Alex G has been the “internet’s best songwriter” for longer than you might expect. His first album, Race, came out in 2010, and yet it’s incredible to think that it came out closer to the Strokes’ debut than to today: It predicts both the bedroom-pop wave and the ‘90s revival, even as its odd ragtime influence and unpredictable mix make it sound like little else. Previously available only in unmastered Bandcamp form, it’s now available everywhere else, and though it’s been remastered, keep your finger close to the volume button in case the mix gets weird.
The new album from Russian producer Hoavi departs from his usual breakbeat-spiked sound to offer a survey of the past 30 years of dub techno. Dub techno is a head-expanding genre that’s paradoxically rooted in tradition, and Music for Six Rooms finds a way to corral the entire history of the genre—the rusted samples of Shinichi Atobe, the hash-bar ambience of Rod Modell, the nebulous chords Basic Channel made a prerequisite—into a 70-minute mind trip that’s as fun to get lost in as it is physically pleasurable to experience.
Shima presents Maya Stoner’s Floating Room project in full rock-band mode, and so confident is this longtime DIY fixture that she sounds like she’s floating in air even as she’s screaming. These four songs are bursting with love: for others (“Firetruck”), for herself (“I Wrote This Song for You”), for her Uchinanchu heritage (“Shimanchu”), for classic pop and rock-’n’-roll songcraft (“See You Around”), and for her partner Mo Troper, a power-pop scholar and sometime WW contributor who acts as producer and multi-instrumentalist.
Nite Jewel is one of the earliest and best chillwave acts, and her fantastic 2008 debut, Good Evening, submerges the sound of ‘80s and ‘90s Los Angeles in thick, murky water. Her voice sounds like it’s emerging periodically for air, the drums sound like rocks hitting a car window, and yet those basslines are so viciously funky that it’s no wonder she’d collaborate with West Coast hip-hop heavyweights like Droop-E and Dam-Funk. Washed Out and Neon Indian get all the love, but if you want to dive into the heart of the stuff, try Good Evening.