Music for 5/17/18!!! Lawaii, Kassin, Divide and Dissolve

@@@ Lawaii: Lawaii (Self-released 2018) I got to this jazz release via a twat on the Twatter by Bird is the Worm.  They are from Denmark and the instrumentation is piano, bass and drums.  This trio format can often lead to high end pretentious wanking, but thus far no for these guys.  The emphasis here thus far is on atmospherics and tone.  thus far they are also employing a less is more approach and I’m feeling it.  The first lyrical playing that I’ve heard shows up on the third tune, #5 and it’s offset with some pretty tasty bass bow scratching.  The tune cycles on a circular piano figure and the quick scratchy ass bowing.  I’ve sample parts of the first four pieces and I really like it thus far.  I will circle back at a later point when I can sit and relax to it more but right now I have to extrude the music review kibble for the hungry mass.  Check it out.

@@@ Kassin: Relax (Luaka Bop, 2018)  Off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  I have a conflicted relationship with Brazilian music.  I dig it rhythmically but often times the smoothness of it I find dissatisfying.  The second tune is a Brazilian Earth Wind ‘n Fire but I don’t love it.  It’s clipped below.  I’ve sample parts of four tunes and while I kinda appreciate the disco excursion here I’m not super enjoying the music.  It’s a large ensemble and the playing is good so it sounds like something you might like have at it.

@@@ Divide & Dissolve: Abomination (Dero Arcade, 2018) Some metal off this week’s CFuv playlist email.  It opens up with a lot of tom playing and a dirty bass.  I see from the Apple Music blurb that this is a duo and thus far it’s a dark affair with some distorted business but it’s not a typical metal record.  It doesn’t have to be.  There is a theme here with the first three song titles Abomination, Assimilation, and Cultural Extermination.  I’m feeling this second tune Assimilation, it sports a haunting melody over a disgusting nasty bass sound and more heavy on the tom drumming.  I like the foundation of the record, the drumming and the bass sound, ah just as I was about to say I needed more you get some spoken word.  A female doing some heavy but not super focused spieling and occasional piano.  This is no mosh-fest, it’s got ideas behind it and I like it.  I wish the tracks that have more in them started out the record.

YTD recordings listened to: 274
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 145
Not good music: 120

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii

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Music for 5/16/18!!! Trevor James, Hansmole, OBUXUM, Stimulator Jones

@@@ Trevor James: Maxine (N/A, 2018) I chose to listen to this because I check out Afropunk folks as I find it an interesting mash of subcultures.  The tune opens up with a fairly punishing rock beat, some minor guitar slashing and Lenny Kravitz style vocals.  I don’t really like the delay on the singer’s voice but he’s got a solid rock star voice.  This is a pre-release single from an upcoming full length and while there’s not much punk about this Afropunker’s tune outside of it’s muscular drum sound and guitar shred it’s an all right tune.

 

 

 

@@@ Hansmole: Bitter Herb (Self-released, 2018) #1 out at CFUV in Vancouver, British Columbia.  The album opens up indie, and a little pastoral, a little electronic and a tad mopey.  Female singer, piano, full drums in places, and some electronic gurgles.  Let’s peep some more.  The second tune is an acoustic guitar strummer with heavily delayed vocals.  Some electronics come in but it’s still too mopey for me.  I can hang with some slackness but I can’t slack it this much.

@@@ OBUXUM: H.E.R. (Urbnet, 2018)  A black female producer with an EP of very brief tunes, a bunch between 1-2 minutes and a couple at 2:30.  The tunes are instrumental and the production centers around the synth arrangements over strong beats.  I’m really feeling the fourth track Betty Blue’s interlude.  This producer, whose name I do not know has some interesting sounds going on.  She’s swirling in a fair amount of glitchy shit which gives it a pleasant and subtle aggro taste.

@@@ Stimulator Jones: Exotic Worlds & Masterful Treasures (Stones Throw)  Our final listen of the day and it opens up with some early ’80 disco funk stylings.  Synth bass, smooth keys and now a velvety singer.  I like a bunch of the sounds here but I’m not really feeling the singer.  Too buttery for my taste.  I also don’t like how much reverb is on the singer’s voice and while I’m picking nits the drums could be more flavorful.  I got to this record via last week’s All Music notable release email.

 

YTD recordings listened to: 271
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 143
Not good music: 119

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris

Music for 5/15/18!!! McMains, Simian Mobile Disco, Playboy Cardi, Charlie Puth

@@@ McMains: American Soul EP (Welland Intl, 2018) I got to this EP via the music blog Indiepulse.  It opens straight and big sky country with a super engaging vocalist.  He’s gonna hug you with his calloused hands and the drops of rain will fall off his cowboy hat, streaking your face like tears.  It’s just that sensitive.  The second tune has a firmer tempo — it’s about a Confederate soldier so maybe I’ll skip ahead.  The pop appeal of this country record is reflected in the third tune (clipped below).  It sports a strummed Travelling Wilburys/Tom Petty rock vibe to go with the country.  Not really my thing.

@@@ Simian Mobile Disco: Murmurations (Wichita Recordings, 2018)  Off this week’s All Music notable release email.  The addition of choir vocals to the fifth Simian record is supposed to add celestial beauty.  We’ll see, I’m expecting some low IQ booty shaking to be underneath but let us see.  We got about 90 seconds of choir thus far and I get it and could appreciate something else.  Fuck, I skipped to the next tune — oy, more choirs, Jesus what is this Ape Church?  Finally another sound.  I guess this artistic dance music, but it’s not very danceable, there’s too much singing and Imma peeping one more track before tipping.  They have a bunch of world music drumming/sound influences in this third tune but the pace is pretty slow.  I’m feeling this more until the choir comes in.  Oy!

