Friday Five: GVMMY, Pattengill Pumas, Dimitra, Sigidy/Le Dawg/Flwr.Chld, Minus 9
Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features electronica/rap by GVMMY, schoolyard rhymes by the Pattengill Pumas, a dance mix by Dimitra, a summer disco-rap jam by Sigidy, Le Dawg, and Flwr.Chld, and a slew of punk videos by Minus9.
Ypsilanti's Evan Ochoa is only a junior at Community High School in Ann Arbor, but the music they make under the GVMMY alias sounds like it was made by someone who has easily and deeply absorbed 30 years of influences from drum 'n' bass, techno, rap, house, jungle, and everything in between. They're prolific, too: the nine-track Yurr album follows January's 13-cut punkAngel LP. All the tracks on Yurr are bangers, filled with attitude, humor, and confidence that belies Ochoa's age.
Pattengill Pumas, Puma Power
Pattengill Elementary School in Ann Arbor has a great vocal-music teacher in John Churchville. Not just because he's an amazing drummer in a variety of bands, from C.A.R.Ma Quartet to Sumkali, but also because he was able to wrangle a joyous eight-song album out of his litter of 3rd through 5th grade cats—er, students—that they and their families will be able to treasure forever. From the funky sass of "We're The Third Graders Yea" to the school anthem "We Are Pattengill Pumas," Churchville captured the kids doing what kids do best: having fun. As the chorus of "Ready or Not" goes, "We rule!" Yes, you do, Pumas.
Dimitra, Fruits of Our Labor, Mix 002
Coming in hot after last week's debut mix by Loamsy, fellow Immaculate Conception co-founder Dimitra shares an uplifting hour-long dancefloor mix that is the perfect prepper for this weekend's Movement Music Festival in Detroit. A natural outgrowth of the 50-plus MEMCO mixes I've long highlighted and loved here—both Dimitra and Loamsy are (were?) members of the UMich group—I hope the Fruits of Our Labor series enjoys an equally abundant and long-lasting run.
Sigidy featuring Le Dawg and Flwr.Chld, "Aight Cool"
"Aight Cool" is a brief summer-car-ride jam from Ypsi rapper Sigidy and Toledo's Flwr.Chld along with Ann Arbor rapper/singer-songwriter Evan Haywood (Le Dawg), who runs the Black Ram Treehouse and released the track on the studio's in-house label, Black Ram Sound. At two minutes long, you might have to drive around the block a few times with the Morris Blackwell-produced, disco-strings-laden song on repeat to get a full car-jam experience, but that doesn't sound like a bad thing.
Minus9, Beasts Pt. 1 and music videos
I'm going to repeat the entire review for the Beasts Pt. 1 that I wrote in March because I just discovered Minsu9 also made six music videos—recorded around Ypsi—to promote the record.
This Ypsilanti grind-punk bass-and-drums duo takes me back to 1986 when I hosted a three-band concert in my parents' garage—and not just because Minus9 bassist-yeller Andrew Claydon played guitar in two of those Michigan groups: the excellent, long-lost hardcore band Public Noise from Brighton and The Herb Tarlicks, a jokey punk group from Dexter (I think).
The flashback happened while listening to Beasts Pt. 1, the fourth album by Minus9 and its first since 2015.
The way Claydon and drummer Steve Marton play and their song structures sound like early 1980s American hardcore, completely skipping the later eras that incorporated vocal cadences from rap and the bombast of metal. The 11 songs on Beasts Pt. 1 range from 30 seconds to just over a half-minute—and they all rage with Cold War anxiety, which still feels apt in 2023. Claydon's simple lyrics cover death, war, and mocks meatheads—classic hardcore tropes—which he belts with a smart-ass snarl. And just to drive home Minus9's retro-modern connection, while musically the song "Where Seagulls Dare" doesn't sound like The Misfits' 1979 classic "Where Eagles Dare," the title is obviously a pun on it.
My dad still lives in the house I grew up in, and I'm ready to clean out his garage again and put on a show. Minus9 will be headlining, obviously.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.