DJ Shadow’s Shadow

December 26, 2010

If someone is able to explain to me how Flying Lotus produces his records, I’ll give you a dollar. They’re arranged in a way that calls to mind the improvisational nature of jazz, but you get the feeling that each sound is so meticulously placed that if one screw came loose, the whole record would dissolve into chaos. It’s as if DJ Shadow were abducted by aliens, lived on a funkadelic spaceship for a few years, then returned to earth. No surprise that dude has John and Alice Coltrane’s blood pumping through his veins.

Take Computer Face for instance. Shit starts with an off-kilter dubstep beat that congeals into a hypnotic/bionic groove before almost spiraling out of control at the end. It’s like Organ Donor for the new millennium.

MmmHmm is so breezy that I almost forgot about the impending blizzard that’s supposed to turn New York into a snow globe tomorrow. Almost.

Computer Face

MmmHmm

Make Warpaint not War

November 2, 2010

I like girls that sing. They’re pretty cool. And a lot of the badder music I’ve heard lately has featured girls singing lead. Relax, this is by no means a qualifier, but merely an observation from a dude who grew up on Mobb Deep and Wu Tang and counts Toro Y Moi, Washed Out, Atlas Sound, Flying Lotus, etc., amongst my favorites of the year. But when I hear a great record fronted by a woman, I get extra jazzed, because it’s outside my normal wheelhouse. Plus there’s the underlying sexual intrigue. Nah mean?

So in addition to the previously mentioned Best Coast, Tennis and Glasser, I’m digging Warpaint. What’s not to love about a group led by three LA girls…called Warpaint. Count me in. Combine killer bass, ethereal/detached vocals and some jangly, darkish rock instrumentation and you get a formula that kills shit, on the “I’m too cool for you anyway” tip.

“Undertow”

“Warpaint”

“Elephant”