This is the start of a new monthly feature in which Times pop music critic Randall Roberts recommends essential new music and reissues.
William Tyler, Impossible Truth (Merge Records)
Tyler is a solo acoustic guitarist whose 2010 album “Behold the Spirit” was a quiet but oft-menacing joy. A self-described “Nashville lifer” whose father, a music biz insider, was once chased down the street by a knife-brandishing David Allan Coe (but then who on Music Row hasn’t been?), Tyler has strummed in service of acts including country-soul band Lambchop, country singer Charlie Louvin, soul vocalist Candi Staton and folk troubadour Bonnie “Prince” Billy. “Impossible Truth,” which comes out March 19, is impossibly beautiful. The highlight of these eight meditations is the epic 10-minute “The World Set Free,” which injects distortion and percussion into his mantras.
File under: mesmerizing solo folk guitarists
For fans of: John Fahey, Sandy Bull
TeamSupreme, “Collection 1” (Alpha Pup)
TeamSupreme is a group of electronic producers, many L.A.-based, that collaborates on bouncy rhythm tracks as a kind of game. With more than 44 recordings (available for free on YouTube and SoundCloud), the collective has followed simple rules: Using a few sound samples and a tempo or two as a guide, each producer in the 19-member collective builds a two- to three-minute beat; these individual beats are then worked into a single quarter-hour roller coaster of a track. The results are a blast -- synthetic instrumental jams filled with tripped-out rhythms and deep, complicated textures. Check out Nalepa’s “Uh Oh Hey Um,” a hypnotic work built around kids saying the aforementioned words; Nobody’s “Lingus,” a stab at the thriving trap subgenre, bounces as it marches. And Penthouse Penthouse’s “In the Penthouse” is the strangest new music you’ll hear this week.
File under: freakazoid beats, music games
For fans of: Flying Lotus, Aphex Twin, Baauer
Rhye, “Woman” (Innovative Leisure/Loma Vista/Republic)
Created by a Danish producer and a Canadian multi-instrumentalist based in Los Angeles, Rhye’s debut full length, "Woman," is a soft pillow of soul, just right for quiet nights when you want to groove loudly. A dozen songs that suggest British chanteuse Sade, the gentle euro soul of Spandau Ballet and Everything but the Girl, the easy but tense jams on “Woman” are both familiar and fresh. Innovative? Not at all. But romance doesn’t require surprise.
File under: music for romancing
For fans of: Sade, Frank Ocean
Fleetwood Mac, “Rumours” 3-CD reissue (Warner Bros.)
Many of us know the lyrics to the songs on Fleetwood Mac’s classic from 1977: “Go Your Own Way,” “Second Hand News,” “You Make Lovin’ Fun,” “Don’t Stop,” “The Chain” among them. But you don’t know them as they’ve been polished on this classic three-CD reissue. Remastered to high gloss, the songs that Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks created for “Rumours” jump out of the speakers. On earphones, the sounds pour into the head. Also included is an excellent collection of live recordings from the subsequent world tour. Most exciting, though, is the disc of rehearsal takes. Sequenced identically to the original release, the disc is like experiencing these songs anew — as hard as that is to believe.
File under: classic albums, essential reissues
For fans of: L.A. rock, California
Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit
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