Show #605 – 10/31/21

October 31, 2021 at 11:50 am | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

1:50 am John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, Daniel Davies ~ tracks 2-9 ~ Halloween Kills soundtrack (new) ~ Sacred Bones ~ 2021
2:03 am Alien Sex Fiend ~ Now I’m Feeling Zombiefied ~ Fiendology ~ Cherry Red ~ 1990
2:10 am Maya Jane Coles ~ Devil’s Dance ~ Night Creature (new) ~ I/AM/ME ~ 2021
2:15 am Christoph de Babalon ~ No Man’s Land ~ Recurring Horrors A Colourful Storm ~ 1993-1998
2:24 am Xeno & Oaklander ~ Gain ~ Vi/deo (new) ~ Dais ~ 2021
2:28 am HTRK ~ Real Headfuck ~ Rhinestones (new) ~ N&J Blueberries ~ 2021
2:32 am Erik Wøllo ~ Viewpoint ~ North Star (new) ~ Projekt ~ 2021
2:38 am Disheveled ~ Datasploshing ~ Disheveled/Spednar Split (new) ~ Thac0 Records ~ 2021
2:43 am Lotic ~ Emergency ~ Water (new) ~ Houndstooth ~ 2021
2:46 am Shygirl ~ Cleo ~ single (new) ~ Because Music ~ 2021
2:50 am Equipment Pointed Ankh ~ Chrome Rum ~ Without Human Permission (new) ~ Sophomore Lounge/Astral Editions ~ 2021
2:54 am Robin Hatch featuring Lowell Whitty ~ Inspector ~ T.O.N.T.O. (new) ~ Robin Records ~ 2021
2:58 am Carlota ~ Breakfast on the Moon ~ Tresor 30 (new) ~ Tresor ~ 2021
3:03 am The Primitive Painter ~ Invisible Landscapes ~ The Primitive Painter ~ Apollo ~ 1994
3:10 am Terrence Dixon (local) ~ Unconditional Love ~ From the Far Future Part Three ~ Tresor ~ 2020
3:16 am Yotam Avni ~ Know Hope ~ Was Here ~ Kompakt ~ 2020
3:22 am Harmonious Thelonious ~ Yusuf ~ Instrumentals! A Collection of Outernational Music Studies (new) ~ Bureau B ~ 2021
3:28 am Erik Wøllo ~ Umbra ~ Recurrence ~ Projekt ~ 2021
3:31 am Fatima Al Qadiri ~ Vanity ~ Medieval Femme (new) ~ Hyperdub ~ 2021
3:34 am Brandee Younger ~ Olivia Benson ~ Somewhere Different (new) ~ Impulse! ~ 2021
3:38 am Alfa Mist ~ Run Outs ~ Bring Backs (new) ~ Anti- ~ 2021
3:43 am Tangents ~ Lost Track ~ Timeslips & Chimeras (new) ~ Temporary Residence Limited ~ 2021
3:48 am Emma-Jean Thackray ~ About That ~ Yellow (new) ~ Movement ~ 2021
3:51 am Shintaro Quintet ~ Evolution ~ Evolution ~ BBE ~ 1984

Skeeter Shelton/Hamid Drake: Sclupperbep LP (Two Rooms Records, 2021)

October 30, 2021 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Skeeter Shelton/Hamid Drake: Sclupperbep LP

As the back cover of the LP explains, Detroit saxophonist Skeeter Shelton and Chicago drummer Hamid Drake found themselves playing an improv gig at Trinosophes in Detroit after Drake’s partner fell sick. It was their first time meeting, letting alone playing together, although both musicians have AACM connections, and everyone who witnessed the performance was blown away. Drake then scheduled a day to drive to Detroit to record with Shelton, and after nine hours of driving due to a snow storm, he just decided to start playing immediately. The two ended up playing for two hours (with a brief pause), improvising as well as playing some of Shelton’s material, which Drake hadn’t heard. The album edits the session to showcase Shelton’s themes and melodies, and it opens with the joyous dance of “We Must Play Music For the Children” (actually written by Shelton’s father, Ajamaru Shelton) and “Attic”. “The Call” starts out reminiscent of the beginning of A Love Supreme, then zooms off into different directions with fractured drumming and angular, zig-zagging sax. “Tru” is a brief interlude of rattling, shaking percussion and mystical flute. After the sprawling, tumbling “Forest Dancer”, “Charles Miles” is significantly cooler and more subdued, calmly striding in the shadows but keeping a kick in its step. The second side lists two tracks, but it all seems to flow as one continuous sound stream, and it feels a bit more detached, unmoored, out in the unknown. Stay plugged in and it does end up bouncing off the walls with vibrant, kinetic energy, only to make a sudden turn towards solemn reflection by the end.

