By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
Instrumentals, Volume 1 (Self-released)
This EP by reclusive musician/producer Harmonix could be a little dicey for the uninitiated. Crafted in his home studio, it's an ambient-oriented, hip-hop-flavored 26-minute platter of jangly New Wave synths, space jazz, and Southern low-end beats. The opening trio of "New Wheels," "Electrocrunk," and "Neptuney" might throw you off, leading you to think this is some experimental background noise. But it's jokes before the meat. With "Dillishis," the second half of the disc switches into a positively more serious arena where world sounds collide ("Tuyos") and slow Tantric sex rules the mind, body, and spirit ("Weather the Storm"). I look forward to more efforts from this dude.
Kronopolis Rising: States of Slumber (Oldjit Music)
This is a weird EP. I'm talking a spacey trip through a beat-infested jungle of paranoia and psychedelic effects that resembles a milkshake flavored with Tomita, Ferrante & Teischer, and Goblin. Trip-hop, jazz, sinister electronica, and aboriginal organic sounds all collide to form an eight-track, 40-minute-long voyage. Opener "Sk3th (Intro)" reminds me a little of Kid Kadian's retooling of the Dead Kennedys' "Kinky Sex Makes the World Go 'Round." Meanwhile, the other tracks go for sci-fi minimalism (is that a fucking theremin I hear?), as in "Beneath the Equator"; or let's-make-love piano stuff, as in "Ketch"; or the straight-up carnivalesque, as in "Lowres."
"Strangers/This Song" (Pirilla Records)
It's been awhile since the band's full-length, Receiver, was released in 2005, so this single is a nice snack for fans. The two songs here are well balanced in production and execution; they make sense paired together because they both rock out a little more than the postpunk people are made to expect nowadays. These are jams with the requisite keys and guitar-driven melodies (courtesy of Garcia Freundt and Xavier Alexander, respectively) backed by one of Miami's tightest rhythm sections (Roberto Moriel and Sean Perscky). And frontman Mario Giancarlo's vocals are, well, fun. He's having fun! The whole damn band is having a good time. Okay, now where's a full-length?