@@@ Gamardah Fungus: Herbs and Potions (Flaming Pines, N/A) This ambient crew is from Ukraine and this record consists of five big ambient pieces most of which are environmental sounds and sweet, New Age-y guitar playing with echoes and sustain put onto them. I like the wide sweep of the music, it sounds huge but I don’t usually like guitar playing in my ambient music unless it’s highly processed and almost unrecognizable.
@@@ Parquet Courts: Wide Awake! (Rough Trade, 2018) The Guardian has these guys as one of the best albums thus far this year. After a little fucking around they get straight into old school New Wave brisk punk. This is this band’s seventh album so they’re tight as fuck and their production is extremely focused and clear. I’m surprised and pleased to see them give a shout to the Minutemen on this second tune Violence with a monster bass line, slashing guitars, and popping drums. I’m most engaged by the bass player who plays a melodic lead while still being glue for the tunes. I’m enjoying the singer less. I will swing back on this album and check it out more closely when I have the time.
@@@ Virginia Wing: Ecstatic Arrow (Fire Recordings, 2018) This will probably be the last listen from the Guardian’s best albums of 2018 as they just put out a list of the songs of summer that I want to peep and I have other lists I want to check out. This is a quirky synth based indie record with Laurie Anderson influences. The second tune switches out to a sax and organ swell sweet rock thing but it still has an awful snare sound and an art school singer. Which is fine if that’s how you roll. The record is rooted in mainstream ’80s music — gated snare, a blend of pop and world music tidbits, and synths oh the synthesizers.
@@@ Ariane Grande: No Tears Left to Cry (UMG, 2018) Regular readers know I’m a huge fan of mainstream culture. I’m so happy for Ariane Grande and her new fiance Pete Davidson and I’m excited to read that Beyonce’s vegan diet has curtailed her awful farting problem. This is what the Guardian best songs of summer calls a ballad banger. I get the huge diva vocal hook but the little rapped section is stupid and it turns the track into a dancefloor cheese bomb. As with a vast majority of these mainstream tunes the sonics are par excellence, manicured like beach going vaginas but the lyrics are pretty much stuck on stupid. I’m picking it up, loving and living and we turn it up. Jesus.
YTD recordings listened to: 372
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 196
Not good music: 167
Honorable Mentions: 4
Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts