@@@ Andy Stott: Hard to Tell (Modern Love, 2021) All three of today’s listens are off this week’s All Music notable release email. This track is slotted as electronic on Apple Music but to me it sounds like spaghetti western guitar music and now a female singer. As my definition goes this is stretching the definition. I’ve been duped, this is indie music, lemme check another track and see if it’s instrumental. 5 tracks have a singer, this singer, and four don’t and I will give a quick peep to the third track ‘Repetitive Strain’. The intro here is a repeating phrase that allows the metronome like rhythm to start, pause, and then the huge multi-octave arpeggio with a pipe like synth patch. I’m not sure what he’s going for here, it’s a bit dancefloor, a bit funky, a bit abstract so for me it’s not gelling. Plus I don’t know how to reconcile this track with the last one. As I finish up here here, he’s expanded the rhythmic components and is offering up an undercover dancefloor banger. I like it all right but I remain a bit befuddled but not in a snobby way.
@@@ Unschooling: Social Chameleon (Howlin’ Banana Records, 2021) Angular, nerdy return of Devo style rock with more guitar energy. The band is mixed super high while the singer is stuffed in the middle like the jelly of the donut. In this case more dough and less jelly which is fine, it’s got just enough jelly. The downside of the low vocalist is that I don’t really know what the song is about besides the title and I consume the track as almost instrumental music which is fine as their strength is in band playing.
@@@ Binker Golding: Lunar Wind (Byrd Out, 2021) Slotted as avant garde jazz the instrumentation here looks set to be sax, acoustic bass and drums, possibly more but we just got started. It’s a 15 minute free jazz banger that opens scruffy and stays scruffy and I like scruffy as it builds tension in this first third of the track. I could use a slightly thicker bass sound and a little thinness chopped off the horn as when I listen to long pieces with abstract playing I want that lushness, it adds to my experience. I’m not going to peep this whole piece but I’m going to check in on a couple of other pieces — I like the horn and the sound of the trio on the second track Reflection. I’m enjoying the braying and the energy of the trio here.