Trivial Shields: Levity (self-released, 2021)

January 4, 2022 at 6:09 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Trivial Shields: Levity

Christian Carpenter is the musician and producer behind Trivial Shields, a project blending smooth rhythms with lovelorn vocals. Carpenter attended the University of Michigan several years ago, and he’s joined here by fellow U of M alumni Theo Katzman and Woody Goss of Vulfpeck. Sarah K. Pedinoti of LIP TALK guests on the opening title track, a bittersweet sundown reflection with a vaguely “Purple Rain”-like vibe. Angelica Bess, member of Body Language and Kalbells as well as vocalist on standout album tracks by Machinedrum, Chrome Sparks, and Giraffage, sings on the upbeat “For the Best”, an easy highlight which just elevates with sheer optimism. Sandu Ndu of Bells Atlas adds complex, truly mesmerizing vocals to “Rejection Therapy”, easily the most otherworldly track here. Instrumentals of the three songs are included, but all of them actually sound far better with the vocals included, for a change.

Clyde automaton: X’d 4 U (self-released, 2021)

January 3, 2022 at 9:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Clyde automaton: X’d 4 U

Previously a producer of trippy lo-fi hip-hop instrumentals, Clyde automaton has switched to jungle and hardcore revivalism, and it’s abundantly clear that this territory was one of his first loves. X’d 4 U is his fourth EP in this vein, with the first two appearing on the the excellent DOMEOFDOOM label. It’s super focused and deadly, with style ranging from the ragga blitz “NEVER DIE [AGAIN]” to the heavy breakbeat roller “NETTO AMEN [packet mash]”. “TRASHED SON [freezrr]” is also a stone cold rave slammer which surfs over a tidal wave of bass. Only 4 tracks, but he’s putting out EPs so frequently that it hopefully won’t be long before his next release, because this rules.

Show #611 – 1/2/22

January 2, 2022 at 11:17 am | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Jlin @ The Power Center this Friday and Saturday!!!!
2:00 am Jlin ~ Connect the Dots ~ Embryo (new) ~ Planet Mu ~ 2021
2:05 am TV Victor ~ Agai ~ Timeless Decceleration ~ Tresor ~ 2000
2:07 am Nia Archives ~ Consume Me ~ Beautiful Presents: Beautiful Vol. 1 (new) ~ Beautiful ~ 2021
2:10 am Seekersinternational ~ SoundboyThunderbolt ~ Presents Ragga Preservation Society – Worldwide Sound (new) ~ Diskotopia ~ 2021
2:14 am vhvl ~ sew ~ hem/sew (new) ~ Rvng Intl. ~ 2021
2:16 am Gesloten Cirkel ~ Chatters ~ Submit X ~ Murder Capital ~ 2014
2:20 am Yukihiro Takahashi ~ Curtains ~ Neuromantic ~ Alfa Records ~ 1981
2:23 am Spizzoil ~ Fibre ~ 1978: The Year the UK Turned Day-Glo ~ Cherry Red ~ 1978
2:25 am Lena Platonos ~ Now, While You Wait For Your Love ~ Balancers ~ Dark Entries ~ 1985
2:30 am Digital [Wolfgang Voigt] ~ Treu ~ Kompakt 1 ~ Profan ~ 1996
2:35 am Baltra ~ Will You Be (CFCF Remix) ~ Ambition: Remixes 002 (new) ~ Local Action ~ 2021
2:39 am Sunship feat. Warrior Queen ~ Almighty Father ~ 12″ ~ Casual ~ 2004
2:44 am Neil Landstrumm ~ MUMbai ~ Yell Yell EP (new) ~ Sneaker Social Club ~ 2021
2:50 am µ-Ziq & Mrs Jynx ~ Philip Steak ~ Secret Garden (new) ~ Planet Mu ~ 2021
2:53 am Kiefer ~ Superhero ~ Between Days ~ Stones Throw ~ 2021
2:56 am John Carroll Kirby ~ Jubilee Dub ~ Septet ~ Stones Throw ~ 2021
3:01 am Caterina Barbieri ~ Pinnacles of You ~ Ecstatic Computation ~ Editions Mego ~ 2019
3:07 am Sun Ra ~ Egyptian Oasis 2 ~ Egypt 1971 ~ Strut ~ 1971
3:10 am GCOM x Qebrus ~ XO Transmission #1 ~ E2-XO (new) ~ !K7 ~ 2021
3:14 am Aria Rostomi ~ Bolbol ~ Bolbol (new) ~ Shaytoon ~ 2021
3:18 am Herbert ~ The Slip ~ Musca (new) ~ Accidental ~ 2021
3:21 am Lena Raine ~ Insomnia (Lycopene Remix) ~ Reknowing ~ Local Action ~ 2020
3:24 am Tim Reaper & Kloke ~ Tunnelvision ~ Tunnelvision (new) ~ Tempo Records ~ 2021
3:30 am Lee Gamble ~ Hyperpassive ~ Flush Real Pharynx 2019-2021 (new) ~ Hyperdub ~ 2021
3:34 am Jamire Williams feat. Mic Holden ~ Ugly ~ But Only After You Have Suffered (new) ~ International Anthem ~ 2021
3:37 am Ill Considered ~ Dervish ~ Liminal Space (new) ~ New Soil ~ 2021
3:41 am Minor Science ~ For Want of Gelt ~ Second Language ~ Whities ~ 2020
3:45 am Love Inc. [Wolfgang Voigt] ~ Life’s a Gas ~ Life’s a Gas ~ Force Inc. ~ 1996

