Friday Five: Electrifying Audiences, KUZbeats, Blaine Nash, Gabriel Sadat Ferguson, Unblo-Fact
Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features art song by Electrifying Audiences, soundtrack vibes by KUZbeats, rap by Blaine Nash, solo piano by Gabriel Sadat Ferguson, and vaporwave by Unblo-Fact.
Electrifying Audiences, Welcome to the End of the Trail
The Ann Arbor duo of David Revik Holtek and Priyagi Kamat make self-described "post art rock electro acoustic neo psychedelia. Existential dark roast wave. Mandochello and synthesis. Jaded yet fresh. A troubled but lush bouquet of sound. Pro escapism. Slightly out of focus. In-situ. Drenched." Yep to all that. Welcome to the End of the Trail is Electrifying Audiences' second album, and like its 2022 predecessor, Last Persons Club, it revels in a left-field DIY space that evokes the art-song experiments of Eyeless in Gaza, Colin Newman's solo albums, and the trippier side of David Bowie's Berlin period (more Low than Lodger).
KUZbeats, "Neon Hunksicle" & "7eventually"
Ann Arbor's wildly prolific KUZbeats is a regular feature in this column, and his electronica-steeped soundtrack-in-search-of-a-film aesthetic is on full display once again on his two new cues—that is, I mean, singles: "Neon Hunksicle" & "7eventually." Movie makers: Get at KUZ for some beats.
Blaine Nash, "Life Sentence" b/w "The Language of Music"
Ann Arbor's Blaine Nash raps with the sort of hulking flow that I associate with underground late 1990s and early 2000s hip-hop from the likes of Atmosphere and 7L & Esoteric. Nash has a deep, grainy, and commanding voice that he wields like a club to deliver serious lyrics over minimalist beats on these two songs.
Gabriel Sadat Ferguson, Herald of Visions
Ann Arbor pianist Gabriel Sadat Ferguson improvised the 10 tracks on Herald of Visions at Tempermill Studio in Ferndale, Michigan. Keith Jarrett has made a bazillion fully improvised solo-piano albums, and it's possible Ferguson takes some of his inspiration from that jazz giant. But Ferguson's playing sounds more influenced by classical piano—with some winter-y George Winston vibes—than jazz, so his improvisations are neat and tidy. The spontaneous creation of Herald of Visions was documented in the studio on video, too, but this lovely album works best on headphones.
Unblo-Fact, Cosine Fables (3000)
Ann Arbor's Unblo-Fact is a prolific one-person project whose Bandcamp discography dates back to 2011, but the new Cosine Fables (3000) is my introduction to Jacob Lachance's expansive world. The 13 tracks here touch on many branches of the vaporwave family tree of instrumental-synth music, mixing thick ambient melodies, chopped-up samples, and a retro-future vision.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.