One time when I was in Tokyo last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to experience ... the Organ Bar. The place is literally smaller than a hole in the wall (the capacity is maybe 30 tops), but it is so cool. It's owned and operated by Sunagawa T. and -- I think -- Konishi Yasuharu (of Pizzicato Five fame). Regardless, Konishi-san has a major hand/stake in the place.

The night I went I actually got to meet the founder of P5! That was very exciting. In addition, though, I met Chabe (AKA Cubismo Grafico of Escalator Records), and a exceptionally pretty ex-model who now goes by the name Caede. Her debut album, Queen, was released recently on Escalator Records and was produced by Chabe!
Enough with the side story.

I really dig this record, and I know that all of you who remember the old days at BiBaBiDi -- when I posted a lot more Japanese stuff -- will dig the tracks, too.
They've the bounce and poppieness of recent Cubismo tracks, but they're clearly Escalator's attempt at putting their own idol out on the market. I don't think it'll ever get there for them, but this is a very nice try. Queen is delightfully poppy, occasionally more contemplative and blue, and just beautifully produced throughout. If you're looking for ten nice and clean pop songs with a little bit of dance and a little bit of electro-pop in the mix, Caede is your girl.

Now if only Yukari Fresh released something new ...
Caede - I Know You Well Baby
Caede - C.A.E.D.E.
Caede - The Bed Only Knows

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Moto Boy

moto boy
Songs I Wish I Had Written, a Swedish pop label, has been behind many spectacular acts ... from the Lovekevins to Unarmed Enemies. The music on the label is consistently poppy and melodic and oh-so-charming, and I can't ever get enough of anything that's synthy and dancey. Clearly, Songs I Wish I Had Written is the label for me.

The newest release is Moto Boy. How to describe him? Hm ... imagine Antony (of Antony & the Johnsons) doing electro-pop with dancier hooks and beats.
Moto Boy has a very floaty, sweet voice, and in this case, I think it works perfectly. I bet he's super theatrical and dramatic when performing, but hey, good stage presence always spices up any show.

Get down to -- and then be touched by -- the new song, "Blue Motorbike."
Moto Boy - Blue Motorbike

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I recently came across this very cool Swedish electro group (it's really just one guy, though), Familjen and guess what? I like them!

One quirkier thing about Familjen is that Johan Karlsson (the one guy in the studio group) sings solely in Swedish! You never hear that anymore! It's always English these days! So I appreciate his willingness to stick to his mother tongue and work it from that angle.

Last year Familjen released an EP (some of the songs are below or up on the MySpace page), and that whet my appetite, but this forthcoming album on Adrian Recordings/Hybris sound spectacular. This is electro pop with heavy club undertones ... despite the shortness of the tracks and the mellow singing, these songs tend to not feel like pop numbers, but rather club hits. The ambiguous nature of the music makes it all the more compelling to me.
Damn I want to play this stuff live ...
Familjen - Ja Nej
Familjen - Ivanhoe & Rebecca
Familjen - Hog Luft (Familjen original version)
Familjen - Fujasaki (Remix)
Familjen - The Field (Remix)

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No Love Lost

lcd soundsystem
Hands down, this is the best Joy Division cover I've ever heard, and that's not just because it's by LCD Soundsystem (one of my favs!)
The group added a unique and reasonable twist to the classic song and released it on the single for "All My Friends" earlier this month.

By bringing out the prog and kraut aspects of the melody, James Murphy & co. were able to add a dancier side to the utterly depressing song (no matter how you twist it).
While I tend to dislike Joy Division covers (too precious, that band!), I think LCD Soundsystem did the group justice by clearly hailing the original track and never once making you think it's something else than a Joy Division classic.

LCD Soundsystem - No Love Lost (Joy Division Cover)

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Some Noise!

Okay, so it's not really noise per se, but this is some pretty intense experimental stuff ... Shedding is the name of the Connor Bell brainchild, and boy is this some strange stuff.

The Louisville, Kentucky native's album, What God Doesn't Bless, You Won't Love; What You Don't Love, the Child Won't Know (quite the mouthful!), was just released on Hometapes (the spectacular folks who brought us Feathers, Slaraffenland, the Caribbean, Paul Duncan, and plenty of others), and I can't get enough of the three tracks.

It's strange, to not be able to get enough of this stuff. It's drone music with less structure (on the outside) than Boris; it's experimental tape loops galore, but where the hell do the loops start and stop?; it's the splinter and drift of melodic fragments and melodies.
"Listen to it loud," says Connor.
I agree.

