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Hexes & Ohs, Styrofoam, Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Balun, White Hole, The MFA

here we are again, another week in international music-land. playlist for yesterday’s radio show can be found right here and what follows is a slew of likely contenders who muddled their way on-air during our 120 minute round-the-world excursion >>

HEXES AND OHS [CANADA] (pictured)
alive until saturday night mp3
thanks to mystery and misery for turning me onto these guys, a rare fusion that takes the all the most electrifying parts of the electro-rock-post-punk boom, and mixes it up with smart-ass electronica. truly a tasty treat. they are a couple (this fact seems to surface a great deal, yet only in the context of them trying to distance themselves from the concept – odd…), heidi donnelly and edmund lam and were formerly known as a vertical mosaic. influences cited include new orderthe velvet undergroundstereolabtortoise and simon and garfunkel (i wonder who plays who in that role playing game?). check them out, ahead of their 2005 debut, at hexesandohs.ca.

STYROFOAM [BELGIUM]
vs TRISTEZA casio (styrofoam mix) mp3
styrofoam‘s new album ‘nothing’s lost’ is a killer – certainly the album of the week over at fat planet, if ever we had such a thing. styrofoam is belgian producer arne can petegem and for this new album on morr, he’s pulled together an a-list supporting cast – markus from the notwist, valerie from lali puna, ben from death cab for cutie / postal service, andrew from american analog set and, lo and behold, the wonderful alias from the anticon collective. with that kind of assistance, you can expect some fine results. you hear samples from the album over at morrmusic.com. free’n’legal sytrofoam mp3s seem hard to come by, so i’ve posted this one from epitonic, taken from tristeza‘s 2002 release mixed signals. more on tristeza here.

MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ [JAPAN]
sunrise mp3
the domino records site doesn’t reveal a great deal about duo tori and reiko kudo. this track is taken from an album entitled ‘blues du jour’ – a collection of 41 tracks recorded over two sessions in east kilbride in scotland. their previous album ‘return visti to rock mass’ featured a modest 83 songs. it took some google-digging, but i finally found some information on the band – a 2002 interview from the independent. on my searching the words ‘shambolic’, ‘syd barrett’ and ‘kitchen sink ‘surfaced a great deal, so hopefully you’re beginning to get a sense of where this odd japanese excursion might take you.

BALUN [PUERTO RICO]
senecio (revisited) mp3
seems that i owe quite a favour to mystery and misery this week – this is the second post that i’ve drawn music from today. well, now you know. mp3 blogging is one huge happy(ish) family, we all learn from each other, right? moving on… balun are a three-piece from puerto rico, with a sweet site and a quartet of tunes available to download from archive.org. i’m getting the feeling that central and south american electronica is growing in favour and it’s certainly finding some public attention beyond appaearing on the now-standard ‘neuvo latino’ compilations. i tried to have a crack at beatwave’s argentinian electronica comp, but apparently there’s itunes issues which prevents it from being sold in the US or UK. worth keeping an eye on for future developments.

WHITE HOLE [GERMANY]
peter builts mp3
i’ve been wanting to get a post together for this band for a while, following their very smart ‘pink album’ on kitty-yo. their track ‘charterflug’ on kitty-yo’s ‘futurism ain´t shit to me’ was the first pointer that this was going to be an interesting release. there’s so much great german electronic music out there that’s it very hard to keep track of what’s going on – there seems to be another great berlin artist every other week dropping into the fat planet sphere (what are gonna do?). white hole are however adopting more hip hop influences into their music, side-stepping the clean purity of most germanic electronica for something a little more organic. tasty.

THE MFA [WALES / LONDON]
the difference it makes (edit) mp3
i don’t like to post edits, but i’ve been loving the superpitcher mix of this track. eight minutes of glory that grabs the honour of being the first track in a long while to give me goosebumps on five consecutive listens. amazing. this is the original mix and is sadly curtailed, but hoepfully you’ll get an idea of what’s going on… the superpitcher mix is out through kompakt and the original can be found on border community.