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September 5, 2014

in this week's update

FEATURED NEW RELEASES

Mutual Benefit
Ital
The Gotobeds
Chelsea Wolfe (2 LP Reissues)
Peter Jefferies
CRIME
Craig Leon
 

Drexciya
Harald Grosskopf (2 LP Reissues)
Wire
Connections
 

ALSO AVAILABLE

Tennis (Pre-order w/ Concert Ticket)
Jack Ruby (Available on 2 LPs)

announcements

STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL: A CELEBRATION OF THE MUSIC & ART OF JOHN LURIE

SEPTEMBER 9, 16, 25 & 27

Le Poisson Rouge  & Town Hall

Le Poisson Rouge celebrates the music and art of downtown iconoclast John Lurie throughout the month of September with four special concerts -- three at LPR and one at Town Hall. We're giving away a pair of passes good for all four of the Strange and Beautiful events. Tuesday, September 9, Ensemble LPR performs string quartets by John Lurie, and his compositions reimagined for string quintet. Tuesday, September 16, SexMob and Inner Greatness perform the music of John Lurie. Thursday, September 25, Antibalas and Hellbent perform the music of John Lurie & the Lounge Lizards. Saturday, September 27 (at Town Hall), A Celebration of the Music of John Lurie, The Lounge Lizards and Marvin Pontiac -- featuring John Zorn, Flea, John Medeski, Evan Lurie, and many more. Go here for more info about the Strange and Beautiful events and email enter@othermusic.com for your chance to win those tickets!       
 


WIN BOB MOULD TICKETS

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 & SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Bowery Ballroom  /  Music Hall of Williamsburg

Bob Mould kicked in the summer with his 10th solo album, the great Beauty & Ruin, and next week the influential singer/songwriter will be in New York City, performing Wednesday and Thursday in Manhattan at the Bowery Ballroom, and then on Saturday in Brooklyn at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. We've got a pair of tickets to give away to the Thursday and Saturday shows, with Staten Island's Cymbals Eat Guitars opening both nights.  To enter for your chance to win, email tickets@othermusic.com, and make sure to list which show you'd like to see.


WIN PASSES TO A SCREENING OF THE COLOR OF NOISE

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

Highline Ballroom:  431 W. 16th St. NYC

The Color of Noise tells the story of artist Haze XXL (Tom Hazelmyer) and his seminal Amphetamine Reptile Records, a label as uncompromising as Hazelmyer himself. It's a great documentary featuring forgotten archival footage and photographs, along with interviews with many of the influential musicians and artists of the '80s/'90s American underground who undoubtedly ushered in a new era of sound. Other Music is giving away a pair of passes to a special showing of The Color of Noise accompanied by a Q&A with directly Eric Robel and Haze XXL at the Highline Ballroom on Sunday, September 21. Before the screening you'll also be able to check out a special art installation featuring Hazelmyer's hand-carved and hand-printed fine-art linocuts. Email giveaway@othermusic.com for your chance to win.

this week's update

MUTUAL BENEFIT
The Cowboy's Prayer EP
(Other Music Recording Co.)

The ease and speed of releasing music in the modern digital culture means that now, more than ever, bands grow up in public, and from an artist's bedroom demos to their faltering first performance, for better or worse it's all out there for the fans to see. Originally self-released only as a Bandcamp download, before Mutual Benefit became blog darlings (and prior to Other Music Recording Co. signing the group), The Cowboy's Prayer is anything but a tossed-off introduction to Jordan Lee's music. It does, however, give a window into the moment when Mutual Benefit's sound really came together, and we are thrilled to be giving this great EP a proper release for the first time.

