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 1/10/23!!! Ben Bondy

@@@ Ben Bondy: Self titled (Quiet Time Tapes, 2022) I’ve poked around Pitchfork’s top ambient albums of 2022, peeping and sampling as I’m wont to do and this caught my ear. I’m currently listening to the track Wish and I feared it was going to be some sort of New Age biscuit but it’s got yer basic swirling cloud action but has some super pleasant and sophisticated bass wandering beneath it. Pretty solid track and let’s peep more. The next track is called A Place I Know and the beginning feels like a direct continuation of the previous track and I’m cool with that. Lots of swooshing and swirling, very well done with some occasional ringing business and metallic clinks to cut through those clouds. Even a siren and it sounds like the NYPD to me. The tempo and content ratio is really good. It goes about its business in a very relaxed manner but there is not a scarcity of interesting sounds and it’s not packed beyond belief with sounds either. Everybody has their own personal preferences but many may not realize that when it comes to music cuz I’m obsessed and most aren’t. Other folks are obsessed with cell phone plans and shoes I don’t know anything about that. After sampling sections of four tracks I see that there is a common backbone of sound that runs through the entire record and then there is variance between the tracks as to the garnish. The video clipped below is a tad darker and more swirly than other tracks, It sounds like some sort of metallic spinning machine working during a meteorological event. I’m not listening to this on headphones but I think it would work on headphones for sure. If you’re up for some ambient in the middle of the winter (and I’m always up for it) check this out.

Music for 12/12/22!!! Aldous Harding, Rachika Nayar

@@@ Aldous Harding: Fever (4AD, 2022) A couple of listens from Pitchfork’s best 100 songs of 2022. I’m not hearing a lot indie rock that I’m into but I’m a tad tilted against it and I’ve heard enough indie rock to last a lifetime. Third tune of the record, with a piano and a classic rock flair when it comes on. I made it about a minute, it annoyed me. Now I’m checking out the opener, Ennui, and it is sporting a similar feel — it’s more a pose than music, or it’s music as a pose. I see that it’s out on 4AD and I’ve heard a lot of 4AD biscuits in my time in the listening hole and this fits into their big box of biscuits perfectly. Short on funk, big on sophisticated white people attitude. Oy. Have at it if that’s how you roll.

@@@ Rachika Nayar: Heaven Come Crashing (NNA Tapes, 2022) This is the seventh track of the record and it opens up guitar-centric, sparkly, and layered. Lots of 5 minute and longer bangers here so I’m expecting a slower pace. Some ghost-y ooohs and aaahs and then some dreamy female vocals. This is #15 on Pitchfork’s best 100 songs, oy, they must have a good music publicist as I’m not finding a lot to hold onto here. Right at 2:30 is blows out into an epic cloud of sounds with a straight manic drum ‘n bass beat as they go for the fusion of rock feels and ambient and club music. I’m gonna be honest it’s not working great for me, it’s gotta cheesy tinge to it, a hipper melody would work better for me. This is for people who watch Marvel movies and are moved by them. Big 0 for 2 in the listening hole today, #sadface.

Music for 10/26/22!!! Remy Le Boeuf, MV Carbon

@@@ Remy Le Boeuf: The Melancholy Architecture of Storms (Self released, 2022) A couple of listens from this week’s email from adventurous music club Roulette in Brooklyn. This is a big band record that opens with a track called Neener Neener — energetic with a circular horn line and then vibes. I love me vibes! It’s not a roaring big band sound, it’s more a of a highbrow sitch, yeah classy like. The second tune Minnesota, WI opens up with a cinematic piano tinkle and more sophisto horn work. I don’t love the sound of the record, it’s a bit restrained but I’m in the minority on this issue folks love that clean sound. I’m giving the title track a quick spin and it features a female vocalist, a bird like flute thing and while I like it, it is most definitely aimed at people with jobs who shower in the morning. I could use a bit more big band grit/power to provide some contrast to the sweetness but that’s just me.

