MD’S Pick of the Week
by Peter Melero
Every week, our music staff led by music directors Peter Melero and Jordan Abrams, choose new music to add WVUM’s extensive library. Check back every week for new adds!
In Rotation: Meat Beat Manifesto- Impossible Star
IDM (intelligent dance music) has always gotten a bad rep for being the most pretentious and least humorous of all electronic music subgenres. The latter point is proven wrong simply by producer Jack Danger’s decision to call himself Meat Beat Manifesto while the former point is a little hard to make considering Impossible Star’s laid back production. Yes, it’s filled with plenty of acrid bleeps, bloops and sterile, industrial shuffles but it also incorporates lush waves of synths and hip-hop influenced beats. This is best heard in “We Are Surrounded” which starts as your standard Aphex Twin inspired robotic romp but slowly mellows out once gentile harp strums are laid on top of the beat and a synthetic chorus chimes in to remind us that “we are surrounded.” Impossible Star is about as breezy as IDM gets so just sit back and let your brain do the dancing.
Classic Album of the Week: DJ Shadow- Endtroducing…
It’s hard to overstate the importance of DJ Shadow’s first album. It was the first album to be composed almost entirely with samples, which was no easy feat in 1996 considering his main instrument, the Akai MPC60, had half the system memory of a graphing calculator. Samples were the backbone of Golden Age hip-hop production with producers like the Dust Brothers particularly known for their wide and inventive use of samples. But DJ Shadow knew there was more potential for sample-based production than playing a supporting role for an MC. The meticulous composition of the album paid off when he delivered an album that sits at the nexus of hip-hop and electronic music. He perfects a way to “play” his entire record collection like any other instrument. The album features everything from long moody soundscapes filled with soothing voices and meditative piano arpeggios to organ vamps, breakbeat explosions and colorful commentary on “why hip-hop sucks in ’96.” It’s hard to imagine a world with J Dilla, The Avalanches, Flying Lotus, and so many more sample laden artists without Endtroducing….
Other Adds This Week:
Ty Segall – Freedom’s Goblin
Evidence – Weather or Not
Shells – Shells 2
Nadine – oh my
James Blake – “If the Car Beside You Moves Ahead”
Boyo – Me, Again
Khurangbin – Con Todo El Mundo
Tom Misch – “Water Baby”