If you are a fan of Love's Crushing Diamond, the band's much-loved debut full-length from late last year, you know the allure of their music, combining introspective songwriting and Lee's fragile vocals with lovely orchestrated folk-pop, and a loose-limbed incorporation of found sounds, odd loops, worldly percussion and more. The Cowboy's Prayer brings all of this to the table fully formed, and a track like set-opener "Auburn Epitaphs" would fit in nicely on that LP. But perhaps what I most enjoy about this record is the more open-ended soundscapes that creep up in its second half, as Lee lets his knack for sound design and instrumental texture slowly unwind. There are a couple of indelible pop songs here, but it's also a wonderful psychedelic journey that is truly meditative when taken as a whole. That's one reason we packaged the LP as a stunning one-sided 12" (designed by Jordan's sister and musical collaborator Whitney, with a lovely etching on the flip-side): so that it can be listened to on vinyl without worrying about turning the thing over. Beautifully remastered and available on physical formats for the first time, any fan of the band will love this record from start to finish. [JM]

WIN TICKETS TO MUTUAL BENEFIT AT BOWERY BALLROOM
Mutual Benefit are playing their biggest headlining show in NYC yet on Saturday the 13th at Bowery Ballroom as part of an epic North American fall tour. We have a pair of tickets to give away to this great night and to enter for your chance to win, email giveaway@othermusic.com!

$7.99 CD ON SALE
$13.99 LP


ITAL
Endgame
(Planet Mu)

Yet another strong statement from Brooklyn-based producer Ital, Endgame is Daniel Martin-McCormick's third full-length for the legendary Planet Mu imprint. His latest explores a vast array of hardware synths and effects, leaving behind the sample-laden sound established on his earlier albums and 12"s. While the tracks share a connection to his older releases in the techno-leaning percussion work, there is a much more defined melodic development and song structure at play here. From the first few seconds of album opener "Relaxer," it's apparent that evolution and psychedelic dub-style effects are the driving forces behind the LP. Slinking through funky, warmer-feeling tracks and moving on to more distorted and driving techno experiments with cuts like "Whispers in the Dark," there's a very live and improvised vibe to the record that adds an entirely new dimension to McCormick's music. Full of depth and bearing an incredibly wide sonic palette, Endgame is easily Ital's most accomplished release to date. [CW]

$15.99 CD


THE GOTOBEDS
Poor People Are Revolting
(12XU)

Guitarists Eli Kasan and Tom Payne used to play together in Pittsburgh's brutally loud post-hardcore band Kim Phuc (Payne was Kim Phuc's drummer) and while the Gotobeds don't sound remotely like their previous group, they do carry over the energy and forcefulness of delivery from that band. From the first, frantic notes of "Fast Trash" and then into the saucy NYC put-down/tourism booster of "New York's Alright" to the sly, stoned boasting of "Wimpy Garcia" to the Fall homage that is "Fucking Machine" and the epic album closer "Secs Tape," the fun and fantastic songs never let up. Very rarely do reckless abandon and tunefulness combine for such fantastic results. I will state, straight up, that there is nothing new here at all. Pretty standard post-punk and early indie rock influences like the Fall, Pavement, Buzzcocks etc. all show up in abundance, but the Gotobeds' ability to craft memorable songs in that mold and then play them as if it were the most fun you could ever have is what puts this album so far beyond almost any other rock record released this year. [DMa]

$15.99 CD


CHELSEA WOLFE
The Grime & The Glow
(Sargent House)

After falling out of print and fetching hefty sums on the secondhand market, Sargent House has just reissued the first two albums by California gothic songstress Chelsea Wolfe, and with the oncoming autumnal chill, they couldn't come at a more perfect time. Those familiar with Wolfe's breakthrough Pain Is Beauty (one of my personal favorite records of 2013) might be surprised by the raw sound of these two albums. Her 2010 debut, The Grime and the Glow, was recorded on a Tascam 8-track in more private confines, and these songs blend bedroom intimacy with more expansive stretches of barren, chilled landscapes. She nods to the distorted cacophonies of black metal, the apocalyptic neo-folk sounds of artists like Death in June and Current 93, and more droning psychedelic strains of troubadour folk and rock as practiced by artists like Grouper. It makes for a hypnotic, at times harrowing, but consistently tuneful and intimate album overall, and established Wolfe as an artist to watch. That the record still holds up today is testament to her talents as a songwriter, vocalist, and performer. [IQ]

