Looking ahead, July 2011-September 2011

I haven’t done a new release preview in a long time. I was shocked I didn’t cover anything for June, till I realized I would have only reported on the new Tokyo Jihen album. (I probably could have also mentioned the new discs by John Adams and Nico Muhly.)

But it looks like labels are now lining up their fall releases.

LAMA, "Spell", Aug. 3

STRAIGHTENER, self-titled, Aug. 3

So this group with SUPERCAR’s Nakako and Furukawa Miki and bloodthirsty butchers’ Tabuchi Hisako? Judging by the 30-second samples on the Sony Music, it’s either a New Order tribute band or another inscrutable iLL album.

And how’s this for an embarrassing admission? I didn’t realize STRAIGHTENER’s STOUT was entirely a self-cover album. I was wondering why the band was releasing another album within months of the last.

Cocco, The Best Ban, Aug. 15

lostage, CONTEXT

My first reaction to a second Cocco best album was, "Again?" Then it was pointed out that 10 years have passed since Best + Ura Best + Mihappyokyokushuu. It’s debatable whether two-thirds of Cocco’s last three albums have any of her best material, but like last time, there are a few rarities that a Cocco fan may want to grab with this release. I have my eye on "ShimaTori no Uta", a track that appeared on the special edition of the documentary Daijoubu Aru you ni.

The upcoming lostage release is an EP. If it shows up on eMusic, I may check it out.

Steve Reich, WTC 9/11 (Kronos Quartet), Sept. 6

Using the technique he pioneered with Different Trains, Reich takes excerpts of 911 recordings to fashion WTC 9/11, a work for triple string quartet. Nonesuch offered a preview of the work, and that excerpt sounds pretty compelling.

It’s also the first Nonesuch release by Kronos Quartet since 2009’s Floodplain. The last two releases have been on independent labels.

Spangle call Lilli line, New Season, Sept. 7

Will you look at that? Another version of "roam in octave"!

Tokyo Jihen, CS Channel, Sept. 21

This release is actually a DVD compilation, rounding up video clips from Daihakken and Sports. It also includes a new song, "Handsome Sugiru".

Björk, Biophilia, Sept. 26

Hey! Tracks from the new Björk album are available as apps for your iPhone and iPad! Well, your iPhone and iPad, at least — I’ve got an Android phone. And so reveals the big elephant in the room of Biophilia’s much-hyped crossmedia release — it excludes fans who aren’t on a particular platform, let alone fans who aren’t even wired. (And I imagine there are a few.)

Other albums in the works:

  • Santigold, TBD I find the Billboard story about this upcoming release a bit disturbing. Her label should just stay out of her way.
  • Matt Alber, TBD Matt Alber conducted a pre-order campaign for this new album, which he hopes to have out by November.


  1. It’s “tori no uta” for Cocco. And like the recent bonus songs that’ve appeared on her material, it’s a simple guitar-and-vocal ditty that’s barely three minutes.
    She sounds exceptionally good in simple settings, though. And if you want, you can get the first-press documentary DVD at HMV’s outlet site at 40% off.

  2. “Tori no Uta” isn’t anything special. I’m most excited for “Gunjou no Tani” and hope Cocco’s version gets a full band arrangement.
    I’ll get around to the new Tokyo Jihen album eventually.^^;;

  3. Don’t rush on the Tokyo Jihen album. It’s better than Variety and Kyouiku, but not as good as Adult or Sports.
    Tori/shima — I always get those two mixed up.

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