The Friday Album Reviews
This site has been a little too nostalgic of late. These three albums prove that new music – especially new electronic music – remains alive and well at iJamming!
MINOTAUR SHOCK – MARITIME (4AD)
Engagingly eclectic electronic instrumentals by Bristol-based bedroom producer and Badly Drawn Boy/Bloc Party remixer David Edwards, designed for a listening space somewhere between the dance floor and the living room. Acoustic guitars enliven ‘Vigo Baby,’ mid-tempo grooves rock ‘Six Foolish Fishermen,’ cheap Casio-like keys root ‘Hilly’, and purposeful glitches keep listeners on their toes throughout.
Highlight: ‘Mistaken Tourist’ has enough happening to satisfy the most confirmed cynic that electronic music remains vital.
VARIOUS ARTISTS – REBOOT: NOTES FOR THE NEXT GENERATION (Om)
Benefit compilation manages rare feat of raising awareness, hopefully some money, and outdoing most mix CDs for quality. The seamlessly programmed selection of mostly unreleased tracks by Thievery Corporation, Mark Farina, Adam Freeland and the like lean to the soulful side of house, though ‘A Call To Action’ by Jeremy Sole’s Musaics featuring Garth Trinidad starts things of in a righteous dub style. A portion of CD receipts and all proceeds from download sales go to NextAid, which benefits “children in Africa orphaned by AIDS.” No complaints there.
Highlight: Most Reboot tracks feature female vocals, but Louie Vega‘s instrumental ‘Steel Congo’ oozes sex and soul in equally heated doses.
SUBTHUNK – YOU SHOULD’VE BEEN HERE YESTERDAY (Ureneely)
TransAtlantic four-piece defy categorization on danceable but never dumb third album. With Lisa Moore new on vocals, songs include pop-hop (‘Scratch’), a Garbage-reminiscent electronic rock (‘Models In Space’), and a drum and bass cover of ‘When I Get Low I Get High.’ The lack of truly stand-out material doesn’t detract from a high-end experience. And while the group’s long-distance relationships makes Subthunk something of a part-time project, upcoming shows in London town suggest they know how to occasionally crowd themselves into the same room.
Highlight: ‘Burn’s slow tempo, synth-theremin and mournful vocals remind us how much we miss Portishead.