Music for 8/13/18!!! Leon Vynehall, Arp, Sophie

@@@ Leon Vynehall: Nothing is Still (Ninja Tune, 2018) All three of these electronic tracks are off an email where the really great audio software company Izotope recommended 6 of their favorite electronic records of the year. I really love great electronic and ambient music but I’m very picky about the sounds I like. This first tune is spacious with some plinky, space traveller bleeps and a couple of slow moving clouds moving at a relaxed pace. There is an orchestral melodic swell that builds under the ambient plinks. The second tune evokes a jazz motif with a trumpet patch and an upright bass patch, both swizzled and fuzzed up for the kids today. There’s a beat, just simple titch but it brings the piece into a different space. I like this though it doesn’t move much after it establishes itself. I sampled (pun alert!) a bit of the fourth and fifth tracks and it’s solid business. If it was a bit more abstract I would be all over it.

@@@ Arp: Zebra (Mexican Summer, 2018) This first tune opens up with some fluffy exhortations, a simple marimba melody, a fusion-y jazz bass and a periodic acoustic guitar strum. Not some of my favorite sounds as they all come together for a sweet New Age salsa and I’m not an eater of that flavor. The marimba makes an appearance at the opening of the second tune (as well as the bass sound) and this is aiming for a more playful and light space jazz kinda journey. I’m good with space jazz and I will recommend Alice Coltrane all day long to whoever will listen but this is not my cup of sounds.

@@@ SOPHIE: Ponyboy (MSMSMSMS/Future Classic, 2018). Glitchy, giddy and gorgeous — that is the blurb on Apple Music. This is deeply female music businss with line like it’s okay to cry and other such beauteous sentiments in the first tune. Surprisingly it has a little bit of Prince funk. The second tune, Ponyboy, is a electronic funk throwdown still with Prince flavors which I dig. I like a bunch of the sounds but not all of them, I like the adventurousness of the tunes, but I’m not a huge fan of her voice and her lyrics. Others may totally be into her. I’m pretty dead inside.

YTD recordings listened to: 470
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 241
Not good music: 197

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, 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, Moskus, Kendl Winter

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Music for 8/10/18!!! RGG Trio, DeVotchka, Quavo, Brown Paper Bag

@@@ RGG Trio: City of Gardens (N/A, 2018) How many Polish guys does it take to make a jazz record? This is a trio record so three! C’mon I wouldn’t insult Polish people in my music reviews. I would discuss Miley Cyrus’ pubic hair and different varieties of cheese but I’m not racist and shit. This looks to be piano, trumpet and drums and this first tune opens slowly with some rolling drums. It’s not my favorite flavor of improv but I’m going to check out a bit more of the record. It’s pretty spacious music and long 10+ minute pieces. Myself I would rather check out Bill Dixon and some of his ’60 work but this has a pleasant earnestness to it.

@@@ DeVotchka: Angels (Concord, 2018) If you, gasp, took U2 and made a baby with Coldplay it would sound like this pre-release single. It’s dramatical, it’s epic, it’s an arena rock cheesebomb dropped from far up in the sky. Everybody walks away greasy and dirty. Big rock drums, plenty of different guitar sounds and lyrics — such as ‘tonight you will sleep the sleep of angels’. Uh, don’t know really. I got to this corporate cheese sandwich via a music publicist email. I didn’t make it through the full four minutes and I can tell you with certainty that was a very long 3 minutes.

@@@ Quavo: Workinme (Capitol, 2018) The #1 hot track in the Apple Music hot track section. It’s midtempo trap and apparently his girl is working him too hard. Fat, trunk shaking bass, a dude backing up Mr. Quavo’s lyrics, and a couple trippy samples floating in the background of the mix. It’s not much of a tune, he’s just on about percoset and his bank account over a B+ beat. Nothing to make it deserve #1 slot on the hot tracks.

@@@ Brown Paper Bag: Yoshi (Interscope, 2018) A genre smashing single in the Apple Music hot tracks section. It’s part hip hop with a huge rock guitar riff, a distorted bass but the problem here is the singer. He’s got not authority to his voice so all the nice and hip sounds are wuss-a-fied by his microphone work. Plus the lyrics are pretty much word salad — there’s a lot about being alienated in school, about some sort of daily meditation and sumthin about hold my smokes and my money. It’s best not to try to make sense of it, it’s a salad.

YTD recordings listened to: 467
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 239
Not good music: 196

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, 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, Moskus, Kendl Winter

Music for 8/9/18!!! Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Oxlip, Bootlicker

@@@ Lemon Bucket Orkestra: If I had the Strength (Six Degrees, 2018) I got to this mash of world musics via the WRIR music review email.  There is only one pre-release single available on the Apple Music and it’s flavorful.  A large ensemble crashing through an uptempo track.  The bass part is held down by a tuba which is a huge plus for me as I’m single handedly bringing back the tuba with my love for it.  About 80 seconds in the tune slows down and a female singer moans her way into the proceedings.  She’s literally moaning, I’m not being a dick.  I could not find this track, Heroes, on the GooglePimpTube.  The tune continues to meander through different sections and I like the playing and the large amount of instruments.  At 4 minutes it regains steam so this is a slow jam sandwich — 90 seconds of manic on both ends with slow jam in the middle.

@@@ Oxlip: Wolves! Cried The Maid (World Peach). I got to this recording and the next one via the CFUV weekly playlist email.  Apple Music has this slotted as singer songwriter and it is that but it sports a British pastoral folk vibe with a lot of reverb.  There is some modern instrumentation (a little distorted guitar tucked in the back of a bunch of tunes) but it is a Lord of the Rings/white supremacy mix of instruments.  I’m not saying she’s a white supremacist, it’s a white sound with traditionally wypipo instruments.  It’s got passing similarities to Richard Thompson but it’s not as depressing and there’s no virtuosic guitar work.  However it’s connected to that part of the world.  It’s not my favorite style of music but it’s really well done if you want a walk with the fairies and the gnomes.

@@@ Bootlicker – Who Do You Serve? (Slow Death, 2018) We switch gears to some heavier business.  This is 6 songs in 9 minutes so I’m guessing, oh yeah, this is some old school hardcore punk business.  Put some rocket fuel in the tank and go for a ride.  Simple shit played at really high tempos with crusty ass bass sounds, lots of ill, spilled distorted guitars and a hardcore singer.  There are no ballads here, it’s set ’em up and knock ’em down.

YTD recordings listened to: 463
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 238
Not good music: 193

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, 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, Moskus, Kendl Winter

Music for 8/8/18!!! Jess Sah Bi/Peter One, The Split Seconds

@@@ Jess Sah Bi & Peter One: Our Garden Needs its Flowers (N/A, 2018) A reissue of African music from the 1980’s. I got to this record as its Bandcamp’s Album of the day. This first tune is notable fore its weird ass and pretty guitars that are a little African, a little trippy, and a little hippie folk. The singing and harmonizing is very pretty and the tunes have a very laidback yet not soft feel. I don’t think this record works great for African music lovers that enjoy the burning epic guitar blazers but I could see this record working for indie hipsters as it’s similar while being much better.

@@@ The Split Seconds: Counterfeit Reality (Altercation Records, 2018) I got to this DC punk band record via a music publicist email. This first tune is more Orange County is singalong punk rather than rat in a cage hardcore. I like it all right but my first impression is that I wish it was rougher. The drummer is doing all right, but the guitars are a bit wuss and the singer is pretty polite and literate for a punk singer. He couldn’t match Joe Strummer for righteous indignation. They need a couple distortion pedals and half a can of Red Bull.

YTD recordings listened to: 460
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 236
Not good music: 192

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, 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, Moskus, Kendl Winter

Music for 8/3/18!!! Years and Years, Sasha Sloane, Jetta

@@@ Years & Years: Palo Santo (Polydor, 2018) I got to this mainstream pop effort via the Line of Best Fit and its weekly email. I don’t anticipate liking this release but the sounds in this first tune, Sanctify, are pretty nice. I anticipate the chorus is going to explode into a cheeseball shooting across the heavens and I stand ready to shit on it. The singer is all right, the lyrics are a bit dramatical. Thus far it hasn’t completely collapsed into a cheesy soufle. The second tune is an electro disco thing and while this is not going to end up on my best of year list it does well musically compared to other records trying to do the same thing. It’s less overwrought and cartoonish and the singer does a good job working the songs.

@@@ Sasha Sloane: Normal (Stripped) (RCA, 2018) Also mainstream music off the Line of Best fit. It is both mopey and a dance track. She just wants to feel normal for just one night. I think they wear the vocal hook out, the guitar is interesting how it works with the subtle dance rhythms in the chorus and she doesn’t blow the mic out and sings tastefully.

