The Year in VMP: 2018

Discussion in 'General Music and Vinyl' started by lee newman, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    so, I’m still in the middle of relistening to everything I received from our beloved record club in 2017.

    However, I’m gonna go ahead and start this process for 2018 now. There are two reasons for this:

    1. It’s been a giant pain in the ass to try to do everyday.

    2. It’ll be interesting to do what I’m currently doing for 2017 at the end of 2018 and see if it changes from what I do here as the year progresses.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
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  2. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    January shipment:
    31E0E38A-7049-4CEA-8EE4-D16E4B84E33A.jpeg

    ROTM: Moby - Play

    My brother was a big fan of this album in his heyday. I pretty much ignored it (as much as anyone could). I was not Movy’s biggest fan anyhow, but Animal Rights was awful especially after the brilliance of Everything is Wrong. Like my brother’s love for Radiohead, maybe I should have paid attention because I like this album way more than I ought to.

    Classics: Max Roach - Percussion Bitter Sweet

    Well damn. This is spectacular. The side sub started with a big risk with Archie Shepp and that remains my favorite Classics title to date. This is a very close second. Which is scary because like Eddie Gale and A Love Supreme, I’m not sure I fully grasp it yet and am fairly certain this will open up more. It is political, spiritual and smart. It’s a beautiful record and pressing.

    RHH: Little Simz - A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons

    This is pretty remarkable. I took two months off from this sub and I’m fairly certain that was a mistake. Here’s some pretty strong British rap with great beats. I’ll need some time to digest this more. Problem is there are four legit turntable hogs in this box, I’m not sure it will get the time it deserves.

    Rising: Toulouse - Extended Plea

    Wow. Rising ended 2016 strong with its best release to date. It ended 2017 with an equally strong album and now it starts 2018 with two releases. This one shines though and is a great way to start off the year. If you like the smart alternative r&b that has been making a strong showing the last few years, this is for you.

    Miya Folick - Give it to Me/Strange Darling

    The first ep here is one of the most emotionally felt indie rock releases I have heard in some time, it rocks and hits you on the feels. The second side is more laid back and probably better. This will need more time like Simz to digest.

    Sclusies: Bud Powell - The Essen Jazz Festival Concert

    My first Black Lion Record was the Dexter Gordon sclusie. I’d never heard of the label and now they dominate my jazz shelf as much as the West Coast Get Down. This is a recording from a legendary jazz show on Germany from 1960. Nice bop which still remains my favorite idiom of the genre. This is cool music.

    Piero Umiliani - Grazie!

    Best I can figure from the liner notes, this is a really pricey mix cd with a bonus 2 lp compilation of the songs used to make the mix. Even though I was intimately familiar with Umiliani’s most famous composition, I had never heard of him and now I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of Italian soundtrack music which has been dubbed “Easy Tempo” by some. I’ll admit I am smitten with this album, I have a hard time taking it off the turntable.
     
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  3. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    Initial ranking from having given all albums at least one listen:

    1. Grazie
    2. Max Roach
    3. Toulouse
    4. Moby
    5. Bud Powell
    6. Little Simz
    7. Miya Folick
     
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  4. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    At the end of the month, I’m happy with this ranking.
     
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  5. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    4446CB79-2C2B-4CA7-9962-DA222E76B6D0.jpeg

    Well February is quite interesting indeed.

    ROTM: Ayalew Mesfin - Hasabe (My Worries)

    The music is fire, the voice unique and the package excellent. I loved Moby, don’t get me wrong, but this blows it out of the water!

    Classics: Koko Taylor - I Got What it Takes

    Incendiary, to quote William Miller. This might be the best blues record from Classics to date.

    RHH: De La Soul - Buhloone Mindstate

    The third best album by my favorite hip hop group of all time. Easily the best thing from RHH to date.

    Rising: Deem Spencer - we think we alone

    Moody, unique hip hop. Kind of like if Moses rapped.

    Sclusies: Betty Davis - Nasty Gal

    There’s a slight warp and a lot of static on my copy and my first listen was last night. Initial impression is that this is not even in the same league as her debut or Columbia Years. That’s not to say it isn’t awesome, because it is.

