@@@ Trio da Kali & Kronos Quartet (World Circuit, 2017) The Guardian is out with the beginning of their top 50 records of 2017. I don’t usually like these mashes of African music with Western music but I’m nothing if not open eared. And really fun to be around. I also don’t like chocolate in my peanut butter. On this first tune the Kronos Quartet plays the role of garnish on a plate of African food, which works but it’s not equal billing. A few string flourishes in an African arrangement with a female singer. I’m on the third tune and it remains pretty much the same and the question you ask yourself is the addition of Kronos Quartet string flourishes make this a favorite African record of the year? Not to me. It’s pretty staid in tempo and I prefer the burning African music and this appears to be designed to draw non-African music listeners to the genre. Just as I write that the marimba player takes a burning solo, you shoulda put that tune first fellas.
@@@ Lisa Knapp: Til April is Dead – A Garland of May (Ear to the Ground, 2017) A throwback British folk record updated and bestowed with a modern chopped and looped feel. It’s a creative aesthetic decision I must say as I’m not very interested in May Day but I’m listening. The instrumentation is pretty standard for this style of music — hand drums, acoustic guitars, drones, lots of samples, male co-singers and Ms. Knapp’s waif singing. I can see how Brits would really get into this fusing of newer musical production techniques combined with their music heritage but check it out on this side of the pond.
@@@ Mount Eerie: A Crow Looked at Me (P.W. Elverum, 2017) An indie reflection about the death of a musician’s wife. For once I can say the slack vibe is justified and works well for the mostly raw lyrics and the subject matter. It’s mostly the singer, the lyrics and an acoustic guitar. I could have used some drums or other instrumentation just to offset and contrast the slack. This record is #47 on the Guardian’s top 50 of the year. Check out the fifth tune Swims for the full misery tour.
YTD recordings listened to: 776
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 418
Not good music: 321
Honorable Mentions: 7
Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding