@@@ Bixiga 70: III (Glitterbeat, 2015) I’m checking out this release because it’s on Glitterbeat and that label released Noura Mint Seymali’s record which I super dig. The first tune is chill Afrobeat with a long, trip guitar melody that ascends and descends underneath the big horn section. Now some waves of electric organ, sweet. The second tune Niran takes the tempo up a bunch and it’s a more typical Afrobeat jam. The third tune 100% 13 retains the Afrobeat formula while having more interplay between the horns, the guitar, and the organ player. Instrumental Afrobeat but unique in its arrangements.
@@@ Omi: Me 4 U (Columbia, 2015). Head back to the mainstream for some mainstream pop electro off the Beats Highlights. This is not the club banger, it’s a mellow Caribbean inflected peppy biscuit for the shiny happy people out there. He’s got some Autotune on his voice, a performed trumpet, some conga, and a bouncing synth bass. They bit the chord progression in the first tune and they’re mostly biting a Police guitar part from back in the day. Mr. Omi can sing — this is not the worst pop electro but listen in moderation. This music is so sweet it almost hurts, it tastes like somebody putting a big ol’ tablespoon in a glass of ginger ale. Sweet sweet sweet. Good for cheerleaders and the mental ward.
@@@ Magical Cloudz: Are You Alone? (Matador, 2015). Let’s interrupt the mainstream listening with some hipster business off last week’s All Music email. This first tune Disappeared is a pretty straight slow torch. A lot of swells, synth-y, maybe horn-y and a duder just singing his mope off. I’m getting a little sleepy so Imma gonna skip ahead. The second tune Control brings on a windshield wiper click beat, the same swells, and the same singer who I’m not really feeling. Oh boy, bad lyric alert I heard the phrase ‘the eyes of my soul’ and ‘set me free’. One more tune, mopey hipster. He just asked: ‘is this going too slow?’ and the answer is yes. Unequivocally yes, this is too slow.
@@@ Jamie Lawson: Jamie Lawson (Gingerbread, 2015). Sit back white people and drink up the intimate adult-alternative off the Beats highlights page. Here are the simple piano chords and a simple bass part — I have a feeling this tune is gonna explode into a celebration of love. Oh man, he’s got a good hook but he’s milking the teat a bit hard to me, let’s move to the next tune. That tune never exploded, it just simmered. The second tune brings on the FM soft rock and the cheesy emotions — don’t worry, don’t worry if you don’t find love in a hurry. There’s someone here for everyone — even serial killers! Even Hilter had a steady yo!
YTD recordings listened to: 846
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 485
Not good music: 290
Honorable Mentions: 21
Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, 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, Richard Thompson, Jeremy Pinnell, Pat Thomas, Janelle Monae, The Alchemist, Luther Dickinson, Andra Day, Frog Eyes, Madd Again!, Fuck the Facts, Shannon and the Clams, Destruction Unit, Rim Kwaku Obeng, Graeme Barrett, Kowloon Walled City, Israel Nash