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La Hell Gang, Thru Me Again

2014 | Label: Mexican Summer

Chile is a country with a long psychedelic tradition, one that spawned figures like Alejandro Jodorowsky, director of the 1970 “acid western” El Topo, and the psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo, whose ’60s work pioneered the use of MDMA in psychotherapy. More recently, the nation’s capital, Santiago, has played home to a number of cosmically inclined bands based around the Blow Your Mind label, including Föllakzoid and the Holydrug Couple — both of whom released fine records last year on Sacred Bones — as well as the trio La Hell Gang.

La Hell… more »

Joyce Manor, Never Hungover Again

2014 | Label: Epitaph

On their last record, 2012′s Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired, the Torrence, California, pop-punk band Joyce Manor crammed nine tracks (including a cover of the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”) into an impressive 13 minutes. Their new release, their first full-length for Epitaph Records, is nearly as quick: Only four of the songs on Never Hungover Again breach the two-minute mark, with the entire album clocking in under 20 minutes. Despite this, never once does a song feel incomplete — the songs, while succinct, still feel… more »

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 »

Landlady, Upright Behavior

2014 | Label: Hometapes / SC Distribution

Upright Behavior, the second album from the bewitching Brooklyn quintet Landlady, has the same cracked-worldview approach as the band’s debut, 2011′s Keeping To Yourself. But this time, frontman Adam Schatz — who’s also the multi-instrumentalist known as Brown Sugar in the equally skewed project Man Man—significantly tones down his band’s goofy vocal mannerisms and choppy garage rock vibes. Instead, Upright Behavior is more like Dirty Projectors or TV on the Radio, digging up the shadowy side of whimsy.

The album’s prickly percussion, clipped guitars and strings sound refracted through a funhouse… more »

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