Meet the Exec Board: Charlie Dulik (‘17.5)

by on July 28, 2017

Posted in: Uncategorized

Sup. I’m Charlie (he/him), your Programming Director for the fall semester. I’m from the Bay Area, but am working in Boston this summer/spending my free time seeing how much I can shit-talk Tom Brady. I’m excited to work with everyone on your shows in the fall, and to hear what you’ve been listening to. Please send the most the most explicit and lewd music you’ve been enjoying to to my email, lpatton@middlebury.edu. Below is what I’ve been bumping in 2017 – first, my songs of the summer; second, my favorite albums so far (Spotify playlists at the bottom). Stay tuned for more “Meet the Exec Board” blog posts in the coming days and weeks.

Songs of the Summer:

“Bodak Yellow” – Cardi B
Cardi B is the hardest rapper right now and it’s not even that close. Other rappers are talking rhetorical resilience and this is that Charles Murray-punching shit.

“Wild Thoughts (feat. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller)” – DJ Khaled
I’m 90% sure the concept of Rihanna singing over a Santana guitar riff was spawned during some satanic ritual. Nobody could ever replace Rob Thomas on a Santana collab but this comes close.

“Put Me On Something (feat. E-40”) – P-Lo
Hyphy is made for the summer. Mac Dre was a Cancer after all. With an assist from the don E-40 and yell-able lines like “LAST YEAR THEY AIN’T EVEN LIKE THE BAY” this shit is perfect for celebrating your 2016-17 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors.

“Green Light” – Lorde
I’m extremely here for pop smashes that feel as big as a planet, or at least anthems about messy break-ups that have the gravity of one.

“Blue Cheese (feat. Migos)” – 2 Chainz
“Blue cheese in my off whites / I’ve been drinkin’ codeine all night.” Real big missed opportunity for a country club brunch-based music video here. Still good tho.

“BeachCruiser” – Suzi Analogue
Summer songs are either for mornings/evenings or the mid-days/midnights. This the former. This is a track for bike rides and road trips. A celebration of the harmony between movement and freedom.

“Hating Ass Shit” – Blood Brothaz
Summer hit fundamentals: a bouncy beat, sunny sounding instrumentals, a chorus that demands repeating, the feeling that you just won 12 lotteries and your crush texted you to come over and you are speeding down the freeway throwing money out the window. Blood Brothaz hit all those out of the park, with a healthy dose of positivity and support from friends thrown in.

“Pull Up Wit Ah Stick (feat. Loso Loaded)” – SahBabii

“Going Home” – Chief Keef
Play this shit at my funeral while my corpse gets shot into space tied to a damn rocket. A highlight from Sosa’s extremely underrated Thot Breaker, on which he croons over everything from dancehall to chiptune.

“Despacito” – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee
Let’s not overthink this.

Albums:

SweetSexySavage – Kehlani
Soooooo many bangers. An album so listenable that a track from the Suicide Squad OST makes you think “damn should I watch Suicide Squad?” You shouldn’t, plus, this album has all the pop maximalism of the best summer blockbusters anyway.

The Grove – DJ Orange Julius
There’s this saying about a player having “the ball on a string” in basketball. It’s when someone has such control, such quick feet and explosive movement that it looks like the ball somehow travels with them; two distinct objects with different bounces and sizes and physics synchronizing their abrupt bursts. DJ Orange Julius’ music feels similar. His frenetic breakbeats capture the best of traditional footwork, and juxtaposed against all manner of traditional and non-traditionally symphonic soundscapes, the album instantly launches you into his detailed vision of late capitalist cyber-dystopia.

Club Redy – Chico Sonido
In the summer of “Despacito”, reggaeton has never been more ripe to be exploited by Diplo, the American pop machine or whoever else. As international business seeks to commodify the sound, Chico Sonido’s compilation album is a fierce statement for its independence. Featuring artists from Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Andalusia and Paraguay, the project plays host to dynamic visions of the genre’s future, drawing as much from corners of the Hispanophone cultural world as diasporic club collectives like NAAFI and NON Worldwide. As Sonido told FACT, “If all these underground sounds are going to the be ripped off by pop, I want to be part of the change where we’re in charge.”

HNDRXX – Future
On past albums, Future has had an uneasy relationship with straight-up pop. On HNDRXX, he sounds more comfortable than ever before, and unleashes the full range of his talents. It’s not a pop album, but he taps into that same melodic creativity for pop duets, airy ballads, tropical, bouncy dance numbers, mesmerizing ruminations and a song pretty much only by Rihanna. Future called it “the album I always wanted to make,” — when a generational talent says that, the result is worth listening to.

PARADISO – Chino Amobi
This album makes me feel like I’m sprinting through shadowy, decrepit alleyways, avoiding legions of imperial troops in a post-industrial hellscape on an bleak island in the middle of the Baltic Sea. So, it’s a lot. Amobi’s full-length debut is both dizzyingly ambitious and perfectly fitting for the mission of NON Worldwide, the collective he co-founded to explore “visible and invisible structures that create binaries in society, and in turn distribute power.” Amobi creates an entire fantasy world, collaging together all of its disparate and terrifying elements through industrial noise, grimy beats, sirens, screams and poetry. Much like our world, it is exploding.

New Kind of Normal – Cayetana
Pop punk/emo music has always engaged mental health very directly. Large parts of its rabid fandom can be attributed to how validating it feels to air out the shit eating you up inside. On New Kind of Normal, Philly rockers Cayetana hit the mental health catharsis sweet spot with kick-ass rock’n’roll to boot. Shouts out to GM Meg Daly for turning me onto this!

5 Sad Songs – Larry B
18 minutes of flawless bedroom pop — spacey, longingly romantic, achingly personal. It feels like sitting alone in your room at 3 a.m. watching Netflix, knowing the entire time there are like a million stars overhead if you would just go outside, but having it feel more beautiful to be wrapped up in blankets. Plus, there are probably already a million and one pixels of soft digital light right there on your computer screen.

ON LIFE – TEKLIFE
Between the two recent TEKLIFE compilations, 2016’s Afterlife served a fitting eulogy to the late great DJ Rashad, but ON LIFE is the effervescent celebration the footwork legend deserves. It speaks to Rashad’s vision that a lineup spanning the genre’s history, from pioneers (RP Boo, Traxman, dj deeon) to new and weird waves (DJ Manny, DJ Paypal, Taso), can’t capture all the facets of his discography. The compilation is something more moving — it’s Rashad’s living memory, a constellation of the impressions he left on those who loved him most.

DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
Just days after DAMN. dropped, the project’s ranking in Kendrick’s discography was already hotly contested. After To Pimp A Butterfly, an album so experimental, ambitious and overtly radical, I know my expectations were almost that Kendrick would invent a completely new genre. But after a debut of storytelling and a avant-garde follow-up, turning his gaze internal was the most daring next move — “It was always me versus the world / Until I found it’s me versus me.” On DAMN., Kendrick proves that rather than boring, exploring what’s under the hood can be cinematic, challenging and fun as hell.

Dust – Laurel Halo
Full of hazy synths, irregular, speed-shifting beats and floating shards of vocals, this album feels like peering into clouds of smoke, searching for faces or visions or mesmerizing patterns. Beautiful, unsettling sounds and moods float through this project, and cryptic lyrics like “What’s the phone number? What’s the password? Who won?” provide no additional stability. I don’t know how to end this review so please listen and tell me what you see when you look into the clouds yourself.

*Blood Brothaz aren’t on Spotify. The rest of the songs can be found here: