Sam Gendel’s music is essentially wordless, however his humorousness tends to shine by way of anyway. Generally, it’s evident within the music itself—lots of the songs on the Los Angeles saxophonist and producer’s new album SUPERSTORE play like minimalist, mattified updates of the Donkey Kong Nation soundtrack. However you most frequently see it in his track and album titles: unusual, jokey phrases and non sequiturs like “Lilriffriff” or “LANDCRUISELIFE” that counsel a penchant for on a regular basis weirdness. SUPERSTORE is not any exception: The title implies mass manufacturing, sameness, pure operate over type. It’s a humorous, realizing reference level, largely as a result of it’s hardly the type of phrase you’d affiliate with Gendel—an artist whose eccentricities and fondness for inscrutability imply that he’s hardly ever performed the identical factor twice.
The title does spotlight one factor about Gendel’s music: There’s a lot of it. Gendel releases albums with the frequency of a sixteen-year-old SoundCloud rapper; SUPERSTORE is his second album in below a month, following final month’s collaboration with 12-year-old Antonia Cytrynowicz, LIVE A LITTLE, and his ninth general because the starting of 2021. Coming in at 34 songs and totaling near an hour, it’s a whole lot of music to wade by way of—though it’s nonetheless lower than a 3rd of the size of Recent Bread, the 52-song album of beats, dwell cuts, and pop experiments that it serves as a sequel to.
SUPERSTORE attracts from the identical nicely as Recent Bread—there are ambient sketches (“Surfside”), warped cloud-rap beats (“Squid”), outré experiments (“Pan”), and, sometimes, extra conventional jazz cuts (“Sx Mrnng”). Longtime Gendel collaborators Blake Mills, Kevin Yokota, Gabe Noel, and Phillipe Melanson all seem too, including small, however memorable, prospers—Yokota offers a delicate, jittery beat on “Two-Tone,” whereas Mills provides a drunken synth guitar line on “Gu Shi.”
For anybody who discovered Recent Bread’s 224-minute runtime daunting, SUPERSTORE is a welcome change of tempo; it feels extra intentionally sequenced than its predecessor, with sharper contrasts track to track. I like the way in which the dusty, meditative “MFV” lulls you right into a borderline-hypnotic state earlier than the squall of “Foothammer” jolts you again into actuality, and the way the one-two of “La Guerra Di Piero” and “My <3 Sing” supply two vastly totally different variations on chopped and reshaped vocals. The previous is dense and chaotic and the latter slick and vibrant, like one thing Solange might need included on Once I Get Residence; each supply nice refinements of the sorts of beats that have been on Recent Bread, and each lend the impression of Gendel as a canny producer, comfortable to let his samples information the temper.