Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Joints

The library is demanding I return a few CD's I've had for a while so I thought I'd write a little about them first.  After all the hype around Sampha and his debut album, Process, I decided to check him out a bit, but I wanted to go back to the source -- I read about his guest appearances on albums by SBTRKT so started there.  To be honest, while I think Sampha has a unique voice with a very warm quality to it, he wasn't really doing it for me; I even saw him live recently, with the XX, and felt the same way; just not feeling it.  But I do like SBTRKT!  He has some really great sounds on his records; I particularly love the squelchy synth bass on this track, Wildfire:

Features Little Dragon -- keep coming across them recently.  Another good thing I've noticed about that track in particular is that it rewards repeated listening -- I keep hearing new sounds that I hadn't noticed before, like the warbles behind the singer's voice at certain points.

Second CD due back is 'Malibu' by Anderson Paak.  Now, this guy is hardly unheard of; in fact I decided to check the album out after getting round to listening to a best of 2016 podcast from NPR.  But there's so much music out there these days, including so much lauded good music, that even though he's on best of lists that doesn't mean you've come across him -- all I'd seen was the name, but hadn't heard anything.  Really glad I got the album out though, as it's really good.  I've been listening to the whole thing at a time as it all gels really well, though I can't say it's been sit-down in-depth listening -- mostly it's been on in the living room on a weekend morning.  But I'm cool with that -- music that I can just put on and enjoy is more than welcome.

Non-library and newer listening now.  I came across JLin thanks to NPR first listen.  The accompanying write up for her album Black Origami talks about one of her records being played by Aphex Twin recently, her album being on Planet Mu (a UK label), and how some footwork-y music has junglist elements to it.  All pretty interesting stuff and, to be honest, I even found the fact that she's a black woman releasing this type of music pretty cool and unusual in that I don't come across that often (maybe I'm looking in the wrong places). And she's from Gary, Indiana!  I stopped there, once, in a snowstorm, on the way to Chicago with my brother and cousin -- we wanted to check out what was then described as the most dangerous city in America; we didn't stay long. Anyway, the album's hyper-erratic beats don't necessarily do it for me, but I do like this next track, and can definitely hear sounds that would fit right into some jungle: