James Ferraro – Far Side Virtual

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

vaporwave (new age synth and computer Muzak with a cynical twist)

Moods

A vaporwave classic, I'd like to logout now please

Thoughts

I'm not a vaporware historian but I appreciate the genre and it's cultural critique: taking the soothing elements of Muzak and warping them into this anxious soundtrack. This is a definitive vaporwave album and representative example of the genres aim. With just the right amount of maddening cheese, it doesn't feel like it's deliberate satire (well maybe on wifi sushi which is almost laugh out loud funny). He really captures the excitement that once existed about globalization's limitless possibility unlocked by the consumer. In hindsight we can see growth in corporate culture has just led to disappointment and further inequality, revealing an entirely new interpretation of this music.

As art I applaud it, its effective and immediate. To sit and listen to this as you would regular pop? I'm not sure it has that appeal.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/James-Ferraro-Far-Side-Virtual/release/7853044

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9ndKlm-G3s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRFn97NyURM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNhP6aoP6XY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w82omu5nrkk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIvR9rqae7Q

Spotify


Schema Info

James Ferraro – Far Side Virtual

Description: Album Review of James Ferraro – Far Side Virtual


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

The Nels Cline Singers – Macroscope

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

modern jazz with rock and free jazz ethos

Moods

Accessible experimental jazz for guitar shredders

Thoughts

Lots of guitar here. Earlier tracks are loaded with face-melting jazz guitar solos, with Cline coming out swinging; enlivened by percussive pushes. Middle tracks like 'red before orange' showcase his sweet tone.

Later tracks break away from structure, becoming more textural with bits of percussion and electronics. Really like the track 'seven zed heaven' which starts off with a swinging thing that turns into a tension building piece (Cyro's on this! Awesome weird percussive textures for this not familiar (see Hairy Mother intro).

Great album that rewards repeat listens.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/The-Nels-Cline-Singers-Macroscope/release/5631195

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoVY6M8fTXc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzQCQbso-dY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixk6zST2nM0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZXAIbKNA0o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF2PaUA79ao

Spotify


Schema Info

The Nels Cline Singers – Macroscope

Description: Album Review of The Nels Cline Singers – Macroscope


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Lee Morgan – Search For The New Land

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

real good hardbop

Moods

Peak creativity

Thoughts

here's what allmusic said about the session:

"the musicians are in particularly creative form on the fresh material, and they stretch the boundaries of hard bop (the modern mainstream jazz of the period). The result is a consistently stimulating set that rewards repeated listenings."

Stray observation: I've never thought of hard bop as a ‘new thing’ but it was not so long ago.

Anyways, focusing on the title track there is definitely a strong creative current that all inventive jazz strives for. Clocking in at roughly 15 minutes it encompasses just under half the album. It has this stop and go kind of momentum with the refrain opening into each of the solos. Reminds me of in a silent way where the song unfolds in these wave type parts, layering on top of each other.

The rest of the outing is pretty good hard bop but never captures that same high. Still the stellar ensemble ensures hard bop fans will leave pleased.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Lee-Morgan-Search-For-The-New-Land/release/1597082

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDfkkRa1VA8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2w909-pj3A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73rT4Gsh7nU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUNEFvQTAck

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX73N9-hUeU

Spotify


Schema Info

Lee Morgan – Search For The New Land

Description: Album Review of Lee Morgan – Search For The New Land


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Christian Scott – Stretch Music

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Rhythmic contemporary jazz

Moods

Fresh Jazz

Thoughts

Surprised I'm just learning about this dude cause he's right up my alley. This album features contemporary compositions rooted in post bop, incorporating elements of hip hop and rock seamlessly. Other reviews applaud the drumming but I think the varied but always strong songwriting is the real standout: ‘twin’ a rhythmic post bop thing, ‘perspectives’ a quiet piece made engaging by a shimmering layer of keys is the perfect lead into the rocking ‘west of the west’ where rocking electric guitar cuts right through the calm. The later half of the album mellows into more traditional post bop carried by strong playing.

I wasn't left with much memory of his trumpet playing but I think that's a good thing as he thrives in versatility. Utilizing tasteful effects when appropriate or a bit of technical flexing in others. His solos are never imposing like certain bandleaders.

It's great and I'm looking forward to checking more out from him. In 2015 I was consumed by kamasi, this is equally as good as the epic.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Christian-Scott-aTunde-Adjuah-Introducing-Elena-Pinderhughes-Stretch-Music/release/7525224

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1JnHCqqu64

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiGfTWngK54

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktU_X7CDaBM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_byDM5lpDlA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8FLvHFUbTY

Spotify


Schema Info

Christian Scott – Stretch Music

Description: Album Review of Christian Scott – Stretch Music


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

The Get Up Kids – Something To Write Home About

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Emo pop rock

Moods

A melodic ode to coming of age relationships.

