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june 19, 2014

special announcements

UNION POOL & OTHER MUSIC PRESENT: SUMMER THUNDER

SATURDAY, JUNE 21: EX CULT, LIQUOR STORE & CALL OF THE WILD + DJ MR NAIDEAU

Every Saturday Afternoon through August 30
Union Pool: 484 Union Ave. Brooklyn
Facebook Event Invite | Free Admission

Other Music is thrilled to be co-presenting this FREE weekly party this year with Union Pool, which takes place every Saturday afternoon through August 30th in the iconic Brooklyn bar's big backyard. This weekend's gonna be a big one, featuring live performances from Ex-Cult, with Liquor Store and Call of the Wild, plus DJ Mr Naideau (Nude Beach, Warthog, Other Music)! Upcoming shows include:  IIII (featuring Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Hisham Akira Bharoocha (Soft Circle / Boredoms), Ryan Sawyer (Lonewolf) and Ben Vida) along with Highlife and DJ Brian Degraw on 6/28, Widowspeak with Zachary Cale and DJ Gerald Hammill (178 Product, Other Music) on 7/5, The Men, Survival, Mercury Rising and DJ Misery Creep on 7/12, Obits on 7/19, and Jonathan Toubin with special guests on 7/26. As usual, every party will be complete with brunch options from El Diablo Tacos and drink specials that will include offerings from Brooklyn Brewery, Jameson Black Barrel, & Kelvin Natural Slush Co. More acts will be announced soon, so mark you calendars and see you at Summer Thunder 2014!!
 


MISTER SATURDAY NIGHT RECORD RELEASE PARTY

MONDAY, JUNE 23 @ 6-8PM

OTHER MUSIC: 15 E. 4th St. NYC
Free Admission | Limited Capacity

Next week, Mister Saturday Night Records (the label offshoot of the Brooklyn party helmed by Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter) is releasing Brothers and Sisters, its first full-length. The album brings together all the artists who've been released on the label -- Alex Burkat, Anthony Naples, Archie Pelago, Boya, Dark Sky, General Ludd, Gunnar Haslam, Hank Jackson, Keita Sano and Lumigraph -- combining music made specifically for the record and tracks that have until now only been available on vinyl. This Monday evening, Other Music is going to celebrate with a special in-store! Lumigraph, General Ludd, Archie Pelago and Alex Burkat will all be playing records; Justin and Eamon will be there to shoot the breeze; and the CD and LP will be available for the first time ever, anywhere. It all goes down from 6 to 8 p.m.


OTHER MUSIC SUMMER MONDAYS AT ACE HOTEL

EVERY MONDAY IN JUNE, JULY & AUGUST

Ace Hotel New York: 20 W. 29th St. NYC

Other Music's summer Monday residency returns to New York City's Ace Hotel and goes through to the end of August! During those months, you'll find a different member of our staff DJing their favorite records and countless varieties of music inside the gorgeous lobby bar every Monday evening from 8 p.m. to midnight, and we hope you'll come and join us as we shake off these dog days that are finally here. So mark your calendar: Other Music's Summer DJ Residency at Ace Hotel, every Monday in June, July and August. Here's the upcoming schedule with more DJs to be announced soon.

June 23 – Gerald Hammill
June 30 – Amanda Colbenson
July 7 – Ning Nong
July 14 – Ryan Naideau
July 21 – Andreas Knutsen
July 28 – Clay Wilson

 

in this week's update

FEATURED NEW RELEASES

Lower
Leslie Winer
Answer Code Request
Martyn
Meshell Ndegeocello
Bremen
Officer!
Alexander Heir (Book)
Greater Lengths (Various)
Alexis Zoumbas
Daniele Baldelli
Hamilton Leithauser
Alexis Taylor
The Bats

 

ALSO AVAILABLE

Warpaint 12" (EL-P Remix)
Hollie Cook
Alexander Turnquist
Half-Handed Cloud
 

AVAILABLE ON VINYL

Choubi Choubi! Vol. 1

announcements

WIN KAISER CHIEFS TICKETS

FRIDAY, JUNE 20

Webster Hall: 125 E. 11th St. NYC

We know where all you Brit-pop fans are going to be Friday night: seeing Kaiser Chiefs at New York City's Webster Hall. Didn't get your tickets yet? Well here's your chance, because Other Music is giving away a pair and all you have to do to enter is email tickets@othermusic.com. We'll be picking a winner this afternoon, so send in your entry right now!
 


