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In rotation: MGMT's 'Late Night Tales'

October 22, 2011 |  7:54 am

A series in Sunday Calendar about what Times writers & contributors are listening to right now...

In rotation: MGMT's 'Late Night Tales'

When the duo MGMT broke into the mainstream with its great 2008 hits “Time to Pretend,” “Kids” and “Electric Feel,” the general sense was that it had hit on a particular sound at a particular moment, and when that moment passed it'd vanish until we got nostalgic for those songs at 2020 class reunions. Then MGMT released its 2010 follow-up, “Congratulations,” a strange, beguiling psychedelic guitar record that had very little in common with the earlier hits. “Late Night Tales” is a mix tape that connects the dots by way of illustrating the breadth of the duo's influences, and confirms that it has a very clear idea of what it's doing. 

Ranging among the catchy synth-pop of Factory Records group Durutti Column, New Zealand guitar pop geniuses the Chills (“Pink Frost”) and Pauline Anna Strum's proto-electronic experiment “Morning Splendor,” “Late Night Tales” is a gorgeous mix for those looking for sleepy, ethereal music that connects guitar pop, experimental electronic sounds, soft rock and new wave. Fans of MGMT will better understand, and dismissive music snobs will have to reevaluate.

“Late Night Tales” 
(Late Night Stories)


In rotation: Fabian Almazan Trio's 'Personalities'

In rotation: Mannequin Men's upcoming self-titled album

In rotation: Conrad Schnitzler's 'Ballet Statique'

—Randall Roberts