Archive for February, 2010

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Lindstrøm and Christabelle – Real Life is No Cool [2010]

February 23, 2010

Album post #27.  Lindstrøm and Christabelle‘s album Real Life is No Cool has sexy vocals, thick beats, and a 90s pop danceability.  The 90s element is most evident in songs like Baby Can’t Stop, the answer to MJ‘s Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough, and Keep It Up, which has chimes that I swear I’ve heard in some Madonna song.  The album feels very personal to me, in part because the songs remind me of my childhood and partly because Christabelle‘s lyrics are so intimate.  The closing track, High and Low, is incredibly warm and personal.

A listening tip: skip the first minute of track 1 and all three minutes of track 9.  I can’t figure why Lindstrøm decided to break up his silky smooth album with 4 minutes of choppy backward vocals.  It really turned me off on my first listen.  I could only find 5 of the album tracks for this youtube playlistHigh and Low is my favorite track by a mile.  Be sure to also check out Aeroplane‘s remix of Baby Can’t Stop (It’s actually better than the original).

source: pfork

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Ben Frost – By the Throat [2009]

February 15, 2010

Album post #26.  By the Throat by Ben Frost.  This one is for the dead of winter.  It’s very dark, very bleak, and frightening.  I imagine it as the soundtrack to a movie in which a man lost somewhere in the Northwest Territories wonders whether he will freeze to death or be torn apart by wolves.  [insertion – In fact, it’d be the perfect album to accompany a reading of London’s To Build a Fire.]  In spite or because of it’s haunting qualities, this album is incredibly beautiful.  There’s something about listening to it that arrests my focus and makes me observe detail in my surroundings.

I’ve embedded a player of the whole album below.  The second youtube video, Leo Needs a New Pair of Shoes, was recorded for a podcast for Iceland radio and ended up being used on the album.

source: pfork

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Hot Chip – One Life Stand [2010]

February 8, 2010

Album post #25. Hot Chip‘s fourth LP, One Life Stand, released tomorrow.  Hot Chip are some self-assumed badass white boys from Britain who love keyboards, synths, and slick beats.  They write love songs about alley cats and bass driven Escalade cruising tunes but never seem to let their pervasive humor detract from their music’s appeal.  At least not for me, even as don’t care too much for humor in music.  It seems that their goal, rather than to be jokesters, is to create fun music and show themselves through it, coke bottle lenses and all.

The first four tracks of this album are awesome!  Listen to the complete album on this youtube playlist or at Spinner for the week.  Hint: to achieve maximum enjoyment of I Feel Better, ignore the auto-tuner part in the beginning for the first few listens.  It grows on you even though you may roll your eyes at another auto-tuned voice.  The beat to that song is so fun.

source: dataless

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Four Tet – There is Love in You [2010]

February 2, 2010

Album post #24.  There is Love in You by Four Tet.  My first taste of Kieren Hebden’s music (a.k.a. Four Tet) was on the Radiohead EP COM LAG (2plus2isfive), which includes Four Tet‘s masterful remix of Scatterbrain.  I instantly loved his creative use of organic sounds and electronic modulations of voices, bells, and other instruments.  I’ve probably played Four Tet‘s 2003 album Rounds about a hundred times and didn’t really expect another LP of his to be that good.

There is Love in You is similar to Rounds in its swirling themes and organic sounds, though it uses more driving and straightforward rhythms and also has a few songs with more direct instrumentation (e.g. Circling).  The standout track is the 9 minute Love Cry, which was released last fall and let us know we should expect something exciting in 2010.  Hebden places this track after the gorgeous opener Angel Voices, and before the dizzy dream Circling, which provides a nice transition to the subtler tracks of the record.  My favorite on the album is the closer She Just Likes to Fight.  There’s just something about it that relaxes me and makes me smile.

Here’s a full youtube playlist, which includes Moth and Wolf Cub from the amazing Burial and Four Tet collaboration of last fall.  I also highly suggest checking out (and downloading for free) Four Tet‘s DJ mix from December, Much Love to the Plastic People.

source: radiohead and dataless