17 Tigersmilk, Android Love Cry
Yes, the title references a cybernetic futurescape, but before alarm bells go off let me assure that electronics are merely the setting here, not the gimmick. Atop the sounds of glitchy, damaged circuitry, the trio weave deft patterns of improvised sound, led by Mazurek’s ghostly horn. The result is something like imaginary sound portraits of a dystopian tomorrowland where ancient jazz lingers, choking forth from discarded soundcards. Or something like that. Dismayed? Don’t be; just listen.
16 Yeasayer, All Hour Cymbals
I don’t know who exactly kicked off the recent flurry of world music-crazed indie rock – maybe Man Man? – but I do know that it’s gaining enough momentum that it may well prove the dominant trend of 2008, lighting up a million music blogs and eating up space on your Zune. There are two aspects to this trend: genuine world music attracting the attention of curious hipsters and band members (think Konono No.1, Tinariwen or vintage afrobeat), and; those same Western kids turning those global sounds inside out. The above mentioned Man Man make sublimely weird and gravel-throated music with a strange afropop edge. In the wake of Antibalas’ success, a hundred Fela Kuti-copping collectives are formed each month.
So why does All Hour Cymbals avoid sinking into the new rising morass? Because their harmonies are airtight, their choruses soar majestically, and sometimes, like on “Wait for the Wintertime,” they sound like Black Sabbath jamming on “Kashmir,” and whether you knew it or not, that’s something you’ve been waiting your whole life to hear.