Music for 8/16/18!!! Kyoko Kitamura, Ashley McBryde, SKINLESS

@@@ Kyoko Kitamura: Protean Labyrinth (N/A, 2018)  I saw this recording mentioned on the Twatter as the Bandcamp record of the day.  Kitamura has worked with Anthony Braxton and she is a sax player as well as a vocalist though she does have another sax player on this record.  I’m enjoying the slightly fragmented and spiky feel of the first tune that intros the proceedings.  Not all the tunes are up on the Bandcamp but there are four which is enough to get a sense of the record.  I will be staking my review on this second tune Tripwire.  I really like the sound of the record and the tone of the instruments.  I like her vocalizing more than I like the usually jazz singing.  It’s abstract while being somewhat rooted in scatting though I’m not expert on jazz vocals.  I’m very much enjoying the rhythm section, that is the best part of the record as far as I’m concerned.  She’s doing some really nice improvising vocal work on the fifth tune, Deadbolt.  Solid B+

@@@ Ashley McBryde: The Jacket (Warner Music Nashville, 2018) A country single I got to via music blogger bigmouth Bob Lefsetz.  My first thought is she’s pretty close to biting Tom Petty in a plagiaristic guitar melody kinda way.  It’s the story of a jacket and all the shit it has been through.  If you’re not into the nostalgic core of the song it’s really not going to work for me.  I get it, but I don’t think it’s a particularly special tune.

@@@ Skinless: Savagery (Relapse, 2018)  Some full on death metal that I got to via the CFUV weekly playlist email.  The title track and opener (clipped below) is pretty relentless in its forward attack.  The singer shifts from caveman exhortations to a more post hardcore style but it’s the guitar and drum lock and beatdown that really brings the pain. This band is as punishing as being locked in a room with President SkidMark and his fellow cartoon character Rudy Giuliani and having them scream ‘No Collusion’ at you over and over.  The sounds here are better and more truthful than those two for sure.

YTD recordings listened to: 477
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 247
Not good music: 200

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, Forro in the Dark, 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, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, 700 Bliss

Advertisements

Music for 7/25/18!!! Phronesis, Moskus, Makru

@@@ Phronesis: We Are All (Edition, 2018) I saw this jazz outfit mentioned in a twat on the Twatter.  This is a pre-release track from an upcoming full length and it opens very pretty and slow with piano and bowed bass.  It is a piano trio (duh piano, bass and drums) and I hear more than a bit of prog rock/quasi-classical melodic leanings and theatrics up in here.  To my ears it sounds tightly arranged/composed over the course of its nine minutes.  It eventually explodes into an uptempo piano solo with the rhythm section right behind his/her giant keyboard runs.  It goes out mellow with a solid bass solo.  If you like some prog swirled up in yer straight jazz well then….

@@@ Moskus: Ulv Ulv (Hubro, 2016)  I saw a new disc from this out jazz outfit listed on the London Jazz News but found this one on the Apple Music to stream.  I know a fair amount about the free jazz scene but haven’t heard these guys so I’m going to have to hit the GooglePimp.   I can see these guys are a trio from Norway and there’s a woman in the band.  They are listed as piano, bass and drums but I hear other instruments in there.  I’m greatly enjoying this ambient and spacious improvisation.  There is variation to the pieces as well as some humor but the playing is unexpected and substantive.  This is great music and I will circle back to listen to the full record when I have more time but I’m pretty certain this will be on my best of year list.  Check it out.

@@@ Makru: Tu Mission (Self-released, 2018) I got to this world music record via a world music publicist funny enough.  I don’t read these bios carefully but it is a record by a Spaniard that moved to San Francisco.  I hear a lot of reggae influence, Spanish romantic music in the horn lines, and other influences.  It is a proud mash of styles that is executed well.  I like the female singer and the concious vibes of the record.  While there are a variety of musical influences an emphasis on melody runs through the tunes.

