Music for 10/29/18!!! Baba Commandant and the Mandingo Band, Bokante and Metropole Orkest

@@@ BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND: Loga Fo Djelba (Sublime Frequencies, 2018)  There is just one pre-release track up on this African record I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  It is 8 minutes long and it’s a blend of old school African sounds and newer ones.  It has a kit drummer as well as hand drummers and a guitarist who takes a mellow long shred over a modern sounding bassline.  The singer is a gruff gent who gets into call and response with some background singers.  I’m most impressed by the drummer and the guitar player — excellent energy and interesting playing.  I would definitely listen to more of this record when all of it is released.

@@@ BOKANTE AND METROPOLE ORKEST:  What Heat (Real World, 2018)  This is an impressive mash of world musics.  A singer from Guadalupe, a Dutch big band that has been going since the 1940s and a jazz funk NYC outfit.  The result is a modern sounding collection with a large ensemble and an energetic singer that works in Creole.  It’s sophisticated in a sophisticated way, not your usual music publicist faux sophistication.  The tunes are all of a substantial weight with none under 5 minutes and instrumentation that varies from tune to tune.  A review at the Guardian says there’s too much going on which I’m pretty sensitive to but I see it differently.   The singer is the constant here and the sounds are to provide interesting backdrops for her.  There is a lot of percussion, and some oud, and a lot of string arrangements which make it coherent to my ears.

YTD recordings listened to: 604
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 323
Not good music: 245

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

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, Tim Hecker

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Music for 10/18/18!!! Elvis Costello, Kurt Vile, Georgia Ann Muldrow

@@@ Elvis Costello: Look Now (Concord, 2018).  I got to the new Elvis Costello record via this week’s All Music notable release email.  I’m on the fourth tune and my favorite moments thus far have been Costello’s singing.  The band plays well, they’re a great band — the songs are more mainstream and less funky than vintage era Costello/Attractions albums.  There are some parts of the instrumental arrangements that evoke late Beatles tunes, which is interesting.  I’m swinging back to this record overnight and I feel the same — while Costello brings the vocal energy of his youth the arrangements are a bit staid which makes sense as his fans are much older now.  At certain points the more orchestrated arrangements elevate the tunes and sometimes they hold it back a bit.

@@@ Kurt Vile: Bottle it In (Matador, 2018) To say that Kurt Vile is an indie darling is an understatement.  Indie world is balls deep and nuts over Vile.  This first tune sounds like an indie, updated Tom Petty type of rocker.  Very straightforward, a little slippy slide-y in his vocal delivery but very American rock.  You can close your eyes and hear this on classic FM radio.  The second tune brings on a version of crisp Strokes type rock with, oops I had the third track going and skipped the second one.  I’m a bit sorry I went back.  The formula is pretty clear here — mainstream rock arrangements for the masses and then Vile’s voice which is a piquant blend of slack and classic.  The tune clipped below is track 4 and I like it the least of what I heard.

@@@ Georgia Ann Muldrow: Overload (Brainfeeder, 2018). There are only two pre-release tracks up on the Apple Music but it’s a welcome relief to the Kurt Vile vanilla ice cream sundae.  This is not retro soul, it’s modern drum machine and synth sounds.  The tunes are midtempo and while I’m enjoying the sophisticated sonics of the mix there’s a certain coolness and detachment to the tune.  I’m most definitely enjoying the funkier second pre-release track, Aerosol, to the tune clipped below.  Hike your asses over to the GoogleTube yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 584
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 311
Not good music: 238

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 10/15/18!!! Neneh Cherry, SASAMI, Orkid, Bad Bunny

@@@ Neneh Cherry: Kong (Small Town Supersound, 2018). A pre-release single by ’80s singer Neneh Cherry.  Produced by 4tet who I am a fan of.  Not a fanboy, but a fan.  It’s a trip hop track with a dub baseline, a slow piano arpeggio, and some dark echo effects.  A simple open hi hat pattern with kick drum drive the tune.  The tune finds a nice groove but doesn’t progress much during it’s 4:24.  I could have used more than what is on offer.

