YTD recordings listened to: 755
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 470
Not good music: 235
Honorable Mentions: 9
Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Kendl Winter, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Eccodek, Bio Ritmo, Pacifika, Lenguas Largas, Vessel. Earls of Leicester, Khun Narin
@@@ This Will Destroy You: Another Language (Suicide Squeeze, 2014). Some twinkly post-rock guitar action on the opening tune, New Topia. Also an electric organ and some static loops I do believe I hear. Very somber with a blend of U2 (when they weren’t as cheesy) and Tortoise. I’m really feeling the second tune, Dustism — very nice contrast between the bashed hi hat/big bass clouds and the space guitar. These are long songs with dynamic as well as compositional changes that make them more than jams. Hints of prog, but mostly post-rock.
@@@ Troop of Echoes: The Longest Year on Record (Self-released soon). I was contacted by the band to review a record they just finished. The first tune layers a Gerry Rafferty languid set of sax melodies over a pretty pumpin’ band. The drums sound really good and are way high in the mix, which is not common for white folks music). I would have liked to hear more melodic interplay between the sax and the guitar player, but the band is pumpin’ and it’s an interesting musical formula. They’re really starting to heat up on the third tune Arecibo so start there to hear these guys. Things get a bit orchestral and string plucked on the fourth tune, Kerosene, before getting back to the full band format. I find myself really enjoying the drum sound as well as the bass player — he’s catching my ear quite a bit.
@@@ The Bug: Angel & Devils (Ninja Tune, 2014). Off the CFUV weekly email. I dug the last Bug effort — if I remember correctly it was chock full of bangerz (as the kidz would say). This one startz out a bit mellower. Mo trip hop than full club bangerz (and mash!). It’s getting a little West Coast hip hop stutter-y hi hat/club bumpy with some serious sub sonic bass. I like how this outfit does a good job mixing pretty with darkness. I think the female vocal parts are a bit standard for my taste, but whoever is doin’ the beatz and the bass linez has got some strong funk within.
@@@ Trust: Are We Arc? (Arts and Crafts, 2014). Off a music publicist email. A synth-y nugget. The singer is either drunk or rocking an odd accent. Not accent bad, just a little tough to understand — hell no, I’m no accent shamer. He sounds a bit like Leonard Cohen on a medium strength cup of coffee. His voice is nestled in a wreath of synthesizers — some puffy, a little metallic action, and your percussive twinkle droplets. There is a contrasting female voice which gives you a break from the dude.
You can stream over here.
@@@ Team Sleep: No and ‘Dreamland’ (Not sure, 2015?) A teaser from a super group of alt rock big names. Both tunes are slow and purdy, no vocalists, and meaningful, very meaningful. Supposed to be dropping a big feelings bomb in 2015. I got to this via a music publicist.