April’s EMusic

I’m perpetually grabbing my 90 tracks at the very end of the download window. I should really get my act together, or else I’m sure I’ll miss a month. Anyway, this is what I’ve grabbed this month:

My love for all things shoegazer is well-documented, so I’m predisposed to liking this, Air Formation’s third album of ringing mellow sheen. Not quite as awash in reverb as their predecessors, Air Formation nonetheless capture the feel of 90s dreampop effortlessly. The album ebbs and flows from huge pounding songs to quiet introspective ones seamlessly, never wearing out it’s welcome. Certainly Air Formation’s most highly polished effort yet and well worth the download.

I grabbed this one on the strength of a track I heard on the RegenRadio podcast, but that may not have been the best decision. Generic industrial beats with B&D themed spoken vocals make this a rather forgettable album. It’s like a cross between SOW and a less techically skilled Genitorturers. That said, the standout track, “Head Fuck (Remix)” is really good. Grab the one song, skip the rest.

It’s been a long time since I saw Fjord Rowboat at the Drake Hotel in Toronto. Since that time, they’ve released their first album (in 2007) and are on the verge of releasing their second. The first single, Even You Out from the forthcoming album can be found at the band’s website. This album totally evokes early Ride – you know, when Ride was insanely great. Turn it up loud, and huge shimmering waves of chrome pour out of your speakers. This is music to be experienced.

Limp is the collaborative project between Jonas Munk of Manual and Jakob Skott of Syntaks. Predictably, it sounds a lot like the Manual & Syntaks album, Golden Sun. This is, in every way, a good thing – lovely sweeping melodies with bits of glitch and pop.

One of my greatest disappointments in the world of music has been the relative silence from the members of Cocteau Twins. Liz Frasier has yet to release her solo album, Simon Raymonde has released only one solo album and Robin Guthrie, well, Robin Guthrie has at least kept busy. Two albums with Violet Indiana and a string of solo albums and EPs through the years. This 2009 EP is 18 minutes of mellow electronica that seems to be exactly what is described. Pretty, relaxing instrumentals that just melt the stress away.

Industrial/EBM pioneers X-Marks the Pedwalk return from a long absence with their first album since 1996’s “Drawback”. This album marks a stylistic shift away from the cold electronic sound of old with a more modern-era friendly style of electronica. Many tracks are still eminently danceable, but this is a softer and more emotionally accessible album than the X-Marks of old. I’d missed X-Marks, and I’m glad to have them back – this album is a terrific return from an equally terrific band.

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