Now that every Tuesday is a frantic scramble for the best streamable/downloadable/sharable new releases–in our office, at least–self-titled thought we’d save you some time and share five records we stand behind every week. Here’s what we’re digging at the moment…
Dalhous, An Ambassador For Laing (Blackest Ever Black)
Not quite as bleak and blackened (hence the name, right?) as some of the other releases on Kiran Sande’s post-FACT imprint, Dalhous’ debut album reminds us of Warp’s old releases in a lot of ways. Think: a less abrasive Autechre, concerned more with creating a wholly immersive atmosphere than the latest plugins and presets. Yes the cover art is boring, but the music is not. And hardcore BEB heads will dig the darker turns of tracks like “Dreamers of Decadence” and “The Cruel Practice of Art,” which seems to sample screaming schoolchildren.
Factory Floor + Peter Gordon, “Beachcombing” b/w “C Side” (Optimo Music)
One of New York’s living downtown music legends (composer/Love of Life Orchestra leader Peter Gordon) settles in alongside the steely synth pads, disembodied vocals and varied dance-not-dance grooves of Factory Floor. Definitely a coup for Keith McIvor, one-half of Optimo and the day-to-day boss of the duo’s label.
The Focus Group, The Elektrik Karousel (Ghost Box)
Ghost Box art director/co-founder Julian House gets back to the label’s library music beginnings on his first solo record in six years. Like his last collaborative LP–the whimsical and profoundly weird Broadcast pairing …Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age–this isn’t a collection of fully fledged songs so much as a paranoid procession of fever dreams. File under: library music for the loony bin.
Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood, Black Pudding (Ipecac)
The usual WTF warblings of Mike Patton’s Ipecac imprint settle into something much gentler here, a bluesy collaboration between the Alternative Nation’s most reclusive cult figure and London-based multi-instrumentalist Duke Garwood, who’s played with everyone from the Orb to Savages. (He contributed some clarinet parts to their Matador LP.) As spare and spooky as Mark Lanegan gets, which means it’s a must, of course.
RP Boo, Legacy (Planet Mu)
Anyone remotely interested in Chicago’s footwork scene should break out their note/iPad while listening to this decade-spanning debut from one of the city’s true innovators. Best known for flipping ODB and Pharaohe Monch samples into syncopated, erratic floor-fillers, the producer/DJ dares you to not only dance, but simply keep up with him. Look out for lots of unidentified flying loops, including Busta Rhymes’ long-forgotten Bernard Herrmann hook (“There U’Go Boi”), a painfully short Aaliyah nod (“The Opponent”) and what sure sounds like the skeletal intro to Death Grips’ “Get Got” single (“Speakers R-4 [Sounds]”).