Tag Archives: Friday

“Me Yesterday//Corded”

flylo
Flying Lotus
Until The Quiet Comes, 2012

Flying Lotus, a.k.a. Steven Ellison, is hands-down my favorite producer right now. His work touches on multiple, seemingly disparate corners of the exploratory musical universe: the bass and drive of post-Dilla hip-hop; the energy and fuck-it attitude of free jazz; the precision and programming chops of IDMers like Aphex Twin. “Me Yesterday//Corded” opens with muffled vocals, plodding keys and what sounds like a hydraulic chassis for a drum bed. At the halfway point, the whole thing explodes into the kind of woozy, beautiful beat science Ellison built his name on. As in his best work and that of the artists who’ve inspired him, any semblance of coherence is an afterthought.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/17%20Me%20Yesterday__Corded.m4a]

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“Other Side (Stuck Together Remix)”

atoms
Atoms for Peace
Single, 2012

You could make the case that Thom Yorke’s place in popular music is not what it used to be. Reaction to the most recent Radiohead record was relatively modest after almost two decades of unfettered praise. And while his surprise DJ gigs still rate as blog fodder, 2013’s The Eraser-meets-Afrobeat Atoms for Peace excursion got a similarly quiet reception. With attention drifting to younger artists, Yorke has quietly and convincingly branched out as a remixer. Here, aided by longtime producer Nigel Godrich, he reshuffles Amok standout “Stuck Together Pieces” as something darker, more thoughtful, and ultimately more rewarding. It’s the best Atoms-branded bit thus far, and proof that our favorite, most established artists still retain the capacity for surprise.

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“Gross”

jonwayne
Jonwayne
Cassette on Vinyl, 2014

“I worry.” So confesses the soulful vocal sample at the heart of “Gross,” a 2012 cassette mixtape standout from L.A.-based rapper/producer Jonwayne. It could also double as his thesis statement. While his work thus far has leaned heavily on El-P-seasoned anxiety and apocalysm, there’s enough personality in ‘wayne’s music to suggest it’ll one day be its own touchstone. Until then, the buoyant simplicity of a track like “Gross” is more than sufficient. It’s just been remastered and re-released as the leading track on Stones Throw’s Cassette on Vinyl compilation. Rawness intact.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/01%20Gross.mp3 ]

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“Where Pathways Meet”

sun ra
Sun Ra
Lanquidity, 1978

Something different then, for a Friday. There’s just no easy way into the Sun Ra catalog, no matter how you slice it; the legendary keyboardist recorded over 100 albums between 1956 and 1993. More than any other jazz performer or composer – even Miles Davis – his body of work engages the entire history of the genre, including works for big-band orchestra, solo piano, bebop and a much-lauded free jazz period. It’s intimidating but you’ve got to start somewhere, and Lanquidity is as good a place as any. Though rooted in the avant-garde spirit of his earlier work, it also brushes up against the popular funk and R&B of its era. “Where Pathways Meet” is the album’s most up-tempo cut, with a steady rhythmic bed like a spoonful of sugar for first-time listeners.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/02%20Where%20Pathways%20Meet.mp3 ]

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“Iambic 9 Poetry”

Squarepusher_-_Ultravisitor
Squarepusher
Ultravisitor, 2004

Who or what exactly is Squarepusher? After 20 years, the question is more open now than ever. The UK’s Tom Jenkinson first stood apart from his ‘90s IDM peers by virtue of musicianship – he didn’t just program acid-house drum breaks, he played them live. That skillset leaves Jenkinson a lot of rope at times, but also allows for moments like “Iambic 9 Poetry,” a track I’d file under “truly sublime.” Keep in mind that everything you’re hearing here – drums, bass, keys and whatever else – is being played by the same guy, essentially jamming with and against himself. The end result is a musical masterclass in building and sustaining mood.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/03%20Iambic%209%20Poetry%201.mp3 ]

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“HEXAGRAM”

hexagram

Deftones
Deftones, 2003

Depending on your plans for the weekend and your taste in bro-metal bands who never quite lived up to their potential, this is either the perfect song for a Friday night or your ultimate nightmare. Maybe a little of both. After 2000’s acclaimed White Pony, Deftones dialed back the ambition with a drowsy, eponymous record that never knew where to go after the first song. But man, what an opener. Achingly beautiful yet “metal” enough to qualify as one of their heaviest songs, it might also be their best. You’ll believe in a world where Kevin Shields can shred and Chino Moreno doesn’t know “Violator” by heart. Stay safe out there.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/01%20Hexagram.mp3 ]

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