endaural

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Here's what I'm interested in hearing.

You can contact me on Twitter or by email (itsatripp@gmail.com) to let me know about anything I'm missing.

Endaural Anticipation List

July 16th, 2021

Damiana - Vines (Hausu Mountain)

Back in 2018, I saw Matchess and TALsounds perform separately, and their music worked so well adjacently that I'm actually kind of surprised that we're only just now getting to hear them together. They both have this very powerful amount of control with electronic instruments and effects, both with direct hand-to-machine interactions and through indirect acoustic sound sources, but the implementations of the power have a certain subtlety. I think it's immediately on display in the opening track of this collaboration, the experience is like witnessing them harnessing the wind to transport a single feather through a forest, like there's this sensation of lift to the vocals, the way they come in soft and build up through overlaps and increasing force, but then there's a shift in the approach to the weight of the vocals and some additional downward forces from the strings, so that it doesn't get lost in the sky or collide with a branch. And you'd think achieving that sort of serenity would be enough, but they embody many other forces of nature on this album, and it is a sight to behold.

Beatriz Ferreyra - Canto+ (Room40)

I consider myself a big fan of the early electronic explorations from the middle of the 20th century, but I wasn't really aware of Ferreyra's music until the archival releases of the past few years. I have seen the light now, and her musique concrete is up there with the best. I've found her compositions that focus in on qualities of voices have been particularly engaging, like the lively sequence of mouth sounds on "Murmureln" from earlier this year, or the unstable constructed chorus on "Echos" from last year's album on Room40. I still have a lot to learn about her decades of artistic practice, and even in this one specific aspect, there's still so much more to it. The first track on this one appears to be all sourced from synthesizer, but with a lot of the filtering and other sound shaping processes leading to material that evokes something like speech, or at least wordless singing. And then the second track gets back to some more familiar territory for me via recorded voice, but creates a dynamic landscape with towering mountains separated by low valleys, the likes of which I hadn't seen from the work I've already experienced. There is some vital work being documented here, I'm excited to learn more!

Koeosaeme - Annulus (Orange Milk)

The Koeosaeme album that came out in 2019 was my introduction, I had no idea what to expect but the abrupt shifts in speed and timbre (with both attributes going into extremes) made it feel like a simulation of making mental contact with a highly corrosive substance, without all of the health risks that would come with actually doing it. I hadn't gotten around to exploring any other work, I've needed the whole two years to digest what I've heard, but I was feeling ready for more just in time for a new one to be announced. It's completely different, going for much softer electronic and acoustic pitched percussion styled patterns, with more of a stable throughline in time with embellishments on top rather than something that sounds stitched together. Even though that does seem like a big difference, I expect the rewards to run just as deep.

Zach Phillips - Feed a Pigeon, Breed a Rat (la Loi)

So after hearing about the Fievel is Glauque album from all of the internet and good friends, and learning that all the praise is deserved, I finally started to recognize that Zach Phillips was someone I needed to know more of. I know I had seen the Blanche Blanche Blanche project popping up over the years and just never investigated, but there's so much more than that. Back in 2017, he had an album where each track featured a different singer performing a song that he wrote, with a radio dj-styled narrator popping up in between tracks. And this album is the sequel! The conceit is the same, but now there's contributions from people like Sarah Swillum (who you may remember from her track featuring Jake Tobin on the Haord 2 compilation) or Christopher Forgues (creator of my favorite cover art from the Kramer's Ergot comics anthology series in addition to great music), and so many others, all lending their distinct voices (and some additional instruments in a lot of cases) to some smooth, catchy tunes with very subtly realized complications and weirdness.

Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective - Ngủ Ngày Ngay Ngày Tận Thế (Subtext Recordings)

Sometimes I look into music just because the cover catches my eye while scrolling, and the colors on this one were impossible for me to ignore. Andit turns out that this is a group that I totally should have been paying attention to already, because Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective have been working in the electronically adventurous sonic spaces that I love to hear for almost a decade. While I don't have experience with any of the elements of Vietnamese culture that are being brought into this album, I immediately connected with the way that they are able to go from sounding like they're performing a beat in real time to performing with manipulated recordings of the beat, I don't know how to explain it but it's like they put you in the moment and then seamlessly transition to working with that moment as an object to be manipulated, while still respecting the rhythm that was within it. This might be partially what Ziúr is contributing as a co-producer, I'm not sure, but it's really cool.

Requiem & Simon McCorry - Critical; Mass (Hush Hush Records)

The past few releases from Tristan Welch that I've heard have struck a great balance between establishing a "soft" relationship with time and having sounds where their exact beginnings and ends aren't so important, while still maintaining some clarity of form. This new project with Douglas Kallmeyer and Simon McCorry definitely leans more towards the former, but the melodies are still there, they're just playing ridiculously slow and overlapping everything. It's like the experience of being gently scooted to the left while looking at a massive image with my eyes only an inch from the canvas, and they're deliberately composing for this medium and ingestion method, exploiting the appearance of an unbroken whole with textures shifting along the top, and then before i know it I'm feeling something without even realizing I took it in. I'm still not sure exactly what I saw, but it felt good.

Rey Sapienz & The Congo Techno Ensemble - Na Zala Zala (Nyege Nyege Tapes)

I'm still behind on checking out the solo stuff Sapienz has, but this Congo Techno Ensemble he's gathered seems like they've got a great sound. Together with Papalas Palata and Fresh Dougis, they fill the spaces between the layers of rhythm with so many flavors of voice, and this variety contributes to the powerful momentum of this music. Even when the beats are on the slower side, the electricity from the influences coming together along with the passion brought to each wrinkle in the performances makes this consistently exciting, great stuff!

The Draperies - La Historia del Sombrero (Rat-drifting)

eldritch Priest - Many Traceries (Rat-drifting)

Golden Melody Awards - Golden Melody Awards (Rat-drifting)

This collection of releases marks the return of Rat-drifting, a label operated by Martin Arnold and Eric Chenaux. I never encountered them in their first life, but these three are all really great and have me eager to get digging into the back catalog. This eldritch Priest album combines a Realistic Concertmate synthesizer with languid strums and harmonica, sounding like a delightful fish out of water story about a nervous little big-city robot out in the country. The Draperies album is Chenaux in a trio with Ryan Driver and Doug Tielli, one of the tags on this one is "fried" and they definitely earn it with some deliciously crispy sounds. And then Golden Melody Awards enthusiastically takes up the "how about these experimental musicians try experimenting with some melody" challenge, with casually catchy tunes being run through some strange complications. There's a lot of different territory covered, but there's an exploratory spirit they share, the type that keeps a loose grip on the wheel out of curiosity rather than a lack of direction, and I'm excited to spend more time with all of them and see how it all compares to the past work.

July 23rd, 2021

Blectum From Blechdom - DeepBone (Deathbomb Arc)

Michael Marcus, Joe McPhee, Jay Rosen & Warren Smith - Blue Reality Quartet! (Mahakala Music)

Celia Hollander - Timekeeper (Leaving Records)

Ora Clementi - Sylva Sylvarum (Black Truffle)

Various Artists - Tetra Hysteria Manifesto (CHINABOT)

William Parker - Mayan Space Station (AUM Fidelity)

William Parker - Painters Winter (AUM Fidelity)

July 30th, 2021

Brin & Josiah Steinbrick - Bliss Place (Full Bloom)

Laurin Huber - Dog Mountain (Hallow Ground)

Nick Storring - Newfoundout (mappa)

yab; yvanko - Biome (OOH-sounds)

August 3rd, 2021

Mukqs - In Human Form (Husky Pants Records)

August 5th, 2021

Neil Luck - Downturn Fantasies (Entr'acte)

August 6th, 2021

Bass Clef - Magnetic Chapters (Wrong Speed)

Liars - The Apple Drop (Mute)

August 13th, 2021

d'Eon - Rhododendron (Hausu Mountain)

Minua - Simulacra (Warm Winters Ltd.)

Lucy Railton & Kit Downes - Subaerial (SN Variations)

August 20th, 2021

Jeremiah Cymerman - Citadels & Sanctuaries (5049 Records)

August 27th, 2021

Space Afrika - Honest Labour (Dais Records)

September 3rd, 2021

David Grubbs & Ryley Walker - A Tap On The Shoulder (Husky Pants Records)

Spirits Having Fun - Two (born yesterday records)

September 8th, 2021

Valentina Goncharova - Recordings 1987-1991 Vol. 2 (Shukai)

September 10th, 2021

Jessica Ackerley and Daniel Carter - Friendship: Lucid Shared Dreams and Time Travel (577 Records)

Sarah Davachi - Antiphonals (Late Music)

September 24th, 2021

Macie Stewart - Mouth Full Of Glass (Orindal)

September 27th, 2021

Black Dice - Mod Prog Sic (FourFour Records)

October 1st, 2021

Tirzah - Colourgrade (Domino)

October 10th, 2021

Fire-Toolz - Eternal Home (Hausu Mountain)


Previously Listed


July 13th, 2021

Lucrecia Dalt & Aaron Dilloway - Lucy & Aaron (Hanson)

I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw that Dalt & Dilloway were collaborating. Dalt's album from from last year was this spooky weird thing, I'm still in the process of making sense of it 9 months later. It's really subdued and when there's vocals, they're a little disintegrated. So I wasn't necessarily expecting her meeting with Dilloway's shambolic loop rhythms to be this direct, but her vocals on The Blob are really direct and almost have a Silver Apples type of thing going. I love it when stuff can go far out with encouraging deep listening on damaged timbres, but also deliver immediate song-based satisfaction, it's like this best of both worlds sweet spot where both sides benefit the other when the balance is just right, and I think they're striking it here! Though I'll have no problem with the album leaning more towards the sonic damage if that's how the rest shakes out.

July 12th, 2021

LIVE: CMC Presents: Multilocation (Live Event Online)

This is the launch of an online concert series, with shows happening daily up until 7/23, and it'll all be freely available to access online. I guess Nick Storring has been doing these festivals at the Canadian Music Centre for a couple of years now, but since the centre is far away from me I've never really known about it. There's some good stuff lined up here! claire rousay has started a podcast interview series on her Bandcamp subscription, and she's got already got a steadily engaging conversational style for the format, so I'll definitely want to check out the interview she has with April Aliermo on the 14th, and of course the music performance lined up for the 16th. And there's Colin Fisher doing something on the 13th, I really enjoyed his solo album from earlier this year, and the Tikkun Olam album, so I'm excited to see him do stuff in real time. And the whole thing will finish with Jessica Ackerley on the 22nd and Rose Bolton on the 23rd, the recent introductions I've had to their music have been really spectacular. There's plenty more than all that as well, so I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this!

July 9th, 2021

Album - Album (Telephone Explosion)

Back in 2014, there was an album from this group Last Ex, it was members of the band Timber Timbre doing these sun-baked instrumentals with some great grooves. I'd meant to explore the origin band or the music of it's members but never really got to it, but when this album landed in my inbox with the description mentioning the involvement of Olivier Fairfield (the one responsible for drums, bass and keyboards in the band), I figured it would be worth checking out. This duo with Simon Provencher goes kind of in a polar opposite direction from Last Ex, the percussion is still clearly sourced from acoustic recordings but it's sound can drift from reality, accompanied by other manipulations, and synths captured before they've had to exist in a space. The air in the world of this music is cool and still, and the light is all artificial , but the drumming keeps a steady and natural flow to time, like it never feels artificial in that regard. It's like the whole thing was put together in a studio that could only be accessed through virtual reality, where it's all governed by physical movements but the world is digitally constructed, with photorealistic textures lit with blasts of saturated colors. It's a woozy good time, don't let the ungoogleability of the name stop you! Follow my links and check it out! I'll even spell it out for you here in case you're looking at the image, it's at albumalbumalbum.bandcamp.com.

Asemix - Asemix (Warm Winters Ltd.)

The music that more eaze has been involved with recently has been so rewarding, like that song "Lauren iii" off the collaboration with Brin & Dntel is such a great rush of emo ambient feelings, and her recent album yearn is also top notch. So I was really excited to get the opportunity to hear a full preview of this new duo project she has with Nick Zanca. I'm not familiar with Zanca's stuff, but clearly I need to be, because this is stellar. There's this use of long evolving sounds that go without break as a foundation, but there's electronics and manipulated recordings on top that sound like hand played sequences of distinct pitches and sound objects, there's gaps and it's not a continuous stream of sound. And it's almost like those are all (at their core) additional unending solid sounds, with gaps that are inserted after the fact. Which I don't think is actually the case on the technical side, at least for most of it. It's just that when hearing this music, I feel like I'm watching footage of some kind of smoke cloud pushed around by wind, where the video is manipulated and specific attributes get boosted so that you can more clearly see the fluid motion of the swirls and curls that are happening within the mass. Like there's this unified movement between all the layers, the sound that maintains a presence within the gaps feels like it's being pushed around by the same forces as what's on top. I don't think it's easy to do that in a long distance collaboration with recordings being swapped back and forth, but they make it sound perfectly natural. Very cool stuff!

Foodman - Yasuragi Land (Hyperdub)

I had seen Foodman's name around for a while, but it wasn't until 2016's Ez Minzoku that I fully got on board. I naturally felt like a fool for waiting so long, because it resonated with foundational understandings of joy and play in the creation of art. Like when I was in elementary school, the computer labs had this software called Kid Pix, and I think you can see from the linked video, all the sounds and color, the connection between the abstract design and the evolving role of the blank canvas, the way it all comes together to create something fun, all of that is something I felt in the footwork-inspired music of Ez Minzoku. In the years since then, Foodman's music has been developing in some very curious directions, and I'm still not sure how to nail down the growth with words. I do think there's something about the preview tracks I've heard for this new one that feels more mature in the technical production of sound, there's more smoothing on the edges, but still with all the joy and wonder that made me fall in love with the music in the first place. You can get a more informed perspective on the album from this recent Japan Times article, I'll need to hear the album before I can really speak on what's going on with it. I'm really looking forward to doing so!

Matthias Müller, Ricardo Tejero, Vasco Trilla - Implositions (577 Records)

Keith Prosk (who runs a great newsletter that I would strongly recommend for all fans of experimental music exploring the spectrum between composition and improvisation) clued me in to the music of Müller back in 2017 with his solo trombone album, it's some fantastic extended technique that methodically draws out some really compelling characteristics of the instrument, so when I catch his name on something, that's going to catch my interest. I'm not sure how to explain the type of combinations that are explored with Tejero's saxophone and Trilla's percussion, the description talks about this music as "an inquiry into physics, metaphysics, and the root causes of tension that hold our world together", and I think I sort of get what that means, like the instruments still have enough too much timbre to really give the impression that I'm looking at something under the electron microscope, but there does seem to be an approach to the technique on each instrument that is amplifying something small and evoking atomic interactions.

July 5th, 2021

Répéter - Bad Twang (Bokeh Versions)

I realized I needed to pay better attention to what Bokeh Versions was putting out after they released that wonderful Felinto album about a month ago. So with this one, I don't know the artist at all, but the whole thing is already up for stream. It's hard for me to describe the music without just repeating the listed tags on the page for it, because it really is doing some kind dub music mixed with a mellow surf rock cowboy sound. But those tags could easily be given to some kind of cheap novelty, where there's nothing more to it than the amusement in the combination. Or it could be given to some kind of fiasco, with only amusement in how poorly it all fits together. But this feels like something deeper, with a commitment to making sense, a genuine love for all the influences and a vision about how they fit together. Part of it I think comes from the idiosyncratic decision to source the percussion from assorted junk rather than anything designed for the job, I'm not exactly sure how, though. I think there's something about the smaller scale to the sound, this is the sonic universe where it all makes sense. Like the possibility of this sounding like the soundtrack to a bizarre cult classic that forges its own path instead of a limp major studio attempt at cashing in on a successful one all hinged on this decision, and fortunately we get the good possibilty here.

July 4th, 2021

ABADIR - Pause​/​Stutter​/​Uh​/​Repeat (Genot Centre)

The description on this one makes clear that the title is not just there for style, this music has a literal academic interest in the expressive qualities of the buffer noises that get used between the main content of the words that we speak, it was turned in as a university graduation project. It's using a lot of sound grammar where it could sit alongside some unabashedly digital futuristic dance music, but the preview tracks I heard didn't sound like they're even trying to pretend to be going for your feet. But they don't need to, there's a lot to explore with how expressive we can be between what we say. This should be cool, and it includes remixes from FRKTL, ZULI, and Fausto Mercier! I've heard great stuff from all of them, so it'll be cool to see where they go with this source material.

July 2nd, 2021

Piętnastka - Kambium (Mondoj)

There's a fair amount of music from Piotr Kurek that I still haven't heard, but the throughline I've noticed so far is that the music is pretty bold about its strangeness. Sometimes it's a playful exaggeration in the character of some synth melodies, or whatever you would call the events of his album from last year (I still don't know how to describe it, but it's really cool), there's always some kind of kick to his brew, at least in what I've heard. Even his previous album under the Piętnastka moniker, I went back and checked it out, and it gets into some kind of freaky circus stuff going at times (I say this as a fan of freaky circus stuff!). So I was surprised when I checked the preview tracks for this new one under the name, now operating as a duo with Hubert Zemler, it felt a bit more subtle and understated. And this is totally not a problem, it's a great zone, and it feels like the drums & synth combo on this album will be getting into a specific type of muted beauty that I haven't heard from Kurek before. I'm excited to see where it goes, because it seems like it's going to be just as compelling as anything else I've heard from him.

De Schuurman - Bubbling Inside (Nyege Nyege Tapes)

Here's an archival release, covering work that De Schuurman has done in this bubbling/bubbling house scene that came from the Netherlands. I was completely unaware it existed until just a couple days ago when the page for this went up, there's some stuff in The Wire that can give a little more historical context on the scene that I'll probably want to dig into, but I haven't done my homework there yet so I don't want to speak too definitively on what this music is. Sped up dancehall rhythms do seem to be a significant part of the equation, though. But yeah, it's cool that this is coming out and shining a light on all this, seems like a fun sound that I'd like to hear more of.

Booker Stardrum - CRATER (NNA Tapes)

Back in 2016, one album that took over my stereo for a while was Cloud Becomes Your Hand - Rest In Fleas, a really solid collection of fun proggy songs. The band seemingly shut down after that, and I never really followed up with what the members were up to (except I guess with Stephen Cooper joining Guerilla Toss, but I was already listening to them), but it turns out that Booker Stardrum, the drummer, had already gotten a solo practice set up back in 2015. I had no idea and still haven't heard it, or his 2018 followup, but I have had access to an early copy of this new one. Sometimes when I'm in this situation, I want to hurry back and get a full picture of the context to better understand how the artist got to their current situation, but with an album like this, I'm just like "I don't need anything else right now". There's a unified overall sound, but so much variety within it. I feel like it's a cliché to say "skittering percussion and airy synths", but the first track really does open things up that way! Though there's maybe a bit more texture to the tones than that description might suggest. But then the next track gets into something darker, some sort of night time ritual by a fire, and then that gets followed with heavy clattering held together with bass booms. It feels like each one brings some significant change in the parameters, there's even something with a sort of early 00's IDM clicky thing with a cute little melodic sequence ("Parking Lot"). I'll get into the rest of his discography later, but with all the exploring Stardrum does on this one, my impulse to take that action into my own hands is already deeply satisfied. Great stuff!

Tusk Editions July 2021 (TUSK Festival)

I neglected to mention last month's Tusk Editions, but they do great work and deserve notice! This month's package includes a live set from Otomo Yoshihide along with some names that are unfamiliar to me. There's also some writing about great artists like Rojin Sharafi and Fire-Toolz, and they'll also be a part of the live stream at https://tuskfestival.com/, and there is absolutely no way I'll be missing that, they're so good. These dispatches from Tusk are wonderful to see, the service they provide in starting off the month with a variety of compelling music from the fringes is so valuable, go give them some support!

XT - Deorlaf X (OTOROKU)

This group seems weird as hell, I'm into it. It's a duo consisting of Seymour Wright and Paul Abbott, I'm unfamiliar with the latter, but Wright was on that [Ahmed] album from earlier this year and that left a big impression. This is way different though, it's free improv but there's electronic drums triggering samples (and maybe even whole sequences) keeping things more locked in than you might expect from this practice. There's possibly some kind of studio constructed aspect to it as well? It's hard for me to really tell what exactly is going on, just how much of it is truly in the moment, at least when the electronics are at the foreground. I haven't heard of their previous album, or recorded live collaborations with people like RP Boo or Container, I feel like having that experience would let me speak with a little more confidence about it. But I think what I've said should be enough to know whether you should press play on this one. Personally, I love it when things are weird as hell, I can't wait to blast this one.

June 29th, 2021

Lucia Nimcová & Sholto Dobie - DILO (mappa)

This one has some back story, you should probably just read the description at the album link, because this deserves every ounce of detail that is provided. But, to summarize, Nimcová and Dobie made a documentary released a few years ago, Bajka, which showcased this type of Ukranian folk music, khroniky, which "have never been properly documented because they were considered too crude, or contained lyrics that were problematic, politically", and this album does the same. The film is available to watch on YouTube, and it's probably your best bet for having a clear understanding of the environment and what is being said in the moment, and you should watch it. But while this album does include the visual contextual information of the packaging and booklet, it makes great use of the fact that you can't see what's happening. In the film, there's hard cuts, we jump to the next scene. But here, you get sequences of stitched together field recordings and songs, there's none of those seams, and it's sort of like a realistic unreality. And if this were the only form of documentation of this music, that might be somewhat strange, like it doesn't feel like it's turning the songs into something they aren't, but I think the music did need that initial clearer documentation of the film. But I think that the music existing in this context gets me feeling them more deeply than just seeing them presented straight on. I was lucky to get an early copy of this, so I've had time to think about it, but I still don't quite know how to put it. But I can say for sure that it's a special experience.

June 27th, 2021

hmurd - Flower Knight (Gin&Platonic)

So I'm completely unfamiliar with this artist, but after Gin&Platonic put out that toiret status EP earlier this year, I figured it'd be worth checking out anything else they want to put out there. And I was right to do so! This is in the 'fictional game soundtrack' style, and that sort of conceptual framework can be interesting to engage with, because it's asking so much out of melodies to be able to keep looping for as long as a player decides to stay in an area. Like obviously in this recorded format, end points are established, but I think for this concept to work, the melodies have to feel like you could end up hearing them for a considerable amount of time without getting tired of them. And from the preview track, I think hmurd is accomplishing this, when the music stops it feels well established in my memory, but also like I could easily keep it going. I think this one should be pretty cool.

June 25th, 2021

Rose Bolton - The Lost Clock (Cassauna)

I thought this was coming out earlier and had something written up before, but I need to make sure everyone catches this, because it is some truly outstanding music. So I'm posting this again, here's what I wrote at the time: "Bolton's name is new to me, she has been fairly active with live performances and soundtracks since the 90's, but as far as I can tell this is only her second commercially available recording after something that came out in 2004. There's an approach to melody here that I find very striking, like on the title track, there's this pitched percussion type sound which starts out just filling the room with a tone, but then a phrase emerges, something that sounds like it's being reversed like it's already trying to inhale the melody and not let it out, there's some sort of distant clanging like small creatures scurrying along a metal surface, but then a synth comes in with something tenuous and restrained. It all builds up to something that feels quite huge and filled with melodic content without any hint of sentimentality. It's such a strange and powerful feeling, and there's more where that came from with the rest of the album."

Gong Gong Gong 工工工 - Phantom Rhythm Remixed 幽靈節奏 (Wharf Cat Records)

When I heard the way Gong Gong Gong generated momentum with their mix of guitar, bass, and vocals on their 2019 debut, I had an easy time making sense of it alongside the ecstatic repetitions of bands like 75 Dollar Bill or what Joshua Abrams was doing with Natural Information Society, though of course Gong Gong Gong's lack of drums, relative brevity, and what I could only describe as the higher degree of rocking showed that they were doing their own thing. But I still felt like I was using a lot of the same muscles when listening. It's a zone I like to get into, so I'm eager to hear more from them. But in the meantime, I'm glad to get the opportunity to see the first one in a new light with the remixes collected here. Since the original tracks did have drums, this leaves a lot of room for the remixers to make their mark and pull them into all sorts of different directions, should be very interesting. Though of course you'll probably want to get some experience with the source material beforehand.

Eli Keszler - Icons (LuckyMe)

It's hard to believe that nearly 3 years have passed since Keszler put out his album Stadium! It feels like just yesterday, I was marveling at how he had gone from motors on long wires to something I could so easily share with other people without feeling nervous about whether they're annoyed. Like he had a bunch of stuff concurrent and following the installation work where he could get into a Han Bennink sort of explosiveness behind a drum kit, so it wasn't out of left field or anything, but on Stadium, he maintained the speed and precisely constructed bursts and interruptions and brought it into delicate places of sustained beauty. I've heard one track on this new one and it seems to build upon that work and explore the sound further, but I need to hear the whole thing before I can begin to consider the specifics of where he's taken it. But I'm looking forward to finding out!

L'Rain - Fatigue (Mexican Summer)

This seems like the kind of album where I'd need to hear the whole thing and really live with it for a while before saying anything substantial about, but this seems like one of those rare "everyone who likes songs should hear this" kind of albums. L'Rain wasn't on my radar at all, I'd missed her 2017 album, but first I saw the interview that Nick Zanca did for Tone Glow, and the one by Stephanie Berzon for Bomb Magazine, and checked all the pre-release singles. You should really just go read those interviews and have a listen, my early impression is that this is in a class with albums like Laurel Halo's Dust, not to say that it necessarily sounds like that album, but that there's this space in the songwriting for collaborators to put themselves into the music but the vision from the top holds it all together.

I think she says it better than I could in the Bomb interview: "L’Rain has become both my solo creative outlet and also a project jointly created by a band of musicians and engineers: namely, Ben, my right hand and left brain, and my current bandmates, Justin Felton and Alwyn Robinson, who both have incredible solo projects. It’s a delicate balance, but I’m trying to find a way to nurture my own voice and singular vision, especially as a Black woman musician, while also acknowledging that I work collaboratively with a team that is essential to the project. I don’t think these two sentiments are at odds with one another, but it’s a little tricky to convey in an industry that privileges the idea of lone genius or creator above more nuanced and collective models. I guess it’s something like Sade, both a band and a person."

Sometimes the grip from up top on the collaborators can be very strong, and it's more like they collaborators are employees. Or the grip is very loose and it's more of an expression of the group. Neither of those are bad outcomes, but I think it's kind of rare to hit the middle, where the people who are brought on are giving their genuine personal expression and it's perfectly in service of rendering one person's vision as vividly as possible, and I think that adds a quality to the music that I struggle to put down on paper but I just know that I'm feeling it when I hear it. And I think this one has it. So if you're a person who likes songs I think you're going to want to hear this.

LXV / Glyn Maier - --- (Psychic Liberation)

I'm not entirely sure what the title of this split 12" is, the Bandcamp page says ---. Are they trying to say it has no title? Is it morse code for "O"? We may never truly know, so let's focus on what can be immediately verified. LXV is no stranger to this page, basically any time I know he has something coming, I want to hear it. And the preview track for his side seems very promising, with all of these irregularly spaced grain streams that coalesce like a swarm of starlings, except more vividly colored. On the flip, Glyn Maier is a new name to me, but it seems like what she's doing will form a really interesting contrast, the preview track features wooden shakers and wind chimes at the foundation, the sound is expanded with some environmental recordings, and run through some electronics without straying too far from the organic origins. There's a clear striation from rapid clicks, and even as the wind chimes overlap with different levels of manipulated pitch, there's something that feels clean about it, like curved lines instead of the clustering that I heard in what LXV was doing. I guess this was intended as two separate 7" releases, but there seems to be some complimentary differences in the different approaches to rhythm and space that should make for a great split.

perila - How much time it is between you and me? (Smalltown Supersound)

I've been meaning to listen to perila, she's got collaborations with Ulla, and also founded the Weird Erotic Tension community that resulted in that great Zaumne album from earlier this year. And hearing the preview tracks for this new one, with lush floating synths and voice surrounding a slowed-but-still-pumping pulse with hints of a physical form through small recorded sounds from the physical world, I now realize that I should've heard her work much sooner! This is sounding great, I will absolutely need to dig deeper.

Powers / Rolin Duo - Strange Fortune (Astral Editions)

This duo has been building up a body of work that I haven't been catching (I really need to pay better attention to what comes out on Feeding Tube Records), but I'm on board now. I didn't have enough experience with hammered dulcimer to understand precisely how it was interacting with the guitar on the preview tracks for this one, so I turned to a video of an old live performance they gave, and I'd recommend it if you like to understand things visually. But yeah, there's some gorgeous streams of vibrating strings here, this seems like it will be real nice.

Ripatti - Fun is Not a Straight Line (Planet Mu)

It wasn't enough for Sasu Ripatti to give us a sequel to last year's Vladislav Delay album just a little over 2 months ago. He's back with a brand new alias, getting into some footwork type of stuff, and the previews sound HUGE. I genuinely don't know what more to say than that, like my entire feelings could just be expressed with 🔊🔊🔊🔊🔊🔊🔊🔊🔊🔊🔊🔊 so there you go. Just go listen to it, loud.

RXM Reality - Advent (Orange Milk)

Back in my late high school days, I was deep into breakcore. I'm in that "went to the History Of The Future website to pick up a copy of a Venetian Snares 7" and ordered the aSq 12" on the strength of the preview clip" demographic (I know there are others who did this!). But as I shook off the last of my teenage anger, it became less of a presence in my life, and now even when I go back and revisit the very best of it, like DJ/Rupture's Rude Descending A Staircase 7", it feels very much a part of that past time, like it's brilliant but it absolutely belongs to a different era. Lately though, it's felt like artists have been doing some wonderful things bringing that wild spirit into music that feels completely at home in the present day, like the recent album from W00dy, or the work of RXM Reality. The two of them take pretty different paths, where W00dy has the power directed at momentum that generates invincibility, like Sonic when he gets all the chaos emeralds, RXM Reality can have more of the stumbling down a staircase quality, and makes me feel more like barely getting through boss fights with just 1 HP remaining by the end. The exhilaration is similar, but there's some pretty significant differences in the overall experience. Though I will say, I got an early copy of this album so I've been able to see the full experience, and the difficulty ramp is a bit easier on the system than my analogy might suggest. There's a strong melodic presence on the album, and many rhythms in the first half that make me feel like I get to the finish in a mostly-upright postion. But the ramp up does happen, and when it gets to Climateric, you'd better be ready. It really goes off. I was worried when I saw the cover, that no album could ever live up to what it was promising, but this one pulls it off, and it's awesome.

Various Artists - The Harmonic Series II (Important Records)

This compilation features Kali Malone, Duane Pitre, Catherine Lamb, Tashi Wada, Byron Westbrook, and Caterina Barbieri. I am unfamiliar with Pitre, but every one of those other names is someone I'm familiar with, and I think they've all done some fantastic work. I haven't heard any previews of what any of them are doing here, but the description says that they're all going longform (they each take up one side of a record) and working in just intonation. The description on the Bandcamp page looks like it goes into detail about each track but I don't need to know anything beyond what I've already said. But if you need more information, it's there.

