Mountains:Choral (Thrill Jockey)
Everything about Choral, the third full-length LP by Brooklyn duo Mountains, is relaxing. The water-noises, the accordions, the wind chimes. Everything. Fall asleep in a Sharper Image massage chair while listening to this record and you might wake up as Gary Zukav. Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp conjure billowing electro-acoustic drones from acoustic guitars, field recordings, and, very possibly, a few rain-sticks. Mountains never sound cold or mechanical, but natural—the group’s largely organic palate imbues the music with a warmth that eludes most contemporary laptop musicians/sound sculptors. Over the course of 12-minutes the title track slowly coalesces from the low hum of an accordion into a densely layered blur of electric pianos and chattering percussion. “Map Table” begins as a Fahey-esque guitar composition, but quickly evolves into an atmospheric haze of reverb that would make U2 producer/closet new age tinkerer Daniel Lanois pack up his lap-steel. Light an stick of Nag Champa and let Choral melt the knots out of your back. (Aaron Leitko)

Thrill Jockey is streaming the album in its entirety here.

Filastine: Dirty Bomb (Soot Records)
Riding the wave of bass-heavy globalization comes Barcelona-based DJ/producer Grey Filastine’s sophomore full-length, another modernized mish-mash of urban dance trends and provocative world grooves. I first got word of Filastine through his fantastic contributions to volume 6 of Violent Turd’s Shotgun Wedding mixtape series in 2007, shared with the like-minded DJ/Rupture, who runs the Soot imprint that released Dirty Bomb. The new album offers an equally exhaustive, globe-trotting survey for the worst case of ADD: Bollywood breaks meet Baile funk; plunderphonic collages get juxtaposed with African and Indian percussion; and dubstep bangers mingle with hip hop funkiness — all peppered liberally with noise and effects. Many tracks feature original vocals by singers and MCs from a wide array of backgrounds, languages, and style, augmented by a healthy stash of politically-charged samples. In essence, Dirty Bomb emphasizes the traits that define a really good DJ: one with an ability to connect such varying musical cultures with fluidity and appeal, exploiting the elements that define them while also highlighting their commonalities. But most importantly, you have to make the people dance. Good thing Dirty Bomb has that covered too. (Cole Goins)

Filastine: “No Lock No Key (Feat. DJ Collage)”
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These Are Powers: All Aboard Future (Dead Oceans)
When your punk-rock band is sample based it’s kind of hard to, you know, bring-it. Whacking a rubber pad just doesn’t have the same urgency as smashing a guitar. But on All Aboard Future, These Are Powers have persevered in creating jibbering electronic rhythms heavy enough to go head to head anything that can be wrought from a Marshall stack. Early on, the band traded in vicious, if somewhat typical, post-punk that owed a heavy debt to Bad Moon Rising-era Sonic Youth. However, now that the machines have taken over, These Are Powers is on its own turf. With their squelchy electronics “Double Double Yolk” imagines a funkier, sexier Throbbing Gristle, but there’s not a whole lot of precedent for the circuit-scrambled rhythms of “Easy Answers.” There are a few saggy moments—the Lovecraftian digression of “Parallel Shores”, the forced spookiness of “Sand Tassels”—but sampler or no, These Are Powers hit loud and hard here. All aboard, indeed. (AL)

These Are Powers: “Life of Birds”
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