$12.99 CD
$19.99 LP

CHELSEA WOLFE
Apokalypsis
(Sargent House)

Wolfe's second album, 2011's Ἀποκάλυψις (more commonly known as Apokalypsis), opens with a brief yet harrowing introduction of feral, untethered shrieks and growls entitled "Primal/Carnal," which sums up the record's modus quite nicely. She manages to expand her sound with the addition of a full band, and the added muscle the group dynamic creates adds a weight and tension that was at times missing from her debut; she nods to this with the rerecording of two of The Grime and the Glow's best tracks, but the new songs are just as memorable.

What really holds these songs together, though, is Wolfe's singing voice, here unleashed as a primal and carnal force both elemental and seductive in nature; she commands attention and casts spells that both build and destroy, as her band whips up droning, dark ambient cacophony one moment and pummeling kineticism the next. Apokalypsis showed a huge leap forward for Wolfe, and hints at the even greater depth and expanse that she'd display on Pain Is Beauty. It's wonderful to have both of these albums back in print again, and fans of everything from Grouper to Earth, or PJ Harvey to Zola Jesus, should investigate these beautiful, bruised platters post-haste. I cannot recommend these records more highly. [IQ]

$12.99 CD
$19.99 LP


PETER JEFFERIES
Electricity
(Superior Viaduct)

I've got many things to thank Karl Hendricks for, one being turning me onto Peter Jefferies. It was the early '90s and I was ready to rock -- all of the time. What did I want with a guy who played piano? Karl gently insisted that I check out Last Great Challenge in a Dull World (reissued last year by the excellent De Stijl label) and I was hooked from the very first listen. At the time I hadn't heard This Kind of Punishment, Jefferies' mid-'80s band with his brother Graeme, and I was only rudimentary familiar with John Cale's solo work, but both of those are obvious touchstones. In fact, if I had to boil Electricity down to an elevator pitch it would be: "If John Cale recorded for Flying Nun." It is a pretty simple sentence, but there is a lot to consider there and I think Jefferies' music does an amazing job of embodying that. There are a few guests here -- Bruce Russell (Dead C) on the appropriately noisy "Just Nothing," some guitar and bass work on a song or two from Shayne Carter, and some deep NZ scene players like John Harvey, Paul Cahill and Robbie Muir contributing a bit -- but otherwise Jefferies handles everything else, and his heavily percussive piano playing and deep, deep voice anchor the album.

While I don't think a vinyl sequence was really considered at the time, it turns out that it fits perfectly on three sides of an LP. This Superior Viaduct issue is the first time the whole album has been issued on vinyl (the vinyl pressing on the German label Raffmond omitted three songs in order to fit it onto a single LP). Each side starts loud and works toward a softer, introspective resolution, and the original album ends with an incredible, stark and fragile take on Barbara Manning's "Lately I Keep Scissors" that rivals the original. As a bonus you get the four songs from the 1992 Peter Jefferies / Robbie Muir "Swerve" double 7" on the fourth side. [DMa]

$24.99 2LP


CRIME
Murder by Guitar
(Superior Viaduct)

You want to talk about CRIME! I'll tell you what is a CRIME. The fact that there never was a proper CRIME album! Until now that is.

Coming together in San Francisco in 1976, CRIME were an amazing band. They played no-frills, basic rock'n'roll with enough speed, energy and attitude to propel them into the stratosphere. Formed during the infancy of punk, in addition to writing instantly memorable songs CRIME were also masters of an aesthetic that has yet to be matched, sporting gay bar leathers or full police uniforms with a meticulous and twisted style that makes the band photos, flyers and logo some of the most iconic images in all of punk rock (check out The Band Crime: Punk '77 for more info).

With only three singles issued during their original run, there wasn't a lot of material to build a legend upon, but those first few songs were so perfect, so conceptually tight, that they inspired a level of fanaticism rarely seen before or since. I first read about CRIME in a Tesco Vee tour diary featured in Forced Exposure long before I ever actually listened to any of their music, and many have only heard the band at all through Sonic Youth's cover of "Hot Wire My Heart." I can definitely say that after years of build up their music maybe even surpassed my expectations.

It is hard to determine if the tracks from the first two singles ("Hot Wire My Heart," "Murder By Guitar," "Frustration" and "Baby, You're So Repulsive") are the best songs here or if I have just heard them so many times that the other tracks will never really catch up. That isn't to slight the other material, though, as you get unreleased, quality studio recordings of "Terminal Boredom," "Dillinger's Brain" and many others, not to mention a version of "Rockin' Weird" produced by Huey Lewis?!?! In addition to all of this, you get the two tracks from CRIME's third single, "Gangster Funk" and "Maserati." This 45 has long been a line in the sand that the KBD faithful have been reluctant to cross. While the two tracks don't shine like the others, that isn't to say that they are bad. Yes, the high-energy punk action is replaced by agit-funk, but the guitars are still razor sharp and overall they still play with too much energy to make it anything but exciting. If you've ever jammed to the Contortions you should find these two songs more than worthy of your attention.

Over the years there have been some reissues (both legit and bootleg) of the singles and live material, and for a long while there was talk of a box set on the venerable Revenant label that never materialized. But there was never a proper comp of the singles and other studio recordings until last year when a new label called Kitten Charmer originally released this collection on CD. They then announced a vinyl version and took a lot of pre-orders for it before vanishing in a cloud of drugs and despair leaving a behind a cloud of internet fury waiting to be unleashed. Thankfully, the fine folks at Superior Viaduct have come to save the day. They took over the project, even filled all of the preorders for the Kitten Charmer version that never was. So almost 30 years after they originally formed, the definitive CRIME album is finally here. Don't waste any more time and get this thing right away. [DMa]

$19.99 LP


CRAIG LEON
Nommos/Visiting
(RVNG Intl)

Craig Leon is primarily known as a producer who helped start the recording careers of NYC icons like the Ramones, Blondie, Suicide, and Talking Heads, and who then went on to helm the boards for such high-profile luminaries as Luciano Pavarotti. What many don't know is that he released two incredible LPs of analogue electronic wizardry at the height of the post-punk era, creating a monstrous, hypnotic two-headed beast of a discography that combined the rough-edged primalities of early electronic synthesis with a more studied compositional sophistication. The music of both 1980's Nommos (issued on John Fahey's Takoma label) and 1982's Visiting (released via Leon's own private Arbitor press) were inspired by African ceremonial rhythms and the mythology of Malian Dogon art; they predate and foresee the electronic tribalism of early house and techno, not to mention the gritty ambient textures of the Mego/Blackest Ever/Modern Love set.

This gorgeous, hypnotic music is cut from the same contextual cloth as Brian Eno and David Byrne's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, and Hector Zazou & Bony Bikaye's Noir Et Blanc, in that all four albums were released near simultaneously and explore the same physical alchemy and spiritual mysticism of African music with electronic tools that were arguably as primitive in aesthetic nature -- if not more so -- as a thumb piano or slit drum. That all of these albums still hold up today, and continue to inspire, is a testament to the power of these recordings. Anyone who has enjoyed works by the aforementioned, not to mention Monoton, early Cluster, and even Terry Riley's keyboard works, needs to grip this post-haste, as it's limited and not likely to last long.

RVNG Intl have truly outdone themselves here, issuing what is THE definitive edition of these works, supervised and approved by Craig Leon himself, who has, as detailed in label's description: "re-animated Nommos by re-recording the exact audio signals as preserved in the album's original studio notes. Every patch, tape-delay speed and outboard setting was transcribed as first scored, materializing the best possible audio of an album whose masters were unaccessible to Leon due to a major label merger milieu from years ago." Trust me, folks... You want this. [IQ]

$24.99 2LP


DREXCIYA
Neptune's Lair
(Tresor)

Following the acclaimed success of Clone's excellent four-part Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller, which compiled and remastered the output of Drexciya recorded between 1992-98, Berlin's Tresor label reissues Neptune's Lair, the duo's iconic full-length masterpiece from 1999. One has to bear in mind that at the time of its initial release, pre fully blossoming internet age and subsequent information overload, almost close to nothing was known about the elusive, quasi-anonymous duo of James Stinson and Gerald Donnell. They had produced a number of obscure EPs for techno labels such as Underground Resistance, Shockwave, and Submerge and two full-lengths, the imaginative Kraftwerk tribute Elektroworld as Elecktroids and The Quest as Drexciya, the latter a compilation of tracks from the early EPs.

Their mythology shrouded in mystery, Stinson and Donnell provided no further information than the titles of their releases, which tell a suggestive story in their own -- Deep Sea Dweller, Bubble Metropolis, Aquatic Invasion, Molecular Enhancement, The Unknown Aquazone, The Journey Home, The Return of Drexciya, Uncharted. Listening to it now, those early recordings sound simultaneously futuristic and primitive, combining a sense of abrasive humor with an outspoken sense of melody. Sharp, with a dry, uncompromising sound, Drexciya not so much attacks the senses as infiltrates and occupies one's nervous system -- the effects, both on the dancefloor and at home, can be simultaneously thrilling and eerie.

Arguably Drexciya's most colorful record, Neptune's Lair's flow is impeccable, the duo really upping the game with simultaneously melancholic, mystic, and futuristic electro-funk that thoroughly nestles itself underneath your skin. More than any other Drexciya release, the live-playing element is emphasized here, with Stinson and Donnell exploring strictly blissful territory, combining analogue warmth with raw, improvised sounds. Highlights are plenty, and somewhat redundant to sum up, as it really is the album as a whole that offers a concise, defining statement about their alien underwater universe. The evocative titles of individual tracks contain indirect messages that further expand upon the Drexciya mythology, while the remarkable artwork by Abdul Naq suggests what it would look like as a physical place.

All in all, this album presents a defining statement for Detroit techno, which belongs in any self-respecting electronic music collection. Quite unexpectedly, the CD-version turns out to be the superior one, presenting twenty-one tracks to the LP's thirteen, and simply sounding incredibly eloquent and detailed. You know what to do! [NVT]

$29.99 2LP


HARALD GROSSKOPF
Synthesist
(Bureau B)

Finally, synth wizard Harald Grosskopf's two major albums are back in print! These fully licensed Bureau B pressings sound and look great, and would serve as a fine centerpiece in the collection of any German psychedelia lover. Grosskopf came out of the late-'60s German freak-beat scene as a drummer with major chops. He transitioned out of this period by aligning himself with the Krautrock movement and collaborated with Manuel Gottsching on many albums, played in Ashra, and toured consistently with Klaus Schulze. He even appeared on Walter Wegmuller's legendary Tarot LP, jammed with the Cosmic Jokers, lent beats to Ash Ra Tempel's Starring Rosi and Wallenstein's epic Mother Universe, among dozens of other Krautrock masterpieces.

Grosskopf's first major album under his own name, Synthesist, dropped in 1980 to mixed reviews. It was truly ahead of its time and foreshadowed much of what the '80s came to be known for: warbled synths, heavy electronic programming, proto-new age soundscapes and heady, technical proficiency. Although Synthesist is, in theory, an outsider classic, it's played with the precise momentum of studio dudes in total sync with each other, with a ton of analog gear and live drumming performed entirely by Grosskopf. The sound herein approximates the early motorik stylings of Neu! with a robotic Kraftwerk appeal, all filtered through his sprawling long-form cosmic vision. It's dense, entirely instrumental and has a laidback pulse. All said, this record is truly a singular electronic journey that you will never forget. [RN]

$16.99 CD ON SALE
$22.99 LP


HARALD GROSSKOPF
Oceanheart
(Bureau B)

Oceanheart is Harald Grosskopf's second proper solo effort, and expands on the ideas introduced with his groundbreaking Synthesist. Coming out six years later, this one is decidedly more focused and shorter, but no less transcendental. In fact, much of the record was highly informed by Grosskopf's bout with meditation after the failed commercial success of his first release. Rumor has it Sky Records "halved" his monetary advance and the entire album was recorded in his bedroom. Perhaps because of this, Oceanheart has an almost entirely electronic pulse, with barely any 'live' instrumentation and a four-on-the-floor, early electro appeal to it. Riffing on early techno moves and Balearic repetitive patterns, in many ways similar to Gottsching's legendary E2-E4, Oceanheart has a ton of replay value and a cold, warped heartbeat that could cut through headphones and dance floors simultaneously. It's a real treat to see these cult albums readily available again! [RN]

$17.99 CD (Available 9/9)
$22.99 LP


WIRE
Document and Eyewitness 1979 1980
(Pink Flag)

Originally planned as a showcase for the newly label-less Wire, the band's early 1980 gig at London's Electric Ballroom was an extravagant affair with props and various friends in theatrical support roles. Antagonism has always been a vital part of rock'n'roll. Sometimes it is a rallying point, unifying everyone against some outside force. Other times it can radiate out from the stage and be directed towards the audience. In the detailed liner notes Wire take pains to mention that they were not into antagonism for antagonism's sake, but they had very little interest in playing a set of hits or even a set of songs that anyone had ever heard. Still, they knew this wasn't a typical Friday night's entertainment and when they do perform their biggest hit ("12XU") it is prefaced by a theatrical production via their manager and some audience interaction -- and on this release the actual song is reduced to a snippet.

Instead of a preview of the fourth Wire LP, most of the music here wouldn't make it onto record for quite some time. A handful of songs ended up on Colin Newman solo releases and one track on a record from Dome (Wire's Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis), but a good bulk of the Electric Ballroom set was the basis for the recent Change Becomes Us album. The original CD reissue of Document and Eyewitness switched the track order presenting the earlier, more immediate 1979 material (seven songs recorded at London's Notre Dame Hall and one at Montreux) before the 1980 Electric Ballroom material. Here the original running order is restored and the two bonus cuts that were added to the Mute CD version are leading off the second disc.

The first four songs on disc two are the bulk of the band's two Rough Trade singles from the early 1980s ("Our Swimmer," "Midnight Bahnhof Café, "Second Length (Our Swimmer)" and "Catapult 30") and they hint at a "what could have been" scenario had the group stayed together. The rest of the second disc is made up of demo and rehearsal room recordings that might not be essential, but are truly previously unreleased and nice to have nonetheless. [DMa]

$22.99 2CD


CONNECTIONS
Into Sixes
(Anyway)

The first two Connections albums, both released in 2013, existed in the long shadow cast by Guided by Voices. Both Kevin Elliot and Andy Hampel were in 84 Nash, one of the handful of bands with releases on the GBV-centric Rockathon Records, and those two albums plus a 7" in a year made it seem like they were going to try to match Robert Pollard's furious output. And I don't know if it is Kevin Elliot's voice or just general proximity but you can't deny that they don't sound too far off from GBV's more traditional material. Well, almost a whole year has passed since their last record so thankfully over-saturation isn't a problem, and Into Sixes finds the band moving further away from those comparisons into more of a power-pop and classic indie-rock realm.

