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electronic MUSICIAN

Playlist, February 2013

February 13, 2013

Various Artists

AS USUAL, Björk gives everyone around her a fit, including probable remixers. Remixing selections from Björk’s Biophilia, producers Matthew Herbert, Omar Souleyman, and 16bit, among others, perspire to imprint a stamp, but Björk simply overwhelms every sound in her path. The results are outstanding on “Mutual Core,” where These New Puritans surround the vocalist’s murmurs with a female African choir, and Death Grips’ Aphex Twin-meets-Vienna Boys Choir take on “Sacrifice.” Björk edited the whole project, “not necessarily [to find] the best ones, but the ones that made the strongest whole,” she said. Control is a wonderful thing.

The Marriage of True Minds

Drew Daniel and partner M.C. Schmidt’s full-length, blanketing neuromelodical resonances–contributed by Dan Deacon, Dirty Projectors’ Angel Deradoorian, Dominique Leone, and Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, among others–produces majestic arrays of braided oscillation. These nine songs reinforce the thing that Matmos does best: guiding dissociative transmissions into episodes of fugue-like physicality.


We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

This work maintains the duo’s established multi-influenced four-and-a-half decade-old throwback sound. There isn’t a ’60s reference point that isn’t included in the hiss-filled classic folk-rock songs. Foxgen dips into a funk swing on “Oh Yeah,” heavy, densely layered rhythms on the instrumental “Bowling Trophies,” and lazy poetic strums on “No Destruction.” The amalgamation of styles is fully realized in the inventively arranged psychedelic title track.


Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside
Untamed Beast

The latest hipster rockabilly record from Sallie Ford and band will drive you wild. With jungle drums, distorted noir guitars, and Ford’s gorgeous Wanda Jackson-meets- Screamin’ Jay Hawkins singing, the production is just modern enough to bring Ford’s retro MO into the present decade, but there’s no missing the rocking rebel influences that inspired her tough attitude and musical intensity. More records should sound like this.

Richard Devine

An alumnus of Warp and Schematic Records, Richard Devine sits resolutely in continuum with Aphex Twin, Autechre, Tod Dockstader, painters Francis Bacon and H.R. Giger, and other morphic artists. For RiSP, Devine splinters the electroacoustic topography of Euro rack modular synths like it’s a tower defense game. He sets up an algorithmic gauntlet and aggressively funnels dislocating tonalities into a signal-chain melee of regurgitating filters and obliquely realigning axes. No frequencies emerge unscathed.
Various Artists
This Is 40: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
The soundtrack album for Judd Apatow’s latest film This Is 40 echoes the pensive but comic tone of the movie narrative, but also stands on its own as a consistently fine collection of mostly acoustic guitar-based tunes—some catalog material and some written for the film. Stand-out tracks include Paul Simon’s Latinflavored “Rewrite,” Fiona Apple’s playful “Dull Tool,” and Wilco’s “I Got You (At the End of the Century).”


Super Hi-Fi
Dub to the Bone

This Brooklyn-based quintet put double trombones at the center of its Africa-meets- Jamaica sound. In turns honking and soothing, the horns direct this Afro-dub debut to part skipping ska rhythms, part low-slung dub bass movements. More than half of the tracks are remixes, which if Beverley Road All-Stars echoing rework of the bombastic “Tri Tro Tro” is any indication, are far cries from the originals. While at times slowing down to the point of stoned catatonia, a paced head-bobbing tempo is maintained.
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