Friday Five: Milan Seth, Skyline, Jah Sun / WhereIsJah, Nancy Zeltsman, Eve Machines
Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features Americana by Milan Seth, downtempo jams by Skyline, hip-hop productions by Jah Sun / WhereIsJah, marimba music by Nancy Zeltsman, and rocktronica by Eve Machines.
Milan Seth, Can't Find the Words...
When not crunching numbers as a statistician at the University of Michigan, Milan Seth is using the other side of his brain to write heartfelt tunes steeped in Americana. The 14 songs on Can't Find the Words... have plenty of words, all delivered straight from the soul. David Roof (Rooftop Recording) and Ann Arbor singer-songwriter Linden Thoburn guest on two tracks.
Skyline スカイライン, Skyline スカイライン and 真夏の夜の夢
The person behind Skyline has tagged themselves on Bandcamp as being based in Ann Arbor, but this individual's heart appears to be in the Land of the Rising Sun—every song title is written in Japanese. Skyline's two albums this year are filled with atmospheric downtempo grooves made out of chopped and screwed versions of existing songs. I didn't spend too much time trying to divine which tunes Skyline is using since most of the samples have been masked well, but the source material for "Quiet Storm 🪄 (間奏)" is obviously Sade's "The Sweetest Taboo." Mucho approve!
WhereIsJah, Jah's Connect
Ypsilanti producer Jah Sun aka WhereIsJah takes the raps of artists such as Kendrick Lamar and OutKast and places them over beats and detailed productions of his own creation. "K.Soul," for instance, takes a Lamar freestyle from a 2012 appearance on BBC Radio, and "Outkasterz" uses the raps from OutKast's 2014 song "Da Art of Storytellin' (Part 1)." In a way, Jah's Connect is an audio business card that he's handing out to the hip-hop community: "Need a producer? Call me."
Nancy Zeltsman, Purple Music
Nancy Zeltsman was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 2022, so even though she only spends two weeks a year in Ann Arbor as a guest teacher at the University of Michigan, we have to claim her as our own—especially when she releases an album as mesmerizing as the mostly solo, all-marimba Purple Music. In extensive liner notes, Zeltsman explains the inspirations behind the jazz and classical compositions she plays here from Avishai Cohen, Olivier Messiaen, Moto Fukushima, Horace Silver, and Howard Skempton. (The album is titled after a line from an Amiri Baraka poem.)
Eve Machines, Eve Machines [Visual Album]
Ypsilanti's Eve Machines is the "solo rocktronica" project of Nathanael Zuellig, whose debut record includes 16 videos right out of the gate. I wrote about the record in July when the first single, "Lady Carrington," came out on Bandcamp, but now you can listen to—and watch—the whole album.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.