MR. 76ix - Hits Of 76ix
This is actually released by Autechre's Skam label (who, lest we forget, were the first to discover Boards Of Canada) who's catalogue is now available for download via Warp's Bleep site. Other labels are gradually being added, with the promise of Ninja Tune pitching in shortly, but I digress.
This year I've sort of got used to having my mind blown on a weekly basis. The sheer quality and quantity coming out of the electronic leftfield at the moment is staggering. More stuff than I actually have the time to write about, unfortunately. But this album by Mr.76ix needs to be honoured, worshipped and generally bigged-up forthwith. I have absolutely no idea who this guy is, but clearly he's gonna be big news before long. Imagine a creative entity that is a composite of prime early-'90s Aphex Twin, Authechre at their most seductive, Squarepusher mash-up (with occasional Amen break death-rattle destruction) and latter-day LFO synthetic purism. Yeah, he's that good. I lack the fucking intellect to do a decent review of this one. Just get hold of it immediately.
TEAM SHADETEK - Burnerism
This is some strange shit. Team Shadetek are a duo from NYC, but definitely NOT disco-punk bandwagon hoppers. They might possibly be in the Tech-Hop camp, but only in a peripheral satellite sort of way. The thing that strikes me most is the clunky, unsyncopated beats which mess with my nervous system and make me feel all rigid. Then there's the bass sound, like some ancient Casio keyboard preset and the general feeling that these guys dare to programme where other sequencers fear to tread. A glorious, sticky, viscous mess of useless funk. Original. Admirable. More, please.
!!! - LOUDEN UP NOW
The more high-profile recent NYC group release, but I'm a little underwhelmed. The single and b-side from last year were shit-hot, suggesting that !!! were the ones to save discopunk from a premature creative cul-de-sac by raising the game to a more expansive, freeform plateau. I'm not saying it's bad album, just that only about 50% (including aforementioned single) is great whilst the rest is simply adequate. The Darkness's crown has not been toppled yet, but, christ, the potential...