Friday Five: Old Trout, Balint Karosi, Sinbad, Same Eyes, MEMCO mixes by MIMIMIMI & Sunjam
Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features fishing-themed hip-hop from Old Trout, Balint Karosi playing the new organ in Ann Arbor's St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, gothy indie-pop by Sinbad, a new video by synth-poppers Same Eyes, and MEMCO mixes by MIMIMIMI and Sunjam.
Old Trout, Caught & Released
Concept albums aren't new in hip-hop, from serious records like Kendrick Lamar's
To Pimp a Butterfly to goofier works like MF Doom's Mm..Food. But I'm fairly certain Ann Arbor rapper Old Trout is the only artist whose whole artistic concept is about fishing. Caught & Released is Old Trout's second album—2020's Reel Life was his debut—and despite all 14 songs being about that fishin' life, it's REALLY, REALLY good. Like, shockingly good. Trout is an extremely nimble and fast-tongued MC, and even though his subject material is limited in scope, he finds one clever way after another to characterize every aspect of fishing. The production is tremendous throughout the album—and extremely consistent, too, despite six different beat providers contributing to the album: Tone Jonez, Allrounda, Big Bro Beats, Igor777, Antidote Beats, and Soulfya. I don't even like fishing but I love Caught & Released.
Balint Karosi, trio improvisation on the chorale "Allein Gott"
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor had a new pipe organ installed by Richards, Fowkes & Co. this year, and world-renown musician and educator Balint Karosi was in town earlier this month to perform a concert on it as well as conduct an organ improvisation masterclass at the University of Michigan. Karosi gives an instrument demonstration while discussing various aspects of its sounds and creation before finishing with an improvisation on the hymn "Allein Gott."
Sinbad, "1,000 Nights"
Sinbad lists Ypsilanti as its place of residence, but that's the extent of info I have about the band. But based on the quality of the group's debut single, "1,000 NIghts," I want to know more. The song begins with a drum machine and moves into atmospheric indie pop that teeters into goth without getting grim. It's a brief tune but a tantalizing glimpse.
Same Eyes, "Mystified"
"Mystified" is a new video for a song that came out on March's Desperate Ones album, and it's a most welcome reminder not only of that fab record but also of the superlative synth-pop band that created it, Ann Arbor's Same Eyes. The clip premiered over at Glide Magazine, which interviewed the group about the video and what it's up to next, including a new EP coming out in November or December.
MIMIMIMI, Exposure Mix 047
Sunjam, Exposure Mix 048
I think I've run out of words to express my admiration for MEMCO's steady stream of Exposure mixes, so I'll crib some words from the U-M student group's Instagram page describing the latest two.
MIMIMIMI, Exposure Mix 047:
"'[A]n explosive array of super speed breakbeats, electro, booty tech and footwork fit for your most esoteric spooky hyper femme feelings.' The perfect get hype set with your besties."
Sunjam's Exposure Mix 048:
"This playlist switches between some French, some R&B, some clubbbb. Keeps you on your toes for every feeling and vibe of the day."
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.