Vinyl junkie Onra likes to combine the best of hip-hop and soul from the distant past with findings from his travels to places like Vietnam, from where he takes his ancestry. Having recently released two Tribute EPs, with Quetzal, and a globally-inspired second solo LP, 1.0.8., the Parisian beat-head now offers hip-hop with Eastern influences on a split EP, My Comet/ Shhhhhhh, as installment #7 of the All City Beatstrumental Series. “My Comet” starts off with a demented voice introducing a tickled electro-soul tune that features a subdued, harmonic chorus line running throughout a low-key beat. Only an enthusiastic radio announcer breaks this comfortably ambling groove. Lulu McAllister
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Should you be perusing the new releases coming out of Motor City in search of something other than hip-hop and techno, it's worthwhile to check out Friendly Foes, whose Born Radical album is unabashedly steeped in pop and early '90s indie rock sounds. Originally a solo operation of frontman Ryan Allen, the project expanded over the last year to include bassist Lizzie Wittman and drummer Brad Elliot, and the self-proclaimed "power trio" has already shared a bill with The Walkmen, Jealous Girlfriends, Born Ruffians, and Cadence Weapon. Born Radical is available digitally right now, with a physical release to follow on January 13. Born Radical 01 Full Moon Morning 02 Get Yr Shit Together 03 Couch Surfing 04 My Body (Is A Strange Place To Live) 05 Breakfast Burritos 06 Get Ripped 07 Walk Home In The Dark 08 Epic Jamb 09 Wild (Once In Awhile) 10 Dying To Survive 11 Lil' Tiger 12 Criminal Justice 13 Rush The Land
While Canadian outfit Faunts put the finishing touches on its upcoming album, Feel.Love.Thinking.Of–due out early next year–you can enjoy the Paranomasiac remix of "M4 (Part II),” off the Faunts Remixed album. Paranomasiac (a.k.a. Nik from Shout Out Out Out Out) joins Mark Templeton, San Serac, Boy in Static, Cadence Weapon, and Faunts themselves, among others, in remixing the beautiful spacerock of the bands two original albums. “M4 (Part II) (The Paranomasiac Remix)” presents a cavernous space where the Batke bros' soft vocals share the spotlight with heavy, opaque synths, agitated rhythm guitar and double-time maracas. Lulu McAllister
Having graduated from Prefuse 73’s Eastern Developments label, Brooklyn-based producer Eliot Lipp founded Old Tacoma Records last year, and his new, 10-song Peace Love Weed 3D is the first offering from the label. The album began as tape-recorded sketches of drum machine and synthesizer before being cut up, re-sampled, and enhanced with additional samples and live instrumentation courtesy of Guitar Ron (who Lipp met in the subway station near his studio). The result is a varied instrumental exploration of electro-funk, acid, fusion, and Italo-disco sounds. On “Beamrider,” stripes of piercing retro synth rotate in, followed shortly by a low-key beat that provides a canvas for additional subtle electronic decoration. Photo by Tod Seelie. Words by Lulu McAllister.
Brooklyn-based outfit Parts & Labor’s fourth full-length, Receivers, cleverly incorporates the hundreds of diverse audio samples sent to them by fans in response to questions such as “What are you afraid of?" and “What do your parents sound like?”, which the band posted on their websites last April. Far from the discord of bleeps, conversations, and crashes this sort of endeavor has the potential to be, the album is a richly constructed, mature pop-punk creation. “Nowhere’s Nigh” is the anthemic single off this catchy eight-track noise-punk offering. Now on tour nationally, Parts & Labor has set up a toll-free number (888-317-5596) where fans can leave a message to be integrated into their live shows–call in to join the party. Photo by Tod Seelie. Words by Lulu McAllister
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)
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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