Music for 9/29/22!!! Gabriels

@@@ Gabriels: Angels & Queens (Atlas Artists, 2022) Floated as a possible album of the year in a Guardian feature yesterday, how could I not peep that? Unfortunately only a pre-release track is available at the time of writing this but peep I will. My first reaction to the track is that this outfit is looking to take Curtis Mayfield’s expansive soul vision and update it. I like parts of the track, most notable the funky verse section that kicks the verse off, the bridge less so. The way the strings are arranged is track connects to Curtis Mayfield. I would most definitely listen to more of this record but I wouldn’t give this record record of the year based on this one track. It’s a solid corporate soul track with flashes of inspiration but not bangin’ all the way through.

Music for 8/25/22!!! Hot Buttered Rum, The Harlem Gospel Travelers

@@@ Hot Buttered Rum: No Reason Why (N/A, 2022) I can’t find this track on Apple Music so I’m forced to listen on GooglePimpTube. I got to this bluegrass track via a music publicist email. It’s a full ensemble including organ which is cool but a bit weird for bluegrass, no? Am I imagining that? Big friendly NPR feels here. Again not opposed to friendliness but I do love me some contrast so friendly lyrics, friendly organ, and friendly singer end up becoming a bit one dimensional.

@@@ The Harlem Gospel Travelers: Look Up (N/A, 2022) Big joyous, old school jump up and down old school soul vibes here. Strong black church connections, excellent singing, Motown drumming etc., the full package. You can hear other classic r&b tracks in the second tune, my hard drive is not spinning fast enough to make the connection but the familiarity here is not subtle. There’s some guitar driven rocking going on, which is cool, but I could use something to stamp this unique — it could be an instrument, a production value, even something in the vocal performance. Just as with the tune above this appears aimed at NPR listeners going for that uplifting vibe and not critical listeners. Which I be, a critical listener. Big ups to the drummer.

Music for 2/20/22!!! Silas Short

@@@ Silas Short: Queen of Paisley (Stones Throw, 2022) Line of Best Fit!!! Mr. Short is most definitely being marketed as next generation sensitive soul musician and he surely sports a mainstream smile and vibe from the pics I seen googling him. This is the sixth track on a 7 track effort and it opens with some classic sounds over a pretty pumped drum sound. Minimalist and pumped. Short comes in and he’s got a gentle voice that matches the flow they’re marketing. I like the chorus, it’s ultra lush but without gimmicks and some super simple background vocals panned out wide. This is built sturdy. It’s not a revolutionary formula so the sounds and the arrangement really matter here in terms of making an impression. I’m going to check the first track to see if this vibe is present throughout or if this is an outlier. Yeah it’s a black hippie flow and he does a really good job with it. I like how high he has the beats so it’s got some spank to it. There’s also a fair amount of guitar work and a lot of keyboard/synth driven soul/r&b leaves me wanting more. I’ve sampled parts of four tracks and you can hear he’s a bit young but there’s a charm to what he’s got going on. It’s organic, I dig the guitar playing, and the beats are classic — I think they’re drum loops but I’m not 100% on this.

Music 9/28/21!!! L’Orange, Henry Threadgill

@@@ L’Orange: Coffee (Mello Music, 2021) I really like this label, they release some really creative records. This track is number 6 on the record and it sports a combo platter jazzy/hip hop flow. With upright bass and sax but also a bit chopped and looped for your listening pleasure. I’m not sure we’re gonna see an MC here or in other tracks but I like the sounds. Flute at the end and let me peep another track. I switched over to the first track and this is why I dig this label — instead of an MC each tune has a Spanish speaker starting up in Spanish and then an English translator of the Spanish language while the guy keeps on and all happening while the sounds play. Nice job L’Orange, excellent job in fact. Just tryin’ to make a liar out of me that strategy is not on the second track, there’s a chopped up soul singer droppin’ a lot of ooh, baby. There’s creativity afoot here and I’m psyched to listen more closely to this record when I have the time. Peep this.