So check this stuff out ... it may be a little too tough to handle on first go 'round, but keep at it ... I'm still eager to listen again and again, find more gems and nuggets beneath the surface ...
Shedding - GB
Shedding - Frostigkuss

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International Falls/Poison Dart

international falls
One of my favorite types of musical finds is one that grows and develops and surprises you the further you get into it all. The deeper you dig, the more excitement and joy you find, making the music you get all the better and leaving you with an especially fulfilling sensation.

This is exactly what happened with me when I stumbled across International Falls, a British Columbia pop group, a few years back (the song? "Old Inhabitants" ... it's genius).
I needed more International Falls. My friends, whom I'd played "Old Inhabitants" to, needed more, too. I put the song on mixes for girlfriends, for birthday presents, for just about anything I could incorporate music into.

Finally, I got in touch with Jay, the frontman of the group. What a day. He delivered a bunch of music to me, and now my mission is complete, my happiness found, my goals fulfilled.
The album that made me falls for International Falls is still wonderful. Better than I'd anticipated. It's all summery Beach Boys harmonies mixed with that endearing lo-fi aesthetic of K Records artists and the noisier qualities of early-90s groups like the Swirlies. I hope you fall for these guys. They're phenomenal; whenever there's a hole -- any sort, any size, and depth -- International Falls will fill it.

In addition to International Falls, Jay plays in the Poison Dart, a folksier, less poppy group in comparison to International Falls. The Poison Dart is fronted by Megan McDonald on vocals, and just with this addition of a female voice, the sound changes totally. The songs are less layered and complex than Internation Falls' stuff ... a little more simple, a little more disjointed, but no less sincere and honest. I like the occasional horns arrangements.

So, be sure to absorb these guys until you're supersaturated with International Falls and the Poison Dart. Truly amazing groups. In addition to The Plateau, International Falls has also released Achievement, a slightly more mature album. But I'm not certain how you're supposed to get your hands on that thing. The Poison Darts have an album, too, and it's called Get Hot! Get some smaples below!
International Falls - Old Inhabitants
International Falls - Under the Weather
International Falls - The Plateau
International Falls - I Want Answers!
the Poison Darts - Lay Low (Lay Low)
the Poison Darts - Mark Of A Man

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Poney Poney Getting the Remix Treatment

The Swiss trio, Audioporno, has just released a really friggin' killer remix of Poney Poney's "Junior."
For those of you who don't remember my Poney Poney interview (park two), I'll clue you in a bit.

Poney Poney is a rockin' French trio that recently released a single on Arcade Mode (a close relative of Ed Banger). I like their stuff ... it's straightforward and fun and a little different than the French electro that's been jamming my ears!

Audioporno does the song tons of dancefloor justice, splicing up the vocals in a very jovial and sharp manner, perfectly complimenting the new, bouncier beat and bass lines.Check it out!
Poney Poney - Junior (Audioporno Remix)

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I've never heard such a bizarre surname, but I like Gooblar (MySpace) -- the last name of the frontman, David Gooblar (!) -- regardless of the strange way the name roles of your tongue.
David had been in many bands before he wound up in London to work on a PhD and then discovered he had to return to the world of music.

And what a return it was! There's something loose and free about Gooblar's music that is reminiscent of a [tighter] Pavement mixed with the awesome clean, forward pop music of New Wave sensations like Elvis Costello. There's a little bit of a Spoon twinge there, too ... these guys rock out like they're the British version of an alternative Texas group!

The band released an EP that they recorded in April ... here are three of the five songs!
Gooblar - Girl
Gooblar - The Times That You're In
Gooblar - Twentieth Century

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Branching Out

santa maria
I wrote about the wonderful Slottet Records a few days back, but I wanted to dwell on them for a little longer ... get more out of my system.
Everyone on the label is fantastic. I commend all the artists' vision and creativity: they never for one second mold themselves to the typical poppy Swedish sound, most times edging on experimental jazz and prop.

That being said, Santa Maria is the poppiest group the label has to offer. It's the brainchild of Maria Eriksson of Concretes fame, but does not sound much like the Concretes' work.
Aside from a few more accessible pieces like "Every Time" and "Cuckoo" (which are spectacular in their own right and twinged with 60s lo-fi folk stles), she primarily dabbles in the experimental folk. Several songs are rather long, stretching quite a ways past the traditional 3-minute mark, and they tend to be pretty proggy, repetitious.
But don't stray away yet! This is great stuff! Imagine Wolf Parade living in the cold north, holing up in a little wooden house and recording studio for the winter. "Icestorm" is particularly Wolf Parade-esque, and I cannot get enough of it. It's the Swedish approach to freak folk.

