CROOKERS”Gypsy P””Burritos and Buenos (DJ Barletta VDJ Crack Refix)”
This season’s ceaseless flood of identical-sounding fidget-house tracks makes it impossible to distinguish the Sinden bangers from the wannabe Sinden refixes from the latest AC/DC edits. Even if you’re a veteran downloader, you can wind up with a DownThemAll queue full of low-bit-rate bad ideas that’ll make you wish for death by Ibiza foam party. But the Milan-based duo Crookers are upping the ante a dB or two with glitzy excess and a big, bouncy sense of dynamics—in other words, it’s much more club than Internet. The French have taken over Italo-disco, so the Italians are doing macho tech-bass and au courant British bump. “Gypsy P” cops a hectic brass-band oompah-oompah—organic sounds are always a welcome substitute for gun-cocking samples—and props it up with some 808. The DJ Barletta refix of “Burritos and Buenos” is a postrave pony trot gone stadium huge, its tiny clicky beat blown up with face-smashing synth trills and too-long builds and breaks.
You can find most of the music in this roundup—including both these cuts—at the Hype Machine: hypem.com.
DJ MUJAVA”Township Funk””Township Funk (DJ Nonsense Remix)”(Warp)
It’s a blog sensation now (as well as an actual 12-inch on Warp), but the kwaito hit “Township Funk” came up via the ultimate un-Diggable source: cabdrivers in Pretoria. Kwaito is sometimes referred to as South African hip-hop, but that’s a rough translation at best—minimalist yet heavy, “Township Funk” has more in common with LFO’s sparse techno than anything on the B96 “Nine Most Wanted” countdown. Its cheap-sounding, hiccuping beat is dark and robotic; if it were EQ’d differently it could pass for dubstep. The DJ Nonsense mix on the flip ups the BPM, gets tribal, and turns the synths into what sounds like a black-metal foghorn. End-time twerk!
FUCKED UPThe Chemistry of Common Life(Matador)
This Canadian punk band’s Matador debut leaked at around the same time as the new Metallica album—kind of like how Darby Crash died the day before John Lennon got shot, except way less tragic. Everyone is atwitter over Metallica’s return to form on Death Magnetic, even though Jackson Browne is more interesting at this point; meanwhile, Fucked Up have delivered the dreamiest, fuzziest face-ripper in the history of arty hardcore, full of boy-girl hate screams and harmonies, songs thrice as long as most punk anthems, and atonal, glistening sludge ribald with amphetamine beats. Amen.
TV ON THE RADIODear Science(Interscope)
The singles “Golden Age” and “Dancing Choose,” ushered into the world a month or so ago ahead of their context, might’ve made you think TV on the Radio had fallen in with the half-zillion Parsons dropouts making dance punk. That’s why Dear Science should be taken as a unit: TVOTR are one of the few bands around with the vision to sustain a whole album. You need the entire 50 minutes of witchy, dubby mood, with its fuck yous and fuck mes, the sour edge of Kyp and Tunde dueting, and Dave Sitek’s signature reverb ad infinitum. Dear Science, which dropped officially this week, isn’t a tense, earthbound colossus like its perfect predecessor; it’s up there humping the ether, all celestial blast choirs and guitars classed up with strings ‘n’ horns, its empyrean clouds held together by a skein of carnality. Finally, after an epoch of sexless indie rock, some untender hunger of the loins.
METRONOMY”Heartbreaker (Discodeine Mix)”(myspace.com/discodeine)
Half of Discodeine, Pilooski, is the hottest thing happening in post-Justice Paris if we don’t count Carla Bruni’s ta-tas. UK act Metronomy is this month’s hype, and not the next Justice—unless the next Justice is a fey Eurotrash 80s version of the Postal Service that only sounds good on a blog. Discodeine makes the dry, stiff “Heartbreaker” elastic, juicy, and suitable for dancing.
LYKKE LI”Breaking It Up (Familjen Remix)””I’m Good, I’m Gone (Metronomy Remix)””Dance, Dance, Dance (Dada Life Guerilla Fart #4)”
Like M.I.A. and Madonna before her, Lykke Li makes originals that are unfuckwithable—remixes only dull or adulterate the originals—but that doesn’t stop anyone from trying his hand. (I picked these remixes from maybe 15 that were circulating last week, and next week there’ll be another 15.) On Li’s debut full-length, Youth Novels (LL Recordings), her delivery is carefully metered, which makes it ripe for reconfiguration—in these remixes her sangfroidy Snuggle Bear voice is either amped for maximum cheerleader effect or smoothed out into a coo to play on her cool coquettishness. Familjen blows synth bubbles and nods to lite rave; Metronomy adds dark, creepy keys that sound like someone trying to figure out how to play Gary Numan’s “Down in the Park”; Stockholm DJ duo Dada Life drop club boom on “Dance Dance Dance,” hacking Li’s ice-princess bits to bits and packing them off on a Love Parade float.
RYE RYE & M.I.A.”Tic Toc”(maddecent.com/blog)
Since Rye Rye is as close to a triple-threat MC as blog house has seen (she’s virtually unknown, from Baltimore, and a girl) and M.I.A. is supposedly retiring, “Tic Toc” looks a little like a passing of the torch, or the baton, or the neon-print leggings. M.I.A. makes birdy noises while something lutelike gently weeps, and Rye Rye sounds like a mature fifth grader with a Baltimore County curr in her voice. Though she’s been on some high-profile tracks since summer’s start (Diplo, Sinden), this is the best showcase she’s had yet.
Barely post-teen Nottingham producer Lillica Libertine, aka Laurence Blake, brags in his bio that he looks “like Lil Wayne if he was in the Blood Brothers,” but his sound is gleefully grandiose electro: weaving, stuttering synths blaze and bulldoze (which is how electro rolls in the post-Boys Noize age) through a robotic quasi-disco stomp. Hammy rave signifiers are a dominant force in the genre right now, but Blake goes big without sounding dumb—his tracks are both clean and complex, with a motorik buoyancy in their relentless rhythms.
GHISLAIN POIRIERCosmopolitan Bass(ghislainpoirier.com)
Though he’s supposedly at the center of Canada’s lazer-bass explosion (I couldn’t make this shit up... but Sasha Frere-Jones apparently can), Poirier just dropped this mix of passport-to-the-world bump. He’s got good taste and has always leaned ragga-ward, but here he draws not just from the African diaspora but from the continent itself, giving us 75 minutes of continuous grind—and bolstering my theory that South Africa is this year’s Brazil.v
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