Anthéne and Andrew Tasselmyer: Progressions (Constellation Tatsu, 2020)

September 17, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Anthéne and Andrew Tasselmyer: Progressions

This one captures just the right amount of resolved peace mixed with gloominess. Perfect for dismally staring outside but relaxing and let time just wash by. Yet it’s not downer music at all, the stillness and soft, natural breeze feel refreshing. It’s empty in terms of kinetic activity, but that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of feeling, or care. It flows from nostalgic reflection to trippier notions, as more reversed notes and other effects are gradually applied. Some of it has a vague shoegaze tint to it, also. This music doesn’t quite progress, though, unfold might be more accurate. But either way, it’s perfect for airing thoughts to, or just laying still and making an attempt to find inner peace.

The Beneficiaries: The Crystal City Is Alive (Axis, 2020)

September 16, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

The Beneficiaries: The Crystal City Is Alive

The Beneficiaries is the trio of techno old-schoolers Jeff Mills and Eddie Fowlkes along with Detroit poet, playwright, and performance artist jessica Care moore. As with much of his space-themed full-lengths on Axis, Mills’ productions find him in astral traveling mode, constructing electronic comets and shooting stars for moore’s words to traverse. Speaking of hope for a better tomorrow, she namechecks Octavia Butler, Sun Ra, and Samuel Delany, as well as Juan Atkins’ cosmic cars.
The two Eddie Fowlkes tracks are both lengthy jams with live percussion babbling over the percolating electronics, with moore’s vocals dropped in somewhat dub-like, especially scattered with effects during “The X” (which also features space-gospel organ from Amp Fiddler). “When the Sun Loves You Back” and most of “Star Children of Orion” are swirling Mills instrumentals turning solar energy into electronic sonatas.

Show #547 – 9/13/20

September 13, 2020 at 10:57 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

RXM Reality ~ B4
Etch ~ Darksides
Drumskull ~ Braincleaner
Philip D Kick ~ Summer Moods
Jlin ~ Lotus
Luke Vibert ~ Animen
Model Home ~ Damn Disco 99
Devonwho ~ blas
Loraine James ~ Messy
Jordana ~ The Circle
Shygirl ~ Freak
Alewya ~ Sweating (Breakage Remix)
Fauzia ~ Progression
Nappy Nina ~ Dipped
Jyoti ~ Bop For Aneho

Robert Rental: Paralysis 12″ EP (Dark Entries/Optimo Music, 2020)

September 13, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Robert Rental: Paralysis 12" EP

Robert Rental: Paralysis 12″ EP

Robert Rental’s first 7″, from before he released music on Industrial Records and Mute, has now been expanded to a full EP thanks to Dark Entries and Optimo. The title track is well named, as it feels like much of the body is just devoid of feeling, cut off, unreachable. A drum machine ticks away and a guitar is flicked at, but the vocals are nearly zombified, and there’s an unsettling electronic whirring over everything. “A.C.C.” seems a little more together, with a tighter rhythm at least, although the vocals are still a little zoned out. The remaining three tracks are seeing release for the first time here. “G.B.D.” stumbles into a dilapidated, echoey drum rhythm before some ragged psych guitar soloing surfaces. An untitled track is unexpectedly tender, with lonesome vocals intoning a desire to be with someone over the barest tick of hi-hats and skeletal rhythmic guitar. “Ugly Talk” is leagues away from anything else on the EP, a 7-minute flotilla of interlocked fluid melodies which sway in impressive waves. Nothing remotely ugly about it at all. It fades out at the end but I’d take an entire LP side of it.

Spotify playlists

September 12, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m not sure why but I’ve been looking back lately (probably because I’m stuck at home and can’t go anywhere) and I ended up making playlists of some of my favorite songs of the past 2 decades. I’ll keep adding to them as I think of more things:

Best of the 2000s
Best of the 2010s
And these are just various songs/pieces that pop up in my head from time to time, regardless of era. I’ll warn you that it ended up skewing towards silly/goofy stuff after a while:
Something (on my mind)

Ethan Daniel Davidson: Come Down Lonesome LP (Blue Arrow Records, 2020)

September 11, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Ethan Daniel Davidson: Come Down Lonesome LP

