Andrew Broder chose to end one creative exploit as a DJ and begin another, more collaborative incarnation as Fog.
Now four albums in, Broder’s choice to wrap his arms around a few pals (one of them whistler/fiddler Andrew Bird) and get their two cents leads us to Ditherer, a beastly, complex cache of rapid-fire pop.
Ironically, Broder’s mentality was to write in an altogether straightforward manner, and “Your Beef is Mine,” would bear that out. But once you hear, “Hallelujah Daddy,” with its party anthem closing chants and the brooding. murder-mystery trajectory of “On the Gallows,” Broder’s wild side officially takes over, and the journey his band of merry pranksters has laid out before you becomes strangely satisfying and unpredictable.—Mat Herron
The Thieves of Kailua
When it’s him and him alone, Jason Holstrom’s world overflows with tropical bliss.
This is in stark contrast with the connotation of “thieves,” which doesn’t hint so much at stealing something, instead, it insinuates that we’re stealing away from something. Thieves is a vacation for your ears, a romantic interlude by turns festive and contemplative.
In carefully sculpted compositions, written over the course of two years in his Seattle studio, Holstrom, a member of the United States of Electronica and Wonderful, realizes his vision on Thieves’ utopian overtures.
Fully exploiting the Hawaiian motif could prove tiresome, but Holstrom avoids the and? factor by keeping each one succinct, rarely breaking the three-minute mark. The resulting body of work will have you reaching for mai-tais, and for your lover. —Mat Herron