In the lead-up to the big 4th of July holiday weekend, I’ve spent almost every night working on a new mixtape. I’ve finally got my passion for mixing back and it feels incredible. Instead of months or years between tapes, I hope to make them a regular feature here.
However, this latest mix isn’t quite ready yet. It needs a little more polish before I publish next week. In the meantime, I want to share the best new music I’ve been into all week. At least one of these three things will make your hair stand on end.
Tempelhof & Gigi Masin – Tsuki
If you’ve followed my recent posts, you probably noticed a newfound obsession with ambient artist Gigi Masin, especially his Gaussian Curve project. The man’s incredibly delicate, emotionally weighty music sends me floating, flying, and fantasizing through daydreams with ease.
There’s a fundamental core of melancholy at the center of everything the man has crafted, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for a fantastic voyage. Paired with Italian band Tempelhof, composed of musicians Luciano Ermondi and Paolo Mazzacani, Masin has created a relatively sunny record, bursting with horns, lush synthesizers, and nimble percussion.
Tsuki is the result of a second meeting for this trio, after 2014’s subtly gorgeous Hoshi, also released by Hell Yeah Recordings. At this rate, the once criminally unknown Masin will have produced more music in the last few years than he has in the three decades prior. It’s such incredibly consistent work that I can’t wait for more.
Have a listen to the full album:
The album can be purchased on vinyl, CD, or digital from the Hell Yeah Recordings Bandamp page.
Nite-Funk – EP
This is a release that I’ve been waiting actual years for. Ever since the first time Dam-Funk and Nite Jewel teamed up, dropping the nocturnal lovers’ jam Am I Gonna Make It? in 2010, I’ve been craving more material. At first it seemed odd to pair an old school funk master and a psychedelic indie rock darling, but the result was like chocolate and peanut butter.
They’ve flirted with the idea of an album ever since, but only dropped hints and cryptic promises for the longest time. Until the release of Dam-Funk’s incredible DJ-Kicks set last month, I assumed the prospect was dead. Instead, that set contained a little duet near the end, while Dam-Funk himself announced that a brief album was coming in only a few weeks.
It’s finally here, and it’s as good as I could have hoped. The vocals by Nite Jewel, aka Ramona Gonzalez, make an effervescent dance partner for Dam’s signature synth funk stylings, prodding his energy upward and lifting off entirely on highlight Let Me Be Me. That song rocks with the assured swagger of a prime-time Cameo cut, even reminding me of Michael Jackson in its hard strutting groove.
Take a listen for yourself. I haven’t heard anything this catchy in weeks:
Miles Davis – Live, Electric, and Brutal
There was no band on earth that rivaled the tectonic power of Miles Davis’ early 1970s output. They combined raw, feral energy with laser precision to conjure up pure jazz fusion magic. Noisier than a punk band, louder than any metal, and more ferocious than any jazz outfit in history, their shows set the standard for explosive live music.
This tune in particular was wonderfully filmed for German television, with multiple cameras that focus on each player as they let loose their scorching solos in turn. You can see the look of wild-eyed tension in their eyes, as if they’re barely able to maintain this level of power. At the center of it all, Miles stands cool as a cucumber, nodding to the beat, barely breaking a sweat. He plays facing the floor, absolutely thrashing his trumpet.
I shared this video exactly 4 years ago today, and it still brings a tingle to my spine.
Despite the abrupt cut-off at the end, this is still my favorite video of the man and his band. Turn it on, turn it up, and feel your hair blowing back.
That’s all for this week. Keep your eyes on this page for a fresh brain-melting mixtape in the next few days!