DAVID BOWIE VS. KCRW
[EMI, available June 7]
In honor of Bowie recording Station to Station in L.A., a quartet of our very own silky-voiced KCRW DJs decided to remix the album's first single, "Golden Years." From Anthony Valdez's version, which hints at Kajagoogoo's slyly sexy synths ('80s babies, remember "Too Shy"?), to the industrial stomp of Eric J. Lawrence's, to Chris Douridas' sparsely funky remix, all the boys turned Bowie out. But Jeremy Sole's Afro-funked-up take got Bowie simmering and our hips swiveling. Sexy.
Memories Come True
[Drag City, available June 21]
Cliffie Swan — whom you might also know by their previous name, Lights — serve up a My Bloody Valentine–meets-psyche-rock-influenced mix of reverb-heavy guitars and smoky, restrained vocals. "California Baby" features a haunting hook and plenty of guitar effects to soak up the vocal harmonies; "Yes I Love You" is a mix of hard rock, folk and psyche. They've been compared to Fleetwood Mac, a tremendous compliment with which we happen to agree.
[Cryptogramophone, available June 7]
(Raw) Power Trio music by alto saxophonist Tim Berne, drummer Jim Black and next-level avant guitarist (and accidental celebrity through membership in Wilco) Nels Cline. We could tell you this is a live recording of two long, improvised pieces of metal-jazz performed at John Zorn's experimental New York club the Stone, but this is so much more than the mere factual. It's body-electric music that will hit you hard in brain, heart and crotch. Ideal cleaning-the-house music for sound freaks.
A Young Person's Guide to Mark McGuire
[Editions MEGO, available now]
Never mind the stupid title: This is a beautifully curated compilation of some of the compositions released by the 24-year-old guitar, tapes and guitar-synth prodigy between 2007 and 2010. Rather than despair over hunting down all the limited-edition CD-Rs and tapes put out by the Emeralds savant, just relax to two CDs of sophisticated ambient music in the Eno/Aphex Twin tradition. Virtuoso new age music for jaded souls.