Its almost obligatory, but ultimately pointless, to compare 50 Cent’s new album with Kanye’s. The two have very different approaches: ‘Curtis’ is far darker, a frequently over-the-top playa/gangsta genre piece. The production is uniformly great (e.g. ‘Curtis 187’ with its low-slung Wu Tang style beats), and there is guest talent to burn (Mary J Blige, Eminem, Akon, JT).
ipod essential – Peep Show feat Eminem
Some Other Country
Probably Swayzak’s best album yet, Some Other Country is a neat distillation of their distinctive sound: melodic vocals layered over spacious, glitchy house. There’s an even mix here of song based tracks (‘Smile and Receive’, ‘No Sad Goodbyes’) and more abstract
instrumental pieces (‘Claktronic’). Helps make up for the fact that one-time minimal maestro Luomo has apparently lost his mojo.
ipod essential – Silent Luv
Felix Da Housecat
Virgo, Blaktro, and the Movie Disco
Play It Again Sam
Felix is back with another concept album, one that sees a shift towards the poppier, more radio friendly sound that is often present in his dancefloor tracks. Plenty of great eighties synth sounds (especially those bouncy ‘Fade to Grey’ style basslines), updated to today’s production standards, with a brief detour towards a harder techno sound at the end (‘Tweak’). Recommended.
.ipod essential – It’s Been Such a Long Time
Unearthed by Ninja Tunes veteran DJ Food, this rare late sixties psychedelic rock/funk gem was so full of potential breaks and samples the label did a full album reissue. The result will interest more than just hardcore psych trainspotters. Who could dislike a band that sings earnestly, ‘I can’t believe that hate is real /love must be the truth’…?
ipod essential – Food for Your Soul
Aussie dance trio touted as the hottest new dance punk electro crossover act since the whatever last one was. Their debut album, an amalgam of synthy post-punk and big beats with the occasional prog flourish, is certainly intriguing but doesn’t quite deserve the hype. A few tracks, like the infectious, Bowie-quoting ‘Into the Galaxy’, stand out. Only okay.
ipod essential – Tombstone
Greetings from Vogeltown West EP
Stinkbuzz Recording Co-op
Understated and beautifully packaged EP from a three-piece featuring former members of Wellington acts Short and Marineville. The EP contains four well-written indie rock songs with wordy but engaging lyrics and distinctive bass-driven arrangements. The closing title track sees the band venture into atmospheric, textural sonic jamming, to good effect.
ipod essential – One Foot Follows the Other