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My two most recent discoveries of late have been pretty exciting ones. The first I won't go into detail with , but I would like to mention in passing nonetheless. During the CMJ festival, at a packed Cooler waiting for the irreplaceable Brian Jonestown Massacre to take the stage, I was tremendously impressed with the previously unfamiliar to me, Starlight Mints. With their mop-tops, pleasing "la la la" background vocals, and 3 minute Brit pop numbers., the ecstatstic crowd did not want the band to leave the stage.

They all but showed up Brian Jonestown who had a wonderful show themselves. It was like watching the Beatles open for the Stones circa 1967. The show felt like a rock spectacle, as a rock show should.

My other discovery, completely unrelated in any way other than the pleasure he has brought me is Vladislav Delay. On his 2 most recent releases Multila and Vocal City this native Helsinkian has amazed me.

My favorite of the two is Vocal City (produced under the alias Luomo) a minimal house disk that is textured with enough subtlety and nuance to make House sound important. Rich vocals, a touch of dub, and a strong German techno influence help create a House disk that actually sounds like it is more than mere background noise spun by some clueless DJ at Canal Jeans . Needless to say, I am not usually a fan of the genre, but from start to finish, Vocal City is smooth and pleasing without compromising its integrity with bad samples or cheesiness. Vocal City showed me that good House music can be made.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Multila is a wonderful mesh of minimal techno, drone, and dub filled with the clicks and clacks you would expect to come from Helsinki. Think of a less melodic Pole, with touches of drone. This disk is definitely darker than Vocal City and is notable more for its uniqueness. But that is not to say it isn't an enjoyable listen because there is not a bad song to be found here. The third track, "Huone" is of special significance with its hypnotic touches of dub.

This Scandanavian genius should be commended for creating two disks that are so enjoyably different. They share only in the quality of the music. If you want to groove, pick up Vocal City first, otherwise Multila is great for a late night zone-out.

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