Here are five of the more notable CDs that recently crossed my desk. I usually try to mix up the genres, but it just so happened that my favorites this month ended up mostly on the electronic side.
Meat Beat Manifesto: Answers Come In Dreams (Metropolis Records)
The 12th full-length MBM album is dark, foreboding, and more minimalist than recent efforts. Primary bandmember Jack Dangers offers up synth and sound-design explorations that could be the soundtrack for a desolate sci-fi movie that takes place on a deserted industrial planet.
Watch MBM's video of the song "Mnemonic."
¡Mayday!: Stuck on an Island (¡Mayday! Music)
Deft production and excellent songwriting highlight the second full-length album from this Miami hip-hop collective. There are myriad musical influences at work on this very accessible and prodigious 19-song collection.
Here's a download of the song "I'll Be Gone" from Stuck on an Island.
The Octopus Project: Hexadecagon (Peek-A-Boo Records)
Pulsing, enveloping electronic instrumental textures and a cornucopia of synth sounds are featured on these eight instrumental tracks. It was recorded in the band''s Austin, Texas, home studio.
Download the song "Fuguefat" from The Octopus Project's Hexadecagon.
Easy Star All-Stars: Dubber Side of the Moon (Easy Star Records)
Pink Floyd''s Dark Side of the Moon has inspired many covers, including the Easy Star All-Stars'' 2003 reggae version, Dub Side of the Moon. The Easy Star All-Stars released a live version in 2006, and now they''ve put out a remix version.
This is an excerpt from one of two "Time" remixes on the album, this one done by Easy All-Star regular The Groove Corporation.
Beats Antique: Blind Threshold (Antique Records)
Electronic and world-music styles are fused on this self-produced record. Mixing acoustic and electric instruments, the songs sound both authentic and modern. Check out the guest appearance by John Popper on harmonica on “There Ya Go.”
Download the song "There Ya Go," which features Blues Traveler's John Popper's virtuostic guest appearance on harmonica.