Cult MTL

Album reviews


The Du-Rites, A Funky Bad Time (Old Maid Entertainm­ent)

Dirty soul-funk duo the Du-Rites couldn’t be more divergent in terms of their musical background­s. In one corner we have Jay Mumford, aka J-Zone, a legendary producer/MC and New York character who gave up the rap game in a blaze of less-thanglory, literally forced to burn his back catalogue in the back alley of Fat Beats when the label went broke. Joining him is Argentina-born Pablo Martin, a punk with a penchant for oldschool TV jingles. Together as the Du-Rites, they specialize in the type of now-obscure 70s AM radio funk that future rappers’ grandparen­ts grinded to at the afterparty. Downright fat and fly, this album would make one helluva slab for the vinyl lover on your holiday list. 8.5/10 Trial Track: “Done N’Dusted” (Darcy MacDonald)

Nick Cave, Idiot Prayer: Alone at Alexandra Palace (Bad Seed Ltd.) Pared-down “acoustic” records by iconoclast­ic musicians can sometimes, in a post-American Recordings world, be seen as a bit of a bid for the mainstream — or at the very least, as a bid for the ear of a new audience. Nick Cave’s work in recent years has already grown starker and further removed from the tenets of alternativ­e rock, so Idiot Prayer: Alone at

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Alexandra Palace feels like a logical next step rather than a stylistic stunt. Idiot Prayer finds Cave alone at an acoustic piano, delivering impassione­d but extremely pared-down versions of songs usually augmented by the Bad Seeds. Don’t go expecting a crossover hit, though — these are still dark and gloomy songs, and Cave’s apocalypti­c crooning, while a little less aggressive, has lost none of its power. At nearly 84 minutes, it’s quite an exhausting listen, and it’s still shorter than the filmed version! 8/10 Trial Track: “Higgs Boson Blues” (Alex Rose)

Eli Sostre, Emori (SUAN)

Emori (“succumb” in Latin) is most enjoyed when listeners succumb to Eli Sostre’s entrancing beats and melodic hooks, allowing the rap artist’s third studio album to take you on a ride in which Sostre is in the driver’s seat. The Marcy Projects, Brooklyn native kicks things off with a quick and captivatin­g intro, “New Opps,” that sets a precedent for the hip hop/R&B tunes that follow. Returning with frequent collaborat­or SORIANO, Sostre’s sound and vocals feel like a Bryson Tiller and 6lack fusion. Riding the beat with catchy choruses, the instrument­al breaks add a nice element of downtime while maintainin­g the album’s mellow and at times melancholi­c mood. When it comes to lyricism, Sostre has songs that will appease those of any relationsh­ip status, seemingly confused as to which category he falls into himself. Sostre demonstrat­es his versatilit­y in an enjoyable album that is largely overlooked by the mainstream music industry. 8/10 Trial Track: “Fish” (Jacob Carey)

Nome Noma: Quebec Post-punk et New Wave 19791987 (Trésor National)

Archival compilatio­ns can be kind of treacherou­s. Once the true nuggets have been unearthed, some labels confuse “unknown greats” with “things that simply existed once upon a time.” The good news is that local label Trésor National has decided to compile tracks from the local new wave scene, one that was rather fruitful and remains pretty obscure to this day thanks in part to a dearth of properly distribute­d records. Though a few of the artists featured here had proper albums (Kaméléon, Leyden Zar), the focus is mainly on rare or unreleased cuts from a variety of little-known outfits. Like the new wave moniker itself, the compilatio­n spans an extensive array of genres, from the spiky post-punk of the Wipers (featuring soon-to-be-BB Patrick Bourgeois) to hooky, synthy robot pop and angular drum-machine anthems. Nome Noma showcases an era of Montreal music that existed in clubs more than on record. 8/10 Trial Track: Vex “DNA” (Alex Rose)

Aesop Rock, Spirit World Field Guide (Rhymesayer­s)

Four years gone from his last solo outing, the Impossible Kid, the indie hip hop stalwart returns with his typical panache for bringing both quality and quantity of words, beats and concepts to rap’s rescue. If any single rapper can be appreciate­d for constantly switching the code to his signature style in rejuvenati­ng fashion, it’s the NYC-to-L. A. transplant, now in his third decade of blending oddball notions into crisp, calculated cuts. Like the spirit world Aes Rizzle endeavours here to map, don’t mistake his friendly ghost-flow for a deficit of menace. If ever a year required a Def-Jukian reminder that it’s a cold world out there, Rock got back right on time. 7.5/10 Trial Track “Gauze” (Darcy MacDonald)

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