Here is a list of my favorite albums from September 2021, featuring Jungle, Str4ta, Damu the Fudgemunk + more. 🔈
Are these lists for you? My musical tastes vary widely, but you’ll always find hip-hop, jazz, funk, or a blend each in the selections, along with the occasional country, rock, and reggae record. Hopefully, you’ll find something you like. Of course, I’m always looking for new (and old) music, so any recommendations are welcome!
Also, you can find a playlist of tracks that I love on my Right About Now playlist. 🎧
Loving in Stereo
I don’t know what it is about this album but it just kills. It suits me for both work or play. The production from InFlo helps (see his work on Sault, Little Simz, Michael Kiwanuka, and more).
My favorite album this month.
The closest thing to a jazz album in my picks this month, this one is a fusion of jazz-funk and I keep coming back to it.
Tipping their hats to groups such as Atmosfear, Hi-Tension and Light of the World (of which Bluey was a founding member), Aspects feels effortlessly raw and authentic in style – relying more on performative energy than production. Bluey, Gilles Peterson and their collaborators simply fall into a window of the time they became fierce musical forces, emerging out of the jazz-funk underground. However, what is interesting is that the duo manages to simultaneously tap into a distinctive period of music that has passed, but also manage to capture contemporary vibes too. Aspects does not simply hark back to an age gone – it is much more nuanced than that.
Damu the Fudgemunk
One of two hip-hop picks this month, this one has a sound that is deliciously classic. It reminds me of the best of the Soundbombing days in terms of beats and the MCs on it fit perfectly.
There aren’t a lot of clips I can share from the nearly 40 minutes of “Conversation Peace,” largely because a lot of them have not been shared online. At the end of the day that means you’ll either have to take my word for it or not that Damu doesn’t create lazy music or work with bullshit emcees. Everything he does is chosen with purpose and meaning to create an experience good enough that you’ll both want to savor it and almost immediately repeat it. Sadly with good food or libations that’s impossible — once you taste the fudge, the fudge is gone — but once you buy “Conversation Peace” you can keep playing it again to your heart’s content.
Now for something a bit different, this is what I’ve been putting on when I need some guitars in the mix. Hard to pin down into punk, rock, or hardcore, the songs and energy tick all the boxes.
While ‘Time & Space’ was produced by US rock and hardcore staple Will Yip, for ‘GLOW ON’ they’ve enlisted Mike Elizondo – Dr. Dre’s prodigy who’s produced for Fiona Apple and Eminem – to co-produce the record with singer Brendon Yates. The band also team up with Blood Orange for a pair of collaborations. The first of these link-ups, ‘Alien Love Call’, is the album’s biggest step out, a beautiful slow jam defined by guitars swimming in reverb and that finishes with a predictably impactful spoken word segment from Dev Hynes. The album then closes with ‘Lonely Dezires’, a woozy punk song that sounds like putting Green Day through a My Bloody Valentine filter.
My second hip-hop pick of the week comes from the Seattle MC who I just discovered. I love the stripped-down production and approach to this album and can’t stop playing it.
If it’s not already clear, J’Von is a force to be reckoned with. The Seattle artist can seemingly do it all – making beats, writing rhymes, and accidentally creating a brand for himself with his pastel color pallet and his Catman alter-ego. His skill set is vast, but J’Von considers himself simply an artist at his core. In our conversation, he’s quick to dismiss ideas that his varied interests make him anything less than committed to all of his crafts.
Check out this podcast as well for more on J’von: Apparently: J’Von on Being the Dad He Never Had
Honorable mentions ✌️
I have been playing Sometimes I Might Be Introvert by Little Simz regularly and it almost made the list, a great hip-hop album. Also great is DâM-Funk’s Above The Fray, a great instrumental beats album. Finally, another hip-hop album that grabbed me last month is Blakhouse from Seattle native Jarv Dee.