The staff at .WAV is here, again, with another list of new and noteworthy music! Keep a lookout for .WAV’s New Music Roundup every Friday and Sunday. Giddyup.
Dinner Party: Dessert – Terrace Martin
The Crenshaw squad is at it again, this time through Terrace Martin’s re-released and re-vamped Dinner Party: Dessert. If you’re not familiar with Terrace or the majority of artists featured in this album, think of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, an album which features the Crenshaw musician group and sees them produce unique sounds through combining jazz and hip-hop with the Los Angeles culture and vibe; that in essence is Dinner Party. Taking a more soulful approach to previous work, it see’s Terrace Martin, 9th Wonder, Robert Glasper, and Kamasi Washington mix a multitude of genres into a collaborative work. However, fans would be treated to a dessertified version of the original album with this release, all the songs now including a multitude of new artist features. To the likes of Snoop Dogg, Cordae, and Herbie Hancock to name a few, these new voices and sounds elevate the entire project to newfound levels. The original party walked so that the dessert could fly, a statement true for what is most likely one of the best R&B, soul, jazz, and hip-hop albums of the year.
The Killing of Eugene Peeps – Bastien Keb
Bastien Keb’s new record is pretty eclectic, but that should be expected for the London artist who has carved out a strange niche for himself as a psych-folk and soul guitarist. Sometimes it’s an early Bon Iver-esque sad bearded man indie folk record with heart-wrenching, bordering on overwrought layered vocal performances, then just as quickly as it began, the track shifts into moody, smoke-filled, neo-noir jazzy horn sections. Oh and don’t forget the track with an “In Da Club” era 50 Cent type beat built around underground UK rapper Cappo’s grimy, four minute verse all about getting fucked up and securing that fuckin’ bag yooo. “The Killing of Eugene Peeps” is definitely all over the place, but the interlude tracks like instrumental “Israel Ate His Own Mind” or spoken word “God Bless Your Gutters” come along to clean up the mess a bit, reframing the album along the lines of a score for a film that doesn’t exist. There isn’t much of a story lyrically, but you can see and feel the images just through the composition and sonic texture alone. Album (almost) closer “Alligator” has the distinct feel of an A24 drama’s denouement with beautifully melancholic strings and lyrics that reflect both a dark acknowledgement and a somewhat uplifting acceptance of oncoming death. Though eclectic and sometimes a little hard to follow, Keb’s talents as a composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist come through exceedingly well, making this album a really worthwhile and interesting listen.
Levitation Sessions (Live) – Thee Oh Sees
Thee Oh Sees return to release their second ever live recorded album; though there wasn’t an audience for this quarantine-recorded session, the frenetic guitar riffs, explosive drums, and boisterous vocals are all there. Levitation Sessions (Live) works tracks from nearly every part of their expansive discography into their setlist, spanning from their earliest tracks in 2008 to their most recent ones released just a month ago. Though there wasn’t an actual audience for this show, Thee Oh Sees make the experience just as lively and energetic as ever. As Live In San Francisco primarily included some of their biggest songs, like “The Dream” and “Toe Cutter Thumb Buster”, Levitation Sessions gives listeners fresh takes on some of their lesser known works. Obviously, the album highlights a few classics like “Carrion Crawler” and “I Come From The Mountain”, but the live recordings of “Sewer Fire” and “The Fizz” breathe new life into older, less mainstream tracks. One highlight from the live session recording was the mashup of “Chem-Farmer” and “Nite Expo”. Though both songs come from two different studio albums, they mesh together seamlessly. Start to finish, the album is loud and grainy. The eleven minute closer, an elongated rendition of “Block of Ice”, is a testament to the fiery nature of the group. There isn’t anything tame about Thee Oh Sees; if you’re looking for a busy, deafening 45-minute jam, then you’ve come to the right place.
“Ao Redor Do Samba” – Azymuth, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Adrian Younge
Back in June, Tribe’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and the legendary Adrian Younge launched their emergent label Jazz is Dead, aimed at bringing together modern producers and old school jazz musicians to create a sound reminiscent of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The label has since produced Jazz Is Dead 001, 002, 003, all of which use vintage recording equipment and do it well. Most recently the two paired up with the Brazilian jazz funk trio Azymuth to produce “Ao Redor Do Samba”. Chock full of funky basslines, synthy keys, jittering percussion, and chimes, “Ao Redor Do Samba” fulfills Muhammad and Younge’s goal by achieving a classic jazz sound retrofitted with a modern energy. If you’ve overplayed Idris Muhammad and Hailu Mergia, this is the single for you.
This article was compiled by .WAV staff members Brian Mendez, Colin Brunson, Robbie Baker, and Delaney Faherty. Graphic credit to Delaney Faherty.