The XLR8R Office Top Ten Album Picks, April 16
Dinosaur Jr. Beyond Fat Possum
It’s been a long wait, but the original Dinosaur Jr. lineup is back in action, and better than ever. Beyond picks up exactly where Mascis, Murph, and Barlow left off–heavy, poppy, and with gnarlier solos than ever before. Whether or not you were part of the whole ’90s indie rock takeover, Beyond will still kick you in the ass.
Various Gommagang 4: Munk Gomma
After last year’s Gommagang 3, we’ve been salivating in anticipation of the fourth installment of the label's series. Believe us when we say Munk’s mix is well-worth the wait. Featuring disco-bangers from Headman, In Flagranti, Tomboy, and WhoMadeWho, this 22-song collection is a fine display of live-percussion, dance-action from this up-and-coming Germany-based label
I Am Spoonbender Buy Hidden Persuaders Mesmer Detector Ltd.
In addition to I Am Spoonbender’s return to live performance with a show in S.F. with Steven Stapleton, the new wave weirdos have returned with Buy Hidden Pleasures–the combination and CD. Citing drug companies, privacy invasion, and commercial everything, Spoonbender channels its cosmic cultural critique through analog synths and vicious lyrics. Hail the ‘Benders return!
Fridge The Sun Temporary Residence
Six years have passed since Fridge released its last record, Happiness, in 2001. Fortunately, the guys have orchestrated another jazzy post-rock album that beams with technicality without entering mathematical territory. The trio (featuring members of Four Tet and Adem) turns out melodic instrumentals that slowly sneak into the subconscious.
MIMS Music is My Savior Capitol
If you haven’t heard, MIMS’ “This is Why I’m Hot” is the number one ringtone in America (as boasted throughout the record and press materials). We don’t really care, but the single (and it’s subsequent remix feat. Cham & Junior Reid) is, in fact, hot. While half of the rest of the album is sub-par radio hip-hop, there are some heaters with Bun B and Purple Popcorn in the mix.
Digitalism Idealism Astralwerks
Thus far, 2007 has been Digitalism’s year. The Hamburg, Germany-based duo has already wrapped up remixes for Tom Vek, Klaxons, The Cure, and The White Strips, and now, a legit full-length arrives. Digitalism’s tight live drums paired with distorted synths and bare-bass grooves have this office on board. The world will soon follow.
Earthmonkey Be That Charge Beta-lactam Ring
So what if the dude may have one of the shittiest names we’ve ever heard? Whatever. Peat Bog (his less-shitty birthname) is a Nurse With Wound collaborator who has paid serious production dues. Part NWW, part Venetian Snares, this dude has cranked out a 3-disc set of crazy LSD-electro. Timothy Leary would most certainly be proud.
Various Fabric 34: Ellen Alien Fabric
Ellen Alien is a techno kingpin. When she isn’t ripping-up dancers’ skulls with her melodic dance-fire productions, she’s kicking out sickening DJ mixes. For this Fabric installment, EA showcases tracks from Apparat, Thom Yorke, Heartthrob, and her very own “Just A Woman” (from her collab with Audion). Soft and subtle techno wins again.
Bjorn Torske Feil Knapp Smalltown Supersound
Prins Thomas has boasted the talents of this Norseman and rightfully so. Feil Knapp is oddball disco that at one moment falls in line with Lindstrom, and in the next sounds like Larsen covering Crystal Castles. Bjorn runs his own surreal production circus like a true ringmaster.
Jaylib Champion Sound Stones Throw
Four years after its original release, Madlib and the late J Dilla’s Champion Sound still hits. Heralded as one of the most triumphant hip-hop collabs, these godsends work instinctual magic as MCs and producers over one another’s tracks. Champion Sound has been repackaged, remastered, and prepped for maximum trunk rattling.
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