CD Reviews

Synthesized, KU:PALM, Coldharbour Presents: KhoMha


Junkie XL, Synthesized (Nettwerk)

Not all electronic music has to be about the four-to-the-floor big room club tracks as Junkie XL proves once again. Continuing his masterful almost-one-man-band live instrumentation with a rock edge, his sixth studio album is punctuated by danceability while still retaining a unique flavor. There are also collaborations with Tears for Fears’ Curt Smith on “Not Enough”; “Love Machine” with Tommie Sunshine; and even rare excerpts of spoken word from Timothy Leary. Synthesized is a journey in pushing the boundaries. It’ll appeal to fans with an appreciation for intelligent electronic music. ★★★☆☆

What We’re Buying

1. Led Zeppelin, Celebration Day
2. Deftones, Koi No Yokan
3. Rihanna, Unapologetic
4. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city
5. Soundgarden, King Animal
6. Lana Del Rey, Paradise
7. Gary Clark Jr., Blak and Blu
8. Kid Rock, Rebel Soul
9. Gaslight Anthem, Hold You Up
10. Weeknd, Trilogy

According to sales at Zia Record Exchange on 4503 W. Sahara Ave., Nov. 19-25.

Drum and Bass

Photek, KU:PALM (Photek Productions)

Are you tired of the same EDM sounds prevailing in the scene? Try Photek’s first full-length album of new material in more than a decade. With a subtle sexiness from the opening “Signals,” the veteran of the intelligent drum-and-bass scene then dips into everything—including a bit of breaks, some dark techno/tech house and some dreamlike piano moments. Standouts include the groovy down-tempo “Pyramid” and melodic dark dubstep on “Sleepwalking.” On the concluding track Photek teams up with Ray LaMontagne on “This Love” for a surprisingly unusual, yet fantastic, collaboration. ★★★★☆


KhoMha, Coldharbour Presents: KhoMha (Armada/Coldharbour Recordings)

Full-length original artist albums are becoming rare in the electronic-dance-music world thanks to the shift to individual track releases. The compilation from Colombian producer—and DJ Times’ America’s Best DJ Markus Schulz protégé—KhoMha features multiple offerings from other artists throughout the mix. Even better, five of his original tracks are also highlighted amid a knack for creating a successful sonic listening experience from start to finish. Beginning with the beautiful darkness of his production “The Origin,” his trance-tastic club hit “The Dark Knight” and “Vapor” also appear on this album perfect for hyping you up with musical caffeine during an open-highway road trip to the next festival. ★★★☆☆


Upcoming albums on Deanna’s radar …

DEC. 7: Amsterdam-based duo 16 Bit Lolitas gear up for a techy two-CD artist album Warung Brazil 2012. DEC. 11: The Green Day album trilogy will finally be complete with the release of ¡Tre! on this date. FEB. 5: If the moody indie rock of 2012 wasn’t quite doing it for ya, the Eels are back again when Wonderful, Glorious drops.

Suggested Next Read


Concert Review


There’s been a growing trend in recent years of bands eschewing the traditional hit-packed concert format in favor of playing an album in its entirety. It’s a marketing strategy that’s as brilliant (“Hey fans, come hear songs you haven’t heard live in decades—if ever!”) as it is dangerous (“Oh, shit, do we know what we’re doing here?”) That danger quotient is multiplied when the set list features not one, but two albums.