Ayesha: Potential Energy EP (Scuffed Recordings, 2021)

December 29, 2021 at 11:14 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Ayesha: Potential Energy EP

The title track is my leftfield club jam of the moment, and immediately got me hooked on this EP. Nice big globby alien synths that just elevate when the bass kicks in. Not heavy, rigid, factory strength, precision-tooled dance music, this is music to flap around to like you’re made of jelly, or you just don’t have a body. The second track adds breakbeats and is more of a starry rush. “We Be Bubblin” emphasizes Ayesha’s preoccupation with fluid, bubbling textures rather than hard, blocky ones. “Dark Matter” is continuous movement, but never feels like it’s specifically going in one direction, it’s several at once. Free Your Body And Your Mind.

v/a: Now Thing 2 (Chrome, 2021)

December 28, 2021 at 9:47 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

v/a: Now Thing 2

The Mo Wax-issued Now Thing compilation exposed a lot of fans of electronic music to the innovations of dancehall reggae producers two decades ago. I actually haven’t heard that comp, but this second one is strong enough to be possibly the best compilation I heard all year. Focusing just on instrumental riddims, the album consists of warped, skeletal beats with inventive effects, like Ward 21’s sirens and sinister voices or Lenky and Andrew Thomas’ rhythmic dog barks. Crown Star Productions’ “Fire Cracker” is an easy standout for the rave aesthetic synths, and there’s an extra crunchy second part. Also the dubby “Are You That Somebody” rework is worth noting. So much of these tracks just do so much with a limited amount of sounds, and some of them just feel huge, like Madd Spider’s “Hot Water”. Can’t get enough of this.

AllMusic Loves 2021

December 28, 2021 at 9:20 pm | Posted in AllMusic | Leave a comment

Here’s our individual staff lists for the year:
AllMusic Loves 2021
My Spotify playlist for this year’s feature.
AllMusic Loves 2021 Reissues, and my Spotify playlist for that.
AllMusic’s Favorite Electronic Albums list for the year, which I always contribute a lot to and help compile.

The Answer Is In The Beat’s Best of 2021 show.
Crush Collision’s Best of 2021 show.

Crush Collision 12/23/21 (BEST OF 2021)

December 24, 2021 at 12:36 am | Posted in Crush Collision | 1 Comment

Hour 1
10:01 pm Native Soul ~ United As One
10:04 pm DJ Black Low ~ Downfall Revisit
10:07 pm Teno Afrika ~ Smooth Criminal
10:09 pm Herbert feat. Verushka ~ Fantasy
10:12 pm Jayda G ~ All I Need
10:15 pm Tammy Lakkis (local) ~ Notice
10:17 pm Joy Orbison feat. Léa Sen ~ Better
10:19 pm Sofia Kourtesis ~ La Perla
10:23 pm Ladymonix (local) ~ Steppin Out (12″ MAC Mix)
10:26 pm Siete Catorce ~ Todo
10:29 pm Logic1000 ~ I Won’t Forget
10:31 pm Bonobo & Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs ~ Heartbreak (Kerri Chandler Remix)
10:33 pm The MFA ~ Oranges and Lemons
10:37 pm Jon Dixon (local) ~ How We Get Down (In Detroit)
10:39 pm Huey Mnemonic (local) ~ Transmutation
10:42 pm Leon Vynehall ~ Dumbo
10:43 pm Basic Rhythm ~ Techno
10:45 pm Anz ~ Unravel in the Designated Zone
10:48 pm Ouri ~ High & Choking, Pt. 1
10:50 pm Shygirl ~ TASTY (Boys Noize Remix)
10:54 pm Eris Drew ~ Loving Clav
10:57 pm Shawn Rudiman ~ Cloud Lake Motel
10:59 pm Elkka ~ Alexandra
Hour 2
11:02 pm PinkPantheress ~ Just For Me
11:03 pm Ayesha ~ Potential Energy
11:06 pm Loraine James ~ Simple Stuff
11:08 pm Bicep ~ Sundial
11:12 pm India Jordan ~ Only Said Enough
11:14 pm Yoshinori Hayashi ~ Gallop
11:18 pm CFCF ~ Night/Day/Work/Home
11:24 pm Kedr Livanskiy Ft. Flaty ~ Your Turn
11:26 pm Drumskull ~ Interlocked (Coco Bryce Remix)
11:28 pm MoMA Ready ~ Let It Go
11:31 pm Black Rave Culture ~ Break Bang
11:33 pm LSDXOXO ~ Dying For It 2021
11:35 pm UNIIQU3 ~ Shame On Me
11:38 pm Yazzus ~ Generation X
11:42 pm FFF ~ One Tribe
11:46 pm Borai ~ Run with Us
11:49 pm Pixelord ~ 90s
11:52 pm Skee Mask ~ CZ3000 Dub
11:57 pm Dev/Null ~ Dark Fours