Collin Gorman Weiland - Now & Thus Suite (Moon Glyph)

If you're finding yourself needing to slow down, I think you have a fine guide ready with this music. Some music out there feels like it's directly telling you to breathe deeply, and that can maybe get a little too cheesy sometimes, but I would definitely categorize this as music that merely wants you to breathe deeply, demonstrating how good it can feel to do so, because it wants you to feel that good too. And I think that the mix of synth, flute, singing bowls and other recorded sound on this album does just that. Though it's capable of picking up a brisk pace, which probably helps keep it feeling like it's not didactic about wellness and more of a genuine expression. I got to hear the whole thing via an early copy, and I'm a fan of the whole thing, but I had to go back and immediately revisit the 18 minute closing track after my first listen, it just really stuck out to me. Earlier on this page, with one of the Beatriz Ferreyra albums, I expressed my fondness for when more abstract electronic music is created as a soundtrack for some kind of dance performance, since that has a way of keeping things grounded by the limitations of the human body. I find that music created in this context can really work well for me, and this track has just that type of provenance. I adore the process of solidification that it goes through, just some really satisfying stuff. Really great one right here!

June 20th, 2021

𝔞𝔪𝔞𝔫𝔦 - FROM GRATUITOUS LATTERS WE FELL (Self Released)

After being introduced to amani via his excellent collaboration with King Vision Ultra on PTP, I was excited to find out about his fully solo album A CONSTANT CONDENSATION that came out in March of this year. I'd recommend going back and checking it out if you missed it, it's not a dense or flashy sound but he's utilizing so much of the expressive potential of recording qualities, vocal delivery and lyrics, it's such an engaging and full listen, one I've turned to a lot this year. I was thrilled to see that we'd get a new release so soon after, but I had no idea that he'd take such an exciting leap into unknown territory. I don't know, maybe the preview track is an outlier, but it's got these bursts of big raw multitracked singing, paired with some unabashedly fake synth strings so that it's having fun with the drama, building it up before hitting the release valve with some really satisfying cut up drums. I'm now convinced that it is in the best interest of everyone interested in fresh musical experiences to take notice of what amani is doing. So excited to hear what else is in store here.

Kouns & Weaver - Eros in the Natural World (Self Released)

I'd heard a bit of Rick Weaver's music on Haord and Hausu Mountain, but what really made it snap into place for me was hearing his collaboration last year with Zack Kouns, The 1990 Cincinnati Reds. Something about the surreal and absurd characterizations that Kouns provide to these players (such as "If all human life on this crazed, hurtling planet represents a road, you would be an unpaved section with huge ruts curving up in the mountains, Jose Rijo", or "You know, I don't care if a dog's mouth is cleaner than Hal Morris', I'd still give him a big, wet kiss") just felt like the perfect vehicle for Weaver's particular melodicism. It's an absolute delight. I have no idea what they have cooked up for this new one, it's some kind of large form narrative in three acts, like a radio play I think (the description has mentions of commercial breaks). I'm already on board so I think I'm just going to take the whole thing in at once without any previews, so if you want to know what this one specifically is going to sound like you're going to have to click the link and find out for yourself.

Prolaps - Ultra Cycle Pt. 2: Estival Growth (Hausu Mountain)

Here is the 2nd of a planned four part series from the duo of Machine Girl and Bonnie Baxter, where each volume is set for release around the year's equinoxes and solstices. This album clearly establishes that this will not simply be a large collection of great music, it's also going to communicate something about the distinct position in the cycle. With all due respect to my friends in the southern hemisphere, the album titles and the music suggest that the order of this story is spring, summer, fall, and winter. Which puts us in summer for this one. The general format is the same as the last. It's got two hours of relentless freaked out raving, teeming with activity but also holding on patterns and engaging with extended consistency, throwing a party at the intersection of wild abandon and madness.

So what makes this seasonally appropriate? I got an early copy, so I've been listening to this while still being quite a way's away from the hottest months of the year. I imagine I'll have an easier time finding more of the season in this music when I'm actually in it. But I think the clearest idea I have of the difference comes with the run of tracks between Psyche Damage and Facial Finisher Part 1. It's like 43 minutes of the album, covering 8 different tracks that incorporate some pretty significant variation in the style and intensity of the percussion, but there's this throughline in a simple tonal pattern that keeps popping up and evolving, it doesn't really have much variation in pitch at first, though some movement eventually gets teased out, but what makes it all feel contiguous to me is this woozy sort of swing that it has. I don't think this sort of thing could have showed up on the first volume, because it feels like the type of physical exhaustion that only comes with the highest temperatures. There's so much music here and on the previous volume, so I may still be overlooking something on both of them. But even if I don't know exactly how to put it all in words, I intuitively know that this is delivering on all of the promise that I saw in this project, very exciting stuff!

June 18th, 2021

Blurry The Explorer - Blurry The Explorer (Peppermint Olive)

Sometime last year, I got an introduction to Jeremy Gustin's mostly-solo project The Ah, it was a nice sort of subdued pop and instrumentals that felt sneaky in how it brought depth to the tunes, it never directly shows the sweat of production but would end up turning out to be less simple than it immediately appeared when scrutinized. I got an early preview of this new band he's leading, and he brings that same sort of energy, except this time with a lot more people involved. Mostly names I'm not especially familiar with, but Brian Eno does turn up for a track. It's good stuff!

Body Breaks - Bad Trouble (We Are Time)

I had no idea about this band but I saw the post on Foxy Digitalis and became intrigued by the spiritual comparison to Ponytail b/w the admission that they don't sound too much alike. Ponytail were great, so of course that's going to catch my eye. But yeah, this band does sound different. The guitar is on some quarter tone microtonal tuning, deployed in these rock songs to make it all sound just a little bit wrong. It's like seeing an animation depicting a car ride and gradually noticing little things that aren't right, the steering wheel drifts out of sync with the motion, the objects seen in the mirror start to get further away than they appear contrary to the usual printed warnings, but then it all snaps back into making sense again. The drums and vocals feel relatively more stable, but the latter in particular brings a lot of exciting character and totally thrives in this environment. Everything suggests that this is one I'm going to have a lot of fun with.

Don Cherry's New Researches featuring Naná Vasconcelos - Organic Music Theatre: Festival de jazz de Chateauvallon 1972 (Blank Forms Editions)

Don Cherry - The Summer House Sessions (Blank Forms Editions)

Blank Forms has done some major work here, not only getting these two archival works out of the vaults, but also putting together a nearly 500 page book that gets into the work that Cherry got up to in Sweden with his wife Moki and musicians from all over the globe. I have a lot of gaps in my Cherry knowledge (I should probably get this book!), but I certainly know his classic album Eternal Rhythm, and the exuberant percussion-filled music that is shown in the preview for The Summer House Sessions feels like it's in the same ball park, and probably the place that I'll want to get started with. The Organic Music Theater album feels like... well I'm not sure how to describe it, but I think I'll want to build up to it. If you have more experience with what he was up to in the 70's, you may be ready to dive right in! But you can also read George Grella writing for Bandcamp Daily to get an informed perspective on what's up with it.

Eventless Plot - Anisixia (Edition Wandelweiser)

Although there are many artists in the Wandelweiser network that I enjoy a great deal, I'm generally not up to date on the label's activities and find out about their releases after they've been out for a while. But the digital availability of this one helped me catch it ahead of time... except in a way, I was already a bit late, because the full thing was available to stream ahead of the release date. I've been meaning to listen to more Eventless Plot, they're always showing up on cool labels like Another Timbre or Dinzu Artefacts. The music here moves very slowly but still gives you a lot, there's individual instruments that pop up with small single note contributions for each moment, but there's a good number of performers so that you're never left too long in the silence. You still will have something that doesn't give you a lot of strong indications that you're going places, if you skip around through the piece it might feel like it's meandering around in entirely the same place for most of the runtime. But that's a terrible way to listen to music like this! I find that letting myself sink down into the time that it's operating in, there's these feelings that creep in that I'm not sure how to describe, but it doesn't leave me in the same place I started. Beautiful stuff right here.

MJ Guider - Temporary Requiem (modemain)

MJ Guider songs can get so hazy that you might find yourself checking the air quality index, but it's never anything that her vocals and drum machine can't punch through, the songs stay in sight. Her two albums on Kranky got into some powerful euphoria, I highly recommended them. This new one is a soundtrack for a dance piece, which made me think it would be instrumental (but I have no problem with this because some of my favorite instrumental electronic music are soundtracks like this, and benefit strongly from the grounding that the body movements provide), but there's vocals and songwriting here. Apparently this predates 2020's Sour Cherry Bell, and the territory explored in this soundtrack informed the work done on that album. So maybe it'd be better to just start with that album (you should, it's really great!), but then you can expand the experience and check out this material as well.

Hprizm - Signs Remixed (Positive Elevation)

So I didn't catch that Gerald Cleaver had released a follow-up to his first ever fully-solo album (which followed decades of experience as a jazz drummer) last week, if I had been on top of things, I definitely would have had it listed here. Because I liked that album, Cleaver got into electronic production, and I'm still not sure how to capture in words, like there's this aspect of mechanical exactness in the sequencing mixed with all of these irregular human touches. I found it provided a very engaging and enjoyable sort of cognitive dissonance. On this album, Hprizm (who you may better know as High Priest from Antipop Consortium) remixes this electronic debut of Cleaver's, and from the preview, it sounds like he is ramping up that cognitive dissonance in a really fun way. The first track takes a sample from the album, but it's like the start point on the loop keeps shifting around ever so slightly, giving the impression that it's unsteady, but then some precisely measured flashes of drums pop up briefly and show how everything is snapping into place, like it's doing some kind of masterful drunken boxing thing. So it seems like this is going to be taking a really special quality from the original and taking it to some strange new places, should be very cool!

Senyawa vs Black To Comm - Alkisah Versi Hitam (Dekorder)

Earlier this year, Senyawa undertook a massive project, enlisting dozens of labels to release versions of their latest album in different issuings across the globe, with many containing unique remixes. Getting to hear all these different perspectives on their work helped to better illuminate the spirit of their work while also introducing me to many artists I may have never encountered otherwise, it was really cool. One of the labels that participated was Black to Comm's Dekorder, and at the time it didn't come with any remixes, which was a bit of a bummer to me because I love his work. He has a way with electronically treated sound that straddles the boundary between the natural and the unreal, and it seemed like it would be such a good mix with Senyawa, since I feel like they have a way of reaching beyond reality with their mix of powerful vocals and custom built instruments. Fortunately, Black to Comm was just waiting to complete a full reimagining of the album. Like it's not just the same tracklist with "(Black To Comm Remix)" at the end of each track. I was lucky to get an early preview, and these feel like all new songs, with the spirit of the originators remaining fully intact, but still noticably amplified by the sonic treatments and significant reconfigurations. And it all just sounds so good, it's at the top of my list for what I'll put on the next time I get access to a really good stereo. Phenomenal stuff.

Tikkun Olam - World Ov Light (The Jewel Garden)

I've been meaning to listen to more of Colin Fisher's work after hearing his album from this year, I still haven't dug into his past work, but I have really enjoyed the distinctly warped sounds he got from the guitar on the one I've heard. So with that being my only experience, I can't really say for sure how this new one from this duo with Ilyse Krivel compares to what's already been established, but I wasn't expecting it to be so groovy. The preview track has skeletal electronic drums, but the type with lots of joints for freedom of movement, with layers of instruments cruising along on top. Everything sounds sun baked in the best possible way, I'm excited to take the full ride.

Don Zilla - Ekizikiza Mubwengula (Hakuna Kulala)

I missed Zilla's debut EP on this sublabel of Nyege Nyege Tapes, but I'm going to have to go back and check that out, because this sounds like a blast. I haven't spent enough time with the pre-release track Tension to feel like I can really capture what all makes this feel so fresh, it's fast but there's these long growls and tones that stretch out mixed with these staccato elements that make things feel more dynamic than just a fixed speed. It has some aggressive sounds and distortion but not in a way that feels particularly harsh or like it's weighing things down. I'll need to spend some time with the full album before I feel confident about what's going on, but I've got no problem with that, it feels like I'm going to have a great time getting to that point.

June 15th, 2021

Dave Rempis with Tomeka Reid, Joshua Abrams, Tim Daisy, Tyler Damon - The COVID Tapes (Aerophonic)

I haven't heard too much from Rempis, some stuff from his group Kuzu with Tashi Dorji and Tyler Damon, some collaborations with Joshua Abrams and Tomeka Reid, but mostly I am yet to explore his body of work, even though it is full of other musicians I respect like Ken Vandermark, Nate Wooley, Fredrick Lonberg-Holm and Paal Nilssen-Love. This album collects numerous solo performances from 2020 that were originally streamed online, alongside outdoor group recordings featuring the familiar faces of Damon, Abrams and Reid. I've listened to the Rempis/Reid/Abrams track that's up for preview and it seems like enough to justify the entire price of admission. The outdoor environment has a pretty strong presence, but it cannot hide the nimble dance these musicians perform around each other. I think this will be a fine next step in my Rempis education!

June 14th, 2021

Melaine Dalibert - night blossoms (Elsewhere)

Anastassis Philippakopoulos / Jürg Frey - wind and light (Elsewhere)

Back in February of last year, Elsewhere put out an album of Philippakopoulos compositions performed by Dalibert, and now they're both back with discs of their own compsositions (with Frey helping out and playing clarinet on the former's). I was new to Philippakopoulos' work back then, but I took to it quickly, I think he has a great take on the extremely reduced, silence-heavy sound that is associated with the Wandelweiser community, something tastefully sweet about the melodies. I think this style is as unnatural as music gets, to be so simplified, it just goes against everything I know about nature. But this new one presents a challenge to my established understanding, because it is explicitly inspired by nature, it's there in the title and reiterated in the description. So that'll be fun, throwing a wrench in my thought process, and trying to re-figure it all out. And then with Dalibert, while he was clearly a great performer on the previous Philippakopoulos album that I heard, I struggled to connect with him as a composer. He had an album on Elsewhere in 2018, using computer-assisted composition to do some potentially infinite length composition with an alternation between an even tempo sequence of notes and the collective ringing out of each of those notes, and I just could not get into it for the longest time. But I finally got a handle on how brilliant it all is, and found satisfaction in the way the sequences of notes get answered back with these complex, varying shimmers. This album features shorter pieces that use this algorithmic compisition technique, exploring different territory, and I'm looking forward to continuing my journey with these new developments.

June 13th, 2021

Cyprien Busolini / Seijiro Murayama - Busolini Murayama Duet (Ftarri)

Ken Ikeda / Rie Nakajima - Signal and Signaless (Ftarri)

Frédéric Tentelier - On Établit un Temps, On Creuse un Épais (Hitorri)

I don't keep up with Ftarri or their sublabels like Hitorri as well as I should (made esecially clear this week since I missed the Yan Jun / Zhu Wenbo collaboration they released earlier this year), but this latest batch features the familiar (to me) duo of Ikeda and Nakajima, which helped bring all of these to my attention. I'm more familiar with Nakajima, she does the most wonderful things with motors and small objects, if you've never seen it I highly recommend checking out some live performances. But yeah, basically anywhere she shows up, I'm interested in hearing it. But then the previews on these other two releases sound interesting as well, this Busolini / Murayama has viola joined by truly unusual mouth/throat sounds, and the duo finds a pace where they're allowed to linger in specific combinations of the two instruments and just sort of hang out in this delightfully strange environment before moving forward into the next, without it ever seeming too segmented, the whole thing should be a lot of fun. And then with this other one, I still don't entirely know what Tentelier's deal is, but according to the description this is based around "harmonic translations of words or sentences heard on the radio". I have no idea how that works, it didn't seem to entirely make sense to me because the music is much slower than anything people are saying on the radio. Maybe it's different in other countries, but I doubt it. I guess it's more about the sentence itself than how it was said on the broadcast. Either way, there did seem to be something unusual behind how the music operated that I didn't get a solid grasp on from the preview tracks, but I'd like to spend more time with it and really dig in to how it's operating.

June 11th, 2021

Siavash Amini - A Trail of Laughters (Room40)

There isn't anything I've heard from Amini that I would classify as cheerful, his long unfolding sounds can go to some dark places. But on this album, he says in the description that he was pursuing some kind of alternate tonality system to capture something inspired by distressing dreams, and I don't know exactly what he's doing, but it sounds like he has achieved a big step forward into exploring the mind's shadows with this one. There's a track that's up for preview, and there's a point where it does get powerfully loud, but there's something about the physicality of part of the sound, like it feels large and imposing but also incorporeal. I don't know, there's a lot going on here and I'm sure it'll take me a while to unpack it all. But this seems like an essential pickup for fans of engaging compositions that get classified as ambient.

"Blue" Gene Tyranny - Degrees Of Freedom Found (Unseen Worlds)

I don't have as much experience with "Blue" Gene Tyranny as many of the people who rightfully love his music, I only just recently started getting into Out of the Blue. But it's as good as everyone says it is! As far as this new 6 CD collection goes, I think the best thing I could do is direct you to Ned Raggett writing for The Quietus about it.

Bredbeddle - Steps on the Turning Year (Bezirk Tapes)

As a fan of loop-based collages, it didn't take much prodding for me to be interested in this, all I needed was a mention of Joseph Hammer in the description to click play on the preview track. But I like to think of his stuff as "loop soup", where it sounds like it's been cooked, and each bite might be a little different but the broth ties it all together. This sounds a little more raw, the differences between samples feel much more pronounced. It's not taken to an outrageous degree, or with an interest in mocking the source materials, but it seems deliberate. When I hear these sonic collisions, I think of the joy that these children have in the ad for Hot Wheels' Criss Cross Crash. Except the collisions don't bring anything to a halt, they're allowed to play out, and the samples are pretty long, so you really get to linger in the feeling. But then the sounds start to make sense together, and the piece travels further into new combinations, sometimes immediately striking an intuitive sort of connection and sometimes letting it emerge from an initial clash. I don't know, these are some pretty early thoughts so I don't want to say anything with too much certainty, but I'm very intrigued!

Yan Jun/Zhu Wenbo - twice (Erstwhile)

So I have no idea what this is going to sound like. I'm a little familiar with Yan Jun, I had one listen to his collaboration with Bani Haykal, "Rats in the Bright Southern Sky", but then never got around to going deeper with it. But there's so many signals that I should do so, he's appeared on labels like No Rent Records and Room40, had multiple entries in the AMPLIFY 2020: quarantine festival, and even just recently released a collaboration with Kevin Corcoran, who I was recently introduced to via that awesome album that came out on Notice Recordings at the end of May. And then Zhu Wenbo, on top of his own musical productions, runs this label Zoomin' Night. They put out the recent My Bloody Sex Party albums, and also a lot of others with some familiar names and some that I will get to know at a future date. But yeah, I don't have much to give me a concrete idea of what to expect, which means I'm not going to be useful in any kind of traditional "reviewer" capacity. If you'd like to know more you can check out what the Tone Glow writers had to say about it, but I'm gonna wait to read all that until I hear it.

Mind Maintenance - Mind Maintenance (Drag City)

This is the duo of Joshua Abrams and Chad Taylor, performing with guimbri and mbira respectively. This seems like an interesting one, because these instruments are just as capable of taking strong roles in the rhythm as they are in the melody, which naturally lends itself to hypnotic patterning and the sort of calm healing energy that the band name would suggest, but also it's kind of fast? Like there's a version of The Ladder, which first appeared on Abrams' Magnetoception album, and they really zoom through the material on this new album compared to the previous appearance. And this pace doesn't seem to be an outlier, the other two tracks that are up for preview take a similar speed. And I don't think that's necessarily the most intuitive idea of what mind maintence would be, with all the hustle of the world, usually the thought I see is that we'd need to slow it all down. I'm not entirely sure what to make of the decision to go the other way with it, but I feel like it's a good move, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it works as a whole.

Keith Rowe - Absence (ErstLive)

This is a live recording from one of Rowe's final solo performances, a very significant document for anyone interested in his work, since the description indicates the exact moment he made the decision to stop performing solo due to the interference from a Parkinson's tremor. I still have not read Brian Olewnick's biography, and there's so many recordings I have not heard, so I still don't feel too comfortable speaking definitively on Rowe's legacy of incredible performances using tabletop guitar, radio, and other sound generators reaching back to the mid 60's. I have had the opportunity to hear the entire recording a few times now since I put in a preorder for it, and I still am not sure what to say about it besides "it's good", but I'm confident that it's more significant than just that. I guess if you're not familiar with Rowe, this is maybe not the best place to start, but I think anyone who's already on board should just go ahead and pick this up now if they haven't already. And if you haven't heard his work, go and listen to The Room or Duos For Doris or any of the other outstanding recordings he's been a part of, so much amazing music awaits you!

June 10th, 2021

Ulla - Limitless Frame (Motion Ward)

I thought this was coming out earlier, here's what I wrote about it at that time: Last year saw many great releases from Ulla, both solo and collaborative, featuring her impeccable approach to expressively damaged timbres, sounding like they came from tapes that were half-erased for getting too personal. There's also something I find very compelling about an inexact repetition that gets used, the structures seem to be accomodating a naturally irregular terrain while still presenting a coherent shape. So naturally, a new album is cause for celebration. This seems to be pushing forward into new, more open territory, one that includes some untreated acoustic instruments. Very exciting, this should be a good one.

June 5th, 2021

LIVE: Music For India: Terry Riley & Friends (Live Event Online)

The pandemic has resulted in so much tragedy across the globe, but the crisis has been especially devestating in India recently. So here is a great opportunity to donate some money to relief efforts in the country, and in return you get to see a concert featuring the legendary Terry Riley. Great music for a truly great cause. The listed times for the show are Saturday, June 5 at 4pm PST / 7pm EST, and Sunday, June 6 at 5pm UK BST / 6pm CEST / 9:30pm India IST, so it should be accessible for many of the time zones out there!

June 4th, 2021

Sam Dunscombe - Outside Ludlow / Desert Disco (Black Truffle)

A while back on this page, I mentioned on this page that when I was getting into Judith Hamaan's music, it should have already been apparent that I needed to listen, because of her work in the Golden Fur group with James Rushford. So you'd think maybe I would have thought to check out their bandmate Sam Dunscombe, but once again I am depending on Black Truffle to release a solo album and fully catch my attention. The music Dunscombe has created for this has some kind of connection to the Romanian spectralism stuff, I'm not as familiar with that as I should be, but any fans of that should definitely be on the lookout for this one. Though there's a lot more going on than just that judging by the description and the brief clip on YouTube. So even with my relative ignorance on the one influence, I feel well prepared to hear this one with all my musique concrete/field recording/drone experience.

Rip Hayman - Waves: Real and Imagined (Recital)

This one is really cool, two very different yet complimentary sides, with the first being this recording from 77, a bunch of multitracked flute recordings going through a cyclical process and operating like waves in the sea, followed by a contemporary recording of actual waves in the sea. I got an early preview of the album, and while I would say that the flute piece doesn't seem like it's trying to go for a 1:1 recreation, the process has sturdy roots in music theory and the physical characteristics of the flute, I did feel especially ready to engage in musical listening with the field recording when the piece concluded. But even if you don't think you can connect with field recordings in that way, the opening piece is more than enough to justify the price of admission, constructed in a way where your attention can shift from the movements of individual waves to the whole picture without anything in the music directly telling you to do so, so that if you play it again, you won't really be repeating the experience, so much as creating a new one in the same environment.

Loraine James - Reflection (Hyperdub)

Really psyched for this one! Listening to James' idiosyncratic synthesis of various strands of electronic music with her 2019 album "For You And I" took me back to the thrill of discovering the classic 90's Warp Records artists, like she could flip things and go from a heavy aggro focus on one track and then take a hard left turn into something way lighter and melodic, but there was a clear personality coming through that made it all make sense together, like it didn't even seem weird in the moment that a jump like that would happen. I don't feel confident enough to make statements about what direction this album is taking until I hear the whole thing, but it seems like there's maybe a bit more space in the sound? I don't know, it seems like the only thing to be sure of is that this won't just be "For You And I 2", and that's such an exciting position to be in. If you need more of an idea of where James is coming from and what she has in store, you should check out this interview with Crack Magazine.

Kajsa Lindgren - Momentary Harmony (Recital)

The idea of contemporary classical music seems like it gets taken as intimidating by a lot of listeners, or like there's the expectation that it will be an entirely alienating, purely intellectual exercise. But there's been some wonderfully inviting stuff that Recital has been putting out that I think a lot of people could get into. It feels like it could take place in your living room, there's a warmth to it, and while it can get a little abstract, the purpose seems to be the feelings that are evoked. The only problem is that I don't have any words for these feelings! I've had access to the full album for a little bit now, so I should be able to say something about it. But nothing feels right. When the album finishes I feel like I just sleepwalked somewhere, even though I remember being awake for the whole journey. Maybe it'd be accurate to say that the experience feels hypnopompic (the state of consciousness immediately after waking, as opposed to hypnagogic's state preceding sleep). I don't know, this is one I'll want to live with for a while before trying to get definitive with it, but I can say for sure that I wholeheartedly recommend this, it's really good.

Flanger Magazine - Forgotten Fields (unifactor)

Jordan Reyes - What Is A Ghost? Is It Really Me? (unifactor)

Wilted Woman - Keychain (unifactor)

The last batch from unifactor was fantastic (seriously go back and check it out if you missed), and this next collection looks like it continues with the high level of quality. Flanger Magazine and Jordan Reyes are two artists I've been meaning to investigate further, and on these album they're both working with melodic mixtures of synth and guitar that I can get into. In the case of Flanger Magazine, I'm pretty sure they've got more stuff in this sort of classic library music sound, where the melodies are direct and the shape and timbre of the synth is in that big warm analog style but the whole thing is enveloped with a sense of longing. But with Reyes (who you may know as the head of the American Dreams label), I'm no authority on the matter, but the description seems to suggest that this is relatively new territory, and from the preview I'd say this one is less about warmth than the Flanger Magazine, and seems more overt in the sadness, though not in a maudilin sort of way. It's quite beautiful, and I'm eager to hear more. And then there's Wilted Woman, who I've mentioned on this page before, where I said she "has an incredible range [...], weird bangers, tuneful delights, and frenzied headcleaners". Not entirely sure what to expect here, but the preview track fits in the 'tuneful delight' category, which makes a lot of sense with the other releases in this batch. It seems like there is going to be a lot of great melody in these three albums, should be a great time!

May 31st, 2021

Judith Berkson - Liederkreis II (Notice Recordings)

I haven't been doing as good a job at keeping up with Notice Recordings on this page as I should, but they put out some incredible and peculiar pieces of modern composition and improvisation. This one appears to be rooted in 19th century classical music, with many of the pieces interpreting the work of Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert and rendering them through voice and electronics. The previews sound sublime, this one that goes off of Schumann's Liederkreis op 39 gets this harmony on the vocal line through some kind of effects process or something, and the way that the immediate beauty of the sound mixes with these occasional artifacts that pop up is something I find highly compelling. Very interested in hearing the rest of this!

Kevin Corcoran and Jacob Felix Heule - Erosion (Notice Recordings)

After the fantastic album "non-dweller" that Heule was a part of, I became very interested in hearing more from all participants. So I was quite happy to find this land in my inbox. Just before I had listened to it, I saw someone in a chat room ask for recommendations for music that felt like dying of thirst in a desert. And on some levels, I think the music that this duo produces could qualify. Entirely sourced from bass drums, there's all sorts of dry and violent textures that get pulled out of the instrument. The music sounds like it wants water. But it doesn't feel right to categorize this music in that way, there's something I find nourishing about this music, there's a joy in the focused exploration of this instrument, like a celebration for it. This probably wouldn't be a good idea for a party, but a big part of what makes this music work for me is how it can bring a smile to my face.

May 28th, 2021

Jessica Ackerley - Morning/mourning (Cacophonous Revival Recordings)

There was an album on Notice Recordings with Ackerley and Patrick Shiroishi that I should have heard by now, but the promo copy of this that got sent my way was my first introduction to her work. Though this collection of solo guitar seems like a great way to learn about how she approaches the instrument, with a sense of time that feels less beholden to physical reality and more like it's sourced directly from the artist, as expressive as any of the notes or timbres. The music isn't afraid of landing in a familiar time, but it's ready to turn entirely fluid and overflow any sort of loose grid. I'm not sure how to put the feeling into words, but no matter how strange the music gets, it always makes sense.

Body Meπa - The Work Is Slow (Hausu Mountain)

All this time I thought the pi symbol was just a funny looking n, but it turns out it's two t's! At least that's how it's being used in this band name. With Greg Fox on drums, Melvin Gibbs on bass, and Sasha Frere-Jones and Greg McMurray on guitar (panned to the right and left channels, respectively), there is not a second that goes by on this album that I doubt any of their absolute prowess on their chosen instruments. The music just goes, not to say that it is non-stop shredding, it can find some relative calm, but it's always moving forward with a great sense of purpose, with songs that take you on a journey and never look back, while still holding on to their core identity. Like there's some repetition and consistency deployed, but never like "here's that one whole part again". It's very cool. This actually snuck out as a digital-only release around the end of last year, but Hausu Mountain are doing essential work in making sure that this does not escape the notice of adventurous listeners by getting it out into the physical world.

Anna Webber - Idiom (Pi Recordings)

I loved Webber's 2019 album "Clockwise", the approach to harmony and rhythm is not something I know how to quickly sum up, but if I ever have to ascend some massive spire while on an epic quest, I'll want that album to be my soundtrack. I still haven't checked the previews on this one, I wanted to take it all in at the same time, so I'll point you to Bandcamp Daily or The Quietus to get more substantial information about this new one. I'm not reading that stuff yet though because I'm already confident that this is going to be MASSIVE.

W00dy - Headbanging In The Club (Orange Milk)

When I listen to the music that W00dy produces, I feel like I can do anything, like my brain is all the way on. On 2019's "My Diary", the flurry of interlocking rhythms are relentlessly propulsive, like a hypercaffinated video game speedrun with non-stop frame-perfect inputs, remaining surefooted through all the impossible looking trials. The avatar that I imagine racing through the environments on this new one has leveled up since that last outing, where previously I only imagined running and jumping, this sounds like it adds gravity manipulation to the toolkit, generating new paths by making everything suddenly begin to fall upward. I've had an early preview for this whole thing for a bit now, and I wish I could explain it better than "the protagonist inside of this music has incredible superpowers", but that's still the closest I feel like I could get to explaining why I find it so endlessly thrilling. It's just such a blast, I'm so glad that people are going to be hearing this soon.

µ-Ziq - Scurlage (Analogical Forces)

There's been quite a few archival releases over the past few years from µ-Ziq and his assorted aliases, but this is the first release of freshly composed material since 2013. It's always been a pleasure to hear his distinct melodic and sonic sensibilities maintained through various styles influenced by what people are doing in the world right now, so while it has been nice to hear what he's previously had locked away, I'm looking forward to hearing what some genuinely new µ-Ziq could sound like.

