Music for 10/20/18!!! Welf Dorr Unit, Elle King, Raheem DeVaughn

@@@ Welf Dorr Unit: Blood (Chant Records, 2018)  I got to this jazz record via a twat by Bird is the Worm on the Twatter.  I saw a blurb somewhere calling this a blend of the raucousness of free jazz combined with funk and rock.  Thus far I agree, there’s a guitar feeding back over a low bass groove and some spray drumming in this first tune.  Think Sonny Sharrock after three cans of Red Bull.  One of my big complaints when jazz musicians start to rocking is the lack of rocking sounds but the guitar tone and the bass tone are pretty aggressive and not wuss-a-fied.  The second tune, Blood aspires to funkiness and does a good job getting there.  The sax player doesn’t blow my mind but he pulls his/her weight in this funk/rock/jazz environment.  The record sounds really good and I’m feeling the drummer and the guitar player.

@@@ Elle King: Shake the Spirit! (RCA, 2018)  This is marketed as rock on the All Music notable release email, and it is, but this first tune seems pretty interested in putting white rock fannies on the dancefloor.  I guess how you feel about this depends on how you define rock music.  These tunes seem all lined up on Pro Tools grid lines and the lack of spontaneity is noticeable.  It has no swing or freshness as it’s the sonic equivalent of frozen peas.  The sounds are all right, but the record is really compressed which gives a squeezed feeling to the proceedings.

@@@ Raheem Davaughn: Decade of a Love King (Devaughn, 2018)  Also off this week’ All Music notable release email.  After a brief intro Davaughn gets into a slick groove with four on the floor kick drum, a ringing piano progression, some high synth garnish and a lot of vocals.  A lot of vocal tracks.  Devaughn can sing for sure and the second  moves him into the loverboy neighborhood.  He’s all about the love, why else would he be the love king?  The sounds are very solid and he wants to get matching tattoos.

YTD recordings listened to: 590
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 314
Not good music: 241

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, serpentwithfeet

Advertisements

Music for 9/28/18!!! Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFUNK, James Supercave, Sarah Hahn

@@@ Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFunk: Wet Robots (ESP Disk, 2018) I saw this free jazz funk record shouted on the Twatter.  I know some of the players on this recording and when you click on the first track set aside any expectations that this might be a variant of a George Clinton/Funkadelic record.  It’s funky but not in a typically funky manner.  Victor is entertaining with quasi-mental hospital vocal style and she is accompanied by drums, guitar, and a sax player.  I’m super into Victor’s singing — she appears to be emulating any number of other instruments, most notably sax.  I do think with a band name such as SoundNoiseFUNK that a bassist would be standard issue.  I’m very much enjoying what’s here but some thump would really take it places, in my opinion.

@@@ James Supercave: Come Alone (Self-released, 2018) I got to this mainstream indie pop rock tune via a music publicist email.  The arrangement sounds pretty familiar with a few fresh bits thrown in, but the singer, what can we say about the singer?  He’s not super interesting in the verse but he does a better job with his falsetto in the chorus.  There is some nice sonic rotation through the tune where some sounds drop and others show up but it sounds like slinky ear candy and not much more than that to me.

@@@ Sarah Hahn: I Close My Eyes to See (Parma, 2018)  I’m on the mailing list of this small New Hampshire modern classical/sometimes jazz label.  They do pretty cool stuff.  The track opens with an extended flute/piano jam.  I thought there were vocals on this record, but maybe I’m on the crack again and misread as we’re almost half way through and it’s a very nice flute/piano duo piece.  It sits inside what I know to be classical music while pushing through a lot of energy and passion in places.  I like it.

YTD recordings listened to: 547
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 290
Not good music: 226

Best: 9
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, KEN mode, Automatisme

Music for 9/26/18!!! Matthew Dear, Danny Brown, Miya Masaoka

@@@ Matthew Dear: Modafinil Blues (Ghostly, 2018) I saw this single bumped up on the Twatter.  It’s electronic rock with a mopey and manly singer.  Not the Cure, but there’s another outfit this reminds me of.  It’s got a straight drum beat and bassline and gets into slight dance floor territory with some shuffling hi hat sounds and handclaps.  It’s got some nice small sonic twists and turns but I’m not a fan of his voice.  Others may adore it, but not me.  I also detect an undercover bite of Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust baseline.

@@@ Danny Brown: Bruiser Brigade (Fool’s Gold, 2012).  A hip hop single also shouted on the Twatter.  It’s blurbed as shock rap on the Apple Music.  It’s got a chopped feel sprinkled in the drumbeats, the synths and the rhymes.  I would not say this is particularly concious tune cuz he’s drunk as fuck and she’s ready to fuck.  So quasi-industrial music with anti-woman lyrics.  That’s the description and I will leave the judgment to others.

@@@ Miya Masaoka: MZM (Infrequent Streams, 2017). I got to this experimental improvisation record via the Roulette club email.  I like the pianist Myra Melford who I have heard on recordings and on record before.  Melford’s percussive piano is joined by some crazy ass playing of the 21 string koto and harp/electronics from Zeena Perkins who I don’t know of.  It’s a little like listening to a physics experiment and I’m enjoying the popping of it.  I’m digging the second tune more as it digs in with some lower keyboard runs and more insistent rhythmic playing.  It is appropriately titled Bug.  From what I’ve heard the trio presents a variety of moods — some quiet and contemplative, some insect like and orbitous (not a word!) and some burrowing.  Check it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 541
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 286
Not good music: 224

Best: 9
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, KEN mode, Automatisme

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

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