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May 29, 2014

special announcement

UNION POOL & OTHER MUSIC PRESENT: SUMMER THUNDER

EVERY SATURDAY AFTERNOON, MAY 31-AUGUST 30

Union Pool: 484 Union Ave. Brooklyn
Facebook Event Invite | Free Admission

Union Pool's annual Summer Thunder concert series kicks off this Saturday! Other Music is thrilled to be co-presenting this FREE weekly party this year, which takes place every Saturday afternoon from May 31st to August 30th in the iconic Brooklyn bar's big backyard. This year's line-up of bands and DJs is killer, guaranteeing this will be the best season yet! DJ crew Blazer Sound System and a live performance from Permanent Love will start the season off this Saturday (5/31), and then June's lineup includes: Pissed Jeans and Cold Fronts (6/7), Joe Bataan and 178 Improvisation Product (6/14), Ex-CultLiquor Store and Call of the Wild (6/21), and IIII (Four) featuring Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Hisham Akira Bharoocha (Soft Circle / Boredoms), Ryan Sawyer (Lonewolf) and Ben Vida (6/28). 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 get ready for Summer Thunder 2014!!


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 residency returns to Ace Hotel New York, starting this Monday, June 2nd. On each and every Monday through to the end of August you'll find one of our staff members behind the turntables playing their favorite songs in the gorgeous lobby bar. So mark your calendar and come wind down your work day with us, every Monday evening in June, July and August at Ace Hotel New York. Here's our DJ schedule for the month of June:

June 2nd – Chris P
June 9th – Scott Mou
June 16th – Daniel Givens
June 23rd – Gerald Hammill
June 30th –Amanda Colbenson  

 

in this week's update

FEATURED NEW RELEASES

Shintaro Sakamoto (Just In!)
Sharon Van Etten
copeland
Italo House: Compiled by Joey Negro
Moon Rock (Various)
Hyperdub 10.1 (Various)
Kangding Ray
Joey Anderson
Everything Is Shit (Various)
 

PRE-ORDER & RESTOCKS

How to Dress Well (Concert Ticket w/ Deluxe 2LP Pre-Order)
El Polen (Back in Print)
We All Together (Back in Print)
Guy Skornik (Available on Vinyl)

ALSO AVAILABLE

The Bats, The Black Hippies, Haunted Hearts, Kink, Sandy Denny & the Strawbs, Son Palenque, Watter

announcements

WIN TICKETS TO THE BUNKER

FRIDAY, MAY 30

The Wick:  260 Meserole St. Brooklyn

This Friday, the Bunker returns to the Wick with an incredible line-up. Appleblim, Shackleton's partner in crime in the legendary Skull Disco label and now head of Apple Pips, fills in for Shackleton, who had to cancel due to a work permit denial. Magic Mountain High (a/k/a Move D and Juju & Jordash) is also on the bill delivering their deeply psychedelic take on improvisatory house music; plus Kangding Ray with his new A/V show; Lot.te, the artist behind The Bunker New York 004, will present the world premier of his A/V show; and Queens (a/k/a Scott Mou), who is fresh off a string of recent shows with Pantha Du Prince. Email giveaway@othermusic.com for your chance to win a pair of passes!
 


KING KHAN & THE SHRINES TICKET GIVE-AWAY

FRIDAY, JUNE 6

Le Poisson Rouge: 158 Bleecker St. NYC

King Khan & the Shrines made a welcome return last September with Idle No More, the first Shrines album in quite some time, and on Friday, June 6, the band will be in New York City to deliver a soulful set of their horn-filled, psych-garage anthems at Le Poisson Rouge, with Montreal music/art collective Red Mass opening the bill. Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets, courtesy of PopGun and Le Poisson Rouge, and for your chance to win, just email contest@othermusic.com.


