Welcome to the December edition of #netgain, in which I share with you a bunch of things I came across in November that I think you might like to know about. It’s mostly — but not exclusively — music releases. Sometimes I surprise myself with what makes the list.
Added bonus: at the end of this post you'll find a mixtape of tracks from this month's selections.
As you peruse, a few things to keep in mind:
•The list is ordered by discovery date, from beginning of month to the end.
•This is not a chart or “Top [anything].” It’s just a list of stuff I liked last month.
•This list is not limited to the latest and greatest. “The only thing new is you finding out about it.” Watt
December 2018 (204 total tracks ingested in November)
Kafundó Apresenta Samba de Coco Raízes de Arcoverde REMIXED I first heard the fantastic Samba de Coco Raizes de Arcoverde years ago on a Maga Bo mixtape. Now, they get the full release treatment from Kafundo (headed by American expot Bo and Wolfram Lange aka SoundGoods). High energy acoustic-based Brazilian roots music gets the bass treatment from a topshelf cast of remixers.
Meridian Brothers y Grupo Renacimiento — “La Policia” [single] The long-running experiment conducted by Colombian mad scientist Eblis Alvarez explores through de-and reconstruction 70’s Salsa Colombiana. Surrealistic and funky.
Sibu — “Ojo Ibi Iranti” [single] Most of the tracks by Athens’ Sibu are locked on the beat, but damn if it’s not always a dope one.d
Mytron & Ofofo — “Radio Yebeh” Not sure how I came across this funky little bubbler, but it’s been receiving heavy spins ever since. Not a lot out there about the artist, though I’ve discovered that half of this duo is Sasha Crnobrjna of Organic Grooves fame. That’s solid enough cred right there.
Kurt Vile — “Learning to Fly” [SiriusXM Session] Full disclosure: I came across this song at the end of a YouTube rabbit hole journey that began with Queen’s Live Aid performance and may or may not have included Abba, The Who (at Live Aid and Woodstock), Portishead, Soft Cell and the actual Tom Petty. Confirmation that stream of consciousness YouTubing is usually worth it.
Y La Bamba — Jam In the Van (Live Session at Music Tastes Good) I can’t get enough Y La Bamba lately, and seeing that they were coming to Denver in November was one of the month’s high points. Realizing I had a conflict and couldn’t go was one of the lowest. Next time. Until then, coming back to this performance will keep the candle lit.
Etienne Jaumet — 8 regards obliques Eclectic French synthephile and multi-instrumentalist pays tribute to some of his inspirations by revisiting these classics from the jazz canon. Very inventive and outre.
チンチンレイ — “ダバチョウ” Yeah, I can’t read that either (if you can, please send me a translation). All I know is that it’s from Trenga Records out of Casablanca, and it’s got a nice pulse to it.
Madlib Meets Ethiopian Legend Ayaléw Mesfin My sincere advice: never miss a chance to go behind the scenes with Madlib and Egon. Here’s an illuminating mini-doc, much of which happens to have been shot just up the road in Denver, where Mesfin now lives. “It’s about explaining in a sentence or two why they should care about this movement, and then letting them go from there. Hopefully, they go deep.” Word.
48 Chairs — 70% Paranoid Finders Keepers unearths another beauty, this one an underground post-punk classic from 1979, bearing strong traces of jazz and synth pop.
krs. mix compilation tape. 2 Krs. is a Kingston, Jamaica-based producer adding a new “noir sound” vision to the island’s outsized music legend. It’s not all one drops and dancehall.
Music Vol. 3: Herb Alpert Reimagines the Tijuana Brass Legendary trumpeter/bandleader reimagines a dozen of his 60’s classics, “scrambling” them up “to make them fresh and surprising, and a way for [Alpert] to continue sharing positivity with a world in need of it.” Thanks, Herb.
Laraaji - “All Of A Sudden (Klik & Frik Edit)” [single] Damn, I love this song. It’s fast becoming a go-to wind down number in my DJ sets. Easy listening (the good kind).
AkizzBeatzz — “Omi Pindya (Child of the Water)” [single] Man, Akizzbeatzz never misses. Ever. Hypnotic vox and a bluesy ngoni line (is there any other kind?) floats on a sauntering acoustic beat. As beautiful as it is simple.
Arat Kilo/Mamani Keita/Mike Ladd — Visions of Selam Three highly adept artists collaborate to make high art. I’m a huge Mike Ladd fan, so I’m a little red-faced to have missed this when it came out in March, but I’m making up for lost time now.
Insolito Universo — La Candela Del Rio Here’s the debut from a Paris-based Venezuelan quartet, working traditional styles into a contemporary sound that also makes room for psych, chanson and electronics. And it’s co-produced by Malcolm Catto of Heliocentrics. Say no more…
Miles Davis — “So What (InFiction Remix)” Why not?
Cyril Cyril — Certaine Ruines Two Genevan-born Cyrils cross paths. Magic ensues. Taming wildly far-flung influences and inspirations, they create one of the year’s best records. Enchanting; it keeps calling to me. I cannot resist.
Boubouteq — “Snake Charmer” Not saying you’re a snake, but this track’ll likely charm you too.
Dowdelin — Carnaval Odyssey Another band from France, this one delivering contemporary French-Caribbean soul in “an attempt to herald a Creole afro-futurism.” Oui j'en veux.
Telefunksoul — Afroxeba$ Remixado Mauro “Telefunksoul” Abreu saw I was playing some of his tracks on TerraSonic and was kind enough to send me this supadope, Brazilian banger of a remix album. Nothing like getting a fresh batch of booty beats in the inbox. (tip: there’s a free download link at the Soundcloud page)
Voodoocuts — Katakana Edits Vol. 15 This volume of Katakana edits came out in Feb 2014. There have been 58 volumes since then. Pretty much all of them are crazy funky, highest-of-the-high dance floor rippers. Get yourself a lungful and dive deep, friends.
Jad & The — “BP” Just try saying no to this insistent beat. Kinda old school 90’s raunchy but it feels just right. Pass the pudding.
#netgain — December 2018: The Mixtape