Ladies and gentlemen and lowlifes! No, especially lowlifes—Nacho Picasso is having an album-release party for his dumb-slap High & Mighty over at Neumos on December 19. Let the "Duck Tales" commence, just try not to look like "The Lick."
Back in March of 2011, Seattle's cornerstone crew the Physics dropped a song via their Bandcamp called "Fix You." The song's pulsating electronic sound was a clear departure from their characteristic organic, dusty-meets-live warmth—as exemplified by the album they dropped a handful of months later, the sumptuous summer-fling soundtrack Love Is a Business. "Fix You," it was said, would be on an album called Digital Wildlife, further mining this sultry electro-soul dimension. That year, and the next, played out with no more mention of Wildlife—2012 instead brought us Tomorrow People, another home run from the Physics, but still mostly in their established comfort zone. I back-burnered thoughts of this alleged new direction from their camp, thinking that the tracks might have gotten stolen during their February studio robbery.
Last month, however, brought us two new singles from Digital Wildlife—"Am I Crazy" and "Play It Off" (which had nothing to do with Keyboard Cat, sadly)—and now, the fairly long-awaited album from one of our city's most sterling collectives has arrived. Happily, it was well worth the wait. Smoky and spare, this is every bit the futuristic boudoir soul they promised—euphoric synths caress, well-chosen drums tap, (sampled?) guitars lick, songs spend themselves pleasantly before bouncing back for unexpected second rounds. Justo, who's gone from promising bedroom beat-maker to pro-class business, has turned in his best work to date, bridging the vibes of currently in-vogue future-soul to the airy atomic funk of Dam-Funk. Thig Nat is on his Idris Elba dapper deal, cool as a fan while spitting his minimalist come-ons, even better with the love-buzzed, cognac-smooth choruses—every now and then, just a touch 808's Ye–ish, and quite possibly mechanically assisted, but never harshly or obviously so. Their catalog stands up, just like you ought to, Seattle—do just that as they release Wildlife at the Crocodile on December 21, with Dave B, emergent indie-pop sweethearts Tangerine, Shelton Harris & Tyler Dopps, and BFA's smilin' DJ Nick Beeba.
Roll out west with me real quick—I got ahold of The Methadone Musical from West Seattle MC Nottus Tre. Like the name might imply,w Musical is straight paraphernalia, opioid-sick with a seriously confident Tre outlining his lyrical supremacy and underworld bona fides. Guests Smoke DZA, Fatal Lucciauno, and Cam the Mac—not to mention some decent production from Traq Addicc and T-Kewl—all assist his poker-faced dope-slang punch-line-thick stylings. Check highlights "Feel Right," "Go Westside," and "I'm Flavin," among others. I never lived out that way (though I finished out middle school at Madison), but I'm definitely digging the recent rise of Westside rap pride, so y'all keep it lit—but please, don't do drugs, kids. Jesus.