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Javelin

It's not clear where Javelin belongs. The Brooklyn duo's part of the indietronic underground but hardly fits within any of the established rubrics, instead carving out a space of their own with an exceptionally effective mishmash of stylistic elements.

While their self-released 2008 collection of demos, Jamz n Jemz, moved with a dreamed, tripped-out shuffle reminiscent of chillwave, it's much funkier, indebted more to R&B and hip-hop than trance and acid-jazz. Early tracks bubble with bleepy Nintendo-rific cartoon bounce, but their samples are adventurous, playful and self-conscious as opposed to Neon Indian or Washed Out's gauzy lo-fi soundscapes. It has its occasional glitchy moments, and even attains grandeur reminiscent of Caribou while pursuing a decidedly more downbeat approach.

Indeed, the best corollary may be Dirty Projectors, whose experimental left-field approach seems particularly salient on tracks like "Off My Mind" whose Renaissance Fair chime complements vocal harmonies that move in and out like madrigals. Their official full-length April debut, No Más, amplifies their soul tendencies and reveals bursts of art-rock extravagance and density. Yet it's delivered with a light shimmering touch that never feels ponderous or indulgent. Like a coquettish flirt, it lures you into its colorful synthetic web, ever in pursuit but always just out of reach, alluring but coy.


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