Music for 11/29/21!!! dltzk, Ichiko Aoba

@@@ dltzk: misplace (dead air, 2021) Off this week’s Pitchfork’s most reviewed albums and this is some 17 year old nutter from New Jersey. It’s the third track of the record and is slacker grunge blended with pop flavors. The drums sound really good here. The guitar is downer-y but by the time you get the break after the chorus it’s a kaleidoscopic pop biscuit. Oy that was quite a journey and back to the down verse. Lots of glitch/electro sauce throughout to flavor up the place. Mr. dltzk’s voice is fine, not particularly inspiring but I don’t think that’s the goal here. There’s nothing particularly rough here which is not accidental and it’s all about the swirl after the chorus, that’s my assessment. I made it 3 minutes into it, that’s pretty good. This is for the shopping mall folks out there.

@@@ Ichiko Aoba: Porcelain (hermine, 2021) With traces of jazz fusion and a bit of prog rock then a female Japanese voice you are in for the full flavor pack today. It’s an upright bass here with some swirly electronic bits and classic clean indie guitar arpeggios. Also a flute so if you’re feeling like you’d like to try on a pair of angel wings and get your New Age on, this could work for you. Very orchestral and for people with well paying jobs who drink red wine and shake their heads at the dirty rabble. I’m doing a quick check of the next song to see if the madness continues — there are changes to the instrumentation but the same vibe remains, you will not find any converge style pain and suffering making an appearance here. The ratios of indie/classical/New Age varies but the aim is true.

Music for 11/28/21!!! Nilotika Cultural Ensemble, Etran de L’Air

@@@ Nilotika Cultural Ensemble: Ghetto People (East Africa Records, 2021) Oh man, I’m listening bottom to top and there’s nothing like a super tasty roots reggae jam to lift yer spirits. This is African reggae which is most definitely reggae with a different hard to define African flavor to it. This guy gave a shout out to Kampala (Uganda) and here the layers of rhythms are different including what sounds like a steel drum and a bunch of hand drums. Big ups to the trumpet player and the singer and really all of them because this is sticky as shit. Check this shit out. Don’t miss this one, it’s super fat. This track is on Apple Music as a single but the track also appears on their 2021 record Nyabinghi Resurrection which I’m checking out and the first track is so sticky I may not make it out alive. Oh, this is gonna make it to my year end list, this shit is so funky it will hurt you if you’re not careful.

@@@ Etran de L’Air: Adounia (Sahel Sounds, 2021) This is a pre-release for a record coming out next year which is right around the corner. It’s got a super flavorful shuffle drumbeat, the classic two guitar attack and overall a hypnotic and pretty rocking vibe to it. The energy is pretty high without being completely manic and they got a good jam going on. I don’t know if it’s the early winter business or something else but I’m not super feeling it as much as I should be considering the parts that go into the track which are pretty great. Special love for the drummer here.

Music for 11/27/21!!! Richard Dawson & Circle, Alex Malheiros

@@@ Richard Dawson & Circle: Lily (Domino, 2021) I don’t know how All Music slotted this as progressive metal as this track is pretty tepid punk/indie in the verse with a a deep voiced singer and not much of any metal signifiers. These are all big bangers, at least 6 minutes long. The singer is the star here, if you don’t like him you’re probably not going to like this record. I’m agnostic on his performance here, he’s weird and I dig that, and he busts out with some surprising melodies at certain points but he’s also rocking some pretty art school vibes which I’m not a fanboy of. I think the songs are long so he can get all his lyrics out which is fine but I’m going to need a hotter band to hang in for these lyrics. I’m giving the first track a shot just to be thorough but it’s not progressive metal, somebody gotta get their labels straight. It’s weird UK rock which is not as glamorous.

@@@ Alex Maheiros: Alto Verao (Far Out, 2021) Looks to be another mislabelling adventure from All Music as it’s slotted as funk but is really a Latin fusion jazz sound with a bit of old school ’70s funk, but not nearly enough to push this up into the funk arena proper. Malheiros is a guitar player and that looks like a Brazilian name so that would explain the title of the record Tempos Futuros. It’s pleasantly fusion-y but fusion-y strikes me like a big feather pillow and I’m looking for some Funkadelic hard business. It’s a tad snoozypants for me but if you dig the mellow tip get up on it!

Music for 11/26/21!!! Static Dress, Naime Bock

@@@ Static Dress: sweet (Self-released, 2021) From this week’s Line of Best Fit and this is supposed to be Gen Z’s heavy band. It opens with a frantic drum beat, splashy and hissy a bit from compression. Then come the slashing guitars and the singer (dude) at the end of his rope, at least in the verse. It’s very jumpy overall and especially in the sectioning of the track, the vocal melody bouncing around on the rough seas of the band. It’s medium rough with a bit of performative play rough, with the singer’s voice burnt and staticky though it smooths out in the chorus which further destabilizes the structure of the track. Solid B.

@@@ Naima Bock: 30 Degrees (Sub Pop, 2021) Also off this week’s Line of Best Fit. It opens with a woman humming/singing while traffic goes by. Then acoustic guitar gently picked, and the singer does a minimalist and slightly off kilter sing song style. Then hand drum, tambourine, and the backgrounds and with the electric bass it should be pretty much fully realized. Around 1:45 there’s just a little bit of orchestral Beatles type flavor but so quick if you look at your phone you’ll miss that shit. I’m agnostic on her voice which is one of the main components of the track. I like the orchestral bits, the drums sound cool, I don’t love the background vocals but I do like that the arrangement continues to turn over and doesn’t stay in one place. The ending is a big ass stack of vocals and I’m agnostic on that as well. So some good stuff and some stuff I don’t love as much.

Music for 11/25/21!!!! Ovlov, Body/Erase

@@@ Ovlov: Land of Steve-O (Exploing in Sound, 2021) Sweeten up the Sonic Youth formula by taking the storm out of the verse as well as some of that good ol’ NYC nihilism and you’re pretty close to this track. Lots of other bands as well. Chll in the verse, kick out the jams in the chorus, god bless ‘merka amiright??? Nice friendly singer, well done guitars, there you have it.

@@@ Body/Dilloway/Head: Body/Erase (Three Lobed Recordings, 2021) Okay this is also off this week’s All Music notable release email and is the opening 17 minute banger of the proceedings. I believe this is one of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon’s new projects so coincidence to have mentioned Sonic Youth, I don’t think so! It opens very sparse with what sounds like disembodied glitched out/reversed bits of voice, I don’t really know. I’m clicking forward 1 minute at a time and around 7 minutes there starts to be more material sorta bouncing around and at around 9 minutes we get some mangled up instruments. I find myself less listening and more trying to figure out what is going on and what the sounds trace back to. I’m guessing this is a big pile of loops sorta offset against each other but that’s a guess it could be improvised. The ending/latter part is a staticky collision and celebration of feedback and blasts of static and I don’t hate it but I’m not moved by it. A little bit moved but not a lot.

Music for 11/24/21!!! Chris Liebing, Ben LaMar Gay

@@@ Chris Liebing: Whispers and Wires (Mute, 2021) This is the eighth song off this techno record that just came out. It’s pretty sci-f in the beginning here, churning and refraining from the classic unt-sss. Oooh, a female vocalist, sultry — will we have a song or a techno jam with diva bits? It’s a just shy of 6 minute banger and she’s back for another verse, the vocals really change the vibe bigly. He busts out with a long dubby vocal churn and also what might be considered a solo so there’s not only a song feel here, but a bit of a rock feel. The last 90 seconds, noop, I was gonna say it was a reflection of the intro with a dubbed out snare but the vocalist is back again. I’m agnostic on the singer, she’s cool but I think I enjoy my techno more without a lot of singing. I’m giving a quick peep to the third track, 10 West, and it’s similar. I like it, am not jumping up and down but some nice arranging here.

@@@ Ben LaMar Gay: Aunt Lola and the Quail (Nonesuch, 2021) I put this listen second for today because it’s on Nonesuch and well Nonesuch is kinda a full of shit label for people with really good jobs playing like they’re hip. I will be happy to admit if this turns out not to be the case. The video clipped below is is the fourth track of the record and it has a looser feel than the record above. It sports a bit of a noodly keyboard feel in the opening but it’s not what I expected from such a buttlocked label. I like the looseness of the arrangement over the toms and it comes off as undercover jazz. Imma check out who’s on this biscuit. Ah, once in a while I hit the shit correctly, Mr. LaMar Gay is a jazz cornetist from Chicago that sometimes lives in Brazil and I’m feeling the two places in this record — he sounds like Henry Threadgill filtered through a bunch of VSTs. I’m super feeling this record and it will end up on my year end list. It is a super interesting blend of electronic and improvised music. I did not think I would like it but I do and I hope folks out there check it out.

Music for 11/23/21!!! Converge, The Darkness

@@@ Converge: Blood Moon (Epitaph, 2021) Some hardcore/metal+ with this listen and hard rock down below in the second listen off this week’s All Music notable release email. I don’t know who Chelsea Wolfe is, let me GooglePimp that shit. There are two singers here in this track opening the record — a sort of blanched cat and as the storm of guitar shreds rises a female, Chelsea Wolfe, comes on. It’s way more dramatical when she’s on the mic. I don’t know which way the record is going to go but it has some Converge squall and noise while introducing a more polished and dramatical feel. Oh the dude is back and he’s quite pissed. I made it almost all the way through the opening 8 minute banger and the second track is stormier, at least the begining. It does look set to bounce back and forth between thrashy sections and more orchestrated ones. The more I listen the more it grows on me but dramatic metal is a stretch for me.

