I missed out on seeing the Stones Throw crew when they rolled through Vancouver back in the fall. They were celebrating the label’s 10th anniversary. Too bad for me. At the time they had just released Chrome Children — a look at the label’s present and a glimpse of its future — and Ten Years — a Japan-only label retrospective. As a gift to their fans, they’ve released Ten domestically (pick it up if you want to get an idea of how weird and truely avant the label is) and Chrome Children 2 for free. Chrome 2 is available until 28th of February — get it while you can. Any album that has Gary Wilson, Oh No and Percee P on it is worth buying.
Staying on the Stones Throw kick — kinda — if you blinked you may have missed the release of the Talib Kweli and Madlib collabo Liberation, which was released on the net for free the first week of January. You might still be able to search out a copy if you look really hard. Do so — Kweli’s off beat rhymes combined with Madlib’s off time drum signatures combine like Voltron.
What’s not hard to hunt down is Mickey Eats Plastic‘s People eating tasty People. They’re a production duo from Italy that compose weird, abstract electronic music. Weird and abstract? I’m all over that! They’re offering the entire LP for free — check it out.
Just so you know, I was up on Ratatat before most of these music bloggers. I was also up on their hip-hop remix ep too. So I’m really excited to learn that they’ve got a new remix ep coming out. Should be hotter than your mom in a two piece bikini.
I’ve only recently gotten into French label Ed Banger records, but I’m going through their discography like Donald Trump goes through hair weaves. DJ Medhi’s Signatune (Thomas Banglatar edit) is beyond hot. Just an intense six minute blast of dance-floor carnage. Peep it at Discobelle.
Also at Discobelle, catch a low quality internet rip of M.I.A’s latest single Bird Flu. Jacked from her myspace, the track builds off the dhol to create the bhangra anthem of 2007. Check the vid for total indo-dancehall madness.
***Update*** Catch an even better rip from your boy at Notes from a different Kitchen
Sometimes writing about Canadian music means writing about your friends. This is such a case. The Urbane Decay (the ‘E’ is intentional) are (is?) a collection of musicians — or just one lonely guy — making lonely music for lonely people. The music is a lot better than that description. Hear some of the outtakes from their latest recordings at their myspace page.
I’m going to warn you right now: get on the Thunderheist train — immediately. This Toronto/Montreal duo are going to be huge. They’re like Peaches but with balls (side note: when comparing one thing to another favorably add “with balls” — it always livens up the context). Made up of Toronto based MC Isis and Montreal DJ/producer Grahm, Thunderheist mix Miami booty-bass (act like you know), electro, and a touch of baile funk (look it up) to create some real dance-floor heat. Their website has two tracks, Sulenos Dolces and Horny, up for download. Both are worth adding to your mp3 player and the mix at your next party.
Damon Albarn’s new supergroup The Good, The Bad and The Queen are actually really good. It helps to have former Clash bassist Paul Simonon and Fela Kuti’s former drummer Tony Allen playing the low end theory. Albarn’s political lyrics and a psychedelic mix of rock, dub, and afrobeat create a swirling, downbeat soundscape. Maybe the pop album of the year.