The best music I heard this week


@@@ Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band (Innovative Leisure, 2014).  Some out electric psychedelic music that sounds both like a Mali guitar band and the Doors.  This is the end, my only friend.  I think the guitar player is backed by a bunch of hand drum and percussion players, but it sounds amazingly like a drum kit.  The bass player straddles the stoner rock/dub genre — he’s laying down some thick and melodic low end.  I’m going to check this record out more and I hope you peep it as well.  Given the tidal wave of psychedelia spewing out from all corners of the world this outfit shoots to the very top in just a brief listen.


@@@ 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.


@@@ Orlando Julius: Jaiyede Afro (Strut, 2014).  Off a WRIR weekly review email.  I saw the words afro pop mentioned in the blurb, but I’m surprised to hear this music hit harder than expected.  Being from Nigeria it sports a strong Fela influence without copying it.  There’s some good juke goin on here – funky guitar, horn baps and a thick bed of drums and percussion underneath.  Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a bit prejudiced against the macho horn work of a lot of Afrobeat, but these guys have a much higher funk factor than a lot of Afrobeat outfits.  Big shout out to the guitar player, you go my man.


@@@ Chris Brown: X (RCA, 2014).  Some super breath-y new style r&b opens up this record by the infamous Mr. Brown.  My impression of listening to other releases is that he has a good voice but his productions straddle that club cheese/new r&b neighborhood.  Oh, here comes the throbbing bass line and the skittering techno snare, and into a West Coast jeep style beat.  That was pretty slick but as he says, he just came here to party.  He’s not nearly as annoying as Kanye who is just so bombastic, and this surprises to the upside with some interesting arrangements and blending of styles.  There’s some creativity going on here.




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