Active Music Listening Wednesday May 20, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 385
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 230
Not good music: 125

Honorable Mentions: 12
Buys: 9

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, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Waters

@@@ Titi Robin (with Mehdi Nassouli): Taziri (World Village, 2015).  Also off this week’s WRIR world music playlist email.  Opens up with an epic proggy jam between guitar and bass.  I googled him and he works in a style he calls ‘Mediterranean’ and I hear that as a blend of gypsy, North African/Middle Eastern, and folk musics.  Robin is a lyrical guitar player and this is some high quality music for the brunch crowd — it’s very soothing and smooth.

@@@ Holly Herndon: Platform (Not sure, 2015).  There is a profile of this musician on Wired here as she made a record about the NSA and surveillance.  I can’t hear the whole record but there are two Googletube clips as part oft he article and the tune I’m checking out is a stutter-y, glitched foundation with layered female records riding over the metallic popping.  It’s a love song to the NSA employee watching her.  You don’t get the impact of the song unless you watch the video with the lyrics as the vocals are a bit too low in the mix.  I like the chopped metallic rhythmic middle of the tune but I thought she could have done a better job with the vocals and the arrangement to help the tune have more impact.

@@@ The Bluebeaters: Everybody Knows (Record Kicks, 2015)  Some ska/rocksteady off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  Super loverboy vocals with classic relaxed skankin’.  Very cool cover of Bruce Springsteen’s classic rock tune, Hungry Heart.  Strong B+ party music for the warm weather.

@@@ Shamir: Ratchet (XL, 2015) Some teen EDM off the Beats highlights page.  I like the funky arrangement on the opener ‘Vegas’, but he sounds tight on the mic, detracting from your listening pleasure.  I’m three tunes in and I’m a little shocked the label or the manager didn’t get this teenager some singing lessons for this kid — the arrangements are pretty hot but the vocals are clunky as fuck and really bring the shit down.  I’m no EDM fan but if there was some swing to the vocals this would blow up.




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