March 26, 2015

special announcement


THURSDAY, APRIL 9 (6:30-8:30PM)

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

James McNew of Yo La Tengo and Dump is best known for his laser-focused bass grooves and angelic pop vocals, but he is also a talented and joyful graphic artist, with a recurring cast of childlike anime-inspired animal friends who have inhabited his drawings for years. We recently featured the first volume of a hilarious little 'zine McNew self-published called 100 Wild Styles, which illustrates classic hip-hop lyrics with his incongruous menagerie of fuzzy bunny, turtle and octopus. The second volume is now in, and we are also excited to announce an upcoming show in the store of McNew's original artwork from the series, with an opening party on Thursday April 9th, from 6:30-8:30, with James DJing his favorite hip-hop jams all night. Pick up one of these awesome (and limited) 'zines, and please join us for the party!

in this week's update


Courtney Barnett
Secret Courts
The Silence
Kyle Bobby Dunn
Pearson Sound
Next Stop Soweto Vol. 4
Lightning Bolt
Kendrick Lamar
Jam City
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
The Go! Team
Bert Queiroz Photozine Move #40
Wire Issue #374


Mark Kozelek


Africa Express
James Blackshaw
Buena Vista Social Club
Peter Gordon
Florian Hecker & Mark Leckey
Laura Marling
Benoit Pioulard
Parquet Courts




Kinfolk: 94 Wythe Ave. Brooklyn

The past decade has seen these Bay Area stalwarts moving from their raw and explosive hardcore roots to incorporating post-punk bands like Joy Division, Wire and Birthday Party into their still-intense sound. Ceremony have a new album on the way, The L-Shaped Man being released May 19 on Matador Records, and the band will be previewing the record with an intimate live performance this Friday in Brooklyn at Williamsburg's Kinfolk. The show is FREE and first come, first served for the fans, but Other Music is giving away two pairs of guaranteed-entry passes for two lucky winners! Email for your chance to win.



Bowery Ballroom: 6 Delancey St. NYC

Arca is one of the fastest rising producers in hip-hop and electronica, with great mixtapes, a handful of EPs on NYC's UNO label and of course, last year's breakthrough full-length, Xen. And that's not even mentioning his high-profile production work for Kanye, FKA Twigs, and most recently Bjork. The Venezuelan-born/London-based producer will be performing at Bowery Ballroom with Jesse Kanda on Wednesday, April 8th, and while the show is long sold out, Other Music has a pair of tickets to give away! Email for your chance to win!!

this week's update

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
(Mom + Pop)

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, the debut full-length from this much-hyped young Australian rock singer, is a bundle of contradictions, all of them intriguing. Funny and fun, it’s also melancholy and deeply personal; simple and straightforward, it’s also smart, honest and sharp; classic grungy guitar rock sounds remarkably fresh and new when Barnett plays it, and she delivers on her promise with this great debut. The small, awkward events of quotidian life simply don’t get enough attention. Flirting amidst exercise, organic vegetable queries, house hunting, elevator operators -- these are the defining portraits within Barnett’s songs. She doesn’t try to abolish racism or untangle philosophy; she sees life as it is, and finds more than enough beauty in that alone.

From her introspective crisis on “Pedestrian at Best” to her solitary woes on “An Illustration of Loneliness,” Courtney Barnett, for lack of a better phrase, keeps it real. The narrative remains extremely relatable throughout the album, and the music mimics its accessibility through some of the straightest rock’n’roll of our time. It’s less slacker than last year’s EP collection A Sea of Split Peas, as livelier and more danceable tracks dominate the vast majority of the album. Stoner rock is no longer an applicable term to describe her music, as it’s become quite well polished without erring towards synthetica. There’s grit layered into “Small Poppies,” whose guitar solos Courtney whacks out of the park. But there’s also the rather languid tracks (resonant of last year’s “Anonymous Club”), like “Depreston” and “Kim’s Caravan,” each of which will pull at your heartstrings the same way the album title does. Neither approaches particularly heavy topics -- Barnett worries over the small trials and indignities of everyday life -- but when Barnett takes you on a tour through shower handrails and a female Jesus, it’s impossible to neglect her touching and whip-smart lyricism. Get your hands on this LP, as it’s not only a perfect album for the slowly impending summer, but also one that might leave you shedding a few unexpected tears of gratitude and appreciation for life. [MM]

LP is temporarily sold out. We'll announce when vinyl version is back in stock.