Show #610 – 12/19/21 (BEST OF 2021)

December 19, 2021 at 12:31 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | 1 Comment

Best of 2021 Crush Collision coming this Thursday, 10PM-midnight!
Mic break music = Toshiyuki Hiraoka: Waterphone II
Hour 1
2:00 am Arlo Parks ~ For Violet ~ Collapsed in Sunbeams ~ Transgressive ~ 2021
2:05 am ouri ~ harp version *shape of it ~ single ~ Lighter Than Air ~ 2021
2:09 am Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & the London Symphony Orchestra ~ Movement 5 ~ Promises ~ Luaka Bop ~ 2021
2:13 am L’Rain ~ Suck Teeth ~ Fatigue ~ Mexican Summer ~ 2021
2:17 am Saint Etienne ~ Pond House ~ I’ve Been Trying to Tell You ~ Heavenly ~ 2021
2:21 am Low ~ Disappearing ~ HEY WHAT ~ Sub Pop ~ 2021
2:25 am Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt ~ Man Carrying Thing ~ Made Out of Sound ~ Palilalia ~ 2021
2:36 am RXK Nephew ~ Early Age Death ~ Slitherman Activated ~ Towhead ~ 2021
2:40 am Backxwash ft. Censored Dialogue ~ TERROR PACKETS ~ I LIE HERE BURIED WITH MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES ~ Ugly Hag Records ~ 2021
2:45 am Cadence Weapon ft. Manga Saint Hilare and Strict Face ~ On Me ~ Parallel World ~ eOne Music ~ 2021
2:48 am The Bug ft. Flowdan ~ Hammer ~ Fire ~ Ninja Tune ~ 2021
2:52 am Mach-Hommy ~ The Stellar Ray Theory ~ Pray for Haiti ~ Griselda ~ 2021
2:55 am Your Old Droog ft. Lil Ugly Mane and billy woods ~ Meteor Man ~ Space Bar ~ Mongoloid Banks ~ 2021
Hour 2
3:01 am PinkPantheress ~ Noticed I cried ~ to hell with it ~ Parlophone ~ 2021
3:02 am Tim Reaper ~ Teletext ~ Teletext ~ Lobster Theremin ~ 2021
3:09 am Burial ~ Dark Gethsemane ~ Shock Power of Love ~ Keysound ~ 2021
3:18 am Little Snake ~ hang in there.. ~ A Fragmented Love Story, Written by the Infinite Helix Architect ~ Brainfeeder ~ 2021
3:25 am MC Pilato ~ Mama Ashura ~ Sounds of Pamoja ~ Nyege Nyege Tapes ~ 2021
3:34 am Sherelle ~ Jungle Teknah ~ Fabric Presents Sherelle ~ Fabric ~ 2021
3:38 am Anz ft. George Riley ~ You Could Be ~ All Hours ~ Ninja Tune ~ 2021
3:41 am Bruiser Wolf ft. Danny Brown (local) ~ I’m A Instrument ~ Dope Game Stupid ~ Bruiser Brigade ~ 2021
3:45 am Noname ~ Rainforest ~ single ~ self-released ~ 2021
3:48 am Xiu Xiu and Liz Harris ~ A Bottle of Rum ~ OH NO ~ Polyvinyl ~ 2021
3:51 am Sweet Trip ~ Walkers Beware! We Drive into the Sun (Single Version) ~ 12″ ~ Darla ~ 2021
3:54 am Hannah Jadagu ~ Think Too Much ~ What Is Going On? ~ Sub Pop ~ 2021
3:57 am Fievel Is Glauque ~ Unfinding ~ God’s Trashmen Sent to Right the Mess ~ “la Loi” ~ 2021
3:58 am Madlib ~ Dirtknock ~ Sound Ancestors ~ Madlib Invazion ~ 2021
Hour 3
4:03 am Lovetta Pippen (local) ~ Picture ~ Picture ~ Bandcamp ~ 2021
4:09 am Yasmin Williams ~ Juvenescence ~ Urban Driftwood ~ Spinster ~ 2021
4:12 am Nala Sinephro ~ Space 5 ~ Space 1.8 ~ Warp ~ 2021
4:16 am Jana Rush ~ Disturbed ~ Painful Enlightenment ~ Planet Mu ~ 2021
4:20 am Suzi Analogue ~ Fast ~ Do You Want It Fast Or Slow ~ Never Normal ~ 2021
4:23 am x.nte ~ Rollout70s ~ HYPER BEAM ~ Kitty On Fire ~ 2021
4:25 am Casper Mcfadden ~ ITS NOT YOUR FAULT ~ Stasis (log) ~ Kitty On Fire ~ 2021
4:27 am ZULI ~ Tany ~ All Caps ~ UIQ ~ 2021
4:33 am Kode9 ~ The Jackpot ~ The Jackpot EP ~ Hyperdub ~ 2021
4:38 am Jlin ~ Embryo ~ Embryo ~ Planet Mu ~ 2021
4:42 am DJ Manny ~ Signals in My Head ~ Signals in My Head ~ Planet Mu ~ 2021
4:45 am Rochelle Jordan ~ All Along ~ Play With the Changes ~ Young Art ~ 2021
4:49 am Tinashe ~ Bouncin ~ 333 ~ Tinashe Music ~ 2021
4:52 am Doss ~ Puppy ~ 4 New Hit Songs ~ LuckyMe ~ 2021
4:57 am The Koreatown Oddity ~ My Name Is Dominique ~ Breastmilk ~ Stones Throw ~ 2021

