@@@ 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
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