Mike Skinner of The Streets released his fourth album, Everything is Borrowed, in September. The distilled moment at the opening of the album's single, “Everything is Borrowed,” offers the impression of an adolescent kicking rocks along a train track in gray suburbia. Suddenly, low synths begin to speed forward, climbing octaves and growing louder until they emerge as an electric church organ pop melody beneath Skinner’s trademark sing-speak. Unlike his usual cheeky banter, however, the snarky Brit has toned it down lyrically. He investigates deep subjects with thoughtful sincerity: “Just when I discover the meaning of life, they change it… I love the rain on my scars.” Skinner is still fit, but just a little moodier this go around. Lulu McAllister
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Dapayk Solo is German DJ Niklas Worgt, who has graced the drum & bass, breakbeat, and tech-house scenes since 1993 under various monikers (Wooling, Sonstware, and Frauds in White, to name a few). “Devil’s House,” his most recent minimal techno offering, came out earlier this year under Mo’s Ferry Productions. Bouncy ball bass begins the album’s single, “How Low.” Tonally varied synths hang out in the lower registers, decorating the otherwise straightforward metronome 4/4, with scattered sci-fi accents throughout. Lulu McAllister
Brooklyn-born performer Barbara Tucker has provided vocals for Pet Shop Boys, Dave Steward, Deee-lite, Wyclef Jean, George Clinton, and Reel to Reel over the course of the last two decades. While her music generally resonates more in the European market, one should also consider her a legacy in the New York dance scene, as co-founder of The Underground Network (The Big Apple's longest running club). In this pulsing, eight-minute single, “One Desire Part 2,” the soulful dancefloor diva takes us “way down” into the belly of early house music, with help from Spanish DJ Guiseppe Tuccillo–an acquaintance from Tucker’s residency at Space in Ibiza. Lulu McAllister
Daniel Gray Kontar is a multi-dimensional guy, having excelled in music, journalism, poetry, and teaching, so it's fitting his debut album under his Replife guise turns out to be much more a straightforward hip-hop release. With help from producers like Dego, Bugz in the Attic's Kaidi Tatham, Mark de Clive-Lowe, and others, Kontar manages to turn the release into a compelling hybrid of nu-jazz, broken-beat, and soul that's a combination of sunny rhythms and serious lyrics.
Beat-bender Mochipet released his wobbly, warped hip-hop album, Microphonepet, back in the spring of this year. Then he went and announced a remix companion to the album, slated for a December 2 release via his own Daly City imprint. Jahcoozi, Darko, and Boreta all hold spots on the tracklisting, as does London's Fliami Vice, who did this track. As was the case on the original cut, Oakland's E Da Boss and Bicasso (of Living Legends fame) show up for guest spots. Microphonepet Remixed 01 Get Your Whistle Wet (CLP Remix) 02 Banana Split (Fliami Vice Remix) 03 Get Your Whistle Wet (DJ C Remix) 04 Lazy Day (Starting Teeth Remix) 05 Rambunktion (Mochipet’s Audio Graffiti Remix) 06 Rambunktion (Boreta Remix) 07 Rambunktion (Jahcoozi Remix) 08 Vnecks (Darko Remix)
He's a found sound fanatic, and for his third full-length, avant-experimentalist producer Ethan Rose reels in the sounds of Oaks Park Roller Rink in his hometown of Portland, OR, manipulating the strains coming from the rink's 1920s Wurlitzer Theater Organ. Rose himself assisted with organ repairs from time to time over the last year, an activity that no doubt provided plenty of inspiration for Oaks, which seems to be, at it's heart, a meeting place for modern technology and antiquated machinery. For the truly inspired, read about Rose's studio secrets while taking a listen to this track. Oaks 01 On Wheels Rotating 02 Rising Waters 03 Grand Marcher 04 The Floor Released 05 Fortunate 06 Scenes From When 07 Mighty Mighty 08 Bottom
Gainsesville, Florida-based hip-hop collective CYNE dropped its third album via Hometapes last month, proving their lyrics are still as sharp as they were when the band emerged some years ago. And since it took seven years to complete Pretty Dark Things, we can expect much fanfare and promotion of the album to happen over the next couple of months, along with some remixes, the first of which comes courtesy of Holopaw member Michael Johnson. This is one for dubstep fans and deep basslines.
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