NY PHIL BIENNIAL

MAY 28 - JUNE 7

Multiple Locations, NYC

The NY PHIL BIENNIAL has just kicked off and over the next 11 days, the New York Philharmonic will be exploring contemporary and modern music in a series of 21 concerts. Other Music is giving away a pair of passes to the World Premiere of Christopher Rouse's Symphony No. 4 and Violinist Midori. Email enter@othermusic.com for your chance to win a pair of passes, which will be good for either of the two performances at Avery Fisher Hall on Thursday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m., or on Saturday June 7 at 8:00 p.m.

this week's update

SHINTARO SAKAMOTO
Let's Dance Raw
(Zelone)

Fans of Shintaro Sakamoto may know that his second solo album just came out this week on his own Zelone imprint in Japan; Other Music Recording Co. is thrilled to announce that we will again be working with Sakamoto outside of his homeland, releasing the incredible Let's Dance Raw album on LP, CD, and digitally across North America, the UK and Europe at the end of the summer. More details on that to come, but if you need your Sakamoto now, we have a limited supply of the first edition Zelone double CD, which includes an instrumental mix of the full album, packaged in a lovely heavy cardboard gatefold, with obi. Get them while you can, or wait for the Other edition, coming soon.

$24.99 2CD


SHARON VAN ETTEN
Are We There
(Jagjaguwar)

Sharon Van Etten's transformation from an engaging singer/songwriter to a mesmerizing pop star has been slow and methodical, like watching a flower bloom, or a butterfly appear from the cocoon. Her music has always been intriguing, and while the basic style and themes of her songs are fairly consistent, from her hushed 2009 debut until now, her impact has grown with each release, and Are We There sends shivers down the spine; it's a powerful, thrilling work from an artist in peak form. After working with the National's Aaron Dessner on her breakthrough album, Tramp, Van Etten produced this one herself (with some assistance from Stewart Lerman), and there is a focus and simplicity here that is powerful. Throughout, stark piano and guitar lines suggest lush orchestration rather than being drenched in it, nudged along by simple percussion and varied swaths of color, and Van Etten's most powerful instrument, her richly emotional voice, is always at the center.

Perhaps it's the influence of her time on the road with Nick Cave, but there is a sort of sinister elegance happening here, as these songs of love and betrayal play out almost in slow motion, and every word hits like a sledgehammer. As has often been the case for Van Etten, she is struggling with both the intoxicating effects of love and betrayal, and also the raw beauty and deadening weight of everyday life. No, it's nothing new, but it's pure poetry nonetheless, and Are We There is truly a classic record from an artist who continues to grow and surprise us with each passing year. It's her most open, raw, and emotional album, and also her most thoughtful and refined, and the combination is thrilling from start to finish. [JM]

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$17.99 LP

COPELAND
Because I'm Worth It
(Self-Released)

Once half of the smoke-n-mirrors duo known as Hype Williams, Inga Copeland (now simply going by the name of copeland -- all lowercase) finally surfaces with a full-length of original material. She's delved even deeper into the electronic world since the duo split, releasing download-only EPs and white label limited vinyl singles, as well as collaborating with the likes of Martyn, the Bug, DVA, and Gast, and on Because I'm Worth It, she is joined by Actress on a couple of tracks. As one might expect, this is mood music, dubby and intimate, urban and personal. A balanced listen between instrumentals (mainly) and vocal pieces (most importantly), these are heady songs made for and from the heart.

Part of the charm of Hype Williams' work was the air of mystery, of artist at play, and the sense that you never knew what was intentional and what was a matter of circumstance, as well the mix of dub aesthetics, soul, and intimacy. On her solo outing, copeland lifts the veil, so to speak, letting the audience in on the joke, that there is no punch line, just honesty. Because I'm Worth It fits into a long line of dub-influenced female artists like Brenda Ray, Vivian Goldman, and Leslie Winer, and sits uncomfortably next to contemporaries Laura Halo, Cooly G, Maria Minerva or Peaking Lights. She constructs the album in a similar way that the Hype Williams records worked: a mix of incidental instrumental passages ("Faith OG X"), spoken word and minimal loops ("Advice to Young Girls"), references to hip-hop lyrics ("Diligence"), etc. However, what seems to be more present in her solo music is her empowering feminine presence. Unlike former partner Dean Blunt's achy breaky heart solo releases (which are great in their own right), copeland doesn't seem to be wallowing in the post-breakup world.

