CD Reviews: Dirtyphonics, Sasha and Robert DeLong

Bass music/electro

Dirtyphonics, Irreverence (DimMak)

“Prelude (White)” opens with some beautifully impressive tickling of the ivories, as 2013 seems to be the time for producers with musical backgrounds to demonstrate they do more than paint with wav files. Educating the listener continues with “Prelude (Black)” and the full explosion of sound from the French quartet on this fourth LP. The intro seems to condition the ears to appreciate the complexity throughout the mixture of gritty drum and bass, electro and dubstep—complete with featured appearances from Foreign Beggars, Steve Aoki, Modestep and Leila Moss. Irreverence might just be what Beethoven or Rachmaninov would sound like if they were composing electronic for 2013 audiences. ★★★★☆

Electronica/techno/deep house

Sasha, Involv3r (Last Night on Earth)

Is it a mix or original album? Well, both. As opposed to traditional mixes where producers build a set, each track is either a Sasha original or his own remix specifically for this album, which includes his take on songs from Little Dragon, Ananda Project, James Zabiela and The xx. The two CD or three vinyl LPs comes with the main mix of all 12 tracks (one of which is new Sasha track “Shoot You Down” featuring Kick Halmos), plus an extra “beatless” mix of seven of the selections. The highly respected producer once again doesn’t disappoint and dedicated electronic fans should promptly add Involv3r to their collection when it’s released March 18. ★★★★★

Indie electro-pop

Robert DeLong, Just Movement (Glassnote)

Yikes—those vocals instantly made me cringe. But then the awesome beats came in. Dilemma: One-man-electronic-band Robert DeLong has some impressively sick producing and creative live instrumentation skills, but there’s just something about his thin nasal-indie singing—he’s not particularly horrible or off-key—it just doesn’t do it for me. My disdain dissipated a bit three songs in with vocal layering on “Happy,” though a few more instrumental tracks besides the ambient-leaning “____________” (that’s seriously the title) could have been nice to feature that talent, or maybe a better guest vocalist somewhere on there besides the uncredited female on “Perfect.” It’s basically hit or miss with me as the 12 tracks progress. But hipsters will definitely eat this album up—after taking an Instagram picture of it first. ★★★☆☆

Upcoming on Deanna’s Radar …

MARCH 26: If the first single “Heaven” is any indication, the latest album from Depeche Mode, Delta Machine, is gonna be fan-friggin-tastic.

APRIL 16: Speaking of acts I caught at Coachella in 2004, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are back with their next album, Mosquito.