May 21st, 2021

Charlatan - The Glass Borders (Moon Glyph)

I wasn't always paying as close attention to all this music as I am now, so I only found out about Brad Rose's Foxy Digitalis when it relaunced at the beginning of this year. There's a fair amount of overlap with music I've mentioned on this page (and even more stuff that I missed and need to investigate!), it's been a great resource. So I was unsurprised when I was sent an early copy of Rose's new album under the alias Charlatan and it ended up being fantastic. The album structure starts with a longform 25 minute synth journey that manages to compress an entire film's narrative worth of a progression through moods into this length without ever feeling hurried, packed full of melodic content that makes it go down smooth without ever feeling like it's taking the easy way out. And then the back half of the album features three pieces that get a bit moodier and stay a bit more contained in the spaces they establish initially, but they find a lot to say from the positions they hold. An altogether great package, well worth your time.

Colleen - The Tunnel and the Clearing (Thrill Jockey)

I haven't spent enough time with Colleen's earlier discography, but her previous two albums were big hits in my headphones. There's this type of persistance in the horizontal unfolding repetition she utilizes. I want to call it propulsive, but I think it's more like taking a collection of tied up curled objects, where if the knot were removed you'd see a collapse and explosion of kinetic energy, like what if that could be used as some sort of infinite power source in its tied state. I don't know, maybe that makes the music sound tense, which I don't think is at all accurate. But there's a specific type of energy to it, and though the approach to tech seems like a big change, it sounds like she may have found the best vehicle yet for this power.

Cucina Povera - Lumme (Primordial Void)

On the 20 minute opener of this album, there is this tremelo effect with some kind of delay on Cucina Povera's vocals that feels like it is exploring different ways of becoming porous and exploring different ways of letting the organ accompaniment through. It's such a great way to kick things off. The rest of the album finds more solid forms for this instrument pairing to explore, I was given an early copy so I've been able to spend some time with the whole thing. And while I feel like I need more experience with the whole thing to fully get into it, there's something that really works for me here with the way that the album opens up by literally opening up, like it gives an additional weight to the subsequent tracks. It's a tough one to find the right words for! But that's what's cool about music, is you don't have to have the words to feel it when you're listening, and I recommend you do so.

FACS - Present Tense (Trouble In Mind)

I had a lot of moody fun with the monochromatic rhythm-centric post-punk that the was the specialty of the band Disappears, who ended after 2015's Irreal. FACS are what emerged from the ashes of the band that refused to live up to its name, and as their album covers would suggest, this transformation has led to something a bit more colorful. Not to the point of getting all cuddly and heavily melodic, they're still keeping it sharp and dangerous, but now it feels vivid and alert in a way that I didn't get from the previous act. I'm sure I'm oversimplifying but it has been an awesome development, and I'm excited to have this new one added to my nights.

Keiji Haino / Jim O'Rourke / Oren Ambarchi - Each side has a depth of 5 seconds A polka dot pattern in horizontal array A flickering that moves vertically (Black Truffle)

To be perfectly honest, I haven't been able to get a grip on the previous 9 releases that this super trio have put together. In different configurations, they've all been a part of music that I have absolutely adored, but it's felt like I've had an arbitrary blockage in forming significant connections with what comes out of this specific configuration. But I'm hopeful that I can change things up with this new one, they're playing in territory I feel most at home with. There's a big focus on electronic instruments, the clip on YouTube sounded like it had some cool step sequencer with flexible tempo, the description even references all-time great album Viaje by IT. This could be my ticket to making better sense of what came before, on top of being a great musical experience in its own right.

Mdou Moctar - Afrique Victime (Matador)

Anyone with a desire to see contemporary guitar music be as vital as it's ever been without getting "difficult" or obtuse owes it to themselves to spend time with Mdou Moctar's Tuareg music. If you need a written introduction, this interview by Gabriel Szatan for Dazed Digital seems like a great starting point. Not sure if anything I could say could do as good a job as that, so just read that and then let this light into your life.

Aaron Novik - Grounded (Astral Spirits)

Something about this one sounds weird. It's one of those albums where I'm glad they specify that all the sounds are sourced from physical instruments with minimal effects (in this case "clarinet, bass clarinet and contrabass clarinet") because otherwise I'd say something was a synth and embarass myself. Not sure how we get from those instruments to here... mic placement? I'm not an engineer. But yeah, this seems like an intriguing listen, there's a directness to the musical compositions that feels like it is conceptually aligned with this particular sound, seems like it should be cool.

Spooky Tavi - Hyperdrive (Doom Trip)

I missed the previous Spooky Tavi release that Doom Trip reissued, but this seems like some quality psychedelic pop! I should probably go back and check that one out. Because the songs that are up for preview here are sounding great to me. I'm not going to try to convince you to change your mind about reverb, if you have a strong position against it, I don't think there's any music that's gonna change your mind. But if you're open to some songs that get a little blurry without dulling the edges of the songwriting, I think this one sounds like it can deliver. This seems like some well-crafted feel-good music that benefits from all the choices made in the presentation, some well timed music to get outside with, I'm looking forward to it.

May 14th, 2021

Susan Alcorn / Leila Bordreuil / Ingrid Laubrock - Bird Meets Wire (Relative Pitch)

There's quite a collection of talent on this one. I've been having some incredible experiences the past few years with Alcorn's pedal steel, Bordreuil's cello, and Laubrock's saxophone, so the idea of the three of them improvising together sounds extremely promising. This has actually been available to stream for a while (one of those things that really calls into question the idea of a "release date"), but I haven't gotten much time with the album, so I can't provide any tremendous insight. But I know that I want to spend more time with it, there's nothing about the sound that feels dangerous or abrasive, but that's risky territory to play in, a wrong move that could end up hidden in the noise of a different sonic environment could send the whole thing tumbling down in this one. But they fearlessly navigate this space without any collision, it's great.

Giant Claw - Mirror Guide (Orange Milk)

I've been lucky to have the promo for this for a while now, and let me tell you, this one is very special, and will likely end up being the album I listen to the most this year. There's this synergy to the hyperreal sounds that are used and the compositional elements that drive their placement, where there's these bouncing ball style variable-speed repetitions and sudden shifts in dynamic extremes, it makes me feel like reality has been made so hyper that it is tearing apart at the seams. That seems like it would be intimidating, but the straining fabric of this music's reality does not get in the way of the constant presence of compelling melodic content. Just an incredible jaw-dropping experience, as essential as they get.

Hoshina Anniversary - Jomon (ESP Institute)

There was a release from Hoshina Anniversary on Alien Jams that caught my ear last year, Odoriko. Just a really excellent approach to the beats and melody combo, just the right amount of forcefulness with a wonderfully playful personality that shines through it all. The preview track on this one sounds like he's really taking it to the next level, this seems like it'll be a great one to blast with the windows down.

Keen Dreams - The Second Body (Whatever's Clever)

I don't really have too much experience in the dream and jangle categories of pop and rock, so I'm not sure where exactly this music fits in that history. I got an early copy of the whole thing, so I've been able to spend some time with it, but I'm still not sure about all that context. My understanding of those genres was that there would be some kind of unreal/warped quality to the sound, or some kind of lower fidelity. But there's something true-to-life about the sound here, the songs go big and are filled with overdubs from numerous guest musicians, and it would make sense to me to say it all sounds "dreamy" as a synonym for a particular kind of good, but the way things come and go feels like they're receding into the shadows, nothing feels as though it isn't governed by the rules of standard reality. And in my opinion, that makes the heights of scale that the band reach on this collection of songs even more impressive! Some great stuff on here, the type of music that can convert physical exhaustion into pure relaxation.

mHz - Earth's Shadow (LINE)

The music of mHz can get boiled down to the essentials of synthesis, and with the way the album "Function" has track titles that are all different equations for y, you could be forgiven for thinking the music would have more of a connection to the laboratory than the world outside. But the music never seems to lose sight of how the data doesn't provide meaning, that it comes from the sensory experience of the listener. It looks like the presentation on this one does an especially good job of driving that home. It's all about sunrise and sunset, and there's the reduced and data oriented aspect represented by the sky as a gradient and the degrees of the sun's placement in relation to the horizon line, but these measurements all depend on an earthbound subject as a reference point. That's where the meaning of the magic hour comes from, and I think this will be similar. You won't have to understand all the science, you'll just need to be present for the experience.

James Rushford - Lake From The Louvers (Shelter Press)

I haven't checked out the preview track for this one, I already know that I need to hear this. Rushford frequently shows up on some of my most favorite contemporary collaborations, most recently on "Real Real World" with Will Guthrie just a few weeks back. And when he gets into fully solo electronic composition, the tasteful yet sonically generous approach hits the bullseye for my taste, and it looks like that's what we'll be getting on this one. So while I can't really tell you much about this one specifically, I am confident that it will be of the highest quality.

Sons of Kemet - Black to the Future (Impulse!)

There's been a lot of cool stuff going on with jazz in London, and I have not been on top of it, so if you need an explainer, just go on the internet and type in London jazz scene and read some articles. Or read this interview ith Sons of Kemet at The Quietus. It's probably an oversimplification to say that this band and others in proximity are using rhythms that invite dancing in a way that offers something different than what audiences have come to expect from jazz, making it more accessible and delivering an exhilarating experience to the people who arrived. There will be a lot more to grapple with on this album, but for me, it's the opportunity to listen with my entire body that catches my attention.

May 9th, 2021

Eilien - Digital Lovers (Genot Centre)

I had been meaning to investigate Genot Centre a while back, they put out fringe electronic music from artists I know and love, alongside people working in countries that are underrepresented in my listening habits. They had a sale on their whole discography recently, and while I still have a lot of catching up to do, it's clear that they're doing some great work, and I should be paying attention to everything they put out. Case in point, this new one here, a collection of "SuperCollider pop music". Ear tickling digital synthesis put to use for direct songcraft? That's something I need to hear!

May 7th, 2021

bopapocalypse. - smoke break vol. iv. (peradam tapes.)

This artist is mostly familiar to me for the technicolor beats they produce under other aliases like "qualchan." or " hyacinth.", but I haven't explored the chopped & screwed side of their work. I was given an early look at this one, and my unfamiliarity with the source material makes it difficult to talk about it with much clarity, but I've been enjoying my time with it. Maybe it's a consequence of the more recent source selections, but something about it feels a bit more alert and snappy than what I've heard from DJ Screw. Though that's only on a relative level, I'd say the music is still firmly planted in the slow motion zone.

Anton Bruhin - Speech Poems / Fruity Music (Black Truffle)

If you're reading this page and haven't heard Bruhin's In/Out, you should probably drop everything and give that a listen now. While the recording was made 40 years ago, the playful staccato collage assembled entirely within the Sanyo M7300L stereo radio cassette recorder has a gleefully chaotic spirit that is present in plenty of my more contemporary favorites. This new release features music that Bruhin made in Fruity Loops, and while I've only heard the preview of one of the tracks that relies on speech synthesis, it sounds like he is bringing the same delightful spirit to this relatively newer technology.

Cornelius Cardew performed by the Montréal Scratch Orchestra - The Great Learning (Tone Glow)

I tried to get into a recording of Cardew's Great Learning a little over 5 years ago, not even the massive 4 and a half hour version from Nima Gousheh, just like a regular sized partial version. But I didn't get too far with it, other things caught my eye, and the piece was put away in the attic of my mind to collect dust. I still don't fully grasp the significance of using a scratch orchestra, or the impact that the mandatory lack of expertise from the members has on the text-based score. But I think on this occasion of Tone Glow Recordings bringing a new archival recording of two paragraphs from the score, at a length that is guaranteed to be no longer than what a CD can hold, it's time for me to try again! Because I do have fondness for unusual choral music, and it looks like there will be some organ in the first track as well. This could be the one that makes it click for me.

Michael Foster & Ben Bennett - Contractions (Astral Spirits)

The sax and drums duo of Foster and Bennett have at least 6 years of recording under their belt, and though I don't have experience with that history, it seems like I should get acquainted. The preview track sounds pristine, it's recorded in a way that makes me feel like I've been shrunk down to the size of an action figure and placed right in the middle of the drum kit, which works out great, because having the drums striking all across the stereo field drives home the way that the sax fits into the gaps. Like it doesn't feel like a line happening on top of the drums, it's like the two instruments are knitted together into a single garment.

Green-House - Music for Living Spaces (Leaving Records)

There have been some smaller releases coming from Green-House over the past couple years, but now they've got a full length on offer. Everything I've heard has had a nice and playful take on the melodic new age sound, and the singles for this new one seem to keep that up, while also seeming more comfortable claiming a position in the foreground.

Amirtha Kidambi & Matteo Liberatore - Neutral Love (Astral Editions)

I still haven't explored much of Kidambi's music after hearing her previous collaborations with Lea Bertucci, but those were just fantastic, she had some incredible vocal performances on there. This one sounds like it is operating in much different territory, where the stuff I've heard before was all explosive, this is... implosive. I don't know how to describe it, but as the notes drag out, it's like gravity's pull gets to be more severe. I'm into it.

Stefano Leonardi & Antonio Bertoni - Viandes (Astral Spirits)

There's some instruments I'm completely unfamiliar with on here (sulittu, dilli kaval, bass xun, launeddas), so I can't say for sure what is responsible for the sound that fills the space in the back half of the opening track on this one. But it made me completely light up when I heard it. I'm not really sure how to talk about the free improvisational stylings of this duo, and their mix of cello and guembri with the aforementioned breath-powered instruments, but whatever it is that they're doing, I'm intrigued.

Meyers - Pacifist Spectra (Sympathy Limited)

In addition to being a top provider of great album art, the music of Meyers offers something I had no idea I even needed, a unique and very human sounding beauty in highly artificial spaces and sounds. It's music that is equally able to make my head spin as it is to knock me on my ass, where both sides of that equation play into the powerful feelings that are produced. This is bound to be a very special one.

Microtub - Sonic Drift (Sofa)

Everyone's favorite microtonal tuba ensemble is back with a new album! Robin Hayward, Peder Simonsen, and Martin Taxt make such wonderful sounds with this fascinating instrument, and I cannot wait to sink into their latest chapter.

Claire Rousay & Patrick Shiroishi - Now Am Found (Mended Dreams)

Claire Rousay - Twin Bed EP (Mended Dreams)

Hot off the heels of Rousay's remarkable "a softer focus", here's two new ones that keep up the streak of can't-miss music. I got an early preview of them, though I've known Twin Bed's title track for a bit, as it was premiered during one of the Tone Glow concerts. If I only had a short amount of time to convince someone of Rousay's greatness, I'd likely use this track, since the pleasures of the melodic content are quite immediate. On this EP, it gets paired with some field recordings and blurrier ambient material, and I'm still considering what this additional space does for the whole package, but in general I think these are some positive additions. And then there's the collaboration with Shiroishi, which makes me feel like I'm in a haunted house, but in a good way, not a scary way. There will be some activity that sounds distant, but then without even realizing it's happening, a presence fills the room and my heart gets just a bit heavier. It's all a bit more obscure, but still very affecting. And then on top of that, there was also a big odds and ends collection that came out just a few days ago. The Claire Rousay Bandcamp subscription has got to be one of the best deals on the platform, great stuff!

Gryphon Rue & Merche Blasco - North of the Future (Astral Editions)

There's two tracks that are up for early preview on this one, and when I heard the first one, I thought this album would be the type of infinite-release color wash mass of sound, which sounded fine by me since the instruments on this one (vintage synths, singing saw, harmonium, and more) come together with a very tactile brightness, like the kind that makes a tickle in the eyes when it's seen. But then the other track got into some synth gesutures that broke out of the mass a little bit, so there's even more to like about this!

Chris Schlarb & Chad Taylor - Time No Changes (Astral Spirits)

Look, I enjoy a weird sound as much as anybody. Just look at this page. But sometimes, hearing a duo of acoustic guitar and drums explore some heady consonant zones really hits the spot, and the preview track on this one is sounding pretty nice to me.

TUSK Editions May 2021 (TUSK Festival)

The first Friday of each month will be seeing a new package of music compiled by TUSK (along with a live stream episode of TUSK TV), and this time all the work involves names that are unfamiliar to me, except for the inclusion of an orchestral realization of a composition from Sarah Hennies. But I know with absolute certainty that that is something I will need to hear, so that's more than enough to sell me. Though after all the great music I heard through last year's online TUSK Festival, I'd take the plunge on entirely unfamiliar work just on the basis of their endorsement.

Undo K From Hot - G.A.S. Get A Star (Self Released)

I'm not sure what to expect from this new band featuring Zach Hill (Death Grips, Hella), Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos), and Robby Moncrieff (The Advantage). Even though this was only announced last week, it feels like it's already a cliché to say that the single sounds a bit like Death Grips. Which wouldn't be a bad thing at all for the rest of the album, but I don't feel secure in expecting that.

Various Artists - Arc Mountain (Deathbomb Arc / Hausu Mountain)

This compilation is INCREDIBLE! I got an early copy, so I've had time to see if my enthusiasm is just the shock of the new, but it's still just as exciting as the first time I hit play. The worlds of Deathbomb Arc and Hausu Mountain collide and create a sort of mutant radio, with songs that are governed by idiosyncratic quirks without any sacrifice made to their immediacy. I would be first in line to pick up a full album from any of these pairings. Whether it's Fire-Toolz and White Boy Scream putting gorgeous singing over aggressively distorted music, or RXM Reality's clanging percussion used as a stunt course for Dos Monos' daring rap feats, every partnership featured here makes all the best kinds of sense. The album takes a bit of a strange turn at the end, starting with George Chen, Cooling Prongs, and MrDougDoug getting into some chopped up voices on a tripped out "Idle Chatter" sort of vibe, but of course you know I love a turn like that. Here is an actual photo of me when that happened. This is all really great stuff, highly recommended!

Vernacular - The Little Bird (Astral Spirits)

The live recordings collected here reach back to 03-04, and it seems like it's been a long road to the physical release here nearly 20 years later, with a purely digital version having come somewhere around the halfway point. But it makes sense to me that there have been advocates for this music bringing it to this point, the track that's up for preview makes me think this will be some powerful free jazz, the type where it really makes sense that they'd have Amiri Baraka providing an introductory essay for the liner notes.

Chris Williams & Patrick Shiroishi - Sans Soleil (Astral Spirits)

This promises to be quite a colorful bit of free improvisation. Shiroishi is credited with five different sizes of saxophone, among other instruments, and Williams brings quite a bit of gear as well. There's a part of me that gets afraid that the music will get *too* organized when I see credits like this, "now it's the part with this thing, ok here's the next one, etc.", but the track that's up for stream assuaded that fear, with a flow of expression that didn't have any strict delineation like that, with more of a gradient shift into different dynamics.

May 6th, 2021

Ilyas Ahmed & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - You Can See Your Own Way Out (Devotion)

There was an album back in 2016, where Ahmed collaborated with Matt Carlson and Jonathan Sielaff for a project called Dreamboat, and the sad songs they produced together have soundtracked many of the grey days that followed. I always intended on following up and exploring more from Ahmed, but that's still really my only experience with him. But this may just be the kick in the pants that I need, that will remove all ambiguity around my need to hear more. The track I've heard from this one seems to have a tinge of sadness, but the emotional origin of this music made with Cantu-Ledesma seems more difficult to pinpoint with a single word. It's quite lovely, the type of thing that can reduce me to a puddle, but not in a sad way. Looking forward to hearing more!

April 30th, 2021

Thomas Ankersmit - Perceptual Geography (Shelter Press)

This one is more of an "aspirational listen" for me, since I don't think I have a good setup for it right now. I last heard Ankersmit on his 2018 album for Shelter Press, Homage To Dick Raaijmakers, an album that was designed to be played on speakers, so that your ears could be the final instrument in the music, where your position and the walls around you interact with the high frequencies in the music, and you produce extra sound that is not objectively present in the recording. You can move around, shake your head, make an experience that fully belongs to you. It's a lot of fun. And now Ankersmit is back with a new one that pays tribute to Maryanne Amacher, which means it should also get into high frequency stuff, and also will need to be played LOUD to really get the effect going. But I live in an apartment, I have neighbors in close proximity. And my speakers aren't that good. So I might wait a bit before digging in to this, but I'm eager to find the right time when it comes.

Landon Caldwell & Flower Head Ensemble - Simultaneous Systems (Moon Glyph)

I've been eager to hear more from Caldwell following his previous appearances on this page, and I'm pleased to report that he is continuing to deliver the goods. There's something that feels extremely green about this music, like a sea of leaves that have gone ages without getting thirsty. Though that may just be me being influenced by the album cover, but I think it's more that the cover is just highly appropriate. Beauty abounds on this album, if you're looking for some serenity through spiritual jazz, this is your ticket.

Lisa Cameron & Sandy Ewen - See Creatures Too (Astral Spirits)

I missed the first meeting of Cameron & Ewen, so I'm not sure what to expect on this one. When I checked out the preview, the housecat found some of the sounds quite alarming! The title is appropriate, it seems like they're bringing some kind of creatures to life. I'm into it.

Growing - Diptych (Silver Current)

There's parts of this band's discography that I still haven't heard, but based on what I have experienced, ltheir music is about as close as I can get to eating light without learning how to turn green and do photosynthesis. It's not like it lacks any discernable shape, but there's something about the sounds that they make, it makes me feel like I'm basking in the radiance. And the preview track for this one makes me confident in forecasting more sunshine.

Intersystems - #4 (Waveshaper Media)

It has been 53 years since the last Intersystems album. Surely that has to be some kind of record for the longest hiatus? This should be an intriguing listen, they did great work blowing open the doors of perception with unusual electronics in the late 60's. I'm very curious to see how they continue after so much time away.

Sarah Louise - Earth Bow (Earth Bow)

I haven't heard the earlier stuff from Louise, and only stumbled on this one after seeing a stray comment of high praise for her music, but she has this type of psychedelic folk that I can get into. There's a vivid array of colors derived from electronic and acoustic sources, and based on what I've heard, there's no sense of conflict between those two poles. It feels like this is the life thar was always meant for these songs. Looking forward to hearing the full thing!

Matthew Revert - Hail Obliteration (The Geryoneis)

Revert had three submissions to last year's virtual AMPLIFY 2020: quarantine festival, including the title track of this new tape, a 20 minute morass of doom, distortion, and throat-shredding screeching. I'm not the most well versed in metal, but I think it's a blast and have had a great time with it. I'm looking forward to seeing how the b-side compares.

Sagan - Anti-Ark (Seeland)

I was given an early look at this new album from the trio of Wobbly, Lesser, and Blevin Blectum, but I still don't believe I can do the album justice. As you may have guessed from the band name, this music is interested in the cosmic, a subject that is deeply embedded in the history of electronic music. You've got 1956's Forbidden Planet soundtrack's inhospitable environment, or the goofy blue men that populated the new world that Joe Meek heard, and all the kosmische 70's stuff. There's just so much. I'm not confident enough in my expertise to definitively place this in the tradition, but my initial feeling is that it distinguishes itself by evoking a vessel containing humanity venturing out into space, rather than bringing the galaxy to the listener. The rhythms and melodies don't feel otherworldly, they have the warmth and familiarity of flesh from Earth. and the technology is all in service of our human desire to touch the sky. These are messages to the stars that you're going to want to hear, some truly wonderful stuff.

Tristan Welch - Temporary Preservation (Self Released)

There's recordings where music is happening to time, it's heavily composed, full of differences, and undeniably goes places. But then there's the alternative, where time happens to music, and that's what we have for this new one from Welch. I was given early access to this one, and it's quite a beautiful experience. This isn't some kind of process piece, where mechanical behaviors take care of this automatically. It's all the product of what he does with his guitar. The tracks will all have some repeated musical core to them, with progressive layering to heighten what makes them beautiful. As time marches on, the notes may start to bleed out beyond the dividing lines that were established in the previous repetitions, or the timbre may appear to degrade as the cleaner layers drop out. It all seems to be coming from a perspective of knowing the impossibility of holding on to the beauty of a moment forever, while also understanding that it's still good to try.

April 29th, 2021

Corsano, Maranha & Youngs - Corsano, Maranha & Youngs (Improved Sequence)

Can an album be simultaneously lush and arid? It doesn't really make sense, but that's the only way I can think to describe this music. I got an early copy, so I've had some time to consider what to say here. But I don't want to give away too many details, because a big part of the fun is the way the music shows what it can do. I will say though, if you're not immediately grabbed by the dried out loose guitar that opens the first track, it's very much worth sticking around to see what happens when the trio finds a steady groove. The biome of this music has some surprises once you get beyond the entrance.

gabby fluke-mogul, Jacob Felix Heule, & Kanoko Nishi-Smith - non-dweller (Humbler Records)

The three artists here are all new to me, but after getting to spend a bit of time with this album, I'm eager to know more about them all. They've produced a special bit of improvisation on this album. There's times where the creaks and groans from the performers fill the walls, like it's placing you in an old building that struggles under its own weight. But the music also allows the walls to come down, to make the activity plainly visible, rather than something you have to work to find within the texture. I found that this made the music even more engaging on repeat listens, because the sound grammar that they were using out in the open was the same as in the closed space. It taught me how to listen to itself, and I just love it when that happens.

April 23rd, 2021

Rob Frye - Exoplanet (Astral Spirits)

To be honest you're better off reading Dave Segal's review at Pitchfork to get the full details on this one, I still haven't even listened to the preview tracks, I wanted to go in blind. But it's something I know I want to hear. Frye is a member of Bitchin' Bajas, a band that spent a lot of the 2010's bringing some great heady zones into the world, and he's also a biologist with a focus on birdsong. His bandmates and two birds join him on this album, alongside greats like Quin Kirchner, Ben LaMar Gay, Macie Stewart (who had her own phenomenal appearance on Astral Spirits recently with "Recipe For a Boiled Egg") and more. There's even two drummers on the album, each taking their own stereo channel. I don't need any sort of trailer to know I need a ticket for this show. But that means that I can't give that much of an informed perspective on what it's going to sound like, so just check out Segal's review if you need that.

Tristan Kasten-Krause - Potential Landscapes (Whatever's Clever)

I should have been more familiar with Kasten-Krause before this one came along. He had a tape put out on Unifactor in 2019, a collaboration with Marilu Donovan from LEYA, totally should have been on my radar but I missed it. He did make an appearance on the album LEYA put out in 2020 (a good one!), but I guess I never dug in further. Fortunately, I was sent an early copy of this and made aware that he makes the kind of music that I want to hear. The album collects four pieces, each sharing a sound weighted with long pulls of rich low-end from Kasten-Krause's double bass, but each chapter has a different combination of collaborators bringing new varieties of colors and moods to the experience, like taking in a gorgeous environment through a large train window. It's a deeply satisfying experience, a trip I know I'll be taking again.

Satomimagae - Hanazono (RVNG Intl.)

Another new name for me here, but I figured I'd take a look at this since RVNG have a great track record. There's two preview tracks up for this one, "Houkou" has a spare guitar and voice combination with just a hint of wind noise, the type of song that looks sturdy but also where either the wrong addition or subtraction in substance or tempo could make it all turn meaningless, but keeps the right balance to have me gripped throughout. The other track "Numa" has more moving parts, a fuller production, but still feels like it carries a risk of crumbling, very compelling stuff. Not sure which direction the whole thing might lean, but either way I think I'll be pleased with what I find.

Selvedge - Circle Inside (Wormhole World)

I'm not familiar with the previous Selvedge releases, the description on this one suggests it is a bit less noise oriented than what's come before, but I don't have the perspective to entirely know what that means. But the opening two tracks are up for preview show that there's still a strong distortion component, but it's in the service of amplifying the beauty rooted in his synths rather than getting all Negative Man about it. Don't get me wrong, that can be fun too, but there's something special that comes from moments that thrive with the power of amplification, but also keep a clear form with empty space that isn't immediately flooded by fury or despair.

April 16th, 2021

Lea Bertucci - A Visible Length Of Light (Cibachrome Editions)

Since 2016's Axis/Atlas, Bertucci has been keeping a pace of one great new solo album per year, with each one bringing something new to the table, but a few consistent threads have emerged. Whether composing for others or performing with alto saxophone, there's been an interest in the way sounds exist in physical spaces (like grain elevators or the underbellies of bridges), with lots of long sounds or minimalist phrases doing great work to convey those spaces to my ears, and the beauty I saw in the music was like a product of being awestruck. But it seems like this one is moving in a more explicitly melodic direction, getting into the beauty of something that is directly felt, and I'm very excited to see Bertucci take her highly considered practice into this territory.

DIDA - INGENUOUS SCENES (Orange Milk)

So I've been trying to look up more information about this musician, the description mentions he has a connection with the Slagwerk label, but I can't tell if he has any releases with them or what. Because the track that's up for preview here is so delightful, I just know that I need to hear everything. The description mentions that there's influence from Yuu Miyake (the musical confectioner for the Katamari Damacy series of games) and Joe Hisaishi (well known for all of those charming Studio Ghibli soundtracks), and those are some pretty bold comparisons to draw, but it seems like they're justified. It's not like a pure sugar rush, the preview track demonstrates that the music holds a capacity for actually slowing down, and even when it's really got momentum it's not going into any sort of hyperactive territory. Sometimes stuff can get so sugary that it's somewhat harsh, like sour candy, but this seems like it stays incredibly vibrant without it turning into something violent. It just has me all smiles, and I'm really excited for the full experience.

Wadada Leo Smith / Douglas R. Ewart / Mike Reed - Sun Beans of Shimmering Light (Astral Spirits)

Last time I saw Reed on Astral Spirits earlier in the year, he was working with an experienced jazz musician who I am not especially experienced with, but through their associations was clearly someone I need to know about more (Roscoe Mitchell). And now he's back with another two. In this case, looking through the discographies of Smith and Ewart, I see Anthony Braxton, Frank Lowe, George Lewis, and so many other big names. They are closely associated with the AACM, and undeniably are people I need to know based on my interests. So while I do have some experience (Ewart's late 70's albums with Lewis are all truly essential recordings), I look forward to this opportunity to get better acquainted. The preview track opens with percussion from Reed that maintains a wobbliness, like it's prolonging that moment just before a top stops spinning, Smith's trumpet comes in for a while and navigates the terrain with ease, like he can just sight read the obstacle course with no problem, and then Ewart's woodwind comes in with a similar adeptness in finding his footing, and when they all reach a more straightforward stability it feels totally earned. So yeah, this seems like it'll be a good time!

Francesca Ter-Berg - In Eynem (Phantom Limb)

Similar to how A Closer Listen opened their review of this, I have to say that I am loving how much great music has been coming out from cellists. So many people are doing great stuff with the instrument lately, and Ter-Berg ably joins them with this debut EP. I was given an early copy of this, and this is a very promising start! There's two longer pieces where the music takes on ambiguous shapes but never lingers in a fog, there's always some kind of movement to the sound and a willingness to travel into an unobscured space, sounding entirely hand-constructed in real-time but with electronic processing to expand the range of timbres. And then there's two pieces of traditional music, striking a very interesting contrast from the other pieces, with vocals and more straightforward acoustic sounds. Get on board now, I think we're going to be hearing a lot more great things from her in the future!

Vladislav Delay - Rakka II (Cosmo Rhythmatic)

The return of Sasu Ripatti's Vladislav Delay project last year brought some significant changes in approach and style, selling off his gear and working with computers, and getting into harsher sounds. He'll have an album later this year on Planet Mu under the name Ripatti that should satisfy those who wish to see him continue to move on into new territory, but for those of us who really enjoyed this new direction for this older alias and want to hear more, he's got this sequel to take us on another trip through the grinder.

