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The Ultimate Very Best Other Album in the World Ever, Vol. 1-3

Posted: July 14th, 2010, by Simon Proffitt

Hi. To celebrate the fact that you haven’t had to deal with me or my nonsense for about 17 years on diskant, I thought I’d come back and do something vaguely generous (even though no-one knows who I am any more), all inspired by Marceline’s excellent post about everyone’s favourite kind of music, Other.

Some genres are uselessly broad, but well-meaningly applied. Remember trips to Our Price back in the early 90s? They split the whole world into the opposing forces of Rock/Pop and Dance, and if you were lucky and got a larger branch you could probably find a small Classical section (theoretically everything from 14th century secular music to Varèse, Xennakis, Pärt, Gregorian Chant, Vanessa Mae and allsorts in between, realistically only containing Vanessa Mae and a Classic FM compilation of Hovis adverts), Soundtracks (likely only containing 2 CDs, Buster and The Lost Boys) and Jazz (a handful of dreadfully recorded budget CDs of Charlie Mingus’ worst gigs).

At the other extreme, some genres, especially in the world of electronic music, are so convoluted and narrow as to seemingly only apply to one actual track. Others still, in this day of mp3s, are intentionally inaccurate, just for the lulz. Who hasn’t giggled mischievously while changing the ID3 tags on a Purulent Spermcanal album to ‘Children’s Music’? But if you’re the kind of person who does actually label mp3s with genres, it takes a special kind of slack-jawed vacuousness to resort to something as unimaginative as ‘unknown’. I can understand my Granddad not knowing about recent developments in the Abuja power-electronics scene,  but how does someone who doesn’t know how to classify Heavy Winged acquire it in the first place? It’s most likely, I suppose, that they’re ripping the CDs with something like Windows Media Player, and since the tracks don’t correspond to anything in the Gracenotes database, it’s deciding on your behalf that the music is too weird to sound like anything currently out there. But that can’t be true of all cases.

So then, I’ve been through my iTunes library and identified that I have quite a lot of ‘Other’. And there’s a really interesting range there – everything from lengthy spoken word stuff like Douglas Adams’ The Salmon of Doubt, the Hammond organ easy funk of Alan Hawkshaw, Ruins’ gonzo prog-metal, The Conet Project, all the way to stuff as shockingly mainstream as Scott Walker, TV on the Radio and – gasp – U2. In some cases, obviously only one or two tracks from an album have been ‘Othered’, the rest presumably being labelled correctly. I wanted, therefore, to put together a Best of Other compilation – to see whether it turned out that it was all garbage, or whether it would make a credible self-contained listening experience.

As it turns out, narrowing down 733 tracks (a total of 3.2 days of non-stop listening) down to the 10 or so necessary to fit on a CD is not possible. So I’ve lovingly and painstakingly sequenced and hand-crafted 3 discs’ worth of wonderful music, all of which has been categorised by somebody (not me!) as ‘Other’. All of which has baffled somebody enough for them to not be able to classify it adequately. I’ve deliberately avoided stuff much over 10 minutes in length, even though it might be awesome, just to fit as much on there as possible. This means, sadly, no Orthrelm (Ov is 45min), no Keiji Haino (Affection is 58min), Radu Malfatti (Rain Speak Soft Tree Listens: 61min) or Jonathan Coleclough (Casino/Tree Frogs/Beach: 58min), all of which I love as much as anything non-Other.

I now proudly present The Ultimate Very Best Other Album in the World Ever, Volumes 1-3 for you to download and enjoy. These will all conveniently fit exactly onto one CD each, so you can burn them and give them to your family for Christmas. I’ve even spent some time suggesting the correct genre for each track – because after all, there is only one right answer.

