Welcome to The SALSA Weekly! The SALSA Weekly is a curated playlist/post on the blog, wherein members of SALSA will submit one song they have been digging the past week and why.

The List

For your listening pleasure, here are our picks in one handy dandy Spotify playlist. Scroll down for what we have to say!

Proxy: Sote — Plural

I’ve spent a shocking amount of time around Persian instrumentation and traditional modal composition, at least for someone who is extremely white. One of my colleagues when doing my graduate degree emigrated from Iran to Canada, settling in Toronto. One of my roommates in my last year of my degree was originally from Tehran and indulged in listening to traditional music. I learned so much about their culture’s music from them, and have a major fondness for traditional Persian instrumentation (especially the santour). However, I am still on the periphery of appreciation of Iranian creators. I’m going to speak on Sote from the perspective of someone who is an avid fan of new electronic composition/electroacoustic music, but I feel it’s appropriate to establish this.

‘Sacred Horror in Design’ is a very traditionally Persian album in composition. It adheres to their traditional modes and blends Sote’s dizzyingly stunning electronic production with manipulation of traditional Persian instrumentation. It works stunningly well with Sote’s microtonal approach and strong ear for melody that adds an approachability to the composition. Add sheer percussive force and you get “Plural”, my choice for this week’s entry and my personal standout on the record. It hooks you in and never lets go, feeling grippingly emotional.

Look into Sote’s trajectory and career, Stray Landings did an amazing interview in December 2016. http://www.straylandings.co.uk/interviews/tabula-rasa-sote-interview A true pioneer in the electronic music scene in Iran, a true artist and visionary.

Found on: Spotify

Makyo: Leonard Bernstein — Symphony 3 “Kaddish”

I’m cheating a little here by making my pick an entire symphony. I’m not too sorry, though, because this piece is intensely personal for me. There’s something about the juxtaposition of the Mourner’s Kaddish against the narrator’s demands of renegotiating the covenant with God. Toss in the fact that it was written less than twenty years after the second World War by someone of Jewish descent, using the text from a prayer said for eleven months after the death of a parent or loved one and…well, yeah. It’s powerful.

For me, it’s personal for a few reasons. The arc of the narration touches a lot on my experiences, both in furry and in music. Finding a way to renegotiate my interactions with them both is what led me to feeling less burned out on both. It also played a large part in my coping with the death of a friend, so, to you, Margaras. Five years, this September, and I still miss you. Would that I had the faith needed to say a daily prayer for eleven months to let you go.

The whole symphony is fantastic, though I’ve only included one movement in the playlist. Please do listen to the whole thing. I also wrote more about it a while back here on [adjective][species].

Found on: I miss my friends too much to make a Spotify joke.

Alteq: Queen — Play the Game

I have been at GenCon this week, and overheard Queen coming from a loudspeaker, so this is appropriate.

Found on: Spotify

Peri: Busdriver — Imaginary Places


Found on: Spotify

Lu: The Beaches — Little Pieces

I have less to say about this than I want to. Honestly, this band showed up on Discover Weekly and they immediately caught my ear in the best way–big, loud, guitar-heavy and unafraid to let a good note wail from the lead singer’s mouth. Sometimes it just feels right to enjoy something because it’s just good, you know?

I’ll have a more nuanced description of what I love next week.

Found on: SPONGE

Lorxus: Matthew Good — Running For Home

The last gasps of summer, hoping you’ve packed in enough, have readied yourself for the year. Time borne ceaselessly on. All that we’ve lost, and all we’ve yet to fight, the frozen muddy road onward. The first falling leaves.

Found on: A slowly rotting fallen log, covered with ivy and first frost.

Amdusias: Mondo Grosso— ラビリンス

Before hearing this, I only knew Shinichi Osawa / Mondo Grosso through his work on Lumines, a game that far fewer people played than should have due to its long time as a PSP exclusive. :P

In any case, this is one of the best house jams I’ve heard in a while; he knows how to find vocalists that pair perfectly with a lot of pretty laid-back music, and this track (with Hikari Mitsushima) is no different. I want to road trip to this.

Found on: Bee Movie (actually just Spotify)