What to Listen To This Week

“Deep Purple in Rock” might be one of the best examples of rock stretching its legs and spreading out.


Early metal might be about as smart and subtle as a cinder block, but it’s a trip to hear stoned kids discover the possibilities of rock after it developed an awareness of itself as an art form. Deep Purple in Rock might be one of the best examples of rock stretching its legs and spreading out, especially “Child in Time,” which fails as a political statement but succeeds spectacularly as a rock-’n’-roll epic (see also Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”—though Sabbath never had the gut-grinding organ tone of Jon Lord).


Until this horrific dystopia engineers a pianist with 4 Hands, here’s an album of that name by Tim Story and Hans-Joachim Roedelius, in which each sits on one side of the piano stool. Instead of exploiting the virtuosic potential of a four-handed keyboard duet, they let their melodies blossom like flowers and stretch out like spider webs; it’s the best solo piano album of the year so far, even if it’s not really solo at all. Don’t forget to check out Roedelius’ work with Cluster and Harmonia and his incredible Selbstportrait series.


Day Dreems, aka singer-songwriter Day Ricardo, crams a whole album’s worth of hooks into two and a half minutes on their first officially released single “Make That Go.” It’s a hell of an entrance: a tough I-VII-IV guitar riff instantly reminiscent of The Who, a malleable voice perfect for wrapping around a melody. They’ve got more material on Patreon, but they’re also planning to release a single every month. Keep your eye out for one of Portland’s hottest new power-pop artists.


Ata Kak’s voice is so compressed it sounds like it’s disappearing into music, but the Ghanaian rapper’s 1994 album Obaa Sima won’t disappear from your head in a hurry; it’s one of the great head-trip albums and one of the great lo-fi dance albums. The beats are booming and chintzy at once, and I suspect even speakers of Twi might have a tough time making out the layers of garbled and multitracked vocals (though “funky, funky, funky” is pretty self-explanatory). Don’t miss his Polaris Hall show on March 24.