Aphex Twin – “minipops 67 [120.2]”
Richard James will be releasing his first Aphex Twin album since 2001 later this month, and “minipops 67 [120.2]” is the first opportunity for fans to get a feel for what he has been up to. The track goes through many stages, from the Daft Punk style robotic voices at the beginning of the song to the mesmerizing humming at the end, “minipops 67 [120.2]” goes through a series of turns that you don’t notice happening until the moment has already passed. If you stop paying attention for a few moments you won’t know how you got to the particular sound, which proves that the transitions are on point and that like his song, even if you miss what Aphex Twin did in the past, the present is just as exciting.
Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me (feat. Kendrick Lamar)”
Flying Lotus is scheduled to put out his fifth studio album next month, and in lthe ead up he has released the Kendrick Lamar assisted “Never Catch Me.” While Kendrick is the current face of west coast hip-hop, Flying Lotus creates a song for him that leaves Dr. Dre and MC Eiht behind, and instead focuses on jazz-infused pianos and drums that regularly get interrupted by handclaps or a guitar solo. The song is a fast-paced journey where Kendrick and Lotus go against each other, seeing who can go faster or express more with their respective instruments. For Kendrick, he uses his words, and they are just as dark and introspective as those on good kid, m.A.A.d. city. For Flying Lotus, he uses a full arsenal of vocal and instrumental harmonies, making sure that every sound he uses has a key part to play. The two are at the top of their genres, and the fact the Drake released a song this summer called “The Catch Up” might mean that we have another great year of music ahead of us.
Julian Casablancas + The Voidz – “Human Sadness”
Though Julian Casablancas’s new project with The Voidz contains the same singing voice and stories that Casablancas and The Strokes became famous for in the early 2000s, the new band is about as far away from The Strokes as you can get. The first offering from Julian Casablancas + The Voidz is an 11-minute epic that explores Casablancas’s voice as an instrument, coming in and out of the song before fading into a guitar, or a synth or an orchestra. “Human Sadness” constantly builds itself up, leading to a different payoff. The band’s first album is out on Sept. 23, and we can only hope that it is as exciting as The Strokes debut, Is This It?
TV on the Radio – “Happy Idiot”
This week, TV on the Radio announced that they will be releasing their first album since the death of their bass player, Gerard Smith. Seeds is set to come out on Nov. 18, and along with the album news they shared the first single off the record, “Happy Idiot.” The song is a fast-paced dance track that feels like it should have been released at the beginning of the summer, but as lead singer Tunde Adebimpe sings: “ignorance is bliss,” and maybe when we listen to this we can pretend that we still don’t have school to think about.