Since 1995, NYC’s Other Music record shop has had a big hand in defining the sound of the underground, helping to establish the careers (and career resurgences) of hundreds of artists, with a wide-ranging aesthetic that includes everything from indie pop to left-field electronica, folk, funk, psychedelia, dub, free jazz, post-punk, avant-classical, hip-hop and much more. For more than a decade and a half, through myriad changes in the “biz,” Other has stayed true to their one goal, connecting great unheard music with passionate music fans, and with their weekly new-release newsletter reaching more than thirty-five thousand subscribers, an MP3 download store, a mail-order website, and a busy East Village retail shop, they have become an icon and last bastion of indie retail. Now, in partnership with Fat Possum, Other is launching their own label, Other Music Recording Co., to bring the same varied taste and enthusiasm that has always defined their retail store to this new venture.
Other’s first release, OM-001, drops on April 24: Ex Cops’ debut 7-inch, “You Are a Lion, I Am a Lamb” b/w “The Millionaire.” This new Brooklyn group’s hazy mix of influences draws on vintage British and New Zealand indie, Factory Records and a Velvets/Feelies jangle that is distinctly New York, all with their own sunbaked pop vision. What began as a bedroom-recording project for Brian Harding has been fleshed out into a full band, and Ex Cops are now putting the finishing touches on their debut album in the studio with producer John Siket, due out on Other later this year.
Also due this spring on Other, the debut solo album from Shintaro Sakamoto, the former frontman of the legendary Japanese psychedelic group Yura Yura Teikoku. Over the course of their 20 years together, that band rose from the storied Japanese psychedelic underground to huge mainstream success in their homeland (and cult status around the world), with a wholly original sound that defies definition. The group disbanded in 2010, and Sakamoto set off into uncharted waters on his new solo material, working mostly alone to create a stunning set of quiet, percussive songs that draw on ‘70s folk and AM radio pop from the U.S., U.K. and Japan, as well as folk forms from across continents and eras; How to Live with a Phantom, released late last year in Sakamoto’s own Zelone label in Japan, is an enigma and an instant classic that blew so many minds at the Other Music shop when a few imports trickled in, they had to release it themselves.
Other Music Recording Co. will surprise and enlighten fans of underground music with a roster of diverse artists from around the world, releasing new music and under-appreciated classics from their reissue division, and with this strategic partnership with Fat Possum you will be hearing a lot more from Other in the coming months.