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April 17, 2014

record store day 2014

RECORD STORE DAY 2014

SATURDAY, APRIL 19 - 10AM to 8PM

Other Music: 15 E. 4th St. New York, NY

Record Store Day 2014 is almost here and we wanted to remind all of our loyal customers to join us on Saturday for this great annual event. While you probably don't need a special holiday to show your support for your local record shop, RSD gives a plethora of extra reasons to dig through the racks, and in our bins you'll be sure to discover an incredible array of exclusive vinyl releases that is nothing short of amazing. Quantities are limited and there are no guarantees of what you'll find, but you can check out a rundown of all the RSD '14 titles here. Once again, we've invited our favorite DJs and artists to spin some of their favorite records in the shop all day long, along with a special performance from Lonnie Holley at 1 p.m. -- the line-up is listed below. Other Music will be open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. for RSD, and keeping in the spirit of Record Store Day, there are no advance orders, holds or reservations -- just come on down and enjoy the fun!

RECORD STORE DAY DJ LINE-UP
Pop. 1280 (11AM), Pete Swanson (12PM), Lonnie Holley (Performance, 1PM), Com Truise (2PM), Boonlorm (3PM), Xeno & Oaklander (4PM), Matana Roberts (5pm), Tito Deler (6PM)

in this week's update

FEATURED NEW RELEASES

Courtney Barnett
Boozoo Bajou
Balani Show Super Hits (Various)
Sweet Apple
Death of Samantha
Woods
SOHN
Afghan Whigs
Killing Sound
Alice Boman
Horace Andy
 

ALSO AVAILABLE

Bunny Lee
Cyclobe (2 Albums)

BACK IN PRINT

Jacques Berrocal
MEV

NOW ON VINYL

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib

other music in-store events

DAVID GRUBBS BOOK READING & LISTENING SESSION

MONDAY, APRIL 21 @ 8PM

Free Admission | Limited Capacity

Other Music is pleased to be hosting our good friend David Grubbs on Monday, April 21 at 8 p.m., in an intimate reading and listening session to celebrate the publication of his fascinating new book, Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording. As David discusses Cage's personal history as a recording artist, he will be playing excerpts from some of Cage's most interesting 1960s-era recordings, while he explores the larger issues of his book, examining why experimental and avant-garde music of the time were particularly ill-suited to be represented in the form of a recording. Please join us for this exciting literary event, and if you want to study up in advance, you can buy Records Ruin the Landscape from us now!

 


COURTNEY BARNETT IN-STORE PERFORMANCE

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23 @ 7:30PM

Courtney Barnett's The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas received universal acclaim last fall and the Australian songwriter's record has just been re-released to a much wider audience via the Mom & Pop label. (Scroll down to read a full review in this week's Update.) Courtney will be stopping by Other Music next Wednesday, April 23, with her band to celebrate with an intimate in-store performance. It'll be her only live show in NYC during this trip, and due to demand, we can only guarantee entry to the first 75 people who purchase the CD (still on sale for $9.99) or LP ($18.99) with us at the shop or on-line here -- one admission per purchase.

 

ticket giveaways

WIN TICKETS TO KOEN HOLTKAMP

SUNDAY, APRIL 20

Union Pool: 484 Union Ave. Brooklyn

Koen Holtkamp (one-half of Mountains and also an Other Music alum) has just released Motion: Connected Works, a new solo album of his gorgeous textural soundscapes and experimental guitar, and this Sunday will be performing at Union Pool. Mike Wexler and Mind Over Mirrors round out this terrific bill and we're giving away a pair of tickets -- email enter@othermusic.com for your chance to win.


MODERAT TICKET GIVEAWAY

SATURDAY, APRIL 26

1260 Atlantic Ave. Brooklyn | Tickets Here

On Saturday, April 26, Wordless Music, TBA Brooklyn and reSolute present a special appearance from Germany's Moderat (a/k/a Modeselektor & Apparat), whose 2014 tour will be swinging through Brooklyn. Also appearing: Blkmarket's Taimur & Fahad, reSolute's Lauren Ritter, and Nikola Baytala. Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets and you can enter for your chance to win by emailing giveaway@othermusic.com.  
 

this week's update

COURTNEY BARNETT
The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
(Mom + Pop)

Last year, Courtney Barnett's "Avant Gardener" not only introduced the world at large to this young Australian singer, it quickly became a late-summer slacker anthem featured on countless blogs and music-fan playlists. How could it not be? As Barnett marches her way through five minutes of hazy, witty storytelling, it's impossible not to revel in her attitude and infectious drawl ("life's gettin' hAhhd in here, so I do some gAAhhdening!"), all accompanied by a slightly psychedelic, twangy slide guitar that soothes as much as it proves vital to the captivation of her musings. But there's something more to Ms. Barnett than the wonderful "Avant Gardener" alone: throughout The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas, there's a humble charisma that pervades each unkempt corner.

