Essaie Pas "New Path (DFA)"
Though he read it 15 years ago, Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly effected Essaie Pas’ Pierre Guerineau greatly. So greatly, in fact, that their latest LP New Path (DFA) is based on that groundbreaking piece of sci-fi mindbending. Atmospheric, cold, a bit paranoid, and something of a puzzle unto itself, New Path is certainly just that for the husband and wife duo, yet it isn’t without a nod to their past work. I know I probably use the term “Carpenter-esque” too much in these blurbs, but it’s such an apt shorthand for the kind of electronic music Essaie Pas are making right now. Chilly synths, dry drum machine beats, occasional otherworldly vocals, this record creates an atmosphere all of it’s own. Escape from whatever city you are reading this in and check out the danceable sophistication of “Futur Parlé.”
Erasure "World Beyond (Mute)"
If you were a fan of Erasure’s last album World Be Gone, then do I have good news for you! It’s back! In POG form. Ok, now that I’ve got your attention with talk of Erasure and Simpsons references, let’s get down to business. World Beyond (Mute), the newest LP from the long-lasting Erasure, is a post-classical reworking of their last LP World Be Gone. The arrangements of these songs have been stripped down to fit the seven players from Echo Collective that Vince and Andy worked with. The result is a sophisticated take on already sophisticated music. This collection of reflective songs have plenty of space here to breathe, and Andy can really dig into his vocals here. Check out the haunting strains of “Oh What A World.”
of Montreal "White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood (Polyvinyl)"
Like a lot of people, the last election cycle effected Kevin Barnes of of Montreal profoundly. Turned him deeply paranoid. But another thing happened. He fell in love. These two opposites make up the backstory for his latest stunner White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood (Polyvinyl). Also, he rediscovered his love of the extended dance mixes of pop hits of the ‘80s. The long versions of songs that you ould only hear if you went to the club. So he set out to make this LP sound like it was the extended mixes of the songs found here. The result is somewhere between Bowie’s Berlin era and extended mixes of Prince’s most beloved albums. Check out the eff-word heavy “Paranoiac Intervals-Body Dysmorphia.”
The Skull Eclipses "The Skull Eclipses (Western Vinyl)"
What a year 2018 is turning out to be for Philadelphia! First, the Eagles win The Super… er… The Big Game, and somehow Philly as an infrastructure has survived. Now, Philly’s own Lushlife has teamed up with Austin producer Botany to supply suits to gameshow hosts. Wait. That isn’t right. They teamed up to form The Skull Eclipses, a ‘90s electronica-influenced hip-hop group. This self-titled debut is sure to please anyone with even a passing interest in hip hop (or pocket squares). Check out the smooth head nodding’ energy of “Gone” featuring Open Mike Eagle!