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December 19, 2014

special announcement

Dear friends,

Last week, Other Music published our picks for the year's Best New Albums and Favorite Reissues, and now today we are sending out our final email Update of 2014. While during the holiday time we'll be taking a break from our weekly newsletter, we'll continue to post recommended new arrivals and restocks on our mail order website and on our Facebook and Twitter feeds, along with store announcements.

Mail order customers shipping domestically in the United States, please note: Other Music offers a variety of shipping options in order to guarantee that your gift packages will arrive in time for the holidays. During check out, you can also choose 1-Day shipping via USPS Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express, UPS Second Day Air, and UPS Next Day Air, among several other options. For any questions, email orders@othermusic.com.

Finally, next week Other Music will be closing early on Christmas Eve at 5:00 p.m. and we will remain closed on Christmas Day. We'll resume normal business hours on Friday, December 26, opening our doors at 11:00 a.m. We will also be closing early at 5:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve and will be closed on New Year's Day, and then opening at 11:00 a.m. on January 2.

Look for Other Music's next new release Update in early January along with one last glimpse back at 2014 via our staff's personal favorites of the past year. Until then, we hope to see you in the shop or on the site. Have a safe and wonderful Holiday, and Happy New Year!

-All of us at Other Music

gift certificates

OTHER MUSIC GIFT CERTIFICATES

Available year-round, Other Music Gift Certificates are redeemable for purchases made both in the store and off othermusic.com. We offer our traditional paper Gift Certificates, or you may also choose to have one emailed to you as a PDF file, which you can then pass along to a friend or loved one via email or print it out yourself. Purchase either type of Gift Certificate here on our mail-order site, where you'll see a choice of increments between $15 and $200. (Email orders@othermusic.com if you would like an amount not listed as an option.) When purchasing a Gift Certificate, don't forget to include the recipient's name in the "Additional Comments" box on the checkout page. If you are choosing a traditional paper certificate and would like to have it mailed directly to the recipient, please include that address in the "Shipping Info" section.

in this week's update

FEATURED NEW RELEASES

D'Angelo
The Advisory Circle
Alain Goraguer (La Planete Sauvage OST)
Mr. Mitch
Barnt
Electric Eels
Native North America Vol. 1 (Various)
J Fernandez
Cornershop
Ex Cops

The Pool
John Fahey (Book)
Verckys & Orchestre Veve
Gala Drop
Tim Kerr & Rich Jacobs
Bing & Ruth
 

ALSO AVAILABLE

Arthur Russell (Love Is Overtaking Me 2LP)
Charlemagne Palestine (Back in Stock)

 

announcements

WIN TICKETS TO THE BUNKER'S 12TH ANNIVERSARY AT OUTPUT

SATURDAY, JANUARY 3

Output: 74 Wythe Ave. Brooklyn, NY
 

Forget New Year's Eve, the Bunker is celebrating 12 incredible years on Saturday, January 3 at Output, from 10pm-6am! DBX (a/k/a Daniel Bell) will be playing a live set along with DJ sets from Rrose and Bunker residents Derek Plaslaiko and Bryan Kasenic. Over in the adjacent Panther Room, John Tejada, Harry & Jpeg, Bunker resident Mike Servito, and Wrecked (Ron Like Hell and Ryan Smith) will all be spinning. It's free before midnight to get in with RSVP, and advance tickets are available for purchase, but we're also giving away a pair of tickets, and all you have to do for your chance to win is email enter@othermusic.com.

this week's update

D'ANGELO
Black Messiah
(RCA)

Wow, finally! After many false starts, failed promises, and misadventures, Michael D'Angelo Archer delivers his long-overdue third full-length. Some 14 years after he dazzled the world with what has become a genre-defining album, Voodoo, D'Angelo drops Black Messiah with no warning. As with many records, timing is a key factor, and it's no coincidence that he returns in the wake of protest and general unrest among people of color within the borders of the U.S. -- after years of tweaking this album, D'Angelo completed the final details and released Black Messiah within a few short weeks, in direct response to the news and protests that have recently rocked the country. A lot has happened in America through the years, for better and for worse, and he seems to have been watching and taking notes. He's making a statement and offering an auditory escape, a musical accompaniment to these trying times.

The album is credited to D'Angelo and the Vanguard, which includes Questlove, Kendra Foster, Q-Tip, legendary bassist Pino Palladino, and 75-year-old drummer James Gadson, with all the songs recorded direct to reel-to-reel (more than 200 tapes!). This jamming analogue aesthetic brings out the organic nature of the material, the connection between the players within the twisting and layered arrangements, and gives the album a warm and live-room atmosphere. This is real music for real life. Across the 12 solid tracks, he slurs, scats, croons, whistles, preaches, screams, recounts, gives praises, and calls spirits into action. Through a mix of soul, blues, jazz, Latin, rock, and funk, these songs further cement D'Angelo within the legacy he's been missing from and a natural link to. Together with Questlove, they continue to create an ode to the classics, and Black Messiah is fueled by the tradition of soul a la Sly Stone, Prince, George Clinton, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and Jimi Hendrix (recorded at Electric Ladyland). Never one to hide his love for and knowledge of those that paved the way, here he fuses all those influences into an honest and original mélange.

Album openers "Ain't That Easy" and "1000 Deaths" (which first surfaced in 2011 but is now fully realized here) are filled with heavy nods to Sly and Clinton, with a visceral assault of funky bass and distorted keys, yet they have the undeniable stamp of a Questlove production. Then personal favorites "The Charade" and "Really Love" find the musicians flipping through Prince's Paisley Park discography, complete with his classic reverse snare/snap, layered claps, and sitar, while "Sugah Daddy" is swinging juke joint jive. And the spirit of collaborator and friend J-Dilla can be felt throughout, bringing to mind their collectively past/present fusion made as the Soulquarians.

Needless to say, this set of songs is classic D'Angelo, with all the elements of grit, sex, spirituality, swagger, politics, beauty, love and humanness still in place and as poignant as ever. It's a special record and definitely a cause for celebration in the music world. Sometimes through absence a spirit can grow stronger, their void felt by the masses and their return a unifying action. D'Angelo's value has been evaluated many times over, and here he proves that he is still worthy of all the praise. This is a welcomed and accomplished return, and right on time. I think this is the kind of record that everyone needs to hear, immediately, and dare I say it's a What's Going On and/or There's a Riot Going On for our era. Consider this a tale of struggle, self-doubt, adversity, hard times, and nostalgia, yet overcome with the redeeming sense of love and passion, all disguised as a soul album. I don't want to blow it up too big, I'm just proud to say I highly recommend it and that it gets better with every listen. [DG]

$14.99 CD

THE ADVISORY CIRCLE
From Out Here
(Ghost Box)

Jon Brooks has had one hell of a year. After stunning releases under his given name for the Clay Pipe label (the breathtaking 52 LP), a full-length collaboration with Moon Wiring Club's Ian Hodgson as Woodbines & Spiders, and a 7" collaboration with the High Llamas' Sean O'Hagan (now in stock at the shop), Brooks caps off his 2014 with From Out Here, a new album under his Advisory Circle guise. Brooks has shown considerable growth and progress in his sound with each successive Advisory release, and that trend continues with what is arguably his strongest record under this moniker. Throughout the album, he balances throbbing analogue synth science with a compositional majesty, evocative atmospheres, and some of his most kinetic rhythm pieces yet. There's a depth and complexity to many of the tracks here that have often been hinted at in his previous Advisory work, but come to full fruition, delivering variations on the same dark, contempo science-fiction psychedelia explored in Boards Of Canada's Geogaddi or Actress' R.I.P. albums. There's also a strong aesthetic similarity to classic Eno ambient works like On Land and Music for Films, or the electronic etudes of Roedelius' post-Cluster solo material. All in all, it's another gorgeous addition to the Ghost Box catalogue, and has Brooks finishing this busy year on a high note. It's most highly recommended to those with deep interest in the areas described within, and like all Ghost Box releases, is limited in quantities. You know what to do. [IQ]

