Friday Five: Telesonic 9000, skyline, Kat Steih, Tru Klassick & Ilajide, Live at Fun Fest 2023
Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features new-wave rock by Kat Steih, slowed-down R&B haziness by skyline, Fundamental Sound Co. concert videos from Fun Fest 2023, a new single and video by rapper Tru Klassick, and a multimedia single by Telesonic 9000.
Kat Steih, "Secrets"
Ann Arbor's Kat Steih has been moving away from the folky roots of her earlier recordings into a style that blends new wave and hard rock. One name that came to mind after listening to "Secrets," which came out about two months ago, was Pat Benatar—not because Steih sounds like her but because they are both talented singers who can apply their voices to any genre and make it sound good, especially rock 'n' roll.
skyline, ホテル ジャズ
The Ann Arbor-based, Japan-loving person who records under the name skyline releases music that may just be chopped and slowed mixes of previously existing songs? That was the case for at least one tune on one of the artist's 2023 albums where they used Sade's "The Sweetest Taboo"—and they did it again to another Sade song, 1984's "Sally," recast as "ホテルのエレベーター" on this new record. Meanwhile, "ジャズ 2023年11月4日 12:06" is Gerald and Eddie Levert's 1991 quiet-storm jam "Baby Hold on to Me" slowed to a crawl, and the rest of the tracks sound like smooth jazz cuts pitched down. This whole project feels very internet-y but skyline's source material is impeccable.
Sabbatical Bob, Kenji Lee Trio, and Violet Sol live at Fun Fest, 2023
Washtenaw County's Fundamental Sound Co. specializes in live sound and mobile recordings, and it's also one of the main drivers behind Ypsilanti's annual Fun Fest concerts. Fundamental has been slowly releasing videos from the 2023 edition of Fun Fest on its YouTube channel, including the three below, with upcoming clips from Gayelynn McKinney and Gabriel Brass Band.
Tru Klassick featuring Ilajide, "Tick Tick"
The first single and video from Ypsi rapper-producer Tru Klassick's upcoming album, Halo Effect, featuring Detroit rapper Ilajide.
Telesonic 9000, "E•C•H•O"
Dominick Gray is a former Ann Arbor-ite and current Toledo resident who's a drummer by trade and works as the solo act Telesonic 9000. He plays his drum kit to prerecorded 1980s-esque synth-pop that syncs to video cut-ups he puts together featuring retro imagery and film. This song and video is the latest release from last year's E.C.H.O. EP.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.