Sam Ribakoff’s favorite Peanuts special is the Thanksgiving one.
It’s spring again, everybody! The sun’s shining, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and producers are out there (or actually, inside, probably) making great dance and electronic music. This month saw releases from Tunisian artist Deena Abdelwahed, Japan’s Ryuuta Takaki, and L.A.’s own Kiefer.
Deena Abdelwahed– Klabb
As far as I understand it, Deena Abdelwahed has been an active and important member of the Tunisian underground and alternative music scene for awhile, first as a singer, and now as a dance music producer. As a producer, Deena makes some of the most interesting and out there club music. Combining the rhythms, instrumentation, and scales of traditional North African music, Deena charges it with the bombast of bare bones club bass and snare hits, utilizing the phrasing and aesthetics of footwork and classic Metalheadz drum and bass. Check out “En Essab,” where Deena’s subtle vocals guide a shape shifting groove through hot flashes of drum and bass and tech-house, and end up in a style that’s totally Deena’s, and Deena’s alone.
Sango– De Mim, Pra Voce
Sango, one of Soulection crew’s best assets, has been messing around with Brazilian baile funk for a minute now, and this new album only sees him getting better at his own brand of American, R&B infused, baile funk. If you haven’t checked out any of the three installments of his Da Rochina series, Sango doesn’t do the mid 2000’s Diplo thing of pilfering for styles, instead, Sango uses sleepy eyed R&B samples and melds them around the propulsive rhythms of baile funk, bringing a very soulful tint to the music.
Kiefer– Kickinit Alone
Kiefer Shackelford sounds like the name of an unlikely hero in a ’90s rom-com/action movie, but he is indeed a very real person, who makes very jazzy beat music. Anchored by dusty, second generation LA beat scene drums and deep bass grooves, Kiefer lays down some seriously lyrical piano licks. It’s like if Vince Guaradi was born a couple decades later, and smoked a lot more weed.
Londy– Japanese: The Lost Files
Londy came across my radar a couple of years ago when he made a beautiful short film about footwork in Chicago, which was simply called Footwurk, but Londy is also a competent producer of footwork music in his own right. On his Japanese series of tapes, Londy samples Japanese soul music from the ’70s and ’80s to make tracks that almost sound like pop songs in their own right.
Tuamie– Sun Energy
Richmond, Virginia’s Tuamie has been making soulful, grime-y, and breezy, second generation beat scene music for a couple of years now. On Sun Energy, his second release this month, Tuamie lays down a collection of seven, super short, but super bossa nova-esque, wavy, easy listening beats for your nighttime enjoyment.
Ryuuta Takaki– Valley
Ryuuta Takaki makes interesting, almost textured music that you can feel. There’s rough hewn trap beats, rivets of techno and early dubstep, and sandpaper sharp ambient flights that turn into stomach turning house beats. It’s a pretty wild ride through the mind of someone with a lot of interesting ideas.
Suzanne Kraft/Johnny Nash– Japanese Promotional Tool
While Suzanne Kraft is actually Dublab DJ Diego Herrera, and Johnny Nash (not actually the guy who sang “I Can See Clearly Now”) the music on Japanese Promotional Tool is not fronting at all. These two 30 minute tracks are straight gorgeous ambient soundscapes for you to get lost in, perfect for a late night walk or early AM drive.