Mr Lif gets brassy
SERvin’ Up! – w/c November 27, 2017
Bjork – Utopia
Sufjan Stevens – The Greatest Gift
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Wolf of the Cosmos
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Polygondwanaland
Mavis Staples – If All I Was Was Black
Mr Lif & Brass Menazeri – Resilient
Peter Broderick – All Together Again
Lau Nau – Poseidon
Catherine Traicos – Luminaire
Various Artists – Fantastic Effects
Veteran rapper Mr Lif has always been one of hip hop’s most positive practitioners and in his recent resurgence after a seven year layoff he’s proven his no nonsense flow to cut through as well as ever. Not one to rest on the merits of his innate intelligence, his love of a challenge in collaboration is nowhere more evident than on his latest outing. Resilient stems from Lif finding himself a Seattle music festival with no DJ or band to back him. Enter San Francisco’s Brass Menazeri, a Balkan brass band who stepped up and paired up for a show that’s now resulted in a great recording. The traditional, open and joyous bluster of Brass Menazeri’s gypsy music style moves with Lif’s lyrical punch in such a way that it feels familiar and not alien – certainly no tokenistic soundclash – in its coming together of shared thinking and feeling. It just works, and you just have to hear it.
Finnish artist Lau Nau (nee Laura Naukkarinnen) started her career making a kind of disjointed psych-folk that often sounded like something between a fairytale and campfire acid trip. Now on album number five, Poseidon, she has moved the delicacy of her writing style away from those fractured vignettes into something more immediately beautiful and fulsome. The ebb and flow of chamber-pop and sweeping synth washes across Poseidon belie her forays into dance, theatre and film, instilled with nuance and drama. In ancient Greek myth, Poseidon was god of the Sea and other waters – fittingly, Lau Nau masters the art of balancing both drift and torrent with this album.
Sydney label Body Promise have shot out of the blocks yet again with a second set of selections canvassing a vast array of young Australian producers working more interesting ends out of house and techno. Loaded with throbbing, percussive goodness, breakneck textural thrills and drilling industrial turns, Fantastic Effects is a great armchair ride for anyone looking at dipping into this scene without having to be in the know and find just what you like in the neverending internet stream.
Also, some previously unreleased Currents-era material from Tame Impala, The Citradels, new Sub Pop signing Lorna, another cover from Jim James, Sydney’s Scabz, Kardajala Kirridarra, Capital Gains and Sun Sap.
Enjoy it all on 2SER,