Music for 5/17/18!!! Lawaii, Kassin, Divide and Dissolve

@@@ Lawaii: Lawaii (Self-released 2018) I got to this jazz release via a twat on the Twatter by Bird is the Worm.  They are from Denmark and the instrumentation is piano, bass and drums.  This trio format can often lead to high end pretentious wanking, but thus far no for these guys.  The emphasis here thus far is on atmospherics and tone.  thus far they are also employing a less is more approach and I’m feeling it.  The first lyrical playing that I’ve heard shows up on the third tune, #5 and it’s offset with some pretty tasty bass bow scratching.  The tune cycles on a circular piano figure and the quick scratchy ass bowing.  I’ve sample parts of the first four pieces and I really like it thus far.  I will circle back at a later point when I can sit and relax to it more but right now I have to extrude the music review kibble for the hungry mass.  Check it out.

@@@ Kassin: Relax (Luaka Bop, 2018)  Off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  I have a conflicted relationship with Brazilian music.  I dig it rhythmically but often times the smoothness of it I find dissatisfying.  The second tune is a Brazilian Earth Wind ‘n Fire but I don’t love it.  It’s clipped below.  I’ve sample parts of four tunes and while I kinda appreciate the disco excursion here I’m not super enjoying the music.  It’s a large ensemble and the playing is good so it sounds like something you might like have at it.

@@@ Divide & Dissolve: Abomination (Dero Arcade, 2018) Some metal off this week’s CFuv playlist email.  It opens up with a lot of tom playing and a dirty bass.  I see from the Apple Music blurb that this is a duo and thus far it’s a dark affair with some distorted business but it’s not a typical metal record.  It doesn’t have to be.  There is a theme here with the first three song titles Abomination, Assimilation, and Cultural Extermination.  I’m feeling this second tune Assimilation, it sports a haunting melody over a disgusting nasty bass sound and more heavy on the tom drumming.  I like the foundation of the record, the drumming and the bass sound, ah just as I was about to say I needed more you get some spoken word.  A female doing some heavy but not super focused spieling and occasional piano.  This is no mosh-fest, it’s got ideas behind it and I like it.  I wish the tracks that have more in them started out the record.

YTD recordings listened to: 274
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 145
Not good music: 120

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

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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 4/30/28!!! Baloji, Garotas Suecas, Andy Mineo, LIMBS

@@@ Baloji: 137 Kaniama (Bella Union, 2018). Off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  Some Congotronic African music via Belgium.  This first tune emphasizes complex vocal arrangements over the grit of Konono No. 1 distorted thumb piano and a generally more driving sound.  The second tune dabbles in the sweeter side of African music with an updated high life sound.  I like it all right but I prefer funk over sweetness in my African music.  It’s also a bit too shiny in the production for my taste.

@@@ Garotas Suecas: Futuro Do Preterito (Vampisoul, 2018). A Brazilian funk outfit I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  It’s an old school funk outing with an emphasis on instruments and not on electronic sounds.  I like the guitar playing and hand drumming as one would expect from a rhythmic powerhouse society such as Brazil.

@@@ Andy Mineo: I the Arrow (Reach/Miner League, 2018)   Some hip hop off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  This first tune opens up with a sung old school vibe though the record is slotted as a hip hop thing.  Ah, there’s the MC and he’s all right.  The arrangements are an interesting combination of organic and glitched up sounds.  I like the sounds a whole bunch and went to All Music to see what’s up with this MC to see that he’s a Christian rapper.  Propaganda is about as much Christian hip hop I can take.

@@@ LIMBS: Father’s Son (UNFD, 2018).  A post hardcore outfit I got to via the Apple Music genre pages.  After a sort of epic first tune, they get into some art school post metallic post hardcore.  The singer is melodic and at the end of his rope which lessens the roughness of the tunes.  On the whole it’s an energetic outfit but it comes off a bit lightweight compared the heaviness of Pig Destroyer or early Converge.  Everything sounds good, I guess I’m tilted a bit against the singer.

YTD recordings listened to: 231
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 122
Not good music: 101

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, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz

Music for 4/28/18!!! Jennifer Lopez, Dierks Bentley

@@@ Jennifer Lopez: El Anillo (Sony, 2018)  I have not heard a Jennifer Lopez tune in ages.  I’m more than a bit shocked at the freshness of the sounds here.  It is a blend of Spanish language lyrics, Latin percussion rhythms and electronic sounds.  Lopez does a good job at not oversinging and bringing lady funk to the tune.  She’s not particularly feminine in her vocal style which is also a bit surprising.  There is a small part of the tune where the vocal melody becomes more romantic but it is sandwiched by tough dancefloor sounds on either side.

@@@ Dierks Bentley: Living (Capitol Nashville, 2018) A pre-release new country single off the Apple Music hot tracks seciton.  Regular readers know how much I love new country music with its arena music production and it’s piquant lyrical blend that consists mostly of corn and cheese.  Now I like corn and cheese as much as the next guy but I like it when I go out for Mexican.  This is a tune about being grateful for your life and I’m down with that except these are third grader lyrics and should come with a baby food spoon and a Disney cap.  Some days you’re living, that’s the big vocal hook.  Oy.

YTD recordings listened to: 231
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 122
Not good music: 101

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, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz

Music for 4/24/18!! Young Valley, Eleanor Friedberger, El Hijo de la Cumbia, Janelle Monae

@@@ Young Valley: Till I Cross Your Mind (N/A, 2018)  I got to this roots rock single via a music publicist at Pavement PR.  The band arrangement is pretty standard alt country guitar rock but the vocalist and the melody stand above.  The playing is tight and the tempo is up and rocking so it’s got a bunch of good elements.  If you like the roots rock, check it out as it’s more than solid.