WIN MERCHANDISE TICKETS

SATURDAY, JUNE 21

Glasslands:  289 Kent Ave. Brooklyn

With a forthcoming album, After the End, coming out on 4AD in late August, Tampa brood-pop masters Merchandise return to New York for a couple of  live performances: Saturday, June 21 at Glasslands in Williamsburg and the following night at St. Vitus in Greenpoint, and then on Wednesday, June 25 at NYC's Home Sweet Home. Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to the Glasslands show and to enter for your chance to win, just email tickets@othermusic.com. We'll notify the winner Friday afternoon.


WIN TICKETS TO JOE PURDY

FRIDAY, JUNE 27

NYU Skirball: 566 LaGuardia Place NYC

NYU Skirball welcomes celebrated Arkansas born, L.A.-based singer-songwriter Joe Purdy in concert on Friday, June 27, who will be performing in support of his forthcoming album, Eagle Rock Fire, along with another great solo talent, Brian Wright. Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to this special night, and you can enter for your chance to win by emailing giveaway@othermusic.com.

this week's update

LOWER
Seek Warmer Climes
(Matador)

Up until now, Copenhagen's Lower has primarily been known as "that band that's friends with Iceage," with a couple of 7" singles to their name that resurrected American screamo and post-hardcore past (the first one in particular was no less the tribute to bands like Plunger or William Martyr 17 than any that have existed since the era of the '90s distro box). That all changes with the release of their debut full-length, Seek Warmer Climes, which finds the four-piece firmly entrenched in that dour, misty post-punk ideal of the early '80s, as mastered by Echo & the Bunnymen, Crispy Ambulance, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, the Chameleons UK and early Simple Minds, or even the Psychedelic Furs or early R.E.M. Like all those bands, Lower has achieved mastery of building dramatic tension through the push-pull of guitar/rhythmic interplay and a persuasive vocalist in Adrian Toubro whose desperate romanticism marks these songs with a soaring ache that you just can't fake. Every song here impresses with the drive and determination put forth, in a formula that could go south at any point, but in their hands never comes close. If this sounds like your thing, well, this one definitely is. [DM]

$9.99 CD
$14.99 LP

LESLIE WINER
Witch
(Superior Viaduct)

I've written about poet, producer, supermodel, and artist Leslie Winer many times in Updates past, so I'll just start this off by saying: This is, arguably, my favorite album of all time. Yes, you read that correctly. OF ALL TIME. Witch, the first (and for many years, only) album by Winer, has one hell of a story, in which it predates the Bristol Wild Bunch's deep dub fusion of urban delights, yet sits on a record company shelf for a few years (save for a few white label promos) while an ugly Frankensteined beast called trip-hop either enhances or destroys coffee shop and hookah lounge vibes for the next 10-odd years, depending upon your viewpoint.

