Aigner’s Inventory: July & August 2022

Aigners Inventur Juli & August 2022
The gut is dub, the brain is jazz, the heart is broken, the legs are endlessly heavy: Aigner’s Inventory is steeped in sepia tones this time, almost forgets the biggest release of the year and heads straight for the midlife crisis.
Kendrick Lamar
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
Interscope • 2022 • from 42.99€

Good morning, fellow ageing earthlings: for days on end you think of nothing but the Kendrick drop, make some time – conscious TIME – to listen to »Mr Morale & The Big Steppers« like the novel that every Kendrick Lamar album is, spend a week reading through 30,000 takes and interpretations, only to subsequently fudge this paragraph when putting this column together because you forgot there was a new Kendrick Lamar album. If I were twenty years younger, I could rap along to 80% of this absolute monstrosity of an album by now, and would have censored myself nine times trying to do both parts on »We Cry Together«. At least it makes you realise that every phase of life has its undignified moments.

Florian Aigner
Boldy James & Real Bad Man
Real Bad Boldy (2021)
Tuff Kong • 2021 • from 28.99€

Having already made »Electric Circus« with Sterling Toles for non-crochet hats, Boldy James' collaboration with »Real Bad Man« is a much more classic rap album, spiritually located somewhere between three generations of New York street talent, but without being taken over by Griselda's hardliner attitude. His raps are neither as meaningful as Ka's nor as satirically over-pointed as Roc Marciano's, but this is nevertheless the weight class in which Boldy James has firmly made his mark.

Florian Aigner
I Told Bessie (2022)
Backwoodz Studioz • 2022 • from 25.99€

I'm not the only one who thinks Billy Woods is the driving force behind Armand Hammer, but how essential the dynamic between Billy Woods and ELUCID was, especially on last year's stroke of genius »Haram«, can now be seen once again on Elucid's solo album »I Told Bessie«. Knowing the alchemy that connected Raekwon and Ghostface from 1995 - 1997, Elucid doesn't even try to emancipate himself from his partner, but uses Woods as a perfectly dosed sidekick, grounding Elucid's sometimes overbearing, hyperlyric style with nagging bluntness.

Florian Aigner
Moor Mother
Jazz Codes (2022)
from 27.99€

Moor Mother, meanwhile, continues to bring together the past, present and future of Black music tradition from a metaperspective on a quarterly basis, thinking more discomfortingly and more freely than anyone else, all while talking, as I’m told, about the Jaylen Brunson signing with a grounded matter-of-factness as if she actually is from this planet. »Jazz Codes« is an album on which more ideas come together than in some free jazz discographies, and that is precisely why, once again, far too many people will capitulate far too quickly to this album.

Florian Aigner
Untitled (2022)
Chrome • 2022 • from 26.99€

MOBBS' »Untitled« has the aura of the single-digit catalogue number about it, but not every Chrome release is an event. Here, MOBBS shreds trill, trap and avant-garde in a very English way into a crewed lump that is de facto a beat tape, but never feels like one. To be honest, it's not quite as next level as rumoured from the Manc bubble, but it's a solid seven and a half.

Florian Aigner
Omar-S - Can't Change
FXHE • 2022 • from 65.99€

Speaking of the Manc bubble: the next double LP pack by Michael J. Blood is simply good. House just doesn't sound that brittle and elegant outside of FXHE, but it has to be said here too in all fairness: the new Omar-S album, once again patronisingly spread over four LPs, still remains – »Can't Change« – in a class of its own if you're willing to frantically close the misogyny tab that opens yet again on track 2.

Florian Aigner
Levon Vincent
Silent Cities (2022)
Novel Sound • 2022 • from 19.99€

Levon Vincent was quite a successful Diet Omar S ten years ago but has dug deeper into soundscaping over the last few years and now delivers his surprisingly coherent Lockdown diary with »Silent Cities« despite diverse tempos and timbres. The first Levon Vincent record since »Six Figures« that you really do need.

Florian Aigner
Clear (2022)
Numbers • 2022 • from 23.99€

Josh Thompson, meanwhile, still hasn't made a bad record in the guise of FFT. The album debut for Numbers roots the wildest moments of the preceding singles in an amazingly tangible IDM design. Sometimes, the synth programming is classically warpy, other times it comes in PAN’s tints without ever being cartoonishly deconstructed – a deconstruction that, as one can postulate retrospectively, has killed quite a few vibes in the past decade.

Florian Aigner
Ice that Melts the Tips (2022)
3XL • 20022 • from 14.99€

From the 2022 IDM update to the future of Jungle. Exael chops his way through hectic breaks for the newly founded parent label of Experiences LTD. and lets them crash repeatedly into unreal ambient canyons. As if Sophia Loizou had made a record for The News Cycle. Speaking of 3XL, Motion Ward and West Mineral: the new Pontiac Streator album is also a sensation but is already completely out of stock.

Florian Aigner
Järnnätter (2022)
Felt • 2022 • from 22.99€

Fellow music journalist Sebastian Hinz writes of »Järnätter«, the new Civilistjävel! record: »Anyone who has tried to tie their shoelaces while wearing thick woollen mittens will have an inkling of the finesse behind this collection of tracks.« A finesse that already existed on the sometimes crudely numbered EPs for Low Company, but which here results in a thoroughly conjugated album that can quote all the Scandinavian dub techno grandees fluently, but at the same time remains pleasantly idiosyncratic.

Florian Aigner
Felicia Atkinson
Image Language (2022)
Shelter Press • 2022 • from 29.99€

Felicia Atkinson records represent their very own genre at this point, after a rather impressionistic album for Boomkat and her almost shy collaboration with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, another more opulent statement follows this year: »Image Language« rolls through Felicia Atkinson's real-life moving process and the press text suggests to us the Bohren gang as a reference; a helpful hint in view of the overwhelming elegance of the very present piano. In between, lots of whispering, lots of poetry and that melancholic heaviness that inevitably settles over you with every good Atkinson record.

Florian Aigner
Nick Cave
Seven Psalms (2022)
Goliath • 2022 • from 25.99€

If Nick Cave makes twelve more spoken word records, then he will also make one on the level of Félicia Atkinson's »Image Language«. Until that happens, however, »Seven Palms« remains a note in the margin of Cave's discography. These pastorally performed poems lack arrangement and concept; only the instrumental mega mix at the end of the record gives an idea of what could have been possible with a little more compositional ambition. And I usually start crying when Nick Cave simply mentions »Father« and »Loss«...

Florian Aigner
Jacques Berrocal, David Fenech, Vincent Epplay
Transcodex (2022)
Akuphone • 2022 • from 23.99€

If I want to explain to my grandchild what it was like back in the day of lockdowns and Kalle Lauterbach while sitting in my old rocking chair, the previous record by Berrocal, Fenech, Epplay has a good chance of me glorifying it as the definitive album of the early 2020s. But »Transcodex« is a sensation as well. Alan Vega’s ramblings meet my favourite instrument in the world, the Berrocal trumpet, along with electronic minimalism that seems to stagger even when programmed to 2 and 4, and beat poetry that is in no way after applause: you simply can't do it better than these three.

Florian Aigner
Geier aus Stahl
Strapazen Und Genesung (2022)
Knekelhuis • 2022 • from 24.99€

Another good record on Knekelhuis, this time from Geier Aus Stahl, who, after a few comp contributions, has really taken his time to translate the most boisterous era of Ratinger Hof into the here and now. It is the album playing most openly with its influences that Leonard Prochazka, following grudging roles in Taurus and Jean-Luc, has released so far, but one that really knows how not to get mired in mimicry.

Florian Aigner
Hercules & Love Affair
In Amber (2022)
from 25.99€

For a brief while, Andy Butler's new album was not a new Hercules & Love Affair record; the content of »In Amber« was too fractured and fraught for that. Here, Butler disarmingly grapples with the ordeal of American Christianity and is more often overcome by its oppressive influence than a Scorsese protagonist. With Anohni's unrivalled vocal presence interspersed, it somehow truly is a Hercules & Love Affair record for an era in which light-footed disco escapism was impossible on a global scale for two years anyway.

Florian Aigner
Hypertranslucent (2022)
from 20.29€

A year ago, I disdainfully dismissed »Delusive Tongue Shifts« as the most egalitarian record on Sferic so far, but »Hypertranslucent« already hits that hypothetical spot where Yasuake Shimizu made an ambient record with Vladislav Delay. Fairly good.

Florian Aigner
Julia Reidy
World in World (2022)
from 24.99€

Heading straight for an early midlife crisis, I seem to have finally opened my heart to twangy guitars. Julia Reidy's »World In World« is a meditation in sepia tones tailored fully to her guitar playing, cloying vocals and delay included. To pick up on Nick Cave again: »World In World« puts itself forward as an alternative soundtrack for »The Proposition«.

Florian Aigner
Keith Fullerton Whitman
GRM [Redactions] (2022)
Nakid • 2022 • from 28.99€

Aesthetically not dissimilar to William Basinski's disintegrating loops, but technically arranged in a completely unique way, Keith Fullerton Whitman finally throws a small-edition monolith at our feet in his unmanageable discography. The gut is dub, the brain jazz, the heart broken, the legs endlessly heavy and »GRM (Redactions)« forever the teaser text for this column.

Florian Aigner
Aigners Inventur Juli & August 2022

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