One mutative strain that has emerged in the Hyperdub DNA over the years—and advanced by the likes of Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland, Jessy Lanza, Laurel Halo, Fatima Al Qadiri, and Angel-Ho—is cyberdelic, mutant pop. Its most recent iteration comes courtesy of the Italian artist Mana, who has followed up his 2017 Creature EP with an album of beatless, almost baroque compositions, Seven Steps Behind. Over the album’s twelve tracks, he weaves together Senni-esque euphoria, sixteen-bit RPG melodic motifs, vaporous muzak, and a tantalizing array of other influences into an album that is intoxicatingly confounding and oddly optimistic, a reminder of humanity’s unique ability to find beauty in even the most grotesque of moments…Seattle’s Homemade Weapons specializes in breaks-addled drum’n’bass whose ragged, jagged rhythms burrow into his grey-scale atmospherics. He’s back on Berlin’s Samurai Music for album numero dos, Gravity, twelve tracks of dissected rhythm science that charts a third way between modern jungle’s bombast and half-time’s immense depth…Chicago’s Town and Country was a singular group that emerged out of Chicago’s post-rock scene in the late 90s with an organically reduced sound and minimalist arrangements, releasing great records through the mid-00s. The group’s former bassist Joshua Abrams, who now wields a guimbri, has released a series of outstanding, hard-to-categorize albums both under his own name and with his Natural Information Society outfit. They just released their third album Mandatory Reality on Eremite Records, which corrals an ever-shifting cast of accomplished players, conjuring up a minimalist, mystical sound that continues to be unlike little else out there. Check it out….Over the past few years, the late electronic composer and sound art pioneer Maryanne Amacher has been the subject of a number of efforts to shine a sustained light on her formidable and overlooked repertoire. Now, NYC’s Blank Form Editions has pressed to wax a 2017 performance of Amacher’s Petra, written in 1991 for two pianos and inspired by the science fiction writer Greg Bear’s short story of the same name. Learn more….Another artist working in slow motion, composer and music writer Eva-Maria Houben has been creating durational pieces for the organ for over three decades. The Second Editions label has released her latest work Erwartung 1 Und 2 that features two extended pieces, one for organ and one for piano that seek “to represent in slow motion everything that occurs during a single second of maximum spiritual excitement, stretching it out to half an hour.” Check out the sublime “Erwartung 2, Organist” here….For those who enjoy it when their dance music thinks too much (hi!), new UK label Future Massive has kicked its existence off with a stellar eight-track compilation, Future Massive: Volume 1, bringing together a cast of new and veteran hands that includes the dreamy electro opener of Plant43’s “Cellometer,” Rolando Simmons’s robo-romantic “Voica Ballad,” and the blistering acid breaks of Humanoid’s “F*ck It..” Check it…..The thing that always got to me with the lo-fi house style that emerged a few years back—not to be confused with the decades of lo-fi house made by POC producers who were never trying to use tape hiss as a proxy for style—was that the music itself was painfully rudimentary and by-the-book. Sure, it was perfect for music fans who were new to house and techno, but for those who would prefer to be the slightest bit challenged when shaking their rears, it felt like the underground version of EDM. And although M-path, the new cassette from solotape on the Seagrave label, is as about as sonically fuzzy as it gets, it’s also bursting with ideas and nuanced understanding of dance music, the producer clearly having heaps of his own style to spare. There’s plenty of 4x4 thumpers on hand, but the tape’s brightest moments come through on tracks like “DXP” and “Fleeter” that pivot upon unorthodox rhythms and low peculiarities, woven together by solotape’s unique voice. One to watch….
