J. Quest has roots in Hawai’i but now calls San Francisco home and he released an EP last August called Son Of A City Worker. If you’ve heard any hip-hop from Hawai’i in the last 10 to 20 years, you’ll sense what he’s doing here with the vibe he has but he’s very much a Cali man, which you’ll hear as he describes what it means to be a “Hapa Boy”, hapa being the Hawaiian word to describe someone who is “half and half” in terms of ethnicity. The song was produced by Posafe while the video was done with director Ty Lerrani. You can check out the EP below via Bandcamp.
Seattle rapper Grynch has something new for 2017 but don’t just call this his new “summer joint” but it is a joint worth checking out. It’s an EP called On A Good One but you could say this is also “On A Good Siox” as it features six brand new cuts, including two remixes. You can stream and listen but show some support by buying it through Bandcamp.
This one will be up for a limited time but it comes from Seattle, courtesy of Wizdom and it takes J.I.D.’s “Never” and turns it into something new, forever. It’s called “40 Bar Dash”, which you can download for free while it’s up so get to it ASAP.
It has been awhile since we last heard some new music from Seattle’s Wizdom but he has returned in 2017 with something quite superfresh called “Therapy”, which came out today. He worked with producer Reminiss to put this together, not sure if there will be a bigger project or if this will simply be the start of a string of more material but nonetheless, noce to hear from the Wiz again.
You may love Pink Floyd beyond compare and perhaps as a fan, you may have heard a few tribute songs or albums or perhaps you, like me, went to a Pink Floyd tribute band concert. Here’s something that goes beyond what you would expect. This is The Pink Floyd Remix Project compiled by the Harsh Noise Movement, a label known for their experimental, avant-garde and hectic noise. In this case, it’s a lot of noise and occasionally throughout these tracks, you’ll hear something melodious. I will say this: the tribute album will not be to everyone’s liking. If you are someone who enjoys music from a very diverse world, you’ll get into this. Stream everything from the Bandcamp page and player above but if you find it to be of interest, do use the “Name Your Price” option.
The Harsh Noise Movement have just released a new project that has to do with their love for The Beatles but not in the way you would expect. HNM are about the experimental/avant-garde side of life, musically and otherwise and this one features different artists manipulating Beatles songs in a number of different ways, from being semi-straightforward to mashing it up beyond recognition. The title is exactly what it is: The Beatles Remix Project but don’t expect simple country or jazzy renditions of your favorites. As it states on the Bandcamp page, this consists of various experimental noise artists take The Beatles songs and turn them into glorious sonic blasts that will give a new dimension to the familiar sounds of the fab four.
The entire project is free to download but definitely use the “Name Your Price” option to show support.
It’s kind of a trip to hear a modern indie rock band have the appeal that is a cross between Weezer and Neil Young buit that is what I hear in the three-piece Victorian Slang, whose By The Light of The Moon (Emotional Response) is the kind of album that would sound great in a car as it would in a dingy basement with no air conditioning. “High Five The Moon” sounds like a country song in the wrong part of town while “Churches” is the right song to turn your melancholy into a happy day or week.
It’s not a majorly serious album but that’s not to say this is nothing more than a hoot and a guffaw. By The Light of The Moon has enough of a good thing going for it that they come off as a band who don’t take themselves too seriously, or at least they know how to have fun, especially by covering Clarence “Frogman” Henry’s “Ain’t Got No Home”, which Rod Stewart borrowed/ripped off for “Some Guys Have All The Luck” in the 80’s. Victorian Slang take it back from him and show things can still be good, if not great. Need a bit of an Uncle Tupelo revival, they pull it off with excellent by doing “I Got Drunk”. The album is quite nice and while calling something “nice” may come off as being tame, I mean that in the nicest way, no sarcasm. I’d want to see these guys live.
Improvisational duo is what I call the music of DST, consisting of Simone Di Benedetto on double bass and Alberto Collodel on clarinet. Il Sistema Periodico (Aut) is an album that is light and mellow and yet each song sounds like it could be on the verge of collapsing onto itself to become a powerful rage, but it’s not. Everything is smooth but is far from being smooth jazz, it’s nothing more than two gentlemen talking about life musically through the metaphor of the Periodic Table, speaking about different things through the elements. There’s a Pink Floyd lyric about “a creeping malaise” and the vibe of that phrase is covered through this album but it’s creeping in the other sense, as in a slow pace, not something that is crawling up your back uncontrollably. When I hear duet albums, it’s interesting to figure out what were their goals in making the album and I think Il Sistema Periodico explores beauty through sound, step by step at a leisurely pace. A part of me would love to ehar this done faster or with more musicians than just Collodel and di Benedetto but I like taking what they offer and allowing listeners to interpret where they’re heading to. If only learning about the elements sounded this moving back in elementary school.
Frantic or frenetic? On Naca (Aut), the music of Tony Cattano is a bit of both but with something extra. Italian jazz is an entity onto itself and this form of jazz is on the free side, where Cattano (trombone), Andrea Melani (drums), Matteo Anelli (bass), and Emanuele Parrini (violin) seem to be going wherever they want but there is a level of consistency where what they’re doing is not scatterbrain. The album’s opening track (“Fior di Conio”) is the basis of the album, building and developing itself while the colors and shapes are forming continuously, unsure of where it goes but one follows and see what happens. Then the album gets locked in places but is able to travel, whether it’s in a bit of a strut as they do in “Il Salto del Pachiderma” or fall off the edge of the world in “Impro”. There’s form in what Cattano does but the basis of Naca is trying to listen to where things fall out of form or whether it will drift off into a place unknown. What I also like are some of the folk-ish elements, or perhaps it’s more cultural but throughout, you’re able to tell where they’re from and why they play this way, all while staying true to what jazz means.
This album was in the pile of discs to review but as I was listening to it and really getting into the power of rock on this, I looked to find out when it was released: February 2015. I thought to myself “was this meant for review two years after the fact or was it something merely to listen to?” I then kept on listening and try to figure out what to do later.
The Fireworks are a British band and the muse of Switch Me On (Shelflife) sounds British too, at least musically. It reminds me of all of the great punk and alterna-rock of the late 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, where I’m able to hear the influences but also able to share what these new bands are doing. The group alternates between male and female vocals to help balance the vibe The Fireworks are trying to do, whether it’s something that has a lot of charm and melody or if it totally rips into the gut without regret. The power and volume of the bass and guitar may come off as loud and vulgar but the songs tell a different tale, one of love found and a need to keep it together for everyone around. It reminds of me what Sleater-Kinney or Hüsker Dü were and are capable of doing, making sure to provide a music that’s a nice punch in a face but one that is followed with a warm hug.