MF Robots: Break the Wall (BBE, 2021)

October 28, 2021 at 7:19 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

MF Robots: Break the Wall

Jan Kincaid, founder of British acid jazz mainstays Brand New Heavies, and vocalist Dawn Joseph (formerly of BNH) are the driving forces behind MF Robots. The vibrant funk/soul group’s second album is all about bringing people together through the spirit and joy of music, despite all the craziness going on in the world. There’s always going to be layers upon layers of conflict and chaos and tragedy and injustice, and there’s times when it’s necessary to stand up and resist, but there’s also time to celebrate life and remind ourselves why we’re here and what all this is worth persisting for. To that end, the band play their hearts out and sing nothing but uplifting lyrics. The intro catches the band in the middle of a heavy jam session, and there’s a spontaneous energy to their playing on some of the tracks, but they also focus on more polished, radio-friendly sounds, like the disco-pop jam “Crazy Life” and the ’80s boogie R&B of “Good People”. Albums like this can seem a bit too eager to please sometimes, and at almost 70 minutes, there’s a few tracks that can safely be skipped, like “Brand New Day”, which is bubbly and cheerful but a bit cloying. Taken a few songs at a time, though, the band’s music is an effective pick-me-up that goes down easily.

Oduor Nyagweno: Where I Go, I Am There LP (Dagoretti Records, 2021)

October 27, 2021 at 9:10 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Oduor Nyagweno: Where I Go, I Am There LP

Oduor Nyagweno is one of the world’s greatest living nyatiti players, having played the instrument since the age of 14. He’s performed for presidents and in competitions, and travelled around the globe. This LP was recorded in and around Nairobi by Pete Larson, one of his students, on a cell phone, and apart from a few tracks with an additional player or singer, the entire record is just Oduor and his nyatiti. His playing is highly disciplined yet it seems to just flow out of him, and his hypnotic, rhythmic playing accompanies his weathered yet casual and friendly-sounding vocals. Even with just a single instrument being played, it’s hard not to dance to the joyous rhythms of songs like “At Korogocho”. The songs are recorded live on the street, as evident by the ambiance of bird chirps and conversation from bystanders. The nyatiti master is right at home and in his element, and it’s just a remarkably spirited recording. The album was released as a benefit to help build the musician and his family a new house; more info is on the Dagoretti Records Bandcamp page.

Robin Hatch: T.O.N.T.O. (Robin Records, 2021)

October 26, 2021 at 5:59 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Robin Hatch: T.O.N.T.O.

Robin Hatch’s new album was born out of 4 days of recording sessions using the storied T.O.N.T.O. multitimbral polyphonic analog synthesizer at the National Music Gallery in Calgary, perhaps best known as the namesake of T.O.N.T.O.’s Expanding Head Band, and through incorporation on several Stevie Wonder albums. Hatch crafted several melodic instrumental gems, leaving some of then unaccompanied, and inviting guests to add further perspectives on others. The solo tracks, like the chiming synthscape “Buttercups”, work fine enough on their own, but as massive as the T.O.N.T.O. synth is, there’s still something a bit primitive about its sound, so having additional instruments helps add more tonal colors and extra dimensions. “Brazil” is sort of an easy fusion-prog workout with drummer Eric Slick (Dr. Dog) and saxophonist Leland Whitty (BadBadNotGood). “Airplane” is more of a horror score frightscape, with doom metal violin by Laura Bates. Lowell Whitty drums on “Inspector”, a sort of aerobic new wave track, which is perhaps the most fun selection on the album. “Mockingbird” (with Nick Thorburn) is also one of the more synth-pop-ish tracks here. After the paranoid “My Lucid Mind” and the more propulsive “Rest Stop”, “The Standoff” (with Joseph Shabason) feels like the suspenseful lead-up to a boss battle.