Technically the union of Barnett's two debut releases, Split Peas doesn't feel split at all; without previous knowledge, there's no telling where one EP goes into the next, as the record feels well-rounded with its healthy mix of blasts and ballads, all cleverly glued together by Barnett's lethargic, Australian accent. Rock-out cuts like "History Eraser" and "David" exude careless joy in spirit, while more tame ones like "Are You Looking After Yourself" do the same in lyric -- "I don't want no nine-to-five telling me that I'm alive," Barnett sings, dispelling to her parent every logical reason to grow up. As if to prove that there's something real within her youthful energy, Barnett sneaks in some tracks like the gorgeously restrained "Anonymous Club" that actually hit quite hard emotionally as she tells her friend to "Leave your shoes at the door, along with your troubles." You'll want to follow the lyrics closely while listening throughout this record, as Barnett's vibrant, witty tales bring to mind the kind of vivid storytelling you'd hear from greats like Aimee Mann and Liz Phair, all delivered with a languid flow that might invite a (female) Stephen Malkmus comparison.

Fans of the aforementioned as well as fellow Aussie contemporaries like Twerps will find much to love, but Courtney Barnett is clearly doing her own thing. Endearing, laidback, yet thoroughly engaging, I can't wait to hear what this songwriter has in store for her proper full-length debut. [MM]

$9.99 CD ON SALE
$18.99 LP


BOOZOO BAJOU
4
(Apollo / R&S)

Though Boozoo Bajou has been around since the turn of the last century, I can't say I've ever heard this German duo, yet I was instantly taken upon first listen of their latest offering, 4. As a fan of things dark, spacious, dubby, cinematic, and atmospheric, it spoke to me. Like the cover image suggests, this could be the soundtrack to watching crashing waves sway, swell, and cascade upon one another -- something fluid but with weight and power. Wide swaths of atmosphere and effects along with live instruments (guitar, piano, violin, duduk, mbira, flugelhorn, percussion, and synths) form the palette, and all are used with nice results.

Throughout the hour-long album, the duo creates a mood that brings to mind a variety of artists: the earthly ambience and airiness of Brian Eno and John Hassell, the expansive moments of Burial, the minimal percolating dub of Basic Channel/Rhythm & Sound, with a playfulness and even some jazziness thrown in that at times remind me of Don Cherry's Codona project. The record creeps up on you, creating a nice sense of movement across time and space(s). Having made their name as a more "downtempo kitchen sink" type of act, in line with Jazzanova, Thievery Corp, or Gotan Project, it's a nice surprise to find Boozoo Bajou exploring, accomplishing, and reaching new depths. [DG]

$14.99 CD
$21.99 LP

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Balani Show Super Hits
(Sahel Sounds)

Longtime Update readers may remember that for a long stretch of time I used to have an ongoing feature called the "Afro Jam of the Week," in which I'd highlight one of the many superlative reissues of African danceband music that were making waves. It's been a long time without one, but I'm pleased to bring it back with not a vintage LP, but rather a STUNNING record of urban dance music from contemporary Mali. Balani Show Super Hits is a hypnotic compilation of current street music from Bamako, fusing together traditional instrumentation (koras, balafons, shekeres) with modern machine beats and sampling technology. The resulting ten songs are a mesmerizing update of the traditional Malian griot tradition, bringing contemporary storytelling and oral history into a musical language more easily digested by younger generations thanks to the fusions of traditional musics with modernized strains of hip-hop and electronic pop.

These MCs utilize Auto-Tune and the syncopated rhythmic lyrical flow revolutionized by rap music, but anchored by skittering beats, lazer-guided synth pads, and chopped-up kora and balafon samples. The closest comparison would be the likes of South Africa's Shangaan Electro producers, but the tempos here are considerably less frenetic and more easily accessible. In fact, my only complaint about the collection is that I wish these tracks were LONGER; their grooves are solid and the flows rock-solid, and they provide a flavor relatively untouched on dancefloors by any other artists having their music pressed on wax these days. Listeners who dig the modern urban rhythms of African acts like the aforementioned Shangaan crew, Konono No 1, and even the likes of recent Middle Eastern acts like Omar Souleyman and Studio Sardena would be wise to grip this ASAP. It's a revelation and a refreshing antidote to the continual reissues of African funk that, while satisfying, are quite plentiful these days. Afro Jam of the Week, folks... it's so nice to be making that recommendation once again! [IQ]

$17.99 LP


SWEET APPLE
The Golden Age of Glitter
(Tee Pee)

John Petkovic has been writing classic rock songs since he started Death of Samantha in the mid 1980s (see below) and I can honestly say that there is not a single record that he has released that I don't think is entirely worth your time. Sweet Apple is his latest band and the urge to use that oft-abused tag of "super group" does come into play. Instead, let's just say that the band is made up of some guys that sure do know a thing or two about making great rock 'n' roll records. And this is a great record, expertly paced and packed with great songs that will sound like old friends after just a few listens.

J Mascis is mostly content to pound the drums, though he does contribute a few solos that are unmistakable. And while it might be easy to assume that J handles a bulk of the guitar duties, those are actually covered by Tim Parnin, who's been with Petkovic for longer than anyone (going back to Cobra Verde), and his playing here is top notch. Dave Sweetapple, who's on the bass, gave the band its name and looks the most rock 'n' roll out of all of them. Like all great groups, they are a bizarre puzzle whose pieces fit together perfectly.

Starting off with the melancholy "Wish You Could Stay a Little Longer," which features guest vocals from Mark Lanegan (the combo of Petkovic, Lanegan and Mascis is some sort of classic-era Homestead records power summit), they then move onto "Reunion" which has a killer riff as well as some clever lyrics about a subject that at first seems highly personal and by the end of the song is universal. It is this subtle turning of the tables that Petkovic excels at, with words that can be as deep as you want them to be -- sort of like how the classic Alice Cooper band was. Rachel Haden (That Dog) guests on "Let's Take the Same Plane" and Bob Pollard shows up for album closer "Under the Liquor Sign." And for a band that is already brimming with talent, these collaborations actually all work extremely well, adding to the fun instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.

Altogether, The Golden Age of Glitter is a tighter and catchier record than the first one, Love & Desperation, which is no small feat. In fact, I'd say that this album ranks up there with any of the other releases that these guys have made, period. A perfect mix of power-pop hits and glam stompers that are ready to soundtrack your spring, summer and beyond. [DMa]

$11.99 CD
$14.99 LP+MP3

DEATH OF SAMANTHA
If Memory Serves Us Well
(St. Valentine)

I bought the first Death of Samantha album on a whim in my freshman year of college. Stuck in a boring town and knowing almost no one, I took the bus to the mall just for something to do and returned home with a copy of Strungout on Jargon. I've been a fan ever since but due to my age and being stuck in that boring college town, I never got to see them live. So I was excited about the reunion shows they did a couple of years ago, until real life got in the way and I wasn't able to catch any of them. And now we have this record of the band re-recording a good portion of their catalog (three LPs and one EP for the Homestead label in the second half of the 1980s). I would be lying to you if I said the idea filled me with excitement. So many things can and usually do go very, very wrong with projects like this, and this had the potential to rub salt in the wounds of me missing out on them the second time around. However, I am beyond ecstatic to report that instead the band has managed the rare feat of making an album that is essential for long time fans and a perfect introduction to those who may have never heard them.

John Petkovic is, as usual, fantastic. A born rocker, he is a sly lyricist and songwriter and between Death of Samantha, Cobra Verde, and now Sweet Apple, he has amassed a catalog of some of the finest rock music of the last 25 years. What makes this record such a treat, though, are two things. First, the band plays it pretty loose and the whole set has a relaxed, fun vibe that fits well with their cynical worldview. Second would be the playing of Doug Gillard. Doug should be no stranger to rock and roll fans from his work not only in Death of Samantha but Cobra Verde, Guided by Voices, Gem, Nada Surf, as well as his fantastic solo records. Here he subtly updates a lot of the playing on these songs in meaningful ways without making it obvious -- an unbelievably rare occurrence in situations like this. So there you go, whether you have all of the old records or not, I can't recommend this enough. [DMa]

$13.99 CD

WOODS
With Light and With Love
(Woodsist)

Woods does not make bad records -- actually, they only make pretty great ones -- and after slowing down a notch from their long-running album-a-year schedule to bring a bit of polish to With Light and Love, they continue on the path of 2012's Bend Beyond. Here there's a satisfying lean away from the lo-fi sound that the band has always warmly embraced, while maintaining the folky charm that has defined the quartet for nearly a decade. Woods have always been especially elegant in their ways to fuse genres and time periods into their works. On tracks like "Full Moon," there are many hints of the Beatles, let alone any psychedelic '60s band, and on others, like the single "Moving to the Left" and "Shining," there's a poppy nature to the simple chord progressions and catchy hooks.