Winer's album was, and still remains, in a world entirely of its own, though -- it's unfair for critics and historians to simply stick her in a corner as the grandmother of trip-hop, because who the fuck wants that albatross tied to their neck? Recorded in the late 1980s, at a time when the world seemed to be teetering on the brink of collapse, where empty promises of brighter futures kept leading to more bombed-out, burned-down housing projects, the war on drugs fired its first warning shots into not just the inner cities, but also the quiet whispers of suburbia, and popular culture saw its first major uprising of urban youth cultures from across the globe begin to assemble in secret meetings behind dilapidated closed doors. Witch takes Winer's still startling, still barbed and sadly still relevant commentary on war, gender, sexual politics, and drugs, and splices it into a cut-up collage of cubist beats, dub reggae basslines (often played by Public Image Ltd's Jah Wobble), heartland rock'n'roll and blues samples, and some dancehall soundsystem frippery. The end result eerily foreshadows '90s masterworks like Blue Lines and Maxinquaye, but in truth has more in common with Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. While the production is dense, oblique, and innovative, it's Winer's singular voice that is the glue holding it all together; her nicotine-stained whispers register like punches to the gut, her recollections of a life escaping the confines of Massachusetts for the greater metropolitan wilderness even more startling when you realize that by the time she was a young adult, she'd already been friend and assistant to William S. Burroughs, and one of the fashion industry's first "supermodels."

Witch is still powerful and relevant today because all of the issues and struggles that Winer chronicles throughout remain unresolved, unconquered, unchanged. It's an album that speaks in a language all its own, and though dialects have been recognized and adapted by numerous artists today, Witch remains -- in my opinion -- one of the defining documents of a human coming to terms with living in the unmalleable skeletons of the city AND the body. Someone REALLY wanted me to (trust me... you don't), so I'll go back to my original sentiment: This is my all-time favorite album, and it's not only the first time that it's seen any sort of official physical reissue in America, but it's also the first time Winer's had any degree of direct involvement with the album's rerelease. Highest. Possible. Recommendation. [IQ]

$19.99 LP

ANSWER CODE REQUEST
Code
(Ostgut Ton)

Answer Code Request seems to have been living a techno fairytale over the past few years. Getting an early start with props from Hardwax on his first release, the buzz built quickly and eventually Patrick Graser became a resident at Berlin's infamous Berghain club. Now he's taken the connection a step further for his debut album, released on Berghain's in-house imprint, Ostgut Ton. While that all might sound a bit heavy on the dark and pounding big-room techno, part of Graser's huge appeal is that his music takes every chance it gets to deny the stereotypes associated with the "Berghain Sound" or the traditional mold that Ostgut has become known for recently.

With album starter "Code," Graser lays out the foundation for the record: heaving bass, swirling ambience, and some seriously clean sound design. "Blue Russian" flirts with the shuffle of UK garage in the drums, but never abandons the sonic heaviness or abstraction of Berlin with his synths. There seems to be a decent amount of influence from the earlier days of UK funky or the floaty, abstract garage beats of Burial or Four Tet, but this is no simple "crossover" record. You can tell Graser is just as comfortable with those rhythms and forms as he is with the stricter techno side of things, which is what makes the finished product work so well.

In even more contrast to the typical Ostgut sound, the album's mood lightens up significantly as time goes on, especially noticeable in "By the Bay," with its heavy '90s-style breakbeats and emotional pad lines run through the Berlin filter. The vocals of "Axif" do a great job breaking your focus away from the plot, and then you're pulled right back in with those strings on album closer "Thermal Capacity," which kind of sounds like it could be a lost Aphex Twin piece with some contemporary drum production. The diversity of Code is clearly its greatest strength. There's no fear of variation, and certainly no cheesy moments of trying too hard to be one thing or the other. Graser's production is very natural and comfortable feeling, and Code definitely puts him on the international map as an immensely talented producer and musician. [CW]

$17.99 CD
$21.99 LP

MARTYN
The Air Between Words
(Ninja Tune)

On The Air Between Words, Dutch electronic producer Martyn delivers perhaps his most organically sounding effort thus far. Making his name in the aftermath of dubstep's early heydays, Martyn's 2009 debut album Great Lengths made a difference in offering one of the most soulful, rhythmically advanced, and eclectic records of the genre. While 2011's Ghost People turned his formula resolutely darker and more concise, on his third offering he starts fully exploring his prior engagement with the European house and techno scenes, with decisively lighter results. Drawing on wide-ranging influences such as Chicago and Detroit tech house, Berlin dub techno, and UK broken beats, as well as the usual dubstep and drum & bass sensibilities, Martyn now fully integrates these diverse inspirations into his distinctly graceful, dynamic arrangements.

