JULY 23, 2014

special announcement



Jenny Lewis' anticipated new solo album, The Voyager, hits store shelves on Tuesday, July 29 -- available for pre-order here. That evening, fans that purchase her new CD or LP at Other Music will have a chance to meet the singer and get their copy autographed. So swing by the shop at 6 p.m. this Tuesday, pick up her excellent new record, and say hi to Jenny!  

in this week's update


Cold Beat
White Fence
75 Dollar Bill
Demdike Stare
Frankie Cosmos
The Raveonettes
Pip Proud

Hieroglyphic Being
Positive Centre
The Black Angels


Il Balletto Di Bronzo


1970's Algerian Proto-Rai Underground




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 with Union Pool, which takes place every Saturday afternoon through August 30th in the iconic Brooklyn bar's big backyard. This weekend Panache & New York Night Train are throwing an awesome bash with Jonathan Toubin, Baxx SiSi's, the Mystery Lights, DJ Vashti Windish, plus a live set from a secret special guest! In other words, don't miss!! Upcoming Saturday afternoon performances include Jessica Pratt (August 2) and Har Mar Superstar (August 9th). As always, every Saturday afternoon 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 details and band listings can be found on the Facebook event page.




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

Other Music's summer Monday residency continues through to the end of August at New York City's Ace Hotel! 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. Clay Wilson will be the guest selector for July 28, so come on out and shake off the dog days with us!



SummerStage at Central Park: 69th St. at Fifth Ave. New York City

Conor Oberst will be in New York City on Tuesday, July 29, headlining SummerStage in support of his new album, Upside Down Mountain. Other Music has a pair of tickets to give away to the performance, along with an extra prize: an autographed double-LP with a bonus CD! Email for your chance to win.

this week's update

Over Me
(Crime on the Moon)

"Rain," the first track off Cold Beat's excellent debut full-length Over Me, is easily one of the best album openers of 2014. With cold, electric drums skittering over a minimal guitar line, main vocalist Hannah Lew (formerly of Grass Widow fame) harmonizes three ways atop like a broken Balearic Cocteau Twin. The song oozes with mysterious vibes and a late night atmosphere; there's space and slight variation that build. The drum machine pitters in different patterns, the guitars, courtesy of ex-Neon Piss shredder Kyle King, thicken up, and there's a dramatic, abrupt finish.

But what's so magnificent about that opener carries throughout this great record: a primal darkness, tense rhythmic interplay, soaring vocals and a DIY sensibility. Cold Beat's West Coast punk edge is felt throughout the 13 tracks showcased here and the variations in song form are smart and tasteful. "Tinted Glass" has a raw energy akin to Australian bands such as Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Total Control, while later numbers like "Abandon" showcase a heavy post-punk influence with bombastic electronic drums, landing somewhere between Blonde Redhead and the Cure. Such a great record with a ton of energy that warrants repeated listens. [RN]

$14.99 CD
$16.99 LP


Markus Popp's new album as Oval is one of his most surprising and beautiful; recorded in Bahia and Berlin with a number of vocalists, it presents a side of his musical DNA not represented since his under-regarded So album in 2003. That record was a breathtaking, knotty, and disorienting collaboration with Japanese vocalist Eriko Toyoda, which obscured her dreamy lullabies in clouds of thick digital fog. With the new Voa, he doesn't so much repeat the methods of that album, but instead takes the roots of Brazilian folk and bossa nova song forms and abstracts them; where the bossa nova is known for its smooth, curvaceous fluidity, the songs on Voa are instead knotty cubist abstractions, like cut-up and repasted postcards of Rio beaches. It helps that Popp has a stellar cast of talented collaborators, nearly all of whom are new names to me; at times I'm reminded of some sort of imaginary collaboration between Fennesz -- one of Popp's only true sonic peers and fellow travellers -- and Brazilian siren Joyce. Much like Fennesz's infamous Endless Summer album, Voa seems to conjure a half-remembered nostalgia that is obfuscated by an overload of digital information. This is one of the most surprising and beautiful records I've heard all year, and if you can appreciate the aesthetic being explored here, you're in for one hell of a trip. [IQ]

