Music for 9/4/22!!! Rachika Nayar, Mini Roman

@@@ Rachika Nayar: Heaven Come Crashing ( , 2022) A couple of bandcamp albums of the day listens. This is some guitar influenced electronic music and the first thing I think of is that this would work for the Netflix show Stranger Things but one of the more hopeful episodes where the mom finally cures her alien level constipation. I’m not a big of the hopeful electro with the arpeggiated synths and the big U2 guitar washes but I know I’m in the minority. I skipped to the second track Terramorph and it’s a 9 minute banger and I might not make it out of this banger though I like it more than the first. It’s got some sonic collision going on with more of the big U2 guitar sound. This formula doesn’t work for me, I don’t see music as being this openly epic, but hey that’s just me.

@@@ Mini Roman: First of the Brooklyn Cowgirls (Sundazed, 2022) This record is not up on the Apple Music so it may not be on the Spotify and the other big streamers. I don’t like streaming off bandcamp because you can’t hear shit but this is some old school country, female singer, straight guitar playing. The star here is her voice, she works it. All right-y I did some scrolling on the bandcamp page and see that this is a re-issue so it’s not aspiring old school country music, it is old school country music. There are mad tracks on this record, 35 in total, so it’s a big basket of this Jewish New Yorker doin’ it country style. I like it, I really like her voice, it’s not taking me to another world but that’s fine.

Music for 8/9/22!!! Conjunto Primitivo

@@@ Conjunto Primitivo: Morir Y Renacer (Chicago Research, 2022) Album of the day over at the bandcamp and I’m back to reviewing and listening after I fell off a low roof four days ago and punctured my lung and broke 4 ribs. I’m on the second track and it’s pretty dark with insistent rhythms and a combo vibe of electro components and non-electro sounds. For example, a pretty straight Latin vocal part sits on top of the pounding rhythm of the second track. It’s got some indie flavors as well. I’m on the fourth track and I think I would have preferred an dancefloor mashup instead of this indie electronic record. I like it and like the idea of Latin music threads getting pulled into indie tracks but as with a lot of indie the arrangements could use a bit more fleshing out. They are a duo so that limits their options there but I can still want to hear more.

Music for 7/20/22!!! Fantastic Negrito, Jasmyn

@@@ Fantastic Negrito: White Jesus Black Problems (Storefront, 2022) Today I’m listening to excerpts from a coupla records off All Music’s notable release email, ah the classics, All Music notable release email. I’ve peeped Mr. Negrito before and haven’t fully embraced his music but maybe this will be different. It’s an interesting mash of sounds on the opening track, Venomous Dogma. He’s got some classic rock, a little Beatles action, some ’70s rock, some more updated space rock, the full pu pu platter. I usually don’t go for the mashups because they can so easily get muddied up but this holds up, I’m more than a bit surprised as I’ve peeped Mr. Fantastic repeatedly and walked away meh. I checked excerpts of four songs here and I think he made a fresh and sonically interesting record out of very familiar elements. I give big respect to that and will check out more of this when I have the time.

@@@ Jasmyn: In the Wild (Anti, 2022) A second listen off ye ol’ All Music notable release email. My first impression is wow Jasmyn has a unique voice, at least for parts of the first track. It’s hard to explain, it sounds sorta boxy and girlish while not being in a high register. The opening track, Green Nature, has a sort of ’80s rock flow but updated and not fully ’80s. Let’s peep a bit more. The second tune, Crystal Ball, continues the flow but hints at a drum and bass typa beat and the long vocal style aka Radiohead. She’s got a Xenia Rubinos/Radiohead thing going here, that’s what I would summarize the record as. I like a bunch of parts of it though not all of it. The arrangements are very interesting and complex but I think they could use a bit more grit/muscle. Not macho shit but a greater variety of sounds.

Music for 7/17/22!!! Gwenno, Kali Malone

@@@ Gwenno: Tresor (PIAS, 2022) If you took the classic quirk band The Coral and made a lovebaby with Kate Bush you would get close to this record. Female driven with pillowy vocals and other small New Age epic vibes. I’m checking out the title track, Tresor, and it’s the second track with vibes on it (vibes the instrument), and non English sung lyrics. Oh there ya go, big tambourine part right there, that’s good shit. It’s fully cooked, well executed but it’s a bit sleepytime tea for me. That’s just me, but the mashup of The Coral and Kate Bush observation is fucking spot on.

