Friday, January 17, 2014

Paco's Top 'leven Hip-Hop and the like

Well. Hip-Hop. Rap! Whoa. Get ready! This list contains no Pusha T, J. Cole, or Kanye. No Pusha T or J. Cole cause I didn't listen to their albums enough yet. No Kanye cuz I'm just like that. Face the fax! Also I didn't differentiate between albums and mix-tapes because there is basically no meaningful difference to me (listening wise unless they have some super loud annoying hype man on them) and often mix-tapes are even better, in fact a lot of this list is mix-tapes.

1. Run The Jewels - S/T (Fools Gold)

Album of the year, and its free! Best news for you and your pals. This album is so good. I love it. It is a bit grating probably but in a great way. Killer Mike you guys. Killer Mike is the best. EL-P is still a better producer than he is rapper, but he's still a decent rapper. A lot of this runs together and its very short but it runs together in the very best way possible. This is hopefully a sign for world conquering things to come. We knew they were a good pair after Killer Mike's last album, but now I hope they get married and live together forever as the king and queen of rapsylvania. Also Big Boi stops by.

2. Black Milk - No Poison No Paradise (Fat Beats)

I've been on the Black Milk train since the beginning and its a train that just keeps getting, uh, more trainy? Good. I feel every album by Black Milk has been better than the last and this is his best yet. His flow (which sometimes was dissed, although I didn't mind it) seems to have developed and gotten better. His beats are of course so good. Come on you guys, its Black Milk. Just go for it.

3. Homeboy Sandman - All That I Hold Dear (Stones Throw)

Here's another dude I have been ignoring to my serious detriment. Maybe it was because of his name but I never really wanted to care. Even when I first tried to listen to this I was kinda like meh. But then I really gave it a solid listen and his raps seriously hook you in.

Almost spoken word and almost seems like stream of consciousness until you pay attention. At first you think he can't really rap and then you realize how wrong you were.

Worst part of this was that it's too short.

4. Pete Rock & Camp Lo - 80 Blocks From Tiffany's (Part. 2) (Non Label)

What? Pete Rock and Camp Lo together? free mix-tape? Part two? Yes. It's just as good as you thought it might be. It's pretty old school, but in a great way, and anyway that's what I like best.

Also I almost forgot about Talib Kweli, but there he is guesting on one of the best tracks, and his verse is actually quite good. Old dudes rule! get outta here you young uns!

It is sorta super long though...

5. Big K.R.I.T. - King Remembered in Time (Cinematic Music Group)

REM you guys. If you're gonna sample James Blake, you're gonna get me to like your mixtape. Seriously, don't waste anymore time just listen to that sample before.

The rest of it doesn't quite live up to that track, but its still very good. I sort of had been ignoring Big K.R.I.T. for whatever reason, but this track hooked me in and then I found out the rest of it is good too. Get on it, its free!

6. TREE - Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out (Creative Control)

Oh man, I love his voice! It could be grating to some people but I want to listen to so much. Also it fits very well with the beats. For some reason, the first few times I tried to listen to this, I wasn't into it. And then one day it just clicked and it clicked so hard.

It was hard to choose what track to put as your sample. I kinda wanted to put "So Bad" but I decided to go with "The King". Anyway its a mix-tape so its free so just go check it out! So good.

7. A$AP Rocky - LONG.LIVE.A$AP (Polo Grounds Music, RCA)

I'm not sure if this is better than the first mixtape that made him big, as less Clams Casino is not always a good thing. However, This still had a lot of good stuff going on in it. I feel like there is some kinda backlash against him for some reason. Was he overhyped? Naw. Anyway he's better than them other A$APs.

Anyway, probably no one else agree with me on this but Fashion Killa is like one of the best songs of all time. And its about fashion which i don't care at all about. That means it must be the best. Basically that beat is just seriously killin' it. Do you guys not love this song? Come on!

8. Prodigy X Alchemist - Albert Einstein (Infamous Records)

This albums has me torn. There is a lot of good ish going on here. Like some good beats ("Curb Ya Dog" or "Give Em Hell"). And some good rhymin'. But also there is a lot of it that is super, super violent stuff going on which I just can't really get into ("LMDKV").

Anyway there are definitely some good tracks. Check out that track below!

9. The Underachievers - Indigioism (Brainfeeder)

Wow yes! I only found out about this, and these guys at the end of year but it is immediately good from the first listen of track one. Even though this is from New York and doesn't sound outdated at all, there is also something very west coast late 90s underground about this. Like what are Hieroglyphics up to these days? It's probably the pyramids and the talk of 3rd eyes, mixed with damn good rappin'. Listen to "Philanthropist" there below and tell me that doesn't sound both like something sweet you heard a while back and also something so good and fresh.

This should probably be higher on the list. Go get it!

10. Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap (Non-Label)

Personally, I liked this, but I could quite catch all the praise and  hype it got. It's definitely good and spells good things for this fine young man's future, but it also wasn't the boss of the roost.

Anyway check it out. Some sweet music, some good raps. I don't find his voice annoying it all, I actually weird voiced rappers. But in the game of weird voice new rappers from Chicago I go with Tree.

Get that, son!

11. Drake - Nothing was the Same (Cash Money Records)

So Drake, huh. I admit that I have been slow getting into Drake. Obviously not cause he's not "hard" enough or whatever, as I don't give a care bout that. Anyway, in December I finally took the plunge. This albums seems good but I've only listened to it once. That's why its way down here.

Also "Hold On, We're Going Home" totally doesn't seem like the type of song you would expect me to like, but for some reason its sooo good.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Paco's Top 6 Possibily Jazz (or Possibility Jazz) Picks of 2013

Dear hired hands!

Here's the next list of my lists. It's Jass Time! This Jazz though is mostly in the "Free" vein or experimental. Some of it might not even be considered jazz by some (barbarians!). This list will mostly appeal to those of you who like the last experimental drone list. anyway...

1. Jeremiah Cymerman - Sky Burial (5049 Records)
This is a sweet beast of a record. Jeremiah Cymerman rocks the Clarinet (yes the clarinet!) and "Electronics.  He is joined by the always reliable former chicago mainstay (he moved to new york now) Matt Bauder also on Clarinet, Electronics, and Sax, and then sweet new york trumpeters Nate Wooley and Peter Evans. To be honest, although those 3 are some of the best sweet dudes in contemporary experimental Jazz, I'd never heard of ol Jere' here. But I will definitely be paying attention from here on out. This baby is a sweet ride all the way through. It's an incredible sound texture weaved by these fellas. Nice JOB! Also there's a song called "Skull Bowl".


2. Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile (Constellation)

This is more likely to be liked by more people than than my first choice and is much more clearly "JAZZ". But its also still very wild and adventurous. This is the second release in Chicago/New York's Matana Robert's incredible "Coin Coin" series. The music is what she terms, "panoramic sound quilting". and that is pretty much what it sounds likes, a mashup of spoken word, historical narratives, re-framed historical phrases and cliches (both of word and music). It kind of sounds like someone's insane black history/jazz grad school project, but without any of the dryness which that may conjure. Excited to see where this project goes.


3. Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol 3: To See More Light (Constellation)

Oh Colin, the favorite saxophone player of everyone who doesn't know the name of any other living saxophone players. I kid, I kid. Well, it's probably true, However, fortuantely for us, he's good enough that we don't need to give a care about that. Most of you probably already know this album. If you don't, then get in the know right now. This might be my favorite of the 3 "New History of Warfare" releases. This is also not what many people would refer to as Jazz. Regardless, its powerful and transcendent and still unbelievable that these things are recorded solo. Geez, Constellation Records, while don't you just release all the best albums of the year?

4. Arve Henriksen - Places of Worship (
Rune Grammofon)

This ones got some appeal. You should dig it. It's not loud or wierd like this other music. It's almost ambient.

Trumpeter Arve's 2007, "Strjon" is one my favorite albums of all time and a super underrated classic.

This is not as good as that, but it is still "Arve Henriksen good". First thing to know is that ol' Arve has the best best best trumpet tone ever. Also This is a very Norwegian feeling record. It's also very meditative, which is good as per its theme/title. Occasionally it might go a slightly a little too new agey for some of you, but you should not fear it my friend! Mostly, man that trumpet!

5. Ches Smith and These Arches - Hammered (Clean Feed)

Alright after that interlude of quiet good times, let's get back to some action packed noisy times. This album is good. Surprisingly good actually. It really gets you. You think you know where its heading then its like wait oh yeah you love it and then you do. How's that for incisive music criticism?
"These Arches" are apparently Andrea Parkins on Accordian/Electronics, Tim Berne on Alto Sax, Mary Halvorson on Guitar, and Tony Malaby on Tenor Sax. Ches Smith is a drummer and drummers leading Jazz groups often seems to be a good thing. Now honestly, I had only heard of Tim Berne before, but now I realize I'm an out-of-it fool for not knowing the rest of these people particularly, Ches and Mary.
Anyway basically this is a solid group which I hope puts out more stuff. They play very well together. Also some dang good melodies here, actually catchy sometimes. Like I said before this album gets better as you listen more. Still might be too Chaotic/noisy for some of you. oh well.

This video is a song on the album but live and the sound quality is not particularly great so I kind of don't want to post it. But anyway you get the idea.

6. Craig Taborn Trio - Chants (ECM Records)

Craig Taborn you guys. Also Craig Taborn making somewhat straight ahead "normal" album with a drums/bass/piano trio. Also Gerald Cleaver is on those drums. This is a much more subdued album than most of the list here (except Arve H.'s). It's also probably the most likely to not be considered "Not Jazz" by someone. Jazz! Hey Check it out. It's a bit long sometimes. I'd really like to see this trio live.

This video is not the album but live and seems to have been recorded on VHS or something. anyway it will give you the feel of it.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Paco's Favorite 11 Exspearimental/Dronezz/whatevslikethatyoutguys releasers of 2013

Hey Channies, Maybe you thought I wasn't gonna make lists. Well maybe you didn't know that the sound on my computer broke but I, even I, persevered. This is the first of 4 easily digestible lists split up according to genre sort of, or just like whatevs.

This first list is XPERI-MeNTAL-IzM! WOAH YEAH! So if you are one of those guys who is like "hey whats all that racket?", then maybe you wanna skip this list. But also why not open up your mind and free your soul and give peace a chance and stick around? Let's go!

All that said, experimental music does not easily lend itself to rankings/list makings experimental music is often much more casual, the art act integrated into daily life, for everyone by everyone, as opposed to art as event, the album as blockbuster red carpet roll out hype, which is more easily found in other genres. This is a good thing in my opinion but also why people often think its "boring" because their listening is framed in a different manner. It's also why they don't end up on lists because they are not designed in such away as to be "album of the year" or whatever.

But anyway lists are fun so screw all that here's some stuff i liked.

1. The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation - Roadburn (Parallel Corners)

This bad boy was a sweet bad boy. I'm not sure whether I should have put this in my jazz list (and yessir, there is a jazz list) but I put it here. Sweet slooooooooow dark doomy doomjazz. Most people will not think this counts as jazz. Basically if you love patience and slow doom timez, you will love to wander as a lost soul across this barren wasteland of joy. Also this was free on bandcamp! wow! Except right now that page seems down or something.

2. Jerusalem In My Heart - Mo7it Al-Mo7it (Constellation)

A lot of you cads were probably into this. And rightly so! What a heckuvan album! wowwies! It's like your sweet dream of middle eastern music mixed with your sweet dream of experimental electronic makin' It is great. Thanks to bryce for leading the way to glory town.

