We are pleased to bring you the world premier of “Polecat” the hell-raising new single (and video) from Harrisonburg, VA rockers, Magister Ludi. It’s a quick minute and forty-eight seconds of pounding drums, heavy-sludge guitar riffs and some harsh gravely vocals (I hope this dude’s throat is okay). Check it out below.
Magister Ludi’s debut album, Deep Fakes, is out later this month via Funny / Not Funny Records. It’s a pretty nutty release that continues to grow on me the more I listen to it. Enjoy.
I am a big Jack Cooper fan. Mazes, Ultimate Painting and of course, his incredible solo album. I was stoked to hear about Cooper’s new project, Modern Nature, with Will Young (Beak>), Aaron Neveu (Woods) and Jeff Tobias (Sunwatchers).
On their debut album, How To Live, they combine their vast musical abilities to create 10 tracks of jazz-tinged, psychedelic rock that’s packed with layers and full of depth, which is heard throughout the entire album Check out the killer groove of “Footsteps” (below) for an example.
How To Live is available now via Bella Union. I highly recommend it.
New York quartet Sunwatchers bring their A-game on their newest LP “Illegal Moves” (out now via Trouble In Mind). Their brand of jazz-psych meets noise-rock swirls and hypnotizes and just before you’re lost in their psychedelic haze they punch you right in the mouth. Give “Beautiful Crystals” and “Greeneyed Pigmen (Get The Blade)” a spin below to see what I mean.
Shout out to Sam for getting the debut Durand Jones & The Indications’ record up on our Co-op Shop. Sam’s on point description: “Pure, timeless soul — rugged and raw enough to help ease the pain of losing Charles Bradley last year.” was all it took to get me to check this out.
Durand Jones & The Indications is an outstanding soul record that’s 100% percent worth your time. Although it’s only 8 tracks deep, the amount of groove packed into this bad boy is huge. Give “Groovy Babe” and “Tuck ‘N’ Roll” a spin (below) to see for yourself.
Houston, Texas trio Khruangbin (for the phonetically challenged like me, it’s pronounced KRUNG-BIN) came together from a common love of ’60s, ’70s and ’80s Thai funk and soul music (you can listen to their “Essential Thai Funk Mixtape” here). Their new album Con Todo El Mundo is a smoking hot, groove-filled slab of funk, psych and soul. Give “Maria También” a spin below for a sample – you will not be sorry. Con Todo El Mundo is out now via Dead Oceans and I can not recommend it enough. Enjoy.
It all started with hearing Thundercat’s ‘Friend Zone’ for the first time. I immediately started thinking about what other songs would go with it in a mix – and it grew from there – 25 tracks of toe tapping groove. Thanks for inspiring this mix, Thundercat!
1. Stevie Wonder – Higher Ground (London, 1974)
2. Thundercat – Friend Zone
3. Al Green – Because
4. Natural Child – Benny’s Here
5. Once And Future Band – Rolando
6. BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah – Ray Gun (feat. DOOM)
7. Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings – Tell Me
8. Carla Thomas – Let Me Be Good To You
9. Lazy Salon – Sea Isle Ice
10. RUMTUM – Lost Ark
11. Gap Dream – Shine Your Light
12. Lazy Knuckles – Polygot
13. Gonjasufi – Ancestors
14. Adrian Younge – La Ballade
15. Blood Orange – Best To You
16. Bad Juju – Up In The Lab
17. Flying Lotus – Zodiac Shit
18. The Meters – You’ve Got To Change (You Got To Reform)
19. Booker T. & The M.G.’s – Chicken Pox
20. The Mar-Keys – Last Night
21. The Courtneys – Mars Attacks (Bobby Draino Remix)
22. Moderat – Reminder
23. Lasso – FkdLtd
24. Madvillain – Heat Niner
25. Dibia$e – Just The Way
Stephen Bruner a/k/a Thundercat is a musical omnivore. In interviews he’ll cite Manhattan Transfer, Mahavishnu Orchestra, John Coltrane, and video game music as influences – all in the same sentence. He’s played with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Suicidal Tendencies. And he’s already appeared on as many albums as he years old (33!). Such a broad palette can be a blessing or a curse. Fortunately, Thundercat has managed to channel his wandering mind and expansive talent into another uniquely cohesive – and funky – package with his latest, Drunk.
Whether the topic matter is mortality, race relations, or how freakin’ cool Tokyo or his pet cat is, Thundercat brings a levity and sincerity to the party that would be hard for most people to balance. If I told you he accomplishes this with a 6-string bass and entrancing falsetto as his primary weapons, it’d be even harder to believe.
Drunk is tight, so tight, almost efficient: 22 joints and not one clocks over 4 minutes long. In contrast to Thundercat’s live shows, where songs gets blown out into transcendent (sometimes frenetic) jam sessions, each studio track packs a concentrated punch. “Bus in the Streets” argues for unplugging from technology over a snappy Steely Dan-esque synth line. “Walk on By” is a yearning R&B burner with Kendrick Lamar guesting with a potent dose of street poetry. “Them Changes” – a bringback from his 2015 EP – showcases the funkiest bassline this side of Larry Graham. Then there’s the two Big Singles: “Show You the Way” featuring Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, with no irony whatsoever, and “Friend Zone” which lit the place up when I saw Thundercat perform it a couple weeks back and has already reserved a spot on most Best of 2017 lists.
Speaking of his live show, it was a melting pot of jazzbos, hip-hop heads, skaters, Pitchfork disciples, and drum circle types – a testament to Thundercat’s broad appeal. You can love him for his virtuosity, his groove, his unabashed nerdiness… or maybe you’ll find some other reason. I’ll leave that to you and Thundercat.
When James Blake first came on the scene, he was exactly what I needed to resolve my schizo relationship with modern R&B: tuneful and earnest with just enough glitch to appeal to my appetite for imperfection. Then he relied too much on his formula, as have numerous followers on, and things became predictable once again.
Along comes Ian Mugerwa – a/k/a ot to, not to – and his debut album of intimate, deconstructed R&B “experiments”, Goshen, on Nicolas Jaar’s Other People label. The compositions take turns evoking dirt-floor blues, avant-garde jazz, even Pablo-era Kanye. The unifying thread is Ian’s vocals which read as personal, hypnotic journal entries, sung/muttered/chanted as he carries us through his coming-of-age years.
This nuanced, eclectic effort could’ve easily veered into self-indulgent territory if it didn’t so clearly yearn to connect. It’s soul music in the most literal sense of the word. In fact, when recommending Goshen to a friend I said, “Listen closely.” It’s the best (and only) way to appreciate this album.