Artist: Phonosonics & Leroy Sibbles
Title: Me and Mrs. Jones
Label/Year of release: Self released, 2019
Link: WRIR best of 2019 list (above)
Music: Old school roots reggae
Lyrics: It’s a cover
Arrangement: Full on old school
Originality: An homage to the golden age of sticky roots.
Comments: The singer is working! A great mash of American soul and island flavors as the singer really brings the soul. Also a big shout to the organ player.
Artist: Bolga All Stars and the Polyversal Souls
Title: This is Bolga
Label/Year of release: Philophon, 2019
Link: WRIR best 2019 singles list
Music: Brisk tempo and hot horn work
Lyrics: A female singer and a large chorus of singers.
Arrangement: I like the electric guitar and the way it compliments the kora/kora like instrument.
Originality: Not West African rock and not Western either.
Comments: From the label that brought you probably my favorite record of the 2010s, Guy One’s #1. Big ups on a lot of elements here. Hot horns, funky drumming, rock guitar vamping and African singing. 7 minutes of hotness, check it out.
Artist: Penny Penny
Label/Year of release: Soundway, 2019
Lyrics: No clue, not in English, Penny Penny is from South Africa
Arrangement: Lots of vocal call and response over a dancefloor arrangement. Interesting blend of sounds.
Production: Hard to tell with this GooglePimptube mono bullshit video as this track is not up on the Apple Music.
Originality: I don’t have a great grip on South African music so I can’t say.
Artist: Deuce Eclipse Y Los los Leones De La Cumbia
Label/Year of release: Freedom Style/Discos Resaca
Link: WRIR best singles of 2019
Lyrics: No clue, sung in Spanish.
Arrangement: Who can deny this accordion driven Latin music? People who are dead inside. A modern vocal arrangement updates the cumbia
Production: Sounds really good.
Originality: I listen to a fair amount of cumbia and I think it’s fair to say folks tune in for the high energy traditional dancefloor energy. These guys pump the vocals to bring a more partyistic vibe.
Artist: Chris De Wise Shepher
Title: Nera Wo’o Soke
Label/Year of release: Localophone
Link: WRIR best singles of 2019
Music: Electro African
Lyrics: Not in English
Arrangement: Tightly arranged with a stringed instrument, a tight beat.
Production: Transparent and not cheesy.
Comments: Mr. Shepher is not rapping but this singing does not soar which I dig. I like the flute part and there is one particularly funky synth part while all the parts are small and function to propel the tune forward. Good shit.
YTD recordings listened to: 19
Good music, not list worthy: 10
Not good music: 9
Honorable Mentions: 0
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, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon