Emeralds – Does It Look Like I’m Here?

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Dense intense synths

Moods

Yesterday’s vision of the future

Thoughts
I enjoyed this but it’s a very specific record. Synths with an intense, brooding repetition that’s intense; tracks have a Bach like heaviness to them.

The particularly dense tracks like genetic and double helix could soundtrack any megatropolis movie of the future.

There’s something striking here if you’ve got the patience or interest.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Emeralds-Does-It-Look-Like-Im-Here/release/10003075

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Emeralds – Does It Look Like I’m Here?

Description: Album Review of Emeralds – Does It Look Like I’m Here?


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Elza Soares – A Mulher Do Fim Do Mundo

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Samba Punk

Moods
Scorching evening on the esplanade

Thoughts
A curious record, original to my ears. I’ve always enjoyed elements of samba but its a genre that seems to appeal to purists and is stuck in the past, all roads leading to Jobim. Here the band and writing has a punk direction (of the south american variety) but with a samba flavor. She was 80 when she record this so there is an element of maturity. It’s this juxtaposition of such a mature voice being coupled with an edgy sound that gives it the appeal. I’ve often felt frustrated by the mellowing of artists catalogs as they get older so it’s nice to hear something where someone is pushing themselves in a younger direction.

I’ll be honest this isn’t the type of thing I plan on revisiting much but there’s something about the sound that I find interesting. Worth a listen.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Elza-Soares-A-Mulher-Do-Fim-Do-Mundo/release/7568602

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Elza Soares – A Mulher Do Fim Do Mundo

Description: Album Review of Elza Soares – A Mulher Do Fim Do Mundo


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Boards Of Canada – Hi Scores

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
A variety of 90s electro including synth ambient and breakbeat

Moods
An intelligent dance party

Thoughts
Enjoyed the breakbeat tracks (not sure if it’s true breakbeat but reminds me) ‘Nlogax’ and ‘Seeya later’ but the others are very good as well. ‘Hi Scores’ and ‘Turquoise Hexagon Sun’ are almost like ambient trip hop.

One of my favorite boards of canada releases that I’ve heard so far.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Boards-Of-Canada-Hi-Scores/release/3416582

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Boards Of Canada – Hi Scores

Description: Album Review of Boards Of Canada – Hi Scores


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Jon Hassell – Last Night The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes In The Street

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?
Atmospheric ambient jazz

Moods
Nocturnal

Thoughts
Alright I need more of this. A spiritual successor to miles’ electric period but with a new world / ambient lean. Uneven on the first listen but liked the title track and courtrais (almost feel this borrowed a bass line from miles).

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Jon-Hassell-Last-Night-The-Moon-Came-Dropping-Its-Clothes-In-The-Street/release/1690867

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Jon Hassell – Last Night The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes In The Street

Description: Album Review of Jon Hassell – Last Night The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes In The Street


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Charlotte Gainsbourg – Rest

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?
Pop balanced with dramatic string arrangements. Production is very French and feels like a mature Justice meets Sebastian night driving.

Moods
Feeling like a French movie star in a cemetery on an overcast day.

Thoughts
There’s something distinctly French about this album. I really want to like this, and do enjoy the texture and overall vision she’s crafting. I think a lot of that is due to Sebastian’s production which has matured quite a bit since the days of Ed Banger. It’s as if someone watered down Air’s ‘cherry blossom girl’ and added pop focused songwriting.

There’s a few great tracks. ‘Sylvia says’ features big production and personal memorable lyrics. Love the instrumentation that closes the album on ‘les oxalis’, wish that could’ve been expanded upon.

Overall felt it a little dense and serious, stylistically great but the songwriting was lacking in memorableness.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Charlotte-Gainsbourg-Rest/release/11204819

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Charlotte Gainsbourg – Rest

Description: Album Review of Charlotte Gainsbourg – Rest


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Idris Muhammad – House Of The Rising Sun

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?
Upbeat kinda groovy quick jazz funk

Moods
Having a good time with some smart ass music

Thoughts
I love Muhammad’s drumming which gives this an incredibly quick backbeat that only a true master can provide. Add in some punchy bass and solos that carry with energy and character, has a 70s grit to it.

The writing is great too, taking pop and turning them into jazz songs (really well done, not just half-baked covers) Sudan is a great piece where I feel the band gels more and feels slightly less arranged. (Admittedly the track I said to myself ok this is a really good album). I don’t want you know more is a greater closer. Bit new Orleans brass with a floating keys line and funky get up and dance drum beat, ends with the right energy.

Allmusic got it right:

But the complete disregard for the political correctness of “Jazz” itself, in order to get the deeply funky and soulful grooves across, is what makes this set so damn special and even spiritual in its inspiration. Jazz purists lost all credibility when they slagged this one off, caught as they were in tainted, even racist views of the past that made no allowances for jazz musicians to actually follow their time-honored tradition of mining the pop music of the day to extend the breadth and reach of jazz itself. Anybody who wants to believe that George Gershwin is somehow more important than George Porter Jr. is already lost in his own cultural fascism. Muhammad, who understands this better than anyone, pulled out all the stops here and blasted out one amazingly tough, funky slab. Brilliant.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Idris-Muhammad-House-Of-The-Rising-Sun/release/3429650

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Idris Muhammad – House Of The Rising Sun

Description: Album Review of Idris Muhammad – House Of The Rising Sun


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Makaya McCraven – Where We Come From (CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape)

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?
Modern jazz with a strong hip hop bend

Moods
Evening warehouse jam

Thoughts
A fine example of jazz that successfully incorporates hip hop elements, typically these hybrids are reversed (eg Kendricks backing band). This has a dynamic energy to it, making good use of effects and electronics to keep things fresh. While it plays like a live album this was stitched together in post production which benefits the experience as something that’s just one big highlight. Exploratory playful, energetic, progressive: what jazz is all about.

Recommended tracks: ox tales, repetitive drumline pushes things forward with a soulful keys solo on top, King drive utilizes a James Blake pitched down vocal to extreme effectiveness on a track already utilizing off-time signatures.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Makaya-McCraven-Where-We-Come-From-CHICAGOxLONDON-Mixtape/release/12364402

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Makaya McCraven – Where We Come From (CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape)

Description: Album Review of Makaya McCraven – Where We Come From (CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape)


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Popcaan – Forever

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?
Chilled out dancehall

Moods
Nighttime in the Caribbean

Thoughts
I like Popcaan’s overall style as well the productions here, I just wish this was hookier. His calm and slow approach takes some of the fun, carefreeness out of dancehall. Definitely some good tracks to be found but they are too far between a bunch of filler on this overly long album.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Popcaan-Forever/release/12304688

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Popcaan – Forever

Description: Album Review of Popcaan – Forever


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Low-key R&B

Moods
Babe we got this

Thoughts
This EP is not without flaws, and takes a few tracks to get into swing, but I find it to be a charming set of songs. The easy going and intimate productions anchored by simple guitar and percussion fits her limited range perfectly, putting some memorable lyrical adages front and center.

‘Issues’ and ‘Hurry’ are modern r&b gems.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Teyana-Taylor-KTSE/release/12173407

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Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.

Description: Album Review of Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Clairo – diary 001

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Bedroom pop

Moods

Highschool

Thoughts
Something charming here. It’s a bedroom pop record with basic ‘happy’ synth productions. While it feels personal it’s done in a way that’s not overly sappy.

Her vocal abilities could be developed further, it’s a stretch to call this singing.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Clairo-diary-001/release/12117719

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Clairo – diary 001

Description: Album Review of Clairo – diary 001


Rating: 3 out of 5