Music for 2/13/19!!! Analea Brown, Xiu Xiu

@@@ Analea Brown: Lie To Me (Mensch House Records, 2019)  I got to this reggae track via a music publicist email.  It doesn’t matter that the singer is from Tonga, it’s just to say that this is not straight out of the Caribbean.  It’s a slow, buttery reggae ballad with both old school sounds (bassline) and more modern vocal stylings and turntable scratching.  I don’t think it particularly stands out but I like it.  Big ups to the bass player for holding it down.

@@@ Xiu Xiu: Girl With the Basket of Fruit (Polyvinyl, 2019)  We switch gears to some abrasive indie that I got to via this week’s All Music notable release email.  It opens up with a fast non rocking spoken word track with a lot of rhythm and a singer losing in a nest/kluster of laser shots.  While not trafficking in standard punk sounds it does have a classic in your face attitude with not many fucks given to the listener and what they want.  I git that.  I hear a drummer and maybe a cello player, or an upright bass player, there’s some bowing going on here in the third tune which has switched gears to a slow, innward looking, desperate kind of feeling.  Though I don’t love this record, it is growing on me as it moves through its tunes.  It’s an artsty noise record and believe me I hear a lot of great first songs followed by a lot of dross.  This guy is on a trip and while not one for the shiny, happy people, he’s got some energy and passion going for him.  I dig the upright bass and the tribal drumming and the up in yer grillness of the singer.

YTD recordings listened to: 83
Good music, not list worthy: 46
Not good music: 33

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel

Music for 10/5/18!!! Peregoyo Y Su Combo Vacana, Black Symbol

@@@ PEREGOYO Y SU COMBO VACANA: Mi Buenaventura (Vampisoul, 2017) I’m guessing from the GoooglePimp video which has been uploaded for 6 years that this is a reissue from an old school Colombian band.  I’m not very bright but I got this right and these guys are smoking.  These guys were some of the first to combine Colombian folk rhythms with Cuban cumbia.  I love this music, it’s crazy soulful.  Great horn lines, all manner of hand drums, electric guitar sounds from back in the day, and fantastic singing.  I will end up putting this record on my best of year list for 2017 as it ticks all the boxes — great rhythms and high melodic content, energetic and passionate perofrmances, and a high soul factor.  Check it out!  It has a fantastically fuzzy bass sound which helps to drive the whole band.  It’s so wrong and so right at the same time.

@@@ BLACK SYMBOL: Mother Of Creation (Sugar Shack, 2018) A pre-release reggae tune off an upcoming full length.  It is a blend of old school roots reggae (in the vocals and the drums) but with a synth which is a pretty rare instrument to encounter in roots reggae.  I like the singer as he sounds a bit like Burning Spears Winston Rodney.  Weirdly, it is mostly old school roots with just splashes of synth.

YTD recordings listened to: 562
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 300
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, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana

Music for 9/3/18!!! Dactah Chando, Jah 9, Malou Beauvoir

@@@ Dactah Chando: Africa is My Roots (Manuscript, 2018)  An African roots reggae single I got to via the WRIR weekly charts email.  There is a subtle difference in feel in this tune but the musical formula is very similar.  Chando has rhythmically strong voice and a pleasing tune as he talks up his African heritage.  Big beats with dub touches it’s a pleasing track.

@@@ JAH9: Field Trip (VP, 2018)  A female singer getting a little r&b/jazz with some reggae sounds but not full roots.  A different beat but steady with some dub delay touches and a mash of other sounds.  I appreciate the ambitious blend of sounds and the concious lyrics.  I expected with a name like Jah9 that this would be more reggae but she’s under no obligation and it’s a fresh track.

@@@ MALOU BEAUVOIR: Rasenbleman  (Self-released, 2018)  After a brief vocal intro it gets into a chill world music groove.  The lyrics are in French so I’m guessing this music is tied to a former French colony in Africa.  Ah, wrong, Haiti!  A French colony but not in Africa.  I’ve heard a fair amount of old school Haitian music and this is reminiscent of what I’ve heard.  Very rhythmic, smooth bass sounds, lots of vocal tracks.  Beauvoir, the singer was born in Chicago and raised in New York so that’s going to be reflected in the music.  This is a pre-release single from an upcoming record.

YTD recordings listened to: 501
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 263
Not good music: 209

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

Music for 7/23/18!!! Debademba, Protoje, Gurrumul

@@@ Sea Moss & the S: Ugh

 

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YTD recordings listened to: 423
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 222
Not good music: 187

Best: 7
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, 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

Music for 5/14/18!!! Yeni Nostalji, Jah9, Queen Ifrica, Selena Gomez

@@@ Yeni Nostalji: Self-titled (Ropeadope, 2018) An American of Lebanese descent makes a record influenced by Turkish music.  I got to this record via the WRIR weekly email.  I’m no expert but this first tune has more Brazilian Bossa nova in it than what I associate with Turkish music.  It’s a very romantic vibe here — I’m not a huge fan of romantic music as I’m emotional dead inside but this is pretty well done.  It’s interesting that it mashes up a lot of influences without a care.

