October 9, 2014

special announcements



Union Pool: 484 Union Ave. Brooklyn 
Facebook Event Page

Underground music icon Jim White (Dirty Three, Cat Power, Nick Cave, Will Oldham) and acclaimed Cretan folk musician George Xylouris have come together for an exciting new project known as Xylouris White. Their debut album Goats, produced by Fugazi's Guy Picciotto, is being released October 14 on Other Music Recording Co., with the duo performing dates throughout the East Coast and Midwest during the month, which includes a Thursday night residency in Brooklyn at Union Pool: 10/9 with Big Brave and 10/16 with Bo Ningen! On the final night of their residency, Thursday, 10/23, Xylouris White will be headlining Other Music's CMJ Showcase at Union Pool, with labelmates Invisible Familiars along with our two newest signings: 75 Dollar Bill and Tall Tales and the Silver Lining. Mark your calendar!



THE HiFI BAR: 169 Ave. A  New York, NY

We would like to invite all of our readers to the Second Annual Music Trivia Night Fundraiser to benefit the America Cancer Society, with Other Music's own Josh Madell as master of ceremonies. It's a great cause and a really fun night that is custom-made for our readers, with insightful and hilarious music trivia questions compiled by Domino's Kris Gillespie. $20 per person contest fee, all proceeds go to the American Cancer Society (teams can have a maximum of 4 people). Drink specials, raffles, and fun!

Raffle plus prizes for trivia winners include generous donations from Sixpoint Brewery, Barnes & Noble, Domino Recording Co., Merge Records, Other Music, Spotify, The Best Show, Sony/Legacy, Criterion, Warner Brothers Records, YurBuds, Ovenly, Coral & Tusk + much more!

Your hosts: Brendan Bourke, Dawn Sutter Madell, Julie Underwood and Lydia Vanderloo will be running The Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon with the ACS DetermiNation team on November 23rd. Donate here

in this week's update


Peaking Lights
Flying Lotus
Zola Jesus
Ex Hex
Vashti Bunyan

Philip Corner
Jone Takamäki Trio
Silent Servant/Broken English Club
Pissed Jeans



Philip Selway
Johnny Mar




Le Poisson Rouge: 158 Bleecker St. NYC

Over the past year, Chairlift's Caroline Polachek has been performing as Ramona Lisa in New York, most often unannounced and incognito with fully choreographed and costumed sets. On Monday, October 13, she'll be playing her final show for her Arcadia album at Le Poisson Rouge, and Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets along with a copy of the LP. Email for your chance to win!



Music Hall of Williamsburg: 66 N. 6th St. Brooklyn

It's a match made in heaven for lovers of post-punk's art-pop side, with Tampa Bay's Merchandise and Denmark's Lower touring together and performing this coming Tuesday in Brooklyn at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. We've got two pairs of tickets to give away and all you have to do to enter for a chance to win is email



Webster Hall: 125 E. 11th St. NYC

Warpaint are in the midst of an epic world tour supporting their excellent self-titled second album and will be returning to NYC for one night, performing at Webster Hall this coming Tuesday. Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets and to enter for your chance to win, email

this week's update

Our Love

The release of Our Love marks Dan Snaith's long-awaited return as Caribou, with his new full-length picking up on the cerebral dancefloor grooves of 2010's Swim, while adding a more soulful undertone than anything he's done previously. Though it's not the biggest shift in sound for an artist whose discography has been in constant evolution -- from the sun-kissed sampledelic IDM of his early days recording under the Manitoba moniker, to the Krautrocking vibes of The Milk of Human Kindness, to the kaleidoscopic pop moves of Andorra, not to mention a more club-friendly detour under his Daphni guise two years ago -- Our Love is his most enjoyable and very best outing yet. Since his last Caribou album, Snaith has become a father, and it's an influence that subtly manifests itself throughout this record in its deep range of moods and emotions. The euphoric opening track's hypnotic mantra of "I can't do without you," which continuously loops atop a shuffling house rhythm and slow-building tension from the gauzy synths, seems to double as a tender ode to his young daughter, with Snaith cooing "and you know you're the one I dream about" like a lullaby as the song quietly fades during its last few seconds.