Spain’s Finis Africae have seen portions of their back catalog introduced to a new generation of listeners thanks to Japan’s EM Records and now Spain’s Abstrakce Records gets in on the fun with a first-time vinyl pressing of Los Dioses Hablan Por Boca de Los Vecinos, which saw the original duo of Juan Alberto Arteche and Juan Carlos Fernández Puerta linking up with the poet Pablo Guerrero. Positively enchanting….Best known for his Houz’Mon alias, the Chicago producer born Ricky D. White’s Slick Master Rick moniker gets a full twelve’s worth of tracks made between 1987 and 1988 on Factory Jack Muzik 1987-1988 released by Singapore’s Midnight Shift Records that includes the previously released “Halloween House” and three unreleased tracks soaked in lo-fi sonics and TB-303 madness. It’s a must-have….For over fifteen years now, Trunk Records has been sharing with the reissue-buying public the brilliance that is the “father of ambient music,” Basil Kirchin, and they’re back at it again with a reissue of the composer’s 1971 solo album Worlds Within Worlds, a free-wheeling mash-up of free jazz, field recordings, and musique concréte that still sounds painfully ahead of its time forty-eight years after its original release….Following their much-welcome 2017 repress of the electronic opus Sand, Dais Records have returned to the vaults of Swedish composer Ragnar Grippe for a seriously heady double platter entitled Symphonic Songs. The record focuses on the period between 1977 and 1981 when he composed an extended piece for the choreographer Susan Buirge, the traditional instrumentation “dressed up in Buchla synthesizer and real bass sounds.” Check out “Part III”….During the mid-90s, Richard Ian McGinty’s Pluto project released records on a number of the UK’s most respected techno labels, including Plink Plonk, Irdial Discs, and i.t.p. recordings. In The Future has pressed up a new edition of the producer’s 1993 Plutobeat EP, which includes the rapturous, salvific chords of “Plutogated” and the muted jazz trumpet of “Plutodub”….As I seem genetically predisposed to check out any record made by a weirdo wielding a keytar during the eighties, I would be remiss if I didn’t alert you to Numero Group’s recent reissue of West Philadelphia’s Chasman and his 1989 self-released Synth-E-Fuge album. An outsider-y, synth-funk delight….
Music lifer Lee Norris excels at crafting painfully pretty productions where a nagging melancholy hides beneath the most sentimentally sticky moments. A prolific producer who has been releasing records under a number of names since the late 90s, Norris’ housier monikers Norken and Metamatics went largely dormant in the 00s and early 10s during which his experimental Nacht Plank project knocked out a steady stream of albums. However, the past few years have seen Norris return to dance music with a passion and in the past couple of weeks, he’s released a pair of Norken twelvesm on Lockertmatik and the four-track Eternal Influences EP on his own Neo Ouija imprint, both featuring sweetly sad melodies and his gaseous, immersive sound design that represent a distinctive voice in contemporary dance music….Last year, the name of experimental techno dude Mark, who also records as Klon Dump, seemed to be on the tongues of the type head who would be all about the type of musique concréte-informed paeans to breakbeat-driven rave music and beatless, post-industrial-tinged soundscaping (hi again!) found on the producer’s Integrier Dich Du Yuppie EP for A Colourful Storm and The Least Likely Event Will Occur In The Long Run for Unterton. He’s back on the Ostgut Ton sublabe for a new three-tracker entitled Integriert Euch Nicht and it’s a scorching set of noise- and IDM-informed breakbeat rave-ups that closes with a junglist beatdown created in tandem with Wilted Woman and the absurdly talented Silvia Kastel….OK, here’s a fun one: There have been plenty of releases over the years with Mr. Miyagi in their title—it’s arguably a minor nuum trope—and Trouble Maker chief Adam Curtain’s new three-tracker is the latest to bear the Karate Kid character’s name. All three tracks sit comfortably at the 130 axis and splice up a weighty combination of UKG and electro that resembles “Clipper”-era Rustie, the title track benefitting from growling machine yawns that sound like a Sentinel taking a deuce. “Fallen” benefits from spirited low-end dilations and a starry-eyed high-end, but the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” sample that gives the track its title ends up giving the track an unfortunate novelty bin quality. Closer “Gamma Ray” updates the type of bass garage one could have expected to hear at Trouble & Bass parties and once again demonstrates Curtain’s DAW aptitude. Check the EP here….Yak has been kicking around the more intriguing ends of the classy bass music scene for a minute now and last year saw him pushing past the rolling tribal beats that first earned him attention into more broken and convoluted territory with the knotty 3024 Fye2 EP for Martyn’s 3024 label, a record that I admittedly didn’t fall for, but still admired the producer’s risk-taking. Clearly others did as well as he’s now been tapped for a five-track EP due out on the mighty R&S label and the lead single “Wide Eye” regurgitates three decades of rave life into a dizzying five-and-a-half minutes….M>O>S Recordings chief Aroy Dee is typically a reliable source for crafting some of the smarter house music out there and following a relatively quiet five-year period, he’s returned with Ma Spaventi for a solid slice of romantic tech-house on The Way We Love….