$17.99 CD
$21.99 LP


ALAIN GORAGUER
La Planete Sauvage
(Superior Viaduct)

If you haven't heard this one before, you're in for a trippy treat. Freshly reissued on wax by the good people at Superior Viaduct, Alain Goraguer's soundtrack for Rene Laloux's 1973 animated sci-fi classic is -- like the film itself -- beautiful, dreamlike and deeply psychedelic. Try to imagine a collaboration between Saucerful of Secrets-era Pink Floyd and Melody Nelson-era Serge Gainsbourg and you're somewhere in the ballpark. (The latter reference is no surprise; Goraguer worked with Gainsbourg in the '60s). Filled with funky rhythms, lush orchestration, spacey Fender Rhodes fills, angelic choirs and wah-drenched guitars, La Planète Sauvage is the kind of music dozens of current day musicians would die to make. A classic that still sounds as fresh as ever. [TW]

$22.99 LP

MR. MITCH
Parallel Memories
(Planet Mu)

Over the past year we've seen a surge of new producers in Great Britain dissecting the blueprint of grime and taking it into uncharted territory. Where Dizzie Rascal, the Streets, and Wiley were once the names and voices associated with the UK-born hip-hop sub-genre, the speedy vocalist has since taken a backseat to the role of the producer. The full-length is offered more often than the single, and the results have been quite sublime. Dubbed 'weightless,' 'boxed,' and even 'emo-grime,' this new strain removes most of the drums, keeps the synths, and isolates the bass, thereby becoming more melodic, melancholic, and emotive. As a result, it has more to do with ambient, new age, and video game soundtracks, than say dubstep, hip-hop, jungle, or drum-n-bass. Closer to IDM, this new sound is relaxed, synthetic, and spacious and can be heard on labels like Night Slugs, Local Action, or Glacial Sounds.

A founding member of the Boxed club night and the Gobstopper label, South East London-based Miles "Mr. Mitch" Mitchell has helped usher in a new era in Britain's ever-evolving music scene. His debut for the always-innovative Planet Mu, Parallel Memories creates a wonderfully playful, heartfelt, and emotional display of skill. During grimes' online dub war, which saw various producers declare 'war' on one another in a battle of the rhythms, Mr. Mitch released a series called Peace Edits, and this new full-length goes further to explore that angle. Instead of using the usual gunshots and explosive sound effects associated with grime, he opts for a more subtle, softer sound palette. Throughout, MM also taps into the soul a cappella re-edit thing on the Blackstreet-sampling "Don't Leave," the pleading diva on "Denial" or the MC chop-up of "Fly Soup." Elsewhere it's spatial and intergalactic like the suspenseful "Wandering Glaciers" or "It Takes Hold of You," which is actually not too dissimilar to the new-world sounds of Arca.

This is music created by and for the imagination; signals are carved and sculpted, and rhythms built and formed with a sense of minimalism. Overall, Parallel Memories feels like Actress gone grime, or a continuation of Burial's emotional longing. They all share a similar care through which they dissect time and space, keeping the soul alive with the use of loopy algorithms and formulas. This is a landmark album for a burgeoning scene still finding its way. And it also happens to be one of the 'newest' sounding full-lengths I've heard this year. Fans of Zomby, Fatima Al-Qadiri, Wiley's 'eski' period, or those waiting to listen in on a future present, grab some headphones and hit play. [DG]

$13.99 CD
$25.99 2LP


BARNT
Magazine 13
(Magazine)

Since his 2010 debut, Barnt, a/k/a Daniel Ansorge, seems to have been keeping a quiet profile and hovering along at his own pace. Ansorge is a German producer whose music as Barnt strongly defies all German techno stereotypes; preferring to buck the trends and search deep into his own imagination instead, Ansorge's work seems to be an exercise in getting the most out of one singular, often angular idea. He's fond of comparing his music to Bauhaus architecture, stating that production elements "only happen when they have to," something that comes across clearly upon first listen.

