Her Tears Taste
A couple of years ago Oliver Thomas Johnson was a synthesizer savant wooing YouTube commenters with his solo prowess on the keyboards and knobs (search for "Fooling Around on Micro Korg" and you'll see). Now he has re-emerged as Dorian Concept, with an equally jaw-dropping EP that takes electronics to the next level. This is machine-era instrumental music that can rope in fans of jazz, classical and even the most jaded techno lovers (and haters). Go get it now.
BASS DRUM OF DEATH
If the name didn't tip you off, Oxford, Miss., duo Bass Drum of Death aren't making music for the genteel Southern set. Driving, dirty, raw guitar riffs complement singer John Barrett's distorted vocals, which push one girl away Saturday night ("I Could Never Be Your Man") before pulling another in on Sunday morning ("Religious Girls") in between swigs from a bottle of whiskey. No song sticks around very long, but these swaggering rock & roller boys are exactly the kind you wish would.
[Shanachie Entertainment/Caged Bird, April 5]
More than 20 years after being discovered by R&B power producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Mint Condition are still together, even joining fellow Minnesotan Prince on tour late last year. Their seventh album plays it safe, following the formula that created jazzy '90s slow jams like their "Breaking My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)." But slick production and smooth songwriting never go out of style, and this one's gonna be responsible for a batch of babies. "Not My Daddy," we're looking at you.
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Live in Concert
[Concord Records, available now]
A selection of tracks from this remarkable show (recorded here in L.A. at the Shrine Auditorium in 1964) was released in 1965, but what we have here is a full Ray Charles set from the original tapes. Charles, who was not aware he was being recorded, gave a characteristically genius performance, with bawdy asides and flashes of improvisational virtuosity. The slow numbers are so draggy, this could well be called Ray Charles: The Chopped & Screwed Concert.