A wealth of experimental sounds by Cheryl E. Leonard, Conrad Praetzel, Rent Romus' Actual/Actual, and Zekarias Thompson
Hear ASTU's exclusive playlist representing the Boyish multiverse, featuring Ozer, Isiah Mostafa, Jada Imani, Hugo de la Lune, Lalin St. Juste, AroMa, and more
Thank you to everyone who tuned into our Lower Grand Radio show last night featuring ASTU—singer, songwriter, and co-founder of alt-art school Boyish. We’ll have a recording of the show soon, but for now please enjoy this playlist of Bay Area hip hop and R&B that ASTU assembled exclusively for White Crate:
ICE, LIFE, AND SOUNDS THAT WERE
“An Antarctica that may no longer exist, at least how the composer saw and heard it.” In 2009, as a participant in the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, SF sound artist Cheryl E. Leonard lived and worked at a research station in Antarctica for five weeks. While there, Leonard collected a trove of field recordings of water, ice, and wildlife—birds, elephant seals, penguins—of which she released a selection in 2010 as Chattermarks: Field Recordings from Palmer Station.
Today, more than a decade later, Leonard returns to the material with the release of Antarctica: Music from the Ice on Other Minds Records. Unlike Chattermarks, which presented the field recordings in their raw state, this album brings the artist’s initial vision to life as a complete musical composition. Interweaving the original sound sources with performances on rocks, shells, and penguin bones (which Leonard crafted into idiophones and sculptural percussion instruments), Antarctica is both an objective capsule as well as a subjective view into a specific place at a specific time. Given climate change and rapidly changing ecosystems—especially at remote places like Antarctica—it’s no wonder the value of a work like this: Nowhere on the planet may ever sound quite like this ever again.
MELTY, MIND-BENDING AMBIENT
Delicate, lucid watercolor landscapes abound in Conrad Praetzel’s Adventures into Somethingness. Dreamy and mind-bendingly melty, it’s an ambient work to savor with a color palette you could almost taste; brightly colored sound textures pop like gusher candies with every track. Whether for mindful or mindless meditation, depending on your mental state, the album demonstrates what melodic ambient music is capable of—corralling chaotic neural connections to ground the self in the peaceful presence of just being. A pleasant accompaniment to napping in the afternoon light.
— Elise Mills
PUNKISH BRASS CACOPHONY
“Improbable connections are made and things happen when you least expect them to.” Storied Bay Area saxophonist Rent Romus’ new experimental jazz ensemble Actual/Actual boasts incredible musicianship, expressing a delightful effervescence, whimsicality, and versatility. Traversing the bounds of swing, Latin music, fusion, doom rock, reggae, and punk with “a blues music orientation,” the group’s debut album Baptismal demonstrates that genres are really quite fluid. Spectral moments surface throughout as a bit of other-worldliness emerging from brassy cacophony. Raucous, delicately haunting, and most definitely coy, the album has a kind of nonchalant majesty to it. Punk rock, indeed.
— Elise Mills
ISOLATION, THE BODY, AND BLACKNESS
“An atmospheric meditation through echoed saxophone recordings, spoken word and images that speak on isolation, the body and blackness.” Hat tip to Cone Shape Top for sharing this beautiful new work, Goodnight Shiva by Zekarias Thompson. Released this past May on Washington, D.C.’s Atlantic Rhythms, the full-length album is a kaleidoscopic cycle of experimental ambient sounds, jazz, and poetry. Pick up one of the limited edition cassettes from CST!
Half Yesterday by Flowertown on Paisley Shirt Records
alternative, dream pop, lofi, San Francisco
“In the A.M.” by J.Lately with Locksmith
hip hop, rap, Sebastopol, Richmond
“WORK IT” by RITCHRD
disco, electronic, garage, San Francisco
“Winded / What's the Point” by Tralala
indie, rock, pop, San Francisco
New Days, a compilation by SF cassette label 77 Rise Recordings, featuring Argonaut, Baghead, Chazz Emphatic, HG Beats, L Nasty, Monk HTS, .tetsuo, 4D., and more
hip hop, instrumental, beats, San Francisco
Here are our top 10 show recommendations for the coming week:
[hip hop] Family Not a Group presents A Family Service ft. AroMa, Sabrina Shauna, Professa Gabel, Jenset, DJSAY, Baghead — July 8 at the Chapel
[rock] COLA, Sour Widows, Aluminum — July 8 at Rickshaw Stop
[club] NICE ONES X Outlet ft. Tim Reaper, Joey Mojo, Dj Please, Soeneido, PLusgood b2b Lyceum — July 8 at secret Oakland location
[punk] Aninoko, GlenXCoco, George Crustanza, Doc & the Parasites — July 9 at Stay Gold Deli
[r&b] ASTU, Deon — July 9 at Bandcamp Oakland
[experimental] Lea Bertucci, Pod Blotz — July 9 at the Lab
[country] Old Crow Medicine Show, Molly Tuttle — July 10 at Stern Grove
[club] Aurora Sessions ft. Soeneido, Ritchrd, Aircrax — July 10 at Alimentari Aurora
[rock] SMARTBOMB ft. V.C.R, Fela Kutchii, IDHAZ, Michael Sneed, Amarinder Singh Trio — July 13 at Crybaby
[punk] Rip Room (album release), Terry Gross, Facet — July 14 at Eli’s Mile High Club