11/17/15: Le1F, Alessia Cara, Swallow the Sun, Jeff the Brotherhood

@@@ Le1F: Riot Boi (Terrible Records, 2015).  Some left field hip hop I saw on the All Music website.  Mr. Le1F is truly left field — his tone of voice is sarcastic and campy and other things; he’s not trying to be rough and bowl you over on the mic.  The arrangements are mostly electronic but strange, well the first tune sounds strange as this second tune is sounding pretty mainstream club.  I thought it was gonna go that way be he went electro-aggro, burning the mic with urgency and a lot of swirling electronic detritus — yikes, then a jarring return to the club sound.  I like a lot of the sounds, and from the lyrics it sounds like Le1F is either gay or bi-sexual or sexually fluid as the kids today say.  This is interesting.

@@@ Alessia Cara: Know it All (Def Jam, 2015).  Some electro-pop off this week’s All Music notable release page.  In the first tune Seventeen Cara has a controlled voice in the verse and she explodes in the chorus.  I think she wore out the hook too much in the first tune.  The second tune, Here, is slinkier in the arrangement.  She’s a good girl at a party where marijuana is being smoked and the boys are hitting on her.  Big surprise.  I would like this record more if the beats were better.  If you google this young lady you’ll see she’s from Canada, and she’s of Southern Italian ancestry but she looks mixed (I don’t care but you can bet your ass the label marketing people care).  This third tune is all right, but the lyrics and the formula sound forced to my ears.

@@@ Swallow the Sun: Songs from the North I, II, & III (Century Media, 2015).  Also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  The first tune opens up acoustic with some string flourishes behind the strums.  Then the somnolent male voice hits and I hope I don’t have to wait forever to get beat up.  Ah, good news, here comes the crush.  Big waves of guitar crunch, a guitar melody laid over the top and some mid to slow tempo drums.  This record or song cycle is two and one half hours long so have some decaf and don’t get too jumpy.  The second tune comes on rougher at a higher tempo but this is gonna be some epic, art metal if my metal radar is working halfway all right.  Big production and the singer has gone from truth teller to angry orc and then to caveman grrrr in about thirty seconds.  One more tune and Imma gonna call it.  The third tune continues the high quality guitar sounds, the arena rock drum sounds and high intentions of this record.  I know there are folks out there who love the art metal, I’m just not one of them.

@@@ Jeff the Brotherhood: Global Chakra Rhythms (Infinity Cat Recordings, 2015).  Some throw back hippie rock/indie I got to for aforementioned All Music weekly notable release email.  The first tune, the title track opens up jam band with a nice rolling drum beat, a throbbing and supportive baseline and some trippy organ and a schmear of guitar feedback swirl.  Dudes and dudettes, get yer bongs out cuz it’s all smoky up in here.  I’m making fun here cuz I’ve always had a bit of a tude towards the hippie scene but as musicians these guys do all right, they’re trying to stretch and get into some loose jams.  This second tune Pringle Variations has a good bit of freakshow to it and I respect that.  I would like it more if their sound was trapper and further out but that’s the kind of listener I am.

YTD recordings listened to: 930
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 525
Not good music: 323

Honorable Mentions: 21
Buys: 13

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, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer


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