The 10 Best Songs We Heard This Week: The xx, Wu-Tang Clan

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It’s Friday, a fact that would be more exciting if the weather in NYC were less like a particularly unpleasant monsoon day in Bangkok. Anyway, as ever, it’s time for Flavorwire to round up the best songs we heard during the week gone by — this week saw the return of the most excellent Forest Swords, the unexpected emergence of a new Wu-Tang Clan track (and a new Nine Inch Nails track, for that matter), Chromatics plugging a car manufacturer with a song about cars, excellent atmospheric drone-y goodness from Motion Sickness of Time Travel and Rambutan, and a crazy good compilation of weird Olympic music from 1970s East Germany. All this goodness is streaming now, and it all awaits you after the jump. Click through to listen!

Forest Swords — “Thor’s Stone” Yay for the return of Forest Swords! I’m not often given to swiping other outlets’ descriptions of songs, but Disco Naïveté’s observation that this track as sounds like “[Forest Swords] sampled an elephant playing a broken trumpet” is hilariously on-point.

Wu-Tang Clan — “Family Reunion” Hey, remember listening to the radio? And the fact that annoying DJs wouldn’t stop talking over songs? Revisit those, um, fond memories with this rip from NYC station Hot 97, to whom RZA apparently sent this new Wu-Tang song. The track itself is perfectly fine, in a laid-back, summery way — it features plentiful sampling from The O’Jays’ “Family Reunion,” set to a pleasantly stripped-back old-school beat, over which various Wu-Tang members (and DJs Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds, annoyingly) rap.

The xx — “Fiction” (Maya Jane Coles remix) A woozy easing-into-the-evening dance-floor reworking of a characteristically somber track from The xx. Maya Jane Coles featured on our list of great female DJs you should know a couple of years back, and she’s barely put a foot wrong since.

Rambutan — “Topology” A slow-burning piece of atmospheric instrumental music that falls somewhere into an unexplored zone between Motion Sickness of Time Travel and Sunn 0))), a place that’s just as interesting as it sounds. The genre-creation grand wizards of Tiny Mix Tapes have been calling this sort of music “drift” of late, which is an entirely apt genre descriptor.

Drown Under — “Sugar Daddy” The new project for Circle Pit dude Jack Mannix sounds like an old L7 bootleg recorded in the toilet of a seedy rock club, only with a booze-addled Australian dude slurring into the mic instead of Donita Sparks. It’s pretty great, in other words.

Nine Inch Nails — “Came Back Haunted” Hi, Trent! It’s like 1995 all over again!

Motion Sickness of Time Travel — “Song of Zenana” This new track finds Rachel Evans exploring newish territory — it sounds more like Julianna Barwick than the sort of synth textures that Evans is known for, although the song’s generally spacey mood definitely recalls her previous work. Either way, “Song of Zenana” — featured on a new split 7″ with Aloonaluna — is beautiful, as ever.

Chromatics — “Red Car” A couple of weeks back, I mentioned a new Melvins track from a strange compilation devoted to a car company. This is taken from the same compilation, and hey, it’s even about a car! It also finds Chromatics wielding the vocoder like crazy. It’s a free download, too.

Cloud Control — “Dojo Rising” Risible title aside, this new track from Australian hopefuls Cloud Control is lushly produced and very catchy, all of which rather belies its lyrics, which appear to go like this: “Give it to me easy/ Just want to get laid/ Then I’m gonna break your heart/ Should have probably told you from the start/ That I’m lazy/ And I don’t want anything.”

Martin Zeichnete — Kosmischer Läufer Volume One This remarkable record was made during the 1970s, apparently under the auspices of the East German Olympic Program. It’s clearly influenced by the music that was being made on the other side of the Berlin Wall at the time — “Sandtrommel,” for instance, sounds heaps like Harmonia, while “Tonband Laufspur” could have walked off any of Neu!’s records — but it’s fascinating nonetheless. I came across it at Dangerous Minds, where there’s plenty more information about the music and its producer.