Exploring analogue sounding, jazzy live jams over compellingly constructed beats, The Air Between Words feels mature and emotionally honest. Assisted on two tracks by fellow beat constructivist Four Tet and electronic troubadour copeland (as in Inga Copeland), the overall vibe is fluid and self-assured, all of his signature amorphous melodies and structures remaining convincingly intact. Although this album will most likely not send any shockwaves through the contemporary dance firmament, its strengths lie decisively elsewhere, outside the currently en vogue exploration of old-fashioned elements aimed to "authenticate" contemporary styles. Martyn's unique appeal, in fact, is to be found in the heartfelt sense of personal history that runs through each of its tracks, and the ways in which he appears as both respectful and playful towards the larger tradition of dance music, while being entirely in control of his remarkably kaleidoscopic musical vision. [NVT]

$14.99 CD
$34.99 3LP+MP3

MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO
Comet, Come to Me
(Naive)

Since the start of her recording career as one of the first artists signed to Madonna's Maverick imprint back in 1993, Meshell Ndegeocello's path has been carved in a fashion that could also be described as maverick. The German-born, D.C.-raised bassist, vocalist, and composer's brand of music has always creatively incorporated soul, hip-hop, jazz, reggae, and rock, gaining her critical acclaim as well as a diverse and loyal fan base (long before Afro-Punk was a thing). After her ten-year run with Madonna came to an end, Ndegeocello went the independent route, finally landing on French indie Naive for her last three albums (her most recent record was made up of all Nina Simone covers). As an openly bisexual woman, she's helped blaze a few trails, often writing directly, frankly, poetically, and passionately about gender, sexuality, race, and heartbreak, usually with a cerebral and dark hue. Her latest album, Comet, Come to Me, is another tastefully crafted collection of sad love songs, yet there's a sense of freedom and playfulness that is woven through the arrangements and lyrics that brighten things up a bit.

Recorded in California with a small group of friends including Chris Connelly, Chris Bruce, My Brightest Diamond, Amp Fiddler, Jebin Bruni, Doyle Bramhall, and Earl Harvin, there's a rich and warm atmosphere being conjured across Comet. The compositions weave together structure and improvisation which lend a breezy, carefree vibe, but with all the instruments deep in the pocket. Album highlight (there are many) "Forget My Name" is a wonderful reggae tune that brings to mind Bob Marley and Burning Spear, filled with rich organ, horns, and doubled vocals. As always, Ndegeocello's bass playing is wonderful and deep, and on the handful of reggae tracks, she provides a spacious yet groove-minded spine.

At this point in her career, Ndegeocello is skilled enough to accomplish any type of song she can imagine, and with the help of her contributors what she creates here is simply good music across the spectrum. She's often reminded me of Prince in that way, going from style to style with ease and confidence yet maintaining a unique voice. Ndegeocello has always made albums, not just songs, paving her own way, crafting a signature sound, carving her niche, and continuing on, despite the mainstream (10 Grammy nominations, but no wins). If you are a fan of diverse and creative black music from artists like Gil Scott-Heron, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, D'Angelo, Sade, and Erykah Badu, you'll want to check out Comet, Come to Me. And if you're not familiar with Meshell Ndegeocello, this is the perfect time and album to start with, as it's a complex picture of where she's been and can go, and more refreshing than ever. [DG]

$15.99 CD
$24.99 2LP

BREMEN
Second Launch
(Blackest Ever Black)

The newest dispatch from Blackest Ever Black is perhaps their biggest and most welcome surprise yet. Second Launch is a double-LP behemoth of psychedelic space-rock by Bremen, a duo comprised of former Bunnybrains members Lanchy Orre and Jonas Tiljander. On this, their sophomore release, they blast straight into the stratosphere with a tasty blend of dizzying guitar noise, heavily driving rhythmic pulses, and a maelstrom of droning riffs and feedback squalls. These storm clouds of visceral rock are tempered with more sedate moments of tone clusters, gentle piano/organ etudes, and minor-key melodies; at nearly two hours in length, Second Launch is an epic listening experience, but one which seems to warp time and space around it -- these tracks push forward, bending the space surrounding the sounds, offering a proper journey fit for the most seasoned psychedelic explorers.

