MULATU ASTATKE Steps Ahead CD
*** "This is the first new solo album by MULATU ASTATKE -- a rich new album of Ethio sounds, perfect for all fans of world music, jazz and the outstanding selling Ethiopiques series."
ERYKAH BADU New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh CD
*** "New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh features lush live instrumentation and taps into Badu's emotional side by thematically focusing on romance and relationships."
DAVID BYRNE & FATBOY SLIM Here Lies Love 2xCD
*** "Here Lies Love' is a 22 song double-disc song cycle - improbably poignant, decidedly surreal, surprisingly thought provoking - about the rise and fall of the Philippines' notorious Imelda Marcos. "
DOUBLE DAGGER Masks EP+MP3 / CD
*** "Visceral, raw, cacophonously loud, yet with unexpected moments of clarity, humor, and revelation, this is nothing but bass, drums and vocals. Sweat drippin'!"
DR. DOG Shame, Shame LP / CD
*** "Dr. Dog have peeled back the intricate arrangements of last album Fate to reveal the raw immediacy of a tight five-man unit honing their craft."
P.E. HEWITT JAZZ ENSEMBLE Winter Winds: Complete Works 1968-1970 3xCD
*** RECOMMENDED "P.E. Hewitt was but 16 years old when he recorded and released in a press of 50 copies his debut. By the time he sold through the 100 copies of this third, he was approaching the ripe-age of 20. The three albums he and his young compatriots wrote, recorded, and pressed are three of the rarest damn-good 70s jazz albums you could ever hope to come across. "
HIGH PLACES High Places Vs. Mankind LP+MP3 / CD
*** "High Places vs. Mankind is straight-up LA: warmer temps and mountain vistas. What can be said about the first can be said about this one: ambitious blending of genres, a rich array of influences...."
JAVELIN No Más LP+MP3 / CD
*** "Javelin throw a party that sees nothing wrong with dropping crooked disco, schoolyard funk, abstract R&B and pitch-perfect pop in the same set." Previous 12" EPs on THRILL JOCKEY were the whip.
JAWBREAKER Unfun LP / CD
*** "2010 reissue of this classic 1990 debut album!"
SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS I Learned The Hard Way LP / CD
*** "Sharon’s raw power, rhythmic swagger, moaning soulfulness, and melodic command almost single handedly stewarded today’s return of soul music to its more traditional sound. I Learned the Hard Way is the 'Daptone Sound' at its best."
JONSI Go CD
*** "Jónsi has spent more than a decade writing epic compositions with Sigur Rós, creating some of the finest, most acclaimed albums of the last ten years. But, there exists a backlog of ecstatic, dramatic songs Jónsi had written that didn't seem to fit within the Sigur Rós context."
ROBERT A.A. LOWE Fazo IV: La Kvalito de Speguloj CD
*** NOW ON CD! "ROBERT A.A. LOWE (LICHENS, SINGER, 90 DAY MEN) constructs haunting, meditative, at times hypnotic rhythms and melodies using warm, bubbling synthesizers. Sonic vocabularies! Emotional landscapes! Includes an add'l 14-minute track not on the limited edition LP."
MADLIB as YOUNG JAZZ REBELS Slave Riot CD
*** "Slave Riot is a rather chaotic affair. While his previous album, Last Electro Acoustic Space Jazz and Percussion Ensemble's Miles Away rambled along at a leisurely pace, Slave Riot guns to top speed almost immediately and rarely lets up its frenetic pace. To put this in a Sun Ra context, think of this as Madlib's Black Mass."
MI AMI Steal Your Face LP / CD
*** RECOMMENDED "A joyful noise at the intersection of vicious high-energy. In this climate, when pretty much every band has some dub records at home and a myriad of musical influences have been rendered mundane, Mi Ami defines itself by turning inward. Twelve weeks of touring transformed Mi Ami from what friends described as a “fun time party band” into a lean, tight, near-telepathic unit, which remains fun. The album is far and away Mi Ami’s finest sounding, and the one which is most aligned with their live show."
MORNING BENDERS Big Echo CD
*** "BIG ECHO is an album made to be played LOUD. It sounds great on headphones. It should also be said that BIG ECHO is made of some of the most glorious pop music you'll hear this year or any year."
NEW HEAVENLY BLUE New Heavenly Blue CD
*** "First time on CD for this 1972 album from the experimental Rock band that incorporated aspects of Jazz, Blues, Classical and Rock into their music. The band features Chris Brubeck, son of Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck."
JACK ROSE Luck In The Valley CD
*** "Jack Rose's 10th album continues the exploration of pre-war American music with a set of brand new material with various groups & a handful of solo pieces. This recording set out to capture the energy and feel of the classic three-track shack recordings by the Wray Brothers & Mordicai Jones."
ELLIOTT SMITH Roman Candle LP / CD
ELLIOTT SMITH From A Basement On The Hill 2xLP / CD
*** REMASTERED & REISSUED. Roman Candle on LP -- about time.
TUNNG And Then We Saw Land CD
*** "TUNNG founder Sam Genders has left the band but they still got: lyrics, vocals, drums, synthesizers, sing-a-long choruses, guitar solos. A new take on British folk music!"
JASON URICK Husbands CD
*** NOW ON CD! "Those well-versed in Baltimore experimental electronics might be familiar with WZT HEARTS. Urick is at a crossroads where his ideas are still experimental in nature, the songs are envisioned as an honest attempt at 'pop'. Ghosted, fragmented melodies, distorted tones and so forth."