$9.99 CD ON SALE

A New Beginning
(Love All Day)

A brand new album from the Love All Day Label, one of our favorite purveyors of contemporary ambient stylings. Secret Courts features the latest fruits of the long-running collaboration between artist Celestino, and Jams P. Valentine. We previously featured a great self-released disc they made a few years ago, under the name Sky Burials, that brilliantly melded the aesthetics of GAS with what was not yet quite au courant new age ambiences. Their newest release features five tracks that hover between the seven- to nine-minute mark, each exhibiting an immaculate sound design that beautifully renders a sonic Pacific Northwest-inspired fog-bound landscape with vivid clarity, as if you're seeing the reflection of an entire forest in a single dew drop sitting on a fern leaf. I can definitely hear echoes of Ingram Marshall's classic Fog Tropes, where sonorous horns ring out while underlying melodies slowly reveal themselves, eventually enveloping the listener in an environ seemingly far removed from whatever listening room he or she is presently stationed in. Highly recommended. [MK]

$10.99 CD

(One Little Indian)

Through all of Björk’s many phases, never has she submitted to the art of storytelling. She’s explored various moods -- some poppy (Debut), stone cold (Homogenic), ethereal (Vespertine), tribal (Volta) and even scientific (Biophilia) -- but always refused to craft an album that encapsulates a singular narrative within the artistic chapters du jour. So even though Vulnicura does unearth the string-heavy, beat-heavy inner workings of Homogenic, it holds a straight plotline, something completely novel to her repertoire. Recounting the story of Björk’s breakup with fellow artist Matthew Barney, Vulnicura plunges into the depths of both her heartbreak and her healing, her “vulni” (meaning wound in Latin) and her “cura” (cure). It’s a story told in vignettes, each six-minute song illustrating a new emotional development in the division of her family.

She begins with “Stonemilker,” one of two tracks on Vulnicura not produced by Arca -- best known for his breakthrough work with Kanye West and FKA Twigs . (Haxan Cloak also has a production credit and mixed most of the album.) If there’s one thing Björk cannot fail at, it’s string orchestration, justified by the cellos on this track that mark some of Björk’s best ever craftwork. She reveals the holes in her relationship, which only begin to gape during “Lionsong” and “History of Touches,” both of which begin to feature the liquid electronica work of Arca, some of his most avant-garde to date. But it is only on “Black Lake,” Vulnicura’s centerpiece and best track, that we reach rock bottom. Björk becomes “one wound,” vulnerable and sore, during the trough of her breakup. Built on languid strings and sparse percussion, it’s 10 minutes of beautiful praying for some security in this time of utter loss. Luckily, it comes in the following songs, as she sews her own wounds, with the help of special guest Antony Hegarty on tracks like “Atom Dance” that are lighter, in recounting the remedy to Björk’s sadness. These songs continue to show different routes of both electronic and string exploration, chock full of confusing and conflicting time signatures. From beginning to end, it’s very beautiful, and even better, places Björk on a pedestal that she seems to have lost over the past decade or so. The queen of art-pop is back, and has quite the poignant tale to unload. [MM]

Vinyl pressing available on 4/7.

$15.99 CD

The Silence
(Drag City)

Last we heard from Masaki Batoh, he was boldly exploring unknown territories with Brain Pulse Music, an attempt to harness the sonic powers of the human mind. As exciting and adventurous as that project was, it's nice to hear the ex-Ghost mastermind delving back into more traditional song forms on the self-titled debut LP from his new group, the Silence. With some of his fellow Ghost compadres in tow, the nine songs here are among the most straightforward and accessible things Batoh has done, with acoustic guitar, flute, keyboards and a sensitive rhythm section supporting the songwriter's unmistakable vocals. At times, there's a classic Kevin Ayers vibe -- wry and witty, but still willing to go for those purely majestic moments, like on "Lemon Iro No Cannabis" the album's arresting opener. While the six-string fireworks of Ghost's Michio Kurihara are missed at certain points, Batoh's new band still feels like an assured, confident group, capable of invigorating rock workouts ("Pesach"), drifting psych ("Trypticon") and baroque folk ("Overture"). Silence has never sounded so good. [TW]

