Kalabrese – Independent Dancer

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Groove based 'fun’ electro

Moods

A ode to the joy of being lost in life

Thoughts

Hard not to dig a kalabrese release, his tracks are all bursting with love of the craft. Above all else this album maintains a constant groove with lots of interesting production flourishes and bursts of instrumentation that keep these extended cuts engaging.

Lyrically he sings like a wanderlust euro, not the most articulate but he makes up for it in his genuineness. The addition of other vocalists is a welcome dimension. It's an album with moments of greatness but also suffers from an uneven side 2 that felt scattered.

Worth a listen for sure.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Kalabrese-Independent-Dancer/release/4420013

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnDgS8Hkni4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af01NV3mqjc

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

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Kalabrese – Independent Dancer

Description: Album Review of Kalabrese – Independent Dancer


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Kalabrese – Rumpelzirkus

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Personal fun and funky electro (I guess discogs calls this left field electro?)

Moods

An electro record with feeling.

Thoughts

Reminds me of a slightly off kilter Lumio who shares the carefree fun quality of Koze. That description might sound cliche (and there's for sure a certain cliche cheesiness on these tracks) but there's a love and curiosity of life that's very alive in this music.

These tracks run long allowing you to get into the groove. I appreciate the songwriting, tracks are layered and evolve with a natural ebb and flow.

He’s become my goto artist for Friday late night working sessions in the lab.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Kalabrese-Rumpelzirkus/release/977370

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Kalabrese – Rumpelzirkus

Description: Album Review of Kalabrese – Rumpelzirkus


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?
Rap with an alt pop lean

Moods
Headphones on and taking in nu-NYC

Thoughts
I don’t know why, call it a natural curiosity, but growing-up I loved the radio and would spend hours taking in anything I could hear. I find pleasure discovering sounds and appreciate art that maintains this same dynamism. It’s reflected in a broader cultural awareness with my generation, whose been raised with the internet and the power of having humanity’s entire cultural output instantly available. So what do you do with it? You take your favorite parts and begin creating something new, sampling in other words.

I find this to be a representative album for today’s sample based culture as Banks, a versatile MC, floats effortlessly between pop and rap on this impressive set of alt-electro productions (think sampling today rather than the past). I appreciate rappers who are able to carve distinct sounds for themselves and feel this is a classic in the marriage of rap and electro.

Listening notes on specific time:
* 212 – immediately and undeniably great
* Idlest delilah / soda is glitchy greatness and a personal favorite
* ‘Gimme a chance’ succeeds as an OK pop song before switching into a gripping latin bit (maybe corny but I genuinely like it).
* BBD, ice princess, Yung Rapunxel take a turn into harder boomy beats that sound a little dated after the edm boom.
* Things drift off towards the end, but she soars on miss camaraderie. Not sure I’ve heard someone flow over edm so well.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Azealia-Banks-Broke-With-Expensive-Taste/release/6728221

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Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste

Description: Album Review of Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

High-Klassified – Kanvaz

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?
Electro hip hop

Moods

Big Boomy

Thoughts
Meh, nothing very interesting here.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/High-Klassified-Kanvaz/release/11953128

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High-Klassified – Kanvaz

Description: Album Review of High-Klassified – Kanvaz


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Jim-E Stack – Tell Me I Belong

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Hip energetic electro

Moods
Friday

Thoughts
Variety is this albums appeal. Tracks rely on heavily repeated vocals and rhythmic bits to great effect, felt very inspired by the classic breakbeat aesthetic of the second track. ‘Reassuring’ utilizes a downpitched vocal sample, creating a bumping homage to early James Blake. His percussive sense comes out on the 2nd half in the form of an appealing rhythmic bounce.

This is good to great, accessible and catchy. I enjoy it just as much on repeat listens but wonder if the straightforward songwriting will holdup as an album or make these tracks more fit as singles for mixes.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Jim-E-Stack-Tell-Me-I-Belong/release/6907279

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Jim-E Stack – Tell Me I Belong

Description: Album Review of Jim-E Stack – Tell Me I Belong


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Nelson Of The East – Night Frames

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Slick instrumental house disco afro funk

Moods
Dancing at a show

Thoughts
This hovers somewhere in the middle of afro-funk, disco and house. Has a nice feel sexy worldly feel.

First couple of tracks are ok: thumping bassline, tasteful keys flirt with soulfulness ( especially the last bit on ‘night frames’).

‘Obalyeko’ gets more interesting: introducing a vocal sample, marimba-like part and a complex but crisp bass line. ‘En route’ chills things out with a techno like throb.

The Glenn Astro remix of the title track adds a wobbling dub baseline, probably the freshest thing on here with it’s direct electro influence.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/NOTE-Night-Frames/release/12224797

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Nelson Of The East – Night Frames

Description: Album Review of Nelson Of The East – Night Frames


Rating: 3 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

 

Hunee – Hunchin’ All Night

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?
New age / world into clubier house tracks

Moods
Obscure for the sake of being obscure

Thoughts
The 80s world pop on the first few songs is OK but things take a decidedly more interesting turn with ‘ritual of love’ where the house vibe is gradually turned up behind a vocal rambling. This transitions into Larry Heard’s burning 4 love, a fantastic house track. Things finish off OK, better than side 1 at least, but overall not anything I feel the need to revisit.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Hunee-Hunchin-All-Night/release/11839108

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Hunee – Hunchin’ All Night

Description: Album Review of Hunee – Hunchin’ All Night


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

A-Trak – In The Loop: A Decade Of Remixes

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Choice indie favorites reimagined through Atraks tight, energetic turntablist approach

Moods
Active urban pulse, perfect for sound tracking busy moments in the city.

Thoughts
I think A-trak is one the best electro dudes out there, mostly for his remix work on things like dirty south dance 1 and 2 (note to self: revisit these). Always fresh, he’s got a great ear for modern electro and incorporating a variety of tastes into his turntablism approach. Solid collection here.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/A-Trak-In-The-Loop-A-Decade-Of-Remixes/release/9466928

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A-Trak – In The Loop: A Decade Of Remixes

Description: Album Review of A-Trak – In The Loop: A Decade Of Remixes


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Joy Orbison,Ben Vince – Transition 2

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Energetic electro with effect laden sax

Moods

Club but still want to jam

Thoughts
Electronic music can sometimes feel too mechanical. Incorporating instrumentation into electronic productions is, generally speaking, a positive way to humanize the music while still leveraging the infinite possibilities electronic production can offer.

Enter here: a fusion record of top-notch Joy Orbison productions (hip IDM) and sax-playing by Ben Vince. While I think there’s room to grow in the electro/jam fusion space, I support explorations like this as it points to a direction I’d like to see music going. Sounds pretty good too.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Joy-O-Ben-Vince-Transition-2/release/11981490

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Joy Orbison,Ben Vince – Transition 2

Description: Album Review of Joy Orbison,Ben Vince – Transition 2


Rating: 4 out of 5