Stream of the Crop: 8 New Albums for Heavy Rotation

Albums from Rezzett, Charlotte Day, Starchild & the New Romantic, and Towkio top this week's list of essential new projects.
February 25, 2018, 6:02pm

Every week, the Noisey staff puts together a list of the best and most important albums, mixtapes, and EPs from the week just gone. Sometimes that list includes projects we’ve written about on the site already; sometimes they're just great records that we want everyone to hear but never got the chance to write about. The result is neither comprehensive nor fair. We hope it helps.

Rezzett: Rezzett

The London duo Rezzett have built a hefty catalog of puzzling techno efforts over the last decade, releasing five EPs and a collection of live explorations that established them as experimentalist forerunners of a sort of playfully fuzzy form of dance music. On their longform debut they treat distortion and static as material, wrapping it around off-kilter drum programming and seasick melodies in delightfully weird and surprisingly beautiful assemblages. The tools and sounds are familiar but they collect them in abstract shapes—like trash sculptures that find new forms in dancefloor refuse. — Colin Joyce

Charlotte Day: Stone Woman

Stone Woman is an exercise in toiling in hurt and trying to express it thoughtfully. Much of Wilson’s songwriting has grown on this EP. She looks visibly embarrassed when saying she regrets some of the songs she’s written before. (She says, “I [think] ‘that could have been a lot more meaningful if there was actually more meaning behind it.’”) Her lyrics and thoughts, based on lived experiences, simmer as though they’ve been on the counter in a slow cooker for hours on end, tenderizing. This is one of the more remarkable facets of her work: it’s tender and doesn’t take that for granted; unwilling to sacrifice the beautiful and hard parts of relationships, connectivity, and loss that occur. — Sarah MacDonald, Charlotte Day Wilson Is Organizing the Chaos of Romance

Starchild & the New Romantic: Language

Though Bryndon Cook definitely has a encyclopedic understanding of the last few decades of pop music, his approach to making music as Starchild & the New Romantic isn’t so much R&B history as it is cosmogony. Through wispy guitar lines, eyes-closed falsetto, and the tight thwack of a carefully tuned snare he tells the origin stories of our universe of woe, tapping into the universalities of romantic discontent that have echoed through decades of boogie, funk, R&B, and quiet storm. Of course, named as he is after an interstellar George Clinton character, he’s not content to just dwell on the past. His stories are updated for love in the age of telecommunication, which is good, because new worlds are born every day. — Colin Joyce

Towkio: World Wide .Wav

Chicago rapper Towkio is no stranger to thinking outside the box. Between his debut project .Wav Theory and World Wide .Wav, his latest project, he’s risked his life a total of three times: twice in Mexico and once in Hawaii. He was extorted by Mexican police for just $5 although he’d just dropped off $60,000 of studio equipment, and left the country two hours before their worst earthquake in a decade. In Hawaii, he dangled from a car window by only his legs after his "Drift" video. But this time, Towkio is more concerned about elevation in every sense of the word. So much so that he was willing to be taken almost 100,000 feet in the air strapped to a helium balloon to release World Wide .Wav, a futuristic hip-hop album produced by Rick Rubin. — Kristin Corry, We Talked to Towkio About Going to Space: "Oh My God, I'm In Space"

ADT: Insecurities

Part of the reason that Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker has been such a reverberant cultural document is because of its primal mythos. There is a dangerous and heavily guarded place you can go to grant all your wishes, it suggests, but it might cost you everything. I hear a similar promise in most abstract jazz, that far beyond the grid of traditional Western melody and established rhythmic forms, there lies both the possibility of true transcendence and the threat of utter discord, chaos, and mental ruin. The Chicago explorers in ADT—anchored by the experimentalist Ben Baker Billington and armed with a hefty helping of electronic abstractions—prove on Insecurity that they’re skilled navigators of The Zone. They show off shortcuts between familiar melodies and dive into untrodden wilds with the confidence that they’ll always make it back to a more familiar path. If there is truth here—in the dense thickets of saxophone melodies and guitar leads that tangle around one another like vines in the underbrush—they’ll find their way to it. — Colin Joyce

Che Lingo: Charisma

Since debuting with 2013 mixtape Trillingo, then following up with 2015’s Risk Is Proof and last year’s Better Versions EP, Che’s thus decided his calling card is being honest. He’ll do so about feeling vulnerable, about being into ‘geeky’ stuff, about what life is like as a young black British man—all of it. It’s part of why he’s named his new EP Charisma, which also drops today. “You can tell when an artist isn’t being genuine,” he says, “or is just doing what they’re being told is the ‘right thing’ rather than saying things that matter. And charisma comes from saying what’s true to you, you know? It’s about saying, ‘freedom is scary, ‘I am a fragile person,’ ‘black women are the most socially under-appreciated and ridiculed women on earth.’ That’s facts.” — Tshepo Mokoena, Che Lingo Gets to the Point, Even When It's Uncomfortable

HoodRich Pablo Juan and Brodinski: The Matrix

The French producer Brodinski—once known for gleaming, noisy techno—has spent years since he was tapped to produce on Yeezus endearing himself to a community of upcoming Atlanta rappers with a textured take on trap beat tropes. He’s put out a couple call-all-your-pals tapes featuring the likes of 21 Savage and Young Nudy, but he’s had no better chemistry than with HoodRich Pablo Juan the gruff-voiced, smirking, psychedelic enthusiast at the heart of the ATL institution HoodRich Entertainment. Their EP The Matrix is a continuation of the ecstatic work they did on “Weekend” and “Dead People,” seven tracks that go a long way to establishing Pablo Juan as one of rap’s most endearing braggarts. There might end up being more hilarious deliveries this year than the gleeful, bouncing ball melody in which he sing-whispers, “I got ice on me / I got money on me / I got bitches on me / I got designer on me / I got my gun on me,” but I wouldn’t count on it. — Colin Joyce

Turnstile: Time & Space

Signing to a major is a move that has slain plenty of hardcore bands, but instead of cleaning up their sound like those before them, they’ve gone all in on their most alienating elements. Time & Space is Turnstile’s most openly ambitious release, still peddling youthful exuberance as if it was their stock in trade, while baking in even more gleeful sections that will only further alienate their detractors. Clocking in at just over 25 minutes, Time & Space is still a hardcore record, but it boasts full-on R&B interludes, production from Diplo on “Right to Be,” massive keyboard lines, and a kind of progressive bent that most hardcore bands would get booed off the stage for even attempting. Take “Big Smile,” the second song on Time & Space, which devolves into a psychedelic bridge full of flanged drums and effects-laden spoken vocals. You’ll know in that moment whether you’re in or out, and that feels completely intentional. — David Anthony, Turnstile Are Here to Save Hardcore, LMAO JK They Don’t Give a Shit

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