Caribou: Our Love

There’s a certain trait that connects many of my personal all-time favourite musicians: look at David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Prince, Aphex Twin, Bjork or Daniel Bejar and you will see an artist unafraid – and more than capable – of performing a complete stylistic u-turn whenever the mood takes them. Someone else who shares that characteristic is Dan Snaith, the Canadian producer who records as Caribou (and occasionally as Daphni), and whilst I may not hold his work quite as dearly as that of those others mentioned previously, his habit of gracing each of his consistently brilliant full-length projects with their own distinct personality has resulted in any new release automatically shouldering its way to the front of my “most anticipated” queue. So, having tried on a number of styles over the years – pastoral electronica, free jazz, noisy psychedelia, wonky Krautrock, percussive shoegaze, stomping disco – and been in the enviable position of having each of them fit like a glove, how does Snaith follow up the propulsive avant-pop of Swim, a record that – lest we forget – topped 2010 year-end lists from esteemed publications like Mixmag and Resident Advisor? The answer, of course, is by rushing off in hot pursuit of yet another new muse, and this time around it would seem he’s been seduced in equal measure by the synthetic MOR and R&B influenced house sounds that have been straddling clubland and the mainstream on both sides of the Atlantic for the past year or so. Sixth album Our Love heads straight for the floor without so much as a preambulatory drink, opener “Can’t Do Without You” warping in on a phased loop of the titular vocal hook before quickly hitting its rhythmic stride accompanied by handclaps and clattering drums, its buzzing, circular chord sequence cleverly capturing the blurry euphoria of those classic rave climaxes and what is these days known (or so I’m reliably informed) as “the drop”. It’s a big, universal sentiment gripped in a crushing bear-hug of a track, and probably Snaith’s most accessible moment yet, as if the raw, hypnotic grooves of his Daphni album (2012’s Jiaolong) had been filtered through a Disclosure-hued lens; a crowd-pleasing club tune that would work just as well in a wet field during a 2am festival headliner’s set. If much of what follows is less immediate, it certainly benefits from the tried-and-tested slow reveal: “Silver”‘s amorphous electro throb gradually solidifying into neon-lit time-lapse funk, carrying over into the two-step strut of “All I Ever Need”; the Owen Pallett-assisted title track condensing a quarter century of dance music history – Detroit techno, acid house, space disco, UK garage, EDM – into a climactic five minute megamix. It also affords an appropriate amount of breathing space to a pair of surprisingly slinky songs that, after living with the album for a couple months, stand out as its highlights: featuring breathy vocals from fellow Ontarian Jessy Lanza, “Second Chance” shudders and pulses like an aroused electric eel, constantly waiting for a beat to kick in and turn it into a Cassie or Ciara jam, whilst “Back Home” lands somewhere between what most people thought the last Daft Punk album would sound like and what we actually got, a slice of smooth white funk-pop given a slow-building stadium techno makeover. That both songs feel right at home on a Caribou album without either sounding much like anything he has produced before is a kick, but then Snaith has never been what you would call predictable; even in the early stages of his career – even back when he was still going by the name Manitoba (before that old punk Handsome Dick slapped him with a cease-and-desist) – every new album sounded different to the last, not only new songs but new influences, new instruments, new production techniques, a whole new blueprint every time and never a look back. Amazingly, Snaith’s propensity towards the unexpected remains as undiminished as his ability to make us move, and Our Love is full of pleasant little surprises; in this day and age I’ll take as many of those as I can get.
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Our Love is out October 6/7 via City Slang (EU)/ Merge (US); listen to “Can’t Do Without You” below.
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Avec Le Soleil Sortant De Sa Bouche: Zubberdust!


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From the label:
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Avec Le Soleil Sortant De Sa Bouche are something of a Montreal supergroup, its members having been active in the city’s experimental rock communities for well over a decade, including participation in Panopticon Eyelids, Pas Chic Chic, Red Mass, Set Fire to Flames and, from the Constellation roster, Fly Pan Am. The pair of exquisite and exhilarating 20-minute pieces featured on their debut album Zubberdust! are the culmination of the group’s first two years of conceptual and somatic development. This is (mostly) instrumental rock that exuberantly succeeds in blending a primitivist, hypnotic energy with cerebral pleasures, seeding an addictive trail of sonic brain-candy throughout the mixes. The band wholly embodies and channels its inimitable square grooves, while teasing out the innumerable joys of repetition via micro-deployments of ever-shifting electronic overlays – along with the occasional full-stop and 180 degree turn. JS Truchy’s wordless lead vocals (and his choral arrangement on “Face à l’instant”) add compelling textural and melodic counterpoints while lending the music an especially timeless, deterritorialised and emotive dimension… A highly original, deeply satisfying, giddy and heady avant-funk.”
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Zubberdust! is out now via Constellation Records; stream it at Impose and check out an excerpt of “Face a l’instant” below.
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Electric Wizard: Time To Die


