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Odd Nosdam, ‘Level Live Wires’ (Anticon)

Odd Nosdam’s David Madson — also known as beatsmith for the avant hip-hop threesome cLOUDDEAD — finally gives his dark, dense instrumentals room to breathe on his fifth album. Some of the layers remain, but tracks such as the pulsating “Kill Tone” and the spacey, spacious “Fat Hooks” invoke DJ Shadow’s most shadowy, soundtrack-like moments more than the doom-laden steamrollers of previous Nosdam discs. Still, it’s far from most definitions of pop, even when Madson enlists TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe for a guest vocal on “The Kill Tone Two.”

Now Hear This: Odd Nosdam – “Fat Hooks” DOWNLOAD MP3