Peter and the WolfLightnessThe Workers Institute
The Workers Institute is infamous for pushing the orbits of new music by releasing records from Sigur Ros and Johann Johannsson, and Peter and the Wolf doesn’t fall far from WI’s commitment to releasing credible, avant-garde masterpieces. Part lo-fi, pastoral folk and part eerie country, Peter and the Wolf has set a new standard that could only be described as experimental, backwoods campfire music. In other words, this is rad.

VariousLabel SamplerSmooch
When it comes to gloomy bands from Denver, Smooch Records has got the entire game on lock. This haunting compilation showcases tracks by Andrew Douglas Rothbard (Slaves, Pleasure Forever), Jay Munly and the Lee Lewis Harlots, and 16 Horsepower amongst others. This is post-goth history from the mile high city.

KlaxonsXan Valleys EPModular
Is it posssible that Modular’s posterboys Wolfmother and Van She will have a run for their money? Probably. From the same school of !!!, Tussle, and Hot Chip comes Klaxons. With a promptly poppy flair and just the right amount of funk, there’s no doubt that Xan Valleys will have the same effect on the kiddies as their contemporaries.

OuterspaceBlood BrothersBaby Grande
Widely known as partners in crime with Philly’s murder rap icons Jedi Mind Tricks, Outerspace is the sound of urban despair and pestilence. The dark, melancholic beats of executive producer Vinnie Paz will surely have you moping around the slums of the mind with a feeling of hopelessness rarely heard in contemporary hip-hop.

Big SirUnd Die Schiesse Andert Sich ImmerGSL
It’s been a while since Sonny Kay’s GSL imprint released something as melodic and funky as Big Sir. Featuring really pretty female vocals, lots of wah effects, and grooving basslines, this will have fans of James Brown , Can, and Cocteau Twins psyched. God bless these tripped-out, German risktakers.

VariousWhat It Is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves (1967-1977)Rhino
Back in the day, not every funk and soul gem made it to the charts, and that’s the premise behind this gorgeous four-disc set culled from the vaults of Atlantic, Atco, and Warner Bros. Records. Lesser heard soul giants like Clarence Carter and Artie Christopher share disc space with The Meters’ heavy trunk funk and Eddie Hazel’s inspired rendition of “California Dreamin’” for a wondrous ride through one of American music’s most overlooked eras. Check out the very limited compendium box of 25 original replica 45s to follow! Hotness!

Gang StarrMass Appeal: The Best of Gang StarrVirgin
Guru and DJ Premier set the standard for MC/producer teams in hip-hop, regardless of mainstream or indie classification. On Mass Appeal, the overlords at Virgin Records are giving the duo’s jazzy hits a rebirth with 21 songs that’ll remind you just how far hip-hop has come since the glory days.

Out HudStreet DadKranky
It’s been four years since Out Hud’s Street Dad was released and it’s still as innovative and moving as it was nearly half a decade ago. If this isn’t a part of your archive, we suggest you get down, because this was way ahead of its time.

The Future Sound of LondonTeachings From the Electronic BrainAstralwerks
There is no need for introduction. The Future Sound of London has easily been one of the forerunners of the digital revolution, having created some of the most archetypal electronic music of the last 15 years. Not only has the band released some of the most influential ambient singles of the past two decades, but they helped spawn a generation of experimental acts that have made electronic music the powerful force it’s become today.

My MySongs for the GentlePlayhouse
My My is a wild enterprise. Hailing from the night wilds of Berlin, the sometimes threesome, sometimes solo project makes glitchy house tracks that exemplify the way dance music is supposed to sound: dynamic and filled to the core with bounce. Between the collective’s use of crazy samples and pads panned from all angles, dancing will not end.