Not To Miss is a bi-monthly column dedicated to all things music related that might have fallen through the cracks.
Madeline Kenney/Rita/NIGHT NIGHT AT THE FIRST LANDING/Company Records
Seattle-born and Oakland-based multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Madeline Kenney keeps it movin’. She has a degree in neuroscience. Remains a skilled artist, painter, and knitter. Was a baker for over nine years and “keeps the lights on” by nannying during the day. Kinney, who moved to the Bay Area in 2014, writes and records her own material, runs a small record label and is learning how to produce and engineer at the Women’s Audio Mission, located at 544 Natoma, the only women-built and run studio in the world.
“Rita,” produced by Chaz Bundick, is the first single from her upcoming full-length release Night Night At The First Landing. The liberating shoegazer sonic construct showcases this artist’s vocal chops and guitar skills. Kinney, who played at the Company Records POP showcase earlier this summer, performed recently at The Rickshaw Stop. Madeline Kenney will release her Toro Y Moi-produced debut album September 1st.
XL Middleton/Enjoy The Ride/Things Are Happening/MoFunk Records
Preaching the virtues of enjoying the simplest of pleasures in this life, Pasadena based artist XL Middleton shared this week his lead single “Enjoy The Ride” from the forthcoming album Things Are Happening. Middleton, a modern-funk producer and label head, has constructed an uptempo, O’Bryan-like synth-funk gem that commands the listener to acknowledge the beauty in this life “while there is still a seat to seat yo ass.” In addition to running his Cavi Sounds Imprint and co-running Mo Funk Records with Funkmosphere resident DJ and fellow LA native Eddy Funkster. Middleton produced the genre bending Blackwavefunk by Moniquea earlier this year. Things Are Happening will be released on MoFunk Records October 6th.
Yasuaki Shimizu/Music For Commercials/Crammed Discs
Crammed Discs is re-releasing Music For Commercials, one of the most sought after records in their Made to Measure series, by composer & saxophonist Yasuaki Shimizu. Known for his many albums, soundtracks, and collaborations with the likes of Ryuichi Sakamoto, Van Dyke Parks, Pierre Barouh, and Björk & Elvin Jones, Shimizu wrote and recorded this brilliant and inventive collection of short pieces, initially conceived for Japanese TV commercials.
The bold and brash palette of organic and computer generated sounds structured with the “big 80’s” method of production, most clocking in under two minutes. Makes this idiosyncratic collection of “sound documents” from a previous era resonate even stronger today. Any astute contemporary producer, such as Oneohtrix Point Never, identifies this body of superior work as influential as any “library recording.” Music For Commercials is available on vinyl, remastered CD and digital formats September 15th.
Gaël Segalen/Cardinal Flows/Memoir of My Manor
Parisian film score composer and recording artist Gaël Segalen keeps the sound door open for ghosts, police car sirens, and simulated abrasive weather elements to invade the 16-minute rhythm noise catcher Cardinal Flows. Operating as the polar opposite of ambient, Segalen invites the chaotic noise of everyday nightmares to invade her sound design. So the various pockets of polyrhythmic options on Cardinal Flows are surrounded. No. Inundated, by shifting frequencies. Segalen, who describes her music as “danceable field recordings,” keeps this choice cinematic. Instead of obvious. Memoir of My Manor is out now on limited edition cassette and at digital outlets.
Shabazz Palaces/Shine A Light (feat Thadillac)/Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star/Sub Pop Records
Continuing in the tradition of defining new limits, Shabazz Palaces deliver a phantasmagorical black and white video for their swirling and heady single “Shine A Light.” Directed by Neil Ferron, a Seattle-based writer and filmmaker, this storyline documents the moments leading up to a half goat/half human baby being sacrificed for a bizarre teenage wedding.
“Shine A Light” uses elements from Dee Dee Sharp’s 1965 single “I Really Love You.” The animated and vivid strings that flicker about in the flashback Nebula run in direct contrast to the contemporary message delivered by Ishmael Butler over this dusty and golden slice of hip-hop. “Often it’s thought that I’m lost in / weighing out what this chance takings costing/sliding cornered by more law enforcement/feeling like I’m riding with the four horsemen.”