Why it was awesome: It all started with Superchunk. Singer/guitarist Mac McCaughan and bassist Laura Ballance are Merge's Adam and Eve, the duo that founded the label to release their own records, and then their friends'. XX Merge wouldn't have been complete without hearing songs as vital as Superchunk's 1989 single "Slack Motherfucker" -- and their shockingly spot-on new stuff, like "Learned to Surf."
Alessandro Cortini tends to surround himself with darkness. The Italian producer is most infamous as a torturer of modular synths and other bleak electronics for Los Angeles’ most famous industrial-goths, Nine Inch Nails. His previous solo LP, Sonno, slinked out on Prurient’s Hospital Productions — a bastion of the crepuscular, if there ever was one. And… More »