Good Holiday Friday to those which that applies, and effusive greetings to all. I’m not the most celebratory citizens of the British colonization, here on Turtle Island, due to the horrifying history of it all. I do hope that everyone can find some joy from all the loud, shiny things and casual jingoism.
New Music is what I’m interested in, and New Music is what I will discussing. It definitely was a quieter week, but the steady flow of releases on BandCamp never seems to ebb. Not including the Homeboy Sandman album that I wrote about early this week, I was able to vibe with nine titles that I’m eager to share with you.
Homeboy Sandman makes an appearance on my first choice for the week. The Difference Machine is a Hip-Hop group from Atlanta, GA. Active since 2011, Dustin Teague MCs as Day Tripper, and producer Dr. Conspiracy provides the warped beats. Their latest album, “Unmasking The Spirit Fakers” also features a handful of guests vocals, including Quelle Chris and Denmark Vessey. The anonymous Dr. Conspiracy is the star of this record. Inventive beats and delicious ear candy.
I’m a big Elton John fan. Not of his music, per se (aside from his output from 1972 and before, I could take it or leave it), but his support for new and upcoming artists is legendary, and he’s always eager to talk up his latest findings in interviews. He’s taken that fandom one step further this week, and added his voice to a single from British band Yard Act. “100% Endurance” was on the band’s album from the beginning of this year, “The Overload”. Elton is so gracious he takes a back seat in the track and sings backup to leader James Smith. The track itself is “Lad Rock”, with a terrifically interesting narrative and a positive message. The b-side is the band doing a really great version of “Tiny Dancer”.
I’m always felt an affinity and connection to the Queer community. There is struggle in their journey unlike that of your basic human struggles. The anger for their mere existence in much of society makes me stand up for them automatically. Now, that being said, I’m not the biggest fan of Drag, as an entertainment. However, I’ve found a Drag artist this week, who is also a composer and vocalist. Bijuriya hails from Montreal, Canada. Her mother is Québécoise, and her father is Indo-Caribbean. Her five-song debut ep, “Bijuriya Chamke” is smart Dance-Pop, with interesting production choices, and a star singer. Bijuria spits bars about pride and injustice while also preening like the Queen she is.
I don’t often find New Music that appeals to my tastes that comes from China. I certainly don’t find experimental or outlandish music from that oppressive regime. However, it pleases me so to let you know of a trio of musicians, called, Kaoru Abe No Future. Named after the Japanese saxophonist Kaoru Abe, the band is from Beijing and has been recording for a few years. Guitar, Bass, and Percussion are the instruments of choice, but they’re in Exploration Mode on their latest release, “another wrong way, again”. As the opening track explains, “Music Is Plastic Bag”, and it only gets less clear. Keep your head and arms inside the ride while it is in motion.
The next recommendation is not from China, but it is a release from a label in London called Chinabot. Thai Sound Artist and musician Liew Niyomkarn is based in Antwerp, and has been releasing music for nearly a decade. Her new album, “I Think Of Another Time When You Heard It,” is eleven beautifully-constructed tracks of bubbling synths, untuned lyre, prepared guitar, and spoken word. Field recordings of water and crickets evoke contemplation.
Classical Music is always going to be a tough category to expect New Music from. Classical musicians, on the whole, are still faithfully performing the music of composers from hundreds of years ago. I’m impressed by artists who can use the basics of the form, turn it on its head, and create something exciting and new. Isaac Mayhew is a trumpet player and composer from Saint Paul, MN. His latest release is a three-song ep, with songs composed by the artist, as well as Nebal Maysaud and Daniel Whitworth. The compositions were written for trumpet and electronics on, “we grow accustomed to the dark, vol. 1”, and to my ears, they sound like how Classical Musical may be approximated in the distant future. Almost faithful to the original, but something else entirely.
Truth be told, I feel like a bit of a sucker with my next choice. Not because of the music, it is exotic and captivating. For the first time that I’ve been on Bandcamp, I was priced in to buying plastic, rather than just the digital file. Syrian artist Wael Alkak’s seven-song album, “Live”, is for sale on Bandcamp, €9 for cassette, and €3000 for the download. This album is readily available on Spotify. I’m thankful to now have the digital files, without having to pay the price of a decent used car. Incidentally, I suppose I should mention that I love this album, and I kind of hate myself for buying more plastic. Damn you, good music!
Moor Mother has made a strong impression on me in a very short time. The musician and activist from Philadelphia, born Camae Ayewa, has released two albums in quick succession that have turned me into an instant fan. Last month’s collaboration with DJ Haram called 700 Bliss, and a new solo album released this week, “Jazz Codes”, are both brave testaments to life in the US. The new record features guests Mary Lattimore, Melanie Charles, Wolf Weston, and others, and as the title implies, it s steeped in Jazz vibes.
My Feature Pick for this week comes from the country of Honduras, making its debut appearance. Monty Cime is a musician, producer, and composer. As Cime they have created their debut album, “The Independence of Central America Remains An Unfinished Experiment”. It is nine tracks that draw from the region’s past, but is forward-thinking and bold. Edutainment at its finest!
Isn’t it fun to think that all of the systems that we’ve created could be undone, in favour of something based on kindness and generosity? It’s all man-made. We can change it.
Until then, start with kindness and generosity to yourself. It will bleed out of you. Talk to you soon.
Hi, thanks for reviewing the album, so great to read! Could you change the typo in my name (and album name) to Bijuriya / Bijuriya Chamke! I really appreciate it, thanks!
My sincerest apologies for the spelling error, Bijuriya. It’s been corrected, complete with my embarrassment. 🏼
Lots of fascinating, exotic and innovative music here Jason. While some of it’s not my cup of tea, I applaud your adventurous, open-minded willingness to listen to all sorts of music by some really interesting and creative artists from around the world.
Thanks for the kind words! Hope you found something you like!
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