Letters Letters : S/T
The first track on Letters Letters debut self-titled album starts of sounding like they decided to jack the beat from Spank Rocks ‘What It Look Like’ slowed down to half-speed, mixed with that sound you get when you try to call a fax machine on a tin-can phone. Couple this with lyrics about ‘blow jobs on a park bench’ and getting those ‘bloody hands off of my dick’ and, sadly, you have my attention. Letters Letters is a trio from Montreal comprised of Mitchell Akiyama, Tony Boggs, and Jenna Robertson, all known for their own electronic music explorations. Montreal, I realize, is a heavy qualifier these days; I think that people may even pay attention based solely on side-lipped mutterings of the city’s name, however, this band has little to nothing in common with the big names from that scene (read: Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, etc.) There is one common denominator, though, and that is: pop! Letters Letters write beautiful, sleazy no-wave pop tunes drenched in gritty city soundscapes.
Kano: Cherry picked from the Mixtape and London Town
Kano. So much to say about Kano. So. . . I downloaded the Mixtape back in spring and I was like picking my jaw up of the car floor and that, hitting rewind, just straight shaking my head. I was saying to myself: this is the throw-aways!? This is the shit that wasn’t good enough for the album? No effin’ way! “And for all those sayin’ you doubt me/ can’t even hear what you’re saying about me/ Your on the street/ I’m on the beach/ When I’m on the street/ Your on your knees/ Saying ‘Kano I love your Music/When the next video/I love your new shit.” See, but it turns out the problem is that he probably needed to hear some of these people on the street. That tune on London Town with Craig David is a got damn embarrassment, along with the other 3/4 of the album. London Town is the sound of a top MC choking real hard. Only 3 solid tracks out of 11. This album was the letdown of the year for me, but luckily I had the Mixtape to fall back on, so I chucked out the weak Gorillaz tune and a number of others off that and fitted on the best tracks from London Town, as well as some past hits like P’s & Q’s and Typical Me. Anyway, I hope I can blame label shit on Kano’s proper album flop. It couldn’t have been the record he wanted to release. I’m going to go on believing that, hoping he’ll show and prove next go round. But despite all this, anyone want the hip-hop (grime) album of the year, hit me up and I’ll yousend that shit!
Japanther: Skuffed Up My Huffy
This is the standout Brooklyn band in my book. This album kicks, claws, and scratches from beginning to end. It’s just a relentless party album. Every track has a propulsive forward energy, and from what I’ve scene in pictures, they bring it in a live setting as well. Everything is over-processed and crunchy, there’s too many cut’n’paste samples to catalog, and someone is either living it to the fullest or getting killed some how from cut to cut. My only complaint about this album is that it is so short! These guys have a fairly large catalog, and just about everything I’ve checked is worthwhile.
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM: Sound of Silver
I guess you could say James Murphy is one of my pop culture heroes. For starters, he claims to have read Gravity’s Rainbow like 5 times. That in itself is an astounding feat. Additionally, it signifies a couple of things for me. First of all, it is a testament to perseverance to be able to read such a behemoth one time, and perseverance is, I think, a trademark of his success. I mean, the guy didn’t see any real success until he was in his thirties, long past prime when it comes to becoming a budding pop star. Second, it illustrates his sense of humor for me, a humor that I greatly relate to, and thus, when I listen to his bands songs, they are painted in a certain light that I find deftly humorous, ironic, absurd, tongue-in-cheek, undeniably self-conscious, and finally self-satisfied, and proud. LCD Soundsystem is a rarity in the music industry, making the music they absolutely want to make with no restrictions, and growing ever more popular in the process.