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Mega Powers — Winterludes EP

  The piano may be a percussion instrument, but it inhabits an interesting place in instrumental taxonomy. Hammers strike a string, yet the result can be awfully melodic in a way that its cousin, the snare, can’t imagine. This odd piece of half-remembered information came to mind while listening to the new EP Winterludes from…

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Stef Chura — Messes

  Messes, the debut album from Detroit-based DIY singer/songwriter Stef Chura, is both a conversation and the spaces between the words. Raw, real, and honest, this collection of songs lives and dies by Chura’s voice. They carve into your head, deepening like the grooves of a record as Chura’s warble controls both the tempo and…

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MotorKam — BlackDaddy’s Greatest Hits

  Forming the complete musical package with a brand new alias and groundbreaking full-length, MotorKam released BlackDaddy’s Greatest Hits last month: a collection of experimental yet authentic tunes that continue his forward momentum. Straying far from his hip-hop roots, Kam delves deep into the realm of funky beats with dissonant but dreamy vocal harmonies that…

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Valley Hush — Valley Hush

  Valley Hush recently put out their highly anticipated debut LP. It’s surprising that this is the indie-pop duo’s first full-length, as they have been active performers since 2014. The self-titled release — most of which was recorded at Assemble Sound — includes the previously teased singles “Iris,” “Iced Cream,” “Sedimentary,” and “Concepts,” but the…

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Danny Brown — Atrocity Exhibition

  The first sound we hear on Danny Brown’s Atrocity Exhibition recalls nothing so much as it does the eerie slide guitar riff from the title sequence to the show Breaking Bad, which creator Vince Gilligan initially pitched as “a story about a man who transforms himself from Mr. Chips into Scarface.” By series end,…

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James Linck — No Future

  James Linck’s No Future is a bittersweet celebration of his last days in Detroit. This will be his final release before the alt-R&B singer-songwriter moves to the West Coast to pursue his musical career. While writing and recording this EP, Linck was not aware of his impending move, but in hindsight, No Future sounds like a sign of…

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Moonwalks — In Light (The Scales in the Frame)

  Moonwalks’ second full-length effort, In Light (The Scales in the Frame), is all blistering guitars soaring eight miles high across the firmament. The Detroit psych outfit have managed to take their wall of sound — huge enough, surely, on 2015’s Lunar Phases to excite any Trump supporter — and make it even bigger. The…

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Richie Hawtin — From My Mind to Yours

  In 1990, Richie Hawtin founded the Plus 8 record label along with fellow DJ John Acquaviva. The two second-wave Detroit techno artists initially released their own work, as well as that of other local musicians like Kenny Larkin. Soon the imprint crossed over to Europe, where rave culture and hardcore techno’s faster tempos reigned supreme. In Rotterdam,…

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Quelle Chris — Lullabies for the Broken Brain

  The word lullaby means something different to you than it does to me. It is a word that immediately brings to mind a specific moment, melody, or image. Most associate lullabies with sleep, the inescapable consequence of being awake. Every living thing knows what it is to sleep. Some find tranquility, while others wrestle…

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