Volume 1: Rock/Pop
Deerhoof Dummy Discards A Heart – correct genre: Hipstercore
Bellini Marranzano – correct genre: Albini-ism / Maff(ia) Rock
Scratch Acid She Said – correct genre: Sleazepunk
Boris Feedbacker Part 3 – correct genre: Japanic-Attack
Alan Parker Maximum thrust 1 – correct genre: Easy listening
The Velvet Underground White Light/ White Heat – correct genre: 60s AOR / Classic Rock
Radiohead These Are My Twisted Words – correct genre: Rock / Pop
Starfuckers Saturazione – correct genre: Neo-agit-eurowave
Avarus Taivaalla tapahtuu – correct genre: Beards / Rural communism (instrumental)
Cocteau Twins Feet-like Fins – correct genre: Dreamgaze / Shoecore / New Age (Vocal)
Gastr Del Sol Crappie Tactics – correct genre: PoMo Arch-folk
John Jacob Niles The Two Sisters – correct genre: Traditional American Androgyny
Brainbombs The Whore – correct genre: Filth / Serial Killer
Heavy Winged Death Instinct – correct genre: Jam
Part Chimp Hello Bastards – correct genre: Cranial trauma
Man Is The Bastard She Boar – correct genre: Skate-cock shout-core
Vialka You Knew… – correct genre: Francospazz
Pale Saints Baby Maker – correct genre: Shoepop
Julie Doiron And The Wooden Stars Gone Gone – correct genre: Sadpop
Slowdive So Tired – correct genre: Sadgaze
U2 Drowning Man – correct genre: Bloated, self-righteous, epic stadium rock
Misora Hibari ???? – correct genre: Enka

Get it here: mediafire.com/?mydrw3yzyjz2flh

Volume 2: Ambient
Stilluppsteypa On The Right There – correct genre: Electronic
Assumed Possibilities Starwyte – correct genre: Electro-acoustic Improv
Harry Partch Time Of Fun Together – correct genre: Other
Jonny Greenwood Tehellet – correct genre: Modern classical
Birchville Cat Motel Invisible – correct genre: Drone
Drona Parva Hollow Breath, Pt.2 – correct genre: Drugfolk
Hugh Davies Shozyg I & II (Duo With Richard Orton) (1969) – correct genre: DIY / Bric-a-brac
Eric Dolphy Iron Man – correct genre: Jazz (bearded)
Thomas Bloch Redolfi, Michel – Mare Teno – correct genre: New Age / Space / Mystical
David Kirby The Gospel According to Dave Quam – correct genre: New drone
Jeph Jerman Chicken wire in rain – correct genre: Field recordings
Oren Ambarchi Triste Part 2 – Remodel – correct genre: Nu drone
Thuja Suns 1 – correct genre: Forestry / Spiritual free-folk
John Fahey Joy to the World – correct genre: Holiday / Religious

Get it here: mediafire.com/?mznomyjytftoioy

Volume 3: Dance/Urban
Scorn Doors – correct genre: Dark Bass Fuck-hop
Various Artists 6 – correct genre: Berlin Heroin House
Gas Zauberberg 4 – correct genre: Kompakt
Tricky Overcome – correct genre: Coffee-table Trip Hop / Dance (urban)
Mulatu Astatke Yèkatit (February) – correct genre: Ethiojazz / Africafunk
Gus Gus Monument – correct genre: Nordic Electro-Gothpop
Autechre Medrey – correct genre: Glitchtronica
Quinoline Yellow Arnica – correct genre: Glitchtronica
The Conet Project tcp d3 4 english lady jammed irdial – correct genre: Spyware
The Tuss fredugolon 6 – correct genre: Acid Disco
Salvatore Not Chello! – correct genre: Dance post-dance rock
Bernard Parmegiani Accidents / Harmoniques – correct genre: Electro-acoustic / musique concréte
Satanicpornocultshop 99.2142 feat. frosen pine – correct genre: Sampladelic Mentalism / Plunderphonics / Turntablism / Rap
Aethenor I – correct genre: Black Ambient Doomgaze / Isolationism
BJ Nilsen Impossibilidad – correct genre: Psychoambient
Mika Vainio Further, higher! – correct genre: Ambient / Electronic

Get it here: mediafire.com/?zieorqzmtvo3jm4


Simon Proffitt

Simon was born near Clowne, Derbyshire and is now an honorary Welshman. In former guises he has created fake diamonds, developed ultra-high-capacity storage devices and been one half of slow-moving, über-pretentious record label Fourier Transform. He now spends his evenings recording silence and banging kitchen utensils.


3 Responses to The Ultimate Very Best Other Album in the World Ever, Vol. 1-3

  1. jgram

    Hell yeah! if only Diskant had a Facebook-esqe “like” button (lol). cannot wait to listen to these (erm, I think – U2????)

  2. Marceline Smith

    Awesome, thanks! Some of those genres make me very nostalgic.

  3. Simon Proffitt


    I know, I know. But it’s from their Golden Period (War / Unforgettable Fire), when they were just the right kind of earnest and passionate. War is their best album, I reckon – they’d moved on from the simplistic naivete of Boy and October, but hadn’t yet become properly Epic.