Active Music Listening Tuesday April 21, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 303
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 178
Not good music: 99

Honorable Mentions: 9
Buys: 5

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohammed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Torche, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Lightning Bolt, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Khaira Arby, Cold Waters

@@@ Thomas Mapfumo: Danger Zone (Chimurenga, 2015).  Some laid-back but not soft African music I got to via a music publicist.  Mapfumo is from Zimbabwe and his music is layered and sweet.  On the first tune, Music, I feel the bass pulse, the horn work and the waves of single line guitar playing that sparkles through the mix.  The second tune, the title track Danger Zone, has a pleasing reggae feel to it with bubbling organ and a loose swing.

@@@ Cold Water: Cold Water (Recorrdian, 2015).  Some ragged, Crazy Horse style rock with a Leonard Cohen lower register voice out in front.  I like the rolling distortion of the guitars, the cracking snare and the world weariness of the singer.  Not a musical formula you hear much these days, everybody wants their shiny happy shit.  There is some really sweet ambient pedal steel tucked in the back of the tunes, it’s a very cool contrast with the crunchy guitars.  I’m gonna check this record out more when I have time.

@@@ Old Girl: Eternal Idol (Self-released, 2015). Some lo-fi indie electronic that is #1 on the CFUV weekly playlist email.  It is the 1 man project of a Canadian woman who sounds a lot like Madonna except she can sing, unlike Madonna.  Her vocals sit on a plate of lasagna shaped synth noodles — neither droplets, nor chainsaws, and the beats are drum machine based.  Her voice has ample reverb on it which the kids these days really love.  It’s not my cup of tea, but this is pretty solid indie electronic so if you like it like that, come on down.

@@@ Squarepusher: Damogen Furies (Warp, 2015).  Off the Beats highlights page and I’m checking it out as he’s supposedly checking out the boundaries of jazz and techno.  On this first tune I hear some old school chopped drum and bass beats with a plethora of bright synth melodies.  I don’t hear anything that reminds me of jazz in the least.  Let me fast forward.  The second tune, Baltang Ort, is more of the same beat frenzy with synth sauce.  I guess everybody wants the sophistication of jazz without actually playing anything reminiscent of jazz.




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