Let the Beat Build #33: August 2015
1. "Norf Norf" - Vince Staples
JW: It's time. Actually, we're overdue. We need another new music month. There's been a lot going on in the world, and I'm getting restless. I'd like to dedicate this month to @SirCrackmatic I'm a fast follower to his early adoption. Read this interview with Vince Staples. He is on some other shit. And like the square, he doesn't tolerate a fool. Relistening to this album, there's something here that sounds like Kanye done right. The intelligence and majority Kanye lacks. This album didn't blow me out of the water. It's just good. It's the kind of good that leads you to expect much more good. I'm interested in what this guy has to say.
2. “Bedtime Story” - GoldLink
KW: I thought there was no way I hadn’t dropped this track yet. I’m going to hold my other choice (“Little Fang” by Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks) until a later pick. It’ll come back. I heard this track on Soundcloud late last summer. So fucking nice. You know, this is what I want more out of when it comes to rap. Dance, playing both sides of the gangsta fence without being a fucking faker. Also, the hook from one of the best Timbaland + Magoo tracks. Quoting De La: “was it def? I reply with a straight face, ‘HELL YES.’” Except I mean it.
3. "Lumberjack Match" - Czarface
JW: I know, I know. I call for newness, but I'm pushing a sound that could have come from 1998. But check it. This is what Hip Hop should feel like! Czarface is like every best Wu solo track poured through Doom cheesecloth. Or do I have that reversed? This is what the kids should be studying.
4. “Gonna Listen to T. Rex (All Night Long)” - Burnt Ones
KW: I got into this kind of deep and awesome rut listening to bands that make fuzzed out versions of Jesus and Mary Chain--not a super new sound either. But totally awesome. A bunch of this is going to come out if this playlist picks up a little more steam.
5. "Billy Not Really" - Death Grips
JW: Oh man. Not sure if this is the right next song. But Death Grips don't transition smoothly to or from anything. Aphex Twin + Busdriver + ??. When I first heard them, I knew I should like it, but was just wilt unprepared to get into them. It was a timing thing, an energy flow thing, a psycho-emotional dissonance. But there's something here. Why don't I like this more? Why can't I turn away? Glitch isn't a dance ethos, is it?
6. “Never Catch Me” - Flying Lotus with Kendrick Lamar
KW: I feel that way with Kendrick Lamar. In fact, this Flying Lotus track is my favorite Kendrick I’ve heard so far. It’s rap over glitched out jazz hip hop destruction.
7. "Ray Gun" Ghostface Killah (feat Doom)
JW: Did someone say jazz/hip hop? The real story here is Badbadnotgood. The kids are alright.
8. “Waves” - Lia Ices
KW: I got here via Clams Casino, who produced this track, and also produced “Norf Norf.” This is quality. I don’t know anything about Lia Ices, or Clams Casino for that matter. But I’m digging the collision between synth pop, hip hop, and pop balladry. JW: You’re Clams digging? Really?
9. "Lawman" - Girl Band
JW: Lia Ices? Never heard of her. But she's in the lineup for NXNE 2015. I looked it up. There has been some interesting discussion around what the summer stadium concert is in this age of Internet. Who is it putting in front of us, and why? How is that changing? I found this Pitchfork article which talks about the art and commerce of Playlists and their connection to big dinner concerts. It was good. As for the music, these guys sound good. I like QOTSA as an influence, especially when they don't sound the same.
10. “Night Swim” - Frankie Rose
KW: Last month I got into a rabbit hole of post Vivian Girls projects (La Sera, Seapony, Frankie Rose). My favorite of these is Frankie Rose, especially this track. I met Frankie at my band’s practice space during the CMJ Music Marathon, everyone was loading out and she was playing a much better venue than we were. She was super nice, kind of nervous about breaking out into her own thing. Anyway, many years have gone by and she’s done some great stuff, like this. The CMJ festival, and festivals in general, have an interesting demographic. You have college radio music nerds, people in bands, friends of people in bands, the occasional industry type, and a shit ton of soulless marketing assholes. Fun times though.
11. “I’ll See You There” - The Chemical Brothers
JW: Shit, this took me all week to pick. And frankly, it was between this and Wilco. CMJ has (unsurprisingly) their own channel on Spotify. And, since their brand is having their finger on the pulse of “new” music, and not necessarily “good” music, I spun out in many directions. Some were interesting, but not interesting enough to want to listen to as we go back over this month’s LTBB. Others were just absolute shite. This is normal. It doesn’t help my anti-curmudgeon campaign though. Anyway, like a fuddyduddy, I’ve anchored to old acts that are making new music. BUT! I do think it’s great that they’re still making new music, and their character still has them rank amongst CMJ’s trendsniffers. The day you see Drake on CMJ, is the day to pack it up like Brian Wilson.
12. “A Simple Design” - The Juan Maclean
KW: I got really excited when this came out. It’s still basically everything I need in hot dance tracks. The Juan Maclean delivers on DJ sets, remixes, singles, everything you need.
13. “Send Me The Riddim” - Wiley
JW: Why isn’t Roots Manuva still making music? Did he and Dizzy Rascal team up? There is a UK thing that I don’t feel as deeply as I feel US hip hop, but I like it. I wonder if that’s how they feel about Del or Goodie Mob or Lupe? Also… Wiley kind of brings back the best version of sing-song rhyming. This would make a good video. KW: I was jamming out to The Juan Maclean with my kids, or mostly, I was jamming out and they were eating lunch. Then this Wiley track came on and they lit up. This has everything that the four and one year olds need.
14. “She A Go” - DJ Rashad
KW: I got into Wiley from Nguzunguzu (Asma is my friend’s sister). I got into DJ Rashad by cruising the vaguely related artists from Nguzunguzu. This shit reminds me of crunk, for obvious reasons, but from a different direction. Instead of crashing your car into a house to a slow fucking motion hip hop soundtrack, this is more like almost falling out on the dance floor in some sweaty ass slow motion club.
15. “Classic” - Meek Mill (feat. Swizz Beatz)
JW: This track reminds me of Mystikal. Like Shake Ya Ass on slo-mo with a weird second line. Little bit o’ syzurp with 2 bumps of Adderall. Sativa not Indica. I would make a video for this that would homage Drop with Jamiroqui and Black Rob on the back of the flatbed.
16. “Enemy” - Kelela with Nguzunguzu
KW: This playlist got dirty. Let’s keep it that way. This is a 90s slow jams with some nasty U.K. distorted dance madness