Latest Tunes: Hello Hadouken!
HADOUKEN! MUSIC FOR AN ACCELERATED CULTURE
What's the story? People have been trying to slap labels on this raucous five-piece since Mike "Streets" Skinner spun their debut single on Radio 1 over a year ago. Are they new rave? Indie? Grime? "Grindie"? Not really. Instead, they serve up a hurricane of warring sounds and inadvertently sum up the plunder-all DIY sound 2008 is being defined by.
Why buy it? For a band named after a Street Fighter move and offering such a helter-skelter mix of noise, there's a surprising depth to their racket. For every humorous snapshot of "Booze Britain", there's a raw dissection of its social ills. That's not to suggest this is a worthy, chin-stroking album: it's futuristic, anthemic and intimidatingly in-your-face. And that's what makes this an essential release. Four stars.
Download: Liquid Lives, Declaration Of War and Game Over.
THE VINES - BEST OF
After three albums, frontman Craig Nicholl's struggles with autism and rumours of their demise, the Aussie former Nirvana covers band bundle up the hits into a contract-satisfying best of. The Arctics and Killers hail them as heroes and their melodic garage rock means it's easy to see why. Classics like Gross Out and Get Free guarantee we'll be rocking out until album four later this year. Four stars.
Download: Gross Out and Get Free.
DIMITRI FROM PARIS - RETURN TO THE PLAYBOY MANSION
Wouldn't it be useful if there was a ready-made sex-mix available? Well, look what the Godfather of French house has put together! The two tongue-in-cheek discs do creep into cringe-worthy seduction, but it's a fun and retro glide through all things smooth.
Download: Teddy Pendergrass - Close The Door and Marvin Gaye - I Want You. Three stars
1 LIGHTSPEED CHAMPION - GALAXY OF THE LOST
Falling Off The Lavender Bridge is one of the year's most pleasant, country-tinged album surprises. And this is the charming, melodic centrepiece.
2 NATTY - COLD TOWN
Upbeat, ska-influenced belter offering enjoyment that's not just restricted to the dancefloor. This Londoner is definitely one to watch.
3 HOT CHIP - ONE PURE THOUGHT
They may well be haunted by sly "it's not Over And Over" digs for the rest of their recording career, but this hypnotic album highlight nearly hits the same heights.
4 PETER MOReN - REEL TO REAL
Peter leaves behind his bandmates, Bjorn and John of Young Folks fame, for an impressive folky solo turn.
5 EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS - THE BOX
Charming brand of US smart-rock that's most certainly en vogue these days. File next to MGMT and Vampire Weekend.
6 MARTINA TOPLEY BIRD - POISON
A tale of betrayal and regret produced by Gnarls Barkley's Danger Mouse. Hugely infectious and laid-back. Amy Winehouse for chic dinner parties.
7 CHROMEO - FANCY FOOTWORK
Electrofunk duo P-Thugg and Dave 1 claim to be the only successful Arab/Jew partnership since the dawn of human culture. This "smooth groove" underlines their case.
8 SCARLETT JOHANSSON - FALLING DOWN
Yep, she sings! And, incredibly, her breathy Tom Waits interpretation isn't half bad. So many talents and great tits.
9 CAZALS - SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE
Oft-tipped indie mob unfurl their summer anthem contender. Will have dancefloors bouncing.
10 ROYWORLD - DUST
More swooping bombast to follow their impressive Man In The Machine debut.
ONE TO AVOID
MIKACHU - LONE RANGER
Vocals contrast well with scratchy guitars, but not the most memorable offering from the 21-year-old DJ/songwriter/artist/whatever.