Booka Shade revamps their percussionist stance again on their newest set, which puts 90% of the emphasis on the beats and hands over vocal duties (for the most part) over to the likes of C. Jones and Yello. Although a couple of the tracks are just too plain weird to call up a proper description, the majority are strong, moody techno-electro numbers like the darkened Regenerate, the new-wave inflected Bad Love, and the synthy background that helps define the disgruntled vocal mumbles of Yellos Dieter Meier on Divine.
Kaskade - Dynasty - Ultra Records
Sticking with an eclectic house-music format for his sixth album, Kaskade adds in a few acoustic sounds for variety on songs like the peppy, guitar-seasoned zing of Fire in Your New Shoes, the uber-danceable Start Again, and the start-stop exchange of Call Out. Highlight Dont Wait continues the acoustic guitar and frosts it with cool, spiralling synths. Kaskades worked hard to get to the top of the DJ heap, and he has; when hes not busy remixing the likes of Britney and Lady Gaga, his own career is moving along just fine, thank you.
LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening - DFA
LCDs first set since their highly-lauded 2007 album, This... isnt necessarily LCDs attempts at a set of hits - as Murphy says himself on You Wanted a Hit - but a collection of tunes thats both self-referential and staunchly new. Pow Pow references tunes by Jellyfish, while I Can Change is reminiscent of the 80s hit Cars; all the beats, though, are more club-focused, with sharp snares and rolling styths, albeit in direct contrast to Murphys aggressive, cantankerous lyrics - an interesting contrast, but its a danceable one.
Minus the Bear - Omni - Dangerbird
Another complex and evasive set from the alt-dance band, Omni is a slow burn of a listen. It may take you several spins to catch on to the sound - but its a compelling one, from the sliding guitars of Excuses to the gaunt keyboards and elusive instrumentals of Into the Mirror and the heavier emo-punk of Summer Angel and The Thief. Mixing the serious experimentation of previous album Planet of Ice and the more commercial side of El Oso, its a somewhat disjointed collection of songs, about half hits and half misses.