Worth a listen: Starfucker, Ancient Astronauts

The new R.E.M. album is the big news this week but a bit of a snooze. However, two of my early favorites of 2011 finally hit stores this week, and you should definitely give ’em a listen. First up, Starfucker’s Reptilians, a hook-laden shot of synth-heavy indie rock. There’s not a single weak link on the album, but “Bury Us Alive” is an early frontrunner for my 2011 year-end best-of playlist:

Head to iTunes and grab the deluxe version Reptilians, which includes a couple of excellent bonus tracks.

Who’d have thought that the best turntable-focused hip-hop album in years would have come from Germany? Ancient Astronauts’ Into Bass and Time is sharp, funky, and loaded with compelling beats, rhymes, and grooves. Dig “Worldwide,” my favorite cut:

Download Into Bass and Time at Amazon MP3.


Ancient Astronauts ain’t just the title of a volume of “Mysteries of the Unknown”

Ancient Astronauts -- Into Bass and Time

Ancient Astronauts -- Into Bass and Time

They’re harder to Google than you’d think, but Ancient Astronauts are worth the extra searching. I’ve been really digging the eclectic, Automator-esque sound of the German (!) duo’s forthcoming album Into Bass and Time, and you should, too: it’s hip-hop for people who want to listen to songs, not ringtones. A winning mix of breakbeats, funk, soul, and dub, I’ve yet to find a song worth skipping.

They also seem to be good people, to boot: they’re giving away the excellent instrumental album cut “Worldwide,” which has spent a lot of time in my playlists recently — listen/download below:

Into Bass and Time is out March 8, and you can purchase it directly from them at eslmusic.com. Definitely worth your bucks if you’re a fan of Cut Chemist and RJD2’s older work.