From Here We Go Sublime (Kompakt)
Inheritors of My Bloody Valentine’s kingdom of stompbox bliss tend to be in electronic music. That’s not so weird, considering that the rock band mainly used programmed beats on Loveless after the drummer broke his arm. Sublime is a bit like an update of Loveless: Stockholm’s Axel Willner (a.k.a. the Field) surfs glorious shimmering waves of distortion on a bed of minimal beats. It might sound obvious on paper, but Willner does it with extraordinary hypnotic warmth on tracks like “Sun & Ice.”
after dark + Blueprints (Fiche Music)
We profiled Chicago’s microfilm when the duo was bypassing record labels and releasing its tunes straight to the ’Net. Now, they’ve remastered their debut full-length for CD and added a remix disc. While a few tracks are slightly busy, the guys nail the techno synth-pop hybrid on the glitchy banger “Sex Education” and the loungey electro of “Young Adult Fiction.” The remixed versions range from the expansive (Soundhog’s “Inhibitions”) to chugging aggro techno (Monologic’s “Versus”).
Skeletons & the Kings of All Cities
Lucas (Ghostly International)
Formerly known as Skeletons & the Girl-Faced Boys, Matt Mehlan and a rotating crew of musicians (drawn from Chicago and Queens) could safely be filed away as a more electronically inclined Animal Collective. Here, on the band’s sophomore long-player, it leaves no instrumental stone unturned, throwing skronky brass up against glitchy beats and synths and weaving string sections in with Afro-beat-derived guitar wobble and China cymbal punctuation. The result can be fabulously proggy (“Don’t Worry”) or infuriatingly precious, (“The Shit from the Dogs”). Either way, Radiohead has some homework to do.
VA/mixed by Jamie Jones
Get Lost 02 (Crosstown Rebels)
The London-based Crosstown Rebels label is stealthily reclaiming dance music for moody, cosmopolitan futurists. On this second mix in the series, British DJ Jamie Jones conjures an illicit after-party with a heavy-breather from Cassy, bumps it up with tech-house from Tanzmann and Stephanic and quirky tracks from Larry Heard and Dennis Ferrer. It never boils over or gets predictable; it even closes with a minimal Latin nugget from Crosstown Rebel John Keys.
VA/mixed by G-Ha and Olanskii
Sunkissed (Smalltown Supersound)
Norway’s indie dance scene has been germinating magnificiently for over a decade, and for the last eight years, Oslo’s Sunkissed party has been the focal point. This mix disc attempts to wrap up all the past and present in one breezy, galaxy-surfing statement. It’s crammed with space disco from innovators Mental Overdrive and hotshots Bjørn Torkse and Lindstrøm, but also finds that electro from DiskJokke and remixes of space rockers Serena Maneesh are required to tell the story. Geography isn’t as important as sonic brotherhood, as “Whistling in Tongues” by South African Felix LaBand fits right in.—John Dugan