Anna Domino – East And West

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Barebones 80s pop

Moods

Introspective stroll in Williamsburg. Black T-shirt on.

Thoughts
There’s an enjoyable genuineness to this music which is strange as her singing is so nonchalant at times. Instrumentation features a band playing almost like they’re trying to replicate a synth/drum machine setup. I like the worldly percussion and strings on tracks like ‘repeat’.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Anna-Domino-East-And-West/release/1926235

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Anna Domino – East And West

Description: Album Review of Anna Domino – East And West


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Tay-K – #SantanaWorld

★☆☆☆☆ = Bad

Sounds like?

Aggressive young rap

Thoughts
‘The Race’ shows high potential but I found the rest of the album lacking. Flows are never as memorable and I dislike the negative machismo.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Tay-K-SantanaWorld/release/11765642

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Tay-K – #SantanaWorld

Description: Album Review of Tay-K – #SantanaWorld


Rating: 1 out of 5

 

Avalon Emerson – Narcissus In Retrograde

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Intense techno

Moods
Accessible Berghain

Thoughts
Biting and varied, hits with a booming intensity, reminds me of a more accessible version of Surgeon.

‘Why does it hurt’ is a bit boring, the rest is strong.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Avalon-Emerson-Narcissus-In-Retrograde/release/9429305

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Avalon Emerson – Narcissus In Retrograde

Description: Album Review of Avalon Emerson – Narcissus In Retrograde


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Ambrose Akinmusire – A Rift In Decorum (Live At The Village Vanguard)

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Modern jazz that is rooted in tradition but veers into tasteful experimental deconstructions.

Moods
Downtown jazz

Thoughts
Impressive stuff, wholeheartedly suggest this to fans of modern jazz.

I need to look up the style this is called but I feel this is part of a broader move forward for jazz. His compositions follow a general pattern with a somber melodic start to these songs that veers into intense free jazz like breakdowns. They illustrate a masterful knowledge of post-bop and mindful control on limits free jazz breakdowns.

I think what sets this apart (ie from Justin Brown’s latest) is the way the band keeps it together and doesn’t totally abandon a collective playing. Jazz, as a genre, evolved into something where people seemed to go free, fusion or forced to play as a revivalist. This record combines something of the free and revitalist approach but does so in a modern way that feels fresh.

Credit is due to the band and leadership of Ambrose. He’s a trumpet player who’s style I actually enjoy and is executing a vision perfectly. Justin Brown’s drumming is always impressive and his influence can’t be understated. I find he works very well as a member as a band rather than a leader; see my notes on nyeusi for more there.

Conflicted on what to rate this so gave it a 3 for now. Believe I need a bit more time to really set in with listening sessions where I can enjoy this. Overall a great record with fresh ideas, recommended.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Ambrose-Akinmusire-A-Rift-In-Decorum-Live-At-The-Village-Vanguard/release/10749297

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Ambrose Akinmusire – A Rift In Decorum (Live At The Village Vanguard)

Description: Album Review of Ambrose Akinmusire – A Rift In Decorum (Live At The Village Vanguard)


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Tierra Whack – Whack World

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Brief sketches of fun bedroom r&b

Thoughts
Can’t quite call these ‘songs’ as tracks clock in at a minute each. But it succeeds as a whole with each track flowing into the next and creating a cohesive album.

There’s a freewheeling approach that compliments the light synth production, reminds me of a less emo Frank ocean.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Tierra-Whack-Whack-World/release/12242081

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Tierra Whack – Whack World

Description: Album Review of Tierra Whack – Whack World


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Smokepurpp – Deadstar

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?
Trademark SoundCloud rap: distorted beats with repetitive mumble raps

Moods
Young and obnoxious

Thoughts
Smokepurpp isn’t a very strong mc which is where the genre falls short as it lyrically lacks talent. However I think the production from SoundCloud rap is going to be big and a natural progression from Kanye’s industrial use on yeezus. For that reason I think albums like this, while bloated and too long, are worth a listen for those curious about raps future direction..

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Smokepurpp-Deadstar/release/11762725

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Smokepurpp – Deadstar

Description: Album Review of Smokepurpp – Deadstar


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Justin Brown – Nyeusi

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Modern spiritual jazz with a keen sense of rhythm and shimmering keys.

Moods
Stoner experimental

Thoughts
An enjoyable listen but requires a certain patience. The song structures typically follow a build from a quiet-calm and end in a fit of explosive energy. Justin Brown’s distinct approach to the drum kit (off rhythm, complex, technical) can feel distracting at times as if he’s just soloing letting everything else happen around him. It’s hard to feel the band jiving at those times and more reminiscent of a free-jazz album. Considering this my favorite tracks are Replenish are and Fyfo, an accessible pair indebted to hip hop.

It’s an interesting listen and something that deserves decent headphones or speakers that can separate the mix as it can be a lot to pick out at times. He’s pushing jazz forward in his own way and anyone curious about the contemporary scene should hear this.

More Info
https://www.discogs.com/Justin-Brown-Nyeusi/release/12251209

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Justin Brown – Nyeusi

Description: Album Review of Justin Brown – Nyeusi


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

CCFX – CCFX

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Big sounding, chord-driven indie rock that borrows stylistic flourishes from shoegaze

Moods
CCFX

Thoughts
Tight gem of an EP. A well done update on 90s shoegaze styles.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/CCFX-CCFX/release/11053569

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CCFX – CCFX

Description: Album Review of CCFX – CCFX


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Chloé – The Waiting Room

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?
Dark diy electro with rock instrumentation

Moods
Can’t remember

Thoughts
A pretty OK uneven record. I like the longer rock numbers like it’s Sunday and brashov. Other tracks felt drawn out and not very strong.

I’ll credit her with creating a distinct character here. Feels raw and soulful; elements often missing from electro.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Chlo%C3%A9-The-Waiting-Room/release/1077374

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Chloé – The Waiting Room

Description: Album Review of Chloé – The Waiting Room


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Billy Childs – The Child Within

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
80/90s post-bop.

Thoughts
Typically not as raw as I like my jazz, reminds me of WBGO (local NYC jazz), but the playing is tight and maintains a pleasant groove. Album highlights:

* Aaron’s song, an interesting piece of songwriting that repeats somber piano and sax melodies.

* Dreams, a lazy swaying melody kicks things off into an intense set of solos.

Solid record.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Billy-Childs-The-Child-Within/release/8899878

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Billy Childs – The Child Within

Description: Album Review of Billy Childs – The Child Within


Rating: 3 out of 5