Sunday, November 5, 2017

Loosies Of The Week, Oct. 30-5

Welcome to yet another Loosies Of The Week, a wrap-up of this weeks singles, throwaways, leaks, and any other loose tracks I find. A wide range of genres this week, with a well-rounded level of quality. There's sure to be something you enjoy. 

Flying Lotus - Post Requisite

Behind the scenes, Steven Ellison has kept himself busy, namely with the creation of the grotesque and hotly controversial film Kuso. However, fans of his have waited impatiently for new music. Three years have passed since You're Dead, and five have come and gone since his alter ego Captain Murphy dropped Duality. Out of the two, it's the latter I'm most anticipating, and one that is, unfortunately, starting to become nothing more than a nameplate for the curious vocal pitch-shifting of the early 2010's. Dreams have not yet arrived, but for now we get our first indication that they will soon. 'Post Requisite,' in all likelihood, won't appear on Flying Lotus' next LP, given that it lingered for moments in the backdrop of Kuso's soundtrack. And truth be told, I hope that's true. While the drugged out zaniness of the video is more than enough to warrant viewing, the track itself adheres to too many FlyLo stereotypes without diverging a lane for itself. At just two minutes, there isn't much meat on its bones either, drawing inspiration from the various beat tape ideas of 1983.

Young Fathers - LORD

I can not tell you the last time a Young Fathers cut didn't alter me in some meaningful way. You know I listen to way too much music when that statement isn't enough to get me to listen to their four-project deep discography. That changes with 'Lord.' Enough time has passed, enough excellence from the genre-exclusionary trio. There's no way what they're doing can be ignored anymore. Two singles this year have stunned. First was 'Only God Knows,' a seeming soundtrack throwaway that also doubles as a immediate cult favorite. And now we have 'Lord,' a track that borrows from that baptismal idea with another gargantuan beast that combines anything from Hip-Hop to R&B to Indietronica to Noise to Gospel. The provocative cover ends with the statement: "You can't dance to it." While that's true, nowhere does it say I can't lower my eyelids, raise my arms in the air, and feel, for once in my life, the touch of God. 'Lord' combines Kanye West's recent religious excursions with clipping.'s doomsday turbulence and Brockhampton's deep cut passion tomes. 

Aesop Rock - Hot Dogs

Even though I wasn't particularly a fan, the success of Aesop Rock's Impossible Kid last year, both critically and commercially, made me proud of underground Hip-Hop's lingering achievements. Like Busdriver beside him, Aesop Rock has been able to maintain a fair deal of artistic integrity whilst transitioning to a new era. While I expected his highly-linguistic principles through fast-paced alliteration to continue, 'Hot Dogs' gave me a pleasant surprise by, basically, doing the opposite. It's slow and meandering. Unnatural and cynical. And while Aesop's prototypical farce through abstract avenues is present, he's clarity on the lyrical absurdity finally peeks through: "I'm not here to make sense when there is none." 'Hot Dog' is a refreshing spin on Aesop's long-instilled style, pulling the eccentricities out, leaving a stiff beat that would feel more apt anxiously teetering under Billy Woods. At this point in his career, after getting Impossible Kid out of the way, it seems as if Aesop's reached the point where satisfying all has taken a backseat to creating something that's artistically challenging. And that's a great thing.

Gorillaz - Garage Palace

As Damon Albarn promised, there was a slew of unreleased material from the Humanz sessions. Now, whether or not the listening populace needed to hear these songs is another question entirely, but the evidence has been planted that Albarn intends to show us. First there was the five deluxe cuts, led by the giddy 'Out Of Body.' Then there was 'Sleeping Powder,' a pure Gorillaz cut that thumped with dramatic impatience. Now we have 'Garage Palace' featuring Little Simz. And unfortunately, the primary criticism of Humanz, in that the Gorillaz felt most absent, continues to be true here. Little Simz is the only vocalist, owning two verses over club-ready Hip House that pumps and thumps like Azealia Banks' most unhinged party anthems. As a left field banger, 'Garage Palace' works. As a rare Gorillaz single, not so much. Nothing here sounds like it was created by the cartoon band, a damning statement given just how universal their sound was to begin with. It's a standard Hip House affair, aggravatingly so. Little Simz owns it though.

Miguel - Told You So

So, Wildheart right? That was Miguel's last album, released in 2015. Back in those days, my listening habits in regards to R&B was virtually nonexistent. Along with Erykah Badu's But You Caint Use My Phone and D'Angelo's Black Messiah the year before, Wildheart seemingly kickstarted my interest in the R&B, albeit limitedly. Curiously enough, two years and some odd months have passed and I wouldn't be able to tell you a single thing about Wildheart. Having staying power and being memorable, it was not. So much so that when 'Sky Walker,' the lead single for War & Leisure, dropped earlier this year I gave it nothing more than a passing glance. Even with, or maybe because of, a Travis Scott feature. 'Told You So' features no one, and aims to ascend Miguel to the stratosphere, rekindling the Pop lust of Prince with the blown out tremors of mainstream Alternative R&B. It does an admirable job, but I can't help but compare Miguel to The Weeknd, who showed far more promise and potential with his lead singles; 'Starboy' and 'I Feel It Coming.' 'Told You So' reaches for that same vein, and while it comes close, there isn't anything distinctive allowing it to stand out. 

Open Mike Eagle - Dating Ghosts

A month and a half after the release of Brick Body Kids Still Daydream and Open Mike Eagle has returned, briefly, for a free Soundcloud drop to promote his hilarious, tour-related reality show Dead Ass. 'Dating Ghosts,' which acts as the topical and sonic sequel to 'Wedding Ghosts,' prominently featuring a Glitch-centric backbone by Mono/Poly. Unlike the majority of OME's Glitch Hop though, 'Dating Ghosts' has a heavier vibe, one that still feels attached to the streets. That's typically Mono/Poly's M.O., being that he's a Flying Lotus protege on the Brainfeeder label. As per usual, OME moves fluidly over the beat, switching freely behind rigid rapping and loose, sing-rap. 'Dating Ghosts' wouldn't have fit on Brick Body Kids given the concept of each works of art, the former taking a comedic look at a relationship gone to the afterlife, but that has little to do with the quality of the track. OME and Moly/Poly together just feels right, despite this being the first time they've teamed up together. 

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