As usual, Poni Hoax is all over the musical map on its second full-length, the Joakim-produced Images of Sigrid. Part disco, part new wave, very electronic, and with its fair share of guitar riffage, the album slides from one musical style to another with grand transitions that tend to include lots of cymbal crashes. Best place to start is with the anthemic "Antibodies," which, according to the album’s press kit, sounds a bit like Nick Cave and Giorgio Moroder. Wrap your heads around that while hitting the download button. Photo by Maria Ziegelbock.
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Pets on Prozac may hail from the bleak and freezing Scandinavia (from Finland, to be exact), but they aren't doling out melancholy downers via abstract compositions or dark techno. Rather, the duo works with upbeat, house-influenced dance tracks that would suit the Discobelle crowd–and they sound as though they've had a blast making them. Much laptop-generated mayhem occurs on this number, which Pets describe as "tropical-house-meets-gypsy-tech." Fans of this track should also check the Ruff Ruffian EP, just released today.
Have we just reached the bonus round in Super Mario? No, those twinkling electronics you hear are just the love-laced experimental world of Ernest Gonzales. His album, Lullaby, is just that–a dreamy dedication to his unborn daughter, Sophia. "2004 was a year of much change and transition in my life... I fell in love with the woman that would become my wife, and not too much longer after that, we found out we were going to have a baby,” he said in a press release. Having ditched his former DJ name, Theory of Everything (and the hip-hop style that went with it), Gonzales has arrived at a much more innocent place. Lullaby was originally released in the summer of 2004 on limited edition 3” CDs. Now, Gonzales is digitally re-releasing the album on Oct. 21, through Exponential, as well as throwing in a few remixes by friends such as Mexicans with Guns, Zoon van snooK, Cook 1132, and Production Unit Zero. Lulu McAllister
MC and producer Ohmega Watts’ influences, which range from funk and soul to Stereolab and Brazilian psychedelia, come out to play on his new album, Watts Happening. The first single, “Eyes and Ears,” begins with simple rich downbeats that rock heavily in place beneath the agile lyricism of Ohmega and Philadelphia-based MC Jneiro Jarel. As the song progresses, the rhythm begins to wrap dizzily around their well-timed words until you no longer know which is leading, the beat or the vocals. Into this danceable mix Ohmega has woven gunshots, distant scratching, and female back-up vocals that chime in like a quirky echo on key phrases. More on this erstwhile hermit can be found here. Lulu McAllister
New Orleans-based duo Telefon Tel Aviv has signed to BPitch Control and will release its third official full-length, Immolate Yourself, on January 20, 2009. This album–their first in five years–is made almost entirely with analog synths, due to the band's growing disinterest in guitars. The tense opening chord of “Helen of Troy” hangs menacingly above crisp percussion until plunky new-wave synths rush in like a breaking rain shower. Timid vocals from bandmates Charles Cooper and Joshua Eustis waft into the storm and blossom harmoniously, growing warmer still into a glowing, infectious pop chorus. Just as your mind begins to crave another round of retro melodic crooning, the song comes to an end. If this sounds good to you, catch them on tour this fall with Ghostly’s Matthew Dear. Lulu McAllister
Having already announced the release of his third solo full-length, TRONIC, MC and producer Black Milk is now giving us a taste of what's actually on the album. The 25-year old Detroit artist has hinted at the fact that he eschewed his usual sample-heavy sound this time around, opting instead to explore live instrumentation via an army of vintage and modern synths. He's also added some live horns and drumming to this song, and the overall effect is rather something grander than your average hip-hop track.
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