Music for 4/12/18!!! Alma Afrobeat Ensemble, Paul Metzger

@@@ Alma Afrobeat Ensemble: Monkey See, Monkey Do!  (N/A, 2019) I got to this Spanish Afrobeat record via a music publicist email.  They have elements of classic Afrobeat with a lyrical focus on politics.  I also hear some small swinging big band feels and a few Spanish music flavors.  The slide guitar solo at the beginning of the third song is very interesting and something I would like to hear more of.  Some sort of variations on a form that keeps it fresh.  This is for fans of classic Afrobeat.  Myself I could use an update on that sound.

@@@ Paul Metzger: Paul Metzger/George Marich (Self-released, 2018)  An improvised guitar and drums record I got to after seeing this musician’s name on a gig announcement for awesome California independent station, KFJC.   One 23 minute piece and one 17 minute monster shot so kick back and don’t have a Red Bull.  After some percussive swishing to open the track Metzger comes in with a clean tone and some off kilter melodic work.  His playing is interesting and unpredictable while maintaining a non fire breathing style.  I really like this first piece and the connectedness between the two musicians.  Let’s peep the second track.  The beginning of the second track has more bluster to it but it’s not extreme, it is in relation to the opener.  Folks should check this record out, it’s good to listen to while you’re on Instagram or writing code for Facebook!

YTD recordings listened to: 192
Good music, not list worthy: 119
Not good music: 66

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, A Tribe Called Quest, 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, Horndal

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Music for 4/9/17!!! Gabriel Zucker, Rodan

@@@ Gabriel Zucker: Weighting (ESP-Disk, 2018) I got to this quartet jazz record via a gig announcement email from Brooklyn club Roulette.  Instrumentation is sax, trumpet, piano, and drums.  The first tune, Would It Come Back to You?, is a trumpet and sax duo with pleasant interplay between the two horns.  The second tune is slower, bringing in the piano and the drums.  Overall the feel is laidback and a little bit out.  I like the sound of the record and the playing but the energy is a tad low and it’s reminiscent of some old school ECM records of highbrow aspirations.  I dig the trumpet player and the piano player the most.

@@@ Rodan: The Hat Factory 93 (Self-released, 2019) Uh oh, somebody popped a couple of red bulls in a room full of amplifiers.  I like it.  This is a bandcamp record of the day but apparently not all of it is available.  It’s got some big Fugazi flavorings which is a flavor I dig.  It moves out of that punky flavor into a mathy section and there’s gonna be a lot of sections as it’s an 11 minute track.    They get into low altitude vocal intonation that gives the tune serious contrast with the storm of guitars and drums.  I was just playing the recommended track for first impressions but they look to be working a partially indie, somewhat indie, and partial punk neighborhood.  For example the first tune opens with an extended two guitar and one bass clean jam.  I like this without loving it.

YTD recordings listened to: 185
Good music, not list worthy: 113
Not good music: 64

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, A Tribe Called Quest, 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, Horndal

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

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