Get To Know A Top 10: January 2020 Thread - baystateoftheart

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Poll: Which album is your favorite? Please listen to all ten before voting.
Coffin For Head Of State by Fela Kuti & Africa 70
0%
 0%  [0]
Rythmes Contemporains by Janko Nilovic
0%
 0%  [0]
(For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People by The Chi-Lites
0%
 0%  [0]
Back To The World by Curtis Mayfield
25%
 25%  [1]
Universal Consciousness by Alice Coltrane
50%
 50%  [2]
All Souled Out by Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth
0%
 0%  [0]
Wasps' Nests by The 6ths
0%
 0%  [0]
Beat Konducta Vol. 5-6: A Tribute To... by Madlib
0%
 0%  [0]
Awakening by The Pharaohs
0%
 0%  [0]
Mother Earth's Plantasia by Mort Garson
25%
 25%  [1]
Total Votes : 4

Author Message
baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 25
Location: Massachusetts
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  • #1
  • Posted: 01/01/2020 20:11
  • Post subject: Get To Know A Top 10: January 2020 Thread - baystateoftheart
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Our twelfth poll resulted in my chart winning by one vote. Here are the ten albums up for discussion during the month of January:

1. Coffin For Head Of State - Fela Kuti & Africa 70
2. Rythmes Contemporains - Janko Nilovic
3. (For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People - The Chi-Lites
4. Back To The World - Curtis Mayfield
5. Universal Consciousness - Alice Coltrane
6. All Souled Out - Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth
7. Wasps' Nests - The 6ths
8. Beat Konducta Vol. 5-6: A Tribute To... - Madlib
9. Awakening - The Pharaohs
10. Mother Earth's Plantasia - Mort Garson

As always, you can listen to as many of these as you have time and energy for - no pressure to get to know all ten well. This discussion also doesn't have to take place in order, because different people will be listening to them at different times.

Drop your musings, analysis, etc. here as the inspiration hits you. And where possible, interact with what other people have been saying for a more interesting discussion.

If you do get a chance to listen to all ten, you can then vote for your favorite in the attached poll.

Last but not least, here are the past threads if you want to go back and listen to / talk about stuff you missed.

April 2018 thread (Luigii): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=20004
May 2018 thread (Tilly): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=20126
June 2018 thread (Jimmy Dread): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=20249
July 2018 thread (Hayden): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=20364
August 2018 thread (RockyRaccoon): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=20454
December 2018 thread (SquishypuffDave): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=20890
January 2019 thread (Tap): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=21003
April 2019 thread (dihansse): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=21394
May 2019 thread (Tha1ChiefRocka): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=21512
June 2019 thread (Lowkey): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=21594
November 2019 thread (revolver94): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=22184
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 25
Location: Massachusetts
United States

  • #2
  • Posted: 01/01/2020 20:15
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The algorithm changed just in time to make my "10 Outside 10k" chart out of date for this thread! Laughing

Of course, I am thrilled that these two have now crossed the threshold:


Coffin For Head Of State by Fela Kuti & Africa 70


Mother Earth's Plantasia by Mort Garson
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Hayden




Location: CDMX
Canada

  • #3
  • Posted: 01/01/2020 20:42
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baystateoftheart wrote:
The algorithm changed just in time to make my "10 Outside 10k" chart out of date for this thread! Laughing


WOOT. What timing Laughing

Plantasia really shot up. Kinda a fun record. Never took it too seriously, but always enjoyed it enough.

Gave Rythmes Contemporains a listen during the poll process. Very oomphy. It'd probably be considered in better regard if it came out 3-4 years prior and wasn't labelled 'library music' everywhere. It's a solid record.

I listened to all of the Beat Konducta series years ago... not sure I can remember the difference between what was on 5-6 vs the other releases, but Madlib's instrumentals are always worth a spin for easy chilling/reading music.


No matter what though, the most ridiculous thing on this list is Universal Consciousness. It could be in our top 1000 with ease. Shockingly low listener count on here... 11??? Go give it a spin people.
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 25
Location: Massachusetts
United States

  • #4
  • Posted: 01/01/2020 21:23
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Hayden wrote:
baystateoftheart wrote:
The algorithm changed just in time to make my "10 Outside 10k" chart out of date for this thread! Laughing


WOOT. What timing Laughing

Plantasia really shot up. Kinda a fun record. Never took it too seriously, but always enjoyed it enough.

Gave Rythmes Contemporains a listen during the poll process. Very oomphy. It'd probably be considered in better regard if it came out 3-4 years prior and wasn't labelled 'library music' everywhere. It's a solid record.

I listened to all of the Beat Konducta series years ago... not sure I can remember the difference between what was on 5-6 vs the other releases, but Madlib's instrumentals are always worth a spin for easy chilling/reading music.


No matter what though, the most ridiculous thing on this list is Universal Consciousness. It could be in our top 1000 with ease. Shockingly low listener count on here... 11??? Go give it a spin people.


5-6 is Madlib's tribute to Dilla, so it's more evocative of his style. Head and shoulders above the rest of the series imo, and worth another listen if you're in the mood. 5 is "Dil Cosby Suite" (title aged poorly) and 6 is "Dil Withers Suite."
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Hayden




Location: CDMX
Canada

  • #5
  • Posted: 01/01/2020 21:27
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Might give it another spin, never hurts.

Should also note that as of today Beat Konducta Vol. 5: Dil Cosby Suite is now in our top 10,000 (not the 5+6 comp though).
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Fischman
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Gender: Male
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  • #6
  • Posted: 01/02/2020 00:25
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Starting from the beginning:

Coffin for Head of State - Fela Kuti

Okay, so this is a mere 22 minutes... why even submit it as an album? Okay, so after listening, I'm in, I don't care how short it is. Damn, this is a fine groove! And LOVE the horns. I'm also starting to think I have a real affinity for African vocals, although I would have liked a longer instrumental outro.

