Music for 7/15/19!!! Billy Eilish/Justin Bieber, French Montana, Burna Boy

@@@ Billy Eilish & Justin Bieber: bad guy (Darkroom/Interscope, 2019)  Two of my least favorite ‘artists’ on today’s scene.    Brooding Ms. Eilish and Justin make a run at jam of the summer with finger snaps, a slinky bassline, and a big ass bowl of word salad.  I can’t tell if Justin is the bad guy, well he just said he was, but as we have covered he’s really soft as rich folks’ toilet paper.  The presentation of the sounds is off the hook, the sounds are not particularly unique or interesting, and the lyrics, well we’ve covered the low quality there.  This is pretty standard for major label stuff.  Highly polished nonsense.  Let’s just leave good readers with a final thought.  When they go into a fat bass, trap beat at the end of the tune, to my ears that seems a bit racial.  The bad guy is the black dude rocking trap beats and window shaking bass.  Hmmm, not well thought out.

@@@ French Montana: Wiggle It (Sony, 2019) Oh lord, this must be the Trump era where a female rapper exclaims that she will wiggle it he spends his cash.  Straight up front page of Apple Music whoring oneself, it’s all for sale, let’s put a bow on this shit and just drop it in the toilet.  A bad bitch looking for a rich ass n*gga!  Sounds is all right but I can’t get past the offensive lyrics.  To me this is as bad as any racist nonsense.  I made it to 1:45 and then I clicked out, fuck this nugget.

@@@ Burna Boy: Anybody (Atlantic, 2019)  Some Imma guessing African r&b let me GooglePimp that shit.  Nigeria!  Sung in English.  The groove is rock solid with a ton of intereting percussion.  The simple keyboard part is cool, the synth horns a bit cheesy, and he’s silky on the microphone.  It’s not Fela Kuti here, it’s a booty anthem but of higher quality than eilish/bieber and the trap biscuit above.  Good, but compared to the bag of ass offered above it stands out.

YTD recordings listened to: 352
Good music, not list worthy: 210
Not good music: 120

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Emma Louise, Andre Bratten, Nathan Corder/Tom Weeks

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Music for 4/10/19!!! Jayda G, Mdou Moctar

@@@ Jayda G – Significant Changes (Ninja Tune) #1 out at CFUV in Vancouver.  I think of Ninja Tune and Warp as labels for progressive non 4 on the floor electronic music.  The first tune on this record, Unifying the Center, has some weirdness and straightness to it.  Some jazz like keyboards over a pretty funky not quite standard dancefloor beat.  The second tune sounds like a high IQ Madonna song.  I like the beats on this record, the tunes a bit less.  The third tune (clipped below) gets into standard dancefloor exhortations and I like it the least of what I heard.  I’m also not sure why there’s so much reverb on her vocals as it doesn’t push the dance vibe forward.

@@@ Mdou Moctar: The Creator (Sahel Sounds, 2019)  This listen comes from the WRIR weekly music review email.  That station and those reviewers can be trusted.  I heard the advance single but I’m going to round back because the WRIR reviewer lost his nut over this record, saying it has all the power of his live performances.  He comes out midtempo and pretty rocking on the first tune Kamane Tarhanin (clipped below). Classic circular African guitar shredding with more energy than Tinariwen.  The second tune, Asshat Akal, is more openly rocking even featuring power chords and an upstroke reggae guitar part.  The record most definitely aspires to and achieves a live feel.  He has a massive guitar tone which I’m enjoying.  I wished it rocked more but it’s a very good record.

YTD recordings listened to: 187
Good music, not list worthy: 115
Not good music: 64

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, 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, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal

Music for 2/25/19!!! Fokn Bois, Lagrimas de Sangre

@@@ FOKN Bois: Afrobeats LOL (Fokn Bois, 2019)  Two African gents from Ghana doing a send up of Afrobeat.  It’s more hip hop and the send up I think is in the lyrics where in this first tune they have announced ‘fuck Africa’ and other such irreverent sentiments.  The music has both a distinctive African feel as well as a hip hop feel.  I like the attitude of this record — usually African music is presented with a sort of preciousness but these guys are more interested in making interesting music and doing their thing.  It’s a drum machine record with r&b/world music sounds and these two MCs setting various moods.  If you’re an African music fan you might wanna check this out.

@@@ Lagrimas de Sangre: Salsa Bolonesa (Vertigo Records, 2019)  A Spanish language hip hop single I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  The most notable thing out of the gate on this single is the concept of taking salsa sounds and putting them over a drum machine accompanied by MCs.  Taking familiar things and smashing them up,  interesting.  The MCs are pretty high energy, not full on spitting but definitely working together to put out a lot of energy.  I have no idea what they’re rapping about but the feel it and it’s a party track with some muscle to it.

YTD recordings listened to: 106
Good music, not list worthy: 61
Not good music: 40

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, 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, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan

Music for 2/21/19!!! Zazou Bikaye, Czarface and Ghostface

@@@ Zazou Bikaye | Na Kenda (Crammed, 2018)  I got to this recording via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  This is a remixed and reissued track from the late ’80s and sports all the sounds that prevailed at the time.  This is a single with the A side remixed as Afro acid and the second side the same song remixed as techno dub.  There are some super delicious funky squiggles going on in addition to bell sounds and African vocals/chants.  The first remix is super high energy while the second brings a more laidback techno vibe but it’s a celebration of vintage sounds.

@@@ Czarface: Czarface meets Ghostface (Silver Age, 2019)  A Wu Tang clan member collaboration that I got to via last week’s All Music notable release email.  It’s a classic comic book/kung fu movie mash with two MCs facing off in a rap battle.  The sounds are decidedly retro in the second tune, Face Off, with some arena rock vibes mixed with the ghetto heroics.  The production is much thicker than what RZA would put behind this and I prefer the stripped down sound to these sounds.  The rhyming is all right if pretty standard.  I like the fifth tune, Powers and Stuff, the best of what I heard.

