New Years Eve Guide
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Beat Report, Vol. 3

Electronic Music Reviews

Games (Oneohtrix Point Never & Joel Ford) — Everything Is Working
Released by Hippos In Tanks
Oneohtrix Point Never is the prolific purveyor of refracted light and vast space, and the brilliant mind behind the most sublime synthlines I’ve heard all year. “Returnal” is an easy contender for 2010’s best. The man has a pronounced skill for crafting songs that hardly feel like songs at all, but misplaced thoughts and memories instead, some of them adrift on the subtlest breeze, others glittering on an indeterminate shore at the ends of the earth. Here OPD pairs up with Joel Ford of Tiger City, infusing further psych-ambient sweetness with scintillant beats and dreamy vocal cut-up. One for fans of Washed Out, Aphex Twin, Andrei Tarkovsky and Tangerine Dream.

We Love — We Love
Released by BPitch Control
“Everyone needs a little heartache on the dancefloor.” A philosophy Italian duo Giorgia Angiuli and Piero Fragola no doubt abide by. Inspired heavily by Ellen Allien’s masterful 2003 release “Berlinette,” this rose-tinted, doe-eyed panoply of lullabies and love letters melds gauzy synthesizers and dense, warm beats with lush strings and melancholy, oft-coquettish processed vocals. In parts, it’d be easy enough to believe it’s Miss Allien herself alongside Norwegian songsmith Erlend Øye, but you won’t hear me complaining. For fans of Erlend Øye’s DJ Kicks comp, Apparat’s “Walls,” or Björk’s “Post.”

Modeselektor + Moderat — 50 Weapons of Choice #2-9
Released by 50 Weapons
Berlin never fails to impress. Stalwart techno/breaks fixture Modeselektor and Moderat (the combined forces of Modeselektor and BPitch Control labelmate, Apparat) go one further with the first installment of remixes on the 50 Weapons imprint. Running the electronic gamut, eight seriously smart reworks delve deep into more meditative territory, traversing dubstep, techno, and tribal terrain. A masterful set of remixes — especially noteworthy efforts from T++, Shackleton, and Headhunter — though SBTRKT's soulful rework of “Art & Cash” is well worth the entry fee alone.


Dubbel Dutch — Throwback EP
Released by Palms Out Sounds
On heavy rotation by prominent London house collective Night Slugs is Throwback EP, a three-track tempest of the deepest elastic synthlines, syncopated high hats and floor-destroying bass. Call it what you will — post-garage, new house — Austin-based Marc Glasser’s adept beat treatment resists easy classification. Snippets of old soul-house vocals overlay brisk, propulsive drums, conjuring up a sublime and cunning amalgam of future and past. Three for the floor — solid.

Morning Tools Vol. 5
Released by Sleep Is Commercial
The Tuesday morning commute on a crowded L train. Last night’s sleep left much to be desired. The requisite morning coffee lies at some improbable endpoint — and what’s this? Morning Tools Vol. 5 in the headphones, I find myself wanting to dance. The vaguest thought submits to full-fledged fantasy replete with subwoofers, boomboxes, and a hundred now-ecstatic commuters shuffling to the feverish cadence of Clarissa Hazel Duo’s “Overture.” Morning tools, indeed. Berlin’s Sleep Is Commercial unleash another in a series of well-rounded tech-house compilations with Morning Tools Vol. 5, available for free download. Featured tracks include UES, Francesco Assenza, Clarissa Hazel Duo, and Topper.