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From NPR:
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When Electric Wizard frontman Jus Oborn told The Quietus in January, “We are a perfect example of arrested development,” it was like a badge of honor, unwashed and fading on a denim jacket. Time To Die sounds right pissed, like occult freaks pounding destructive riffs into the grave — just the way an Electric Wizard album should. The psychedelic shift of Witchcult Today and Black Masses provides the jumping-off point here, with some Mellotron ramping up the spook factor (“Lucifer’s Slaves”) and even a little Alice Cooper choogle (“Funeral Of Your Mind”). Electric Wizard is still about the riff, but its members have more room to explore than ever. Take the 11-minute “I Am Nothing,” a gnarly funeral march with a two-note riff that launches some atmospheric fuzz between Oborn and guitarist Liz Buckingham. Mark Greening’s crisp yet meaty drum fills head up the track’s descent into swarming feedback, and we’re reminded why he was such a vital component of early Wizard. New bassist Clayton Burgess is a perfect fit here, a young freak from an older era who knows when to drive the ominous melody and when to back the riff (see also: “We Love The Dead”). It’s all a bit looser, giving the members of Electric Wizard more distinct voices, even if they’re just telling you, “We wanna get high before we die!”
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Time To Die is out now on Spinefarm Records; check out “I Am Nothing” below.
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Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler: Slant Of Light


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From the label:
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“In most cases intimate musical connections take years to foster, with much time spent learning the others’ unique melodic and harmonic languages before true symbiosis can occur. For harpist Mary Lattimore and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Zeigler that type of deep understanding and effortless communication was almost instantaneous. On their first record as a duo, Slant of Light, Lattimore and Zeigler emerge completely synergetic, offering up stunning improvisations that are as advanced melodically as they are texturally. The four pieces on Slant of Light are seductive and picturesque, with Lattimore’s elaborate melodies blossoming out of Zeigler’s tonal beds of synthesizer and guitar. Equally inviting and challenging, Slant of Light is an impressionistic work that draws on musical histories ancient and contemporary, existing outside current trends in music as a whole. There is nothing that sounds remotely like it.”
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Slant Of Light is out now via Thrill Jockey; listen to “White Balloon” below.
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SBTRKT: Wonder Where We Land


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From Pitchfork:
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“Wonder Where We Land, out September 29 via Young Turks, is the second full-length album from Aaron Jerome AKA SBTRKT. It follows 2011’s eponymous SBTRKT, as well as the Transistions series of EPs, which came out earlier this year. The new record will include contributions from Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, A$AP Ferg, Jessie Ware, Sampha, Koreless, Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek, and Warpaint’s Emily Kokal.”
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Check out “The Light” (ft. Denai Moore), “New Dorp New York” (ft. Ezra Koenig) and “Voices In My Head” (ft. ASAP Ferg and Warpaint) below.
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Dan’l Boone

Dan'l Boone: Dan'l Boone (DC597)
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From the label:
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“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call…The Goldilocks Zone. Dan’l Boone are in fixed orbit, destined to travel the spaceways of the Goldilocks Zone and reach Planet Rock. They have created the mothership with which to raise the funky planet, leaving the turgid, lifeless zones behind in search of a higher consciousness. While in flight, the band was able to drop the first real piece of the Dan’l Boone puzzle. The motley crew of heavy hitters who make up such a group (Neil Michael Hagerty, Nate Young, Alexander Moskos and Charles Ballas) created a video so beyond the comprehension of this galaxy that it might just fly over your head! With heavy, droning bass and cryptic blasts of sonic buzz, even the most jaded noise junkie’s ears will perk!”
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Dan’l Boone is out now through Drag City; check out “Mindface” below.