@@@ Jetta: Losing Control (Self-released, 2018). More electro pop from the Line of Best Fit. There’s so much of this it almost makes you miss rock music. Almost. There is a diva-ish singer that gets to pushing folks out on the dance floor after a downer opening verse. I think there’s too much reverb on her voice but I appreciate that she goes big in the chorus. This is the electro version of Kurt Cobain’s move where the energy and tension builds in the verse and then there’s an explosion in the chorus. When the arpeggiated synth and the drums hit in the chorus everybody is set to get down with the unt-sss. Solid B.

YTD recordings listened to: 455
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 233
Not good music: 190

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, 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, Moskus, Kendl Winter

Music for 8/2/18!!! Kendl Winter, Hatchet, The Weight Band

@@@ Kendl Winter: Stumbler’s Business (Team Love, 2018) I got to this singer songwriter recording via last week’s All Music notable release email. Plus I have heard Winter’s solo music before and liked it. The first tune is notable for its sparse sonics and Winters slightly off the beat delivery. The second tune brings in a full band and a catchier hook. The third tune returns to a place where Winter and another instrument are at the center and this is where the record is best. This third tune (clipped below) shows how a well focused, no bullshit arrangement and performance can really lift a tune. I’m going to swing back on this record but at the very least check out this tune below.

@@@ Hatchet: Dying to Exist (Combat Records, 2018) Some classic metal off this week’s CFUV playlist email. Super pumped up energy with epic guitar riffs/melodies and a singer. Not a caveman nor an opera singer. Big solos, octopus drumming and a celebration of classic metal.

@@@ The Weight Band – World Gone Mad (Curve) Roots/folk off this week’s CFUV playlist email. Switching gears from the classic metal rave up to a hippie/jam rock/string band vibe. Mandolin on this first midtempo rocker, the title track — (clipped below). This second tune is pretty much a tune by the Band. You can’t bite a band that’s not a band anymore, even one called The Band, but it’s a carbon copy. I have old Band records so I’m not sure why I would pile into this. I would like to hear something more unique going on here.

YTD recordings listened to: 452
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 230
Not good music: 190

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, 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, Moskus, Kendl Winter

Music for 8/1/18!!! Nef the Pharoah, Jungle, Bellini, Khaled and Co.

@@@ Nef the Pharoah: Big Boss Chang (Empire, 2018) A pre-release hip hop single off the Apple Music hot tracks section. Act like a pussy, you get fucked like one, that’s how this track is rolling. It’s standard trap rhythm with fat bass and a trippy synth patch in the back of the mix to contrast with the skitter. It’s B+ for anti-social vibes — he’s explicit, he’s into guns but not crazy so, and most of all he’s a self made n-word. He tells you that many times. Maybe a few too many times. I’m happy he’s a self made n-word but I don’t need to hear that ten times.

@@@ Jungle: Cherry (XL, 2018) A pre-release electronic track also from the Apple Music hot tracks section. It’s a luscious slow funk track with falsetto singing. The sounds are manicured and really well done. There’s a slow rotation or introduction of small sonic elements in the mix that you can groove on for ear candy points. The singer is above average — if he put in a superstar performance with over the top creativity I would be jumping up at the combination of great sounds and great singing but to my ears he maxes out at B+.

@@@ Bellini: Before the Day has Done (N/A, 2018) Album of the day over at the Bandcamp. They’re blurbing it as math rock but to me it has more of a punky feel with mathy bits swirled in. The female singer has a PJ Harvey wail going on and the guitars are noisier and wilder than what I associate with math rock. Despite its high energy and intentions it sounds to me like it has a certain predictability baked into it. I’d take anything unexpected up in here. The playing here is pretty high level but me personally there are a million ways to whip a shitty. Look at Trump — whatever you think of that piece of shit that bitchass knows how to whip a shitty.

https://bellini.bandcamp.com/album/before-the-day-has-gone

@@@ DJ Khaled/Justin Bieber/Chance the Rapper/Quavo: No Brainer (Sony, 2018) Another attempt at track of the summer. Personally I can’t believe Chance the Rapper would be down with insipid little puke Justin Bieber. I know they had a track recently. I know, I pay attention. It’s a sophisticated arrangement sonically but they should have cut back Bieber’s part. They wear the shit out of his vocal hook and it’s not worthy of the repetition. Sounds like Chance got coffee for everybody and then got a couple of seconds on the track. It’s spray cheese, that’s what this is. They got the party nozzle on that bitch and they’re just spraying it around. Not track of the summer.

YTD recordings listened to: 449
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 229
Not good music: 198

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, 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, Moskus