Music for 6/13/21!!! Nkom Bivoue

@@@ Nkom Bivoue: Zeun Ya Yop (Rebel Up, 2021) I’m on the mailing list for this small UK world music label and they just released this dancefloor banger by a producer out of Cameroon. As you would expect the rhythms are superior (not hard!) to standard mainstream dancefloor bangers with the first tune Alert relying on your classic arpeggiated synth tones and big rush fills. The second track of this three track single (clipped below) is less cheesy on the synth tip and rhythmically hipper. Kinda hypnotic with drum machine taps. I like it better than the first track but I’m not super into the chosen synth sounds and the tunes feel like they could be fleshed out a bit more. I love African electronic music, it really works for me but this one is off the mark a tiny bit.

Music for 6/10/21!!! James Brandon Lews, Teke Teke, Trevor Powers

@@@ James Brandon Lewis: Jesup Wagon (TAO Forms, 2021) All three of today’s listens are from an All Music notable release email from a few weeks ago. I’ve heard Lewis’ music before and have liked it. He’s got a strong tone, a little black church in his playing, and what I would call an upredictable and rebellious flow on his instrument. After a mellow sax intro the cornet player leans in with the rhythm section. I love how the bass player sounds on this record. The energy here is high and righteous. He’s not about sheer skronk. To my ears he’s riding a fine line between straight jazz and the wildness of free jazz but that’s just my ears. I urge folks to check this out, the record is really well recorded and these guys are putting some energy and soul into this music. I just checked the lineup here via the bandcamp page clipped below and he has William Parker on a couple of tracks and the fine drummer Chad Taylor so this is a team effort and a really good one at that.

@@@ TEKE::TEKE: Meikyu (Kill Rock Stars, 2021) This is the second to last track on this record from Kill Rock Stars. Outside of the track titled Serenade it’s all Japanese language titles and the lyrics are sung in Japanese which is very far from a no deal for me, I’m fine with it. This track clipped below is blustery with a jumpy guitar part, tom heavy drumming, some fairly intricate synchronized melodies, and a flute! Fuckin’ A, a flute! I dig the weird rock vibe here, it’s pleasantly art school, a bit weird but plenty of rocking to be had. A quiet flute solo, then a horn solo, then the rockin’ maelstrom returns and respect for mixing it up here. Another track here opens with a surf guitar guitar, then into a drum break, then a horn vamp.

@@@ Trevor Powers: Capricorn (Fat Possum, 2021) I chose the track on this record that is not a nature related title. So Ghosts of Shanghai it is, and it’s pleasantly lo fi with a piano, some swellings up and down, some flute action, and even an electric guitar working in and out. I will peep another track but this doesn’t have that certain slow hypnotic thing that draws me into an awesome ambient track, this sounds more like a song or a series of sounds. I clicked over to the second track Earth to Earth and the combination of the sounds chosen and the arrangement of the chosens sounds, that formula isn’t super working for me.

Music for 6/9/21!!! Japanese Breakfast, Rostam, White Flowers

@@@ Japanese Breakfast: Be Sweet (Dead Oceans, 2021) All three of today’s indie listens are off this week’s All Music notable release email. Unlike a lot of other ’80s influenced synth rock this sports higher drums and a bit more rock punch than other specimens in the category. Ms. Breakfast does a good job working the microphone, flavorful but not primping and posing. The chorus explodes a bit into a higher melody and an aspirational sentiment where she asks her special someone to be sweet to her and she needs something to believe in. I don’t usually like this formula but this sports high energy and works well. The next tune Kokomo, IN is slower and more indie so maybe it’s going to have it both ways. Slack and indie and rocking, things that are hard to go together.

@@@ Rostam: Changephobia (Matsor Projects, 2021) More indie, yes! I guess this is a former member of Vampire Weekend, an outfit I’m mostly agnostic on, but my impression here is this is intended to be a mathy yet friendly effort for the music nerds out there. Washed out chorus guitars are a big drag for me personally, but Rostam has a friendly if not a bit cloudy voice. Big ups for a sax solo in the middle of this bad boy — a nice break from the standard guitar solo. Think Death Cab for Cutie in a car accident with Yes. Not my thing but I’m a freak.

@@@ White Flowers: Daylight (Tough Love, 2021) More ’80s inspired guitar tones, it’s an all you can eat buffet. Then a dreamy female vocalist and straight drumming. All of today’s listens are off this week’s All Music notable release email. Oy, the mope, lots of mope here. I get it, I would never deny anybody their right to mope but I don’t have to like it! As I listen to the track and surf a bit I do get pulled in by the vocal swirl, it’s like shoegaze packed into a singer’s performance, the other parts are pretty standard. This recording seems pretty directly tied to Roxy Music, for better or for worse.

Music for 6/6/21!!! Body Meta

@@@ Body Meta: The Work is Slow (Hausu Mountain, 2021) I seen this on the Twatter pumped out by the Pitchfork, by the Pitchfrank, etc. It’s proggy slack rock with a little alt country in it. I’m feeling this drummer, he/she/they is active and I like the guitar in my left ear that’s more ambient. Oh Lord, this first tune is an almost 15 minute banger, I got shits to do I may have to peep a bit and then move on. Oh my, they’re all big bangers, oy. The second tune lets up on the prog and goes more aggro with a delicious bass tone and some distortion pedal on the guitar, I’m feeling this big banger. I’m not a huge buyer of this style but these guys rock the instrumental prog business well. It’s thoughtful, varying in tones and moods. Maybe a bit too nerdy for me but that’s just me, I like a hot mess. Not hot dog mess but a hot mess so maybe I’m a bit overburdened by the restraint shown here.

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