$24.99 LP

NG Tapes

Originally released as a cassette in 1984 with little to no text details, NG tapes has been a collector's gem for some time now. Hiroshi Oikawa's two solo LP's are some of the rarest synth/noise releases of the mid '80s, and the cassette was an addendum to 1984's L∴S∴D∴ and has since fetched upwards of $200 on the secondhand market. Luckily for us, PCP records has remastered and reissued the tape in a beautiful vinyl package limited to 200 copies. It is just under an hour of some of the most impressive synth tracks of the era, at times foreshadowing material currently being released on labels like Spectrum Spools, Raster-Noton, Further, or Digitalis. Bubbly synth pieces are contrasted with harsher noisy bits here and there, and the end product makes a great soundtrack to couch zoning, or intensely focused listening sessions. Easily one of my favorite reissues this year, and as an added bonus, PCP did an absolutely beautiful job with the packaging and design. [CW]

$21.99 LP

For the Recently Found Innocent
(Drag City)

When SF psych cabal White Fence's debut album first appeared out of nowhere in 2010, it solidified their place in rock history forever, with an indescribable timelessness about its fidelity, a lost-in-space songwriting style, and a road-worn aesthetic. But little did we know that this was just a bedroom project of California native Tim Presley, or that we'd have five more LPs to look forward to, or that there would be a band that would go on tour, etc., etc. It was all shrouded in mystery. Fast forward to 2014 and White Fence is alive and well with their new Drag City-released full-length, For the Recently Found Innocent, landing promptly in the middle of the sweltering summer.

White Fence are still mining the post-college rock indie landscape, with a higher fidelity this time around and a Guided by Voices model: packing a ton of short pop blasts into every nook and cranny of the album. On Recently, we have Presley's voice right up front, with less reverb and clearer production than last year's woozy Cyclops Reap. By third track, "Like That," the Fence are in a true glam rock zone, with heady falsetto vocal harmonies and a Tobin Sprout guitar tone dialed in just right. "Sandra" is a Kinks-esque paisley jam with Presley affecting an English accent, and "Wolf Gets Red Faced" blares off with a Pete Townsend-sounding guitar solo and heavy stomp for equal measure. Later, "The Light" is reminiscent of King Tuff or even Detroit's Dirtbombs in its rawness, and "Raven on White Cadillac" has honky tonkin' piano and a Brian Jonestown Massacre sway. All in all a great record to blast this summer! [RN]

$14.99 CD
$19.99 LP

Olives in the Ears
(Self Release)

This duo has been getting a bit of traction around NYC lately with their live residency at Troost in Greenpoint, and some great shows at Issue Project Room and elsewhere, and Olives in the Ears is their second cassette-only release, an excellent window into their singular music. (Onetime Other Music employee) Che Chen is an understated guitar wizard with a long history of diverse experimentation, but this project finds him exploring classic American blues guitar forms through the lens of the Mali desert sound, refracted back through a skewed Downtown aesthetic. It's a highly specific sound, but a surprisingly deep and open-ended one, and with his collaborator Rick Brown playing an eclectic percussion setup, the duo explore everything from scattershot junkyard meltdowns to a rollicking version of Allen Toussaint's 1973 Pointer Sister's hit "Yes We Can Can," here voiced by longtime Brown collaborator Sue Garner. Overall, this release manages to be minimal and hypnotic but still pretty trashy and raw, and while they reference plenty of great music we all know and love, I've never heard anything quite like 75 Dollar Bill. [JM]


Testpressing #005
(Modern Love)

It feels like quite a challenge to write anything new about Demdike Stare after a few years of consistent releases. Their hauntology has been well covered and the comparisons to other masters of ominous drones have all been made. But like a well-oiled machine, Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker continue to surprise while they define their sound and polish ideas, and the Testpressing series seems to be an experiment in defiling genre clichés, with previous 12" installments profiling a very Demdike take on jungle, power electronics, house, techno, and ambient. It's no surprise then that seven months after #004 we find the Modern Love duo continuing down that path, ripping apart two of the past year's most overused genre styles.

