Aaron LaCrate
Blow Remix EP
Milk Crate
Murdaland’s favorite suspect’s newest EP is so booming, all we can see are asses shaking for miles. Featuring B-more remixes from Scottie B, DJ Equalizer, and a few others, these six tracks will make you sweat–sitting or standing. Buy

Candie Hank
Groucho Running

Candie Hank is fucking crazy. From the frantic antics of album-opener “Invitation To Dance” to the elephant-on-a-tight-rope sonic comedy of almost-closer “Contortion Two,” the latest from Patric Catani is a schizophrenic, wonderfully disheveled mess–but this fun is just as smart as it is silly. Buy


Finally, Slovenia’s Laibach have returned with some more post-industrial, political angst for the dark legions. On Volk, the militant veterans take on national anthems from several countries in a much more mellow fashion to which they’re accustomed. Imagine Mum and Sisters of Mercy at a protest rally–but at 2:00 a.m.–and you’ll get this one. Buy

Rites of Uncovering

Thrill Jockey
“Signposts and Instruments” opens Arbouretum’s Rites of Uncovering with a low rumble–the smooth, deep growl of a bass, and fingers gently fretting a guitar. It’s a subtle start, but the song’s lurch comes off decidedly physical. Then singer Dave Heumann’s round, whole-milk voice cuts through the weighty semi-silence, doing a perfect backstroke through the song’s guts. The best doom-folk record of all time. Buy

It’s damn hard to find a sound of a band that perfectly acclimates to the frustration expressed by the hordes of kids across the American landscape. If we had to choose a group of dudes who’ve taken on the task, the three VietNam members would be it. Their swanky, gothic Americana could bum out the ripest of extroverts. Buy

A Few Empty Chairs

Conjoint flirts with pussyfooting innocuousness, but ultimately stays on the right side of understated chill. Karl Berger’s vertebrae-tingling vibes provide a foundation of subliminal funk that’s like In A Silent Way performed by Nordic introverts–and it’s cool as shit. Buy

The Subjects
With the Ease, Grace, Precision and Cleverness of Human Beings

Pretty Activity
No matter how many decades have passed since the golden age of prog, bands like The Subjects prove that trip-rock can still numb your psyche. While not necessarily an XLR8R staple, these young bucks have combined the driving guitars of power pop and the mystique of ‘70s rock for one hell of a unique experience. Buy

Kingdom Come

Well, it had to be done. The king of narcissistic rap has returned to the game a humble, yet consistent MC. On Kingdom Come, the post-30 rapper tackles his age and maturity over production that’s poppier than ever before. With all of the hype and critical upheaval surrounding old Jigga-man’s return, there’s no denying his ability to turn out sick tracks over and over again. Buy

Bloodshot Mama

Sounds Are Active
In the three-year break since Ear Drung, L.A.’s Bizzart has stepped up his game considerably. Still fighting the demons of his abusive upbringing and his father’s murder, Bizzart’s hybrid of spoken word and rap is complimented by impressive guest spots from Awol One, Yarah Bravo, and Dulak Shaman. From Bloodshot Mama‘s circuit-bent “Stumbling Blocks” to the epically unfolding “Dreams of Sparrows,” Bizzart has unleashed an artful hip-hop record that comes off as totally sincere. Buy

Fad Gadget/Frank Tovey
Fad Gadget by Frank Tovey

As the first signing to Mute Records, Frank Tovey (a.k.a. Fad Gadget) brought an incredibly theatrical element to the burgeoning industrial scene. Other compilations have summed up his electronic repertoire, but this is the first to really go beyond his major albums to examine his career as a singer-songwriter. Check out the two amazing DVDs here, which feature a live Mudd Club show, spots on German TV, and an opening slot on Depeche Mode’s Exciter tour. Essential. Buy

All albums available from Other Music

December 11 Top Ten Album Picks