When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold, the sixth studio album from Minneapolis-based Atmosphere, finds the two-man machine of Slug and Ant at the top of their game when it comes to storytelling and songwriting. Already known as an introspective rapper, Slug crafted the rhymes on this new album around fictional narratives whose subjects reach far beyond his own life and experiences, while Ant further pushing his melodic, hook-driven beats. And we've got to give these guys props for one of the best album titles to surface so far this year.
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Not content sticking with Detroit techno or his fine art course of study, Christopher Bissonnette began experimenting with sound, spoken word, turntables, and eventually hooked up with Windsor, ON artist Chris MacNamara to form the Thinkbox media collective in 1997. One performance at Mutek later, Bissonnette found himself with material that would eventually make up his debut solo album, Periphery. "Jour et Nuit" shows us what he's been doing since that time, and comes off the forthcoming In Between Words release, out this spring on Kranky.
German-born MC Bernhard Hendrik Hermann Weber Ramos De Lacerda wouldn't seem like the most likely candidate to break into Rio's baile funk scene, but that's exactly what he's done under his MC Gringo guise. Though he has only lived in Brazil a short time, Lacerda has already amassed a strong following with his live shows, in which he showcases his witty lyrics and adeptness at rapping in the Portuguese language. Taken from Gringão, his debut full length on Man Recordings, "Alemão" finds the MC lyrically pondering his career thus far.
He's largely known for his work in the U.S. drum & bass scene, but Ed Garro's latest effort under his UFO! moniker finds the S.F. native exploring dancefloor-ready, 4/4 territory for the first time. The music on Logic is Lunacy retains the same distorted noise and aggressive beats found in Garro's earlier work, but also sees carries shades of rock, electro, and, and other genres. Logic is also the first time Garro has played the role of vocalist, signaling a definite left turn in his musical direction.
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Formerly of the band El Guapo (which eventually became Supersystem), New York-based duo Nate Smith and Pete Cafarella joined forces as Shy Child in 2006. The two will unveil their Noise Won't Stop album for first time in North America this May, thanks to the good folks at Kill Rock Stars. Produced by Chris Zane (known for his work with Les Savy Fav), the album blends, keyboards, guitars, electro, and punk together, and features Spank Rock on one track.
Rob Brown and Sean Booth, the two English IDM pioneers that make up Autechre, have been relentlessly tweaking their distinct sound for the last 20 or so years. Autechre hasn’t released a record since 2005’s Untilted, making for the longest break in Brown and Booths' career thus far. Quaristice is their response to that break, a 20-track album as varied as anything they’ve ever released. They’ve talked in interviews about a long tour and a relocation contributing to the delay, but the album’s relatively short tracks sound like they’ve been shaped and distilled over time, much to their benefit. The result is an assaulting sweep of damaged synths and impressionistic noise. “Altibzz,” the opening track, is both a spell of drony, ambient bliss and a calm before the storm. Wyatt Williams
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