Saturday, July 31, 2010
Library Catalog Music Series: Kristin Miltner: Music For Dreaming and Playing (Asthmatic Kitty) – The 8th installment of Asthmatic Kitty's Library Catalog Music Series presents two themes from Oakland, California based electronic sound sculptor Kristin Miltner. By utilizing custom software to combine varied flourishes into the textural backdrop, the pieces are transformed in unexpected ways. Expectedly, the dream sequence evolves, while play bounces around. Upon hearing the pieces, it's not surprising that she has designed audio for several video games and toys. Nearly Recommended. Dig 2 4 5 7 10 11
Lloyd Miller and the Heliocentrics: s/t (Strut) – UK collective The Heliocentrics join noted Eastern jazz innovator Dr. Lloyd Miller on a freeform mix of Eastern arrangements meshing modal jazz and floating psychedelics. The swirling sounds draw one's spirit onto otherworldly airs. Gliding around mother earth, elevated by inner rhythms, spirit jazz will carry you away. Nearly Highly Recommended. Dig 2 3 5 6 11
Various Artists: Afro-Beat Airways: West African Shock Waves Ghana & Togo 1972-1978 (Analog Africa) – Climb aboard for a smoking journey into organ-driven Afro-beat, cosmic Afro-funk and raw, psychedelic boogie from Ghana and Togo. Features funky guitars, punchy horns, flipped-out organ, deep poly-rhythms and jagged vocals. Culled from vintage Essiebons and PolyGram West Africa sides, this compilation will have you flying high. Highly Recommended. Dig 3 5 6 7 8 10 11 15
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Luisa Maita: Lero-Lero (Cumbancha) - The debut release from São Paolo native Luisa Maita combines her sultry, seductive vocals with modern Brazilian sensibilities. Native rhythms are combined with acoustic instrumentation and restrained electronic embellishments. She allows the rhythms to carry her away, effortlessly bringing her listeners along. Nearly Recommended. Dig 1 2 3 5 7
Budos Band: III (Daptone) - Staten Island deep-funk ensemble The Budos Band are poised to strike with their 3rd release. The funky core of guitar, bass and drums come to life with three-part horns, psychedelic organ and earthy percussion. Shadowed intrigue, exotic adventure and thrilling engagements unfurl within the instrumental, soundtrack-like sonic adventure. Recommended. Dig 1 2 3 6 9 10 11
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Mahjongg: The Long Shadow of the Paper Tiger (K) - Mahjongg is not your typical k artist. Sans founding guitarist Jeff Carillo, Mahjongg hone their "Chicagotronics" for the dancefloor. It's a fusion of 8-bit, industrial, Afro-beat, drum-n-bass drum and more. Robotic and earthy elements ebb and flow within the layers of keys, guitars, polyrhythmic grooves, exuberant yelps and vocoder vocals. Dynamic and euphoric – the Paper Tiger is far from tame. Recommended. RIYL: !!!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Catalyst: The Complete Recordings Vol 1 and Vol 2 (Porter) - Catalyst were a Philadelphia four-man jazz combo which spawned a creative fusion of avant-garde, contemporary bop, soul and funk. Formed in the early 70s members included Eddie Green (keyboards, vocals), Sherman Ferguson (drums, percussion, marimba), Odean Pope (sax, flute, oboe), and Al Johnson / Tyron Brown (bass). In all, they released four albums for Cobblestone and its successor Muse before disbanding in 1976. Each album had its own vibe. Available for the first time this century thanks to Porter Records – and they really come to life in the warmth of the analog format. Highly Recommended.
Wavves: King of the Beach (Fat Possum) - Nathan Williams' Wavves brings together surf-punk and 60s sunshine soul on his most put-together album. The bright production from Dennis Herring gives his works much needed depth. "King of the Beach" is a rather ironic title considering his downbeat loner persona. Baked guitar punk, layered percussion, primitive electronic and hazy noise are hallmarks. Recommended.
The Books: The Way Out (Temporary Residence Limited) - New York sound collage duo The Books sculpt leftfield pop by meticulously assembling layers of sampled sounds and speech with minimalistic electronic and organic instrumentation. Gently ebbing moods drift from avant-garde, to chamber, glitch-hop, progressive and beyond – toward the infinite everything. Recommended.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Soundtrack: Babylon Central (ESL Music) - Thievery Corporation's Eric Hilton makes his directorial debut in the DVD film "Babylon Central", which is packaged with the soundtrack CD. The score centers on dub reggae, as an easy, Thievery style flow connects classic sides with contemporary works. The well-chosen songs are ripe with drama and action. In all, it’s a recommended listen even without the film.
Fol Chen: Part II: The New December (Asthmatic Kitty) - Fol Chen's sophomore offering furthers their mysterious experimental pop. Dreamy co-ed vocal weave their way through a dense tapestry of rock, folk, avant-jazz, Balkan, middle-eastern, southwestern, R&B, psych and more which twists mainstream pop sensibilities. There's an incredible amount of ideas in the mix, yet the distillation is savory, refreshing and never tiresome. Nearly Highly Recommended.
The Love Language: Libraries (Merge) – The sophomore offering from
based indie-pop project The Love Language revel in the themes of summer, as shimmering harmonies, reverbed guitar, swooning keys, pedal steel and strings bake into glistening indie pop. The glowing in the air welcomes the Blue Angel. Will you ever learn to swim? Recommended. Raleigh
Deru: Say Goodbye To Useless (Mush) -
electronic music producer Deru (aka Benjamin Wynn) marries cinematic compositions and big beats for a digestible yet immensely complex sonic score. Micro sliced beats are manipulated into blips, chirps and snaps to form the throbbing backbone, as ethereal strings, woodwinds, textural electronics and bells add body to the works. Left-field hip-hop and IDM fans will rejoice in this compelling album. Nearly Highly Recommended.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Various Artists: Been Here All My Days (Selections from the George Mitchell Archive) (Mississippi )
Various Artists: Been Here All My Days (Selections from the George Mitchell Archive) (
Mississippi ) – presents a vinyl only collection of highlights from a series of Fat Possum 45s recorded during 60s and 70s by George Mitchell. Well known and obscure artists deliver down home blues, mostly of the acoustic variety. Highly Recommended. Mississippi
Calibro 35: Ritornano Quelli Di... (Nublu) – Calibro 35 director Tommaso Colliva taps into the vibe of 60s and 70s Italian soundtracks for this grooving contemporary album which ebbs from smoking to sinister. Cool studio effects color the live instrumentation, as the free-flowing mix of jazz, funk, rock, classical and improvisation sets the cinema ablaze. Recommended.
Perfume Genius: Learning (Matador) - Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, spins poignant, personal tales where disturbing details are softly delivered. Cushioned by reverberating piano, textural synth and brooding organ, the aural sent lingers with ethereal, hymnal airs. RIYL:
and the Johnsons, Xiu Xiu Nearly Recommended.
Various Artists: Cloud Cuckooland (Finders Keepers- German Miner- B-Music) - A collection of pre-1974 recordings from
's Kuckuck records' psychedelic prog-rock era. The forward thinking experimentations will lift you into the clouds with heady elements of blues, jazz, gospel, ambiance and more. Bizarre samples, dynamic movements, fuzzy guitar and groovy moog are essential ingredients. Recommended.
Various Artists: Palenque Palenque: Champeta Criolla and Afro Roots in Columbia 1975 - 91 (Soundway)
Palenque Palenque: Champeta Criolla and Afro Roots in Columbia 1975 - 91 (Soundway) - The music heritage of Columbia's Caribbean coast stretches back to Africa. Soundsystem DJs of the day refreshed those roots, veering popular Cumbia and Porro forms toward Afrobeat and African psychedelia. Though somewhat uneven for Soundway, it's still Recommended. [nice 28 page color booklet has LP scans and commentary]
Tame Impala: InnerSpeaker (Modular) - The debut from
quartet Tame Impala is a bright, psychedelic array of paisley pop, kaleidoscopic guitars and stoner rhythms. Though frontman Kevin Parker's vocals recall those of John Lennon, it's far from derivative. Drop into the gloriously heady, ebullient experience. Nearly Highly Recommended.
David Karsten Daniels and Fight the Big Bull: I Mean to Live Here Still (FatCat) – Richmond's own nonet Fight the Big Bull join San Francisco based folky troubadour David Karsten Daniels for a modernistic take on the poems of Henry David Thoreau. The poetic marriage of traditional hymnals and country with adventurous jazz arrangements of clarinet, saxophones, trumpet, trombones, bass and percussion yields a multi-dimensional album that’s rewardingly harmonious and complex. RIYL: Clogs Recommended.
Maps and Atlases: Perch Patchwork (Barsuk) - The debut LP from Chicago 4-piece Maps and Atlases takes art rock into a fascinating, yet accessible sound all their own. It’s a manifestation of the dynamics of relationships, as darkness and light are lyrically and musically layered with complexity and color. RIYL: Born Ruffians, Vampire Weekend, Menomena, Dirty Projectors Recommended.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Dan Sartain: Lives (One Little Indian) - Dan Sartain is a lo-fi rockabilly troubadour from
. The grit of retro-garage rock swings with foot stomping beats and his aching voice that’s tapped into southern sensibilities. Nearly Recommended.