While Our Love is dance music at its most reflective, it's not at the expense of any melodic sensibilities which are there in spades, even as Snaith effortlessly shapeshifts throughout -- from the bubbling R&B of "All I Ever Need" (co-written by album contributor Owen Pallet) which modernizes the funky new wave soul of Yaz and Bronski Beat, to the playful garage-house of "Julia Brightly" in which filter sweeps burst atop the galloping beat. Yet it's slower tracks like the effervescent "Second Chance" carried by guest vocalist Jessy Lanza's breathy, soulful melodies, or the intimate first-half of "Back Home" which recalls the aquatic ambience of Arthur Russell, that prove to be some of Our Love's most thrilling moments. It all makes for a mesmerizing long-player in which Caribou's music lives, breathes, and feels, impressively defying its mostly synthetic, beat-centric means. [GH/HW]

$13.99 CD
$15.99 LP+MP3

Cosmic Logic
(Weird World)

On Peaking Lights' 2012 breakout Lucifer, Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis' dubwise fusion of pastoral Krautrock, early house & techno, and Balearic atmospheres was beautifully effortless, unfolding like a warm dream of familial love. I'll just say it upfront then that Cosmic Logic does not reach the level of tender elegance with which its predecessor sparkled, and instead Coyes and Dunis head into a more accessible, vintage synth-pop direction. While their music is still dreamy, it manifests itself in a much less ethereal way, with songs like "Telephone Call" and "Hypnotic Hustle" recalling the funky island pop of Tom Tom Club, with a low squelchy synthesizer line replacing Tina Weymouth's slippery bass guitar. Indeed, a great deal of Cosmic Logic does expand on Lucifer's experiments with tropical grooves and early electronic dance music -- most notably on "Eyes to Sea." But the songs here are generally shorter in length for the duo, and there's much less of an emphasis on the abstract and hypnotic, with Peaking Lights flirting with hook-based pop. As such, Dunis' voice has become indispensable and is no longer another instrument fluidly melting into the aura of the music; the couple are now writing 'proper' songs, rather than free-flowing sketches of their own experiences and emotions. While Cosmic Logic may not find Peaking Lights at their most mysterious, they sure do make beautiful and weird dance music. [MM]

$13.99 CD
$21.99 LTD LP+BONUS 12"+ MP3

You're Dead

Every time a customer asks what I think of the new Aphex Twin album, my reply has been that I like the fact that it doesn't sound like anything else released this year. It's also the same response that I'll be giving when someone asks me about this great new record from Flying Lotus; for his fifth full-length (fourth for Warp), Steven Ellison has once again created a sound universe unlike anything else happening. Since Cosmogramma, FlyLo has been working on a fusion of jazz and beats, ethereal vocals and cosmic sonics, and here all those worlds collide like never before. The overall theme of You're Dead! is, yup, death: the journey of ascending to the afterlife and what you may find once on the other side. Generally when one thinks of death, the usual motifs are framed in darkness and solemn moods, but on the contrary here, FlyLo paints his portraits of death on an animation cell, resulting in more elastic and splashy entanglements of fear, anger, fierce emotions, resolve, and release. Like the album's artwork by guru manga artist Shintaro Kago, Ellison displays the cut throats, severed heads, blood and guts, arteries and limbs in a vibrant energy field of bright colors, blasting white light and hyper-visual sensations with a slightly humorous air, like the never-ending onslaught of zombies that plague the cast of The Walking Dead. Unlike Cosmogramma's black hole soul, or Until the Quiet Comes' vibe of floating at the edge of the universe, You're Dead! is like a satellite spinning out of control, lights blinking, dials jumping, engines stalling. Each track is stuffed and goes many directions at once, with great moments cut off before they really begin. And maybe that is a reflection of the loss he's felt with the untimely death of many young friends, producers and collaborators in recent years.

