@@@ 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.
@@@ 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.
@@@ 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.
@@@ 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.
@@@ 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.
@@@ 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.
@@@ Zeal and Ardor: Zeal and Ardor (MVKA, 2022) I got to this record blending hard rock, heavy metal and black gospel music influences via a best of 2022 list. There’s a lot of shit to listen to. I checked out the first few tunes yesterday and my draft blog post got smacked around and lost so today I start with the rave up fourth track, Emersion. It goes from poppy, looped sections to full on smashed thrash, a classic relax and release program that’s been run for decades. I like this, it’s uplifting and extreme in its way. Maybe the younger crowd doesn’t hear the cowboy hard rock of Bon Jovi and Bad Company but I sure do and I don’t love it, it’s needlessly macho. To be honest, this record does jump around quite a bit, it has electro influences as well as arena rock, hard rock, thrash, I have no problem with the mashing it’s more the end results. I really felt the fourth track Emersion, that hit me the most. I would like this more if it upped the black music quotient and took down the cowboy rock but hey that’s just me.
@@@ La Roche: Liye Liye ( , 2022) I got to this polyrhythmic and insistent African electro music via a search as African electronic is one of my favorite subgenres of music. I love what they (as a group of music makers) do with drum machines and other musical components. I’m skipping all over this album and finding all manner of frantic rhytms, crazy video game melodies and just bags and bags of musical energy. I have a slight preference for the songs with vocals but it’s slight, the preference that is. I have to check this out a bit more as I just found this record yesterday searching for more shit but this to my ears is as saitsfying as Konono No. 1 and other African electronic music outfits. You can listen to this record a whole bunch, it’s got a total punk rock not giving a fuck flavor to it. Check this out if you like funk, electro funk, polyrhythmic music or African music.
@@@ Satellites: Satellites (Batov Records, 2022) The #3 record on WRIR’s best of 2022 list and it’s a banger. Comes out rocking, slinky, melodic, rhythmically strong on the opener Big Baglama. I don’t know if we have a singer on this record, I’m hoping yes. Oh yeah, after a long intro we get a sultry female singer, noice, on track 2. Oh man, these guys can play, I’m feeling this. Lemme peep a coupla more tracks but this one is headed onto my best of 2022 list. This is a really good record with really great playing, clear production and flavorful arrangements.
@@@ Noori & His Dorpa Band: Al Amal (Ostinato Records, 2022) A different type of African record out of Sudan. Plenty of guitar playing (as usual) but a more loping tempo on this opener instead of your classic desert blues burner. There are six tracks on this record and while the first one is just shy of 4 minutes most of these are long bangers, mostly 6-7 minutes with the finale weighing in at 11+, that’s a big rooster. There are plenty of spots where the tenor sax and the guitar play melodies in unison and that I find a tad cliche and pretty hypnotic at the same time. The guitar player here is big nuts, he’s got the tone and the melodic prowess to back it up. They’re not gonna rip yer face off but they’re gonna keep at it until you’re a tad dizzy and up in the middle of all the swirling melodies. They had a little bit of a spaghetti western twang and I dig that. Even though this has a bit of a background music feel without a singer and a mellow tempo I’m not sure I would recommend it as the circular repetition will get in your head.
@@@ Pole: Tempus (Mute, 2022) I got to this record via a meh 10 best list on the Guardian. This looks set to be an abstract and dubby techno record with some techno feels but other stuff and I like other stuff with electro bits. These are all six and seven minute bangers, the opener a tad sleepy but this second one, Grauer Sand, is brisk with some low dub bass and lots of squiggle action. I like it as it’s tight and loose, some techno be too tight. Duder is quite expert at layering in the sounds, processed and otherswise and then dropping some tight snare sounds and other bits to make a fully assembled burger. There’s an awareness of time and space here that I dig, it’s fresh and unfolding in a way that I find really enjoyable, lots of good bangers on here. Check this out. Could be a late in the season find and I’ll take it. You can chill on this while also paying attention to how it rolls by.