I know February’s a short month, but how’d we get halfway though it so quickly? Time’s a funny thing. Seeing as how we’re not quite at the halfway mark yet, it feels OK to get this edition of #netgain in while the month is still young (or at least middle-aged).
Another funny thing about the music caught in January’s dragnet: much of it didn’t actually come out in January — or even in the last year. Still, the last month’s haul did yield some keepers, many of which we run down here. Some of these are a little older, but still age quite nicely. I’d love to hear what you think.
To get right to it, there's a mix of this month's featured music at the end of this post. Thanks for listening.
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)
February 2019 (313 total tracks ingested in January)
Clap! Clap! — Ode to the Pleiades From Tuscany, Italy, the career of Cristiano Crisco aka Clap! Clap! has evolved from jazz musician to producer kicking out a wealth of sonic textures incorporating outernational sounds and influences while staying true and running wild with his jazz roots. The live version of the “Ode to the Pleiades” from this 3-track EP is a real journey. The other two tracks hold up nicely too.
Souleance — Tribute to Galt McDermott This Canadian-American composer wrote the music for some big Broadway shows, most notably Hair. He’s also been sampled extensively by the likes of Busta Rhymes, Run DMC, Handsome Boy Modeling School and many other hip/hop luminaries. McDermott passed away in December 2018, moving French production duo Souleance to crank out this satisfying tribute.
Jimi Tenor — Cinema Dadaab Finnish-born artist whose musical ouevre ranges from avant-garde to afrobeat. Here, he provides a 4-track soundtrack (released on 7”) to the Finnish-made film, Cinema Dadaab, which documents life in the world’s largest refugee camp. sited in the Kenya desert. Swinging Middle Eastern avant-jazz flavors here.
The Scorpions & Saif Abu Bakr — Jazz, Jazz, Jazz (Habibi Funk 009) Speaking of swinging Middle Eastern jazz, here’s the latest release from Habibi Funk: a funky, foot-stomping reissue of a 70’s Sudanese jazz classic.
Mental Carnival — Drums and Drama Sao Paolo-based label Tropical Twista breaks from their usual trippy Amazonian electronic style with this EP of trippy electronica from Berlin’s Mental Carnival. Originally from East Germany, he crossed over to the West when the Wall came down and has been making music pretty much ever since. (One more for the “con” column when it comes to building walls…)
Nicola Cruz — Siku Since his 2015 debut, Prender del Alma, Ecuador’s Nicola Cruz has remixed and been remixed by some of the top latindigital artists on the scene today. It’s an impressive body of work that takes a big step forward with his stunning latest, Siku, out on Buenos Aires label ZZK.