The end of a year for a music head affords a luxury from the suffocating barrage of new single collabo’s, impromptu releases, and stacked Tuesdays with too many names to count. Even though these things aren’t necessarily letting up, it feels right to tune them out for a bit and revisit what the year to date has granted. And if I had to lay claim to one description of 2013, it would certainly be as Jon Caramanica, put it in one NY Times piece “smooth”.
In the article, he goes on to mention the soulful & retro-lusting hits that defined the year; birthed from the returns of Daft Punk & Timberlake, or anything Pharrell touched in 2013 seemingly (“Happy”, “Blurred Lines” “Get Lucky”). But like most trends, the real adventurous forays were seen en masse from the independent scene. New albums from Toro Y Moi, Quadron, The Internet, Maylee Todd, & Thundercat are just examples of some of the best in fuzzy, warm & danceable instrumentation that we were privileged to groove to.
But perhaps one of the best-executed projects in this vein was Rhye’s debut “Woman“, a masterly crafted ode to lush harmonies, ambient adult R&B, & tenderly soft hooks. I always knew that the creators of this album, Robin Hannibal & Michael Milosh (Rhye’s awesomely androgynous vocalist) were both capable of a huge spectrum of different projects, not just because ‘Woman‘ channels so much into one package, but of my knowledge of Hannibal’s work with the aforementioned Quadron & other exciting acts. But what happened when I decided to pickup Michael’s new album (under the moniker of his last name “Milosh”) serves as a knockout punch after Rhye’s 1-2 Jab.
His latest album, Jetlag’s BandCamp page does better justice to description than I ever could:
“The album is a collaboration between Milosh and his wife Alexa Nikolas, recording unexpected intimate moments of laughter and love together; found sounds of everything from their travels around the world together to the most private spaces in their home.”
And the final result delivers far beyond any of the promises that I can make. To put it simply, if you felt that ‘Woman‘ was a bit too tame and respectful to the forefathers of smooth jazz & soul, than this album is the perfect potion. Songs like “Water” combine wet synths repeated at just the perfect clip, with Milosh’s perfect knack for melody. There is something in the production and vocal treatments that he uses across his work that is so ethereal and hits the spot every time.
You really feel the love on tape sort of thing they’re going for when listening to “Do You Want What I Need”, a dark head knocking ballad with swirling synthesizers, has Milosh crooning seductively to his wife, but with a taste and earnestness that he seems to have mastered.
Basically, every instrument on this album feels like the perfect balance between the flavor of Milosh’s contemporary influences (the aforementioned Autechre, Boards of Canada), and the chops of his classical training in Cello. This is a quality that I am finding more and more in my favorite artists, and its the same pursuit that Daft Punk threw tons of man hours, out-there collaborators, & expensive vintage equipment to do this year with ‘Random Access Memories‘. The kind of songs that do right by the traditions of R&B, Funk, & Soul by matching its originator’s precision & heart with today’s unrelenting innovation, combined in a unique 1/1 product.
From what it seems Milosh & the names mentioned above are carrying the torch with an inspiring ease.
Post by Daniel Benny /@delajoo