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Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now: The Process Records
Psychedelic rock, hip-hop, and more from The Process Records.
by Jordannah Elizabeth
Jordannah Elizabeth is a music journalist, musician, and the founder of TPR-Mag.com. When she’s not recording and touring behind her own music, she spends most of her time traveling and covering psych, shoegaze, experimental, and alternative music from all over the world.
1. Bad Liquor Pond, Blue Smoke Orange Sky (2012)
Bad Liquor Pond’s mellow-dramatic take on '60’s psychedelic rock is sexy and hypnotizing. Although this Baltimore-based band is mainly worshiped by a small (but loyal) pool of neo-psych rock enthusiasts, Blue Smoke Orange Sky’s down-to-earth shoegaze-y temperament should appeal to anyone with the proverbial pulse. Never underestimate the power of psychedelia — this music bypasses the head and drives straight for the soul.
Listen: "Echos in Amber"
2. Romantic States, A Shell is Born (2011)
A Shell Is Born is an endearing, introspective album. Sonically skeletal but still lush with the possibilities of love, this is a triumphant effort from two electronically-inclined singer/songwriters whose take on love in the new millennium is coyly atmospheric, but focused. A Shell is Born also showcases an amazing cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.”
Listen: "Ring of Fire"
3. Betty Carter, Droppin’ Things (1990)
Betty Carter is an old-school, sadly recondite jazz composer and vocalist. Her adventurous 1990 release Droppin’ Things exhibits her wide-ranging musical expression, and deep understanding of improvisation. Betty’s style sets her apart from many of the safe, clean-cut songstresses of her era — this somber and nostalgic album could be described as a Billie Holiday-esque… if Holiday was completely, eccentrically off-kilter. Carter even reinterprets her own early masterpiece, “Open The Door” thirty years later on Droppin’ Things, turning the song into a postmodern jazz piece classic.
Listen: "Droppin' Things (Live)"
4. A Tribe Called Quest, The Love Movement (1998)
The Love Movement is one of the most underappreciated albums in hip-hop history. This epic, twenty-one track set of tried-and-true hip-hop songs, displays Tribe’s maturity with polished beats and rhymes from Phife and Q-Tip, as well as a few brash collaborations with Busta Rhymes during a very… "overt" stage in his career. The Love Movement was the perfect end to A Tribe Called Quest’s artistic journey, and should be appreciated as a classy and well-meaning record.
Listen: "Steppin' It Up"
5. The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request (1996)
Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request came to us after gestating in a human-like being who was sent to this planet to teach our children how to write brilliant rock and roll. This humanoid is called Anton Newcombe, and, along with his bright but troubled bandmates, he released a plethora of albums that effortlessly outdid their musical peers for most of the late '90s. This is a massive, nineteen-track record that bends the rules of modern rock and roll. Shut up, listen, and completely give yourself over to Second Request and the world it sucks you into.