Author Archive

MXDWN’s Top 40 Songs of 2010

December 20th, 2010

For as many great albums as we had the pleasure of hearing this year here at MXDWN, there were at least twice as many great songs. Whether included within our albums of the year or not, these songs represented the best of what the year had to offer musically for us, and offered great promise for the years to come. Here they are: MXDWN’s 40 Favorite Songs of 2010…

Read more…

By Robert Huff Posted in Features , ,

MXDWN’s Top 40 Albums of 2010

December 20th, 2010

The start of a new decade brought a literal sprawl of exciting and excellent new music to desk of MXDWN this year, arguably more than we’ve ever seen before. This final list, picked and ranked by our various writers and editors, captures what we feel to be the cream of the crop of what we heard and enjoyed over the last twelve months, both in quality and diversity. Hopefully you will either agree for discover a new favorite for yourself. Either way, we give you MXDWN’s 40 Favorite Albums of 2010. Enjoy!
Read more…

By Robert Huff Posted in Features , ,

Warpaint – The Fool

October 28th, 2010


Nobody’s Fool But Their Own

After stirring up a fair amount of hype over the past year following their Exquisite Corpse EP, Los Angeles’ Warpaint brings us their delicately brooding debut full-length, The Fool. Caught between the worlds of propulsive post-punk and drifting dream pop, the quartet aim to have the best of both, with impressive but uneven results. Read more…

By Robert Huff Posted in Reviews

Blonde Redhead – Penny Sparkle

September 14th, 2010


Sparse but Sparkling

Seventeen years and eight albums into their career, Blonde Redhead don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon, nor do they seem content to stick with established formulas. After switching from droning on their earliest records, to dreary on Misery is a Butterfly, to dreamy with 2007’s swoon-worthy, 4AD debut 23, Kazu Makino and brothers Amedeo and Simone Pace have returned to turn the last remaining stone: electro-pop. The trio take what could be a jarring transition on Penny Sparkle and sell it with surprising, impressive smoothness. Read more…

By Robert Huff Posted in Reviews , , , ,

Caribou – Swim

August 19th, 2010


Everybody in the Pool

In interviews leading up to the release of his latest and possibly greatest release as Caribou, Dan Snaith asserted that he drew inspiration from water and learning to swim, wanting to create more fluid and danceable textures. Mission accomplished. A far cry from his masterful, sunny ’60s influenced predecessor Andorra, Swim finds Snaith bathing comfortably and confidently in the nocturnal now. Read more…

By Robert Huff Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews ,

The Golden Filter – Voluspa

June 16th, 2010


Let the Golden Age Begin

After spending the last year and change building up considerable buzz in the blogosphere, The Golden Filter have finally released their full-length debut album, Voluspa. With all of the well-received singles and high profile remixes (Cut Copy, Peter Bjorn & John) they’ve released up to this point – not to mention the painstaking efforts that members Penelope Trappes and Stephen Hindman initially went through to mock up their own sense of mystery – expectations were undeniably, almost impossibly high for them to stick the landing. Fortunately, despite brief moments of wobble, Voluspa is an often inviting, if not always inventive, mission statement for the band that suggests The Golden Filter have plenty of sparkle left to spare. Read more…

By Robert Huff Posted in Reviews

Ellen Allien – DUST

May 18th, 2010

Ellen Allien - Dust

The Glittery Kind

German DJ demigoddess Ellen Allien has long been a tentpole artist for an often divisive genre (that ever-illusive “intelligent dance music” everyone keeps talking about). In her decade-plus career as an artist, producer and head of her own BPitch Control label, she has been responsible for some of the more subtly triumphant techno of recent memory, her peak still being her gorgeous 2006 collaboration with fellow IDM-cee Apparat, Orchestra of Bubbles. On DUST, her sixth studio album and first since 2008’s SOOL, the original Berlin-ette seems set on splicing the post-apocalyptic sparseness of that record with the alien warmth and accessibility of her Apparat work. The result finds her mining the same sonic stratospheres but with a slightly different sparkle in the sky. Read more…

By Robert Huff Posted in Reviews

Little Boots – Hands

March 2nd, 2010


She Could Use One

One has to wonder what the logic was behind delaying the stateside release of Victoria “Little Boots” Hesketh’s debut album Hands for so long (it made its way to the rest of the world last Summer). During that lag time, we’ve seen similar, superior femme-pop albums from the likes of Annie, La Roux, Florence and the Machine, even a new supplemental album from the ubiquitous Lady Gaga make their respective dents on the blogs and the charts. To strut Little Boots out now almost begs American listeners to compare and contrast, not to mention unfairly paints her as a coattail rider to newcomers when in reality, her demos and singles were making the rounds online before any of their recent efforts. Nevertheless, it matters not who does it first, only who does it better. And despite a valiant effort and some tenuous highlights, Hands can’t help but be left in the dust by her peers. Read more…

By Robert Huff Posted in Reviews ,

Hot Chip – One Life Stand

February 9th, 2010


We’ll Give You Laid Back

With the release of their breakthrough 2006 album The Warning, Hot Chip developed dueling signature sounds: the cheeky, floor-filling mania of “Over and Over” and the soulful, Euro-disco balladry of “Boys from School.” If 2008’s Made in the Dark found the band trying to indulge the former, One Life Stand shows them perfecting the latter. Though that approach may come at the cost of another single on par with those past, it makes up for it with new found consistency and artistic subtlety. Read more…

By Robert Huff Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews

Beach House – Teen Dream

February 3rd, 2010


It’s a Vision

To the more causal listener, there may not be a high ratio of substance to style when it comes to Beach House. Undeniable masters at creating atmosphere, they’ve arguably focused too much on perfecting that atmosphere and not enough on filling it with actual songs in the past. 2008’s Devotion was a definite step in the right direction, revealing a good deal of quality songs and melodies to those willing to dig through the gossamer for them. With Teen Dream, Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand have grown tired of waiting for you to come to them. These songs pierce and shine straight through the fog without compromising any of the duo’s dreamy aesthetic, finally perfected here to positively gorgeous effect. Read more…

By Robert Huff Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews , ,