Herbert's newest, "Scale", will continue to earn praise from the sorts of people who rep unreservedly for every Luomo release. It's whimsical melodies, purring vocals, and bumping grooves make it a very difficult album to hate, but it's coffee shop appeal and lightweight tone make it even more difficult to love. Herbert has never found a way to translate the sweaty intensity of his live shows onto record, particularly when vocals are involved. I also don't understand how he can preach the "bring down the American empire" rhetoric on the back of a record this complacent. Sure, I can appreciate the anarchic spirit involved in destroying Big Macs, but am I supposed to be lulled into revolution by plaintive female voices lecturing me about feelings?
The sales blurbs for Luciano's 2002 remix of Salif Keita's "Yamore" claim that it was years ahead of its time, and I wholeheartedly agree. It's been rereleased on Luciano's own Cadenza label and it's only fitting that it follows Villalobos' "Achso" on the label's release schedule because it blends perfectly with the style of that EP. The frittering background percussion and hazy ping-pong melodies effortlessly and faithfully emulate "Ichso" (or rather, the other way around), and that's before the stomping minimal beats slam in. As is the case for virtually all Luciano remixes, this one is about three or four minutes too long, but that's easily forgiven when the rest of it is this solid.
Finally, I've been getting my doom/drone/metal fix from Darsombra's "Ecdysis". It's the solo brainchild of Brian Daniloski from the Baltimore metal band Meatjack, and as its opening notes slowly build from a death drone into a screaming, wailing wall of guitars, you know you're in for an intense 35 minutes. I love it when you're two minutes into an album and are already blown away by its greatness.