13 Beats of the Week: 9/20/2020

  1. “Tozonga na nganga wana,” by TPOK Jazz—Considered the father of modern Congolese music, legendary “Sorcerer of the Guitar” Franco produced “Tozonga nan ganga wana” with the help of Tout Puissant Orchestre Kinshasa, the “all-powerful Kinshasa orchestra.” The supergroup revolutionized rumba forever, and – considering their 40-year-long run as kings of the growing African music scene — their influence should come as no surprise.
  2. “Blood Bank,” by Bon Iver—Shortly after producing indie folk cornerstone For Emma, Forever Ago in 2007, legendary frontman and producer Justin Vernon created Blood Bank, a four-track EP that contrasted Emma thematically insofar as it chooses to reference ideas of warmth, life and rejuvenation as opposed to cold and somber acceptance. Some even consider this short stint to be Vernon’s most significant production.
  3. “Put Your Records On,” by Ritt Momney—Ritt Momney has recently seen an incredible increase in monthly Spotify listeners, jumping from irrelevance to sadboy stardom in a matter of weeks. The solo project of Salt Lake City native Jack Rutter, Ritt Momney’s debut Her and All of My Friends captures a new sort of bedroom pop, one that tells of a detachment from childhood culture from loved ones and from familiar places and faces. While his cover of “Put Your Records On” is certainly a great tune, I would suggest further listening to get the full idea of what Ritt Momney stands for and hopes to offer in the future.
  4. “Plastic Moon,” by Nick Leng & Chester Watson—Nick Leng is a weird act to define in his wide array and evident mastery of both pop-driven radio-noise and deep chaotic introspection. Frankly, I’m not sure exactly how to explain the LA-based South African enigma, so maybe the music speaks for itself here.
  5. “Got It Figured Out,” by Carter Ace—Carter Ace makes feel-good music for a generation filled with general anxiety, taking notes from neo-soul acts like OutKast and Mos Def while maintaining a new R&B sound.
  6. “Smithereens,” by Rasharn Powell & AB001—There’s something incredibly accessible about new upcoming artist Rasharn Powell and his take on R&B, yet he manages to keep his lyrics introspective, deep and thought-provoking.
  7. “B.O.B. – Bombs Over Baghdad,” by OutKast—The only reason I put OutKast on this list is because someone tried to convince me that “Hey Ya!” was their best song, which is—for the lack of better words—the worst opinion anyone could ever have about OutKast.
  8. “Time to Flee (10.18.19),” by Goose—Goose is easily the most impressive jam band to hit the scene recently, as nearly anyone who listens to the Connecticut-based quartet immediately becomes fans of the quirky and weird nature of their extensive live sessions.
  9. “Brik Pan Brik,” by Skillibeng—Vice once called Skillibeng “Jamaica’s new dancehall hope;” “Brik Pan Brik” simply reaffirms their statement. If anything, Skillibeng seems to incorporate elements of drill to the Jamaican genre, marking an important change in the mainstream dancehall sound.
  10. “Airplane Mode (feat. NSG),” by Nines—If we’re being honest, Nines is nothing impressive, but that’s not to say that listening to his most successful single “Airplane Mode” off of his 2020 album Crabs in a Bucket is an unpleasant experience. If anything, it’s a solid four minutes of stripped and spacious production and simple listening.
  11. “Collateral Damage,” by Burna Boy—One of Nigeria’s biggest names in music, Burna Boy sources his inspiration from reggae, dancehall and pop rap to create a sound all his own. 
  12. “Ghostin’,” by Wesley Joseph—Londoner Wesley Joseph is a fresh face in the growing intersection between underground club beats and mainstream radio, making sure to allow both his raps and his productions a fair share of listening time. Continuing with the vogue trend of lo-fi DIY methodology, “Ghostin’” is a haunting and speaker-rattling experience.
  13. “mr nobody,” by Deb Never—Some may know Deb Never for her brief collaboration with self-proclaimed “Internet boy-band” BROCKHAMPTON. That being said, her independent efforts push the boundaries of alternative R&B, seamlessly integrating elements of cloud rap and even indie rock.