Nate Wooley - Mutual Aid Music (Pleasure Of The Text)

I'm an admirer of what Wooley has been doing, but I don't feel like I'm equipped to properly talk about all the great things he does with leading groups and finding fresh ways for them to operate (you'll probably want to wait for whatever Free Jazz Blog has to say to get some genuine insights). The description on this one gives the music quite a lofty framing, connecting the political action of mutual aid to the musical contributions and needs of the ensemble members, and it may take me a while to fully grasp how that is manifesting in this music, but I feel like Wooley and the talented crew that has been assembled could pull it off.

Zaumne - Élévation (Mondoj)

Before I was given an early look at this release, I was unfamiliar with Zaumne's music or the WET (Weird Erotic Tension) online community that Élévation was produced for. While I'm still not familiar with much of the latter, I've checked out Zaumne's album from earlier this year, Dreams of Teeth Falling Out, and it is interesting to compare the differences and similarities between that one and the deliberately sensual qualities of this new one. There's some formal similarities, like how the foundation of the music is built on looping passages, populated with quiet voices and soft sounds. But the previous album featured occasional beats, and clearer delineations in time, and this new one doesn't really have anything sharp, no rapid attack in the envelopes. There is a bit of texture from some field recordings and the close mic'd whispers, but it's more like being brushed than anything forceful. It really does seem to have its own bizarre intimacy. A great addition to Mondoj's catalog of excellence, I had a fine time cozying up to it and would recommend you do the same!

April 11th, 2021

Neo Geodesia - 2562 Neon Flames (CHINABOT)

There is a lot here that is new to me, from the artist himself (CHINABOT founder Saphy Vong), to the Cambodian cultural musical elements that are mixed with exciting electronics that seem completely removed from today's clichés. I've been really enjoying getting to know his label, but I've never heard any of his music, even though he had an Orange Milk release under the alias LAFIDKI. I will have to go back and investigate further though, because this is fantastic stuff. I was able to get a preview of the full thing, and the way it covers a varied emotional landscape, from the depths of loss to the exuberance of life, it's such a full experience, one you are not going to want to miss.

April 9th, 2021

Anz - OTMI001 (OTMI)

The temperatures are rising in my neck of the woods, and if I didn't know how weather worked, I'd probably attribute the change to the warmth coming from this new single by Anz. I've only heard the A-side, but it has the special combination of expressive lead synth and punchy percussion that's as nourishing as the warmth of the sun after winter. Looking forward to hearing this one loud and outside.

ODAE - Please (Very Jazzed)

The music of ODAE hits the sweet spot where not only is the technical sound generation stuff remarkable, but it's also used as a substantial part of pop songwriting, the type that doesn't shy away from small moments but can still go huge (like on "Cascade" from the 2019 album Ataraxic). The single for this new one is pretty short so it's hard to make any predictions about what it means for the direction of this new one, but I didn't hear anything that made me think I need to revise my earlier description, except to find more ways to say that the music is good. Because this music sounds good.

Christine Ott - Time To Die (Gizeh Records)

I'm still getting to know Ott, she had an album last year where every sound was originated from an ondes martenot, though there was live processing and some of it sounded more like a contemporary synth. Either way, it was some beautiful stuff, and this new one seems like one you could say the same for, except with an expanded collection of instruments including piano, harp, vocals, mellotron, and just too many others to list.

PDP III - Pilled Up on a Couple of Doves (Shelter Press)

I don't know what PDP stands for, and I haven't listened to the tracks that are up for preview, but I don't need to know any of that, because I already know I want this. Of course Shelter Press are always putting out music that I love and would catch my attention with any set of names, but there is a lot of great talent collected here. The project was initiated with the beginnings of some compositions by Britton Powell, and artist who had his solo debut last year with the stunning electroacoustic bliss of If Anything Is. When I heard it, it immediately made sense that Powell would be opening for Fennesz on his (sadly aborted) USA tour. The compositions were brought to the final stage with improvisational work by another purveyor of finely crafted electronic timbres, Huerco S., and Lucy Railton, who had such a full 2020 that I'm still catching up, with her mixture of cello and electronics appearing on PAN, Portraits GRM, Boomkat Editions, and Cafe OTO's Takuraku, and every minute I've heard showed any sign that she was anywhere near out of fresh things to say with her instruments. That's really all I need to know, I can't wait to hear how they all sound together.

claire rousay - a softer focus (American Dreams)

This is kind of a cop out, but I have no idea how to put my response to the emotional content of this album into words. I've been fortunate enough to have an early preview of the full album for a while now, so it's not just a matter of inexperience with the music. I just can't find the words to do it justice, they all feel inadequate. This album represents a big step in a new melodic direction in rousay's practice, I don't think there's ever been a more accessible entry point, but it doesn't feel like a hard left turn. Like once the surprise wears off, there's a feeling that this is exactly what needed to happen, the gorgeous realization of the emo ambient she has been building towards. A must-listen for anyone who likes it when music sounds good and is deeply felt.

Sharkula x Mukqs - Take Caution On The Beach (Hausu Mountain)

The first meeting of Sharkula and Mukqs had a lot to like, but this new one is incredible. I got an early copy, and it has been a genuinely wonderful presence in my life, something I highly recommend you add to your own. The previous one had sort of a hazy quality to it, but this new one is crystal clear, HD 4K, dolby surround THX loud and direct, in a way that plays to the strengths of both the musicians. There's something about Sharkula's lyrics and delivery, like he's always coming right at you with what he's saying. He's playful with his words, but it's never hiding anything and doesn't block off paths to sincere moments. His central presence in the mix is the perfect spot for him. And that's no easy place to hold here, since the Mukqs beats are massively saturated and overflowing with details, but that amplified status brings the tailored irregularities of time into focus. When stuff gets really hazy, it can sort of feel like stepping outside of time and looking in and not feeling each individual step, but with this one I'm fully within each moment. Though this still does have some softer and spacier moments, but it's nice to have those breathers, and I never drift out far before getting pulled back in.

April 2nd, 2021

Caterina Barbieri - Fantas Variations (Editions Mego)

I think it's kind of weird when remix collections have multiple different takes on the same track adjacent to each other, like it starts to feel a bit too familiar. But I'm still hopeful about this collection of remixes of Barbieri's "Fantas" from her 2019 album Ecstatic Computation. For starters, that original track is massive, taking a central nugget of musicality through an absolute workout of the beautiful side of modular synth timbres. And then the diverse styles of all the participants makes it seem like it's going to be all over the map, you've got Jay Mitta doing a rapidly energetic singeli take, but then you've also got an organ-centric take from Kali Malone, Bendik Gase bringing saxophone and voice, and Kara-Lis Coverdale with piano, among others. So I think even with my below-average patience with this type of focus, it could end up feeling fresh to the last moment.

Will Guthrie & James Rushford - Real Real World (Black Truffle)

According to the description here, the track that's up for preview is something of a climactic moment on the album as a whole, so maybe this isn't wholly indicative of what to expect. But I am still incredibly psyched, the sound is immaculate. You've got Guthrie's percussion, not going as wild as he can get but still bringing the passion, with all sorts of lovely chiming colors that feel connected to his recent gamelan-inspired work. And then there's Rushford bringing serious beef on the low end with some organ, and then Scott McConnachie comes in with some saxophone and we're fully into some weirdo night jazz territory. I don't know if the sax appears anywhere else on the album, so I don't know if I'd recommend going in fully expecting that zone throughout, but I'm really looking forward to discovering where the rest goes.

Marcel Sletten - California Delta Blues (Primordial Void)

Earlier in the year, Sletten put out a 12 minute EP that I was quite fond of, and now he's back with another release of the same length. The music is all beatless, the sort of sound that could find success if it was exponentially longer. But he doesn't give short shrift to the various moods explored in each piece. On paper, this sort of thing might sound like speedrunning a museum exhibition, but I think you end up with a complete picture. And since the primary cost of admission these days is your time, then it feels appropriate that this music would be accessible in that regard, since it is so lovely and inviting. I got an early look at this release, but I'm still developing a sense of how Sletten's sound is coming into focus with the changes from his previous release, but it really does feel like he is carving out a special place, and I look forward to the next dispatch.

Ryley Walker - Course In Fable (Husky Pants Records)

I don't have the indie rock knowledge to really give an informed impression about this, you can probably get that from various reviews or interviews, like this one with Steven Hyden. But I like it when songs can take off in familiar territory, but then throw in barrel rolls and unpredictable landings without making me think my life is in danger. That's fun too, of course, but sometimes I'm not ready for my mind to get shredded, like it's noon and I just want to be thoroughly engaged with good sound. And this one seems rich with substance and surprise, really looking forward to digging in.

TUSK Editions April 2021 (TUSK Festival)

Following last year's virtual edition of the TUSK Festival, the organization is continuing to find new ways to adapt to the ongoing pandemic, and beginning a monthly dispatch featuring music, writing, and more. For just 10 GBP, you'll get a 1993 live recording from Jim O'Rourke, a collaboration between Opal Tapes' Stephen Bishop and experimental turntablist Mariam Rezaei, an essay on William Parker, and more. There will also be a free video stream for the day on https://tuskfestival.com/ hosted by Jennifer Lucy Allen, should be great!

March 26th, 2021

Afrikan Sciences - The New Dun Language b​/​w In His Convenient Way (ESP Institute)

There's been no shortage of music from Afrikan Sciences lately, and there is simply not enough appreciation for how great of a fact that is. There's been no sense that he's been giving us anything short of the best, and I don't expect this new 12" to change that. His beats make my head spin, but not spin out, even when the synths get all weird like they are trying to push the disorientation there's still some secret sauce holding everything together. If you aren't familiar, this should be a good chance to get a quick look at what all you're missing.

[Ahmed] - Nights on Saturn (communication) (Astral Spirits)

I don't have too much experience with the members of this group, which appears to operate as a sort of tribute to Ahmed Abdul-Malik. I'm also not as familiar with Malik as I should be, I've heard East Meets West a bit, but this article on Bandcamp Daily suggests that I haven't even begun to appreciate his significance, and I'm looking forward to digging in. Honestly you should just read that article to get a good idea of what this album has to offer. But I can say for sure that I'm excited to hear this, the preview excerpt gets into some pretty maniacally joyous territory without crashing the groove.

Armand Hammer & The Alchemist - Haram (BackwoodzStudios)

So you probably don't need me to tell you that the duo of ELUCID and billy woods are doing some incredible work as Armand Hammer, they've been making waves for a few years now and I only just recently can say I truly clued in. If you're not aware, you should turn to Marcus J. Moore's review to get the lowdown on this one, it seems like this album is going to be really great.

Dntel - The Seas Trees See (Moor Music)

I haven't kept up with Dntel's music, but I've been seeing tracklists from his radio show, and they feature a lot of stuff that I'm into. And he did a Senyawa remix recently too! It would probably be more helpful for you as a reader if I looked into what his new stuff sounded like so that I could describe it, but just read what Boomkat has to say if you need more info. I'm going to go in without having heard a note of a preview, purely based off of all the signals that this is something that I should hear (Boomkat mentions library music and early electronics, as if the signal wasn't strong enough already).

Beatriz Ferreyra and Natasha Barrett - Souvenirs cachés / Innermost (Persistence of Sound)

The Echos+ album that Ferreyra released last year got a fair amount of deserved attention (if anything, it deserved more), but this Persistence of Sound label put out a fine collection of her musique concrete last year as well. So although I've heard no previews or excerpts, I have every reason this new one will continue to deliver the goods. It will also be interesting to get introduced to Barrett's music, I've never heard her before but she gets the last track on this split, and if her music operates in this sort of space then she's probably someone I need to know.

Colin Fisher - Reflections of the Invisible World (Halocline Trance)

I got an early copy of this one, and I was immediately struck by the puzzling concoction of guitar, saxophone and electronics that was presented. Some people might say that the guitar is warped with effects, such as Fisher himself in this excellent interview at Foxy Digitalis. But, similar to how Mitch Hedburg proposed that Bigfoot is blurry rather than the photo itself, I think that maybe these guitars aren't processed, and the reason they evoke colors that don't occur in the natural world is because they are supernatural guitars. At the very least, hearing the music is as fantastical an experience as seeing a blurry Bigfoot with your own two eyes. Though that actually sounds kind of terrifying, and this music is more like a comforting warm embrace, so maybe it's not a perfect analogy. This is some really great stuff though, not to be missed.

Anne Guthrie - Gyropedie (Students of Decay)

Guthrie has done a lot with the mixture of electronics, field recordings, and French horn, with solo albums and in collaboration, but it seems like she is always rebalancing the elements and opening up new angles in the sound. The preview track for this new one seems like it is going gentle in a way that makes the music feel very direct. The minor manipulations to the recordings and textural emphasis in the French horn playing are only producing small noises, and on an individual level, everything is quiet.. The melody is abstract, but the relative sizes of all the components leads to a sensation where it floats to the top, fully exposed. I don't know what sorts of wrinkles the other tracks might introduce, but everything I know so far points to this being something special.

Tyler Holmes - Nightmare In Paradise (Ratskin Records)

I've been gravitating to a lot of soft pop music lately, spending time with 10cc, Prefab Sprout, and I've even finally started listening to some Steely Dan. And I'm not going to fall into the trap of saying "this new thing is just like this other thing that just so happens to be in my life right now", because it is much more contemporary than those examples, but I think this behavior made me particularly receptive to the soft beauty of the songs on this album. I got an early copy of the album, and I found it easy to slip in the mix when I'm in that sort of headspace. The spare and economic sound made me think it might fit better in listening sessions with early 00's electronic indie music like The Notwist or Múm, but there's an openly emotionally expressive quality to the vocals that doesn't feel like it would belong there. And the way this album uses its foregrounded synth patterns allows for a lot of depth, either from the negative space amplifying small gestures in the synth timbre, or from the way they overlap with the variety of acoustic instruments that appear on the album from a large group of collaborators. So it really does feel like a natural inclusion with its current company. I think a lot of people will want to find their own place for it in their personal musical universe, it's a good one.

Lighght - Holy Endings (Doom Trip)

An important stage in opening up my ears was with some of Planet Mu's early 2000's output from Leafcutter John, or some of the weirder tracks on Hrvatski's Swarm and Dither, where you'd get into some strange electroacoustic sonic manipulation, but it would stay grounded with some kind of clear musical element providing some sense of structure and meter. I don't think of those accessible gestures as concessions. In the wrong hands they could drain the any sense of adventure from the less conventional aspects, but I find that in the best cases these steps can lead to a unique utilization of what these techniques open up for music, and these albums have held onto their power even as my listening has gone much further into the deep end. I haven't heard the full release of this album, but the preview tracks make me think it would fit in this premium lineage. Even if Lighght seems to have his own idiosyncratic way of putting it all together, like the way that melodic patterns hold the form together and just the general atmosphere and sound grammar, it sounds like he is bringing that high level of care and consideration that gives those other albums their staying power for me. I'm looking forward to getting to know this one, it seems like it could find a place among these personal classics.

Lost Girls - Menneskekollektivet (Smalltown Supersound)

This is a duo featuring Jenny Hval and Håvard Volden. I'm unfamiliar with the latter, but I think Hval has a great approach to putting songs together. I'm not entirely sure what to expect from the full album, but the preview for this one gets into a mixture of singing, drums and synths that give me the wonderful large feelings that I get with my favorites from her past work, so I'm excited to see what else these two have cooked up here.

Speaker Music - Soul​-​Making Theodicy (Planet Mu)

If you haven't been keeping up with the past 16 months of Speaker Music, I strongly recommend going and listening to everything that's come out. DeForrest Brown Jr.'s distinct approach to electronic rhythm has led to some truly compelling music, with the strong presence of a human hand in the mechanical sound, confidently taking a diametrically opposed position against a passive experience. This new EP features a development on the technical side, incorporating touch-based music production equipment, and I can't wait to see how he uses that to push things even further.

String Noise - A Lunch Between Order and Chaos (Chaikin Records)

String Noise - Alien Stories (Infrequent Seams)

String Noise, Greg Saunier & International Contemporary Ensemble - Eric Lyon: Giga Concerto (New Focus Recordings)

I became aware of the violin duo String Noise from their album last year, performing longform spatial process music from Alvin Lucier. It seemed like no easy feat, and so after I saw that they could pull that off, I was interested in seeing what sort of range they had. And now they have three albums coming out on the same day. I actually got to hear one of them, Alien Stories, a collection of pieces from five Black composers. I only knew about Jonathan Finlayson from his 3 Times Round album (it's very good!), and his piece explores the elasticity of time like it's an invincibly flexible cartoon body. Many of the other pieces also take great advantage of the duo's ability to unify in the expression of free time, as well as some work with rough textures, it's a really great collection. I'm not entirely sure what to expect from the other two collections, I haven't had a chance to dig into the details on the other two, but Greg Saunier from Deerhoof is involved in both of them, and A Lunch Between Order and Chaos features a composition from Tyondai Braxton, so that's cool.

March 25th, 2021

Nuke Watch - The Manhattan Project - Live In NY (Moon Glyph)

I had been meaning to check out Beat Detectives for the longest time, and before I could get around to it, I was given a look at this new project featuring members of that duo (Chris Hontos & Aaron Anderson) along with Eric Timothy Carlson. So I can't bring an informed perspective about how this relates to past work (I still haven't even heard the Nuke Watch project that came out through Commend last year). But this is totally my kind of sound, and really drives home that I've been slacking on checking out what these dudes have been up to. The tracks on this one are all live in studio, two 30 minute jams of entirely synthetic drums and melodies. That could easily be a recipe for a meandering muddy disaster, but any aspect of looseness or damaged fidelity has a sense of purpose to it here. They take the ticket into heady zones that these sounds provide but don't just call it a day with that alone, they put the work in and earn each accumulation and dissolution of momentum that takes place, and it's so satisfying when they hit. This is a great trip!

March 22nd, 2021

Tucker Dulin/Ben Owen - Cat Guarding Geese (ErstAEU)

No preview clip is provided for this album, and the information that is available is relatively minimal. It is one long piece, an hour and seven minutes long. It features field recordings and performances recorded in two locations (one of which is a studio), and you can follow the link to see what instruments each member of the duo get credited with. And you're not really going to find much more than that, as far as I know. I'm not really interested in changing that. I've heard the album a few times (it's been available for digital purchase for a while now, this is just the CD release date), and I don't want to try to pin down what the music is, for someone else or for myself. I can say that I am enjoying the experience of getting to know it, and if the information that's available sounds interesting to you, then there's a good chance that you will also appreciate the journey.

March 20th, 2021

Prolaps - Ultra Cycle Pt. 1: Vernal Birth (Hausu Mountain)

It's a big weekend for Hausu Mountain fans! First up on Friday, there will be a live streaming show, featuring Eartheater, Andrew Bernstein, Sarah Squirm, Toiret Status, and Tiger Village. A great lineup, it's very cool to see a comedian like Squirm getting into the mix here. And then on Saturday, you have the duo of Machine Girl and Bonnie Baxter launching an ambitious undertaking for their Prolaps project. They're releasing four albums this year, timed for each of the solstices and equinoxes, and they're all going to be two hours long. I've heard this first one, and the approach is different from the first Prolaps release. Where that album operated at a blistering pace with constant forward momentum, this one lingers in patterns before advancing to the next step. So there's a bit more straight repetition, leading to something more intuitively danceable, like the sort of thing I would expect them to perform if they were playing one of those Zion raves featured in The Matrix Reloaded. They do an excellent job at bringing their thick, damaged electro-organic sound into this format, this is an extremely promising start to this series!

Dream Fest 2021 (Live Event @ The Astral Plane)

If you're craving live music events that can take you beyond the screen, while still allowing you to behave responsibly in a pandemic, you can try going to sleep on the 20th with the intention of attending this festival that is scheduled to take place in the astral plane. You can't get anyone sick in the astral plane! At least nothing respiratory. Though the location does open the door for an array of unprecendented technical difficulties, like if someones arms were suddenly made of sand, it would probably be hard to play guitar. Time zones might also be a bit tricky. And does sound even work here or are we just sending out vibes? So with that in mind, you may want to follow the link to check out music from the scheduled performers and hear them while you are conscious.

March 19th, 2021

Whettman Chelmets - For... (Drawing Room Records)

Chelmets has been putting out many high quality releases lately, and I think this one continues the streak. I got an early preview of the whole thing, and it is a superb collection of music that may exist in the ambient sphere, but has so much keeping it in the foreground, both in the moment with some lovely expressive guitar work, and also as a whole experience, with the conceptual framing of the cycle of the seasons providing an overall sense of development. If you need a beautiful soundtrack for contemplating the cyclical nature of time, this is your ticket.

Dialect - Under ~ Between (RVNG Intl.)

Andrew PM Hunt came to my attention last year with a group he's in, Raft of Trash, they had an album that used SimCity 2000, transforming and adding to the sounds from that game for a very cool electronic experience. This will be my first time hearing him solo, but it seems like he's cooked up something really special for RVNG. The two preview tracks are these soft and tiny epics, with tracks that take structural detours, but all the turns are taken slowly and the sounds are all lighter than air. This seems like it will be a substantial delight.

Meemo Comma - Neon Genesis: Soul Into Matter² (Planet Mu)

I don't know a lot about anime. I really like the Yuasa and Kon stuff, and I've seen some of the classics, but I never matched the enthusiasm of their greatest fans, and in general I'd consider myself uninformed. I also don't know a lot about Jewish mysticism. It might sound like I'm just naming random things I don't know a lot about, but these two subjects appear to be at the core of this new one from Meemo Comma, which is described as "a soundtrack to an imaginary anime that [...] takes the beautiful parts of Kabbalah and sets them to science fiction stories". So there's going to be all sorts of signifiers that will likely fly over my head, but I think even without them, this mixture of breakbeat-powered electronics and vocals is going to have a lot to offer. I was around in the 90's, I watched the Powerpuff Girls and saw Toonami ads, so I sort of get the decade's anime soundtrack tropes. This sounds like it has a really fresh perspective on the whole thing, not just with the way the vocals inform the character of the music, but there's a patience to how the music moves forward in the preview tracks, I'm not entirely sure how to describe it. But yeah, sounds like this will be a great one.

Lena Platonos - Hope Is The Thing With Feathers (Amour Records)

A couple years ago, I found out about the electronic songs that Platonos released in the 80's, and they were revelatory. She captured this vibe that I can only think to describe as "cool". It got weird, distant, and highly synthetic, but there was always a tunefulness that kept it feeling easy to listen to through all that. I haven't explored anything she did outside of that era, but this new one seems interesting, it's her first to feature lyrics in English, taken from the writing of Emily Dickinson. The preview tracks don't totally sound like the old stuff, but I think it'll be more interesting to hear some exploration of new territory.

Tine Surel Lange - Works for Listening 1-10 (Sofa)

I have no idea what this one is going to sound like. This is a debut recording, and the description is sort of dry and academic, but also not too forthcoming with the details. But it should be some kind of electroacoustic music, which I like, and I've caught some good stuff from this label before. So I think it'll be worthwhile to take a somewhat-informed chance on the unknown here!

HausMo Fun One (March Edition) (Live Event @ Twitch)

March 12th, 2021

Landon Caldwell & Nick Yeck-Stauffer - Unity In Isolation (Astral Editions)

I've never heard anything from Yeck-Stauffer, but Caldwell had a very nice duo project with Mark Tester last year that Astral Spirits put out, a lively and gorgeous collection of untethered synths and piano. Yeck-Stauffer plays pocket trumpet on this new one, and it seems like it leads to the music being a little bit more natural with the fidelity, and more directly organic. But there's still a similar sort of free flowing beauty on the preview track that has me very interested in hearing more.

Gajek - Very Light Means Less Control (Monkeytown Records)

As the years have gone on, Gajek's music has taken influence from krautrock into progressively stranger percussion-driven territories, with some especially peculiar delights to be found on last year's Vitamin D. Around the same time that album was being put together, he was working on the material collected on this new one, putting away the beats and getting a little more kosmische. Or at least that's the impression I have from the description and the preview track. What I've heard makes me think it'll be a good trip.

Phew / John Duncan / Kondo Tatsuo - Backfire Of Joy (Black Truffle)

Last September I mentioned that I needed to explore more of the decades-long career of Phew after being very impressed by her most recent work, and aside from some other recent material, I still haven't taken the plunge. Fortunately, Black Truffle is here to get me back on track with this archival recording from 1982. This will also help with my blind spot on Duncan, I haven't really explored his recordings but when his shortwave radio setup gets mentioned in the description, the word used is "signature", and anyone with that kind of signature seems like somebody I should know about. And it'll be interesting to get a look at Kondo, his discography seems like it could be a window into some very cool stuff.

See Through 4 - Permanent Moving Parts (All-Set!)

I heard about this quartet led by Pete Johnson last year, and it was interesting, but I don't know if it ever made as much sense to me as it did on this new one. The lineup has changed in each of the three releases from the group, and this time there's vibraphone and trumpet in addition to drums and Johnson's bass. Something about the vibraphone, the color and lightweight sound, suddenly it all was clicking for me. The way that the music moves along jauntily and then will take a turn into slow tempos or have solo instruments unleashing a relatively rapid procession of different sounds, it's like there's still the same level of steadiness, just operating at a different timescale, and somehow I'm more readily able to appreciate that with this relatively softer sound. Every time I've finished listening to the album, it has felt shorter than it's 38 minute runtime, the type of album that I ask "over so soon?" at the end while still feeling satisfied with the experience. Always nice when that happens! This is a good one, looking forward to having this one with me as Spring weather starts to hit.

ZULI - All Caps (UIQ)

There seems to be an endless variety to the music ZULI puts out, from the blown out break attack of Trigger Finger to all the varied vocal features on Terminal, the only constant seems to be that I want to hear it loud. The preview track for this new 12" is driven by euphoric mechanical rushes that appear to reveal yet another incredible facet of his music, this is going to be a blast.

March 5th, 2021

M. Geddes Gengras - echelons beyond reality (Self Released)

The material on this album was initially premiered at the HausMo Fun One streaming concert for February. I was in attendance, and I am eager to revisit this material, very glad to see it getting pushed out into the world beyond just that one moment. The sound could get huge and cosmic but he always had something moving things forward, and made sure to have some good tunes at the core. A worthy entry in Gengras' high quality body of work.

Kuzu - The Glass Delusion (Astral Spirits)

I'm not as familiar as I should be with Dave Rempis,Tashi Dorji, or Tyler Damon, but hearing their combo of saxophone, guitar and drums on the preview track for this album is a great reminder that I need to do something about my ignorance. The way they are able to work together on something that sounds totally unified in capturing a single voice struggling to get out what it's trying to say (while still managing to get it out) in the opening of the track is such a great way to set the stage for what comes after. I know I need to hear more.

Guillaume Malaret - Élémentaires du combat (Le Cabanon)

Malaret is one of the people running the Le Cabanon label, and over the past few months I've been discovering the great material that has been coming out from them (I highly recommend the most recent Nebulo album they put out, that one is a real gem). But aside from some film soundtracking, there isn't much recorded music that Malaret has put out himself, although that is going to start to change with this new one, the first of many planned relases according to his website. If this is anything to go off of, he will absolutely be someone to watch. I got an early preview of this album, and I still don't think I've fully cracked it, I'll need to live with it for a while before I can fully make sense of everything I heard. There's no sense of urgency to immediately solve it, because I'm having a great time in the uncertainty. The album is a feast for the ears on headphones, full of organic and synthetic sounds intertwining, playing with ambiguity about which category a sound might belong to, moving along at a fluid pace that never trickles down to a point that tests my patience. I'm excited to hear more, from the album and the artist.

Hafez Modirzadeh - Facets (Pi Recordings)

My explorations of Pi Recordings haven't been thorough enough to lead me to Mordirzadeh's work yet, but he absolutely sounds like someone I need to know. On this album, he has a collection of duets with Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, and Craig Taborn, and has them all playing a retuned piano alongside his saxophone, exploring a distinct harmonic space that strikes my ear in such a wonderful way. You should read the description at the link to hear what someone who knows what they're talking about get into what all is going on with the music, but I can tell you with great confidence that I am excited to dig into it.

Rachika Nayar - Our Hands Against The Dust (NNA Tapes)

This debut recording from Nayar sounds like it is going to be something special. There's only the opening two tracks up for preview, but they establish a space with the confidence of a seasoned veteran. I love the way that the opener takes granularly fragmented guitar and allows for instability, but also has this subtly deliberate control over so many expressive qualities of timbre, maintaining a sense of form before clearly, boldly disrupting it, revealing the explicitly musical material that was lurking beneath the surface all along. I am so on board for this.

OOIOO - OOIOO Perform nijimusi Live at LMD for OOIOO (Shochy)

There are just some Instagram posts confirming that this album will be coming out, so I don't have too many details, but the album title seems like it covers all the information. Groovy weird rock band OOIOO perform their most recent album live last year, to an audience of themselves (presumably due to COVID restrictions). I'm excited to hear it, the album was a good one and I don't think we're just going to get the same exact thing except with less clarity, they should be offer something new with this take.

Terminal 11 - Eyes Pressed Against The Glass (Opal Tapes)

I remember an old thread on WATMM from 2006 where someone passionately argued that the vertical composition format from tracker software was the only way to do it, that the horizontal approaches to composition featured in most DAWs was actively detrimental, and seeing the beginnings and ends of sounds cleanly laid out led to bar divisions sucking the life out of the music, even going as far as claiming that the piano roll was "the most damaging thing you can encounter as a musician". But this new one from Terminal 11 proves that getting out of the vertical mindset and getting the macro image of the music can be invigorating. He has spent 20 years working with trackers to producing highly detailed breakcore that gleefully runs up to the speed threshold where the mind can no longer distinguish individual sounds, but on this new album he embraced modular synths, Ableton Live, and other big changes to the process. I don't know how deep he went into horizontal thinking, or if he ever had a piano roll in sight, but all the moves he's made strike me as positive developments. It doesn't feel like he's starting a new life in a new town, there's still plenty of speed and sonic density, but there's a new sort of fluidity to the motion that feels like it opens up some unexplored dimensions. It feels like he has so much more to say with this music, very exciting stuff.

March 4th, 2021

Brett Naucke - Cumulative Index (Dassi)

Over the past 10 years, Naucke has been putting out all sorts of stellar albums with a strong unifying character to each one, and this new album draws from recordings spanning the entire length of time that he's been putting music out under his own name. I don't really get a "grab bag" sense from the preview tracks though, they all seem to be delivering the full body synth experience that he can do so well. Not sure if there will be any odd turns in the other tracks, but either way I think I'll be pleased with what I find.

February 26th, 2021

Hamid Drake / Elaine Mitchener / William Parker / Orphy Robinson / Pat Thomas - Some Good News (OTOROKU)

Some names on here that are unfamiliar to me, but Drake on drums and Parker on bass at the start of this preview clip was enough to make me certain I need to hear this.

