Odd NosdamLevel Live WiresAnticon.
Odd Nosdam is to experimental hip-hop what Herbert is to disco. Although samples abound, it’s the field recordings (exploding SUVs, gang shootings) in his latest LP that make it a truly intriguing (and often moving) collection of cinematic, fuzzy bricolage. Put this on your headphones, look at the people sitting around you on the bus at night, and enjoy.
No AgeWeirdo Rippers Fat Cat
What’s not to love about LA’s art-skate-punk scene? Unpretentious and DIY, No Age epitomizes Ed Templeton’s underground. While also known for its work as visual and performance artists, this young noise-punk duo pumps out an assaulting blend of lo-fi rock, wall-of-sound shoegaze, and gritty warehouse thrash.
The Budos BandThe Budos Band IIDaptone
In a world where soul and funk are too often muddled by jam-band tomfoolery or hip-hop blasé, Daptone Records has become a precious resource. While referencing everything from Mingus to Fela to spy-thriller psych, this Staten Island 11-piece lays down 10 cuts of enormous Afrobeat soul-funk burners. This is the best thing out of Staten Island since Christina Aguilera. Seriously.
Kathy DiamondMiss Diamond To YouPermanent Vacation
Not to jump the gun or anything, but when Maurice Fulton produces an album, you know it’s going to be impressive. With Ms. Diamond’s debut, Fulton creates just the right mixture of analog and synthetic, nostalgia and futurism, pop and underground. This is pure slap-bass, disco-diva gold.
Various Rumble in the JungleSoul Jazz
It’s no secret that we at XLR8R are huge Soul Jazz fans, and comps like Rumble in the Jungle are the prime reason. Surveying London’s incredibly hot jungle scene of the early- to mid-’90s, Rumble features classic killer cuts from Ragga Twins, UK Apachi & Shy FX, and Shut Up and Dance–and it’s just what we needed to transport us back to the heyday, and give us a renewed perspective on dubstep.
Ova LoovenGravity Has ExpiredArtikal
This 12" sorta came out of left field and turned into Managing Editor Ken Taylor's favorite EP of the last six months. Moev, L'Altra, New Wave, and post-rock tonality all show their sides in equal measure over the course of four airy, beat-drenched, Cure-imbued vocal-and-glitch tracks. Weightless (like the title might suggest) yet weightier than anything we've come across in a while.
Our most recent print issue provides a brief outline of Neue Deutsche Welle–obscure pop music sung in German rather than English. But don’t hate on all of the slick disco productions that predate that. Disco Deutschland showcases work from Amanda Lear and Munich Machine.
SwayzakSome Other Country!K7
After taking a breather for the last couple years, as evidenced by releasing only an album of remixes in recent memory, Swayzak is back with a few new tricks. Rather than aiming at the disco (see 2004’s Loops From the Bergerie), Some Other Country is a dubby reaction to the popularization of minimal techno. If that means the duo is getting old and moody, then it’s working for them.
Simian Mobile DiscoAttack, Decay, Sustain, ReleaseUniversal
It’s been difficult for Simian Mobile Disco to take a wrong turn during the last year, and their first full-length does little to change that. Any reference to the duo’s 12”s or remixes is points in the right direction, but the album offers a few mellower digressions. This collection of glitched-out, rave-inspired electro will have no problem invading dancefloors and iPods alike.
Hot ChipDJ Kicks: Hot Chip!K7
The coy Englishmen in Hot Chip have released their DJ Kicks mix collection. Those familiar with their work will find little shocking, but plenty of tracks reinforce that they are nerds first and musicians second. The boys keep it lighthearted and fun, from Tom Zé all the way to Grauzone (they even resist the popular temptation to play “Eisbaer”).