Yesterday we mused on the liminal state of our opinions on the big fat releases of the month, namely Deerhunter v. No Age, which could have been the effete white boy take on Kanye v. 50 if anyone bought records. Speaking of penises, next two months are huge for hip hop so September was a month for some delicacies to come through the cracks, most obviously the irradiated musings of Das Racist, but also the weird-out tangents of Domo Genesis and Teebs and the ongoing lo-fidelity beat-smithery of Al Lover.
Women, Public Strain (Jagjaguwar)
Women released one of the best records of 2008 with their self-titled debut. Two years and one side band (Friendo) later they've returned to a landscape that has seen their brand of reverbed psych-pop become the standard. September belongs to Public Strain because its maturity is light years beyond expectation, like watching a savant count cards or round off obscure statistics of dead baseball players. The songs on Public Strain are like reading William S. Burrough's cut-up technique for the first time. At first, you're lost and bewildered by a tossed salad of language. Eventually, you catch the rhythm, crack the code and in that understanding you reach pop nirvana.
The best releases of September 2010
Greatest Hits, Greatest Hits EP (Olde English Spelling Bee)
“…A chemistry lab of pop compounds from all over the dance chart: new wave quotes, Suicidal tendencies, bad Arlene's Grocery shows where Hot Topic goths don't want to read blogs, Jock Jams, some early Oughts dance parties with people dressed in tin foil… Moroder, pre-Diddy mid-90s Puff Daddy, and the galaxy-wide abyss that separates Washed Out and “I'm So Excited”. A Heisenberg Principle of lo-fi dance crack.”
Foot Village, “Lovers with Iraqis” 7-inch (How to Fight Records)
A two-track survival guide to the 2012 apocalypse bound towards best-seller status and membership to the same clubs as The Zombie Survival Guide.
Teengirl Fantasy, 7am (Merok / True Panther)
For the real deal, check the full underwater gay dance party narrative that sums up with “You’ve died and gone to heaven, an impossible place where none of this could exist on earth, and you’ve been flown up on the angel wings of Logan Takahashi and Nick Weiss, who exist to make your teen girl fantasies come true.”
Avant Archive's first three tapes
Avant Archive is a brand new tape label. They were kind enough to share excerpts out of their first three releases, all of which are exemplary, unique points on the compass that gets one far from the center. Sample them below.
Black Milk, Album of the Year
Black Milk is about his business. He set out to make an album documenting the past year of his life, while coyly suggesting that he sequentially spent the past year crafting the best hip hop you will hear in 2010. Read our interview with him here.
Tera Melos, Patagonian Rats
Tera Melos' Patagonian Rats is going to sneak up on your earbuds and blast math rock epics down your canals unless you take initiative to hear the record first in streaming format. Personally, I'm fuggin' still strugglin' with the information that Tera Melos is just up the road from me outside Sacramento in a sleepy lil' suburb called Roseville. Even worse, they relocated to Brooklyn to “make it” and on the way linked up with Steve Albini, who produced the record so it would sound like Talking Heads – whoa, dudes.
Dibiase, Machines Hate Me (Alpha Pup)
A integral craftsman of flavorful beats in the L.A. scene, Dibiase show n' proved at the Project Blowed, battled with beats at Kutmah's Sketchbook night and elevated his profile a step higher with sets at the Low End Theory.
Das Racist, Sit Down, Man (Mad Decent / Mishka)
All in all the career arc of Das Racist is beyond typical and its latest mixtape continues down that uncharted path. Sit Down, Man features production from Diplo, Boi-1da, Scoop Deville, Chairlift and Teengirl Fantasy, which is easily one of the most diverse lists we've written.
Blissed Out, Second Plane (Us We Did It)
The awesome folks over at Impose Records sent us this MP3 of “Scarified”, the second track from the new cassette, which the band says is “a collection of four songs that display the direction Blissed Out is taking with side A featuring two new songs that are the first recordings of Blissed Out as a trio — now with Phoebe Pritchett contributing additional vocals and synth work.”
This thing we officially pronounced viral thanks to our own actions:
The Intelligence, Males (In The Red)
Thank you west coast for perennially sustaining your garage pulse blood lines with the likes of Eat Skull, Thee Oh Sees, and of course The Intelligence, whose new album Males is the first to feature full-band recordings as opposed to the notorious bedroom gnarls masterminded by Lars Finberg on the other five albums.
Walsh, Smoke Weed About It
Walsh features “Untitled,” Brandon Biondo's collaboration with Mat Cothran, and a few heavier jams that pit bliss pop against hip hop breaks.
Domo Genesis, Rolling Papers
Domo breaks from the OFWGKTA crew's catalog with cuts that have R&B synth lines and burn-something vibes that his brethren are too wound up on adderall and 2-liters to create.
Crocodiles, Sleep Forever (Fat Possum)
These are the songs that would have split up the poppier ones on Sleep Forever had Crocodiles tried to record Summer Of Hate 2. They refrained from such rapper-chicanery and made an EP out of it.
Ô Paon, Courses (Ô Paon)
With the production/arrangement help of the Silver Mt. Zion/Godspeed vet Thierry Amar, the outing by Genevieve Castrée feels like a new reflection of those masterful ballad downers of Montreal – that whole great Constellation tradition through Mt. Zion, Fly Pan Am, and most vividly, Godspeed.
Norse Horse/Ancien Crux 7-inch split (La Station Radar)
We should note that this isn't the first time we'd heard “Shooodikids”; that happened when we heard La Station Radar's massive summer compilation, which we dubbed the finest release of June 2010. It's just the first time we could fetishize the supple guitar tropics with the whirring sensation of needle gliding on vinyl at 45 rotations per minute, and that, apparently, makes all the difference.
Swans, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky (Young God)
We haven't published our piece about this record because let's face it, a review of the first Swans studio album in 14 years wasn't written over night, or even a fortnight. For now we'll leave you with an excerpt: Swans never do what you’d expect. They are so unshackled from the rest of the music world and even from themselves. They don’t stick to a sound or style as is the case on there long awaited latest effort. They are a band of sonic liberation. They embrace brash, violent, and heavy tones in their message and performance. Swans are attacking their music. Their music is their enemy, not unlike the world they so much disapprove of. But with their music, they find solace.
Ski Beatz, 24 Hour Karate School (DD172/Def Jam)
Albeit accident prone and not quite the triumphant hip hop album it could have been, 24 Hour Karate School represents a master’s experimentation, a study in minimalism and effected beats, a line drawn from the Philadelphia soul scene to a Guitar Hero controller in a basement in North Carolina.
No Age, Everything In Between (Sub Pop)
It's tough to imagine a duo sounding richer than this. (I guess that's why they play as a trio live, now?)
Al Lover, Creative Controlled
Al Lover's Woodsist remixed came under fire from Jeremy Earl and his PR representatives in the form of Cease & Desist letters. But, Cool Al Lover don't play that. (Read more on the saga here.)
Teebs, Ardour (Brainfeeder)
To all the hopeful blippy breakbeat producers out there that consider their production worthy of a release on Brainfeeder, we've got a suggestion as to how to make that happen. Get a job in L.A., lose that job and then become roommates with Flying Lotus and Samiyam. It worked for Teebs.