What I've been listening to recently.

By popular (i.e. one) request, here’s a top 5 from the last couple weeks of my life. Click the album art for an iTunes link and enrich your life with these fantastic aural experiences.

Hudson Mohawke - Star Crackout (7x7 Beat Series Number 6)

I think this is one of my favorite songs ever, I’ll have to see how it stands the test of time. The persistent, percussive crackling as well as the glitched vocal samples build up right until the end. It was also in my last mix as the final track. The last track on this particular EP, Everybody Else is Wrong, has a cool acid techno synth overtop of some alt-hip-hop-techno drums. It’s an interesting combo. He just got signed to Warp and has a full-length called Butter that just came out, I’m not the only person looking forward to what he will make in the future.

Worst Friends - Ski Hive (Versus Series Round 3: Disco)

I found this via the ever-wonderful ISO50 music posts from Jakub, some downtempo disco stuff with a good piano lead. This is a little bit more disco house, as opposed to the rock’n’roll of the DFA compilations you’ll find at the bottom. The Versus Series idea from Moodgadget is a clever take on those two-artists-one-song-each-albums. Those have a name right? Hopefully you know what I’m talking about.

Surkin - Next of Kin (Next of Kin EP)

I haven’t actually listened to anything Surkin in a long time. Electro kind of died on me a while ago when I stopped following the incestuous blog scene. I rediscovered this particular song, I loved it as soon as it came out but I never bought it until now. Typical glitched-up Surkin sound but a lot more organic and soulful than a lot of his previous songs. Institubes always remained less well-known than Ed Banger or Kitsuné, but they brought their own sound with a lot more (French) hip-hop artists. French hip-hop blew up a little a few years ago, but if you’ve never heard it before you should listen to TTC perform on Dancingbox by Modeselektor, or Travailler off the 3615 TTC album.

Jaylib - The Heist (Champion Sound)

After listening to so much of any good new artist you hear about their predecessors and influences. All of the “LA sound” that I’ve been listening to led me to J Dilla and this particular album he did with Madlib. They alternate between production and rapping throughout the album, and there’s some really fresh beats here, especially considering when this album came out.

Blues Explosion - Mars, Arizona (The DFA Remixes, Chapter 1)

DFA is one of my favorite record labels, from the learned ways of LCD Soundsystem (of which co-founder James Murphy is the singer) to the dreamy disco soundscapes of The Juan Maclean, Mock and Toof and Hercules and Love Affair, DFA always manages to make me tap my toes in appreciation. This particular album is a great collection of what started dance music for me. The very first song that I remember catching my attention in two-thousand-whatever as a “rock song that’s been remixed” was the DFA mix of Deceptacon by Le Tigre. Mars, Arizona hooks you in with the bassline and desperate piano, with the slow build up to the squealing, squelching synths.