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As the most revolutionary MC of the last 15 years, you'd expect Lil B to divide rap fans. Just like the purists who refuse to acknowledge anything written after the golden age, you can bet there will be folks who never touch anything past 2010 (or...

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Sep 1 2010, 12:00am

 

 


TOTAL SLACKER

 


BAD COP

     

 

 


SWANS

 


ELECTRIC BUNNIES





 


LIL B
Rain in England
Weird Forest

As the most revolutionary MC of the last 15 years, you'd expect Lil B to divide rap fans. Just like the purists who refuse to acknowledge anything written after the golden age, you can bet there will be folks who never touch anything past 2010 (or, more realistically, 2013). I wouldn't be surprised to hear even open-minded rap listeners denounce Lil B's first label release. To be fair, this is not the best place to begin wrapping your head around B. The Based God is manifested a bit too raw for most life forms to process in their mental--most of the record is him half-spitting, half-talking over mediocre new age music. Start with "6 Kiss" or the "Based God" mix tape. Then listen to the tracks "Age of Information," "I am," and "Real Life." Put "I'm God" on repeat until you know what it truly means to be Based.

TOP HATTS
POLLYN FEATURING FREDDIE GIBBS
Shake Out the Other Way
Music! I'm worried about Gangsta Gibbs. When I first heard "What It Be Like" it gave me the sort of clenched-trachea emotional throttling you got as a kid hearing Tupac or Biggie for the first time. His first few tracks were pathologically honest and genuinely scary, as if being from Gary, Indiana, had just autoclaved all gentleness from his soul. At his best he spits with a subdued, lurking violence. Now he's in LA doing canned verses on shitty, down-tempo "electronica." Please Freddie, get back to the terror!

FELLATIO KEYS  


SPACE AGE HUSTLE
3 Years Ahead: The Cloud Rap Tape

This mixtape compiled by the wizened duo responsible for Space Age Hustle makes an excellent primer for anyone interested in the future of rap. Excluding some interstellar calamity, all the artists on here will hopefully be part of the specially-assembled force that finally wrenches rap from its current slave masters to be reclaimed by the Martians and mutants who gave it birth. Not every artist on here will float your boat but that's kind of the point of this sort of thing, right? Provided the term "Cloud Rap" never takes off, this tape deserves audience from anyone interested in rap.

BEN REMARKABLE  
KANYE WEST FEAT JAY-Z, NICKI MINAJ, RICK ROSS, AND BON IVER
"Monster"
self-released Remember back when Jay-Z was ghostwriting for Foxy Brown and ladies like Lil' Kim could have a career doing raunchy raps written by her friends? Neither do I. All I can hear is the sound of Nicki Minaj unleashing her verse like a fucking animal on this track. Hov must really wish he'd stuck to that retirement now. He could be eating breakfast in bed with Beyonce but instead he's being shown up by a lady in an orange wig who calls herself "Barbie." As for the production, it strikes that tricky balance between malevolent and super-catchy. It's the kinda beat that would start playing the moment you realize Charon's lost, drunk, and coked out; paddling up and down the Styx in search of an embankment.

SAM FATTS
           


ARP
Soft Wave
Smalltown Supersound

This is electro in the vein of Goblin, Wendy Carlos, and Tangerine Dream, aka soundtrack music for something particularly artsy and visually pleasing/stoned. The first song has the low thumping synth bassline of an opening credits sequence, possibly involving a sun or suns rising on the horizon. Maybe a caravan approaching slowly? Your call. Then the guitars and fuzzy radio samples kick in and from there it's really whatever movie you want to make of it. Mine's about a society in which centuries of genetic manipulation have done away with the concept of money and disputes are settled by an ancient force of mysterious origin.

TEDDY RAXMUS  
OMD
History of Modern
Bright Antenna Old-Man Dick.

TERRY EASTON
ZAYRA
Baby Likes To Bang
Brando Trying to picture the kind of sad, overly tan suburban 12-year-old/mom who considers this kind of thing "glamorous" is too depressing, so I'll just focus on the kind of car they drive. Fuck this Miata music.

TAETON MAMBO  
KORDAN
The Longing
Last Bummer Records

Smiley Face

This is one of those electronic rock records that's great for putting on when you're drunk and want to feel vaguely sad, but anybody confusing this for shoegaz must be mixing up Emma Anderson with Emma Gaze. This stuff's much better for moping around looking at the ceiling than your sneaks.

ALEX DUNBAR  

             
SWANS
My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
Young God I actually avoided putting this on for fear of how embarrassing it was going to be, but instead of the taking Grandpa's license away moment I was expecting, I was rewarded with Grandpa crashing his Jeep through the house and killing the master vampire then walking over to the fridge and taking out a soda before saying the one thing he could never stomach about living in Santa Clara was all the damn vampires. Which is to say Michael Gira is putting heavier, more emotionally taxing music at my father's age than pretty much any musician of the past decade.

