Music for 10/2/17!!! Elida Almeida, Otis Reed, LADAMA

@@@ Elida Almeida: Forti Dor (Lusafrica, 2017)  A mellow African pre-release single off an upcoming full length.  Nylon guitars, piano, string swells, and light beats are featured.  Almeida has a really nice voice, not soaring but sweet with a little gravel.  I have no preference for soaring voices.  Almeida sings in Portuguese so it pushes the vibe more into a world music neighborhood rather than an African one.  The tempo is medium, the energy is mellow and it’s a super pretty tune.

@@@ Otis Reed: Why Would I (Palmtree, 2017)  Somebody who started to follow this here blog does a fortnightly playlist and as it’s multi-genre and I’m super into the multi-genre I thought I would check it out.  This is a hip hop tune and it’s neither left field nor mainstream.  The beat is mid tempo and lighter rather than heavier with mellow keyboard vamps.  Lyrics are conscious and two MCs take turns on the mic and there is a female background singer.  It’s all right thought it doesn’t really stand out in my mind.

@@@ LADAMA: Compared to What (Six Degrees, 2017)  Some world music/funk I got to via the same fortnightly playlist.  Stream of consciousness lyrics with political flavors, uptempo conga, a tight repeating bass line, a horn section and a periodic guitar figure.  It’s a brisk tune and self-righteous.  Check it out you may dig it.

YTD recordings listened to: 639
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 343
Not good music: 270

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker

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Music for 9/25/17!!! Clientele, Joey La Soldat, Baraka Moon, The Expanders

@@@ The Expanders: Old Time Something Come Back Again, Vol. 2 (Easy Star, 2017)  I saw this record on the WRIR playlist this week and noticed from gathering this video from the GooglePimpTube that this appears to be a re-issue from 2012 as there are videos from this record from that time.  Oh fuck off this is Volume 2 and that was volume 1 — damn you short attention span!  There are three pre-release tunes up on the Apple Music and while I don’t dig the title of the first tune Life is a Funny Thing, it’s a pretty sticky roots reggae vibe with a sweet and though vibe side by side.  These guys are skilled at every position with a great singer, solid rhythm section and a spot on guitar player.  I will most definitely check more of this record out when it comes out and it will most likely be on my best of the year list.

@@@ The Clientele: Music for the Age of Miracles (Merge, 2017)  The All Music blurb says this record has a hefty dose of autumnal grace and warmth.  That is some high end PR diarrhea for sure.  The first tune sounds like a slacker Byrds tune — shiny, chiming guitars and an engaging singer.  The second tune opens up with a piano and you know pianos are a meaningful instrument with a lot of emotions attached to it.  I predict a cheese sandwich here ah no, just an interlude.  The tambourine has made its appearance on this third tune and the orchestral slack vibe has continued.  I like this record all right — it’s a bit of a recycling job as this is very familiar in melody and arrangement but people have the memory of goldfish so it will be huge!

@@@ Joey la Soldat: Burkin Ba (Akwaaba, 2017)  I’m going to have to Duck Duck Go this musician as he opens up the record in French and he’s obviously African but I can’t grok much besides that.  Ah, Burkina Faso.  He does a credible gangster trip on this second tune, Microphone.  I’m on the third tune and I like it.  It is African hip hop but it is not so far from American hip hop with synth based arrangements and tight rhymes with call and response vocals.  He is rapping in French so that’s a big difference there.

