Though by no means his debut album (he's released nearly ten, along with a couple literary magazines), Nostalgialator is a first of sorts for Boston-born, Paris-based Mike Ladd. This latest album marks his debut for EL-P's Definitive Jux imprint, a fact that has the music world buzzing. Fans of Ladd should expect his usual hip-hop-meets-rock-meets-electronics mashup.
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A mainstay in several Melbourne hardcore bands, Pikelet made a sharp left turn recently and released an album of lo-fi harmonies and ambient melodies. Fellow Australian Faux Pas, whose own Changes EP recently dropped, assumed remix duties for "Bug-in-Mouth," adding an housy feel reminiscent of the early '90s to Pikelet's original composition.
And you thought only Madlib was in the midst of a musical identity crisis. Ticklah, co-producer of Easy Star's Dub Side of the Moon release, keyboard player for Antibalas, and founding member of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, splits his personality in half for the third Ticklah/Victor Axelrod release. Recently noted on XLR8R as "a battle in dub reggae against his own perfectionism," Ticklah Vs. Axelrod is a near-perfect album of crisp reggae, Latin, and African beats, tightly arranged songwriting, and endless energy.
Twilight and Ghost Stories is an aptly eerie title for Long Beach, CA-based Chris Schlarb's debut solo album. Sound clips–contributed by the likes of Black Mountain's Stephen McBean, Asthmatic Kitty founder Sufjan Stevens, Triptych Myth's Tom Abbs, and more–of pianos, clarinets, children screaming, and in-womb heartbeats explore a multitude of themes, many of them reflecting the recent losses and gains in Schlarb's own life.
When Steven Ellison–known to his fanbase as Flying Lotus–signed to Warp Records earlier this year, he made it known that he wanted to be seen as an artist capable of producing more than the leftfield hip-hop that put him on the map. On the Reset EP, Ellison puts his money where his mouth is and delivers six tracks that display his adeptness at crooning soul, glitched-out bleeps, and enough electronic touches to match those of any other Warp artist. But then, we'd expect that much of a guy whose aunt is Alice Coltrane. Photo by Theo Jemison.
ROIR's latest in reissued '80s virtuosos comes in the form of New York's funk masters Bush Tetras. "Too Many Creeps" will remind any listener that punk-funk basslines are the key to a timeless party and will carry on for several more decades to come.
Somewhere in between the lush grooves of Escort and Cameo (if a way younger Eno jumped in the mix) is where the San Francisco-based quintet Sugar & Gold hones in its magic. "Workout" makes soul fun again without relying on any kind of retro gimmicks.
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