@@@ The Cliftones: Enemies Scatter (Rebel Sound Records, 2016). Off this week’s WRIR playlist email. The first tune is a laid back affair with a heavily accented singing/toasting over a smooth horn section and a steady rhythm section. The singer is gruff and a bit scratchy so this is no soaring disc. Big points for the horn section both in tone and performance. I don’t like the bouncier second tune as much as the opener, but they’re back with a tough title track, Enemies Scatter. Full reggae ensemble here — bubbling organ, full organ section, dub wise effects in places.
@@@ Karsh Kale: Up (Six Degrees, 2015). Also off this week’s WRIR weekly email. It’s not pronounced like the vegetable kale, but like the small French city, Calais. This label, Six Degrees usually goes for the high polished production and this is not exception. The MC here is on the down and out vibe and he’s doing his thing over a sitar and tabla hand drum. And a lot of cymbal tinkling. After the MC is done a more New Age feelings based jam emerges. And now the tune reorients again to full prog for the last minute. Oy, what a trip.
@@@ Afro Omega: American Ital (Rebel Sounds, 2015). Another roots effort off this week’s WRIR playlist email. The opening tune on this roots record is dominated by the energy of the singer. The backing arrangement is solid roots with the addition of conga, a more rock sounding guitar and old school synth flavorings. The second tune is a mid tempo smoothie and I prefer this record to the Cliftones’ record above. Solid B on that one and a B+ for Mr. Omega due to the difference in vocal stylings.
YTD recordings listened to: 60
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 35
Not good music: 22
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, Living in Hell