Across the album's eight tracks, Ansorge keeps his formula simple; largely working with only one or two primary synth sounds per piece and a fairly basic drum palette, Barnt manages to pull entire landscapes out of musical fragments that could easily be construed as cheesy in the wrong producer's hands. In "22:25" for instance, the synths could have been ripped from any number of vintage Krautrock jams, but when filtered through the bizarre rhythmic lens of Barnt, we're left with something completely foreign. It seems though that the tracks where Ansorge reigns in the weirdness work best for the album format. For example, "Cherry Red" has the odd drum programming, and the synths come from the same sound world, but the melody is a little more familiar and the piece as a whole is a bit more structured, which helps carry you along for the 11-minute ride. Magazine 13 isn't an album that grabs you by the throat, but with some attentive listening you'll start to pick out all the subtle and complex movement going on just below the surface of Ansorge's simplicity. [CW]

$17.99 CD

ELECTRIC EELS
Die Electric Eels
(Superior Viaduct)

First things first: If you are at all interested in punk rock or extreme outsider music of any sort and you are not familiar with the Electric Eels, this record is 100% mandatory! You can stop reading now and just buy it.

Formed in 1972 in the barren wastelands of Cleveland, Ohio, the Eels were misfits among the misfits and only managed five actual gigs during their time as an active band. Those shows featured real aggression and danger (lawnmowers on stage!) and almost all of them ended in physical confrontations with the audience or the group themselves. Although they released no material during their lifespan, they documented their music rather extensively in all of its insanely raw, no-fi glory. The legendary Rough Trade Records released a 7" single of "Agitated" in 1978; an all-time high point in lowbrow culture, it's a record that forcefully and artlessly expresses itself to the point of perfection. The A- and B-sides of that 45 open this set and are followed by 11 other tracks just as hatefully good. The songwriting credits are divided between guitarists Brian McMahon and John Morton (whose post Eels band X__X just had a great compilation of their brief time as a group issued earlier this year, and they even played a handful of gigs in support). That being said, singer Dave E. delivers these songs to you seemingly direct from his subconscious with scorn and a permanent sneer.

Starting in the late 1980s, there have been some sporadic overviews of Eels material and if you have one or more of those you may not "need" this, but none of them have been available in recent times so this new compilation is sorely necessary. And Superior Viaduct has, once again, come through with an excellent package all around, reproducing the brilliant and confounding sleeve to the Rough Trade single and liner notes by Jon Savage. An absolute essential record.

PS: Superior Viaduct have also done a reissue of the second Electric Eels single, "Spin Age Blasters" b/w "Bunnies," originally released in 1981 on producer Paul Marotta's Mustard Records -- available here. [DMa]

$19.99 LP


VARIOUS ARTISTS
Native North America Vol. 1: Aboriginal Folk, Rock and Country 1966-1985
(Light in the Attic)

Light in the Attic has undertaken numerous important and thrilling reissue projects over the past decade or so, but their new compilation, Native North America (Vol. 1), seems the most vital and refreshing collection of recent years. In fact, the esteemed Seattle-based imprint has called this set their "most ambitious and historically significant project in the label's 12-year journey." This first volume (there is a second on the way) covers 1966-1985, and features solo artists and bands from indigenous groups throughout Canada and the northern U.S., scores of amazing folk, rock and country-tinged acts whose powerful and passionate music has mostly gone unheard for all these many years. You get the sensation of truly finding some undiscovered sonic lands, not least because some of the best featured artists -- like Canadian rock group Sugluk, hailing from just beneath the Arctic Circle in Quebec, whose output centers on just two 7" singles cut for the CBC in 1975 -- were thwarted by extremely limited resources and circumstance on their quests to produce bodies of work on par with the flush recording era of the late 1960s and '70s.

