Happy Friday, fellow residents of the spinning orb hurtling through space that we call Home.
I hope you have some time to sit down with a nice, lengthy read. This week has surpassed my every expectation, and given me a lot to talk about. All in all, I’ve found thirteen releases that cry out for recommendation.
My single to start off the week comes from Manchester, England, England. A two-song single from DJ Deviant. Turn The Party Out/Rock N Drop is a proper one-two punch to keep the customers drinking in my Imaginary Nightclub.
A song that I missed last month came out by one of my favourite voices ever, so it needs to be corrected here and now. I first heard Alim Qasimov’s voice over twenty years ago, on a live Jeff Buckley collaboration. It stole my heart, and it’s always a thrill to hear him singing. His latest single, “Sevgili Canan” is lush and beautiful. And that voice!
I’m happy to be recommending a new piece of Music from a dear old friend. I went to High School with Geoff Doner, a multitalented artist of many mediums, and a deeply caring soul (and sometime “Mike Patton” in a Faith No More cover band). He mans the keyboards on “Night Music,” a sixteen-minute experimentation with Cassie Norton on voice and violin, Nik Beeson on guitar and voice, Stephan Goring on bass, David Benitez on drums, and Steve Hammond singing and playing the mandolin. Geoff produced and mixed the track. It is a meditative groove, filled with dissonant meanderings and clever dynamics. Nice one, Geoff and friends!
This next title seems to have been custom made for me. I’ve been a long-time R.E.M. fan, since the age of fourteen, and even though they were madly successful, they still always felt like my own. I haven’t listened to them much lately, with all my time spent on New Music. However, a band from Vermont has released an ingenious new reinterpretation of the Athens, Georgia legends’ debut ep. Ventifacts is a four-piece that has nearly faithfully recreated Chronic Town, with one crucial tweek: Microtonality. The band perform the five songs by incorporating quarter tones. Where 99.9% of Western music only uses whole tones and semitones, this is akin to adding 88 more keys to a piano, in between the ones that are already there. It sounds exhilarating, and the vocalist, Damon Waitkus, does an excellent job of not trying to imitate Michael Stipe.
In my thirty-plus years of active and intent Music listening and learning, I’ve learned a few things. One thing that has become abundantly apparent is that England has always been a home for exciting New Music, but one city in particular is consistently leading the way for the last few decades. The population of Bristol is less than half a million, but I imagine that roughly 47% of the people that live there have released at least one album. And one of them is Banksy. Among them is Kayla Painter, an Electronic Producer and Musician. Her latest full-length is “Planet 9,” a collection of previously released digital singles, plus two new songs compiled for cassette and digital. Ingenious melodies are punctuated by skittering beats and delicious ear candy.
I also have an affinity with Scotland. I’ve been there a couple of times, and I have to say that the north of Scotland is one of my favourite spots. That’s why it pleases me so to have discovered a band from Aberdeen. Casper Heyzeus has been active since 2016, and from the sounds of their new album, “Tales From The Jar (New & Improved)”, they are difficult to pin down to any one style. They employ shades of 80’s synthpop, with the influence of bands like Interpol, Muse, and early Weezer, without being strapped down to any of it.
From Scotland’s Capital City, we now encounter a Hip-Hop artist that goes by the name Tzusan. He’s released his fourth full-length, “WSPSNSYRP”. He does Edinburgh proud with his terrific downtempo production and smart rhymes.
There’s a label in Brazil called The Church Of Noisy Goat that seemingly has released a new project every day since its inception. I featured one of them back at the beginning of June, but something came out that is very different from the usual experimental noise stuff that they feature. Fernando Bocadillos is a composer, musician, and producer from Argentina. His debut album spotlights his compositions, performed completely by himself on various keyboards. Inspired by Classical and Peruvian Folk Music, “Seu Vivo” is eleven tracks of surprising melodies with seemingly orchestral arrangements. Delicious.
An adventurous new Electronic Dance album was released this week. A Producer from Colorado that calls himself Erothyme has unveiled the fun and exciting “Dear Earth People.” Not content to stay in any one pattern, it thrills with fits of Drum & Bass and Future Funk. I welcome this artist to play an imaginary set at my Imaginary Nightclub, any imaginary time.
It was to be expected that the new album from Daedalus would be among the titles I’ve added to my life this week. The LA Electronic Producer has crafted, in “Simmers Over”, an eclectic soundscape that travels from Ambient musings to glitchy House to Drum & Bass, with several other sonic ports of call.
During the time that I’ve been exploring BandCamp, these last couple of years, I’ve come across a style of Music called Vaporwave. It’s a sort of Collage Music, pieced together in an “Easy Listening” template. Until this week nothing had grabbed me that was described as such. To me it mostly sounds too impersonal, lacking in emotion. I’m glad to have found something from this genre that touched me. An artist from Airdrie, Alberta, first name Jay, is a prolific BandCamp artist who records as R E A L I T Y テレビ. He’s just released his 23rd(!) full-length of the year, and it’s called “Kaminarimon Café.” There is real heart behind all the tasteful samples and sappy saxophones.
It pleases me to no end that we all have access to Music from all over the world, and not just the Media Capitals. The odds of getting the chance to hear a band from Szczecin, Poland, even twenty years ago, would be quite remote indeed. However, that is precisely from where BZDET hails. They are a Post-Punk band that utilizes programmed drums, melodic bass, and heavy distortion. On their new album “KLAMCA,” they also seem to want to start beef with Swedish band Viagra Boys. You’ll find yourself nodding your head in alliance to the sound, before dissolving into full-on Shadow Moshing.
Are you still with me? I have one more recommendation to extend to you, and it’s a beauty. Grammy-winning Producer Ian Brennan was visiting the African nation of Djibouti in 2018, where he came upon, among the Afar people, a local celebrity named Yanna Momina. In a culture removed from television and the like, Music is performed for their own amusement, and Momina’s voice is unlike anything I’ve heard before. “Afar Ways” is my Feature Pick this week for Momina’s unique phrasing, pure emotion, and spare production. The album ends with with the unaccompanied Yanna singing “My Family Won’t Let Me Marry The Man I Love (I Am Forced To Wed My Uncle).” It’s heartstoppingly beautiful.
I feel that I really should thank you for making it this far, so I will. You could be doing other things, so thanks. I do hope I was able to find something for you that adds some joy to you life. If it’s not too much to ask, I’d love to hear if you connected with anything I’ve recommended. Or don’t. It’s totally fine either way. Just be good to yourself!