Other Music, our favorite local record shop in the East Village, curates choice vinyl and CDs for Ace Hotel New York. This is their latest delivery — Dirty Projectors, Twin Shadow and Lijadu Sisters from Nigeria. If you’re staying with us and have a jones for something fresh to play on your turntable, just call the front desk and have it hand delivered. Or drop by if you’re in the neighborhood and bring it home with you.
SWING LO MAGELLAN — DIRTY PROJECTORS
Rather than shaking off the R&B pop embrace of Bitte Orca and flittering back into avant-chamber rock territory, Dirty Projectors go for broke on Swing Lo Magellan. While there are still off-kilter rhythms, weird strings, dense vocal harmonies and spindly guitars to spare, it’s all distilled down to its purest essence, as if meant for heavy rotation on some imaginary frequency between Lil Wayne, Philip Glass, the Beatles and King Sunny Ade, with listeners glued to their radios.
CONFESS — TWIN SHADOW
Dominican born, Florida raised, Brooklyn-forged George Lewis Jr. aka Twin Shadow returns with Confess, a brilliant follow-up to his critic-approved 2010 breakout Forget. Opening with a wash of heavy synth and sampled chorus out of a G-rated 80s fantasy film, the timeless touches throughout the album feeling happily congruous; yes, that bass line does recall a long lost Japan B-side from 1979, so cry for joy that it’s been duly dusted off. Lewis has refined his stage persona into a torrid pop idol pin-up. He pulls it off, and then some.
SUNSHINE — LIJADU SISTERS
This is the latest in the Knitting Factory’s reissue series of the music of Taiwo and Kehinde Lijadu, the mesmerizing Nigerian singing twins. Sunshine, The Lijadu Sisters’ third album from 1978, has a bright swagger and buoyant tempo that beckon from the first track forward to “Come and Dance”. Biddy Wright, who co-arranges and plays most of the instruments, outshines even his own previous efforts. Bringing back the electric guitar and organ featured prominently in Danger, he throws some dreamy synth into the mix for a psychedelic disco feel on “Promise”. A rocksteady vibe comes through at times with heavy horns and bass for an acid jazz momentum on “Reincarnation”.
Every Tuesday night this August, DJ Akalepse of Brooklyn’s Truth & Soul Records hits the decks in the lobby of Ace New York. Between raising roofs from Berlin to Props at Le Poisson Rouge, running a record label and shooting videos for the Faithful Man himself, Lee Fields, we’re glad he could spare a moment to share a few words.
You recently spent some time in Germany. We all know the Poets of Rhythm. What’s the current state of Deutschfunk?
There were some recent conversations at T&S about putting out a new Poets Of Rhythm project. Germany’s music scene is full force right now — I was in Berlin, the place is pretty amazing.
Listening through the Truth and Soul catalog, is it safe to say the difference between a re-issue and a new release may be less than obvious?
I guess that really depends on how much music you listen to and how you listen to it. For sure, there are people who think some of the newer things in the catalog are from yesteryear, but what’s nice these days is that the press is starting to get out of their little retro box and notice that what we do has an analog & warm aesthetic. It comes from recording equipment from a different time in technology, but it’s done in a completely modern way. At the end of the day, good music is good music, good production and song writing is good production and song writing. Music can certainly be timeless.
Is there a final frontier for crate diggers? What and where was one of your luckiest or unlikeliest finds?
I guess the final frontier is if you decide you don’t want to do it anymore. There are certainly more records than you could ever find. Any time I find a record that I really like it feels lucky to me — nothing unlucky in the game at all……..the whole thing is a luxury.
Can anybody fuck with Lee Fields?
“Comparison is the shortest road to unhappiness”, and in that respect, of course not.