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EMILY FLEMBGEN/It's Me or the Dog: Just suppose the nu Liz Phair had an Emmylou vibe and was influenced simultaneously by Lucinda Williams and Lou Reed. Possible? Well, what if she holed up in her apartment making DIY tapes and rubbed shoulders with a Denver indie band? Girlysound goes folkie? She probably wasn't even born when Phair was making her bones but the lineage is there. This modern maiden hits all the right check boxes to be an underground sensation and then some.

TECTONIC BEATS/Nightingale: A modern version of synth pop by a do it all electronic cat that knows what really smells like teen spirit. A crafty confectionist, this is now pop for now people.

SONIC PORTRIATS JAZZ/Art of Protest: With a heavy duty reissue program of the Black Jazz catalog under way, this set powered by some Miles Davis relatives is quite timely on several levels. Now that even whitey knows how it feels when whitey is keeping him down, this civil rights jazz outing should serve as a basis to angry up the blood and maybe get things done. On top of that, it has a sound and attitude too big for a church basement to contain. Awake and sing, y'all.
(Sonic Portraits 99111)

GORDIE CRAZYLEGS MacKEEMAN/Folk for Little Folk V. 1: With the eclecticism of John Koerner and the fiddle playing of John Hartford, this Canadian cat takes a pocketful of trad tunes and refashions them purely as kiddie stuff. All that's missing from this is "Froggie Went a Courtin': but he probably didn't call it volume 1 for nothing. A completely fun trad music collection for anyone with no hair or teeth at either end of life and everyone in between. (Must have been done to keep this family friendly but he forgot to kill the jerk that invented work when he went to the big rock candy mountain).

FRAMEWORK/Cognitive Dissonance: Cats old enough to be influenced and enamored with early ECM (like so many of us were), they have absorbed and synthesized the sound using that as a basis to go their own way. Still keeping the ECM trio ethic alive, this bunch of left leaning vets delivers the old with the new keeping their left leaning focus at the fore. Totally believable stuff for the true believers.
(Shifting Paradigm 187)

LAURA MIHALKA/Feels Electric: With her background and relatives, she should have called this "Feels Eclectic". Originally floor planned to be a singer/songwriter album, surf, indie and classical, among other modes, all meet up here in a joyful reunion of sorts that takes you places you thought only an art chick could---but this is all chops and no pretense. Certainly atypical stuff for atypical ears, this is meaty stuff for those who really appreciate what alternative should mean.

KEVIN SUN/<3 Bird: On a set of mostly originals, Sun captures the spirit of Charlie Parker so much so that young hipsters won't know the originals from the covers. With an engaging energy and a tone that is right on, Sun does that proper melding of exploring the past, present and future with a date that doesn't stay in just one gear with so much waterfront to cover. A tasty set that's sure to please as much as it teases, you get a really fine trip to after hours here.
(Endectomorph 10)

SATOKO FUJII/Piano Music: If Carla Bley was still a hell raiser, this might be the direction she'd be taking today. Bringing electronics into her bag of tricks, Fujii uses the palette it provides to take things to new outer limits as she skirts the edges of what a piano can do. With heavy dose of ambient and minimalism, it feels like the avant garde is moving closer to the middle---but not too close.
(Libra 201-067)

JURAJ KOJS/Imagine: A program of experimental music that breaks down all barriers, it just shows that labels are becoming irrelevant as several diametrically opposed tastes could easily bond over this set that ranges from contemporary classical to exotica with everything in between seemingly as well. All that and it's really not just for eggheads. Replacing labels with possibilities, it's got the feeling of something a kin to where audio and visual meet in a cinematic embrace. A versatile presentation that you can use as a soundtrack to think or a background to get high.
(Neuma 130)

ROS BANDT/medusa Dreaming: Improvised ambient music that pays tribute to an ancient water treatment plant under Istanbul, this is a fine example of the lyrical side of underground music. Deeply soulful in it's own inspired way, the real instruments might be augmented by some electronics but the keeping it real factor adds so much more to the possibilities here than cool school dial twisting. Certainly music for your head.
(Neuma 145)

Volume 45/Number 280
August 7, 2021
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL. 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2021 Midwest Record

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