Music for 3/12/21!!! Muito Kaballa Power Ensemble, Baofo Ne Nyame, Kiazi Malonga

@@@ Kiazi Malonga: Lomami (Red Tone, 2021) Our last listen of the day bumped to the top of the post as it’s awesome. My first impression is the contrast of the mellow strings and the powerful hand drumming and kit drumming. The kit drummer might be there more for metronome purposes because it’s very low in the mix compared to the hand drummers. The stringed instruments are panned out to the edges and the hand drums are in the middle pounding the listener, it’s a visceral and pleasurable listen. Oh man, I hope this record is straight like this all the way through as I’m feeling this formula. As the tune progresses the string players get a little more intricated and a third one gets introduced in the middle of the stereo field. Let’s cross fingers and check out a couple of other tracks. The drumming here is quite insane, world class to my ears. High energy, intricate and powerful. I’m putting this on my list to check out more thoroughly but my first impression is that it will be on my year end list.

@@@ Muito Kaballa Power Ensemble: Mamari (Rebel Up, 2021) I’m on this small UK label’s mailing list and this track is out today. My first impression here is that this German musician is taking Afrobeat and smashing it into jazz fusion-y type sounds and I’ve never heard that. So absent here is the driving energy of classic Afrobeat, but the sounds are tightly meshed and I’m enjoying that. I have a conflicted relationship with the classic macho sound of Afrobeat but I could use a bit more fire here. More energy and this level of sonically integrated sounds would be powerul. I like the drummer, the horn solos are a bit meandering, and overall I like it without loving it.

@@@ Baofo Ne Nyame: Baofo Ne Nyame (Hot Casa, 2021) The last two listens today are off this week’s WRIR playlist email. Check them out, they’re an awesome world music radio station in Virginia! I don’t see this record up on Apple Music so we’re stuck with the ol’ GooglePimpTube. My first impression is that this sounds like African Peter Tosh. The vocals are great, I love the single line guitar playing, but the mix is very fried in the higher frequency range and it’s a bit sharp for my ears. I’ve clipped the bandcamp page here below so you can hear the full recording but from my quick peep of the bandcamp page I see this recording is from 1987 which explains the crunchy tape sound. It’s not straight up African reggae as some Africans have run up the hill. I’m giving the second track a quick listen and it seems to take an ’80s Sugar Hill jam sound (or even early Prince) and does some African business on that. It’s interesting. I’m not sure I love it at first blush but I like the vocalist a whole bunch.

Music for 2/10/21!!! Liz Phair, Anansy Cisse, Moneybagg Yo

@@@ Liz Phair: Hey Lou (Chrysalis, 2021) Let’s see if Liz Phair’s musical skills match her social media skills where I cannot escape a single one of her twats. Her twats are everywhere!! First off I’m a bit surprised she’s on a major label in 2021, she must have staying power, and I think the mix and the sounds here reflect a major label release. Pretty polished and fleshed out. I really like the chorus or the transition from the verse to chorus as it’s a big jump in energy, while the lyrics have a tossed feel to them. The tune breaks down into a strange section where she says ‘how did that work for you?’ and then back into the body of it. I think it’s a track about questioning being a downtown art based hipster but maybe I’m reading into it. I appreciate the quirk here, it’s got some genuine indie quirk to it, I like the chorus, the verses could use a bit of spice and I’m not sure what the hell it’s about. That’s what I hear.

@@@ Anansy Cisse: Foussa Foussa (Riverboat, 2021) I saw this African musician on the WRIR weekly playlist email but I can’t locate his new record on bandcamp or on Apple Music. We will have to resort to GooglePimpTube but we don’t have to like it! He opens with an American blues boogie riff with some African garnish on the side. I’m describing not demeaning. There’s mostly mellow vocalizations and steady drumming, then a quick shred and back into the groove. It’s right on the edge of catching fire and melting down which would be my preference but I’m not holding my breath. We’re at the end and it gets a little psych and jammy, I would prefer more of that and a deeper exploration of the tune, but that’s just me.

@@@ Moneybagg Yo: Time Today (Interscope, 2021) I used to get more upset by an MC named Moneybagg Yo, but let me just point out there’s very little daylight between what Moneybagg Yo is talking about and what big Wall St. traders are talking about. Money gangstas and shit, whatevs. In addition to his business activities Mr. Yo is deep into the ladies, all manner of X-rated mentions that some might see as offensive — she ate the dick through the underwear for example. Looked at my wrist I got time today, fuck it I’m gonna cross the line today, that’s the hook here. Straight anti-social shit/encouragement similar to what Trimp did.

Music for 10/9/20!!! The Good Ones, Samantha Fish, Papa Rosko, Black Market Brass

@@@ The Good Ones: Soccer (Anti- , 2020) Their record last year made my best of year list so they earn an automatic peep on this track. They have a pretty timeless formula — some single picked acoustic guitar bounced in a loose yet steady manner, two beautiful male voices harmonizing and a little bit of percussion in the back of the mix keeping things pushing along. They don’t sing in English (informing non-world music listeners) so it’s basically an instrumental track. I like these guys, I don’t have more to say about this.

@@@ Samantha Fish: Fair-weather (Rounder-Concord, 2020) I got to this Southern female blues musician via the Australian music magazine Happy Mag. I’m an off again on again type of blues listener though I really like her fragile voice here and the lack of huge electric blues tones. She takes a solo around 2/3s of the way through the tune but it’s pretty restrained in its scope and vibe. I like her voice and the organ and I appreciate the guitar playing is there but more in the background.

@@@ Papa Rosko: You’re Not the Only One (Voodoo Possum, 2020) This is a pre-release track that’s up on the GooglePimpTube but not on Apple Music which has three other pre-release tracks up there. The problem here for my ears is the production — too mainstream and Disney-fied which turns the reggae feels into something not so rootsy. The lyrics are also too cliche for my taste. Others might like this popped out reggae but it’s not my cup of tea. I believe the record is full of guests but folks would need to verify that on a streaming service so maybe other tracks feature other vocal performances.

@@@ Black Market Brass: Omega (Colemine, 2020) Blurbed as an ’70s Afrobeat outfit out of Minneapolis, I dig how they take this tune slower than the usual pounding Afrobeat tempos. The less whirlwind approach makes an almost contemplative groove with long horn notes layered over the top before they lean in on horn melody. There’s a nice ambient section and the vibe here is really to my liking. If you’re an Afrobeat listener or a world music listener in general check out this really well done Afrobeat recreation.

YTD recordings listened to: 780
Good music, not list worthy: 423
Not good music: 332

Best: 4
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, 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, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, Shy One, Protomartyr, Nnamdi, Ekiti Sound, Awa Fall, 25,000 Kittens, Anjimile, Superfonicos, Yves Jarvis, Jonsi

Music for 8/13/20!!! Bing and Ruth, Protomartyr, Dandana, Channel Tres

@@@ Bing & Ruth: I Had No Dream (4AD, 2020)  I’m not usually a bit 4AD listener but I like the aspirational title of the track and here we are!  This is the third track on the record and it opens mad church-y.  Sounds evoking both choir and organ and I’m waiting for something more.  A drone enters into the track and I feel that.  It’s a 6.5 minute track so things can mover slower but not glacially at a track of this length.  More droning clouds but still hanging with the introductory sounds.  I need a bit more, I’m going a bit daft with this arpeggiating organ, maybe turn it down?  They have digital volume faders built right into the software these days.  I made it just over 5 minutes which I think is pretty good.  I need more action, I can’t listen to the same loop for 6.5 minutes I have shit to do.

@@@ Protomartyr: Processed by the Boys (Domino, 2020) I saw this band described on an All Music notable release email as I was cleaning up my inbox which is a very cluttered place unless I delete.  I think of Domino as being the home of strange white people rockers and this fits right in with that.  A bit of weirdness floats through this guitar driven rocker, but not too much and I’m more interested in the singer doing a solid Joe Cocker disgruntled vocal style.  Very nice guitar sounds here and drums high in the mix.  If you’re gonna do rock then that’s the kind of rock proportions I enjoy.  There’s a tiny saxophone part slipped in amongst the power chords but it’s not too weird.  I have no idea what’s going on lyrically and I’ve latched on to his delivery rather than the meaning of the lyrics. I’m checking out a bit of the next track as I finish up this post and the off kilter and high energy rock formula sprinkled with punk flavors/attitude continues.  I like it a whole lot and might actually roll back on this record when I have more time.

@@@ Dandana: Free the System (Rebel Up, 2020) I’m on the mailing list for this European world/free music label and I was cleaning the inbox and came across it.  I’m gonna do a GooglePimp search but I’m guessing there are West African people involved with this track.  A collective of musicians from the Netherlands, Gambia, and Senegal, that’s what I’m seeing.  It’s a wild track with different sections jumping around — my favorite section is the middle part when they hit the Free the System chant — it’s a mash of hand drums, kit drums, a couple guitars and a lot of folks chanting in English to Free the System.  It goes out on a long jam that underpinned the chorus section.  It’s got a bit of psychedelic flavor to it, not a lot but a bunch of delayed vocals and a messy, psych spirit to it which I think works for the track.

@@@ Channel Tres: Weedman (Art for Their Greed, 2020)  I don’t know who this guy is but I saw him featured on Happy Mag out of Australia.  It’s a blend of hip hop and old school George Clinton style funk and it’s a weed anthem.  Pro weed, that is, just to be clear and pro weed dealing as well.  The MC here is playing the role of a weed dealer in this tune itself, I don’t know if he’s slinging in real life.  The sounds here are classic and catchy, I’m agnostic on the lyrics.  Super fat bass and rhythm track with just a wee bit of keyboard garnish in well chosen spots.

YTD recordings listened to: 619
Good music, not list worthy: 311
Not good music: 278

Best: 0
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, Shy One, Muqata’a, Protomartyr

Music for 2/26/20!!! Why Bonnie, Agorsor, Sunny Jain, Gambian Griot Kora Duets

@@@ Why Bonnie: Voice Box (Fat Possum, 2020) Off the Twatter! I love the Twatter. This is a pre-release single of an upcoming EP coming out in April. It’s a bit of Roxy music smoothness with some coffee shop slack. Female singer, dreamy and accompanied by both classic indie guitar twee and a sweet pipe synth patch. This makes me want a bologna sandwich and a fizzy orange drink and I’m not sure why. More dreamy than mopey so it’s sedating and comforting simultaneously.

@@@ AGORSOR | Hugadem (Self-released, 2020) The rest of today’s listens are via the WRIR weekly playlist email. The band bio says they are African rooted so I’m guessing that means a lot of the musicians here are from Africa but maybe they don’t live there right now. It’s not a big deal but I was trying to get a handle or what sound they might be trafficking. Female singer and African marimba prominent on this first tune, some call and response background vocals and hand percussion. It’s firm but neither blazing nor soft Afro pop. It’s not really my favorite combo of instruments as I prefer guitars and drums, neither of which are here but the drumming and the marimba playing is really good.

@@@ SUNNY JAIN | Wild Wild East (Smithsonian Folkways, 2020) First off, fucking awesome moustache! The first tune, Immigrant Warrior, comes on as a blend of arena rock and world music. Let me bio this musician and see what’s going on. Mr. Jain is of South Asian heritage and he rocks a blend of Indian classical and arena rock apparently. He likes a big ass rock track and good on him. While I find the combination quite creative the music itself is not my cup of tea. For those who might dig it, there are a lot of big guitar sounds, some South Asian woodwinds, a lot of hand drums and even an MC on this fourth tune. It’s a smorgasbord, get on up in it.

@@@ ALHAJI BAI KONTE, DEMBO KONTE, AND MA LAMINI JOBATE | Gambian Griot Kora Duets (Smithsonian Folkways, 1979) This is a reissue and it’s the oldest of old school. African kora masters doing some high end playing and ridiculously soulful singing. Five tracks and four of them pushing 10 minutes this music is to just sit back and ride the feels. To my ears this is African classical music, a high expression of a culture. I would check out track two, the playing is off the hook! More kora and singing from what I’ve heard.

YTD recordings listened to: 140
Good music, not list worthy: 82
Not good music: 58

Best: 0
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

 

Music for 1/23/20!!! Fireboy DML, Shae Jacobs, Efe, Yung L, Igorr, Myrkur

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Fireboy DML & Oxlade: Sing — some Disney ass piano balladry with an African singer. I made it to 1:58 before I clicked away.

Shae Jacobs: Joko — Nice beat, very clean production. It’s a midtempo dancefloor banger with hype synth sounds celebrating the international booty call anthem.

Efe: Your Body — same formula, midtempo dancefloor banger with smooth smooth sounds.

