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Craig Leon: Punk’s Forgotten Crusader

By Andy Beta, Contributor

Raised in the swamplands of Fort Meyers, Florida, Craig Leon got his start in the shadow of the famous Miami recording studio Criteria — his little studio handled the overflow. When record companies noted his handiwork in the early '70s, Leon relocated to New York City, where he began to work with the newly formed Sire Records, which primarily imported hit European acts like Chilliwack and Climax Blues Band. Invigorated by the downtown New York… more »

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The Case for the Mini Album

By Keidra Chaney, Contributor

A few weeks ago, electro-pop superstars Robyn and Röyksopp released their highly-anticipated collaboration Do it Again. Written and recorded shortly after Robyn's Body Talk and Röyksopp's Junior, Do It Again packs heartbreak, joy, longing and sex into just 35 minutes. Opening with the 10-minute anthem "Monument" and closing with the moody instrumental "Inside the Idle Hour Club," it sounds less like a loose one-off and more like the concerted effort of a proper band. Tellingly, the… more »

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Lone: Here Comes Treble

By Maura Johnston, Contributor

The British musician Matt Cutler has been making music as Lone since 2007. He's developed a strong aesthetic, pairing big-tent dance signifiers — synths with a bright, metallic sheen, confident beats — with an intimacy that at times assumes a pre-existing bond with even first-time listeners. On his new album, Reality Testing, Cutler adeptly bridges the gap between the dance floor and the bedroom; it borrows boom-bap beats from hip-hop and boasts melodies that sparkle… more »

New + Noteworthy

Recent Albums, Singles + EPs

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Various Artists, Hyperdub 10.2

2014 | Label: Hyperdub / Redeye

Dubstep, funky, grime, UKG, jungle; at Hyperdub, the fast-mutating rhythms of the British underground are rigorously preserved, to sometimes weird and often incredible effect. Hyperdub 10.2 is the second in a four-part series commemorating 10 years of the experimental and essential British dance music label’s existence, and where the first volume was club-centric and dude-heavy, this 14-track release focuses on shimmering R&B reductions (plus a Ghostface Killah cameo) and summery, groove-laden house and grime tunes from some of the best female producers working today.

Jessy Lanza, recently longlistedmore »

Fink, Hard Believer

2014 | Label: R'COUP'D

The spacious beats that occasionally loom behind the songs on Hard Believer hint at Fin Greenall’s former life. The Bristol-raised DJ and producer has collaborated with Zero 7, Lamb, Nitin Sawnhey and even a 17-year-old Amy Winehouse (his track “Half Time” features on her posthumous compilation Lioness) — but Hard Believer is dedicated to somber, lushly orchestrated songwriting, a talent that has led to his curious niche on Ninja Tune. For a man with such a multilayered career behind him, Greenall — together with bassist Guy Whittaker and drummer Tim… more »

Eno – Hyde, High Life

2014 | Label: Warp Records

On High Life, the second of two collaborative albums between Brian Eno and Underworld’s Karl Hyde (the first was the more diffuse and less engaging Someday World), Eno revisits the worldly art-funk that has characterized some of his finest work. Going back to his earliest forays as a producer, especially for Talking Heads circa Remain in Light and David Bowie during his late-’70s “Berlin trilogy,” the often cerebral Eno reconnects to the simpler joys of jamming and letting grooves breathe. Hyde plays guitar and Eno mans the controls, with vocals… more »

How To Dress Well, “What is This Heart?”

2014 | Label: Weird World / Domino Recording Co

Tom Krell, better known as How To Dress Well, has made no secret of his love of R&B. He sampled Soul for Real on his 2010 debut, Love Remains, and interpolated Ashanti on that album’s follow-up, 2012′s Total Loss. He’s spoken at length about how Janet Jackson’s 1997 confessional opus The Velvet Rope influenced the latter. On those records, these affinities were shrouded in a fog of distortion and echo, but his music has grown clearer and more direct over time — like the turning the sharpness knob… more »

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The Mixtape

By Wondering Sound Staff, Contributor

This Month: Mollusk Jamboree Festival The grandeur of California's Big Sur is legendary -- a breathtaking expanse of verdant green hills, roaring waterfalls and the deep blue beauty of the Pacific Ocean. At the end of this month, Big Sur gets a soundtrack befitting its vistas, when Mollusk Surf Shop and (((folkYEAH))) present the Mollusk Big Sur Jamboree. To help get you ready for this fantastic combination of scenery and sound, we've compiled this radio station… more »

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