Henry the Rabbit, Beatrice Morel Journel & Semay Wu - Songs of the Marsh (Moon Glyph)

I got an early look at the beautiful sounds on this album, and it is a wonderful collection of small pieces, "a melodious interweaving of flutes, soothing vocals, plucked ukuleles and a hearty cello", to quote the description directly. There's something I can't quite put my finger on that takes it beyond being merely nice to hear. I think it has something to do with the staggered production process of the album, the way that the flute, cello and voice was added after the foundation was set. These are all the softest aspects of the album, take them away and you're mostly left with a lot of plucks. I struggle to imagine them isolated, but it makes sense to me that the sharper sounds would come first, and that they're what help pull my focus into everything else in the music. I still don't think I have the whole picture on this, but it's one I look forward to figuring out.

Mouse On Mars - AAI (Thrill Jockey)

I am still not entirely clear on how Mouse on Mars are using AI technology on this album. I guess there's something with the vocals, but I'm not sure if the preview tracks show the full extent of how that will manifest. But it seems like there will be plenty of the bouncy tunes that I love to see from the duo, that's enough for me.

Dax Pierson - Nerve Bumps (A Queer Divine Dissatisfaction) (Ratskin/Dark Entries)

The melodic acid on "For The Angels" immediately caught my ear, I wasn't expecting it based on what I know of Pierson's work in Anticon-affiliated acts like Subtle or 13 & God. He has an excellent take on the sound, but judging by the other preview track, it's not one he's totally beholden to, and is letting his personality come through with a variety of electronic approaches. I'm excited to see what all else is in store here.

Ivan Zoloto - Pleasure Prison (School of the Arts)

I can't entirely remember what brought Zoloto to my attention, it was fairly recent and this will be my first look at his work, but judging by the lengthy opening track on here, the look is overdue. It has an excellent blend of strings, electronics, and other sounds of unknown origin, patiently presented with some slightly scuffed up fidelity to provide some character but not to the point where the music can just hide in distortion.

February 21st, 2021

toiret status - liquid house (Gin&Platonic)

The way that toiret status utilizes the grid in his electronic music is so much fun, it's like he can blow it all up one moment and then jump right back into having a skeleton that locks in. The fluidity of it all makes the title here seem quite appropriate. This is a smaller dose, with only 7 tracks, and 3 of them are remixes. But the whole vibe of this seems to be about having people over, 3 of the 4 non-remixes are collaborations, so the different voices introduced at the end shouldn't really be disruptive. And this remix from Sabiwa that's up for preview seems like it takes his energy to some fresh places, this seems like it all will be a good time.

February 19th, 2021

AGF & Various - arachnesound (AGF Producktion)

I wasn't aware of AGF or this project she's been doing over the course of 11 years and 5 prior releases, focusing on a specific language and creating an explicitly feminist electroacoustic collection centered around female poets of that language throughout history. This one is focused on Greek, and the tracks that are up for preview tell me that this album, this series, and this artist are all going to be necessary listening for me. This absolutely sounds like music I want to know.

Roscoe Mitchell & Mike Reed - the Ritual and the Dance (Astral Spirits)

This collaboration features two figures of Chicago jazz that I should know more of, but I still haven't investigated enough. I've heard Mitchell do fantastic work on some material with George Lewis and others, but his legendary status still feels like something I know more from reading than from experiencing, and I really need to do something about that. And Reed seems like he has been working with some great people, but I don't believe I've heard anything he has played on. So this seems like it will be a nice way to get to know the two of them better, though I really should dig more into what brought them both to this point.

Senyawa - Alkisah (Over 40 different labels)

I was incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to see Senyawa live, it is one of my most treasured musical experiences. The combination of Rully Shabara's emotionally vivid and wide ranging vocal performances, Wukir Suryadi's custom instruments and their surprising range of timbre, and the songs that they fill with these talents, it is truly something to behold. I don't really know how to describe the journey they've taken so far in their first decade, but they are continuing to push into new territory as they enter their second. The track that's available for preview, "Istana", features some slow distorted doomy guitar at the foundation, the piece slowly lurching forward like a horror villain, but whatever instrumental setup is responsible for all of this goes into some really fresh erratic gestures. I don't know how to do it justice, but it sounds phenomenal and I can't wait to see what else they have in store. And then on top of that, the band is going to innovative places with how the music gets out into the world, decentralizing the process and releasing the album through 40 different labels. The link next to the album name will take you to a Google map showing the locations and links for all the different labels participating. Some of them are even accompanying their releases with distinct remix collections, like one on the label WV Sorcerer Productions is going to feature a remix from 33EMYBW among others, or the label Chaos Non Musica has a separate album of metal-oriented remixes. I'm very excited to hear the music from Senyawa, but I'm also looking forward to looking into what these other labels are all about, and hearing the various alternate takes on this music.

Shmu - The Universe Is Inside My Body (Orange Milk)

This artist is brand new to me, but he has been putting stuff out since 2015. I still haven't heard any of it, but it seems pretty clear that I need to. This video with visuals from Angel Marcloid told me all I need to know, goofy net psychedelia for a song with bright, unabashedly synthesized sounds taking strange turns in tonality in a casually abrupt structure, playfully dropping my stomach like an amusement park ride. I think it's just delightful and executed very well, I'm on board.

Pauline Anna Strom - Angel Tears in Sunlight (RVNG Intl.)

If you're not familiar with Strom, you're better off reading the articles from Robert Ham at Bandcamp Daily or Hannah Pezzack at The Quietus, they go into more depth than I can provide. There's been an uptick in interest around New Age electronics the past few years, and some of it has left me cold, but I find the character of the places Strom's music takes me to be quite distinct, and the path taken there to be an inventive one. Strom passed away in December, shortly before this album was due to come out, and it's her first new material since her initial period of activity in the 80's. So there is some sadness that she is not here for it to come into the wider world, but I am glad that she was able to get this final message out to us.

Rian Treanor - Obstacle Scattering (Planet Mu)

It hasn't been long since Treanor's excellent "File Under UK Metaplasm", but he already has a follow up, an even more dance oriented EP. The description lays out the premise as "the idea of sound being an obstacle you have to get your body around", like it's taking the kinetic brainscrambling synth thrills that he does so well, and explicitly pitching it at jewel thieves to soundtrack them acrobatically dodging arrays of alarm lasers. And judging by the preview track, this was an excellent decision, because it rules.

February 12th, 2021

Bamboo Mystics - Swara Suci (CHINABOT)

This project is led by Rahul Jigyasu, he's from New Dehli but his academic pursuits in traditional music have taken him to Java, Indonesia. He seems to really know his stuff, and has the skills to build some of these instruments himself. I can't speak with any expertise about the traditions he's pulling from, but the previews sound gorgeous and I look forward to hearing the rest.

Lucrecia Dalt - No era sólida (outtakes) (RVNG Intl.)

The presentation of this release and a similar outtakes collection for Dalt's previous album bring to mind the type of clever album cycle extensions that Miranda Reinert brought up in her "something old" newsletter recently. It's not like an outtake collection is some kind of new concept, but I think normally people would give it some kind of distinct name. With the direct reference here, the visibility of the main album is extended, at the cost of this collection being explicitly secondary. But here's the thing, that main album is fantastic, and it is important that people get the reminder if they need one. And also, Dalt doesn't just throw any old recording on these outtakes collections, and the material that didn't make the main album should still be high quality stuff.

Mats Erlandsson - 4-Track Guitar Music (VAAGNER)

This was originally issued on cassette in 2018, but now it's coming to vinyl and getting an extra track. I had missed it the first time around, I'd never even listened to the artist even though he had a release on Hallow Ground last year, when the label was first catching my attention. But I got sent an early preview of this updated version, and it is gorgeous. Apparently the sounds are all sourced from guitar, though many have been boiled down and reduced to an essence, and I would have never guessed the source. This allows for some great moments where the origin is absolutely clear, and the physical qualities get amplified to a level that rips the paint off the walls in the iron mine that this was recorded in. Definitely some music I needed to know about, and an artist I will need to explore further.

Mark Feldman - Sounding Point (Intakt Records)

I only started to hear Feldman recently, even though he has been active for a while, via his appearance in the Susan Alcorn Quintet on last year's Pedernal. And then my wife started really getting into They Might Be Giants, and it turns out he is on a few tracks from that band's 1990 album Flood. I was impressed by both of those, but it turns out I had *no idea* of how much I needed his violin in my life. I got an early copy of this one, and it is an outstanding experience. I can't really speak to the techniques displayed, I'm not highly informed on what all goes into producing these specific sounds, but I don't think that really matters. It's hard not to be impressed, but that is merely a side effect, as all of the nimble changes in the production of sound are all in the service of what is centrally being expressed, there's nothing extraneous about them. It can feel as thrilling as witnessing a tightrope walker magically manifesting their wire in real time as they walk up to the edge, but the emotional terrain that is traversed is what gives this music a lasting impact.

Fred Frith & Ikue Mori - A Mountain Doesn't Know It's Tall (Intakt Records)

Another new one on Intakt, this is something I haven't heard, and honestly I probably have some ground to cover before jumping in on this one. Mori's someone I've been meaning to look into more after I really enjoyed a streamed set she did through Experimental Sound Studio, but I still haven't really gotten started. And then with Frith, I'd listened to some of the John Zorn affiliated stuff and Henry Cow in college, and none of it really connected, but I've recently been going back to the latter and it's really hitting the spot. Naturally, this is going to be different than that RIO jazz rock stuff from the 70's. Mori's highly detailed digital electronics and Frith's "Home-made instruments, various toys and objects" (along with occasional guitar) come together more on the playfully abstract side of improvised music, judging by the previews. It seems like it will be a lot of fun, I may need a minute to get more of a foundation with these artists before checking this one out, but I'm looking forward to getting there.

Kentaro Minoura - 御徒街徒御 (Primordial Void)

It's been exactly eight months since Minoura's last one, but he's already got an excellent follow-up ready to go. This has a similar sort of sound as the previous one, the type of slow beats with rough fidelity that could appeal to fans of Ekoplekz, but this one plays a lot more with stasis, building a whole life within one snapshot, letting you appreciate everything about it before giving you any significant change. Though maybe that sounds a bit intimidating, it's not like there's no developments at play, but if you are eager to see clear evidence from the macro structure that you've gone places, you may find yourself getting a bit impatient. But it is worth slowing down to hang out in these lovingly crafted sonic environments.

Montgomery and Turner - Sounds Passing Through Circumstances (Astral Editions)

This one features Jayve Montgomery from the In Place album I wrote about in December. He's credited with "saxophone, flute, and effects", while Nick Turner is on mellotron and effects. The two worked together on Turner's Tyresta project last year, but I still haven't heard that, so I'm not sure what to expect here. The album is two tracks and the preview for this is the entirety of the last one, so I kind of just want to go in blind and take in the entirety in one go. This means I don't really have any insights to provide about what this will sound like, but I have a good feeling about it.

February 5th, 2021

Afrikan Sciences - Notes From A Solar Return (The Student Body Presents)

Last year was full of fantastic releases from Afrikan Sciences, but they caught me by surprise, so I wasn't able to mention them on this page. Getting to witness the unflaggingly high quality of his releases was a major highlight of 2020. If you're interested in this one, you'll have to act fast! It will be removed at the end of Friday, so you'll want to make sure you get your copy downloaded right away if you do pick this one up. It should be great though, the preview track is a total head trip, there's some kind of weird groove but I have no idea how to find its time, and then there's these synth flares that put an extra wrinkle into the inbetween space. Some beautifully slow disorientation, I wish I knew how to communicate it better. But you can be sure that I'll be having a wonderful time getting lost in it.

Jeremiah Cymerman / Charlie Looker - A Horizon Made Of Canvas (Astral Spirits)

The preview on this features a combination of guitar and clarinet with effects pedals that uses amplification distortion in a really interesting way, I want to picture a sun-bleached desert landscape, but there's something about the clarinet that is just a little too colorful for that kind of visualization. There's also going to be piano in place of guitar on some of the album, and that seems like it would really shift the character. And I was reading at this site Avant Music News, apparently this track isn't even super indicative of what the rest of the album is like. So I'm probably not the best resource on what's up with this album since I'm not even sure how to talk about the publicly available portion, but you can also find a review from A Closer Listen and get a better idea of what's going on with this one. It seems like it will be cool.

George Lewis - Recombinant Trilogy (New Focus Recordings)

A collection of three compositions that Lewis made for specific solo performers, featuring electronic processing that appears to be playing around with generating duplications of the performers. I wrote about how George Lewis is an incredible pioneering composer and genuinely essential listening a few months back when his archival Rainbow Family release came out, and that all is true for his contemporary work as well. I'm particularly interested in the second piece, "Not Alone", composed for Seth Parker Woods. The description on the label website mentions that this is dedicated to Abdul Wadud and references the 1977 album "By Myself". I am very intrigued by the idea of a piece explicitly connecting itself to all of the great cello sounds on that album while also playing with digital duplication and processing.

Galcher Lustwerk - Information (Redacted) (Ghostly)

Not too much entirely new material here, this will mostly be instrumentals from his 2019 album Information and last year's Proof EP, though there are a couple new ones. If you're unfamiliar, I would not suggest starting here, since the vocals contribute a lot to the 4:20 AM insomnia quality that I enjoy in his work, but as a fan it will be nice to get an unobstructed look at what these instrumentals bring to the party.

Lutto Lento - LEGENDO (Haunter Records)

I heard the 2017 album that Lutto Lento put out, and it was a strange one. Some of it had drum programming that was reminiscent of Shackleton, but there was something about the mixture of sound sources and fidelities that made it difficult to really line up with any one artist, scene or category. The preview for this new one gives me the impression that this will also be a hard one to pin down, it spends almost two minutes with fake plucked strings and environmental noises before the beat comes in, which mixes downsampled reverb and crisp drum hits. There's all sorts of extreme contrasts like that, it should be very interesting to see what else the album has, this is quite distinct.

Mukqs - My Most Personal Album To Date (Self Released)

The live hardware approach that Mukqs takes to electronic music has taken many forms over a recent batch of solo releases, from the aquatic ambience of Water Levels to the erratic dance of Deludanoid, but there's been a consistent sense of freedom from the grid, even when dealing with sequenced material, there's still the personal touch of the music being put together by hand in real-time. But this latest album appears to be his most personal album to date, adding some untreated recordings from day-to-day life into the mix. I'm not sure where this might lead, but I find the preview track "Story About Nothing" to be especially promising. The music is sonically subdued but compositionally active, featuring electronic drums mixed with live acoustic guitar. It's like there's a secret precision to the music, it comes off as sounding loose but there's something very deliberate about it, as though it would be very easy to flub. It seems like this is going to activate some great qualities of his previous music in a way that pushes into some exciting new territory.

Byron Westbrook - Distortion Hue (Hands In The Dark)

This one appears to have gone up for stream early, so I've actually already heard the whole thing now. My introduction to Westbrook's music was his 2015 album Precipice, it has some excellent heady explorations of synth timbre and freeform gestures. His 2017 album Body Consonance was different, not exactly dance music, but it existed in a world that could reasonably feature bodies in rapid motion. This new one finds a place that seems simultaneously in-between these two, while also pushing outward into a previously unrepresented dimension, pressurizing the space with distortion. The music is physical, but not propulsive. I'm still early on with the album, but I'm excited by the new direction and am looking forward to spending more time underneath this.

Wobbly - Popular Monitress (Hausu Mountain)

Back in November 2016, the Olivia Block album "Dissolution" came out shortly after the U.S. presidential election, and I found it helpful to make sense of some of the structures that led to this moment through the music. The way Block used obscured voice broadcasts to suggest a sense of menace that was unattributable to any single recording, and appeared to exist within the communication medium itself felt like it was taking something that had been happening for a while, and turning it into music. I'm finding a similar experience with this new album from Wobbly, which features live monitoring software performing audio-to-midi conversions that attempt to duplicate the activity of other instruments, and through their mistakes create something that matches the source but also exaggerates it into something new. I was able to get an early copy of this, and this past month has been an interesting moment to be experiencing the music. I was already familiar with the technique, as it was used on Wobbly's album from 2019, Monitress, but that one had more improvisation and spacey weirdness. On this latest album, the music stays direct and focused, which allows the process to lead to a highly entertaining spectacle, which feels simultaneously more appropriate for the substantial matters that the concept is engaged with, and also it's just more fun. Do not miss this one! It is incredible, essential listening!

January 29th, 2021

Loren Connors & Oren Ambarchi - Leone (Family Vineyard)

The album Ambarchi released in 2019 had some excellent guitar work, where he got the instrument to sound like an organ, and he's working with a similar technique on this album. Even if just the presence of Ambarchi wasn't enough to get me interested in a new recording (he's really great and his name will always catch my attention), then knowing that guitar sound will be there would definitely do the trick (it's a really cool sound). But there's also the structure of this release, with each duo member getting a bookending solo track, leaving only the middle for a collaboration. That's a great format, and it will be especially useful to me here, since the work of Connors is a pretty big blind spot for me, even though he's been working for decades in areas of music that I'm interested in. So it will be helpful to get a focused introduction to what he does. And also, he's a guitarist as well, and the instrument is all that the two of them play on the album. Which leads to the collaboration track (available early for preview) taking this organlike guitar sound into untethered spaced out exploratory areas that weren't really covered on its previous appearance, so I'm particularly sold on this one.

Julius Hemphill - The Boyé Multi-National Crusade for Harmony (New World Records)

I honestly haven't spent enough time with Hemphill's music to justify diving in to this 7 CD archival set from the saxophonist right away. I've mostly been spending time with his gorgeous collaborations with cellist Abdul Wadud, and that pairing is represented in this set, so this is something I am interested in eventually hearing. But I really need to appreciate some of these existing celebrated works before diving into something as massive as this. But if you're already in the know, this seems like it should be essential.

Madlib - Sound Ancestors (Madlib Invazion)

It's been a while since there's been a fully solo Madlib release. Yeah I know Four Tet did mixing and arranging on this album, but what does arranging even mean here? Does anyone actually know? The main draw for me is still Madlib's transformative sampling and composition, and from the preview tracks it sounds like he's delivering strongly in those departments.

William Parker - Migration of Silence Into and Out of The Tone World – [Volumes 1–10] (AUM Fidelity)

So I was just saying above how diving into a giant set from Hemphill might not be a good idea for me right now, and how I need to get more familiar with his work. Well, this set is even more massive, 10 CDs, and I don't think I'm any more informed about Parker's work than Hemphill's. I've heard his bass on a few albums like Frank Lowe - Black Beings and the Cecil Taylor led album The Feel Trio - Looking (Berlin Version), and those are both incredible, but I think I should probably get an idea of what he gets into when he's top-billed before diving into something as massive as this. But since what I've heard from him already has been great, I have a good feeling that when I'm ready, this will be quite an incredible experience.

Hali Palombo - Cylinder Loops (Astral Editions)

Palombo is a new name to me, but she's been putting out some music for a few years now. I'll have to go back and check out the rest, because this one seems very interesting. I'm not entirely sure if the two tracks that are up for preview are indicative of the durations for the rest, but they're both miniatures, just a little over 90 seconds each. Just long enough to communicate a frozen moment, a snapshot of time, constructed out of samples from old wax cylinder recordings created a century ago. The distance from the time of the recordings and the way the fidelity is restricted by old technology and further damaged by the passage of time contribute a lot of character, but what really strikes me is the way she goes about constructing these frozen moments. Each track is billed as an individual loop, but there seem to be multiple layers that are not exactly lined up and produce some instability, and there's some kind of subtle accumulation that forces the fade out at the end. Never to a point where it is totally getting out of hand or anything like that, but enough to make it clear that the moment cannot be frozen forever. Really looking forward to hearing the rest, the Tabs Out review suggests that there's some interesting variety in the sample sources, this should be a cool one.

Proswell - People Are Giving And Receiving Thanks At Incredible Speeds (Central Processing Unit)

I haven't had the chance to write about the recent material from Proswell, but I've been so glad to see him releasing music again. His 2002 album Konami is a particular favorite, there's a lot of stuff I heard back then with synth drums and outwardly emotional melodies, but there's a depth to the melodies he puts together that have kept me coming back to his material all this time. He continued to put out some great stuff but was kind of absent from most of the 2010's, but he's been putting out stuff the past few years has been up there with his finest, while still developing into new territory. Naturally, I'm interested in whatever he's got on offer next, and especially if it's finding a home at CPU.

Marcos Resende & Index - Marcos Resende & Index (Far Out Recordings)

I started keeping an eye on this label after finding Jose Mauro - Obnoxius through their reissue, and seeing as how I completely fell in love with that album, it seemed like a good idea to see what else they have. I still haven't dug in too much, they've been focused on bringing attention to Brazillian music both old and new since the 90's, so there's a fair amount to explore. But this one caught my eye, an archival release from a band that only had one album in 1978 (and judging by the 1000+ people who want a copy on Discogs, it appears to be rather coveted). This one, recorded in 1976, never saw release. The preview track is some funky jazz stuff, with some great weird flourishes. The keys will abruptly transition from being one instrument to another, sometimes with pretty bold changes in timbre or prominent effects, but the playing doesn't miss a beat, it's like the synths are quickly wheeled away and replaced in the brief moment that the hands are raised. It seems like it will be a great time, so nice that this is seeing the light of day!

The Underflow - Instant Opaque Evening (Blue Chopsticks)

This album is a from the trio of Mats Gustafsson, David Grubbs, and Rob Mazurek. They had a recording together from 2019, but I haven't been able to hear it yet, so I can't say how this one compares. I did get an early preview of this new one though, and it is huge. It's compiled from multiple live performances that took place early last year, though I'd have no idea if that information wasn't provided to me, it all sounds pretty seamless and like it is meant to exist as a single unit. I'm really not sure how to sum it up, because it can jump from dense guitar/saxophone/electronics into quieter wholly acoustic moments into songs with vocals from Grubbs, but it still feels like they're finding a specific kind of loose time with each mode, utilizing a consistent exploratory spirit that makes all of these sonic and formal differences easily read as a part of the same narrative. I still feel like I'm only scratching the surface of this one, but I can feel it has begun to carve out a place for itself that will continue to offer new rewards on each return.

USA/Mexico - Del Rio (12XU)

This band has members from Butthole Surfers and Shit & Shine, and they make scuzzy rock music that is so loud, each release seems designed to cause retroactive increases all the dynamic range scores other albums have recieved on http://dr.loudness-war.info/. Like they will have to change what 0 dynamic range means when this new one comes out, everything will be more dynamic than the previous measurements. At least from what I can gather about the preview. Maybe the rest of it changes things up, but I hope not, it's fun to blast this kind of stuff.

January 22nd, 2021

Deuce Avenue - Perennial Fire and Life (unifactor)

Machine Listener - Headfooter (unifactor)

Spednar - Coniunctio (unifactor)

Here's a new batch of releases from unifactor, a label I've been keeping an eye on after they put out the {arsonist} album (a major 2020 highlight). This collection all seems to be beat oriented, though with significantly different styles. The Deuce Avenue album is from an artist who also records as Profligate, who's been on my radar but I still haven't spent time with, I should though because the preview track here sounds very nice. The rhythm is kind of on the skeletal side, there's some prominent white noise with a slow attack and long release in the drum kit alongside other simple timbres like that, and all sorts of moody synths filling out the available space. Machine Listener is another familiar name I haven't yet explored, but who I clearly need to hear. They've got something a little more maximized going on, the drum programming isn't so busy that it's getting deep into glitchy sounding overlap tones, but it gets at this particular type of style that I enjoy a lot, sort of like in the old Phthalocyanine album on Planet Mu, where there's a steady propulsiveness that doesn't get interrupted, and the drums are pummeling away, but they're dynamic about it, and it's just a good fun time. And then the Spednar name feels completely new to me, the preview track was pretty short but it had some great chopped up break stuff, getting into some irregularities in time without going completely off the rails, I'm very intrigued to hear the rest. All in all this seems like a great bunch of albums, and I plan on spending time with the whole lot.

Jon Mueller - Family Secret (American Dreams)

I don't believe I've heard anything from Mueller before this, though he's been around for a while, he was even in a band with a co-founder of Zod Records. And another one with Bon Iver. But this music is not indie folk or midwest breakcore. I was given a preview copy, so I've heard the whole thing, and it's all very slow reverbating sounds from percussion. There's some gongs and singing bowls in there, but it's not like a calming new age experience, the music sounds emotionally haunted. The press release says that the music is informed by Mueller's experience with multiple divorces in the family, and it seems difficult for wordless music to delve into a topic like that, but it really does feel like absence is a central figure here. Making music with absence as a feature while still managing to feel substantial seems like it would be a challenge, but I think he pulls it off here.

Palberta - Palberta 5000 (Wharf Cat)

This band is great, they're a guitar/bass/drums trio and all three of them sing. They strike an incredible balance between taking the familiar shape of a rock band, while still finding a unique sense of time, pushing at the seams and making things fit together when they seem like on paper they absolutely would not, while also not giving any sense that there's any sort of strain, that actually this totally is supposed to work, because it does. So psyched for this one.

January 15th, 2021

N Chambers - Spectrum Garden (Soft Profile)

The recent string of releases from Chambers over the past few years have been stellar, and it looks like this one is going to live up to the standard of high quality synthesized sounds. His timbres feel like they have the complexity of natural sound, but they're deftly balanced so as to not overwhelm the musicality of the tune. I guess this one is actually up to stream at this link now, I haven't had a good chance to focus on the whole thing yet, but I love the way "Ageusia" plays with having a strong sense of a step sequencer grid, but still have a sense of fludity with dynamic spatialization and slow bursts of soft noise pushing at the edges. I'm excited to see what else this album has to show me.

Marcel Sletten - Marcel Sletten (Primordial Void)

I had a great time with all the idiosyncratic music Primordial Void was putting out last year, and now they're kicking off 2021 with the debut EP from Sletten, the label head. I got an early preview of the release, and it pulls off the difficult task of making an impact in just 12 minutes with only synths and what I believe to be guitar sounds. Or maybe there's some other sound sources in there, I'm not entirely sure, but this beatless ingredient list can sometimes leave the listener with the type of background listening that would struggle to make any kind of impression with this short of a runtime. But the music stays active with some unexpected twists and turns, and manages to establish a distinct voice in a way that satisfies, but still leaves the impression he has a lot more to say.

January 8th, 2021

Ka Baird - Vivification Exercises I (RVNG Intl.)

Good Willsmith - HausLive 2: Good Willsmith at Sleeping Village (Hausu Mountain)

My mind has felt a little fried this week so I wasn't able to come up with writing about these two releases, but I've greatly enjoyed music from Ka Baird and Good Willsmith in the past and it will be nice to hear new recordings from them.

January 5th, 2021

MKM: Jason Kahn / Günter Müller / Norbert Möslang - Bangalore (Mikroton)

Periferiya - Boundary Scan (Mikroton)

Schnee: Christof Kurzmann & Burkhard Stangl - Снег (Mikroton)

After being absent for all of 2020, Mikroton comes out swinging with three new releases for the new year. Well, if you want to get technical, they were all set to be available for streaming on Bandcamp on December 29th. The specifics of these release dates can get kind of meaningless, it doesn't really matter. What's important is that there's good music, and you can hear it now if you want. I still haven't checked out the MKM one, but I would definitely recommend the latest Schnee project from Kurzmann & Stangl. They've got all sorts of warped electroacoustic sounds, some of them that can be traced back to a guitar, so it might sound like it'll be a difficult listen but they keep it pretty soft and away from anything earsplitting. And there's also singing! Not an insignificant amount, either. I still need to spend more time with it, of course, but I think they pull off keeping things simultaneously strange and inviting very well. The Periferiya is maybe a bit more on the "traditional" side of electroacoustic improvisation, though it strikes me as being very well executed, and it may have some unique qualities that will reveal themselves to me over time. I will say, there is still something impressive to me about 6 musicians getting together and managing to leave space for each other without going into the extremes of quietness when making this sort of music.

January 1st, 2021

Various Artists - Tour Mode (SUPERPANG)

So I typically don't have advance notice of whatever SUPERPANG is putting out, but the prolific label announced that they will be putting up a free compilation on the 1st. It's their 40th release since getting started in mid-June, and appropriately enough, there will be 40 tracks from 40 different artists. This means that at least some of the material should be previously unreleased, since they've had a few artist repeats on the previous 39. If you haven't checked the label out yet and are a fan of music that uses digital sound generation to explore sounds that could only come from that environment, for the purpose of unlocking new kinds of musical expressions, then this should be a great way to get introduced.

December 18th, 2020

Rrill Bell - Ballad of the External Life (elevator bath)

I hadn't heard of Rrill Bell before, but he reached out and shared this one with me early, and it's a wonderfully paced musique concrete journey. The description says he has some kind of modified Fostex multi-tracker, and it does feel like there is some direct-by-hand manipulations happening with these sounds, but the exaggerations are deployed somewhat sparingly and avoid getting into comical territory. Don't get me wrong, I love a good comical exaggeration when I hear it, but it wouldn't work for the feeling of this music. There's patient moments with outdoor field recordings that pull the focus into the details, and subtle quivers take on a greater sense of scale, so that when the moments with a full soundscape hit, they really hit hard.

Maria Chavez & Lucas Gorham - Live At Jewel's Catch One (Ratskin Records)

Whenever there's new recorded material from Maria Chavez, it is cause for celebration. She's amazing, and it's to the benefit of everyone that we get more documentation of her highly considered artistic practice centered around turntables. If you haven't heard her 2019 album using a blank record to magnify the raw sound of the recording medium and some effects processes, it's really special. On this album, she improvises live with Lucas Gorham, who plays lap-steel guitar and electronics, and is someone I should become more familiar with. The first half of this is available to preview now, and I'm not really sure how to exactly put into words what is going on, but their sounds combine into something incredible, I can't wait to hear the rest!

Electric Sound Bath - Of This World (Moon Glyph)

My friend Brian was pointing out that the LCM album that came out recently on Orange Milk had featured two people with albums on Moon Glyph this year, Lynn Avery (aka Iceblink) and Cole Pulice. That got me thinking, I've been neglecting to keep up with that label, but they do good work. And it turns out they have one more release for the year, and although I'm unfamiliar with this duo, they seem to have a really good thing going here. The band name seems like it kind of gives the right idea, although I think the idea of a sound bath suggests something undynamic. Bath water tends to be all about the same, it's just sitting there, looking clear and feeling uniform in temperature. But this sounds much more dynamic than that, like a symphony of jets firing off at different times, with their own temperatures and varieties of colors, from lights or food coloring or something. If you want to relax, it seems like it will do the trick but I think it will also have something to offer for an attentive listen.

December 11th, 2020

Joshua Abrams' Cloud Script - Cloud Script (RogueART)

I never fully know when stuff from this label is coming out, but every listed release date I can find appears to be for this day. Though that's just for the vinyl version, the CD won't be until later, so no matter what I'm probably not going to get to hear this until next year. But I will want to hear it. Abrams is behind some of my favorite music with the Natural Information Society albums and through various groups with Matana Roberts, Ben Vida, Nicole Mitchell and so many others. This new one is a quartet with Abrams on double bass, Gerald Cleaver on drums, Jeff Parker on guitar, and Ari Brown on tenor saxophone. The sample on the label page has a really interesting unstable sense of speed, really looking forward to eventually hearing it all!

Biochip - Crux Alley (Central Processing Unit)

I missed the debut that CPU put out from this duo last year, but this "Dopamine City" track they've got up to stream for this one sounds very nice. Some of the drums have this reverb going that make me think of rain, with clearer spatialization on other elements and a large bass synth carving into the track helping to keep things dynamic. If this is anything to go by, I'm going to have a great time unwinding with this one.