    Fred McDowell - Mississippi Delta Blues

    As @HiFi Guy says, @vinylmeplease always gets the Blues right, always.

    A stellar box. VMP 2018 - the gauntlet has been thrown, this might be the best box I have ever gotten.
     
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  6. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    Too early for a real ranking... after one listen of each:

    1. Is a three way tie between Mesfin, De La and Koko
    2. Deem
    3. McDowell
    4. Betty
     
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  7. Juiceless

    Juiceless Well-Known Member

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    I had an epic box this month - 19 records. I would have thought that with that much stuff, I would have had a mix of fire and meh. NOT SO!

    1. De La
    2. Ayalew Mesfin
    3. Juju Exchange
    4. Kobo
    5. Nina Sings the Blues
    6. Nils Frahm - All Melody
    7. Khruangbin
    8. Nasty Girl
    9. Willie - The Words Don't Fit The Picture
    10. Sharon Jones - It's a Holiday Soul Party
    11. Bud Powell
    12. King Britt / Sister Gertrude
    13. Fred McDowell
    14. Nils Frahm - Spaces
    15. Nina - A Very Rare Evening
    16. Daniele Luppi - Milano
    17. She and Him Christmas
    18. Stranger Things 2
    19. Earl Hines

    The thing is, I'm hot on all of these records except Earl Hines. I'll give that one a few more spins, but I don't think that one's going to click with me. Unbelievable month for me. I don't think I'll ever get a box of records this big and this good ever again.
     
  8. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    After some time with each...
    1. Koko
    2. De La
    3. Mesfin
    4. Deem
    5. McDowell
    6. Betty

    I’ll do the list so far and break out subscriptions and items this weekend.
     
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  9. Wicked Dreamer

    Wicked Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    The final rankings for my January package:

    1. Pastor T. L. Barrett
    2. Toulouse
    3. Moby
    4. Little Simz
    5. Guru
     
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  10. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    Before March Box total rankings:
    1. Grazie!
    2. Max Roach
    3. Koko
    4. De La
    5. Mesfin
    6. Toulouse
    7. Moby
    8. Deem
    9. McDowell
    10. Bud Powell
    11. Little Simz
    12. Betty Davis
    13. Miya Folick

    What’s important to remember here is that I actually love all of these records.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  11. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    March Box

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    Beach House - Devotion

    Yeah, I didn’t feel this one on first listen. Beautiful package though and it’s sound is great. I’m nothing if not tenacious though, pretty sure I am just gonna live with this one all week and see what happens.

    Miles Davis & John Coltrane: The Final Tour - Paris

    Damn, what an album. Yeah Coltrane is a little show offy here, but you can feel the tension and it seems to push the band. The second disc is mind blowing. Wish I had some notes to read... -_- @Clay Conder !!!

    Erykah Badu - U Cain’t Use my Phone

    This mix tape is still pretty awesome. Beautiful package and I may use the stencil to this one!

    EmoniFELA- Day Camp for Dreamers

    Killing it this year @a-b. Miya May be at the bottom of my list, but it’s not because that one isn’t good, quite the opposite. This is easily the best year of Rising to date and we’re just getting started.

    Irma Thomas - Wish Someone Would Care

    This could have easily been a classics pick and I’m betting that would mean a larger print run for it which would be a good thing for it. Why is this still in the store folks?!? Buy it!

