Nicolay Here BBE
Straight from the Netherlands comes hip-hop’s biggest up-and-coming producer, Nicolay. Here is the debut that’s had the hip-hop world buzzing and there’s no denying the hype. Having already collaborated with underground icons Little Brother, Nicolay is sure to make some noise stateside with this LP.

F.S. BlummSummer KlinMorr Music
Somehow, F.S. Blumm’s mellow pastoral songs gravitate above the threshold of ambience and melodic-IDM that’s often present in a majority of Morr releases. With roots in free jazz and even a little folk, this is a great addition to the label’s ever-expanding catalog.

Alias & TarsierPlane That Draws A White LineAnticon
Is it possible for experimental hip-hop’s most unpredictable producer to create anything ordinary? If you’re waiting, don’t hold your breath. Alias & Tarsier’s new EP contains an ethereal blend of rainy beats and soothing vocals that seemingly come from nowhere. Featuring remixes from Odd Nosdam and Boom-Bip, these art songs shred.

Robin GuthrieEverlastingDarla
Following his very well-received full-length Continental, Guthrie’s new EP glistens with the same melancholic textures present on his work with the Cocteau Twins, Harold Budd, et al., but this time around, he’s brought some newfound epic power. At times heavy, dissonant, and discordant, this is a truly charming EP.

London SinfoniettaWarp Works & Twentieth Century MastersWarp
Over the past few years, the acclaimed London Sinfonietta has performed sell-out collaborative performances with artists that have transcended time and conventions, turning their electronic tracks into avant-classical compositions. Featuring custom tampered pianos and profound live energy, this two-disc set is nothing short of impressive. Check the Aphex covers first.

Benoit PioulardPrécisKranky
Given Benoit Piolard’s history for atmospheric electronics, his use of acoustics on Précis leaves us floored with an unexpected, but totally realized dark folk record. Utilizing a host of different analog (or at least analog-sounding) effects, Pioulard has mastered his craft and style.

DamselDistressedTemporary Residence
Hella’s Zach Hill has taken to collaborations like nobody’s business. This time the math-rock master has found his match with avant-jazz guitarist Nels Cline (Wilco). Comprised of four extremely noisy, cluttered, and jazzy percussive compositions, Distressed has inched its way under the XLR8R staff’s skin, for the better.

VisionariesWe Are The Ones (We’ve Been Waiting For)Up Above
Once again 2Mex, LMNO, and crew showcase their eclectic lyrical skills over the head-nodding, soulful beats of Rhetmatic. Killer songs that sound like summer abound; this is by far the group’s most matured collective effort.

Home VideoNo Certain Night Or MorningDefend Music
Blending the charming guitar stylings of Pulp and the like, Home Video’s minimal electro Brit-pop is infectious, to say the least. At times reminiscent of really poppy new wave, No Certain Night Or Morning is destined to stick in our heads for some time to come.

The Album LeafInto The Blue AgainSub Pop (pictured)
Jimmy LaVelle is one hell of a talented musician. Having collaborated with Sigur Ros, The Black Heart Procession, and a whole bunch of post-punk bands (to say nothing of his turn in Tristeza), Into The Blue Again finds the songwriter at his most intimate and comfortable. Serene piano leads and Boards of Canada-esque drum programming make this one of Sub pop’s best releases this year.