@@@ CHEZIDEK: Inna Dem Eye / March [Single] (Tad’s 2020) All of today’s listens are off last week’s WRIR playlist email. Rich in tone vocals over modern roots reggae production. First line: March until we get justice — so you get a clear idea of where this tune is at lyrically. I’ve not heard of Chezidek before but I like his voice — soulful, strong and energetic. A super tight arrangement with extensive side stick snare hits and thick dubwise bass that chugs along underneath his pleas for folks to march. I’m checking out the beginning of the next tune Because I’m Black and I think I’ll be checking more of this record when I have the time.
@@@ ALHOUSSEINI ANIVOLLA AND GIRUM MEZMUR: Algher (Piranha, 2020). A guitarist born in Niger and while I don’t love nylon string guitar recorded, there’s a pretty wicked fiddle/violin player on this track to go with hand drumming and a second guitar as well as electric bass. Anivolla comes in with a more restrained vocal approach and the track is a thick stew of laidback pieces locked together. I’m reading some rando Google results that Anivolla is a former member of the Tinariwen movement. I guess the band Tinariwen was born out of a political movement involving the Tuareg people. I knew they were gangster but I didn’t have the details. I like the more blazing desert music but this is good.
@@@ MULATU ASTATKE AND BLACK JESUS EXPERIENCE: To Know Without Knowing (Agogo, 2020) First off only a genius would name is group the Black Jesus Experience, which is also a pretty great television comedy — the show Black Jesus that is. I believe Astatke is from Ethiopia and he comes out rocking a smooth jazz with a bit o’ funk mixed in formula. If you come to be a devotee of African music you can expect a pretty ridiculous stream of great drummers and the drummer here is on fleek for sure. Astatke plays piano and he gets help from a chill-ish horn section and a female singer. While the playing outside of the drummer trends towards softer there is a track called Living on Stolen Land which isn’t a particularly soft sentiment. A MC hits the mic with the rhymes which is completely unexpected. I’m not sure if I dig it or not. I’m checking out the Living on Stolen Land track and it’s a more somber affair following the same formula. I like the female singer here a whole bunch. A little more grit to the sounds and I would fall for this.
@@@ Songhoy Blues: Worry (Fat Possum, 2020). A single from a Malian group that tipped out of Mail when sharia law came along. This West African track is most notable for using more American guitar tones and for singing in English and production sounds. It’s a bit jarring to hear African musicians get the quasi garage punk production formula but it works. I can’t tell if it would work better or worse if they were singing in their native tongue. After a bit of singing they go full shred, one in each side of my headphones. I like it, it’s a fat track.
YTD recordings listened to: 584
Good music, not list worthy: 296
Not good music: 259
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, 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, 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, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, STORMLIGHT, Venomous Concept, Chezidek