@@@ Guy One: #1 (Philophon, 2018) I got to this record via the WRIR weekly playlist email. It’s out on an African label out of Berlin and the musician is from the Ghana/Benin area. After a more traditional acoustic number it gets into some high energy full ensemble funk in the second tune Bengere Tomme. It’s got a pretty manic guitar part that drives this tune hard with some electronic garnish. Thus far I hear strands of Afrobeat but there is plenty of other weirdness for listeners to groove on. That might be a kora and not a guitar, by the way. I really like what I hear thus far, most notably the arrangements of the tunes — funky and unexpected. The singing is very good but it’s the sounds that set it apart. I will be swinging back on this record when I have the time but it sounds like it will end up on my year end list.
@@@ Calvin Harris: Nuh Ready Nuh Ready (Sony, 2018) Calvin Harris continues his appropriation of black music forms with a dancehall influenced banger and an island accented toaster/singer. Talk about a motherfucker that puts his finger in the air and then bites it hard. Super hard. Super slick production but underneath it has a wooden fakeness that belies Calvin’s copycat soul. Looking at Drake and Bieber and how they’ve gone to the bank Mr. Harris has moved from his funk thieving to Caribbean heisting. #CorporateTurdery.
@@@ Tiavara: When Silence Reigns (KC/RC, 2018) I got to this Russian metal band single from a publicist email. The singer does his thing in English and he sounds a bit like a college professor — somber and dramatical to be sure. It’s a dual guitar classic metal shredshow with a hard rock drum sound. It’s not really my thing as far as metal goes but listen for yourself.
YTD recordings listened to: 78
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 43
Not good music: 32
Honorable Mentions: 1
Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Guy One