This Just In: Alternative Electronics

The other day a random walk-in customer asked me to recommend new music to him. He said it didn’t matter what it was, as long as I thought it was good and was something I actually listened to. I picked out a handful of things and began to describe them. A lot of what I chose was electronic-based. As I described each record, he kept reiterating “No, I don’t want dance music.” I really couldn’t get through when I tried to explain that “electronic” doesn’t only mean “dance.” This post is dedicated to him. Oh, and don’t forget the long list of new releases, reissues and restocks at the bottom – “dance” and otherwise.

Botany – Lava Diviner (Truestory) LP:
“Though texturally inspired by early new age records like Iasos’ Inter-Dimensional Music, and sample-based collage ventures like Colleen’s Everyone Alive Wants Answers, Lava Diviner (Truestory) is reinforced with a robust percussive backbone. Botany, otherwise known as Spencer Stephenson, never resorts to shallow MPC trickery or contrived mixtape clumsiness. Instead, his proto-new age textures float elegantly atop a primal boom-bap pulse to paint a detailed, rhythmic mural that has the scope of a ‘70s prog rock epic. Loosely a concept album documenting a religious sect that prays for a volcano to erupt, Stephenson set out to make a kind of instrumental storybook of an album, using only the emotional tone that his theme might evoke. The volcanic sense of release is palpable. Lava Diviner (Truestory) easily moves past stale tropes of beat-based music, and brings to life a fully-realized, album-length outpouring of profound human emotion.” –Western Vinyl


Gardland – Syndrome Syndrome 2LP:
Syndrome Syndrome is Gardland’s debut full-length album. Its timely release captures the fever pitch of Gardland’s off-kilter electronic music at the tail end of the group’s first year.

Assertive, though ‘elegantly wasted,’ as they describe it, Gardland is the laboriously cracked energy exchange of Alex Murray and Mark Smith. The duo solidified the young partnership during a psychedelic desert excursion far from their urban dwellings in Sydney, Australia. Over a ten-day stretch, Murray and Smith recorded hardware based wigouts with neither boundary nor fear of judgment from the godheads that loomed ominously over the lysergic liturgy.

If linearity in techno / house is the convention, Syndrome Syndrome avoids flat-lining in its spiral and fractal formations. The beats here don’t ‘drop,’ they appear erratically in uncertain quantum logic. The harmonic architecture forms cavernous canopies in place of metronomic melodies, while the convulsive human hand lays tonal tile that may or may not crumble on contact.” –RVNG Intl.


Son Lux – Lanterns LP:
“Equal parts producer and composer, Son Lux (aka Ryan Lott) bridges an unusual gap between old-world music discipline and next-level experimentation. Meditative but heaving with energy, Lanterns finds a peculiar congruency between futuristic soul and ancient sentiment. Driving orchestral pop (Lost It To Trying, No Crimes) is placed alongside haunting minimalism (Pyre, Enough Of Our Machines), often starkly juxtaposing densely layered arrangements with Lott’s intimate voice.

In recent past Son Lux has gained notoriety both for his s/s/s project (with Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti), and for being named NPR’s ‘Best New Artist of the Year.’ His third full-length album, and his first for Joyful Noise, positions Son Lux at the helm of an impressive ensemble of instrumentalists and singers, including Chris Thile (The Punch Brothers), Peter Silberman (The Antlers), DM Stith, Lily & Madeleine, Darren King (Mutemath), Ieva Berberian (Gem Club) and yMusic (Dirty Projectors, Bon Iver).” –Joyful Noise

Other electronic, organic and in-between new releases, reissues and restocks…
Arcade Fire – Reflektor 2LP, 2CD
At The Drive-In – Relationship Of Command LP
Audacity – Butter Knife LP
Autechre – L-Event 12″
Bardo Pond – Peace On Venus LP
Beach Fossils – What A Pleasure 12” EP
Beat Happening – Jamboree LP
Bonobo – Days To Come LP
Brad Laner – Nearest Suns LP
Coathangers/Audacity – Adderall 7”
Crocodiles – Crimes Of Passion LP
Darkstar – 01484 12”
Dean Wareham – Emancipated Hearts 10″
Diane Coffee – My Friend Fish LP
Dinosaur Jr. – Dinosaur LP
Doris Duke – I’m A Loser LP
Explosions In The Sky & David Wingo – Prince Avalanche… LP
Gayngs – Relayted 2LP
Gold Panda – Half Of Where You Live LP
Haim – Days Are Gone LP
Jason Molina – Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go LP+CD
Jimi Hendrix – People Hell and Angels 2LP
Knife – Deep Cuts 2LP; s/t 2LP
Land Of Kush – The Big Mango LP
Laraaji – Two Sides Of Laraaji 2CD
Lily & Madeline – s/t LP, CD
Mac Demarco – 2 LP
Miles Davis – Sketches Of Spain LP
Mount Kimbie – CSFLY Remixes 12”
Mumford + Sons – Sigh No More LP
Neo Boys – Sooner Or Later 2LP
Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left LP
Nick Lowe – Quality Street LP + CD
Northern Haze – Sinnaktuq LP
Operation Ivy – Energy LP
Outkast – ATLiens 2LP
Pharmakon – Abandon LP
Phosphorescent – Muchacho LP
Russian Circles – Memorial 2LP
Shigeto – No Better Time Than Now LP
Sleep – Dopesmoker 2LP
Swamp Dogg – Gag A Maggot LP
Soft Metals – Lenses LP
Sons Of The Morning (Prefuse 73 & Teebs) – Speak Soon Vol. 1 LP
Southern Culture On The Skids – Dig This LP
Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane – s/t LP
Thundercat – Apocalypse 2LP
Tom Waits – Mule Variations 2LP
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Blue Record 12”
Upset – She’s Gone LP
Weeknd – Kiss Land 2LP
Weird Owl – Healing 2×10”
White Denim – Corsicana Lemonade LP
Widowspeak – The Swamps 12”
Wilco – A.M. 2LP; Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2LP
Wild Nothing – Empty Estate 12”
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – Uzu LP
Zombies – Odyssey + Oracle LP