Creation Rebel & New Age Steppers - Threat to Creation (1981)

this is one of those minimalist, clinical, dark (no horns), and spacey (think PiL) dubs whose influence is felt more in electronic circles (downtempo, trip-hop, dubstep) than in rock. and my god has it stood the test of time - a lot of these cuts could be DJ Shadow or Massive Attack mixes. "Earthwire Line", with its skittering rhythms and off-kilter guitar lines, is a straight up trip-hop song that sounds like an early Air or Beta Band single. the disembodied vocal processing on the title track belongs in a James Blake or Thom Yorke project. closer "Final Frontier" features an ingenious use of the drum track, with the sound envelope constantly evolving and using timbre as the element that pushes the track forward. a ground-breaking and relatively unheralded album that draws a straight line between early 80s music and the "innovations" of the past 15 years of groove-based electronica.

better know a dub-strict!

Capital Letters - Bread and Water (1980)

bonus: a long out-of-print 45 from the sadly short-lived Capital Letters. this isn't dub - it's really fast, spirited, calypso-inflected, and incredibly catchy reggae with bouncy horns and sing-a-long vocal melodies. one of those EPs that i keep coming back to, it never fails to put a big assed smile on my face. if you dig this, check out their only full-length, Headline News, which is a classic in its own right.

cheap school meals, woooah!

Art Tatum & Ben Webster - The Album (2009)

Perfect for a classy night on the patio, pair with cab sauv and a sunset.

A wonderful recording of two greats. Tatum's right hand runs are speedy and incredible as ever. Webster's sound is soothing and soft.


The Skatalites (Meet King Tubby) - The Legendary Skatalites In Dub (1975)

RIP shout to Lloyd Knibb, drummer for dub/ska/rocksteady superheroes The Skatalites. dude was one of the funkiest, most innovative, and criminally underrated drummers of the 20th century, and helped to define the Jamaican ska backbeat. this versatile disc is one of my favorite dub records, with lots of jazz, soul, and funk grooves that will appeal to fans of those genres as well. of course the drumming is awesome, some of the breaks are just... sick, and King Tubby as usual holds it down behind the boards. highly rec'd.

check out "Fugitive Dub"

Yuck - Yuck (2011)

sunny, beachy, quasi-psych/gaze album from London's Yuck that sounds like it should have been made by a band from Cali (it reminds me of The Rentals and That Dog, for some reason). solid rockers with honest, upfront production give way to dreamier and Warpaint-esque slow jams that, for the most part, are little indierock earworms. good music for your summer post-beach-party parties.


Arditti Quartet - Mexico (2006)

finally! i've been digging in record stores for nearly 3 years for this disc from Arditti, my hands down pick for the world's best string ensemble (maybe of all time!). here they play newly written music from Mexican composers that again prove that the best avant garde shit isn't being made in western europe anymore. alot of these tracks are dense as fuck, and it's tough to take in the whole album in one sitting... but if you listen closely and follow the thread of each piece from start to finish, you're in for one rewarding and harrowing fucking hell of a ride. and my man Irvine absolutely capital-Shreds the solos.

if you see their shit in stores, pick it up! it's an investment

David Sylvian - Sleepwalkers (2010)

sounds like a cross between Tim Hecker, Arthur Russell, Beck, and Heathen-era Bowie, which i know makes no sense. i'm not sure if it's pretentious or genius (or both) but check it out, i've never heard anything quite like it before, and i kinda love it (...except the couple spoken word tracks, STOP DOING THAT PEOPLE).

you fucking sleepwalkers, go on and sleep

Sic Alps - Napa Asylum (2011)

i hate to use the terms lo-fi or garage to describe a band... but here's some lo-fi garage rock outta the Bay Area, 22 simple and well-crafted little gems that float by unobtrusively and are somewhat easy to tune out until you start paying attention and realize that these are some pretty rad (Beatles-esque, even) tunes. not as fuzzy or warm as other lo-fi - more brittle, scratchy, and, uh, grindy; short and quick little ditties that rarely get dragged out past their prime, making for a great album to soundtrack your summer driving adventures.

Wasted at church

Robert Wyatt - For the Ghosts Within (2010)

what is this shit? jazz/pop standards (and a few originals) get sophisticated jazz/trad classical/world music arrangements and tremulous vocals on this album that is equal parts haunting and beautiful, like a strange film score with words. at times sparse and delicate, at others lush and warm, with enough touches of the exotic to keep you guessing. enigmatic and weird in the best of ways, genre-bending without leaving its comfort zone (whatever that is), this disc has wormed its way into my regular rotation and i hear something new every time i listen to it.

try track 4 - what the fuck, dudes?!

James Blake - James Blake (2011)

This is James Blake's debut full-length. It received a 9.0 on Pitchork. James Blake is 22-years old. He only began singing on this record, his fifth studio release. The silences on this album are incredible. He is a fan of the xx.

Lose yourself.

Young Montana? - Limerence (2011)

Young Montana? - Limerence (2011)

This is Young Montana?'s debut album. He is only 20 years old. He is from the UK. This is beat music, but different. It's like listening to a sound collage. Very forward-thinking stuff. It's the "fresh slap to the face you have been waiting for."

Really, the music just speaks for itself.

Tyler, the Creator - Goblin [Deluxe] (2011)

Tyler, the Creator - Goblin [Deluxe] (2011)

Tyler the Creator is a member of the alternative hip hop collective from Los Angeles, OFWGKTA. He is the ring leader. His second official album is titled Goblin. It is released through XL. This the deluxe edition, featuring 3 bonus tracks. Tyler raps about hurting women. He sounds a lot like an early Eminem/Slim Shady. There is a lot of hype surrounding the album. Tyler makes his own beats. Nothing he says is to be taken seriously. There will be a show on Adult Swim featuring the entire OFWGKTA crew.

Earl Sweatshirt could not be on the album because his mom said "no."

Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi - Rome (2011)

Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi - Rome (2011)
Rome is a spaghetti western album. It took five years to make. The album was recorded using vintage equipment. It features vocals from Jack White and Norah Jones. It has accomplished many technically impressive feats (like reuniting Cantori Moderni.) Many of the session musicians from the dozens of Morricone scores actually play the instruments on this album. Danger Mouse is often compared to a film auteur. He once said, "I want to create a director's role within music."

Danger Mouse does not play any of the instruments on this album.

V/A - Ultra Chicks Vol. 1: Filles in the Garage!

Not sure of the year on this. Hot French girls singing garage rock with hot French voices. 'Les Filles C'est Fait' and 'Au Secours Aidez-Moi' are especially awesome, but you should listen and pick your own favorites.


V/A - Angola Prison Spirituals (1959)

For anyone who was into the last collection of prison and work songs, you may like this as well.

Taken from one of the most notorious institutions, the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, these songs are as heavy-hearted and intense as those who sang them. Here's a
great review for those who wish to know more.

Have a listen