With our appetite whetted by the release of a collection of LCD Soundsystem remixes, the band's grandmaster, James Murphy (left), is stepping back into the limelight. In September he told 'Mojo' about recording a new album: "We decided, let's make Los Angeles an imaginary Los Angeles of the soul from 1973. Everyone had to wear white all the time, so it's like some sort of creepy cult." Then a succinct message was left on the band's Facebook page, "Record: March. Tour: after." Next Murphy posted an entertaining blog on MySpace discussing social networking sites, blogging, making the new album, art, and the glory of useless things in the face of creating a "functional" new website for the band. Following that, Murphy started availing of Twitter – twitter.com/lcdsoundsystem. Now amid all that talk comes a new song. It's a cover of Alan Vega's "Bye Bye Bayou", with a sleekly epic disco makeover. It will be released as a 12" vinyl on 7 November in aid of Record Store Day and digitally on 24 November. Listen to it at 22tracks.com/disco; it's mightily addictive.
Trying to get a handle on the breadth and diversity of music that emanates from Africa is tough but the blog Awesome Tapes from Africa offers a handy entry point. Though based in Brooklyn, the site offers a brilliant primer to all manner of interesting African music. Each posting consists of a brief snippet of information on an African artist and a selection of streams of their songs. The latest post concerns Mah Kouyate No 1 and her band Samaya Djeli, purveyors of Mandingo griot music from Mali. Her voice is a delight; at turns leathery and then beautifully delicate. I heartily recommend a listen to the five tracks posted – awesometapesfromafrica.blogspot.com.
Albums in the stream
There are a host of up-coming albums previewing online this week: Devendra Banhart's (right) record 'What Will We Be' is released next week, hear it now at tinyurl.com/yg2tu37. Meanwhile, Phoenix have released a full LP collection of remixes from their album 'Wolfgang Amadaeus Phoenix' – hear it at tinyurl.com/ykhgge4. Finally, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova won a Best Song Oscar in 2007 for "Falling Slowly"; now they return with a new LP, 'Strict Joy' – it's streaming at tinyurl.com/yf5a5jh.
Sonic Youth recently appeared on the US television series 'Gossip Girl', which might seem strange, but at this stage the veteran New York art-rockers can basically do what they want. Two characters were getting married in last week's instalment of the Manhattanite teen drama. Naturally, Sonic Youth turned up as the wedding band at the shindig and, to throw a further curve ball into the mix, Kim Gordon officiated at the wedding too. They then played a sweet-sounding acoustic version of "Star Power" (from their 1986 album 'EVOL'). Watch it at tinyurl.com/yfgxzf7. To coincide with the appearance, the band have released an official accoustic version of the song: get it at sonicyouth.kungfustore.com
Dancehall and dubstep go Dutch
The new LCD Soundsystem song (see above) was originally posted on the Dutch website 22tracks.com, and New York postmodern disco aside, the site is definitely worth further investigation. It acts as a constantly streaming jukebox, with specialised Amsterdam-based DJs each selecting a playlist of 22 tracks in various set genres – from rock to hip-hop, dancehall to dubstep, and much else in between. It's a great way to discover new music.