July’s 90 Tracks:
* *My Life in Rooms* by Barzin
Featuring Tony Dekker from Great Lakes Swimmers, this is a moody, ethereal masterpiece. If Mazzy Star had had a male singer, they’d have recorded this album.
* *Krush* by DJ Krush
What you typically get from Japan’s DJ Krush is funky, loungy, (mostly) instrumental hip-hop. A few of the tracks on this album (his second, but the first release to ship in North America) have guest vocals, but it’s largely what you’d expect from DJ Krush. Krush is solid, but the high points (for me anyway) are the short tracks that splice the longer stuff together – think of them as martini lounge versions of Chemlab’s sutures.
* *The Flowers of Hell* by The Flowers of Hell
I saw The Flowers of Hell when they opened for My Bloody Valentine in Toronto. I’d missed their introduction, so what I saw was a huge band, doing orchestral arrangements in the vein of Spiritualized. I had to troll for concert reviews to find out who they were. Glad I found ’em, ‘cuz the album’s amazing.
* *Wavering Radiant* by Isis
I first heard Isis and Pelican at the same time, so I always associate the two. Fairly or not, I think of Isis as Pelican with vocals – equally heavy, equally capable of (as AllMusic’s William Ruhlmann puts it) dark majesty, but with vocals. Another solid effort.
* *The Warmth Inside You* by Mark Van Hoen
Mark Van Hoen is probably best known for his ambient project Locust (not to be confused with speed metal band The Locust). This solo album from 2004 shares a lot in common with Locust, but isn’t quite as danceable, nor quite as space-filled, but it is more experimental and daring. I’m digging it. The sweet vocal samples do wonders for me.
* *Autoimmune* by Meat Beat Manifesto
Maybe the best thing Jack Dangers has done in a decade. Drawing inspiration from experimental, techno, dub, hip-hop, even industrial, this is one towering monster of an album. *Highly* recommended.
* *Double-Crosser* by Seabound
Dancey, catchy synthpop. If you like VNV Nation, early Apoptygma Berzerk, or Wolfsheim, this’ll be right up your alley.
* *Spiders, Aether & Rain (The finest works of…)* by Trance to the Sun
Trance to the Sun were one of my favourite darkwave bands of the 90s. I saw them play with Toronto’s long-defunct Thrive and Lycia more years ago than I care to recall. This compilation distills what made them awesome, and why I still miss them.
* *The Natural Order of Things* by Trespassers William
I don’t even listen to Trespassers William albums before downloading them anymore. Gorgeous melodies topped with Anna-Lynne Williams’ exquisite voice are a guaranteed sell for me. *Having* remains my favourite album from Trespassers William, but this all-too-short EP runs a close second.