YTD recordings listened to: 430
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 226
Not good music: 189

Best: 7
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, 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, Forro in the Dark, 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, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus

Music for 6/19/18!!! Beyonce and Jay Z, The Greatest Showman, Onyx Collective

@@@ Beyonce & Jay Z: Apeshit (Sony Music, 2018)  The second tune off the new Beyonce/Jay Z surprise record.  It’s an attempt at a trap tune with hip hop sounds.  Beyonce rhymes on the mic and it’s all right but she does bust it impressively two thirds of the way through the tune.  Jay has a brief rap and it’s notable for dissing the Grammys.  The sounds are all right but honestly a little disappointing by virtue of the sounds not  being very interesting.  I guess if you don’t believe that Beyonce and Jay Z don’t stand for anything, which is my position, it makes their music a lot less appealing.  I think they’re both masterful business people but I think as musicians they’re overrated.

@@@  The Greatest Showman: The Greatest Showman (Atlantic, 2018)  Music biz blogger/bigmouth Bob Lefsetz posted about this movie soundtrack record.  He usually drifts towards cheese and this is no exception.  If you take Imagine Dragons and have a love baby with Disney shit and a little bit of Queen you get this over the top first track.  I feel the cheesy epic-ness forcing itself into every orifice of my body and I don’t like it.  If you’re not up for that you can enjoy the power ballad cheese of the second tune, A Million Dreams.  A young boy and his dreams, good for him but he’s gonna have to pursue them without me.  This shit is awful as far as I’m concerned as it further disconnects white people from reality.  And I say this as a reluctant white person.

@@@ Onyx Collective: Lower East Side Part Three (Big Dada, 2018)  I saw this experimental jazz record featured on the front page of the New York Times, which is not usually a positive as I rarely find great records (if ever!) in the New York Times.  But I persevere and I like experimental jazz.  It’s not as great as the Greatest Cheeseman reviewed above, but it’s trying!  The first piece is a drone with some tinkly metal percussion and toms, electric bass (?), and some interesting sax work.  It is supposed to be a dark record and I get that but it’s not full of classic free jazz skronk/frustration so it has a downer pretty vibe thus far.  I wish the recording sounded a bit better (especially the bass sound) but it’s a good record with the fourth track ‘There Goes the Neighborhood’ being my favorite of what I heard with it’s classic sax forlorn wail.

YTD recordings listened to: 339
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 178
Not good music: 153

Best: 6
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, 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, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto

Music for 5/17/18!!! Lawaii, Kassin, Divide and Dissolve

@@@ Lawaii: Lawaii (Self-released 2018) I got to this jazz release via a twat on the Twatter by Bird is the Worm.  They are from Denmark and the instrumentation is piano, bass and drums.  This trio format can often lead to high end pretentious wanking, but thus far no for these guys.  The emphasis here thus far is on atmospherics and tone.  thus far they are also employing a less is more approach and I’m feeling it.  The first lyrical playing that I’ve heard shows up on the third tune, #5 and it’s offset with some pretty tasty bass bow scratching.  The tune cycles on a circular piano figure and the quick scratchy ass bowing.  I’ve sample parts of the first four pieces and I really like it thus far.  I will circle back at a later point when I can sit and relax to it more but right now I have to extrude the music review kibble for the hungry mass.  Check it out.

@@@ Kassin: Relax (Luaka Bop, 2018)  Off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  I have a conflicted relationship with Brazilian music.  I dig it rhythmically but often times the smoothness of it I find dissatisfying.  The second tune is a Brazilian Earth Wind ‘n Fire but I don’t love it.  It’s clipped below.  I’ve sample parts of four tunes and while I kinda appreciate the disco excursion here I’m not super enjoying the music.  It’s a large ensemble and the playing is good so it sounds like something you might like have at it.

@@@ Divide & Dissolve: Abomination (Dero Arcade, 2018) Some metal off this week’s CFuv playlist email.  It opens up with a lot of tom playing and a dirty bass.  I see from the Apple Music blurb that this is a duo and thus far it’s a dark affair with some distorted business but it’s not a typical metal record.  It doesn’t have to be.  There is a theme here with the first three song titles Abomination, Assimilation, and Cultural Extermination.  I’m feeling this second tune Assimilation, it sports a haunting melody over a disgusting nasty bass sound and more heavy on the tom drumming.  I like the foundation of the record, the drumming and the bass sound, ah just as I was about to say I needed more you get some spoken word.  A female doing some heavy but not super focused spieling and occasional piano.  This is no mosh-fest, it’s got ideas behind it and I like it.  I wish the tracks that have more in them started out the record.

YTD recordings listened to: 274
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 145
Not good music: 120

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, 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, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii

Best of 2018 Pick 5

Irreversible Entanglements: Irreversible Entanglements (International Anthem, 2017)

The most notable aspect of this jazz trio/spoken word record is the black female poet.  There are some great lines in the first tune, Chicago to Texas (clipped below) and she delivers them with the appropriate disdain and pissed off-ness required by the topic of the tune.  My favorite line is ‘there is no justice, there is no rehabilititation, no religion either, just four pills and a dixie cup called America’.  Excellent work on that.  She is ferocious and I see this record as the antidote to the Kendrick Lamar Walt Disney record that recently won a Pulitzer Prize.

The trio plays really well but this woman is the star here and they burn all the way through.  Check it out.

These guys are playing the Vision Festival here in Brooklyn, NY so if you’re a resident of these five boroughs I’m sure they kill it live.

 

Music for 4/25/18!!! The Tallest Man on Earth, Lazyeyes, Hernan Sama/Marcelo von Schultz, Slug

@@@ The Tallest Man on Earth: Somewhere in the Mountains, Somewhere in New York (AWAL, 2018)  I’ve checked out Mr. Tallest Man on Earth before and I really enjoy the tone of his voice.  I’m not sure why this GooglePimpTube video is 10:24 while the tune on Apple music is just over 4:30.  It’s standard Mr. Earth with strummed acoustic guitar, a little organ and vocals.  Sometimes it’s very soothing to be presented with so little (if you like the singer’s voice).  The obvious reference here is Mr. Zimmerman but Mr. Earth’s voice is better.  It’s a melancholy love song — just trying to keep you informed.

@@@ Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz: Sonidos desde el campo para los animales y la vida salvaje (Self-released, 2018) I got to this self-released sax and drums jazz record via an email from the artists themselves.  I’m usually disappointed when listening to requests like this, but I really like the first couple of pieces here.  There is no place to hide when it’s just a duo record but both these players have personality — the sax player is not interested in technical playing but more on sonic interestingness.  I have trouble writing good jazz reviews as it’s not hard to get lost in abstraction and bullshit.  If you haven’t heard a lot of free jazz playing this is a good record to check out.  It has good energy, the playing is interesting and you can just kick back and let it wash over you.  I’m going to swing back on this record and it may end up on my end of year list.

@@@ Lazyeyes: Echoes (Egghunt, 2018) A shoegaze ’80s single I got to via a music publicist email.  What the world now needs is more ’80s influenced rock!  Not me but the world at large as there is so much of it coming out.  Half dance/half rock drumbeats, Edge style guitars and a jagged rock/pop sound.  A little Sonic Youth, a little Flock of Seagulls, a strange mash of indeed.  Not a huge fan of the youth of sonic but this is much cleaner.  There is a shoegaze singer here, a little reverbed out and almost overwhelmed by the guitar noise.

@@@ Slug: No Heavy Petting (Memphis Industries, 2018)  I saw this record on last week’s All Music notable release email.  It has a nerdy guitar rock flow in this tune clipped below, but the white boy falsetto is supposed to funk-ify the proceedings.  By the time you get to the chorus it’s pretty mathy and nerdy and funky.  I’m not a huge fan of this formula but if you are, well then here you go.

YTD recordings listened to: 221
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 118
Not good music: 96

Best: 4
Honorable Mentions: 3

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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz

2018 Honorable Mention Pick 1

Annah Hogberg Attack: Self-titled (Omlott, 2016)

Instrumentation on this medium out jazz record is sax, piano, drums and bass.  There are more composed moments as well as some bursting skronk.  Hogberg has a solid horn tone and the energy is fresh.  The piano player and the drummer get a shout out with some particularly ear catching work.

The second track, Familjen, is clipped below.  It is my favorite track on the record so check it out and see if it works for you.