Music for 7/26/17!!! Old Bliss, Tamika and the Slay, Duendita, Shacar

@@@ Olu Bliss: Traveling Bliss EP (As We Arrive, 2017)  Today we are going to listen to bands that will be playing Afropunk 2017.  I’m not a huge fan of soft, strummed blues folk but Bliss’ voice carries the day.  The second tune (clipped below) goes full band (even horns!) but the vibe is still mad mellow with Bliss’ loose and soulful voice.  The brother can sing.

@@@ Tamika & the Slay: Ugly EP (Self-released, 2017)  Old school rockin’ r&b also from the Afropunk at the Knitting Factory advert.  Ms. Tamika has a steamroller of a voice and she’s out in front of a burning band on this first tune.  Full horn section, organ player, tambourine, they’re only short the cowbell.  These guys may be smoking before the show but they’re washing it down with Red Bull as this is no sleepy ass shit.  Let’s peep more.  The second tune is a ballad but it builds to quite a crescendo.   I’ve peeped parts of four tunes and the one below is the best.

@@@Duendita: Yikes! (Self-released, 2017)  I’m not a huge smooth r&b kinda listener but this is a really nice track.  The singer has a quirky voice that I enjoy listening to her.  The mix has an appealing thickness to it that I dig.  A simple arrangement of keyboards and laid-back guitar highlight her super sweet multitrack vocals (in places).

@@@ Shacar: Ghost (feat. Santos) (Paradice, 2017) A r&b single I got to via the same Afropunk semi-final show.  It’s a simple arrangement with a simple tight beat, some piano chords underneath Shacar hitting the microphone.  There is a break with some rhymes but it’s Shacar and a vocal guest singing really well.  A focused, clean and funky track.

YTD recordings listened to: 488
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 266
Not good music: 200

Buys: 7
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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

Music for 7/25/17!!! Poppy, Tyler the Creator, Dasher

@@@ Poppy: Interweb (Mad Decent, 2017)  The official anthem of the NSA!  Maybe I’m a spider, maybe I’m a fisherman, I’ll catch you in my interweb.  A sultry female singer, some synths and a standard boom bap beat but the lyrics are great.  Tongue in cheek I would think but ya never know.

@@@ Tyler, the Creator: Flower Boy (Sony, 2017) I really liked one of the singles so I’m back for the full length.  I really like his rhymes, but I don’t dig the sounds on this record thus far.  It’s a lot of synths which decreases the funk factor (for me at least).  I continue to really like Who Dat Boy, the pre release single, it really stands apart from the first three tracks.  Folks expecting a continuation of that single will be disappointed.  Is it wrong for me to want my hip hop funky?

@@@ Dasher: Sodium (Jagjaguwar, 2017)  Some garage-y punk off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Fast out of the gate with slashing guitars these guys whip a solid punk shitty.  All members of the outfit are at full energy.  They have a little bit of a ’80s Janes Addiction kind of sound in the vocals and the guitar sound.  Solid B+ and the female singer does good work.

YTD recordings listened to: 484
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 264
Not good music: 198

Buys: 7
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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

Music for 7/18/17!!! Troye Sivan, The Lurking Fear, Jah Wobble, Meek Mill

@@@ Troye Sivan: Blue Neighborhood (Universal Australia, 2015) Conscious pop by a 20+ year old from Australia.  Finger snaps, ’80s guitar lines, silky smooth vocals and manicured production.  No overgrown lawns here people, that’s for sure.  The second tune opens up with the line ‘kiss me on the mouth and set me free.’  We’re dealing with a lot of emotions here.  You can coax the cold right out of me, wrap me in your warmth.  Kiss me on the mouth and set me free, and please don’t bite.  That’s the hook.  Hmm, maybe C+ on that hook.  Imma gonna set myself free and go to another record.  Fuckin’ A, lyric video, god bless America!

@@@ The Lurking Fear: Out of the Voiceless Grave (Century Media, 2017)  Heavy metal off the Apple Music metal section.  Two pre-release tracks from an upcoming full length thrasher/banger.  These guys are whipping a very pleasant blend of epic metal, post-hardcore, and some tasty thrash.  The second preview track is also quite nice with some meth-y guitar that gives way to a big riff and then right into some grinding power chords.  If you’re into the metal, check this out, it’s high quality and I hope to be listening to more of this when the full length comes out.  The singer is really upset so a few listens might help him out:).

