Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Remember all that stuff I said about feeling cautiously optimistic (or at least not fatalistic) about another four years of Bush. Forget it. I don't feel that way. I'm grasping at straws here.

M.I.A. and Diplo's Piracy Funds Terrorism mixtape is absolutely murder-hot, one of the best things I've heard all year. The two are an inspired combination. M.I.A. is all breezy homegirl charm, skipping rope over monster-hard beats like a new-millennium Neneh Cherry. The bit where she breaks into "Walk Like an Egyptian" is perfect. Diplo continues the great Hollertronix tradition of tapping directly into my brainpan, playing exactly what I want to hear when I want to hear it. Here he pulls out bubblecrunk bounce and low-tech early dancehall with occasional sidelines into baile funk and B-More club ("You Big Dummy", in fact, probably my favorite club track ever). This guy knows exactly what he's doing. M.I.A. is going to have to work very, very hard if her album is going to be anywhere near this good.

Also pure fire: DJ Roli Fingaz' Reggaeton Fever mixtape. This is the first reggaeton mixtape I've ever heard, so I have no idea if it's the ideal introduction to the genre, but it's working for me. This stuff is great, all chunky off-kilter drum machines and fleet, winding synth-guitar bits and frantic, occasionally Nellyish Spanish sing-rapping. Daddy Yankee sets it off a couple of times, but my favorite MC on here is probably Ivy Queen, the only girl. She's got this huge, self-assured, rumbling, joyous boom of a voice. She completely destroys the "Like Glue" beat. Roli Fingaz keeps things moving quickly, mixing tracks nimbly and never interrupting to yell his name. The end result is thrilling.

Pitchfork reported last week that my favorite band, Sleater-Kinney, has signed to Sub Pop and that they're recording with Dave Fridmann right now. I'm glad they're getting that paper, but I really hope Fridmann doesn't try to smother them with flugelhorns and glockenspiels and shit. They are not Mercury Rev.