MRR-ADM

MRR-ADM

As San Diego duo MRR-ADM (formerly known as MHE) continue to prep their full-length debut for Now-Again Records, they’ve been funding the home stretch by selling off the last remaining vinyl copies of their stellar 2008 10″ EP over at the Stones Throw webstore. And though the vinyl is now sold out, Stones Throw is still offering the previously difficult-to-obtain EP as a digital download.

This untitled 10″, one of my favorite releases from last year, is unmistakably built around, and centered on, the drum kit. With help from Malcom Catto (drummer and band leader of The Heliocentrics), the beats on the EP are explosive and relentless, pushing the songs into their own intensely rhythmic galaxies while all other elements seem to bend to the will of the percussion. Simultaneously summoning images of Blaxploitation film chase scenes and LSD-laced journeys through space, EP standout “4our” finds Catto’s eyebrow-raising drum work impeccably balanced against bold wah-wah riffage from San Diego guitarist Jeannette Deron. Its constant flood of grimy minimalist-funk, punctuated by only a few moments of respite, is reason enough to pick up this EP. I recommend you do so while it’s still available.

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Download: MRR-ADM – 4our (Feat. Malcom Catto & Jeannette Deron)
Buy: You can download the 10″ EP from Stones Throw for $4.95. Also, be sure to check the Now-Again site for news on their upcoming full-length.

bygones

by gones - by-

Guitar wizard Nick Reinhart of Tera Melos and the ever-prolific Zach Hill are bygones. A small supergroup perhaps, but nonetheless an exciting collaboration for just about anyone who’s paying attention to tech-rock of any form. Their debut record, by-, is a collection of fairly accessible, blistering math jams featuring vocal work from both members. It’s strange pop bent is probably best captured on “Click on That (Smash the Plastic Death)”, which really does sound like some kind of middle ground between Tera Melos’ Complex Full of Phantoms and Zach Hill’s Astrological Straits. But this ain’t no mash-up and if you’re a fan of either you definitely don’t want to miss out on this new record. Plus, the cover art features Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors about to mack on some seriously sloppy cafeteria food. Well, that’s a plus in my book at least.

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Download: bygones – Click on That (Smash the Plastic Death)
Buy: The album is available as a digital download (name your format) for $7, or you can order the CD ($9.99) or vinyl ($12.99) over here.

New Atlas Sound: “Walkabout” (Feat. Panda Bear)

Atlas Sound

Wow, talk about instant gratification. It was just last week that Bradford Cox announced the details for his next Atlas Sound record, Logos, and dropped a sweet gem of info about the record:

I toured for a period in Europe with Animal Collective, whose band dynamic was very inspirational to be around. On the bus, we often played improvised iPod games. We would take turns formulating a theme or unifying concept and then play three songs. The goal would be for everyone to try and figure out the theme. During one of these games, someone played ‘What Am I Going to Do’ by The Dovers. I was amazed at the hook– a weird organ thing with drums and electric bass. I mentioned to Noah [Lennox] that someone should really sample that riff. He agreed and he taught me a little about sampling and matching up beats. This ended up as the collaborative effort ‘Walkabout’.

I had just assumed I’d have to wait a while before I got to hear this OMG-inducing collaboration, but the studio version of “Walkabout” just got upped over at The Fader this morning. The results are as excellent as one would expect with Panda Bear contributing not only sample guidance, but also some dreamy vocal work that unsurprisingly recalls the masterpiece that is Person Pitch.

Logos comes out on October 20th, via Kranky Records. You can peep the cover art and tracklist after the jump.

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Download: Atlas Sound – Walkabout (Feat. Panda Bear)
Buy: No pre-order right now, but keep checkin’ Insound and the Kranky website.

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New Kurt Vile: “Overnite Religion”

Kurt Vile - Childist Prodigy

Today Matador Records reveals the first song from Childish Prodigy, the upcoming record from recent signee Kurt Vile. With washed-out lyrical ramblings, hypnotic guitar drones and repetitive strums, subdued percussion, and a healthy amount of reverb, Vile shows you why he’s nicknamed Philly’s Constant Hitmaker. All ironies aside, I might genuinely concur with that sentiment.