That's not to say that she is ready for the big time; copeland seems to be sketching out the next chapter in a tale of what was once two now is one, as she finds herself in a lonely city, having to walk her own path now. She continues to craft music from the edges out, never quite filling in the frame completely, leaving air to breathe, and creating loops that lull and soothe. It's a welcomed alternative to the newly solo, diva-in-waiting formula. Rich, layered, haunting, and emotive, hopefully there is more too come. [DG]

$25.99 LP


VARIOUS ARTISTS
Italo House: Compiled by Joey Negro
(Z Records)

Joey Negro has compiled a wonderful collection of deep Italian house music productions over two CDs for Z Records, the same label that brought forth favorites like Go-Go Getdown and Backstreet Brit Funk. With cuts dating from 1989 to 1994, this comp covers what could arguably be considered the golden age of the music, a period where Italo disco -- which helped influence and give birth to Chicago house's trademark sound -- evolved and began to receive a reciprocal influence back from Chicago and UK acid house records. These tracks throb and pulsate with the same neon-lit synthesized arpeggiations and stabbing piano chords, but there's a deep thread of sunset-saturated sensuality running through these productions as well. There's definitely a heavily nostalgic throwback vibe to this set, but Negro tastefully curates a selection that leans away from the more dated aesthetics of classic house as much as is possible.

Nearly all of these tracks are also anchored by full-bellied soulful vocals almost entirely sourced from a cappellas of old disco and dance singles; the informative liner notes shine a bit of light on the evolution of the Italo sound away from disco and into the warehouse mentality, and how the Italians took the grit and grime of the Chicago and UK sounds, and added a bit of Mediterranean silk to them. There are highlights aplenty throughout these two CDs, and whether you're a seasoned club kid or a neophyte looking for a bit of history, Italo House is a vital listen across the board. [IQ]

$17.99 2CD

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Moon Rock Volume 1
(Throne of Blood)

From the sample-fueled nu-disco romps of LA's Cosmic Kids to Belfast duo Bicep's deep, old school-inspired house productions, NYC's Throne of Blood has always kept its eyes and ears on the dance floor, going back to the imprint's earliest vinyl editions for the Rapture (whose members formed the label back in 2006 with James Friedman). So to find ToB offering up this double-LP compilation of almost completely beatless ambient music was quite a surprise, albeit one that does not disappoint. Friedman was recently quoted in an interview saying that Moon Rock is "something along the lines of Kompakt's Pop Ambient series but without the pop," a concise, accurate description as any. While there are a couple of Kompakt-associated artists featured here -- both Cologne's DAMH via the majestic "Seebestattung" and the Tangerine Dream-inspired "Dino" from Glasgow duo Naum Gabo (which includes Optimo's J.G. Wilkes) who was recently featured on #76 of the German label's iconic Speicher series -- the array of sounds and explorations are more diverse than one might expect for a comp such as this one.

Amsterdam by way of Haifa's Juju & Jordash completely strip out the dance elements of their abstract techno, resulting in the amorphous "Stroop" which nicely harkens back to pre-Zuckerzeit Cluster, while any of the John Carpenter/Goblin vibes that frequently appear in Steve Moore's (Zombi) productions are traded for something more dank and sinister with "Forever Alone Immortal." Twelve tracks total, including contributions from Simian Mobile Disco, Professor Genius, Lexx, and RL/VL, to name a few more, Moon Rock is as unexpected as it is deep, and fans of ambient, kosmische and New Age sounds should not hesitate. [GH]

$26.99 2LP


VARIOUS ARTISTS
Hyperdub 10.1
(Hyperdub)

Over the past 10 years, the London-based Hyperdub label has grown into the go-to imprint for forward-thinking, left-of-center electronic music, with founder Steve Grossman (a/k/a Kode9) curating a fresh roster of producers and artists from all over the world. This new two-CD collection follows the blueprint of the label's excellent 5 Years of Hyperdub comp, and is an equally balanced movement through past jams and new material.

