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Top 10: Michna, Born Ruffians, Lemonade

Michna
Magic Monday
Ghostly
Release Date: October 7

Michna (born Adrian Michna), a production partner of Bonde do Role and Diplo, has released his own sparkling instrumental debut album, Magic Monday. Here, ambient synths and twinkling accents dance whimsically through melodies grounded in sturdy-but-complicated rhythms. A skilled trombonist, Michna includes a horn that appears happy and buoyant in one minute, and in another instance, bluesy and sedated. LM

Lemonade
Lemonade
True Panther
Release Date: October 7

While this is undoubtedly a suite of electronic music made for the club, Lemonade's debut album feels as though members Callan Clendenin, Alex Pasternak, and Ben Steidel have gone out of their way to make sure it won't get shelved as "just another dance record." Attention to detail is pretty remarkable here–the shades of grime, dancehall, dubstep, and acid house feel perfectly placed amid the synths and echoing vocals. Pasternak's training in Arab music adds another layer of musical depth, particularly on the hypnotic "Nasifon." JM

Broker/Dealer
Soft Sell
Spectral Sound
Release Date: October 21

This is the first release Broker/Dealer has dropped on Spectral Sound since 2004, and the duo is making quite a grand re-entrance with the Soft Sell EP. The title track is a slow-building techno number of laptop-generated melodies that sweep over sharp snares and handclaps, while "Save it for Later" follows a similar trajectory, just with more minor chords. Kompakt's Thomas Fehlmann remixes two versions of the title track, stripping it down to a more minimal style and upping the static count considerably. JM

Jimmy Edgar
"Nothing is Better"
Moodgadget
Download

This is one of those tracks you either love or hate, given its extremely minimal, subtle nature. But it's precisely those elements–which mostly play out in the form of a brooding synth line–that give "Nothing is Better" the sinister feel of impending doom that's so compelling. It's work to get through, but rewarding at the end. Ditto for the more abstract remix, courtesy of Hefty Records founder John Hughes III. JM

Johnny Osbourne
Truths and Rights Deluxe Edition
Heartbeat
Release Date: Out Now

A definite foundation of the proto-dancehall era, this album was produced by the influential reggae producer Sir Coxsone Dodd and features Studio One artists like Roland Alphonso, Ernest Ranglin, and Jackie Mittoo. I wasn't actually alive in 1979 to hear the album, but the word amongst the older and wiser is that this re-issue, which includes six new tracks in addition to the original material–sounds as good now as it did then. JM

People Under the Stairs
Fun DMC
Gold Dust Media
Release Date: September 30

Double K and Thes One love fun hip-hop and they craft their own version of it very well. "Let go of hostility, my people, all we really need is fun," say the People Under the Stairs on their new album, Fun DMC. Soulful, uplifting, and completely danceable, with a horn section reminiscent of Earth, Wind & Fire, this album's funky rhymes and rhythm have an infectious flow. JM

eLZhi
"Talking in my Sleep"
Fat Beats
Download

Somnambulists, insomniacs, and all those who can't drop into normal sleep patterns, take note: Detroit hip-hop veteran eLZhi has crafted this spooky, reverb-drenched track, off his debut solo album, The Preface, and it's the sort of number to be listened to while staring at a bleak urban landscape around three in the morning. The lyrics follow suit, and seem to be mostly concerned with the confusion one experiences when waking from a nightmare.

Born Ruffians
Little Garcon EP
Warp
Release Date: September 30

Toronto's Born Ruffians dropped an impressive debut album earlier in the year, and this new EP finds remixes of two of its tracks, along with three unreleased cuts. As was the case with Red, Yellow, and Blue (whose title track shows up here in radio-edit form), the trio keeps its musical structure simple on the new songs, proving that one doesn't need much more than guitars, bass, drums, and the occasional keyboard to make enjoyable indie-pop. Remixes come courtesy of White Williams and Four Tet. JM

Creepy Autograph
Murder Sex
Valentine Connexion
Release Date:

Maybe we're overdoing it on the Jimmy Edgar tip this week, but we can't not put an EP entitled Murder Sex in here. Particularly when it's techno and electro that's both sinister and soothing, and rumored to be made by the aforementioned producer and some other anonymous people. According to the disc’s press release, Creepy Autograph is "so torn by love that they will continue this project as a result of their sexual frustration." Hence track names like "I Wanna Fuck You." JM

Arctic Hospital
Neon Veils
Lantern
Release Date: Out Now

The first release off Plop offshoot label Lantern, Neon Veils is an eight-track trip through precisely made techno. Faceless, soulless music this is not. Working in a similar style to that of Luomo or Minilogue, producer Eric Bray delivers a collection that's deceptively melodic and ethereal, given his chosen moniker. The album calls to mind sunny green fields, rather than dark, icy landscapes. JM

Text by Jennifer Marston and Lulu McAllister.

Pictured: Michna.

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