Music For: Headphones

We’ve been looking at music from a vibe perspective; this weekly process has brought us on extended drives, daydreams, physical charged-ups, summer bliss-outs, and mind-laps through positive waters. The next is dedicated to headphones, one might say more beat-based stimulation on the whole—the stuff that can really move around the ear cabin.

[BoxTitle]Neil Young: Trans[/BoxTitle] [Listen][/Listen] [BuyNow][/BuyNow]

Did you know Neil Young made an electronic rock album about futuristic cowboys? Well he did in 1982 and it apparently confused everyone. He’d later explain that his unexpected use of a vocoder (computerized voice) was both a nod to German band Kraftwerk, and a reference to communication attempts with his son who suffered from cerebral palsy. While Trans didn’t thrill critics initially, it has taken on cult classic status decades later and proves to be a surprisingly re-playable little journey through a wild west gone Tron.

[BoxTitle]Gold Panda: Companion[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideos][/MusicVideos] [Listen][/Listen] [BuyNow][/BuyNow]

Arguably at the very top of his genre, London’s Gold Panda twitches sounds like no other. Sampler-made but far from sample music, if that makes any sense, Panda has a unique ability to shred beats and vinyl cracks into nostalgic seance pieces. Composed of work that predated last year’s Lucky Shiner LP, Companion is a massive, varied, and essential collection.

[BoxTitle]FACT Mix 183: Baths[/BoxTitle] [FreeDownload][/FreeDownload]

Cerulean, the 2010 debut from LA’s Baths, first seemed to resonate with the electronic community, and simply kept spreading, winning over just about everyone who appreciates a heartfelt composition. That is what makes Will Wiesenfeld’s process stand out—he crosses synthetic with human so compellingly. And the “mix for softer summers” he made for FACT almost a year ago still finds it’s way into heavy rotation, consisting of all his own works (both as Baths and his more ambient project Geotic).

[BoxTitle]Monster Rally: Crystal Ball[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideos][/MusicVideos] [FreeDownload][/FreeDownload]

Over a series of releases since last year, Monster Rally has mastered a brand of hypnotic exotica which sounds more like it came from a far away island than his bedroom in Ohio. Crystal Ball runs like a warped flashback to that Hawaiian vacation you never had in the 1950s. Brainwashing Tiki repetition…you’ve been warned.

[BoxTitle]Birkwin Jersey: Time Doesn’t Exist, Clocks Do[/BoxTitle] [FreeDownload][/FreeDownload] [BuyNow][/BuyNow]

A young knob twister from the UK, Graeme Coop aka Birkwin Jersey has been blog-world praised since releasing Time Doesn’t Exist, Clocks Do through Absent Fever last month. If it’s possible, the album almost sonically interprets the very idea presented in its title, moving in patient yet frenzied swarms of organic glitchery. Texture is the key element here, as audio tidbits, guitar loops, flying strings, and straightforward beats all come together into something refreshing, and very promising.