Enough of my babbling. Listen!
Santa Maria - Dogs
Santa Maria - Every Time
Santa Maria - Icestorm

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Get Phyiscal Turns 5

get physical
The seminal -- yet young! -- Berlin dance label, Get Physical (run by M.A.N.D.Y., Booka Shade, and DJ T), turns five this year!
On May 11, the label will be releasing 5 Years Get Physical to honor the big birthday! The 2X CD set features new remixes of many of the label's artists' work (disc one) and exclusive tracks to be found only on the compilation (disc two).
Definitely check this thing out if you're a Get Physical fan ... it will keep you dancing for hours, and will certainly be in your iTunes library for much, much longer.

In addition to releasing the compilation, Get Physical will have a crazy tour to support all the artists ... one rad birthday party!

Get Physical has fostered a unique and stylish sound that could only come from Germany and that will subsist for year to come. The minimal electronic sounds are easy to apply to most any circumstance and are a clear indicator of the dance music of the 21st century. My two favorite artists on the label are probably M.A.N.D.Y. and Jona (with Booka Shade in a close third) ... check out these two exclusives!
Jona - Fisherman
Booka Shade - Unhealthy Pleasures

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Smoke In the Desert

The current word on Envelopes, from Henrik himself, is that the forthcoming album, Here Comes the Wind, is currently being mastered and finished up. It's about time! I thought the group was all about that rough, rawer live sound! So hurry up already and deliver us some hooky, terribly addictive pop songs!

Anyway ... for the time being, there are a few songs on the MySpace page (including "Calypso," a track I'd never heard until today, and boy is it goo!), all of which you should listen to!
Additionally, the band's put "Smoke In the Desert" up for free, so get a hard copy of that!
Envelopes - Smoke In the Desert (.zip)

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I'm used to sweet, poppy Swedish music. Peter Bjorn & John, the Concretes, Envelopes ... all those folks and more!
The label that released the spectacular Santa Maria album (a 60s throwback pop album, I should add), Slottet, though, has dabbled in the more experimental, especially with Strountes.

Curiously, Strountes features Maria Eriksson of the Concretes fame (she also is the brains behind Sanat Maria) ...
Their debut self-titled record is -- here, I'm going to try and write it out -- freak folk. It's truly freaky (not like Banhart or anything). Like Rocky Erikson (hah!) doing foksier music. Or like Gang Gang Dance/Excepter recording with a couple Swedish pop die hards. It's very bizarre, but -- just as all Swedish pop -- incredibly compelling.

Check some of it out! You've got to get the CD to truly experience it, though ...
Strountes - Sing Sit Here
Strountes - I Turn In the Room Sleepless

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Camera Obscura B-Side

camera obscura
As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of Camera Obscura (MySpace), the Glasgow band which released its crowning masterpiece, Let's Get Out of This Country last year.

The record was exactly what they've been shooting for since 1996: melancholy, folk-pop-infused shoegaze. They confidently fostered that sound, too, with the last LP, and it's been on regular replay every since I got the thing!

The group just released the single for "Tears for Affairs," a wonderful song in its own right. But the b-side, "The Last Song," is blowing me away. It sounds like the reprise to "Razzle Dazzle Rose": a folksier contemplation after the end of the full-length. I love it, and cannot wait for more ... check it out!
Camera Obscura - The Last Song

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Returning to His Roots

matthew dear
Matthew Dear (MySpace) never really caught my attention until he embarked on his techno side project, Audion.

I'm glad that I was hooked in, though! Ghostly International is a phenomenal and surprisingly diverse record label, so why wouldn't I listen to Matthew Dear or Audion?

Dear's returned to his roots with his latest release, Asa Breed, but that's not to say that the techno sound and style of Audion has been drained from him. Indeed, the new release is more like a traditional pop record (most of the songs are around the 2-and-a-half-minute to three-minute mark), but it's trancey, repetitive, almost ... techno! "Fierce On Brain" is my favorite track, and definitely one of Dear's more surprising tracks: it's like a blending of kraut and techno or something. Very impressive.

So check out some of the songs!
Matthew Dear - Pom Pom

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The Teeth

the teeth
Girl Talk isn't the only cool thing coming out of Philadelphia.
They've got the uh ... Liberty Bell, and uh ... a really bad ghetto, and ...
Now, the Teeth (MySpace). The group's sound definitely parallels the sound of their Philly brothers, Man Man, but ... not quite.

Indeed, the Teeth have a hokey sound, but it sounds less derivative of Eastern European folk music and more like garage rock. But there's something sort of jazzy to them (that drumming, perhaps?), and something quirkier and denser than stereotypical garage (the off-kilter vocals? the harmonies? the jangly guitars?) ... this four-piece has fostered such a cool, unique sound, and I love it. This is the Kinks done by Man Man, this is Mick Jagger trying to make a Zappa tune. You get the idea ... a band of backwards pairings in the most delightful way. Love it.
the Teeth - Molly Make Him Pay
the Teeth - The Trumpets Blared
the Teeth - Walk Like A Clown

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The Oh Sees

the oh sees
I can't get enough of the San Francisco psychedelic folk quartet, the Oh Sees.
As you all know, I'm give the most support and love to groups that are doing something different ... something that's hard to place and unique. The Oh Sees have something very experimental and bizarre under their belts, so how can I resist?

Everything's off kilter about these four. Structurally, they're far from orthodox (start, stop, start, false-stop, jitter ... ) Instrumentally, they're sort of folksy, but sort of noisey and experimental as well. At points, I feel like I'm hearing Jana Hunter do a Sonic Youth cover or something.
And I'm loving the eerie vocals, too ... the guy-girl switch-off consistently gets me raving about a group (the Rosebuds, the Fiery Furnaces ... ), and the Oh Sees do it with finesse and uniqueness. I've never heard a singer who can convey so much through such a dead, monotone voice. That's not to say the music isn't vivid or sincere and honest, it just seems deliberately slow and held back. But when you listen to each aspect of the tunes alone, you realize what an effort the band puts into every composition. Check it out!
the Oh Sees - The Killer
the Oh Sees - Invitation

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Boat Club

boat club
To say the least, my obsession with Swedish music is only becoming more intense rather than dwindling away. My latest find -- and boy is this a find! -- is Boat Club, a Gothenburg-based duo who sound like a terribly sweet and atmospheric combination of Swedish pop mainstays such as Bob Hund and more ethereal post-punkers like Cocteau Twins and Joy Division. On top of it all, they've a knack for writing plenty o' poppy guitar hooks that remind me of Scottish bands like Orange Juice and Aztec Camera.

But they've a bigger sound that all of the above bands ... a more ambitious style that's loaded with reverb, echoes, and bouncy beats and bass lines. It's exceptionally catchy and I just can't get enough! Keep an eye out for these two ... they've been playing together since 1998 or so, but now things appear to be taking off. The two just released a 3" CD in February on I Wish I Was Unpopular, and are about to have a 6-track EP released (any day now!) on the Swedish label, Luxxury!

Boat Club - Warmer Climes

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I cannot help but be all over concept albums, or any music release that's got some sort of conceptual footing.

SUMO (signed to the bizarre, quirky, and exceptionally tasteful Swedish label, Heyya Hifi), therefore, is a band after my own heart. Their latest release, The Danceband, is simply ... a tribute to dance music: "a tribute to rhythms and to the people who feel them." I'm really digging these funky beats, hard bass lines, and throwback disco vocals that aren't James Murphy's.

The group's technically just a two-piece, but The Danceband features one hell of a group of collaborators (primarily standing in for singing duties), and that only makes them sound all the more rad. So check out some of their songs, but the thing from Beatport, and be happy; get down.
SUMO - Lovebeat
SUMO - Tribute

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When You Think It's Over ...

lions at your door
... It starts up again. I've seen and heard one too many half-assed dance-punk revivals since what? 2003!? It's only been like, four years, so how could it really have died, let alone even existed!?

Stereotypes and biases aside, Lions At Your Door is a fun Sydney, Australia group. They sound like an antsier, looser version of the Gossip (wow! what chops!) or a more straightforward Australian rendition of the Rapture ... or, you get the idea.

They're a powerful group that's got a knack for making some pretty raggedy yet sharp and danceable rhythms and bass lines, and I can't help but get into that. I wish the five-piece the best of luck! Now, check out their "theme song" (I don't even know what the hell it's the theme to, but damn will it get you moving!)
Lions At Your Door - LAYD

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7 Day Weekend

7 day weekend
The delightful Pert, Australia four-piece girl group, 7 Day Weekend recently emailed me, and I'm very thankful for finally being exposed to their material!

They're a very fun electro-dance-leaning outfit: they "sing insanely catchy, tongue in cheek fluoro pop songs about boys, pizza, parties and leisure wear" and dress up in differently themed costumes for every show!

The girls all met at art school and have been playing ever since. Their forthcoming single's being remixed by a whole slew of exciting characters -- like a certain Master Celebrator -- and sounds, too, like ... a lot of fun! Additionally, they've been touring around Australia for quite some time now with the likes of Cut Copy (album out in October! woo!), Van She, and the Presets; quite a resume!

Wish these four the best of luck: they've something pretty special to be working with, and I only hope it ends up in the best way imaginable.
7 Day Weekend - Hot Property
7 Day Weekend - Party Monster

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Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya

bitchee bitchee ya ya ya
I find it hard to even believe London two-piece, Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya, but I'm gonna give it a go!

First off, don't get me wrong; I like BBYYY. Alone, they sound like hardcore played on one of those Fisher-Price drum kits and toy keyboards (I don't even know where the mic's coming from). What they seem to like better than producing their own material, though, is remixing others' stuff.

They've hit up all the hipster labels/bands, remixing the likes of Bonde do Role, Poney Poney, CSS, and Mr. Flash! These two just friggin' appeared out of nowhere and have made inroads to all the big names! How the hell did it happen!?
Regardless, the remixes are sort of fun and cool ... they sound like lo-fi versions of the originals whit crappier drums and lopsided mixing, more screaming, more hysteria. Let me think about these guys a little longer ... still can't quite place it.
Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya - Fuck Friend
Bonde do Role - Office Boy (BBYYY Booty Version)

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The Noise from France

kap bambino
I never thought that France would have a noise music scene, but apparently, they do. Hmm ... still gotta absorb and digest it all.

For the time being, though, I'm digging what I'm hearing ... I found this, excuse me, tres cool French label, WWILKO. Just looking at the website is a chore! Aesthetically, WWILKO is Factory Records designed by Paper Rad. (Oh, and check out the Gangpol & Mit album ... craziest printed vinyl I've ever seen!)

So check out some of the artists! They're all very happy, all edging on hardcore and noise, and all very eager to just play around. That approach often is the most fun when it comes to making music (especially when you don't know much), so I give them cred! I'm a sucker for Kap Bambino (imagine Crystal Castles on crack with trashier samples), but Gangpol & Mit is pretty rad, too ... a little more synth-oriented and playful.
Kap Bambino - Hey
Kap Bambino - Night Vision

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Giddy Up!

This is such a good week. Fantastic band after fantastic band (and more to come, let me tell ya). Foals is my latest discovery. The U.K.-based quintet plays super frantic dance-punk that sounds like a bizarre twist of the Rapture and Pavement on speed.
They've the noodling qualities of groups like Modest Mouse, but churn out some spectacular hooks and bass ditties that I can't get enough of.

Also ... those vocals kick hard, man. Bold, shouty, and a little flat, yet absolutely perfect for this sort of music: the contrast between low and high is doubly apparent, and that rocks.

A bit of history on the five-piece: the young lads all met at Oxford (!) where they became friends. The group realized how boring electro tracks can be, so they decided to create their own uber-technical band to combat the bad trax out there. I would tell them, "mission accomplished." Check out their single, "Hummer," below and buy the single from iTunes!
Foals - Hummer

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New Figurines

The spectacular Danish post-punk pop group, Figurines (signed to Morningside Records), is prepping their third album, When The Dear Wore Blue. It's going to be fantastic.

The single ("Hey Girl") is out, and while it's different than anything on Skeleton, I think it's pretty rad. The group's lost some of the frantic quality that made their music so energetic and catchy, but they've made up for it by stressing their songwriting talents. "Hey Girl" is more baroque-pop than I'd expected, but poppy and fun and plenty hooky for me. After just a few listens, I've fallen for it.

So check out the streaming track below.

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Sister Self Doubt

So, so many hot releases coming out this summer. Why can't it go by quicker!? Never mind ... we've gotta live this one up while it's still in progress!

Shakes are a stellar dancey, electronic, rocky duo from the U.K. Their stuff sounds like a heavier version of LCD Soundsystem (more cowbell, boys!) combined with the beats and rad rhythms of dance acts like MSTRKRFT and Justice (and they definitely deserve that comparison, as Shakes are working on remixes for GoodBooks, Datarock, and Kasabian!)

Their sound will make you sweatier than you would be to begin with on the dance floor, but that's exactly what we need now! These guys have me hooked already, so I can't even imagine what the public opinion's going to be once the EP, Sister Self Doubt, comes out on I Am Sound Records on June 5. I'll make the prediction, anyway: they'll love it.

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Guest Review: Laced Magazine

laced banner
We at BiBaBiDi are always for looking out for ways in which we can collaborate and work with other members of our communities. One of my friends, Chas Long, lives out in Hamilton, NY and recently co-created Laced, a style, art, and music magazine that represents the hipster 20-somethings of upstate New York.
I'm a big fan of the online magazine (which will go print soon), and always enjoy discussing music with Chas (who has great taste, as you'll soon see)!

He's agreed to do a semi-regular track review for BiBaBiDi. This week: Dungen's "Familj" off the forthcoming Tio Bitar.
"Familj," the second track off of Dungen’s newest creation, Tio Bitar is everything you could want from the Swede psych-outfit. This song makes me want to find a secluded beach house, reminiscent of the one burnt down on the Swedish coast in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Offret, and watch sunsets or do something equally awe inspiring. The sinuous organ pieces and sparse electric guitars epitomize Dungen’s resounding quality of lulling you into a reality beyond your current. Tio Bitar on the whole achieves this in the same fashion as 2004’s Ta Det Lugnt by winding through seamless astral melodies and entrancingly soothing and epic guitar pieces, the latter of which can be heard by picking up the new album and listening to the next track. Get it. Sit back and enjoy.
Dungen - Familj

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Charlie Alex March

I found this pretty awesome IDM/glitchy/folksy London musician, Charlie Alex March the other day.
It's really sweet stuff. Simple, bedroom recordings with sincere and heartwarming orchestral loops, bells, and cute vocals. Apparently, Metronomy is the producer, and that's really cool!

Anyway ... check this song out and be certain to listen to everything on the MySpace page.
Charlie Alex March - Goodbye Penny

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Bryan Scary

bryan scary & the shredding tears
This is a better one, I guarantee it.
Bryan Scary is a genius Brooklyn-based pop composer. His music's being described as a, "smörgåsbord of 60's psychedelia, glam rock, chamber pop, and musical theatre," and I'd say that's mostly true of the 23-year old's stuff.

It's sort of like listening to E.L.O. doing covers of stuff by the Kinks. Or maybe I should write that the other way around. It's like listening to the Beatles doing covers of Queen.
Regardless, you get the idea, I think. Listen to both of the below songs and buy the album, Bryan Scary & the Shredding Tears from Black and Greene Records ... each song will evoke something different and grab you in a unique way, so go for them all! And hey -- check out the MySpace page for additional teasers!
Bryan Scary & the Shredding Tears - Misery Loves Company
Bryan Scary & the Shredding Tears - Cieling On the Wall

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Carbon Copy

remi nicole
Am I being delusional or is this Remi Nicole a carbon copy of Lily Allen?
Although, since she's black, I can't call her a carbon copy. And her music is more acoustic-leaning, but still ... all I've heard so far are the demos on her MySpace page.

Damn, I almost feel remorse for even posting this ...

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The Mix-Up

the mix-up
I was never expecting the Beastie Boys to come out with a 100% instrumental album, but look at what they did! They made one!

Imagine Hello Nasty's instrumental fill tracks lengthened to fill up an entire record. It's pretty wacky, and it's really chill, but I'm glad the three have picked their instruments back up. Now only if they'd rap a little over it all ... remind us of their heyday.

That being said, The Mix-Up's great. Be sure to pick it up when it's released on June 26! Until then ... stream this little teaser: "Electric Worm."

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Mens Needs, Womens Needs, Whatever

the cribs
The Wakefield, England trio (all brothers!), the Cribs is back and they're more aggressive and sharp than ever before.

The album, Mens Needs, Womens Needs, Whatever is out on May 24, and it's looking good. "Major's Titling Victory" is a lopsided, heavier, drunker rocky track than the earlier tunes, but I like it. The hooks are still strong, and they pop out of the songs with more gusto and confidence than before. "Women's Needs" is a slower track that features those cool off-kilter harmonies that made me love The New Fellas so much.
That, and the way the guitar follows the vocals so closely ... tres cool band, I must say. I'm looking forward to this sucker coming out!
the Cribs - Major's Titling Victory
the Cribs - Women's Needs

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Time To Get Yummy

Sorry, but I cannot get enough of A-Trak's (MySpace) mash-up album, Dirty South Dance.
Girl Talk for the '07 summer is how I interpret this move ...

It's a little dancier, which is probably the main difference between this album and Night Ripper. Less of a show-off (or showcase?) LP and more of a killer jam dance record.

And hey ... I lift prejudices against Obey for this, okay?
Listen to this one ... Gwen Stefani and LCD Soundsystem. Nice.
A-Trak - Time To Get Yummy

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A New Chance

the tough alliance
The Tough Alliance's new album, A New Chance (due out in early May on Sincerely Yours) has, unfortunately, been leaked! (Who woulda know ... )

It's killer, though. Absolutely stone cold. Right on, right on.
Everything that I've written before about the group still applies ... this LP is New Order doing a beach party with some dub undertones and a nice, bouncy vibe.
Also, A New Chance really feels like an album. It develops perfectly and serenely and ends with a more delicate touch (which I wasn't expecting, but do indeed appreciate).

The group re-recorded a song they did a demo of in 2004 called "Looking For Gold." I thought you would all like to check out the original track as an enticement to buy the record!
the Tough Alliance - Looking for Gold (demo)

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Faunts Prepare!

A little over a year and a half ago, Faunts released the chilling, hauntingly beautiful High Expectations/Low Results on Friendly Fire Recordings. The album sounds like a shoegaze experiment of some sort: what would happen if Radiohead re-created Loveless in Alberta, Canada.

Or something of that nature. The groups is spectacular ... hypnotic and mystifying as well as energetic, driven, and excitingly experimental. A midnight drive; a a night walk in a forest; a dark sky full of stars.

Recently, the group released a very limited EP called M4 that features a ... slightly different style! While there are absolutely aspects of shoegaze and atmospheric post-rock here, the most distinguishing new feature is the abrasiveness of the guitar. The EP is tighter when the LP wasn't. It's jumpier and more precise when the album wasn't. It's more plucks and less pedals.

The group will be releasing it's follow-up LP sometime soon, but in the meantime, get your hands on the EP right here!
Faunts - M4 (Part II)

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New Islands

Islands have just released the most gorgeous pop ballad I could imagine hearing from the group on Tomlab. Apparently, the label is releasing an alphabet series of 7"s, and Islands created the latest one (Alphabet Series: S).

The new track, "Dnttakemy Wingzz Away" is what you would expect from the group -- start/stop structure, spectacular layering and slow, churning development, wicked bass lines, and serene guitar hooks -- with an orchestral twist.

Islands forever.
Islands - Dnttakemy Wingzz Away

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Get ON It!

white rabbits
If you haven't heard of White Rabbits yet (signed to the fantastic Say Hey Records), get on it! These dudes are hot hot hot!

The quintet's LP, Fort Nightly has been on constant replay for me for a couple weeks now, and I still can't quite place why I love them so. But here's a shot at explaining it ... (or you can just check out their "reviews" written by a bunch of 8th graders here).

This is very assertive yet jangly pop at the core, but there's so much more going on. The bass line and piano melodies often times are reminiscent of ragga or early reggae tunes, there are qualities of noise rock here and there (they whip out the distortion every once in a while), and most importantly, there are addictive, dancey hooks that couldn't be better. You just gotta love the groove of these guys ... it's so fluid and unique, I can't help but submit! There's something mystical and eerie about the tracks, but boy is it all so accessible! Head over to the MySpace page for more samples!
White Rabbits - Say Hey
White Rabbits - Kid On My Shoulders

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Another Morningside Morning with Oceano da Cruz

oceano da cruz
I tend to avoid singer/songwriter types, but every once in a while, one or two catch my eye. Marnie Stern's album, for example, is one of my favorites of 2007 so far!

Now I've gotten into Morningside Reocrds' own Oceano da Cruz (no, not the Portugese soccer player). This one-man band from Denmark has a style that's all across the board. At times he edges towards grunge, while at others, he sounds like a straight-up country/folk guitarist! Through it all, though, da Cruz maintains a terribly catchy pop aesthetic and style that I can't stop listening to!

There's something tender about all of the songs, even if they are pretty energetic and hooky and poppy. A bedroom recording sort of feel (this comes from the fact that the album, Rocksploitation ... , was recorded [almost] solely by Oceano da Cruz himself) that puts me at ease, yet keeps me hopeful and eager for the future.

Maybe that's too touchy-feely for you all ... just listen to these tracks and see what I mean. What an enjoyable Danish pop act!
Oceano da Cruz - Beehives Mighty Vicious
Oceano da Cruz - Guns for Elephants

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Reminder: Next Level Vol. 1, No. 3

next level
Just a quick post this Sunday night ...
I wanted to remind all of you who haven't downloaded/didn't know about Next Level (my BiBaBiDi-affiliated magazine) to get the thing!

It featured interview with Chromatics, Hey Hey My My, a psuedo-fiction piece by Tony Cederteg, and plenty of other cool thing! So check it out by clicking on the below links!
Next Level Vol. 1 No. 3
Next Level Vol. 1 No. 3 (alt. download)
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Action Painting

speaker bite me
Morningside Records is the phenomenal Danish label that released albums by bands such as Figurines, I Am Bones, Oh No Ono, and now, Speaker Bite Me!

