40 Best St. Louis Releases of 2011: Part Nine

Jan 5, 2012 at 8:10 am

Part One: The Union Electric, Sweet Tooth, King Kong Magnetics, Warm Jets USA Part Two: Glass Teeth, Ryan Spearman, the Breaks and Adult Fur Part Three: Rum Drum Ramblers, Humanoids, Old Lights and Volcanoes Part Four: Bo & the Locomotive, Rockwell Knuckles, Dubb Nubb and Palace Part Five: Sleepy Kitty, Magic City, Nee Part Six: Sine Nomine, Prairie Rehab, Jack Buck, Mikey Wehling Part Seven: The Blind Eyes, Humdrum, Theodore, A-Game Part Eight: Funky Butt Brass Band, Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three, Ra Cailum and the Gorge

Ou Où | Builded

The words "ambient," "drone" and "minimalist" often appear in discussions about local group Ou Où; the duo uses all three as tags on its Bandcamp site. While not inaccurate descriptors -- its tracks sprout from landscapes of gurgling synths and R2-D2 bleeps -- listening to its Builded EP feels quite different than sitting through a Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Sunn O))) or Philip Glass record. Patience is hardly a prerequisite for enjoying Ou Où. Intelligent drum programming and prog-like structures give Builded the exciting flow of a well-crafted DJ set, suggesting that, unlike many ambient, minimalist drone acts, Ou Où is no snore live.

--Ryan Wasoba Critic's Picks: December 15

Tech Supreme | Supremacy

Local producer and Force co-founder Tech Supreme released an eighteen-track compilation album earlier this year, which is still available for free download here. The album plays like a diverse sampler of the St. Louis Hip-Hop and R&B talent pool, showcasing Tech's southern/futuristic/moody style of music. The project features all of the usual suspects from the Force collective (Tef Poe, Rockwell Knuckles, Theresa Payne, etc.), but also features guest appearances by several up-and-comers as well as a few local veterans.

Key Track(s): Since Supremacy is a compilation rather than a standalone album, there is no single track that will give you a feel for the rest of it; but listening to Nato Caliph's "Revel" and Teresa Jenee's "Paint the Roses" will definitely give you some idea of what Tech Supreme is capable of as a producer.

--Calvin Cox