@@@ Baaba Maal: The Traveller (Musicom, 2015) A couple of tunes off a release coming out in just a few minutes. This first tune, Fulani Rock, is pretty driving, with a fat wedge of bass and some metallic string loops cut pretty tight. An electric guitar brings in that Western Africa desert rock vibe, but overall the tune sounds pretty Western in construction. I like the tune. I like the second tune offered up on Apple Music, Gilli Men. I find it more rhythmically interesting than the other tune and the sparseness of the arrangement flatters Maal’s voice.
@@@ Barrule: Manannan’s Cloak (Easy on the Records, 2015). Off one of the first WRIR’s weekly playlist emails of 2016. It’s traditional Irish music, and this first tune is good despite my prejudice against this sub-genre of world music. Instrumentation is fiddle, banjo, hand drum, and accordion. There’s a singer on this second, King of the Sea, as well as many other singers featured through the cours of the record and I appreciate that the tempos here are brisk but not mind spinning.
@@@ DUBIOZA KOLEKTIV: Apsurdistan (Menart, 2013). More white people’s world music off the WRIr weekly email. This time the Balkan party/gypsy music. This first tune is mad ska, which I dig but I didn’t know ska was big in potato/beet land. This is a full band affair — horn section, synths, guitar, and a big personality singer singing in er um….whatever they’re rocking in Sarajevo — it’s now called Bosnian. School lesson and shit! So these guys are labelled as a Balkan funk band, which is accurate as there’s not much Balkan happening here outside of the vocals. High energy and tight — grab the booze and stomp.
@@@ Guy Blakeslee: Opehlia Slowly (Everlasting Records, 2015). Some mainstream sensitive rock in the Jeff Buckley vein. The first tune, Haunted City, is a poetic, lost in the city kinda tune. Loneliness, desperation, etc. The second tune continues the end of my rope singing, and the strong rock vibes. I like the drummer here, I like the guitarist less.
YTD recordings listened to: 43
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 27
Not good music: 15
Honorable Mentions: 2
Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, 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, Dawn Richard, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Reverend Peyton, James McMurtry