VariousXiu Xiu: Remixed and Covered5RC
Regardless of your stance on Xiu Xiu, this two-disc collection of remixes and covers slays. The covers disc finds an arsenal of artists–from Larsen, to Oxbow, to Kid 606–hammering out their own renditions of Xiu Xiu hits, while the remix disc features eclectic cuts from Gold Chains to To Live and Shave in LA to Grouper. There is a god.
Stefan Betke (a.k.a. Pole) produces the kind of minimalist dub-electro that makes the kids drool. Having produced and remixed acts like T. Raumschmiere and John Tejada, Pole breaks new ground on Steingarten with a hefty dose of glitchy hip-hop and atmospherics.
The Fucking ChampsVIDrag City
San Francisco's very own Champs are back with their uber-tech guitar madness. It's been four years since their heralded V, and they still possess their patented blend of adventure-rock magic. Between heavy fuzz and epic acoustic anthems, VI is far from disappointing.
Yndi HaldaEternal Bliss Big Scary Monsters
It's not easy to musically concretize the state of eternal bliss, but Yndi Halda gets the job done. These four tracks (all around 20 minutes a pop) traverse through minimal guitar melodies and layers upon layers of battering drums and symphonic synths. Heaven may have met its match.
Rob Lowe (not him) is on fire. A follow-up to his first solo record, The Psychic Nature of Being, Omns is filled with the same effects-laden vocals, psych-guitar squeals and a lot of space. Lovers of '60s experimental rock and drone take note: Lichens is awe-inspiring.
EvidenceThe Weatherman LPABB
Dilated Peoples' Evidence has gone solo on us and we couldn't be more happy. Between his intense improvements in production and pissed-off lyrics, he takes the game by storm.
If Daft Punk and Roxy Music were "with child," they might have named it Lo-Fi-Fnk. This Swedish duo molds infectious house beats and party synths into a club-friendly full-length filled to the brim with hot tracks. This will be an office staple for days.
PelicanCity of EchoesHydra Head
Chicago's instrumental icons are back with a post-rock vengeance. With less emphasis on brutality than on their prior efforts, they bring forth City of Echoes, a driving, downtuned dissent into progressive metal.
VariousSecret Love 3Sonar Kollektiv
For the third edition of the Secret Love compilation series, Sonar Kollektiv has found the best of the best in rising folktronica and indie rock acts. Featuring mellow hits from Jose Gonzalez, Clara Hill, and Fujiya & Miyagi, Secret Love is a standout collection for those looking to have some seriously sensitive moments.
Fred Anderson & Hamid DrakeFrom the River to the OceanThrill Jockey
There's jazz, and then there's Fred Anderson & Hamid Drake's jazz. From the River to the Ocean is filled with tight, improvised madness and plenty of sax squiggles, sporadic vocals, and the kind of percussion that makes the head spin. This record is for those looking to challenge their ears and minds.