music journalist since 1992 | educator since 2004 | podcaster since 2020 | Iranian American since birth
Worshipping The Dollar
One of the few beats-based artists out there that are maintaining their ’90s energy and maintaing their identity while keeping themselves relevant and current with today’s sounds. Click their name to read my review of the album for Elektrodaily.com
Listen to “Countermeasure” from the album.
Pacific Standard Time
(Day and Night Recordings)
“Daytime disco,” that’s what this Los Angeles-based duo is calling its sun-kissed, breezy, mid-tempo creations. I became a fan after experiencing them DJing at the Hammer Museum when they included songs that reminded me of my mommy circa the ’70s.
Watch the video for “Slow Down” on Pitchfork TV.
Experienced reggae musicians make up this D.C.-based roots group whose self-titled debut album is produced by the Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton. Low-key and accessible, there is nothing so intense on here that will alienate the casual reggae listener.
Download/stream “Ghetto Gone Bad” for free.
Dan Le Sac
Space Between The Words
Le Sac’s first venture without Scroobius Pip is a lot more chill and less gimmicky sounding that previously heard. Exploring sonic areas with a little more substance to them than tongue-in-cheek dance music, this album deserves a little more than a cursory listen.
Watch the video for “Play Along.”
This classic mix series gets the proper treatment from Germany’s Digitalism. Quality selection with teeth that is unexpected and at the same time familiar expertly mixed and highly entertaining. Click the duo’s name to read my interview with them for Soundctrl.
Listen to some tracks and remixes on their Soundcloud page.
Diamond In The Mind: Duran Duran Live 2011
Given that I’m an ’80s child, by default I have to be a Duranie. I am, but it’s really by default and not because I had pin-ups of them on my walls. I did, however, have all their albums because their music is quality. Read my preview for their concert by clicking their name.
Watch a “live” performance of “Something I Should Know” from ’83.
Richard Sen Presents:
This Ain’t Chicago: The Underground Sound Of UK House & Acid 1987 – 1991
This is a seminal guide to pre-commercial dance music in the UK. My generation, this is the soundtrack to our rave birth. Read my review for Elektrodaily.com by clicking on his name.
Check out Richard’s Soundcloud page.
Julia Stone’s brother is a real panty-dropper. On his solo album the languorous music serves his seductive voice–he doesn’t know how to sound any other way. Stone hoarsely whispers lazy sweet nothings, come hithering non-stop with his crackle-tinged delivery.
Watch the official video for “Wooden Chair.”
Bit of soul, bit of jazz, bit of folk this young Brit sounds like he’s an old American guy, to quote myself. He also went to school with my boy Jackson Ducasse so that already puts him in an exalted position. Click his name to read my interview for Planet.
Watch the official video for “Tell Me A Tale.”
The Very Best
Bi-continental music from Europe and Africa that showcases superior sounds from both sides in a compatible blend. African drums on top of synth basslines equals Graceland for the post-millenium. Read my review for Elektrodaily by clicking on the name.
Watch the video for “Kondaine” premiered on Stereogum.
The Tapes series is to indie bands what the DJ Kicks series is to electronic artists. Foals’ multi-genred selection is split cassette-style into Side A and B, and is far more interesting than their own music. Click their name for my review for Under The Radar.
Preview the first 10 minutes of the mix here.
These long-time dancefloor stalwarts have been around since the dawn of electronic dance music. Hard to believe this is their first full-length. Worth the wait, but word of warning, it’s not dance music per se. Click their name to read my interview for DJ Times.
Listen/download “Going Down” for free.
The voice of Stereolab finds her own path on her solo album. I find Laetitia on her own more engrossing than what she did with the band. Sung in parts in French gives Silencio a bit of continental flavor.
Listen/download “There’s A Price To Pay For Freedom” for free.
The Brian Holland Sessions
A new goddess has arrived. Yes her name sound like a nose blow, but her voice doesn’t. Produced by Motown Brian Holland this girl is bringing that golden era back with her vocal and musical chops.
Listen to the whole album on Soundcloud.
I Am A Moth
This is not Chris Martin from Coldplay’s solo record, it’s just a guy that sounds disturbingly like Martin. Unlike Coldplay, however, Darton sounds genuine and heartfelt. Like old school Coldplay, Darton has a strong hold on melody as well as power choruses.
Watch the video for “Sing To Me Baby” and get it for free.
Synthesizers In Space
Multi-faceted and multi-dimensional, the ever delightful Lee is overlapping on releases. His record with AM still has momentum as he orbits with this album, and another as Ping Pong Orchestra. Click his name to read my review for Electronic Musician.
Stream the whole album on Soundcloud.
Political Animals (USA)
My daddy loves this abbreviated series–only six episodes long–but he’s a bit of a political animal himself.
Modeled after the Clintons to a large degree, this is a vehicle for Sigourney Weaver (Hillary), and she drives it well.
Read my review for Under The Radar by clicking on the show’s name.