Review: Oh Baby – Hey Genius

There’s a false sense of familiarity to start Hey Genius. Cruel Intention’s electronic beat is a dead ringer for Lipps Inc anthem Funkytown. But that disco classic’s carefree pulse turns to something more insular and grounded, like a cross between synthpop’s origins and the Italians Do It Better roster. It’s cooler too, Jen Devereux’s voice restrained and in control of each earworm melody.

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Review: Loscil – Clara

A three-minute composition is cut, chopped, and changed to form Clara, Loscil’s ambient record meditating on light, shade, and decay. Performed by a 22-piece string orchestra, the original piece is lost to Loscil’s manipulation, trading conventional structures for repeating textures and glacial soundscapes.

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Review: Into the Never by Adam Steiner

Every other chapter in Adam Steiner’s book about Nine Inch Nails’ most prolific record dives deep into the background of each track. It makes for slow progress through what’s an academic and informed read; after each entry you want to put the book down and listen to the profiled song with smarter ears.

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Review: Mong Tong – Mystery

Taiwanese psychedelic duo Mong Tong translate their Chinese name as ‘the east-side of dreams’. Like a half-remembered dream from the night before, Mystery is a brief and hazy record, steeped in a nostalgia fused by disparate influences, from traditional instrumentation to electronica.

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Review: The Grump

The good old days, when a man and wife had clearly defined roles and all you needed to be happy was an Escort. That’s where The Grump lives, when men were men and the idea of duty was something someone took up rather than questioned. It was the responsibility of his generation to repopulate and rebuild the country after World War II, he says.

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