Avalon Emerson - 040 (AD 93)

It's been a while since Emerson's "One More Fluorescent Rush" came out in 2017, but she's got 3 new ones on this EP. While that previous track title really nailed the vibe of the music back then, the preview track for this seems a bit more open and has a little sadness mixed in. It would still be great to hear this loud while dancing with a room full of people, but there is something different to the mood for sure.

In Place - Half Life (FPE Records)

I didn't recognize the names involved in this at first, but after some research it was clear I had heard JayVe Montgomery on "Contra/Fact" from Matthew Lux's Communication Arts Quartet, and he's also done some other stuff with Ben LaMar Gay and Crazy Doberman, so he's definitely someone I should look into more. But Ryan Scott Mattingly is completely new to me, and he was actually the impetus for this collaboration according to the description. It was started right when the realities of the pandemic were really starting to set in, Mattingly started recording improvisations and then reached out to Montgomery, they worked in isolation and then shaped the recordings into this album. There's a couple tracks up for preview, and on the one hand it makes sense to say that the bleakness of this current time comes through in the music, like in the way the track "Asymptomatic Carrier" gets swallowed by Mattingly's guitar distortion, but I think there's something in the saxophone from Montgomery that keeps the music focused on the humanity of living in this moment rather than just a depiction of the bleakness.

Jessy Lanza - 24/7 (Hyperdub)

Here's a collection of remixes of tracks from Lanza's album from earlier this year. Visible Cloaks are doing Ice Creamy, I'm so psyched to find out what they do wih those vocals! That seems like a great pairing. But then there's also going to be some from Foodman, Kate NV, and Loraine James as well as some other names I'm less familiar with, but just from who I know, this looks really promising.

Linda Catlin Smith - Meadow (Louth CMS)

So I'm not actually sure where this will be available for purchase, but this sounds like it'll be available for digital download and I won't have to wait for a CD to arrive or anything. I've only heard the Apartment House recordings of Smith's music on Another Timbre, but those are all wonderful. Not really sure what this one will sound like, but I saw the album on this list from Tim Rutherford-Johnson, so go check that out if you'd like a specific idea of what's on this one.

December 10th, 2020

Various Artists - VII (Klammklang)

Back around the end of September, Adam Badí Donoval tweeted out a thread of labels in Eastern Europe that deserve more attention, but I still need to investigate them all further. But something must have stuck in my brain, because when I saw this release get mentioned in the "My Wife Has Better Taste Than I Do" section of the First Floor newsletter, there was some kind of familiarity that made me sure that this was something I needed to look into. The newsletter specifically highlighted the track featuring Sugai Ken, who I was just talking about on this page a couple of weeks ago, so there's that bit of familiarity as well. But yeah, I'm glad I had that all built up, because this track by Vlad Dobrovolski and Sugai Ken is so wonderfully bizarre, the way it operates has this sort of dream logic, where everything makes sense in the moment, but then when I think back on it I'm really not sure how all of that just happened. I'm unfamiliar with Dorovolski, and most of the other names on this compilation celebrating 7 years of the label, but this looks like a great entry point into the adventurous music they put out.

December 4th, 2020

Anz - Spring​/​Summer Dubs 2020 (Self Released)

If you still haven't heard this mix that Anz put on SoundCloud earlier in the year, you may have a chance to get it on tape when it goes on sale this Friday. I say may, because enough people have heard it and know it rules, all the pre-sale copies are gone, so you'll probably need to be speedy to catch it when the rest of the stock is made available. But even if you can only get a digital copy, you will be treated to 84 continuous minutes of irresistable rhythms that will take you on a journey but are never far from joy. A great way to blast away the winter doldrums!

German Army - What Brought You Here (superpolar Taïps)

qualchan. - bumper music for the end times. (superpolar Taïps)

moduS ponY - Systemmetry (superpolar Taïps)

Here's an interesting project, these three releases are all cassingles, no more than 2 minutes and 30 seconds per side. This label is doing a whole bunch of them (the first batch last month included one from Tiger Village), and then when they're all done, the A-sides will be put together on a compilation. If you want to hear these b-sides though, you'll have to be quick, since they're only doing 10 copies for each one. In some cases you may already be too late. I was able to get an early look at some of these though, and the qualchan. one sounds like it is more of the fantastic downtempo looping music that they excel at. It's an especially great one to sink into, the strong low end makes the crisper details really pop. German Army is an artist that I've never heard, but they've been active for close to a decade and made appearances on cool labels like Night People, Genot Centre, Monofonus Press and many more. Their a-side has a nice mix of percussion and indeterminately sourced sounds that collect into a singular murkiness, but still allow for a lot to rise out of the murk and be relatively visible. And I haven't heard moduS ponY, but like many of the artists involved in this, I think this will be a fun opportunity to find out more.

Susu Laroche - Incivility (Primordial Void)

I've never heard any of Laroche's earlier work, but I got an early copy of this one and it has come at just the right time. It's the perfect music for this season where I'm losing all natural light by 5 PM. The music sounds dark, but there's still that alertness and energy that works well with the day being nowhere close to over yet. There's a strong foundation of electronic percussion with varieties of hits that evoke unrelenting hand drums, mixed with vocals that might get obscured and lack absolute clarity, but still communicate a forcefulness that supports the forward motion. Though the forward motion is not exactly straightforward, because there's some really interesting play with tempo here, very clear shifts in speed that sound mechanically exact going from point A to B, but the way they come in still has this awkward human quality to them, I still don't totally have a good idea of how to describe it, but it gives these tracks a very distinct feel. I'm looking forward to gaining a better understanding of it.

Macie Stewart & Lia Kohl - Recipe For a Boiled Egg (Astral Spirits)

This seems like it will be an odd one, this video for the song "Stuff it in Your Mouth and Run (Hi)" features Stewart's violin and Kohl's cello producing all sorts of odd plucks, scrapes and slaps, and then vocals from both members of the duo take the piece into something like stability before the 1:16 runtime comes to a close. Another video, for "Song for Soft Serve", suggests that they will get into calmer territories as well, but since this is barely a minute longer, it seems like this one might have quite a variety of quick shots. Sounds like a good time!

Various Artists - Cache 02 (SVBKVLT)

A compilation of all new tracks from SVBKVLT connected artists on here, including Gabber Modus Operandi, 33EMYBW, Osheyack, Slikback, Hyph11E, and Tzusing. So if you're unfamiliar with those names, here's a great chance to change that. And if you are familiar, then you know that this should be a good mix of exciting dance music.

Various Artists - PlanetMµ25 (Planet Mu)

When I was really getting started exploring electronic music 19 years ago, Planet Mu was an incredible resource, bringing my attention to artists like Jega, Venetian Snares, Leafcutter John, and so many others. So it is wonderful to see that with this new collaboration commemorating a quarter-century of the label, they are still bringing an outstanding variety of fresh voices to the attention of listeners. It looks like there is a mixture of previously released material and brand new stuff, but there's a nice looking batch of footwork, including something new from RP Boo (his 2018 album continues to feel even more impressive as time goes on, new material is very good news), and also something new from the legendary Bogdan Raczynski along with some other exclusives. There's also some opportunities to see how excellent the material from Speaker Music, Rian Treanor, East Man, and others has been over the course of this year, in case you missed them. So if you haven't been paying attention this is a great opportunity to fix that, but even if you have been, there should still be some cool stuff in here.

LIVE: Frequency Fridays: Andrew Bernstein / Joo Won Park / Jetski / Death Grippos (Fuse Factory)

Here's a live show stream that should be pretty great. I don't know two of the artists on the bill, but Jetski is a friend and does incredible stuff. He does a lot of fantastic mashups and djing, but I think he will be getting into some max/msp plunderphonic art on this one. The music he creates in this genre has a sense of absurdity to it, but it's in the service of making some pretty extreme musical concepts palatable, really putting the trojan horse potential to good use. And then Bernstein is a member of Horse Lords, but I've also heard some of his mind blowing solo saxophone minimalism, so that should be quite a treat to see. And it will be exciting to see what these other musicians are all about, the show is at 8 PM ET (adjust for your own time zone as needed), I'll be there for sure!

November 27th, 2020

Auspicious Family & Laure Boer - Wayward Symmetry (CHINABOT)

I had seen some releases on Chinabot getting praise from trustworthy sources, but hadn't actually investigated them. I got an early preview copy of this one though, and I'm thinking I need to go back and see what I've been missing, because this is quality. It's one of those split releases where you get the two parties collaborating (on the first and last tracks, in this instance), alongside some solo work from the participants. Since I haven't heard either of these artists, it's really nice to be able to get a sense of their individual characteristics alongside the products of their collaboration. From the solo work, you get to hear Auspicious Family's spooky atmosphere accompanying their mix of electronically enabled looping rhythms with additional acoustic percussion, and Boer's feedback-heavy focused explorations that use soft vocals to guide the sound in a clear form. But then the collaborations aren't as simple as A + B, there's a spaciousness both in the sound and in the general approach to time itself in a way that wouldn't have been immediately obvious from the combination, but makes so much sense as a place they could reach with their combined height.

Atte Elias Kantonen - Frankille (Active Listeners Club)

This new one from Active Listeners Club (last seen in October releasing the supremely excellent Things EP from pantea) features an artist who is relatively new to me. I only have just recently heard Kantonen's SUPERPANG release, but I guess he's been pretty active this year, with releases on Granny Records and New York Haunted as well. So I'm not sure how to speak about this in the context of all his work, but the production on this has a fantastic use of clarity (both sonically and spatially), a real treat for the headphones. And it seems like if there's a running thread through the current ALC releases, it's in the way each has featured music that embraces its own distinct sound grammar, performed with a level of confidence that makes the communication unambiguous even when the gestures and developments in timbre feel unfamiliar. There's great stuff here, and I'm excited to find out more about Kantonen's activities and to see what both he and ALC have planned for the future.

Jahari Masamba Unit - Pardon My French (Madlib Invazion)

Here's one from Madlib & Karriem Riggins, following up on a project that appeared as a part of Madlib's Medicine Show #7: High Jazz way back in 2010 and on the Yesterdays Universe! compilation from 2007. So it seems like this collaboration has been brewinmg for quite a while, and it will be very nice to see what they can do with a full album. I've only heard the brief track that's available to stream right now, so I'm not sure how to talk about this with any depth beyond saying "this is going to be good", but you can check out what Marcus J. Moore has to say in Bandcamp Daily for a bit more detail about this one.

Sugai Ken - Tone River (Field Records)

I haven't spent enough time with Sugai Ken's music, but what I've heard has been some truly idiosyncratic synthesis. This new one features recordings of the lengthy Tone River at various locations as the foundation of the music, with the synthetic contributions seeming like they are guided by the flow of the water, taking the listener on a journey into the ocean. Sounds like a good trip!

Nexcyia - Crawl EP (Alien Jams)

I'm unfamiliar with Nexciya, I think this is his debut release, aside from some digital singles. I don't know if I would have caught it if not for the Alien Jams connection (they do great work!), but this really seems like music I need to know about. The preview track that's up for stream now has a great sound to it, it's like there's a resynthesis of recorded sound happening here, and usually that type of technique brings to mind words like "mangled". But this is more like a sharpening, it doesn't sound destructive to the source, it keeps some aspect of reality present in the sound. And there's something about the structure and rhythm, it all holds together in a way that I'm not sure how to articulate yet, it's like there is a light grip over everything that still leads to something precise in its own way. This seems like it will be a very cool one.

Nkisi - INT001 (Initiation)

2020 has seen a couple of releases from Nkisi that I've missed, so I'm not sure if the development from her 2019 album 7 Directions to the material here was demonstrated gradually, but I was surprised by the move from the cleaner sound on that album into the more distorted and grittier quality of the preview track for this new one. It's not like a harsh assault on the ears or anything, it's just like the energy got kicked up and started to spill outside of the lines, which also seems like it's reflected in the way the rhythms work on here, like there's these secondary faster rhythms operating within the primary, maintaining clarity on where the lines are while also making clear that they cannot contain what is inside. I don't know, maybe that doesn't entirely make sense or adequately capture what's going on here, but it sounds like it is going to be a blast!

Luis Pestana - Rosa Pano (Orange Milk)

This is a special album. I was lucky to get a preview copy a little while ago, and I have been having the best time with it. There's just a little more than 30 minutes of music, but the narrative feels feature length, full of surprises in the different ways it finds beauty. The music is a cohesive mixture of acoustic instruments like woodwinds, zither and vocals alongside electronic sound, with time-distorting long notes as a foundation, but also passages that pop up and forcefully bring you into fully experiencing the moment. You can get a sense for the twists and turns of these compositions with the track "Sangra", since that's up as a preview stream. The opening doesn't really seem like it adequately prepares you for the explosiveness that is waiting, but there's nothing wacky or random about it, it feels like it stays true to the emotional character that has been established. If anyone asks me about what was so great about music in this year, this will be one of the first things I reach for.

November 25th, 2020

Ashley Paul - Ray (Slip)

Last time Paul released an album on Slip was 2018's "Lost In Shadows", a fantastic collection of songs and instrumentals that occupies a very particular space, full of brittle acoustic textures that lead to great beauty. This new one seems to be moving into somewhere warmer, but still maintaining a distinct character all it's own. It's a trio with bass clarinet and double bass along with all the instruments Paul takes care of, and from the preview track it seems like she brings the sharper edges to the music while the other two players are providing a stable low end, but who knows if that gets shaken up on the rest of the album. Either way, this should be taking Paul's songs into new territory and it will be a treat to fully understand the lay of the land.

November 20th, 2020

The Bug ft. Dis Fig - In Blue (Hyperdub)

Last year's album from Dis Fig got into some amazing brutal territory, so I was surprised to find out that this collaboration was happening and was going in a trip hop direction. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a cool development, I just was not expecting it at all. It seems like it's going to work very well, the previews suggest the overall character is informed by the presence of softened noise textures, which provides some roughness to the music, but in a way that compliments the groove and the beauty.

E-Saggila - Corporate Cross (Hospital Productions)

I've still only heard last year's "My World My Way" from E-Saggila, but the combination of pummeling beats and just a dash of tunefulness was quite excellent, she is really someone I need to hear more. The previews on this one almost seem like an inverse of that previous release, where there's plenty of room for tunefulness with just a dash of pummelling. Sounds like a great time!

Cait Foran - Eternal Return (Phinery)

As far as I can tell, this might be Foran's debut release. The preview sounds like an excellent mix slow, loose synthesizer patterns with voice and other acoustic samples. And the description suggests there's a very deliberate melding of the acoustic with the electronic for the whole album, so I expect that the rest of the album will continue to deliver the goods!

Robert Hood - Mirror Man (Rekids)

When I was first getting into electronic music, I found the minimal Detroit techno stuff like Hood's "Internal Empire" or Jeff Mills' "The Art Of Connecting" to be the most challenging of anything I was hearing, and rather than rising to the challenge, I shrank, and it took years for me to appreciate the greatness of this music. So I don't think I'm qualified to speak about this music with much authority, but I still feel like this is going to be a good one, and needs all possible attention called to it. There was an EP released in October that featured some tracks from this, and they sound great. The sense of space on "The Cure" is amazing, when the low end is hitting it all sounds so huge, and Hood does an excellent job pulling it back when necesary, so that there is the greatest impact when it hits that maximum scale.

LXV - A Screen Memory (Enmossed)

Earlier this year, LXV released "Fyzz", and I'm still grappling with it. It's compelling, but I don't know exactly what to make of the extremes it goes to in stripping down the sound. But the preview for this one sounds a bit more accomodating, there's a repeating melodic stab that runs through it and is easier to hold on to. Sure, there's still something extreme in the constancy of this central repeating element, so this may not sit well with the impatient type, but I believe that it'll provide a rewarding experience if you give it patience and focus.

Raft of Trash - Likeness on the Edge of Town (Warm Winters Ltd.)

This one is quite an odd experience. I got to hear the entire thing, but only very recently, so I'm still in the stage of uncertainty regarding what all is going on with it, but I've been having a great time so far. The album uses SimCity 3000 as an instrument, seemingly muting the soundtrack and relying on the environmental sound effects, converting those into MIDI to feed into synths and samplers, with some guitar, field recordings, and narrative spoken word over top. You can see from this tweet that the cities they use aren't impractical for gameplay purposes, like they didn't just awkwardly repurpose the game into a semi-conventional musical instrument. It's more like a collaboration with the game, using the environmental characteristics of various areas of the map that would arise in standard gameplay. And then the additions on top of this sonic environment keeps things focused and moving forward into some really special moments that feel like they couldn't have happened any other way. I think I'll have more to say as I spend more time with it, and after I see this upcoming online concert on Friday. But one thing I'm sure of for now is that this is worthy of serious engagement.

Wang Lu - An Atlas Of Time (New Focus Recordings)

Honestly, I still need to spend more time with Wang Lu's 2018 debut album. I'm confident that it's a good one, but I don't know how to properly articulate why. I guess I would say there's something about how her compositions can be elaborate and colorful while keeping roots in the realm of the personal, but there's more to it than that. But this new one seems to maintain that quality, the title piece ia 5 movements that all appear to have some connection with specific memories. For instance, the one that's available for pre-release streaming opens with audio from the opening credits of a children's TV show, and then for the next three minutes the orchestra takes a wide variety of perspectives on that piece of music, overlapping in dizzying ways that gets at something more complicated than pure nostalgia. I'm excited to go deeper into this composer's world.

Tristan Welch - Ambient Distress (Somewherecold Records)

I usually try to avoid using the word "ambient" on this page, I feel like that term makes it seem like the music is mood wallpaper, and that's never what I like about it. And even though ambient is right there in the title, I'd still argue that this one warrants an engaged listening experience. I got an early preview copy of this one, and although I haven't had it for very long, I think it's doing something very intriguing. The title may make it sound like a "dark" ambient work, but the primary musical qualities of this all seem quite nice, I don't think it's the sort of thing that would get described as ominous. I see the title as attributing a quality of ambience to stress, as something that is a constant presence even through ostensibly happy moments. I don't know exactly what to attribute it to in the music, but it's like there's little hints of anxiety that continually pop up. When music gets described as unsettling, it always seems to be something overt, but this seems like it is working much more subtly to accomplish that goal. I still have a lot of uncertainty around what is happening here, but it really does feel like it speaks to a specific relatable experience that I don't see enough of in music.

November 17th, 2020

Heinrich Schwarzer - Zähler, Figur, Puls 0​-​2 (Conditional)

Have you ever seen those videos of people getting swarmed by puppies, where the person is overwhelmed but also having the best time? That was the image that came to mine for me while I was listening to this, after getting a sneak preview of the full thing. Though the material here is highly synthetic, it still feels soft and full of joy, like a puppy. There is still some force to the sounds here, some bass and occasional sharp texture in the flurries of sounds, which flit around the speed threshold between the perception of distinct individual sound objects and a blended unified tone. But none of it hurts, even if it briefly steps on my face, it's all joy and I love it.

November 13th, 2020

brin - Homescreen Glow (Leaving Records)

It has been such a delight to find out about brin's music this year, so I'm glad to see we a full length release as things wind down. This is music that makes its own time, with sounds firing off from every direction and landing outside of where a single grid would suggest they all should, with each one still managing to clearly feel like they nailed their target. I haven't heard any of the previews on this one yet so I can't say exactly what to expect here, but it is going to be awesome, I am sure.

M. Geddes Gengras - Time Makes Nothing Happen (Hausu Mountain)

I actually already wrote about this back on 5/1, when it was first getting the self release treatment. But now it has a bonus track, and it really does feel like it is at home with Hausu Mountain. So it makes sense to me to call attention to this new issue. Though this one is different than Gengras' other Hausu Mountain album, that shouldn't be a surprise since Gengras covers a lot of territory in his music. This one has a lot of drum work that maintains a strong sense of momentum and mostly keeps things barrelling forward, with none of the programming ever feeling like it gets into overcomplicated territory, never drifting outside of what hands in real time are capable of, while the overall sound never really gets too heavy or distorted. It's a great one to launch you into the day!

Ana Roxanne - Because of a Flower (Kranky)

There's something special in the color temperature of Roxanne's 2019 release "~~~", like it's a little warm and a little cool at the same time, without ever feeling neutral. It's a lovely release. But it was recorded in 2015. So even though it hasn't been that long for the listener, there has been a lot of time for her sound to develop to wherever it's at on this new album. And I've only heard the preview tracks, but one has drums! But it's not anything aggressive or a betrayal of what came before. The way these drums come together with her vocals and the synths finds a new sort of beauty that still feels like it stays true to what came before. The other track doesn't have drums, so maybe it's just an outlier in that regard, but I think the development bodes well for whatever choices are found on the rest of the album.

Barry Walker Jr. - Shoulda Zenith (Holy Mountain)

I saw Dave Segal mention this on Twitter, I wasn't familiar with the artist but his description sounded irresistable. I've only heard the preview tracks, but this one "Up the Fan, Into the Keyhole" has Walker playing his pedal steel guitar in a way that evokes Sonny Sharrock on "Black Woman", with the drums and bass keeping up beautifully. The description makes me think there's going to be more variety and it won't all be exploring this territory, but the other reference points sound cool, so I think this will be a lot of fun.

November 6th, 2020

Black Pus - Def Vesper (Self Released)

New one from Brian Chippendale's solo project. I love the stuff he does under this alias and in Lightning Bolt so of course I'll be checking this one out and playing it loud.

glia - concentrics vii (Self Released)

A new one in glia's excellent concentrics series, I've only heard the tracks that are available for preview but I'm confident you should make sure to hear this one. The description bills it as "focused on rhythmic perception / deception", and there's some really amazing rhythm disruptions that happen on these previews. And glia has this really great approach to timbre, like there's a wonderful character to the sonics but it's like they're not overly weighted with detail, like it's kept right at that threshold between floating and sinking. Maybe that doesn't make sense but this is going to be some good music!

Calum Gunn - Paradox of Choice (OOH-sounds)

Here is another one I was able to get a full preview on, but I also was not able to spend as much time with it as I'd like. Gunn is behind Conditional records and also a fine musician in his own right, and on this album he collects music that was the result of various production methods, but according to the description there has been some kind of sonic unification process. I think it worked, there's still plenty of variety, like you'll get some great use of reverb to play with impossible spaces on one track, but then others will stay completely dry, or you'll have some FM synth playfulness in one spot, and then other areas are more serious sounding. I think after all is said and done, this one manages to hit the sweet spot where it all makes sense together as a package, but the variety leaves me feeling like the album goes places and doesn't spend all its time in one sandbox.

Pole - Fading (Mute)

There's a lot of love for Pole's trilogy of numbered albums from 98-00, though I did like the more colorful clarity on albums like 2015's Wald. The Boomkat description for this one suggests something that will be more satisfying for the fans of the earlier sound. I haven't checked any previews but the cover looks all messed up in a cool way, like datamosh that was left out in the rain.

Marina Rosenfeld - Deathstar (Shelter Press)

I'm not sure if I fully understand this one, but if you follow the link for this one, you can see this album has a pretty cool cover depicting something with lots of wires and microphones. The object depcted can be seen fully constructed on Rosenfeld's website here, the 4th and 9th images from the top. So that's the Deathstar, and it'll be powering a computerized system that selectively plays recordings from all of these microphones. I'm not able to find out what's guiding the conditions for when the system is silent, or when it's repeating portions of recordings, since it doesn't seem to rely on direct human input, but I like the sound of whatever it has going on, seems to have a good balance. This album also features material that adds piano to the mix, or takes the live-edited Deathstar recordings and transcribes them for chamber orchestra. This seems like it is going to be a huge one.

Jacob Sachs-Mishalaine - Scribble (Mondoj)

I haven't checked what this actually sounds like, but the description sounds like it fits the trend of Mondoj putting out delightfully unusual music, so really that's all I need to know, I'll be listening.

November 5th, 2020

Kobe Van Cauwenberghe - Anthony Braxton: Ghost Trance Solos (All That Dust)

Bryan Eubanks & Xavier Lopez - Catherine Lamb: Wave/Forming (Astrum) (All That Dust)

Anthony Pateras & Erkki Veltheim - Duos For Other Instruments (All That Dust)

I was kindly given the chance to check out a preview of this new batch from All That Dust. I still need to spend much more time with them, but there is so much to enjoy here. There's Cauwenberghe's take on Braxton's ghost trance music, which seems like it successfully captures the playful joy of the compositions, while still putting his own distinct character into the mix. Then there's the Pateras & Veltheim duo, two pieces with an initial impression of consistency, but as I sunk in deeper there was all of this activity, I couldn't be entirely sure if it wasn't my own hallucinations, but I believe there's truly something on the inside revealing itself, and I loved it. And the Eubanks & Lopez performance of the Lamb piece really blew me away, it's a binaural recording, headphones are required. The impact is subtle and you're not going to have 3d movie objects flying out at the audience, but the spatialization allows for so many subtle ways that sounds reveal themselves in the periphery, it helps this collection of mewing sines develop into something that I find incredibly satisfying, highly recommended!

Nick Edwards - Temporal Bandwidth (Self Released)

Technically this came out yesterday, but I still had to give some mention to it because Edwards' music (you may be familiar with the material released as Ekoplekz) is fantastic. Really not sure how to describe this one, like it's operating in a space that has peacefulness overlapping with something contradictory, that I don't know how to sum up with a word. Like the only dissonance is cognitive? That might not make any sense, but this is good stuff.

October 30th, 2020

Black To Comm - Oocyte Oil & Stolen Androgens (Thrill Jockey)

This has been a prolific season for Black To Comm, with the surprise release of the "A C of M" album crafted during a Covid lockdown, and the excellent releases under his Mouchoir Étanche alias. And now here's a second Black To Comm album, although this one seems like it is the deliberate follow-up to 2019's "Seven Horses For Seven Kings". Not because it sounds like that album, but because it sounds like a major statement of progression, like Seven Kings and the self titled album before it. I'm not sure exactly where he has arrived with his sound, but the preview tracks make it sound like it has a distinct sense of beauty through clarity that feels new for this project and will end up making this a very special experience.

Luciane Cardassi - Going North (Redshift)

I was sent a full preview for this one, and while all the names involved were unfamiliar to me, the logline "Music for piano (+ voice) and electronic sounds by Canadian and Brazilian composers" is exactly the sort of thing that will get my attention. I feel like I still don't know this music well enough to speak definitively about what it is, but I'm enjoying the experience. The compositions all ask something a little different from the piano, but Cardassi has the range for it, and even with all the variety it feels like there is a unified perspective on the entire package. Like if you take the Alexandre Espinheira composition "Berimbau", there's all sorts of odd timbres and flare ups of vocals, claps, and electronic whirrs. There's still a place for some clearer piano sounds, so it does have that connection to the other pieces, which may contain more negative space, subdued sounds, or dynamic speed. But I still think there is something more that holds this together than the piano at the foundation. Even if I'm not sure how to articulate that, I'm still confident that this is a fine collection of electroacoustic piano music.

Judith Hamann - Music for Cello and Humming (Blank Forms Editions)

Judith Hamann - Shaking Studies (Blank Forms Editions)

There was a release from Hamann on Black Truffle that I neglected to list here, and it turned out to be quite excellent. And there were already so many signs that I needed to be paying attention to her music, she's a part of Golden Fur with James Rushford, and that group had a fantastic album with Klaus Lang last year on Another Timbre. But if it wasn't already clear to me, then these releases would leave no doubt that I need to listen. "Music for Cello and Humming" features a composition by Sarah Hennies, and it sounds like it deliberately uses strain (via instructions to hum outside of her vocal range) in a way that I think Hennies can set up in a very compelling way. Like with the Hennies piece I mentioned a few weeks ago, "Falsetto" (though ironically that one did not feature vocals). There's also something from Anthony Pateras and some of Hamann's own compositions for cello and humming. And then there's "Shaking Studies", which seems to have something to do with her connection to Éliane Radigue, Charles Curtis, and wolf tones that are generated from shaking the cello. I didn't even know wolf tones was an actual term before reading the description on this, so I'm excited to see what that's all about.

George Lewis - Rainbow Family (Carrier Records)

I happened to get recommended some George Lewis music early last year, just in time for his "Voyage and Homecoming" album with Roscoe Mitchell. That album features the Voyager software Lews developed, which in this instance is controlling a piano in response to what Lewis and Mitchell are playing. I've had an incredible time going back through all of Lewis' music, it's a genuinely essential experience for anyone interested in innovative music. So I could not be more thrilled to see this precursor to his Voyager work from 1984, powered by Apple II computers! Check out this video of the piece in action. It's such a cool undertaking, and the description on the album page gives so much information about how this all works. I am going to have a great time diving into all of this.

Nonlocal Forecast - Holographic Universe​(​s​?​)​! (Hausu Mountain)

Previously, I said that Angel Marcloid's music as Fire-Toolz seemed especially risky, because the combination of all the different styles that can appear on a Fire-Toolz album creates so many opportunities to offend a listener's sensibilities, whether it be from the bright synths or the metal vocals or any number of things. But I actually found her Nonlocal Forecast project to be the one that stumped me initially. The name seems to reference The Weather Channel, a television network that established an identity in the 80's and 90's with the help of a specific kind of music. But I think the music on this album is less about that specific corporate identity, and more about how music can be made to sound safe for corporate identities in general, and what people can do about it. I heard the first Nonlocal Forecast album last year, and I just couldn't understand how to meet it, I was always taking it at a distance. But I got the opportunity to hear this second album, and I really came around to this one. There can be material that feels like it could get on The Weather Channel, like "We're Smeared Across A 2D Surface (Part 0)", but there's little touches like all these small clusters of drums where you could get away with just a hit and other embellishments, and they're all supporting this main melody that I can only think to describe as extravagent. It feels like it's getting away with something, sneaking compelling musical expression into a style unambiguously based in commerce, in the same way as older library music like the work of Joel Vandroogenbroeck. I think what made this click for me was recognizing the kinship there, how this is music that could get away with having portions become adopted into a corporate identity, but the whole picture of it could only be coming from the perspective of an individual.

Oneohtrix Point Never - Magic Oneohtrix Point Never (Warp)

I've been fascinated by Oneohtrix Point Never's move towards drums since he started releasing music on Warp. Like there weren't really any drums on R Plus Seven, just a few synths that were kind of punchy. Then on Garden of Delete, it's supposed to be angsty, so you'd think there'd be drums now. But there's not, it's just punchy synths, though they're positioned more like drums. Some people say they're drums, but even if they are, they're not around much at all. But then on Age Of, you actually did have some drums, but they're not really much of a factor until the second half of the album. And now here we are with Magic Oneohtrix Point Never, and I've only heard the first half of the album that's been put up for preview, but there's all sorts of drums on it. I think that development has all sorts of implications, like with his overall musical progression from the spacier Juno-60 focused stuff into the more precise music on Warp Records, and how maybe some of that Warp material wasn't impossible to engage with in a similar way as the initial music, but as things have gone on, it seems like you almost have to engage with him as a different musician, and that can be a very rewarding experience but leaves many alienated fans complaining. But then it's also funny because the album title is a callback to "Betrayed In The Octagon", and that move suggests that maybe the old spirit is still there and my framing is incorrect. So it'll be cool to hear the whole thing and see how that all plays out.

