Amon Tobin, "One Shy Morning"
Amon Tobin put out two albums in 2019, with this one (Long Stories) being the more ambient, quieter one of the pair. It's well done, and it's a good record, but honestly, I prefer Tobin when he's more out there than this.
Fela Kuti, "Igbe"
The inventor of Afro-beat, Fela Kuti is one of the key musical figures of the 20th century. I'm not a Kuti scholar, truthfully, owning only a handful of albums, and if I roll out a bunch of biographical info here, I'd largely be cribbing from some other site. But just listen to this, and then try and imagine any of the Daptone bands sounding the same. Even beyond the influence, though, this just flat cooks. This is from Gentlemen, which seems to be considered his best album - that's why I picked it up in the first place.
Parliament, "All Your Goodies Are Gone"
Just all over pivotal acts today! Just as much of modern soul and Afro-beat wouldn't exist in its current form without Fela, funk AND hip-hop wouldn't be at all the same without Parliament doing what they did. George Clinton retired the Parliament name in 1970 in favor of Funkadelic, but brought it back into service in 1974 with the masterful Up For The Down Stroke. Beyond having an absolutely Earth-shattering title track, the album is just loaded with interesting material, and ranges around quite widely. Such as this song, which is more soul than funk. The usual rule of thumb is that Parliament's albums are more accessible than Funkadelic, but I'm not entirely sure that's true with this one. Anyway, it's a great record, in a string of great records.
Rudiments, "Sunday Morning Suspect"
Well, that was fun. Anyway, the Rudiments are a long-forgotten ska-punk band signed to Skankin' Pickles's (those apostrophes look wrong) Dill Records. They made one album (this one, Bitch Bitch Bitch) and one split with the Suicide Machines before disappearing. Not a whole lot to say, but just note that bass tone on this record. That sound is one I very much associate with mid-90s ska-punk.
Wu-Tang Clan, "As High As Wu-Tang Get"
Back to a legend! As I've mentioned in this space before, Wu-Tang Forever is uneven, with plenty of great material but some so-so stuff. But when it's on, it's on, and I would never disrespect the Wu-Tang Clan.