What I love so much about this album is that it eschews any desire to reinvent any wheels, and instead simply hotwires them and takes them for as fast and frenzied a ride as they can; listening to this record reminds me of everything from Neu! to Flying Saucer Attack, Popol Vuh to Loop, Broadcast to Spacemen 3, and yet at the same time it remains a distinct, absolutely mesmerizing listening experience of its own. This is some of the best rock music I've heard in ages, instrumental or otherwise, and if this sounds like your cup of spiked tea, grip this without hesitation, as like all other Blackest Ever Black releases, it's a limited edition and most likely won't last long. One of the year's most welcome surprises, Second Launch keeps drawing me back in for more. [IQ]

$31.99 2LP

OFFICER!
Dead Unique
(Blackest Ever Black)

Hot on the heels of Officer!'s Ossification reissue comes this technically "new" release, from the side of Blackest Ever Black that would rather focus on those Weekend demos or Gareth Williams & Mary Currie's Flaming Tunes than anything Raime- or Vatican Shadow-related. Mick Hobbs and his coterie of cohorts cut these 18 tracks in 1995, but never got around to releasing them, and in that sense, the music on Dead Unique -- apart from being just as the title indicates -- is remarkably well-preserved, and perhaps more suited for our reissue-primed era than it would have been in the bloated excess of alt-rock's heyday. Patches of progressive rock, legitimate psychedelia, jazzy interludes and stream-of-consciousness mania fills the hour-plus runtime with fractured but never truly separated songcraft, fostered by Hobbs' wise and skewed hands into something closer to post-punk than any of the art-rock bands he'd played in and cavorted alongside ever really got. Dead Unique is an adventurous listen for sure, but not a difficult one, even amidst all the tiny musical meltdowns occurring within -- anyone primed on the Cleaners from Venus or Homosexuals or the Red Crayola should have a field day with this brilliant and twisted work. [DM]

$17.99 CD
$31.99 2LP

ALEXANDER HEIR
Death Is Not the End
(Sacred Bones)

Sacred Bones' first foray into the world of independent publishing is Death Is Not the End, a book/catalog chronicling prolific Brooklyn artist Alexander Heir. Heir's work has graced countless album covers, cassettes, fliers, tour posters and memorabilia for a huge chunk of the current hardcore, punk, and death rock scenes. By making connections between bands and movements with an assured sense of cultural fluidity, Heir's esoteric aesthetic and exaggerated rendering of punks, monsters, cops, queers, and general bad asses have come to define this very generation, and it speaks for itself that groups as seemingly disparate as Hoax, Zyanose (Japan), Parquet Courts, Limp Wrist, La Misma, the Men and hundreds of others are all represented in this stunning collection.

Along with showcasing work for his cult street clothing line DEATH/TRAITORS, which has been championed by the likes of Three Six Mafia and Odd Future, Death Is Not the End will definitely appeal to music lovers and graphic designers alike -- pretty much anyone but the faint of heart. In theory, one could even flip through this book like an encyclopedic resource of relevant names in contemporary punk culture. So prepare to have your mind blown -- this is easily one of the coolest and most unique releases so far this year. These are first edition copies with a hard slipcover, so get 'em while you can! [RN]

$25.00 BOOK

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Greater Lengths
(All Saints)

The All Saints label was founded in 1991 with a mission to focus on the works of Brian Eno and a select group of artists around him. Coming off of some highly regarded reissues of lost and rare material from Laraaji, Jon Hassell, Harold Budd, and Roger Eno, Greater Lengths compiles a sizable collection of the label's highlights and pairs them with newly commissioned remixes by some younger faces of the ambient and experimental world. With disc one, "Originals," spotlighting pieces from Roger Eno, Harold Budd, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, Roedelius, Laraaji, John Paul Jones, Misha Mahlin & Lydia Theremin, John Cale, and Djivan Gasparyan, you really get an idea of just how much ground All Saints has covered over the years.

Disc two, "Re-works," is the more interesting one for me, as it features 13 remixes clearly curated by someone with an ear for underground experimental music. Motion Sickness of Time Travel turns in one of my favorite moments, transforming Laraaji's "Space Choir" into a sublimely deep and droning eight-minute meditation. Elsewhere, Hieroglyphic Being has a great remix that sees Roedelius getting into a roughed-up but grooving cosmic jazz thing, while Odd Nosdam's take on Harold Budd's "Feral" eschews any trace of Budd's signature sounds -- what's left behind is just a small loop swelling and swaying, covered in a heavy blanket of distortion. Other highlights include Bee Mask's throbbing edit of Laraaji's "A Cave in England," Peaking Lights' tropical take on Roedelius' "Puente," Bandshell's overdriven tribal remix of Jon Hassell's "Inversion," and a raw, stripped-down techno version of Harold Budd's "Manden" by Patten. It's clear that the aim of CD2 was to avoid anything overly true to form in these re-workings and while it may seem like a confusing concept, in the trusting hands and ears of All Saints, these remixes have really added a new element to the legendary material the label built its name from. [CW]

$11.99 CD2x ON SALE

ALEXIS ZOUMBAS
A Lament for Epirus 1926-1928
(Angry Mom)

As far as producer Christopher King knew, before he traveled to Epirus in Northern Greece in 2012, Epirotic violinist Alexis Zoumbas (b. 1883) had filled the pockets of his "porcine landlord" with stones and tossed him into a well, then fled for the U.S., where he made some rare and beguiling 78-rpm records and was knifed by his mistress on the eve of his first visit back to his homeland. A tantalizing story, begging to be believed, and upon listening to Zoumbas' records -- virtuosic and keening violin solos, backed by lugubrious cimbalom or double-bass, capable of stirring up an almost unbearable, aching sadness -- you want to believe it.

Of course the story's too good (or too pat) to be true, as King reveals in his notes to A Lament for Epirus, which are half biography of Alexis Zoumbas (the most complete to date) and half travelogue (which is, par for King's course, half physical and half metaphysical). You should let Chris tell it to you -- he traveled to Ioannina, Zoumbas' birthplace, to get it from his nephews, after all -- but the digest is that after being naturalized as an American citizen in 1910 (leaving behind a wife and children at home), Zoumbas took up with the expat Greek community in New York City, accompanying popular and prolific café singers Marika Papagika and Amalia Bakas (a fellow Epirote, and his purported murderess), before making his own solo sides between 1926 and 1928. He followed Bakas to Chicago in 1941, relocating again to Detroit in 1943. He was dead from a respiratory infection in 1946.

It's a dozen of those solo records that King selected and re-mastered (in magnificent fashion) for this album, the first ever devoted to Alexis Zoumbas. It's due time. As King writes, this is some of the most "powerful music the world has scarcely heard." This is music -- like that made by Louisiana Creole accordionist Amede Ardoin and his fiddling partner Dennis McGee, earlier subjects of King's work -- that make adjectives like "haunting" or "plaintive" or "lonesome" tilt at windmills. This is monumentally affecting stuff. [NS]

$14.99 CD
$25.99 LP


DANIELE BALDELLI
Back to My Funky Side
(Cinedelic)

Italian DJ and producer Daniele Baldelli has long held a reputation as one of the greatest and most innovative of his kind, yet his recorded discography is oddly lacking compared to others with such a formidable shadow cast across the modern dance music circuit. The scant few releases he DOES have under his name are generally mixes, and his place as one of the innovators of cosmic disco and Balearic music truly deserves greater recognition in the reissue market. It's with great delight and surprise, then, that we've got Back to My Funky Side -- not a reissue of greatest cosmic hits, but rather a brand new album of productions made to reconnect the Italian space-funk astronaut to his roots.