@@@ The Darkness: The Power and the Glory of Love (Cooking Vinyl, 2021) Fourth track on this record called Motorheart and it’s an AC/DC undercarriage with a much friendlier, almost G rated singer. Super friendly guy which pushes it towards Thin Lizzy. When he hits the hook, ‘the power and the glory of love’ it’s the highpoint as he’s got an epic melody packed over the dual guitar attack. It’s a form of entertainment I’ll give them that. It’s also super familiar, somebody has played along with Back in Black dozens of times here.

Music for 10/22/21!!! Chrissi, Doran

@@@ Chrissi: Back in the Day (Listen Generously, 2021) I got to this UK r&b singer via Crack Magazine. It’s a torch song, but not a love song from what I can tell. I was doing something else and ended up in the second tune ‘Tracksuit’ which is a slinky thing that I dig. I’m not following all the lyrics but I think it’s about more than ‘Tracksuits’. It’s got a minimalist guitar part that punctures the mix rhythmically while the singer flows very syrupy on the microphone. Very nice integration of sounds and voice on this EP. It’s pretty funky in a subtly funky manner.

@@@ Doran: Deer People Reprise (Spinster, 2021) The last track of the record that bookends the first track which is Doran. It opens acapella and as the last track on the record I’m guessing there’s a good chance it will go acapella all the way through. I like the second half where it really dies down into a lasagna of oohs and aahs to take you out of the record. Imma check the sister piece the opens the record to get a better sense of what’s going on. Holy shit this record is all acapella, that’s bold! For real, super bold. I can’t rock a whole record of this style but hey go for it and big points for the freak flag flying.

Music for 11/21/21!!! Jon Hopkins

@@@ Jon Hopkins: Music for Psychedelic Therapy (Domino, 2021) I got to this record via the PItchfork 10 most reviewed albums of the week. I’ve checked out Hopkins and have always thought he could drop a big fat one I would like but he has New Age tendencies that I don’t love. I don’t like New Age sounds, it’s like having somebody blow air up my skirty and I’m not wearing undergarments. There is such a thing as too much comfort. The fifth tune here is titled Love Flows Over us in Prismatic Ways. And who am I to protest, but I do think it’s a bit, ya know flattering and what not. The sonics here are drones on this opening track tinkly percussion. No beats and a few bird chirps. Bird chirps, meh. The second tune comes in with a rain storm and my ticket has pretty much been punched here. I get that there’s an Eastern peace of mind thing going on here, and I’m down with that as I’ve rocked the Upanishads and most of the major Buddhist texts but I would also say that the obviousness of the peacefulness and the stereotypical use of rain and birds lessens the creativity and the impact of the music. Just my view, if you want some really nice drone work framed with nature noises, who am I to say it takes all kinds of folks to fill the world, but it’s not for me.

Music for 11/20/21!!! Cleo Sol, Jessy Lanza

@@@ Cleo Sol: Don’t Let Me Fall (Forever living originals, 2021) Piano singer songwriter off this week’s Line of Best Fit. Certainly not Adele blow the roof off the house for which I’m grateful. After a 1 minute solo piano and vox a simple band arrangement comes in — drums and bass then back to the piano. Oh boy the band comes back and while there’s nothing particularly unique going here the vibe is solid and it’s a lesson in less is more. Just over the halfway point and theres an acoustic guitar strumming and a bunch of background vocals and the less is more has been cast away. I still like it but not as much. Just after 4 minutes it kinda reappears as a jam and I like that. I like most of what’s here the beginning and the end especially.

@@@ Jessy Lanza: Wet X3 (K7, 2021) I’m guessing this is gonna be a horny white girl dancefloor banger. It opens with a couple of kick drums working off each other. It looks set to be a techno thing with the unt-sss but with some dubwise flavors, not original Jamaican roots dubwise but in that spirit. There’s a pretty wicked swirling dark synth that underpins the other synths in the mix. It’s pretty abstract when I thought we were going to get some X rated lyrics I actually like the arrangement as it sports a pretty solid dollop of funk to go with the dub and the techno. Lots of vocal processing, pitch shifting most notably. This is a remix record and the chopped up repackaging explains the delays, glitched vocals, etc. It’s pretty hot stuff so if you’re in the mood, this is not boring kraut-y techno this has some wang in it.