Disc one gathers new music from Detroit next schooler Kyle Hall, Chicago's Teklife crew DJ Rashad & Gant Man, DJ Spinn, DJ Earl, and DJ Taye, Londoners Mala, Morgan Zarate, DVA, and Flowdan, Japan-based Quarta 339, as well as Kode9 (with and without the Space Ape). Hyperdub has been impressively hard to pin down yet the stamp of quality has always been present; across genres from UK funky and dubstep, footwork and house/techno to plain ol' electronica, Grossman's taste has always been interesting and refreshing. The second disc gathers past highlights from a talented bunch, including label poster boy Burial, UK funksters and grimers Ill Blu, Walton, Funkystepz, DOK, Champion, Terror Danjah and more.

Collections like this are good primers for the casual dabbler in electronic music, or those who avoid expensive imported vinyl singles, yet this set also offers something for the diehard followers. I've listened to many of Hyperdub's releases through the years, and have recommended more than a few; that said, this comp (supposedly the first in their ten year celebration series) has parked itself on my stereo, and is a nice showcase of the undercurrent of adventurous dance music that the label explores, and effectively presents the brand known as Hyperdub. [DG]

$21.99 2CD


KANGDING RAY
Solens Arc
(Raster-Noton)

Released earlier this year on Raster-Noton, Kangding Ray's Solens Arc takes the musical complexities and artistic achievements of the famous German experimental label and catapults them into the rich sonic world of post-dubstep, IDM, and the Chain Reaction stable. The result is a well-crafted, hyper-balanced four-to-the-floor techno record that bypasses some of the more nostalgic tendencies of many recent techno excursions, landing, quite determinately, in an exciting, hybrid zone where genre boundaries inevitably disintegrate.

The album consists of four structural arcs that each correspond to one LP side, building an expressive, overarching trajectory that eventually serves the album's flow and sense of narrative as a whole. From anticipation to evanescence, and from apogee to landing, Solens Arc's classic structure provides a clear, determined journey that allows a myriad of influences to be played off against one another. While some may find that Kangding Ray casts his net a bit too wide, with influences as varied and diverse as the post-rave deconstructions of Zomby, the hazy dub-techno digressions of Porter Ricks, and the noise sensibilities of Ben Frost (a frequent collaborator), it's ultimately this bold sense of musical adventure that makes it a thrilling listening experience with a truly daring sound palette. Most remarkably, the album's lush, overlaying synth parts that tongue-in-cheekily reference classical Vangelis soundtracks make the music move decisively forward, whereas the minimal rhythmic patterns that advance with plodding kicks and deep, shivering bass lines provide a sense of static immobility. Forcefully balancing such engaging contradictions, Kangding Ray breathes new life into a genre that is often treated all too stringently, the result being an expansive, approachable, and convincing techno statement. [NVT]

$17.99 CD


JOEY ANDERSON
After Forever
(Dekmantel)

While I'm a fan of some techno and can appreciate the cold, mechanized rhythms, its lack of humanness usually keeps me from fully connecting with the music. Now deep house, on the other hand, I really love, and this album from New Jersey DJ-turned-producer Joey Anderson has all the reasons why. Beginning as a partygoer and house head, Anderson injected himself into the NY/NJ dance scene. Along with like-minded producer DJ Qu, he'd visit the famed Sound Factory through the '90s where he'd witness DJ Junior Vasquez feeding his followers with hard-hitting rhythms, polyrhythmic percussion and unusual sound effects. This was the place to see the best dancers and Anderson cultivated his unique style on the dance floor there. In 2011, he began releasing his own productions while simultaneously gaining a reputation for his abilities to move the crowd from behind the decks. His debut full-length for the Amsterdam-based Dekmantel label is a tasty collection of synth-led melodic house that feels like a mix of the original production side (e.g. non-disco loops) of Theo Parrish with the delicate sense of detail and layers that DJ Sprinkles has masterminded.

