Editors' Choice

Selections for

December 2016

Electronic Recordings from Maui Jungle, Vol. 2
Editions Mego
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British electronic musician Anthony Child (aka Surgeon) packs up his Buchla Music Easel and heads to Hawaii for a second volume of improvisations.
- Paul Simpson
Giovanni Rovetta: Messe pour la Naissance de Louis XIV
Alpha
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The Venetian celebrations of the birth of Louis XIV are imagined in this historic simulation by Benjamin Chénier and the Galilei Consort.
- Blair Sanderson
The Complete Capitol Singles 1957-1966
Omnivore
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A double-disc collection that contains the A- and B-sides of all the singles Buck Owens & His Buckaroos released between 1957 and 1966.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Monteverdi: I 7 Peccati Capitali
Alpha
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Capella Mediterranea celebrates the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi's birth with this album of excerpts from his operas and madrigals.
- Blair Sanderson
Wonderland
Modern Love
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The consistently brilliant electronic duo follows a series of limited 12"s with a thrilling album of mutated club tracks.
- Paul Simpson
Black Butterfly: The Essential Niecy
BBR
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Definitive and attractively packaged 1976-1989 overview of the top-tier pop-soul artist's rich discography.
- Andy Kellman
Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherSide
Odd Future / Sony Music
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The Odd Future rapper's proper debut album, clear-eyed and substantive, released seven years after his first mixtape.
- Andy Kellman
Better Left Unsung
The Royal Potato / Rpf Studio Productions
AllMusic
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Beautifully detailed and frequently inventive arrangements of Grateful Dead songs for solo piano.
- Timothy Monger
Fragments of a Rainy Season
Domino
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The artist revisits his album catalog to deliver a remastered and greatly expanded version of this live solo classic.
- Thom Jurek
DARKNESS AND LIGHT
Columbia
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The Academy Award winner's fifth album, produced by Blake Mills, is a fully evolved synthesis of gospel, folk, R&B, and adult pop.
- Andy Kellman
Before the Dawn
Concord
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The reclusive musician's return to the stage in 2014 is documented with this singular and spectacular live recording.
- Mark Deming
America Again
Sono Luminus
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Downes realizes that concert music influenced by jazz and blues or spirituals mixes naturally with actual jazz or blues pieces.
- James Manheim
Jackie [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Milan
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The composer's haunting music for Pablo Larrain's Jacqueline Kennedy biopic captures the disorienting strangeness of intense grief.
- Heather Phares
Wagner: Die Walküre
Naxos
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Jaap van Zweden and the Hong Kong Philharmonic present the second of Wagner's Ring operas, Die Walküre.
- Blair Sanderson
Vol. 1
Fat Possum
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Lo-fi meets AOR in a noisy battle to the death on the short, insanely hooky single from the Indiana duo.
- Tim Sendra
Don't Smoke Rock
iHipHop
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Bringing a taste of the Golden Age of hip-hop into 2016, this collaborative album is a nourishing standout of solid production and hard-hitting bars.
- Neil Z. Yeung
Just for Fools
Urinal Cake
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The Michigan-based garage pop group, led by songwriter Autumn Wetli, expands its sound on its third album.
- Paul Simpson
#7489: Collected Works 1974-1989
Mute
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Fascinating box set of early solo material by Cabaret Voltaire co-founder Richard H. Kirk, ranging from industrial experiments to acid house tracks.
- Paul Simpson
Talk to You Soon
Caroline / Terrible
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Indie electronic musician Sam Ray follows up his cult classic Three Love Songs with his best and most ambitious work yet.
- Paul Simpson
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis; Britten: Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge; Elgar: Introduction and Allegro
LSO / LSO Live
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Roman Simovic and the London Symphony Orchestra's String Ensemble present brilliant works by Elgar, Vaughan Williams, and Britten.
- Blair Sanderson
#9294: Collected Works 1992–1994
Mute
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Five-CD box set compiling early material by Sandoz, the globally conscious ambient techno project of Cabaret Voltaire's Richard H. Kirk.
- Paul Simpson
The  Mind's Eye [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Relapse Records
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Zombi's Steve Moore composed the excellent soundtrack for a telekinesis-themed horror film directed by Joe Begos.
- Paul Simpson
Singles: The Definitive 45s Collection 1952-1991
Strut
AllMusic
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The jazz icon's singles, ranging from '50s doo wop tunes to spoken intergalactic wisdom, are collected on this essential three-CD set.
- Paul Simpson
The  Storm
Strange Music
AllMusic
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Eleventh solo effort from the veteran rap workhorse that delves into familiar dark and honest territory.
- Neil Z. Yeung
Getaway [Deluxe Edition]
Merge
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The band reunites for another album of guitar pop delights, featuring members of Yo La Tengo. This edition adds a bonus disc of live shows.
- Tim Sendra
What a Way to Die
Sundazed
AllMusic
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Fine collection of rare goodies by this all-female '60s garage band from Detroit, featuring a teenaged Suzi Quatro.
- Mark Deming
Blue & Lonesome
Interscope / Polydor
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Mick Jagger dominates the Rolling Stones' quickly recorded, wholly satisfying blues album.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Doing It in Lagos: Boogie, Pop & Disco in 1980s Nigeria
Various Artists
Soundway
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A heady, glamorous anthology of disco, funk, and R&B that emerged out of Nigeria in the '70s and '80s.
- Matt Collar
Mahler: Symphony X
Wergo
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Yoel Gamzou and the International Mahler Orchestra perform his fresh realization of Mahler's unfinished Tenth Symphony.
- Blair Sanderson