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The XLR8R Office Top Ten Album Picks, July 16

Bruce Haack The Electric Lucifer The Omni Corporation
If there were anything more compelling than a Canadian man singing about magic and love over Moog-driven, '60s pop, we’d love to hear it. The Electric Lucifer crossed the threshold of electronic psychedelia far before a majority of “classic” analog acts, first hitting shelves in 1970. This Bruce Haack reissue is a timeless metaphysical journey to the stars. FM

Aesop Rock None Shall Pass Definitive Jux
Most of the tracks on Aesop’s newest don’t deviate from his bellowing funk past. But with the dub-style guitar lines on “Coffee,” the dark jazzy vibes of “No City,” and Cage’s brutal vocals on “Getaway Car,” None Shall Pass deserves its place at the top of the indie-rap empire. FM

Sunset Rubdown
Random Spirit Lover Jagjaguwar
If the Arcade Fire stepped into a grassy field, took a few caps, and attempted to improvise Xiu Xiu tracks, the result might sound like Sunset Rubdown. This Canadian quartet makes indie rock that beckons to no one, curtailing between acoustic Americana and lo-fi classical (if that’s at all possible). You’re friends may call you a sensitive man/woman for rocking this, but at least you can marvel over the weird (slightly out of place) goblin on the album sleeve. FM

Various Vintage Grooves: Funk Vol. 1 Seamless Recordings
The Vintage Grooves series doesn’t exactly dig too deep with its latest two-disc comp of classic funk tracks, but in a way, that’s what’s makes it so great. Every single track on here is an iconic, funk-party classic. Sly Stone, Cymande, WAR, Jackie Mclean, Positive Funk–everyone should own this. RH

Ewan Pearson Piece Work !K7
At this point, Mr. Pearson needs no introduction. His latest release on !K7 showcases two discs’ worth of the dude’s remixes, and there isn’t a weak cut in the bunch. Whether working with bands like The Rapture and Franz Ferdinand or dark-dance babes Goldfrapp and Röyksopp, Pearson has a knack for transforming any type of track into a stretched-out dance monster. RH

Uusitalo Karhunainen Huume
Many producers record under multiple names, but no one does it quite like Vladislav Delay, who uses each moniker to wholeheartedly represent a different side of his musical abilities. With the latest album under his Uusitalo disguise, Delay showcases his usual mastery of low-end techno intricacies, but Karhunainen (named after a play by his late father), is more introspective, haunting, and–dare I say it–poignant than anything this veteran producer has released to date. JM

The Oscillation
Out Of Phase D.C. Recordings
With an admiration for dark space-disco and psychedelia, London’s D.C. Recordings has quietly become one of the best contemporary dance labels. The latest release from The Oscillation is certainly no exception. Filled with layered shoegaze drones, Kraut rhythms, and echoed vocals, Out of Phase is truly mind-fuck of a debut. RH

Zion Train Live As One Universal Egg
The ninth full-length from the UK-based collective is steeped in the sounds of dub, but still makes room for a few unexpected twists in the song structures. Zion Train founding member Neil Perch lays his top-notch production skills alongside socially conscious lyrics, and guest appearances from veterans Tippa Irie and Earl 16, as well as newbies like YT and Lua, make this an album worthy of an immediate rush to the record store. 'Nuff Respect! JM

Prefuse 73 Preparations Warp
No one makes relaxed, cinematic, cut-and-paste beats quite like Mr. Guillermo Scott Herren, and while his releases under other monikers are always intriguing, his best work always seems to come from his Prefuse project. While Preparations is perhaps not as epic as 2005’s Surrounded By Silence, its layered intricacies and textures are arguably Herren’s most mature and interesting yet. RH

Cut Copy “Hearts On Fire” 12” Modular
Whew! Now this piece of wax was a doozey to get our hands on. The first single from Cut Copy’s upcoming sophomore LP, “Hearts On Fire” finds the perfect medium of ’80s synth-pop references and modern production techniques (via DFA’s Tim Goldsworthy). I can’t even remember the last time a sax solo got us so stoked. (Okay, it was when editor Ken Taylor did karaoke to “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant.”) RH

Ross Holland
Fred Miketa
Jennifer Marston

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