1/29/16: Jordan Klassen, The Bernard Lakes, Alex Smoke, Krumm,

@@@ Jordan Klassen: Baby Moses (Nevado, 2016).  Some orchestral indie pop off another music publicist email.  The verse is nice, but the chorus kind of explodes in a New Age money shot.  It’s a bit hard to explain — lest we say he kicks it up a notch in the chorus.  Nice cello part, the vocals are dramatical and well done a nice solo that might be a synth, I think it’s a synth.  More ELO than Sufjan Stevens, whose last record I didn’t shit my pants over but all the hipsters out there think is hotter than two rats fucking in a wool sock.

@@@ The Bernard Lakes: A Coliseum Complex Museum (Jagjaguwar, 2016).  It would appear that the indie hipster crowd has discovered Pet Sounds by Brian Wilson.  I got to this record via the All Music weekly email and it opens up with a wide soundstage, a falsetto voice, some electronic garnish, and even a surf-ish guitar twang.  There’s also more than a dollop of self-indulgent ’70 rock in this tune.  Let’s check out a couple more of these bangers.  I thought these guys were British as their music has a certain highbrow regal-ness (word?) but they’re Canadian, which is close (they’re a former colony and still tight).  It’s pretty sophisticated and well executed music, but I don’t like it very much.  Check it out, maybe it’s your bag.

@@@ Alex Smoke: Love over Will (R&S Records, 2016).  Some experimental techno off the All Music weekly notable email.  I usually associate techno with no lyrics or just bits chopped up and recycled but this first song feels like a song with verses and lyrics and shit.  The second tune confirms that there are techno sounds here used in songs.  Electronic kick and pong synth most notably in this second tune.  In the third tune the male vocalist, presumably Mr. Smoke, descends (or ascends) to robot status as he puts a metallic flange on his voice amidst the clouds of synths and slightly chopped beats.  It’s okay, not particularly energetic or powerful to my ears.

@@@ Krumm: Evil Twin (37 Adventures, 2015).  A big beat dance floor banger with a club diva vocal loop, indie hipster vocals, a cheesy synth bass line, and funky beat that will tear it up at a white boy frat kegger.  Half-funky, trying to be funky, honky funky?  Let’s go with that last one.  Got to this via a music publicist email.

YTD recordings listened to: 97
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 55
Not good music: 37

Honorable Mentions: 2
Buys: 1

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 Hell, Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta

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