... And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
Sounds like: Twenty-one years after their debut, and Tariq and Quest are going strong. Like 2011’s Undun, this one’s thematic and conceptual, but even prettier and full of sick guest spots, especially from Dice Raw and Raheem DeVaughn.
Free association: Their post-modern ruminations on violence aren’t all rhymes and beats. It’s genre transcendence.
For fans of: Jurassic 5/Tribe/De La/Gang Starr/Pharcyde/Mos Def; South and West Philly; triumphs.
Sounds like: The fourth from our Swede heroes of synthpop funk finally gave us something fresh and new! We waited three years after Ritual Union, and their notions of avant pop have not dissipated.
Free association: Word is that Yukimi Nagano listened to loads of Michael Jackson for inspiration. It worked.
For fans of: Brazilian Girls x Roisin Murphy + Caribou and Toro y Moi; the Drive soundtrack + Kylie.
Röyksopp & Robyn
Do It Again
Sounds like: Hooray! Robyn’s working again! The Norway and Sweden alliance of minimalistic dance music is actually a bit more subdued than the remixed singles may have led you to believe. A brilliant EP.
Free association: Just in time for Rehobeth Beach blowouts. This trio knows how to get a party started.
For fans of: Daft Punk with Betty Who; DJ Shadow with Kelly Rowland; Ladytron with UNKLE.
I Never Learn
Sounds like: This Swede is a true artist, and it’s fun watching her evolve. From 2008’s fun and lively Youth Novels to darkly pretty Wounded Rhymes in 2011, we’ll take her in whatever state that compels her to create.
Free association: After catching her at WXPN’s Non-Comm, I’m sold. She’s stunningly talented.
For fans of: Bjork/PJ Harvey/Feist/Bat for Lashes; The Shangri-Las x Beach House; wallowing.
Sounds like: Merrill Garbus is a total whack job, and we love her. The New Englander (Smith alum) used to be a puppeteer, and the video for “Water Fountain” is a bonkers tribute to Pee-wee’s Playhouse.
Free association: The singles are upbeat quirky bangers, but the rest of the album’s got depth and complexity.
For fans of: Owen Pallett x Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors + Sleigh Bells and St. Vincent; hippies.
Sounds like: A sensitive subject for some superfans, but this posthumous collection’s super-fly in my book. Ignore that bullshit J.T./Timbaland remix. Just take it in with an open heart, and you won’t be bummed.
Free association: There’s flavors of every record he’s done on this LP, and it’ll make you snap, tap, move and groove.
For fans of: Diana/Donna/Barry/Steve/Lionel/Luther/Janet; legends treated with delicacy and reverence.