Music for 11/6/22!!! Cakes Da Killa

@@@ Cakes Da Killa: Svengali (Young Art, 2022) Slotted as electronic music on the Apple it’s a mash of drum ‘n bass, hip hop and r&b. Which all slots under the umbrella of electronic music. The sounds are interesting, more interesting than most hip hop tracks, his rhymes are loverboy MC style, not soft but not super hard/XXX rated. I’m finding the sounds much more compelling than his lyrics. This third track, clipped below, slaps pretty good, there’s a sample in that is quite ear catching. And the beat as well. I don’t think I’m going to check out more of this record but maybe put the title track on a playlist or something. The vocal hook ‘I know you’re touching me but are you feeling me’ is a wicked hook. Very rare.

Music for 9/6/22!!! Pahua, Emeralds

@@@ Pahua: La Cura (Nacional, 2021) Off this week’s WRIR playlist email. An epic remix of a Latin music track. I have not heard the original but I’m guessing they’s taken acoustic elements and replaced them with electro ones. Not all, but the bass in places, and they kept the cowbell. Fuckin’ A, just when I thought the music community abandoned the cowbell here it is. I like it most just shy of two minutes when it reaches full instrumentation including a reggae-ish guitar that drives the track. I like it a whole bunch, it has a measured feel to it and regular readers know I’m a fan of unexpected sounds and wildness. I don’t love the whoa ho vocals, in fact they’re the deciding factor in tilting me a bit against the track.

@@@ Emeralds: Photosphere (Ghostly, 2022) This is a pre-release track I got to via the Twatter. I got banned for a week from the Twatter for hoping that a building would collapse underneath some Russian soldiers hoisting the Russian flag in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. So fuck Twitter bigly. This is a big 17 minute drone banger with some fluffy cloud action, a little South Asian-ish drone, and other modulated synth. I haven’t like anything out of Ghostly for a long while but I dig this. I don’t know if I will hang for the full 17 minutes, we shall see. I keep waiting for the big fat techno beat to come in but it hasn’t and I don’t think it will, I hope not, please Jesus I love me a techno beat but let’s keep this plain. I’m 12 minutes in and Imma finish this banger. No beats, I like it, check it out, I would listen to more of this.

Music for 7/14/22!!! The Maghreban, Doom Cannon

@@@ The Maghreban: Connection (N/A, 2022) Bandcamp’s album of the day. It’s an electronic record, a bit dark, a bit indie. Notable for a pensive sax solo, it’s got a pretty straight chintzy beat going on the old drum machine. Let’s peep a bit more. The second track comes with a Kenyan rapper. I don’t dislike the tracks thus far but they’re not really grabbing me. The pieces of three tracks that I listened to came off as television show themes which is cool. Not a lot of depth or change going on, big on vibes.

@@@ Doom Cannon: Renaissance (Brownsville, 2022) Another bandcamp record of the day, this one a jazzy affair but sort of a mash of prog rock (guitar) and drum ‘n bass (beats) and then some more prog/fusion in the horns. Four or so pre release tracks are available. This is out on the Brownsville imprint from the UK and to be perfectly honest I’m not sure British folks understand what jazz really is. I understand that sounds really bitchy and I guess if I were liking more of this jazz that draws more openly from r&b and Afrobeat and dancefloor stuff I would be more generous. I like this second pre-release track, Times, more but it’s sorta dressed up Curtis Mayfield r&b with a string arrangement and soprano sax and a female singer.

Music for 4/29/22!!! Goat Girl, x/o

@@@ Goat Girl: Pest (Rough Trade, 2021) Some post punk weirdness I got to via the online UK music magazine Crack. This is the first track on the record and it opens with a slow building drawliing singer led, strummed electric guitar, etc, more vocals, some ambient clouds. That’s more a crumble of a sentence than a formally correct one there. I expect this is the calm before the storm but I could be wrong, I’m wrong a lot. It does build but to a more sustained tambourine influenced rock section that bumps along underneath the layer of slack vocals. There’s also a synth arpeggiator which helps to cancel the energy drain of the vocals. I’ll hang for a bit of the second track to see if the formula has flexibility or if this is the formula. Yeah, this is the formula, cheerful rhythm section with a downer vocal component, people love it the slack shit, I’ve always never been quite able to accept it. Also periodic synth which changes up the grunge vibe.

@@@ x/o: Chrysalis Wrath (Precious Metals, 2022) I got to this via the Vancouver radio station CFUV. This is the opening track of an electronic record and by the sounds of the reverbed out female vocalist, I’m not sure this is going to work for me. It’s spacious and occasionally interrupted, no wait more and more interrupted by a cymbal driven drum and groove type beat. Also some dreamy keyboards and a very aggro synth bass. Overall it’s a sci fi type of impression or at least that’s how I hear it. On the like side, I dig the bass sound and the aggressiveness of it. Agnostic on the beats, agnostic on the keyboards, and I don’t like the framing or the presentation of the vocals. There is an interesting contrast between that smoothed out space vibe of the vocals and the splash of the cymbals and the buzzy bass but my disdain for this vocal approach outweighs that.

