@@@ Exmortus: Ride Forth (Prosthetic, 2015). I gotta take a break from the precious NPR year end gems and the best way to do that is a little heavy metal skull crushing. This record is out mid January 2016 and they have three tunes up on the Apple Music. This first tune Relentless has an extra big dollop of classic metal guitar shred, served up along side a caveman singer, and a heavy on the kick drummer. All three tunes are notable for the high energy and the central role of the guitar player.
@@@ Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: Hot Coals (Community Music, 2015). A new single I seen on the Apple Music. Opens up with arpeggiated guitar reminiscent of Nick Drake and Sharpe sings in full distressed falsetto. Oops, homie be switchin’ it up into a soft rock/proggier neighborhood. This is a 7 minute single as he’s really feeling it. I think I enjoy the song more when he’s not singing — it’s a rich stew of instruments — piano, acoustic guitar, drums, organ, and there’s a trumpet. It’s much better when he’s not singing.
@@@ Kamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder, 2015). I have peeped this record both on Pitchfork’s most highly rated albums of 2015 and on Ted Goia’s best of 2015 list over here. It’s a large ensemble jazz record and it sports some fusion sounds in this first tune Change of the Guard. The intention of the record is epic and the performance energy is very high. Those are some of the pluses. On the less than ideal side I thought the string arrangements and the choir parts detracted and kinda cheesed out the power of the playing. This is the cheesy time we live in. It’s 174 minutes of music so put on a sweater and get out the flavored coffee it’s gonna be a long trip.
YTD recordings listened to: 991
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 560
Not good music: 344
Honorable Mentions: 27
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, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa, Richard Thompson, Pat Thomas, Janelle Monae, The Alchemist, Luther Dickinson, Andra Day, Frog Eyes, Fuck the Facts, Destruction Unit, Rim Kwaku Obeng, Graeme Barrett, Kowloon Walled City, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Noisem, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves