Music for 2/11/19!!! Jonathan Finlayson, The Black Drumset, Combo Chimbita

@@@ Jonathan Finlayson: 3 Times Around (Pi, 2019) Blurbed as dense and elastic jazz music on the Apple Music this jazz record sports two horns, a pianist, bassist and drummer.  I’m feeling the drummer and his energy for sure.  I have reviewed this label before and have said critical things of records and have had musicians get up in my face so you know Lord knows I don’t want to stir the shit pot again.  It’s well played jazz if not a tad on the conservative side.  I prefer more fire and exploration but these are just personal preferences.

@@@ The Black Drumset: There’s a Shark in the Boat (N/A, 2019) A pre-release indie single that I got to via a music publicist email.  I hear this as a synth rocker, coming out  with a rolling and rocking tom beat, an accompanying synth line and some intimate kinda shoegaze vocals.  After the initial rollout it gets kinda jammy which lends a proggy feeling to the track.  Oh, I see from the video that there are two drummers, I get it.  An updated hippie Grateful Dead kinda thing.  It never really breaks itself out of its initial statement but it’s a cool vibe for the hipsters.

@@@ Combo Chimbita: Testigo (ANTI-, 2019) A pre-release single that I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  Opening up with a hypnotic delayed guitar line, followed by a midetempo shuffle beat, this Latin rock single combines a lot of sounds.  A little African, some electronic sounds, and a bit of rock as the singer sounds a bit like overrated Patty Smyth.  I like this singer, she has weight.  Besides the singer I’m enjoying the simple yet powerfully propulsive bassline and I give props for flying the freak flag.  I like it a bunch without jumping up and down.

YTD recordings listened to: 79
Good music, not list worthy: 44
Not good music: 31

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

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Music for 1/21/19!!! Mdou Moctar, Ariana Grande, Freddy Poundz

@@@ MDOU MOCTAR: Kamane Tarhanin (Sahel Sounds, 2019) Also off the WRIR playlist email. A pre-release single aimed at all the Tinariwen fans out there. Group vocals/chants, buzzed out West African guitars and blend of rock and African drumming. I can sup on the circular guitar riffs all day, it’s good stuff as these guys and gals play their asses off. About 45 seconds from the end somebody steps on the distortion pedal and they boost the tempo bigly. Tinariwen is powered by hand drumming so the kit drummer here does change the vibe of the proceedings but the shredding is of the same quality and maybe even a bit more rocking.

@@@ Ariana Grande: 7 rings (UMG, 2019) We must be approaching Peak Grande, no pun intended! It’s a thug trap takeoff on the old track ‘Favorite Things’ with the offensive, pro-loot shop therapy lyrics — I want it, I get it. I want it, I get it, well good for you even if it’s ironic and it happens in the wake of heartbreak. At this point Ariana Grande can have whatever sounds she digs — ya know, she wants it, she gets it. It’s a creative move to take a classic melody and pimp it out but it’s pretty regressive to have lyrics praising materialism and celebrity and fame in this way. There’s barely any room between these lyrics and Trump’s gaudy orange haired crassness. I’m sure her PR team would vehemently disagree but it’s true.

@@@ FREDDY POUNDZ: Samba [Single] (Majorbill Entertainment, 2019) A great stage name for bout a fat dude and/or a porn star so efficient naming right there. I think Mr. Poundz is going for the dancefloor bootycall on this track and they do build quite a massive groove that evokes hip hop and world music rhythms at the same time. I’m going to see where Mr. Poundz hails from. Lagos, Nigeria, will wonders never cease! I did a quick search and it looks like Brazilian samba has jumped the ocean and landed in Nigeria. I have no idea how widespread it is but the drum machine programming is excellent and Mr. Poundz is low and lusty on the microphone. I can’t tell how X rated it is cuz he sports a think accent.

YTD recordings listened to: 44
Good music, not list worthy: 26
Not good music: 17

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

Music for 1/15/19!!! HAMA, BASSEKOU KOUYATE, Gessafelstein and the Weeknd

@@@ HAMA: Houmeissa (Sahel Sounds, 2019) This is a record due out in a few days and there’s only one track up on the Apple Music.  A lot of West African music focuses on the guitar but this is all about the keyboards.  It is like a black African YES tune with a drum machine and it’s pretty jarring.  A tad proggy, a little funky and no vocals thus far.  I can’t say I love the track but it’s a fresh combination of sounds and ideas for sure.  This could work in Williamsburg or in college music programs.

@@@ BASSEKOU KOUYATE AND NGONI BA: Deli (Out Here, 2018) I have dug previous Bassekou Kouyate releases as he just shreds his electric ngoni ba.  This is another pre-release track ahead of a full length release at the end of this month.  After a back and forth string intro they get into a full, rhythmic stew with gorgeous female singers over the top.  It’s not a hot shred, it’s a loping medium tempo beauteous thing.  Kouyate takes a clean and deft solo a little before 3 minutes but otherwise sit back and behold the groove.

@@@  Gesaffelstein & The Weeknd: Lost in the Fire (Columbia, 2019)  #1 in the Apple Music hot tracks.  It’s a combo platter quiet storm/booty call track.  I haven’t heard the track with the Weeknd that has made think he’s as genius and this doesn’t change my mind.  We lost a lot of things in the fire, that’s the vocal hook.  I think it’s a metaphorical fire of love and not a building on fire.  The sounds are electronic, the kids love those these days, and it’s basically a horny Lionel Richie tune both sonically and lyrically.  He wants to do her slow with the lights on.  Behave.