RIP COREY  
ALL NIGHT DRUG PROWLING WOLVES
Make It Right
Gospel of Rhythm The Wolves are like your cool uncle’s bar band that your dad secretly wished he'd be invited to play in, but was too buttoned-down and responsible for. They get extraordinarily beer-drunk when they play and put their arms around each other and sing into each other’s faces and then kiss each other’s moppy heads. You know, really live it up. Make it count. On the music side, sometimes it’s fun to string together the chorus from each song and pretend it’s one huge conflicting song, like this: "I know I’m innocent/ I said I’m sorry/ Gonna make it right/ Maybe tomorrow/ I can’t wait!"

SMELLIS GROANS  
NUDE BEACH
Nude Beach
Mandible Records Nude Beach are an optimistic poppy garage act with a loud screecher on the mic. They're not the future of jackshit but not every band has to save the world. This is a good show-up-drunk-and-have-a-nice-time band.

COLTON SMELL  
VARIOUS ARTISTS
HoZac Hookup Club Round One
HoZac For their fiftieth release, HoZac put out a comp of their first ten singles, which have long been lost to the world of record misers. Flight, White Mystery, Idle Times, Box Elders, Woven Bones, Dum Dum Girls and more deliver twenty-one rad tracks that you will be glad to have all on one record, especially if you are a lazy DJ like I am.

FRILLY-BOY ELROY  
EX HUMANS
Ex Humans
Rob's House There's a part in the Dan Clowes comic Death Ray where a character just getting into punk says "I like this music. It makes me want to kill people." If you are into punk, even just a little, this record should make you want to kill people, your friends, yourself, and every other shitty band and their gutless garbage. Every song is menacing and poppy like "Gary Gilmore's Eyes," but without the part where girls aren't really into it.

JON BALAYA  
JOE HEBERT BAND
I Don't Wanna Be A Preppy B/w First Date
Last Laugh This is a repress of one of those snarly Killed By Death-style bands whose albums cost a thousand dollars to buy if you can even find them at all. The A side is a fun little angry love song about being in love with a preppy girl, an issue as relevant today as whatever grampa decade this was recorded in.

BIFF BIFFINGTON
 
LIMES
Rhinestone River
Goner Limes are some country rockin' guys and country rock sucks pretty much all the time in every way.

ROZ ZAZA
 
PAPA ROACH
Time For Annihilation
Eleven Seven Music


TOTAL SLACKER
Crystal Necklace 7”
Impose

This is a band led by a bowlcut young ponyboy who are running literal circles around all those other reverbed-out surfey-sounding groups and bonking their guitars against the walls of musical limitation as well as actual walls. They used to sell unique, hand burned CDs, each with its own original cover art, but this professionally made 7-inch is even better than those. Mostly in that you can make out all the sounds and words clearly and my computer doesn't barf it out as unreadable half the time, but also because its got their two best songs at present. It's a real mistress to magicians and a dancer to the gods. If you get what I'm saying.

WINKER
NO AGE
Everything In Between
Sub Pop No Age's popularity has always given me one of the most profound sensations of "I Don't Get It" since the advent of Pogs. But I'm totally down with this. No weird time signatures or tempo changes or stoney 20-second stretches of the same two notes--this is just good old-fashioned teenage driving music with a teensy little tad of moodiness. Wouldn't have seen this coming back in aught-seven, but I guess I officially like No Age now. I swear to god though, if this turns out to be some sort of five-year-long "Emperor's new clothes"-style poser test, I'm going to fucking kill myself.

CHELSEA MIDDLESCHOOLER  
GRASS WIDOW
Past Time
Kill Rock Stars The problem with music that involves crazy interweaving instruments and voices and complicated harmonies is that takes musical skill, which means people obsessively learning and perfecting their parts, which means nerds, which means guys who are obsessed with stupid sci-fi crap or dwarves. Girl nerds, on the other hand, aren't into cornball shit, which leaves their amazing brains free to concentrate on making your inner ear do strange and exciting things. At least these girl nerds aren't.

MEGAN BELLAME  
SLEEPOVERS
Secret b/w Sleepover Are Fun, Together Forever
Hozac As you can probably tell from the name, these guys get cute. This is catchy romantic pop with lots of whoa-a-whoas, sung in that whiny vocal style that turns into sonic poison the second you turn older than 24.

SHEILA EGRETS  
DAX RIGGS
Say Goodnight To the World
Fat Possum Damn. This shit is boring. My roommate just asked if I was listening to Pink Floyd. What should I tell him? Fuck, now he's singing "Hello, hello, hello, is there anybody in there?" in a funny voice. Oh man, I'm dying. I can't even describe what it sounds like. Kind of like a really soft Donald Duck, but a little higher? Shit, I've got to go.

