Various Home Schooled: The ABCs of Kid SoulNumero Group
Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” may be this summer’s bubblegum-electro anthem, but if you want the real deal, look to the Numero Group’s latest compilation of ’60s and ’70s kid soul and R&B. Every cut here is a digger’s dream–loose, funky, raw, and hard to find. What were you doing when you were ten years old?
Madlib Beat Konducta In India (Vol. 3-4)Stones Throw
While Madlib certainly isn’t the first to explore India’s plethora of popular and classical music for inspiration and/or samples, he does so with an air of simplicity that is unparalleled. It’s no news that the dude is one of the most prolific producers around, but 34 tracks of Bollywood hip-hop? Damn, son.
VariousThe Brit Box: UK Indie, Shoegaze, And Brit-Pop Gems of The Last MillenniumRhino
When this four-disc box set arrived here at XLR8R, it had some of us jumping up and down, screaming like sixteen-year-old girls at a Justin Timberlake concert. OK, maybe only Managing Editor Ken “Brit-Papa” Taylor was screaming, but seriously, this compilation is near perfect. Just look at the title and try not to be stoked.
SupermayerSave The World Kompakt
This debut long-player from production icons Michael Mayer and Superpitcher throws techno expectations to the wayside. Sounding at turns like Cake, or even The Gorillaz, the duo has crafted an LP that fuses pop and funk with their trademark synth stabs and four-to-the-floor kicks. This album is first-rate.
Simian Mobile DiscoI Believe 12” Wichita
SMD have lent their remix talent to just about every “it” band by now (Klaxons, The Rapture, The Presets), so it’s about time the tables turned. This 12” finds the one and only Switch transforming the stand-out “I Believe” into a rollercoaster of hypnotic, popping bass lines, B-more club snares, and Chicago house vocals.
Lil Wayne Da Drought 3Young Money
Da Drought 3 is the best mixtape Wayne has dropped yet. This 27-track stroke of brilliance has Weezy rapping over hits like Jay-Z’s “Show Me What You Got,” Jeezy’s “I Luv It,” and “Go Getta,” and a bunch more. There are so many different synonyms for weed on this album, it’ll make anyone feel way high. This is another triumph for the MC who likes his Sprite Easter pink.
Force of NatureThe Force Behind the PowerMule
Tokyo-based duo Force of Nature is officially the new cosmic authority of the East. On The Force Behind the Power, DJ Kent and KZA mix up some mind-altering prog-disco for the LSD-inclined. Featuring tracks from Chelonis R. Jones, Abe Doque, and Blackbelt Anderson, this collection makes Prins Thomas and Lindstrøm sound like tame house producers.
Dirty ProjectorsRise AboveDead Oceans
Any band that sounds like mid-’90s Chicago emo (Joan of Arc, Braid), has an album with the same title as a Black Flag song, and tours with Kranky Records’ newest psych-phenom White Rainbow will obviously make the top ten. This band does it all–feedback, intricate guitar arpeggios, and hypnotic vocal choruses. All hail the new indie rock.
This double-CD mix from Berlin-based DJ Shir Khan is every bit as fun as the gigantic yellow press book that accompanied it. Shit Robot, Riot in Belgium, Justice, and every other hot dance act of the moment make appearances on this collection of tracks that have Larry the office dog doing 360-degree turns in the air (really).
Thief SunchildSonar Kollectiv
Traditional songwriting meets improv-jazz on this collaborative project between Sascha Gottschalk and Jazzanova members Stefan Leisering and Axel Reinemer. No one track sounds the same here–a rare surprise in the indie-folk world–which makes for a soothing palate of pop, ambient, and jazz. Definitely made for more than downtempo fans.