J Dilla – Delights
Another posthumous J Dilla release. For the uninitiated, J Dilla is one of the most influential beat makers in hip-hop history. Emerging in the early nineties, Dilla worked with some of the best names of the time: Tribe Called Quest, D’Angelo, NWA, he had a piece of much of the greatest, most innovative music of the time. He also released a slew of dense solo records jam-packed with tasty ideas. The songs were generally short, averaging just over a minute, displaying genius ideas without ever getting caught up in any single idea, yet the records still somehow feel cohesive and whole. Delights plays much like these albums. Labeled with numbers in the order they appear, it’s another solid collection of sounds that are worth your time and energy, to enjoy and unpack.
Björk – Utopia
Bjork has finally comes out with Utopia, a beautiful yet unsettling record. Packed into the gorgeous flutes on the title track, are the creeping violins, playing crunchy glissandos to remind the listener that this world is not safe. On Body Memory, the track is outright creepy, the sound, the growls jumping out at you. Bjork is questioning who this utopia is for. She sings that she’s trapped in a kafka-esque world, in the patriarchy. Utopia is a foreign world, full of beautiful monsters and in this utopia there are those that are forgotten, abused to fit someone else’s needs. The record succeeds because of how terrifying it is. Through images of the history of Bjork’s sexual encounters displayed in a series of x-ray’s, to the grotesque images of orifices, the listener is made uncomfortable throughout the swelling melodies. Listen to this one alone.
Mura Masa, Jadu Heart – U Never Call Me
Mura Masa and Jadu Heart team up to create the sexy tropical lounge track U Never Call Me. Despite the effort, this song isn’t going to be on the club music radar. Like Lovesick, it has a more chill trendy-bar kinda feel to it. The mixture of Mura Masa’s electronic future pop and Jadu Hearts funky beats creates the perfect track.
The Orb Chronicles (20 Years of Skitkatapult)
Am I embarrassed to say that I like the orb? Hell no! This gang of 2000’s era chill beat makers will always have a special place in my heart. There is something about listening to easy carefree tunes that appeals to everyone, whether they admit it or not. This is a collection of The Orbs’ catalogue over the past 20 years, and it provides an adequate 2 hours of sounds that few people miss. But it’s a nice treat for those of us that realize there is a place for this genre. Throw it on the next time you’re entertaining your dad’s friend Dan and his wife Francine and they’ll have no problems.
Other Notable Releases:
Mick Jenkins – or more; the anxious
Dave B – Pearl
Sufjan Stevens – The Greatest Gift
Elbow – The Best Of (Delux)
Kodak Black – Project Baby 2: All Grown Up
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built the Moon
Mavi Phoenix – Young Prophet
Dave East – Karma (mixtape)
The Staves – The Way is Read
Sir Michael Rocks – Premier Politics