@@@ Floating Points: Elaenia (Luaka Bop, 2015). Some world music tinged electronic glitch that I got to via this week’s All Music email. The first tune is sparse and there’s a conversation between a thin horn synth patch and a quicker metallic lower patch. The music builds slowly with an abstract, pumping low end loop with some synth clouds floating through. As the arrangement gets more crowded with less interesting sounds I’m losing a little interest. Let’s move to the next track. The second tune opens up a bit jazz fusion-y, but not annoying jazz fusion. I think I prefer the abstract electronic music over the fusion formula. The third tune, the title track opens up minimally with burbling static and now some intergalactic bleeps but I’ve lost a bit of interest.
@@@ Mark Ronson: Uptown Special (Columbia, 2015). Off the Guardian’s best albums of 2015. I generally feel this guy is way overrated and much more about commerce than quality music. This first track has Stevie Wonder on harmonica playing over a stew of reverbed organs and electronic sounds. Ah, the cheesy side of Stevie Wonder, my least favorite side. What happened to funky Stevie Wonder? This record is chock full of guest stars, most of whom I don’t feel one way or another about, but I do hate that Bruno Mars punk, he needs a dirt nap. This second tune is late ’70s soft rock/soul and I’m whiffing the aroma of slightly funky cheese. One more nugget and Lord it’s a James Brown track with Mystikal — oh I don’t like this, it just sounds wrong. Ah, this isn’t gonna be on my best of 2015 year end list. This guy’s a recycler which is great for plastic and metal but not music yo.
@@@ Nikki Lane: All or Nothing (New West, 2015). An alt-country record also off the Guardians best of 2015. Lane has smooth voice and she’s got a pretty hot band accompanying her — some sweet slide guitar and some crunchy Fender guitar tones. I’m philosophically opposed to handclaps 9 times out of 10 but they sound funny and cool on this first track. The second tune is a ‘he done me wrong’ tune and I don’t like it as much as the opener. The third tune jumps to a different vibe with a trippy electric organ, higher tempo and a more rocking flavor. I really like the tune clipped below as the organ and the slide guitar are very tasty but two of the other tunes I didn’t feel as much. Check her out and decide for yourselves.
YTD recordings listened to: 906
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 515
Not good music: 313
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, Lionel Loueke, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Noisem