Music for 4/2/22!!!! Plastikman & Chilly Gonzales

@@@ Plastikman & Chilly Gonzales: Contain (Turbo Recordings, 2022) I got to this electronic recording via this week’s just off the press All Music notable release email. It opens pulsing, with a bit of delayed click/static, and it’s pretty dark. Oooh comes the kick and the slow descending keyboard, then vamp. They swirl in what I consider some dark ambient sounds and the contrast between the loose, down low in the mix piano noodling and the blade runner-y backdrop is interesting and very different. It’s a groove with small additions at various points so the thing changing mostly is the keyboard playing. I’m just under jumping for joy, I don’t know what it’s missing for me, but it needs just a little bit more to make me consider it for my year end list. I think if the piano playing was more powerful it would be a very unique mash of electronic and acoustic sounds. Some Cecil Taylor action? Some slick improvised shit? Oh yeah. It’s still very good, but it doesn’t blow the roof off for me.

Music for 3/1/22!!! Gabor Lazar, Huerco S.

@@@ Gabor Lazar: Boundary Object (Planet Mu, 2022) I got to this electronic record via Pichfork’s 10 most reviewed albums of the week. The beat is not particularly funky but the arrangement contains a rhythmic sense where a sort of call and response happens but with synthesizers a lot of filtering. eq filtering, google it! It’s got a lot of energy and more rhythmic energy than melodic energy. The record is 34 minutes long and all the tracks are titled Boundary Object 1, Boundary Object 2. I’m feeling the weirdness of the second track with its incessant kick drum and space laser type synth sounds. A lot of the record sports the chopped percussive pounding of a kick drum of a synth and I like the aggro of that

@@@ Huerco S.: Plonk IV (Incienso, 2022) More electronic music but more skittery with some pounding and more motion to the arrangements. It’s got a distinctly old school drum and bass feel in tempo and sputtering snares but it’s not your old school drum and bass. Also a bit of hip hop feel to it. I switched over to check out the first track and it’s a more lyrical piece, with space age sounds but a sort of super arranged feel with spitting harp like melodies and a simulated upright bass. A long delay ends up pleasantly filling up the stereo field as little bits continue to be heard after the main note dies a bit. I really like this opening track. I’ve checked out pieces of three tunes and there is variety as well as consistency to the pieces. It’s got a big feel, proggy in places, a tad classsical in others, but not without some funk/hip hop feels here and there.

Music for 12/9/21!!! Parris, Grace Cummings

@@@ Parris: Skater’s World (Can You Feel the Sun, 2021) If you took an ’80s synth rock and put a decent dollop of glitch and processing you got pretty close to this track. It’s a got a little Prince feel but not as much funk, not nearly as much funk unfortunately. It’s a celebration of skateboarding which I can’t identify with but it takes all kinds to fill the world. Female singer, big kick drum sound with a lot of percussion sounds added on top with that ’80s snare sound I really can’t abide by. Imma peep a bit of another track just to see how the madness unfolds. The fifth tune, Crimson Kano, sports the same amount of rhythm which I don’t dislike and a little bit of electro sauce over it. If you consider the rhythm to be the hamburger and the rest of the arrangement to be the ketchup I could use more ketchup on this burger, it doesn’t appear to be the right ratio for me. Oh no, I’m an idiot, it’s comin’ on strong! They musta been getting warmed up and there’s more than enough ketchup here. Check out the fifth track Crimson Kano and go from there. I also like the instrumental business more than the guest vocalist business.

@@@ Grace Cummings: Storm Queen (ATO, 2021) I got to this track via an Australian music magazine, Happy Magazine is what it’s called. I’m writing this way on purpose, the stream of conciousness is the point, I could write properly if I chose to. This is a pre-release track out on a major label branch in Australia. It’s got a faded classic rock feel, opening up with a strummed acoustic guitar. When the harder guitar comes in with the tenor sax you know it’s gonna be a blues growler. The question is whether I’m gonna hang for the whole sandwich. It was a burger in the above review and this song is a sandwich. They have a pretty classic sandwich set up here, but I’m thinking it could use the sharpness of some mustard. The piano is coming but it is yet to be rockin’. It goes out a bit skronky but I remain somewhat unimpressed, I wanted more, too storm und drang and draggy for me.