@@@ Playboy Cardi: Die Lit (Interscope, 2018)  Off the precious real estate, the rotating banner at the top of the Apple Music home page.  It’s for sale in some sort of way, you can count on that!  After the intro song, Mr. Cardi gets right into the fat, crunchy bass and the off color lyrics.  Mr Cardi appears to enjoy the ladies graphically and he might also be involved in the gun trade.  That’s cool, we don’t judge.  The sounds here are all right but I think you need to be twisted to enjoy this.  Really twisted.  Cardi sounds mad high and it has a trippy, purple drank feel to it.  I prefer J.I.D. to this for sure.

@@@ Charlie Puth: Voicenotes (Warner, 2018)  I’ve seen this Charlie Puth cat pushed in various places including the Apple Music and other PR/propaganda vehicles.  It’s mainstream pop and it’s probably overwrought shit for housewives but it’s my job to peep it.  I have nothing against housewives by the way unless they’re driving around on pills due to their horrible lives.  The album, surprisingly, opens up with a Michael Jackson clean guitar riff.  Puth is a breathless singer, he does a little falsetto, and you can bet he cares about your feelings.  Let’s see if he continues on his quest to be the albino Michael Jackson.  No Michael Jackson jokes here.  I find Justin Timberlake to be a pretty annoying performer but he’s pretty hip compared to Mr. Puth.  Mr. Puth has a not very distinct soapy gray dishwater voice.  The productions here are super polished, shiny and shaved smooth like a porn star’s bush.

YTD recordings listened to: 267
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 141
Not good music: 117

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris

Music for 5/14/18!!! Yeni Nostalji, Jah9, Queen Ifrica, Selena Gomez

@@@ Yeni Nostalji: Self-titled (Ropeadope, 2018) An American of Lebanese descent makes a record influenced by Turkish music.  I got to this record via the WRIR weekly email.  I’m no expert but this first tune has more Brazilian Bossa nova in it than what I associate with Turkish music.  It’s a very romantic vibe here — I’m not a huge fan of romantic music as I’m emotional dead inside but this is pretty well done.  It’s interesting that it mashes up a lot of influences without a care.

@@@ Jah9: Love has Found I (VP, 2018)  A modern roots reggae single I also got to via WRIR.  Female singer active on the mic, it’s a love of Jah tune.  I like her singing, I like the background vocals less.  The flutist is doing good work and while I prefer the old school murky sound the band here is solid in their support of her devotion.

@@@ Queen Ifrica: Black Woman (VP, 2018)  Speaking of that old school reggae production there are some mighty tasty dub echoes on this seven minute tune that is the lead single off a full length.  Again, a strong female singer showing devotion and love for Jah.  I checked out the first tune, Trueversation, and it’s much more of an accessible pop reggae track.  Go with the Black Woman single, it’s much better imho.

@@@ Selena Gomez: Back To You (Interscope, 2018) This lead track off the soundtrack of some Netflix production is the kind of super popular cheese bomb track that I loathe.  I don’t loathe it due to snobbery, I love all manner of musics but the cliches here are just rank.  It’s as predictable as death and probably not half the fun.  It’s got earnest acoustic guitars in the verse and then it breaks out in the chorus with the hook both vocal and synth.  The production is exquisite, the feelings are tame, all in all I could barely choke it down it was so gooey — like a low end pizza parlor slice.

YTD recordings listened to: 263
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 139
Not good music: 115

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris

Best of 2018 Pick 6

The Ballantynes: Liquor Store Gun Store Pawn Shop Church (La Ti Da, 2013)

I pride myself on the small records that pack a big punch.  I could give a flying fuck if Miley Cyrus’ naked cannonball video has 75 million views on the GooglePimp, that’s got fuck all to do with music.  Just cuz nobody’s heard of it has no bearing on quality.  People forget that great music is nothing more than a bunch of people in a room letting it all hang out and that has nothing to do with loot, it has to do with soul.

If you took the Blues Brothers and put ’em in flannel shirts and gave them any old school white trash beer and removed the horn section and the frat boy bullshit you would have something very close to this record.  It’s a guitar driven soul/rock record with a lot of guitars, a male and a female singer that both do good work and a ramped up band.

2018 Honorable Mention Pick 5

Krullur: …..failure to comply (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, 2016)

For me a great heavy metal record is about energy and this 17 minute record delivers a great amount of energy with a combination of classic metal sounds, thrash, and moments of old school hardcore punk.

One of my other requirements for high quality metal is a great drummer that can push, pivot, and turn the rest of the band.  The drummer here fits the bill — he goes from spraying huge tom fills to thrash sections to straight metal arena rocking.  The singer also right for my tastes — he’s neither operatic nor a caveman microphone grunter.

I thought they were going soft with a cover Lame (as it ever was) but that segues into the tune Nuclear War, which is blistering.

Check it out.  The album opens up with the tune clipped below and if this doesn’t get your blood pressure up and make you want to go burn somebody’s house down, you must be close to death.

 

I don’t need Spotify to decide my listening for me

spotify_r.kelly

It’s not for Mastercard and Visa to cut off donations to Wikileaks and it’s not for Spotify to morally judge who belongs and who does not belong on their streaming service.

Never mind that this opens a giant ass can of worms if you’re going to have artists meet some ethical threshold.  There are dozens of musicians who have engaged in all sorts of shit.  And there are all sorts of Wall Streeters who have done the same shit.

It’s no surprise that Spotify came down hard on a black dude and believe me I’m no fan of R. Kelly’s behavior but that’s a job for the courts not fucking Spotify.