Although Canada now makes quite more significantly progressive moves than the Lower 48 regarding the First Nations, the post-Gilded Age saga and current "post racial" reality of most indigenous peoples in this hemisphere is one of disempowerment, despair and horrific environmental encroachment. And so it should be clear, as repeatedly described in series producer/compiler Kevin "Sipreano" Howes' liner notes limning the biographies of these marginalized artists, the societal conditions under which these native men struggled in their ambitions, not just due to the harsh policies of the dominant Anglo society denying them access but also from a prevalent need to reconnect with and explore their own Métis, Cree, Inuit, and other cultures they'd been purposely deracinated from, impacts this music in indelible and powerful ways.

We've all seen (and maybe fallen prey to) your average crate digger's delight at hearing music previously "lost" to time, but this set holds so much more than that passing thrill. Magnificent singer-songwriters of the folk-rock genre as the late Willie Dunn, British Guyana-born David Campbell, and more traditionalist Morley Loon can hardly be compared to their Anglo contemporaries with whom we are all so familiar -- their personal hardships give extra indelible meanings to these tracks, and they are mostly lacking the limitations and dated qualities of much protest music coming out of the folk boom. And Dunn and his fellow songwriters transcend youthful imitation of Hank Williams and aboriginal stereotypes to reconstruct new native identities through a prism of blues, rockabilly and the Mystic. It's a truly important compilation that is also straight-up one of the most enjoyable listens we've heard in some time, and it comes with our highest recommendation, a defining, classic set. [KCH/JM]

$22.99 2CD

J FERNANDEZ
Memorize Now EP
(Atelier Oiseaux)

J Fernandez has been brewing lots of sweetly sublime music out of his Chicago home studio for a few years now, but his newest EP, Memorize Now, really lured me in. It's kind of hard to apply the bedroom-pop tag to songs that are this meticulously layered, but there's also an intimacy to these recordings that makes the term apropos, with soft brush-strokes of vintage organs, electronics, horns, skeletal drumming and light-bright strums of guitar painted around Fernandez's subdued, melancholic singing. While the arrangements often tilt closer to an impressionistic sort of baroque pop, there's still something here that subtly hints back to the Chicago-cooked post-rock of the '90s, even if his music is very far from Tortoise, et al. -- perhaps it's the jazzy, polyrhythmic Wurlitzer leads in "Close Your Eyes." Yet elsewhere, the title track and the gentle funk of "Cosmic Was" shines Stereolab's retro-futuristic inspirations through the psychedelic-pop lens of the Elephant Six crew, and the bubbling loops and layers of old electronics during "Failed Scales" is surely 'Lab-worthy too. But the trainspotting here is only meant for context, and Fernandez's music is as refreshing as it is familiar. Definitely recommended to fans of the above, or simply those looking for a nice fix of light psychedelic pop, you won't go wrong either way. The vinyl is limited. [GH]

$14.99 LP


CORNERSHOP
What Did the Hippie Have in His Bag?
(Ample Play)

UK stalwarts Cornershop have long represented an almost United Nations-meets-Wikipedia approach to their songwriting. They have spent near the entirety of their career connecting cultural dots and shining light upon sounds, artists, and styles that inspired them to pick up instruments and create, and in the process have crafted one of the most deeply cultured discographies in the rock/pop universe. While their next album, due for release in early 2015, will broaden that map's territory even further, in the interim we've got this beautiful new artifact from the band's Ample Play label. Cornershop took the recent song "What Did the Hippie Have in His Bag?," recorded with a ragtag group of elementary school students, and have released the track as a 7" packaged in a beautiful, fully illustrated read/sing-along picture book, with printed lyrics and stunning artwork by designer Nick Edwards, who has long created the sleeve art for nearly all of the group's releases as well as those by Comet Gain, DJ Harvey, and more. It's one of the most fun, playful, and straight-up grooving releases that Cornershop have put out, and the book will appeal to hip parents or relatives looking to get a sweet gift for the munchkins this holiday, or for those who dig great record design. These are lovely artifacts, made doubly excellent by the great single included -- the B-side of which is an instrumental version of the tune for proper sing-along/baby's first karaoke throwdowns! What did the hippie have in his bag? Hopefully it was this book! [IQ]

$19.99 7"+BOOK

EX COPS
Daggers
(Downtown)

Ex Cops were Other Music Recording Co.'s very first signing, so when Downtown Records made us an offer to release the group's next album, it was admittedly a bittersweet parting. We were, however, excited for the duo, yet nothing could have prepared us for what was to come. Daggers, Ex Cops' follow-up to last year's OMRC-released True Hallucinations, is an ambitious move towards major league pop, eschewing the subtle, dream-pop charms of their hazy debut for in-your-face hooks on anthems like buzzing alt-rocker "Black Soap" and the infectious synth-driven "White Noise," or the atmospheric R&B-influenced slow-burner "Burnt Out Love (co-written by Ariel Pink). Executive produced by Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan with Justin Raisen (Sky Ferriera, Charli XCX) sitting in the producer's chair, perhaps the most dramatic change is the role reversal; Brian Harding steps back some from the lead vocal mic and lets Amalie Bruun carry much of the record, with her diverse melodies ranging from sultry, a la Lana Del Rey, to soaring and almost Abba-esque at times. (Though there's no sign here of the guttural wails of Myrkur, Bruun's black metal solo project.)

While there are still some nods to the band's underground interests coming through via the occasional motorik rhythm or the loud/quiet interplay between jangling guitar chords and shoegaze walls of sound, Daggers is by all means a smart yet stylized modern pop record. All said, it's a gutsy move and one that will surely find some indie purists grumbling, yet at a recent show in Brooklyn, there was nothing but love in the crowd, with fans singing along to both new songs and old. While Ex Cops may have adjusted their sights from making "other" music to a bigger prize, we wish them nothing but the best. After all, even in 2014, it doesn't get much cooler than hearing old friends on the radio. [GH]

$14.99 CD
$18.99 LP+MP3


THE POOL
333+
(Anodize)

Local label Anodize, previously known for a roster of deep, challenging techno and experimental electronic records, throw a curveball with this reissue of a killer, slept-on synthwave album from the Pool, alias Patrick Keel. Keel was an Austin, Texas native who released this, his debut full-length, following a number of singles in the Austin underground scene. He was picked up by Enigma for the Pool's lone 1983 LP, and it plays like an Americana spin on the regal, Cold War synth-pop of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, John Foxx, and Bill Nelson, but with some excellent guitar work woven into the synthetics. This CD collects almost the entirety of Keel's discography as the Pool, compiling the 333 album, the "Where Did We Go Wrong?" 12", and the eponymous 1982 EP that predated 333, and shines light on a highly talented musician who seems to have fallen through the cracks in this post-internet age. There's a savant artistry here that fuses with the DIY ethos of punk, and a nervous energy runs through these songs in a way that nods to the dystopian visions that many of the era's synth scientists were often warning of throughout the '80s. Minimal synth/cold wave fans should definitely grab this, as well as fans of synth-heavy new wave, techno pop, and art rock that was rampant in the post-punk era. [IQ]

$13.99 CD

JOHN FAHEY
Paintings
(Inventory Press)

Earlier this year Dance of Death: The Life of John Fahey, an essential biography of one of the 20th century's most groundbreaking acoustic guitarists, dropped to critical acclaim. It documented Fahey's work between 1959 and his tragic death in 2001, surveying dozens of albums featuring his innovative guitar playing that pulled from traditional American folk music, blues, Indian ragas and the avant-garde. Now, thanks to NY Gallery offshoot Inventory Press, we're presented with John Fahey: Paintings, a collection of this pioneering musician's visual works. Here, Fahey's primitive style is splayed out on over 100 pages of beautifully reproduced abstract paintings that blur the lines between expressionism, high art, and messy minimalism. Some of these pieces have gone on to morph into album covers (like Sonic Youth's The Eternal) but others have never seen the light of day until now. It's an amazing document and includes essays from Bob Nickas and No-Neck Blues Band's Keith Connolly. [RN]