@@@ MV Carbon and Charlemagne Palestine: Glass from The Sand (Kill Rock Stars, 2022) It’s interesting this artist is playing at Roulette which usually hosts improvised music and this single is out on Kill Rock Stars. It’s got some simple and atmospheric piano surrounded by what sounds like amp buzz and horror movie whispers. Oh, there’s a didgiredoo up in there, I’m agnostic on that and I don’t love the whispers. The piano and what sounds like a cello or stringed instrument bowing short quick notes builds. It’s an interesting example of using acoustic instruments to build an ambient tune. Outside of the components used to build it, I don’t find it super interesting but that’s just me.

Music for 10/18/22!!! Robert Chaney, Sophie Birch/Antonina Nowacka

@@@ Robert Chaney: Breath (Self-released, 2020) A last listen off a Guardian list of pandemic music discoveries. It is slotted as Americana on Apple Music and it is that. Old school style with a very John Prine-y sounding voice. Just vocals and melodic electric guitar. It’s got a clever vocal hook, clever as in literary, not clever as in hipster irony. This is the kind of America I want to live in. Surprisingly catchy guitar playing, he’s got it all going here.

@@@ Sophie Birch/Antonina Nowacka: Pripugale (Mondoj, 2022) An ambient release off this week’s Pitchfork’s 10 most reviewed albums of the week. The video below is the seventh track on the record and it opens with large strums of a (guessing) zither and a warbly female voice. It is a very ambient sound right here on this record but it’s an old school parlor folk flavored thing, though some more ambient stuff is being added to the strums. It’s interesting in its oddness and I dig some of that background business. I’m giving a quick listen to another track, lotta tape hiss which is cool and a tad annoying at the same time. It’s not really my cup of tea, I love ambient music, and I like folk music but I’m not sure I need them blended in this way.

Music for 7/17/22!!! Gwenno, Kali Malone

@@@ Gwenno: Tresor (PIAS, 2022) If you took the classic quirk band The Coral and made a lovebaby with Kate Bush you would get close to this record. Female driven with pillowy vocals and other small New Age epic vibes. I’m checking out the title track, Tresor, and it’s the second track with vibes on it (vibes the instrument), and non English sung lyrics. Oh there ya go, big tambourine part right there, that’s good shit. It’s fully cooked, well executed but it’s a bit sleepytime tea for me. That’s just me, but the mashup of The Coral and Kate Bush observation is fucking spot on.

@@@ Kali Malone: Living Torch (Portraits GRM, 2022) This is a second listen off this week’s 10 most reviewed albums on PItchfork. It’s a solo organ, ambient piece — obviously it’s got Jesus type feels and it’s a chill sitch at the same time. There’s not a lot to say here. It’s got a swelling type of feel to it with occasional bursts of sound. Not super action packed bursts just breathy clouds that interrupt the droning lower frequency material. It’s super churchy and can’t help be as such, but yet I’m agnostic on it. It does have a certain visceral feel to it on a nice pair of headphones and that may be its main appeal.

Music for 7/1/22!!! KMRU and Aho Ssan, Power Pose

@@@ KMRU & Aho Ssan: Limen (Multiverse, 2022) Also off the Vinyl Factory top 20 of 2022 that I’ve been listening to this week. This ambient record consists of three pieces, a 5 minute, an 11 minute and a 20+ minute banger. I will be peeping the first tune Resurgence which opens pleasantly swirly with some high end percussive elements that sound a bit like a seasoned drummer working the brushes on his/her snare. It’s an extremely dramatic piece and not a minimalist amount of sound going on here with a guitar like sound in an epic feedback struggle. Let me give a quick peep to the next track, the short one as this first one may be a bit too dramatic for me. I like this short piece more as the guitar component is dialed back and there’s a fat wedge of low frequency going on. It’s bit too frantic for my tastes in the high end of the spectrum, lots of panning static and crashing which provides both action and distraction.

@@@ Power Pose: Honey (Wine N Orange, 2022) I got to this via a music publicist email. If you’re looking for a tad of surf/rockabilly swirled into you pop punk this could work for you bigly. The singer is the low energy component here compared to the guitarist and the drummer, oops proved a liar as she jumps an octave and lets loose a bit, I like that. Now if there was a full on meltdown at this point I would shit my pants. I don’t they’re going to flip out though it’s the logical conclusion to the situation they’ve created. But alas the trousers went unsoiled and the shitty was not whipped.

