Details on experimental producer Actuel are few and far between, but one thing this track tells us is that he's a percussion enthusiast. A rather abstract cut, "QRS/TUV" seems to be about exposing the many different musical combinations one can create when armed with laptop and drum kit. The track is off a new Asthmatic Kitty compilation, where label boss Sufjan Stevens, along with AK co-owner Lowell Brams and Micahel Kaufmann, hand-picked two discs' worth of songs from Stars Like Fleas, Cepia, Alias, Son Lux, i am robot and proud, and others. Oh, and it's for a good cause too, with proceeds from purchase going towards Habitat for Humanity. Habitat Disc One 01 Tidal River "A Cross Section of Clown Mountain" 02 Aspects of Physics "Utiliterranean" 03 Jim Guthrie "Little Furnace" 04 Kristin Miltner "The Barns Flock" 05 Instruments of Science & Technology "INST.stem.INST" 06 Nick Hennies "The Living Piano" 07 Ero Gray "Staircase and Water Pipes, 42 Broadway" 08 Cepia "Algiers" 09 Ben Owen "5 for 14" 10 Alias "In Hope of Witchless Attics" 11 Alfred Brown "SphericalType GasHolder" 12 Cheryl E. Leonard "Uncle Iroh's Teahouse" 13 Blevin Blectum "Vast Angles" 14 Son Lux "Speak" Disco Two 01 Actuel "QRS/TUV" 02 Sole w/ William Ryan Fritch "All Tomorrow's Sewers" 03 i am robot and proud "Jeanne Mance" 04 900X "BGM" 05 Yuko Nexus6 "Wsagg-Chorus for Spaces" 06 KILN "Marigold Bunker" 07 therefore "Piznanano" 08 Six-Fing Thing "Sandpiper on the Warehouse Floor" 09 Stars Like Fleas "Call Me Trimtab" 10 ting ting jahe "d3p574" 11 Moth!Fight! "A Long Way from Home" 12 Jon Galaxy "Shelter?" 13 Kadet "Horizon" 14 Wayne Feldman "Calling On You" 15 DM Stith "Your god is a Lion recently fed, drowsy"
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Seven members strong, My Dear Disco employed guitars, synths, a vox or two, bass, keyboards, drums, and a saxophone to craft its most recent release, Dancethink. The full album doesn't drop until January 13, but the band let this track loose to tide us over until then, so all those with a taste for dance-rock inspired by 1980s sounds and heavy synths, take note. Also peep the album's trailer, which, if nothing less, features some pretty trippy visuals. Dancethink 01 White Lies 02 For Your Love 03 My Dear Disco 04 All I Do 05 Amsterdam 06 The Way 07 Madam Eon – Part One 08 Madam Eon – Part Two 09 M.Y.F. (Move Your Feet)
Canadian indie-rockers Faunts released their only full-length to date, High Expectations/Low Results, in 2005, and New York-based downtempo DJ T.H. White revisited it with this lovely remix. The song evolves from a slow, ethereal mood to a meteor-shower of synths and driving double-time percussion. It's like floating around your neighbor’s pool on your back during the last day of summer. Lulu McAllister
Wilderness' third full-length, (k)no(w)here, came about after the Baltimore-based, most unconventional band was asked to collaborate with renowned visual artist Charles Long at an exhibit the latter put on in the spring of this year. That said, the musical aspect of the project is quite the conceptual beast, and another one for experimental rock fans to add to the iPod. Check the stop-and-start guitars and vaguely doom-rock sounding vocals on this track for further proof. (k)no(w)here High Nero Strand the Test of Time (p)ablum Silver Gene Own Anything Chinese Whisperers Soft Cage <....^....>
A former drummer for noise-pop trio Clara Clara, Francois Virot ventured off into solo territory recently and, upon the September release of his debut album, Yes or No, proved you can do a lot with a simple palate of guitar, vocals, and hand claps. And while his songs might be minimal in structure, they're not lacking in the kind of quirky, spastic energy Virot needs to set himself apart from the dozens of other artists attempting to twist folk inside out these days. In what feels like a playful take on the whole genre, Virot delivers everything from melancholy ballads to spastic numbers in which he would appear to be treating the guitar as more of a percussion instrument than one merely made for strumming. As seen with this track.
Four years removed from their last album, Earthtones, Oakland's Crown City Rockers are back with a new single. The Bay Area hip-hop crew is known for their funk-driven, party-starting sounds, and "Body Rock" continues in that vein with MC Raashan Ahmad spitting verses over a synthy beat and encouraging folks from around the globe to get down.
Chicago-based duo The Primeridian (Jaime Roundtree and Simeon Viltz) have added a third MC, Racetacula, to the mix on their latest release, The Morning After. The new album, which maintains the smooth vibe of earlier work, features production cameos by Nicolay, Willow, Yaw, J-Rose of Norway, and DJ Steady, along with vocals by Knowledge from Kids in the Hall and Imani from The Pharcyde. On "Takuthere," soulful crooning provides a satisfying cushion for Imani’s deceptively simple rhyme schemes–poetic observations about city struggles and corrupt politicians–laid over a low-key acid-funk beat. Lulu McAllister
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