@@@ Jah9: Love has Found I (VP, 2018)  A modern roots reggae single I also got to via WRIR.  Female singer active on the mic, it’s a love of Jah tune.  I like her singing, I like the background vocals less.  The flutist is doing good work and while I prefer the old school murky sound the band here is solid in their support of her devotion.

@@@ Queen Ifrica: Black Woman (VP, 2018)  Speaking of that old school reggae production there are some mighty tasty dub echoes on this seven minute tune that is the lead single off a full length.  Again, a strong female singer showing devotion and love for Jah.  I checked out the first tune, Trueversation, and it’s much more of an accessible pop reggae track.  Go with the Black Woman single, it’s much better imho.

@@@ Selena Gomez: Back To You (Interscope, 2018) This lead track off the soundtrack of some Netflix production is the kind of super popular cheese bomb track that I loathe.  I don’t loathe it due to snobbery, I love all manner of musics but the cliches here are just rank.  It’s as predictable as death and probably not half the fun.  It’s got earnest acoustic guitars in the verse and then it breaks out in the chorus with the hook both vocal and synth.  The production is exquisite, the feelings are tame, all in all I could barely choke it down it was so gooey — like a low end pizza parlor slice.

YTD recordings listened to: 263
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 139
Not good music: 115

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: 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, 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, Dona Onete, 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

Music for 4/2/18!!! Hollie Cook, Emel Mathlouthi, Benoit Delbecq

@@@ Hollie Cook: Vessel of Love (Merge, 2018) Blurbed as sensual reggae on the Apple Music it is interesting to see this recording show up on hipster label Merge.  The arrangement of this first tune is dense and satisfying while the production sound straddles modern cleanliness and old school thickness.  Cook’s voice is more mainstream r&b than traditional reggae but she’s a great singer and I’m really feeling the bass player while the synth horns not as much.  I didn’t have very high expectations of this record but it’s really well done.  I’m not a fan of how synth-y it is but that may be why they released it as it brings reggae close to an indie electronic record.

@@@ EMEL MATHLOUTHI: Ensenity  (Partisan, 2018) Another world music record on a white people’s music imprint though I think Partisan has released some African music before.  From my video searching I believe this singer is Palestinian and in an unrelated note these look to be remixes.  Okay the interwebz is very confusing as it appears that there are two albums released by Partisan — one the original songs and a remix record.  This first tune is a medium slow ballad with dramatic vocals and a lot of electronic music elements in the arrangements.  The second tune brings a more familiar hybrid of traditional and electronic sounds as well as a brisker tempo.  It’s very dramatic material and I like it all right.  Myself I would rather tune in to Omar Souleyman as it’s a similar formula.

@@@Benoit Delbecq 4: Spots on Stripes (Clean Feed, 2018)  A jazz record off the Portugese imprint Clean Feed on whose email list I preside.  Instrumentation is piano, sax, bass and drums.  I’m not the hugest fan of Mark Turner, the sax player but I like Gerald Cleaver and I don’t know anything about the piano player Delbecq.  Thus far I’m enjoying Cleaver and the piano player who politely plays somewhat rhythmically off kilter to the drummer or at least that’s what I hear.  It’s not swinging it’s pushing. I’ve checked out portions of four of the tunes and while I really liked the first tune I found the second and third to be less engaging.

YTD recordings listened to: 178
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 95
Not good music: 79

Best: 4
Honorable Mentions: 3

Possibles: 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, 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, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National

Music for 2/8/18!!! Courtney John, Joe Pilgrim, Toto Bona Lokua

@@@ Courtney John: Ecosystem (Soul Man, 2018). Off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  Opens up super laid back roots reggae with pleasing falsetto vocals.  The first tune (clipped below) is super sweet and well balanced vibes.  I’ve sampled the first four tracks on this record — the band is tight, the sounds are nice, the playing is tight and relaxed at the same time and the singer is on full loverly.  I’m going to swing back on this record, check it out!

@@@ Joe Pilgrim & The Ligerians: “Migrants” [Single]  (SoulNurse, 2018) More reggae but an updated sound with synths, space lasers and an ’80s gated snare sound.  Pilgrim hits the mic with focused energy and he does a really good job.  I don’t love these sounds but the tune works pretty well.  I think this there is a band playing here but I’m not always super psyched for electronic drums and the video games sounds though there is a proud history of weird ass space gun sounds in dub reggae.

@@@ Toto Bona Lokua: Bondeko (No Format, 2018).  Everything listened to today is off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  Here we have some mellow African music and the first tune has a Bobby McFerrin syncopated vocal arrangement.  Think barbershop doo won but from…..a Frenchman, a Cameroonian guy, and a dude from the Congo.  That’s from a the search webz.  The second tune introduces nylon string guitar and a fusion-y bass but it’s the same super laid back sound for sure.  This is super pretty and for people who want their music to caress them and make them feel safe.  Myself I like a blend of beauty and muscle but we all different and shit.

YTD recordings listened to: 74
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 41
Not good music: 31

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: 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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Courtney John