Music for 2/28/20!!! Body Count, Cirith Angol, Exhorder, Hatebreed, Lucifer

Body Count: Bum Rush (Century Media, 2020) Big Body Count fan over here and this one will raise your blood pressure.  Megadeth flavored but with rhythm on the microphone and ramped up a whole bunch.  This is a very energetic first (pre-release) single and I would definitely listen to more of this record.  The vocals drive the tune as the musical elements are pretty familiar but it comes together as a track with Ice T driving the bus.

@@@ Cirith Angol: Legions Arise (Metal Blade, 2020) More classic metal with a dramatic singer.  Plenty of energy here but it’s going for a more epic vibe than the rampaging Body Count tune.   Big melodic guitar playing, I like the drummer but it’s not my cup of metal!  Also a pre-release single off an upcoming full length.

@@@ Exhorder: The Man that Never Was (Nuclear blast, 2020)  Kinda boogie metal with some really elaborate guitar riffage and a lot of spraying drums.  The singer is half operatic and half rock star.  It’s all about the riffs, shreds and drums here.  Not really my cup of metal either.

@@@ Hatebreed: When the Blade Drops (Metal Blade, 2020)  A bunch of metal flavors here — a little hardcore, some stomping metal and a lot of metaphors regarding the guillotine.  There’s nothing you can do to stop it, drop the blade.  Plenty of hostility without a full meltdown.

@@@ Lucifer: Midnight Phantom (Century, 2020)  If you want a little glam to go with your metal here ya go.  This isn’t metal per se, it’s a rocking track with a female singer wooing the dark fellas.  Some mildly crunchy and contained guitars here but the intent is much different.  This is something you might hear at a Halloween party.  Melodies, singing, hooks and structure.  I like it all right.

YTD recordings listened to: 145
Good music, not list worthy: 84
Not good music: 61

Best: 0
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, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets

 

Music for 2/26/20!!! Why Bonnie, Agorsor, Sunny Jain, Gambian Griot Kora Duets

@@@ Why Bonnie: Voice Box (Fat Possum, 2020) Off the Twatter!  I love the Twatter.  This is a pre-release single of an upcoming EP coming out in April.  It’s a bit of Roxy music smoothness with some coffee shop slack.  Female singer, dreamy and accompanied by both classic indie guitar twee and a sweet pipe synth patch.  This makes me want a bologna sandwich and a fizzy orange drink and I’m not sure why.  More dreamy than mopey so it’s sedating and comforting simultaneously.

@@@ AGORSOR | Hugadem (Self-released, 2020) The rest of today’s listens are via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  The band bio says they are African rooted so I’m guessing that means a lot of the musicians here are from Africa but maybe they don’t live there right now.  It’s not a big deal but I was trying to get a handle or what sound they might be trafficking.  Female singer and African marimba prominent on this first tune, some call and response background vocals and hand percussion.  It’s firm but neither blazing nor soft Afro pop.  It’s not really my favorite combo of instruments as I prefer guitars and drums, neither of which are here but the drumming and the marimba playing is really good.

@@@ SUNNY JAIN | Wild Wild East  (Smithsonian Folkways, 2020) First off, fucking awesome moustache!  The first tune, Immigrant Warrior, comes on as a blend of arena rock and world music.  Let me bio this musician and see what’s going on.  Mr. Jain is of South Asian heritage and he rocks a blend of Indian classical and arena rock apparently.  He likes a big ass rock track and good on him.  While I find the combination quite creative the music itself is not my cup of tea.  For those who might dig it, there are a lot of big guitar sounds, some South Asian woodwinds, a lot of hand drums and even an MC on this fourth tune.  It’s a smorgasbord, get on up in it.

@@@ ALHAJI BAI KONTE, DEMBO KONTE, AND MA LAMINI JOBATE | Gambian Griot Kora Duets (Smithsonian Folkways, 1979)  This is a reissue and it’s the oldest of old school.  African kora masters doing some high end playing and ridiculously soulful singing.  Five tracks and four of them pushing 10 minutes this music is to just sit back and ride the feels.  To my ears this is African classical music, a high expression of a culture.  I would check out track two, the playing is off the hook!  More kora and singing from what I’ve heard.

YTD recordings listened to: 140
Good music, not list worthy: 82
Not good music: 58

Best: 0
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, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets

 

Music for 2/26/20!!! The Weeknd, Ozzy Osbourne, Yella Beezy, Pearl Jam

HotTracks_2_25_20

@@@ Thee Weeknd: After Hours (Republic/UMG, 2020) Wow, the #1 track in the Apple Music hot tracks section clocks in just over 6 minutes.  Fans of the Weeknd are gonna shit themselves but those of us awaiting our turn to recognize his genius are gonna think, yikes that’s a lotta Weeknd.  This one is looking to be an epic loverboy, falsetto monster shot laced with sadness and regret.  Very nice bass sounds, the beat comes in around 2 minutes and it’s all right without blowing my socks off.  This is a heartbreak booty shaker.  He’s a bit of a sad sack but they want you out on the dancefloor!!  I give a lot of respect to the sounds here and he sings all right but I don’t think most folks need 6 minutes of this.  I almost made it to the end but I don’t feel great about that.

@@@ Ozzy Osbourne: It’s a Raid  (Sony, 2020) The question presented by Ozzy Osbourne’s new single is ‘have we reached peak Post Malone?’  I might have reached Peak Malone about a year ago but hey that’s just me.  It opens up with some fresher sounds than what you would expect from the lead singer in Black Sabbath.  Drums high in the mix and I dig that, a few pop flourishes in the background vocals.  Post_Peak Malone does all right but his presence on the mic is lower than Ozzy (though this is a huge stack of Ozzy Osbourne vocal tracks).  It’s a bit of slop shop lyrically, I have no clues what’s going on but it’s about kicking it and rebelling and being frustrated that much is clear.  Unless I’m mistaken, Post Malone walked past this track he didn’t really do that much.

@@@ Yella Beezy: Keep it In the Streets (Hitco, 2020) A Hendrix like guitar figure, some classic 808 beats, a sung vocal hook are the main components out of the gate here.  I don’t know if Mr. Beezy is doing the singing on the hook but it’s definitely hip hop with sprinkles and extra goodies.  #interesting.  A lot of energy comes out of these rhymes and it’s about the streets but it’s so quick you gotta pay attention and the guitar hook gives it a decidedly non gangsta flow.  The elements by themselves are not the most interesting but their combination is creative and I give respect to that.  A little dancehall flavored rhyming, an old school black power hippie riff, and some beats.

@@@ Pearl Jam: Superblood Wolfmoon (Epic, 2020) I actively enjoy disliking Pearl Jam and I have for a long time.  They’re trying to step out on their new record with some fresh energy and some different feels but it’s still Eddie Vedder, whose self-righteous tone lies like a moist blanket on the Jam of Pearl.  On this track they use a classic guitar power stroke, a straight beat and they rely on Mr. Vedder and a background vocal arrangement to keep the track fresht.  Big arena guitar shred solo, it’s all right.  It sounds like they want to kick out the jams, ya know just leave it all out on the floor as they say.  It doesn’t move the needle for me, but maybe for folks out there?

YTD recordings listened to: 136
Good music, not list worthy: 80
Not good music: 56

Best: 0
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, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera

 

Music for 2/25/20!!! Chiiild, Wilsen, Habibi, Oded Tzur

LineOfBestFit_2_20

@@@ Chiiild: Darling (Avant Garden/Island, 2020)  Super intimate bedroom r&b from Line of Best Fit.  Bedroom not in terms of fornication but being in a bed calm and a world unto itself.  It sounds like a drummer here but it could be a drum machine going here, but the track has more of a live musician feel rather than a computerized music vibe.  I like both!  Chiiild is a good singer with some anthemic aspirations.  He’s got a ‘you are the best’ part to his vocal hook.

@@@ Wilsen: Ruiner (Secret City, 2020)  Off the Line of Best Fit weekly email.  They’re from Brooklyn so you know it’s going to be special (I’m writing this in Brooklyn)  It has a brief ambient bit before it goes into a most mellow rocking section.  It’s a very lushly produced tune that overshadows the playing as the playing is all right but not particularly unique or energetic.  There’s no swing here, it’s white people rock.  It is like classic indie rock had a love baby with U2’s epic guitar sound but thankfully without Bono.  I think the well crafted sounds make people feel special.

 

AllMusic_LateFeb20

@@@ Habibi: Anywhere But Here (Muddguts, 2020) Off this week’s All Music notable release email.  It opens somewhere along the Velvet Underground/Feelies/Yo La Tengo spectrum.  This first tune has the slightest surf feel to it as well.  It’s mopey but not fully smacked out.  Female singers (lots of background vocals here).  A whole big chunk of surf on this second tune so maybe they threw a head fake in the first tune and they’re a closet surf band.  I like it all right — I tend to prefer the wacky fast surf music so the chillaxed version doesn’t work as well for me but it’s an interesting blend of sounds/ideas.  More surf than indie here.

