Baker's Dozen: Timelost, Lil Tjay, and the Effortlessness of DJ Koze

Baker's Dozen: Timelost, Lil Tjay, and the Effortlessness of DJ Koze

Baker's Dozen is a thing I do for paid subscribers every week where I send out a playlist of music I've liked lately, along with some stray thoughts around those songs.

YG, "I Was on the Block" [ft. Valee and WESTSIDE BOOGIE]

Basically just a Valee song to me, the whole thing sounds like whispering even amidst all that bass. Is the general take these days that YG fell off? I remember really enjoying Still Brazy and people telling me around that time that they didn't even think it was that good, and since then it seems like no one's really cared about his records, which have sounded like diminishing returns to be fair. It happens.

Caterina Barbieri, "Fantas"

Love anything that sounds like this, with "this" being OPN circa Rifts or if Cluster's Zuckerzeit was a menacing UFO instead of an album. Pro tip: Do not put this on in the car while you're stuck in traffic! It does not help things too much.

Harakiri for the Sky, "And Oceans Between Us"

Ah, we're hitting what radio DJs sometimes call a "rock block." Enjoy it! That is, if it's your kind of thing. This record is really sick, these Austrians have been kicking around for a bit now and doing a melodic black metal thing but this slots in nicely with one of my pet 2021 narratives too ("screamo is back").

Youth Novel, "XX"

Listen to this track on Bandcamp.

See also: These guys. Energizing and inspiring stuff, from the same label that's brought an Infant Island release or two as well I believe.

GEL, "Assumption"

Real headbang shit from Denver. Starts out grunge-y and gets hardcore real quick, love the thickness of it all especially that big chunky riff that goes through the whole thing.

Burna Boy, "Giddem"

Love Burna Boy in general, an oldie-ish but a goodie here. Weird thing to me but it sounds slightly off-key the whole time, like it was left out in the hot sun for a little too long? A compliment, not a knock.

Gravesend, "STH-10"

Listen to this track on Bandcamp.

I didn't vibe too hard with Methods of Human Disposal as a whole, but I love the proclamatory vibe of this opening track from these NYC black metal miscreants. Great album cover too.

Timelost, "Alone, Clean, and Slow"

Saw these guys described somewhere as grungegaze or whatever, it just sounds like indie rock to me? Again, praise. Gushing Interest is a real cool record, wouldn't have been totally out of place on the Captured Tracks roster circa 2012 if not for the fidelity, as I type this I realize this actually has a lot in common with the last few DIIV albums as well. DIIV, another good band!

José Gonzalez, "Tjomme (DJ Koze Remix)"

I wrote a whole newsletter about DJ Koze this year(?), even Gotye told me he liked it. I love José Gonzalez too, something about his songwriting and the way he always sounds so isolated and alone in his thoughts that makes his voice so appealing to me. Obviously, they work great together in general (see: "Music on My Teeth"), Koze really teases out some new details in this too. Makes you wish it was summer again for a moment, even though summers increasingly suck anyway.

slowthai, "Peace of Mind"

Did I feature this one on a previous Baker's Dozen already? Listen, you probably don't remember either. The latest slowthai album was a drag the same way so many hyped grime guys tend to overreach when following up a breakout (see: Dizzee Rascal's Showtime, which is still better than Tyron), but good lord I've really taken to Nothing Great About Britain recently, I do believe it's a modern British rap classic (and much like the title goes, typically there's nothing great about British rap). This is still my go-to single from the record even as it continues to open up to me.

Dâm-Funk, "On Code"

Gotta respect Dâm-Funk for continuing to do what it says on the tin, delivering these types of unadulterated grooves without much in the way of mainstream crossover attempts the way so many quasi-left-field artists that emerged in the 2010s tried for it.

Lil Tjay, "Irregular Love"

The latest Lil Tjay album was just okay to me, this song stood out on account of how it, uh, stood out. The beat is very PBR&B (sorry), has that pitched-down Burial vibe that was all the rage in the early 2010s. Very pretty and contemplative.

Bankroll Freddie, "Go the Distance" [ft. PnB Rock]

Seem to remember some weird stuff about PnB Rock floating around out there, but can't track it down...possible I dreamed it, I've had dreams more banal than that for sure. Good hook on this! Not much else I like about it (or the whole Bankroll tape for that matter) but, still, hook is nice.

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Jamie Larson