Tal Rosenberg, Reader digital content editor, is obsessed with. . .

Mouse on Mars One of those bands that people whose taste I trust have been recommending to me for years. I don’t know why I never really explored their music before, but I’ve been playing it virtually every morning for the past couple months. Their first seven albums range from very good to excellent, but my two favorites are Autoditacker, from 1997, and Glam, released in 1998 but recorded four or five years earlier. The former is busy and light, like jungle music from the Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back; the latter, a gorgeous weaving together of slight, chilling techno and ambient pieces reminiscent of Eno’s Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks, was originally a rejected score for a film starring Tony Danza.

Gwen Guthrie, Padlock Gwen Guthrie is a really good singer, but what’s most impressive about this mini album is that it’s the best music I’ve yet heard from the Compass Point All Stars, who are right up there with the Funk Brothers and the Muscle Shoals crew as one of the premier groups of session musicians. The credits are insane: Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare on drums and bass (they also produce), Wally Badarou on keyboards, Darryl Thompson on guitar, and then the whole thing remixed by Larry Levan. The music is technically “garage” (referencing Levan’s storied Paradise Garage nightclub), but it’s pretty uncategorizable. You can hear disco, new wave, dub, boogie, early house, and early techno in it. The future is the past is the future.

Spotify Whatever, I love it. The only downside is that the advertising is a cruel way to get you to pay for it. Incidentally, I’m also buying more vinyl than ever before.

He asks. . .

Todd Terje, “Inspector Norse”


Andrew Gaerig, Pitchfork developer and writer, what he’s obsessed with. His answers are. . .

Todd Terje, “Inspector Norse” video This Norwegian producer’s space-disco jam has been out for months, popping up in some unlikely places—the bass-oriented Doc Daneeka dropped it earlier this year at a Chicago Red Bull party. It’s the video, though, that draws out the song’s even-keeled charm, a soul-stirring mix of cosmic and quotidian: He’s in the bowling alley / He’s in the countryside / He’s in the coooombination bowling alley-­countryside. For anyone who mostly uses dance music to soundtrack the NBA on TNT.

The English Beat, Special Beat Service Nominal 2-Tone revivalists the English Beat had their discography reissued in June by Shout! Factory. Their final LP, the 1982 masterpiece Special Beat Service, was accidentally the first Vampire Weekend album three decades ago. “Save It for Later” remains an indelible pop beauty, and sneaky-endearing ballad “End of the Party” is proto-indie sentimentalism at its most choked up. I love you, I love you a lot.

Fleetwood Mac, “Seven Wonders (Extended Version)” Now that Fleetwood Mac have been established as a de rigueur influence for indie cognoscenti like Best Coast and Beach House, can we finally get the compilation of extended versions, dub edits, and B sides we so rightly deserve? Its centerpiece would be “Seven Wonders (Extended Version),” a late-period Mac gem. (Steal this band name: the Late Period Mac Gems. You’re welcome.) It’s less “pop smash” and more “buzzed on your deck on a Sunday afternoon,” a sing-along triumph that marries Stevie Nicks’s burgeoning mystic bullshit with the band’s trebly polish. Note to Warner Brothers: this is not on YouTube and I will purchase it (again).

He asks. . .


Alex Goddard, who DJs as Sparkletone, what he’s obsessed with. His answers are. . .

Rinse FM DJ mixes make up the majority of my listening diet, and the majority of the ones I listen to come from Rinse FM, a London-based radio station. Over the years, Rinse has been pivotal in breaking the likes of Wiley, Dizzee Rascal, Skream, Kode9, and more, and it continues to act as one of the biggest hubs for the patchwork of scenes that make up the cutting edge of dance music (the stuff I’m into anyway). Hessle Audio, Swamp81 (and its more adventurous vinyl-only brother, Swampton), and Numbers are among my favorite shows that Rinse is currently home to.

Mala, Mala in Cuba It’s been a while since I’ve been so excited for a forthcoming album. Mala, who runs the label Deep Medi, is part of Digital Mystikz and one of the most revered figures to come out of the dubstep scene in the UK. His music’s emphasis on mood and space will keep him from being mistaken for another purveyor of wobble, and judging from the two tracks he’s put out in advance of the record’s release in September, his time in Cuba has resulted in something really special.

The Fez soundtrack Fez is an unusual puzzle-­platforming game that was released for the Xbox 360 in April. I don’t usually listen to soundtracks divorced from whatever they were a part of, but the one for Fez has proven to be an exception. The closest I can come to describing it in a way that does it justice is “chiptune Vangelis.” Just gorgeous.