@@@ Oded Tzuer: Here Be Dragons (ECM, 2020)  Oh my, I’m not a huge fan of ultra lush jazz, it’s like sleeping on a mattress in a hotel where you fall in and it’s just a bit deep and too comfy.  I like a firmer jazz mattress.  This first tune is just above glacial in pace which is fine and it’s sax, upright bass, piano and drums.  You couldn’t light a cigarette with this fire!  I’m not sure the playing is the point here as the vibe of contemplative and smooth jazz is so prominent it’s a bit difficult to get past the presentation.

YTD recordings listened to: 132
Good music, not list worthy: 78
Not good music: 54

Best: 0
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, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera

Music for 2/24/20!!! King Krule, Jan St. Wenner, Cerrone

@@@ King Krule: Man Alive! (True Panther, 2020)  Off this week’s All Music notable release email.  A bit lo fi, a little psych and trippy, a little bit of ’80s synth rock, as well as a little bit of classic indie.  He’s a talented arranger, I like the way the sounds of the first track are put together.  The second tune is more downer-y with a bit of dark dub and a little aggro, alienation.  I like this third tune, didn’t like the second one, and liked the first one so I’m giving this a mixed bag rating.  He’s definitely not following somebody else’s roadmap and I respect that.

@@@ Jan St. Werner: Molocular Meditation (Editions Mego, 2020) Also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  4 tracks, 40 minutes with a 20 minute opener.  I will just be taking small bites.  This first piece starts as spoken word but slightly off kilter and dystopian spoken word with some dark, minimal sound garnish.  I was going to say that the tune builds slowly as I click through the 20 minutes but I just happened onto a solo voice with no accompaniment followed by a sheet of static.  The second tune opens up with drum and bass sorta thing but some of the beats consist of static.  The general vibe here is a disembodied voice with noisy, aggro sound accompaniment and I believe it’s a commentary on these fabulous times we live in.  He’s a bit weird and a little angry, maybe he’s hangry.

 @@@ Cerrone: DNA (Because Music, 2020)  Our last listen of the day starting out with an epic bass and a plinky arpeggiated synth up top.  I expect a cheesy dancefloor beat but we’ll see.  Let’s check out a bit more but I don’t think I will be here for long.  The combination of the arena rock production and the Cheez Whiz electronica is a bit much for me.  Personally I don’t know who would dig this kind of music but it takes all kinds to fill the world so I won’t presume anything.  If you have any respect for my taste I would steer clear of this, it could lower your IQ.

YTD recordings listened to: 128
Good music, not list worthy: 76
Not good music: 52

Best: 0
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, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera

 

Music for 2/21/20!!! David Walters, Shine I Dub, Macka B

DAVID WALTERS | Soleil Kreyol | (Heavenly Sweetness, 2019) All three of today’s listens are off WRIR’s weekly playlist email.  Let me get a little info on this artist but to my ears I’m thinking he’s got some connection with Haiti.  His label is in Paris and the description for his record says he aims for a global music that namechecks the Caribbean.  The bandcamp page for his record has Marseilles France as his location.  The beats here don’t sound particularly Jamaican or Trinidadian so I’m going with Haiti feels.  It’s a smooth first tune that would fall easily into a world/lounge/electro category.  Plenty of vocal chanting, laidback keyboard work and plenty of percussion to go around.  It’s a tad too smooth for my taste but I’m just one human up in here.  Seun Kuti is on the third track and it’s a party track but not distinctly Afrobeat while having some really nice single line guitar playing and a pumping shuffle beat.  I can see this record working for folks who like a very polished world music experience.

Shine I Dub: Militant| (Shine I Dub, 2020)  Some updated dancehall with roots reggae feels I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  There’s a guest toaster named G Whizz and the sounds are by these guys Shine I Dub.  Out of Italy I think.  It’s mostly electronic sounds, including prominent synth action.  I like the beats, they’re pretty standard with a slight march tinge to them, the synth bass is a little lower than what you would expect from a reggae track.  G. Whizz is all right — high energy and bounce on the microphone.

@@@ Macka B: Cucumba to di World (Peckings, 2020) What I thought was a penis reference is in actuality a vegan reference.  It’s all about the fruits and vegetables in this old school bouncy reggae number.  Fun as it is, Macka B. can work the microphone with the skills of a veteran.  This is a great combination of a modern theme done with old school style.  It’s mad dancehall party activism.

YTD recordings listened to: 125
Good music, not list worthy: 74
Not good music: 51

Best: 0
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, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera