this must be the place....goin strong , yeah baby!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Corporate America Listening Party 4-17

Every day at work I listen to a bunch of albums that I haven't heard before in order to keep me pacified. I've realized that I might as well chronicle them here.

The Jungle Brothers - Straight Out the Jungle
Early 90's hip hop, playful, conscious, and funky. A few surprisingly fast tracks, including an ode to house music that didn't seem out of place. The standout track had to be Sounds of the Safari, an instrumental cut that reminds you why scratching was cool before it became all nerdy.

Kidz in the Hall - School Was My Hustle
Some more hip hop for the early morning. Lately I've been down on contemporary hip hop, but Lanneau recommended these guys pretty highly and rightfully so. The beats sound gorgeous, at points pushing your typical hip hop drum pattern in new directions and creating a lot of energy in the process. It seems a pretty blatant counterpoint to College Dropout, constantly referencing the importance of education and the literacy of rapper Naledge and producer/DJ Double-O. The lyrics are really clever, and leave the listener half a bar behind at many points, but if you just want to bob your head they've got that covered too.

Cluster - 71
Found this one based on the fact that members of the group collaborated with Brian Eno later on in their careers. Wasn't really my cup of tea. It's ambient music at heart, but the experimentation with different timbres doesn't really yield well to a casual background listen. It feels paranoid, overwhelming, and hypnotic in the worst sense of the word. Imagine some of the darker textures on Another Green World without the counterpoints or melodies, and you've got this "seminal" piece of ambient music.

Indian Jewelry - Invasive Exotics
According to their press, I'm supposed to like this band. Psychadelic noise outfit from Houston, fairly free form as far as band members go, sounds like an alright time. Generally I think of psychadelic music as something one might want to ingest drugs while listening to, but this just made me think of being drunk. The guitar work felt sloppy and uninspired, the percussion lacking the tribal umph that their name might imply. The lyrics are darker than dark and more pseudo-proletariat hippie bullshit than the battlecry they're intended to be. I think this band is full of it.

Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals
Another band, like Indian Jewelry, that I usually hear compared to Animal Collective in their press releases. I honestly paid very little attention to this record, which is a difficult thing to do based on the fact that I spent my day hitting the print button in Adobe Acrobat and waiting on a loading bar for the chance to stumble onto the print button again. There were a flourish or two of Beach Boy influence that caught my eye, but I don't really have much to say about this record. It deserves another listen.

Working on The Adventures of Slick Rick right now (Slick Rick's a big hip-hop deficiency of mine) but I don't really feel like writing anymore, so until tomorrow (hopefully).

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