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House Playlist: Santigold, Mouse on Mars, & Chromatics

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<em>House</em> Playlist: Santigold, Mouse on Mars, & Chromatics


Santigold, “Disparate Youth.” Lyrically, Santigold’s new single, “Disparate Youth,” adheres faithfully to the themes of small-town escape and youth rebellion of countless fight-or-flight pop manifestos before it. It’s what the track does sonically that elevates it above both its ilk and Santi’s recently released “Big Mouth,” which, though exhilarating, cribbed too much from pal M.I.A.—and Gwen Stefani. “Disparate Youth” begins with a synth arpeggio reminiscent in effect, if not sound, of Eurythmics’ “Here Comes the Rain Again,” followed by thunderclaps of metallic percussion. “Don’t look ahead, there’s stormy weather,” Santi warms just as guitar licks crackle like electricity. The song builds from there into an expertly layered piece of synth-pop whose “Oh-wah” and “Aye-o” hooks are perfectly complemented by co-producer Ricky Blaze’s dub embellishments. Sal Cinquemani

Mouse on Mars, “Polaroyced.” Even after 20 years of meticulous tinkering and process refinement, Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner continue to reexamine and expand on low-key IDM with every new release. The most remarkable thing about “Polaroyced,” from the duo’s upcoming Parastrophics, is how it manages to adeptly blend the trademark fractured jungle-club ambient sound Düsseldorf and Köln’s anointed sons of skittish beep-blip electronica perfected in the mid ’90s with a more contemporary techno structure. Beginning with glitchy computer-simulated handclaps that lead into jabbing wind instrument tones and pounding metallic percussion, “Polaroyced” soon finds itself in almost a state of avant-garde disco funkiness, freewheeling through a groovy, crackling synth riff that immediately beckons for the dropping of a massive mirror ball. A robotic soundbite closes the song with a question, “Jesus, what’s up with the Mouse on Mars?” Replay this track a few times and I’m sure you’ll arrive at an answer. Mike LeChevallier

Chromatics, “Lady.” Just five days after Portland’s purveyors of neo-disco leaked their stylish cover of Neil Young’s “Into the Black,” they’ve unleashed the third single from their forthcoming fourth album, Kill for Love. With its steady pulse, tantalizing minute-plus intro, and spacious electro arrangement, “Lady” somehow manages to sound both fresh and decades old. While one can’t pretend to understand exactly what “If I could only call you my lady, baby I could be your man” is supposed to mean, frontlady Ruth Radelet’s sensual and reverb-soaked vocals always have a way of making the substance of her sparse lyrics more or less beside the point. Kenny McGuane

House Playlist is a series dedicated to highlighting our favorite new singles, leaked songs, and album tracks.