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

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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

Music for 10/3/18!!!! Joseph C. Philips, 2Baba, Adekunle Gold, Niniola

@@@ Joseph C. Philips: Numinous (New Amsterdam, 2015) Some classical music off this week’s Roulette show email.  It might surprise a listener to see this slotted as classical music and then hear a fusion funk figure opening up the first track.  Interesting and unexpected as it gives way to a standard classic instrumentation while retaining fusion elements in the playing.  Six pieces span almost 56 minutes and I’m really feeling the second piece, Behold the Only Thing Greater than yourself.  It really does mash classical music with other genres, most notably African American genres together in a non-gimmicky and convincing way.  This piece is a slow roller featuring vocal, strings, and some woodwinds (small guess) with light guitar.  It is decidedly highbrow music which I tend to be very skeptical of but there are some really nice moments on what I heard.

@@@ 2Baba: Gaga Shuffle (Hypertek Digital, 2017). I got to the following three African tracks via a photo shoot in the New Yorker focusing on Nigerian musicians.  This is an electro, African track with Autotune (I think) some pleasant synth percussion and some light to medium funk.  It is a shuffle after all.  I have to look up the lyrics as there’s a thick accent going on but Mr. 2Baba wants to involve you in the craze of the Gaga Shuffle.  I have no clue what the Gaga shuffle is, but the track is a slightly funk-a-fied Lionel Richie vibe with updated sounds but it’s not very interesting.  I don’t anticipate getting involved in the Gaga Shuffle craze.

@@@ Adekunle Gold: IRE (Afro Urban, 2017) A Justin Bieber style ballad, yikes!  Nylon string guitar and string flourishes for high class and sophistication.  Here comes the African vocal choir, more yikes!  This is exactly the kind of music one would expect the New Yorker to feature for its readers — decidedly Westernized, maudlin lyrics and a gentle yet aspiring African vibe.  I made it about halfway through, this is not my favorite style of African music.  At all.

@@@ Niniola: Maradona (Drumroll, 2017). This is a lush mid tempo funk tune with ballad vibes though I think it’s about a soccer player.  It sports a plethora of percussion as well as a simple and quick guitar melody and some whizzing samples that pan across the stereo field.  It’s kind of a singular vibe, it’s just grooving on Maradona.  Super slick production, fat rhythms, that’s about it.  No need to go on and on when you can check it for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 557
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 298
Not good music: 226

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

Music for 9/11/18!!! Bixiga 70, Minyeshu, Michi Sarmiento Y Su Combo Bravo

@@@ BIXIGA 70: Quebra Cabeça (Glitterbeat, 2018). Off this week’s WRIR playlist email.    There’s just a pre-release single up on the Apple Music for what looks set to be an Afrobeat funk explosion.  I’m into the guitar player’s chicken scratch style and the thick stew of drum kit, hand drums, and horns.  My African music radar was saying that the musicians are not African but lovers of the music thereof, and I am correct.  This outfit hails from Brazil and they put some more slight sonic variations into the tune and a slightly different rhythmic feel to the track.  I would check out more of this.

@@@ MINYESHU | Daa Dee (ARC, 2018)  Also off this week’s WRIR playlist email and also a pre-release single.  It’s a mash of African music but I’m gonna have to GooglePimp this musician as it’s a mash of genres.  Minyeshu hails from Ethiopia but now lives in the Netherlands.  It’s a piano ballad sung in an African tongue and it’s not the part of African music that I love most.

@@@ MICHI SARMIENTO Y SU COMBO BRAVO | Salsa Con Monte (Vampisoul, 2018)  We switch gears to some Latin American music.  It is salsa but the musicians could be from most anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.  Pardon me while I GooglePimp this band.  These guys are old school and are described as Colombian dance floor thunder.  I have heard so much old school Latin music from my out of print vinyl record archive but if you are a young gent or gal or gender fluid and have not heard the old school salsa, you’re missing out.

YTD recordings listened to: 519
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 273
Not good music: 217

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, Forro in the Dark, 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, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, KEN mode

Music for 8/8/18!!! Jess Sah Bi/Peter One, The Split Seconds

@@@ Jess Sah Bi & Peter One: Our Garden Needs its Flowers (N/A, 2018)  A reissue of African music from the 1980’s.  I got to this record as its Bandcamp’s Album of the day.  This first tune is notable fore its weird ass and pretty guitars that are a little African, a little trippy, and a little hippie folk.  The singing and harmonizing is very pretty and the tunes have a very laidback yet not soft feel.  I don’t think this record works great for African music lovers that enjoy the burning epic guitar blazers but I could see this record working for indie hipsters as it’s similar while being much better.

@@@ The Split Seconds: Counterfeit Reality (Altercation Records, 2018)  I got to this DC punk band record via a music publicist email.  This first tune is more Orange County is singalong punk rather than rat in a cage hardcore.  I like it all right but my first impression is that I wish it was rougher.  The drummer is doing all right, but the guitars are a bit wuss and the singer is pretty polite and literate for a punk singer.  He couldn’t match Joe Strummer for righteous indignation.  They need a couple distortion pedals and half a can of Red Bull.

YTD recordings listened to: 460
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 236
Not good music: 192

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, Forro in the Dark, 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, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter