RIYL = Colleen, Deaf Center, Aaron Martin
Following closely on the heels of their digital EP released earlier this year, Hannu has recently unveiled their sophomore full length, Hintergarten. Following closely in line with their previous work, Hannu continues to traverse and master the magically broken world that is all their own. With a mix of über-lush chamber orchestrations combined with a glitch-laden hip hop undercurrent, Hintergarten creates a bizarrely satisfying headspace reminiscent of some of the weirder stuff coming out of European labels like Fonal. Hintergarten contains some of the most beautiful and thick music that you can nod your head to. Recommended.
Hannu on MySpace
RIYL = Animal Collective, High Places, Cloudland Canyon
The solo outlet of Saturday Looks Good To Me band member, Fred Thomas, City Center adds another fledgling project into the bubbling world of outsider pop. However, Thomas’s efforts here, though easily aligned with genre overlords Animal Collective, is actually pretty dang awesome. I’ve never actually listened to Thomas’s band, but City Center breathes some fresh, creative, poppy air into the Type label. Showing a penchant for glisteningly full electronics and reverby vocals ala Brian Wilson, City Center holds its own a deftly qualified operator in a market over crowded with AC imitators. There is definitely no way City Center is going to get out from under the shadow of Panda Bear and Avey Tare, but that doesn’t mean that Thomas's project here isn’t an incredibly enjoyable record in and of itself.
City Center on MySpace
(2009, Thrill Jockey)
RIYL = Fennesz, James Blackshaw, Eluvium
The Mountains have quickly outgrown their small Apestaartje label, and it’s easy to understand why. The mountainous sound structures that the duo regularly produces are nothing short of pure gorgeousness. Moving slowly like an impending fault line, Choral continues the well trodden path that Mountains has been travelling since their self-titled debut, tracing only the most essential shifts in their sound in order to maintain a visceral pulse embedded in the wash of its predecessors. An absolutely immaculate record of master class ambience and tranquil acoustic guitar.
Mountains on MySpace