Dr. Pete Larson and his Cytotoxic Nyatiti Band: Damballah LP (Dagoretti Records, 2021)

October 25, 2021 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Dr. Pete Larson and his Cytotoxic Nyatiti Band: Damballah LP

Ethnomusicologist Dr. Pete Larson continues his studies of the Kenyan nyatiti in a rock band context with his Cytotoxic Nyatiti Band’s latest and (so far) best LP. Here joined by guitarist Fred Thomas, percussionist Mike List, and multi-instrumentalist Dave Sharp, the record is a stunning fusion of swirling psych guitars, earthy rhythms, and delicately hypnotic nyatiti playing. The album’s title, Damballah, refers to “the spirit of fertility, goodness and knowledge symbolized by the two snakes” (an image which appeared on the band’s last album’s cover). The nyatiti is the heartbeat at the center of these six songs, and the guitar and synth textures stretch out into intense but comforting waves. A really nice balance of hazy drone and driving energy. Just remarkable, can’t go wrong with this one.

Meadow Argus: Meadow Argus III tape (Purple Akronym, 2021)

October 24, 2021 at 1:54 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Meadow Argus: Meadow Argus III tape

The first side of this tape consists of eight brief tracks based on a microcassette recording made in 2009. A voice is captured, slowed down, stretched out, and muddied so that it sounds like a hideous ghoul-monster hybrid emerging from a swamp and trying to blurt out whatever message it has to say to the unsuspecting, terrorized human who happens to be witnessing this frightful being. The tape is constantly rewound, producing skidding, screeching noises, and on some of the tracks, the voice isn’t the main focus, so it’s just eerie ambient noises and buzzes looped and transmogrified. A few details that seem inconsequential are constantly returned to, making you feel like you must be missing something and should be focusing harder. It hits on a particularly inspired bit of mania at the end, when the severely disturbed voice says something like “I’ll die on my own”. Second side is called “There Is A Fountain”, and it pairs tape manipulations with shivering, creaky keyboards, with occasional interference bleeding through. Voices faintly appear in brief flashes, and while they aren’t as ghastly as on the first side of the tape, their presence is still disarming.

Show #604 – 10/24/21

October 24, 2021 at 11:27 am | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

2:00 am ESP Summer ~ Kumamushi ~ Kingdom of Heaven ~ Disciples ~ 2020
2:08 am Aquaserge ~ Comme Des Carrés De Feldman ~ The Possibility Of A New Work For Aquaserge (new) ~ Crammed Discs ~ 2021
2:13 am Jerusalem in My Heart (with Greg Fox) ~ Abyad Barraq ~ Qalaq (new) ~ Constellation Records ~ 2021
2:18 am Matthew Tavares & Leland Whitty ~ Symbols of Transformation ~ Visions ~ Mr Bongo ~ 2020
2:23 am Nubya Garcia ~ Pace (Moses Boyd Remix) ~ SOURCE ⧺ WE MOVE (new) ~ Concord Jazz ~ 2021
2:28 am The Future Sound of London ~ Are They Fightin Us ~ ISDN (original version w/ black cover) ~ Virgin ~ 1994
2:36 am Relaxer ~ Concealer ~ Concealer (new) ~ Planet Mu ~ 2021
2:41 am Artilect ~ Zero Time ~ Blurring the Line ~ Samurai Music ~ 2018
2:47 am HHY & the Kampala Unit ~ Fission Core Fluid ~ Lithium Blast ~ Nyege Nyege Tapes ~ 2020
2:52 am Prolaps ~ We Sin With Others ~ Ultra Cycle Pt. 3: Autumnal Age (new) ~ Hausu Mountain ~ 2021
2:59 am Anz ~ Last Before Lights ~ All Hours (new) ~ Ninja Tune ~ 2021
3:05 am DJ Girl (local) ~ Freak N See (Jennifer Walton Remix) ~ Transition EP ~ Eat Dis ~ 2018
3:09 am Colloboh ~ one2Many ~ Entity Relation (new) ~ Leaving Records ~ 2021
3:12 am Ross From Friends ~ Spatter/Splatter ~ Tread (new) ~ Brainfeeder ~ 2021
3:16 am Jacques Greene ~ These Days ~ ANTH01 ~ LuckyMe ~ 2012
3:21 am Charlatan ~ Namesake ~ Bird Paintings Vol. 1 ~ The Jewel Garden ~ 2021
3:25 am Grouper ~ Disordered Minds ~ Shade (new) ~ Kranky ~ 2021
3:30 am Mimasuya Kachiguri ~ Shiokumi Kasatsukashi (Collecting Water) ~ Sound Storing Machines: The First 78rpm Records From Japan, 1903-1912 ~ Sublime Frequencies ~ 1906
3:32 am Robin Hatch featuring Joseph Shabason ~ The Standoff ~ T.O.N.T.O. (new) ~ Robin Records ~ 2021
3:38 am Jlin ~ Embryo ~ Embryo (new) ~ Planet Mu ~ 2021
3:42 am Onipa ~ Hey No I Say ~ We No Be Machine ~ Strut ~ 2020
3:47 am Dr. Pete Larson and his Cytotoxic Nyatiti Band (local) ~ Korona ~ Damballah (new) ~ Dagoretti Records ~ 2021
3:51 am Oduor Nyagweno ~ Kwetu Nyawara ~ Where I Go, I Am There ~ Dagoretti Records ~ 2021
3:55 am Skeeter Shelton & Hamid Drake (local) ~ The Call ~ Sclupperbep (new) ~ Two Rooms Records ~ 2021

