Boomkat Product Review:
K7 and the heads at Cool In The Pool look to the "Sounds From A New American Underground", compiling a timely selection of brilliant tracks from oOoOO, Balam Acab, Washed Out, Crystal Castles vs HEALTH, Animal Collective, Toro Y Moi and many more (18 tracks in total). Thinking abut it, it's a kinda obvious compilation to make, but surprisingly nobody has stepped forward to square these overlapping circles yet, so kudos where it's due! The tracks here fall into four hazily distinct camps; firstly the Tri Angle sound, craftily meshing wistful R&B and shoegaze pop in the form of Balam Acab's spine-tingling hymn 'See Birds', the screwed numbness of oOoOO's 'Sedsumthing', Creep's Salem-biting 'Hot Sh*t' remix of Baghdaddy, and the briliant Fever Ray-alike 'Tangled' by Hideous Men, one of the album's biggest surprises. Next, there's the hypnagogic polaroid gang, loosely referencing mid-late '80s pop ephemera in the form of Small Black's 'Despicable Dogs', Toro Y Moi's smudged boogie dreams 'Fax Shadow', the blurred Yacht pop of Washed Out's 'Feel It All Around' and Bear In Heaven's 'Lovesick Teenagers'. Then we got the ecstatic new pop types like Animal Collective, HEALTH and Crystal Castles, who perhaps stretch the underground tag a bit far, among the likes of Truman Peyote's Panda Bear styled 'Kartwheels' and Pictureplane. And finally a noticeable strain of disco and Chicago house leanings, from Slava's tinted boogie, to Peter House Music, and the Horrors Cosmic Dub of 'Bicycle' all favouring more dancefloor friendly structures. As we said though, those categories all overlap and entwine, so make of it what you will. Either way, this is proof, if it were needed, that the USA really has a super-potent strain of pop undercurrents tugging the rest of us quite hard at the moment - and if you're new to any of the artists on board this should be a real eye-opener. Recommended.