Pop Smoke’s Reminiscence Lives On, and 14 Extra New Songs

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Pop Smoke’s Memory Lives On, and 14 More New Songs

“Faith”, Pop Smoke’s second posthumous album, includes collaborations with Kanye West, Dua Lipa, 42 Dugg, Future and others. But this track at the beginning of the album is harrowing and blatant. Not only because it’s still scary to hear Pop Smoke rap with a mixture of threat and joy, but because of its chilled beats – partly produced by Rico Beats, the rapper’s long-time employee, but also partly by Nicholas Britell, who ” Moonlight “has recorded” and “Succession”. It’s a well-known trick to use those reverberant keys that keep strict guards, but no less effective. Here’s a splash of theater that’s more visceral than any radio hit, pop crossover. JON CARAMANICA

Xenia Rubinos’ “Working All the Time” is only two minutes long, but as complex as a laborious puzzle. There are waves of shy synths, air horns straight from a funk flex set from Hot 97, a bridge that sounds like the slippery maximalism of Hyperpop, and last but not least, an interpolation of the traditional rumba “Ave María Morena”. Somehow, Rubinos makes all these different pieces make sense with her tinny, feathery voice. Blink and you will miss that it is also a workers’ anthem: In one verse, Rubinos sings: “You had better keep me poor and busy, otherwise I would be a danger.” It is a warning to those who try that Destroying people’s power. ISABELIA HERRERA

I suppose you can record this song on the internet where it is currently available. But the smooth return of the Swedish house mafia – the Brobdingnagian kings of mainstream EDM, the clout champions of house music in the largest rooms – calls for an open field, a dizzying laser show, a loss of time and place. Hug a friend; the soundtrack of shared chaos is just around the corner. CARAMANICA

A brisk, rattling, evolving ska-meets-trap beat carries “Whenever You’re Ready” by Mahalia, a British singer whose mother is Jamaican. It’s a semi-breakup song that flaunts confidence rather than pain. The singer lets him go because he’s angry with her now, but she’s sure he’ll come back: “You won’t be gone forever,” she sings. “No, I’m not worried.” JON PARELES

Caroline Polachek sings about a woman so elusive that a satellite cannot find her. Caroline Polachek lets staccato-like syllables and short phrases bounce around the beat and works in the same way as percussion and melody. They’re just some of the syncopated levels in a playful but strategic production – by Polachek and her frequent collaborator Danny L. Harle of PC Music Circle – that juggles the whistles, triangles, birdsong, and the giggles and gurgles of Harle’s little daughter. “I’m so incorporeal,” says Polachek, exulting over the sustained bass tone that muffles the chorus. Nonsense: The song is built to dance to. PARELES

“Rom Com 2004” could have been a straightforward indie rock love song that swears over a marching beat, guitar chords and a chorus with a proud melody jump “Just let me be yours like no else before”. But Soccer Mommy – Sophie Allison – gave her demo to producer BJ Burton with instructions to “destroy” it. It complied with glitches, distortion, speed fluctuations, and exposed moments – which made the song more attractive because it’s hard to come by. PARELES

This Shoegaze-Space-Soul-Collaboration with Blood Orange (Dev Hynes) comes from the upcoming Turnstile album “Glow On”. The video compiles chaos-like live material more in line with the usual rhythms of the hardcore band, but maybe this is the meditation on anger. CARAMANICA

Dave McMurray is a longtime tenor saxophonist from Detroit with decades of experience in rock, jazz, pop and R&B, mostly as a side musician. But he has just released his second album for Blue Note as a leader: “Grateful Deadication”, a tribute to the Grateful Dead songbook. His cover of the classic “Dark Star” channels the epic trippy MO of a dead performance: McMurray explains the melody over Wayne Gerard’s sparkling, distorted guitar; finally a buried backbeat sets in. Then a cool, groovy section opens, and the saxophonist serves a solo that is permeated with a greasy motor-city attitude, but still takes its time, as if basking in the Californian sun. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