Ellison has spoken about how he wanted the album to feel like one breath, one life force creating the music, and although there are many involved, it's a deeply personal album. Ellison is credited with keys, samples, vocals and backing vocals, however, the album is alive with drums, guitar, bass, flute, percussion, strings and saxophone, from a crew that includes mainstays Thundercat, Laura Darlington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, and Niki Randa, along with Deantoni Parks, Angel Deradoorian, Gene Coye, and guest stars, Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, and Snoop Dogg, as well as Ellison's rapping alter ego Captain Murphy. All the players are pieced together like an M.C. Escher puzzle with Ellison drawing new lines to make the shapes fit into a cosmic, progressive jazz ensemble for today's generation. Inspired by his newfound idol, Freddie Mercury, Ellison attempts a sprawling sonic symphony that begins with lots of fast-paced jazz riffs and progressive rock overtones a la Frank Zappa (like he's scoring a death scene for an Adult Swim cartoon). He then moves into some jazz-rap and George Clinton/Bootsy-flavored vocalizing before the whole thing opens wide into the abyss of the afterlife with lots of slow-moving pulses, ghostly voices, and spirited cries, all across nineteen tracks coming in at under forty minutes. With most of the cuts clocking in under the two-minute mark, the album jumps and hiccups feverishly, moving and shifting from focus to wander and chaos to calmness before floating into the final ascent/descent.

This one is bound to surprise most of his beat-loving backpack-wearing fan base, and that's a good thing; maybe Ellison will inspire his listeners to further explore genres like free jazz, jazz fusion, and progressive rock. It's an intriguing record that continues to unfold with every play, and as usual Flying Lotus has diverted expectations and created an unique album that comes across as a love letter to those whom he has lost and those we have watched move on to greener pastures. [DG]

$14.99 CD ON SALE
$25.99 2LP+MP3


"I want to be No. 1 on Billboard," Nika Danilova (a/k/a Zola Jesus) somewhat notably informed that publication at the beginning of the summer when she released "Dangerous Days," Taiga's first single. "My goals as a musician are very clear-cut." Her most candidly catchy recording, the beat-driven pop sound of that track was a new fit for a woman whose career thus far had been based on music that nearly every periodical described as "dark" and/or "witchy." While this change may take a bit of getting used to, Danilova's best and most frequently tapped tool remains her monstrous vocal chords. "Go (Blank Sea)" finds Zola powering through a hugely climactic chorus, elevating herself to the level of the most innovative pop stars around the world. Even better, "Nail" is (for the most part) an a cappella performance whose lingering melodies and harmonies prove that Danilova's singing can truly fill a room of any size. The ballads range only from bold ("Dust," "Taiga") to bolder ("Hunger," "Hollow"), and collectively act as a truly impressive force, all while absolutely being Zola Jesus' easiest listen. Capably balancing the authentic themes of her upbringing in nature and the ornate, catchy qualities of dance-focused radio hits, she has successfully segued into the realm of avant-pop that oh so many indie-femmes are trying to penetrate...But will this fulfill Danilova's dream of becoming an international pop-star? Probably not. Her characteristically unsettling aura still flickers within these more accessible anthems, and the record's greatest moments are rarely its most straightforward. With that said, Taiga is filled with some of Zola's most powerful, heart-wrenching work. [MM]

$14.99 CD
$21.99 LP+MP3


Mary Timony has been making great rock and roll for more than 20 years now, from the explosive girl-punk of Autoclave in the early '90s, through Helium's most enchanted prog-rock abstractions, a clutch of varied solo albums, and then her recent power moves with Wild Flag. Her sound has been in flux that whole time, from sharp and direct to dreamy to tripped-out and back again, so much great music, but is it crazy if I say that Ex Hex is the most fun band she's ever been in? Like her 2005 solo album from which the group draws its name, Ex Hex deliver raw and uncomplicated power-pop and proto-punk, like the Runaways without the jailbait attitude, but all the hooks. A classic power trio, Timony's lightening flash guitar riffs and big attitude vocals are front and center, but there is a thrilling electricity to this band, and the rhythm section of Laura Harris and Betsy Wright seem to be pushing Timony to new heights of strut and energy, as if, after all these years, she is finally coming out of her shell. Fans of Wild Flag will love the group, as will anyone digging the glammy garage rock of Ty Segall and the like -- there is nothing new here, but really that's the point, just loud, hook-filled rock and roll fun. I love it, and they are a blast live! [JM]

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$18.99 LP+MP3

Wonder Where We Land
(Young Turks)

Deluxe CD includes bonus disc with 6 extra tracks. Limited Deluxe Edition LP includes bonus disc with 7 extra tracks.

