The XLR8R Office Top Ten Album Picks, Jan 22
Hans Appelqvist Naima Hapna
Hans Appelqvist's Naima is one of those records that instantly wins over the die-hard fans of all that is obscure. The Swedish composer's comfort with the acoustic guitar and hazy atmospherics is the kind of serious business we can't help but celebrate. David Tibet is hella proud.
Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid Tongues Domino
In the world of Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid, it's all about real time. Tongues is an overdub/edit-free entrance into mystifying improvisation. How these two dudes can bridge the gaps between jazz, electro, and experimental music, we will never know.
Skinny Puppy Mythmaker Synthetic Symphony
Yeah, we went there. Mythmaker is a ruler of a record from the industrial-tech innovators. As heavy as it is dirty, Mythmaker finds Ogre and company stirring up some gnarly trouble with what could best be described as the most violent of videogame soundtracks. Otto Von Schirach and Databomb also offer their assistance, so you know we have to give love.
Carlos Nino & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Fill the Heart Shaped Cup Alpha Pup
Alpha Pup has gone completely wild on us. Branching off from their indie hip-hop achetype, the label is beginning to dominate with the borderline ambient Fill the Heart Shaped Cup. Not far behind Loscil or any member of the Brainwashed roster, Nino and Atwood-Ferguson may be the pioneers of Alpha Pup's world domination.
Zozobra Harmonic Tremors Hydra Head
Not unlike labelmates Pelican and Jesu, Zozobra follows suit with an onslaught of profoundly heavy psychedelic meditations. While Harmonic Tremors is pretty damn brutal, the feedback resonance and transcendent drumming is like My Bloody Valentine's metalhead stepchild. In other words, this is bad ass.
Stars of the Lid And Their Refreshment of the Decline Kranky
For Kranky's 100th release, the Chicago-based label gives us a reason to celebrate–Stars of the Lid. Recorded over five years, And Their Refreshment is a symphonic masterpiece of time-stretching and mind-expansion.
xbxrx Wars Polyvinyl
Hello, sweet chaos. xbxrx has returned for another time around with even more garage-fueled, jangly madness. Aside from the band's penchant for math-rock, Wars shows a subtle poppier side absent from their previous catalog. It's just like San Diego in the '90s, but with a touch of the nearing apocalypse.
Tim Hecker Radio Amor Alien 8
We love reissues–especially when they come from Tim Hecker. Initially recorded in 1996, and released in 2002 on Mille Plateaux, Radio Amor is the prolific musician's homage to a high-wire shrimper, complete with sounds of the sea. Amazing.
Welcome Sirs FatCat
Call it pop, psyche, or rock, but Seattle's Welcome creates melodic songs that we like to think of as timeless. Between the simple three-chord formula and general angst present on Sirs, this is clearly the purest sound of the past, present, and future.
Text of Light Rotterdam 1 Room 40
For those who don't know, Text of Light is Lee Renaldo's (Sonic Youth) new project that goes well beyond the realm of experimentation. Recorded live in Rotterdam, this is about as close as you'll get to creative bliss.
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