Puja Patel

writer

Biography
New York, NY

  • Mala

    Mala, 'Mala in Cuba' (Brownswood)

    Mala is a tourist, but a cautious one. Discussing the self-explanatory Mala in Cuba, his first major release in years, the dubstep savant and member of South London’s Digital Mystikz admitted that he was hesitant to take on the project at all, explaining he had little knowledge of Cuban music and was wary of half-assedly dabbling in such lively regional sounds.

  • The xx / Alexandra Waespi

    The xx, 'Coexist' (Young Turks)

    The xx had a lot to live up to after their gorgeously choreographed 2009 debut; but as quickly as Coexist launches into opening track "Angels," the trio fully delivers the sort of emotionally manipulative cauldron-stirring their fans adore. There's the breathy, surely-about-to-faint whispers of Romy Madley Croft, of course, gently coaxing longing out of lyrics meant for late-night love letters ("You move through the room / Like breathing was easy / If someone believed me / They would be as in love with you as I am"), carefully balanced between honest, gut-wrenching desire and stalker-like idolization, all backed by the familiar echoes of an idly plucked guitar and the barely audible thuds of a drum. The result may be quietly soothing, but it's not exactly easy listening. As a brand, the xx have thrived almost exclusively on peddling the pedestalled idea(l)s of love.

  • Chrissy Murderbot, 'Friendship EP' (Halocyan)

    Chicago jukester chops R'n'B, cues blippy runs, drops on the clap, gives footwork a pop groove.

  • Various Artists, 'Future Disco Presents: Poolside Sounds (Needwant)

    Soft, tinkling disco and calm laidback house ideal for summer rooftops and Xanax use.

  • Digitalism, 'DJ-Kicks' (!K7)

    Bright waves of dance-punk and blurry grunts of electro relive "Pogo;" new production far outshines their last.

  • Maximo Park, 'The National Health' (Warp)

    Tired UK alt-rock for the era when Franz Ferdinand and The Bravery got radio play. Give us some pep!

  • Left to right, Icona Pop's Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo

    Icona Pop Talk Shop: Swedish Duo on Romance and Revenge

    When Swedish singers Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo decided to make music together, they had no idea what they were going to do. Literally. Though they attended the same music school in Stockholm, the duo's electro-pop outfit Icona Pop was born out of a chance meeting at a party — Jawo had come out of a particularly grueling breakup and Hjelt was in a bout of artistic malaise, and the two felt an instant creative connection. Eager to work together, they decided to start writing and figured their musical direction would eventually come to them just as naturally as friendship had. They finished writing their first song exactly one day later.

  • Diplo, 'Express Yourself EP' (Mad Decent)

    Mad Decent kingpin dives into screechy moombahton and bounce; Elephant Man and Nicky Da B start a riot.

  • Hot Chip, 'In Our Heads' (Domino)

    The bizarre video for "Night and Day," the first single off Hot Chip's fifth album, shows you what to expect. Amid an elastic bass line, black and white spaceships (manned by Reggie Watts and supermodel Lara Stone) zip toward a temple which houses a crowned egg guarded by Chippendales dancers and hooded monks chanting and flailing in ceremony, awaiting their cosmic visitors. The goal is unclear until the two ships merge above the temple to form a yin-yang, briefly reaching a moment of zen before crashing and exploding. This British dance-music outfit always has obscured their mission statements with absurd, off-kilter brilliance, though they're far from a novelty act. Sure, their geek chic has aged well, but In Our Heads proves that their pop-glazed production savvy still reigns supreme.

  • Simian Mobile Disco, 'Unpatterns' (Witchita)

    UK duo get wiser with age; forgo lusty electro-pop hooks of old for sexy slow-building minimal techno.

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