8/6/15: Benjamin Clementine, Gengahr, Exis, Wax Motif

@@@ Benjamin Clementine: At Least For Now (Capitol, 2015).  Some atypical piano singer songwriter off last week’s All Music weekly email.  Clementine has an odd vocal flow — a little stop/start, a little up/down in volume but the unpredictability of his delivery is engaging.  He’s got an old school Nina Simone like vibe.  About a third of the way through the first tune, Winston Churchill’s Boy, the drums come in and the sweet string flourishes contrast nicely with Clementine’s quirk.  The second tune, Then I Heard a Bachelor’s Cry, continues the same formula and I must say I’m a little shocked this non-cheesy record is released on a major label.  Will wonders never cease?

@@@ Gengahr: She’s a Witch (PIAS, 2015).  A four song EP I got to from the Guardian’s best of 2015 records thus far.  The first tune, the title track sports a two guitar attack, one shiny and arpeggiated and one kinda trippy and psych over a pretty bubbly rock rhythm section.  This tune could be an advert for a hipster water park.  The second tune, Haunters is more of a wistful nugget with some reverbed vocals and odd electric organ.  I would never deny anybody’s right to say a record is one of their favorites of the year but to me this is pretty standard stuff that could use a gym workout for a bit of muscle.

@@@ Exis: The Inevitable (Tangled Audio, 2015).  Another sci fi club banger, this one more ecstatic bursting with farm fresh club titch, synth swirls, snare rolls, percolating synth organ vamps, oh the whole dilly-o.  I think this should be a video game soundtrack more than a single on the Beats highlights page.  At least get the big diva to rain some men up in here.  Oh these synth waves are making me a little seasick and the primal vocals could use an upgrade.  C’mon EDM people make your shit interesting, this is mad snoozy.  The lyric ‘you can accomplish anything in this world, but you can never conquer death’ just punched my ticket out.  I was right about the video game angle, that lyrical nugget would work great in a shooter game.

@@@ Wax Motif: Krush Groove (Mad Decent, 2015).  A club banger off the Beats highlights page.  The beat has some lilt to it, but the synths are standard club chainsaw and here comes the EDM snare roll, oh space age funky people!  The bass modulates extremely and at points sounds like a fat dude sitting in a small chair.  Not a lot to grab onto here melodically.  This tune sounds like it took half a day to push through the EDM sausage making machine.

YTD recordings listened to: 612
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 355
Not good music: 210

Honorable Mentions: 15
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, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson, Evan Caminiti, Jeremy Pinnell, Hope Drone, Pat Thomas, Ultramantis Black.


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