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Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now

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  1. Doomtree, Affiliyated

A remix EP that is anything but routine, Affiliyated finds various members of Minneapolis’ Doomtree crew reworking bits from Gayngs’ 2010 debut album Relayted. The resulting mixes are entirely fresh, each sounding nothing like the source tracks they came from.

  1. No Surrender, Medicine Babies

An album bursting with New York City afro-punk, Medicine Babies is rounded out with production by Radioclit and contributions by the likes of TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and longtime Tricky collaborator Costanza Francavilla. As a bonus, one of the group’s key members is Eddie Steeples, who might be better known for his roles as “Crab Man” on My Name is Earl or the endlessly positive “Rubberband Man” from a series of award-winning OfficeMax commercials.

  1. PJ Harvey, Let England Shake

John Parish, who collaborated with PJ Harvey on 2009’s A Woman a Man Walked By, returns as one of Let England Shake’s key contributors, alongside former Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds staple Mick Harvey. Rare is an album that makes darkness sound so thoroughly inviting.

  1. Teams and Star Slinger, Teams vs. Star Slinger

The label explains this split as “six blog-rockin’, booty-shakin’ rippers, culled from vinyl-sourced samples of R&B and modern soul classics and reworked, twerked, and shimmied into the matrix of hip-hop rhythms, sunshine, and classy, electro-clipped states of mind.” Somehow, I’m not sure if even that tongue-twisting description covers the range of this funk-heavy collaboration between the Knoxville, TN and Manchester, UK producers.

  1. DJ Shadow, I Gotta Rokk EP

Comprised of three originals and three remixes, DJ Shadow’s new EP is a sharp U-turn from his largely forgettable 2006 release, The Outsider. If “I Gotta Rokk” and “I’ve Been Trying” are any indication of what’s to come with Shadow’s forthcoming album, The Less You Know The Better, 2011 will mark a welcome return to glory by one of the genre’s greats.

[This article was first published by Nerve.com.]