Never Better
Release Date: Out Now

If you must file this album under some genre, hip-hop would be most applicable, but P.O.S.’ latest full-length is really just one giant catharsis in which he raps about boredom, recession, oil, Guantanamo, former (underscore that) president Bush… you get the idea. Our man is angry and he lets us know it, while an amalgamation of hip-hop beats and punk-rock guitars wails in the background. This is what happens when an artist writes most of his album from a moving car.

MP3: “Goodbye”

Lars Horntveth
Smalltown Supersound
Release Date: Out Now

On a mellower note, Jaga Jazzist member Lars Horntveth has unveiled another album, and this one is essentially a 37-minute track recorded with 41 members of the Latvian National Orchestra. Meticulously constructed musical arrangements—rife with flutes, strings, harps, and pianos—that could be fitting for a movie soundtrack, or even something like a ballet.

King Roc
Release Date: March

Not quite fit for interpretive dance, but no less conceptual, is this album from former techno/deep-house producer King Roc. So the story goes, Roc gave 4/4 dance music the figurative middle finger a couple years back, then joined forces with Drunkpark’s Seb Godfrey. The two released a series of 12″s, and after that, chopped up and reconstructed those tracks and threw them on this album. Variety reigns here, from luxuriant downtempo to razor-sharp trip-hop beats.

Top Billin
Vice x Bloc Party Mix

Don’t let the title fool you. This isn’t actually a bunch of Bloc Party remixes. While the Top Billin’ crew did rework (quite cleverly) a little bit of the British indie rockers’ music, tracks on the mix are, according to TB member Nenis, “all related [to] Bloc Party, influences and tracks they’ve covered, and of course, cool tunes that are named ‘block party.'” So woven in between Bloc Party are songs by Delta 5, Pylon, La Roux, and others, all of which have been turned inside out on the remix tip.

Mr. Oizo
Lamb’s Anger
Ed Banger
Release Date Out Now

Given that we put Mr. Oizo on the cover of the latest issue of XLR8R, it’s safe to assume we liked the album. Lamb’s Anger marks Quentin Dupieux’s third full-length, and the 17 tracks here are as much rooted in old-school rave as they are in the contemporary electro style Ed Banger is known for.

Last Days
The Safety of the North
Release Date: March 9

Since n5MD’s mantra is “emotional experiments in music,” it follows that most releases on the label are electronic compositions both musically challenging and emotionally stirring. The latest album that Graham Richardson has made under his Last Days guise follows this trend, telling the story of Alice as she and her parents journey to the far north (presumably to some Nordic landscape). The album’s narrative arc unfolds over a blend of warm acoustics, cold electronics, breathy female vocals, and melancholy pianos.

Beat Konducta Vol. 5 – 6: A Tribute to…
Stones Throw
Release Date: Out Now

I recall attending a J Dilla tribute show in 2006—just days after the legendary producer’s untimely death—and watching Madlib sit against a wall with his head bowed in his hands most of the night. Interestingly, the aura that Stones Throw’s most prolific producer emitted that evening was more one of reflection than sadness—something he expresses again on this 42-track offering. With the help of J. Rocc, Madlib sees to it that this tribute album celebrates, rather than mourns, the life, work, and friendship of the late Dilla.

Lorenz Rhode
Motor Cortex EP
Release Date: February 11

The title Motor Cortex rolls off the tongue quite nicely, but that’s hardly the biggest reason to buy this EP. Düsseldorf, Germany-based Rhodes delivers a hypnotic electro-funk concoction in the form of nine tracks, dominated by repetitive hooks and stripped-down synth lines. Remixes by Ben Mono and Minimow&Solo, as well as an instrumental and one cut cleverly titled “Kinky and the Grain,” complete the package.

Carry On, Pretend We’re Not in the Room
Release Date: Out Now

This is Philip Sollman’s debut mix CD under the Efdemin name, and it showcases his taste for minimal beatscapes and refreshingly off-kilter house music. It’s difficult to obey the title of this release though, because, with names like Photek, Minilogue, and Surgeon cropping up on the tracklisting, not to mention Sollman’s skilled mixing, the compilation and its cast of characters is pretty much all you’ll pay attention to.

Glass Candy
Deep Gems
Italians Do it Better
Release Date: Out Now

From the disco-punk-obsessed minds of Ida No and Johnny Jewel comes this collection of b-sides and rarities, a follow-up to 2007’s full-length, B/E/A/T/B/O/X. Rarities discs often mean scraping pieces off the cutting-room floor to form some semblance of a release, and while Deep Gems doesn’t entirely escape that fate, there are nonetheless some very worthwhile moments here. Alternate versions of B/E/A/T/B/O/X‘s “Poison or Remedy” and “Stars & Houses” appear, as well as a cover of Bell Epoque’s “Miss Broadway.”

Pictured: P.O.S. Photo by Dan Monick.