Oscar Peterson: A Time for Love – Live in Helsinki, 1987 (Mack Avenue, 2021)

December 16, 2021 at 8:28 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Oscar Peterson: A Time for Love – Live in Helsinki, 1987

Documenting a 1987 gig in Helsinki, this previously unheard set presents the Oscar Peterson quartet at their most joyous and spontaneous. As customary for their gigs, the setlist wasn’t predetermined, and Peterson let his musicians know what to play by launching into the song intros himself. All of the first disc is taken up by Peterson’s own compositions, while most of the second is standards. “Sushi” is an early highlight, just an incredibly fun, exuberant performance. “Love Ballade” is a soft piece which seems to consist of nothing more than piano, and “A Salute to Bach” starts out similarly, but then unexpectedly gets incredibly joyous when the full band joins in, and keeps going for 20 minutes (with pauses in between movements). “Cakewalk” just flies, the band is so full of energy that it’s absurd, and even a bit of mic feedback can’t bring them down. Benny Goodman’s “Soft Winds” is one of the full-band highlights of the second disc, while Bill Evans’ “Waltz for Debby” showcases the intricacy of Peterson’s playing. Guitarist Joe Pass plays “When You Wish Upon a Star” solo, adding some playful embellishments to the familiar melody, and then the whole band plays a lengthy Duke Ellington medley, stunningly flowing between several well-worn classics and adding their own personalities. Peterson especially takes off during “Caravan” at the end, almost making it sound like a player piano reel sped up at least five times its regular speed. The band then launches into Peterson’s own speedy “Blues Etude”, which feels like a victory lap.

Joy on Fire: Unknown Cities (Procrastination Records, 2021)

December 15, 2021 at 8:08 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Joy on Fire: Unknown Cities

New Jersey’s Joy on Fire play progressive jazz-rock that’s much easier on the ears than black midi. Most of this album’s songs are instrumentals, with charging saxophones criss-crossing over driving rhythms. “China, North Carolina” is the album’s winding epic, gradually arriving at some scorching solos, and pushing even further during the second part. “The Complete Book pt 4” is closer to alternative rock influenced by Krautrock, at least at the beginning, then the saxophone takes it on a wilder ride. “In Speaking Like Thunder” introduces vocals in the form of a paranoid, close-miked narrative, then it’s taken over by stretched-out guitar effects, and the drums slow to a queasy crawl at the end. “Unknown City” is a pretty different vibe, with programmed electronic drums and a 303-sounding bassline, as well as more vocals which are closer to spoken than sung.

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