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House Playlist Mogwai, TV on the Radio, & Tyler the Creator

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House Playlist: Mogwai, TV on the Radio, & Tyler the Creator

Mogwai, “White Noise.” The title of Mogwai’s new album, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, acts like a primer for the band: heavy, defiant, with just a hint of black humor. The opening track, “White Noise,” is exactly that, but after 15 years together, the Scottish quintet is able to make such brooding instrumental passages both hypnotizing and beautiful. A slow build up of precision drums, spindly guitar lines, and crushing piano chords, the explosion of sound halfway through comes as little surprise, but it doesn’t seem forced at all. Jurisprudence and restraint isn’t always a winning recipe for rock n’ roll, but Mogwai has made a successful career out of bucking trends. Michael Kilpatrick

TV on the Radio, “Will Do.” The first single from TV on the Radio’s upcoming Nine Types of Light is at once catchy and utterly bemusing. Its simple melody operates over rich, mercurial production and baffling lyrics that begin deceptively basic: “It might be impractical to seek out a new romance/We won’t know the actual if we never take the chance.” Sifting electronic beats and an elastic bassline groove beneath Tunde Adebimpe’s vocals, which stretch out across relaxed verses, convincing and courting amid “a lovesick lullaby.” After two choruses, Adebimpe veers into ambiguity—or at least occasional incoherence—and the layers pile on at the bridge until he shrugs off the encircling tension with a swoop of falsetto. Sean Ryan


Tyler the Creator, “Yonkers.” He and his hyper-surreal group of collaborators have had the blogosphere rocking for well over a year, and now Tyler the Creator and Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All are making their violent and unrepentant surge on the wider public consciousness. This is hip-hop that revels in even the genre’s most negative stereotypes, obsessing over violence, drugs, and misogyny with seemingly horrific honesty. Ross Scarano’s live review hints at the potentially immature nature hiding behind their unnervingly caustic style, but it’s difficult to dismiss the incredible excitement they’re harnessing or the talent which underpins each of their releases. “Yonkers” is perhaps the most polished export from the Odd Future camp, spearheading Tyler’s hype machine with a sensational video and the same sensationally provocative prose that suffused his 2009 album Bastard. At times it’s tough to listen to, and some disquieting couplets are difficult to stomach, but Tyler affirms himself as a truly magnetic performer. This isn’t a naff caricature of hip-hop’s rugged poise (a la Necro, Eminem, or any other rapper who habitually whores bad taste); it’s the darkest corners of the genre exposed, warts and all. Huw Jones