The songs on “Mythopoetics”, Nandi Rose Plunkett’s new album as Half Waif, suffer and cheer in all-consuming love. While “Swimmer” jumps from the everyday sensation to total devotion and necessity – “I want to know that they can’t take that away from me” – synthesizer arpeggios and vocal harmonies swarm around Plunkett’s glowing voice, like a sudden racing heartbeat and an unstoppable obsession. PARELES

A viscous tar pit of a track – slow, dripping bass notes, sparse drum machine taps, and gaping silence – suggests the difficulty of breaking free from an increasingly destructive relationship. Yas (the songwriter, singer, producer and violinist Yasmeen Al-Mazeedi) sings about being “in love with the idea of ​​you” amid details of psychological and physical abuse. The negotiations are not yet fully completed; Her voice rises to a fragile soprano as she decides, “You think I want you back – I don’t.” PARELES

Koreless – Welsh producer Lewis Roberts – vacillates between pastoral and rave on “White Picket Fence”. A sharp female voice, not in the credits and possibly composed of samples, initially hovers over a stately harpsichord; then fuzzy synthesizers come with a pulsating beat to this vocal melody before it is stretched and chopped up; then it is sent back to the harpsichord area. In the video staged by FKA twigs, club creatures climb out of a futuristic green car along an idyllic stream that is being fished; urban art meets nature. PARELES

To a friend who is still weepy about her ex: Colombian songwriter Karol G (Carolina Giraldo Navarro) doesn’t mince words in “200 Copas” (“200 Drinks”); she dismisses the guy with profanity after all the suffering he has caused. But their bluntness of the 21st century receives a traditionalist backing; while the rest of their album “KG0516” crosses modern Pan-American pop with all its technological tricks, “200 Copas” is an old-fashioned waltz supported by a few acoustic instruments, nothing more. The lyrics are downright rude, but the predicament she sings about isn’t new. In the new video she leads a beach fire to sing along: Solidarity against undeserved men. PARELES

“Dynasty” is a new joint album by Tainy and Yandel, two reggaeton titans who are celebrating their 16th anniversary. With its gloomy harpsichord, muted marimbas and a piercing Dembow riddim, “El Plan” is reminiscent of reggaeton in the mid-2000s, when the audience had to practice in front of the mirror. It’s all about the thrill of an after-hour dance floor chase – the electrifying, want-it-or-not-fit energy of a night at the club. “Estoy esperándote y tú perreando sola,” says Yandel. “I’ll wait for you and you will dance alone.” Fortunately, he knows that he follows his partner’s whim: “Pero tú dime cuál e ‘el plan.” You tell me what the plan is. HERRERA

Folkloric sounds are easy to address, but have little to offer besides nostalgia. The instrumentalist Brandon Valdivia, better known as Mas Aya, masterfully escapes this fate on “Momento Presente”. More than a mere collision of past and present, the track is a study of the power to harness ancestral knowledge. For six and a half minutes, Valdivia weaves a shy footwork beat with a flood of Andean panpipes, arpeggiated synths and polyrhythms. Halfway through, the voice of an elder reflects centuries of protest, a reminder that liberation work is part of a continuum. In a moment the song is heavenly and puts the listener 10,000 feet in the air. In another it is meditative and urges us to quiet introspection. HERRERA

The pianist Matt Mitchell and the drummer Kate Gentile have developed a book with pithy, one-bar compositions that they play with small ensembles under the name Snark Horse. Through intensive improvisation, which is based equally on free jazz and metal, they morph and stretch these small melodic fragments. On Friday, Snark Horse released its first album – a box set of no less than 49 tracks and five and a half hours, which was largely recorded in a three-day session in late 2019. “Trapezoids” is a gentile composition, a crooked and incessant cloud of notes, with Jon Irabagon’s saxophone further destabilizing the mix. It’s paired on this track with “Matching Tickles”, a Mitchell piece that he plays more gently and abstractly, as if it were the echo of another idea. RUSSONELLO