Ethan Daniel Davidson: Come Down Lonesome LP

Michigan-based troubadour Ethan Daniel Davidson has traveled far and wide, and has been interpreting various facets of Americana for over two decades. Come Down Lonesome is one of several records he’s made with His Name Is Alive’s Warren Defever, who co-produced the album along with Gretchen Gonzales Davidson (of Slumber Party and Universal Indians/Universal Eyes, and now Ethan’s wife). The program includes traditional tunes, original compositions, and songs penned by artists including Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and Bob Dylan. The atmosphere is a mixture of the rustic and the ethereal, with numerous guest musicians and backing vocalists lending to the album’s richly textured production. Songs like the opening “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” (Davis) are bleak and wondrous, and a few tracks have some noisy, droney undercurrents which adds a strange, compelling edge to them. Hurt’s “Louis Collins” sounds like it has an air raid siren whirring in the background, and Dylan’s “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine” would sound gentle and inviting if it weren’t for the searing feedback and distortion lurking beneath. The traditional “Turkle Dove” is perhaps the most mantra-like track, but others are hypnotic as well. Danielson’s originals, including the near-title track, are closer to lonesome downer country. The album ends on this note with Cowboy Joe Babcock’s “I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water”, which consists of little else beside Davidson’s resonant acoustic guitar notes and sorrowful vocals.

Kara: Colors (Leaving Records, 2020)

September 8, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Kara: Colors

Kara: Colors

Devin Daniels has been playing saxophone for over a decade, and is currently studying jazz at a university in Switzerland, but he also ventures into beatmaking as Kara. His first tape for Leaving Records is a brisk set of 20 tracks which constantly stays upbeat and even celebratory, arranging inventive beat patterns and coloring them with lush sounds like harps and saxophones. The spiraling tones and skipping beats of “Kale” are carefree and light-headed without being lazy. None of these tracks sound like a bunch of samples simply thrown together, but it can be easy to overlook how complex they are, as there’s such an untroubled aura to them. Jenna Noelle lends her dreamy vocals to “Over U”, which features an incredibly detailed beat pattern and sweet, rapidly bubbling melodies, making a lot happen out of so little. The brief, slapping “scramble” sounds like a funky Speak-N-Spell beat, except it doesn’t actually use the vintage electronic toy. “Bunch a Snow” drops sweeping strings into its bumping, feel-good beat, elevating the mood further. Spinning unexpected samples into obtuse, loopy patterns, Kara expresses joy in unconventional ways on this uplifting tape.

Show #546 – 9/6/20

September 6, 2020 at 10:57 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

The Microphones ~ The Microphones In 2020
Jayda G ~ Are U Down
Brain Rays & Quiet ~ Draco Mills
Linda Guilala ~ Mucho Mejor
Addison Groove ~ Out of Nowhere

devonwho: Offworld (Leaving Records, 2020)

September 6, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

devonwho: Offworld

devonwho: Offworld

devonwho’s first release in years was created during a period in which he relocated back to Oregon from California. While it starts out sounding like the wonky, laid-back hip-hop we might expect from him, it quickly spins off into other directions, in an exciting way. “soar” is halfway between footwork and synth-funk, then “blas” is a radioactive pinwheel of jittery percussion and soothing synths. “queue” is another track that creates a blissful vibe, then ups the complexity on the beats, making it seem extra excited. “tricorder” doubles down on that astral bounce, while “cars” has a slow, heavy thunk for a beat but still manages to float high in the clouds. Then “wave” is another one that fuses prickly IDM and juke, but keeps things on the uplifting, non-aggressive side. Very illuminating, inventive stuff here, looking forward to hearing where he takes his sound next.

v/a: enter​:​protopost 12″ EP (art-aud, 2020)

September 4, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

v/a: enter​:​protopost 12" EP

v/a: enter​:​protopost 12″ EP

Throwing the arbitrary idea of genres out the window, Italian label art-aud presents a half-dozen tracks that share little in common other than creativity and a need to be heard. The opener by Kreggo + Train To Eitanin is a slow, dubsteppy crawl filled with rapid flickers and quizzical, pitch-shifted voices. Maxwell Simons’ “Test160” is footwork nearly on the verge of a nervous breakdown, creaking and covered in flop sweat. Mi Croevkhas’ “A25” is all out of proportion, with the blaring synths and tinny breakbeat nearly drowning out the thudding kick drum underneath, but this just serves to keep the track interesting and original. Loraine James’ “Anyways” seems to approach Jersey club but riddles it with glitches and soft, fizzy melodies, upsetting the club while letting it pause to reflect. The Horn’s “Phoneme” is slower and kind of awkward, finding its stride with some added percussion sounds halfway through, but then ending at 3 minutes. Cyclonix’s “Majic Soup” swerves in with a more commanding beat and trippy fx, gliding through and keeping the energy flowing. None of these tracks are obvious club anthems, but they all offer different perspectives on how to approach dance rhythms, and they’re all worth hearing.

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