PLAYLIST: Bob Mould Picks Electronic, Punk & House
The legendary HÃ¼sker DÃ¼ rocker breaks down his favorite new artists and sounds.
Bob Mould may best be known as the pioneering frontman of HÃ¼sker DÃ¼ and Sugar, but since the late ’90s, the singer-guitarist has turned to DJ’ing, hosting dance parties with pal Richard Morel under the moniker Blowoff. Mould is a walking Wikipedia of music knowledge: Ask him about lo-fi electronic musician Chaz Bundick, for instance, and he’ll draw convincing connections to classic club tracks like Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better With You” before raving about his favorite new lo-fi punk groups like Dum Dum Girls.
Now that Mould’s revealing new memoir See A Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody is out – he opens up about HÃ¼sker DÃ¼’s break up, his struggles to come out in the ’90s, and his brief stint as a professional wrestler – SPIN asked him to discuss some of his favorite new artists. Which wasn’t such an easy task: “There’s just so much fucking shit out there nowadays,” Mould says with a laugh. “It’s a great time to be a music fan if you have a lot of spare time.”
This imprint, a subsidiary of British label Anjunabeats, has been at the forefront of progressive house music since launching in 2005. Two of Mould’s favorites on the roster are Jaytech (one of Anjunadeep’s A&R guys) and Michael Cassette. “It’s really classic progressive house, where there’s structural movement in the music and there’s a new textural component that’s introduced every eight bars,” he says. “I’m a fan when it’s done well and the sounds are tight. And this Michael Cassette guy is interesting, because the label is promoting him as this electronica superstar who doesn’t want to be found out. Everyone has their spin on the whole Daft Punk promotional thing, but his record is really good.”
Chaz Bundick is best known as the guy behind Toro y Moi, but he mines a similarly tuneful, lo-fi electro-pop sound with his side-project Les Sins. “‘Lina’ was my favorite song from last year,'” says Mould. “Chaz is really good with filter house mixing and it has the exact same feel as Stardust’s ‘Music Sounds Better With You,’ which is basically one of the biggest house songs ever. He’s really gifted.”
DUM DUM GIRLS
After flipping for the throwback girl-group pop sound of Best Coast, Mould discovered this retro-leaning rock act fronted by Kristin Gundred, who used to lead the San Diego act Grand Ole Party and now goes by Dee Dee in the Dum Dum Girls. Their recent EP, He Gets Me High, includes a cover of the Smiths’ “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” and was produced by Richard Gottehrer (Blondie, The Go-Go’s). “That EP is just stunningly good,” says Mould. “There’s this whole wave of really lo-fi, L.A. stuff that just knocks me out.”
UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA
“It’s really janky pop stuff,” says Mould of this Portland, OR, trio, who, after scoring buzz for posting one song on their Bandcamp, just released their self-titled debut on taste-making label Fat Possum. “But it’s got a nice funk to it. Simple, but noisy at the same time.”
FEAR OF TIGERS
Japanese-born, London-based musician Benjamin Berry leads this electronic act, which released the underground fave Cossus Snufsigalonica in December and later remixed tracks by pop stars like Kylie Minogue and Ellie Goulding. “His record really bowled me over,” says Mould. “It’s big, exciting, classic nu-disco and house stuff. Faster and really energetic and that’s what’s happening over in London now. One of the strongest albums I’ve heard in a while.”
It’s no shock that Mould loves these Los Angeles noise punks: Randy Randall and Dean Spunt teamed with him at All Tomorrow’s Parties in 2009 for a ripping rendition of selected tracks from HÃ¼sker DÃ¼’s 1985 classic New Day Rising. “They’re one of my go-to rock bands,” says Mould. “And their new album, Everything in Between, is a lot more realized, a little more epic in the songwriting department. They’re growing out of the three or four chord structures and adding a lot of dynamics. And I’m a sucker for their textural pieces too, real mood changers.”