His Name is Alive: Guitar Echo (Disciples, 2020) We’re listening in the apple Music experimental section. This first tune is not very experimental — if you take U2’s guitar player the Edge and put him in a room with a little oxy and tell Bono to go grab a beer and a ton of Facebook stock it would sound like this. Pleasantly delayed solo guitar noodling.
The Telescopes: The Speaking Stones (Cold Spring, 2020) A step in the right direction for my ears. Dark and aggro out of the box. A low voice intoning spoken words among the reversed loops and ominous drone. I like that South Asian-esque drone going on. Is it gonna be 4 minutes of this because it sounds like an intro to a tune and not a full tune?? Waiting, waiting. I’m not gonna lie, I coulda used more action here. Not a ton but some.
Pulse Emitter: Cloud Refuge (Hause Mountain, 2020) What you might expect from a tune called Cloud Refuge. Lots of airy synth patches and aggressive panning to simulate clouds and rain and cloud related stuff. About 2 minutes in on a 7 minute track it sounds like somebody slotted in a step sequencer to get some rhythm going, oh that’s out and we’re back to the swirl of clouds. To my ears we’re right at the edge of the precipe about ready to fall into the New Age Cheese Precipice but not quite. I like my ambient music darker than this, but if you’re looking for something quietly hopeful and rainforest-y….
Amor Muere: Can we Provoke Reciprocal Reaction (Umor Rex, 2020) This tune has the most interesting opening section. There’s an ambient, oscillating tone in the back of the mix and a plucked string/percussion thing in the front. Okay, voices now and my general impression is that of a dark Kate Bush type song. Some pretty vocals but a bit more disturbing and swirling underneath that. This tune has the most interesting arrangement of what I heard today and a spirit of freshness to it. The interplay between the stringed instrument, the electronic haze and the vocals is interesting.
YTD recordings listened to: 122
Good music, not list worthy: 72
Not good music: 50
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