This is an exciting time we live in. The dystopian futures that countless novels depict have finally arrived! A grey, bleak shantytown in the middle of nowhere has become the center point for the Olympics and the strange opening ceremony depicted a jellyfish-creature uprising, a playful mimicking of the people's revolution and a disappointed supreme leader. It was only a matter of time before the Winter Olympics went all Hunger Games-meets-Aliens. This week's round-up of new releases features a glitchy bunch of records fit for survival post-apocalypse.
No matter how much journalists complain about the accommodations in Sochi, there's no stranger place than Hotel Valentine. The title of the latest from Cibo Matto suggests the album's theme. Despite releasing just two albums before disbanding in 2002, the group developed a bit of a cult following. The recently regrouped duo's record shows hope for a promising future. The album's first half opens with stomping beats, wild drumming, searing synths and some of the heaviest bass lines imaginable. "10th Floor Ghost Girl" employs funky guitar riffs, quick style shifting and classic Cibo Matto quasi-dance beats. Towards the end, the album mellows out a bit leading to softer melodies like in the oddly pleasant, "Empty Pool."
Primarily a live DJ, the Norwegian electronic producer Cashmere Cat rarely releases a studio album. In fact, his new Wedding Bells is only his second EP, though his list of remix credits is extensive. The new EP, while only four tracks long, solidly displays the producer's style and intelligent take on electronic music. Blending bright and melodic elements with lo-fi and super-dingy drums and synths, his idiosyncratic take on composition is unexpectedly catchy. He challenges the listener by presenting complicated rhythms, which have a natural groove but not in an overtly obvious way. With unusually pleasant melodies using warped voices and overblown flutes, the title track, "Wedding Bells," explodes as a joyful celebration. Wedding Bells busts with so much life and character that it's a strong argument for "quality over quantity."
Sometimes, as proven by the Winter Olympics, the future's not so bright. The Glitch Mob is back with a new full-length album, Love Death Immortality. They've somehow cornered a very large market with their brand of music that's "not metal enough for metal-heads." The single "Can't Kill Us" isn't even particularly interesting enough to be bad. There's very little happening in this track and, on the production end of things, the album is over-compressed creating nauseating pulsing.
In the event you want to forget about the inevitable takeover of the Mole Men, Ragnarok and the second coming of Christ, there's an album for that. After releasing a successful EP last year, Blondfire has issued the much-anticipated LP, Young Heart. It features the tracks from the Where The Kids Are EP, including the popular "Where The Kids Are." The brother-sister duo's got a firm grip of dreamy, lo-fi indie pop. For them, choruses are a big deal; making the sound thick but danceable like a blanket made from wool and disco balls.