@@@ Kali Malone: Living Torch (Portraits GRM, 2022) This is a second listen off this week’s 10 most reviewed albums on PItchfork. It’s a solo organ, ambient piece — obviously it’s got Jesus type feels and it’s a chill sitch at the same time. There’s not a lot to say here. It’s got a swelling type of feel to it with occasional bursts of sound. Not super action packed bursts just breathy clouds that interrupt the droning lower frequency material. It’s super churchy and can’t help be as such, but yet I’m agnostic on it. It does have a certain visceral feel to it on a nice pair of headphones and that may be its main appeal.

Music for 4/1/22!!!! Mira Calix, Solomon Fesshaye

@@@ Mira Calix: There is Always a Girl With a Secret (Warp, 2022) A coupla Twitter listens to cap off the week, though I listen on weekends as we;;. This musician just passed and this is the second track off a record from last year. It opens a capella, with multiple tracks, a little white lady beatboxing and what sounds like a beater on a cardboard box. Then more hand drums and a drumkit and a bass. It’s all composed or it feels like it but it’s not particularly aspiring to be a verse-chorus typa thing-y. I like it. I’m agnostic on the well placed notion that it’s definitely art school-y and Laurie Anderson-ish. I like the sounds and feel that maybe the vocals could have been de-emphasized a bit and I would have liked it more but that’s just me.

@@@ Solomon Fesshaye: Star City (Ghostly, 2022) I’m guessing the uplifting New Age-y electronic music does better than the darker more ominous stuff so that’s why we get more of it. It keeps the New Age-y keyboard flavors but tones them down around 1:30 to make way for the beat, which is firm and friendly. Believe me when I tell you that I’m fine with friendly sounds, for me it’s about the balance. For example, if he came through this mix with a floor wiping trap bass I would shit myself in joy. I love contrast, I love salty and sweet, I like sweet and spicy, I like dark and light mixed together, but do what you like but I get to listen for me. About a minute from the end he goes wooden percussion and that, that’s the best and most unexpected move of the track for me. So smells like a solid B, coulda mixed up the synths and brought some contrast.

Music for 4/24/22!!! Mallrat, Pusha T

@@@ Mallrat: Surprise Me featuring Azealia Banks (Nettwerk, 2022) I got to this from a 10 best songs of the week list on Paste magazine, I think. It opens dreamy and white girl pensive over a drum machine, the Azealia Banks hop on the mic and gives a heartfelt celebration of the wetness of her vajeen and that’s pretty much it. I think the Azealia Banks part smashing out of the white girl drum machine pop is above average marketing, the vibe is pretty jarring and not that everything has to make sense but it seems like a song hijack clickbait situation to me.

@@@ Pusha T: Rock N Roll ft. Ye & King Cudi (UMG, 2022) The Pusha T tracks I’ve dug in the past were done by Ye and I like his microphone work while I’m pretty uninterested in Kanye and his sounds. This track is the 7th track on a record called It’s Almost Dry. The sounds here are surprisingly tame, solid beat with a slightly cheesy chord progression and then an almost annoying pitch shifted vocal sample that is overused. King Cudi comes in for a sung section and I like it all right. It’s a little hard to hear millionaire MCs talk about their struggles, it’s a little tired lyrically and is similar to listening to Jeff Bezos complain about the cost oil to shine his bald head. Get a wig bitch. I’m checking out the second track, Let the Smokers Shine the Coupes, and I like it better — a much better keyboard sound, the same pitch shifted helium vocal samples and thicker drum beat. I was expecting more. I’m interested in why he keeps saying cocaine is Dr. Seuss, that’s an interesting lyric.

Music for 3/30/22!!! Aldous Harding, Bladee and Echo2k

@@@ Aldous Harding: Ennui (4AD, 2022) Two releases from Pitchfork’s top 10 most reviewed albums this week. This opens as a sort of art school/proggy/chill rock thing. Piano part, tinkly drums, droning singing, it does match the opening track title and is a depiction of ennui as I’ve experienced it. Now it’s in the verse proper and it remains quirky. About halfway through the tune, the drum mix/part changes and it’s a full fleshed out tune, piano driven with off kilter vocalizing. I did a little googling and Harding hails from New Zealand and there is a distinctly un-American feel to the proceedings. I appreciate that, I like difference. She’s an experienced arranger and songwriter. I’m not a huge fan of this arty fok-y, indie style but that’s just me. If you dig it and want a modern and crisp version of it this could work for you.

@@@ Bladee and Ecco2k: 5 Star Crest ( YEAR0001, 2022) I thought this was going to be electronic but it’s more dreamy indie r&b. It’s got a good helping of glitch sauce to go with the intimate, bedroom singing. I appreciate that it’s more a riot of sound and doesn’t super feel like a structured piece thought it easily may be. Yowsa, I did not notice this is a 9 minute banger and the vibe changes completely to a dancefloor, sci-fi thing around minute 2. Still a lot of spaced out sounds, but a dreamy beat with a siren-y, beeping sound. I’ve rocked almost the whole track while I peeped my twatter feed and this is some epic indie electronic. It’s aspirational, loose and pretty free for the genre and not committed to being anything for any amount of time. I didn’t love it, but I respect it.

Music for 2/19/22!!! ADULT

@@@ ADULT: Fools (We Are) (Dais, 2022) I got to this dark dancefloor no wave compound music blend via a shout on the Twatter. I guess they’ve been around for a long while while having a new record coming out. First off it sounds like it’s a ramped up Frankie Goes to Hollywood glam dance thingy. Lots of percussion layers in here which I dig, it’s the bass and the sort of showboating vocals that I don’t cotton to. Dollars to donuts if this had a funky bassline I would be feeling it much much more. I’m guessing two very different folks made the beats and then made the rest of the arrangement as the rhythm is quite pumping and kinda sophisto but the bass and the vocals are this draggy punk whiny business. I’m checking out the second pre-release call We Are Nothing and that mindset is up in here for sure. Funkier bass here, lots of delays splintering off the bass and the beats and I dig that. Let’s see how they vocalize this. The vocals are more interesting to me and I like the sirens but overall it’s got this we are nothing, everything sucks vibe to it and meh.

Music for 2/6/22!!!! Mitski

@@@ Mitski: Laurel Hell (Dead Oceans, 2022) This record just got a 5 star review on the Guardian and you can’t take a shit without running into a Mitski interview. The music pimping community is coming out for Mitski in a big way. I’m listening to the track Stay Soft and it’s a fine blue eyed disco banger with finger snaps and more of a torchy singing style and not your classic black diva typa thing. It’s also a tad confessional and very smooth production so it works well for people with jobs who don’t want to sweat but want to feel funky. When the tune peaks in the second/third chorus it’s a pretty crowded but still coherent arrangement with piano chords, a fair amount of added percussion, etc and it does blur the line between disco and rock. I’m letting the player click through and while I find Mitski to be able to sing, I’m not particularly moved by her singing there’s a bit of plainness/long toned-ness to it that makes the sounds stand above her. She breaks out of it occasionally but it’s not super flavorful. I know people love the high end drama queen experience, I’m just not one of those people. So to recap, pretty high end sounds, focused arrangements that work and vocals that are a step or two above meh, but not big steps above meh.

Music for 9/22/21!!! RP Boo, Matthew E. White

@@@ RP Boo: All My Life (Planet Mu, 2021). I think I got to today’s listens via last week’s All Music notable release email. This is an electronic release from a Chicago veteran of the scene and the track clipped below is the opening track of the record. He’s got multiple layers of percussion going, some straight and some working against that straightness making everything crooked even as other parts are presented straight. I really like the rhythms but I’d like more from the rest of the mix, oh here it comes. Part of the reason I checked this record out is it’s the same label that released Jana Rush’s Painful Enlightenment record earlier in the year. That album just bangs and bangs and bangs. This is a more polite affair focused more on the dancefloor than the darker vibes of Rush’s record. I do like how Mr. Boo threads his rhythms and brings hip hop flavors into his tracks.

@@@ Matthew E. White: Let’s Ball (Domino, 2021) Some white boy disco funk faithfully recreated in a late ’70s/early ’80s fashion. Extensive use of the cowbell, which is a huge plus, you can’t fuck with the cowbell. It’s a full mix with some nice guitar work, a fair amount of percussion and some weird/not weird singing stylings from I’m guessing Matthew E. White. The perception that maybe the mix is too full and that it detracts from the song’s mission is a personal one and if it’s over the line and just a bit extra, it’s not by much and there are a lot of sounds here that I like. If I liked the singer more I would dig the track more. I’m giving a quick peep to the opening track, Genuine Hesitation and given that the record is out on Domino everything’s gonna have a twist on it. This opener is part rock, part dance rock with some retro synths but less overtly funky than the video clipped below.