Little People We Are But Hunks of Wood (Youth & Progress Records)
Do you like DJ Shadow, Pretty Lights or RJD2? Then Little People is for you. I stumbled across the U.K.-based musician (born Laurent Clerc) thanks to a Pandora recommendation, and I promptly put his first album, Mickey Mouse Operation, into heavy rotation for nighttime unwinding. After a six-year wait, We Are But Hunks of Wood continues his instrumental hip-hop with complex nuances, while still retaining a hauntingly seductive quality—minus sampling this time. Each of the 11 offerings have been constructed from the ground up, including an entrancingly dark pinnacle track, “Wonderland,” featuring January Thompson. ★★★★☆
DJ Dan Disko-Funk Odyssey (Guesthouse Music)
Time for a sexy party! The second studio offering from EDM vet DJ Dan is pure, fun disco house. Sure, it’s not overly complex or innovative, but this album doesn’t need to be. Coursing through the veins of the 16 tracks on Disko-Funk Odyssey is the spirit of the ’70s: a time when you could dance to moving beats and catchy-but-not-annoying vocals. What feels like a rebuttal to the music that’s incorrectly dubbed “house” in 2012, Disko-Funk Odyssey comes with offering of horns, percussion and soulful vocal samples. ★★★☆☆
DJ Shadow Reconstructed: The Best of DJ Shadow (Universal)
If it weren’t for DJ Shadow’s ’96 debut, Endtroducing… , I wouldn’t know (and love) electronic music. So listening to Reconstructed is a personal experience. It’s a curated representation of Shadow’s career ability to reimagine emotional, obscure, sample-based, instrumental electronic/hip-hop/downtempo/funk. Reconstructed’s multifaceted groove will suck you in. If you’re digging the album, which includes two new tracks, it’s also available on double vinyl or a sweet limited-edition box set. ★★★★☆
What albums are on Deanna’s radar …
NOV. 13: My eyes almost rolled so far back in my head they got stuck when popular EDM blog DancingAstronaut.com cited Wikipedia as their source for info when researching the identity of Brian Eno after Kaskade mentioned him. Really? Really. Even if you aren’t familiar with the talented artist, let it be known that Eno’s first album dropping in seven years, LUX, is kind of a big deal for music nerds. FEB. 19: If you were looking forward to the album Free the Universe being released on Nov. 6 from Diplo’s project Major Lazer, you’ll have to wait just a bit longer. D’oh!