Friday Five: Grandmaster Masese, Bill Edwards, KUZbeats, DJ Free Jazz/SAFA Collective, Counter Magic


Friday Five 12-03-2021

Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.

This week features Kenyan music by Grandmaster Masese, Americana by Bill Edwards, cinematic instrumentals courtesy of KUZbeats, general weirdness via DJ Free Jazz & SAFA Collective, and indie-shoegaze-glitchtronica by Counter Magic.


Grandmaster Masese, Grandmaster Masese
Ann Arbor's Dagoretti Records first announced this album by Kenyan musician Grandmaster Masese in August with a single, but today is the day to hear the whole majestic LP. Masese plays obokano, an eight-stringed lyre that vibrates your subwoofer with an industrial buzz. The record also features Detroit-area percussionist Mike List and Ann Arbor bassist and synth player Dave Sharp.


Bill Edwards, 61356
The album is named after the Princeton, Illinois, zip code where Bill Edwards lived from 1960 to 1965, and this collection of tunes are a mix of autobiographical and fictional narratives supported by twangy country and blues—every note of which, from guitars to drums, is played by the Ann Arbor singer-songwriter. We talked to Edwards in the summer about his other 2021 album, Whole Cloth.


KUZbeats, dear leader, "Red Herring (Part 1)"
The first solo projects by former Ghostly artist Michael Kuzmanovski (PostPrior) are instrumental, beat-heavy, cinematic trips reminiscent of David Holmes' work. Kuz's Bandcamp lists him as being in Ann Arbor still but the mini bio mentions he's now based out of Zambia.


SAFA Collective / DJ Free Jazz, "Charge Your Phone"
While this track and video are credited to the Ann Arbor's SAFA Collective on the Bandcamp page, DJ Free Jazz is the man behind the visuals and sounds of this very important one-minute PSA.


Counter Magic, Wake Up Freak Out
Counter Magic is another member (plural?) of SAFA Collective. The music on Wake Up Freak Out features electronic drums and distorted guitars, situating the music somewhere between shoegaze indie and glitchtronica, but there are even elements of T. Rex glam ("I Love Black Metal").

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