Strike Up the Bands: New music from Washtenaw County artists and labels


Washtenaw County map

I had originally titled this post like I did the previous eight in this series: "New Washtenaw music in the time of quarantine."

That headline implied quarantine was for a limited period of time, but with the pandemic mishandled every step of the way by the federal government, there is no timeframe for the end of lockdown. <Insert 40,000-word diatribe>

The time of quarantine is now and for the foreseeable future.

It's how we have to live in order to stay alive.

Artists are resilient and they create because they have to, no matter the circumstances. So, this post is highlighting new music made by or released by Washtenaw County artists and labels -- the same as they did during normal times. Because our current time is our normal time even if it doesn't look like it did in the past.

Shoutout to the creators persevering through this mess.

Ann Arbor-based Dagoretti Records has been a nonstop font of great music as of late (and before), featuring a range of experimental, jazz, and world-music releases from around the area and the world. Label boss Dr. Pete Larson also recently released the first studio album with his Cytotoxic Nyatiti Band.


Ann Arbor rapper Dre Dav follows up several singles from the past year with a full album, The Pilot.


Detroit experimenter Joo Won Park asked seven friends/students/family members to send him samples to process for the album ISJS, and two of those pals have Ann Arbor ties, including saxophonist Molly Jones (now based in Chicago) and synthesist Chien-An Yuan, who runs the 1473 label, which you can read about here.  


Ypsi synth freakers Doogatron released its latest single, "Audrey Witherspoon."


45 Chronicles by Ann Arbor harpist-vocalist Laurel Federbush, recorded by Steve Somers at Ypsilanti's Alley Records.


Mountain View by Paul Williams, a Detroit blues guitarist now based in Switzerland, also recorded by Steve Somers at Alley Records.


First new music in a while from the long-running Ann Arbor hip-hop crew Athletic Mic League.


The Safa Collective and DJ Free Jazz have been cranking out dancefloor* fillers and downtempo chillers on Soundcloud. (*Treat your living room like the Necto.) Check out more of the gang's stuff at these various sites.


Another mix from the MEMCO collective; keep up with their DJ live streams other activities here.


Ypsi rapper and producer Louis Picasso gets amorous (and intoxicated) on his latest single, featuring singer Mikayla .


Ann Arbor producer No Author released his debut ep, an industrial-techno stomper called Post Fashion, on the none/such label, which also put out a compilation last month benefitting the Detroit Justice Center.


Singer-songwriter and recent U-M grad Lily Talmers released "My Time," her third single of 2020.


I just discovered Ann Arbor's DJ FLP, who has been releasing a steady stream of drum 'n' bass- and electro-influeced tracks this year.


Ypsilanti's Ki5, who loops his terrific voice to create songs, released his latest single.


The long-running Ann Arbor band Skeleton Birds released its first album in nine years.


The Rob Crozier Jazz Ensemble, based out of Ann Arbor, released a live album featuring highlights from performances at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe in Grosse Point, MI from February 6-9, 2019.

Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.

Here are links to the previous posts in this series: 

Volume one 
Volume two
Volume three
Volume four
Volume five
Volume six
Volume seven
Volume eight

We also did some Bandcamp roundups here and here. Check out more releases on Bandcamp with Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti tags here and here.