Music for 7/18/18!!! Orlando Caichito Lopez, Balun, Dirty Projectors

@@@ Orlando Caichito Lopez: Caichito (World Circuit, 2001/18) A reissue by premiere Cuban bassist Orlando Lopez. If you can’t enjoy this Cuban music you might be too stupid to live. This ticks a lot of boxes for great music — sophisticated rhythms, beautiful melodies, great playing etc. Instruments on this first piece include flute, trombone, strings, organ and conga in addition to the great bass player. Hipsters rejoice, you can get this on vinyl for the first time. This is a great summer record that works for both cubicle dwellers as well as devoted music listeners. The production is ambient and spacious without being muddled and the playing is great.

@@@ Balun: Anos Atros (Good Child, 2018) Sticking with the Latin musicians we move neighborhoods to a San Juan-Brooklyn outfit and this pre-release single that combines electronica, dreamy vocals and touches of Latin music. It redeems itself with high and real energy as well as scoring high on the quirk scale. The arrangement itself is quite complex with multiple rhythmic sources and a lot of different sounds. I would listen to more of this.

@@@ Dirty Projectors: Lamp Lit Prose (Domino, 2018) Off this week’s All Music notable release email. The gent leading this outfit has been exploring the notion of indie funk (black music) for a bit and this first tune is a pretty good realization with classic soul vocal delivery in places, well placed horn lines as well as indie quirk and stupidness. He also evokes some Paul Simon crossover records which I’m not sure is a great thing. It’s tricked arranging for sure but I’m not sure I love the results. It sounds like it’s trying awful hard to be upbeat and optimistic — regular readers know how much I love the mandatory music cheerleading. If you dig the upbeat indie optimism you will be rewarded by a music nerd’s arranging virtuosity.

YTD recordings listened to: 416
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 217
Not good music: 185

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

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Music for 7/5/18!!! Yasmine Hamdan, Fer Gonzalez, Junglepussy

@@@ Yasmine Hamdan – Jamilat Reprise (Crammed Discs) A blend of Arabic and pop electronic sounds I got to via this week’s CFUV playlist email. I’m a pretty devoted listener of Belgium’s Crammed Disc label. This first tune is slow and torchy with ringing piano and Hamdan’s plaintive singing. Jamilat Reprise is a record of remixes so it’s going to have a deconstructed feel to it. I enjoy that myself, cubicle dwellers might not like that as much. There is a remix by Acid Arab who made a great record in (oh, let me look up when) 2016! If you’re a fan of electronic world music and you want to hear songs reimagined in pieces by a variety of remixers this could work bigly for you. It’s a tad poppy for me, the sounds and production that is.

@@@ Fer Gonzalez – Mariachi – Mi Nombre Es Mexico (Arc) I’m going out of my way to review Mexican and Latin music during this Trumpian toilet time to show my appreciation and respect for Mexican culture. Not all Americans are ill racist, xenophobic bitches. I recently recommended the Tex Mex record by the Los Texmaniacs and we follow it up with this big mariachi record. It opens up super romantic with huge string flourishes, big horn lines and a torchy singer. I own tons and tons of vintage Latin records (due to my untreated mental illness) so I’m not used to hearing the Celine Dion like production. The tunes are on the slower, ballad-y side which is not my preference but these folks can play for sure. I hope folks take a few minutes to check it out

@@@ Junglepussy – JP3 (Self-Released) Off this week’s CFUV playlist email. A female MC gets all up in pussy related issues on this hip hop record. Ms. Junglepussy appears to have Caribbean ethnicity/influences and she is strong on the mic. I’m not scared of Junglepussy, well maybe a little bit. In this first tune, State of the Union (clipped below) Junglepussy is mixing it up with other lesser talented female MCS and spitting them out in pieces. The second tune, Get Down, is less confrontational but still plenty muscled up with a trippy arrangement and a thick beat. It’s a slow booty club banger that makes Miley Cyrus sounds like a skinny chicken. On the third tune, Long Way Home, she declares that she’s ‘feeling the dick, all the way up in my armpit.’ Hmmm, that’s something you don’t hear every day. Junglepussy is strong and she’s explicit and she’s feeling the dick, all the way up in her armpit. Good for her. I wanted more of the boasters that open up the record but if you’re looking for a piquant bouquet of booty call anthems, Junglepussy will hook you up.

YTD recordings listened to: 385
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 202
Not good music: 171

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

Music for 6/25/18!!! Elysia Crampton, KYLYPSO, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Sam Valdez

@@@ Elysia Crampton: Self-titled EP (Break World, 2018) I got to this electronic record by a Bolivian American electronic producer from the Guardian’s best records of 2018.  The first tune, Nativity, is a glorious glitchy mess of sounds, some Latin, some trippy and some electronic.  It’s all swirled up in a slightly overwhelming mix which I’m feasing on. The second tune Solinilita is more stripped down but with a beat that is tightly latched to a manic metallic, triangle like arpeggio that will slice up your attention span.  The third tune is centered around some hand drums and a tremolo-ed accordion like synth and a mashed up staticky cloud synth.  This is pretty interesting music and I haven’t found anything on one of these best of lists for a long ass time.  I will circle back on this record when I have time to listen to the whole thing.

@@@ KYLYPSO: Honestly (Art Casual, 2018)  Some super breezy and sunny ass indie disco biscuit from tracks of the week at Line of Best Fit.  Get your fucking rolling skates out cuz it’s that sort of jam.  It’s got a Nile Rodgers inspired guitar vamp, some steel drum synth patches and a soft and engaging male singer urging you to speak honestly and then waste your day away with him.  I don’t want to him hit in the face but it’s not my thing, it’s just a wee bit anthemic.  More than a wee bit possibly.

@@@ Vancouver Sleep Clinic, IDK: Trippin’ (Vancouver Sleep Clinic, 2018) Another single off the tracks of the week at Line of Best fit.  This track opens up loverboy Bieber-y though not as saccharine.  The arrangement is smooth and Bieber-y not the vocal hook per se.  Not a great sign.  It’s pretty orchestrated and somewhat bittersweet but I find the Autotune on the vocal a bit of a drag.  An MC makes a solid appearance amongst the lush ruins of the tune.  It’s a love song, I think, but I’m not entirely sure of the inspiration for this downtempo cookie.  Not a biscuit but a cookie is the rating here.

@@@ Sam Valdez: Funeral (N/A, 2018)  This is a pre-release single from an upcoming full length from a young woman that I know nothing about except she has a single up at tracks of the week.  She is quite Velvet Underground-y and chic blase over a sort of Spaghetti Western indie guitar sound.   Big shiny guitar flourishes, some tremolo, a straight rock beat you could never find, and some yearning.  The yearning.  Ah, the wheat, how I miss the wheat.  She sounds pretty and sad, that’s pretty much it.  I think she’s been inspired by Lana Del Rey which I think is not great musical inspiration despite her fleshy and swollen lips which are a natural wonder.  Who knows about Lana Del Rey’s lips?  Hit me up!

YTD recordings listened to: 353
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 186
Not good music: 159

Best: 6
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, 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,

Music for 6/12/18!!! Chancha Via Circuito, ETRAN DE L’AIR, Walter Smith III

@@@ CHANCHA VIA CIRCUITO | Bienaventuranza (Wonderwheel, 2018)  A Latin music/electronica mash which seems to be kind of trendy these days.  I got to it via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  The first track opens up with some heavy drumming and high stringed instrument playing.  Super pretty and pretty standard as well as I have dozens of these types of records in my collection.  The production is going for an epic but not arena epic — more of a it’s a big world kind of sound.  I can’t say I love the production, it’s a tad too large for my taste.  I’m on the third tune and I think it’s a bit sleepy — there are electronic flourishes to be had but it’s not super integrated into the tunes as much more than a garnish for a Latin music record.  I like it but I could use more energy.

 

 

 

 

 

@@@ ETRAN DE L’AIR: No. 1 (Sahel Sounds, 2018)  I got to this African music record also off the WRIR weekly playlist email.  It’s got a pleasantly punk rock lo fi sound to the first tune with a couple of guitars going — one single line and the other rhythm — with a cracking and crushed drum kit going.  There are only three tunes up on the bandcamp for folks to check out but this is the kind of African business I can get with.  There is a bio on the bandcamp page so you can read about them if you want to know about their northern Niger roots and where they’re at.  This third tune, Tenere Maliat, is straight up smoking so don’t miss out on that.

 

 

 

@@@ Walter Smith III: Twio (Self-released, 2018). Off a twat from the Twatter by the twatter guy Bird is the Worm.  Some lushly produced straight jazz with sax, drums and bass as the main instrumentation (a couple of guest on a few tracks as well).  This is jazz for people with medium high paying jobs and really clean white teeth.  There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s prettiness is more obvious than it’s engaging improv (at least to my dumbass ears).  The sounds are all really nice, the playing is good and I’m sure there are a fair number of unadventurous listeners who might dig this.  I make no apologies for wanting to hear jazz cats go totally mental on their instruments.

YTD recordings listened to: 322
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 168
Not good music: 143

Best: 5
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, Etran De L’Air

Music for 6/4/18!!! Kanye West, Angelique Kidjo, Weezer

@@@ Kanye West: All Mine (Def Jam, 2018)  We’re going track by track on one of Trump’s greatest black fans.  Unfortunately.  I like the sounds here and the vocal track.  It’s a sex romp so it’s basically Kanye talking about pussy and tits and cum.  There’s a Stormy Daniels reference and some other celebrity chatter.  The sung vocal hook is pretty slick, the rapping is all right except sorta low IQ and the arrangement is B+.  He still sounds more than a bit crazy if I’m not projecting onto him and his music.

 

@@@ Angelique Kidjo: Once in a Lifetime (Kravenwerks, 2018)  A Talking Heads cover by the long running female African singer.  It’s a pretty creative choice for a cover as the lyrics revolve around existential first world problems but to hear them put into a third world musical context is jarring and interesting.  Kidjo has a beautiful and strong voice and she recreates the tune with African hand drumming, some highlife influenced guitar playing and a pleasing amount of African music sauce.  Not the deepest thing but a cool summer vibe.