@@@ Baraka Moon: Bismillah (Baraka Moon, 2017)  A New Age-y world music mash I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  The pre-release single is called Bismillah and I”m having a tough time tying it to a place.  Let me consult the fantastic interwebz.  Ah, they’re from San Francisco and I hear South Asian influences as well as Australian didgeridoo, guitar and percussion.  So this is truly a mash of world music influences and is going for a Qawwali trance vibe.  I like it all right

YTD recordings listened to: 620
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 332
Not good music: 263

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders

Music for 8/23/17!!! Quantum Tangle, Sudan Archives, ABRA, No Goods

@@@ Quantum Tangle: Shelter as We Go (Coax Records, 2017)  A roots record off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  I’m going to search but I think this is a record by Native Americans.  It has intricate vocals, sometimes what might think of as traditional singing but other than that outside of the lyrics there are no indications of the culture this is emerging out of.  Ah, the search engine has revealed this is music by Inuit folks.  The singers rotate and the musical arrangements do as well.  They range from folk, to slack rock and a cappella.  I really like this tune clipped below.

@@@ Sudan Archives: Sudan Archives EP (Stones Throw, 2017)  Smooth and pumping r&b off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Thick on the low end with plenty of chopped vocals and half glitch sauce to go over the top.  The second tune brings an African hand drum and some tasty violin playing to go with the snappy percussion and fat bass.  This tune Come Meh Way is hot and clipped below.  I’m on the fourth tune and it’s a pretty hot EP, check it out.  The mash of musical influences is really well done, imho.

@@@ ABRA: BOUNTY (Acid Palace, 2017)  More ambient r&b off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Big delay washes of sound and a female singer nestled in a well done synth cloud sky.  Somebody manicured these beats and I like their work.  More solid sounds including nice delay work serving up engaging sounds.

@@@ No Goods: Buzzer (Kingfisher Bluez, 2017)  Modern electric blues off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Well it’s not blues, it’s rock and it’s pretty good with some solid rhythm guitar work and a classic sounding rock singer.  It’s local music, it’s not all epic like the Foo.  I’m down on the Foo, I’m hoping for retirement.  This is in the tradition of the Replacements, ah my hard drive just spit up Cracker, that’s a good sonic reference for these guys.  These gents rock harder but the singer’s voice sounds mighty close.  Solid B+.

YTD recordings listened to: 548
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 295
Not good music: 228

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives

Music for 8/21/17!!! Susanne Sundfor, Rafiki Jazz, Pablo Moses

@@@ Susanne Sundfor: Undercover (Bella Union, 2017)  Piano singer/songwriter from an upcoming full length.  I got to this from a Line of Best Fit email so the publicity machine is getting some ‘buzz’ ahead of the full length.  This is between the slight roughness of Regina Spector and the abstraction of Fiona Apple with a pube of Beyonce oversinging.  It’s not solo piano but it’s not full band.  Oh she’s peaking around 3 minutes and it’s a cheesy female multilayered vocal comet shooting across the stereo field.  I think I felt like I had a vagina for just a minute, that’s so great.

@@@ Rafiki Jazz: Har Dam Sahara (Riverboat Records, 2017)  Mellow string playing and a pretty epic female African singer on the opening track of this record that I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  The second track brings in the band but it’s still pretty mellow with hand drum playing and the string playing tight and all right but not rocking.

@@@ Pablo Moses: The Itinuation (Grounded Music, 2017)  The full roots reggae explosion on this record I got to via WRIR.  Mad conscious lyrics with a singer that sounds a lot like the singer from Burning Spear.  Oy, I’m spacing on his name.  Full horn section, percussion, female background singers.  I think I prefer the sound and the roughness of the old school roots reggae but this is a heartfelt effort and if you prefer the more polished modern roots sound this will work great for you.

YTD recordings listened to: 540
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 291
Not good music: 225

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips

Music for 7/6/17!!! Ifriqiyya Electrique, Mister Mellow, Ezra Furman

@@@ Ifriqiya Electrique: Ruwahine (Glitterbeat, 2017) Sufi trance music out of North Africa mixed with electronic sounds that I got to via this week’s WRIR music charts email.  I’m into the second song and it’s heavy on the hand drumming and the chanting vocals.  This is not beach music, do not listen to this while you’re drinking shitty beer.  I was about to politely step away from this record when they brought in the guitar and get into an epic hand drum/chant/guitar mashup.  I’ll stay longer now, it’s very interesting and I can imagine this being pretty face peeling live.  I’m in the fourth tune and I like it without super loving it.