After a slew of brilliant EPs released in the first half of this decade, Detroit’s Manuel Gonzalez (M GUN) quietly sired a pair of accomplished albums for Semtek’s always on-point Don’t Be Afraid label back in 2016 and 2018. In March, he returned with his first twelve-inch in five years, The Nerve, for Belgium’s Futurepast imprint and it covers a lot of ground over its three tracks, from the pocket calculator house of the title track to the neck-cracking electro-house of “Snap In” and the Pole-like EBM dub of “Intent”….You gotta love it when coming across an artist who clearly has put a lot of thought into creating and marketing a very specific identity, likely assuming that there is an audience for that particular niche, and then realizing that you are exactly that audience. Such was the case when my eyes were caught by the name Vector Trancer hovering near the bottom of the top sellers chart over at the Clone store, clicking play on his Opening The Inner Gates 1 EP without nary a thought only to be greeted by a druggy, spiritual brand of EBM and a blurb that namechecks Objets D’Art, Fax +49-69/450464, FSoL and Autocreation. Talk about a “well, you got my number, buddy” moment if there ever was one. Highly recommended….Any label that takes “brutalism in music” as their motto is likely one I’m going to dig and sure enough, ever since Viennese label Neubau—named for the city’s seventh district, FYI—released Aufgang B’s B-Ware EP back in 2015, they’ve been one to watch. Following on from a banner 2018 that included ace twelves from Gil.Barte and Alexander Arpeggio, label head Heap—fresh off that blazing edits package for Berceuse Heroique last year—steps to the plate for the on-fire Amour Propre EP, a delicious three-tracker of slow-moving and sexy af dance music that is equal parts chugging and sensual. Capped off by a particularly banging Die Wilde Jagge edit, this record is destined to soundtrack plenty a future lick-your-lips moment on the dancefloor….Does streaming make listeners become crappy music fans? Just like increased screen time can lead to a decrease in empathy, relying on streaming services like Spotify can seemingly discourage clicking on an unfamiliar artist’s name not suggested by an algorithm. It’s against such a backdrop that the COD3 QR label emerged. While hiding artists’ names from listeners for the first two months of a release, revealing the authors’ identities via a countdown clock on their website, is more than a bit gimmicky, I really do appreciate the label’s commitment to reminding listeners of the unexpected joy that comes with finding new music. Released late last month, the five-track COD3 QR 003 compilation is unapologetically eclectic, combining breaky bass, MPC-triggered soulfulness, driving big room techno, and synthesizer solipsism into a single package. “Music to arouse curiosity,” hurrah!…Do you have a Bandcamp crush? You know, that one user whose distinctive profile pic seems to be tiled on the page of every other release you buy and whose purchases you track relentlessly as you’ll usually find at least one record you wouldn’t have otherwise? Yes, that does sound extremely stalker-y and creepy, but hey, welcome to being a music nerd following the death of privacy. Anyway, I feel compelled to mention my own Bandcamp crush as without them, I doubt I would have come across the productions of Japan’s Y A S H A and their Wait five-tracker of Jerseyfied, sub-heavy, and techno-friendly booty bangers. Hot fucking stuff.
For all you sample hounds out there, here’s something that had me throwing up my arms in joy. Last week, I came across a post from a friend who shared “The Sounds of Tarkovsky,” a two-minute Fandor video that crams the director’s many elemental Foley effects into two minutes begging to be sliced up and loaded into your sample library. While I can’t seem to find a playlist dedicated to the other “Sounds Of” videos Fandor has made, which includes the likes of Sam Raimi and Bong Joon-ho, you can find them by scrolling through their videos here….I’m a sucker for books dedicated to the beauty of record sleeves and Jonny Trunk’s The Music Library, which compiles several hundred library music covers, is a fave. He’s now back with another collection entitled Wobbly Sounds, A Collection of British Flexi Discs and it looks like a winner….Following on his recent pair of pieces looking at elitism, dance music populist Chandler Shortlidge has authored a piece on social media over at Attack that had me feeling all kinds of ways over lines like this one: “Although the artist thinks that’s really great because they love the art, no one engages with it because it doesn’t have the artist in it. And it’s art, which most fans don’t actually understand or get.” A strong reminder that just because you might not like something, that’s doesn’t mean it’s not true….tanner menard authored a Collateral Damage column for Wire on indigenous voices and “adopting a willingness to move beyond escapism towards an aware and politically active culture.” Check it out…. Two solid reviews: Philip Sherburne plays to his considerable strengths in his assessment of that Gramm reissue in P4K and Carlos Hawthorn provides an informative history lesson about Skream’s “Midnight Request Line” over at RA….Over at The Cut, Riane Konc has penned an engaging analysis of the millenarian, apocalyptic overtones of ‘N Sync’s “Space Cowboy.” Considering that plenty of music writers seem to use poptimism as a lazy excuse to cover a music world that begins and ends with the Coachella line-up, Konc’s piece is a welcome change of pace…
Okey doke, before moving onto some in-depth reviews, it feels like an apt moment to share the new album from Jersey’s Ase Manual, the delirious genre mash-up Lumi.
