Hi people. Feels like it’s been forever since I put together my music choices for a month. This summer wasn’t my best with music discovery and exploration – too much heads down grinding during the weeks. Now that things have begun to settle a bit, I’ve gotten to dig into both new releases (which there have been a TON of lately) and some old favorites which I’m sharing with you today. As always, hit me up with any new music you’ve discovered lately and I’ll feature your picks next post.
Disclosure – Energy (NEW ALBUM) – I was psyched to see a fresh album coming from one of the biggest names in the British electronic scene, who hasn’t made headlines in years with their last album coming in 2015. 2015!?! These guys were on top of the world from 2013-2016, and I was genuinely curious where they disappeared to. Although honestly, if I made that kind of money I would be out taking year-long breaks between shows and album creation spending it exploring. So, props to them, I guess! While I was not completely floored by any song in particular, I thought the album as a whole was a fantastic piece of work that embodied everything Disclosure was about. It certainly captured their “sound” which brings together house, jungle house, electronica, techno, and deep house in one fun, party-fueling package that is sure to hit the club scene as soon as it’s back to normal. Was it a problem that I loved the interludes more than anything else?? They showcased their just general electronic talent and I think that spoke to me more than anything (they are really cool and worth checking out – don’t skip em as you would most interludes).
Give a listen to: “Expressing What Matters”, “Thinking Bout You”, “Fractal”, “My High”, “Ce n’est pas”, “Ecstacy”
Lane 8 – Cross Pollination (NEW ALBUM) – I was pretty floored by this album. Not only was his last album, Brightest Lights which came out earlier this year, an incredible, incredible electronic triumph. But he followed it up with a shorter, 7-song list of gems with nearly every song being (in my opinion) excellent. This is one I have been sharing all week to friends – this guy is the real deal and will continue making his name on the scene for years to come. I encourage you to poke through his older discography as well as the man has this unique, mellow-but-vibey feel to his work which keeps you going and simultaneously puts you in a trance. Like a Shallou type, but even better with more complex compositions. Perfect for doing work, a car ride, or anything really. Sometimes I get a lot of Deadmau5 feels with this guy (plus a fresh spin) which I absolutely love.
Check out: “And We Know It Was Our Time”, “Run”, “Roll Call”
Tame Impala – Tiny Desk Concert (Mini Quarantine Show) – I do love me some Mr. Impala. Wasn’t as big lover of his most recent album although I fully expected to be given how much I loved his previous work. But it has grown on me a bit since starting. Either way, the man has a terrific catalog of music, and although I’m partial to his earlier albums, this was an awesome chance to see the guy using a lot of different tools at his disposal in a very unique setting. Very cool, fun, and certainly a place I’d like to be, chillin with some very talented Aussies!
Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon – Noon (NEW ALBUM) – This is a fun little acoustic piece Mike Gordon posted on his Instagram last week that I had to explore a bit more. With Gordon on bass and the legendary Kottke on acoustic guitar, the two jam in what looks like a sauna for a wonderful collection of 11 songs that bring in elements of folk with a more modern lyrical twist that kept me engaged and peeking into Kottke’s past works (hadn’t heard of him much before this). Gordon on the other hand, I love – and it was cool to see him play bass in this style that was much softer and more subdued. But the syncopation when the two were playing together is just fantastic and worth a viewing.
Try “Flat Top“, “From the Cradle To The Grave“, “Eight Miles High“
Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Tony Rice – The Pizza Tapes Extra Large Edition (2011)- This was a fun find by a friend today who just sent this over. Plenty of versions that cover the OG pizza tapes’ versions with various takes, bringing in a handful of free-form jams, quick cuts, outtakes and fun little diddies that I thouroughly enjoyed.
Explore: “Louis Collins“, “Rosa Lee McFall”, “So What“, “Shady Jam“
Billy Strings and Marcus King – Summertime & Midnight Rider (Cover, Video) – Bless your ears with this unreal rendition of the classic “Summertime”. I feel like every year we get a new cover of this, but hell is this one of the best I’ve heard in recent memory. Two absolute beasts of vocals and guitar joining forces to create a fun, upbeat, jam-filled collab that makes you smile all the way through. Give it a listen, ASAP! Midnight Rider is equally fun – they do a few songs together in total – all on YouTube and each is excellent.
i_o – révolution (2020), other releases since 2019 – A really, really talented techno-focused DJ I just started exploring over the past few months. Turns out he’s a modern-day legend on the scene. Who knew?! Definitely worth checking out if you are into more upbeat, high-tempo techno and trance music for a little change of pace.
Tom Misch – Geography & What Kinda Music (Albums) (2018, 2020) – I really hadn’t given English musician Tom Misch enough of a chance until the GF put on his new song in the car the other day, “Kyiv”, which I absolutely loved. So, naturally I started digging in a bit and was so happy with the results. Misch’s 2018 album, Geography is a unique take on heavy, funk-synth basslines with very clever drumming throughout, and some interesting ambient vocals that don’t take seem to away from his more instrumentally-driven work. One of the things I love about his music is his ability to combine a jazzy-feel with very modern, thick electronic and hip-hop tone to his music. It makes for some very fun, complex beats that leave you bobbing your head without realizing. It’s almost hard to define the genre, and that’s a very good thing! What I enjoyed even more was What Kinda Music, featuring Yussef Dayes, which featured mostly instrumental tracks and gave the pair a chance to showcase their diverse tastes and musical abilities.
Check out these songs for a taste: “Last 100“, “Kyiv“, “Tidal Wave“, “Sensational“, “Nightrider“, “Lost in Paris“.
Floating Points – Printworks (2019) (Live Recorded Show): Just watching this for the first time tonight and I am very impressed. If you are not familiar with Floating Points, he is a British producer and electronic DJ who combines elements of techno, deep house, future house, ambient electronic, and tech-house sounds into one wonderful package. This show in particular showcases a terrific light show and had me wishing I could go back to my venues downtown, combining plenty of music to get you up on your feet moving, with others designed to put you in a trace, close your eyes and just feel the performance. Very impressive and I would love to see this guy live someday. Check out his albums: “Crush” and “Elania” as well.
Wayne Shorter – Speak No Evil & Juju (1999): Wayne’s birthday was apparently this week, and a page I follow posted something about his discography, honoring his work as a “legend” of jazz. It was then I realized I hadn’t ever really listened to much of his work. What I discovered was an absolute gold mine of saxophone talent at the highest level. The man has won 10 or more Grammy Awards, and was brought under the wing of (and taught by) the legendary John Coltrane back in the day, and those two facts alone speak for themselves. He has worked as both a saxophonist and a composer with equal success and produced many standards that remain to this day. If you enjoy a solid jazz comp, give this a try. JuJu and Speak No Evil were particularly AWESOME.
Try “Infant Eyes“, “Speak No Evil“, “Footprints“, “Witch Hunt“, and “Night Dreamer“
That’s all for now folks. Send me in more reccos and stay safe out there!
Much love —– Connor