MGMT – “Oracular Spectacular”
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/mgmt Listen to Justice Remix of “Electric Feel”: http://www.imeem.com/mgmt/music/Si-wEmSN/mgmt_electric_feel_justice_remix/ Watch MGMT jam it up at the Spinner Studios: http://www.spinner.com/2008/11/07/mgmt-get-excited-on-the-interface/ For me, when I first heard about MGMT I pictured a crazy electronic outfit, similar in style to Justice. But when I finally got my hands on their album, I was thrown for a loop. Yeah there’s plenty of electronic goodness to go around but what surprised me was the heavy 70′s influences. “Weekend Wars” reminds of a song Stanley Kubrick might have used in “Clockwork Orange”.
“Electric Feel” blew up and becoame the stand out track that folks like Justice would take and remix till you couldn’t remix no more. But for me, it’s “Kids” that makes this album a must have. This song makes you feel like getting up out of your seat, getting in your car, driving into the city with the windows down while going only five miles an hour and causing a riot to form in the middle of Boylston Street as the “Kids” start an impromptu dance party.
M83 – “Saturdays = Youth”
Myspace: http//www.myspace.com/m83 Listen and download “We Own the Sky” (Remix by Maps): (Download)
M83 is a master at electronic music who uses a lot of dark and heavy sounds with many of his influences coming from the shoegazer scene made famous by bands such as My Bloody Valentine.
But on this year’s “Saturdays = Youth”, Anthony Gonzalez, the main dude behind M83, decided to take his childhood influences he experienced in the 80′s and turn it into an album. If you know the French culture, especially within the younger generation, you know that a good portion comes from American pop culture. He was watching some of the same movies we were watching by guys like John Hughes (Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club).
This was timely released by Anthony in the summer since this time of year brings about those teenage memories. I had it on heavy rotation during the summer and wasn’t sure how long it would last but I’m happy to say that the sound is not confined to dreamy summertime moments. “Kim & Jessie” as well as “Couleurs”, a rousing 8 minute long 80′s jam, still can be heard kicking through my headphones on the way to work in the morning.
Cut Copy – “In Ghost Colours”
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/cutcopy Listen to and download “So Haunted”: (Download)
Watch the video to “Lights & Music”: http://www.imeem.com/pitchforkmedia/video/xT3jKg4I/cut_copy_lights_music_music_video/ If you’re hosting a party and everyone’s being lame, just standing around, with their hands in their pockets, just pop on “In Ghost Colours” by Cut Copy and let the onslaught of electronic synth hooks take your guests to the next level. That and make sure to throw in some more liquor into the jungle juice.
This Aussie duo definitely put out one of the best dance albums this year. They love revving up the crowd with their climatic sound. They’ll get your feet cruising for the first minute or two of the song then they’ll pull back, let the bass and keys do a little vamping back and forth. They hold on to this vamp till the pressure in the room can’t get any higher and then boom, the drums kick in and we’re off dancing the night away.
Sigur Ros – “Med sud I eyrum vid spilum endalaust”
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/sigurros Download songs from their website: http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk/media/ Stream the whole album: http://widget.nabbr.com/sigur_ros.html I think this release by the Icelandic genius’s, Sigur Ros, didn’t sit well with some folks. A lot of their albums do have a very dark presence to them. Just like their native country of Iceland, who’s winters don’t see much sunlight and the overall landscape is very rough, dark and is mostly inhabitaed by uncomfortable walls of ice. Yet there’s a strong beauty. I’ve never been but Amanda and I hope to visit one of her best friends from college who’s from Iceland. He just had an adorable little baby girl.
While I’d hear about the beauty of this country, I obviously had no personal experience having not visited. Watching Heima, Sigur Ros’s documentary, this passed year helped get us a little closer to understanding the beauty of not only the land but the people. The documentary followed the band around the countryside where they played very intimate, private shows, to all the towns people within various provinces. In one case, they played in a village that had only one official resident.
So it makes sense to me that the follow up album to this DVD/Album, was one that was overwhelming joyful and happy. For the first time, a Sigur Ros album played as a perfect background to the summertime occasions of sipping lemonade and bbq’ing in the backyard.
To Be Continued…