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

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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

Music for 1/3/19!!! Alice Bag, Ammar 808

@@@ Alice Bag: Blueprint (Don Giovanni, 2018)  #44 on the NPR best of 2018.  I believe these are Latinx punk rockers doing some old school guitar bashing and with piles of vocal hooks up on there.  At least this first track.  The second track takes more a mainstream rock approach which is fine but I’m always up for some female anger punk.  This is more for the NPR folks.  I would recommend Gouge Away’s new record over this as well as some old X records if you really crave this style.  I like the identity politics of this and I’m up for non white female punk rock for sure but the record doesn’t grab me the way I want it to, but that’s just me.

@@@  Ammar 808: Maghreb United (Glitterbeat, 2018)  This is #39 on NPR’s best of 2018 and I was going to spew some more anti-NPR business but this record is on Glitterbeat and Glitterbeat is a worthwhile imprint so let’s check this bad boy out.  It’s North African business and I’m a huge fan of North African, African, and Middle Eastern music.  This first tune brings the four on the floor funk with some some additional hand drumming and some group singing.  We’re just gonna sample some of these dishes as I have a feeling this album is gonna work for me though this second tune doesn’t have the drive of the first and I like the freight train pushing.  They’re back with the hard hitting on the third track and I’m going to circle back on this record when I have the chance.

YTD recordings listened to: 6
Good music, not list worthy: 5
Not good music: 0

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, 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, 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 1/1/19!!! Nipsey Hussle, Terri

@@@ Nipsey Hussle: Perfect Timing (Atlantic, 2018).  So it’s 2019 and the stock market is down but we still at it with Nipsey Hussle and his crew which numbers in the millions.  Nipsey is up on a ghetto self empowerment tip over a large funk rock beat.  Nipsey has jailed but he’s out now and he dropped a mixtape and he was on his way.  There’s some nice bass playing (synth or actual instrument) and a medium effective trippy synth hook.  It’s an uncommon blend of sounds and I have no view positive or negative on the lyrics.  The tune ends with the two words — victory lap!  There’s no greater motivator than the stickin’ it those who’ve kept you down.

@@@ Terri: Shuu (Star Boy Entertainment, 2018).  The #2 track in the African music section at the Apple Music.  Terri takes the hip hop paradigm and funk-a-fies it with some thicker rhythms and African elements including simple and repetitive guitar lines.  His rapping/singing is on fleek but I have no idea what Shuu means.  It could be a pastry, it could a thing you put on your foot, it could be something you smoke or it could be another word for pussy.  It’s New Year’s day you got time and shit to finger it.

YTD recordings listened to: 2
Good music, not recommended: 2
Not good music: 0

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, 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, 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

Music for 11/20/18!!! Vaudou Game, Ras Medy, Tallawit Timbouctou

@@@ VAUDOU GAME: Otodi  (Hot Casa, 2018)  I got to this record via this week’s WRIR playlist email.  Vaudou Game is a top flight African funk outfit.  This is some Trans Atlantic James Brown shit for sure.  Fatness at all positions — chicken scratch guitar, tighter than a well digger’s ass drummer, funky bass player, and swinging horn section.  What more can you ask for?  I’m not going to go on and on as this is the internet age and you can peep music for yourself but this is the shit.  The record sounds great and I’m on the third tune and they’re all funky as fuck.  This will make my list for 2018 for sure.

@@@ Ras Medy: All I Want (Thr33land Enterprises, 2018)  Modern dancehall also off the WRIR weekly email.  Smooth sounds in the arrangement as well as the vocals.  Think a couple shades darker than Drake, naimsayin’?  Drake flirts more with dancehall while this guy is swimming in the pool.  It’s not my favorite style of Jamaican music but I will take this over Drake in a hot minute.

@@@ Tallawit Timbouctou: Hali Diallo (Sahel Sounds, 2018)  I was combing through the WRIR playlist email to replace a record that I had put up for review but I had heard it before.  So down the bottom of the page there was this record and it’s happening.  I often write about super clean African music and how I don’t prefer it and here we have an electrified lute and it’s the opposite of that.  It’s got a bite to it that I find invigorating.  After the 7 minute opening jam they get into the title track (clipped below) and it is the same hand drumming, monster lute and trance style singing.  It most definitely have jam band vibes to it but this guy shreds up one side and down the other.  It is rare for me to find two bangin’ records in one day, but here we are.  I’m going to swing back for the full show but this is happening African music for sure and folks should check it out!  If you compare this to white boy psychedelic music this stomps it.

YTD recordings listened to: 649
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 352
Not good music: 255

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, 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, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Gouge Away, Barro, Daniel Khan, Vaudou Game, Tallawit Timbouctou

Music for 11/12/18!!! Kelly Clarkson, Pierre Akendengue

@@@ Kelly Clarkson: Never Enough (Atlantic, 2018)  A monster shot of mainstream sonic cheese from the Greatest Showman Reimagined sountrack.  I have no clue why the Greatest Showman was reimagined but these decisions are out of my hands.  Unfortunately.   The shine of a thousands spotlights will never be enough, other stuff will never be enough, never enough, that’s the hook people.  When she hits the chorus it’s full throated Cheez Whiz.  I know we’re all on the same side but I don’t understand how this infantilizing, arena pop actually effects people at an emotional level.  To my ears it sounds ridiculously plastic.  That’s just me and folks is free to enjoy their shit as they see fit but be careful, too much cheese can kill your ass, you dig?

@@@ PIERRE AKENDENGUE: La Couleur De L’Afrique  (Lusafrica, 2018)  Switching gears bigly, here we have an EP of African music that I found this week’s WRIR playlist email.  The first tune kicks out a mellow laidback vibe with a simple drum beat and accompanying hand drumming.  The twist here lies in the string arrangement, but otherwise it’s pretty familiar.  It’s a nice track that builds to a big swell in the chorus before dying back down in the verse.   The production here is very clean and shall we say arch?  I like the grittier sounding African music — that’s my preference.  I don’t have anything against this music and its sound though I prefer a stronger swing.  If I wanted the soaring music I could always cut myself a big ass slice of Kelly Clarkson cheese.  This record undoubtedly surpasses the Greatest Showman soundtrack but they’re not completely unrelated.

YTD recordings listened to: 635
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 343
Not good music: 254

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, RAM, Fiver, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Marianne Faithfull

Music for 10/9/18!!! Schlegelmilch, Goldberger and Black, KALETA AND SUPER YAMBA BAND, Ladama

@@@ Schlegelmilch, Goldberger & Black: Three of a Mind (Skirl, 2018) I got to this jazz record from a friend whose music teacher is on this recording.  Instrumentation includes organ, guitar and drums and I’m psyched about that combination of sounds.  This first tune has an indie rock flavor and is pretty straight ahead.  The tune moves more firmly into a proggy area after the intro.  The second tune, Chiseler, edges more deeply into prog and jazz neighborhoods.  It is definitely spiritually related to Martin Medeski and Wood but more rocking than I remember that outfit being.    I’ve sampled big bites of four of the tunes and I’m mostly neutral on this record.  I like parts of it and not others.

@@@ KALETA AND SUPER YAMBA BAND: Mr. Diva / Hungry Man, Angry Man (Yamba, 2018)  I came across a quick bio of this outfit and it’s New York city based with a senior figure in African music.  It does sport classic Afrobeat horns, a couple of simple and funky guitar parts and then a gent rocking it in…..well he was born in Benin but grew up in Nigeria.  It’s got funky beats, a solid guitar organ, and even some organ action.  If you’re in the mood for the old school Afrobeat, have at it.

@@@ Ladama: Poor Macatu (Six Degrees, 2017) I got to this group of Latina female musicians from an email by an upstate New York media collective.  This is the first track from their 2017 record Night Traveler and it is busting with energy.  Multiple voices, a brisk tempo, and a full but not cluttered mix.  Ah, they gave space for an accordion solo, you can’t fuck with that as far as I’m concerned.  Other instruments include drum kit, hand percussion, electric bass, and nylon guitar.  I associate the West Coast label Six Degrees with sleepytime tea world music so I was not expecting this level of energy.  They rhyme, they chant, they sing together.  I’m going to roll back and check out more of this record.

YTD recordings listened to: 571
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 304
Not good music: 231

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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, RAM, Fiver, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, serpentwithfeet