Chimp Beams, Menina (Consent Productions). Almost mellow enough to get boring, Menina's spaced-out dub instrumentals would benefit greatly from more guest vocals. The New York-based Japanese trio adds experimental jazz, hip-hop and house to its approach, resulting in a lighter flavor than that found on its 2004 debut, Vibrato. Operating heavy machinery while listening to Menina is strongly discouraged.
-- Morgan Wells
Wayne Bergeron, Plays Well With Others (Concord). Here's a trumpeter who's played with Ray Charles, Tito Puente, Christina Aguilera and, heck, even Green Day. On Plays, Bergeron showcases his chops, blasting the high notes with a fluid and pristine tone and a delivery that's almost too clean. Maynard Ferguson fans, rejoice. -- Jon Solomon
Busdriver, Road Kill Overcoat (Epitaph). Regan "Busdriver" Farquhar's newest salvo is epitomized by "Kill Your Employer (Recreational Paranoia Is the Sport of Now)," a frenzied flurry of tongue twistas that he delivers in a voice ranging from silly to stentorian. The disc is sometimes heavy-handed (a typical alterna-rap flaw), but it ultimately succeeds thanks to sheer weirdness and Busdriver's pedal-to-the-metal style. Buckle up.
Cerrone, Cerrone's Paradise (Malligator/Recall). Producer Jean-Marc Cerrone's disco-era productions were ornate, flamboyant and memorable. Cerrone's Paradise, from 1977, is one of five reissues from his heyday that come complete with their bizarre original packaging -- which in this case means a cover photo of a naked woman splayed atop a refrigerator, for no apparent reason. Guess she wanted to chill.
Dead Voices on Air, From Labrador to Madagascar (Invisible Records). Veteran industrial noisemaker Mark Spybey makes mantras for machines and tone poems for technology with an entrancing blend of the organic and the electronic. Is that a swarm of cicadas tuning up their chirpers or a battery of hard drives whirring to life? Either way, the effect is stirring, soothing and sensual. -- Eryc Eyl
Daytime Volume, The Day We Transposed (Expunged Records). Channeling nearly fifty years of Brit-poppers and wannabes, three Portlanders and a bevy of hangers-on create a shimmering record of rainy-day pop. Like Turtles and Monkees who've gone too many days without sunshine, Daytime Volume crafts heartbreaking ditties that grin through the tears, finding beauty and buffoonery at the center of life's sadness.
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