Music for 7/7/22!!! El Hombre Al Agua, Imagine Dragons

@@@ El Hombre Al Agua – Memores Can’t Be Injected (Echodelick) I got to this electronic/spoken word record via the Vancouver radio station CFUV. It’s a pretty simple formula with a stripped down abstract electronic arrangement with pretty medium heavy vocal sample usage so it gives a sci fi impression as well as a very mundane spoken word flavor that I find interesting. I’m on the third tune Replicant Ice Fortress and while there has been no speech and the artist is not obligated to provide it, it’s a pretty engaging track. Big drone swells, a nurple beat, buzzy and thweepy at points, these are the words I’m going with. I like the sonic balance here — enough beat, enough sci fi spaciousness and enough swelling drone action to keep you in there and listening.

@@@ Imagine Dragons: Bones (Interscope, 2022) I’ve always appreciated the epic cheesiness of Imagine Dragons, homie’s got ballz if not music skills. The most breathtaking thing here is the lyrical pose, i.e. that his words are creative and memorable. It’s a preposterous idea, especially combined with the childish sounds that are put with the lyrics. Beats, flat and predictable, vocalzing, quasi hip hop and chanted, melodies, not many outside of the vocals, sophistication and tastefulness pretty much not present. Lest ye think this is based on one song I’m almost through a second one and it’s been rough. This is some super well executed cheesy trash, awful for you mind and body.

Music for 4/13/22!!! Launder, Ezmeralda

@@@ Launder: Unwound (Ghostly, 2022) Seen it on the Twatter people! Advertising, twatter, advertising, twatter. Pre-release track that opens with indie rock guitar and some feedback, wtf? I guess the squares want to be circles and the circles want to be squares. Big Pavement feels with dreamy dude singer, this flag has seen plenty of the pole, oy I thought Ghostly was a frontrunner in sound, they coulda at least rummaged up some small take on the formula, no? Or somebody who doesn’t follow the formula. I really like the guitar tones and I tipped out when the tambourine hit right before 2:00. That’s pretty good.

@@@ Ezmeralda: Nochear (Ediciones ETER, 2022) Off this week’s 10 most reviewed albums of the week or some such shit from Pitchfork. This is ambient business opening with a chill beat, a Doors-like bassline, and a one note synth that rings out into the ether of the stereo field. I like what’s here, it’s hypnotic, but I’m not sure it’s enough to sustain me or hold my interest for the length of the track. It makes for chill background music but it not the main act for my ears. It’s got a restrained indie song sensibility, at least that track did, the third track is opening with a ringing bell typa thing and a big curtain of shush-ing. I like this third track, it’s mental, more focused and just consisting of these repeating sounds with some delays added at certain points. What a difference a track makes! There’s not a lot here either but the way it’s put together is much more interesting. This track is called Flores En El Rio, check it out. Okay I went and shagged it on Youtube, check it out now ya binches.

Music for 4/11/22!!! Whatever the Weather, Mundos Secretos

@@@ Whatever the Weather: 17 C (Ghostly, 2022) This is the new project of UK dancefloor musician Lorraine James. I’m hopeful on this record after hearing her last record as I really enjoyed the sounds but didn’t love the singers/tunes as much and I think this is gonna be an instrumental record. The track below is medium percolating, now more than medium percolating with hints of drum and bass, multiple synths and some glitch sauce and a generally stylish vibe. James really is a talented arranger/producer, lots of discipline and focus on display here. The middle of this track she brings it down and really pulls you into the experience of these sounds before she reinflates the groove and takes you home. I’m checking out the next track and it opens with the same electro framework but some washed out piano so while I will check out more this looks set to be a mixed bag for me.

@@@ Fachada: Mundos Secretos (Electric Cowbell, 2022) I got to this Latin fusion record via the WRIR weekly email but one from January. I’m really enjoying the drummer here and the unconventional synth sounds from the keyboard player. Unconventional in terms of Latin jazz, these are spacier and weirder than what you would expect from a high end Latin jazz thing. The record has a pleasantly janky feel to it, there are a million ways to put these sounds together. The loose feel and super organic flow works for me though younger listeners might find it disorienting and unusual. This is what humans sound like when they play music. Not all the times but sometimes and it’s cool.