@@@ SASAMI: Not the Time (Domino, 2018).  A shoe gaze single I got to via tracks of the week at Line of Best Fit.  The guitars a little less stormy than what you would expect and it has a keyboard, but the intimate and confessional vocals nestled in the middle of the mix are classic.  Solid B.

@@@ Orkid: No Noh (Shir, 2018). Mainstream electro pop off the Line of Best Fit tracks of the week.  Female singer doing an up and down melody, low medium funky drum machine beat, though there is a nice echo on one of the drums.  There’s not a lot to the arrangement outside of beat and the vocals so if you don’t like the singer (I’m not a huge fan) then you won’t jump and down over this.  As always, listen for yourself.

@@@ Bad Bunny: MIA (OVO, 2018). Drake breaks the internet as he appears on this Latin single and does his loverboy thing entirely in Spanish.  It’s good to see he’s as buttery soft in Spanish as he is in his native tongue.  Bad Bunny is pumping out the sugar for the ladies as well as this is almost Halloween candy for your ears.  There are some nice drum beat variations in the back end of the tune but this is pretty disposable as again there’s not much here after the beat, the baseline and the microphone work.

YTD recordings listened to: 578
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 308
Not good music: 235

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 10/11/18!!! Tierra Whack, Tess Roby, Proc Fiskal

@@@ Tierra Whack: Whack World (Interscope, 2018) 15 1-minute hip hop songs that I got to from a best 25 records from the last 3 months at factmag.  I’m on the third minute and I like the brevity of the tunes and the tidbits have more of a melancholy flavor than a party vibe.  I don’t think the brevity and the melancholy are connected.  The jumps from one bit to the next are pleasantly jarring.  The sounds are very new, no retro hip hop happening here.  It’s like somebody hitting the fast forward every 1 minute.  I really like the tune 4 Wings.  I found it and shit!  Enjoy.

@@@ Tess Roby: Beacon (Italians Do It Better, 2018)  We switch gear from youthful African American female gloom hop to white people electronica.  It’s opening up with a sinuous guitar line and a Rush beat, not great as far as I’m concerned.  Then a singer — where is she from?  Montreal!  I love Montreal.  I think this is poor record sequence/placement on my part as the jump from those hip hop kibble and bits to this is not great.  This is low energy, not as funky, and just a wee bit……white.  And I say that as a human that used to be a white person.  I thought this was going to be an electronic record but it’s an indie rock record with an electronic U-haul attached to the back.

@@@ Proc Fiskal: Insula (Hyperdub, 2018).  This is an abstract electronic record I got to via the same best 25 records of the last three months.  It is most definitely chopped pretty roughly with plenty of processed vocal samples and bass ‘n drum type beats.  It is trying to be both funky and trippy and thus far I don’t think it’s hit either goal.  I want to like it as it aims for a place I enjoy listening to but it sounds a bit sterile and technical for my taste.  The arrangements are more than competent but it’s a nerd record.  Homie needs some doobie in his funk, imho.

YTD recordings listened to: 574
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 306
Not good music: 233

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 10/2/18!!! Nina Kraviz, MASSIMILIANO PAGLIARA, Motor City Drum Ensemble

@@@ Nina Kraviz: Opa (TRIP, 2018). A Russian female DJ that I got to via a promo email for the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival.  Thus is a single off a compilation of what I assume are Russian and European techno producers.  It’s got a fair amount of industrial pounding with the kick drum, but there is a pleasant swirling insect sauce poured over that and the unrecognizably processed spoken word parts.  Clicky and kinetic providing a great sonic juxtaposition.  This is hypothetically danceable due to the kick but it’s more of an aesthetic — maybe if you were fucked in the head on gin and juice you could hit the dance floor.  I like the toughness of it, it almost gets into a metal vibe.

@@@  MASSIMILIANO PAGLIARA: Devoid of Dimension, Pt. 1 (Live at Robert Johnson, 2017). I got to this electronic EP from the same promo email for the Brooklyn Electronic festival.  As with the tune above it opens up briskly but with some retro bouncy synth sounds that evoke early video games and early electronic.  It’s an 8 minute track so it introduces new sounds at a relaxed pace.  A hot hi hat, some more synth melody, it’s a big electro layer cake.  The second tune keeps the brisk tempo and retro sounds so that’s going to be core to the record, I believe.  I don’t love this bass sound but then he comes in with some simple electric piano chords that are very nice.  More layering and medium funk.  I like this without loving it.

@@@ Motor City Ensemble: Dekmantel 10 Years 10.2 (Dekmantel, 2018)

A German DJ who takes a Tony Allen track, breaks it down and then puts it back together.  I can get with that concept being a huge African music fan and an electronic music person as well.  Mr. Motor City retains the funk while he chops this tune into pieces.  I’m feeling this as it combines Afrobeat sounds with a more modern production technique.  This is the best of what I heard today, check it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 553
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 296
Not good music: 224

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

Music for 10/1/18!!! Barrie, Discount Sunset, Tkay Mzaida

@@@ Barrie: Tal Uno (Winspear, 2018) I saw somebody launching a twat on the twatter celebrating that Spotify had put this track up on some ultimate indie list.  Oh boy, back to the ’80s we go with the super puffy synth (and synth bass) sounds and the intimate female vocal sound.  And finger snaps!  Fuck me, finger snaps!  And twinkly guitars!  And  only happy endings!

@@@ Discount Sunset: Slippery (Self-released, 2018) I saw this self-released debut single on a promo email from an Australian online music magazine.  Mopey dude on the microphone, heavily reverbed guitar and straight rock beats.  The synth component of this tune is less than usual for these days.  The arrangement is sinuous and kind of weaves and bobs within a wider range of normal indie pop tunes.  It’s an interesting blend of upbeat and downer sounds but I can’t personally roll with dude’s voice.  Check if for yourself.

@@@ Tkay Maidza: Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 1 (Downtown, 2018)  I saw this Australian black female MC on a promo email from the same Australian online music magazine I mentioned in the review above.  I usually struggle with the non U.S. rap but Maidza is singing and rhyming and she brings a modern but pretty on fleek Caribbean sound to this first tune.  The second tune brings on the straight up quick hip hop with the farty bass and a chanted chorus.  That second tune is clipped below.  Maidza has skills and the arrangements while not revolutionary are fresh.  As far as pop music goes this is pretty solid shit, so if you’re looking for some alternative to the Ariana Grande avalanche check out Maidza.  This is the best of what I heard today.

YTD recordings listened to: 550
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 294
Not good music: 227

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

Music for 9/20/18!!! Silica Angel, SUM

@@@ Silica Angel: Silica Angel EP (Astrobabylon, 2018)  Computer music that I got to via an online Australian music magazine.  It opens pretty sparsely with some video game bleep business and some other electronic chattering squirts and splurts.  It starts turning into a tune with a slightly buzzy synth bass and then slowly opens up with a lot of layers included process vocals, insect type noises.  It’s a pleasantly dense mix of sounds that edges up to being too much without going over the line.  The second tune, Cicada cartridge, is a ten minute opus centered around strange keyboard sounds, more than one layer.  There is the same commitment to squelch and fuzzy bug sounds and processed vocals.  It sounds a bit like a sex robot whose waterproof abilities have been compromised.

@@@ SUM: It’s Alright to Be Me (N/A, 2018)  This is a New York City band but I saw them interviewed in an Australian online music magazine.  This is concious r&b with some gospel flavors and a super positive female singer on the microphone.  Tight drum sounds, full horn section, a piano player, and extensive background vocals.  It’s a full ensemble explosion and draws a connection back to Stevie Wonder’s pro-black gospel funk tunes.

YTD recordings listened to: 536
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 282
Not good music: 222

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