BARNABY
ELECTRIC BUNNIES
Pretty Joanna B/w I Swear I'll Never Let You Go
Sacred Bones I can't tell you if I like this record because it has the worst cover art I've ever seen and I'm afraid that might bias my decision.

RECUSE RECLUSE  
CROCODILES
Sleep Forever
Fat Possum It warms my heart to think that while some music blogger is mashing Cool Ranch dust into his keyboard, tutting about how shallow music's gotten these days and how half these melodies are direct lifts from Neutral Milk Hotel songs, the target audience for this will be too busy drinking way-too-large swigs of straight vodka and going crazy in their friend's parents' house, then putting this on while they make out with two girls in the back of the old Plymouth out back to even notice.

UP THE HUNX   This might be the most generic record cover ever. Four sillhouettes of men in front of an explosion. This could be any record, movie, videogame, brand of toothpaste, cell phone, or blue jean. I hate how far the standards of design have fallen. The music's a bummer too but that goes without saying.

LOIS LITORIS

             


MAGIC KIDS
Memphis
True Panther Sounds

This is some seriously polished pop and I love it. It feels like they patched every instrument through the Shine-O Ball-O and hit the perfect middleground between Nick Lowe and a Disney soundtrack. Holy fucking shit this crap is pleasant.

BRUCE LEO
BAD COP
Harvest The Beast
ROIR There's Fag Cop, Bad Cop, Cop Magnet—lotta Cop bands right now. Then there's also Dadfag, St. Dad. Whole bunch of fags, cops, and dads. Not sure what the exact implications of this Freudian band-name pileup are, but these guys sound like khaki pants. Get the fuck off of ROIR until you learn how to be the Bad Brains. If that requires black face, so be it.

CRAPTIC TIMES  
ARIEL PINK
Before Today
4AD In the same way that every Brian Jonestown Massacre record was like a scavenger hunt for 1960s recording cliches, this album feels like it should have come with a little road-trip bingo sheet of 1980s English indie-pop for autistic music nerds to lose their brains over while the rest of us are bugging out, dancing, getting laid, so forth.

CHERRY CRED  
THE VASELINES
Sex With an X
label Like the proverbial father who only realizes how bad his daughter's situation is after discovering her webcam page on slutload.com, I really wish you guys would have reached out for help before resorting to this.

SWARTHINGTON GREEK  
ELF POWER
Elf Power
Orange Twin  
MAJOR ORGAN AND THE ADDING MACHINE
Major Organ and the Adding Machine
Orange Twin Oh Athens, Georgia. Will you ever cease to whimsically-manchild me?

GRETA JOB

           


SYL JOHNSON
Complete Mythology
Numero Group

Great late 60s R&B with a solid message about racism (it's mean), but this guy's got some weird ideas about how to make a boy like you. "Get some salt and pepper and shake it on his shoe"? Um, how about wearing something flattering and asking him if he wants to dance? Sorry if this is insensitive to black culture, but using voodoo to get laid is both desperate-seeming and not a little lazy.

DEL ROY  
VARIOUS ARTISTS
Palenque Palenque: Champeta Criolla & Afro Roots in Colombia 1975 -1991
Soundway Usually these kind of compilations are full of foreigners trying to imitate American rock n roll and failing miserably in ways that American music snobs consider cute. This one's catch is that it's Colombian artists doing afro rock and they're actually pretty great at it. I bet if you bought this and threw it on at a party, that girl you're trying to screw would totally think you're "worldly." Give it a shot.

COMBAK  
LORDS OF BUKKAKE
Desorden y Rencor
Total Rust


TRISTAN PERICH
1-bit Symphony
Cantaloupe Music

This album comes as a CD jewel case with a bunch of simple electronics glued to it. There's a headphone jack, a battery, an on/off switch, a button that skips to the next track, a volume knob, and finally a microchip that performs the music for you. Cute! Tristan also makes these really cheap noise toys that have two modulation buttons that allow you to produce all kinds of different electro rhythms. I know this is exactly the kind of crap all those DIY steampunk kids will jizz their shorts over, but remember, even a broken dick jizzes right twice a day.

ROOTY TOOT TOOT  
THE PSYCHEDELIC ALIENS
Psycho African Beat
Voodoo Funk Academy This is some great afrobeat with funky, funky, funky, funky, funky drums. I ran out of stuff to say about afro rock and afro funk a long time ago.

RAMROD   Is it really too much to ask for there not to be two harsh noise outfits named "[figure of authority or pronounced skill] of Bukkake"? I really don't want to spend my golden years trying to keep the Bukkake Kings straight from the Master Musicians of Bukkake straight from the Lords of Bukkake all just to be able to take my wife out for a nice anniversary concert. Sheesh.

CEZANNE DECYST
 
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