The A-side, "Procrastination," takes a jab at the minimalist grime tracks that have been flooding out of the UK lately, ending up somewhere halfway between the recent Sd Laika album on Tri-Angle and the cleaner stripped-back soundscapes of Logos. The track's machinegun snares and throbbing sub bass could be something straight out of a production tutorial in the wrong hands, but Canty and Whittaker add their signature grit and ambiance on top, transforming such a simple idea into something unmistakably Demdike. With "Past Majesty" on the B-side, the duo offers up their take on the industrial/rhythmic noise world that seems to have been receiving substantial attention in recent years. Demdike use the route of Powell's recent tracks, keeping the relentless driving rhythms of the genre's origins but adding a substantial amount of bass weight that could (maybe) make this work in the right club setting. [CW]

$17.99 12"

(Double Double Whammy)

From the opening line, "Art School makes you wild...," it's very clear that the debut LP (or EP? -- it's only 20 minutes) by this New York group exists in a post-Juno world where teenage angst and naive, personal, yearning pop has been jettisoned into the forefront of the pop cultural landscape, with no shortage of wry one liners. Alongside contemporary kindred spirits like Potty Mouth, Courtney Barnett, and Waxahatchee, it seems that Frankie Cosmos is riffing on a particular sound, one that was tooled and refined by female-fronted powerhouse groups of the early aughts like Rainer Maria, Mates of State, Denali, Rilo Kiley, the solo artist Mirah, and the Anniversary. The musical palette is earnest, heart-on-your-sleeve pop with an off-the-cuff vulnerability and a sincere dedication to what I like to call 'whole album experiences.'

But who knows if these cats have ever HEARD of any of those bands, and maybe they don't even care! Regardless of who and what they're referencing, this record rules and is a total breath of fresh air in the 2014 indie landscape. Singer Greta Kline's range is anything but amateur, and her ability to subtly drive a tune into your head is remarkable. For example, "Dancing in the Public Eye" has been stuck in my brain all day, and the build-and-release triumph of album highlight "Owen" is a perfect top-down, beach-drivin' anthem. The band itself is also great and operates in a way similar to Grass Widow or even Sonny & the Sunsets, with an assured yet understated style of playing; soft guitars bounce against muffled drums and smooth '70s-toned bass plucks which carry the rhythmic lope. It's a real shiny burst of pop energy that feels like only the very beginning of this story. And to end with a sharp lyrical bit, Kline painfully moans, "I'm bitter like olives;" it's safe to say we're all excited to hear her elaborate! [RN]

$9.99 CD
$16.99 LP

(Beat Dies)

The beat of the traps, the roiling Pacific Ocean, a massive rip current of fuzz bass and distorted guitar ... what is this, a surf record? "I have sand in my shoes," coos Sharin Foo, "and death on my mind..." Well, turns out this is a Raveonettes album after all -- their seventh full-length, if you're counting, and one made in the wake of Sune Rose Wagner coping with the loss of his father. These atmospheric, tragic concepts are tied together inextricably at the outset of Pe'ahi and remain in place throughout, definitely the largest-sounding record of theirs since Lust Lust Lust, and the most diverse in a while to boot. Jettisoning the maudlin Paisley Underground-isms of their last LP Observator, here the band is immersed in widescreen, full-bore fuzz, offset by delicate melodies and the kind of beats you'd have heard in the heyday of trip-hop ("Killer in the Streets" even cops the legendary Skull Snaps break). Throughout the record, we find the Raveonettes at their most cinematic, peeling back the layers of noise to reveal the tender, beating hearts within these songs, only to floor it moments later. After all these years, it's those simple kinds of tricks that manage to thrill. On Pe'ahi, it happens all over again. [DM]

$11.99 CD
$14.99 LP

A Fraying Space
(Em Records)

