Resavoir’s album “Resavoir” sounds like imaginary jazz, like speculative jazz, the kind of jazz you read about in a magazine or a book and then wonder about—what does it sound like? Could it possibly be as good as you’d heard it in your head? “Resavoir” is that good. It’s full of beautiful playing, surprising melodies, gorgeous grooves. It’s the kind of album that’s light enough to hang in the background, but also stands up to close and rigorous listening.
It makes me think of when I first read about Madlib’s record with Blue Note, “Shades of Blue,” where Madlib remixed portions of the Blue Note catalog to fit into his aesthetic—I imagined something else entirely, jazz with heavy mind-blowing beats, crazy breaks and transitions. I like that record fine, but it definitely doesn’t match up with the sound I had in my head. Makaya McCraven’s work and a lot of the stuff on International Anthem (including “Resavoir”) sounds like what I envisioned, jazz animated by the energy and dynamics of modern hip hop. (Some of Floating Points’ “Elaenia” has this vibe too.)
Automatic do vivid post-punk: songs that feel like humming electrical substations. Imposing, metallic, sort of beautifully utilitarian. “A picture of your changing face/another standing in its place,” Izzy Glaudini sings. The latter part of the song erupts into something more sinister, someone observing an unfolding disaster and deciding that they’ve seen enough. “Let’s call it off and start again,” Glaudini sings. Automatic have also released “Too Much Money” on their Bandcamp page, and both songs are worthwhile.
Los Retros’s “Some to Spend Time With” is an old-fashioned romantic duet, straight-up crooned. The song practically levitates: loose guitar lines are barely tethered to a loping beat, while Mauri Tapia sweetly sings, “My sweetheart/where are you?/I need someone/to spend time with/to give and share all my love.” Firelordmelisa enters the song midway through and offers a similar complaint, and her and Tapia’s voices sit together so nicely. It all seems so effortless and joyful. Los Retros just released their debut EP, “Retrospect,” on Stones Throw, and it’s all great like this, sort of an effervescent mix of Elvis, Motown, and Neon Indian.