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Music for Growing Plants
Renata Zeiguer, Christopher Stracey, Noh Mercy, Rosalia, RIP Maffy Falay, RIP Mark Lanegan
The world is once again in stasis over the war in Ukraine; the spectacle society goes on nonstop over ; and I am convinced we are never gonna reach the promised land. There’s only one thing that gives us solace at these times - which has gone even more ballistic after I wrote this little blurb - and it’s music.
This is what I feel inside for some time, gray skies, bleak late capitalist moods, trying to feel something real, growing old. Now nuclear winter and a constant threat of war has piled on top. This feels a very stylised soundtrack to how I feel sometimes, equal parts Bohren and Badalamenti & Lynch. Bladverk Band, on my radar for 2022 and beyond.
Twitter friend @Korkeasaareen sent this to my way, and like many artists who were originators or before their times, this lost no-wave/post-punk band predating Riot Grrrl, has only been issued first time on Superior Viaduct in 2012. Formed in San Francisco in 1977, Noh Mercy was comprised of two women, a stripped down drums / vocals duo with prophetic lyrics from Esmeralda Key. I’ve uploaded “Fashion Chant” on Youtube, but probably their most known work is “No Caucasian Guilt”, check it out, to see something political, snark & authentic. Something today’s brands would kill for.
Hurray, a new Renata Zeiguer album! I’m not sure why she didn’t quite get the kudos she deserved with her debut, but I had listened to that one as much as my god damn music diet allowed. This new album Northern Spy thankfully so I’m not limited to the single, yet I’ve been hooked on her falsetto chorus and this is songwriting at its best for me. Another masterpiece by Zeiguer & Co.
I came upon Christopher Stracey’s debut “Music for Growing Plants” on the previous New Commute Now playlist, and I was quickly blown away by this song and then the rest of the album. I love ambient albums related to plantlife; the obvious being the seminal Mort Garson album Plantasia and 2020’s Six Songs for Invisible Gardens by Green-House. There must be more new age/ambient/electronic muzak for plants!
This song ticks all the boxes of rich ambience, hauntology, whimsy & artistic naivete; and it might be the closest to the song playing as my brains “default mode” title tune.
We were talking about the increasing diversity and/or appropriation of other cultures/aesthetics in the sake of branding/marketing - yes before there was possibility of WW3-. While it’s obviously a good thing for queer/latinx etc. aesthetics to find mass appeal, I am not sold that there is a real understanding of other cultures beyond immediate marketing plays.
I got triggered into this convo by the latest video by Rosalía. Her change from alternative flamenco star/jazz festivals to global pop icon has been incredibly swift, and I am both interested and nauseated by this trash vibe and don’t know what to make of it.
I guess I’ll take the one below 9/10 times, both soundwise and aesthetically, but I am not in a position to say, since I might be exoticizing it, as I was neither there, nor I am a latino.
A new Discover Weekly on Spotify is online, 20 songs & 90 minutes. Ambient sounds from Christopher Stracey, Warmth, Elori Saxl, Meitei… laid back dance tunes from Fuga Ronto, John Carroll Kirby.. an excursion to Lat Am with Jadsa, Combo Chimbita.. dancefloor sounds from Natasha Bai, CCCVVV, Alma Negra & Bosq, Yu Su, Bonobo… and a Turkish stormer from Israeli band Şatellites!
Feel free to share with your friends, in need of quality music and escaping from the ties of the algorithm that binds us.
“He took that music into the suburbs and the small towns, so it was everywhere,” says the DJ Greg Wilson, who adds that Khan was “priming people” for the late 80s rave scene. “A lot of those people had come out of listening to the Street Sounds Electro compilations. Electro was raw – it really swept everything away that went before and began a new world for dance and pop.” It was, Khan and Wilson agree, dance music’s punk moment: nothing would be the same again.
Turkish Jazz musician and trumpet player Ahmet Muvaffak "Maffy" Falay has passed away at the age of 92. He was one of the handful of musicians to be able to play with the greats of their time like Don Cherry, Kenny Clarke, Dizzy Gillespie. And was a long time Okay Temiz collaborator.
This video might be one of the space/time save points for me, if there was such thing. I’ve revisited this video over the years and this last time in tears. RIP Mark Lanegan. One of the humblest greats.
Original Junglist MC Skibadee has passed away.
As always, please share with your friends if you like what you read. It’s very hard to get exposure through algos if you don’t pay (and as hard even if you pay) these days. Enjoy!