Music for 2/1/23!!! Deathprod

@@@ Deathprod: Compositions (N/A, 2022) This be some dark chill electronic music that is the bandcamp album of the day. How chill is chill and how does the darkness effect the chill? Depends on who’s imbibing this music Imma guessing. There are 17 compositions on this record and Composition 2 is coming out a bit less chill than Composition 1 with more of a chainsawy patch and some modulation. Two sounds push against each other, it’s cool. There are moments where the music pulls itself out of its background music for Satan mode and demands my attention but a lot of it just passes by. There’s an improvised quality to this music that I like. It is meant to be a dark slow ride, I get that — part of me does struggle with the minimal soundscapes but part of me thinks it’s okay to want more. It is strange and kinda cool to think of quietly disturbing background music for ill bitches like Jeff Bezos and Donald Trump to eat their dinner of baby skulls and workers’ sweat.

Music for 1/30/23!!!! Vanessa Rossetto, Tigercub

@@@ Vanessa Rossetto: 1-4 early girl (Erstwhile Records, 2022) This could be my last listen off this Stereogum best of experimental records list as I have not been as impressed with this list as other Stereogum best of year lists. This is the fourth track on the record and it appears to be a spliced or long running field recording of folks in an urban environment. Maybe or maybe not on the urban part. I’m about halfway through and it definitely feels spliced with radio excerpts, vehicle sounds, etc. I like the handful of big jumps in environment that you you experience during the track but I’d like more going on here.

@@@ Tigercub: The Perfume of Decay (N/A, 2023) I got to this arena sized guitar driven rock via a music publicist. It’s most notable for the guitar shredding as wells as the contrast of soft dare I say shoegaze-y vocal stylings. The rhythm guitar is pretty standard with growling tones and big splashy rock drumming. I really like how the long, descending, somewhat rock star/somewhat non-rock star guitar riff drives the whole track and lifts it. I wish they had done a bit more in other areas but normie mainstream music can roll like that, it usually does.

Music for 1/26/23!!!! Juanita Euka, Mass Konpa

@@@ Juanita Euka: Mboka Moko (Strut, 2022) A coupla listens off WRIR’s weekly playlist email. A female singer from the Congo, the second song (clipped below) opens with lush production, French vocals and a nice quasi-chicken scratch guitar before it slips into English vocals and a smooth, fusion-y groove. All right-y I’m guessing a lot of folks dig this style and the part of it close to Earth Wind and Fire I do dig. Let’s peep more. Ooh, the third track comes out as an African salsa jam and I dig that. Big swaggering horns, lots of rhythms, and again with the vocals in English. I would prefer non-English vocals but that’s just me. I respect the band here, especially the guitarist who is constantly catching my ear but the songs aren’t landing with me. Of course, they might for you. Track 4, Suenos de Libertad, is the most heartfelt track of the three I checked out. I would start with that track and go from there.

@@@ Mass Konpa: Sans Regret (Self-released, 2023) This is some Haitain band music though it is classified as hip hop on Apple Music. Oy. The tempo is semi-laidback, the rhythms are thick and the singer is smooth. I don’t love the soprano sax but that’s a pet peeve of mine. Let’s check a coupla other tracks. The third track, Gad on F anm, is even sweeter — I imagine it’s some sort of ballad and I like it less than the previous one. I really like Haitian music but I think this is just a bit too smooth and poppy for my taste.

Music for 1/23/23!!! Oddisee, Brainiac

@@@ Oddisee: Hard To Tell (Other Note, 2023) We’re starting to see new releases for 2023 and I’ve checked Mr. Oddisee a few years ago and his skills are as fearsome and complex as ever. He mugs the microphone over intensely composed arrangements — the bassline and keyboard guitar figure in this first track are not typical. The second track How Far, is funkier with the same intense rhyming style. He’s both hardcore in his approach as well as high end in his aspirations. I’m really feeling this third tune, Many Hats as he backs off verbally a tad and brings some slink to it. Oh shit, the fourth tune, To What End, is even better so the album is gathering steam in my eyes. I’m guessing this gent has extensive musical training, his shit is just ferociously skilled, intellectually, technically, his arrangements are thick and super focused and then he piles on with his words, it’s almost overwhelming. There’s a nerdy aspect to his intellectualism for sure and I wish there was more grit, but as far as I can tell he’s closer to being a jazz musician than a hip hop guy. Impressive.

@@@ Brainiac: Predator Nominate (Touch and Go, 2022) I saw the Touch and Go imprint and thought this was gonna be some old school roughness and you do get half a slice with the grizzy bass but there’s plenty of cloudy retro synths and drum machine beats from another era on tap here. I don’t know if your world needs more Nine Inch Nails inspired inspired aggro dance music but my world is agnostic on it. It’s getting crunchier as I get to the third tune.

Music for 1/19/23!!! Earthkry, Gabrielle Aplin

@@@ Earthkry: Soon Come (Wash House, 2022) Old school reggae in the more retro ’60s flavor pre the Bob Marley international reggae explosion. Super sweet singer, super sweet over a sticky foundation. Not a lot to say here as this stuff imho is about catching a vibe and these guys hit it hard and out of the ballpark though I was very skeptical when I saw their band name. Eeesh, Earthkry? Great track.

@@@ Gabrielle Aplin: Anyway (Never Fade, 2023) I got to this via this week’s Line of Best Fit. It’s a breathier slightly more energetic version of Norah Jones piano driven adult alternative business. Not a carbon copy but in the neighborhood. This is not my favorite flavor of mainstream normie music but I listen to everything and there’s a distinct pop sensibility swirled into the piano rock here. Drums higher than usual, more energy in the mix and melodies that escape the slackness. It’s not the most aspirational thing going on here, it aspires to listeners and not necessarily to a deep feeling. Keep it familiar and she does that. I like some of the vocal melodies and I like the drums up in the mix.

