Happy New Year! I hope you had a great holiday season (or at least survived it). I enter 2019 with ears wide open, eagerly anticipating all of the incredible music that'll be coming our way.
I'm not really a "resolution" kind of guy, but since it's the start of the year, I'm taking my own advice and challenging myself to push in all directions to find new sounds and styles. I can't surprise and challenge you if I don't do the same for myself.
With that in mind, I present to you January's #netgain, featuring some of the best of what came through in December. I'm changing it up a bit by narrowing down how much I include here, as I know there's a lot of competition for your attention and I don't want to overstay my welcome. Besides, "less is more" is a key part of The Vibrarian philosophy.
So, here we go. As always, at the end of the post you'll find a "summary" mixtape of the music mentioned herein.
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)
January 2019 (322 total tracks ingested in December)
Nina Simone & Lauren Hill — Amerigo Gazaway Presents The Miseducation of Eunice Waymon To say that Amerigo Gazaway makes mashups does a disservice to the immense creativity he brings to his tribute projects. First it was Fela Soul (Fela + De La Soul), then A Tribe Called Quest vs Pharcyde, Yasiin Bey vs Marvin Gaye (aka Yasiin Gaye) and more. Now, he blends Nina Simone with Lauren Hill. Righteous and impressive (and free).
Léo Leobons — Ritual Leobons is an acknowledged master and historian of Brasil's Afro-Brazilian candomble rhythm, and has worked with a roster of Brasilian A-listers through his career. His debut with the edge-pushing Kafundo label is a spicy suite of sounds from both sides of the Atlantic.
Wu Tang vs Jimi Hendrix — Tom Caruana Presents Black Gold Another guy who's so much more than a mere mashup artist, Tom Caruana's prolific output includes projects matching up various hip/hop heavyweights with The Beatles (incl. Sgt. Pepper's), Bollywood and more. This is his second volume pairing Wu Tang with Jimi and it's every bit as killer as you'd expect it to be.
Fundido Edits Debut 3-track EP from Brooklyn funk/disco/exotic partymakers.
Sangre Joven — "Zamba Zamba" Funked up 70's Peruvian jam recycled by Repsychled records. Macchu Picchu-level sonic impact.
Quim Manuel O Espirito Santo — "Senhor Doutor (Adam Port Edit)" From a 2017 single put out by Berlin-based producer Adam Port on Keinemusik. The A-side is a groovy little house number, but B-side wins again with this driving dance-steady Angolan classic.
A Day In the Life: Impressions of Pepper Verve assembles a nice lineup of young lions and lionesses for this inventive tribute. None of your typical sickly slick covers here.
The Limiñanas — I've Got Trouble In Mind Vol. 2 (Rare Stuff 2015/2018) From Perpignan, France, come Marie and Lionel Limiñana, bringing their Black Keys-meets-White Stripes-meets-(psychfunk era) David Holmes to your immediate and sure-to-be rapt attention.
Isla Edits Vol. 2 (Tierra) This compilation from Buenos Aires' Fertil Discos features artists performing at the 5th annual Isla Festival held on Argentina's Isla del Tigre. It just took place the first weekend of December. Check out these tracks and the companion collection, (Agua), and then let's start making plans for next year.
Gabriel O'Shea — Ecos EP Had it come out a week or so earlier, "Eco De Unidad" would've stretched this list to 34. A flat out beauty.
Funkin' Basstards — "N.H.L." Man, those Katakana Edits just keep coming. I'd love this track even if I weren't a hockey freak.
#netgain — January 2019: The Mixtape
The Vibrarian never stops. Discover more essential, underheard, overlooked music on my Mixcloud. Your comments, criticisms, suggestions, etc. are always welcome. Feel free to reach out anytime.