After Forever plays like a proper album, with a mixture of beat-less cuts positioned between more floor-filling, driving percussion and arpeggiated keyboard jams. Tracks like "Maiden's Response" move along with an almost-restrained groove and open into a swirl of piano, throbbing organs, agitated vocal smears, and cascading claps. Layers build with nontraditional sounds that mix well with Anderson's use of organs and piano. His pieces feel like people moving, and you can practically see the club, the smoke, the lights, and the bodies in motion -- not just in unison to a groove, but more interpretative too, with legs kicking, arms swinging, and bodies jumping, diving, and dipping in the air. Being a scene veteran as well as having a history on the dance floor provides Anderson the knowledge and ear to give the heads what they crave: deep bass lines, engaging rhythms, textured melody, touches of acid, nontraditional accents, and a groove you can't resist. Fans of producers like Jus-Ed, Big Strick, Fred P, Levon Vincent, or any of the above mentioned will no doubt find lots to appreciate here. [DG]

$17.99 CD
$24.99 2LP


VARIOUS ARTISTS
Everything Is Shit: Punk in Brussels 1977-79
(Sub Rosa)

Sub Rosa, a label known mostly for collections of archival avant-garde esoterica, throw a bit of a wonderful curveball with Everything Is Shit, a new compilation of Belgian punk rock music, circa 1977-79. Cramming a whopping thirty-two songs in a little over an hour, this set wastes no time in delivering its "one-two-fuck-you!" attitude. The punk scene in Brussels was unique in that it seemed to fuse together the classic UK vibes of the Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols, and Crass with the more artfully minded snarl of French upstarts like Metal Urbain, Stinky Toys, and Asphalt Jungle.

Everything Is Shit rallies up work by eleven different bands each wallowing in absurd levels of obscurity, presenting their songs in groupings that makes the set feel like an EP collection or anthology mixtape rather than a standard compilation. Sound quality ranges from trashcan-fidelity to surprisingly full-bodied barbed wire, and the hooks are spilling out all over the places, with a head-nodding, fist-pumping adrenalized rush maintained throughout. If you've ever busted your chin open and gobbed to the sounds of a Killed by Death or Bloodstains compilation, or if you're just hungry for a bit of gnarly, grimy 'tude that seldom exceeds a game of two-chord monte, you'll find much to enjoy here. Bonus points for some great band names, too -- if you're naming yourselves Chainsaw, you'd better deliver the goods, and thankfully, Everything Is Shit delivers the goods, the bads, and the uglies, too!! [IQ]

$16.99 LP

pre-order

HOW TO DRESS WELL
"What Is This Heart?"
(Weird World)

Other Music is taking pre-orders for the deluxe edition of How to Dress Well's new album, "What Is the Heart?", which will be released on Tuesday, June 24. This limited edition is a special double-LP set, with both records pressed on 180-gram vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve, along with a 28-page 12"x12" booklet and a one-sided 10" with two exclusive non-album songs, "Let You Know" and "So Easy for Pleasure."

While supplies last, customers who pre-order the deluxe edition of "What Is This Heart?" from Other Music on-line or in the store will get their name on the guest list for How to Dress Well's record release show in New York City on Tuesday, June 10, at the Slipper Room!

PRE-ORDER
$44.99 DELUXE 2LP+10"+Booklet

back in print

EL POLEN
Cholo
(Lion Productions)

We were thrilled when this landmark album of South American psych-folk was finally reissued by Lion Productions a few years back, albeit in an edition limited to a mere 400 copies, which soon disappeared. Thankfully, it's back in print again in a mini-LP sleeve edition, with a replica ticket for the first El Polen concert back in 1972, a replica concert poster, and a black and white photo of the band included. Here's what we wrote when we first featured the album back in 2011:

El Polen, from Peru, are generally pegged as being one of the very first genuinely psychedelic bands to come out of South America, alongside early innovators Los Jaivas. Saturated with the influence of folkloric elements from their Andean heritage, they gently expanded the parameters of the native music they took influence from by creating loping, almost trance-inducing music that subtly interwove the ancient and the modern. Cholo, the first of the two albums they released, was conceived for a film about Peruvian soccer player Hugo Sotil, though to these ears it doesn't sound particularly "soundtracky," and remains a compelling artistic statement in its own right. Immediately warm and engaging, suffused with acoustic guitars and flutes and plenty of forward momentum, this album has been a beloved companion on several road trips I've taken in the last several years. If you've ever been entranced with Other Music faves Congreso, Congregacion, and Pep Laguarda then you more than owe it to yourself to pick this up, it's that great! [MK]

$15.99 CD


WE ALL TOGETHER
We All Together
(Lion Productions)

