San Francisco/Berkeley Swag, Pt. Two: Music

In alphabetical order, with some preliminary thoughts (if any are ready at all):

Asian Dub Foundation, Tanks (EMI, 2005) For $1.99 you can satisfy pure curiosity. This is about 10 years newer than the last recordings I remember and I know I have a best-off in the deep files, but this is more likeable in theory than in the ear. Most likely purchase to get pitched.

Bisso Na Bisso, Racines (V2, France, 1999). Still assimilating. Fascinating lineup of guests. Always takes a while with African hip-hop, but this has a flavor that’s new to me. Promising.

Bonga, Maiorais (LusAfrica, 2005). Wowo — guy put out a lotta albums. I’m kinda stumbling around collecting them. When he’s uptempo you move right along, when he’s midtempo he can cook up hooks, when he does ballads, his rough intonation is hard to take.

Burkina Electric, Paspanga (Cantaloupe, 2010)

Hiatus Kaiyote, Choose Your Weapon (Flying Buddha, 2015). Turns out the delightful Green Apple Books, where I got the Led Zep charmer, has a very sharp and selective music section in the store next door. The staff picks were convincing — including Dawn Oberg — and I liked the description of this group I’d never heard of. Needs was more listening.

imarhan, S/T (Wedge/City Slang, 2016) The second generation of Tuareg guitar groups come into full flower here. Popular with everybody I played it for.

Karsh Kale, Realise (Six Degrees, 2001) and Liberation (Six Degrees, 2003). I like Kale’s new one, Up so much (almost as much fun as strong Dj Cheb I Sabbah) that I felt the need to dig into the back catalog (again, for only a couple bucks each). The earllier album is enjaoyable lecronica exotica, the one from a couple years later a bit too schmellow. Neither as seductive has his current, more compact an tude-structured numbers. Interesting, though — good survey album would be appreciated.

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