Roots (1996) by Sepultura

Categories: 1996 and Music.

I don’t know Sepultura. I’ve heard literally one song of theirs before on a compilation. But listening to this, it’s hard for me to understand why people reject it, even if there are traces of Nu Metal. Without hearing Chaos AD (and so being pretty uninformed, I guess), this sounds like an absolutely crazy, almost entirely successful amalgam of styles that do not belong together. It’s really, really cool and it makes it all the more imperative for me to listen to the earlier album, I think. I’ll get there, but in the meantime, this is pretty awesome. 9/10 Read More

Habana (1997) by Roy Hargrove’s Crisol

Categories: 1997 and Music.

The man has a voice! Frankly I was starting to despair that this acclaimed trumpeter was going to spend his entire career living in the Young Lion world of ‘Everything old is wonderful, everything new is terrible’. That’s sure what it sounded like in his early years. Now, I cannot pretend to have a remotely thorough knowledge of Afro-Cuban / Latin jazz, and so I cannot attest to whether or not this is innovative in any way. (I have my doubts…) But I detect a passion and a willingness to be idiosyncratic that was wholly missing from Hargrove’s earlier recordings Read More

Geocidal (2014) by tetema

Categories: 2014 and Music.

Mike Patton has long been one of my favourite rock musicians. And I think he has also made some objectively great music; at least six albums he has been involved with I would put on my “core” list of important music a neophyte should listen to. (For your reference, those albums are, in chronological order: Angel Dust, King for a Day…Fool for a Lifetime, Disco Volante, California, The Director’s Cut, and Anonymous.) But even though it really hasn’t been that long since the last one of those (7 years), it sure has felt like a long time to me. I Read More

Emmaar (2014) by Tinariwen

Categories: 2014 and Music.

I have come pretty late to the whole tishoumaren / “Saharan Soul” thing and so there’s a part of me that stupidly worries I’m overrating this; I mean, they’ve been releasing music here for over a decade, this can’t be that novel, right? But I will try to turn my brain off for a few moments: This is fantastic stuff: pretty much just blues – very little soul, despite the popular nickname – mixed with what I assume is traditional Malian music (Tuareg music). I have no idea what they are saying but it doesn’t matter: the whole thing is Read More

Passion – Sources (1989) by Various Artists, curated by Peter Gabriel

Categories: 1989 and Music.

On the one hand, this is a fine collection of “world” music, featuring all sorts of interesting pieces from different cultures. Moreover, it was released in connection to an “event” Hollywood film, meaning that this type of music got unprecedented exposure. On the other hand, like all or at least most “world” music compilations, this compiles a bunch of un- or somewhat-related musical traditions and passes them off as one thing. Someone like me, interested in the history of music almost as much as the act of listening to music, is given no context for these performances. Worse, Gabriel cut Read More

The Intercontinentals (2003) by Bill Frisell

Categories: 2003 and Music.

This is a fascinating and compelling melding of American folk music, whatever the music is that Frisell has been making that combines American folk music with certain elements of jazz, and various world musics. He and his collaborators touch on a lot of styles so it is a little hard to categorize this properly, but I think that’s likely a waste of time. The results are pretty incredible and, to my limited knowledge of Frisell, somewhat unconventional for him, given that some tracks feature vocals. This is a really solid exploration of the overlapping sounds between traditional American folk music, Read More

Secret Chiefs 3 Live at the Drake Hotel, May 24, 2013

Categories: 2013 and Music.

So I have been a fan of SC3 since sometime in the early 2000s, but I had never seen them live and – due to my music addiction making music money scarce – I had not kept up with their musical output past 2004’s Book of Horizons, where the satellite band “concept” first came to the fore. I was unaware that the band still tours as these satellite bands, so I didn’t realize exactly what I was getting into. What I mean to say is that I should have booked tickets for both the May 24th concert and the May Read More

RIP Ravi Shankar

Categories: Music and RIP.

There was a time when I really, really wanted to get into Indian music. However, I lived in small town Quebec. So I used the internet (Napster then a few of Napster’s successors) and found very little in what I was really looking for: crazy-long ragas. I found a couple supposedly by Shankar (I have never been able to confirm) but not many. Listening to them in my university dorm room bothered other people. At some point my computer died and I lost the files. By the time I moved back to civilization, my desire to listen to ragas had Read More

Telephone Free Landslide Victory by Camper Van Beethoven (IRS 1985)

Categories: 1985 and Music.

Imagine Kaleidoscope, if they were ’80s college kids (and so liked the Velvets), had far more interest in ska, far less interest in learning to play foreign instruments, and with a sense of humour, and you maybe sort of get the idea of these guys. The instrumentals tackle a variety of styles but many of them have a vaguely ska-ish feel underlying them (sort of like ska world fusion or something). The songs with lyrics are pretty much all parodies of either contemporary music styles, scenes or subcultures but given enough of an ’80s college radio feel that the album Read More