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The XLR8R Office Top Ten Album Picks, August 13

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Ocdj Hooray! Wildfire Wildfire
Wham City’s done it again! Ocdj, a.k.a. Dan Gaeta, makes 8-bit “candy” crunk and Baltimore club that sounds like Tetris and feels like the dirty south. A mix of melodic synth compositions and 8-bit hip-hop remixes (Rich Boy, Young Buck), Hooray! is a blast from start to finish. RH

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Luke Vibert Chicago, Detroit, Redruth Planet Mu
The veteran producer with a dozen monikers returns, with more of the acid-ridden techno we've long-associated his name with. This time around though, Luke's thrown in some church organs, free-jazz drums, and shades of lounge-oriented disco, tossing the masses yet-another piece of diverse electronic production we’ll be playing for weeks. JM

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Various Issst Global Underground
This double-disc, mixed by Kevin Griffiths, was borne of a Tiefschwarz party deep in London's underground club scene, and features one hard-hitting, booty-shaking track after another from the likes of Mock & Toof, Simian Mobile Disco, Will Saul, and others. It's a testament to Griffith's abilities as a DJ that both discs maintain an incredible after-hours energy while never veering too far into cheesy trance territory. JM

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Trentemøller The Trentemøller Chronicles Audiomatique
While die-hard fans will most likely be drawn to the new, unreleased material hidden on disc one of this double-disc comp, we went straight to the remixes on disc two for the real heat. With his unique, industrial tech-house style, Anders Trentmøller has reworked everyone from The Knife and Röyksopp to Tomboy and Moby. RH

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The Fire Engines Hungry Beat Acute Records
The Fire Engines’ short-lived (18-months!) career in the early ‘80s is finally given its due with this release of the band’s original studio recordings. Post-punk in its purest form, this Edinburgh quartet pummels through its songs with angular, aggressive guitars and wonderfully sloppy rhythms. This should be a classic. RH

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Various Tropicalia: A Revolutionary Movement in Sound Universal
It’s never a bad time for Tropicalia, but when the sun’s out (which is a rare occasion lately here in SF) and you’re hanging with your friends in the park, it becomes the perfect summer soundtrack. Every one of the 12 tracks on this compilation, from Os Mutantes to Gilberto Gil, is thrilling. Bafo! RH

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White Williams Smoke Tigerbeat 6
White Williams makes music that questions the very terms “pop” and “experimental.” His debut release is essentially a bouncy pop-rock album (his voice often even resembles that of Paul McCartney), but the production here sings an entirely different tune. Smoke finds choppy editing and over-pitched voices sounding like they belong in the Top 40. RH

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Faust Faust IV (Remastered) Virgin
These Hamburg-based Krautrock dudes started a new electronic music movement in the late-'70s, and for those of you who are too young to remember the group's avant-garde, experimental classic, Faust IV, Virgin has put together a lovely package that includes a remastered version of the original album, along with some unreleased cuts and remixes. Faust IV inspired an entire generation of new wave bands, and this release might do the same. JM

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Various Strictly Tiefschwarz Strictly Rhythm
While Alex and Sebastian Schwarz may have a moniker that means “deep black,” these two producers have a soft spot for the house music of yore, and the proof lies in Strictly Tiefschwarz. Here, the guys cull from the vaults of the empirical club imprint Strictly Rhythm, to show the world some of those tracks that inspired their early career. FM

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Ticklah Vs. Axelrod Ticklah Easy Star Records
Described as "an epic soundclash between two sides of a musical personality," Ticklah is the third full-length from the Easy Star Records' founder of the same name, and this release is a dub-meets-hip-hop party of the best kind. Keyboard maestro Axelrod goes head-to-head with the producer, and the album also sees contributions from Antibalas, the Victor Rice Octet, and Dub Is A Weapon, in addition to reggae re-interpretations of Eddie Palmieri's salsa classics "Mi Sonsisto" and "Si Hecho Palante." Damn, son. JM

Jennifer Marston
Ross Holland
Fred Miketa

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