Impose HQ was torn up about the month of June. Do we faun over Laurel Halo's masterful ambient cassette aside? Or laud John Maus's rise to the top of the weird pop heap? Or hand it to Com Truise, the dude whose shows will star your bro-friends moshing unironically, in just a few months time?
Best album of June 2011
Com Truise, Galactic Melt (Ghostly International)
The reason people are already obsessed with Com Truise prior to his debut LP drop is not because he is copping early 80s proto-electronic tropes, as his press release suggests, but rather that he synthesizes everything people loved about 90s electronica. You don't have to dig deep. Think Aphex Twin and Boards, not Klaus Schulze and Soft Cell.
The best releases of June 2011
John Maus, We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves (Ribbon Music)
If you’ve ever watched a video interview with Minnesota-native John Maus, his twirling hands, violent head shaking, and incoherent philosophical ramblings are enough to write him off as some over-eccentric madman with an affinity for synth-pop. But with a closer listen, you can’t help but nod your head at his plea for a new language for a modern generation—a task that’s the driving force for his third LP
Laurel Halo, Antenna (NNA Tapes)
Though it missed the cut-off date of June by a couple days, we missed its existence up until a few days ago, and would feel forever guilty if we didn't note that this tape is one of the coolest things we've heard in months, let alone the month of June. An ambient excursion for the electronic beatsmith, Antenna travels into infinitely textured, wordless regions of synthetic space and time that are more concerned with overall experiential tones than meter and melody.
Zeroh, Awfulalterations (self-released)
Zeroh lacks confidence. In addition to calling his mixtape debut Awfulalterations, his sole promotional words following his Tumblr post are “I recommend you listen on mute.” The timidity is undeserved as Awfulalterations is a fresh tape that finds a modernized kinship with the supposedly freestyled, but undisputed train of thought rhyme style found in Saafir's Boxcar Sessions. The comparison is present down to the baritone voice.
Hail Mary Mallon, Are You Gonna Eat That? (Rhymesayers Entertainment)
The Hail Mary Mallon project has been in the works since it debuted in '09 on the on the fourth installment of Definitive Jux Presents. With Def Jux out of the picture, Rhymesayers is primo-real estate for the release of Are You Gonna Eat That? – possibly the worst album title ever conceived. Do not let the title dissuade you.
Railcars, Hounds Of Love (Crash Symbols & AMdiscs)
The fawning over the greatest Bush that ever lived has hit some high watermarks lately. Our Selector features are riddled with references, dance parties can't escape a “Cloudbusting” or “Running Up That Hill” segway and Director's Cut, her new album of reworked material, dropped last month. Good timing for railcars, who's made a monumental ode to the English lady in his full-on cover album for Hounds of Love.
Open Mike Eagle, Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes (Hellfyre Club)
Much like dreaming of work, the nightmare does not end in the waking life as Open Mike raps, “the internet and the cables out / man, I should go get a paper route.” As down-in-the-dumps as Open Mike is presenting himself lately, it's resulted in some of his strongest songs to date. Indeed, this is no climate for an intelligent rapper with a lacksadaisical delivery, but Open Mike seems painfully aware of that by focusing on the humor of public disinterest in art rap
Blithe Field, Two Hearted (Waaga)
I spent five years in Athens, OH in scholarly pursuit of the ever-sustaining buzz. Supressing my nostalgia for one of the greatest college towns in the country just got a little more difficult after indulging in the field recording-electronica of Blithe Field. As much as I enjoyed the Court Street bar crawls, the hikes up Bong Hill and street parties every weekend in May – oh, the deliquency – Blithe Field is drawn to the tranquility of southeast Ohio and boy, do I miss that too.
Ty Segall, Goodbye Bread (Drag City)
Hard to really say how this guy does it, but he has built himself up from a one man garage rocking machine to be the standard by which many lesser garage outfits are judged.
Oneida, Absolute II (Jagjaguwar)
The final segment of the band's +200-minute, three album series, Absolute II is the frost after the storm, the drone excursions that hovers ominously over the various Kraut and dub-inflected excursions that were signature Oneida as evidenced on the previous two releases. Signature Oneida until now.
Curren$y, Weekend at Burnies
Something tells me Curren$y is unaware that this # is called a hashtag. On “#JetsGo” he raps “pound sign jets go” and he is certainly not incorrect in his language, but for someone who smokes like Curren$y smokes, one would think he would have some wordplay for “hashtag” – #justsaying.
James Ferraro, On Air (Underwater Peoples)
Ferraro's brilliant 2009 release got a new deluxe package withremastered versions of the original, and apparently in some cases, re-recorded takes of the songs from the glam-through-a-highschool-jockwar-blender side of the Ferraro equation (as opposed to just the purely blender side of things).
Ming Ming, Ultrameta Ok (Lefse)
Ming Ming submerges his crystalline beat music in a fish tank of soupy texture and lazy afternoon melodies. Lefse put out a whopping 10 copies of his CD-R in June.
Random Axe, Random Axe (Duck Down)
The collaborative supergroup from Detroit to NY stars Sean Price, Guilty Simpson and Black Milk, and their debut album's not to be fucked with. The excellent single “Hex” is dedicated to the group's manager Hex Murda, who has a less than affable reputation. Black Milk stirs up the shit-talking with a brooding composition that rides a unnerving piano line and derails with live drum breaks.
Woods, Sun and Shade (Woodsist)
Woods continued their neo-tradition of rousing classically pastoral ballads and contained romps with their latest LP on Woodsist. Along with their album came an equally pleasing, gnarly companion single in “Find Them Empty“.
C V L T S, Theta Distractions (self-released)
C V L T S' digital album takes their quintessential sound-tracky minimal synth ambles and tunes them into a wind field of textural drone, and the results are utterly dreamy.
King Louie's Missing Monuments, Painted White (Douchemaster Records)
Not sure if King Louie's latest incarnation is his effort to fix the fact that the public at large hasn’t paid enough attention, but if anything is going to get people to notice, his forthcoming Douchemaster Records release, Painted White, is probably going to be it.
Controlled Bleeding, Odes to Bubbler (self-released)
Legendary plus-sized shape-shifters Controlled Bleeding's newest collection in their 30 year history adds a layer of bludgeoning noise experiments to the oeuvre.
Ela Orleans and Dirty Beaches, Double Feature split 12-inch (La Station Radar/Atelier Ciseaux/Night People)
It would seem Alex Zhang Hungtai is far from running short on droning rockabilly odes to outrunning the devil on a Vincent Black Shadow. Side B is shrouded in darknesss that's faintly illuminated by the occasional passing pair of headlights. Side A is the brightside as Ela Orleans opt for looping the histrionics of the beach party scene on “Neverend” for a ballad fit for Roy Orbison comparisons.
Iceage, New Brigade (What's Your Rupture)
There's a very decent chance that this record upseated Fucked Up's David Comes to Life as the best hardcore album that people not normally into hardcore will enjoy. It certainly got us.