Thursday, November 12, 2009

Casual Listening - Asobi Seksu, Wale, Silk Road Ensemble

Casual Listening

a review of cool new music

by Jeff Pinzino

November 13, 2009

* Asobi Seksu – Rewolf (rock)

Like strolling across a meadow made of clouds, this is dream pop with a heavy emphasis on the dream. Xylophone, flute, toy piano, soprano vocals with heavy reverb, and anything else that weights the sound toward treble. A beautiful, fragile sound.

Listen to Asobi Seksu “Walk on the Moon

Wale – Attention Deficit (rap)

Deftly syncopated flow over backgrounds painted with an extensive palate: afrobeat , retro R&B, and space-age synths. Amidst the party jams and boasting are a few tracks that speak fearless truths.

Listen to Wale “Shades

Silk Road Ensemble – Off the Map (classical)

Even without founder Yo-Yo Ma, this is a formidable ensemble. With pan-Asian instrumentation including koto, er-hu, sheng, and tabla alongside orchestral strings, Silk Road is redefining the classical tradition to include east and west, ancient and contemporary. Four major pieces each present a different vantage point on this unexplored, challenging terrain.

Listen to Silk Road Ensemble “Sulvasutra: Letter to Pythagoras

Julia Wolfe – Dark Full Ride: Music in Multiples (classical)

Contemporary classical music that still passes the coolness test. Layering of single instruments and repetition characterize the sound. The opening is a jaw-dropper – I guarantee you’ve never heard bagpipes quite like this.

Listen to Julia Wolfe “LAD Part 1

* highly recommended

! highest recommendation

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