$14.99 CD
$24.99 LP

Kyle Bobby Dunn and the Infinite Sadness
(Students of Decay)

How much variation can there be in ambient drone music? As this thriving underground modus operandi continues to proliferate, significantly differing approaches come to the fore. Montreal-based composer and musician Kyle Bobby Dunn, who over the past 12 years has roughly produced an equal amount of albums, provides an excellent case in point. His latest record, Kyle Bobby Dunn and the Infinite Sadness, released in 2014, finds Dunn pushing the genre towards new emotional heights, delivering one of the most accomplished and convincing statements of his recording career. Dunn has a knack for sardonically titled albums -- previous releases were named Music for Medication or Bring Me the Head of Kyle Bobby Dunn -- and at first look all the typical Dunn elements are well into place: an excessively bombastic record title accompanied by hilariously absurd track names that seem to take the piss out of this intensely personal guitar-based music.

But there's a new kind of urgency emanating from Kyle Bobby Dunn and the Infinite Sadness, which is to be found in the song-like structure of this impressive, two-disk suite of compositions. Opener "Ouverture De Peter Hodge Transport" sets the right tone with elegant stretched-out sounds that seem to go on forever until the creepy laughter of children at the end of the track rudely awakens you from this musical reverie. Overall, it's a stunning, emotionally priming trajectory that takes you from the defiantly beautiful "Boring Foothills of Foot Fetishville" to the closer "And the Day Is Dunn and I Can Only Think of You." Along the way we come across some extraordinary compositions, such as the almost 10-minute long "Where Circles Never Become Circles," whose title might read as an epitaph to Dunn's compositional merits. Overall, it's the essential, shorter nature of most of the tracks that makes this two-hour long journey a truly unforgettable one. Kyle Bobby Dunn has found renewed energy, transforming the infinite sadness of his highly intimate music into sheer joy for his listeners. [NVT]

$15.99 2CD

Pearson Sound
(Hessle Audio)

For his self-titled debut full-length, UK producer and DJ David Kennedy (a/k/a Pearson Sound) takes us on a journey into a cavernous and open world of synths and beats. Since 2009 he's been associated with the dubstep and dub techno movements, releasing records on his own Hessle Audio imprint as well Soul Jazz, Nonplus, and Night Slugs. Much like his FabricLive mix from a few years ago, this is a subdued and spacey yet funky selection of 808 drum programming, haunting melodic textures, and ping-ponging digital bleeps. At first listen you might feel like not much is happening, yet much like Shackleton or Kassem Mosse, Kennedy can do a lot with a little, letting his minimal palette of sounds dance and orbit around each other. Feeling very hip-hop influenced, once he does drop the beats, they swing and sway with intent and flavor. With such a stripped-down approach, each new element is given more weight. It's not game changing, but it is certainly a solid and enjoyable exercise in rhythm and restraint. [DG]

$18.99 CD
$22.99 LP

Next Stop Soweto Vol. 4

It's daunting keeping up with all of the many fine reissues of African music these days, but the Strut label's Next Stop Soweto series is something special. The fourth installment (subtitled Zulu Rock, Afro-Disco and Mbaqanga 1975-1985) documents Soweto's music scene from 1975 to 1985, a fertile period artistically but a brutal period politically. It was during this time that the apartheid regime turned particularly repressive in the wake of the 1976 Soweto uprisings. Music was one of the few outlets for expression, and Radio Bantu was the voice of revolution for many. Constantly battling government censors, South African musicians pushed their art into exciting new directions, fusing several American genres -- funk, soul, disco, rock -- with South African jazz and the native sounds of mbaqanga, malombo, and isicathamiya, and it's all beautifully captured here in 15 rare recordings. The fiery "Zulu rock" anthem, "Unga Pfula A Chi Pfalo," starts the album off with an exhilarating mix of crunching electric guitars and pounding polyrhythms; Elias Maluleke's "Khombo Ranga" has the guitar lines and vocal acrobatics familiar to fans of Paul Simon's Graceland (which was recorded in South Africa during this period); "The Things We Do in Soweto" combines funky riffs with jazzy saxophone work; and "Soweto Disco" will have you thinking of polyester and mirror balls. Featuring liner notes and rare photos, this is an indispensable compilation of a vital period in 20th-century music. [JBr]