@@@ Weezer: Africa (Atlantic, 2018)  Another cover but this time Weezer, a band that I have no respect for, takes a shitty tune from the 1980s and breathes ‘life’ into it.  It’s most likely ironic, oh no he did it for the power chords in the chorus.  This is the ol’ Toto track, oy.  In a reflection of current cultural trends, this weakass tune covered competently has 3.5 million views on the GooglePimpTube and Kidjo sings and plays the shit out of an old Talking Heads tune and has 41,000 hits.  Ah well, white people love the corn and they just can’t seem to find space for black music outside of hip hop in their lives.  Their loss, crackerasses.

YTD recordings listened to: 305
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 160
Not good music: 135

Best: 5
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

 

 

Music for 6/1/18!!! Kanye West, Gorillaz, Diali Cissokho

@@@ Kanye West: I Thought About Killing You (Def Jam/UMG, 2018). We’re going to go track by track on piece of shit Kanye West’s new record.  I really think West’s work on Pusha T’s new record is super hot, but this track is not as rough.  He gets into some heavy shit on this first tune, like suicide and murder and life and death but I’m not sure it holds together either lyrically or musically.  He’s poppier in his arrangements and there’s the problem where you have to either accept that he makes sense with his lyrics or he doesn’t.   I don’t know if I’m projecting onto him but he sounds kinda disturbed, or he’s playing at being disturbed which is a little disturbing but the tune isn’t as disturbing as I think he wants it to be.

@@@ Gorillaz: Humility (feat. George Benson) (N/A, 2018). It’s straight up party time on Apple Music so the hot tracks section is stuffed with hip hop and this tune is an outlier.  It’s a throwback track, a midtempo breezy funk that surely exceeds Calvin Harris’ recent ham dicked funk attempts.  I don’t love the singer here, nor the synth clouds but not in a overly bitchy way.  It’s got 5 million views in one day so it’s blowing up but I medium feel it without loving it.

@@@ Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba: Transatlantic (N/A, 2018). This is a live clip from a pretty wicked African kora player that went back to Africa to record a record with his band.  I got to this via a music publicist but the record is not up on my streaming service but since he’s so wicked I put up this clip to give him a shout and a sign of respect for his talent.  For a live clip this has nice audio and I imagine the record sounds a whole bunch like this.  Most African musicians play circles around their American counterparts and don’t get much for it so this musician could use some word of mouth.  Spread him around.

YTD recordings listened to: 300
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 158
Not good music: 134

Best: 5
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

Music for 5/21/18!!! Nickodemus, Los Texmaniacs, Anderson .Paak, Pharrell (The Hat) Williams

@@@ Nickodemus: A Long Engagement (Wonderwheel, 2018)  I got to this record via the WRIR weekly email.  I’m thinking this is going to be an electronic/world mash but we we’ll see.  It opens up with a vocal chant, some non-American string playing, a large horn section and bounce.  Old school bounce not trap bounce.  The second tune references classic funk and then the third tune brings in some Caribbean sounds and influences.  I’m not super into this type of record — it’s a poo poo platter of music styles all centered around upbeat dance rhythms but I always prefer a smaller group of sounds rather than the larger scope.

@@@ Los Texmaniacs: Cruzandos Borders (Smithsonian Folkways, 2018)  Speaking of old school here comes some classic Mexican music that I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  I’m a sucker for this style of accordion playing and these guys bring a dancefloor energy as much as the previous record.  Great singing, great playing and a blazing accordion player, there’s not much more you can ask for.  I can only imagine how many gigs these guys have played to get this tight.  They’ve probably done these tunes drunk out of their minds, exhausted, or both.  Also big respect to the drummer who drives the rest of the band.  I’m going to swing back on this record as it’s smoking.

@@@ Anderson .Paak: Bubbling (Aftermath, 2018)  I dug the last Anderson .Paak track so I thought he earned a peep for this one.  Plus, I respect the .Paak last name though I have no clue what the period is for.  It’s a money party track of which I am not fond at all.  Look at the cash bubbling, that line could be the soundtrack at the White House as President Cheese Doodle loots and pillages.  He sound s a bit like Kendrick Lamar on this track and he did an interesting thing giving the tune a James Bond soundtrack feel.  I got to this track via the Apple Music hot tracks section.

@@@ Pharrell Williams x Camila Caballo: Sangria Wine (Columbia, 2018)  Everybody is dropping the summer party tracks in hopes of becoming the track of the season.  Nobody knows how to bit the styles of others more than Pharrell Williams and his hat.  He’s got a little dub flavor, some Latin flavors from the singer, some pop hip hop beats so all the ingredients are there.  I guess how much you dig this track depends on if you like to hear new or original sounds and/or arrangements.  This is pretty well manicured sameness.   You haven’t eaten this exact sandwich but you’ve eaten something very similar to this sandwich.  And that’s the point.

YTD recordings listened to: 278
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 147
Not good music: 122

Best: 5
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