I'll admit, upon first listen I was slightly disappointed that this wasn't a ball-trippin', head-spinnin' psychotropic dispatch from another galaxy, but instead a quite delectable platter of more Earthly disco-funk delights. This is perhaps the most overtly soul and funk-oriented release of the man's career, all crushed velvet, stacked heels, and tight lamé hotpants, but the cosmic/space elements are very much there, albeit snuck in with a more subtle flare. Back to My Funky Side is, honestly, the album that I'd wished for Daft Punk's Random Access Memories to have been: a beautiful, sincere throwback nod to a golden era for dance music, crafted by supple human craftsmen, but tweaked and mutated by space-age technology. There's just enough sleaze and cheese for a wink and a blown kiss, but the grooves here are tight and thicker than bricks, and when Baldelli fires up the synths and sirens, it's ON, sending this shit straight out to Saturn. This is the sound of sweaty bodies cavorting in summertime twilights, and if you like a bit of nostalgia in your funk, this is a great way to dispatch the pheromones. Put on your Jordache spacesuit and hop on board... we're about to blast off!! [IQ]

$21.99 CD


HAMILTON LEITHAUSER
Black Hours
(Ribbon Music)

Walkmen solo records parade continues in 2014! Hamilton Leithauser was the frontman of that beloved NYC rock group, and here takes his voice to twilit registers, with more lush/louche orchestration -- strings and timpani where the Walkmen might've just blown you out with a blast of guitars and twinkling piano -- that hearkens back to a generation of floorshow crooners long since past (Sinatra, Dino) as well as downstairs to the shoo-be-doo-wop of early rockers (the second half of "I Retired" hearkens back to Elvis). You may wonder why a modern guy like Hamilton would be swinging for the boomer audience, but it's not like that; there's plenty of the type of rock here that you'd be accustomed to from his musical past, but with a finer point upon it, and giving the man a chance to build out his image a bit. You're likely to love it if you loved his past work, and your parents might dig it too!  [DM]

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$21.99 LP+MP3
$27.99 DELUXE 2LP+MP3


ALEXIS TAYLOR
Await Barbarians
(Domino)

If you thought Alexis Taylor's 2008 solo debut, Rubbed Out, was a one-time escape from Hot Chip's dance floor friendly pop, you have a surprise coming. Arguably even more acoustic and sparse than his first solo outing, Await Barbarians is a sort of antithesis to his main band's fun, infectious music. A majority of the songs on here are three-minute ballads that lack the immediate hooks that most fans expect from the man. It allows for an intimacy that you just aren't going to get from a Hot Chip tune, yet over time, Taylor's highly introspective words and the pensive arrangements will seize your attention. One just needs to adjust to this distilled poetry, where there is emphasis on neither a beat nor a riff, but instead his contemplative reflections. It's not a classic singer-songwriter album, nor is it an avant-garde piece...it's the product of a man who's clearly had enough (at least temporarily) of the colorful synth-pop that has dominated the 2000s. Those familiar with Taylor's previous work in all contexts will feel closer to what he's getting at than ever, and whether you're a long time Hot Chip fan or not, the magic within Await Barbarians is hard to resist. [MM]

$13.99 CD


THE BATS
Volume One
Compiletly Bats
Daddy's Highway
The Law of Things
(Flying Nun)

