XLR8R Weekly Top Ten: Merzbow, Fog, Numbers

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WileyPlaytime Is OverBig Dada
Now that Spank Rock signed to Downtown Records, grime pioneer Wiley has stepped up for Big Dada with an amazing, classic grime record for that ass. Produced by Wiley himself (with some help from JME), Playtime Is Over will rumble spleens anywhere, provided there are speakers. With tracks like “Flyboy,” “Baby Girl,” and “Gangsters,” it’s clear that playtime is, actually, over.

FogDithererLex
Fog is one of those bands that plays really effected (sometimes digital) rock, but can remix the hell out of a track when faced with a computer. Taking cues from metal, shoegaze, and indie-pop, this trio composes post-rock effortlessly and with magnificent production. If you dig glitches, classic rock, massive riffs, or orchestral wailing, it would be a sad mistake not to cuddle up to this baby.

Prinzhorn Dance SchoolS/TDFA/Astralwerks
This UK-based duo could best be described as drum & bass (no, not in the way you’re thinking). Tobin Prinz and Suzi Horn pound out bluesy rock rooted in lo-fi bass and minimal drumming. But instead of imitating The White Stripes, the duo’s more akin to The Rapture circa Out Of the Races. There’s no surprise that this is James Murphy-approved, but it’s a bold move for DFA, and bold moves aren’t too shabby.

MerzbowZophorus Blosssoming Noise
Noise is not dead, contrary to what the non-believers say. Our boy Merzbow just bent frequencies that may not have been discovered on Zophorus. Instead of using seal noises and other weird sound matter of prior releases, Masami Akita’s newest baby comes in the form of evil, droning metal. There are no blastbeats or Slayer-esque breakdowns, just one Japanese animal-right activist and his disturbed vision.

Fox N’ Wolf “Youth Alcoholic (Folk ‘Booty Crunk’ Theorem Edit)” Fox N' Wolf
Often mistaken for electro-clash, Sweden-based Fox N’ Wolf is now going to be mistaken for the bassiest of booty-house groups. Dominated by rough kicks, sporadic samples, and high-pitched vocals, this version of “Youth Alcoholic” is worth any horrible 24-hour hangover.

Mr. OizoTransexual EPEd Banger
This here is one feisty little 12”. From the title track’s throbbing laser synths and sex-ridden female vocals (wait is this electro-clash?) to heavily chopped disco edits, this EP has a few of us pumping our arms at our computer screens like Pedro Winter on his ninth red bull.

Green MenThe FogMoodMusic
This new single from XLR8R columnist Nick Chacona and Freestyle Man is so refreshing that at first it was a bit off-putting. The track begins with business as usual–dark, droney house. Then a slap bassline arrives that’s dirty, campy, and just plain bizarre. The future is bright for these Green Men.

Various Normoton Gold Normoton
Commemorating its 25th release, Germany's Normoton label releases its first comp. Compiled by label owner Klaus Burkhard, and including tracks from Strassmann, Phon.o, and Uphill Racer, this disc is as dark as it is diverse–ambient, electro, Kraut-pop, melodic minimal techno all appear–and it tastes great.

NumbersNow You Are ThisKill Rock Stars
San Francisco's Numbers are probably into Sonic Youth, and their latest LP might be the best homage to Thurston and Kim since Autolux's Future Perfect. Now Now You Are This’ fuzzy guitar riffs and distorted synth melodies aren't just burning and propulsive, they're also strangely emotive. We like strangely emotive.

Young Marble GiantsColossal Youth and Collected WorksDomino
The one benefit of YMG recording only one LP is that the bonus reissue material includes pretty much every cut the trio ever laid down: EP's, singles, even a Peel session. This three-disc collection is a lo-fi, stripped down, post-punk history lesson.