$42.00 BOOK


VERCKYS & ORCHESTRE VEVE
Congolese Funk, Afrobeat and Psychedelic Rumba 1969-1978
(Analog Africa)

Analog Africa's newest release is a long-overdue, absolutely mesmerizing overview of the work of Congolese bandleader, label owner, and saxophonist Verckys Kiamuangana Mateta, who began his career in the hugely influential ensemble OK Jazz, and whose 1970s post-OKJ work transformed Congolese rumba and soukous music into a more aggressive form drawing influence from the pioneering R&B of James Brown. Verckys stripped away the ethereality of the guitar-heavy soukous and rumba sounds, adding a more earthen groove and weightier anchor to many of these tunes while still holding on to the roots and essential strands of the soukous DNA. There's a strong melodic emphasis here as opposed to the pulsating, vamping rhythm of Nigerian Afrobeat, incorporating stunning vocal harmonies and serpentine guitars into the driving funk grooves of Verckys' music. While Analog Africa have one of the most consistent discographies in the African reissue market, this collection easily stands tall amongst the label's top-tier releases, shining light on a key figure in the Congolese music scene and bringing forth some of the most stunning, groovy, and joyous music you're likely to hear this season in any genre. [IQ]

$17.99 2CD ON SALE
$27.99 2LP


GALA DROP
II
(Golf Channel)

Gala Drop returns with a proper follow-up to their self-titled debut from 2009, and their first recording since Broda, their 2012 split with Six Organs of Admittance's Ben Chasny. The Lisbon band's latest is a continuation of the heady Balearic vibes of their previous releases, all the while expanding on myriad global sounds that have always informed the group, with elements from Afrobeat to dub to Detroit techno and funk all the more prevalent. Case in point: Motor City expat Jerry the Cat, who's collaborated with everyone from Parliament/Funkadelic on through Derrick May, Moodymann and Theo Parrish, has joined the ranks and is featured prominently throughout II. His smoky baritone guides the band's cross-cultural fusions through soulful, dubby excursions like "All Things" to the propulsive, warm psychedelia of album highlight "Sun Gun," in which a muscular motorik rhythm commingles with arpeggiating synths and spindly West African guitar lines. While not quite as groundbreaking as similarly minded explorers like TV on the Radio spin-offs Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band or the breezy genre-blending pop of Sinkane, Gala Drop have come through with a new sense of purpose, and we look forward to hearing where they will take us next. I just hope we don't have to wait another six years between full-lengths. [GH]

$15.99 CD


TIM KERR & RICH JACOBS
Time Between the Time
(Move)

Many readers of the Other Music Update may already be familiar with Tim Kerr, but if you are not, he was a founding member of the Big Boys and has been in Bad Mutha Goose, Poison 13, Jack 'O Fire and the Lord High Fixers, as well as a concurrent career as a visual artist. Rich Jacobs might not be as well known as Kerr, but he has followed a very similar path as both a musician and visual artist. For both of them, the takeaway they got from punk rock was the human, personal connections and the freedom to create whatever they wanted. Time Between the Time is a self-released CD on Jacob's Move Sounds label and is billed as a soundtrack for a yet-to-be-made film. That description is right on the money, and these sparse and spacious guitar duets created by two friends should certainly please fans of either artist as well as having a lot of room for your own personal visuals to be inserted while listening. [DMa]

$9.99 CD


BING & RUTH
Tomorrow Was the Golden Age
(RVNG Intl.)

