CD Reviews: BT, Bare Mutants and Marek Hemmann


BT A Song Across Wires (Armada)

The sonic architect genius that is BT returns with another fantastic offering that should put the big-room formulaic producers to shame. The journey begins with the dreamlike “Skylarking,” then surprises with dubstep elements—exemplifying the way the genre should sound—along with the original electronic songbird, Jes, on “Letting Go.” Each track is another example of innovation (listening to the continuous mix is highly recommended) and collaborations include Tritonal, Emma Hewitt and TyDi. Even the more commercial single, “Must Be the Love” with Arty and Nadia Ali, still retains that special BT stamp of imagination. If he doesn’t get another Grammy nomination (and finally a win) for this one, there’s something wrong with the world. ★★★★☆


Bare Mutants The Affliction (In the Red)

This is a dose of languid rock with just the right amount of fuzz; you’d cue it up for a Sunday afternoon of lounging around listening to records. With members of the Ponys, Mannequin Men and 1900s, the Chicago-based Bare Mutants seem to have channeled the vibe of the Velvet Underground. From “Crying With Bob,” which declares, love (life?) took a dump on me today, to a sadly sweet duet on “Cunt” (they never actually say that word in the song), The Affliction resonates like one of those classic albums people will still be talking about long into the future. ★★★☆☆


Marek Hemmann Bittersweet (Freude am Tanzen)

Flying under the radar—at least to most electronic listeners stateside—German DJ/producer Marek Hemmann releases his latest LP Bittersweet to equally nonexistent fanfare. But this is one of those albums worth digging for. Hemmann brings a warmth to techno, complete with happy little punctuations, while still maintaining those minimal grooves. The tracks “Lindwurm” and “Topper” are perfect examples of his style. It’s definitely not for the newbie listener, but the more seasoned techno, tech house and minimal fans will be bobbing their heads in appreciation of the layers that range from bouncy (“Endless” and “Hooray”) to even stripped-down acoustic guitar simplicity on “Meadow.” ★★★☆☆

Disc Scan

Upcoming on Deanna’s radar …

SEPT. 3: Nine Inch Nails. Hesitation Marks. ‘Nuff said. Also on this date, if you like the New Pornographers, Neko Case releases her solo album with a long-ass title, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. And maxing out any iTunes gift cards you have lying around, one more album to check out on this date is The Silver Gymnasium from Austin, Texas, indie rockers Okkervil River.

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