SLEEP- THE SCIENCES
First album by Stoner-metal pioneers in almost twenty years is a sludgy blast for those of you who like this sort of thing. Sleep is the side project of High On Fire guitarist Matt Pike and Om’s lead singer Al Cicneros. I don’t know Om’s music, but Sleep is considerably slowed down and less political than High On Fire. They are close as can be to a modern day Black Sabbath, and it’s Sabbath and their most stretched out and jammiest. “The Sciences” has a grand total of six songs with half of them over ten minutes. All are worthwhile with key track being “Marijuanaut’s Theme”
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JOEY PURP- QUARTERTHING
Underrated Chicago rapper Joey Purp delivers a worthy follow-up to 2016’s excellent mixtape “iiiDrops”. Purp toes the line between conscious rap and hard, street tough modern gangsta rap. “Quarterthing” contains bangers that will also make you think and the dextrous Purp is able to dance around among styles and voices, creating an exciting, varied album. Standout tracks are “Hallelujah”, “Godbody” and “Lebron James”.
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LOW- DOUBLE NEGATIVE
One of the absolute standout albums during one of the most tumultuous years of the past century. Incredibly, Low, 12 albums & 25+ years into their career, has delivered it’s best and most relevant release yet, while almost totally changing up their sound. Known as one of the pioneers of the early-mid nineties slow core movement, “Double Negative” deals often in glitchy electronic noise whereas the group through most of its career was traditional guitars, bass & drums. It brings to mind Radiohead’s “Kid A” and like that album sounds downbeat, paranoid & oftentimes downright upsetting. It is a perfect release during our society’s great unraveling.
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NONAME- ROOM 25
Second self-released album by Chicago rapper and spoken word artist Noname even betters her debut “Telefone”. Noname throws in jazz & neo-soul beats creating a vibe, which is simultaneously relaxed and confrontational. Always thought provoking- Noname talks love, career, violence, death & racial and gender politics. Of the moment and encouraging all of us to be better, including herself. Fellow Chicagoan guest stars like Ravyn Lenae, Saba & Smino further enhance the music.
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YVES TUMOR- SAFE IN THE HANDS OF LOVE
A great leap forward for genre-bending group who hugs the line between experimental music and pop music in most of its forms. This is only Yves Tumor’s second full length and it’s surprisingly accessible tracks like “Licking An Orchid”, “Lifetime”, and the standout “Noid”. “Safe In The Hands Of Love” contains elements of noise-rock, 90’s R&B & alternative rock, dream-pop, glitchy electronic music & ambient and it’s one of the year’s better and certainly most unique albums.
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