@@@ Henry Threadgill: Happenstance (Pi, 2021) Huge Henry Threadgill over here. Love the tuba, Threadgill’s playing of course, less of a fan of the nerdy guitar tone (personal preference), don’t love the drum sound but like the drummer. The first tune is an 8 minute banger that builds. I clicked through to the second track, the title track of the record and I like a bunch of the passages here. The sound of the record works against the music a tad, it’s quite sterile and without saturation. Threadgill is an American treasure and I’m more into the playing as this title track moves on partially because he’s at the center of the action. Some of Threadgill’s records have been super raucous affairs and it takes a bit of time to get used to the spacious version of this ensemble but the mood is very understandable.

Music for 3/3/21!!! Mouse on Mars, Lost Horizons, Altin Gun

@@@ Mouse on Mars: Walking and Talking (Thrill Jockey, 2021) All three of today’s listens are off this week’s All Music notable release email. 20 songs, 62 minutes, electronic music. This is the fifth track on the record and it’s very mechanical sounding, chopped a lot with some distorted vocals that still convey a feel. In rhythm it comes off as garage-y type techno with some bug sounds added. Outside of the spray of rhythms and the voice there’s not a lot going on. I wish there was a bass here cuz I love bass. I like the vocalist/spoken word fella but overall I feel the record is short on pumping and a bit to art school-y for me. I like the typewriter type rhythms they get into but I could use more.

@@@ Lost Horizons: In Quiet Moments (Bella Union, 2021) A 73 minute monster shot of an indie soul record with a lot of guests on it, almost every tune. Mr. Ural Thomas sings on this one and he’s rocking a very light and comforting soul singing style. The band behind him sounds a bit indie but also adequately soulful. I like the track but I feel like excess reverb washes it out a bit too much. The spaciousness weakens the energy. The flavors here are going to jump around as a different singer hits the mic for each track. Wish I liked the production more.

@@@ Altin Gun: Kara Toprak (ATO, 2021) A bit psych, a bit funk, a bit rock all rolled up into a chilled out dancefloor banger propelled by a wah wah guitar loop. I believe this outfit has a connection to Turkey so there’s some Middle Eastern flavors up in here but subtle. I love Middle Eastern music btw, gimme more if you got it. Reminds me a bit of early Talking Heads before duder got mad annoying. A female singer comes in and she’s presented in a dreamy, chill fashion. Washes of chorused guitar blossom behind her and it gets handed off to a synth to drop a faux horn line in the break. I like the rhythm section here while liking all of it. It’s spacy and a bit dubwise on the top while pumping chill rhythms beneath.

Music for 6/19/20!!! H.E.R., Deathnoisefrequency, Philip Michael Scales, Kush Jones

@@@ H.E.R.: I Can’t Breathe (RCA/Sony, 2020)  I saw this protest song mentioned on the Root’s daily email.  It’s a slow jam heavy on beats and retro soul drama.  The hand drumming reminds me of classic Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield.  The string arrangement in the chorus is super stylish — there are some really pretty flourishes here without the tune collapsing into over drama.  H.E.R.’s rolling delivery that doesn’t pause adds a subtle urgency to the track.  This is really well done — the lyrics focus on recent events.  There is a raw ass mostly spoken word/a little rapped section that really ups the impact of the track.  Ignorant, privileged eyes, no you didn’t say that ’bout white folks!!  Yes she did.  Excellent job in not holding back on the sentiment — no dilution and the anger combined with the sounds is very powerful.

@@@  Deathnoisefrequency: Chapter III: The Mortician’s Lamenting Dirge ( 2020)  I saw this noise duo from Saudi Arabia mentioned on an indie blog called Indiepulse.  I can only imagine how fertile the parched fascist earth of Saudi Arabia is for resistance/noisy fuck you types of music.  There is quite a bit of censorship in Saudi Arabia so it might even be dangerous to make this kind of music there.  BTW, fuck that MBS bitch ass who runs Saudi Arabia.  This comes out with a collection of noisy ass sounds layered — banging power chords, some exhaling voice sounds, cycling feedback and a generally dark and aggro feel.  Here’s a singer, old school and spoken word-y, he’s got a bit of the dark wizard Lord of the Rings incantation shit to him.  It spends most of its time chugging along as an old school Sabbath/Danzig flavored thing.  He changes it up and outright sings more after he comes in.  The drummer is sporting a hard rock sound and playing approach.  It’s pleasantly retro but I was hoping for a more distinctly noisy show.

@@@  Philip Michael Scales: Find a Way (The Company You Keep, 2020) I got to this track via a music publicist in the Midwest.  It’s a retro soul/rock sound with a firm beat, active hi hats and sweet singing over at least two guitar tracks.  Apple Music has this as indie pop which isn’t really correct, it’s soul rock.  I like Scales’ voice and the lyrics focus on overcoming personal internal adversity and finding a way forward.  His voice is my favorite component of the tune and I could have used some more varied drumming.

@@@ Kush Jones: Earth Note (Future Times, 2020)  Saw this techno artist namechecked on the Twatter!  Me love the Twatter.  Stuck with GooglePimp!  It’s a classic techno dancefloor banger but with world music flavors in additional to classic techno unt-sss.  A lot of layers of simple rhythms here — splashing hats, four on the floor, the stop and go bass with synth puffs and string patches.  You get a nice, pretty epic keyboard solo and the energy here is firm and fresh.  High quality sounds professionally put together.

YTD recordings listened to: 464
Good music, not list worthy: 236
Not good music: 205

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, 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, 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, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole

Music for 2/5/20!!! Fake Tony and Taydex, Steve Spacek, Prophet

@@@ Fake Tony and Taydex: Wake Up — let’s peep some Bandcamp records of the day and start out with today’s choice, some menacing and dark hip hop that doesn’t seem to embrace gangsta themes of violence and anti-female feels.  Fat bass, a sung chorus and trappish beats on this first track.  There are three pre-release highlight tunes and I like them.  A little party shout out theme on this second track Magnifique and I like the beats but do prefer full trap beats.  Hipster hop.

@@@ Steve Spacek: Houses (n/a, 2019) Opens up with some r&b swerved to the side with jazz keyboard influences, some electro garnish, oops there it goes into a smooth dancefloor banger.  People with jobs out on the dance floor!  Spacek’s falsetto vocal work and funkier arrangements put this techno into a different category.  There are passages here I find really compelling and other places not so much.

@@@ Prophet: Don’t Forget It (Stones Throw, 2019)  A record by a bedroom funk producer out of the Bay Area.  Prince feels (without the guitars), some nice keyboard playing and good singing.  It does indeed make me appreciate Prince more than it makes me want to listen to this record.  I like this a bunch and I like Prince more.

YTD recordings listened to: 95
Good music, not list worthy: 55
Not good music: 40

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, 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, 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, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge

Music for 10/15/19!!! Hollie Keniff, Summer Walker, Spencer

@@@ Hollie Keniff: Field Edge (nm5D, 2019)  I got to this track from a twat on the Twatter.  I’m all up on these Youtube videos today as I don’t have access to Apple Music.  I can open it but I can’t stream but I do see this is a pre release track.  It’s ambient with swooshy vocal oohs and ahs, at least at the beginning.  Well we’re halfway through and it looks like these synths and vocals are what’s on offer today.  I like it all right but I don’t think it’s dicky to ask for more.  Oooh, there’s a nice dark rumble developing, I dig that.  A little contrast as the French say.  It comes and goes like that and I like it all right.  It may just be me but I tend to shy away from vocals in my ambient music, I dig the fully abstract sounds.  But I’m an idiot and that’s me.

@@@ Summer Walker: Tonight (LVRN/Interscope, 2019) From the Fader 10 songs you need in your life from this week.  Some of today’s hot synth sounds for a sensous female driven love song.  Chill trappish beats it’s a lot of vocal tracks, background tracks and this is more of a confessional love jam than a standard verse/chorus thing.  If this track was a foodstuff it’s a snacky, dim sum kind of thing, not a meal.  I like the sounds, too many vocal tracks.