This Copehagen-based quartet is like Neu! meets Talking Heads meet kraut. I love the female vocals and the slow, prog-like development of the songs. I swear I will never know what'll pop up next in one of these Scandinavian countries ... where the hell does all this creativity come from!?

Anyway, check out the MySpace and get the Action Player album, too!
Speaker Bite Me - Fistful of Air
Speaker Bite Me - Teach Me Tiger

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Erlend Slowly Trickles Back In

kompis & erlend oye
Off the Wall Records -- the fantastic label that brough us the Studio -- is involved with a few other groups and musicians, including the Norway-native and Kings of Convenience frontman, Erlend Oye (I will never know how to pronounce that!)
There's been talk of a new Kings of Convenience album, and with the Whitest Boy Alive album and tour bringing about great support for the band and Oye, it looks like the upcomoing LP will be their greatest yet!

But Erlend has been involved with more projects than the above two. He recently released a 7" with Kompis on Off the Wall Records. The A-side, "All Ears" is a fantastic electronic-leaning take on Erlend's ultra-lo-fi aesthetic and style, while "Untitiled," the B-side, is a seductive afterthought.

The single leaves me wanting so much more for the Norweigans, and hopefully they will soon deliver! Until then, listen on ...
Kompis & Erlend Oye - All Ears

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BiBaBiDi Exclusive: Arizona's "Traverser Credit Music"

It's been a while since we've heard from the spectacular NYC indie-pop band (with heavy folk leanings), Arizona. These guys were much hyped late last year, making it to many Top 10 Best Albums lists.

The group is currently finalizing a follow-up EP to the heart-melting self-released album, Welcome Back Dear Children and negotiating music biz junk. I was so glad to hear that the guys are still kickin' and will continue to produce such catchy tunes. "Some Kind of Chill" will remain perfect mix tape material for me whenever I want to make a beautiful and charming (and perhaps a twinge melancholy?) playlist ... "Sombersby" is one of the grandest summery pop-rock songs I've heard in ages (why isn't this an anthem yet?) ... and "Stay With Who You Know" will never cease to be a head-bobbin' track.

So I love 'em. The guys were nice enough to keep my appetite whet with this song they recorded for their friend Albert Thrower's film, Fall of the Traverser. The one bit of direction they got out of the NYU student was to make it sound '80s and ... I think there's a bit of that going on here. Regardless, it's a fantastic song even if it does clock in after only a little more than a minute. Check it out!
Arizona - Traverser Credit Music

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More Tough Alliance: "First Class Riot"

the tough alliance
I already wrote all I've to say about Sincerely Yours and the Tough Alliance. The label is spectacular ... what a vision! And the band is a group after my own heart ... how do they do!?

Listen to a new track of theirs, "First Class Riot." Again, more New Order synth washes and precision drumming with perfect vocals to match. This song is perfect for the wind-up and the wind-down alike ... or anytime, really!

Keep it up, TTA and Sincerely Yours! Forever amazed ...
the Tough Alliance - First Class Riot

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Road to Paris!

We're all very excited for the upcoming Digitalism album, Idealism. If you're curious to hear some bits and pieces of the Kitsune-released LP, check their MySpace page!

The album is fantastic. There are elements of Daft Punk here (plenty of vocoder for all ... house vibes heavy throughout), but also something more; a funkier style ... something quirkier and more clever. Listening to Digitalism, you get the impression that they're very jovial, humorous dudes.

The one thing they could improve upon is the lyrics ... "Am I not always being wanting this?" (from "I Want I Want"). But hey, they'll keep you moving so hard, so long ... check out this remix from the "Pogo" single!
Digitalism - Pogo (On the Road to Paris Version)

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Taxi Taxi

taxi taxi
Most bands don't have exceptionally interesting back stories. They met at school; they met at a luncheon; they met at a concert; they met at a job.
Taxi Taxi defies those formulaic formulation tales ... the band -- the "brainchild" of Terence Bernardo -- actually met in the back of a taxi during the strike of 2005 in NYC!

The passengers quickly found that they all liked the same genres and styles ... from ESG to Big Star. Listening to their album, Maps & Legends, I can completely see how that's the case! This stuff sounds like ESG-meets-surf-rock-meets-D.C.-punk at an Animal House-esque party.

Crazy, yet sharp and rhythmic; dancey, yet harsh and punky at times; fun with a twinge of seriousness. Fate had to have been what brought Taxi Taxi together ... how fortunate we are!
Taxi Taxi - Shoot the Dog, Chop the Tree
Taxi Taxi - X Marks the Spot

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