Some of you may already know We All Together from their song "It's a Sin to Go Away" on the Nuggets II box set, or perhaps you heard their amazing cover of the Wings classic "Tomorrow" on the Love, Peace, and Poetry: Latin American Psychedelic Music compilation. Or maybe you even bought the reissues of their two albums last time we had them in stock way back when. If you haven't heard of the band at all, you're in for a real treat. We All Together released two LPs and an EP between 1972 and 1975 on their own MAG record label. The Peruvian quintet, fronted by songwriter and lead vocalist Carlos Guerrero, were enamored with the Beatles in a serious way. Their production, melodies, harmonies and lyrics were hugely influenced by Lennon and McCartney. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if I were told that their knowledge of the English language came primarily from listening to Beatles. [RH]

Lion Productions has just reissued the band's debut long-player, wonderfully re-mastered, tacking on eight bonus tracks (including some acoustic demos for what might have been intended for a new album, only one of which, "Symbol Queen," was ever properly recorded). Limited to 400 copies, it comes housed in a beautiful mini-LP sleeve, accompanied by  a silkscreen replica concert photo and archival photos and drawings. As far as Beatles-esque pop goes, you can't do much better than We All Together.

$15.99 CD

available on vinyl

GUY SKORNIK
Pour Pawels
(Lion Productions)

Lion have done us a solid with this limited, legit re-release of one of my favorite French psych-pop records of the early 1970s, a period that saw a mind-boggling number of similarly quintessential LPs by the likes of Serge Gainsbourg (Histoire De Melody Nelson), Bernard Ilous (Pele Mele, still WAY overdue for a reissue), and Gerard Manset (La Mort D'Orion). Pour Pauwels, by Guy Skornik, perhaps most well-known amongst psych aficionados as one of the freaks responsible for the mind-bending Popera Cosmic album, is an equally timeless blend of lush orchestration, searing psych-rock, baroque melodies, and deep funk fluidity that has remained sadly elusive for decades -- a surrealist song cycle based upon the writings of noted French writer, journalist, and counter-culturalist Louis Pauwels (also famously namechecked by Gainsbourg in his classic "Initials B.B."), particularly his writings on the teachings of noted controversial spiritualist G.I. Gurdjieff, with whom Pauwels studied before co-founding the influential Planète publication.

Pour Pauwels plays as the tale of a man's struggle through existential crisis, searching for meaning and truth in a society of political turmoil and the youth movement's full embrace of the liberties of sexual, commercial, and cultural revolution. These ten songs are beautifully arranged by noted French jazzman, composer, and bandleader Ivan Jullien, who has worked with everyone from Francoise Hardy and Michel Legrand to Elton John and the Count Basie Orchestra, and who brings some heavy funk grooves and a big brassy horn section in to mingle with some dramatic orchestral strings and percussion, all of which was single-handedly written by Skornik. In other words, these guys are not screwing around, and if you dig this sort of thing, it goes without saying that this is a platter of top-quality art-pop, and Lion are to be commended for their beautiful package, including a thick booklet with new liner notes, an interview with Skornik, and a reproduction of the original liner notes, penned by Pauwels himself. I've never heard this album sound so good, and as sorry as I am to say this, the reissue is limited. It isn't likely to stay in print for very long, so do the right thing. [IQ]

$19.99 LP
$14.99 CD

also available

THE BATS
Compiletly Bats
(Flying Nun)

$27.99 2LP

THE BATS
Daddy's Highway
(Flying Nun)

$16.99 LP

THE BATS
The Law of Things
(Flying Nun)

$27.99 2LP

THE BATS
Volume One
(Flying Nun)

$24.99 3CD

THE BLACK HIPPIES
The Black Hippies
(Academy)

$16.99 CD
$22.99 LP

HAUNTED HEARTS
Initiation
(Zoo Music)

$13.99 CD
$16.99 LP

KINK
Under Destruction
(Macro)

$27.99 2LP

SANDY DENNY & THE STRAWBS
All Our Own Work (Numero)

$21.99 2LP

SON PALENQUE
Afro-Colombian Sound Modernizers (Vampisoul)

$17.99 CD
$26.99 2LP

WATTER
This World
(Temporary Residence)

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$16.99 LP

the big picture

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