@@@ Palace: So Long Forever (Fiction/Universal, 2016). I got an email from a lifestyle site saying this was just a stunning, life changing debut. It’s all right, a lot of ’80s sounding guitars and a lot of reverb on both the guitars and the vocals. It’s a bit much and I think the band would snap more if there was less reverb. The songs are a tad precious but not too soft and the band playing is pretty firm. I don’t like lyrics on this third song, Live Well. Overall well produced but not super moving for me.
@@@ The KutiMangoes: Made in Africa (Tramp, 2016). I’ve been waiting for this record to hit the Apple Music and I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email. This first tune Ouagadougou is a full African ensemble including a horn section and percuissionists but the vibe is funky and less swaggering than old school Afrobeat. The second tune This Ship Will Sink is a bit more down and dirty with dual baritone sax(?) and a thicker groove. I like this music, Afrobeat is a tough sell for me as I want every record to sound like Tony Allen records but these guys have a good vibe going.
@@@ Bonga: Recados De Fora (Lusafrica, 2016) Some mellow Afro-Latin music off this week’s WRIR playlist email. I’m guessing Mr. Bonga is African because he is on the Lusafrica label but I got a DuckDuckGo going to confirm. Regular readers know I pride myself on professionalism. Ha. Bonga was born in 1943 in Angola and his music has strong Portugese influences. Oh man, this second tune Tonokenu is fine with gruff and beautiful vocal harmonies. And I like the accordion playing on another track and the flute on the opener. I find the contrast between Bonga’s gravelly voice with the sweetness of the playing engaging (especially the accordion in this third tune) and I”m going to have to swing back on this record.
@@@ Buck Curran: Immortal Light (Buck Curran/ESP-Disk, 2016). A solo folk guitar record I got to via an ESP-Disk promo email. He’s got a very strong acoustic guitar tone on this first tune, Wayfaring Summer, but maybe a tad too much reverb on the instrument. He adds additional guitar tracks as the tune moves through its cosmic cycle. I don’t love the vocals on the second tune New Moontide and on this third tune I think I’ve concluded that this is not a psychedelic guitar record per se but it has sonic roots in psych records and that’s not super working for me. It may work for others so check it out. As in grab a bag of weed and kick back for the cosmic energy.
YTD recordings listened to: 877
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 489
Not good music: 331
Honorable Mentions: 14
Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis, Magrudergrind, Solange, Acid Arab, Xylouris White, Vadou Game, Michael Wollny/Vincent Peirani, Kadhja Bonet, Bonga