@@@ Eleanor Friedberger: Everything (Frenchkiss, 2018) An ’80s influenced pop rock single I got to via a music publicist.  Peppy drumbeat, some basic synth chords, a little chorused guitar and lyrics that are okay but not taking me anywhere.  Supposed to be a super great artist of our time and a pop song that tackles a big idea (of wanting everything and having everything and being happy with variations on that), hmm I’m not sure I get it.

@@@ El Hijo De La Cumbia: Genero, Genero (Nacional, 2018)  Modern and updated cumbia music off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  By updated I mean it’s a pan-Latin genre mash with traditional and electronic elements.  By the time you get to the third tune, Che Revolution, it’s mostly electronic with a blend of hand percussion, accordion and drum machine rhythms.  It’s clearly a release designed to get you to dance into spring.  The fourth tune, Que Te Vaya Bien, strikes the best balance of sounds of what I heard.

@@@ Janelle Monae: I Like That (Bad Boy/WEA, 2018) Another pre-release single from Janelle Monae whose record is getting a big push out there on the interwebz.  I thought the first single, I forget which, was a Prince bite sandwich, but this appears to go a different direction.  It’s a I am who I am anthem with a natural, non biting set of sounds and a good energy.  I much prefer this to the other track I peeped, big mistake by the whoever is ordering these releases.  I guess the mainstream listeners get their heads more easily around a solid bite job.  This has lilting vibe with some rhymes and a little gospel and a little dancehall.  For a mainstream track this has some genuine elements in it.  It always pays to listen for yourself as this tune is much different than from what came before.

YTD recordings listened to: 217
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 116
Not good music: 94

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, Portal

Music for 4/11/18!!! Homayun Sakhi, Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, Hossein Omoumi

@@@ Music of Central Asia Vol. 3: The Art of the Afghan Rubab (Smithsonian Folkways, 2006) Out her Brooklyn way the club Roulette is having their annual trance festival and this artist (and the other two in this post) are performing.  Regular readers know that I’m a big fan of great music and think the non-white folks do great work in the area of producing great music.  There are two 30+ minute pieces here and they unfold slowly but Sakhi can play the shit out of his instrument called the Rubab.  The music here shares elements of Indian classical music but it’s not a copy.  A little past a third way through the piece a drummer comes in and things get heated.  This is awesome music and folks should check it out.

@@@ Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan: Rag Sangam (Self-released, 2017) We move of countries to the east and an Indian sitar player.  There are seven pieces on this recording and they tend to be 8-10 minutes in length.  The first piece is a solo piece but the second one brings on a drummer and it’s a midtempo piece of high quality.

@@@ Hossein Omoumi: Ates-i Ask (Ses, Goruntu, 2016) Music from Iran.  Fucking Iran with their bullshit and nuclear aspirations and their gall in questioning this fabulous American empire.  I don’t mean any of that.  As you can see from the cover below this record is a trio record — Omoumi on flute, a string player and a hand drummer.  This is some heavy and righteously beautiful shit they are dropping in this first tune.  Much like the other two recordings in this post it is a midtempo improvised piece but I really like the sound of these instruments together as well as the playing.  I also am enjoying the vocals which really push the record higher.

YTD recordings listened to: 204
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 109
Not good music: 88

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, Portal

Music for 4/9/18!!! Nightwave, Peggy Gou, Khruangbin, Drake

@@@ Nightwave: Sanctuary (Fool , 2018)  I continue to grind throught the Dazed Digital underlooked records of early 2018.  Here we have a Glasgow based producer bringing the dancefloor bangers.  This first tune features some chopped vocals, classic dance synths, and bumpin’ unt-sss for the masses.  The second tune ups the hi hat but brings in some Asian flavored sounds and more chopped salad vocals.  Mr. Nightwave starts stretching out in the third tune with a fat booty bass and some manic drum machine programming.  He shoulda kicked off the album with this as it is the freshest of what I heard.

@@@ Peggy Gou: Once EP (Ninja Tune, 2018)  More dancefloor action by a South Korean female.  The sounds on this retro leaning EP are pretty standard but the arrangements are crisp nothing goes on too long.  I’m feeling this second tune, Hundres Times.  There aren’t as many vocals as I thought there would be, in fact there are not many at all and I could have used more.  Lots of energy and well executed.

@@@ Khruangbin: Con Todo El Mundo (Dead Oceans, 2018) Marketed as a mash of Thai, Iranian and good ol’ jamming that I got to via the same list.  I’m usually suspicious of such mashes and view them as gimmicks but I will peep this with an open ear.  The first tune features a medium funky rhythm section and a decidedly hippie/retro guitar doing its jammy jam thing.  It’s cool and a tad snoozy at the same time.  I hear traces of these influences being marketed but not overwhelming except in the third tune where the guitar gets very circular and Eastern in flavor.  I like it, but if these guys had a singer who could carry the football I would be over the top with this.  It’s solid instrumental music but if I want instrumental I’ll hit up some great jazz as that’s what it’s there for.

@@@ Drake: Nice for What (Young Money/Cash Money, 2018)  Ooops, Drake has dropped another dookie bomb.  Thank God he’s taking a break from the weak dancehall but when he goes straight hip hop I don’t like it much better.  I like the beat and the arrangement but I find Drake’s lyrics to be mad boring and his delivery could use a gym membership.  I would like to think that I could like a Drake track if it was hot and I recognize that I hate on Drake at the same level as Beyonce but I don’t like his work.

YTD recordings listened to: 201
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 106
Not good music: 88

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, Portal