In recent months, the internet has been abuzz with the sounds of kuduro, the high-energy, lo-fi dance music coming out of Angola. Yet very few official kuduro releases exist, as even within Angola the genre flourishes via a network of pirated CDs and rave-like outdoor parties. Hot tunes usually aren't pressed up on vinyl–they're much more likely to be heard blaring from taxis darting through the streets of Luanda. Bucking the trend is Philadelphia label Flamin' Hotz, which has previously made a name for itself with a number of B-more and baile funk releases. Força Kuduro! is the label's newest release, and it features six kuduro tracks curated by Frédéric Galliano, one of the biggest foreign exporters of the sound. While "Bate No Peito (Com Respeito)" was crafted by Paris-based DJ Tecas, other songs on the EP utilize the vocal talent of Angolan MCs Pai Diesel, Zoca Zoca, and Puto Lilas.
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Made in Iceland, a compilation CD brought to you by the same people who curate the Iceland Airwaves Festival, features a diverse sample of some of Iceland’s finest musicians. Included in this mix are, among others, Steed Lord, Sign, Emiliana Torrini, Bang Gang, Sigur Rós (of course), and aggressive indie-rockers, Reykjavik!. Reykjavik!’s included track “Aeji, Plis” features a psychedelic surf-rock guitar riff roaring alongside subdued group moan-sing that sounds like it originated from a blend of Halloween ghouls and inebriated tavern-goers. The song’s rhythmic bass and kick drum percussion are straightforward enough and the vocals fluctuate between punkish chanting, deeply throaty growls and lofty falsetto. Iceland, are you ready to rock?! Lulu McAllister
Noisy guitar pop and early-'90s influences are all over the self-titled debut from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Though less than two years old, the New York-based quartet performs with a kind of synchronization that suggests they could have formed 10 years ago, and they're playful too. One gets the distinct urge to bounce around the office when listening to this track, one of two singles from the album that are currently available. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart will drop February 3 of next year. Shortly thereafter, the band will embark on a mini-tour, hitting major cities in the U.S. Stay tuned for dates. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart 01 Contender 02 Come Saturday 03 Young Adult Friction 04 This Love is Fucking Right 05 The Tenure Itch 06 Stay Alive 07 Everything With You 08 A Teenager in Love 09 Hey Paul 10 Gentle Sons
Vermont's a cold, cold place to live, so what else is there to do in the far Northeastern state besides hole up in your house and make beautiful electronic music? Producer and all-around wonderkid, Connor Kirby-Long, has done just that, crafting the first lengthy release under his Khonner guise since 2004's Handwriting. The latter–which he made at the tender age of 17–garnered much fuss, rave reviews, and was described with words like "breathtaking" and "evocative." The forthcoming Softbo EP, due out January 20, will probably reap similar reactions, it being seven tracks of meticulously arranged, melody-drenched electronic music. He's not too shabby in the track titles department either. Softbo 01 Nibble-O 02 Pea Mag Gourmet 03 Kite Tits 04 Calico Dong Veil 05 An Ode to Gary Giggles 06 Infirmary 2 07 Huffin' Hollow
JD Twitch is probably best known as a DJ and for being one-half of Glasgow's legendary Sunday night party Optimo (which he conducts alongside one JG Wilkes), an event that's seen everyone from Richie Hawtin to LCD Soundsystem grace its dancefloor. Twitch recently turned his attention towards another project though, releasing the MMM Betty! compilation under his Betty Botox moniker. Nine spliced-up, fairly obscure tracks from the last 30 years make up the compilation, which musically includes everything from kraut-rock to nu-disco. Here, Twitch has taken on British space-rock band Hawkwind. The original version of this track first saw light in 1982.
Mogwai's discography is so extensive it's been given its own Wikipedia page. The latest edition to that long list is another full-length, this past September's The Hawk is Howling, which finds the Scottish lads indulging in more lyric-less rock with lots of guitars and feedback for your ears to soak up. And though the album's been out for a couple of months, its tracklisting is just too great not to post one more time. The Hawk is Howling 01 I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead 02 Batcat 03 Daphne and the Brain 04 Local Authority 05 The Sun Smells Too Loud 06 Kings Meadow 07 I Love You, I'm Going to Blow Up Your School 08 Scotland's Shame 09 Thank You Space Expert 10 The Precipice
British experimental electronic duo Sleeps in Oysters just released their glowing, introspective self-titled debut album. The first single, “Moth Wings for John,” opens with the busy clicking, croaking, squeaking and buzzing of a backyard jungle at night. A dull hum – something halfway between an airplane and a swarm of locusts – emerges from the commotion and begins to climb up a dark scale. Suddenly vocalist Lisa Busby’s sad and sweet voice floats in softly on top of the ominous chords. The cricket chirping transforms into the song’s rhythmic backbone and Busby’s vocals double into a melancholy harmony. Following this, the song fills out into a breathing canon of beautiful layers that retracts finally, leaving Busby to her heartfelt promises. Lulu McAllister
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