Pip Proud was an Australian singer/songwriter whose career was the thing of outsider legend. His idiosyncratic stylings have influenced and been lifted by generations of lonesome folkies; everyone from Mayo Thompson to Alastair Galbraith to Moe Tucker to David Tibet all owe a great deal of gratitude to him. Proud's delivery and DIY aesthetic was groundbreaking with a singular style that combined kitchen-sink production, nasally vocals and primitive drum boxes, pre-dating Jandek's first foray into the outsider world by some 10-odd years. A loner by definition, Proud wrote three obscure albums by himself as well as a number of plays and experimental prose, and then came out of obscurity later to collaborate with Tom Carter, among others.

A Fraying Space collects tracks from his proper LPs as well as the Horlicks Tin Tape, and it's a real treasure to finally have these rare recordings all in one place. Early album highlight "The Sun Was Yellow" places ramshackle chiming bells against a sole acoustic guitar and barely sung/spoken vocals that sound like a cough syrup-induced Lou Reed trip by way of Bee Thousand. Later in the collection, tracks like "French Girls" have slightly clearer fidelity and are almost song-poems in their storytelling, drawn-out style. Any way you cut it, these recordings sound just as excellent today as they did in their heyday; this is a MUST for all fans of weirdo folk and home-recorded music. [RN]

$21.99 CD
$24.99 LP

Strange Strings
(Music From Mathematics)

Jamal Moss' Hieroglyphic Being moniker offers a consistently unique musical universe, yet it simultaneously also presents a confluence of contrasting sound worlds, from first wave Chicago house to classic industrial music, and from new age synth excavations to harsh cosmic noise. Odd, provoking, and often on the edge of derailment, his outsider sound is somewhat of an acquired taste. But, as dance music palates evolve and singular, outcast figures move to the fore to dominate the scene, Jamal Moss' longstanding unconventional style has become something of a hallmark for adventurous and forward-looking house and techno aficionados, as well as those engaged with the noise underground. His recent torrent of seven ultra-limited CD-R reissues on his acclaimed Mathematics label signifies quite a daunting sonic undertaking. The project not only makes a huge amount of music available at once, with each disc containing more than 70 minutes of music, but also confirms his sprawling musical scope. Displaying his signature lo-fi aesthetic sensibility, the material ranges from sick, deteriorating future funk on Free the Energy to starkly banging house experimentalism on The Lost Transmissions.

Perhaps the most remarkable of these reissues, Strange Strings from 2011 opens with twelve minutes of atmospheric bliss, merging gentle drips of sound with eerie, cosmic synth lines. There is of course an obvious link to Sun Ra's infamous chef-d'oeuvre of the same title. On that original record, Sun Ra gave his collection of exotic string instruments to the members of his Arkestra, who, as the legend goes, didn't know how to tune and play them, producing an extraordinarily atonal yet organic sounding piece of fully improvised music. Hieroglyphic Being's Strange Strings resolutely digresses from such grand orchestral aspirations, but there's nevertheless a striking analogy, as it similarly explores music at the point where knowledge gives way to pure sound. This becomes most apparent on the more than twenty-minute long "Strange Strings - Cosmicos 7," which opens chaotically with different streams of sound played off against one another until a beat emerges six minutes into the track. What follows is a slowly building, seemingly never-ending slap of bizarre, robotic funk, which evolves ever more fluctuating, a steady beat being its only constant feature. There's only one thing left to do: rid yourself of any sense of logical musical progression before diving into this walloping stream of wonderfully challenging Hieroglyphic Being reissues! [NVT]

$11.99 CD-R

Hiding Knives
(Our Circula Sound)

We have two excellent new records here in the shop that nail the "gently pummeling" techno sound that has been grabbing our ears lately on standout releases from artists as varied as Cassegrain, Lucy, Shed, and Andy Stott. First up is the new EP from Positive Centre entitled Hiding Knives. It possesses that rare mix of gently menacing mid-tempo calm/restrained/ethereal yet throbbing techno, and nicely connects the dots between artists like Porter Ricks and Andy Stott (mood and texture wise), right through to ethereal/warehouse, slow-fi techno artists like Cassegrain and Lucy. The title track has an immense slow throb that shifts into an ecstatic industrial roll. "Field of Tongues" features a vaporous wave of warm static that undulates within/without the slow incessant throb. Four tracks in all, pressed onto opaque milk-white vinyl. [SM]

