So. Much. Music. – April 2017

While my listening over the last few weeks in Berlin has been mostly in the weirdo techno space since I’m at the record stores multiple hours a day, I’ve made it a point to listen to an album’s worth of different music every other morning while I drink my coffee and plan out my day. Might not have as much time to pen another set of recommendations with my schedule considerably tighter over the next few weeks as I head to LA for meetings and the upcoming slot at dublab so here’s my highlights from the month (almost) gone by.

J.I.D – The Never Story
Reminds me a little of Wayne and that’s primarily why I decide to bite but shit, if you aren’t bumping this real fucking loud at home, in the car, in the shower, something is seriously wrong with you. Do yourself the honor and stream it in full here, then proceed to buy it.

Westside Gunn – Hitler On Steroids
I will stop talking about Flygod and The Machine when the time is right but for now, this Shady Records release aimed at those who just got word of the GxFR is something you need to wrap your ears around ASAP. Watch out for some of Benny’s verses plus some older cuts.

Insight & Damu The Fudgemonk – Ears Hear Spears
Bars, bars and more bars over old-skool beats. Decidedly not for people looking for theatrics in their rap (“Atrocity Exhibition was AOTY, B”). This one is all meat, fat trimmed, expensive sh*t from the churrascaria.

Arca – Arca
Best experienced loud and on big speakers as soon as you wake up for an incredibly satisfying day; you’ll be humming some of the melodies in no time. 10/10 from Arca following up Entranas from last year and DJ-crack Mutant from the year before.

Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
More like Pure Sh*te. Tillman wanting to take on the role of cultural commentator in the age of Everyone-Is-A-Cultural-Commentator is neither new, revolutionary or art. And for an album named Pure Comedy this pile of A-grade, organic, farm-raised dung takes itself way too seriously until you finally realize it’s actually targeted at music writers – the kind who enjoy the bar being set so low just so they can revel in sounding half-intelligent while talking about it. Maybe I’m just a sucker for misery, but I would rather dial back the years to my emo-folk phase and listen to Conor fucking Oberst than spend another minute listening to this pretentious fluff for millennials who don’t watch the news. Thanks for ruining a great day you pompous w****r.

Clark – Death Peak
Okay I’m cheating because this is more artillery for DJs but it’s a Clark album that’s and it’s fucken brilliant. Easily the WARP release of the year till date.

Actress – AZD
This is Actress on Ninja Tune and not Werk Discs so it’s quite a different listen top-down. Minus a lot of the jarring (read: great), exploratory moments that have earned Actress his own bubble, AZD is a superlative LP that you can actually play without your friends asking you dial it down. Too bad a Ninja Tune release also means a copy on wax costs around $30. I think the fact that Spacehall really bumped this all-day-long was great, but I still can’t afford to drop that much on a wax version so digi via Bandcamp will have to do.

Brian Eno – Reflection
Thoughts of time now passing fast enough, of ELO, and sleep, and why some weissbier needs a good shake before a pour; thoughts of shrill ’50s Bollywood singing, of drones, of sitting in my bed as a 15-year-old and my mom complaining about how my dad rarely takes anything seriously; thoughts of being electrocuted by a pair of Sennheiser headphones at a Sandunes concert, thoughts of a friend coming over just to eat all the ice cream in my freezer, cheesecake brownie Ben & Jerry’s, and I’m crying, for ice cream, interminable sadness, manageable short-term grief; thoughts of my music listening being interrupted by real-life versions of Internet pop-ups, I can’t get rid of ‘ em. Mom’s here and I’m listening to her still. All of this and more while I listen to Reflection with my eyes closed, eye mask on, mid-air, around some 27 hours through a fucking never-ending journey to Las Vegas from Berlin via Dubai. Eno calls this an “internal conversation” which, to me, is as scary as it is essential. Highly recommend if you’ve got the time to sit still and take it in

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