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New Release Roundup: February 24th 2023
I'm feeling a bit better than I was last week, but I've still not quite gotten back into keeping up with the contemporary music world. I've been listening to a lot of Guided By Voices. I'd never heard them until recently! That dude has a good sense for melodies. But yeah, I think if any week was going to pull me back in, this new one would do it. There's so many names I love, like Wobbly (recording with MaryClare Brzytwa under the name Amen Seat), Kassel Jaeger, Meemo Comma, Valerio Tricoli, Zvrra, a batch on Suite 309, a batch on Dinzu Artefacts, and new ones on other great labels like Astral Spirits, Editions Mego, Unseen Worlds, Important Records, and Moon Glyph. And then not too far in the horizon there's some stuff on Room40, Gin&Platonic, Zabte Sote, and then there's also a Max Syedtollan album on the way... a lot of heavy hitters here! There's even more on the anticipation list, so be sure to check that out to see all the cool new music.
I did wind up listening to a little bit of new music, here's how I'm feeling about it:
February 17th, 2023
Avey Tare - 7s (Domino)
I made a joke to some friends that this album is supposed to be "just OK", and that's why he called it 7s. But honestly? I feel like I could probably stretch that concept out and make it work for this. And it's not a complaint! Sometimes it's cool when music is just really good at being OK. Maybe the kids will come up with some kind of 'midcore' concept as a way of rejecting hustle culture / the unsustainable pursuit of the endless spectacular, and this album could be a part of it, alongside stuff like Squarepusher - Selection Sixteen or Luke Vibert - Ridmik. I remember feeling this same level of moderate satisfaction about the previous Avey solo album, Cows on Hourglass Pond. But when I saw the material performed live, it felt so much more special. I just do not see anything on this album that could be elevated from that treatment, though I guess I'll have to buy a ticket to the show later this year to see if I'm mistaken. But I think it'd be fine if I'm right. If I never end up fixating on it, it'll still be fun to throw on from time to time, in-between the more intense listening experiences. Though I will say that the final track frustrated me in a way that felt compelling and new, I could see that one turning into something more.
February 20th, 2023
eeexxxttteeennndddeeedddppplllaaayyy - waves of clouds (Open Hand Real Flames)
This is a new alias from Bass Clef. Sort of an odd release here, it appears that he's revisiting some of the melodies on recent releases. So if you've kept up, a lot of this is going to be pretty familiar, though still with enough changes to justify a look. If you aren't familiar with any of Bass Clef's music, then the question becomes "is it better to check out the original stuff or just jump right in here". And I'm still not sure where I'd land there... but if you like wonderfully direct and vividly colored tunes, then you absolutely should figure out one to pick. Because this guy does them great!
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