$15.99 12"


Next up is Eomacs' album release on Berlin's Killekill label. We jumped on this record based on this sample alone: killer, gently massive slo-fi, techno-core that condenses the water molecules in the air into walls of frost. It's really heavy, but also extremely ethereal and buoyant, just the way we love it! The surprise for us came after looking deeper for some backstory; we found that Eomac is actually one-half of the duo known as Lakker, whose standout releases, Coal Bath and the Killekill EP Aktiv, we also picked up here at the shop. Although Lakker has their own unique take on lean, mean, cavernous/moody UK bass music, the Eomac material remains more solidly in the techno realm. Brief forays into slightly clubbier UK sounds pop up here and there, but the predominant vibe is massive, throbbing yet restrained, dreamy, yet grinding industrial-tinged techno. To confirm quality, check the Killekill Soundcloud for album snippets. [SM]

$34.99 LP

Clear Lake Forest
(Blue Horizon)

If you missed the Black Angels' Record Store Day 2014 10", here's your chance to make good, as the limited EP is now widely available as a clear vinyl 12" and CD. The record contains seven all new and unreleased studio recordings in the vein of last year's Indigo Meadow, heavy droning blues-psych with a big helping of pop hooks, somewhere between Shocking Blue, the Velvet Underground and Silver Apples, with a nice dose of garage fuzz. This band has been doing it a long while, and while they don't really add anything new to the genre, they are the rare group who seem willfully retro and referential without losing that spark of originality and forward motion. And while the smell of hot smoke and sassafras lies heavy over these tracks, as it has with Texas psych bands for half a century, these guys have both the songs and the chops to pull it off. [JM]

$9.99 CD
$15.99 LP

now on lp

Sirio 2222
(Lion Productions)

Italian heavy prog outfit Il Balletto Di Bronzo only released two albums in its initial run (1970's Sirio 2222 and 1972's Ys), but what a pair these turned out to be -- some of the most intense examples of life-or-death progressive rock, dovetailing into pure doom, the world had known to that point. Both of these records still hold up as classics on the underside of rock history, but it's the first one here that makes for the easier point of entry, the group still strongly indebted to hard rock and electric blues of the day, and going down a storm in that regard. There's still room for foofy flourishes (the harpsichord break and string quartet in "Meditazione," for example) but any wackiness resolves itself quickly in a blinding clash of electric guitars and downer sentiments. Two years later, they would attach a set of cojones to the concept of the concept album so big and hairy the band might've had trouble walking, but on Siriothey let it all hang out, playing tough and somewhat groovy rock music for the times. Hell, "Ma Ti Aspettero," with its swinging rhythm section and foreign laissez-faire, predates the sound pursued by OM faves Toncho Pilatos by a couple of years. Fans of the South African band Freedom's Children, or even Sir Lord Baltimore, would do well to check out what's going on here. [DM]

$23.99 LP
$15.99 CD

now on cd

1970's Algerian Proto-Rai Underground
(Sublime Frequencies)

Originally released as a limited LP back in 2008, this has got to be one of Sublime Frequencies' best releases: an outstanding compilation of raw Algerian Rai music from the 1970s, the period where Rai music really began to take on decidedly more modern sound characteristics -- brass sections (mostly trumpets), trap drums augmenting the hand percussion arrangements, and most importantly, electric guitars. A few of the cuts on display here use wah-wah guitars to dizzying effect; their slow burn and deep smolder add new layers to this protest music (the word rai actually translates to "opinion" or "point of view" in Arabic). This collection is all killer, no filler, and for once, there simply just isn't enough music here! I'm so glad that it's finally available on CD! [IQ]

$15.99 CD

the big picture