Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now
Great new records chosen by Jesse Cataldo of Slant Magazine.
Every week, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Jesse Cataldo, staff writer at Slant Magazine.
1. Blakula!, Permanent Midnight
An imaginary soundtrack to a blaxpoitation film that never existed (this is no Blacula), Permanent Midnight has a truer sense of time and place than most real soundtracks, mixing a gritty fantasy of '70s New York with all kinds of creepy stuff. Imagine the backing music from a slightly scarier "Thriller," expanded over an entire instrumental album.
Listen: "Miss Morgue"
2. Los Zafiros, Bossa Cubana
I discovered this amazing Cuban doo-wop group after their song "Canta lo Sentimental" was used in a third-season episode of Breaking Bad. Bossa Cubana is one of the tightest greatest-hits compilations I've ever heard, taking the immaculate sheen of American doo-wop and adding diverse percussion, salsa rhythms, and parrot sounds.
Listen: "Bossa Cubana"
3. Jeans Wilder, Nice Trash
Jeans Wilder is affiliated with the whole Wavves/Best Coast school of lo-fi, beach-bum indolence, but he makes them look like the children they are. Not content to coast along on a lazy wave of skuzzy distortion, Jeans gives every song a different angle, proving he's more a precocious sound dabbler than an empty-headed fuzz merchant.
Listen: "International Waters"
4. Hector Zazou and Bony Bikaye, Noir et Blanc
The first collaboration between French composer Zazou and Congolese singer Bikaye, this album basically created the worldbeat genre, fusing slinky electronics with distorted African folk rhythms.
Listen: "M'Pasi Ya M'Pamba" (remix)
5. Malcolm McLaren, Duck Rock
Lots of hip-hop albums use the annoying "radio show" format to stitch together their songs and give a theme to their skits, but 1983's Duck Rock really earns it, recruiting the talents of two pioneering hip-hop DJs (the World's Famous Supreme Team) and cobbling together a collage of rap, found sound, and world music. McLaren, the former manager of the Sex Pistols, got flack at the time both for not properly crediting his contributors and for breaking the cultural embargo on apartheid South Africa. But it's not like anyone didn't already know that he was a total asshole.
Listen: "Buffalo Gals"