GOLDEN RETRIEVER, SWAHILI, HOLY BALM, CLOAKS, DJ CHARLES BERLITZ
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Golden Retriever, that duo of bass clarinet and modular synth, are generous with singles and EPs, but their second full-length, Occupied with the Unspoken, really shows what they can do when they commit to an album. Constantly expanding and contracting strata of blips and drones make the album feel like you're listening to the world's most beautiful science experiment. They are the standouts in the lineup, which says a lot, since they follow Swahili, an ambitious psychedelic band that mashes together every sound they enjoy—tribal, drumming, synths, drones, shoegaze vocals—to exhilarating, gorgeous effect. It's either complete luck or they are the most talented producers in the world. Holy Balm is a dance band from Australia, who seem to have a monomania for an aggressive sort of synth-fueled fun. Their name implies something soothing and nurturing, which I guess could be accurate if the dance club is your idea of church. REBECCA WILSON
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