Oh wow, this is a real treat. I don’t know about you, but I totally missed this compilation when it came out last year and it feels way too important not to share. The UK’s Nation Of Noise label was a short-lived imprint that only released three records between 1991 and 1993 and whose sound mined a noisier strain of progressive house while incorporating some of the earliest strains of dub techno. Seriously, now this is some timeless shit. All three of the artists that Nation of Noise released records were the byproduct of collaborations between producer Django and vocalist Jon Martin and embraced by DJ’s as diverse as Derrick May, Scott Hardkiss, and those in the early jungle/breakbeat scene (pitching up Xes Noiz’s skeletal “A3.”) For those of us criminally unaware of these wildly prescient records, the Seven Hills label, which also houses the Zeitnot imprint, has condensed the Nation of Noise discography onto two slabs of wax that contain all of the Xes Noiz E.P. alongside “Piano Tilt” and “Feel The Joy” from Lockgroove’s Feel The Joy EP and “Elvis Stole My Space Hopper” and “Elvis Time” from Super Bubble’s Bounce EP. This is a type of reissue that is less common than they should be, shining a light on an overlooked historical node that enhances one’s understanding of dance music history. Just check it out, you will not be disappointed. And while you’re at it, be sure to scope the Ron's Mobile Disco twelve Seven Hills released last year as well.
Flaty - Instrument №6 (Gost Instrument 2019)
Timelessness is a bizarre and fascinating concept to consider in the context of dance music. House and techno have been in thrall of their own history for much longer than their respective “golden periods” lasted. When considering a track like Skudge’s “Clear”—the review is hyperlinked at the start of this blurb—the line between timelessness and cliche becomes muddled. Is it really “the kind of track that will appeal to DJs for as long as we have dance music?” Or is it the type of track that will appeal to retro-obsessed DJ’s and producers uninterested in allowing dance music to flourish on its own terms, viewing their duty as one of prescribing dancers what the music should sound like? Personally, i find this ‘purist’ breed of aficionado dance music more and more difficult to even assess as so much of it sounds offloaded from a sample pack—which, to be fair, is how a lot of Swedish dance music has always sounded to me.
Something that every young and aspiring DJ will realize at some point is that no matter how much work you put into honing your craft and developing your voice, you’ll generally be interchangeable in a promoter’s mind with every other DJ in your particular market. And if it feels a bit unfair to you to single out the Skudge track for this conversation, I would agree with you as I would have likely never have come across it if it didn’t get a recommended review in RA. I suppose the tension between what dance music should be versus what it could be has been kicking around a lot longer than I have and while I certainly may have opinions, they’re not judgments or proclamations. I’ve come across a couple artist quotes in the past week talking about how music is all about perspective and that’s how I’ve always seen this life we live, as an endless opportunity to learn more about my own and others’ musical biases and how they manifest. Just please understand that to other dance music fans, it’s as premium mediocre as they come.
And just as I found myself mulling over the implications of that RA review, I happened to receive a Bandcamp email from one of my favorite labels committed to deconstructing music nerds’ platonic ideals, Moscow’s Gost Zvuk. I soon found myself chuckling upon hearing that label GOAT Flaty had kicked off the latest ten-inch release on the label’s DJ tools-focused Gost Instrument imprint with a 150bpm depth charge of a dub techno tear-out, exaggerating the sound’s tropes to near-parodic extremes, the sound of his system’s processing power struggling to reach the finish line, inflecting the percussive shrapnel that flies out at the listener. The retro/not-retro dynamics carry through to the equally fast-paced “Hornets,” a Dance Mania throwback built around a restless, vespine 303 bass line and machine gun high hats, the producer mercurially halving the 4X4 beat before charging back into the beast’s belly. The halfstep cameos of “Hornets” take center stage on closer “Rn,” which rests upon a hesitant downbeat and ornery synth squiggles. For an artist who is as comfortable working within dance music’s rigid conventions as he is tearing them apart, Instrument №6 is a snapshot of what can be achieved when one deigns to color a bit outside the lines in order to create something that’s reflective of the artist’s own voice. And really, when talking about what type of art endures, it is originality that is timeless. The rest is just indistinguishable noise.
Scratchclart - DRMTRK EP V (Self-Released 2019)
Hoo, doggie, this is what’s up. If the sequence of hardcore->jungle->UKG->grime->dubstep represents a UK hardcore continuum, the past ten years of dance music forms that have caught the imagination could be argued to resemble an exogenous discontinuum as Chicago’s footwork and Jersey club to Durban Gqom and Portuguese batida have all been warmly embraced by plenty of UK producers. Of course, the nuum proper was also all about the fluid exchange between homegrown ideas and imported dance forms—and arguably one of the last instantiations of the pre-Web 2.0 Black Atlantic—but the past decade has seen something far more global in nature take root. The latest digital EP from the one-and-only Scratcha DVA encapsulates the ever-porous and globalized nature of underground UK dance music production in 2019 as he utilizes Gqom as a matrix through which to interrogate a number of non-native dance forms, a style that clearly fits a producer whose early output was a vital UK Funky organ. Opener “FOH” is a tantalizing fusion of Bmore horns and Gqom rhythms while “Influencer” pushes the South African dance music further outward, riding a stiff martial beat and an ethereal build that flits between ominous and beatific (as well as my pick of the litter). The second half of the EP sees Scratcha seemingly looking to the rhythmic pretzels of Príncipe batida as “Influenza [Feat. Nan Kolè]” features a grimey bassline that throws some microscopic rhythmic backflips into the beat to vex dancers. Closer “Scorpio” looks to tribal drums for an energy boost, the bass drop burrowing ever downwards as a delayed voice intersects with bright hand claps and booming drums.
Mappa Mundi - Musaics (USA Import Music/Midnight Drive 1990/2019)
There are some very promising dance music-focused UK reissue labels that have popped up in the past couple years. Curated by Brian Not Brian, everything the Midnight Drive label has put out since setting up shop in 2017 has been as essential as they get, especially the Blue Maxx, LA Synthesis, and Code 6 twelves they’ve given new life. The label’s first project of 2019 is a real doozie as it puts into wider circulation a seminal touchstone of omnivorous, early 90s electronic music that currently commands second-hand prices in the $200 range, Mappa Mundi’s sole 1990 album Musaics. The result of extensive studio tinkering at the hands of Belgians Jan Van Den Bergh and Pieter Kuyl, Musaics shares a vaunted place in early electronica aside artists like The KLF and Sun Electric. Like their better-known peers, Mappa Mundi seemed to excel at whatever style of music they deigned to produce, crafting a detail-heavy and deeply groove-focused that was heavily influenced by New Age and then-nascent trance music. Opener “Urbi Et Orbi” initiates the listener in Van Den Bergh and Kuyl’s sampledelic vision, their thoughtful drum programming enlivening the track’s billowing rainforest siren call while “Sexafari”—best. name. ever.—pushes deeper into the jungle atop a focused eletro-house rhythm and a bewitching mid-line. Things get funkier on the Headhunters groove of “Serendipity (Take 1)” as “The Oracle” excises a James Brown yelp and pairs it with screeching bird songs. An early interpolation of New Jack Swing provides the spoken monologue of “Wolfli” with some B-Boy heftiness before the eleven-minute slow-motion chug of “Trance Fusion” brings the album to a blissful, euphoric close.
