Gutbucket Sludge Test (Cantaloupe)
Produced and mixed by Jay and Ian Pellici
You want some hip taste in music? Gutbucket is a good name drop to memorize. Playing an at times serialist/at times jazz version of rock ‘n‘ roll, Gutbucket (led by saxophonist Ken Thomson) is an exciting, if not sometimes unnerving, listen. Do you want a good idea to work off of for the next rock band that’s going to bring a ghaytah into the session? Well, here is your preparatory spin.
She Wants Revenge s/t (Flawless/Geffen)
Produced by She Wants Revenge Mixed by Michael Patterson
Joy Division worship ala Interpol? Yes, but not nearly as good as their predecessors. Worship bands are only good for one generation’s worth of displacement — but if that is what you seek then their mimicry is spot-on. Recorded at Perfect Kiss Studios in L.A., the sound is stellar — though the e-drums are placed in too traditional of a space and could use a bit of EQ to curb the subsequent annoyance that arises from listening to this at an audible level.
Capricorns Ruder Forms Survive (Rise Above)
Produced by Mark Bihler/Capricorns Mixed by Mark Bihler/Vitaliano Zurlo
Pensive and foreboding, Ruder Forms Survive benefits from a thick, bottom-heavy production that manages to preserve a dark atmosphere as well as a large dynamic range. Reminiscent of other modern heavy rock bands such as Cavity and Pelican, Capricorns manage to avoid all the “post” nonsense, unabashedly injecting a healthy dose of Sabbath when fit. Largely instrumental (minus a guest appearance from EQ’s own Eugene Robinson), this album deserves a spin from the audio community for the wonderful hi-hat sound if nothing else.
Keane Hopes and Fears (Interscope)
Produced by Andy Green/James Sanger Mixed by Mike Stent
Not a brand-spanking-new album (or a very solid one), Hopes and Fears is nonetheless getting a lot of play in adult alternative circles. Keane belongs to the same sub-category as bands like Coldplay, yet is remarkably different in that they are comprised of only voice/piano/bass/percussion — which makes, from a production standpoint, for an interesting listen, as the mix is similar to many alternative bands, but the piano occupies the space generally reserved for guitars. Plus, you can get sad over past girls to this. We sure did.
Afrika Bambaata Dark Matter Moving at the Speed of Life (Tommy Boy)
Produced by everyone Mixed by everyone + 5
Afrika Bambaata is a hip-hop legend . . . and there are plenty of good reasons for that. Always the innovator (while retaining a sense of retro charm and celebrating the roots of the genre he helped create), Dark Matter manages to merge old-school hip-hop with a bit of funk/psychedelia (think 2 Live Crew meets Parliament). Wielding an incredibly balanced and lively sound, this album allows the listener the opportunity to focus on every nuance, as opposed to simply crushing the backing music with the vocal tracks. Are you producing a real hip-hop album? Here is your blueprint.