$15.99 CD
$25.99 2LP+MP3

Fantasy Empire
(Thrill Jockey)

Providence veterans Lightning Bolt make a move from their hometown Load Records over to Chicago stalwarts Thrill Jockey for their latest and most accessible missive, Fantasy Empire. Lightning Bolt's sheer wall of cacophonous sound can often make listening to entire records feel like an endurance test, but by ever so slightly cleaning up their din by recording in an actual studio, the pair has produced their best paced and most cohesive album to date, as well as their most spacious release. In a way, Fantasy Empire plays like a sequel to the group's last great LP, Earthly Delights, by exploring metal tropes within their trademark squalor. Where Delights took on massive stoner-sized riffs, their latest works in elements of the harmonic, repetitive playing of the NWOBHM on the one-two punch of "Over the River and Through the Woods" and "Horsepower." Later tracks "Mythmaster," "Leave the Lantern Lit" and the amazingly titled "Snow White (& the 7 Dwarves Fans)" have play with the spacious and dread-filled ambient qualities of black metal. In all, Fantasy Empire stands as one of Lightning Bolt's strongest records, showing them continuing to expand and hone their sound, and over 15 years into their career it asserts them as a band well worth keeping up with.  [BB]

Vinyl pressing available on 4/7.

$16.99 CD


Two early Melvins' classics packaged together as a double LP. Eggnog was first issued in 1991 as a 10", featuring three excellent, abstract rockers and "Charmicarmicat," which was at the time the longest, sludgiest workout they had released. Lice-All, from 1992, was originally titled under a different albeit similar sounding name, but fearing litigation for trademark infringement, they quickly removed the album title from most of the copies. It turned out to be the Melvins' first brush with the corporate world, but not the last -- the band would sign to Atlantic after this record. There is a casual nature to Lice-All, as a good portion of the LP is made up of covers (Flipper and Alice Cooper). The Melvins, however, succeed in making these reworkings their own and the material flows so naturally that the songs are presented as one long piece. (The album artwork has been augmented with a large black border around the original cover art for some reason, but you do get lots of extra photos and insert reproductions.) [DMa]

$24.99 2LP

To Pimp a Butterfly

Arguably the most anticipated release yet this year is the ambitious and satisfying new album from Kendrick Lamar, who has quickly risen from an aspiring hopeful to become one of hip-hop's biggest stars. Following his 2012 major label debut, which was the cinematic masterpiece of urban storytelling g.o.o.d. kid, m.A.A.d. city, Lamar exceeds expectations with To Pimp a Butterfly (actually his fourth full-length). Where gkmc painted an authentic slice of life in Compton, told through Lamar's brilliantly observant and natural lens, TPAB is an even more personal tale where he turns his lens both inward and outward, to great effect. Lamar explores situations from various perspectives, always with an honest understanding of both the similar and conflicting sides of the story, a prime example of 'conscious' hip-hop done right. He speaks in reality-based humanist terms, not defensive anti-other focused propaganda. He is talking to himself as much as his brown brothers, sisters, and many followers, not worried about offending or excluding. That aspect gives his music a natural aura that shines vibrantly. To Pimp a Butterfly is as perfect a title if their ever was one; the words pimp and butterfly bring to mind images of the streets, the earth, money, sex, nature, beauty, isolation, community, growth, violence, rebirth, life and death, and if you make it to the very end, you'll hear how he ties the whole album together.

Musically there are a ton of things going on, combining classic deep funk, abstract jazz, West Coast g-funk and soulful, spacey Cali beat science. With a musical cast including George Clinton, Thundercat, Bilal, Flying Lotus, Pharrell, Snoop Dogg, Robert Glasper, Pete Rock, Lalah Hathaway, Taz Arnold (Sa-Ra), Knxwledge, Anna Wise, Dr. Dre, Rhapsody, Sounwave and more, it's a very live, thumping, and melodic affair. His band of handpicked players morph from funk to jazz, soul to boom bap, with what seems like little or no effort, just top skills. Lamar has crafted a record that is visceral and a lot of fun, yet politically and socially conscious -- something with precedent for sure, but which has not been heard from the hip-hop community in some time. It's of the moment, yet deeply indebted to vintage pro-black psychedelic albums of Funkadelic, James Brown, Fela, Prince, Marvin Gaye, and Curtis Mayfield.