YTD recordings listened to: 30
Good music, not list worthy: 21
Not good music: 8

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

Music for 12/3/18!!! Babylon Trio, Zazou Bikaye, ZAYN

@@@ BABYLON TRIO: Habibi (Rebel Up, 2018) Off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  Three Iraqi musicians emigrate to Belgium as refugees and make music.  I guess you could fool yourself into thinking that this would be a reggae record but these guys hail from the original Babylon, you dig.  It’s Middle Eastern music with a fair amount of weird modern sounds combined with traditional playing.  It’s pleasantly mental.  On their bandcamp they describe themselves having a street sound and I agree with that.  I like all the musicians — the percussionist is energetic while the keyboard player pumps out clouds of weird patches and pretty hot playing.  Some of these synth patches are cheesy ass Casio like sounds but then he starts running up and down the keyboard.  I’m going to circle back on this record, it’s hot and weird.

@@@ ZAZOU BIKAYE:  Na Kenda [EP]  (Crammed, 2018)  I’m not sure what’s going on with this two track tune.  I’m guessing it’s a re-issue as it’s on this week’s WRIR playlist email while Apple Music says it was released in 1988.  It sure contains ’80s sounds arranged in a world music/disco type of aspiration.  I find the electronic squirles and the bells to give a lot of energy and funk to the track.  I appreciate it while not super digging it.

@@@ ZAYN: Rainberry (Vampisoul, 2018)  White boy funk/soul a la Justin Timberlake.  Some medium funky sounds, some falsetto vocals and we’re off to the races.  He comes out of the falsetto for the chorus and I can’t begin to tell you what a rainberry is.  He is definitely smack talking somebody but I could really give a fuck.  This is strictly a panty quaker for the ladies (and the gay gents).  If you’re not into him it’s a pretty average tune.

YTD recordings listened to: 664
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 360
Not good music: 260

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, Gouge Away, Barro, Daniel Khan, Vaudou Game, Tallawit Timbouctou, Babylon Trio

Music for 11/27/18!!! Natalia Clavier, Meek Mill, Anchorsong

@@@ NATALIA CLAVIER: Trans (Nacional, 2018)  I got to this world rock record via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  It is slotted as Rock y Alternativo but to me this first sounds much morel like a smooth jazz/soul mash.  The second tune is even less rocking, it’s got a distinctly electro soul vibe with vocals in Spanish.  This third tune does have a slightly rocking texture to it but let’s not get too bogged in genre tags.  The production is pretty lush, the tunes are solid without grabbing you by the shirt.

@@@ Meek Mill: Oodles of Noodles Babies (Maybach/Atlantic, 2018)  Meek Mill is larger than an MC now as he became a symbol of unjustified overincarceration.  As much as I support him I haven’t loved his track.  He brings a lot of energy to this track which is sonically uses old r&b sounds to make a track for him to rhyme over.  He’s got some really good lines in this track and I like this a whole bunch more than what I’ve heard to this point.  He’s got a great line about how young black males go from playing video games to carrying guns.

@@@ Anchorsong: Cohesion (True Thoughts, 2018) A Japanese born musician living in London inspired by Indian Bollywood and Indian classical percussion.  This first tune is super grooved out so it’s not going to delve into the polyrhythmic complexities of Indian classical.  There’s also a guitar player so we’re looking at a stylistic mash of sounds.  There’s a lightness to the first two tracks I’ve listened to which some people might find really enjoyable.  I prefer my grooves to be more developed and harder.  I like it well enough but I was left wanting more.

YTD recordings listened to: 656
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 356
Not good music: 258

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, Gouge Away, Barro, Daniel Khan, Vaudou Game, Tallawit Timbouctou

Music for 11/20/18!!! Vaudou Game, Ras Medy, Tallawit Timbouctou

@@@ VAUDOU GAME: Otodi  (Hot Casa, 2018)  I got to this record via this week’s WRIR playlist email.  Vaudou Game is a top flight African funk outfit.  This is some Trans Atlantic James Brown shit for sure.  Fatness at all positions — chicken scratch guitar, tighter than a well digger’s ass drummer, funky bass player, and swinging horn section.  What more can you ask for?  I’m not going to go on and on as this is the internet age and you can peep music for yourself but this is the shit.  The record sounds great and I’m on the third tune and they’re all funky as fuck.  This will make my list for 2018 for sure.

@@@ Ras Medy: All I Want (Thr33land Enterprises, 2018)  Modern dancehall also off the WRIR weekly email.  Smooth sounds in the arrangement as well as the vocals.  Think a couple shades darker than Drake, naimsayin’?  Drake flirts more with dancehall while this guy is swimming in the pool.  It’s not my favorite style of Jamaican music but I will take this over Drake in a hot minute.

@@@ Tallawit Timbouctou: Hali Diallo (Sahel Sounds, 2018)  I was combing through the WRIR playlist email to replace a record that I had put up for review but I had heard it before.  So down the bottom of the page there was this record and it’s happening.  I often write about super clean African music and how I don’t prefer it and here we have an electrified lute and it’s the opposite of that.  It’s got a bite to it that I find invigorating.  After the 7 minute opening jam they get into the title track (clipped below) and it is the same hand drumming, monster lute and trance style singing.  It most definitely have jam band vibes to it but this guy shreds up one side and down the other.  It is rare for me to find two bangin’ records in one day, but here we are.  I’m going to swing back for the full show but this is happening African music for sure and folks should check it out!  If you compare this to white boy psychedelic music this stomps it.

YTD recordings listened to: 649
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 352
Not good music: 255

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, Gouge Away, Barro, Daniel Khan, Vaudou Game, Tallawit Timbouctou