Recorded at Columbus, Ohio's Mus-I-Col Studios, the album is solidly mid-fi and jammed packed with tough power-pop hits, a few almost folk-rock gems like "Apt. by the Interstate," and a ballad or two. I would heartily recommended this to fans of Shoes, Gentleman Jesse, Spoon, Cheap Trick, Times New Viking (TNV's Adam Elliot is the drummer here and a lot of these songs could be cleaned-up TNV songs) and anyone into the rich musical history of the city of Columbus. Connections have been operating a bit under the radar but Into Sixes is the kind of record that should change all of that, as it is easily their best and most listenable album yet. [DMa]

$14.99 LP

pre-order

TENNIS
Ritual in Repeat - Pre-order with Webster Hall Tickets
(Communion)

Husband/wife indie-pop duo Tennis returns with a great new full-length, Ritual in Repeat, which hits store shelves on September 9. Each pre-order from Other Music comes with a pair of tickets to see the band live at New York City's Webster Hall on September 26, while supplies last!! ONLY ONE PAIR OF TICKETS PER PERSON. (Offer good for pre-orders made in person at the shop and on our mail order website. For web orders, you will need to enter your full name, email address and phone number in the mail order check-out page. This information will be passed along to the label for ticket pick-up at the will call box, day of the show.)

$9.99 CD ON SALE
$18.99 LP

available on vinyl

JACK RUBY
Hit and Run Vol. 1
(Feeding Tube)

After years of barely registering as a footnote in New York City music history, it finally seems to be Jack Ruby's time. Formed in 1973 by Albany ex-pats Robin Hall (vocals), Chris Gray (guitar/bass) and Randy Cohen (Serge synthesizer/drums), the band was equally influenced by the harder underground sounds of Detroit and NYC and the electronic music avant-garde. Yet despite claiming to have mainstream intentions, Jack Ruby made an insane racket and created some of the most vital no wave sounds ever, several years before that scene even existed. The first half of volume one in this essential set is material that was recorded in the spring of 1974, and the mix of proto-punk riffs and experimental electronics is a revisionist history wet dream. Had Jack Ruby actually been able to release something during their time as a band, there is no telling what sort of impact they would have had on the musical landscape. The album opens with "Hit and Run" and "Mayonnaise," both also featuring electric viola from a mysterious figure named Boris whom Cohen knew from his time spent in the electronic music scene at Cal Arts. His contributions to both tracks are distinct, but he was reportedly upset over songwriting credit, and vanished from the band and scene.

After this, the group managed to finagle a demo deal with Columbia Records, and recorded three songs at CBS studios that are all amazing, but must have surely terrified the suits there. Cohen's involvement stops here and his synth goes with him, and he was replaced by bassist George Scott, the only member of Jack Ruby who would have a significant musical resumé after the band, as he would go on to be in both the Contortions and 8-Eyed Spy. The material with this line-up is restricted to rougher rehearsal recordings, but what they lack in fidelity they make up for in raw power. This version of the band reworked "Hit and Run" and this later take, almost twice as long, is as great as the first. [DMa]

$21.99 LP


JACK RUBY
Hit and Run Vol. 2 
(Feeding Tube)

Most of Vol. 1 was briefly available a couple of years ago on Weasel Walter's UgEXPLODE label and is presented  again with a couple more unreleased rehearsal tapes, as well as Don Fleming's excellent remix of "Bad Teeth." Vol. 2, however, is entirely unreleased and features the first line-up of Jack Ruby, including the mysterious Boris, but it is really more of a Randy Cohen solo record. It is a great, noisy trip, highlighting the Serge synthesizer and the unique sort of proto-sampling way in which Cohen used it. Two 16-minute-plus tracks bookend another eight tracks that are all a minute and a half or less and which might not get the same amount of play as the first volume, but it is still fantastic on both historical and musical levels -- and it is quite a workout. Both vinyl editions are limited to 600 copies and come with a download card. Essential across the board. [DMa]

$18.99 LP

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