Streamer seems to only work in Firefox. I'll fix that maybe.
Jupiter One – Fire Away
Jupiter One have an impressive array of commercial tie-ins given their freshness. Knowing that they've helped the scores for Heroes and Flash Gordon and advertised Mazdas and EA Sports before listening to their self-titled debut album prepares you for exactly how they sound... Commercial. Coming from a billboard adorned, multicultural hub like New York, they're a band under the weight of influence overload, and most of those influences sell.
The underlying canvas for Jupiter One is a new wave weave of star-wipe synths and punky guitars. Jupiter One sound like they've travelled back to the 80s to battle Devo and The Cars and have brought with them quad-core powered synthesizers, supercomputer guitars and some fancy brand of amplified future-drums. Or, basically what it would sound like if Flood and Brandon Flowers produced a contemporary Talking Heads cover album. There's definite attempt on The Killers style of digitally washed out guitar solos and 30-second-advertisement rhythm sections; the kind of psychological rock that makes you sway around feeling like you're creating nostalgia, and also feeling like you should buy a 7 Up. It's a lot like those annoying advertisements that grow endearing after a while.
Mr. Scruff – Music Takes Me Up
Music Takes Me Up
There's a producer named Mr. Scruff. He's pretty darn white, with a Manchester accent. But that hasn't stopped him juxtaposing hip hop and jazz for some of the funkiest and hottest tracks over the last decade. Probably best known for Get a Move On, the delightfully titled new LP Ninja Tuna – his fourth on the still consistent Ninja Tune label – contains plenty of similar, upbeat lounge hits. Music Takes Me Up kicks off the album with the soulful vocals of Alice Russell riding over hi-hats and jazzy, scruffy funk.
Evil Nine feat. Toastie Taylor– Dead Man Coming
Dead Man Coming
Music since the dawn of time has changed a lot. We've invented ReacTables and we dance around in front of lasers and strobe lights on giant pyramids. A fair change from the lurching around campfires in loincloths and ochre we used to do to simple beats. But the one thing yet to change in music is its most primitive component: rhythm. Drums have a ceiling of sophistication and nothing seems more natural to bop to than a steady, cadenced thudding. Without heavy pounding on different shit, music wouldn't be worth listening to.
This is something Evil Nine know pretty well and 2004's You Can Be Special Too introduced their very simple trademark pounding break, normally accompanied by some sort of post-punk guitar hook and sinister synth. All their works, compositions and remixes, are easily identifiable but it's no criticism to point out their drumming always sounds similar. That's the same as dissing a collection of Monet's because they're all done on canvas. It's what Evil Nine do with a drum beat that makes them successful, layering over it disco synths or lurking dub frequencies or turntablism. One of their best jobs is selecting vocalists with enticing timbres to salt their tunes. Whether it's the NYC grit of El-P, the Taylor Dane wannabe Emily Breeze or Dead Man Walking's reggae monologue from Toastie Taylor they all have one thing in common. They want to be played loud.
Eagles of Death Metal – I'm Your Torpedo
I'm Your Torpedo
Throbbing, crushing bass? Pounding rhythm section featuring big, tribal drums? 170 BPM? Reference to "torpedos". Josh Homme on slide guitar... no, wait, Josh Homme having any influence in the song writing process at all?
Got to be fucking music.
Continue Reading Best New Music - September/October 2008...