Be sure to check him out on his current tour, dates after the jump. According to Matador, he’ll be touring again soon after the record comes out.

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Download: Kurt Vile – Overnite Religion
Buy: You can pre-order Childish Prodigy as a CD ($12) or LP ($18) over at the Matador Records webstore. Be sure to add the code “childish” for a 10% discount.

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New WHY?: “This Blackest Purse”

WHY?

Yoni Wolf has said that the upcoming WHY? record, Eskimo Snow, is the “least hip-hop thing” he’s ever been involved with. However, if you’re familiar with Yoni’s body of work — from his time with avant-hop group cLOUDDEAD, to his lo-fi folk-rap solo meanderings, to the eventual full-band version of WHY? — you’ll know that he never quite adhered to the conventions of hip-hop.

And yet, “This Blackest Purse” decisively falls into the hushed indie pop half of WHY?’s musical canon. Warm and resigned, this kind of pained piano-driven sway is not an anomaly for the band, but paired with the early version of title-track “Eskimo Snow” that appeared on Tiny Mix Tapes’ recent Darfur benefit comp, this record is playing out just as Yoni described it.

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Download: WHY? – This Blackest Purse

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Download: WHY? – Eskimo Snow (Sock Hop Version)
Buy: No pre-order as of yet, but Eskimo Snow comes out Sept. 22nd on Anticon (U.S.) and Oct. 5th on Tomlab (U.K.).

Phaseone: Thanks But No Thanks

Phaseone - Thanks But No Thanks

Producer/remixer/crunkifier Phaseone — comin’ straight outta St. Louis — has already earned a fair bit of attention for his extensive remix work, including pretty stellar reimaginings of Panda Bear‘s “I’m Not” and Animal Collective‘s “Daily Routine”. Well, just yesterday he made his Thanks But No Thanks full-length available for free via his twitter. Here Phaseone proves that even without source material he’s capable of crafting towering and infectious jams. Follow the link below to get your hands on the album.

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Download: Phaseone – Love Test (Only)

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Download: Phaseone – Tower Grove Joint
Buy: Download Thanks But No Thanks for free over here.

And if you missed them, peep those remixes while you’re at it:

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Download: Panda Bear – I’m Not (Phaseone Remix)

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Download: Animal Collective – Daily Routine (Phaseone Remix)

Mos Def: The Ecstatic

Mos Def - The Ecstatic

It’s no secret that Mos Def‘s last couple albums haven’t been very well received, by critics and fans alike. 2004’s The New Danger was largely a misguided experimental foray into fairly baffling rap-rock territory, while 2006’s True Magic felt like a phoned-in contract-filler for his last required album on Geffen Records. But this year, Mos Def has returned to form with the release of The Ecstatic on Downtown Records, easily his best since his incredible debut Black on Both Sides.

A tempered blend of his more experimental tendencies and a decidedly back-to-basics approach, Mos Def employs a range of excellent production, including a number of gems from the Stones Throw Records camp. And he flips it quite nicely here; the sung passages no longer feel indulgent or overstay their welcome, instead operating as tasteful, off-kilter accents. But, more importantly, Def’s flow is back in full force, so agile and sharp that you might forget that he ever slipped. From the Arabic psych explosion of opener “Supermagic”, to the percussive swagger of “Quiet Dog” to the Love Below-esque R&B-fusion of “Roses” and a welcome Black Star reunion on “History”, The Ecstatic is consistently on point.

“Auditorium” is perhaps my favorite track on the record. Mos Def comes out swinging over some dramatic shit — strings, synth, glimpses of woodwinds, and rattling percussion — and sounds hungry for the duration of the track. And then Slick Rick (the man, the legend) stops in to drop a scorcher of a verse, one of the best on the whole album. It doesn’t really get much better than that… it’s good to have you back, Mos Def.

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Download: Mos Def – Auditorium (Feat. Slick Rick)

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Download: Mos Def – Quiet Dog
Buy: You can pick up The Ecstatic on LP and CD over at Insound or as an mp3 download at Amazon.

Happy Independence.

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Download: Animal Collective – Fireworks
Buy: There’s never a bad time to pick up Strawberry Jam if you don’t own it already.