Music for 7/4/21!!! Ed Sheeran, John Carroll Kirby

@@@ Ed Sheeran: Bad Habits (Asylum, 2021) I never have recognized that Ed Sheeran transformed himself from coffee shop balladeer to some sort of sexy dancefloor banger kinda guy. Oh man, this is just crazy, this morph job. Falsetto vocals, synth bass, four on the floor and a wee bit of guitar or a synth part that sounds like it was first written on a guitar. Oh Ed! I guess if you feel like rubbing knobs with a hobbit then is some sort of fetish heaven but I don’t find Ed Sheeran sexy and I find this extremely unconvincing. I made it 2:12 minutes through the song which I think is a miracel.

@@@ John Carroll Kirby: Blueberry Beads (Stones Throw, 2021) I can’t remember how I got to this track, shoot me! It opens as a combo platter of chill jazz and lounge groove with both retro drum kit sounds and a drum machine. I like the doubling up of rhythms. Instead of a horn line you get a nice, fat synth patch. So electric bass, two sets of rhythm, a synth, piano, and a little flute-y percussive type thing in the back of the mix. It’s mostly a groove and a farily comples one at that, thought the pianist gets a bit out there but still chill. Like the bass player, love the cymbals in there, like the piano less, the synth hornlines are all right, and could use a bit more action.

Music for 7/16/20!!! Web Web, Twit One, Alex G., Ari Lennox

@@@ Web Web, Twit One: Meh Te (N/A, 2020) I got to this jazz remix from a European music publicist email.  Web Web is a European jazz outfit and Twit One is a hip hop white dude/dj and I have concluded this from some rando internet searching.  It’s an instrumental remix way more hip hop than jazz with some nice loops — a really nice short bass loop, a vibe like loop.  It’s more about chillness and smoothness rather than funk or to put it another way it’s chill funk.  I like it, I’m not jumping up and down and it’s a bit of a stretch to label it as jazz but I like it.

@@@ Alex G: Gretel (Domino, 2020) Today and tomorrow I pull a few more tracks off a 2019 Vice best of 2019 list back when there was no god damned dumbass Wuhan bullshit (I hate Winnie the Pooh but I dig Chinese people, especially Wuhan residents so don’t cancel me!).  Oooh, very typical Domino material — disorienting and off kilter with some very tasty darker sounds outside of the shoegaze vocal stylings.  The contrast between the slightly dissonant arrangement (outside of the pretty straight acoustic guitar) and the sweeter singing is interesting.  The track fills my headphones with more of a batter than a stew.  It’s both uplifting and downer-ish and I’m not sure what to make of it.

@@@ Denzel Curry: ZUU (Loma Vista/Concord, 2019)  I haven’t heard much hip hop out on the Loma Vista/Concord Group.  Curry is from Miami and his lyrics focus on what is euphemistically called ‘street life.’  A lot of trap tends to have  really dark sounds but these are lighter than a lot of what I’ve heard.  There’s a trippy synth melody but not super trippy nor super dark.  The lyrics are pretty standard.  I neither hate nor love this track but I do note that it’s a bit short on impact.

@@@ Ari Lennox: Shea Butter Baby (Interscope, 2019)  A big hit from last year that I haven’t heard ’til now.  It’s an interesting blend of slicked out bass and drum sounds (not drum ‘n bass btw) and some retro guitar playing.  Lennox has a bit of Billie Holiday to her voice, a bit nasal.  Lost in the alley, make love by a trashcan, that’s an excellent line.  I’m agnostic on a bunch of the lyrics as well as the background vocals.  It is interesting that she keeps talking about how the shea butter is making a mess of the sheets and elsewhere but if it’s a celebration of messiness I can get with that.  I understand why this was a hit, it’s better than a lot of mainstream r&b with an interesting blend of sounds especially the organic guitar combined with computer arrangements.

YTD recordings listened to: 548
Good music, not list worthy: 277
Not good music: 242

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache

9/24/15: The Avener, Guerrilla Toss, Markis Precise, Pentagram

@@@  The Avener: The Wanderings of the Avener (Casanova/Republic, 2015).  I would call this first tune spaghetti western club music.  Tremolo guitars, trumpet flourishes over big bass and a not fully baked un/tss club beat.  It’s a cool sonic formula but it’s not really going anywhere so if you’re not baked/stoned it might be a tad boring.  The second tune Fade Out Lines adds a husky female voice to the previous formula.  A little ’70s commercial rock/a shot of club funk.  I got to this record via the Beats highlights page.  Oh my 18 million hits on the GooglePimp, wasted on a lounge biscuit.

@@@ Guerilla Toss: Smack the Brick (NNA Tapes, 2015).  More dance music genre mash.  Big snapping straight beat with a yipping female voice and off kilter synth sounds.  Also popping funk bass, some disturbed scratch guitar to go with your synth oddities.  I would call this a sort of synth punk — she’s barking a bit like Yoko Ono and there’s a grating discord to the proceedings.  The second tune Be the Breeder raises the tempo to produce a freshly blend feel — like Devo on many lines of speed.  The third tune keeps the manic feel and fractured funk rock flow they established in the first two tunes.  It’s interesting, I don’t love it but it’s interesting.

@@@ Markis Precise: The Feeling of Flying (Ineffable Records, 2015).  #1 hip hop record this week on CFUV’s weekly playlist email.  After an intro piece, the second tune Frequency gets into chill funk vibe.  The rhymes are concious and it’s embedded in thick but not jeep bass, smooth-ish beats and a lot of laid-back organ sounds.  The third tune is more old school with upfront scratching and more urgent rhymes about a new MC reigning over hip hop.

@@@ Pentagram: Curious Volume (Peaceville, 2015).  Some hard stoner psych rock off the CFUV weekly email.  Big fuzzy wah guitars, a hard rock drum sound, a singer that sounds a bunch like Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees fame.  Now with a band name like Pentagram I was thinking we’d be getting a healthy dose of goat horns, 666, and the Great Horned One, but alas it’s not so.  More angry flower than meth-y double kick sonic assault.  Oh the riffs are big and buzzy here so if that’s how you roll…

YTD recordings listened to: 764
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 440
Not good music: 262

Honorable Mentions: 20
Buys: 12

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Richard Thompson, Jeremy Pinnell, Pat Thomas, Janelle Monae, The Alchemist, Luther Dickinson, Andra Day, Frog Eyes, Ruby Amanfu, Madd Again!, Fuck the Facts, Shannon and the Clams, Qwanqwa