Music That’s Getting Me Through Grad School — Vol. XXIV
Every Friday I listen to many of the week’s new record releases — some I already know of; most of them I don’t — and I write small blurbs on my favorites.Keeps me sane through my last year(s) of graduate school (^_^)
WEEK OF AUGUST 13TH, 2021
Ineffekt — Kora
(Dance, leftfield house)
With no restraint on imagination and a knack for delivering glistening tracks with splotches of color, 19-yo Dutch DJ and producer Ineffekt delivers Kora, his joyful and exuberant debut. Clocking just shy of 40 minutes, Kora is a genre-fluid journey through living melodies, bpm exploration, and happy beat-making. Imaginative to the point of creating entire universes in single tracks, Ineffekt is not afraid to pleasantly change directions or infuse elements of thrill in short bursts of energy and a surgical use of nuance. Melodies tumble through balanced backgrounds like bioluminescent creatures against a starry canvass while frolicking synths teem with effervescence, life, and color. There isn’t a single moment in the album that doesn’t invite curiosity and that doesn’t spark vibrancy; it all crashes upon you with the refreshing and warm peace that can only be reached through dance. Perhaps what’s most admirable about this album is its translucence. It gives itself fully to you, hiding nothing and giving everything. It’s a crystalline spring of monumental depth, blooming with creativity, wistfulness, hope, and vibrancy.
Fav songs: Cascades, In a Flash, Calor, See You Blossom, The Dreaming Moon, Kora
Jana Rush — Painful Enlightenment
Painful Enlightenment is not a casual listen. First and foremost, it’s footwork — a Chicago-born genre characterized by its rapid and syncopated rhythms, eye-bulging sub-bass, and a flare for chopping and rearranging house and hip-hop samples in a wicked, almost sadistically inventive way. Most importantly, the record is an uncomfortable one, and it’s meant to be so. It’s skittery and anxious; bestial and harrowing; mind-blowing and cathartic — an accurate sonic mirror of Jana Rush’s battle with her own depression. The album is as much a personal diary as it is a universal anthem, both tribute and redefinition of footwork’s explosive nature. Disintegrating rhythms and earthshaking bass cradle jagged vocal samples and claustrophobic rearrangements, which shatter like fractals to create tracks of torment and release. Through it all, course parallel tacks of nerve-racking disorientation and liberating malleability, which make the record an incredibly demanding listen, but also — if one is open to it — an eye-opening experience in growth and resilience… and those two seldom come without a dose of pain.
Fav songs: Moaning, Painful Enlightenment, G-spot, Disturbed, Disorientation, 3, Just a Taste