YTD recordings listened to: 771
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 454
Not good music: 276
Buys: 26 (not all 2012 releases)
Possibles: Zani Diabate, Isaiah Toothtaker (2011), Ondatropica, Sidsel Endresen & Stan Westerhus, The Ones to Blame, Boyd Rivers, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Cryptopsy, Nick Waterhouse, Patterson Hood, Wahid, Wadada Leo Smith ‘Ten Freedom Summers’, Skyzoo, Pig Destroyer, Bettye Lavette, Philippe Petite, Paul Giallorenzo, Chris McGregor
@@@ Royal Band de Thies: Kadior Demb (Teranga Beat, 2012). I caught this record on the WRIR world music show weekly email. It’s a roomy sounding, uptempo African recording. I went to the label website here and it explains that this is a recording of a band from Senegal from 33 years ago and it’s a two microphone recording, which explains the roominess of the recording. These guys are absolutely smokin’, man that’s some impressive playing.
@@@ Kid Koala: 12 Bit Blues (Ninja Tune, 2012). Am I a sour bitch to want my favorite music to be more than samples from old blues records with new beats underneath? Shouldn’t young folks just buy some old Howlin’ Wolf records? I would recommend the rockin’ chair Howlin’ Wolf record, there’s also an absolutely rippin’ Buddy Guy record from 2003 called Sweet Tea. Junior Wells was good, Mississippi John Hurt killed it, but Howlin’ Wolf’s band is closest to this record. I wouldn’t say this is outright cultural thievery but it’s in the neighborhood. Boo hiss.
@@@ Chicha Libre: Canabalismo (Barbes, 2012). I caught this record off the WRIR world music list. I have many records in my vinyl collection that cover this sort of Latin/Rock/Pop formula and I give respect to these guys for keeping this sound going. Not quite campy, the organ and guitar drive the quirkiness over Latin percussion and group vocal chants. I think it’s done well, but it’s hard for me to get too excited about this record as I already own fifteen versions of it from all over Latin America. Check it out for yourself.
@@@ Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: The Heist (Macklemore, 2012). These guys have caused quite a stir with their tune about Jimmy Iovine and the general scumbag nature of the music business. Of course, one of the main points of this music blog is to separate the froth and PR horseshit from the music. They’re two different things.
I like the lyrics on this recording, his flow is too breathy for my taste, the beats are all right, the first tune’s production is too synth-y. Outside of the underdog’s message, which I’m totally down with, I don’t really love the music. I would much rather listen to Skyzoo or El-P
@@@ Four Tet: Pink (Text Records, 2012). Off the CFUV weekly email. Am a fan of Rounds from 2003 but I haven’t felt any Four Tet since. This appears to move away from the more abstract trip hop to the straight funky approach — oh maybe not, here comes some medium trippiness. The first tune is good, but I could use more. The second tune ‘Lion’ follows the same formula — the beats have been made funkier as opposed to the skittering jazz like beats of previous work and the arrangements retain some abstractness but have been simplified. It’s all right — not captivating.
@@@ Faded Paper Figures: The Holy Smoke (Shorthand (a guess?), 2012). I came to this track via a music publicist email. At this point, there is so much indie electronic music out, I’m not sure what kind of track would make me stand up and scream ‘Hells Yeah!!!’. It’s hooky (in the chorus especially), it’s got the required chainsaw synths and the club beat. Done well but doesn’t stand out for me.