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Top 10: Plant Life, Anja Schneider

Power Douglas
Pentecostal Fangbread
FiveSixMedia
Release Date: April 15

You’ve never heard of Power Douglas? That’s okay. Just know that when Power Douglas hits you, it hits you. Signed to King Britt’s FiveSixMedia, this NY trio of eccentric vocalist Furor Thin and multi-instrumentalists Tim Harp and Jesse Crawford composes a genre-bending hybrid of post-modern punk and hip-hop with Furor Thin howling and rapping about all kinds of weird shit over skittery beats. Think Kool Keith meets Public Enemy meets TV on the Radio, and then smash the fuck out of what you think that might sound like. ZM

Housemeister
Inordertodance EP
All You Can Beat
Release Date: April 2008

For this aptly named EP, German producer Housemeister rolls out three tracks of distorted drums, fast-paced hi-hats, and lots of crashing around on a Roland TR-707. The title track is by far the heaviest, while the others stick to a much more stripped-down, minimal style, but throughout, the energy is strong. The construction dudes currently pounding on the walls outside my window have nothing on these beats. JM

Costa Music
Lighter Subjects
Rephlektor Inc
Release Date: May 6

Chicago-based electronic act L'Altra always made pretty music, but member Joseph Costa has truly come into his own as an artist with this debut full-length. He's another one of those guys with a gorgeous voice who blends acoustics and electronics together seamlessly and throws some poignant lyrics on top with alarming ease. The icing on this gorgeously haunting cake is Telefon Tel Aviv's Josh Eustis’ superb abilities when it came to mixing the album. JM

Cafeneon
Cafeneon
Station 55
Release Date: April 15

The punk flavors are very discernible here, but this four-piece outfit that hails from Brussels doesn't stop there when it comes to deciding which of their musical influences will creep into the songs. Their self-titled debut album is peppered with shades of New Order, Mad Professor, and the aforementioned punk, was produced by techno powerhouse Cristian Vogel, and is sung entirely in French (not surprising, since the band is from Belgium, but it’s cool anyway). JM

Torae
Daily Conversation
Internal Affairs
Release Date: Out Now

There’s nothing groundbreaking about Torae’s Daily Conversation. But this debut is anything but boring. The all-star production lineup–DJ Premiere, 9th Wonder, Marco Polo, Black Milk, Khrysis–provides break-neck beats while Torae proves he’s the “new breed of raw” with ill lyrics and a hard delivery. Check “The Journey pt. 1,” his receipt for dues paid in the industry. ZM

Walter Meego
Voyager
Almost Gold
Release Date: May 2008

Walter Meego’s Voyager is pure light-show, electro-pop magic. Singer Justin Sconza whinnies over catchy synths and blippy beats to take the dancefloor on an irresistibly smooth and quirky voyage. Thought those unicorn t-shirts from Urban Outfitters look lame? Try 'em on with these guys blasting in the background. TH

Various
Playing Around I
Made to Play
Release Date: April 28

Jesse Rose has gathered some friends and cohorts to participate in his Made to Play imprint’s first-ever compilation, and this double-disc certainly lives up to both its title and the name of the label. Disc One is a collection of house, techno, disco, and electro bangers from the likes of Sinden, Oliver $, Izit?, and Rose himself that showcases some of the label's impossible-to-find singles, as well as a few remixes. For the second disc, Oliver $ mixes the different tracks together for a whirlwind mix that has become my new "get ready to go out" soundtrack. JM

Anja Schneider
Beyond the Valley
Mobilee
Release Date: May 2008

Fresh off a tour that pushed her Mobilee imprint further into the forefront of clubbers’ minds, Anja Schneider is set to drop this full-length and further showcase her many abilities (one of which is apparently channeling pagan spirits, but that's neither here nor there). This is a minimal affair through and through, with carefully executed loops and samples that were arranged with great care and thought. JM

Plant Life
Time Traveller
Decon
Release Date: TBA

Time Traveller opens with Jack Splash waxing poetic about his many influences, citing everyone from Jimmy Hendrix to Dilla to the Talking Heads. It follows, then, that Splash and his Plant Life crew should launch into an album that jumps between hip-hop, funk, rock, and R&B, and it's amazing how well they blur each of these genres together. The catchy lyrics add to this hilarious, absurd, yet somehow profound album. JM

Ming & Ping
Causeway Army
Self-released
Release Date: Out Now

Ming & Ping’s self-released Causeway Army is a call to the masses, full of high-energy electro pop that works just as well in a Prada boutique as it would a gritty nightclub in London. The fearless energy of their new wave-y pop tunes is just a small part of what they refer to as “The Ming and Ping Dynasty”; to you that means extravagant live multimedia tours, fashion shows, and a slew of photo shoots. To us it’s dance-pop bliss. TH

Jennifer Marston
Zoneil Maharaj
Taryn Harrington

Photo of Jospeh Costa by Andreas Larsson Photography.

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