That's the power of this record, and Lamar in general: he seems to have put his studying time in, not only with phonics and musical history but also human history and the culture of oppression, and then he makes it all his own. TPAB delivers a true artistic statement in such a direct and impassioned way, and I can't say that I've heard a hip-hop album that's taken me to so many places, and all places I actually want to go, or at least enjoy once I'm there. Though he may not have all the answers he keeps asking the right questions and sparking a conversation. To Pimp a Butterfly is a reflection of a young, black and gifted male in America 15 years into the new century, in the midst of complex layers of strife and self doubt. A very real story that this time can't really be ignored. I thought I'd like it, I didn't know how this beautiful record would blow my mind. [DG]

$17.99 CD

Dream a Garden
(Night Slugs)

One of my favorite albums to surface from the post-dubstep world was 2012's Classical Curves, from Night Slugs recording artist Jam City, a/k/a Jack Latham. Drawing from a mixture of architecture's cold tension, open air city centers, and bustling runway drama, that record led way to the current trend of seductive reduction, icy synthetics, and cyber-space vastness. Yet his follow-up, Dream a Garden, is quite a detour for the label and the producer. Falling out of sorts with the current social state of the world, Latham took this opportunity to delve deeper into his own personal frustrations with global corporate culture, stating, "If you feel alienated by the cultural landscape that we live in, you're not alone, and you're not weird." For this new direction, Latham replaced his skeletal grime- and ballroom-influenced tracks with songs that feel more inspired by shoegaze, AOR, and blue-eyed soul, bringing to mind Talk Talk, Toro Y Moi, Prefab Sprout, Darkstar, and Panda Bear. The most noticeable change is the incorporation of guitar, airy and jangling, which adds melodic textures throughout and occasionally lends a mellow new age vibe. Yet underneath most of the songs' soft-focused melodies, he builds an industrial landfill of rubble and gravel, mangled steel and rusting metal, providing a nice juxtaposition between fantasy and reality.

The other surprise is Latham's use of vocals, as buried within the mesh of sonics you'll hear his own soft voice. Purposely submerged, the vocals add another emotional layer to the songs, with glimpses of his politically tinged lyrics floating to the surface. Unlike Jam City's debut LP, and many EPs, Dream a Garden sounds like an artist unsettled and venturing into new territory; here he smooths out the harsh, sharp and abrasive edges that he had become known for, replacing them with a warm and embracing atmosphere filled with dream states and emotional cries. Definitely not the refracted dance-floor excursion I was expecting, but at the right time, it hits the spot. It's more a comedown record than one to get things started, and there's nothing wrong with that. [DG]

$15.99 CD
$22.99 2LP

(Western Vinyl)

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith was drawn to nature at an early age. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, she spent her formative years studying orca whales and learning to communicate with the mysterious mammals through sound. Her love for music then continued blossoming through experiences at Berkeley College where she fine-tuned her voice and motor skills via piano and sound engineering classes. Now based in the Bay Area, Smith recorded most of her breathtaking Euclid on a Buchla Music Easel, a rare analog synthesizer which fosters a highly personalized and intuitive style of playing. Euclid is a beautifully immersive album of warm, fuzzy synth textures and cinematic motifs, with the first half focusing more on dense rhythmic workouts and the flip presenting a series of short suites akin to Roedelius' Selbstportrait series. Early on, tracks like "Wide Awake" feature muted vocal fragments that are pitch shifted and skewed alongside chopped beats and samples, approximating a soundscape patchwork similar to that of Lemon of Pink-era Books. The "Labyrinth" series on the B-side floats ecstatically in an underwater haze, with ties to both new age, Krautrock and early electronic music pioneers like Laurie Spiegel or Terry Riley worn proudly on her sleeve. Euclid is not only gorgeous, but also a truly fascinating record with something for all lovers of deeply introspective electronic music. [RN]

$9.99 CD ON SALE
$15.99 LP

Complete Strangers
(Easy Sound)

Although this is probably not the most immediately engaging album from the long-running Vetiver, Complete Strangers offers a nice take on Andy Cabic's well-honed esthetic, with set of mellow, rootsy songs that nod, variously, to Krautrock, indie pop, Byrdsian California rock, and more. Always laid-back, with a defining sense of melancholy pervading, it's a warmly embracing record that effortlessly spans eras and genres, while still sounding of a piece, and while this one won't draw in legions of new listeners, fans of Cabic will find plenty to enjoy.