    Initial rankings from first listen
    1. Miles & Trane
    2. Irma
    3. EmoniFELA
    4. Erykah
    5. Beach House
     
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  12. Wicked Dreamer

    Wicked Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    My rankings (edit: now as of March 31st):

    1. Erykah Badu - But You Caint Use My Phone
    2. Pastor T. L. Barrett - Like a Ship
    3. Perfume Genius - Too Bright
    4. Irma Thomas - Wish Someone Would Care
    5. Toulouse - Extended Plea
    6. De La Soul - Buhloone Mindstate
    7. Moby - Play
    8. Beach House - Devotion
    9. St. Vincent - S/T
    10. Little Simz - A Curious Tale
    11. Guru - Jazzmatazz Vol. 2
    12. Ayalew Mesfin - Hasabe
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
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  13. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    As I get to take the picture of this month’s selections, final ranking last month looks like this:
    1. Irma
    2. Davis and Coltrane
    3. EmoniFELA
    4. Erykah
    5. Beach House
     
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  14. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    To date rankings before April Box:

    1. Grazie!
    2. Max Roach
    3. Koko
    4. De La
    5. Irma
    6. Davis & Coltrane
    7. Mesfin
    8. Toulouse
    9. EmoniFELA
    10. Moby
    11. Deem
    12. McDowell
    13. Bud Powell
    14. Little Simz
    15. Betty Davis
    16. Erykah
    17. Miya Folick
    18. Beach House

    Beach House is the only thing I’m lukewarm on so far.
     
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  15. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    April Box:
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    Artic Monkeys - Whatever You Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

    Completely unfamiliar with this one. I like it. First side reminds me of Reliant K. Second side is pretty awesome. Will need some time with this one.

    William Bell - Soul of a Bell

    Like Carla before it, this is not the sexiest release from the Classics label. It is an interesting story and the throw back sound of it is neat. It feels like an album made a decade before it was. I’m already a fan of Bell, this is a different side of him. Also, @Clay Conder the matching books with Miles and this is a classy touch.

    Goodie Mob - Soul Food

    Ah, a classic that has always been a weird hole in my collection. Glad to have it.

    Ness Nite - Dream Girl

    I’m unsure why, but I ended up watching the insta take over for this. It was fascinating to see an introvert deal with that kind of exposure and to watch folks not overly familiar with turntables play a record. This is a fascinating album that will take some digestion.

    Tom Waits - Closing Time

    This was the first album I ever bought by him on CD. I love it. I’m not sure about this remaster though. Pressing is not spectacular either.

    Fatboy Slim - You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby

    I completely forgot how fun this album is. Looks great and sounds spectacular.

    Orquesta Akokán

    Well I knew VMP x Daptone would be a great combination. I like Cuban Music, some day I need to deep dive. I was fairly sure this would be awesome. It exceeded my expectations a lot.

    After having given all of them a first spin:
    1. Orquesta Akokán
    2. Fatboy Slim
    3. Goodie Mob
    4. William Bell
    5. Ness Nite
    6. Artic Monkeys
    7. Tom Waits
     
  16. MattS

    MattS Well-Known Member

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    Always appreciate your opinion and insight Lee. Two quick questions if you don't mind me asking. Is Tom on the bottom because of the sound issues? I have this in my box and love this album a lot and it seems you really like it as well. Question number two, I know you're a big jazz man as well, is there a particular reason you put McDowell ahead of Powell? I have both and really like both and I've probably spun McDowell a few more times but I'm not sure which I like more.
     
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  17. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    So...

    Waits is 100% the remaster. It’s a little slick sounding. I still need to ab with my cd, but it doesn’t seem as gravelly in his voice and just sounds different. It is not as charming as the album I remember and know very well.

    McDowell just gets reached for more often and despite any othe subjective reason that’s what my list usually reflects. If I spin it more, I like it more.
     
  18. taylorgc1992

    taylorgc1992 Well-Known Member

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    So, it isn't just me with Tom Waits? I thought the sound was off as well. I actually sent a message to customer service because the last track of Side A ("Martha") was particularly distorted during the instrumental portions of the song. Most of it was listenable but parts of it were kind of cringe-worthy, which is weird because it is one of my favorite albums by him (maybe even my favorite).
     
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  19. lee newman

    lee newman Well-Known Member

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    I don’t notice any distortion, it’s possible though, it’s not a great pressing (not bad either) it just felt off.
     
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  20. taylorgc1992

    taylorgc1992 Well-Known Member

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    Got it. It may just be mine with the distortion then. But yeah, I agree that the pressing does sound too "clean" on the parts that aren't distorted on mine.
     
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