@@@ Mister Mellow: Burn Out Blues ( , 2017)  Off the Apple Music best of the week list.  Slacker dude voice with a very tasteful bass pulse and some tight twinklesauce.  You even get cowbells, motherfuckers!  That’s what I expect from Trump, more cowbell!  The vocals are a weak point but the rest is pretty spot on for a popular track.  Mister Mellow needs a Red Bull yo, the arranger is cool where he’s at.

@@@ Ezra Furman: Big Fugitive Life (Bella Union, 2017)   I saw the Line of Best Fit has an interview with this modern day rocker.  After hitting the play button I think I’ve heard Mr. Furman’s music before.  He’s got sweetness and glam swirled up into his tracks, most notably in the vocal melodies.  He’s also laying claim to Clarence Clemon’s  sax solos and big American Bruce Springsteen rock.  This second tune gets into Elvis Costello type rock (more mid period Elvis, not the early shit) — the sax player is back on the third tune and I appreciate Furman mixes whatever he wants and lets it all hang out.  No pretension, just get your freak flag on.

YTD recordings listened to: 430
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 238
Not good music: 172

Buys: 7
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda

2017 Honorable Mention Pick 6

Oumou Sangare: Mogoya (No Format, 2017)

You know a record is bad ass when the sixth track kills it (I’ve clipped the sixth track as the second video below because Tony Allen’s track has to take first place).  She gets into a level of funk on that sixth track that most musicians can only dream of.

This is a full band record with kora, multiple background singers, synth and organ in places.  Sangare’s voice is strong and very pretty but it’s not a heaven sent African Whitney Houston kind of thing — not much soaring but her vocal arrangements are sophisticated, very sophisticated.  It’s not an Afrobeat nor an African power trio rock record like Noura Mint Seymali and her crew but there is some guitar shredding and some large ensemble vibes.

Start with the two tunes I’ve clipped below as they’re my favorites on the record and then go from there.

Music for 6/12/17!!! Afoul D’afours, El Dusty, Bang Data

@@@ Afous D’afous: Tarhanine Tegla (Sahel Sounds, 2016)  This is my third listen of the day but I’m popping it up the top as I dig it most of what I heard.  It’s a mash of dirty single line West African guitar playing and this is quite a shred.  It’s interesting to hear a fairly strong Bollywood flavor to the vocals so it doesn’t come across as strictly a West African jam.  Let me GooglePimp this outfit and see where they are from.  I don’t want to be peddling fake news!  Okay, Algeria so I got that right.  The B side is more electronic with a sinuous synth melody replacing the rock guitar shred.  It’s more of an uplifter than a rocker.

@@@ El Dusty: Kanto Negro (Aftercluv, 2017)  A world music single I got to via this week’s WRIR weekly playlist email.  It’s a blend of EDM, Latin bass, party music and some hip hop.  I like the accordion playing which really Mexican-izes the funky proceedings.  I guess it’s the frat boy beats that make me like it less but a few cheap beers and it will slide right through the pie holes.  It’s compressed as hell which tends to lower my enjoyment.

@@@ Bang Data: Galactica (Futuro Sonico, 2017)  Another single, but a rock tune this time.  Two singers working in Spanish and they somewhat dominate the tune.  Not in a bad way.  There’s some B-52s style rockabilly guitar slipped into the back of the track and if you don’t like the vocals you won’t like the tune.  It’s a bit of a world prog tune.  In my quest for a link to peep this track I see these guys are straight out of the Bay area which would go a long way in explaining the mash of sounds on this tune.

You can stream it over here, but I’m not sure for how long.

YTD recordings listened to: 355
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 202
Not good music: 138

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 2

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Oumou Sangare, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb