Kelela, "LMK" (Warp). People of refined taste are losing their minds to Kelela's Take Me Apart. I've not heard it yet, but the single "LMK" is promising—and strikingly accessible for a Warp Records release. Perhaps it's the venerable English label's attempt at Beyoncé-/Rihanna-like ubiquity in the avant-R&B realm? As these things go, "LMK" is a high-quality, sleek specimen of the casual-sex/lust song, balancing creamy vocals with crisp, skeletal rhythm matrices, buttressed by a powerful bass presence murmuring prurience in the background. It could be Warp's first #1 song in the U.S. Ain't that something? (Kelela plays Neumos on November 2.)
The Trashies, "Contact Low" (label). How do you make obnoxious sound appealing? That's a riddle many groups have been trying to solve for decades—at least since Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band and Hampton Grease Band were stalking the earth around the time your parents were in grade school. Add Seattle's Trashies to the select heap of combos who've discovered a way to convert spastic, thorny impulses into gripping music, as the new album, The Octagon, proves. The record succeeds partially through its brevity—the longest of the 11 tracks clocks in at 2:37—and largely through phenomenally wonky textures and surprising dynamics. If, as Sonic Youth posited, confusion is sex, then the Trashies are expert facilitators of prodigiously messy orgies. "Contact Low" could be circus music run through the most fucked-up fun-house mirror of audio effects your glue-sniffing mind can conjure. With roots in Hardcore-era Devo and MX-80 Sound, this track scours the brain with industrial-strength oddness and deviant propulsion. (The Trashies play The Know in Portland on October 14.)
Alessandro Cortini, "Vincere" (The Point of Departure). Lord have mercy, Alessandro Cortini may have out-Boards of Canada'd Boards of Canada here. What a grandiosely melancholy melody the Nine Inch Nails associate has lofted on "Vincere" (off the Avanti LP). It truly is a track for the ages, its descending chord progression and muted angel choir congealing into a threnody for the damned human race. "Vincere" is what's playing when they roll end credits on the slow-motion-apocalypse movie of our foolish existence. Jesus, I need to call IT to get these tears out of my laptop...
Digital Release, "Great Baws, Great Baws" (Drawing Room). Digital Release—Georgia (Brian Close and Justin Tripp) plus Matt Werth, boss of the stellar RVNG Intl. label—overcome their generic name with a really elusive jam that takes several listens to grasp... as so much excellent music does. The song's touchstones, if I may conjecture, are Jon Hassell's humid Fourth World musics, Moebius/Plank/Neumeier's Zero Set, and the freewheeling jazz piano found on certain Rip Rig + Panic compositions. In other words, "Great Baws, Great Baws" is a bizarre polyglot creation that betokens fascinating things. Digital Release, though... good luck with SEO-ing that one. "Great Baws, Great Baws" comes from the Positive Approach album, out November 17. The PR says it will sound like "My Life In the Bush of Ghosts as if conceived by Chris and Cosey," which should excite you.
Hound Dog Taylor's Hand, "The Day We Found Out" (Bandcamp). My favorite Seattle jazz-rock unit returns with an EP of focused fury and sublime, restrained beauty titled Inheritance Powder. In the latter mode, guitarist Jeffery Taylor, contrabassist John Seman, and drummer Mark Ostrowski hit upon a groove that slinks with the malevolent intent of certain key passages from Bitches Brew, but there's a more potent rock storm brewing, like maybe a calligraphic Quicksilver Messenger Service improvisation at the Fillmore, circa 1969. HDTH summon a roiling drama in eight minutes, gradually intensifying the subliminal-power-trio elements. This should be soundtracking a scene in that never-gonna-happen remake of Zabriskie Point. (HDTH open for Lee Ranaldo at Neumos on October 28.)
Noteworthy October 13 album releases: St. Vincent, MASSEDUCTION (Loma Vista); Courtney Barnett/Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice (Matador); Beck, Colors (Capitol); King Krule, The Ooz (True Panther); Wu-Tang Clan, Wu-Tang: The Saga Continues (Entertainment One Music); Robert Plant, Carry Fire (Nonesuch); King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard/Mild High Club, Sketches of Brunswick East (ATO); SISTERS, Wait Don't Wait (Tender Loving Empire); Exhumed, Death Revenge (Relapse); Lydia Loveless, Boy Crazy and Single(s) (Bloodshot); Tegan and Sara, The Con X: Covers (Warner Bros.); William Patrick Corgan, Ogilala (BMG); A. Savage (of Parquet Courts), Thawing Dawn (Dull Tools); Dan Deacon, Rat Film OST (Domino); King Khan, Murderburgers (Ernest Jennings/Khannibalism); Dolly Parton, I Believe in You (Dolly/RCA); Matias Aguayo & the Desdemonas, Sofarnopolis (Crammed); Melkbelly, Nothing Valley (Wax Nine).