YTD recordings listened to: 101
Good music, not list worthy: 58
Not good music: 38

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, 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, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan

Music for 2/18/19!!! Almamagretta, Mdou Moctar

@@@ Almamegretta: Ennenne Dub (Sanacore, 2017) I saw this dub outfit has a new record out on Echo Beach,  a German imprint, but it’s not around on bandcamp or the streaming sites.  Many of the tracks on this album have been remixed which is not a problem but might make it a little less sonically cohesive.  Almamegretta hails from Naples Italy and they sing in both Italian and English.  This first une, Tiempo Niro, is very brisk and they come back down to a slower dub tempo in the second tune, Pray.  They have some sticky rhythm parts here but the vocals do not consist of pieces of processed vocals as you would find in a typical dub outing.  They’re more dub tunes with vocals across the whole tune.  I find this less interesting but they have some wicked sounds going on here.  They also have some electronic sounds up in these tracks which give it more of a Massive Attack feel.

@@@ Mdou Moctar: Wiwasharnine (Sahel Sounds, 2019)  Another new arrival at WRIR, an excellent world music station in Virginia.  This is a pre-release single from a record coming on March 29th.  If you closed your eyes and put a white boy out in front on the vocals this could almost pass as an American rock band.  It’s a bit bouncier and more cheerful than your usual West African desert blues shred show.  I have nothing against an upbeat number.  Big rock guitars, it’s a good track.

YTD recordings listened to: 93
Good music, not list worthy: 53
Not good music: 36

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, 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, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel

Music for 1/21/19!!! Mdou Moctar, Ariana Grande, Freddy Poundz

@@@ MDOU MOCTAR: Kamane Tarhanin (Sahel Sounds, 2019) Also off the WRIR playlist email. A pre-release single aimed at all the Tinariwen fans out there. Group vocals/chants, buzzed out West African guitars and blend of rock and African drumming. I can sup on the circular guitar riffs all day, it’s good stuff as these guys and gals play their asses off. About 45 seconds from the end somebody steps on the distortion pedal and they boost the tempo bigly. Tinariwen is powered by hand drumming so the kit drummer here does change the vibe of the proceedings but the shredding is of the same quality and maybe even a bit more rocking.

@@@ Ariana Grande: 7 rings (UMG, 2019) We must be approaching Peak Grande, no pun intended! It’s a thug trap takeoff on the old track ‘Favorite Things’ with the offensive, pro-loot shop therapy lyrics — I want it, I get it. I want it, I get it, well good for you even if it’s ironic and it happens in the wake of heartbreak. At this point Ariana Grande can have whatever sounds she digs — ya know, she wants it, she gets it. It’s a creative move to take a classic melody and pimp it out but it’s pretty regressive to have lyrics praising materialism and celebrity and fame in this way. There’s barely any room between these lyrics and Trump’s gaudy orange haired crassness. I’m sure her PR team would vehemently disagree but it’s true.

@@@ FREDDY POUNDZ: Samba [Single] (Majorbill Entertainment, 2019) A great stage name for bout a fat dude and/or a porn star so efficient naming right there. I think Mr. Poundz is going for the dancefloor bootycall on this track and they do build quite a massive groove that evokes hip hop and world music rhythms at the same time. I’m going to see where Mr. Poundz hails from. Lagos, Nigeria, will wonders never cease! I did a quick search and it looks like Brazilian samba has jumped the ocean and landed in Nigeria. I have no idea how widespread it is but the drum machine programming is excellent and Mr. Poundz is low and lusty on the microphone. I can’t tell how X rated it is cuz he sports a think accent.

YTD recordings listened to: 44
Good music, not list worthy: 26
Not good music: 17

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, 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, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808

Music for 1/15/19!!! HAMA, BASSEKOU KOUYATE, Gessafelstein and the Weeknd

@@@ HAMA: Houmeissa (Sahel Sounds, 2019) This is a record due out in a few days and there’s only one track up on the Apple Music.  A lot of West African music focuses on the guitar but this is all about the keyboards.  It is like a black African YES tune with a drum machine and it’s pretty jarring.  A tad proggy, a little funky and no vocals thus far.  I can’t say I love the track but it’s a fresh combination of sounds and ideas for sure.  This could work in Williamsburg or in college music programs.

@@@ BASSEKOU KOUYATE AND NGONI BA: Deli (Out Here, 2018) I have dug previous Bassekou Kouyate releases as he just shreds his electric ngoni ba.  This is another pre-release track ahead of a full length release at the end of this month.  After a back and forth string intro they get into a full, rhythmic stew with gorgeous female singers over the top.  It’s not a hot shred, it’s a loping medium tempo beauteous thing.  Kouyate takes a clean and deft solo a little before 3 minutes but otherwise sit back and behold the groove.

@@@  Gesaffelstein & The Weeknd: Lost in the Fire (Columbia, 2019)  #1 in the Apple Music hot tracks.  It’s a combo platter quiet storm/booty call track.  I haven’t heard the track with the Weeknd that has made think he’s as genius and this doesn’t change my mind.  We lost a lot of things in the fire, that’s the vocal hook.  I think it’s a metaphorical fire of love and not a building on fire.  The sounds are electronic, the kids love those these days, and it’s basically a horny Lionel Richie tune both sonically and lyrically.  He wants to do her slow with the lights on.  Behave.

YTD recordings listened to: 30
Good music, not list worthy: 21
Not good music: 8

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, 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, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808