2016: Second Quarter Favorites 22 picks from the last three months

This feature is made possible by Stagelight Monthly Music Contest. Submit a song for a chance to win $3.5K+ in studio tech, or simply vote and you'll be entered to win a prize every week! Download your FREE copy of Stagelight, The Easy Way to Create Music, for Windows or Android and start making music today. [What is this?]

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Lolina

Live in Paris

[Self-Released]


A post-ideological world is nonsense, but let’s agree that capitalism is the most widespread form of technology today. I’m not thinking about cutting-edge devices, rather the set of human activities framing our quotidian interactions. You’d think that the seeming universality of capitalism would eliminate the idea of the outsider, or at least diminish what defines such an archetype. Inga Copeland, a migrant and nomadic artist, knows that’s bullshit. If anything, capitalism has created new ways to frame the outside as a form of existence, and nowhere is this more evident than in the London that this work assays. Lolina’s Live in Paris disputes those exclusion processes by subverting the perverse pantomime of the quintessential capitalist board game, but also staging a performance that signals itself as willfully existing outside electronic music’s dominant discourse. With those weapons, Copeland claws through the blinkered narratives we are made to follow as unassailable creeds, crafting a timely and momentous visual album, a portrait of London in the eyes of the wretched.



DJ Coquelin & MC Cloarec

JE M’EN TAPE

[PRR! PRR!]


A densely packed, well-greased experience that, like the loaded pizza TMT gets delivered every TGIF slumber party, seems brand new every time the box (cassette case) is popped open and funneled gluttonously into your mouth/tape deck. The bizarre mix of original work, oddball edits, and moments of left-field clarity doesn’t come around too often – PC Music’s six member hour-long DISown Radio mix is a decent parallel – and DJ Coquelin & MC Cloarec’s JE M’EN TAPE is that out-of-body clusterfuck. The Belgian duo channeled hypocapnia-like levels of delirium to the point where you can honestly ask the room “Whaaat are we listening to?” and “Is this a bagpipe club track?” All while splashing cold water in your face to determine whether it had all been a Danny Boyle dream sequence, before walking over and flipping back over to Side A.



Karl Blau

Introducing Karl Blau

[Bella Union]


“Down here where we’re at, everyone is equally poor” — there’s an echo in the inch-space between the screen and front doors. There’s an echo and a voice in this space for passing through, for that splash existence splitting where you were and where you’re headed. The echo is reverberated histories, and the voice is Karl Blau. Like the good country songs, Karl Blau’s voice is not settled or fixed. It patrols plains between wilderness and abode, and it’s a distant million crickets, a few mussed tears splashing a denim collar in the sun. The voice echoes in the still screen-door space of tradition, the baritone cartography of Introducing Karl Blau. The voice is warm like its histories, bold like its pioneers — it believes in the old songs, and it knows “We don’t care what happens outside the screen door.”



Andy Stott

Too Many Voices

[Modern Love]


Call it multivocal, sure, in that it draws from a myriad of sound sources, but classifying Andy Stott’s sharp, artisan work as being too much of anything seems as counterintuitive as putting your faith in strangers. Dude’s never made a shoddy product, and yet he’s never felt like a solicitor. Stott has always straddled that line between benevolent neighbor and hermetic handyman, like he’s always there when you need some sugar or like a hammer or something, but he’s never too loud when you’re having a quiet dinner party. If anything, it’s too rare that “dynamic personality” doesn’t sound like “oh, what an interesting person.” It really isn’t even enough that we can vicariously live out our futurist dancefloor fantasies whenever we catch a buzz saw coming from his garage. Then again, maybe we’re too much. Maybe perfection isn’t what Stott is after. Maybe it’s just reprieve from our incessant inquisitiveness. Maybe he just makes really good shit. I wouldn’t put it past him, but as a naturally curious neighbor, I wouldn’t rule out something cosmic either. Who knows what he’s keeping in there.



DJ TiGa

The Sound Vol. 1

[Lit City Trax]


Mr P said it best: “Footwork works well with socks.” Or something like that. So imagining Birkut on waxed linoleum jamming The Sound Vol. 1 by DJ TiGa is sort of a good mutual experience. The beat appears so positive, always. There’s never a turn-down vibe. It’s always at max. And that’s me, like, I love max. Max is what I need to heal that canker sore. It’s 1000% Atlantic City. All the chance. Entirely Rich Uncle Pennybags. An alpha so omega’d that divergence or duality is like, “Why, tho?” Bumper-to-bumper traffic is worth blowing up with sound. Learn something from DJ TiGa. The Sound Vol. 1 is simply setting up the net. There’s no low nor high, only boundaries. Set them yourself.


More from this series


This feature is made possible by Stagelight Monthly Music Contest. Submit a song for a chance to win $3.5K+ in studio tech, or simply vote and you'll be entered to win a prize every week! Download your FREE copy of Stagelight, The Easy Way to Create Music, for Windows or Android and start making music today. [What is this?]

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