of those early Fall years nearly caused her a mental breakdown, and after a brief hiatus from music she formed the Blue Orchids in 1980 with fellow Fall alumnus Martin Bramah to record a series of incredible singles for Rough Trade. For a time the Blue Orchids even worked as Nico's backing band, but by 1985 Baines, under the influence of poet and novelist Robert Graves' study of female-centric myths and deities The White Goddess, formed a pagan-centered DIY folk-post-punk group whose sole album is quite unlike any other release in the 1980s (or any time, really) that I'm aware of.

Privately pressed and featuring stunning and unforgettable cover art by Linder (Ludus), Furia is equally haunted and sublimely shambolic, almost as if the Raincoats and Young Marble Giants had recorded an album together the morning after watching The Wicker Man. Mark E. Smith likened it to the Third Ear Band, and indeed there's a decidedly medieval quality to some of the songs, but filtered through the ideology of 1970s and early-'80s Manchester. It has both mysterious dirges ("Ceaseless Effort" and "Who Am I?-Ritual") as well as near-pop moments like "No Romance" or "Sheila She Beats in My Heart," but every song grapples with ever-timely notions of female empowerment. A startling original experience, I've listened to this record hundreds of times and have literally never tired of it. Most highly recommended. [MK]

$17.99 CD

(Self Release)

If you have been enjoying Goats, the debut album from George Xylouris and Jim White that Other Music Recording Co. released late last year, you will be interested in this album from Xylouris Ensemble. While living in Melbourne over the last decade, George, a master lute player from a beloved Cretan folk family, assembled this 10-piece ensemble of family and longtime Aussie collaborators to explore the music of his homeland. Released in the spring of 2014, Aera is the group's most recent studio album, and it's a beautiful set of Cretan folk, with a strong debt to tradition, but driven by George Xylouris' boundary-pushing aesthetic. Xylouris' lute is unmistakable, but this is a long way from the spare duo you know as Xylouris White. These are lush, complex and truly beautiful large ensemble recordings, and though the record did quite well in Australia, it's been near impossible to get in the US -- we have a limited number of CDs on hand, grab one while you can! [JM]

$11.99 CD

Gone Banana
(Captured Tracks)

Mega Bog are a Pacific Northwest cabal masterminded by the incredibly talented singer/songwriter Erin Birgy, whose eccentric style is a reminder that 'real people' music can still prevail in the internet age. The 'Bog are a tricky group to classify, with all the signs pointing to "indie" -- think kitschy instrumentation, a weird band name, etc. But the end result is much greater than the means, as their whole sound/vibe approaches something more rooted in classic singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell-esque lyricism and folky avant-pop moves. In fact, Gone Banana almost sounds like the 2015 equivalent of Mitchell's Wild Things Run Fast updated for the Y Generation. Birgy's wordy vocals collide with searing saxophone, laidback rhythmic motifs and twangy guitar. More Prefab Sprout than Panda Bear, songs like "Year of Patience" or "Cologne in the Night" suggest a grandiose vision that only deepens as the album cycles on in its dense haziness. Tack on a Kevin Ayers cover and we have a really strong grower of a debut LP that doesn't wear its influences on its sleeve as much as turn references into a deeply considered, tasteful re-construction of the past. [RN]

$14.99 CD
$16.99 LP

Electronic Works

Straight from the heart of the historical Danish avant-garde, here comes a quintessential retrospective of one of electronic music's formerly most underappreciated pioneers: Else Marie Pade. A pupil of Pierre Schaeffer in Paris, Pade returned to Denmark in the late 1950s and more or less singlehandedly established a template for electro-acoustic music in the country. This didn't happen without obstruction. Pade, in a recent interview, states that she felt doubly marginalized within the conservative musical environment of Denmark: as an electronic composer and as a woman. Like Delia Derbyshire and Daphne Oram at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Pade would work in relative anonymity composing for the Danish Radio's music department, far removed from the academic circles in which electronic music started to flourish after she had first introduced it. But she would also establish professional connections to the international art community, co-founding Aspekt, an organization that invited composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen for lectures in Denmark. It is perhaps through these connections that Pade's international reputation never entirely faded into obscurity, and why she is finally, at the sprightly age of 90, heralded as a true pioneer in electronic music and a fairy godmother for Danish experimental musicians.

Electronic Works 1958-1995 marks a major event in the reinstatement of Else Marie Pade as a true musical wunderkind. What immediately becomes apparent when its first tones resonate is the evocative and subtle quality of the sounds she explores, sculpting a sonic ecosphere entirely of her own that finds no equal in the often harsh and obstructive tones of her electronic contemporaries. Informed by experiences of profound isolatedness due to illness in early childhood, as well as her subsequent internment in a Nazi prison camp for aiding the Danish resistance movement, Pade followed Schaeffer's advise to solely pursue the nuances of her inner sound world. Most significantly, it is the combination of electronic and concrete, otherworldly and tangible elements that makes her work so enthralling throughout. Early compositions such as "Syv Cirkler" and "Faust" are simply stunning in their suggestive use of respectively mathematical harmonies and trembling diabolic tones, whereas the later piece "Illustrationer" amazes in its contemplative expansiveness. Presenting Pade's most important compositions, Electronic Works 1958-1995 is put together and restored by the observant and knowledgeable Danish sound artist Jacob Kirkegaard. It represents an act of true curatorial love and one of the most compelling archival finds in a long time. Make sure to treat yourself to this one! [NVT]

$21.99 2CD
$64.99 3LP


From within the sonic solar system that gave rise to Flying Lotus, Ras G, and Madlib comes a new name. Afrikan Sciences has been the project of California-based producer Eric Douglas Porter since 2010, and though he's part of the Deepblak label/collective, it is his debut LP for Pan that feels like a proper introduction. Circuitous fits in with the rich avant-electronic scene that has of late witnessed jazz and improvisation coming to the forefront of dance music productions. Like the above-mentioned list of his contemporaries, along with Theo Parrish and Hieroglyphic Being, Afrikan Sciences has found the sweet spot conjuring a vibey mix of live playing, samples, overdubs, and turntable techniques, with lots of room to breathe, and gets loose with tasty polyrhythms, percussion and synthesizers. Songs like "Evolved in Twist" are crafted from a loose-limbed and elastic web of cymbals, synth chords, expressionist accents and bass, while the title track is filled with warm washes of keys, bells and clipped snare. The line between what is live, recorded, and programmed is fluid throughout the 14 tracks, as broken beats, strident jazz, tribal percussion, swinging house and foot-thumping techno rhythms all weave their way through the productions feeling fresh, free, and fun, and above all quite unique.

Though the genres may sound and feel familiar, Porter's approach is anything but. He makes dance music out of jazz elements, simultaneously coaxing jazz out of loops, samples, and his vivid imagination. The dictionary definition of the album title reads, "of a journey longer than the most direct way," and it fits perfectly. Like a beehive, his productions are alive, purposeful, and help to create a whole living universe. Each track is filled with various sounds that work together to form what feels like a blueprint, yet is nonetheless a fully realized structure. It's a heady mix of sonics and flavors with layers and rhythms that continue to reveal themselves upon repeated listens. For those with a fondness for the various aspects of black American music based in Afrofuturistic mythology, like any of the above mentioned, this is a great example of where things should be headed and an interesting, varied set from a producer you should get to know. [DG]

$17.99 CD
$28.99 2LP

100 Wild Styles 'Zine
(Self Release)

James McNew is best known as the longtime bassist for Yo La Tengo, and while the loving couple of that band tend to get a little more attention, McNew is both a freakishly talented instrumentalist and a pop-song assassin. His occasional vocal turn with YLT is often a straight-up hit (see "Mr. Tough," "Stockholm Syndrome," etc.) and his low-key solo project Dump is probably the best indie-pop group you never heard. He is also a massive hip-hop fan (little-known fact: McNew's bass playing is all over the latest Run the Jewels breakout album, as he's a longtime pal and collaborator of El-P), and that passion is put to incredible use in an amazing 'zine we picked up over the holidays. If you know Dump you know James' artwork, usually centered around a childlike cast of characters that bring to mind classic Japanese manga: a bunny, turtle and octopus who tumble through his drawings with abandon. 100 Wild Styles is the first of a three-part series where McNew illustrates 100 of his favorite rap lyrics -- on the masthead he thanks/apologizes to the likes of Eric B. and Rakim, Gravediggaz, Nas, East Flatbush Project, the Nonce, and Run-D.M.C. It's impossible to pick a favorite here, but the cupcake-hurling turtle illustrating Camp Lo's line "Welcome to New York, the illest of all cities" is in a close runoff for me with the mayhem that ensues when KRS-One spits, "When I hear wack rhymes I get fed up." This is straight-up brilliant! [JM]

$4.99 'ZINE

(Self Release)

Honey are a still-fresh Brooklyn band who've been regularly gigging around the greater tri-state area and offering up a unique blend of raw, hard-edged, bloosy punk. Boasting former members of Psychic Ills and Amen Dunes, Honey have already shared bills with like-minded rockers Wand, Dream Police, Pampers, Nude Beach and Destruction Unit, carrying on in the tradition of vintage-sounding psychedelic expression. Not quite garage rock, not quite "hard rock," Honey's driving rhythmic punch is more Hawkwind or early Motorhead in its echoing proto-punk sensibility. In fact, the raw recording and distorted vocals are reminiscent of the great desert rock scene of the late '90s and powerhouses like Monster Magnet or even Queens of the Stone Age, who later fell victim to the mainstream alt-rock MTV revolution. Opening tracks "Echo" and "Monk" both pummel forward with boneheaded riffs and refrains, while slower tunes like "Come Down" utilize heavy studio slapback and favor a slow-building, Stooges-y swamp rock vibe. Catch this excellent group in concert if you live in NYC and look out for a proper LP (hopefully) sometime this year! [RN]


Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose
(Numero Group)

I already own the original double-LP version of this record, the subsequent single-album edit, and even a copy on cassette (though I don't recommend playing in the car as you're likely to cause a wreck due to sheer blissed-out-ness). So to also have this glorious Numero version handy, you know I mean business. Originally issued by Unity, one of the first serious new age record labels in the country, Jordan De La Sierra's Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose is comprised of two straight hours of "spatial" piano, and it may very well be the single most pertinent release when attempting to bridge the gap between minimalism and new age music. Indeed, De La Sierra studied with Terry Riley and Pandit Pran Nath (you can hear Riley and he discussing the latter on the radio in 1971), and an original subtitle for the album calls it "Music for the Well-Tuned Piano" (though it isn't, in the strict sense according to La Monte Young).

This record nearly breathes serenity, with pacing that is always supremely fluid, every note perfectly placed, recalling at times the eastern exoticisms of Gurdjieff/De Hartmann, or even the seminal ambient music of Brian Eno, as De La Sierra strategically lets notes gently decay of their own accord. A definite cult classic and very well-loved LP amongst a certain set of the collecting class for a number of years, Numero does their typically excellent work in restoring the piece to its original length (it was trimmed and rereleased in the early '80s), complete with the original artwork and drawings De La Sierra created for it. [MK]

$17.99 2CD
$31.99 2LP

Flat Static

An excellent archival release from this obscure Australian duo, Flat Static were primitive pioneers of computer music, best described as having a sort of proto-techno/post-punk style that very few perfected. Performance artist Brett Band and electronic musician Ant Wilshire recorded their LP in 1985 and released it in a tiny private edition. What you'll hear is totally unique music that combines the outsider aesthetic of many '70s folk musicians with early electro experimentation via 808s, technically proficient "new age-y" musicianship, and skronky mutated synths. Flat Static hits a similar spot to the more pop-minded Cluster albums, Woo or even Morton Subotnik, but with a decidedly more punk-flavored messthetics-ism to the whole thing. Think E2-E4 meets Nervous Gender meets The Faust Tapes and maybe we're getting somewhere. Tracks like "Bail Out the Pig" and "Princess" even approach house music in their messy re-appropriation of piano presets and alien sounds to a primitive 4/4. There's not much else to say about this one except that it's very recommended to fans of outsider music and early beat making at its strangest. [RN]

$22.99 LP


Clean-Cut finds the esteemed hardware aficionados Juju & Jordash cementing their reputation as wayward, free house mavericks with an album that fully embraces the long player format. This is quite surprising, given their previous more anarchic outings, which often found them exploring late night psychedelic freak-outs. Like Joey Anderson's sensual After Forever record on the same Dekmantel label, the duo aims for the unconventional, delivering a wonderfully weird but nevertheless consistent statement full of lush synthetic sounds. Vividly off and always exploratory, Juju & Jordash notably take inspiration from the intricate history of free jazz, injecting a spirit of energetic untidiness into their mostly straightforward house-leaning output.

On Clean-Cut, this results in a simultaneously bizarre and self-conscious outing. Tracks like "Whippersnapper," with its odd combination of bells, bleeps, and baby cries, or "Deadwood City," whose cosmic synth lines add a sense of wonder to its funky house pattern, clearly lean towards the dancefloor. But it's on the record's second half that things start to appear ever more strongly, the duo exploring a number of unconventional structures and tempos that make for a wholly convincing statement. Curious, emotional, and effective, Clean-Cut streamlines the rougher -- and, let's be honest, sometimes also less successful -- edges of their musical escapades. Through this process, they have pushed their well-admired contrariness into surprising new territory, while simultaneously also anchoring it more deeply within classic Detroit and Chicago styles. What a success! [NVT]

$17.99 CD

available on vinyl

Content Nausea
(What's Your Rupture?)

Originally slated as a tour-only EP, this modified lineup of NYC favorites Parquet Courts (principles Andrew Savage and Austin Brown, abetted by a handful of friends) churned out a second album to close out 2014. Even though it lacks the polish and care of this summer's Sunbathing Animal, somehow Content Nausea not only bests it, but speaks to the city in this moment of massive, unevenly distributed wealth like no other record in recent memory. The Quarts wrap up sadness, enmity, restlessness, and surprise into a non-flashy, stripped-down dozen of new tracks, informed even further by UK DIY and its tendrils into US indie rock of the '80s and '90s than any of their previous releases. The title track in particular races through reams of lyrical couplets, all informed by the actions of the day and approaching a claustrophobic madness that belies the calm under which roughly half of the album is delivered (ten originals, and two brilliant covers, a Pavement-esque rootsy wander through the 13th Floor Elevators' "Slide Machine," and a version of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walking" that drips with sarcasm). Hardly a throwaway, this is protest music for the young soul who feels it all slipping away. Incredible stuff. [DM]

$11.99 CD
$14.99 LP

the big picture