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New Electronica Adds: Kode9, James Ferraro, Murlo

Kode9 - NøthingHyperdub big man (and professor and author of sonic warfare, technologies of lived abstractions, etc.) has released his first solo LP and it's one of my most anticipated records of the year. Thinking about this album conceptually has given me a number of headaches--this album is supposed to be about nothing, but the concept of nothing is different from being nothing. Drones, androids, and robotic sounds are a common theme here... Anyway, without thinking about the intellectual weight of this record, you can still listen to it and appreciate the masterful sub-bass frequencies and the merging of infinite cultural spheres: "horror soundtracks, sampled library and j-pop records into a no mans land between grime, early dubstep and Chicago footwork." One of my favorite things about this album is the revisiting of his tune "9 Samurai" from 2006 into "9 drones"--in which the original human vocals are taken out and replaced by menacing chopped up drum frequencies and atmospheric noise. [spotify link]. CARRIE

RIYL: Oneohtrix Point Never, DJ Rashad, science fiction and thinking about artificial intelligence

Recommended Tracks: 3, 7, 8, 12

James Ferraro - Skid RowOriginally a set of poems about our current state of society and decline, James Ferraro's Skid Row is an intellectual deconstruction (albeit a somewhat heavy-handed one) about society through the lens of Los Angeles. The press release states this record as "appropriately off-putting," which I entirely agree with-- it's like a scrap yard of genres sent through a million reverb channels with James Ferraro's voice rising underneath as the voice of a disenheartened civilian in today's world. That isn't to say it isn't interesting, though; heavily relying on sampling, loops, and effects, cut up voice recordings (police recordings, old gospel recordings), and live instrumentation, this is definitely something to listen to you if you're particularly angry at the state of society. CARRIE

RIYL: Tobacco, Oneohtrix Point Never, vaporwave

Recommended Tracks: 5, 6, 12.

Murlo - Odyssey EPFinally! This record's a light-hearted and energetic one. Murlo's one of my favorite club producers in the game right now, and this record is a perfect one for daytime listening. It's goofy enough to borrow from cheesy UK garage/bassline influences but honest enough that it doesn't sound ingenuine or annoying. Murlo's percussive, sparkling sounds, signature synths and voice samples are so unique and identifiable, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone making anything like his stuff. The harp/piano chords in "Moodswung" to the incredibly goofy whistles and claps in "Furnace" and everything else in this record is so catchy it's infectious. [spotify link]. CARRIE

RIYL: Fade to Mind, Night Slugs, UK grime

Recommended tracks: 1, 2, 4, 8