A lazy person’s guide to what I’ve been listening to.

***** represents albums I recommend highly.

Lung cycles — On Being Lumpy (experimental folk)

Wilco — Yankee Hotel Foxtrot ***** (alt-country, pitchfork rock)

Shellac — 1000 Hurts (angry alternative, post-punk derivative)

Zoé — Memo Rex Commander y el Corazón Atómico de la Vía Láctea (mexican psychedelia)

Bully — Feels Like (straightforward post-punk inspired indie)

Layo & Bushwacka! — Nightworks (electronic)

Justice — Woman (dance, old daft punk)

Ornette Coleman — Shape of Jazz to Come ***** (free jazz)

Cloakroom — Big World (rock)

Trap Them — Crown Feral ***** (best metal)

High on Fire — Luminiferous ***** (best metal)

Magazine — Real Life ***** (post-punk)

The Clientele — Strange Geometry ***** (heartbreak rock)

Disco Inferno — The 5 EPs ***** (post-rock, the first album in ages to bring me to the edge of sanity, highest recommendation i can give)

WIBLT THIS CITY!

Dear diary,

It’s been while since we last spoke. I have soooo much to tell you. So much, in fact, that I’ll be doing all my sharing in the form of a list. Here’s what I’ve been listening to:

Motorpsycho – Here Be Monsters

Genre: Prog-rock (the hyphenated kind)102289

Year: 2016

Motorpsycho’s The Death Defying Unicorn is one of the very few prog albums I would voluntarily listen to, and I more than just ‘voluntarily listen’ to it. It’s safe to say I adore the record. Here Be Monsters is not as good as that one is, but it’s still pretty amazing. I recommend it highly to fans of Wish You Were Here-era Pink Floyd, which is most people.

 

Deftones – Gore

Genre: Alternative metal1a91b9f5

Year: 2016

I don’t understand what everyone’s problem with this record is. I think it’s pretty neat. Prayers/Triangles is a great single. Hearts/Wires is great. Rubicon is a great closer. Honestly, I have no complaints about this record at all. Yes, if you want heavy shrieking Deftones, there’s not a lot of that in this album, but I think it’s one of their best albums.

 

Kalipo – Yaruto

Genre: Minimal electronicakalipo_electronic_beats_220

Year: 2014

I had never heard this album in full. Now I can’t stop. A common insultocompliment for music of this variety is that it’s great work music. I honestly think this album is a lot more than that. Also, do check out Kalipo’s videos on YouTube. They’re pretty amazing.

 

Vektor – Terminal Reduxa0144143476_10

Genre: Thrash

Year: 2016

Vektor has started to specialise in making space odyssey concept albums. This is a pretty solid album for fans of not-really-‘extreme’-extreme metal.

 

Blank Banshee – MEGA

Genre: Vaporwavea0838514060_10

Year: 2016

I find both BB’s debut and sophomore effort are better than this album. That’s unfortunate, I guess. But that’s a pretty high bar to set Vaporwave-wise. This is an alright album, I guess. But I will always recommend BB0 and BB1 over this album. Sorry.

 

Lady Gaga – Joanne

Genre: Poplady_gaga_-_joanne_official_album_cover

Year: 2016

As someone who is more than someone who likes a couple of her songs and less than a fan, I was looking forward to this album. While I love track one (Diamond Heart: very loop-worthy), I found the album a little patchy. That said, I still think it’s a must-listen. It’s filled with very interesting ideas, and lots of it is good straightforward pop. I’m not likely to bitch and moan (or sit still) when Perfect Illusion starts to play in a public place.

 

Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones 

Genre: Black metal0008441193_10

Year: 2016

It’s very rare to come across an album that changes what you thought was musically possible. Find everything you need to know about this album in Unkitsch’s review.

 

Suma – The Order Of Things

Genre: Sludge

Year: 2016suma-the-order-of-things-700

Good first listen album produced by Billy Anderson (Sleep-approved producer).

Other than that, not much more to say about this one.

 

Jan Jelinek – Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records

Genre: Ambient

Year: 2001original

Solid album of youtubetronica that will be appreciated as good work music by most. Though a lot of my compliments sound like thinly veiled insults (ref: insultocompliments), I like this album.

 

Farben – Textstar

Genre: Minimal techno

cs1695273-02a-bigYear: 2002

Same guy. More accessible. In my view, not only better, but worthy of ‘great’.

 

Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis

Genre: Post-death metal, I guess.

a1668907981_10Year: 2016

Holy shit. This album will blow your mind and melt your face. I nearly snapped my neck when I heard it for the first time.

 

 

Cult Leader – Lightless Walk 

Genre: Metalcorea3155242637_10

Year: 2015

Ok. Again. This album will blow your mind and melt your face. I nearly snapped my neck when I heard it for the first time. But in a different way. Fans of heavy punk should check this one out.

 

Trap Them – Crown Feral

Genre: Metalcorea1304811290_10

Year: 2016

I’m very open about my love for Trap Them. This is a good album, but I don’t feel the same way about it as I did about Blissfucker and Darker Handcraft (genre: best metal) before it. That said, there’s no doubt in my mind that this is the best produced album on this list (Kurt Ballou, Kurt Ballou, Kurt Ballou)

 

A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

Genre: Hip hop09e256ce885fe6b3cf181239c3b3231c-1000x1000x1

Year: 2016

I sense a longer piece about this album. There’s so much to say about it. One, that ATCQ are still relevant more than 30 years after they started doing this whole rap thing. Two, that they are much more than just relevant. Three, RIP Phife Dawg. Four: Songs like We the People, Dis Generation, and Melatonin are damn near perfect.

 

Kyuss – Blues for the Red Sun

Genre: Groove rock220px-kyussbluesfortheredsun

Year: 1992

A classic favourite closes the list. All fans of rock are likely to like this album or any other Kyuss album.

 

Until next time,

A

 

 

 

 

WIBLT # 2

Swet Shop Boys  Cashmere

Genre: hip-hopa0908914594_10

Year: 2016

Hip-hop lyrics have always been socially aware and snarky. The prevailing cliche about this album is its relevance to the brown experience of today. That cliche holds from song one (T5), about ‘random’ frisking of bestubbled brown men, to song eleven (Din-e-Ilahi), about the religion that Akbar attempted to propagate to bring peace to his multi-religious kingdom. I’m a Das Racist fanboy, and while Heems is a little hit-or-miss (I have heard him say ‘I am a good rapper’ in so many songs now), the hits are way more awesome than the misses are awful. And Riz MC (Riz Ahmed from the Night Of and the new Star Wars movie) is really quite something. It’s also nice to hear some South Asian samples in hip-hop.

Here’s the video for T5:

Get the full album here:

 

Soulwax  Nite Versions

Genre: hard 220px-nite_versionselectronica

Year: 2005

This is a rave album that can be enjoyed by non-ravers like me. Albums like this can make tubelights-and-white-walls sort of days feel like neon-lights-and-starry nights sort of days, even for boring adults like me. Even if you want to give the album a skip, at least give ‘Krack’ a spin. It’s a legitimately fun track.

Here’s the iTunes link: https://itun.es/in/oAsYe

Bad Religion  Stranger Than Fiction

Genre: melodic hardcore, 90’s punkbadreligionstrangerthanfiction

Year: 1994

1994 was an incredible year for rock in the mainstream. Jeff Buckley’s Grace, Nirvana’s unplugged gig, Green Day’s Dookie, Soundgarden’s Superunknown, Weezer’s first album. Of all the great 1994 rock albums, this is my favourite. It’s the reason why so many of my creative endeavours have the word ‘stranger’ in them, this one included.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve found myself rolling my eyes a little at some of the lyrical themes, but there’s no doubting the sincerity in Greg Graffin’s every word. And oh my god, the harmonies slay, especially in songs like Tiny Voices. A personal side-note: This was the band that taught teenage me that punk music and the rest of life were not incompatible. Per Wikipedia, Gregory Walter Graffin, Ph.D, is an American punk rock singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, college lecturer, and author. I later discovered so many punk bands had academicians as key members, including the Offspring, Jawbreaker, and the Descendents (their first album was called Milo Goes To College, ffs).

Anyway, back to this album, I highly recommend it. The first four songs are just the most amazing way to start an album. There are no official links, but if you google ‘bad religion stranger than fiction’ you’ll find the whole album on YouTube.

Zao  Xenophobe / Fear Itselfstatic1-squarespace

Genre: Metalcore

Year: 2015

This is a less-than-seven-minute-long EP that feels like a complete assault on everything. Highly recommended. Unlike the next album, however, people who do not like metal are unlikely to have any interest in this one.

Yob  Atma

Genre: Doomyob-atma

Year: 2011

This is a metal album that, I think, both metalheads and non-metalheads will enjoy. This album is truly incredible. Like Sirens, which I reviewed last week, it’s a close-your-eyes-and-drift-away sort of album, and one of the best ones I have heard. Check it out here:

WIBLT # 1

Here’s what I’ve been listening to:

ttdarkerhandcraftcover

Trap Them — Darker Handicraft

Genre: metal, hardcore, metalcore

Year: 2011

Trap Them are probably my favourite metal band around right now and this album is one of my favourite metal albums. Huge plus, this album is produced by Kurt Ballou, guitarist-producer of genre pioneers Converge, and producer of some of the best heavy records of the past two years (High on Fire, Nails, Sumac, Torche). I will be reviewing their latest release, Crown Feral, which already sounds pretty tasty, soon.

Necessaries — Event Horizon

Genre: early alternative, post-punk

Year: 1982

Full disclosure. I don’t really know anything about this band or the album. It was an accidental discovery, a very ‘internet age’ discovery. Having said that, I’m glad to have discovered this album. It sounds like a weirder Feelies or a less frantic Gang of Four.

(I can’t seem to find any sort of official link, but google the name of the artist and the album name, and you’ll find it on YouTube.)

Koushik — Be With2271175

Genre: instrumental hip-hop, chill, downtempo

Year: 2004

At first I was hesitant to give this album a shot, because it sounded like the sort of music that brain-dead yuppies listened to in their hard-day’s-night drug-taking parties. It had all the red flags reverb-soaked vocals, Ibiza-sounding guitars, a ‘chill’ album released on a hip-hop label (Stones Throw Records). Despite my closed-mindedness, I’ve grown to really like the album.

You can get it on iTunes/ Apple Music here: https://itun.es/in/nMIhe

Equiknoxx — Bird Sound Powerequiknoxx_bird_dds

Genre: hell if i know, post-dancehall apparently

Year: 2016

This is one of my favourite albums this year. I recommend you go into it cold, zero expectations.

You can get it off of apple music here: https://itun.es/in/Ni69db

Reuben — Racecar Is Racecar Backwardsreuben

Genre: high school crooning/screaming alternative rock/metal

Year: 2004

I decided to try this record out because I had never occurred to me that racecar is indeed racecar backwards. Once I got over memories of all the stupid things I had done in high school while listening of inferior versions of this album (whiny white-boy alternative metal), I started truly enjoying it. It’s not anyone’s favourite genre, but it’s a solid genre album.

Yet another iTunes/ Apple Music link: https://itun.es/in/zZRL2)