You know you're curious: The latest by MC Hammer! Plus, Ryan Dombal recommends three other new tunes worth hearing

By Ryan Dombal
Updated June 20, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Credit: MC Hammer: Mark Sullivan/WireImage.com

You know you’re curious: The latest by MC Hammer!

MC HAMMER, ”I GOT IT FROM THE TOWN”
Yep, that MC Hammer. This new track from the onetime megastar cartoon rapper is destined to reside in the world’s ”so bad it’s good” playlist for years to come. Attempting his umpteenth comeback, Mr. ”U Can’t Touch This” is now riding his native Bay Area’s current hip-hop fad, hyphy, with a song that features passably bouncy drums and squelching synths. Thing is, while luminaries like 2Pac, Biggie, and Jay-Z progressed rap technique quite a bit since puffy pants were in style, Hammer has not really altered his pushy flow one bit. It’s kind of remarkable, and kind of sad. At least listen to a snippet of the track on iTunes.

ANATHALLO ”HANASAKAJIJII (FOUR: A GREAT WIND, MORE ASH)”
This song is part of a thematic thread — based on an East Asian folk tradition — that runs throughout Anathallo’s impressive debut album, Floating Worlds. Thankfully, you don’t need a master’s in foreign folklore to appreciate its old-timey charms. The seven-strong band provides beatific harmonies and an overall fairy-tale vibe on this song, with an arrangement that goes through more surprising twists and turns than some entire albums. With an acoustic-based sound that lies somewhere between critical faves Animal Collective and Sufan Stevens, Anathallo make unmistakably sweet modern folk that’s ambitious in all the best ways. Download it here.

DANGERDOOM, ”SPACE HO’S (MADLIB REMIX)”
Considering his many off-the-wall side-projects, indie-rap hero MF Doom is a hard guy to pin down. This laid-back, goofy trifle confuses things further: West Coast producer Madlib, with whom Doom collaborates in the duo Madvillain, remixes a song originated by Dangerdoom (that’s the Cartoon Network-inspired pair of Doom and omnipotent beatmaker Danger Mouse). But whoever he’s working with, the endlessly creative rhymer is guaranteed to expand hip-hop’s lexicon with every verse. Download the track (from Dangerdoom’s new Internet-only Occult Hymn EP) here.

COUCH, ”POSITION: WIEDER EINS”
If this German foursome were an actual couch, it would be sleek and refined but not tremendously comfortable. Their music consists of layered guitars built on top of each other in an exacting fashion; even when they slam their distortion pedals, each chord remains economical and carefully placed. ”Position: Wieder Eins” is what would happen if Sigur Ros gave up the epic grandeur and just rocked out for a minute — an instrumental soft-to-loud powerhouse. Download the track for free here.

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