Electronic-Dance

Ash (CD)

How do you define 21st century pop? Ibeyi, the French-Cuban duo of twin sisters, might have the answer. A mixture of IDM rhythms, jazzy instrumentation, and African-influenced harmonies used to otherworldly effect, Ash takes bits and pieces of what came before and reassembles it all into music that stands on its own as distinctly modern. These hypnotic, cyclical tunes use negative space in a big way, with sparse instrumentation and evocative vocals that bring to mind contemporaries like Solange or the xx. Yet, Ibeyi doesn't really sound like either example. In fact, Ibeyi doesn't really sound like anyone but Ibeyi. The future, however, certainly sounds like them.

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Process (CD)

South London producer/performer Sampha Sisay has one of those voices that speaks volumes. (You’ve probably heard his work on tracks by Katy B, Kanye, Solange, FKA twigs, Drake, Frank Ocean, and Jessie Ware.) On Process, his velvet tones convey a depth of feeling; one minute the listener is drowning in Sampha’s own longing, the next minute buoyed by a radical hope. The melodies are equally strong, with raw, powerful piano and barebones soul structure. This smart, heartfelt album checks all the boxes for a future classic.

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Silver Eye (LP)

Goldfrapp’s Silver Eye is a refreshing return to the icy cool, ‘80s inspired synth pop sound the duo perfected on Supernature and Black Cherry. The record is cinematic, glamorous, and darkly romantic — in short, it’s everything you want a Goldfrapp record to be. “Anymore” is a propulsive paean to love and lust, “Systemagic” fits right into the currently ultra cool industrial scene, and “Ocean” is a sweeping, introspective, and haunting closer. Listeners will want to get lost in this moody disco dream.

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Iteration (CD)

After a six year wait, Com Truise is back with Iteration, a lush, funk-inflected odyssey into electro. Cinematic in scope, the album draws inspiration from the synth-filled soundtracks of the 1980s; listening is a transportive experience to a world of city nights, black leather, and neon lights. Make no mistake — Iteration is a toe-tapper, a definite dancefloor-filler, but this smart, emotive album is also pretty moving. Atmosphere is all here, and there’s a real sense of feeling beneath the hypnotic rhythms, technicolor melodies, and pulsating synths. If you dig evocative, dark dance music, this moody LP sets the scene.

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