Though With Light and Love will certainly sound familiar to any fan, it does seem as if Woods are progressively opening themselves to a wider audience. The songs are brief and tame, with the exception of the nine-minute title track, but even that is filled with a fun chorus that relies heavily on its accessibility. The fact alone that Woods have stayed this true to themselves through their great expansion (namely, the creation of Earl's label and its own two-day festival in Big Sur) is laudable, and the recognizable bits of the album can be thus overlooked. It all makes for a truly feel-good record that tweaks the past and basks in the present. [MM]

$13.99 CD
$16.99 LP+MP3


SOHN
Tremors
(4AD)

The newest addition to the 4AD roster comes in the form of a Vienna-based Brit: producer and vocalist Christopher "SOHN" Taylor. Having caught a ripple from James Blake's wave of emotive electronics and vocals, SOHN swims in a similar ocean of sound. His debut album, Tremors, follows a few high-profile remixes (Disclosure, Rhye, Lana Del Ray), production work for Banks and Kwabs, and fits right in with the current mellow music mentality. He rides the line between soft and processed indie-tronica, electronic pop, and watery R&B flavorings. Though he does pull off quite a few nice moments throughout the album, at times his processing, both on the production and the vocals, seems to be a bit haphazard or unbalanced -- some might say mysterious.

Over several months he recorded these songs in the midnight hours, often leaving the studio at daybreak, and the results feel like music for dark times. And yet among the downtrodden themes that speak of being lost and dead, unrequited love, throwing in the towel, and vacant landscapes, he manages to come up with a few perfect radio moments. Songs like "Artifice," "Fool" and "Lights" could be mistaken for Jamie Woon as easily as Robin Thicke, or more likely Thom Yorke. Even at this early stage in his discography, SOHN seems to have an original bent on the current indie-as-soulful-esque electronica movement, yet he might be better as a producer than front man. It's an easy album to like and that sort of feels like the main issue -- not necessarily a negative, just an obvious point of contention for a well-worn ear, though sometimes we all need easy records. Fans of any of the above, as well as How to Dress Well or Gang Colours, will no doubt find their next soft focus chartreuse here. [DG]

$13.99 CD
$17.99 LP


AFGHAN WHIGS
Do to the Beast
(Sub Pop)

I think it's fair to call Afghan Whigs one of the best rock bands of the 1990s, and the trio of LPs starting with the raw fury of Up in It, released on Sub Pop in '90, followed by Congregation's more fleshed-out, lush and soulful production in '92, and the group's major label debut, Gentlemen, in '93, are true classics one and all. Marrying Greg Dulli's menacing and unapologetically base persona with a surprisingly refined taste in classic American R&B, sinewy grooves and swelling 1970s-styled production, these records were dark, sexy, uncomfortable, and powerfully alluring. Twenty-plus years on (their last album was released a bit more recently, in 1998), the Whigs are back, and while I can't say that Do the Beast is quite as incendiary as the band's best work, it's a pretty great album, and should not disappoint the fans.

Even in their prime, Afghan Whigs had a somewhat fluid lineup (or at least a lot of drummers), and here only Dulli and bassist John Curley are on board from the classic days. They have picked up some great fill-ins, including fellow Ohio boys Mark McGuire and Joseph Arthur, and longtime Usher associate Johnny "Natural" Najera, and while the production and sound draws on the Whigs' later, more lush stuff, and maintains quite a bit of menace and tension, it also owes a lot to Dulli's mellower Twilight Singers years. Guitars are fierce, drums live and booming, Dulli as raw-throated and misanthropic as ever, but this one is more about the builds, the swaying grooves, and the lovely layered details that color the tracks. Maybe not surprisingly, Dulli takes pretty well to the role of elder statesmen (or is it dirty old man?), a bit more Roy Orbison or grizzled Gainsbourg than Iggy for sure, but it's a natural fit for someone who came out of the womb haggard and hung over. Moreover, there is still plenty of rock and roll here, it's just tempered with something a little more subdued, though surely not laidback. No doubt in part, this is a vehicle to get the band on the road for that lucrative comeback tour, but it's by no means going through the motions -- real rock and roll through and through, Afghan Whigs style. (Vinyl format is the 'Losers Edition' -- double-LP pressed on white 180g vinyl, while supplies last.)  [JM]

Your purchase of Afghan Whigs' new album automatically enters you into a drawing for a very limited LP test pressing of Do to the Beast.

$13.99 CD
$29.99 2LP+MP3


KILLING SOUND
Killing Sound
(Blackest Ever Black)

Near the end of last year, the Young Echo collective dropped an awesome album called Nexus for the Ramp label. That record moved between dark ambient passages, UK hip-hop, soul, and most importantly their aesthetic: dub and bass. Here we have four members (including Vessel) from YE splintering off into a project known as Killing Sound. The group works in an improvised jam style using a combination of homemade and professional gear. Finding a natural home for this release on the always dark and moody Blackest Ever Black label, the pieces collected here are ominous and deep, equally haunting and elegant, rough and refined, rhythmic, melodic, and spacious. The beats are not so much submerged as they are grounded, and this feels like earth being broken and pierced, once solid forms that are now in the process of crumbling. (The four tracks are split between two slabs of vinyl with an expertly loud mastering job for full sonic effect.) Young Echo, in all their various configurations, continue to represent and push the sound of Bristol ahead -- I only wish they stuck to more a consistent release schedule. There is no reason 'goth' can only be applied to rock or new wave, and here Killing Sound offer an entry point to their brand of gothy bass rumblings. I'm sure fans of labels like Tri Angle, B.E.B., or artists like Shackleton already know the deal. [DG]

$19.99 2LP


ALICE BOMAN
Skisser EP
(Adrian)

Alice Boman is a young Swedish singer with a deeply expressive voice, frequently compared to some who are beyond comparison; names like Nina Simone and Billie Holiday inevitably come to mind, but this is distinctly modern music. Fragile and beautiful, the songs on Skisser ("sketches" in Swedish) were recorded alone at home, bare melodies that refused to leave Boman alone, and the sound -- spare and careful piano and organ tracks backing desperately intimate vocal performances -- resonates with heartbreak and loss, yet remain hopeful to the end. On the timeless "Waiting," Boman whispers "I want you more than I need you, I need you so bad, are you coming back, are you coming back, I'm waiting, " and my heart breaks every time, as I hang on every breath and syllable. Boman has been signed to the Control Group in North America, and later in the spring they are releasing an album, but we have some limited vinyl of her debut EP on the Swedish Adrian label, and you really do need this now. [JM]

$17.99 LP


HORACE ANDY
Get Wise
(Pressure Sounds)

Throughout his long-running and still vital career, vocalist Horace Andy has partnered with dozens of talented musicians and producers, yet one of his first and best collaborators was guitarist/producer Phil Pratt. Having met in the close-knit and overflowing Jamaican scene of the 1960s, they frequently worked together and the Get Wise album gathers several sessions that Andy and Pratt recorded over those early years as they released singles on various imprints. Many of the songs utilize Pratt's "All Stars" band which include many of the usual suspects who are known worldwide mainly by their nicknames: Horsemouth, Bingy Bunny, Family Man, Santa, Chinna and, of course, Sly and Robbie. Among the studios Pratt and Andy worked at were Lee Perry's Black Ark, along with Channel One, Randy's, and Dynamic Sound. Though many of these songs have been re-voiced and re-recorded over the years (even finding alternate titles along the way) in typical JA style, this particular collection of versions is a ride on the roots train. Get Wise was originally released in the early '70s only in Jamaican markets, and was not reissued by the Brits like so many albums from the era. This is a sweet and soulful set of rhythms with Andy floating with a youthful yet seasoned spirit on top. Pressure Sounds has had an excellent track record for a few decades now, and here they continue to bring new life to old Jamaican music. [DG]

$15.99 CD
$17.99 LP

also available

BUNNY LEE
Agro Sounds
(Kingston Sounds)

A fantastic compilation featuring 16 tracks from the Agro Sound studio vaults of legendary producer Bunny "Striker" Lee. Spanning 1968-'71, raw, oft-forgotten ska and early rocksteady recordings are what's on order here, featuring heavyweights like Delroy Wilson, U Roy & Lennox Brown, Max Romeo, Tommy McCook and many more.

