Hey, it's been awhile. "We" is now me (Joel Davis aka The Vibrarian), and I'm ready to get back to helping you check out the music you didn't know you love.
Welcome to the November edition of #netgain, in which I share with you a bunch of things I came across in October 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`
November 2018 (447 total tracks ingested in October)
DJ Juan Data — Ritmos Crotos Vol. 1 The Hard Data blog was a great source for dope Latin music way back in the early teens of this decade, as was his label, Stronghold Sound. This funky beat tape is its first release in five years. Welcome back, Juan.
Jose James — Lean On Me Listening to this faithful tribute to Bill Withers, I'm like "oh, right, that's who Jose James sounds like."
Studio One Freedom Sounds: Studio One in the 1960s Rebel roots music from the early heyday of reggae.
Tony Allen & Jeff Mills — Tomorrow Comes the Harvest Afrobeat maestro and Detroit techno legend team up for a surprisingly organic and understated aural journey.
A touchy subject (rounding the last turn in the late-40's pregnancy chase) treated always tenderly and often hilariously by writer/director Tamara Jenkins, who draws brilliant performances out of Kathryn Hahn, Paul Giamatti and a great ensemble cast.
Portishead — "SOS (Phaezek 4 Remix)" I confess: the above video sent me down the Abba rabbit hole late one night. I came out the other side looking for a useable remix of "SOS." Pickings were slim until, at the crack of dawn, I stumbled onto this one.
Childish Gambino — "This Is America (Aroop Roy brukup)"
UK Producer/DJ Aroop Roy takes one of 2018's top tracks, mashes it with the instro track from iSoul8's "Speak Your Word" and sets it free on the dancefloor. Crucial.
Lucky Brown & The S.G.'s — "'Bout to Blow" b/w "Saints & Beggars)" From Port Angeles, WA, via German funk reissuers Tramp Records, comes this down home-style a-side/b-side doubleshot. If you like the funksoul like I like the funksoul, here you go.
Tommy Guerrero — The Road to Knowhere The skater/guitarist/bassist's latest is a smooth, downtempo souljazz masterpiece. It's been in heavy rotation since it first came in. No reason to fix what ain't broken.
MaAuLa-o-rama Vol. 3: Exotic Rendezvous Globetrotting megablast of tropical-flavored pool party music.
Te'Amir — Abyssinia Rise LA-based drummer for Aloe Blacc has sat in with a lot of the local heavies (Kamasi, Sa-Ra Creative, Wondem, etc). His latest work skews toward Ethio-beats.
Animanz & Juanita Euka — Exotic Other OK, now we're getting into album of the year territory. Animanz is the tight 4-piece from London, Euka the stunning-on-all-fronts singer, Argentinian/Congolese by birth. Together, they build songs out of afroriddims, punk guitar slashes, tropical sunsets, loungey psychedelica and acid hip/hop. Politically powerful and party-ready.
Auntie Flo — Radio Highlife The Glasgow-raised artist of Kenyan descent's first outing for Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Recordings pulls from all directions. At turns dancey, spacey, primitive, edgy, it'll take you on a journey every time.
Skinshape — Floxiny I've turned myself on to a lot of incredible music on Bandcamp, and Skinshape may be my most satisfying "find." I caught wind of him two albums ago and his latest is the one release I've anticipated this year. The advance copy did not disappoint. It is a perfect cup of twilight (out on 23 Nov).
Anchorsong — Cohesion This time out, the Japanese studio wunderkind filters his unique vision and impelling rhythms through Bollywood.
Hystereofonica Vol. 3 From Sao Paulo's Tropical Twista label, another enchanting edition in an all-woman series of downtempo, electronica and other textures from across South America.
Arthur Melo — Nhanderuvuçu Also from Brazil (Belo Horizonte, specifically) comes this crazy talented guitarist/singer/songwriter sculpting simpossible (yes, simpossible) objects of what he calls "PsicoBossaSambaFolkContempor-porporperimental." Another one of the year's best.
Y La Bamba — Mujeres I had an insta-crush on this Portlandian since I first heard the longingly delicate title track to 2016's Ojos del Sol. That led to digging deeper into that album and now this new single and I am in love.
Music SDP (The Music and Sound Design Platform I came across this in a search for intro music for a podcast. Music SDP is a supercool, free, open source music making software. Useful for live performance and recording studio environments. I'm just starting to play around with it (and it's definitely not a toy). If you're curious about playing around with music and sound, treat yourself to this.
Makaya McCraven — Universal Beings A few years back I was thinking maybe jazz is dead. Then BADBADNOTGOOD, Kamasi Washington, the International Anthem label and this Chicago drummer showed me how wrong I (of course) was. Recorded in studios and sessions around the world with friends old and new, McCraven takes his "organic beat tape" concept live and makes one of the year's best jazz records.
#netgain — November 2018: The Mixtape