Music for 1/16/23!!! Shovel Dance Collective

@@@ Shovel Dance Collective: IV: Waters of the River Ravensbourne beside Elverson Road (Double Dare/Memorials of Distinction, 2022) From the looks of this outfit I saw on the Youtube this is gonna be some folk music business but this first track, The Bold Fisherman is coming out drone-y and hypnotic on the opener. I like that first track a whole lot let’s see where they go from there. The second track comes with the sound of somebody walking on a rocky beach with a bunch of gents singing in harmony a bit back from that sound. It’s a seafaring record for sure, waves on the intro and outro for most of the tracks but it’s got an old school independence to it. Lots of singing, the solo vocal stuff I like more than the chorus singing with the sixth track being a highlight for me. I also respect that this record doesn’t give a flying fuck about what is popular or streaming big time at the moment, it’s just doing its thing and hoping for the best. I wouldn’t go so far as to say this is a pants shitter of a record but it’s cool with some really standout tracks on it. I could use a few less waves but I’m guessing some landlocked folks out there might really be into the wave samples.

Music for 1/16/23!!! Warpaint, Thee Sacred Souls

@@@ Warpaint: Champion (Heirloom/Virgin, 2022) I got to this track via the recording magazine Tape Op, an absolutely fantastic toilet read about audio recording. This is the opening track of the record and this looks to set to be an indie electronic affair with plenty of slack sauce with a focus on pimped out production. Sorta low energy female vocalist singing ironically about how she’s a champion. Very nice bassline, super nice in fact. Let’s peep the second track — same formula, pimped sounds detached singer, nice sounds not super interested in the tunes. The message is the medium.

@@@ Thee Sacred Souls: Future Lover (Daptone, 2022). Another listen off one of the Tape Op’s gent’s best of 2022 list and this one a Daptone banger. Boy I wish there was a bit of evolution in the Daptone formula but that appears to be a no go and their stuff is sealed in the amber time capsule. A very sweet singer here, a big swaggering horn section and a super nice drum sound. It’s really well put together and executed as you would expect but it doesn’t move me, I need a twist or something to set it apart. Hey that’s just me.

Music for 1/14/23!!!! Yasuaki Shimizu

@@@ YASUAKI SHIMIZU | Kiren (Palto Flats, 2022) I got to this recording as it stands #44 on Gorilla Vs. Bears best records of 2022. I sometimes think the records at the bottom of a best of list are more interesting than the top of the list records. I thought I might have heard this record earlier in the year but the first track doesn’t sound familiar to me. It’s an electronic record with some kraut-y rock feels using mostly ’80s sounds. Big pillow-y synths smashed into processed metal percussion in this second track Momo Na Hana. Shimizu also has some weird human vocie samples lined up and played back to sound a lot like a duck. There are moments when Asain string motifs come in and I’m finding these arrangements pretty hip as there’s forward motion and change but not jarring changes (which I like as well). I’m feeling the weird funk of the third track Assate so I would start there and head deeper if you feel it. This third track features a looped sax part which sounds a whole bunch like a train and a bluesier sax carrying the melody. Accompanied by some nice metallic tinkles, an awful old school snare sound, it’s a weird ass and pleasurable hot dog to munch. There’s a sort of Devo style whip sound that breaks through and creates a dominatrix funk sitch, this track slaps. From what I’ve heard I sense a tongue in cheek approach lurking here. It’s well done and feels like it’s focused mostly on fun, I dig that.

Music for 1/13/23!!! Black Flower

@@@ Black Flower: Magma (SDBan Ultra, 2022) I’m a bit surprised to see this blend of electronic music and jazz on highbrow critic Ted Gioia’s honorable mention list for 2022. While this release tilts to normies, it’s got a lot going for it including a fresh blend of sounds, space organ and walking bassline in the first tune being high up on the list for me. I’m doing a bit of reading on this outfit’s bandcamp page and they are from Belgium and aspire to be rocking a blend of jazz, afrobeat and dub. I can get with that and let’s peep a bit more. It’s also got a bit of old school Doors type jam band swirled up in there. The second tune O Fogo brings on the afrobeat with some stanky drums colliding with the space organ and a circular flute part. Not the most amazing shit ever but solid and I am feeling the rhythm section here bigly. Nice tight snare sound and a popping bass player, this dude or lady or them/they is smackin’ it around. Shit starts to fall apart in a more interesting way in the third track as they come with the messy intro that fuses into some very stylish groove playing.

Music for 1/12/23!!! Sam Sadigursky

@@@ Sam Sadigursky: The Solomon Diaries Vol 3 (Adhyaropa, 2022). I got to this jazz clarinet record via highbrow music critic Ted Gioia. I’m agnostic on Mr. Gioia’s likes and dislikes so that’s why we have to peep. I hear some klezmer-y feels and the smell of everything bagels is in the air on the opener. Instrumentation is accordion and clarinet and regular readers know that accordion is a go to for me. I also super love a fat tuba part. The vibe (at least on the opener) is chill, a bit bittersweet and melodic. I skipped to the second track as the first track is a 6 minute banger serving as a tablesetter for the rest of the record. I’m on to the second track which is peppier employing the same formula. I don’t know who is singing on the fourth track, or on the sample at the beginning of the fourth track, What You Learn Here but I believe the Jewish flavors floated to the top there like a matzoh ball in a big pot of boiling matzoh ball soup. I wish the clarinet had a little bit less reverb on it but it’s just a nit I’m picking and most bananaheads don’t even notice such thing. This record which I’m just grooving on while I do some other computer business is part of a three record cycle so I will have to get my peep on and check that out.