Interestingly, the music doesn't seem to really express the horrific event that inspired it. No matter, this is great music, regardless of origin or inspiration.

I see a reissue combines this with Unknown Soldier. Sounds like a winner to me. Gonna have to get me some. This hit me right in a sweet spot. I thought nothing on this list new to me was likely to come out ahead of Nilovic. Now I've got to give Nilovic antoher good listen side by side to decide. Great choice and a thrilling discovery for me to start off the new year!

List so far:
1. Coffin for Head of State - Fela Kuti
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Fischman
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  • #7
  • Posted: 01/02/2020 03:35
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I don't recall the discussion or thread topic, but I do recall first hearing about Rhythmes Contemporains from BayState here on BEA. I was enthralled. I wondered if I would still have the same reaction, especially having just enjoyed Kuti so much.

As I listened to it again, I couldn't help wondering why I like it so much. Each song is great fun, but it's so much nonstop bombast, it can be hard to listen to straight through. And I cant help getting an image of it being a soundtrack for a movie that is equal parts cheezy '60s action/adventure with car chases, blaxploitation, and one of the original Pink Panther movies! But hey, I like all those movie genres and I can be a sucker for bombast, so that settles it.... I still dig this in a big way.

So far, this just edges out Kuti for the top spot between just two entries, two great entries so far. And they're close enough I reserve the right to change my mind.

List so far:
1. Janko Nilovic - Rhythmes Contemporains
2. Fela Kuti - Coffin for Head of State
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  • #8
  • Posted: 01/02/2020 20:06
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Re: (For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People by The Chi-Lites

This is an era and a genre that has much that I love. I'm not necessarily a universal fan, but I do really like the high spots. That in mind, I feel like I should like this album more than I do. It demonstrates all the elements I like, but ultimately doesn't get me singin' and swayin' the way that, say, Sly's best stuff does. I know that's probably an unrealistic benchmark to hold any other artist to, but that's the best I can put it. I think it has a lot to do with the opening cut being soooo very mellow. I'm half comatose by the time the funk kicks in on the second track.... then it's back to the smoooooth on the third track. Lots of sweet, even (to my ear) saccharine, vocals which ends up being a turn off for me. Some sounds like trying to be Smokey Robinson, and falling short.

Title cut is my fave.

Not a bad album, but mostly not my thing.

List so far:
1. Janko Nilovic - Rhythmes Contemporains
2. Fela Kuti - Coffin for Head of State
3. Chi-Lites - (For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People
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  • #9
  • Posted: 01/03/2020 21:29
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re: Back to the World by Curtis Mayfield

Not quite Superfly, but still a fine album. A little too much falsetto for my taste, but the funky groove is welcome. Interestingly, Prince doesn't sound quite as innovative/revolutionary after listening to this album.

List so far:
1. Janko Nilovic - Rhythmes Contemporains
2. Fela Kuti - Coffin for Head of State
3. Curtis Mayfield - Back to the World
4. Chi-Lites - (For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People
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Fischman
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  • #10
  • Posted: 01/05/2020 17:21
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re: Universal Consciousness by Alice Coltrane

This is one of the entries that inspired me to vote for this list. Being a big fan of Coltrane's Ptah, The El Daoud and Journey in Satchidananda, I welcomed the opportunity to familiarize myself with Universal Consciousness.

That said, I'm generally skeptical of albums with such grandiose titles. They seem pretentious, self-important, or even if free from delusions of grandeur, they then they almost invariably fail to live up to their name. More specifically here, people who claim spiritual enlightenment can be the most annoying, and ultimately the least woke ones out there. So, on one hand I dig what I've heard from Alice, but on the other hand, this could be a huge bust... which side will win?

I tuned in nicely to the opening title cut. Impressive, but not overwhelming in any way. I'm still kinda' on the fence here. Maybe it will reveal more with additional listenings.

Proceeding to "Battle at Armageddon," things are picking up for me. This thing has a compelling momentum and I'm on the edge of my seat wondering where it will go next. Oh, and by this time, I'm already convinced the album is wholly worth it just for Jack DeJohnette's splendid drumming alone. He has such feel and gloriously intuitive facility for building the perfect mood for Coltrane's musical vision. Truly marvelous!

Approaching the third cut in 2019 is interesting. We in America are so conditioned at this time to be wary of all things Islamic. Praise of Allah conjures images of IEDs, beheadings, and burning skyscrapers. But "Oh, Allah" is probably the single most beautiful song on the album. I would even call it "centering." It promotes the listener to be still. A joyful song indeed.

Then it's on to "Hari Krishna" and it's Move Over George Harrison! This is a nice chant. Myabe not something I'd want to listen to often, but it sits well in thesequence.

While also not my necessarily my style, "Sita Ram" is another one that causes me to be still, no mean feat for a hyperactive one like me.

Oh, did I say the third cut is the most beautiful? I may have to take that back. The closer, "The Ankh of Amen-Ra," is otherworldy beautiful. So many bright, shimmering sounds! But it's more than just a pleasant soundscape; the structure, pacing, and length of the song maximize the impact of those sounds in a purely musical way. Probably my favorite cut, and a fantastic way to close out the album.

In the end, this album was everything I hoped it might be, and then some. I'm not yet sure where I place it relative to the two other Coltrane albums I mentioned, but I'm fairly comfortable placing it first on this list, at least through the first five albums covered so far.

List so far:
1. Alice Coltrane - Universal Consciousness
2. Janko Nilovic - Rhythmes Contemporains
3. Fela Kuti - Coffin for Head of State
4. Curtis Mayfield - Back to the World
5. Chi-Lites - (For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People
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