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Purling Hiss: Weirdon

Purling Hiss - Weirdon
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From the label:
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“Full-tilt tunes, aggro riffs, feedback peals, stoned soul-searching pop turnarounds and magisterial portraits of the go-nowhere lifestyle in abstract… ding dong, you’re correct: we are describing the sounds of Purling Hiss! But dig it, Weirdon is a new-phase Purling Hiss album, using the songwriting and guitar style of Mike Polizze to come up with a quicksilver sound touched on only briefly on previous records. If last year’s Water On Mars was the Philadelphia trio’s’ “heavy rock” album, Weirdon travels into the pop dimension, making their fastest and catchiest songs in the abiding images of punk and psychedelia… Full colour rock & roll, Weirdon is a rainbow of a record; beaming down to the stereos and streets and highways and boomboxes of today, through the unique and still-growing prism of Purling Hiss. Get yer Weirdon!”
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Weirdon is out now via Drag City; listen to “Forcefield Of Solitude” below.
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Aphex Twin: Syro


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From the greatest press release of all time:
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“Whenever one of the most celebrated and influential electronic fartist, Richard D. James can compete with the music flip to influence built. The better part of a decagon, James Polygon Window, Caustic Window, GAK and maintain, including Aphex Twin has unreleased music under several thousand monikers great pace… Only few and far between during the new millennium, a full-length, 20001’s Druikqs, James – has marked the beginning of an arc, and the final new material in 20005. A lot of the music in any way is often a lack of communication and leadership to be fallacious rumors of new material for his fannies and his enthusiasm has not diminished hope. However ambitious this year, 9014, they uncovered new mats in almost a decade distribution crowdfund rallied together his army of fans: A precious gift that can not be the same as the new Phex Twinnipicks material is still unquenched thirst.”
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Syro is out now on Warp; listen to “minipops 67 [120.2] (Source Field Mix)” below.

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Nicholas Krgovich: On Sunset


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From the label:
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“With songs that owe as much to the Great American Songbook as to perennial favorites like Sade, Prefab Sprout and The Blue Nile, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Krgovich (No Kids, Gigi and P:ano) has been creating a rich musical universe comprised of intricate vocal melodies, lush orchestral arrangements, layers of analog synths, slinky guitars and tight rhythms of the human (and inhuman) variety. Even though the material is often wildly diverse, there is an unmistakable sense of Krgovich’s deep commitment to exploring the endless possibilities of pop, his discerning ear for sonic detail, and an ambition that willfully borders on the absurd.”
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On Sunset is out September 23 via Tin Angel Records; listen to “Along The PCH On Oscar Night” below.
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Perfume Genius: Too Bright

Too Bright
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From the label:
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“Over the course of two astonishing albums, Perfume Genius – AKA Seattle native Mike Hadreas – cemented his place as a singer-songwriter of rare frankness, creating songs that, while achingly emotional, offered empathy and hope rather than judgment or handwringing. Sparse, gorgeous and with Hadreas’ quavering vocals often only accompanied by piano, 2010’s Learning and 2012’s Put Yr Back N 2 It told uncommonly beautiful tales of a life lived on the dark side. Too Bright, however, is something else altogether… a stunning about-face which brings to mind audacious career-shift albums like Kate Bush’s The Dreaming or Scott Walker’s Tilt, records which walk the tightrope between pure songwriting and overt experimentation. Here, Hadreas is aided in his efforts by not one, but two unlikely conspirators – John Parish and Portishead’s Adrian Utley, who, according to Hadreas, was the key to unlocking unexplored terrain on the album, using both synths and organic instrumentation to push the tracks to darker and more unreal heights.

A mischievous sense of defiance runs rampant through the album. A surreal threat hangs over songs like “My Body” and “Grid”, with piercing screams, tribal drums and electronic stabs highlighting disturbing lyrics of self-destruction and temporary respite from the darkness. Which is not to say that Hadreas has completely abandoned the shimmering, exquisite piano ballads that he is so known for. “No Good” is a heartbreaking meditation on a difficult life lived on the outside but “spent looking in”, while the somber closer “All Along” is a resigned yet firm rebuke to acceptance and reassurance from external forces, preferring instead to find refuge from within – “I have my love,” Hadreas asserts, “and I apply it where I need to”. This, in fact, is the overarching theme of Too Bright; the connective tissue loosely joining up these 11 stunning, weird and wonderful tracks – the discovery of strength and power where previously he felt he had little. As he puts it, during the making of the album, it felt “like I had woken some ancient beast which began to rattle and threaten to rise.” With this record, consider the demon awoken.”
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Too Bright is out September 23 on Matador Records; check out “Queen” below.
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