10 Great Releases (and 1 Weird One) to Listen to Right Now

Here’s a quick showcase of 10 great releases — and one weird one — you’ll want to be listening to this week and beyond.

Nite Jewel – Real High

I’ve already touched on this album from Ramona Gonzalez somewhat, when writing about the Italians Do It Better-released companion EP. However, after hearing the entire record I’m convinced of a couple things: (1) I didn’t do Nite Jewel’s work any justice, because this album is excellent and one of my favorite releases in the past 15 years; and (2) By channeling early 90s Janet Jackson, Nite Jewel has created her best album. I could write a 1,500-word review or a 7,000-word treatise on this album, and I couldn’t do it justice. You’ve gotta hear it. It’s transcendent.

Will Eastman – ‘Detroit Disco (Feat. Furniteur)’

Eastman teams up with DC-based synthpop project Furniteur to pay homage to the city that has given us so much great music, including house and techno.

CONFRONTATIONAL – ‘Summertime Love (Feat. Tobias Bernstrup)’

Sardinian producer CONFRONTATIONAL just released a killer, heavied-up cover of Sabrina Salerno’s 1987 Italo Disco hit. It’s a treat and a great way to usher in the summer.

Bonus: Learn more about CONFRONTATIONAL, who has an affiliation with the John Carpenter family.

Hecher and Ward – Untitled Forthcoming Project

Most people know Peter Hecher as disco producer PH Groove and founder of Tonite Records. Most people know Shawn Ward as synthwave pioneer FM Attack, whose records Tonite released for many years. But what most people don’t realize is that together, these two Canadians have created some pretty great nu-disco/house music. Apparently, after a long hiatus, they have something in store for us. No word yet on a release date.

Drab Majesty – ‘Not Just a Name (Antoni Maiovvi Remix)’

Darkwave artist Drab Majesty gets the remix treatment of Antoni Maiovvi (Giallo Disco Records/Death Waltz Records) and the result is spectacular. For more from Maiovvi, read our big interview and get up to speed on some of his best original songs. The original version of this Drab number is on the Dais Records release, The Demonstration.

Forbidden Hues – ‘Who Put the Love Sludge on Your Disco Dancing? (To Make You Feel)’

There’s something off-kilter about this haunting cut, by an artist (artists?) who often sounds like 2814 or one of the less vapory offerings on Dream Catalogue.

Hoops – ‘Worry’

Dreampop band Hoops, from Bloomington, Indiana, is great at taking the C86 sound of early Wild Nothing and pairing it with Ariel Pink’s haphazard wizardry to make something of their own. The song below is the supremely chill closer from the trio’s recently released album, Routines. Catch them at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis on June 1, among other venues thereafter.

Duett – ‘Connections’

This is a couple months old already, but don’t let that get to you. This is a sweet synthwave number from an EP of the same name. Recall that Duett is supremely talented.

The G – ‘Tropical Summer’

This is an intriguing synthwave cut from the guy who runs the Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together blog. It’s a rather minimalistic, tightly wound concoction that manages to do something rare among the newer crop of synthwavers: Avoid over-genuflection at the altar of all of those venerable pioneers. The melody’s catchy and it has a nice groove to it — and if it does recall the past it reminds me of the dreaminess of FM Attack.

Electric Youth – A trio of mixes

This isn’t a release or releases. However, what follows makes for a really great time. Over the years, Bronwyn Griffin and Austin Garrick have put together some great mixes. Among those are three February-timed sets that I’ve been revisiting lately. Great cuts include mashup College & Electric Youth Vs Lifelike – “She Never Came Back So Electric”; Alan Braxe & Fred Falke – “Love Lost”; and Sébastien Tellier – “Aller vers le soleil.” Special note: The third part of the trilogy they did for Vice/Thump, inspired by an Oscar-nominated documentary on Seattle street life. Other note: Don’t forget to fall in love with Electric Youth’s latest cut, “Good Blood.”

(Feature Photo: Cover art for Hoops’ Routine album. Art by Jenna Beasley)

Now for the Weird One

I’d be remiss if I didn’t share this bizarre thing I rediscovered while moving to Brooklyn this weekend.

The Mainstream Fetishists – ‘Stealing Your Mannerisms to Get a Girl’

Don’t know a lot about this one, other than that I kind of know the person. Anyway, take a listen and ask yourself: Has Sonic the Hedgehog become a serial killer?