Looking to pick up something special for that special someone at the last moment? Or want a few ideas for treating yourself this Christmas?
Finding a great gift for a music lover with a taste for the non-mainstream is never an easy task... And being married to a musician, I know this better than anyone. So to help me out this year, Massa has put together a list of five CDs he'd like to find stuffed in his stocking on the morning of December 25th, complete with his own mini-reviews highlighting what makes them so awesome. If he's lucky (and stays on good behavior), "Santa" just might bring him more than one.
The problem is a lot of the albums I want are only available in MP3 format, and that makes it hard to choose the CDs I want. Also, I prefer to have a variety of albums from different genres, and to keep things new, ones by artists who aren't too big.
But in the end, it's down to these five.
My Hidden Playground
by Mollono Bass
Genre: Techno / Minimal House / Tech House
Usually, when I'm looking into this category, I can only find stuff that is either too catchy or too minimal. That's not really what I am looking for. I want something interesting. something innovative and stylish. I think this one's got the best of both worlds. Each track has influences from other genres and they're simple, yet each has a distinctive touch so you can recognize the track.
Label: Claremont 56
Genre: Disco, Balearic
This is a very interesting album. Most of the elements are very organic with familiar elements: guitar riffs... the texture of the drum sounds, etc... However, the way this guy puts things together is very cool and very new. I absolutely love this album.
Medicine Show No. 7: High Jazz (Yesterday's New Quintet)
Label: Madlib Medicine Show
Genre: Electronic Jazz
Well, this guy's been around for long that I don't really need to say much about him, but I really like the texture of this album. It somehow reminds me of "On the Corner" and "Bitches Brew" by Miles Davis, but with a modern touch.
by Sounds from the Ground
Label: Upstream Records
Spacey stuff with groove. It's not any of that cold medium stuff. The combination of lo-fi texture and spacy analog synth is very pleasant. "Stampede" (featuring Rachel Calladine) is my favorite track from this album.
The Jazz Thing
by Christian Prommer's Drumlesson/The Diningrooms
Genre: Broken Beat / Nu Jazz / Nu Soul
This is definitely a "jazz thing." It takes you to the old black-and-white period, and would go nicely with some wine and a fire place. (But I prefer listening to this kind of album quietly and alone.) Cold winter night stuff.