Following his three-plate special, the dancey Transitions 12"s from this summer, Aaron "SBTRKT" Jerome delivers his radio-ready full-length, Wonder Where We Land. While SBTRKT's still-in-rotation 2011 debut seemed like a great slice of British post-dubstep electronic pop with one foot in the underground and the other kicking towards the stars, what held that record together was the tight-knit feel of the two main vocalists, Sampha and Jessie Ware. Here SBTRKT seems like he has fully made his way into the stratosphere, with a timely list of guest-star singers including Caroline Polacheck, Erza Koenig, A$AP FERG, Denai Moore, and Raury, along with Ware and Sampha making their return. With each track, vocal or instrumental, the mood shifts and the programming reanimates into new forms, but that said, the album sometimes suffers because of it. With such an array of voices and styles, it's hard to form a cohesive experience, and Wonder Where We Land often comes across more like a compilation than a proper artist statement.

To Jerome's credit, the productions all have a clean and crisp feel, beefier EQ and fuller sound scape. Yet while there are a few introspective interludes, field recordings, and incidental synthesizer, they don't always add much to the overall mood. Really, the one who offers the most thoughtful songs is SBTRKT's road singer Sampha, featured on four of the ten vocal cuts, with his soulful voice, smooth understated styling and ease with the rhythms giving the tracks a welcomed grounding and natural delivery. All in all, WWWL plays out like a Saturday night in London: top down, radio blasting, bass pumping, and pop tunes overflowing. And maybe that's the point. Fans of Little Dragon, Basement Jaxx, Mount Kimbie, and of course Disclosure, will certainly find some new tracks to add to their post-dubstep pop playlist. [DG]

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$16.99 LTD 2CD ON SALE
$17.99 LP
$34.99 LTD 2LP

Plowing into the Field of Love

I wrote a review of the last Iceage album that basically said "y'know, it's good these songs got out there, but after this and their debut New Brigade, they really cannot make another record like those again." Guess what? Plowing into the Field of Love is about as far removed from the youthful hardcore attack of their first two albums as one could hope, maybe not an entire 180 but really, really far off. How far off? They've got enough mandolins, pianos and strings to make Dexy's Midnight Runners blush, and they're strewn all over this thing, a reinvention into dark rock and cowpunk that glances Crime + the City Solution, Love Life, Fields of the Nephilim, the Blasters, Cult of Youth, and even early U2, while still retaining the sting of their earlier, blurred teenage efforts. Everyone in this Copenhagen quartet is now of legal American drinking age, and seems to have come to grips with who they are as people, as artists and maybe even as lovers, because this is easily the most passionate and wild Iceage yet, even as tempos have burned off and left to smolder in the autumn air. Johan Wieth remains one of the singular guitar talents out of the whole of modern post-punk, coaxing out melodies you'd rarely expect, and Elias Bender Ronnenfeldt's breathy, atonal crooning takes on a new level of intensity now that he doesn't have to compete with the relentless velocity of the music behind him.

At first I really didn't know what to make of this record, as it seems built to push the buttons of anyone expecting more of the same, and grind on the patience of everyone else. But I'm coming around -- there are a great many moments of brilliance all over Plowing into the Field of Love, ready for you to discover whether it be on the first listed or the 101st, or anywhere in between. This band is a gleeful mess, but they are operating solely on their own steam, unwilling to make anything less than what they feel represents them at the time. You read something about an artist like Grimes, who reportedly scrapped an album because she thought it would alienate her fans, then you come across a group like Iceage, who sets their own pace and their own rules, and forces you to come to their table, begging for a seat. I'll always accept the challenge. Why won't you? [DM]

$13.99 CD


Vashti Bunyan's story is one of mythic proportions: a '60s song-smith turned amateur actress, discovered by Joe Boyd and in turn marketed as a proto-hippie. A true folk artist, her forgotten 1970 album Just Another Diamond Day came into many lives at an opportune moment when reissued in the early 2000s, ripe for rediscovery and ultimately changing everything for modern songwriters. Her lilting vocal style and soft accompaniment is singular and timeless, with roots in the underground, homegrown aesthetic of '60s groups like Fairport Convention, the Incredible String Band or even Nick Drake. Her legacy was reborn and lifted out of obscurity, and she now lives alongside the greats. And it's a beautiful thing that each new advance in the Vashti Bunyan story only further cements her place in history.

Heartleap is Vashti's first album in almost 10 years, and it continues in a hushed atmosphere similar to Lookaftering, her beautiful comeback record from 2005. Her voice is soft and peaceful, sometimes even approaching a wordless hum of barely audible syllabic exercise. She sounds contemplative and mellow as her moan intertwines with classical acoustic guitars and deep cello. The first highlight is "Mother," which details seemingly autobiographical, miniature vignettes of her mother's life. It has all the makings of a classic Vashti Bunyan tune: soft, studied musicianship, fairytale-like storytelling and an underlying sense of nostalgia. "Here" is another example of Vashti's excellent re-packaging of a tried-and-true formula, with an autumnal finger-picked guitar line and ghostly multi-tracked whispering vox. Just in time for the changing seasons, Heartleap is another small triumph for lovers of beautiful folk music. [RN]

$13.99 CD ON SALE
$16.99 LP

Satie Slowly
(Unseen Worlds)

Satie Slowly, the arresting new release by American composer and pianist Philip Corner, arrives with a clear musical mission: to de-kitschify the invigorating piano oeuvre of French maverick composer Erik Satie (1866-1925). Over the course of the 20th century (and even to this day), Satie has fallen victim to an undeniable sentimentalization of his work which obscured his original artistic intentions, notwithstanding his unconventional compositional merits. Having become the go-to accompaniment to all things schmaltzy (from slick TV-commercials to blatantly romantic film scenes), his hypnotic piano compositions are in fact deliberately unemotional, containing a whimsical sense of eccentric humor. Given his indisputable influence on the 20th century avant-garde, from his connection to Dada to his subsequent rejuvenation by composers such as John Cage as well as his influence on Muzak and ambient, Satie has been famously dubbed "the first machine composer." Holding an ironically strict daily regimen following a precise timetable, he appears as a foremost devious corrupter of bourgeois habits and tastes whose elaborate, deadpan musical jokes (such as Musique d'ameublement, literally: furniture music, or Vexations, a notorious exploration of repetition and boredom) are primarily mechanical in nature.

Celebrated Dutch pianist and composer Reinbert de Leeuw's genuinely detached and cool rendering of Satie's early piano works, first released by Philips Classics in 1980, presented up to now the ultimate interpretation of this precious oeuvre, but here comes Philip Corner with an equally decisive spin on these compositions. One of the twelve pianists to participate in Cage's first public staging of the French composer's Vexations in 1963, Corner sets forth to decisively alter the way we hear and experience Satie, slowing down his compositions past the threshold of current comfort. The lengthy subtitle to Satie Slowly explains Corner's intent: "Avoid All Sacrilegious Exaltation," and thus the interpreter foregrounds an important aspect of confronting established tradition, an idea that is at all times present in the basic philosophy of Erik Satie. Philip Corner's playing is measured and conscientious, shaped by a continuous effort of utmost restraint. This gesture fully affects the compositions, not only highlighting their deliberate cracks and measured hesitations but also importantly connecting them to the achievements of later composers such as Philip Glass and Terry Riley.

And thus Satie emerges once again as a pioneer of contrarian composition, whose musical complexity, spaciousness, and meticulous exactitude opposes sentimental reverie. With this release, Philip Corner adds an important addendum to Mr. de Leeuw's immaculate rendition. Elaborating adequately on his own methodology in a 44-page booklet of commentary and additional graphic analysis, Corner wonders: "If his piano pieces are so easy why are they so badly played?" [NVT]

$21.99 2CD

Universal Mind
(Arc Light Editions)

