@@@ 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
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