The summertime jam has long been the territory of top-40 dancing queens and bubble gum rappers. The idea of wasting one more summer trying to convince myself that that Jadakiss song is awesome kills me. So the Vanguard went to the source for all quality music at PSU, the red-hot station manager at KPSU, Ava Hegedus, and asked her to give us something to bump other than that bullshit Gwen Stefani and Eve nonsense.
Bonobo, Animal Magic (or Dial M for Monkey on vinyl if I can’t find my severely worn copy of Animal Magic in my stack of CDs)
Bonobo is one of the finest downtempo producers. I heard Animal Magic when it first came out, which was summer 2001, and I was taken. It has since been a favorite summer album (also doubles as a favorite hot bath album and favorite make-out album, and favorite hot-bath-and-make-out album). Really anything on Ninja Tune kicks ass in the summer – Amon Tobin, 9 Lazy 9, Kid Koala, Wagonchrist ‘s newest album has a great summer track called “Saddic Gladdic” that is the best thing ever for listening to on headphones while walking in the sun. Try it!
Ladytron, Light and Magic
Sexy synths in the summer. The songs “Evil” and “Seventeen” still blow my mind every time I hear them. Perfect for hanging out with hip kids on your patio in the middle of the afternoon and making weird summery mixed drinks.
Ellen Allien, everything and anything she has ever touched
Speaking of mixed drinks in the afternoon … OK, I hate to brag, but I was at this VIP beach party at a swank-ass hotel during the Winter Music Conference this year in Miami wearing an Absolut wristband that got me unlimited free vodka drinks, um, and they did these parties every day of the conference and they were called “Sunset Sessions” because the music would start in the afternoon and go until the sunset. So, I was on a ridiculously posh hotel beach patio which faced the warm endless beach, it was like 7 p.m. and I was drunk already, and Ellen Allien took the stage to mix records just as the sun was lowering into the Atlantic Ocean. I will forever remember her in that summer context.
Their music is so poppy and tight, you just have to listen to the whole album. It’s so fantastically sunny that it’s perfect for getting the energy to clean your apartment if even if you’re trapped inside on a beautiful summer day.
Stereo Total, Musique Automatique
Again, just really poppy and happy and sunny. And glitchy and funny.
On the rock tip, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, PJ Harvey and Make Up are good for the summer. So churning and sweaty and sexy. They complement all of the bare skin and gawking.