In this edition, blippy ’80s-style electro bemoans unrequited love, swaggering rock offers brutal dishonesty, freaky beats reminisce about sugary treats, Portugal gives us the party jams, and in the biggest shocker of all, a hip-hop producer may enjoy marijuana.
1. Lo-Fi Fnk – “Want U” (from Kitsune Maison 6)
This track from the juggernaut French electro label combines a retro-rave piano line with deadpan neo-80s vocals for a sound that’s somewhere between Madonna producer Stuart Price and Cut Copy, then, halfway through, it seems to de- and re-construct itself. Sure, as the lyrics say, “you can’t make someone want you,” but you can sure make them like your crazy tune. (mp3 from Ohh! Crapp)
2. Eagles of Death Metal – “Anything ‘Cept the Truth” (from Heart On on Downtown)
These Eagles have always seemed like a junk-food dalliance compared to Josh Homme’s other project, the meat-and-potatoes (and, uh, drugs) Queens of the Stone Age. The new album is a mixed bag and often descends into eye-rolling raunch-camp, but when it gets a little serious, it takes on the strutting groove of the Rolling Stones. (Stream at Last.fm)
3. Tobacco – “Hairy Candy” (from F***ed Up Friends on Anticon)
People call this kind of music “druggy,” but to me it just seems awesome, although I’ve always said I may just be naturally stoned. Tobacco is apparently one guy, a member of Pittsburgh freaks Black Moth Super Rainbow (whose 2007 album Dandelion Gum is also great). Friends was recorded way out in rural Pennsylvania, and while its noodly synth melodies may owe something to Boards of Canada, this is gritty and organic music, a nature walk with a kooky 70s soundtrack. (mp3 from Penned Madness)
4. Buraka Som Sistema Mixtape
Angolan/Portuguese mutant musical trend kuduro is characterized by an uptempo beat and syncopated snares inspired by carnival music, and Lisbon’s Buraka Som Sistema are the current leading purveyors of its celebratory sound. For an introduction to the genre, check out this quick little 20-minute party mix that just leaves you wanting more, and also maybe booking a trip to Portugal. (mp3 via Pitchfork).
5. Madlib – “Yo Yo Affair Pts. 1 & 2” (from WLIB-AM – King of the Wigflip on Rapster)
Hmm, “You bring me up when I’m down/Take me to there to higher ground.” I’m starting to get the feeling Madlib may be smoking weed. Also, the intro tribute to “marijuana forever” kind of gives it away. If it didn’t, this woozy neo-soul backing track would make it clear: the electric piano chords wind around hypnotically as the beat seems to follow just a half-step behind. Dude, pass the Cheetos… (Listen at YouTube)