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Essential Sounds (2010/07/10)

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Fear not fellow music lovers for I am back after my slight absence, I have returned to do what I do best. Yes I am here to syringe your ears with the best cuts of new music this wonderful world has to offer. This is Essential Sounds, this is the soundtrack to your week.

1. Don’t Turn The Lights On by Chromeo

Kicking us off this week is the Canadian electro funk duo Chromeo, it seems like a lifetime ago since they delivered their seminal album Fancy Footwork. But fret no longer for they have returned with a very solid and fresh sounding single which boasts a rattling bass line somewhat akin to that of Michael Jacksons “Wanna Be Starting Something”. Strangely enough Chromeo indeed are starting something here with a song which clearly holds the 80’s close to its heart. Yet with shimmering synth work similar to Kraftwerk and an eerie swelling of glass pads “Don’t Turn The Lights On” truly is a mixed bag of magic.

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2. Lets Get Lost by Beck & Bat For Lashes

Surfing on the current crest of unique collaborations the world has been treated to this offering from Beck and Bat For Lashes. On paper it seems as if the pair might not work well together but upon hearing the track its obvious to see the duo click together on every level. First of all the core strength of the song lies within the understated percussion and the vocal delivery of Natasha Khan (Bat For Lashes) this alone creates a very haunting atmosphere which is evolved further by the presence of Beck. The combination of both voices makes for a distinct cocktail of sound which seductively slips underneath the listeners skin. Seeing as the track was recorded for the recently released Twilight Eclipse soundtrack it seems as if this is a one off but fingers are crossed for the pair to work together again.

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3. I Need Air by Magnetic Man

Anybody looking to dip their toe in to the ever expanding pool that is the Dub Step scene could do no wrong by checking out my third recommendation for this week. Magnetic Man is essentially the All Stars Team of the genre, consisting of super producers Benga, Skream and Artwork “I Need Air” is the latest offering from the group and in the eyes of Essential Sounds is an instant classic. With a rhythm that moves along with mechanical precision and alternating keys and synth leads the song cuts through the listeners brainwaves like an audible version of cult classic arcade game Ikaruga. Despite the on par and versatile instrumentation its the vocoded vocals which is the synthetic heart of the song. Magnetic Man have not only delivered an essential sound but a glimpse into the future, and the future looks beautiful.

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4. Albatross by The Besnard Lakes

From the opening bars of sickly sweet shoe gazing guitar tones the psychedelic journey that is “Albatross” by The Besnard Lakes begins. With rumbling drums and the enchanting vocals of Olga Goreas we are sucked into a blissful and sun kissed world of summer loving. The vocal harmonies give this number a cosmic like beach boys feel which burns out into a kaleidoscopic progression of brass instrumentation. This is very much the indie sound of Summer so if your in the absence of sunny day’s slip this number on and slide away into a sonic paradise.

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5. Your Body Is A Machine by The Good Natured

Imagine a middle ground between La Roux and Florence and The Machine and you’re likely to find The Good Natured. Up beat and up tempo there is an air of mystery to the sweet delivery within Your Body Is A Machine. It’s joyful enough to be a mainstream hit but yet its mixed bag of instrumentation gives it musical credence. Ranging from almost like tribal like drum patterns to indie disco guitar riffs and overlapping harmonies. This is a dangerously infectious piece of indie pop which could make even the coldest cynic sparkle with happiness. You have been warned this lady will bleeding through speakers across the country before you know it.

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- Mal Foster

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