Seriously check out that track!

3. Bitchin Bajas - Krausened (Permanent Records)

Bitchin Bajas have always been bitchin'. This is yet another one of their great releases. If you are sad you were not born during the first round of droney electro Krautrock, don't worry cause BBs got your covered with this sweet krautyslab.

4. Günter Schlienz - The Catalanian Tapes (Seconds Records) /Organ Studies (Constellation Tatsu)

 This one is a twofer. Both two great jams from the always solid Günter Schlienz. Synth it up, pal.

I couldn't find tracks from the albums. This is okay but not as good and not really what you need to know that.

5. Grapefruit - Stolen Highway (Constellation Tatsu)

Constellation Tatsu is putting out some good stuff. This is more synthy good times. Grapefruit is a fairly new comer but already batting like a pro. Last year's Twin Reflections c40 on Sloow Tapes was also great.

6. Forming - Variations of the One Essence (Worn Habit)

These guys are new and I know little about them except that they are from canada. Also they are masters of the gentle lo-fi loop. Many good things to be heard. track 3 "Resident of" is the most peaceful sample of all time looped for a way too short 3:20. OMG! Love it. Also I like the album art. Also they give their stuff away on bandcamp! Free! Actually going to find that link I found that they released a longer tape just this december. It could be even better! Its also free! I bet its not better than "Resident of" though! wow what a track of bliss!

There is supposed to be a bandcamp preview of the track embedded here but for some reason it won't embed. Probably because our blog is the worst most ugly blog of all time. Anyway its free at bandcamp, go get it!

7. Donato Dozzy - Plays Bee Mask (Spectrum Spools)

Who doesn't love Bee Mask? Well how about Bee Mask remixed as ambient italian techno? Originally supposed to be a one track remix of Bee Mask's Vaporware, Donato Dozzy like it so much he made a whole album. Great stuff. The preview below is snippets of the whole album so dig around.

8. Looks Realistic - Where Does it Come From? (Constellation Tatsu)

As I said, Constellation Tatsu is putting out some bangers. This is your standard issue lo-fi synthy loopy sound collage drone. Good stuff.

9. Expo '70 - Virtually from the Unknown (Sonic Meditations)

Expo '70 is always good news, but also a lot of it sounds the same (in a good way). So while I always enjoy the slow dark psychy zounds, nothing really stood out to me for a while, and with quite a few releases in my cachet, I sorta stopped paying attention for a bit. On a whim I nabbed this baby, and what a great whim that was! One of E70s top jambos in my opinion. Like much of Expo '70 this is dark super slow droney rock at that dangerous weird border where barn owl meets classic rock if classic rock was way more psyched out. This is a three peice though so it is actually a bit more psych rock than normal. Some of you may actually not like how much rock is going on here. Others will find the additional rock a welcome entry point. Anyway, if you are up for a long deep psych jam out then sync in your teethers.

10. Golden Pawn - This Lake is a Misty Mirror (Space Slave Editions)

Pleasant lo-fi ambient drone from newish label Space Slave Editions.

11. Noveller - No Dreams (Important Records)

I just heard this recently so I need to hear it more. Otherwise it might be up higher. I'm not quite sure whether I love it quite as much as some of Noveller's other blissfully noisy guitar drone gems (If you've not heard 2009's Red Rainbows, go find it immediately) but so far it sounds good. A bit more quiet/post-industrial collapse dystopian landscape film soundtrack than in the past which is not a bad thing. Basically I wanted to throw this up here because Noveller is a boss and it seems she doesn't get much recognition.

Other goodies, ie. Honorable Mention:
Julianna Barwick, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (cannot make a bad album), Aquarelle (Thanks Jim), Mammane Sani et son Orgue (Bryce, you'll love it), Date Palms (Bryce you will also like this), Jan St. Werner (This is gonna slip through the cracks and it shouldn't), J.D. Emmanuel (New Age synth king returns!), Moon Wheel