Monday April 11 2022
I’m going to use a word I don’t even like: civilized. The containment of well-played jazz suggests a civilized interaction, one that can can be imagined as something other than a repressive protocol. This particular idea of civilized behavior derives from (and returns to) how the musicians treat each other, and how the music treats the audience. In this use, it’s not about reassuring those in power. “Civilized” is a term of mutual aid here.
To that end, I’ve had a civilized mix from the good people of Death Is Not The End on repeat. They’ve done up a mix of mid-century jazz, a “survey of the modern jazz & post-bop scene in post war London” for NTS. This music is very George Jetson: carbonated and efficient with thick bakelite wings. You’ll hear players from “the East-End’s Jewish community” as well as “a wealth of talent of Caribbean and African descent.” The mix was commissioned by the Barbican to coincide with their Postwar Modern: New Art in Britain 1945-1965 exhibition, which is up through June 26th.
The mix draws from I Had The Craziest Dream, all three volumes of which are available from Death Is Not The End. These albums are all offered as pay-what-you-want releases, as is everything else on the label. Jump on it.
Binker and Moses mostly just play saxophone and drums and the fact that they’ve added someone to do more electronic sound work for their new album, Feeding The Machine, should not distract from the fact that they’ve made a completely human and compelling album from these elements. You may not think you want to hear an album of sax and drumming and twinkly noises—I am telling you that I think you do.
The Girll Codee is the NYC rap duo of Shaa Biggaa and Hi Sidditty. Their excellent new mixtape, Shestyles, is them rapping over ‘90s beats. The video for “Money, Power, Respect” (yes the Lox song) has them yelling in a bodega for a chopped cheese. They also play paintball, which I hate. Everything else, I love.
Apple Music doesn’t have much of a profile as a place that chooses and curates things, although I’m possibly missing something. They’re done a few good producer playlists, and this Jim O’Rourke playlist (which I am pretty sure Jim himself made for Drag City) of his productions is solid gold. Kind of a sideways look at the ‘90s (though not only) that casts a whole different set of shadows on the following decades.
There is a real wave of producers who live mostly inside what we think of as beats, or beat culture, but who are pushing various games forward at the same time. Vegyn and aNTOJE are out in front here, as is Michael Uzowuru. I’ve been going nuts on the last few weeks for Trans-Aeon Express by 33EMYBW & Gooooose. That plus all of the brief releases by the American trio Geo Rip are worth your time. There’s lots of chopping and sending little packages through the echo and it’s not all about rhythm. The variables of music have been melted and reformed, like The Fly, and sent to a new world, where they make a different kind of meal.
If you would like to just calm the heck down, try Open, a new album by Tapani Rinne & Juha Mäki-Patola. Serenity now? Right now!