Music for 8/4/22!!! Surprise Chef, MK

@@@ Surprise Chef: Velodrome (Big Chief, 2022) A pre-release track from a record coming out in October though I’m also checking out Crayfish Caper which is a track from 2019 that I peeped around a bit. I did a bit of search-a-fying and see that these folks are from Australia. I woulda guessed down South where the kudzu be thicker than the local police. These guys are doing a Meters type instrumental funk type sitch and they do it well. It’s not a hipster thing, well maybe it is a hipster thing but it’s not a super annoying hipster thing. This track is driven by the drums, the chickenscratch guitar, multiple keyboard parts and even a triangle. Vibes too, me loves the vibes. I’m checking out another pre release track, Money Music, and it’s even better than the track clipped below. Imma check more of these guys when it comes out.

@@@ MK: Burning (Defected, 2011) A track from the latest Crack Magazine playlist. Not recent releases but whatevs. It’s tightly constructed with an interesting one word vocal sampe, a really hot percussive metal vibe vamp and funky. Then the dive comes in begging somebody to touch her body she’s all pumped up! My funk-o-meter is giving this a 7.5 out of 10 rating and that’s completely arbitrary. Tight construction, funky funky funky, that’s all about all that needs to be said.

Music for 8/3/22!!! Ami Dang, Reuben James

@@@ Ami Dang: Raiments (Leaving Records, 2022) I got to these two listens today via the boozhy club National Sawdust in Brooklyn, they send out a weekly email blah blah blah. This is the opening track and it’s a mashup of world music and electronic music. The question with these mashups is how many New Age feels are we going to get and the answer here is medium. Here it’s centered mostly in the arpeggiated synths that are panned out to the side while a traditional stringed instrument takes the melodic lead in the center. I like this more than I expected as boozhy New Age electro can often annoy me. Often as in almost always. I even kept the Apple Music player rolling into the second track and there’s a rolling dark sound here that I’m actually into. Well kiddies, that’s why you always listen for yourself despite what you might expect or read in a marketing tidbit. Not my favorite shit ever, but this is pretty good.

@@@ Reuben James: All I Wanna Do (Rufio, 2022) I don’t usually go for what I consider to be enlightened boom bap but with this first track Vegan Butter I think they took hooked it up pretty stylishly. You gotta remember normies gonna norm and while this music is pretty straight in its own way, it’s focused and well executed. I’m on the third track and I can confirm this is normie music — big beats, big as in high in volume in the mix which I love, lots of friendly smooth vocals (I like that less) and solid arrangements. Highbrow loverboy r&b, that’s what we got here.

Music for 7/2/22!!! Robert Glasper, Amber Mark

@@@ Robert Glasper: Better Than I Imagined (Concord, 2022) A couple listens off Variety’s best of 2022 thus far. This is an ongoing work presenting a mashup of various black musics — jazz, hip hop, r&b, whatevs. I haven’t been a huge fan as it has sort of a pretentious feel to it and leaves out such beauteous ugliness as trap music and dancefloor genres. This is a lush, medium funky ballad with a sultry vocalist. I’m going to peep another track as this is a bit of a sleeper. I’m checking out the second track Black Superhero as it has Killer Mike on it and my distaste here continues as this is most definitely black music for black folks in brownstone Brooklyn — smooth, funky but not dirty and grizzy. Kinda classist and seems aimed at the historically black college graduates.

@@@ Amber Mark: Three Dimensions Deep (EMI, 2022) I’m going to start on the second track here, What it Is. It’s remarkably similar to the track above, lush and polished with a medium funk feel to it. I like these two tracks (this one and the one above) but I find them lacking in heat and heart. Amber has a very nice voice but I want someone to come on in and wreck up the joint. I’ve sampled parts of four different tracks and I give it a solid B. Nice sounds, maybe a bit polite, with really good singing.