@@@ Spencer: Automatic ( , 2019) Also from the 10 songs you need in your life.  I would call this an alt r&b/funk track with a classic funk bass, a retro beat/loop, an occasional synth blast and lolly vocals.  Thick and smooth vocals it’s a tune about a gent’s automatic love for his female.  I like the vocals and the beats the least and the bass player the most by far.  I’m agnostic on the singer.  Overall the tune is solid without being necessary to my life.  Check for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 533
Good music, not list worthy: 318
Not good music: 180

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, 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, 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, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Emma Louise, Andre Bratten, Nathan Corder/Tom Weeks, Oli XL, Buzzherd, Logistic Slaughter, The Muslims, Tobe Nwigwe, Saint Abdullah, Bug Martin, Kaleta and the Super Yamba Band, Toko Telo, Brittany Howard, The Garifuna Collective, Mariachi El Bronx, Bonnie Baxter

Music for 6/26/19!!! Band Apart, Black Pumas

@@@ Band Apart: Band Apart (Crammed, 2019)  I usually turn to Crammed Discs for super hot African music including Konono No. 1 and Acid Arab which is a very underrated record.  This is on the rock tip and I’m seeing it originally came out in the early ’80s.  It’s pretty good rock with a female singer, it’s got some outdated sounds, but the energy is tight and it has more depth to it than a lot of rock.  The title track (clipped below) is tense and kraut-y and I like this music.  I don’t like it as much as Konono No. 1 and Acid Arab but that’s comparing oranges to African apples.  If you’re a young hipster check it out to realize how much recycling goes on in music.

@@@ Black Pumas: Black Pumas (ATO, 2019)  Some sort of soul music off this week’s All Music notable release email.  It comes out retro as bell bottom jeans in the first tune Black Moons Rising.  All analog from what I can tell, no chopped up beats and thick synth bass sounds.  I can go either way so I’m not judge-y.  The singer is super flavorful with a classic yearning soul voice.  No James Brown/Sharon Jones gravelly funk, this gent is smooth.  I like rough or smooth, so I’m not judge-y.  The second tune opens up with an interesting acoustic guitar figure.  I find myself listening to the organ player a whole bunch, he/she really swells up and fills the tunes with a classic organ sweet filling.  The lyrics are mostly concerned with racial justice for black folks, which I support and am happy to listen to.  I could use a coupla party tracks at the front of the record, but that’s just me.  Excellent sounds, great voice on the singer and funky playing.

YTD recordings listened to: 320
Good music, not list worthy: 190
Not good music: 112

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, 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, 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, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Emma Louise

Music for 3/28/19!!! Sheridan Reed, Ava Mendoza, Dean Lewis

@@@ Sheridan Reed: Money Maker (N/A, 2019)  I got to this soul/r&b single via a music publicist email.  It is a bit of a white boy frat r&b tune with the singer sound mad similar to the deceased singer from Sublime.  I appreciate the groove but overall it’s not really my thing.  It’s not my kind of soulful.

@@@ Ava Mendoza: Unnatural Ways (New Atlantis, 2018)  I got to this out rock guitarist’s record via a gig announcement from the awfully pretentious Brooklyn club National Sawdust.  It’s a big guitar rock formula here a la Frank Zappa without the childish lyrics and my favorite part of the record is the organ player.  Whoever is rocking that is doing a good job and the tone of the organ fills out the bass space and gives the record a fullness.  All the players are good and this is medium bluster and pretty accessible though it sounds like Mendoza has jazz training.

@@@ Dean Lewis: Stay Awake (Island, 2019)  This is a hot track at Apple Music and it sounds like a label and an A&R person want to take a bite out of Ed Sheeran’s audience and his bank account.  The production here is exquisite and polished but the tune is cliche trash except with an Aussie accent to class it up.  You would hear this at a gas station or while you may be getting a colonoscopy.  Maybe not at a colonoscopy factory because the tune is a bit of one by itself.  Maybe a dentist’s office.  These emotions are so recycled I can’t give it an iota of love.

YTD recordings listened to: 164
Good music, not list worthy: 97
Not good music: 61

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, 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, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg