Music for 4/20/22!!!! Club d’Elf, Congotronics International

@@@ Club d’Elf: Now Open Your Eyes (Face Pelt, 2022) Both of today’s listens are off this week’s WRIR playlist email. The video below is the third track on the record and it opens with a laidback classic rock/chill hippie rock formula. Swelling keyboards, a coupla guitars, even a slide/steel tucked in the back. No vocalist here yet, it looks like the keyboard player is taking the job. You also get some harmonica going here so it’s full back in the day as far as my ears can tell. I like it, it sounds great and is well performed but it’s not really a vibe that pulls me in. These days I’m enjoying lots of drone or chaos and the hippie ‘sit back and groove’ doesn’t strike me as super relevant. I know some folks use music as an escape but I don’t. The player clicked through to the next track, Golden Hour, and it’s more interesting to me than the video below. Same formula basically, but rendered differently.

@@@ Congotronics International: Banza Banza (Crammed, 2022) A supergroup that includes Konono No. 1 and members of Deerhoof and other folks. The track opens stormy before it strips down to a grizzy bass and some chanting. It’s a bit of a collage-y feeling til it all comes together around 1:45 with a single line guitar part, multiple voices, a lot of hand drums and a lot of vocal tracks. My favorite sound is the amplified thumb piano and the fat ass bass sound while I don’t love the guitar sounds here, they feel extra. I say strip out the white people and let the brown folks take over. If the guitar was more interesting I would be up for it. By guitar I mean the power chord action designed to drive the track, not the single line playing which I think is incredible.

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