Top 10: Autechre, Luciano, Jimpster
Jah is My Navigator
Release Date: February 12
We've already mentioned Jepther McClymont's new full-length a few times on XLR8R.com, and the album is well worth the anticipation we've been harboring. As Luciano, McClymont does conscious, uplifting reggae like no other, filling his tracks with traditional one-drop riddims and messages of salvation and global harmony. This disc is a fantastic way to kick off 2008.
Release Date: March 3
Speaking of highly anticipated releases, the ninth full-length from Rob Brown and Sean Booth is nearly here, and if you’ve wondered what these guys were up to during their almost famous three-year silence, Quaristice provides the answer. The album’s 20 tracks are a full-on assault of austere breaks, twisted synths, warped vocals, IDM noise, and a bit of dancefloor madness. The Autechre sound never goes out of style.
Release Date: February 11: 12" Vinyl, February 25: Digital Download
Jamie Odell returns under his Jimpster guise, with a rolling house track and a couple of remixes provided by himself and Dutch DJ/producer Joris Voom. On the “Black Panther” version of title the track, Voom accelerates the original’s moderate tempo into a frenzied, techno-heavy banger, while Odell gets minimal with his Audiomontage remix. Something for everyone here, as long as you like dancing.
Democracy - Personal Stereo Versiones
Release Date: January 2008
You've heard of the remix album appearing after the original drops, but the Norway-based trio Flunk has chosen to fulfill those obligatory duties before Personal Stereo's spring release. And instead of enlisting known producers, the group selected three of the album’s tracks for a remix competition, with the best entries making up Democracy - Personal Stereo Versiones. Variety reigns here, with everything from throbbing dance jams to minimal beatscapes.
Live at Low End Theory
Release Date: January 22
If ever there was an artist to represent the wide range of musical styles played at L.A. weekly Low End Theory, it’s Alfred Darlington. The latest album under his über-prolific Daedelus moniker is one of his live sets from weekly event, and he manages to explore almost every genre and tempo out there in the span of 15 tracks. Read more about the album and Low End Theory here.
From Leaf To Feather
Themes on an Imaginary Winter
Release Date: January 29
Here's a lovely, soothing gem for those long, cold days ahead. Though they hail from sunny Los Angeles, the four members of From Leaf to Feather make music more appropriate for watching a rainstorm on an empty moorland. The soft acoustic guitars, organ melodies, bells, and light touches of static make for an album that’s half pop, half electronic, and beautiful throughout.
Where's Jason K/Monkey Puss
Release Date: January 2008
DFA's first single of the year comes from the trio SYCLOPS, with none other than Maurice Fulton overseeing the production. Side a is full of rumbling bass, programmed drums, and dark electro melodies reminiscent of many Ed Banger artists. For a heavier, faster track that includes plenty of unidentifiable noises, flip to side b.
Ten Years Who Cares?
Release Date: February 26
Jazzanova and friends are celebrating 10 years of their label, and have carefully scanned Sonar Kollektiv's enormous back catalog to find the tracks that best fit this collection. Fat Freddy's Drop, Benny Sings, Nuspirit Helsinki, and other broken-beat and nu-jazz artists are featured on the first disc, while Disc Two is a DJ mix by Jazzanova. An excellent primer for new fans of the label, and a wonderful retrospective for its longtime supporters.
Everywhere at Once
Release Date: March 18
He's already credited as one of the most creative hip-hop performers. Now, Tom Shimura continues experimenting with the genre by adding R&B and reggaeton flavors to the tracks on his latest album. Don't expect sample-heavy production here. Lyrics Born prefers to write his own funky grooves and employ a handful of guests like Chali 2na and RJD2, for a purely organic experience.
Release Date: March 11 (U.S.)
Much like Tujiko Noriko or The Pastels, Norwegian-born Silje Nes has an amazing ability to marry pop songwriting with experimental electronics. On Ames Room, her debut album, she covers a broad range of styles, employing breathy vocals, melodic guitars, and bubbling, tinkling electronics in a cut-and-paste fashion.
Top photo of Jazzanova.