Best of CMJ: NYC's Altopalo play Friends and Lovers on 11.05

Brooklyn-based Altopalo's latest singles, "Picchu Machu" and "Chagrinning", offer the kind of genre-mashing experimentations that feel oddly familiar, even if they're incredibly hard to explain. (Let's try anyway.) "Picchu Machu" (streaming) is dizzyingly down-tempo, its house beats pogo-ing into breakdowns that border on ambience. It totally works. Elsewhere, "Chargrinning" undulates synesthetically, the focus shifting from whispered vocals to sparse and airy piano interludes, culminating in a raucous instrumental section of clashed drums and 8-bit guitar acrobatics. Most impressive is that they do this as a live act too: we witnessed this at our own Deli CMJ Electro Stage at Pianos on October 25, and were floored by the guys instrumental skill. See them live on November 5 at Friends and Lovers with Ruby My Dear and The Pluto Moons.