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Five Albums You Should Be Listening to Right Now
Globe-trotting picks in one of our most eclectic Five Albums yet.
Every week, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Mersenne of Undomondo. Mersenne is a music collector and writer from Istanbul — aside from editorial duties at Undomondo, he is a booker and musical coordinator for MiniMuzikhol, and a DJ at Dinamo.fm.
1. ADR, Solitary Pursuits
The U.K. label Ghost Box focuses on a style of nostalgic electronica called hauntology; their output is one of my biggest joys in life. But now they've got a competitor called Public Information, founded by members of Warp and the British Library Sound Archive. Public Information's debut release is this album by Aaron David Ross (ADR), which hauntology fans will love. If you liked The Caretaker's An Empty Bliss Beyond This World, be sure to check out Solitary Pursuits. (If you missed An Empty Bliss Beyond This World, you're poorer for it.)
2. Imperial Tiger Orchestra, Mercato
It's a rare occasion, but sometimes, white people can come up with a progressive take on ethnic music. Imperial Tiger Orchestra, a talented group from Switzerland, has taken the classic '70s sound of Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed and made it their own. Their debut album, Mercato, reinterprets the golden age of Ethiopian music with flair. On "Shinet," they warp a traditional wedding song into a busy, rhythmic stomper. (As a bonus, head over to Likembe — one of the best sources for African music on the internet — and check out how Ethiopia's Tadesse Alemu has modernized the same song.)
3. Jacuzzi Boys, Glazin’
Having risked coming off as some kind of boring world-music buff, I will now risk coming off as a hipster. But the truth is, I just love lo-fi garage-rock bands as much as I love international flavor. Last year my garage-rock favorites were Thee Oh Sees and Nerve City, and this summer it was Florida's Jacuzzi Boys and their album Glazin'. Compared to some of my daily music diet, this is simplistic — it's basically three-chord rock and roll. But it's full of carefree energy — it makes you feel like a rebel, a king, and eighteen again.
Listen: "Los Angeles"
4. Cyril Diaz Orchestra, Voodoo 10''
Cyril Diaz is a calypso/merengue stalwart from Trinidad whose music dates back to the '50s. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to find anything by him, but this reissued compilation from Soundway has four tracks that are totally sublime.
5. Stag Hare, Spirit Canoes
I'm a huge fan of Utah’s Stag Hare (a.k.a. Garrick Biggs). His trademark mixture of meditative synth drones and repetitive, primitive percussion blisses me out in a way that not a lot of music can. Songs past the three-minute mark usually bore me. But Stag Hare’s longer works, frequently surpassing past ten minutes, really put you in a different state of mind — a place you can't get to by any other means.
Listen: "Asha Moon Canoes"