Thoughts

I've listened to this album a lot, it's impossible to talk about objectively. It doesn't sound as good or profound as it did 20 years ago but I think I'm the one that's changed. Addressing its faults I'd point to overly wordy lyrics and bland instrumentation. However the melodies and just straightforward memorability of these songs is hard to deny. The basic Moog lines add just the right amount of emotional highlight.

I think it does stand the test of time rather than just serving as a nostalgic memento of emos golden age. Is it for everyone? Definitely not but I'm sure this and the rest of the get up kids early catalog could find some modern fans.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/The-Get-Up-Kids-Something-To-Write-Home-About/release/1262915

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgqxFcVD89M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-nuYrZE94A

Spotify


Schema Info

The Get Up Kids – Something To Write Home About

Description: Album Review of The Get Up Kids – Something To Write Home About


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Atlas Sound – Parallax

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

artsy adult contemporary indie pop

Moods

A dark kind of love

Thoughts

Heartfelt and engaging. The first half is an excellent set of mature chilled-out indie rock. Cox is an excellent lyricist, a natural poet without pretense. His vocal range is limited but he works it well here, changing styles as needed but with a certain drifting casualness. Has a slight twinge of panda bear like psychedelica.

Things drag toward the end, track times get longer and I find it a bit exhausting.

Te amo is a magnificent track.

This album is as good as any great indie album I've heard in the past 10 years. Benefiting from Bradford Cox's steadfast vision rather than a flurry of ideas from a young band. Recommended.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Atlas-Sound-Parallax/release/3650273

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iVRuAUKrds

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rY5Uf4E0e4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8YrrkDvZ-8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdBaAGyeKvE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgIGChuG8Og

Spotify


Schema Info

Atlas Sound – Parallax

Description: Album Review of Atlas Sound – Parallax


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Fiona Apple – Tidal

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Intense piano driven pop rock

Moods

Passionate

Thoughts

Tracks ranges from good to great. She's bursting with emotion and it's hard not to feel something from these songs. There's an overall richness to her songs and productions that's very seductive and appealing. Might be the emphasis from the piano or use of strings. Her voice too: feminine but deep and satisfying like red wine on a cold night.

Criminal is a great track but it other places I found myself wanting more in lyrical content. Carion is a perfect closer, a track about her leaving a lover and instructing them not to look for her. Just like that the passionate night is over.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Fiona-Apple-Tidal/release/372264

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnXjISlKLuE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiuk0z8dzXo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFOzayDpWoI

Spotify


Schema Info

Fiona Apple – Tidal

Description: Album Review of Fiona Apple – Tidal


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Brazilian Girls – Brazilian Girls

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Worldly downtempo pop

Moods

Comedown classic

Thoughts

An album I've gotten a lot of enjoyment from over the years. Its effective hybrid music incorporating from a variety of worldly styles (reggae, samba, etc) to add to it's core downtempo electronic base. The changes keep things fun and interesting, doing a lot well and staying true to what makes those genres great.

Nothing very deep but all enjoyable. It inspires a wandering worldly feeling and definitely seems as if they've had a share of coming down from heavy nights.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Brazilian-Girls-Brazilian-Girls/release/396418

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISFAPOoefCU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aVUB0nIONo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6TJULYLRBA

Spotify


Schema Info

Brazilian Girls – Brazilian Girls

Description: Album Review of Brazilian Girls – Brazilian Girls


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Eddie Henderson – Heritage

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Jazz rock fusion

Moods

Jamming: as if the head hunters were playing under miles direction during his electric period.

Thoughts

Great fusion. Starts out groove focused and adds dark space as the album goes on. The later tracks remind me an awful lot of miles fusion, not a lot of other records are able to capture that sound.  

Patrice rushen is on keys, awesome! I always appreciated her solo work but I've gained a new respect here. She wrote one of the better tracks Kudu. I like the tight rhythm work too, Dr. mganga is a prime example of this.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Eddie-Henderson-Heritage/release/823311

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaStlmO_AbQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb3yT74C1cE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psxzgnUiWT4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJzwXA0N6fk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6JPtqhR770

Spotify


Schema Info

Eddie Henderson – Heritage

Description: Album Review of Eddie Henderson – Heritage


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Madrugada – The Nightly Disease

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Dark alternative rock

Moods

Living with regret, depression caught on tape

Thoughts

I've been a fan of this record for years though only really kept coming back to a few songs ( early album cuts ‘hands up I love you’ and ‘dance for me’). Revisiting the album in its entirety I can appreciate this much more as a cohesive document. Texturally I think they're strongest when things are slowed down – easy bassline and slide guitar, like a modern noir take on the blues. Sivert Hoyem's  commanding voice is effective and works well with the straightforward but poetic lyrics. It can be bleak, like a lonely dusty highway at night: surrounded by darkness but just as aware light would only illuminate a vast emptiness.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Madrugada-The-Nightly-Disease/release/512675

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ne6c3LuD40

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNppGG71A-c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhSSKc-EGic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcZ5cKyceKM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN0pENoxVBg

Spotify


Schema Info

Madrugada – The Nightly Disease

Description: Album Review of Madrugada – The Nightly Disease


Rating: 4 out of 5