Welcome to a new monthly feature on AshevilleFM.org, our Staff Picks!
Each month several DJs will highlight some of the new releases they’re most excited about so that our audience can learn a bit more about what they hear on the airwaves. Our inaugural picks are as diverse as they are deep. We think you’ll love them as much as we do. Check em out!!
Staff Picks November 2015
PFunk, The Mothership Slight Return, Wednesdays 8-10pm
Various Artists – Cumbias Chichadelicas:
Psychedelic Peruvian Cumbia music recorded between the late 60s and early 80s. This collection of slinky, mysterious, danceable music is so amazing! Every tune on here stands on its own as a way to spice up your soul with sounds from another place & time.
Dieuf-Dieul de Thies’ – Aw Sa Yone Vol.2:
This psychedelic Afro-Latin dance music from Senegal in the early 80s reflects the pulsating, irresistable, sweat-drenched dance floor music of its day. I am infatuated with this music. Half full-force marathon dance tunes, half smoldering, sexy slow dance numbers, this music is intoxicating and infectious. I can’t wait till you’ve got the bug too!
Sarah B, Songs for Friends, Mondays 2-5pm
Joanna Newsom – Divers:
Divers is high on my list of new favorites right now. I know she isn’t for everybody, but anyone with a taste for poetry should at least appreciate her lyrics, and while she’s still rocking the "orchestral maneuvers" that marked a sharp stylistic turn between her debut and sophomore albums (a turn that many fans of the former couldn’t get into), there are lots of modern instrumental elements (such as a mellotron!) in Divers that any discerning ear should enjoy. For more accessible, radio-friendly tunes, check out "The Things I Say" and "Same Old Man." For gorgeous metaphorical language and imagery, try "Time, As a Symptom" and the title track. If you need some beats, "Sapokanikan" (a song about NYC) might do the trick. Beat poet Gregory Corso once delineated three levels of artistic talent, in ascending order: one can be brilliant, genius, or divine. Joanna Newsom definitely falls into the last category.
Donovan Quixote, By All Means Necessary, Saturdays 10pm-12am
Le1f – Riot Boi:
Le1f bridges previously opposing worlds (hip-hop: misogynist/homophobic, club culture: queer-friendly/non-normative) as a charismatic, dexterous rapper who’s unafraid to be himself in either context. And Riot Boi seamlessly blends anthemic club aesthetics with tripped-out, bareknuckle hip-hop. He’s been an in-demand performer for several years; his sets at Moogfest and Hopscotch were some of the best shows I’ve seen in ages. After a run of fantastic mixtapes, Riot Boi, his major label debut, solidifies him at the top of the game – on par with Kendrick – as an artist with a singular vision and a voice that hollers out to/for marginalized societies. Check out tracks like "Koi," "Swirl," "Grace, Alek & Naomi" for instant knock-outs, "Time (feat Devonte Hynes)," and "Umami / Water" for thoughtful interrogation of shifting cultural climate.
Jerusalem In My Heart – If He Dies, If If If If If:
JIMH is one of those projects that’s difficult to describe, mostly because the music is deeply haunting and tends to leave listeners (like me) bereft of breath. An immersive listen that commands your engagement with its experience, JIMH is, at its core, secular Arabic music and an audio-visual collaboration that jogs between two vastly different worlds, Montreal and Beirut. If He Dies deconstructs traditional Arabic motifs, mainly buzuk and voice, and recombines their molecules with modern processing and production techniques. Its minimal in approach/maximal in effect, presentation hits an emotional resonance not often heard in Western music. Taken with song titles that read like fragments of traumatic memories, with the added weight that these experiences are commonplace in the East, If He Dies creates an impact that cannot be ignored. The visual aspect of the project is in short supply on the CD/LP itself but still can be felt. Case in point, according to the press release, the color-processed photo on the back cover, three boys running, was taken moments before a drone strike killed all three of them, and nearly the photographer as well. If He Dies is a front-line meditation on loss, on unrest, and the psychological affects of living and loving in a perpetual war zone. In a word: DEVASTATING.
Check back next month for more great Staff Picks, and keep your radio dial tuned to 103.3 for excellent music and talk programming 24/7!!