Kraftwerk, Prince & More: My Albums of the Week #36

I would consider myself an “albums guy” and my taste in music is very varied. In this new feature, I list the albums that I listened to most intensely during the week. The list will include albums old and new, and the number of albums listened to every week will most likely vary on a week-to-week basis.

Kraftwerk
Die Mensch-Maschine
Kling Klang/EMI Electrola, 1978 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Die Roboter // 2 – Spacelab // 3 – Metropolis // 4 – Das Model // 5 – Neonlicht // 6 – Die Mensch-Maschine

Straddling the mainstream and the avant-garde, Die Mensch-Maschine is expressionist electronic music that is as intellectual as it is danceable and groovy. Nothing says late Cold War-era futurism quite like this record.

 

Linda May Han Oh
Walk Against Wind
Biophilia, 2017 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Lucid Lullaby // 2 – Firedancer // 3 – Speech Impediment // 4 – Perpluzzle // 5 – Walk Against Wind // 6 – Ikan Bilis // 7 – Mother Reason // 8 – Mantis // 9 – Deepsea Dancers // 10 – Midnight // 11 – Western

A great and sophisticated set of eleven inventive jazz originals from bassist/composer Linda May Han Oh. Predominantly performed in a quartet setting.

 

Franco Ambrosetti
Music for Symphony and Jazz Band
Enja, 1991 ⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – C-Jam Blues // 2 – Night and Day // 3 – The Grave // 4 – Well You Needn’t // 5 – Peace // 6 – The Night Has a Thousand Eyes // 7 – Close Encounter // 8 – Inside the Dome // 9 – Manteca

A noteworthy and elegant blend of jazz and classical music. At times, Franco Ambrosetti’s efforts recall the music of the Third Stream movement but it lacks characters and plays it safe all too often to be memorable.

 

Prince
Musicology
NPG/Columbia, 2004 ⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Musicology // 2 – Illusion, Coma, Pimp & Circumstance // 3 – A Million Days // 4 – Life ‘o’ the Party // 5 – Call My Name // 6 – Cinnamon Girl // 7 – What Do U Want Me 2 Do? // 8 – The Marrying Kind // 9 – If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life // 10 – On the Couch // 11 – Dear Mr. Man // 12 – Reflection

After years of erratic and hostile behavior left him alienated from the mainstream, Prince decides to regale even the casual Prince listener with a “safer” collection of chart-friendly pop-funk tunes, drawing on ’70s music and making occasional references to his own back-catalog. A fun time for all.

 

Backspace
Ants Corrupt Elephant
Maybe Mars, 2021 ⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Flamingo Bridge // 2 – Six-Eyed Dragonfly // 3 – Lizard Elves // 4 – Ants // 5 – Elephant Treasure // 6 – Rainbow Bunny // 7 – Surveillance Is Like Centipede’s Feet // 8 – Dinosaur Show // 9 – Wolf & Sickle // 10 – Whale Spout // 11 – Skunk Rules // 12 – Ants Corrupt Elephant

From the contemporary Chinese garage rock scene — surf rock meets krautrock. Backspace depicts a dystopian world that feels quite daringly close to reality. Respect. However, this album could have done with a bit of fat trimming.

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