Turing Machine, Mr. Oizo and more.

JORDANA PRESENTS: 1.8.7, The Cities Collection (Liquid Sky) Great Britain may be the birthplace of drum-and-bass, but nowadays many US producers make records that rival the best by their UK counterparts. Among the most underrated is Jordana LeSesne—a.k.a 1.8.7—part of New York's influential Jungle Sky posse. Her third full-length, The Cities Collection, features nine tracks named for American metropolises (alas, no Seattle), and though some display characteristics that may seem incongruous with the inspiration ("Miami" is slow and ominous), each cut is as distinctive as the burg that spawned it. The album incorporates more variety—both within and between tracks—than many jungle DJs drop in a whole set. "Hollywood" starts out with a cinematic fanfare ࠬa Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, while the brisk and sinister "New York" dances and jabs like Ali in his prime. But for all the atmospheric nuances, the disc doesn't fall short as dance fare either, fortified with pummeling beats and tweaked frequencies. Buy American!--Kurt B. Reighley

TURING MACHINE, A New Machine for Living (Jade Tree) Turing Machine have a venerable history in complicated underground rock: Guitarist Justin Chearno and bassist/synth guy Scott DeSimon made up half of Pitchblende and drummer Gerard Fuchs played with Vineland. Both antecedents were known for peals of guitar noise draped like wet army blankets over rock-solid rhythms. The guys' new band carries on that tradition on the debut A New Machine for Living, sidestepping memorable melodies in favor of heavy, weblike guitar workouts and muscular underpinnings. Like Don Caballero, Paul Newman (the band, not the blue-eyed actor), or the more synth-oriented Trans Am, Turing Machine spotlights the mathematical precision of its songs by excluding vocals, which allows the trio's soft/loud dynamics to steal the show. DeSimon smears the results with synthesizer blots and splotches, giving them an edgy sound that's at once retro, referencing Krautrock, and avant, inching away from traditional rock. ("Got My Rock Pants On" even starts out like a Neu jam before its burly bass line brings it back into a Fugaziesque realm.) The album's six beefy songs (the seventh's a 48-second noise fragment) cover a straight and narrow swath, but do so very deeply. "Flip Book Oscilloscope," for example, sustains its tension for more than six minutes, barely shifting gears, before achieving an impassioned crescendo. Even without words, Turing Machine has achieved an Excedrin-worthy headfuck.—Lydia Vanderloo

MR. OIZO, Analog Worms Attack (Mute) First "performed" by a fuzzy yellow puppet in a Levi's television commercial, the single "Flat Beat" earned its creator, Mr. Oizo, instant notoriety. But if Oizo's beats were ever flat, he must've left them in the backseat of a locked Oldsmobile on a 103-degree day. All manner of warped rhythms and distorted effects rear up on his first album, Analog Worms Attack. Like a DJ scratching up his vinyl to create breakbeats, Oizo (the pseudonym of French video director Quentin Dupieux) breaches convention to emerge with an oddly musical sound. So it is with the album opener, "Bad Start," a series of distended, out-of-synch beats that fly in the face of trad notions of melody and rhythm yet hew to a goofy internal logic. Oizo likes synthesized squelches and brainwave-altering drones. He's also fond of a particular fuzzy bass beat that mimics a blown speaker, showcased in the dubby "Monophonic Shit" and "Smoking Tape." There's a hint of blaxploitation soundtrack on "Miaaaw" and a pert nod to Prince's funky guitar on "Last Night a DJ Killed My Dog." The title track and "Feadz On" incorporate the scratches of DJ Feadz into twisted, lo-fi hip-hop, like Money Mark reflected in a funhouse mirror. While Oizo's cheerfully simplistic sound could turn sour quicker than month-old milk, Dupieux never labors to create that unschooled effect. He's just a natural born amateur—and a mighty good one at that.—Jackie McCarthy

 
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