@@@ Bassel & The Supernaturals: Smoke (Six Degrees, 2020) Out today, this was the pre-release single for the record. It’s a smooth funk experience, a cousin of Earth Wind and Fire. Full ensemble — horn section, two guitars, background singers, the whole schlemiel. The singer here is solid but he doesn’t carry the track the way the EWF singer did. As we mention with metal and hard rock all the time there’s a bit of contradiction between smooth production and the genre in which it is employed. Really hardcore funk (Funkadelic for example) can be quite raw and therefore the energy is much higher. The smoothness of the production here lowers the energy.
@@@ Hip Hop Hoodios: Turn Back the Clock (Hip Hop Hoodies, 2020) Today’s listens come off this week’s WRIR playlist email and here the Hip Hop Hoodios go for a en Espanol retro hip hop/disco thing. Way back like Grandmaster Flash and bell bottom pants and it’s a party track. Get the party started, turn back the clock, that’s the hook here. I like it all right.
@@@ The J&B Kings: Congo Conga (7 Arts, 2020) More funk, it’s funky Friday! Multiple guitars, tight drums and driving horns but done in a tighter more stripped down funk style. I do like instrumental funk but I also dig a funky singer so I (and you) will have to satisfy ourselves with a few brief solos on top of this old school groove. Again, solid business, better than the smooth funk of the first track and this one is for the gringos who can’t identify with the second track.
@@@ Rina Sawayama: XS (Dirty Hit, 2020) I saw this artist in the new music section on the Apple Music. I would call this pop singer/songwriter while Apple Music has it slotted as alternative. As it unfolds it gets poppier and the production gets more complex and excessive (in a nod to the title). It’s got an abrasive but not completely convincing power chord segue that pops up too often. I don’t know what friggin’ Einstein decided to pop this track out while everybody is locked down but the possibility of excess is limited here, isn’t it. Is it the vibe we’re going for here? Be easy on the Amazon delivery people, don’t go nuts with the sex toys and the vaping equipment.
YTD recordings listened to: 286
Good music, not list worthy: 154
Not good music: 126
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, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge,