Music for 10/18/18!!! Elvis Costello, Kurt Vile, Georgia Ann Muldrow

@@@ Elvis Costello: Look Now (Concord, 2018).  I got to the new Elvis Costello record via this week’s All Music notable release email.  I’m on the fourth tune and my favorite moments thus far have been Costello’s singing.  The band plays well, they’re a great band — the songs are more mainstream and less funky than vintage era Costello/Attractions albums.  There are some parts of the instrumental arrangements that evoke late Beatles tunes, which is interesting.  I’m swinging back to this record overnight and I feel the same — while Costello brings the vocal energy of his youth the arrangements are a bit staid which makes sense as his fans are much older now.  At certain points the more orchestrated arrangements elevate the tunes and sometimes they hold it back a bit.

@@@ Kurt Vile: Bottle it In (Matador, 2018) To say that Kurt Vile is an indie darling is an understatement.  Indie world is balls deep and nuts over Vile.  This first tune sounds like an indie, updated Tom Petty type of rocker.  Very straightforward, a little slippy slide-y in his vocal delivery but very American rock.  You can close your eyes and hear this on classic FM radio.  The second tune brings on a version of crisp Strokes type rock with, oops I had the third track going and skipped the second one.  I’m a bit sorry I went back.  The formula is pretty clear here — mainstream rock arrangements for the masses and then Vile’s voice which is a piquant blend of slack and classic.  The tune clipped below is track 4 and I like it the least of what I heard.

@@@ Georgia Ann Muldrow: Overload (Brainfeeder, 2018). There are only two pre-release tracks up on the Apple Music but it’s a welcome relief to the Kurt Vile vanilla ice cream sundae.  This is not retro soul, it’s modern drum machine and synth sounds.  The tunes are midtempo and while I’m enjoying the sophisticated sonics of the mix there’s a certain coolness and detachment to the tune.  I’m most definitely enjoying the funkier second pre-release track, Aerosol, to the tune clipped below.  Hike your asses over to the GoogleTube yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 584
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 311
Not good music: 238

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, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, serpentwithfeet

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Music for 10/15/18!!! Neneh Cherry, SASAMI, Orkid, Bad Bunny

@@@ Neneh Cherry: Kong (Small Town Supersound, 2018). A pre-release single by ’80s singer Neneh Cherry.  Produced by 4tet who I am a fan of.  Not a fanboy, but a fan.  It’s a trip hop track with a dub baseline, a slow piano arpeggio, and some dark echo effects.  A simple open hi hat pattern with kick drum drive the tune.  The tune finds a nice groove but doesn’t progress much during it’s 4:24.  I could have used more than what is on offer.

@@@ SASAMI: Not the Time (Domino, 2018).  A shoe gaze single I got to via tracks of the week at Line of Best Fit.  The guitars a little less stormy than what you would expect and it has a keyboard, but the intimate and confessional vocals nestled in the middle of the mix are classic.  Solid B.

@@@ Orkid: No Noh (Shir, 2018). Mainstream electro pop off the Line of Best Fit tracks of the week.  Female singer doing an up and down melody, low medium funky drum machine beat, though there is a nice echo on one of the drums.  There’s not a lot to the arrangement outside of beat and the vocals so if you don’t like the singer (I’m not a huge fan) then you won’t jump and down over this.  As always, listen for yourself.

@@@ Bad Bunny: MIA (OVO, 2018). Drake breaks the internet as he appears on this Latin single and does his loverboy thing entirely in Spanish.  It’s good to see he’s as buttery soft in Spanish as he is in his native tongue.  Bad Bunny is pumping out the sugar for the ladies as well as this is almost Halloween candy for your ears.  There are some nice drum beat variations in the back end of the tune but this is pretty disposable as again there’s not much here after the beat, the baseline and the microphone work.

YTD recordings listened to: 578
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 308
Not good music: 235

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, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, serpentwithfeet

Music for 10/11/18!!! Tierra Whack, Tess Roby, Proc Fiskal

@@@ Tierra Whack: Whack World (Interscope, 2018) 15 1-minute hip hop songs that I got to from a best 25 records from the last 3 months at factmag.  I’m on the third minute and I like the brevity of the tunes and the tidbits have more of a melancholy flavor than a party vibe.  I don’t think the brevity and the melancholy are connected.  The jumps from one bit to the next are pleasantly jarring.  The sounds are very new, no retro hip hop happening here.  It’s like somebody hitting the fast forward every 1 minute.  I really like the tune 4 Wings.  I found it and shit!  Enjoy.

@@@ Tess Roby: Beacon (Italians Do It Better, 2018)  We switch gear from youthful African American female gloom hop to white people electronica.  It’s opening up with a sinuous guitar line and a Rush beat, not great as far as I’m concerned.  Then a singer — where is she from?  Montreal!  I love Montreal.  I think this is poor record sequence/placement on my part as the jump from those hip hop kibble and bits to this is not great.  This is low energy, not as funky, and just a wee bit……white.  And I say that as a human that used to be a white person.  I thought this was going to be an electronic record but it’s an indie rock record with an electronic U-haul attached to the back.

@@@ Proc Fiskal: Insula (Hyperdub, 2018).  This is an abstract electronic record I got to via the same best 25 records of the last three months.  It is most definitely chopped pretty roughly with plenty of processed vocal samples and bass ‘n drum type beats.  It is trying to be both funky and trippy and thus far I don’t think it’s hit either goal.  I want to like it as it aims for a place I enjoy listening to but it sounds a bit sterile and technical for my taste.  The arrangements are more than competent but it’s a nerd record.  Homie needs some doobie in his funk, imho.

YTD recordings listened to: 574
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 306
Not good music: 233

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, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, serpentwithfeet

Music for 10/9/18!!! Schlegelmilch, Goldberger and Black, KALETA AND SUPER YAMBA BAND, Ladama

@@@ Schlegelmilch, Goldberger & Black: Three of a Mind (Skirl, 2018) I got to this jazz record from a friend whose music teacher is on this recording. Instrumentation includes organ, guitar and drums and I’m psyched about that combination of sounds. This first tune has an indie rock flavor and is pretty straight ahead. The tune moves more firmly into a proggy area after the intro. The second tune, Chiseler, edges more deeply into prog and jazz neighborhoods. It is definitely spiritually related to Martin Medeski and Wood but more rocking than I remember that outfit being. I’ve sampled big bites of four of the tunes and I’m mostly neutral on this record. I like parts of it and not others.

@@@ KALETA AND SUPER YAMBA BAND: Mr. Diva / Hungry Man, Angry Man (Yamba, 2018) I came across a quick bio of this outfit and it’s New York city based with a senior figure in African music. It does sport classic Afrobeat horns, a couple of simple and funky guitar parts and then a gent rocking it in…..well he was born in Benin but grew up in Nigeria. It’s got funky beats, a solid guitar organ, and even some organ action. If you’re in the mood for the old school Afrobeat, have at it.

@@@ Ladama: Poor Macatu (Six Degrees, 2017) I got to this group of Latina female musicians from an email by an upstate New York media collective. This is the first track from their 2017 record Night Traveler and it is busting with energy. Multiple voices, a brisk tempo, and a full but not cluttered mix. Ah, they gave space for an accordion solo, you can’t fuck with that as far as I’m concerned. Other instruments include drum kit, hand percussion, electric bass, and nylon guitar. I associate the West Coast label Six Degrees with sleepytime tea world music so I was not expecting this level of energy. They rhyme, they chant, they sing together. I’m going to roll back and check out more of this record.

YTD recordings listened to: 571
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 304
Not good music: 231

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, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, serpentwithfeet

Music for 10/4/18!!! J. Hoard, Jose James, Marissa Nadler

@@@ J. Hoard: Sirens (651034 Record DK). I saw this musician on a show promoting email from the hipster pretentious Brooklyn club National Sawdust.  Hoard has a dash of fragility in his voice and in this tune it sits in front of a smooth r&b arrangement.  I really like the bass line and the background vocals.  It’s gospel tinged with a little bit of rocking.  All I hear is sirens, the earth burns in silence.  So not the most happy happy vocal hook but I give him credit for that.

@@@ Jose James: Lean on Me (Blue Note, 2018). Off this week’s All Music notable release email.  The first tune is a stripped down version of Ain’t No Sunshine.  James has a soulful and expressive while the production is lush and manicured.  It could be mistaken by the more skeptical among us as Norah Jones redux with songs aimed at the heart of high end cubicle dwellers.  The keyboard player gets two solos in the first two songs and this is not really jazz, it’s undercover mainstream music wrapped in the Blue Note jazz candy bar wrapper.  It’s a well done record of covers but it could have been more creative.

@@@ Marissa Nadler: For My Crimes (Sacred Bones, 2018). Also singer songwriter music off this week’s All Music notable release email.  The opening tune here is much darker with just an acoustic guitar and Nadler’s voice.  She’s done terrible things….a big unidentifiable metallic swell (guitar I think) pushes up in the middle of the track.  If you strip away the prettiness of Daniel Lanois’ production you get something close to this record.  It’s slow and sad and full of long droning tones.  I really like Nadler’s voice and that’s good as it’s just her, some backing vocals, a guitar and a few drone tones behind her.

YTD recordings listened to: 560
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 300
Not good music: 227

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

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

Music for 10/2/18!!! Nina Kraviz, MASSIMILIANO PAGLIARA, Motor City Drum Ensemble

@@@ Nina Kraviz: Opa (TRIP, 2018). A Russian female DJ that I got to via a promo email for the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival.  Thus is a single off a compilation of what I assume are Russian and European techno producers.  It’s got a fair amount of industrial pounding with the kick drum, but there is a pleasant swirling insect sauce poured over that and the unrecognizably processed spoken word parts.  Clicky and kinetic providing a great sonic juxtaposition.  This is hypothetically danceable due to the kick but it’s more of an aesthetic — maybe if you were fucked in the head on gin and juice you could hit the dance floor.  I like the toughness of it, it almost gets into a metal vibe.

@@@  MASSIMILIANO PAGLIARA: Devoid of Dimension, Pt. 1 (Live at Robert Johnson, 2017). I got to this electronic EP from the same promo email for the Brooklyn Electronic festival.  As with the tune above it opens up briskly but with some retro bouncy synth sounds that evoke early video games and early electronic.  It’s an 8 minute track so it introduces new sounds at a relaxed pace.  A hot hi hat, some more synth melody, it’s a big electro layer cake.  The second tune keeps the brisk tempo and retro sounds so that’s going to be core to the record, I believe.  I don’t love this bass sound but then he comes in with some simple electric piano chords that are very nice.  More layering and medium funk.  I like this without loving it.

@@@ Motor City Ensemble: Dekmantel 10 Years 10.2 (Dekmantel, 2018)

A German DJ who takes a Tony Allen track, breaks it down and then puts it back together.  I can get with that concept being a huge African music fan and an electronic music person as well.  Mr. Motor City retains the funk while he chops this tune into pieces.  I’m feeling this as it combines Afrobeat sounds with a more modern production technique.  This is the best of what I heard today, check it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 553
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 296
Not good music: 224

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