Staff picks

Staff Picks

This week

Mala (2013) by Devendra Banhart

“Yep, still got that school-girl crush on Devendra! Not as psych as his old material, but his voice is still sweet as honey and the mix of melancholy guitar and vintage synth beats will leave you feeling rather content on a sunny Spring afternoon.” Sharri Morris

Lost Forever // Lost Together (2014) by Architects

“Wasn’t convinced initially, due to everything post-Nightmares being a bit limp. However, after a few listens, this album just gets better and better for me.” Phil Quigley

fabric 74: Move D (2014) by Move D

“Lovely deep grooves from the German selector.” Will Munn

Killed By Deathrock Vol.1 (2014) by Various Artists

“Not rock, not goth, but deathrock.” Gonçalo Pereira

Last week

New Wave Dance Music From South Africa (2010) by Shangaan Electro

“Madder than a box of frogs, I only heard about this sound after one of the members had signed to Warp. Uplifting, futuristic dance music that’s perfect for summer parties.” Dan Smith

Love Letters (2014) by Metronomy

The English Riviera was such a superb album it was always going to be tough to follow, but there are some real stand-out tracks here. I particularly like ‘The Most Immaculate Haircut’: jealousy condensed into music.” Sam Gething

Black Noise (2010) by Pantha Du Prince

“An ironic name for such a colourful album. A modern electronic masterpiece from one of the scene’s stand-out producers, this will never grow old.” Tom Traves

We Should Break Up (2014) by Nerina Pallot

“Go straight to track four: a fine ballad in the mould of Fiona Apple.” Gunnar Larsén

The week before last week

Aquemini (2003) by Outkast

“Expertly-crafted instrumentation and vocals from Outkast. Most definitely ‘SpottieOttieDopaliscious’.” Reece Daniels

Nuyorican Soul (2006) by Nuyorican Soul

“Featuring vocals by the Princess of Salsa, India, and musicians from the original recording of 1977, the extended version of Nuyorican Soul’s take on Loleatta Holloway’s disco anthem ‘Runaway’ deserves a coveted spot in everyone’s “spend the whole day on a Greek beach downing rum-based cocktails” playlist.” Dimitris Ballas

Pull My Hair Back (2013) by Jessy Lanza

“Beautifully minimalist, warm-timbre-d R&B electro, Jessy Lanza uses her voice in stunningly versatile ways without every becoming show-offish. Had this on repeat for weeks now...” Mia Filisch

The week before that

Siroco (1994) by Paco De Lucia

“As one of the greatest guitarists of all time, and a founding father of neuvo flamenco, Paco de Lucia’s passing touched the hearts of millions of people around the world. While all his albums are wonderful, this is one of my favourites.” Kate Posener

Toujours (2014) by SABINA

“Formerly with electro-punk outfit Brazilian Girls, Sabina Sciubba’s just unveiled her fantastic solo debut. Deliciously-retro tropical-pop topped with multi-lingual lyrics, delivered in a Nico-esque coo.” Gemma Samways

Saâda Bonaire (2013) by Saâda Bonaire

“One of those albums lost in time, recently re-released. For fans of minimal wave.” Gonçalo Pereira

Merz (1999) by Merz

“A corker of an album from ‘99. ‘Engine Heart’, ‘Starlight Night’ and ‘A.M. (Good Morning)’ are stand-outs.” James Thompson

And so on...

MESS (2014) by Liars

Liars say their seventh LP was born out of an “immediate, fun, instinctual and confident” creative process, and that’s certainly translated to tape. Offering up a darkly-danceable fusion of techno and rock, Mess is another quintessential Mute Records release.” Gemma Samways

Busy Earnin' (2014) by Jungle

“Get on the dance floor, and shake it.” Gunnar Larsén

Morning Phase (2014) by Beck

“Indie hip-hop? Country blues? Dance floor jams? Every time Beck brings out an album it’s a lottery as to what genre it’s going to be. This time he’s gone back to a country feel, but with a celestial coating rather than a rustic one. Early album track ‘Morning’ is actually the best thing to listen to when you first awaken (and if you do, you may find it hard to get out of bed and stop listening.)” Joel Greatbatch

Soundhack 1 (2013) by Soundhack

“Very pleased that cult label Soundhack is now available digitally. Four EPs worth of stripped-down, uniquely-funky disco-oriented techno for adventurous DJ usage.” Matt Gray

Crystal Anis (2012) by The Liminanas

“One of the most overlooked albums of 2012.” Stephen Somerville

The Aquaplano Sessions (2014) by Donato Dozzy & Nuel

“Reissue of classic tracks from the master of dark minimal techno.” Tom Traves

Spectre (2014) by Laibach

“From humble beginnings as the funniest industrial band in all Yugoslavia, to triumph as the musical wing of the Neue Slowienishe Kunst micronation, Laibach continue to challenge, into the era of whistleblowers.” Anthony Steele

Nite Flights (1996) by Walker Brothers

“Recently re-released, Nite Flights is the final album of Walker Brothers, and closer to Scott Walker’s solo sound than to the pop group.” Gonçalo Pereira

The Knowledge (2004) by Toasty

“This is an absolute classic, a unique sound which Toasty only really shared with contemporaries Vex’d. Crazy-heavy breaks full of swagger, a relentless buzzing bass and a really weird up-pitched vocal sample, there’s very little else like it.” Dan Smith

Blue Film (2014) by Lo-Fang

“Featuring two extremely bold, and unexpectedly good, cover versions. Lo-Fang’s debut is an intoxicating mix of glitchy electronica, lush instrumentation and pop vocals.” Raoul Millais

Crying for No Reason (Remix Bundle) (2014) by Katy B

“Having already reinterpreted big hits by Lana Del Rey, Chvrches and London Grammar, London-based remixer/producer du jour Kris Di Angelis presents his minimalistic take on Katy B’s recent dance floor anthem.” Dimitris Ballas

Jinx (2013) by Weekend

“They don’t make them like this anymore. Except Weekend do! Uncomplicated in melody and arrangement, these Californians generously deliver music with enough volume and spunk to shake those less fortunate from their rain-induced torpor.” Ian Bell

7 Days Of Funk (2013) by 7 Days of Funk

“Mother-lickin fresh and funky debut from duo Snoopzilla (aka Snoop Dogg) and Dâm-Funk! WTF I hear you say?! You won’t be disappointed.” Sharri Morris

Thunder in the Distance (2013) by Place Vendome

“Four years on from their last release, Michael Kiske and Dennis Ward return with their third full-length collaboration. Thunder In The Distance delivers everything you could possibly want from a Place Vendome album: soaring vocals, powerful melodies and rock-solid musicianship.” Alex Markham

F For You (2014) by Disclosure / Mary J. Blige

“One of Settle’s standout tracks receives the soul diva treatment with newly-recorded vocals by Mary J. Blige. Channelling Barbara Tucker, Martha Wash and Jocelyn Brown, this is 90s revival perfection. Can Crystal Waters go back to the studio now, please?” Dimitris Ballas

So Long, See You Tomorrow (2014) by Bombay Bicycle Club

“I completely misjudged this the first time I heard teaser single ‘Carry Me’: turns out this is one of the most impressive albums I’ve heard in ages. Playing on loop!” Sam Gething

Sober EP (2013) by Elli Ingram

“‘Sober’ is possibly one of my favourite releases from 2013. Elli Ingram’s intriguingly-beautiful voice sits well above the skilled production of Felix Joseph and Rudi Redz. Best listened to tipsy.” Aysh Banaysh

Wheel & Deal Dubstep Vol.1 (2011) by Various Artists

“Stumbled across this one from the dubstep archives last week. Deserves to be in here for the artwork alone: make no mis-steaks.” Reece Daniels

Treats (2010) by Sleigh Bells

“Big, distorted breakdowns and drums,with catchy girl vocals. What’s not to like?” Phil Quigley

From back in the mists of time...