Yung L: Eve Bounce — a more Caribbean flavored jam and probably the best tune from this quartet of tunes. Nice guitar parts and a J. Balvin smooth/funky beat with throwaway beats.

If I were a skeptical person I might say that the choice of these African tracks as ‘hot’ would be a way to reinforce the current r&b sounds ruling the American charts. See, everybody loves these sounds.

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Igorr: Very Noise Off Apple Music’s hot tracks metal section and it opens up quite strangely with a ramped up drum and bass beat, a drummer, some guitar and other mismatched business. A little proggy, a bit cheesy, but definitely an attemp to do something off kilter. Primus shoved a techno dancefloor banger. Wildest track of the day, close but no cigar.

Myrkur: Ella Opens up with soaring female vocals and some fiddle playing. I’m not sure this is going to explode into any sort of skull crushing metal because I’m halfway through and it’s a Lord of the Rings soundtrack we have going here. 2/3s of the way through, i think this is going to snooze all the way through. I guess they have a metal hating metal playlist manager over at the Apple Music. This is tragic, somber cheese. More vocals, more cheese.

YTD recordings listened to: 65
Good music, not list worthy: 36
Not good music: 27

Best: 0
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

 

Music for 11/20/19!!! The Good Ones, Charles Rumback, Mono

@@@ The Good Ones: Rwanda, You Should Be Loved (Anti-, 2019) Today’s listens came to this blog post the All Music notable release email which comes out every Friday. The song titles here are very substantive — A Long Sad Journey Watching You Die is an example. The opening tune (clipped below) is a vocal and acoustic guitar track. Medium energy but with a slight melancholic feel to it. The second tune opens up with the same formula plus a simple hand percussion beat so this is looking like it’s gonna be a stripped down unplugged set. This second one is more beautiful than the first. There are some hipster guest appearances from Nels Cline and a member of Sleater Kinney. I will remain open minded on that concept until I hear it. There are two singers here and they blend and stand out from each other quite beautifully. I get why they’re having some gringos up in their tracks to get white folks to move towards them, but it doesn’t really add anything when I hear Nels Cline drop in a wannabe African figure. I don’t have time to check this whole record but I can’t see how this wouldn’t make my year end list.

@@@ Charles Rumback: Little Common Twist (Thrill Jockey, 2019) I thought I saw somewhere that this was jazz and there are some sonic jazz signifiers here but it’s also got a very strong folk vibe to it as it’s a duo record between a drummer and an acoustic guitar player. The focus here to my ears is on the beauty of the music whereas on a great jazz record I find the give and take between the players to be the central driving feature. It’s not for me to say that this isn’t jazz, they can call it whatever they want but I do get to say how I hear it. Some electric guitar wash makes an appearance in the third track but the basic formula remains the same. This could work for a lot of folks — a lot of folks want their music to be first and foremost beautiful. I’m not in it for that but I don’t insist on my point of view.

@@@ Mono: Before the Past (Temporary Residence, 2019) 3 songs recorded live at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio in Chicago. I’m expecting some combination of rock, indie, noise and maybe some metal flavors in this first 16 minute track. Gloom-ish, Tool-ey. It is as it signalled at the beginning of the tune and it sounds great. I’m not sure if I’m not in the mood for it or if I don’t like it so I will chill some more and see where it goes. The sounds are absolutely huge rocks sounds and I like the playing but it doesn’t grab me. Once again with the disclaimers, that’s just me, check it out for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 607
Good music, not list worthy: 362
Not good music: 204

Best: 0
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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Emma Louise, Andre Bratten, Nathan Corder/Tom Weeks, Oli XL, Buzzherd, Logistic Slaughter, The Muslims, Tobe Nwigwe, Saint Abdullah, Bug Martin, Kaleta and the Super Yamba Band, Toko Telo, Brittany Howard, The Garifuna Collective, Mariachi El Bronx, Bonnie Baxter, Danny Brown, clipping., Deafkids, Michael Kiwanuka, Kelly Moran, Canalon de Timbiqui, Pour Me a Grog, Loscil, The Good Ones

Music for 4/10/19!!! Jayda G, Mdou Moctar

@@@ Jayda G – Significant Changes (Ninja Tune) #1 out at CFUV in Vancouver. I think of Ninja Tune and Warp as labels for progressive non 4 on the floor electronic music. The first tune on this record, Unifying the Center, has some weirdness and straightness to it. Some jazz like keyboards over a pretty funky not quite standard dancefloor beat. The second tune sounds like a high IQ Madonna song. I like the beats on this record, the tunes a bit less. The third tune (clipped below) gets into standard dancefloor exhortations and I like it the least of what I heard. I’m also not sure why there’s so much reverb on her vocals as it doesn’t push the dance vibe forward.

@@@ Mdou Moctar: The Creator (Sahel Sounds, 2019) This listen comes from the WRIR weekly music review email. That station and those reviewers can be trusted. I heard the advance single but I’m going to round back because the WRIR reviewer lost his nut over this record, saying it has all the power of his live performances. He comes out midtempo and pretty rocking on the first tune Kamane Tarhanin (clipped below). Classic circular African guitar shredding with more energy than Tinariwen. The second tune, Asshat Akal, is more openly rocking even featuring power chords and an upstroke reggae guitar part. The record most definitely aspires to and achieves a live feel. He has a massive guitar tone which I’m enjoying. I wished it rocked more but it’s a very good record.

YTD recordings listened to: 187
Good music, not list worthy: 115
Not good music: 64

Best: 0
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, A Tribe Called Quest, 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, Horndal

Music for 10/3/18!!!! Joseph C. Philips, 2Baba, Adekunle Gold, Niniola

@@@ Joseph C. Philips: Numinous (New Amsterdam, 2015) Some classical music off this week’s Roulette show email.  It might surprise a listener to see this slotted as classical music and then hear a fusion funk figure opening up the first track.  Interesting and unexpected as it gives way to a standard classic instrumentation while retaining fusion elements in the playing.  Six pieces span almost 56 minutes and I’m really feeling the second piece, Behold the Only Thing Greater than yourself.  It really does mash classical music with other genres, most notably African American genres together in a non-gimmicky and convincing way.  This piece is a slow roller featuring vocal, strings, and some woodwinds (small guess) with light guitar.  It is decidedly highbrow music which I tend to be very skeptical of but there are some really nice moments on what I heard.

@@@ 2Baba: Gaga Shuffle (Hypertek Digital, 2017). I got to the following three African tracks via a photo shoot in the New Yorker focusing on Nigerian musicians.  This is an electro, African track with Autotune (I think) some pleasant synth percussion and some light to medium funk.  It is a shuffle after all.  I have to look up the lyrics as there’s a thick accent going on but Mr. 2Baba wants to involve you in the craze of the Gaga Shuffle.  I have no clue what the Gaga shuffle is, but the track is a slightly funk-a-fied Lionel Richie vibe with updated sounds but it’s not very interesting.  I don’t anticipate getting involved in the Gaga Shuffle craze.

@@@ Adekunle Gold: IRE (Afro Urban, 2017) A Justin Bieber style ballad, yikes!  Nylon string guitar and string flourishes for high class and sophistication.  Here comes the African vocal choir, more yikes!  This is exactly the kind of music one would expect the New Yorker to feature for its readers — decidedly Westernized, maudlin lyrics and a gentle yet aspiring African vibe.  I made it about halfway through, this is not my favorite style of African music.  At all.

@@@ Niniola: Maradona (Drumroll, 2017). This is a lush mid tempo funk tune with ballad vibes though I think it’s about a soccer player.  It sports a plethora of percussion as well as a simple and quick guitar melody and some whizzing samples that pan across the stereo field.  It’s kind of a singular vibe, it’s just grooving on Maradona.  Super slick production, fat rhythms, that’s about it.  No need to go on and on when you can check it for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 557
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 298
Not good music: 226

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza

Best of 2018 Pick 2

Guy One: #1 Best (Philophon, 2018)

A unique large ensemble African record that sports elements of Afrobeat this record smokes from beginning to end. Great playing, great singing and high energy.

I had never encountered Frafra music which is the music of a small community in the upper eastern part of Ghana. From a radio show that featured some of Guy One’s music I guess elements of the band are from Germany so this is called frafra ‘made in Germany.’ I’m not particularly interested in the story of a record but in this case the sonic differences made me want to investigate as to why this music is similar to Afrobeat but better, imho.

To my ears this style of music has less macho swagger and more funkiness while retaining large horn lines and polyrhythmic drumming. This is not a headlining African artist and he’s on a small European label but if you check it out the energy and the funk and the musicality is amazing. I don’t use the word amazing lightly.

Check it out!