Crush Collision 10/21/21

October 22, 2021 at 11:17 am | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

10:01 pm Prins Thomas ~ Urmannen (DJ Nobu Remix)
10:06 pm Claiana ~ Pérola
10:08 pm Strategy ~ Evolu
10:14 pm Akasha System ~ Afterimage
10:16 pm Recondite ~ Black Letter
10:19 pm Johan Agebjörn & Mikael Ögren ~ Space Travel (Old School Techno Remix)
10:23 pm Grant ~ Shifting Views
10:27 pm Sebo K ~ Riddim
10:29 pm Keleketla! ~ International Love Affair (Project Pablo Remix)
10:33 pm MoMA Ready ~ House All Along
10:36 pm Donnell Knox (local) ~ You Make Everything
10:41 pm Amy Dabbs ~ Girl Like Me
10:44 pm Mr. Tophat ~ Hedonism
10:50 pm DJ 3000 ~ Pariah (Chord Mix)
10:54 pm Aril Brikha ~ dissOrganised
10:59 pm Dan Curtin & DJ Haus ~ Flashback
11:02 pm Roy Davis Jr. ~ House Inferno
11:11 pm Sandoz ~ Heist
11:17 pm AceMo ~ Myrtle Ave Party Track
11:24 pm DJ Skull ~ The Graveyard Orchestra (Claude Young Remix)
11:30 pm Jazz Juice ~ Detroit (Laboratoire Mix by Laurent Garnier)
11:34 pm Floorplan (local) ~ On the Case
11:38 pm Truncate ~ The Bell
11:42 pm Alfie ~ Return to Planet E
11:46 pm Gary Martin (local) ~ Casa Cugat
11:51 pm Underworld ~ Push Upstairs (Adam Beyer Rmx 2)
11:53 pm gayphextwin ~ Saunter
11:57 pm Nina Kraviz ~ stranno neobjatno

Jessica Pavone: Lull (Chaikin Records, 2021)

October 21, 2021 at 5:39 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Jessica Pavone: Lull

Jessica Pavone’s newest album is the most successful and fascinating of her recent works for string ensembles. She composed and conducted this one for an octet plus soloists, and the players’ improvisations are based on open pitches which they oscillate between on their own will. “Indolent” begins with tones which seem to repeatedly clash for the first several minutes, then it all blends harmoniously after a while, first through more strenuous, locked-in bowing and then blossoming outward to a more expansive gaze of sound. Already by this point, you feel like you’ve gone through a transformative process, but there’s still three more movements left. “Holt” features drummer Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), who patters at the outer edge of a snare drum head, less beating a rhythm than exploring the resonations of the instrument. The string octet creeps in, and Chase accelerates his drumming to a roll, and all of the instruments set off into a merry-go-round-like rotation. Chase’s amplified cymbal swallows the strings before you even realize he’s playing it, and it all strips down from a levitating blur to slow, sparse movements. Nate Wooley ends the piece with some visceral, spluttery trumpet playing, and he remains during the next piece, “Ingot”, focusing on a single droning note as the strings shift and rise behind him. Wooley eventually takes on a rougher, harsher timbre while the strings thresh away, almost approaching a marching tempo. “Midmost” starts out with some deep, almost grunting string clusters, then the playing dissipates and becomes nebulous. For the final half, the musicians all play together in evenly spaced intervals, with subtle alterations to the rhythm. By the end, it feels like gradually easing yourself into a hot bath until all your apprehensions have melted away and you feel soothed.

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