Welcome back to our weekly roundup of new releases worthy of your attention.
As always, we’ve tried our hardest to provide the most diverse and interesting selection we can. It’s where Kesha meets Oneohtrix Point Never, where formative African street-funk meets neon-lit Los Angeles dream pop.
Soundtrack your weekend with these five gems.
Soul of a Nation — Afro-Centric Visions in the Age of Black Power: Underground Jazz, Street Funk, & the Roots of Rap 1968-79Various Artists
We’ve had this amazing compilation on repeat in the Crack office this week. Released via Soul Jazz Records, this collection of foundational records acts is built to act as a companion piece to the Tate Modern’s Soul of A Nation exhibition which is running till October. Blueprints for funk, rap and powerful soul which preach power and resilience.
As the title and the artwork suggest, the third studio record from California pop star Kesha is an eruption of colour. Kesha rolls through a spectrum of genres – gutsy blues with the late Sharon Jones’ Dap Kings on Woman, gossamer Katy Perry-esque pop on Hymn and open-hearted confessional balladry on Bastards. In light of her ongoing legal situation, the genre-hopping freedom which the record exudes is an act of defiance – an unflinching look forward.
Good Time (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)Oneohtrix Point Never
So this record is kind of eclipsed by OPN’s collaboration with Iggy Pop which closes the whole thing out. That stirringly human ballad comes after 40 minutes of futuristic sci-fi splendour and Carpenter horror minimalism. It’s some of Lopatin’s best work – giving his contorting electronics a theatrical sheen. And, seriously, Iggy’s perfectly imperfect vibrato might make you weepy.
The Beach GothsRed Axes
We were very excited to premiere this album earlier this week. The latest LP from Tel-Aviv duo Red Axes is a gorgeous trip through genres and styles. Balearic blissfulness, loose reggae, caustic psychedelia and streaks of chugging proto-punk all poured into one collaborator-heavy full-length. It’s the sound of spending hours in the studio with all of your peers and trying out every idea that comes in to your head. Thrilling stuff.
Cage TropicalFrankie Rose
Having operated in Brooklyn’s indie community for some time – perhaps most notably as a member of Dum Dum Girls – singer and drummer Frankie Rose finds a lush, shoegaze-indebted sound on this fourth solo record. It’s a short record – 10 tracks and under 40 minutes – but the songs carry a richness in production that makes them really fill a space.