September 22, 2020

Jinjer – Micro – N Records

By Kristi Kates | Feb. 9, 2019

The Ukranian rock outfit kick off its latest (third) album with first single “Ape” — a rollicking, groove-filled tune that surges through its melody with urgency — and then carries that determined, headstrong feel throughout the rest of this short set. The production here focuses precisely on the band’s aesthetic, with dark basslines and clear delineation between instruments. It’s amped to prime form on that aforementioned first single, as well as on the quieter “Perennial” and hip-hop-influenced “Teacher Teacher.” ** ½

Ultramarine – Signals Into Space – Crepuscule
Ian Cooper and Paul Hammond — aka the duo that is Ultramarine — are back with their seventh album, which they created over three years, working with pop musician Anna Domino on several tracks. Recorded in London with Stereolab’s Andy Ramsay, these psychedelic-electronica tracks filter in jazz components, the sum of which results in a wraithlike, floating quality on tunes like the slow bossa nova “Elsewhere,” the calm pacing of “ … Flint to Clay,” and the upward shift from “Framework” into “Cross Reference.” ***

Whiney – Waystone – Med School Records
Speaking of hip-hop influence, Whiney (electronic musician Will Hine) is back with plenty of exactly that, in a sophomore album that fuses grime, drum and bass, and massive dance beats. He brings in Truthos Mufasa to throw down on “Triple Duppy Demon,” one of the album’s standout tracks, along with the gurgling, rampaging jungle/dangerbass mess that is “The Capital.” Rapper Inja stops by to join Whiney on “Mission”; “Shards” brings in Mr. Porter; and “The Edge” features a stack of ’80s-worthy keyboard sounds. ***

Kero Kero Bonito – Time N’ Place – Polyvinyl
Fans are calling this latest set from KKB more “real” than previous efforts, as it features songs that are more grounded in everyday issues than the group’s former collections, which dealt more with fantasy situations. The same whirling computer beats and electronic-popped garage guitars are present, but now they’re staking their claim to more direct tracks like the synthy “Time Today,” and the brooding “Only Acting” with its Devo-esque shift from quirky FX to radio rock. ** ½


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