Jone Takamäki is an obscure Finnish jazz saxophonist whose catalog features both solo and trio work. A classical reedist and true forerunner of the underground, Takamäki's been active in the Finnish experimental music scene since the late '70s. In 1991 he joined the ECM-signed Finnish collective Krakatau and later co-founded the groups Otna Eahket and large ensemble Suhkan Uhka. Universal Mind is an absolutely beautiful slice of Japanese- and Indian-inflected "spiritual" jazz from 1982, and arrives via the excellent Arc Light Editions label, the same folks responsible for reissues from Arthur Russell and Ingram Marshall. It's a singular record in its ability to plow headfirst into uncharted territory, with plenty of smooth sax, double bass, harmonium, Indian zither, thumb piano and synthesizer throughout. The album is reminiscent of deep sides by the likes of Alice Coltrane, Joe McPhee, and Pharoah Sanders with an Eastern influence similar to certain LPs from Yusef Lateef or even Don Cherry at his most "out." It's meditative, peaceful, slow moving and beautiful, balancing the line between modal jazz and raga-based improv. A pleasant surprise! Definitely check this out. [RN]

$23.99 LP

Violence and Divinity

Cititrax, a sublabel of the Minimal Wave organization, unleashes a split 12" EP featuring brand new material by Los Angeles producer Silent Servant and London's Broken English Club. Violence and Divinity offers up two tracks by each project, and both sides deliver the goods. Silent Servant's side features two cuts of throbbing, shadowed techno with slight goth/electronic body music tendencies, but with a seemingly tighter focus and with sharper, more controlled edges than what has been offered in the past. The real treats come from Broken English Club, though, whose two tracks of post-punk-inspired industrial funk recall the type of Crackdown-era Cab Voltaire or 23 Skidoo nicotine-and-skag synth beats being pumped out by the likes of Fetish Records back in the day. If you're a fan of this vibe, it's highly recommended... but you probably already knew that, didn't you? [IQ]

$22.99 12" EP

(Sub Pop)

Pissed Jeans got off the ground in Allentown, PA, when members of early '00s HC bands Gatecrashers and the Ultimate Warriors started a side project to explore less heady domains and get a little dumb. Originally trading under the name Unrequired Hard-on, they quickly reconfigured as Pissed Jeans, and slowly began to eclipse their previous efforts by (they say, unwittingly) borrowing from the Touch & Go/Amphetamine Reptile school of '90s noise rock and an outrageous dry/dumps sense of humor, turning situations of discomfort and potential embarrassment into songs like "Closet Marine," "Ashamed of My Cum" and "Boring Girls." Notoriety has its way of bringing the true-minded around, and it wasn't long before Pissed Jeans found themselves moving from New Jersey's Parts Unknown label to Sub Pop, where they've since issued three more albums that have exploded their initial concept if not expanded on it. Ain't broke, don't fix. Sub Pop now comes to the rescue by reissuing the first Pissed Jeans album Shallow and debut 7" single ("Throbbing Organ" b/w "Night Minutes") for the first time in 10 years. These records are hilarious, noisy, weird and fun, with frontman Matt Korvette blurting out discomforting lyrics (always loved how he yells "I GOT BOOGIES!" in Shallow's opener "I'm Sick") and guitarist Bradley Fry wringing out all the feedback his guitars will allow. They're the only original members of Pissed Jeans. Godspeed, men. [DM]

$13.99 CD
$17.99 LP+7"

also available

(Bella Union)

Radiohead drummer Philip Selway's second full-length, Weatherhouse, is a gorgeous record of autumnal pop that arrives in perfect time for the changing leaves and falling temperatures. This intimate set of songs is fleshed out by multi-instrumentalists Adem Ilhan and Quinta, along with a string section, and the supple orchestrated arrangements and layers of drums, percussion and light electronics create a wonderfully atmospheric backdrop for Selway's warm, quiet melodies.

$13.99 CD
$17.99 LP+CD

(New Voodoo)

Last year we saw this legendary guitarist stepping fully into the spotlight, finally following up 2003's lukewarm semi-solo outing Boomslang (recorded with backing band the Healers) by way of the rock-solid The Messenger. Like its predecessor, this quick follow-up is another nice slice of early-'90s sounding Britpop, with Johnny Marr's intricately layered guitar work naturally anchoring the album. It's not life changing, though still one of better recent records to come out of the Smiths camp.

$14.99 CD
$19.99 LP+MP3

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