@@@ Axel Boman: Luz (Studio Barnhus, 2022) I got to this acid house record via this week’s Pitchfork’s 10 most reviewed records and I do like the opening. It’s doesn’t just jump out with the groove and it feels more arranged and interesting than a lot of house music. The bass sound here deserves some respect as it’s fat and fuzzy and very distinct in its distortion and it’s changing all the time. I know I ran that sentence but meh, it’s my thing I hope the rest of the record can hang with that first tune as it was pretty high end business. The second tune tacks to the groove part of town with the classic beat coming in around 1:20 but offset by some pretty stylish dubwise echoes and an interesting arrangement. I’m on the third track and while I think the first piece is superior to the two that follow, Boman has arranging skills and doesn’t serve up the standard house slab of unt-ss and a little garnish and I appreciate that.
@@@ Omar Apollo: Mr. Neighbor (Warner Brothers, 2022) This is a pop record on a major label so I’m more than a bit suspicious of what might transpire, but so far I dig it. Oh maybe the first short bit was supposed to get my hopes only to smash them on the pop rocks as the second track busts out with the guitar strums. Apollo is working some very stylish vocal melodies and I like some sounds and not others. I read the Apple Music bio for Mr. Apollo and what makes him interesting is his Mexican American heritage and his willingness to attempt to make pop fresh. There aren’t standard pop tracks, better melodies, blends of sounds and also how two of the first four songs are guitar driven or at least guitar featured. It’s sad and heartening at the same time to see the slightest freshening of the pop formula. To see utter copies of old soul songs being trumpeted from the rafters is depressing so while Apollo is not blazing trails here he is mixing up the snow globe.