Music for 2/1/23!!! Deathprod

@@@ Deathprod: Compositions (N/A, 2022) This be some dark chill electronic music that is the bandcamp album of the day. How chill is chill and how does the darkness effect the chill? Depends on who’s imbibing this music Imma guessing. There are 17 compositions on this record and Composition 2 is coming out a bit less chill than Composition 1 with more of a chainsawy patch and some modulation. Two sounds push against each other, it’s cool. There are moments where the music pulls itself out of its background music for Satan mode and demands my attention but a lot of it just passes by. There’s an improvised quality to this music that I like. It is meant to be a dark slow ride, I get that — part of me does struggle with the minimal soundscapes but part of me thinks it’s okay to want more. It is strange and kinda cool to think of quietly disturbing background music for ill bitches like Jeff Bezos and Donald Trump to eat their dinner of baby skulls and workers’ sweat.

Music for 1/31/23!!! Sightless Pit

@@@ Sightless Pit: Lockstep Bloodwar ( , 2023) Album of the day over at the ol’ bandcamp! It’s a coupla gents who work in the heavy music area and looks to be a side project. There are heavy music elements here and after that the most prominent genre is electro. So it’s heavy electro, not a lot of guitars in this opener Resin on a Knife, but a lot of static and distortion. Also a lot of guest vocalists on this record and that really changes the listener experience. In the bandcamp blurb there’s a statement that these guys are alchemists of heavy music. There’s some nice sound combinations here but I think that may be more than a bit hyped. I’m listening to the title track of this record and give it a solid B. I don’t think it’s alchemy for me.

Music for 1/28/23!!! altopalo

@@@ altopalo: Frenemy (N/A, 2023) At first blush this is a happy marriage of indie feels and electronic sounds, with bedroom lofi but not lofi colliding with a computer. On this first track I dig the strange reverb on the voice and the bass player, the drummer is not there to be killing it. The second track featuring a guest singer takes a guitar and turns it percussive. I’m on the third track now and the ambience rules here. Lotsa space on the sounds most notably the voice which gives the whole thing an alienated feel to mix in with the prettiness. The title track is in slot 4 and it’s a peak for the formula. If you’re a fan of rawk and rock and rockin’ this is not for you. I don’t love all of it, it’s a lot of feelings and prettiness but I respect how it’s put together.

Music for 1/27/23!!! Bassidi Kone, Young Fathers

@@@ Bassidi Kone: Kaira (Self-released, 2023) Oh man, if you’re up for some insane hand drumming to start or continue your day, check this guy. The music itself is very very layered with multiple string players, a strong female singer, electric bass, and a lot of rhythm tracks. I skipped to the next track, An Ka Ben, which throws an African marimba and a horn section into the mix. Oh Lord, it’s an incredible stew with the hand drumming slicing through like crazy. That’s right like crazy is an acceptable music review term. The playing here is at a very very high level and it is a unique listening experience. The large ensemble sound of all musicians playing organically is beautiful.

@@@ Young Fathers: Heavy Heavy (Ninja Tune, 2023) Off this week’s All Music notable release email. These guys are black (Afro-British and they bring a little swing and black music tradition to their mash of rock and mainstream music. I correct myself, this is not rock, it’s pop rock music with big melodies. I like the energy and I like the vocal melodies but I need more. I can see this going somewhat big here in the America with the epic pop music fans.

Music for 1/26/23!!!! Juanita Euka, Mass Konpa

@@@ Juanita Euka: Mboka Moko (Strut, 2022) A coupla listens off WRIR’s weekly playlist email. A female singer from the Congo, the second song (clipped below) opens with lush production, French vocals and a nice quasi-chicken scratch guitar before it slips into English vocals and a smooth, fusion-y groove. All right-y I’m guessing a lot of folks dig this style and the part of it close to Earth Wind and Fire I do dig. Let’s peep more. Ooh, the third track comes out as an African salsa jam and I dig that. Big swaggering horns, lots of rhythms, and again with the vocals in English. I would prefer non-English vocals but that’s just me. I respect the band here, especially the guitarist who is constantly catching my ear but the songs aren’t landing with me. Of course, they might for you. Track 4, Suenos de Libertad, is the most heartfelt track of the three I checked out. I would start with that track and go from there.

@@@ Mass Konpa: Sans Regret (Self-released, 2023) This is some Haitain band music though it is classified as hip hop on Apple Music. Oy. The tempo is semi-laidback, the rhythms are thick and the singer is smooth. I don’t love the soprano sax but that’s a pet peeve of mine. Let’s check a coupla other tracks. The third track, Gad on F anm, is even sweeter — I imagine it’s some sort of ballad and I like it less than the previous one. I really like Haitian music but I think this is just a bit too smooth and poppy for my taste.

Music for 1/24/23!!! Maria Chiara Argiro

@@@ Maria Chiara Argiro: Forest City (Innovative Leisure, 2022) Some indie electronic I got to via the recording magazine Tape Op. Btw, Tape Op is tremendous toilet reading material, try it! This is slack and interesting with cloudy synths, classic mopey singing and quirky drum machine programming. What do I like here? Some of the cutting and some of the sonic manipulation though the artist went to the speed slowing plugin a bit too much. I don’t love the singing, it’s very indie with not a lot of energy. Overall it’s all right, nothing for me to jump up and down over but if this formula works for you then check it out!

Music for 1/19/23!!! Earthkry, Gabrielle Aplin

@@@ Earthkry: Soon Come (Wash House, 2022) Old school reggae in the more retro ’60s flavor pre the Bob Marley international reggae explosion. Super sweet singer, super sweet over a sticky foundation. Not a lot to say here as this stuff imho is about catching a vibe and these guys hit it hard and out of the ballpark though I was very skeptical when I saw their band name. Eeesh, Earthkry? Great track.

@@@ Gabrielle Aplin: Anyway (Never Fade, 2023) I got to this via this week’s Line of Best Fit. It’s a breathier slightly more energetic version of Norah Jones piano driven adult alternative business. Not a carbon copy but in the neighborhood. This is not my favorite flavor of mainstream normie music but I listen to everything and there’s a distinct pop sensibility swirled into the piano rock here. Drums higher than usual, more energy in the mix and melodies that escape the slackness. It’s not the most aspirational thing going on here, it aspires to listeners and not necessarily to a deep feeling. Keep it familiar and she does that. I like some of the vocal melodies and I like the drums up in the mix.

Music for 1/13/23!!! Black Flower

@@@ Black Flower: Magma (SDBan Ultra, 2022) I’m a bit surprised to see this blend of electronic music and jazz on highbrow critic Ted Gioia’s honorable mention list for 2022. While this release tilts to normies, it’s got a lot going for it including a fresh blend of sounds, space organ and walking bassline in the first tune being high up on the list for me. I’m doing a bit of reading on this outfit’s bandcamp page and they are from Belgium and aspire to be rocking a blend of jazz, afrobeat and dub. I can get with that and let’s peep a bit more. It’s also got a bit of old school Doors type jam band swirled up in there. The second tune O Fogo brings on the afrobeat with some stanky drums colliding with the space organ and a circular flute part. Not the most amazing shit ever but solid and I am feeling the rhythm section here bigly. Nice tight snare sound and a popping bass player, this dude or lady or them/they is smackin’ it around. Shit starts to fall apart in a more interesting way in the third track as they come with the messy intro that fuses into some very stylish groove playing.

Music for 1/10/23!!! Ben Bondy

@@@ Ben Bondy: Self titled (Quiet Time Tapes, 2022) I’ve poked around Pitchfork’s top ambient albums of 2022, peeping and sampling as I’m wont to do and this caught my ear. I’m currently listening to the track Wish and I feared it was going to be some sort of New Age biscuit but it’s got yer basic swirling cloud action but has some super pleasant and sophisticated bass wandering beneath it. Pretty solid track and let’s peep more. The next track is called A Place I Know and the beginning feels like a direct continuation of the previous track and I’m cool with that. Lots of swooshing and swirling, very well done with some occasional ringing business and metallic clinks to cut through those clouds. Even a siren and it sounds like the NYPD to me. The tempo and content ratio is really good. It goes about its business in a very relaxed manner but there is not a scarcity of interesting sounds and it’s not packed beyond belief with sounds either. Everybody has their own personal preferences but many may not realize that when it comes to music cuz I’m obsessed and most aren’t. Other folks are obsessed with cell phone plans and shoes I don’t know anything about that. After sampling sections of four tracks I see that there is a common backbone of sound that runs through the entire record and then there is variance between the tracks as to the garnish. The video clipped below is a tad darker and more swirly than other tracks, It sounds like some sort of metallic spinning machine working during a meteorological event. I’m not listening to this on headphones but I think it would work on headphones for sure. If you’re up for some ambient in the middle of the winter (and I’m always up for it) check this out.

Music for 1/6/23!!! Messa

@@@ Messa: Close (Svart Records, 2022) I keep on keeping on with the weird metal list because I’ve heard a bunch of good stuff off it. This is marketed as a mash of blues, jazz, dark ambiance and metal. Cool. Sporting indigenous folks on the cover the opening track is a big ol’ epic hard rock banger with an epic singer over waves of rolling distortion and big slow drums. These guys coulda opened up for Black Sabbath as they sure got the formula down. I skipped to the second track Dark Horse which is the starred track on Apple Music. It’s further proof that this is much more a hard rock record than a metal record, which is fine. You can hear the singer, who sings btw, the drums are presented as rock drums, and it’s a civilized situation. I like it, though I think it could use more unique components, it’s pretty standard in its construction and execution. The singer does bring it. This I imagine would work great for stoners.