Four Tet: There Is Love in You
"The bliss is back" reads an early review of There Is Love in You, which is good new for fans of Four Tet's "folktronica" sound. The disc represents Kieran Hebden's first full-length Four Tet release since 2005; recent years have seen Hebden devoting his time to a series of experimental works with jazz drummer Steve Reid.
Massive Attack: Heligoland
Coming a full seven years after the innovative group's previous effort 100th Window 75, Massive Attack's fifth album (named after a German archipelago in the North Sea, to answer your question) is a stripped-down, song-based effort, according to Billboard and other sources. Many of the new songs played live in recent years are surprisingly absent here -- as are long-rumored new collaborations with the likes of Mike Patton, Liz Fraser, Dot Allison, and Beth Orton -- but the disc does include a wealth of guests, including Portishead's Adrian Utley, Martina Topley-Bird, Damon Albarn, Hope Sandoval, and TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe.
The Streets: Computers and Blues
Mike Skinner's fifth (and possibly final) Streets disc will apparently be more "ravey" and danceable than his recent work.
The Knife: Tomorrow, In a Year
Swedish electro-pop duo The Knife impressed most critics with their 2006 release Silent Shout 74, and the duo's female half, Karin Dreijer Andersson, did the same last year with her solo debut as Fever Ray 81. Not a true follow-up to either disc, Tomorrow, In a Year is actually the soundtrack to an opera of the same name about Charles Darwin, composed by The Knife in conjunction with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock, and performed for the first time last September.
The tenth album from the veteran British experimental electronica duo is -- like its predecessors -- filled with cryptic song titles and even more cryptic songs. The pricey vinyl edition features The Designer Republic's usual terrific design and packaging work.
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma
The Los Angeles-based producer's third release for Warp Records lands in April. Known as "FlyLo" to fans and "Steven Ellison" to relatives, Flying Lotus is also the composer of much of the music heard on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim bumpers.
Daft Punk: Tron Legacy OST
We're not sure which is crazier: the fact that, nearly 20 years later, Disney is making a sequel to Tron -- or that Daft Punk is providing the score. But we are happy about both. While an all-Daft Punk soundtrack release in 2010 is not a done deal, the group is reportedly providing two dozen new tracks for the December film, so at the very least there should be some new Daft Punk material out by the end of the year. Oh, and the French duo even have a cameo in the movie.
Goldfrapp: Head First
Confirmed: That 2008 mostly acoustic release Seventh Tree 78 was, in fact, a detour (albeit a pleasant one). The beats are back on Head First, the UK synth-pop duo's fifth album, which includes the disco-influenced lead single "Rocket."
Lali Puna: Our Inventions
The Munich, Germany electronic-pop band -- which includes vocalist Valerie Trebeljahr and The Notwist's Markus Acher -- return with their first album in five years.
The dance-punk band's first release since the death of drummer Jerry Fuchs and departure of vocalist John Pugh is reportedly near completion, and could be released as soon as April.
Sure, the Australian collagists have released just one album in their 16-year history, but what an album it was: 2001's Since I Left You 89. Since they last left us, The Avalanches have busied themselves by DJing, remixing, and working on album number two, which has appeared on release calendars next to the letters TBA for at least five years. 2010 could indeed be the year that album finally finds its way to fans; there are indications that the record was completed months ago, with sample clearance the only remaining obstacle to a release.
The last we heard, the French electronica duo Justice was finally due to release its follow-up to 2007's acclaimed Cross 81 (aka †) in early 2010. We haven't heard anything to the contrary, but there certainly haven't been any album announcements, either -- so let's hope no news is good news.
Intended as a counterpart to 2009's energetic Junior 74, Senior will be a quieter, darker "more introverted" affair with few, if any, vocals.