Top 10: The Faint, Tobacco, Amplive - XLR8R

Top 10: The Faint, Tobacco, Amplive

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Pit Er Pat
High Time
Thrill Jockey
Release Date: October 21

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A rather hypnotic affair from this Chicago trio, perhaps because the group employed enough musical instruments to fill a small shop, and everything from guitars, bells, and drums to horns, gongs, and kalimbas looping over one another in off-kilter patterns. As on other releases, the tracks are scattershot genre-wise, though the trio does appear to have a certain fascination with snare drums on this one.

Keep Away From Heat/K.A.F.H.
Helium Bliss
Release Date: August 25

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But Pit Er Pat's new one isn't as hypnotic as this, the latest output from producer Predrag Nedic, who delivers nine tracks of ambient post-rock that are achingly pretty. Deeply layered, with weepy string arrangements and minor chords scattered over every inch, this album floats and hovers with as much serenity as its title suggests.

XLR8R Podcast Featuring 3 Is a Crowd

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Though we love all the podcasts we post here at, this one had the staff turning up the volume full-blast for the better part of yesterday, nodding in time to the electro, hip-hop, grime, crunk, and hard house sounds from the likes of Modeselektor, Benga, Crookers, Dizzee Rascal, and more. Perhaps the best part, though, is the fact that 3IAC ran with the concept of hosting the mix on the mic, adding hilarious commentary and shout-outs throughout.

The Faint
Release Date: August 5

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Taking a break from their longtime home at Saddle Creek appears to have done the five members of The Faint some good. Fasciinatiion is their first album ever to be made and released in-house, and the result is a record that's musically more on-point than anything we've seen from these guys in a while.

Fucked Up Friends
Release Date: October 14

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There's some dissonance between the staff over this album, with some factions saying it's a bizarre trip through a sinister musical land and some saying it's more uplifting than Tobacco's work with Black Moth Super Rainbow. Whatever. Dark or dreamy, it's an undeniably grandiose album made of careful work with analog synths and tape machines, and a very satisfying listen.

The Ready Aim Fire!
Strong Enough
Release Date: Out Now

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Since Bright Eyes turned vaguely alt-country and The Postal Service will probably never make that new album, we've had to search elsewhere for indie pop that speaks of lost love, excessive drinking, and the poetic beauty of self-abuse. Found it here, with the work of Dave Trautz and Co., whose singing and laptop pop mixed with acoustics is just good, honest songwriting that's musically interesting and emotionally captivating.


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Longtime dance music producers, the members of Hybrid have always worked with a trademark sound that's big, cinematic, and, at certain instances, makes the hair on one's neck stand up. They employed a similar tactic when compiling and mixing this double-disc, with a mix that begins in minimal electronics and very, very slowly climbs to the maximal, with Trentemøller, DJ Spooky, Quivver, and others appearing along the way.

Bomb the Bass
Future Chaos
Release Date: Fall 2008

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Tim Simenon began his Bomb the Bass project all the way back in the '80s with acid-house and sample-heavy numbers, but he swears up and down this isn’t a comeback album. True or not, this synth-heavy set of tracks finds him playing with rhythms and tempos, pushing both dancefloor bangers and quieter, more emotional numbers better suited to the headphones. Guest vocals include Jon Spencer and Fujiya & Miyagi's David Best.

Tokyo Police Club feat. Aesop Rock and Yak Ballz
"The Baskervilles (Amplive Remix)"

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I love screaming rock boys and sharp-spitting MCs equally. Amplive does too, apparently, because when Tokyo Police Club handed him a bunch of Pro Tools files from their track for a remix, he called up his boys Aesop Rock and Yak Ballz to come through and add some rhymes to the band's track. A nice juxtaposition when the driving power chords melt into an MPC beat, and Amp made this video to show us how the magic happened.

Release Date: Out Now

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Aerial. Sounds suspiciously like Burial, but this isn't just another straightforward dubstep album. Belgian producer Dave Huismans, who makes many different styles of music under many different monikers, married the sounds of the genre with techno, so the resulting sound contains both the driving basslines of Croyden with the 4/4 beats and handclaps found on the Continent.

Image of The Faint by Scott Dobry.