Bing & Ruth is a New York-based minimalist ensemble whose work is primarily the vision of New School graduate and composer David Moore. A new album for the excellent RVNG Intl. label, Tomorrow Was the Golden Age is a full-length composition comprised of short suites, chamber music interludes, cosmic piano excursions, and plenty of ... space. It's an album of immense beauty, that rare record that sounds fresh, all the while placing you in a nostalgic state of mind that feels both familiar and warm. Similar to the work of modern minimalists like William Basinski or Lubomyr Melnyk, Tomorrow's sound palette is lush and expansive with an air of melancholy, featuring David Moore on piano, Jeremy Viner and Patrick Breiner on clarinet, Mike Effenberger operating tape delay, cellist Leigh Stuart, and bassists Jeff Ratner and Greg Chudzik. A very highly recommended slice of sleepy modern classical music that's not only a huge step forward into current music for the RVNG label, but should also appeal to followers of Erased Tapes, Kranky, etc. [RN]

$11.99 ON SALE
$23.99 2LP

vinyl back in print

ARTHUR RUSSELL
Love Is Overtaking Me
(Audika)

One of the most important pieces in the puzzle that is the creative enigma of Arthur Russell is back in print on double LP. Love Is Overtaking Me is a beautiful collection of folk, pop and country tunes recorded from 1973-1990, all compiled from the personal archives of Arthur and his partner Tom Lee. While many know of Arthur's dance experiments and his modern composition pieces, few know of this side of the man -- he took part in and formed many different pop groups during his lifetime, all of which would seemingly evaporate before things really got rolling, and he was constantly writing and recording tunes influenced by his Midwest roots and his time in California during the early 1970s. Songs from a few of those groups are included here, along with many solo songs often featuring just Arthur and an acoustic guitar, and sometimes his unique cello playing. The bulk of the collection's earliest pieces were recorded by famed producer John Hammond in CBS Studios throughout the mid '70s, with much of the rest laid down at Blank Tapes in the '80s, where Arthur recorded many of his most famous dance tunes, as well as the album by the Necessaries, a fantastic power-pop band which included Arthur, Ernie Brooks, and Red Crayola drummer Jesse Chamberlain, and was fronted by Ed Tomney. There are a few tunes recorded at the Kitchen in the '70s, as well as a handful recorded elsewhere.

Most striking upon early listens is Arthur's singing voice -- usually a muffled riddle of onomatopoeia, here he mostly sings in clear, ringing tones. His lyrical muse is very much the same -- fragile, deeply emotional tunes tying both heartfelt themes of love and loss with playful use of catchphrases, haiku-like simplicity, and a directness often difficult to express in song. While the jumps in the timeline throughout may not give the collection as cohesive a feel as something like Calling Out of Context, the double LP is overflowing with riches, and is a beautiful treat to be able to curl up with on these chilly days and nights. Play it with someone you love, or sit and think of the love you've lost -- just give it lots of time and lots of care. Arthur would've wanted it that way. [IQ]

$31.99 2LP

back in stock

CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE
SchlingenCassettenBlangen
(Close/Far)

Wow, this is something! One of the first Charlemagne Palestine pieces I ever heard (and immediately fell in love with) was his magnificent Schlingen-Blangen, a monumental work for solo organ wherein Palestine fixes a drone based on a single chord, and which he then proceeds to subtly alter over its (often quite lengthy) duration by changing the stops, or sticking bits of cardboard between the keys. It's dense, meditative, immensely physical, brilliant in its simplicity, but nevertheless seemingly unlimited it its possibilities. If there were ever to be a Charlemagne Palestine Greatest Hits album, this would surely be included, and indeed he continues to regularly perform it to this day.

The version most people are familiar with was published by New World Records in the late '90s, and featured a crisp, digital recording that had been captured in Holland in 1988, and which lasted around seventy minutes. But what Palestine and the good people at Close/Far Recordings have now dug up is a 90-minute version of the piece, recorded on the exact same organ, but 11 years previously, in 1977. Captured on an analog magnetic cassette tape, this version sounds somewhat radically different than the one released by New World due to the fugitive nature of the cassette master, with its tape sliding and warping the proceedings. Palestine has rechristened his composition SchlingenCassettenBlängen for this release, and what you'll hear is a wonderfully amorphous and spectral performance, with the flaws of the tape adding their own specific character to the piece, not unlike what you'd find in, say, William Basinski's Disintegration Loops. Issued in a mere edition of 369 copies and very beautifully packaged, this is a great addition to Palestine's canon, and one best snatched up, rapidly. [MK]

$9.99 CASSETTE

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