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.
For your listening pleasure, here are our picks in one handy dandy Spotify playlist. Scroll down for what we have to say!
Makyo: Tan Dun — Ghost Opera
Looks like Maddy’s back on her shit with a five movement piece.
Tan Dun is a prolific and famous — with good reason — Chinese composer. He has worked in film for quite a while, notably on the “Martial Arts Trilogy” of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers. They’re all fantastic movies, made more so by their scores. For instance, one of my favorite bits from Hero is this scene.
(As a side note, for the meme of “five movies a partner should watch to understand me” that went around recently, I listed Hero as one of those films. I love the whole series for reasons I can’t yet put into words, but this one in particular for it’s use of color symbolism.)
But Tan Dun doesn’t write just soundtracks, though many of his pieces are multimedia. This piece combines several different aspects of composition that I love: having the instrumentalists use their voices, repurposing or ‘corruption’ of baroque music, pentatonic scales, and parallel perfect intervals. And retuning to (I think) drop-D in the middle… *hearts-for-eyes emoji*. This piece is, I believe, actually a condensation of other songs and motifs of Tan Dun’s. Act IV, for instance, includes good portions of two movements of The Map.
I was actually considering using The Map as my song for the week, but a nine-movement multimedia work is a bit much, even for me :D Still, you really should check it out.
Found on: Spotisaurus Rex
Oh man. I actually ran into this again totally by accident in a Youtube playlist and it instantaneously brought me back to high school. I really like the haunting theremin open, and I remember the exhausted, mournful chord progression and equally despairing lyrics complementing each other to perfectly fit how I felt at the time - every time I listen to it I kinda want to cry, but in a beautiful way. “I’m gonna get out of here…” I suppose it’s a song for this day and age, too.
Found on: I’m gonna get out of here.
Proxy: Kelela — Onanon
Kelela has been on the up and up for R&B for quite awhile now. Hard to believe that after achieving critical success as early as 2013, this year’s “Take Me Apart” is her debut full-length LP. It’s rich in content that’s as fun to dance to as it is intelligent and referential to pop and R&B production. It’s the beauty of Kelela’s music, with well-selected producers complimenting her nuanced songwriting that allows for songs that are enjoyable on a surface level that stand up to interior pop examination.
‘Onanon’, co-produced by Arca and Ariel Rechsteid (who has done magnificent work with HAIM and is my sole redeeming factor on the Vampire Weekend record “Modern Vampires of the City”), is one of the most pulse-pounding tracks on the record. It’s easily the most dancefloor-ready an Arca track has been, personally, but the real winner here is the coupling of this production with Kelela’s mature songwriting about the cycle of a relationship falling apart due to breakdown in communication, in unexplainable feelings of frustration, and how these feelings become a downward spiral of negativity. It’s an honest examination disguised as a club banger and is catchy as all get-out.
Found on: Spotiotiotiotiotiotiotiotiotiotiotiotiotiotiotiotiotiotify
Amdusias: Kamasi Washington— Truth
I’ve been on a big jazz kick lately, and between this and the new fox capture plan album (UNTITLED), this has been a pretty great couple of weeks for my bullshit.
There’s a part of me that thinks that “Harmony of Difference” sounds like a Castlevania game, but that joke is overshadowed by just how good this album is. It listens best from start to finish, but I had to pick one track, so I went with “Truth”, the 13-minute vocal closer that I can’t really get enough of. It’s just so good, and I lose myself in it a lot.
Found on: slash spoof
A sadly overlooked song from the sadly overlooked noise pop band Electro Group, who put out this fantastic EP in 2004. Like a fuzzier, psyched-out response to Stereolab’s “Captain Easychord”, most of “Captain New Mexico”’s magic is in the tight rhythm section and wandering chord progressions. Also, that bass tone is pretty much ideal. Check this one out.
Found on: Spotted flies
Alteq: Bibio — Light Up The Sky
Found on: Go Get ‘Em, Sportify
I really don’t have too much to say about this one. Celine Neon is a bad-ass duo of women and they wrote an amazing song about how you should definitely give head to your girlfriend if you’re the kind to have a girlfriend. A good song about pussylicking never did anyone wrong.
Found on: Superspotifragilisticexpialidofy
When you’re looking for experimental or avant-garde music, “Country” usually isn’t the first genre to come to mind for most folks, but I’ve got a soft spot for alternative country. I’ve also got a soft spot for exotic vocal styles (Gimme those yodeling cowboys). The Pine Box Boys have been incorporating heavy throat singing with macabre and soulful country and I’m loving the combination. It’s been my favorite eerie otherworldly Goth-y take on Country since Those Poor Bastards.
Found on: Spotife Vobiscum
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