@@@ Young Fathers: Cocoa Sugar (Ninja Tune, 2018) Off an All Music weekly email from a couple of months ago. These guys are from Edinburgh and they employ a genre mash that most Americans won’t employ. They smash together electronic sounds with indie fragility, hip hop, and soul music. I know there are American musicians working these sounds but there’s a distinctly un-American vibe here. Unfortunately an overarching impression is one of art school reflection and self conciousness. I sure wish it hit a little harder but it doesn’t. I know that I’m a minority in this area and things I’m criticizing here are perfectly acceptable to millions of listeners so check for yourself.
@@@ Eric Chenaux: Slowly Paradise (Constellation, 2018) Off the same All Music weekly email. If you took King Crimson and smashed them into the guitar player from Phish you would have something close to this record. The second tune brings in vocals that change the equation and make it it more of a standards kinda thing. So it’s some prog vibes, some hippy vibes and some songwriter vibes. The guitar is highly processed and layered and purposely wanky and chunked up into pieces but that’s been on all three of the tunes so that’s core to the concept. While I’m not enjoying the music immensely I give him points for creativity.
@@@ August Greene: August Greene (Self-released, 2018) Super concious hip hop off the All Music weekly email. This is not going to be a down and dirty trap excursion this is aimed at a different demographic with Robert Glasper adding sparse piano in this first tune. And the whole record for that matter. I like it all right. I’m all for the uplifting lyrics but there’s something about the overall impression produced by the music that seems a bit predictable and set up for NPR listeners. Regular readers know that I’m obsessed with hip hopper Open Mike Eagle and if you contrast his ultra original concious hip hop with this music it makes this seem wooden and closed off to a lot of sonic possibilities available to hip hop. Be sure to check out Open Mike Eagle, I don’t really see how if you’re a real music fan you could not be blown away by his 2017 Brick Body Kids Still Daydream.
YTD recordings listened to: 281
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 148
Not good music: 124
Honorable Mentions: 4
Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs