Aug. 9th, 2006

oneirophrenia: (Two-Tone Ska!)
Here comes an eyeful of hot, spicy words to entice you to get an earful of hot, spicy jams!

I've been seriously grooving on this new collection I got the other day: Erotic Lounge 4 - Bare Jewels. Terrible name for a comp, I know--and the cover art's pretty godawful, too...but a better collection of slow, slinky, downtempo electronica, funk, and jazz you will NOT find this year. "Lounge" collections are generally pretty eclectic, I've discovered, usually mixing tracks that represent house, jazz, lo-fi, funk, etc. into a chilly melange of laidback sounds--and this particular lounge collection is very eclectic, which means it's definitely NOT a boring collection of homogenous music. Some of the tracks do partake, moderately, of the booty jam genre--"Europhone" by Pluto Project, for example, is a surprisingly explicit phone-sex joint that could be incredibly silly except that it has a HUMPIN' beat and a wonderful sax solo--but for the most part, what this CD represents is everything from funky bedroom jazz (Sade's "Lovers Rock") to straightforward electropop ("Sink" by Tanga) a la Annie or Khoiba. I particularly recommend The Strike Boys' "Playtime theme," which--check this out--would TOTALLY be the theme song for Foxy Brown if Foxy Brown had been set in the Year 2132 and Foxy's main nemesis had been a posthuman streetwalker whose afro was a Moravec bush robot capable of dismantling johns into their component albums and building ray-guns out of them. I shit thee not! Get this motherfucker, strip down to your "Home of the Whopper" boxers, and let the funk pound.

The Cloud Room - self-titled album. Do you want pure, uncut Columbian New Wave rockamaroll? Then we GOTS pure, uncut Columbia New Wave rockamaroll! The Cloud Room could best be described as Elephone mixed with My Favorite, or The Editors with a slightly brighter sound and a major Novo Combo influence. Nothing fancy here, folks--just great New Wave rock with a very clean, but very vintage-80s sound. Listen to this album straight through once and then DARE to tell me that it's not still 1982. If you tell me it's not, I swear to christ I'll come to your house and wiss on your sofa. "Hey Now Now" is a wonderful album-opener gracefully followed by sublimely retro tracks like "Waterfall" (the rebirth of the Smiths, I swear), my favorite track "Devoured In Peace", and the sweet, almost Decemberists-esque ballad "O My Love" (which, like anything by the Decemberists, is both pretty and horrendously sad). Seriously, don't let the hipsters with their asymmetrical haircuts and their artfully "aged" t-shirts fool you: this is not a dull, overly-commercialized "indie" rock album--this is slick, heartfelt New Wave music that doesn't in ANY way push the boundaries of the genre or break new ground musically. But if you want good, memorable New Wave, then shut up and get this album. You owe it yourself and to the late, lamented 1980s.

MSTRKRFT - The Looks. It's...like, someone took Daft Punk and Out Hud and squished them together into an electronic dance outfit that is both surprisingly human yet still 100% robotic. THIS IS A BAND OF TERMINATORS, and they have come to terminate the reign of shitty music on the world's dancefloors! None of the arrangements are particularly creative, mind-blowing, or intricate--in fact, most of the songs are pretty basic house tracks with a distinct dance-punk influence (think The Rapture being remixed by Radio 4 back when they were a good band instead of just another shitty indie-rock outfit)--but, damn, they're just so much fun, so bouncy, and so robotic that I just have to give them Four Dancing Berzerk Droids out of Five. (Someone remind me to make a graphic for this someday.)

Cassius - 15 Again. This album really does make me feel 15 again, because it sounds like it should've come out in 1988...if a spaceship full of aliens sent to our planet specifically to study the Funk & Disco Era of the 1970s crashed in London around, say, 1982 and then traded all of their advanced production techniques and synthesizer technology to the Brits in return for a neverending supply of French hookers. By 1988, the technology would've been fully understood and Cassius would've been able to put out 15 again in Actual 1988 instead of Virtual 1988 (that is, 2006). I remember when I heard Cassius' first album waaaaay back in...Idaknow, 1998 or so--it was very bland, run-of-the-mill late-90's electronica. The kind of unremarkable shit that MTV's Amp show used to play. Cassius since then has said, "Man, funk dat!" and, taking a cue from Sagat, asked themselves "Why is it that electronic music has to be repetitive and completely soul-less and boring?" This album is 12 straight tracks of robotified electrofunk make entirely by AI's built by Funkatech Incorporated, Makers of Funky Things to Play With. It's fun, it's very groovy and danceable, it's surprisingly twitchy with a major IDM influence in some places, and yet, it's still a very straightforward pop-electronic album. Worth a listen, especially if you believe that one day Humanity will create a machine capable of getting up for the downstroke.

Basement Jaxx - Crazy Itch Radio. STUPID name for an album, but what a goddamned good album! The story with Basement Jaxx is the same as with Cassius: their earlier stuff didn't impress me one damn bit, but with this album, they somehow figured out the exact frequencies and beats per minute that create sympathetic vibrations in my Funk Bone. "Take Me Back To Your House" is an absolutely BITCHIN' club track that sounds like a house remix of oldskool En Vogue...only with a banjo solo. Yeah, you heard me. Not since The Grid's magnificent "Swamp Thing" or the entire soundtrack of O, Brother, Where Art Thou? has a banjo hit me so squarely in the gluteus maximus. This is a VERY diverse album--even more diverse than the aforementioned Cassius joint. "Hey You" is an INCREDIBLE track with a Turkish/Indian flair that sounds like "Hindi Sad Diamonds" from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack remixed by Panjabi MC--we're talking a jam so sweet it could make even Kali and Muhammud dance! Best of all: it's almost entirely live instruments. The force is strong with this one. But then you got the swanky, jazzy "On the Train" and the M.I.A.-wannabe track "Run 4 Cover"...soon followed up by the sublime "Smoke Bubbles," a slow R&B track that sounds like Beck produced by Jimmy Jam, with Fiona Apple on vocals (actually, it's not Fiona Apple, but some chick who sounds a bit like her).

So there you have it, people! Fix up, look sharp, and grab some of dese platters for your auditory delectation! If you don't, then don't blame me if the Greys laugh at you the next time you get abducted, and you hear Cassius' "See Me Now" or The Cloud Room's "Beautiful Mess" playing in the butt-probe room, but you don't know what it is! It won't be MY fault that the aliens just happen to "forget" the lube, knowhutI'msayin'?
oneirophrenia: (Berzerk2)
Penguin carnage on a Texas highway!

Well...only three penguins were killed--which is still sad, because penguins are nature's coolest birds--but that's still sad as hell. I'd smack the shit out of the motorists who ran over the penguins. Fucking idiots--OPEN YOUR DAMNED EYES. How could you not see a black-and-white bird running around on a highway in all that sunlight?!

However, an octopus was uninjured in the wreck. Hmm. Maybe because IT HAS NO BONES?!?! You could probably toss an octopus off of the USX Tower and it would survive the fall, as long as it landed in a tank of salt water, of course.

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