$12.99 CD
$21.99 LP+MP3

The Scene Between
(Memphis Industries)

The Go! Team is back with its fourth album, but those expecting another round of sugar-buzzing, double Dutch indie anthems are going to be in for a bit of a surprise here. Ian Parton puts the "I" in team for this one, handling all of the songwriting duties himself, and the emphasis is indeed on the word "song." Parton has said that his vision for The Scene Between was to be "Brill Building hooks but with kind of a wobbly VHS feel," and indeed, the cheerleader chants and pep-squad atmosphere of earlier records have been all but replaced by sunshine-y, female-sung harmonies and fuzzy pop nostalgia, all bubbling to the surface through Parton's giddy, plunderphonic production.

$13.99 CD
$19.99 LP+MP3

Photozine Move #40

We have a handful of this limited edition, hand-numbered Xerox photozine by Washington DC-born, New York City-based photographer (and Other Music employee) Bert Queiroz. Put out by well-respected graphic artist Rich Jacobs on his own Move imprint, the zine contains a teaser of images from around the world as well as from the DC punk scene in the '80s and '90s.


Issue #374 April 2015

"On the cover: Holly Herndon (The US sound artist and laptop auteur spreads the faith of the liberating potential of technology); The Wire Tapper 37: The latest volume in our series of experimental and underground music compilations is given away free with every copy of the new issue. Invisible Jukebox: Lightning Bolt (Rhode Island's day-glo noise cadets cop a load of The Wire's mystery record selection); The Primer: Moondog (A user's guide to the music of the maverick composer who reconciled Baroque rounds with Native American rhythms); Brighton Noise Poets (A wave of outsider poets and musicians is threatening to breach the UK's coastal defenses with their DIY mixes of spoken word, broken noise and radical politics); Liturgy (Heavy overload); Model 500 (The future returns); John Wiese (New noise mutations); Global Ear: The Hague."


now available on lp

Live at Biko
(Caldo Verde)

Mark Kozelek is undoubtedly one of the most prolific singer/songwriters of our generation, and his concert release, Live at Biko, is a mellow follow-up of sorts to his monumental, career highlight, Benji, from earlier in 2014. That said, the two aren't really linked per se, and this live record serves as more of a breather, and also perhaps a reminder that Kozelek is darkly humored and laid-back in a live setting. Aside from the between-song banter (which is truly excellent -- no spoilers), these are stripped-down, solo acoustic versions of tunes from Benji and the recent Sun Kil Moon back catalog. It's a truly intimate setting for all of these numbers to be performed together, and a testament to his extreme talent in songwriting sensibility that tracks like "Gustavo" and "Ceiling Gazing" (off of the criminally underrated Perils from the Sea collaboration with the Album Leaf) can live next to the harrowing studies of Benji. So if Benji left you with a case of the summertime blues but you're still itchin' for some more Koz, OR if you weren't able to keep track of the last few releases from 2013, then check out this excellent live set. Kozelek is in rare form here, even abandoning a song midway when the Italian audience doesn't get his jokey references! Recommended. [RN]

$21.99 LP
$10.99 CD

also available

Africa Express Presents Terry Riley's in C Mali (Transgressive)

$29.99 CD

Summoning Suns

$15.99 CD

Lost and Found

$17.99 CD

Symphony 5

$15.99 CD
$26.99 LP

Hecker Leckey Sound Voice Chimera

$26.99 LP

Short Movie
(Ribbon Music)

$13.99 CD
$25.99 2LP+MP3


$14.99 CD
$15.99 LP

Live at Third Man Records
(Third Man)

$13.99 LP

the big picture