@@@ Jah Wobble: The Usual Suspects (3Ms Music, 2017)  Some rock-prog-fusion/dub that I got to via last week’s All Music notable release email.  Big rock guitars over a thick dubbish bass line, conscious lyrics and a low energy singer.  Think U2 with blacker bass line and without the eternal, spewing faux righteousness of Bonehead Bono.  I don’t mind have some proggy rock up in my thick bass lines but this was of doing it doesn’t really work for me.

@@@ Meek Mill: Issues (Maybach/Atlantic, 2017)  A pre-release single off the hot tracks section of Apple Music.  This tune centers more around gun play and getting paid and less on slinging drugs and hanging out with the ladies.   I like the beats and the bass but I don’t really feel the rhymes or the Autotune on the half sung sections.  Songs about guns, not great in my opinion, bad for the youth.

YTD recordings listened to: 463
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 254
Not good music: 188

Buys: 7
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda. This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez

Music for 7/7/17!!! Floating Points, Lapalux, Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed

@@@ Floating Points: Reflections – Mojave Desert (Luaka Bop, 2017) A massive post rock opus from David Byrne’s imprint.  It’s gonna be artistic and hip if it’s on Luaka Bop and at 1 hour and 22 minutes it’s gonna move slow.  This is confirmed by the opening.  This is in the spirit of Pink Floyd but with more nerd sauce and less of that post-war British hopelessness.  Oh my they’re biting it pretty hard, right down to the drum fills.  I like it but I’m not finding the playing to be super engaging especially for the time required for consumption.  I’m on the third tune, Kites, and I feel like I’m watching the Pope masturbate — a combination of importance and wanking I’m afraid.  It could be that I’m a bit too low IQ for this music as prog has always been an uphill battle for me.  I’m not bright, I know this.

@@@ Lapalux: Ruinism (Stones Throw, 2017)  I try to peep Stones Throw releases as I’ve found good shit in their catalog.  I’m thinking this is gonna be left field r&b but this first tune is more an ambient cloud.  It’s just the intro but after getting into the beginning of the second piece there is a lot of classical music influence up in this record.  No beats yet, some ambient, gauzy synths joined by oboes and cellos and high female voices.  Now we get a rapid hi hat pulse, it’s okay.  Let’s check a little more and then move on.  Ah, here’s the fully fleshed action — some beats, pretty mellow on this jam with a nice fat teardrop bass sound, a r&b-ish type voice, some classical garnish and now some chopped up arranging.  It’s a mash of these sounds.

@@@ Andy Mineo & Wordsplayed: Dunk Contest (Reach Records, 2017)  A preview single off the Apple Music hot tracks.  This is a black/white collaboration about basketball and in a rare observation the white boy does all right on this track.  He’s got equal flow to the brother.  Very hip bass line over the skittery beats.  They trade rhymes and the black dude is Magic and the honkey is Bird.  It’s a good track, check it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 433
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 240
Not good music: 173

Buys: 7
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda

Music for 7/5/17!!! Tough Age, Moor Mother, Haviah Mighty

@@@ Tough Age: Unclean (Mint, 2017)  Take the Violent Femmes, give them a Red Bull enema and a gal as the singer and voila, this record.  Also plenty of Ramones mustard floating around.  The second tune takes it down a notch with the same sounds while the third tune is more epic and longer with less manic and more dreamy indie guitar rock stylings.  It’s just a three pack so there it is!

@@@ Moor Mother & Mental Jewelry: Crime Waves EP (Don Giovanni, 2017)  Off the hip hop section of the CFUV weekly playlist email.  It’s left field to be sure with plenty of echo and a chopped vibe to the sounds.  The MC is gritty with some weirdness which goes with the unusual sounds.  The second tune is a post-apocalyptic cough syrup jam with a low barely percussive loop and plenty of low frequency swirl and loads of reverb on the MC’s voice.  This second tune is called Death Booming so the sounds match the vibe here.  I couldn’t peep the third tune due to interwebz issues but this fourth tune is a continuation of a dark post-industrial sounds though I’m catching more political lyrics.  Check it if you’re hanging at home blasted out on Oxycontin and waffles.

@@@ Haviah Mighty: Flower City (Self-released, 2017)  A more standard and self-released hip hop record also off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  On this first track a female MC mixes her rhymes with synth-y, clubby sounds, skittery beats and well crafted bass grizzle.  I prefer the rhymed sections to the sung sections and if you dig the rhyming/singing combo platter and synth based hip hop works for you check her out.

YTD recordings listened to: 427
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 235
Not good music: 172

Buys: 6
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Power Trip, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda

Music for 7/3/17!!! Future, Misterwives, Lobo Marino, Kyo Itachi

@@@ Future: Extra Luv (Epic, 2017)  I know Future is crazy popular but I don’t get it myself.  This is a midtempo club banger celebrating Future’s lifestyle — lots of ladies, some gun play.  If he’s to be believed he’s fornicating quite frequently.  The raw rhymes with the friendly club sounds is kind of jarring.  It’s from a full length but I don’t think I’ll be peeping it.  He sounds crazy drunk in this track and this isn’t particularly compelling rhyming though it does appear he has a fat lifestyle.

@@@ MisterWives: Connect the Dots (Republic, 2017)  I got a follow from a music blog called indieentry and that site had reviewed this record.  This is on Republic/UMG, a big corporate ass label and this first tune reflects their values.  A manicured sound, very loudly compressed, and an emphasis on technical issues over emotions.  Let’s peep a couple more examples of this group, which is a large band with horns that is somewhat pop and rocks a bit.  The second tune is an upbeat ’80s influenced guitar pseudo rocker and I would rather have a boiled ginger ale enema than being on the receiving end of this depressing lilt.  This is for suburban pillhead housewives to put a coat of whitewash on their empty lives.  I’m dancing as fast as I can motherfucker!

@@@ Lobo Marino: Mulberry House (Self-released, 2017)  A self-released string record  that I got to via the WRIR weekly charts email.  Opens up with a female singer and some mandolin.  These first tracks have more than a schmear of dour which is fine.  I like this second tune, which has a significant drone element and a pretty melody.  It’s got its share of New Age lyrics, which is a problem for me as I’m emotionally dead inside.

@@@ Kyo Itachi: Benkai Beat Tape (Modulor, 2017)  Ten songs in 16 minutes by a Japanese hip hop producer.  Mostly a vintage ’90s hip hop sound with some Japanese vocal samples.  I’m concluding from the GooglePimp (where I gather snippets for unto you) that this is a re-issue from 2010.  Just the facts.  It’s cool that these are quickies, commando style hip hop moments with a little Japanese flavoring.  It’s a good peep for hip hop instrumental listeners.  I prefer it to listening to Future’s Penis Adventures, which I’m sure are quite compelling (mostly for Future’s Penis).  Sometimes a break from the rhymes can be quite refreshing.

YTD recordings listened to: 420
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 232
Not good music: 168

Buys: 6
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Power Trip, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda

Music for 7/2/17!!! Portico Quartet, Tyler, The Creator, Noel Gallagher

@@@ Portico Quartet: Endless (Gondwana, 2017)  A track from an upcoming jazz release that I got to via a twat by Bird is the Worm.  It is labelled as crossover jazz on iTunes, which doesn’t bode well but I enter with an open mind.  Surprisingly they throw an electro synth loop into the foreground of the mix and follow that up with some Ghostly style droplet synth.  Sounds more like an electronic outfit entering the jazz orifice than the other way round.  A flute with some echo becomes the melodic center of the track and it’s all anchored by a slightly funky drum part.  It’s all right.

@@@ Tyler, the Creator: Who Dat Boy?  (Columbia, 2017)  I’m listening to this hip hop single lat but I don’t want to give the impression that it’s brothers and sisters at the back of the bus.  After a sci-fi opening he gets into a pretty urgent and tight grind.  Oh, big bass, bigger than big.  There are multiple MCs and I’m not sure what this track is about but it’s very detailed and graphic.  I like the sounds and the feel of the track for sure.

@@@ Liam Gallagher: Chinatown (Warner, 2017)  A hot track off the Apple Music from the guitar player of the Oasis outfit.  It’s a kick drum, some arpeggiated guitar, and oh now it’s a full band thing.  He’s got them Brit rock melodies down pat, must be the fish and chips.  Is that racist?  Not sure what the lyrics are on about but the vocal melodies are big and he’s still working that updated Beatles psychedelic mode.

YTD recordings listened to: 416
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 230
Not good music: 166

Buys: 6
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Power Trip, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda