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Played This Week

August 14, 2009

DeerhunterMicrocastle: This is another record that took me a while to get around to. What with all the hype, and it making so many best-of-2008 lists, I kept hearing good things and had it recommended a few times but it just never seemed to materialise for me to listen to. Not sure I was expecting it to sound like anything in particular, but based on the little bit of their stuff I’d heard before this, this record is way more sort of Phil Spector-ish pop than I’d imagined. From the opening notes to the end it never really breaks into a shout or gets very abrasive, but drifts, full of excellent songs and lots of echo. Can’t go wrong with that combination. The more I listen to it, the more I dig this.

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Tony Allen and the Afro Messengers – No Discrimination: The last in a series of four excellent, definitive records that Tony Allen did in the mid/late seventies (the other three with the Afrika 70 band), this one came out in 1980 and marks the point when he started to take afrobeat in new directions. Being that Allen was the rhythmic architect of the whole afrobeat thing, who better to push it into new areas? Nobody, as this one shows. Allen and band deliver four jams here that take the heavy, hypnotic walking-drum grooves of the aforementioned albums and add on some sharper horn stabs, more prominent guitar, and squelchy synth, giving rise to, as Allen himself called it, afrofunk.

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