Caribou (aka Dundas, Ontario's Dan Snaith) has made a habit of reinventing himself on pretty much every album without ever losing sight of his own identity. Whether he's diving into Krautrock minimalism, cosmic jazz fusion craziness, psych rock freak-outs or bedroom electronica, he's always made his evolution seem remarkably natural. Not surprising, then, that his newest leap into club-inspired techno and house feels just as substantial and weighty as his previous forays into experimental pop.
On Swim, he doesn't come across as an indie artist doing an impression of dance music. Instead, it's more like Snaith is simply unveiling another aspect of his personality and folding his existing palette of sounds into this new set of variables. The beats and sound manipulation are easily on par with the most creative producers in techno, but even they wouldn't dare to drop wistful Arthur Russell-ish vocals, swirling guitar figures and free jazz horns into the mix. This feels like the missing link between underground club music and forward-thinking pop.
Top track: Kaili
Caribou hits the Phoenix May 3.