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“Dolby’s Top 10 Tracks Jan. – Mar. 2022”

10 Juga-Naut – “Dropping Hints”

A jaunty, jazzy but tense beat help this UK rapper sustain an overall vibe on “Dropping Hints” with the ambience of work music and the verbose energy to soundtrack your solitary nights or train rides.

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9 La Milagrosa – “Asesinos”

Amongst what seems to be a litany of Hispanic punk bands achieving semi-fame on Bandcamp, Brooklyn’s La Milagrosa explode out of the speakers in all Spanish lyrics and some tight, crisp hardcore fury like At the Drive-in come full circle back to straight-up confrontation.

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8 L’Orage – “Pentatetrahydratonic”

Swiss jazz group L’Orage (not to be confused with the also DD-lauded rapper L’Orange) lock steps in unison to whisper out ambient, anthropomorphic jazz, music in which the statements are undeniably purposeful and original, flanked by beautifully angular drum beats and perfectly mixed upright bass.

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7 Midlake – “Gone”

Midlake’s new album For the Sake of Bethel Woods is vast, sprawling and multifarious, not only in style but also for some of it seeming like a stab at radio popularity and some emanating as original. “Gone” is the undeniable centerpiece, slotting into that last category and riding an impossibly relentless and dissonant bass line for a truly spooky but groovy project in rock minimalism.

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6 Rudimentary Peni – “Blissful Myth”

London’s Rudimentary Peni channel old, traditional punk rock like Crass and The Da**ed for a rude, edgy ride in maximum rock and roll, with Nick Blinko’s vocals even sounding half-woman, like a figure defiantly antithetical to fitting preconceived molds, or accepting them.

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5 Ibibio Sound Machine – “Electricity”

Though not technically classified as “world music,” London’s Ibibio Sound Machine pump out eclectic, anthemic funk rock that just seems poised to get people from all over the globe gettin’ down in unison. “Electricity” showcases their knack for unleashing a dizzying synth riff as a hypnotic sonic backdrop against which the other elements can act as subtle ornaments. 

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4 Julmud – “Marhale A’la”

Your favorite new IDM tycoon out of Palestine has bestowed with a robust slab of beats and blips, Tuqoos, on which the fourth track just seems to most intricately juxtapose uncertain Four Tet texture with the busy sense of rhythm and dynamic mix of Flying Lotus. 

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3 Spoon – “Wild”

Just gimme indie rock, baby! Lucifer on the Sofa (2022) is a welcome retreat back to lo-fi from the band’s brief dabbling in electronica on Hot Thoughts, and they sound rejuvenated and also newly hurt, in a sense, which, let’s be honest, is always a good thing in these bands’ endeavors of soundtracking cafes and Whole Foods’ across the land. 

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2 Factor Chandelier – “Garbage Island”

Wikipedia has Factor Chandelier as a “Canadian underground hip hop producer,” while Bandcamp lists his locale as New Haven, Connecticut and from the subject matter of this song I could have sworn “garbage island” meant LA. Either way, it’s the playful, youthful naivete of this track, along with the amusing, half-baked bits of wisdom like “Until the animal learns to write / The hunter receives all the glory”, that make this thing solidify into a gem.

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1 Tomas Fujiwara’s Triple Double – “The March of the Storm before the Quiet of the Dance”

Free jazz is the emphatic game of NYC’s Tomas Fujiwara, who’s credited with drums and vibraphone on the Bandcamp listing of this band’s self-titled album, with this track in particular miring in almost complete disarray and disorder, peppered with aimless trumpet and cornet riffs, before this weird, grating guitar attack leads things into the sort of unruly, maniacal discord it’s rare to find in any music these days, but for which, perhaps, the breathy genre of jazz seems particularly equipped.

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