i.o – Edit Architect

Get ready for a challenging listen on this one! This i.o album titled Edit Architect is a dense, tangled web of multi-tracked guitars, relentless drums, and whatever other glitches this Victoria-based bedroom recording project manages to throw into the works.

It’s like a fusion of free jazz, math rock, and the avant-garde. Give a listen and enjoy!

Save Us From The Archon – Thereafter

INSTRUMENTAL ROCK TIME!!! Pittsburgh’s Save Us From The Archon delivers some of the most intense and frighteningly tight math rock I’ve heard in a long time. The guitars and drums are absolutely dizzying on a lot of these tracks from their new LP, Thereafter.

These guys can really play their asses off, but the compositions on this album are also capable of serenity as well. Some gentle and beautiful guitar passages pour out of these songs when things settle down.

The music really fits the wintery setting displayed on the cover of this album. Sometimes music portrays a harsh blizzard, other times we’re getting a gorgeous, quiet landscape blanketed in white powder. Enjoy!

Big K.R.I.T. – “Pay Attention” ft. Rico Love

Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. drops a new single from this forthcoming album Cadillactica. After tracks like this and “Mt. Olympus,” I have to admit, I’m pretty excited for this album. It seems K.R.I.T. is finally finding that sweet spot between honing a commercial sound and still impressing as an MC.

“Pay Attention” is a sweet, sensual slow-jam, featuring a great hook from Rico Love. This might not be the kind of sound K.R.I.T.’s fans expect–or even seek out–but it’s pulled off well. It’s been a while since I’ve thought a track in this style was this tasteful. Kudos to K.R.I.T. on this one, and keep and ear out for the Cadillactica release date.

KARST – “Kistérségi / Regional”

Try out this track from the forthcoming KARST album. These guys fuse black metal and punk, and do a helluva job! The production is rawer than a skinned knee, the the vocals are absolutely ferocious. The black metal influences provide just enough melody to keep things interesting, and the performance on this particular track is especially ferocious.

This track comes off the band’s new album titled Lime Veins Bleed Rust. It’s self-released out available via the band’s Bandcamp page.

Armand Hammer – “B.E.T.”

New York MCs Billy Woods and Elucid are teaming up once again as Armand Hammer. They’ll be dropping a new EP soon, and the track “B.E.T.” will be one of the tracks featured on it. The title: Furtive Movements, and it’s dropping August 5th.

Like usual, Woods’ and Elucids’ bars are cryptic and dark. These guys continue to take hip hop to come dark, eerie depths–especially with that lone guitar line laced into the beat on this one. Enjoy!

NehruvianDOOM – “OM”

For months, there’s been talk of an full-length collab between DOOM and Bishop Nehru, and we’re getting the first taste of it with the song embedded above, “OM.”

DOOM is a seasoned underground vet that’s known for his eccentric rhymes, classic output, and ominous mask. However, Nehru is a relative unknown in the hip hop world. The young New York MC hasn’t dropped many projects thus far, but DOOM has obviously heard some serious potential in Nehru–enough to risk collaborating on a project of this magnitude, anyway.

I think I’m hearing what DOOM’s hearing as well. Nehru comes off confident and charismatic on “OM,” and he’s got flow and some clever rhymes, too. Even though he doesn’t have the most distinctive voice in the game, I’ll chalk it up to being young for now, and excitedly wait for him to come into his own.

Favorite line: “Am I being idolized, or am I a pair of idol eyes?”

Karen O – “Rapt”

Yeah Yeah Yeahs front woman Karen O recently announced her first solo album, Crush Songs, and everyone was wondering what it would sound like. Would it just be another YYYs album? Well, here comes the first taste, a song called “Rapt,” and for those who have been paying attention to O’s career, it isn’t much of a shock. While it sounds a little like a lo-fi track that wouldn’t have felt out of place on PJ Harvey’s Uh Huh Her, it is also very much a Karen O song.

The song actually originates from her brief stint under the moniker Native Korean Rock from a few years back. It centers on a patient, simple acoustic strum, and a very direct vocal. “Do I really need / Another habit like you?” O sings in the chorus, deciding that yes she thinks she might. The song clocks in under two minutes, which is enough. Yeah Yeah Yeahs have done acoustic renditions of their songs before, and they sound a bit like this. The minimalistic video, directed by her husband and production designed by K.K. Barrett (Oscar-nominated for Her), depicts O floating around underwater in a bright red dress, her blonde shock of hair gone brown again. None of this is too complicated, which is why it works. O has always sounded quite comfortable in a more intimate setting, and this little ditty has me looking forward to the album.

Crush Songs is out September 9 via Cult.

Lotic – Damsel in Distress

I’m starting to believe that Damsel in Distress, the latest offering from Berlin-based electronic music producer Lotic, has the potential to be the most compelling EP of 2014. The project spans 12 tracks of hard-as-hell, club-terrorizing beats, with a confounding but brilliant recontextualization of Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love” at the center of it all - I’m frankly in awe over how he managed to draw such raw emotion out of this freaking song. Overall, I’m digging the concept, I’m digging the sounds, and I’m definitely looking forward to what this guy does next. Hear what I’m talking about above and enjoy!

Damsel in Distress is out now via Janus.

Dope Body – “Hired Gun”

Baltimore noise rock band Dope Body drops a track from their forthcoming album, Lifer. It’s looking at a release this October on Drag City Records, just like their last album, and this new track of theirs is a heavy, wild piece of rock ‘n’ roll. While it’s not as kooky or groove-oriented as the cuts on Natural History, the band still brings forth some visceral riffs and a dynamic guitar interlude as well. Enjoy!

Hudson Mohawke – “Chimes”

UK-based electronic music producer Hudson Mohawke has recently announced that he’s got a new EP on the way via Warp Records. He’s dropped a new track along with the announcement, and it’s the title track of that forthcoming EP, Chimes. It’s dropping officially on September 29th.

Needless to day, considering I’ve enjoyed Hudson’s previous projects so much, I’m excited for what’s coming up on Chimes. The title track itself takes an incredibly loud, rowdy approach to the trap banger. While there are some ethereal, glossy synth passages on this track, much of it’s runtime is taken over by loud, distorted sub-bass and slightly offbeat synth horns.

It’s unquestionably colorful, and even though it might share a little too much common ground with what Hudson’s already done in TNGHT, I’m still loving what’s going on here.

Enjoy!