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House Playlist A Skillz, Kim Ann Foxman, & the Pains of Being Pure at Heart

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A Skillz, “Beatles Minimix.” Adam Mills (a.k.a. A Skillz) is taking over the U.K. one house party at a time, marrying his seemingly endless catalogue of influences with a riotous funky-breaks flavor. His latest effort was produced for BBC Radio 1xtra to celebrate the Beatles’s influence on urban music, and despite its rather stunted seven-minute length, it still somehow manages to pack the same staggering punch of its sprawling hour-long bretheren. Almost all of the Fab Four’s classics are revisited, coupled with deft hip-hop samples (see Jurassic 5’s flute loop over “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” @ 0:40) and some dancefloor-friendly remixes from Skillz (see his pulsating take on “Come Together” @ 6:32, or his “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” medley @ 3:12 onward). For Beatles fans, or for anyone with a funky bone in their body, it’s time to jump on the A Skillz bandwagon. Huw Jones

Kim Ann Foxman, “Creature.” “Creature,” the solo debut from DJ, dance-music savant, and Hercules and Love Affair vocalist Kim Ann Foxman, is an unmitigated techno record, entirely absent of disco’s swing, full of the kind of electronic jamming found on an extended 12”, with a pop song stuck between the deep-house synth workouts. Foxman’s vocals, an ineffable mix of sassy, teflon diva and hyper-sincere, indie-pop chanteuse, sell the song’s creeping eroticism and make it something both menacing and dance-ready and very much a throwback to a time when everything was trying to sound like Inner City’s “Big Fun.” And that’s a really awesome time. Brandon Soderberg


The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, “Heart in Your Heartbreak.” With the fuzzy indie pop of their 2009 debut, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart recalled a more upbeat My Bloody Valentine. The band’s expansive ideas and busy arrangements channelled through jangly, lo-fi production afforded their self-titled album a raw quality without undermining the plush musicianship. “Heart in Your Heartbreak” is a dreamy pop number with just the right amount of roughness around the edges, reaching a gorgeous crescendo as Kip Berman sings, “She was the heart in your heartbreak/She was the miss in your mistake.” And though the single gestures toward more conventional lyrical themes than their previous work (unless “Heartbreak” is another seminar on incestual relations), it’s a relief to hear the New York quartet on similarly astonishing form musically. Huw Jones