Music for 9/29/21!!! Space Afrika, Vladislav Delay

@@@ Space Afrika: Rings (Dais, 2021) Off the weekly email from Crack Magazine. Driven most notably by a reverse loop sound as well as some static blasts (all good) the voice(s) here are super reverbed out not in an effort to make the tune epic but to evoke distance and for abstraction. It’s got a bit of r&b to it, especially in the intimate vocalizing between the two singers but it all unfolds against a post-apocalyptic backdrop. I’m checking out the first track, yyyyyy2222, and it’s following a similar formula; a tiny bit of funk and r&b, a bit of way out reverbed vocals, a fair amount of industrial sounds. There are some tunes on here with spoken word parts and a bit of distorted indie bass but overall the formula is as described. Some really nice looping here, imho.

@@@ Vladislav Delay: Rakkn (Cosmo Rhythmatic, 2021) Same here, Crack Magazine! Here we have a more aggro, industrial style of electronic music, certainly not Nine Inch Nails glam horny boy industrial electronic, but there’s machines and siren action going here. He brings in what sounds like some sort of conga part, not congas for real but conga like rhythmic driver style. I don’t think I like the squealing siren that much but the rest of it starts to pile up and screw itself into your dome. The last third really cranks up the arrangement, bringing an urgency to the track that I find really engaging and pleasurable. The energy comes back down at the end as the tune is spent. I like this, it’s different and the components here (mostly mechanical and metallic) are assembled really well. Not every passage is slamming but it moves and evolves. This may be a bit austere and rough for some listeners but I found some good stuff in there.

Music for 9/27/21!!! Kiefer, Mas Aya

@@@ Kiefer: When There’s Love Around (Stones Throw, 2021) Today’s listens are off this week’s All Music notable release email. The video clipped below is for the track titled as such off the record titled as such. It’s a chill r&b sitch with mellow keyboards and a bit of jazz fuzion feels. Around 1 minute in it goes full band with the drummer hittin’ it and the energy rising. I like the playing all right but I like my jazz to be rocking or on fire. Let me check a couple of other tracks. I’m checking out the second track called I rememberr this picture and it’s the same formula. I like the playing all right but the smooth tones and vibes make me feel like I’m rocking a Wilco record.

@@@ Mas Aya: Momento Presente (Telephone Explosion, 2021) I think there’s a lot of action in the electronic music part of the music biosphere and as I hear the opening of this track which opens the record I’m thinking this is going to be some Latin flavored electro that builds from some rando flute playing and starts bringing in the drum machines and more flutes and it’s quite messy and ba-doing there’s a synth bass and some 808 type handclaps. Simultaneously it’s electronic and pretty ambient and world-ish music. The looseness of the arrangement here is unique and enjoyable to me. A long Spanish spoken word section comes in and it’s on. These are all pretty hefty tunes weighing in between 5-8 minutes with a variety of tones. Thus far it’s been wooden flutes on all three tracks I’ve peeped so that’s a core component and I’ve enjoyed the third track 18 de Abril the most of what I’ve heard.

Music for 1/13/21!!! Lily Kershaw, Henry Pope, SUUNS

@@@ Lily Kershaw ft Goody Grace: Now and Then (Nettwerk, 2020) A singer songwriter track from a Guardian overlooked 2020 songs. Most notable for what I deem the excessive reverb on her voice, it’s a bit not tasteful for me. It drowns out the sparse strummed guitar. It appears that this is an age where emotions have to be so over the top defined to have impact. Is that the case? It’s not the case for me so I kinda resist that this is the case. It would be sad if all the technology flooding into music making just turned out to be a way to make music cheesier and less impactful. Since no other instruments or sounds enter the mix except for a harmonium type sound in the chorus the voice sticks out even more. Ah well.

@@@ Henry Pope: Ngene (Tierra Sounds, 2020) Some retro dancefloor banging off an article about overlooked songs of 2020. It’s got a brief female diva appearance and dude goin’ hmmm, mmm, mmmm and most interestingly a thumb piano which I really like. It segues out of an intro to a thick bass centered classic unt sss techno thing. I like the rhythms more than the melodies. It’s got waves and build ups and ebbs and flows through its tight sections. I like it without feeling like it’s something super special — it feels a bit sanitized to me. Tight and uptight are two different things to me.

@@@ SUUNS: Fiction (Joyful Noise Recording, 2020) If you took a Radiohead track and blenderized it with a glitch track it would come out very close to this track. Outside of the drum beat which is crunchy rock all the parts seem to be processed, glitched, gated or percussified. I like the processing it’s a weird digital filter which seems to be everywhere right now. That seems relevant. It does drain the band energy and if you took off the motion introduced by the processing would it have suitable energy? I’m guessing no. I would have ramped the shit out of the tempo to break some brains and this sounds a bit halfway/conservative.