Let's not mince around: The Bats are canonical New Zealand pop, one of the most impressive groups the country has produced, and alongside the Chills and the Clean, the veritable ambassadors of their lingua franca of forward-thinking, punk-spawned music. Captured Tracks has done us the courtesy of reissuing their first two full-lengths and a collection of EPs, all previously released on Flying Nun back in the '80s and made available by other labels at various points since (Daddy's Highway in particular was reissued only a few years ago), but this new program appends a quantity of live tracks and demos to bring you back around. What I wouldn't give to hear "Block of Wood" again for the first time! Formed by Robert Scott in a period of inactivity for the Clean, the music of the Bats was somewhat gentler, more romantic and certainly had its fair share of unforgettable songs, perhaps in a more traditional style than the Clean/Great Unwashed were known for, but certainly no less special. If you're looking for a quick explanation of why the bands from this country and time are so beloved, here's all you need to understand. [DM]

$24.99 3CD - Volume One
$27.99 2LP - Compiletly Bats
$16.99 LP- Daddy's Highway
$27.99 2LP - The Law of Things

also available

WARPAINT
Keep It Healthy
(Rough Trade)

Limited 12" of Warpaint's "Keep It Healthy" remixed by none other than EL-P who, adds some crisp beats and production to an already great track, while the flip side features a re-working of "Disco//very" from Richard Norris Space + Time Machine. Warpaint fans also won't want to miss the band's free appearance at Prospect Park Bandshell as part of the Celebrate Brooklyn concert series next Thursday, June 26. Other Music is giving away two pairs of VIP passes to the show, which will allow you to bypass the line at the entrance and give you access to the reserved area. Enter right now by emailing giveaway@othermusic.com -- we'll be picking two winners tomorrow afternoon!

$10.99 12"


HOLLIE COOK
Twice
(Mr Bongo)

This young British soul singer returns with another album of Prince Fatty-produced pop reggae. Joined by the likes of Dennis Bovell, Omar, Winston Francis, and George Dekker, Twice is a bit deeper than her enjoyable debut, with heavier bass and lots of percussion, but also swelling soundtrack strings and even a touch of Italo disco. It's U.K. pop-reggae in the best sense, in love with the history but honest about its own origin story, including a great tribute to Cook's former bandmate, Ari Up.

$11.99 CD
$19.99 LP


ALEXANDER TURNQUIST
Flying Fantasy
(Western Vinyl)

Alexander Turnquist is best known for his fluid and gorgeous 12-string acoustic guitar playing, and while both 12 and 6-string still guide this great new LP, Turnquist is transforming into even more of a composer here, with varied instrumental colorings throughout: piano, strings, horns, vibes, organ, tape loops, and even wordless vocals. Perhaps brought out by some extended health complications that kept Turnquist from wielding his axe for a time, it's the most varied and nuanced recording this already accomplished performer and composer has made yet. It's truly beautiful stuff, touching on folk, classical composition, new age and experimental sound composition.

$8.99 CD ON SALE
$13.99 LP


HALF-HANDED CLOUD
Flying Scroll Flight Control
(Asthmatic Kitty)

Another 18 tracks of lushly orchestrated, high-energy and relentlessly quirky Jesus-loving indie-pop from this long-running project of John Ringhofer. The band shares much with fellow travelers (and frequent collaborators) like Sufjan Stevens (who performs on much of the album) and Danielson Famile, but (is this possible?) it's even more ambitions and energetic, like a cross between a Broadway musical, a classic carton soundtrack, and some great straight-up indie pop fun. You don't have to love God to love this record, but the spirit is here in full force if you are open to him.

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$13.99 LP

available on vinyl

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Choubi Choubi! Folk & Pop Sounds from Iraq
(Sublime Frequencies)

Choubi Choubi! is a highly rhythmic musical form in Iraq, and this compilation of the same name documents the music made during the reign of Saddam Hussein. There's the appearance of folky Ja'afar Hassan, who sings songs that glorify the socialist agenda that the Baathists would embrace on their rise to power. Fans of ragga, rough world beats, and Timbaland productions will no doubt find the choubi rhythms to be phenomenal: all staccato outbursts that mingle the electronic with the hand-drummed on songs by artists like the masked female yelper, Bawin, as well as many more unknown singers of the day. [AB]

$27.99 2LP+ 7"

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