XLR8R Weekly Top Ten: Gucci Soundsystem, Shout Out Louds, Benno Blome
Various Love is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970 Rhino
XLR8R HQ is just blocks away from San Francisco's Haight Ashbury district, where the Summer of Love found its epicenter. Those few months–40 years ago–came to define a generation, and birth one of the country's most important times in music, art, and politics. Now it's a spot for hipsters to buy $200 jeans, crust-punks to score meth, and tourists to take pictures under the famed street corner's signs. Should that take away from Love is the Song We Sing, Rhino's amazing collection of San Francisco-specific psych and folk-rock gems from 1965-1970? Fuck, no.
Einmusik De’Medici Italic
Techno is essentially a genre of singles and compilations, so it’s rare that we have the pleasure of receiving a full-length techno album as formally tight and melodically stunning as this Hamburg-based producer’s debut LP. De’Medici is proof that minimal can thrive on your headphones as easily as in Berlin clubs.
Shooting Spires S/T Cardboard
The latest project from Parts & Labor bassist B.J. Warshaw takes droning, often assaulting noise and makes it intimate. Combing scratchy loops, distant vocals, and endless, pulsing feedback, Shooting Spires is stripped-down, apartment-produced art-rock that doesn’t lose emotion with its experimentation.
Various Fabriclive 36: James Murphy & Pat Mahoney Fabric
There’s something special about a mix that’s got Chic’s “I feel Your Love Comin’ On” posed near Daniel Wang’s “Like Some Dream (I Can’t Stop Dreaming).” Murphy and Mahoney professionally shake up contemporary disco tracks with vintage ones, both obscure and commonplace. There’s no needless funk or excessive percussion here, just pop vocals and a realized vision.
Shout Out Louds Our Ill Wills Merge
While some of SOL’s newest is a little on the radio-friendly, “we just opened for Camera Obscura” tip, Our Ill Wills is still something that can be listened to from start to finish without any complaints. And even if pop isn’t you forte, “Normandie” is about as infectious as any of The Cure’s greatest hits. It would foolish to sleep on the songwriting these five Swedes can turn out on the regular.
Various Benno Blome Presents: from Antenna to Antenna1 Sender
Spooky, dark-ambient techno is a force not to be reckoned with. Benno Blome has compiled a sick collection of pad-driven, 6 a.m. tracks that’ll make any comedown as enjoyable as go time. Featuring Baby Ford, Misc., Phage, and more, this disc was made to swirl around in your head for extended periods.
The Toxic Avenger Demo IHeartComix
The hip-factor of distorted-synth electro-house is bordering on totally annoying (if not cheesy) status, but you can’t front on amazing production. This young Parisian cranks out melodic, Digitalism-on-ecstasy-like, dance tracks that’ll treat any club right. Franki Chan’s label may be onto something with this dude.
Puzique Don’t Go 12” Boys Noize
With a release on Boys Noize records, Puzique would be easy to lump in with all of the other electro-blog-house clogging hipster’s headphones, but with this single’s soulful vocals and filtered build-ups, what you have here is straight-up Chicago house. “Don’t Go” is peak-time chaos at its purest.
Ananda Shankar Sa-Re-Ga Machan Fallout
Only available in India until now, this reissue of the late Shankar’s 1981 LP is a perfect starting point for those looking to delve into the crossover genre of Indian funk and psych. Sa-Re-Ga Machan finds Shankar taking classical instrumentation in some bizarre directions, with references to surf-rock, ’60s Afrobeat, and even Elvis Presley.
Gucci Soundsystem Acarpenter 12” Death From Abroad
Only the third release on the baby-fresh Death From Abroad label, Gucci Soundsystem’s latest 12” sounds right at home among James Murphy’s oeuvre. A massive, funky-house number, “Acarpenter” rolls through devilish synth washes before exploding into space-disco bliss. It seems Padded Cell has some admirers–or competition.