$13.99 CD
$13.99 LP


CYCLOBE
Sulphur-Tarot-Garden
(Phantom Code)

Originally issued in 2012 as an extremely limited CD-R to coincide with the premiere of a trio of rare, '70s-era Super-8 films by Derek Jarman at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, these three stunning soundtrack pieces are finally given a proper release. Here, Cyclobe's Ossian Brown and Stephen Thrower (both former members of Coil) are joined by Michael J. York, Cliff Stapleton and John Contreras, and conjure haunting, fantastical atmospheres from dense, spectral electronics and Stapleton's eerie hurdy-gurdy.

$19.99 CD


CYCLOBE
The Visitors
(Phantom Code)

Also available, the anticipated 13th anniversary edition of Cyclobe's second full-length as a special two-CD set. Repackaged with new artwork by Alex Rose, this seminal album also includes a brand new piece, the phantasmic "Son of Sons of Light," specifically recorded for this re-release, featuring Cyclobe founders Ossian Brown and Stephen Thrower, and current member Michael York.

$21.99 2CD

back in print

JACQUES BERROCAL
Paralleles
(Alga Marghen)

Back in print, this 2001 reissue of a magnificent, impossible-to-categorize French classic originally released on the hopelessly obscure d'Avantage label in 1976. Pretty much the definition of musical anarchy, Paralleles begins with an atonal duo for trombones, wends its way through accompanied poetry readings and cornet solos, vamps into a rap delivered by Vince Taylor (France's answer to Eddie Cochran and Bowie's inspiration for Ziggy Stardust!) on "Rock N Roll Station" (which Nurse with Wound deconstructed later on their s/t album) before ultimately exploding into a 25-minute large ensemble improv freakout. Berrocal assembled the cream of the avant French scene including Bernard Vitet, Roger Ferlet, Pierre Bastien, Michel Potage, Daniel Deshays, and Claude Bernard. This remastered CD also includes five additional, previously unreleased tracks that were left off the original: a short piece for pocket trumpet and various concrete elements (1972); an excerpt taken from a never-issued LP; and other electronic experiments. Lovely digipak, bien sur! [JG]

$19.99 CD


MEV
Spacecraft/Unified Patchwork Theory
(Alga Marghen)

Along with AMM, the Scratch Orchestra, and Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, MEV began exploring the realms of organized chaos in the mid '60s. But even in that rarefied company, MEV stood out as easily the most versatile, able to maneuver fluidly between musique concrete and Fluxus composition, and onward into primitive electronics, free-jazz, noise and beyond. This CD collects two previously unreleased performances. "Spacecraft" (1967) was recorded in Cologne and found core members Allen Bryant, Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski, and Richard Teitelbaum joined by Nuova Consonanza saxophonist Ivan Vandor for an unbelievable journey into sounds heretofore unknown. Forty-one minutes of ecstatic bliss. Imagine Nurse with Wound slugging it out during the Summer of Love! "Unified Patchwork Theory" (1990, recorded in Zurich), revisits themes first recorded for a 1977 Horo Records set and finds Bryant absent but Steve Lacy and Garrett List onboard for a remarkable 34-minute piece that demonstrates decisively that they hadn't lost a step. [JG]

$19.99 CD

now on vinyl

FREDDIE GIBBS & MADLIB
Pinata
(Madlib Invazion)

Although he might be best loved for his mind-bending instrumental cuts, some of Otis "Madlib" Jackson's most exciting production work over the years has been with the occasional vocalist or rapper. His latest collaboration through his own Madlib Invazion imprint features Fredrick Tipton, b/k/a Freddie Gibbs. Piñata is a fitting title, for when you break open this album you find seventeen bite-sized treats, where Madlib sets the scene and Gibbs paints the picture. Urban and free-wheelin', the two sound great together, giving Madlib's blackploitation sonics a dose of realness with Gibbs' inner-city, good-time blues. These are mostly new tracks, with a few reworks from Madlib's instrumental back catalog. Overall, Piñata comes off like a mix of his Jaylib collab with Dilla, his Nittyville album with Guilty Simpson, and the soulful vibe of RZA during his more deep and vibrant Wu-Tang productions. Madlib's a vet in the crate-digging and beat-banging game, and this is another solid addition to his deep discography. He always seems to pick great voices to collaborate with and here Gibbs makes a nice impression in his ability to hold his own over the often odd time signatures and loopy abstraction of Madlib's beats, lending enough grit, street, and personality to give the album a vibe. Definitely a top amongst the current offerings of stateside hip-hop albums. [DG]

$17.99 CD
$26.99 2LP

the big picture

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