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WSUM's Weekly Adds: 3/27

  • Post Author
    by Music director
  • Post Date
    Fri Mar 27 2020

Every week at WSUM, our Music Director, Izzi, chooses her favorite new releases to add to our music library. Here are this week's favorites, presented to you by WSUM's Music Journalism Club.

Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jazz is Dead 001

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Hey Lover,” “Conexão,” “Jazz is Dead”

GENRE: Jazz, jazz fusion, beat tape

RIYL: Makaya McCraven, João Gilberto, A Tribe Called Quest, Kenny Segal

Jazz is still very much alive. Renowned composer Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest fame have teamed up to create an album that seeks to continue the musical dialouges started back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. A modern ear for composition filtered through a patina of grit and grime gives this album the feel of some long lost gem, uncovered in a bargain crate in the back of a record store. Analog recording techniques provide the warmth needed to glue this record together as it explores everything from improvisational beat music to psychedelic fusion. Despite the vintage obsession evident throughout, Younge and Muhammad are always looking forward. New ideas are evident on every track as the two continue to reject complacency in favor of paving their own path. This is one of the better jazz records I've heard all year, and I would highly recommend it to both seasoned jazz-heads as well as those looking to get into the genre. Sean Horvath

Ultraista, Sister

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Tin King,” “Anybody,” “Ordinary Boy”

GENRE: Electro-pop

RIYL: Radiohead, Atoms for Peace, Chromatics

On their new album, Sister, electro pop group Ultraista sound quite a bit like Atoms for Peace, a group which also contains Ultraista members Nigel Godrich and Joey Waronker. However, this isn't really a bad thing. While Atoms for Peace, headed by Radiohead vocalist Thom Yorke, tends to sound like a watered-down Radiohead, Ultraista heads down a more funky and poppy path with their sound. In lieu of Thom Yorke's whiny and melancholic falsetto, Ultraista's minimal and analog electronic instrumentals shift and weave under the dreamy vocals of Laura Bettinson. With Bettinson's much more soothing and enchanting delivery, Ultraista's sound is both reserved and danceable, making it just separate enough from the usually haunting Radiohead/Thom Yorke sound to be unique, while still scratching that Radiohead itch.  — Ayden Schultz

Cable Ties, Far Enough

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Hope,” “Self-Made Man,” “Anger's Not Enough,” “Pillow”

GENRE: Post-punk, indie rock, garage punk

RIYL: Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Amyl and The Sniffers, Ex Hex

Recently signed to the prolific North Carolina indie label Merge, Melobourne's Cable Ties return with their sophomore effort, Far Enough, sounding more energetic, exploratory and triumphant than ever before. The album opens on the multifaceted “Hope,” which begins withdrawn and introspective but quickly transitions to the same warm blooded post-punk all over the band's debut. While the entire record is consistent, Cable Ties has created one of the best runs of songs this year thus far with this album's final three tracks. “Self-Made Man,” is sharp both lyrically and sonically, with lyrics that dig deep into both class and wealth inequality. “Anger's Not Enough,” clocking in at seven minutes, is surprisingly not even the longest track on Far Enough and is easily the most energetically dissonant track on the album. Lastly, “Pillow” is a driving and rousing closer, its tangibly punchy energy drawing Far Enough to a whirlwind finish. Far Enough and its direct and gripping take on the worlds of both post-punk and garage punk should be on the radar of any listener in need of compelling and electrifying rock.  —  M. Jarosinski

TOKiMONSTA, Oasis Nocturno

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Fried for the Night,” “Get Me Some,” “For My Eternal, Oh Dream My Treasure”

GENRE: Electronic

RIYL: Anoraak, Whethan

Los Angeles DJ and producer TOKiMONSTA's new album Oasis Nocturno feels like a neon soaked fantasy world. Each song has its own unique attitude that makes listening to the album feel like moving around a place, like each track takes place in a different corner of the same city. By the end, I felt like I'd seen it all. TOKiMONSTA herself considers the album to encompass “all the moods you experience throughout the night, from going out with your friends to the moment when you eventually hunker down, back at home, and you're sitting in bed, alone with your thoughts.” Branching out from typical beats to incorporate more R&B and pop stylings, TOKiMONSTA's glittery electronica is aided by features from VanJess on “Come and Go” and EARTHGANG on “Fried for the Night.” — Jane Lazzara

Check out our playlist for this week's adds on Spotify below.