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October Top 10

It's that time again. Most of these records are out already; a few aren't. They are all exceptionally good, and if you ask me next week, I will say the same thing.

Dave Aju, "Be Like the Sun" (Circus Company)
A finalist for my top 10 of 2007, Aju's cut leverages the offbeats to create an uncommonly buoyant take on deep house, moonstomping all the way to the center of the dying star.

Bruno Pronsato, Why Can't We Be Like Us (unknown)
Not out til December, this is Bruno Pronsato's best work yet—a nine track album of rippling funk and burbling, underwater percussion. You can hear Ricardo Villalobos' unmistakable fingerprint in the bubble and the squeak, but in the tracks' uncanny cohesion there's no doubting that Pronsato has found a voice all his own.

Chica and the Folder, "Angelus Novus (Ricardo Villalobos Ritus Mix)" (Monika Enterprise)
Ricardo Villalobos is at his most melodic on this 13-minute sprawl of melancholic chords, new-wave bass, oblique vocodings, and all the chirp and flicker you've come to expect.

Hauke Freer, "My Beat" (Real Soon)
Here's your autumn anthem. This one-sided, limited 12-inch from London's Real Soon swirls strings, broken-beat-inspired drum programming and shards of female vocals into a statement of yearning at its most wrenchingly physical.

Mr. G, "The Subbie" (no label)
As far as I know, this is as-yet unsigned, which is a little baffling: all the requisite elements—a grinding ostinato in the high-end, chunky tribal-house rhythm, and a stabby little riff that sticks in the mind like a golden skewer—make this a stormer on the floor.

Fingers Inc. feat. Robert Owens, "I'm Strong" (Clone Classic Cuts)
Twenty years after its release on Larry Heard's Alleviated label, "I'm Strong" gets a Clone reissue; it sounds so far ahead of its time, you begin to wonder what, exactly, electronic-music producers have been working on these past two decades—not innovating much, apparently. Owens—whispering, yelping, growling, cooing in an Arthur Russell-like falsetto—has never sounded more unearthly.

Jan Driver, "Kardamoon"/"Trains" (GrandPetrol)
One side features a squall of Turkish horns; the other a locomotive's lonely cry steaming up from under lightning-jagged chromatic riffs. Both sides—selector beware!—play from the inside out. In other words, the whole record has "gimmick" written all over it, or at least it would if it weren't such a potent melding of devil-may-care eccentricity and no-frills functionalism.

Supermayer, "Two of Us" (Kompakt)
Say what you will about the album—a far funnier, stranger and more light-hearted work than most people give it credit for—this is a bona fide bomb, despite the fact that it nearly buries its pulse beneath an avalanche of grit. Heard loud in a crowded room, this is absolutely monstrous. Not monstrous meaning "monstrous" but monstrous meaning, you know, like a monster.

October, Invitation EP (Caravan)
Former broken-beater Jules Smith goes techno and turns out a dark, oily three-tracker full of seasick synths, scuffed rhythms and the occasional full-on Carl Craig flare-up.

Zimmerman, #4 (Room Recordings)
Jens Zimmerman, "ModModBlubBlub/O-N-Y-X" (International Freakshow)

After a wonderfully weird Speicher record, Jens Zimmerman just keeps getting weirder. Both of these records suggest the sounds of a crowded public space—Grand Central Station, say—as heard when packed in oil and sealed inside tin cans. And yet! You can dance to it.


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