G36 – No Escape / Black Mass (Hotline Recordings 2019)
E B U - Hinge (No Corner 2019)
Michael O’Neill - The Binary Order (Fuckpunk 2019)
In addition to his own production output, Britol’s Ossia (Daniel Davies) has carved out a singular space for himself in the musical landscape through his network of labels that includes No Corner, LavaLava, Peng Sound, and FuckPunk and brings together a disparate, wide-ranging set of influences at which dub, punk, and noise form the stylistic keystone of both his productions and A&R decisions. Considering how well-regarded Davies is by the aficionado dance music establishment, actually keeping up with his labels’ releases paints a pretty staggering picture of just how idiosyncratic (and Bristolian) his vision of twenty-first century electronic music is, conducting anarchistic genre experiments that are equally in dialogue with music’s past, its present, and future. The Hotline imprint has always been the most club-focused of Davies’ endeavors, one that has played home to many of the Bristol artists who site at the forefront of the contemporary bass musick zeitgeist, including Batu, Kahn & Neek, Lurka, and Beneath. The label’s latest twelve looks outside of the city, and arguably the club, to G36, a trio of “anarcho-dub punks from Nagasaki, Japan” who sound like they have listened to a lot of The Bug. And naturally, the group’s Floor Weapons, Vol 1 EP came out on the producer’s
Pressure imprint last year. On their Hotline twelve, A-side cut “No Escape” barrels out of the gate like a dozen stampeding mastodons, moving slowly but purposefully, the triumphant, thundering bassline urging the dance floor to turn into a mosh pit. “Black Mass” on the flip is an even heavier, more monastic affair, the group possessing a clear ear for low-end melodies that are as pummeling as they are triumphant.
Where the G36 record pushes Hotline’s aesthetic further to the edge, two albums released this month on the No Corner and Fuckpunk labels burn the map up entirely, resulting in two of the most delightful “what the fuck is this?!?!” moments of the year, so far. While No Corner’s aesthetic has always been hard to pin down, “leftfield” and “dubwise” being the two most operative descriptors, the debut album from “swamp pop” auteur E B U channels a distinctively UK indie sensibility into a sound world of her own making, marrying radiophonic trickery with homespun pop miniatures and vocal trickery. Equally inspired and batshit is the Fuckpunk-issued album from Michael O’Neill, The Binary Order, with the artist seemingly inviting comparison to Mark Stewart by way of the Bomb Squad, a synopsis that feels increasingly trie the deeper the listener the plunges into the artist’s inspired vision. Although Davies has always excelled at giving dance music all the things it tells itself it isn’t, his label’s 2019 output feels especially inspired and quite extreme, in the best sense. We’re in his world, now, and all the better for it.
Don't DJ – Laniakea (Honest Jon's Records 2019)
Harmonious Thelonious – Kabriman (Midnight Shift X 2019)
A couple weeks back, highlights from the author Colson Whitehead’s—who authored the novel The Underground Railroad, a great read—2019 Conference of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs keynote speech started floating around. And while I haven’t listened to the whole speech myself yet, it contained his musings on cooking and cultural appropriation in which he talked about his desire to make Korean fried chicken, noting that working in the style of another culture carries high risks, but also, “No one’s going to call you out if you pull it off. No one’s coming for Bill Shakespeare, because he didn’t fuck Othello up.” The talk produced one of the most expedient and effective litmus tests for artists wanting to challenge themselves by going outside their lane: “If it tastes like shit, it’s cultural appropriation.” While the conversation has certainly picked up this decade, so far electronic music has so far avoided having its own #ownvoices moment. I’ve found myself thinking about Whitehead’s speech and the recent YA controversies in digesting two recent releases from the German producers Harmonious Thelonious, who released the Kabriman EP on Midnight Shift X, and Don’t DJ, responsible for the recent Laniakea double-pack for Honest Jon’s (perhaps a reference to the Laniakea Supercluster). Both artists have carved out respectable careers constructing fifth world, outernational dance music that borrows liberally from ethnographic rhythms and soundscapes while also remaining firmly entrenched within western dance music conventions. Where past releases have veered dangerously close to fucking up their cultural gambits, both Kabriman and Laniakea eschew Clap! Clap!-styled ethnosampling for something that feels considerably more sincere, the former by embracing a slightly blown-out, Jamal Moss-friendly fidelity while the latter pushes further into a crystalline fidelity that is probing as it is danceable. If anything, it’s the cover of Kabriman that has my eyebrows arching skyward as it continues a frustrating design trend. Anyway, I’m more than rambling here, but my point is: These records are great. They make me think a lot. I especially dig the Harmonious Thelonious. Peace<3
PS - Connie Wang wrote a lovely NYTimes piece on cultural appropriation in fashion that also, thankfully, moves past the narrow “cultural appropriation=bad” framework into a more nuanced conversation. Here’s a choice quote from BellaNaija’s Mary Edoro: ““Cultural appropriation, when done in a good way, makes us appreciate things we might typically ignore.” Check it out.