2018 Honorable Mention Pick 6

Automatisme: Transit (Constellation, 2018)

Automatisme has put together a dark ambient record with a blend of synths, glitched noises, dashes of drum machine rhythm, and mechanical sounds that evoke industrial music without the manic, pounding pace of that electronic genre.  These pieces sound more performed and organic than a lot of looped ambient music you might encounter.  There are moments of floating cloudiness but there is a pleasing juxtaposition between that and more urgent sounds making the recording more full bodied and engaging.

Check it out, one of my favorite tracks is clipped below.

Music for 9/28/18!!! Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFUNK, James Supercave, Sarah Hahn

@@@ Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFunk: Wet Robots (ESP Disk, 2018) I saw this free jazz funk record shouted on the Twatter.  I know some of the players on this recording and when you click on the first track set aside any expectations that this might be a variant of a George Clinton/Funkadelic record.  It’s funky but not in a typically funky manner.  Victor is entertaining with quasi-mental hospital vocal style and she is accompanied by drums, guitar, and a sax player.  I’m super into Victor’s singing — she appears to be emulating any number of other instruments, most notably sax.  I do think with a band name such as SoundNoiseFUNK that a bassist would be standard issue.  I’m very much enjoying what’s here but some thump would really take it places, in my opinion.

@@@ James Supercave: Come Alone (Self-released, 2018) I got to this mainstream indie pop rock tune via a music publicist email.  The arrangement sounds pretty familiar with a few fresh bits thrown in, but the singer, what can we say about the singer?  He’s not super interesting in the verse but he does a better job with his falsetto in the chorus.  There is some nice sonic rotation through the tune where some sounds drop and others show up but it sounds like slinky ear candy and not much more than that to me.

@@@ Sarah Hahn: I Close My Eyes to See (Parma, 2018)  I’m on the mailing list of this small New Hampshire modern classical/sometimes jazz label.  They do pretty cool stuff.  The track opens with an extended flute/piano jam.  I thought there were vocals on this record, but maybe I’m on the crack again and misread as we’re almost half way through and it’s a very nice flute/piano duo piece.  It sits inside what I know to be classical music while pushing through a lot of energy and passion in places.  I like it.

YTD recordings listened to: 547
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 290
Not good music: 226

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 5

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, 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, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, KEN mode, Automatisme

Music for 9/27/18!!! Tunde Olaniran, Kweku Collins, Dry Reef

@@@ Tunde Olaniran: Mountain (N/A, 2018) I got to this slightly off kilter r&b loverboy track via a music publicist.  Thus far I’m much more engaged with the sounds than with the singing.  The cupcake is quite glitchy and impressive yet the vocal frosting is pretty standard.  It has the weirdness and processing of some trap music which I believe is created through extensive broccoli smoking and other stimulants but this mix is much more densely packed.

@@@ Kweku Collins: Grey (Self-released, 2017) Slotted as alternative rap on the Apple Music I saw this MC shouted out on the Twatter.  He’s got a Caribbean dancehall to his microphone work but the arrangement is not strictly electro roots.  I would say the mood of the record is more down than up with some pretty grainy, non soda pop synth sounds and lower tempos.  He also blurs hip hop and r&b sounds with a pretty equal split between the two genres.  If Drake rolled like this I would be much more impressed with Drake.  The sounds are mature and the singing is not Drake mush-y.

@@@ Dry Reef: Start it Up (Free Dive, 2018)  A pre-release single from an upcoming full length that I got to via a music publicist.  A little bit of Sublime, well more than a little bit.  It’s a Wasp-a-fari production with a dual guitar attack and an uplifting yet Wonder Bread-y feeling.  This is white boy frat kegger music — it doesn’t sicken me, but I would peep Burning Spear in a minute over this.

YTD recordings listened to: 544
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 288
Not good music: 225

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 5

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, 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, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, KEN mode, Automatisme

Music for 9/26/18!!! Matthew Dear, Danny Brown, Miya Masaoka

@@@ Matthew Dear: Modafinil Blues (Ghostly, 2018) I saw this single bumped up on the Twatter.  It’s electronic rock with a mopey and manly singer.  Not the Cure, but there’s another outfit this reminds me of.  It’s got a straight drum beat and bassline and gets into slight dance floor territory with some shuffling hi hat sounds and handclaps.  It’s got some nice small sonic twists and turns but I’m not a fan of his voice.  Others may adore it, but not me.  I also detect an undercover bite of Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust baseline.

@@@ Danny Brown: Bruiser Brigade (Fool’s Gold, 2012).  A hip hop single also shouted on the Twatter.  It’s blurbed as shock rap on the Apple Music.  It’s got a chopped feel sprinkled in the drumbeats, the synths and the rhymes.  I would not say this is particularly concious tune cuz he’s drunk as fuck and she’s ready to fuck.  So quasi-industrial music with anti-woman lyrics.  That’s the description and I will leave the judgment to others.

@@@ Miya Masaoka: MZM (Infrequent Streams, 2017). I got to this experimental improvisation record via the Roulette club email.  I like the pianist Myra Melford who I have heard on recordings and on record before.  Melford’s percussive piano is joined by some crazy ass playing of the 21 string koto and harp/electronics from Zeena Perkins who I don’t know of.  It’s a little like listening to a physics experiment and I’m enjoying the popping of it.  I’m digging the second tune more as it digs in with some lower keyboard runs and more insistent rhythmic playing.  It is appropriately titled Bug.  From what I’ve heard the trio presents a variety of moods — some quiet and contemplative, some insect like and orbitous (not a word!) and some burrowing.  Check it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 541
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 286
Not good music: 224

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 5

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, 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, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, KEN mode, Automatisme

Music for 9/25/18!!! Sarazino, Atropolis

@@@ Sarazino: Mama Funny Day (Cumbancha, 2018) A pre-release single off this week’s WRIR world music playlist email.  There is only track to stream but a ton of guests so it’s gonna be very different sounding from track to track.  I would call this epic world music pop.  Huge sounding production, shiny with a big female vocal background choir that often hits the hook ‘Is there a place where we could go?’  It’s similar to what you might hear in a mainstream American self empowerment pop anthem just with Spanish lyrics and a few world music garnishments.  I know that’s not a word, I could care less.  There may be a place to go in outer space but you’re going to have to buy a ticket from Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos.

@@@ Atropolis: Shuffle Mode EP (Cumba Mela, 2018)  Also off an upcoming record and also off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  The tune is Violencia Politica, obviously a different tune from the track clipped below and I’m feeling it.  It’s modern electronic and funky with world music flavorings.  It mostly has a female singer rocking it in Spanish but there are other voices and the arrangement is sticky.  Very stylish sounds including sophisticated beats, elastic rubber funky bass.  This record is out in four days and I will most definitely check out more.  Midtempo with a thick stew of very good sounds.

YTD recordings listened to: 541
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 286
Not good music: 224

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 5

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, 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, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, KEN mode, Automatisme