Arash Pandi - Exotic Paradox (Zabte Sote)

I already mentioned most of the releases in this new batch from Zabte Sote (don't miss those, they are good!), but there's also this new one from Arash Pandi. I'm not sure if Pandi has much music available, but the preview suggests that it is essential that this music get out there. There's been some great electronic music happening that draws from Iranian classical music, but the preview track here carves out its own space with the way it can feel fully synthetic and yet still strike some kind of organic quality in the grit of distortion. It is all sounding very promising and I can't wait to get the whole picture.

Whatever SUPERPANG is putting out (SUPERPANG)

This label only just got going in June, but they've been catching my eye by releasing music from artists I know and love, like Ben Vida or William Fields. It's been difficult to feature the label on this page, since the releases aren't clearly announced ahead of time, and I can't anticipate something I don't know about. But they've been on a fixed schedule of having something each Friday (with some additional releases sometimes popping up elsewhere in the week), so I can at least say I know about that. I haven't kept up with everything they've put out, but they were kind enough to share some downloads with me, and there is a lot of great stuff. You've got people like Mads Kjeldgaard, building on the SuperCollider-powered flurries of notes that featured on his "Akkorder" album from earlier this year, with longer duration pieces that give you time to really appreciate/become consumed by the scattering process. Then there's musicians who were brand new to me, like Tony Lugo. Have you ever seen those moving arcade cabinets for flying games? Lugo's release feels like it's being performed with something like that, like he is navigating through the environment of synth noises, and makes you feel the plunges in your stomach. It is awesome. I'll be taking a more in depth look at the label sometime later, but in the meantime I'd recommend reading the label primer that Tusk Is Better Than Rumors did a few months back if you'd like some more info.

October 28th, 2020

Bass Clef - Orezero (Slip)

The description on this one makes an explicit connection to Bass Clef's "'111 Angelic MIDI Casacde" album that Slip put out last year, and that's great news to me. It's funny, the description also says he thinks he's not so great at harmony and melody, but I loved what he did on the previous album. There's so many great touches, like the way the track "Dear John" starts with a pattern that includes a textured noise, and the noise stretches out as the sequence repeats, until the components of the timbre become a sequence of notes themselves. This new one makes use of ROMplers, these stubborn types of samplers that only allow for their stock sounds, so it will be interesting to see how that fits into the sound environment, since the last one was purely synthesized. Looking forward to having this one brighten my day.

October 24th, 2020

Wagon Christ - Recepticon (People Of Rhythm)

There's been a lot of Luke Vibert activity that I've been missing on this page, his music is special for me though, his Wagon Christ album "Musipal" was a big one for me in high school. His combination of slow beats and playful samples and melodies will always have a place in my heart, and the preview on this new one sounds like it will deliver just that! So I can't let this one go by without saying something.

October 23rd, 2020

Actress - Karma & Desire (Ninja Tune)

I'm not the right person to talk about what makes Actress' music significant, it has taken me forever to begin to really appreciate it, and that process is ongoing (I get why my friends were so hyped up about it now, at least). You should probably read this writeup about Ghettoville on Dweller if you want to go in-depth. But even in the position I'm in, I know enough to be very interested in seeing what happens when Actress utilizes vocalists, who are credited on 9 of the 17 tracks on here. It will probably be a while before I grasp the actual significance of this move, but I'm confident for now at least that it will be significant.

junctQín - reTHiNK (Redshift)

This trio of keyboardists was unfamiliar to me, but I got a preview of this new one from them and I have been enjoying it. I'm not heavily focused on listening to piano music, but a lot of what I do hear tends to be on the "serious" side. This isn't unserious music, but I'd say it has a sort of party atmosphere to it. I mean sure, there is this composition on here from Tomi Räisänen that doesn't exactly fit the bill since it sounds like prepared piano noises (though it's still playful in its own way), but elsewhere you'll find toy piano and occasional synths. It all feels very approachable, but not in a way that results in a shallow product. Good stuff!

pantea - Things (Active Listeners Club)

Active Listeners Club is a new label from Ramtin Niazi and PARSA, and they gave me a sneak peek at an upcoming EP. This one may actually come out on the 24th, but whenever it comes out, I highly recommend checking it out. It has the spirit of an old school electronic sound adventure, but with the added benefit of the digital clarity that is available today. I love that sense of carving out a distinct grammar for these unnatural sounds. Like on "Patu (blanket)", there's all of these type sounds being swallowed by waves of noise, and it's like the isolated elements don't seem like they would give a consistent sense of time, but all the flurries of hits, filter changes, flare ups of higher frequencies, and other highly detailed elements all together create a sense of momentum that is variable but still coherent. I am so glad to know this, and will be keeping a close eye on pantea and the ALC label.

Luke Stewart - Luke Stewart Exposure Quintet (Astral Spirits)

I'm not too familiar with Stewart, he plays double bass in Irreversible Entanglements and Blacks' Myths, but he has plenty of other material that I haven't heard. This one seems intriguing though, he's solely credited with the compositions, but the work utilizes the creative spirit of the collective. The album is built out of transcriptions Stewart made from a previous improvisation the group had together, along with some original material he added in. So it makes sense that he is top billed here, but it seems like the approach brings the listener inro the group's creativity through his perspective. The preview track seems to live up to the promise, it holds focus on a groove but still has all sorts of dynamic group activity, a feeling of life that can't just come out of one mind.

October 16th, 2020

Autechre - SIGN (Warp)

When people talk about Autechre and melody, I think of the episode of Leonard Bernstein's "Young People's Concerts" that was focused on the question "what is melody?". "People usually think of melody as a tune, something you can go out whistling, that's easy to remember, sticks in your mind", he says back in the year 1962. And the constant denial of the existence in melody in Autechre's music for the past 19 or so years is coming from that place, I think. Even on an album like this where so much of it is clean synths, even from people who say they like it, you sometimes hear about how what's happening in the music is not quite a melody. But generally with this one, people are making a big deal about how there's melody now, as though it were absent in the previous releases. But it's always been there. It's significant that the music is stripped back and simplified a bit to let the tones shine through unimpeded, but what really strikes me about this album is the way it presents a unified sounds, constructing what reads as a whole out of numerous layers. Elements will come in and they seem to complicate the sense of a surface for an existing element rather than reading as a distinct element themselves. These flourishes of texture to unlock a range of expressive qualities in melody that hasn't been in their previous music. It's still early days and I'm sure there's more that the album has to reveal to me, but I think Autechre are once again pushing themselves forward into new territory here.

BBsitters Club - BBsitters Club & Party (Hausu Mountain)

I used to have a strong bias against anything jam band related. I've been chipping away at this bias with plenty of improvised rhythm based music, but I never have made the jump into unabashed jam band territory. So when I got the opportunity to hear this new one featuring HausMo heads Doug Kaplan and Max Allison (along with Charlie Olvera and Paul Birhanu), I figured it would be a good time to re-evaluate the bias, and I think I have been a little unfair. There is a lot to like about the way BBsitters Club takes various strains of rock (blues/prog/classic/etc) and runs it thru their jam ethos. "Same As Before" has some country rock vibes but gets into some funky guitar warping, and then a little bit later "Joel Reprise" kind of made me think of the Advantage covering a song from a relatively mellow Mega Man stage, and then a bit later there's a goofy freakout about "Beef Pizza". There's all this variety, but it never felt like they're doing costume changes or anything, each entry is a natural expression of their toolkit. It's not all unabashed party music, but it does seem to be unified in the goal of making a good time. The displays of musicianship always seem to have that good time in mind and it keeps things moving forward purposefully. Give it a listen!

Oliver Coates - skins n slime (RVNG Intl.)

I really enjoyed Coates' 2018 album "Shelley's On Zenn-la", the way he combined his cello playing with tracker-programmed beats sounded like a lost album from Rephlex Records. This new one sounds like it's more off the grid, taking fluid lines out of the cello, layering and exaggerating them with distortion and all sorts of processing. A pretty significant change, but still totally in my wheelhouse so I'm psyched for it.

Ellen Fullman - music for the man who grew common in wisdom (besom presse)

I'm still getting familiar with Fullman, but this one seems like a bit of a curveball from what I would have expected. She's using a Prophet sampler, and plays around with an array of acoustic sounds and then suddenly make it very clear that she is punching in a sequence of buttons, a playful approach that maintains a strong focus on timing. The album is a soundtrack to a dance performance from Deborah Hay. I love it when musique concrete is so directly tied to movement, like with Jacques Lejeune's "Fantasmes Ou L'Histoire De Blanche-Neige", the timing keeps things focused, while the dance medium doesn't constrain the sonic manipulations, so I'm excited to hear this in full.

Good Sad Happy Bad - Shades (Textile Records)

You may be familiar with this band under their previous name, Micachu and the Shapes. Mica Levi has stepped back from the primary vocalist role, and Raisa Khan has stepped up, which makes sense since Levi is busy with movie soundtracks and production work. And Khan has proven herself adept in this role on previous tracks and with her solo work. The band's 2012 album "Never" is one of my favorites, the approach they take to studio-constructed rock music is something that is so difficult to sustain in a business focused on live performance, but the hyper-deliberate crafting of the sound and carving out a sonic space for each track is something I love so much. When they regrouped in 2015 they seemed to be attempting to find a way forward with something easier to translate to the live environment, and now here's the next chapter. I'm not entirely sure what they've got in store, but it should be cool.

Hyph11E - Aperture (SVBKVLT)

I haven't heard much Hyph11E, just some stuff on a collaboration with Slikback, but that was great. Heavy, abrasive beats with enough momentum to power through any of the additional weight of distorted elements. The preview for this one gets into some darker, bass-heavy territory, but doesn't let up on the speed.

James Rushford - Música Callada / See the Welter (Unseen Worlds)

This album features Rushford performing something from Federico Mompou, and then a composition of his own intended to compliment the Mompou piece. I'm not really familiar with that composer or Rushford's piano playing, but he's been a part of so much beautiful music in collaboration with people like Joe Talia, Oren Ambarchi, Kassel Jaeger, Klaus Lang, Judith Hamann and many more, so I'm confident this will be something I'll need to hear.

Pouya Ehsaei - RocRast (Zabte Sote)

SAHAB - SAHAB (Zabte Sote)

Rojin Sharafi - Zangaar (Zabte Sote)

There's a batch of new releases coming on Zabte Sote, and Boomkat has three of them up for sale earlier than other vendors. This includes the new one from Rojin Sharafi, and if you're not familiar with her but like boundary pushing electronic music that doesn't abandon rhythm, then you absolutely need to hear her 2019 album "Urns Waiting To Be Fed". It's been a year and I'm still not sure exactly how to talk about it, there's something very special in its sound grammar, the way it all makes sense together. I am so excited to see where she's going next. I am unfamiliar with Pouya Ehsaei and SAHAB, but the previews sound promising. SAHAB's track has a colorful synth backdrop that sounds well done but I still wanted something to push it over the edge, and then these fried vocals come in and they totally do the trick. Ehsaei's album is more on the menacing side, with all these crackling rhythms and lower frequencies that have a brain tickling approach to spatialization if you have headphones on. It's always a treat to hear more from this label, do not miss what they have to share!

October 13th, 2020

Choi Joonyong/Jin Sangtae - Hole In My Head (Erstwhile)

This is one I've already heard, if you get the preorder you can download the album in full. I remember a few years back I was in a chatroom with some friends taking turns playing "noise music" (basically anything abstract without a consistent meter, and at least some sounds that could be considered difficult listening), and someone had played one of the dotolim concert series videos, I think maybe this one featuring both of the performers on this album. Give it a quick peek to see what they're about, there's CDs spinning out in the open and mixers and all sorts of great sounds. Someone in the chat room was complaining about the quality of the recording, and the person who played the track said that noise music is supposed to sound bad, and I did not agree with that sentiment. I didn't think the fidelity was that bad to begin with, but I thought at the time that it would be great to hear an excellent recording of what these musicians do. And this album feels like every sound is captured exactly as it should be, just a superb documentation. I'll need a while to actually get into the substance of this music, but it seems safe to say that if you're into this sort of thing, you should pick it up.

October 9th, 2020

J. Pavone String Ensemble - Lost and Found (Astral Spirits)

I heard Pavone's previous string ensemble album last year, and it had a fantastic approach to distorting time with beautiful sound. The component instruments all seemed to fit together with a looseness but still seeming like they were exactly where they needed to be, as though the composition was about carving out grooves for them to glide down, with room to slide around the track a little. I'm not sure what all happens on this album, I guess I actually did get the opportunity to hear it early but I am bad at reading my e-mails, but the preview track gives me the impression that this is going to make the end points of the sound events less clear but still driven by a strict internally consistent sense of time. I'm very intrigued to hear more.

October 6th, 2020

Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language - A Time and a Place (Woolgathering Records)

Laurenzi had some stuff on Astral Spirits where he led performances of music by Moondog, I still haven't heard it, but I've heard it's very good. The preview on this new one sounds very appealing, so I might end up checking it first. It starts right off with this sax/guitar unity, and it's so warm and inviting. Even as the music makes clear that it is not wallpaper for the background and demands engagement, that warmth is maintained. Seems like a difficult spot to hit, but I think Laurenzi has found the balance.

October 2nd, 2020

Eartheater - Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin (PAN)

The hook on this one, which I gathered from this interview with i-D, is that it's acoustic post-apocalyptic music, since "if shit hits the fan and there is no power, if power goes out, then who is going to be playing music together?". Eartheater has never been a total stranger to acoustic sounds, but there's always been some aspect that is processed or synthetic from what I've heard, and it seems like a great idea to pursue this because it seems like it will emphasize her unreal approach to vocal melody.

Loraine James - Nothing EP (Hyperdub)

Last year's album from James was so refreshing. She takes influence from intricately programmed music by people like Aphex Twin or Telefon Tel Aviv, but doesn't feel especially beholden to any of them (due in part to the ways her music is in conversation with more contemporary genres). Through the variety of styles on the album, a unique voice clearly emerged, and it was clear that she is someone to watch. I was able to get a full preview of this EP, at first I thought it would be a bit more subdued since the main preview track featuring Jonnine from HTRK is on the mellower side of things, but the A side has more bite to it. And even with the relative peacefulness of the B side, you still get drums that carry substantial weight. James really knows how to work with the smaller scale of an EP to still deliver a fulfilling experience, the description says that there was an intention for a "narrative from numbness through to a kind of clarity", and I think the attempt was successful, each of the tracks have their own evocative sound palette and their sequencing leaves me feeling like I went through a complete experience by the end. Don't miss this, it's great!

Kassel Jaeger - Meith (Black Truffle)

Just a little less than three months after his amazing album for Shelter Press, Kassel Jaeger has another one, this time for the similarly prestigious Black Truffle label. Last time, I predicted that there would be "electroacoustic sounds that carry a rich character, unfolding at such a deliberate pace that it will lead to accusations of ambientness by people who don't catch how eventful the music truly is", after not hearing any previews for the album. I was correct. I'm similarly blind on this one, and I'm going to make the same prediction. In fact it may be even more apt for this one, since it's all one big piece, so it's probably going to have a stronger overall cohesion.

Rian Treanor - File Under UK Metaplasm (Planet Mu)

The Nyege Nyege Tapes label that has been bringing wider attention to the singeli sound from Tanzania also has a festival, and this had led to some interesting crossovers like when Errorsmith had a track on that tape from Jay Mitta And Sisso. Treanor flew down for the festival in 2018, and it seems like singeli music has made a major impression on him, judging by the opening track here. I guess there's more to it than that, The Quietus have a review that mentions speed garage and footwork also having a big influence in the sound for the album. Seems like it'll have lots of fast beats and all of the far out synthesis bringing the strange tone colors, this should be a fun one.

Various Artists - 3afak: Love to NYC (3AFAK)

3afak is a project from DJ Sanna & Bergsonist, doing parties in NYC and mixes, and now this compilation album featuring people they've developed relationships with thru doing this work. Or at least, that's what I've put together as a non-resident. I recognize some names, but many are new to me. The first two tracks that are up for early streaming suggest this will have quite a range, the Maral track seems idiosyncratic but still oriented towards dancing, and the Sadaf track skips right over my body and sends me into my head. Looking forward to seeing where else this goes.

Various Artists - New Neighborhoods (Freedom To Spend)

The Ernest Hood album "Neighborhoods" was reissued last year by Freedom To Spend, it's a wonderful mixture of field recordings and synths, probably one of the most successful electronically musical attempts at expressing nostalgia. "New Neighborhoods" is a sort of follow-up, featuring many artists I enjoy (such as Felicia Atkinson, Ka Baird, or CV & JAB) making their own attempts with the style. Proceeds on the first edition of this will go to "Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD)’s Center for Community Leadership (CCL) program, one of New York City’s longest-running organizer training programs, providing grassroots leaders and organizations with the skills, resources, and community necessary to advance sustainable political change on a local and regional level", so it's all for a good cause, too!

September 25th, 2020

Tim Heidecker - Fear of Death (Spacebomb)

I've never had a strong connection with the 70's singer-songwriter music that Heidecker's influenced by, so I didn't give his stuff much of a chance when he started doing music in addition to the comedy work that I knew him from. I still gave the title track of this new one a listen when it got released as a single, and I thought it was nice, but I wasn't losing my mind over it. But then it kept getting stuck in my head, and I began to appreciate what a finely put together song it is, I'm so glad to know it now. I'm not the right person to critically analyze how this fits in a historical context, but I think it sounds great and I'm interested in getting to know this music and the influences much better.

Sarah Hennies - The Reinvention Of Romance (Astral Spirits)

If you are unfamiliar with Hennies' work, I recommend setting some time aside to watch this 30 minute performance of the piece "Falsetto". What may seem abstract in a pure audio form is clearly demonstrated to be about concrete issues with exhaustion in sustaining a performance. There always seems to be something substantial driving her compositions, and this video seems like a good demonstration of that. I'm not sure what this new one is about, I'm waiting until I can hear the entire thing before diving in. But if you're still on the fence and need to learn more, the recent interview and collection of reviews from Tone Glow will probably have more info for you.

Sophia Loizou - Untold (Houndstooth)

I was really struck by Loizou's 2016 album "Singulacra", it reminded me of Lee Gamble's music in the sense that it had connections to dance music, but was filtered and missing elements in a way that evoked the memory without actually being the thing. Except Loizou's album at times felt more like remembering the euphoria of the moment, it was a fantastic experience. This new one doesn't feel like a betrayal of her sound, but seems like an ambitious leap into new territory. The description says that the goal was to not "make it human-centric" and that the composition is shaped by sounds taken from nature. Normally that would mean birds and creeks or whatever (which I like, I can't lie), but the examples given are a lion roar and the rhythm of a dolphin's echolocation emissions. I still heard the presence of humanity in the preview tracks I heard, and since at the end of the day she has the final word on what this music has, I don't know if it'll even be possible to meet the goal. But it just might, and even if not, it seems like she's brought her music to a very fascinating place.

Moor Mother - Circuit City (Don Giovanni)

Another one for a prolific year from Moor Mother, and it seems like this one is just as essential as all the other incredible music she's been a part of. If you heard the Irreversible Entanglements album from this year, this is probably closer to that than the other releases, because there's jazz instrumentation with Moor Mother's vocals (though she also does some electronics stuff on this new one. But this still seems pretty different, there's more of an unrelenting sonic force here, judging by the preview. Who knows what the rest will hold, but all signs point to it being amazing.

Mouchoir Étanche - Une fille pétrifiée (Cellule 75)

Marc Ricter has been doing some great music under his Black To Comm moniker for a while now, but recently he's been branching out with new aliases, first with Jemh Circs in 2016 and now with the new one here. I really enjoyed the Jemh Circs stuff, he plundered from the depths of YouTube for a musical collage that is made seamless through transformative processing. This seems like this new one is similar to Jemh Circs in the flow of evolving sound, but with the timbres closer to something more natural. There is some sampling, but there's also a mixture of physical and emulated instruments, and also some field recordings. The way that it stays with at least one foot grounded in reality makes for quite a surreal experience, which I appreciate a lot. I find great beauty in this music, but not the austere varitey, there is a hint of absurdity from the surrealness that gives a prominent role for imperfection in this beauty, like finding the quality while in a state of delirium. I was able to get a full preview of this album, and it really couldn't have come at a better time, I think people could get a lot out of this.

WEȽ∝KER - GULP (Conditional)

This is a duo, I'm pretty sure I'm unfamiliar with both members, but Conditional does a lot of computer music that I can get into, so I checked the preview. It's just the first track, I don't know if things explode after this, but there was a lot of patience in how the performers went back and forth with sending out a sound and then sending out the response, leaving enough empty space for a clear delineation between the two, eventually letting some harder sounds and rhythms flare up, but never giving the impression that a direction is irreversible. I'm very curious to see what they have going on for the rest of the album.

September 18th, 2020

Caldwell/Tester - Little Flower (Astral Spirits)

Jackson / Baker / Kirshner - So Glossy and So Thin (Astral Spirits)

Jeb Bishop Centrifugal Trio - Jeb Bishop Centrifugal Trio (Astral Spirits)

Nakatani / Parish / Rowden - Live at Static Age Records (Astral Spirits)

There was an interview with the head of Astral Spirits on the Free Form Freakout radio show in October of last year, and he said something about possibly slowing down in 2020, which seems kind of ridiculous almost a year later. In fairness, they had something like 34 releases in 2019, but this batch of 4 releases puts them at something like 22 releases this year, with at least another 3 on the way. It still seems like a pretty substantial amount of music, and it's hard to keep up with, I think I've even missed a few for this list. But I want to hear them all. There's been some releases I like more than others, but I've never felt like my time was wasted, and this recent batch doesn't seem like it will change that trend. The first release is from Landon Caldwell and Mark Tester, and I've only ever heard Tester from his appearance on the Crazy Doberman album AS put out earlier this year, but they have this cosmic synth & piano thing going, and it is totally the sort of thing I need to hear more of. Then the next one features Jim Baker on piano (he played beautifully on the Charles Rumback album that AS put out earlier this year), and then Julian Kirshner on drums and Keefe Jackson on saxophones. I'm unfamiliar with those two, I haven't checked the 2016 recording all three of them did together (also released by AS). But you can preview the second half of this album, it's really cool how each member all maintains a strong presence in what's happening even when Baker starts getting into some moderately harsh synth sounds. That seems difficult to balance, I'm excited to hear more. This Jeb Bishop trio album has members who are all entirely unfamiliar to me, but they each have connections to musicians I admire, so it seems like it will be good to be introduced to all of them. Bishop is on trombone, and I've been enjoying how much fun that instrument can be from people like George Lewis, so it's a great time for me to be hearing more. And the rest of the trio is just drums and bass, so it seems like the stage is set for the trombone to be a focal point. Though there is still plenty of interesting stuff happening with the drums and bass on the preview track, I think there will be a lot to like. And then this last one has Zach Rowden, he pops up on this list as a person of interest, but the other two are also unfamiliar to me. This one's got Rowden on double bass and then Parish on nylon string guitar and Nakatani on percussion, and the preview makes it seem like it gets into a moody, contemplative space but in a way where the sharp and vivid yellow/blue/red of the album cover feels entirely appropriate, the music is not at all desaturated. All of these releases seem like they will have a different character to them, but they all feel like they fit snugly within this network of improvised music that AS is building, and the walls of the network never lead to claustrophobia, because there's always these expansive additions of players I didn't know about.

Baby T - I Against I (Central Processing Unit)

I'm not as in touch with the club music scene as I want to be, so I had no idea about Baby T. She previously had some releases under the name B.Traits, and I guess she has some sort of thing on BBC1 Radio, but she was completely off my radar until I saw this CPU release. But it turns out that she makes fast electronic music with squelchy basslines and restrained build ups to irresistable dance beats. So I am very glad to have this introduction, and I'm excited to dig in further.

Sarah Davachi - Cantus, Descant (Late Music)

If you've been enjoying extended duration music these past few years, I'd bet Davachi has been on your radar already, and if she hasn't then that is something you need to fix. She has an engrossing approach with the minute details of a timbre while also maintaining satisfying developments in what eventually happens with the pitch. She has made so much incredible music that I can't recommend enough. This one seems like a step into the unknown though, because I'm not sure if she's ever had something with more than 10 tracks on it, and this one is 17. And it's just a 2xLP, which means that there's definitely going to be some short tracks on here. There's also going to be a whole bunch of pipe organ, along with piano and mellotron and other instruments. So I'm sure we'll get the sort of incredibly rich timbres I've come to expect from her, but I think there should also be some very exciting developments in how she plays with durations.

Deradoorian - Find The Sun (Anti- Records)

Deradoorian came to my attention first from working with weird indie Daves in the 00's, but she's been doing some very cool stuff of her own for a while now. And this new one seems especially geared toward my interests. The previews I've heard have all had a serious krautrock groove to them, three tracks even stretch past the 7 minute mark. On this one called "Saturnine Night", she's doing cool stuff with her overdubbed voice, all of these overlapping long notes that have a slow pitch glide, and I find the way that it mixes with the propulsion of the rest of the instruments to be very compelling.

MJ Guider - Sour Cherry Bell (Kranky)

2016's album from Guider had a whole bunch of great nocturnal mood songs wrapped in howling synth winds. All I can really say for sure about this new one is that the clarity seems to be higher, but it still sounds like it'll be some great night music.

Martin Taxt - First Room (Sofa)

I've heard Taxt play his microtonal tuba music in a microtonal tuba trio with Robin Hayward, and in a duo with Toshimaru Nakamura on no-input mixing board (it sounded like the feedback from that instrument was climbing inside of the tuba, and it is great). The concept on this one has me a little confused, the score is a tatami mat and the piece is a mixture of studio recording and live performance, it'll take me a while to figure out the significance of all of that, but the preview has the type of slow moving clouds of sound that I enjoy, so even if I never gain anything from the conceptual side, there should still be plenty for me to get into.

WaqWaq Kingdom - Dokkoisho (Phantom Limb)

Here's a new one from the duo of DJ Scotch Egg and Kiki Hitomi, doing their energetically bizarre club music with a wide array of influences. The preview for this one makes it seem like the energy is dialed back just slightly, opening up room for a smoother, less caffinated type of joy. It's an intriguing development and I think it should make for a very nice EP.

Tatsuhisa Yamamoto - Ashioto (Black Truffle)

I've heard Yamamoto doing drums on Eiko Ishibashi albums, or on that Bonjintan album from earlier this year. I'm still not sure what to expect on this one, as he's credited with electronics, synth, piano, and field recording on top of the percussion. He's got Ishibashi and Jim O'Rourke joining in, it's on Black Truffle, and it's just one track split over two sides, so I'd guess we're going to get some free improvisation with a sense of musicality that is as unusual as it is undeniably musical. But I haven't heard a note of it so who knows, it'll probably be good though.

September 11th, 2020

Lucrecia Dalt - No era sólida (RVNG Intl.)

I should have known that Dalt was someone I needed to know. I heard her on this psychic collaboration group called Terepa from 2015, where she joined Julia Holter, Kouhei Matsunaga, Laurel Halo, Rashad Becker, and some others to record music at a specific time and try and pick up on each other's vibes. It was cool, though all of the participants I was familiar with have done work that I loved a lot more. But on account of all that love, I probably should have figured that the unfamiliar people would have work I'd be interested in, but it took me until 2018's "Anticlines" to actually start paying attention to Dalt. And what a fantastic album that is, the combination of vocals that thrive on the line between spoken word and singing, with a heavy emphasis on rhythm established through grimey synthesized sounds, accentuated with eerie tones that coalesce into melodies. I have no idea what this album will sound like, because I think it will be better to just let the album tell me what it is all at once. I don't need any more convincing that this is something I'll need to hear.

Brett Naucke - EMS Hallucinations (American Dreams)

EMS stands for Electronic Music Studios, which may sound generic (and it is, since it's easily confused with the company that made the EMS Synthi), but it's a location in Stockholm that has unaffordable synthesizers. Many musicians I enjoy end up doing some sort of residency at the space, and good music ends up being made. The approach to this one seems relatively distinct from all the other uses of this space that I'm familiar with, because the stated goal is to shoot for something that evokes 70s musicians like Ruth White, but it comes at this academic electronic sound with the awareness of the innovations from dance music. The music lives by its pulse, but also makes compositional use of the distinct timbres you can get out of these analog machines. It's an ambitious undertaking, but the previews are quite promising and I think he's gonna pull it off.

Sam Prekop - Comma (Thrill Jockey)

The first time I heard Sam Prekop was as a guest vocalist on the debut Prefuse 73 album, on the song "Last Night". Most of what I've heard from him after this has been instrumental. He was in the Sea & The Cake, who I've enjoyed but never really focused on. I've probably spent more time with the electronic solo music he's been putting out since 2010, like "Old Punch Card" or "The Republic". This new one continues on that line, but seems closer to the breezy vocal performance that introduced him to me. There can be a rigidity to the step sequencer patterns in this music, but there is a sense of relaxation that manages to come through with the melodies.

Zach Rowden - Two for the River (Carbon Records)

Rowden came on my radar a while back with the Leila Bordreuil collaboration on No Rent Records in 2017, a truly fantastic combination of cello and double bass, and I've heard a few other things he's featured in since then, like "Tide (for ten basses)", or the Tyshawn Sorey album "Pillars", which featured four people credited with playing double bass. The point is, I wasn't expecting tape loops that gradually evolve and exhibit a great deal of patience for holding on a specific moment, I was expecting double bass. But judging by the preview, this is going to be all about the tape loops. You can hear the whole first half of this at the link. When I started listening, I wondered if this was going to be one of those conceptual kind of things where nothing actually happens, but the constancy that gets established is necessary to get you used to the time scale, for the changes that occur later. It's a great piece and I'm looking forward to hearing the second one.

Skeletons - If the Cat Come Back (SHINKOYO)

I first heard Skeletons way back in 2007, with their album "Lucas". They were doing that thing where they had frequent variations in band name, at this point they were Skeletons and the Kings of All Cities, but they've settled into just being Skeletons. I didn't really keep up with them too much after that album, but I heard spme and it all seemed good, so when I saw this new album was up and available to stream, I figured I should check it out. And it's good stuff! It's that slow sort of electronically processed studio constructed rock music, with the capacity to flare up and get wild, but most of the focus is on quiet moments. Don't let the first track scare you off here, there are drums on this album. But most of it stays in a moody space, so if that is discouraging then there might not be much in the album that interests you. But if you're open to the quiet moments, this album has a lot of beauty to share.

David Toop - Apparition Paintings (Room40)

David Toop - Field Recording And Fox Spirits (Room40)

Not one but two from Toop! I'm mostly familiar with his "Entities Inertias Faint Beings" album, but he's been around since the 70's, doing music and writing. So the album with field recording in the title, that one seems to be focused on field recordings. The only preview is the 30 minute "Fox Spirits", but the other titles being locations and dates makes me think you're not going to find a lot of traditional instruments. Fox Spirits is a massive collage of all sorts of times and spaces, the assembly creates a particular forward momentum to sustain interest. I'm curious about the rest, but the other one has more of a pull for me. It has deliberately generated music from instruments, featuring collaborators like Rie Nakajima and Áine O'Dwyer on some tracks. The first preview for it sounds like it has many choices that are technically correct for the creation of music, but they utilize a sense of wrongness for additional musical purposes, and the whole leaves you with a wholly distinct amazement.

The Zonke Family - At The Studio (Philophon)

Normally, my interest comes from existing connections to music that I already like. But this one caught my eye purely based on the album art, and after reading up on it, it turned out to be exactly the sort of thing I'm into. It's traditional music from Zimbabwe, with two people playing the matepe, a type of mbira. You can see them holding it up on the cover, if you're curious. I love the sound of this type of instrument, so the mere presence would be enough to have me interested, but the preview tracks show that the performance is so intricate, with many layers of melodic lines coming out of the instrument. This is exactly what I would hope to see happen. I am very glad I paid attention to the cover here, this seems like it will be quite rewarding.

September 4th, 2020

9T Antiope - [Unknown Title] (PTP)

There was mention of this coming out in a tweet, but I've got no other info on what to expect. But this duo of Nima Aghiani and Sara Bigdeli Shamloo do some great work, making a sort of noise that doesn't shy away from quieter moments or letting the details shine through. But I'm not sure what to expect, because they also had something last year that was cleaner sounding, with distinctly identifiable physical instruments and unprocessed singing. So yeah, no idea what this one will hold but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Anz - Loos In Twos (NRG) (Hessle Audio)

I can't remember how I heard of Anz, but I'm so glad I did. I think it was on one of these Bandcamp promotional fee waive days, someone suggested her music so I checked out Invitation 2 Dance, and there is this incredible life affirming combination of rich melody with rhythms that demand motion, I've had such a great time hearing and sharing it with friends. And then to find out that she'll just put these mixtapes on soundcloud that are full of gems, I really wish I was sure of who to thank for the introduction here because there has been so much to love. She has something new coming out and I don't need to hear any amount of a preview for it to know that it will be worth checking out.

Vic Berger IV - Late Enough to See the Moon (Flannelgraph Records)

Just found out about this one on today's Office Hours After Hours podcast (if you're on their Patreon, you can watch the episode and see me calling in to briefly talk about not knowing how to drive). Berger is celebrated for his brilliant video comedy, but he's also been quietly making music for decades and not sharing it with anyone. He finally started compiling them on a release in 2018, but it turns out he has even more to share with this new one. Don't go in expecting comedy, the music is expressing sincere emotions, and he's able to pull off the vulnerability without a hitch. The preview track makes it clear that he did not deplete all of his great tunes with the first release, it is some fine rock music. Should be a cool one!

Russell E.L. Butler - Blah Blah (Mister Saturday Night Records)

I could have sworn I had something from Butler featured on this page previously, but I guess I've just been dropping the ball on keeping up with their work. They had something earlier this year called "Emotional Bangers Only", and it completely lives up to the title, highly recommended. The preview on this one doesn't have the emotional melodic aspect of that one, it emphasizes the rhythm. God, I wish I could hear this on a loud soundsystem, dancing with people. It seems like it would thrive in that environment, but it still is great for just moving around at home. Very excited to hear the rest!

Whettman Chelmets / qualchan. - Theme∞Variations (Strategic Tape Reserve)

I had seen qualchan's name around a bit, but hadn't spent the time with his music until he was kind enough to send me a copy of "the book of sleep", a collection of miniatures that have all of these lovely organic colors illuminating the pulse that drives them. Chelmets is someone I've heard a bit from, but haven't spent near enough time with, though it seems like any of that experience would do me no good, since their half of this split is a bit of a curveball. The description makes a comparison to what µ-Ziq did on Royal Astronomy, with the classical type of tracks, but the use of space distorting effects is so much different, and there's so much depth to the melody. A very exciting development. And then there's the qualchan side, I'm not knowledgable enough to reflect on how the preview operates within his whole style but it seems really fucking cool, I'm psyched to hear it.

Phew - Vertigo KO (Disciples)

This one is actually already streaming on the Bandcamp page, didn't need special access or anything. I don't have any experience with Phew, she came onto my radar last year from a collaboration with Jim O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi, but I never actually got around to hearing it. She's been active since 1979, and has worked with many musicians that I respect, so I should know more about her work. This album is compiled from unreleased material recorded around two different albums that came out in 2017 along with some new stuff, so it seems like there would be a better way to get introduced to her work. But I decided to take the plunge on this one, and I don't regret it. It starts out with an evolving mass of sound that dissolves time (an approach that fits this year particularly well), but then it gets into a combination of drum machine, voice, and processed long duration sounds that are great at establishing a sense of space. Even though there are drum machines, it never feels like the music is tethered to a grid, everything floats and drifts a little bit off the surface, even when the song is a cover of The Raincoats. I obviously need to hear more from Phew, but even with my inexperience this music still feels pretty essential.

Shabbat - Morning In America (Primordial Void)

I got a preview of this one in full, and it's some really good stuff. It's got beats that mostly stick with a rhythm and power through occasional disruptions of effects blasts, and some synths and other sounds filling things out. It plays with a sort of buried tape style of fidelity, but has some choice flashes of clarity to keep things from getting too consistent. Seems like a nice one to have as we move into fall. Sorry Southern Hemisphere! But don't worry, it'll still sound great in your season, too.

September 1st, 2020

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe - ¿¿Ohh​?​? (for Folke Rabe) (Self Released)

If you haven't heard Folke Rabe's 1967 composition "Was??" (translated to English: "What??"), you should make the time for it. It at first seems like one whole sound, but it will pull you in and shift the perspective so that the whole becomes a consistent flurry of tiny pieces. It's a great experience. When I saw that Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe was releasing a tribute piece, I knew this was something I needed to hear. To quote an earlier blurb of mine on this page, "Lowe's approach to sound and rhythm in his electronic compositions is something I find so rewarding to hear, and I really think anyone who is interested in what might be called experimental electronic music or any of the more specific synonyms should hear what he is doing." As this is a tribute, this may not be the best way to get acquainted with his voice, but anyone who is familiar should know that this is not to be missed.

August 28th, 2020

Siavash Amini - A Mimesis Of Nothingness (Hallow Ground)

The latest album from Amini is a collaboration with the photographer Nooshin Shafiee, the physical package includes photos of their hometown Tehran, and if I understand the description correctly, the music was meant to depict a similar emotional experience as the photos. I haven't seen these photos besides the cover, and the only music I've heard is the preview track Moonless Garden. So I can't speak to how the entirety of the experience will work, but this seems like it will be quietly powerful. There are these slowly unfolding sounds that are all over the spectrum of natural to artificial, with representatives on each pole via something that sounds like it could be from a string instrument / near perfect sine waves, but also much of the inbetween with what appear to be grain clouds with a variety of textural manipulations. The music feels like it's designed to pull you in to appreciating all of the varieties in the textures, I could get lost in all the shifts in variations, it's incredible. It's tonally monochrome, but derives richness from the way it deploys contrast without neglecting all the various shades around the middle. All signs are pointing to this partnership being a great success.

Bellows - Undercurrent (Black Truffle)

This is a duo of Giuseppe Ielasi and Nicola Ratti, I'm mostly unfamiliar with their work together, but I did really like the 2017 album on Shelter Press, it has lots of disorienting rhythms that feel like stumbling without ever actually falling, which I find quite compelling. I haven't heard any previews, but the description makes it sound like they're moving away from beats, but still using tape loops to play with irregularities, so I think this should still give me the good dizzy feeling while leaving my stomach unharmed.

Eric Copeland - Dumb It Down (Post Present Medium)

It's so wild how Copeland has developed from his first solo album and all the Black Dice stuff to where he is now. Look at this video. I don't know if you've seen the earlier video work, this new video was done by an outside party, but the way it stays true to the collage style while moving into a much cleaner space is fantastic. The effects work isn't blanketed over the entirety of it, there's more targeting, which lets the underlying structure shine thru all the brighter. And this makes sense, because that's where it feels like Copeland has taken his music. You really can't miss the song now. I love the older stuff, but this development has been so great to see and I am psyched for this next batch.

FR/BLCK/PR - I Don't Write Rhymes, I Write Code (Temporary Whatever)

A new one here from Busdriver, it's an art book with an accompanying CD, though that physical format is looking like it's sold out. And it looks like the digital version is abridged, the tracklist and lengths appear to be shorter than the description promises, though maybe the rest will get tacked on to the download. Even if it's not, this seems like a special one. The vocal performance is more spoken word than rap, and the production... well, I'm not sure exactly how to describe what I heard from the previews. But it sounds far out. Even if I only get to hear this smaller portion, I'm looking forward to hearing it.

Gooooose & DJ Scotch Egg - JAC (SVBKVLT)

There was this DJ Scotch Egg album in 2005 that I really enjoyed, KFC Core. It was these casio synths doing goofy music with a sort of gabber pounding that would come in, really goofy fun stuff. I guess in the time since then, he joined Seefeel for a while, and was a part of this WaqWaq Kingdom project that I saw catching some praise (I still haven't checked it out though). I'm not familiar with Goooooose, but I figured I'd check out the preview here, and it sounds great. This duo met up at the Nyege Nyege Festival so there seems to be an influence in the rhythm happening from the voices that get collected around there. There's not much resemblence to the old album that I heard before, but it sounds like the amazing talent remains, and it will be good to start catching up on what I've missed.

Catherine Christer Hennix - Unbegrenzt (Blank Forms Editions)

Blank Forms have had some great archival issues of Hennix's work over the past few years showcasing her important contributions to minimalism (The Well-Tuned Marimba is highly recommended), and this seems like quite an interesting one. It is a performance of a Stockhausen composition, but it's one of the Aus Den Sieben Tagen pieces with a simple text instruction score, in this case "play a sound with the certainty that you have an infinite amount of time and space". It sounds like the perfect prompt for Hennix to take on.

claire rousay - Both (Second Editions)

I first became aware of rousay's work from her 2019 album Aerophobia, and I was like "oh hey, this is cool unusual drumming, she is a drummer I will have to keep an eye on." It's been a little more than a year since then, and it's been a highly prolific time for her. I quickly learned how inadequate and inaccurate a simple label like drummer is for her work, each release made me less confident about any sort of label for what she does. I am now in the very exciting position where I feel like I've seen so many facets of what she can do, while also having no idea what is going to happen next.

August 21st, 2020

Lisa Lerkenfeldt - Collagen (Shelter Press)

I've been missing all of the clear signals that I should listen to Lerkenfeldt's music, she had something on that Longform Editions label last year, they put out cool stuff from Ahnnu, Matchess, Marja Ahti, and many others I consider to be great. And then earlier this year, she had a shorter tape release that came out on Shelter Press, the label co-founded by Felicia Atkinson, who have put out so many of my favorite releases. I still haven't gotten to that tape, but I'm going to be making a serious effort to check out this one. It seems like her music is a type of musique concrete that uses a reasonable amount of patience, sitting with synths that exhibit small change but without any sense of strict meter, so that time gets all blurry, but without sacrificing clarity anywhere else, while other sounds that I have difficulty attributing to any particular source distort the surface. What struck me about the preview track on this one was the timbre of the synth, it felt like it was lingering in a serious moment from some kind of non-existent SNES JRPG, but with a bit more richness than that system would ever allow. I feel like I'm going to think it's been foolish of me to have waited so long to have explored this world.

Matmos - The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form (Thrill Jockey)

When I was in school I did a project in this one music class where I got every other student to let me record them doing some kind of sound, and assembled it all into one big piece. There was a very serious guest professor who was quite critical of my finished product, comparing it to the stratified presentation of foods in a grocery store. It wasn't helpful to hear at that point, but honestly, I was in over my head, and you'd need the years of experience and skillful ability at mantaining a clear melodiic voice that an act like Matmos have to pull something like this off. And on their latest project, they've taken sound from 99 various contributors, and assembled them into a 3 hour work at a consistent 99 beats per minute. The contributor list is full of names that I love, but it's the consitent 99 BPM that has me most intrigued. Because that seems so relevant to the old criticism that I recieved, like the concept is designed to develop and fulfill expectations about when things will appear. I've only heard the official previews, so I can't speak to the flow of the entire experience, but what I've heard suggests that they will avoid the potential grocery store criticism of this concept, and utilize all of these contributors in a way that transcends the collection of categorized aisles and puts the focus squarely on the whole of the community.

Saint Abdullah - In God's Image (Psychic Liberation)

Speaking of massive undertakings, this 2CD work from Saint Abdullah, who I'm otherwise unfamiliar with, seems very interesting. The full first disc is up for preview before the release, and I've only heard a bit because I don't want to spoil the experience of the whole, but it's got a blown out distorted sound, with naturally sourced sounds combined with electronic rhythms. There's programming involved in the beats, but it feels like the music is realized in the moment. Honestly I don't know the words to do it justice, but it seems like essential music. The group is a duo of Iranian expats living in New York, and it feels like they bring their fully bring their lived experience into this, with reference points from their history colliding with the present and future.

August 14th, 2020

Ellen Fullman & Theresa Wong - Harbors (Room40)

My mind was blown when I saw the YouTube clip of Voice Crack going nuts on a long string in their Kick That Habit film from 1993. But it turns out that Ellen Fullman has been doing incredible work with her Long String Instrument for a much longer time. She started developing this in 1980, and it's much more advanced than a single string that you beat away at. I'm nowhere near as familiar with her work as I should be, so I'm excited to take the opportunity to hear what she can do with it while drawing from decades of experience. This is done in collaboration with Theresa Wong, who seems very cool but who I also do not know much about. This seems like it will be an absolute feast of incredibly rich sound.

NYZ - MILLZ EXPZ (Important Records)

So I know that some people have criticisms of the Buchla modular synthesizers, and honestly, it's all fair. They're stupidly expensive, easily fetishized for marketing purposes, and it's like the machines themselves want to make a disgusting mess of a sound. But I think they can still be used to achieve great things, and I trust David Burraston to do so. For starters, he's using the facilities of Mills College, accessing the Buchla 100 system they have there, with some sort of rare module that doesn't exist anywhere else. So he didn't have to pay for the whole beast. But he's also coming in with his MANIAC Cellular Automata sequencer, and he's done a bunch of great work using it that I've sung the praises of on this page. I think he can overcome any of the issues with the primary sound generating machine.

Still House Plants - Fast Edit (Blank Forms Editions)

I like the rock music that feels like something is wrong without totally abandoning what feels right, the kind of stuff you could call deliberately damaged, but not in a Joker forehead tattoo kind of way. Where there's an awareness and reference to the clean way of doing things, but something happened to move away from that. The preview tracks on this one feel like they carry that damage as a part of the songwriting, it's not an effect or affect, it's something that substantially exists at the core of the music. There's been hype around all sorts of UK rock bands breaking up the tedium of the genre, and this band is no exception with the praise from The Quietus and Tone Glow (though they still have dissenters), but I think this is one that will really click with me.

August 7th, 2020

Duma - Duma (Nyege Nyege Tapes)

You can count me among the chorus of people celebrating the output of Nyege Nyege Tapes, though this one is a bit different than their previous output, it's like an electronic grindcore thing. You can and should read more via this interview at Tone Glow. I remember this one album that was an electronic grindcore thing from 2006, Drumcorps - Grist, I think it would maybe sound a little cheesy to me now but I enjoyed it at the time. It had an electronic precision to the timing on the drums, everything seemed like it was carefully assembled in a digital environment and there was heavy utilization of overlap tones from rapid repetitions. The preview on this makes it seem like Duma avoid that potential, obviously there are programmed elements but it all feels within the realm of possibility of hands in real time, and the distortion generates an energy that blurs out the seams. I'm excited to blast this one.

Gajek - Vitamin D (Throttle Records)

Gajek's debut album "Restless Shapes" had this electronic minimalism thing going on, where the melodic side was reduced to the point of scales, but something about the pattern stacking really grabbed me. I couldn't quite get into the follow-up "Bastard", there was more of an emphasis on instrumental songs, with melodies, and I couldn't click with his approach there. But it appears like he has developed his approach to melody, and it sounds very interesting to me. There is a bonkers energy to the preview track "The Shape Of Pipes To Come", with a distorted vocal melody over an irregular rhythm with glittering synths filling in the remaining space. There's a krautrock influence, but it feels like it's more connected to the way that collections of large machines can have their clanks overlap in strange ways while still maintaining propulsion, rather than the typical reference points for that genre. I think I'm back on board, and if you're unfamiliar this seems like a great time to hop on.

JOBS - endless birthdays (Ramp Local)

These guys weren't on my radar at all but I got a preview copy of the album, and it is right up my alley. It's electronic rock with an emotional restraint to the vocals. On the preview track "Brian", there's layers of vocals that feel like they're all chaotically trying to crowd through the same door at first, but eventually they find unison over the combination of guitar, electronic drums, and tones that are difficult to assign to a single instrument. There's something reminiscent of Liars going electronic, perhaps, but the particular joy of hearing the process of combination seems unique. The performance on all instruments feels subdued, they rarely feel like they're going full-throated, but arrive at something powerful through the total assembly.

The Microphones - Microphones in 2020 (P.W. Elverum & Sun)

I haven't kept up with Phil Elverum's work at all, there were a few albums before "A Crow Looked At Me" that I hadn't heard and it felt like it would be in poor taste to check back in with the stuff that was heavily informed by grief. But I have had some fantastic experiences with his music. I heard about "It Was Hot, We Stayed In The Water" from Cex's blog, and all of the 8-track home studio song construction on that one and "The Glow Pt. 2" made a huge impression on me. Some great work followed under the name "Mount Eerie", but I gradually lost touch with it. I don't have any criticisms, my attention just went in a different direction. But with all of the chaos of the world, any impression of going back to those easier days, such as the return of The Microphones moniker, is greatly appealing to me. So I think I'll be checking back in with this one.

July 31st, 2020

Amazondotcom & Siete Catorce - Vague Currency (SUBREAL)

I spent a lot of time with Amazondotcom's EP from last year, the music is lively and full of many unexpected turns that all manage to support the groove. This profile of her from Resident Advisor goes in-depth and is a great read if you're not familiar. This release also features Siete Catorce, who I haven't heard, but I guess they both run this SUBREAL label together. This release features a pair of solo tracks from each of them along with one collaboration. I've only had a quick listen to the preview track but it seems like some interesting developments are happening and I'm looking forward to hearing the solo tracks to put it all into context.

Amanda R. Howland - Meeting Dr. Ancient (unifactor)

There's another batch of three releases from unifactor this week. They have put out some good stuff this year, including the outstanding debut from {arsonist} (highly recommended!). I'm unfamiliar with Howland, but the preview sounds very intriguing, it's in a noise music style, but not a totally unrelenting one. There's a vocal performance that emphasizes breathing and makes it feel like space is opened by the respiration. My tastes are totally in favor of all the layered yelling and feedback, but it seems like there are distinctions here that will be worth digging into.

Lil Asaf - Sawa Sawa (Astral Plane Recordings)

I'm operating thru a language barrier here, but it still feels like something vital is being communicated in this music. There's two previews with music videos (for Msll777 and 3wwe) that are over before you know it. They both capture my attention and I don't know how to articulate why, exactly. It doesn't really have the overwhelming maximalism or speed that I find easy to associate with urgency. The rapping seems lightly distorted in a way that compliments what Khadije is doing on the production, but there's something more going on here that I'm looking forward to exploring.

Max Loderbauer - Donnerwetter (Non Standard Productions)

The Ambiq albums that Loderbauer was a part of are favorites of mine, he did the synth work on them, so he seems like someone I should hear more from. But I've never actually heard any of his solo music, and I barely have an idea of what this will be like. The preview is just a lovely interlude rather than any of the tracks with more substantial durations, so it's difficult to say how this will relate to anything else on the album, except I'm pretty confident there will be more synths. But I know he can do some great work with electronics so it's not like I really need to be sold any more than that, I'll be checking out the whole thing.

Regular Citizen - Patsy Hangdog (Presto!?)

This is on Lorenzo Senni's label, which I hadn't realized when I listened to the preview track and was reminded of him. Though there's plenty of difference that you can see in the preview track "Self-Contained Fidgety". You'll find bright synths making their point with rapid repeated stabs, but I find there's something less intuitive about the staggering in the rhythm and the use of distortion, and I'm really intrigued by it. I had actually missed the debut album last year, but I went back and listened to it after hearing this track, and he showed an interesting range, sometimes including drums and going big, or sometimes stripping things down and obsessing over a melody for five minutes. So now I'm very curious to see what he has in store for this one.

Robert Rental - Paralysis (Dark Entries/Optimo Music)

I wasn't even aware that this was a person, I thought the name was just a good Ekoplekz track title. But it turns out he was a notable player in some of the British DIY stuff in the late 70's and early 80's. It's probably better to let someone from the UK explain, so you can read more at the BBC or from Ekoplekz's old blog. This is a reissue of Rental's first solo single, with three bonus tracks from the archives. Listening to the instrumental "Ugly Talk" immediately made it clear that he has had a significant influence on music I've enjoyed, and that I need to hear everything.

Nate Scheible - Prions And Scrapie (unifactor)

So I was pretty confident that I had never heard of Scheible, but I looked at the cover for his album fairfax and I know that I've seen it before. I'm pretty sure I saw someone who really enjoyed it, and it seemed like something I should hear, but then I never got around to it. I think I should probably get to it though, because the preview on this new one has these great waves of synths washing down, the sort of moves that feel familiar, but are always easy for me to appreciate when well executed. But then it began to appear as though one of the layers was coming from a highly processed long breath/throat sound. The whole take on organic electronic music seems like it's coming from an interesting perspective, I'm looking forward to seeing how Scheible explores it.

Silvia Tarozzi - Mi specchio e rifletto (Unseen Worlds)

A lot of my interest in new things comes from seeing how they fit within the networks of things I already appreciate, due to the satisfaction from how each participant in the new connection feels more significant from having it. So a description like the one on the linked page here is like catnip for me. The list of associated performers and composers has personally significant names like Eliane Radigue, Michael Pisaro and Cassandra Miller. And then one of the reference points for the sound of it is Franco Battiato's "Fetus". Though there appear to be many disparate reference points for the overall picture, the two preview tracks show a pretty high range just between themselves. The album features many instruments credited to Tarozzi, and then another 9 musicians covering others. The first track is a lovely classical tune, but then the second sounds like a straightforward and clean sort of prog rock that transitions into an extended instrumental collapse. And then there's 14 other tracks, so this seems like it could have all sorts of wonderful surprises in it.

Anna Webber - Rectangles (OOYH Untamed)

I've probably already mentioned it when writing about the Webber/Morris Big Band album from earlier this year, but Webber's album Clockwise grew into being one of my favorites from last year. She draws from composers like Stockhausen, Xenakis, or Morton Feldman on this album to compose a highly musical complex-geometry lattice jazz, and it's incredible. I've been interested in hearing more from her, but everything I've heard has been studio recordings, so it was particularly interesting to see that this label Out Of Your Head Records was doing a new series of releases for live and home studio recordings, and they have this live set from Webber that occurred in December of last year. I'm not sure to what degree she even has overdubs in the studio stuff, but the preview excerpt shows that the band gets into the headspinning shifts in patterns that I loved on Clockwise, and it's great to hear it with the knowledge that it was happening in the same room at the same time.

Whisker - Straight From The Bottle (unifactor)

Ben Billington was just here on this list last week with his Quicksails album, and now here's a duo project that sounds completely different. It's two tracks that are seemingly in the fifteen minute range, with Billington on synth and then Andrew Scott Young on upright bass. They're both in the group Tiger Hatchery, which I haven't spent too much time with, but that group is like some wound up shredding. And this is, to quote the description, something that "begins in an unglued state and deterioriates from there". The entire second track is up to stream, I didn't listen to the entire thing because I want to hear the whole release in one go, but that description seems apt.

July 24th, 2020

Bergsonist - Womankind's Beauty feat. Tonina (Hypercolour)

Earlier this year, Bergonsist put out Middle Ouest, a great album that does a sort of frame drum techno thing that I find to be very special. She's also continued to be prolific with self-released material on her Bandcamp, I haven't kept up with it but I really need to. But those always come as a surprise and I don't get to mention them here, so I want to make sure to call attention to this new EP. I'm not entirely sure what to expect or how it will differ, though the first track does feature a collaboration with a singer/songwriter, which seems like an interesting place to be taking the music.

Damaged Bug - Bug On Yonkers (Castle Face)

This is the synth-focused project of John Dwyer from the Oh Sees' band with all name variations. I haven't kept up with that main outfit for a while, but I really enjoyed what was happening with this solo project. Though now it's a band, there's more people on drums and other instruments, Brigid Dawson is even there with a vocal credit. And they're covering the songs of Michael Yonkers, who I'm not familiar with, but it seems like he has some great songs, I'm looking forward to the introduction to his work.

East Man - Prole Art Threat (Planet Mu)

I haven't really spent any time with the music of Basic Rhythm, or the work from the East Man alias, but I was kindly given a preview of this new one. And now it's clear to me that I need to go back and listen, because this one is a blast. I'm also not particularly knowledgable about grime, so I can't say too much about how this relates to the rest of the genre. But this album has beats with a slightly unhinged energy to them, featuring an assortment of MC's with an incredible talent for focusing that energy. There's this one track that you can hear now on the link, "Who Am I" featuring Ny Ny, the beat has this woozy bass thing on it and lots of space between flurrys of hits, but she brings this selectively rapid delivery that fills in the momentum gaps and it's like a realization of something I wouldn't have thought the beat was suggesting, but it's absolutely what needed to happen. A great one to play loud, don't miss it.

Eiko Ishibashi - Hyakki Yagyō (Black Truffle)

There's been some self-released activity from Ishibashi this year, and I still need to hear all of it, but Impulse of the Ribbon gets a big recommendation from me. It's a single cohesive piece that runs that mixes field recordings with delightful synth work. I'm not sure what this one will sound like, but the description says there's more synth and field recordings, along with contributions from Jim O'Rourke on double bass and Jim Talia on percussion. The description suggests this will be deeply meaningful music reflecting "an attention to persistent dangers, myths and evasions in Japanese culture – as well as the lurking uncertainties that might threaten positive change", which seems like it would be building off of the personal work of 2018's The Dream My Bones Dream. So I'll need to really spend some time with it to say anything meaningful about that aspect of it, but I know that this will be worth that time.

Nick Klein & Wilted Woman - Cafe Music 2: Werewolves of London (Alien Jams)

I haven't spent much time with Klein's work, but I know Wilted Woman has an incredible range. She's got weird bangers, tuneful delights, and frenzied headcleaners. She's someone to keep an eye on. The first collaboration from these two was all spacey and exploratory, and the preview clips on this suggest that will be the mode here as well. Expect to be taken on an adventure through unstable terrain. I think it'll be worth signing up for.

Jessy Lanza - All the Time (Hyperdub)

I got scared off by the hype around Lanza's 2016 album "Oh No", I thought "oh I'll listen to this when it's less crowded with expectations and I can let my thoughts exist without any value to the conversation". But then I never ended up getting around to it, but I'm thinking that was a mistake because she seems to have a great take on synthpop. Of course, the lack of experience means that I'm not really the best person to tell you why this is special, so maybe give a read to this interview in Bandcamp Daily or Boomkat's blurb. But I'm excited to not repeat my past mistake for this one.

New Tendencies - Everywhere (Conditional)

This artist is new to me, I guess he has a few under his belt with this name and other aliases, there's some stuff on the CO-DEPENDENT label under the name må, according to his website. That label is cool, I need to pay more attention to them. But yeah, I always try to keep an eye on what Conditional is doing since they put out some thoroughly electronic music that I enjoy a lot. The preview on this one seems like it's economical in the sounds being used, but with a solid amount of character to the sound that is present. It seems intriguing, I'm not entirely sure how to talk about what I heard, but I like being put in that position.

Proem - Low Noise Floor Sessions (Live Stream)

This is a live session series that has been happening late at night on weeknights, usually starting around 2:30 AM (EST), with the announcement coming on his Twitter. So it's not just this Friday, there could be one happening whenever you read this, unless it's a weekend. I haven't been keeping up with the shows, but I happened to catch one the other night and it was a fantastic experience. Proem has been putting out electronic music since 1999, and he takes all of the experience and gear accumulated in that time to improvise some music, live from his floor. The set I caught enveloped me in rich sounds that stretched outward, but had a sense of meter emerged from fixed timing on pitch changes for the mass of sound, though it was not so strict that the grid could be described as assertive. There was a patience behind the music, but with a steady procession of significant changes so that it felt like we were always going somewhere. I haven't checked the previous broadcasts, I guess some range has already been covered, so who knows what the future will hold. But I'm looking forward to catching some more, and catching up with the previous ones.

Quicksails - Blue Rise (Hausu Mountain)

I was introduced to Quicksails from 2013's "Mayville Dream" on Spectrum Spools, and I still have some gaps in his discography, but this is turning into my favorite from him. I was lucky enough to get an early preview, and I think this strikes an incredible sweet spot where it uses a cohesive sound, and (after being influenced by the cover and title) you might think it all sounds like it shares a color, but it still manages to make every track feel like they each have something distinct to offer. It all feels definitively of the same whole, but each part is distinct in its own way. The album is all heavily synth-powered, and there's a sense of scale generated from reverb, but there's something I can't entirely identify that helps avoids cliches with the effect. It doesn't keep taking you to the same exact virtual space. And then on an emotional level, the same applies, it keeps opening doors into different feelings with gestures and tones that don't look as significantly different as they feel. I have a lot of fondness for this type of music in general, but it feels like everything goes right here in a way that is hard to pull off.

shiwashiwa - I'm Here (Primordial Void)

I have a difficult relationship with music that gets stuck in my head, I get frustrated by my inability to control the phenomenon and it quickly becomes unwelcome. But I've found all of the music here to be quite welcome when I'm sitting in silence. I was given a preview copy for this one, it's a debut album which was "written and recorded over the course of four years and made entirely using GarageBand" according to the description. The synthpop contained here suggests that all of those years were spent crafting songs that, through their joy and straightforwardness, are able to make it seem like absolutely no concessions had to be made to the relatively limited (though clearly still powerful) production tool. Nothing feels wasted, or left to obstruct the melody's ability to catch you. And I am so glad for that, because it is so good to have it with me.

July 21st, 2020

Toshiya Tsunoda/Taku Unami - Wovenland 2 (Erstwhile)

One of the reasons why I've come to love so many releases on Erstwhile is that I wasn't told what made them special, or even what made them music, and I came to the realization about those issues myself, after repeated attempts at figuring out what the hell is going on. So it seems like a spoiler to tell you much about this, I don't want to take that experience away from someone. Which makes telling people about the music a bit of a challenge. I guess after the "Extract From Field Recording Archive" box set from Tsunoda last year, it's no big secret that he works with field recordings. And as this is the 2nd part of a planned trilogy, and the track titles are extremely straightforward, it doesn't feel like revealing too much to say that the additional unnatural processing that Tsunoda and Unami explored on their first outing remains as the unavoidably dominant characteristic here as well. But even if I wanted to reveal more than all that, I don't think I'd be able to. The official release date may be next Tuesday, but the digital copy has been available for purchase for a little bit now, so I have been able to hear the whole thing. But I'll need to live with this for a while. I still am in the "what the hell is going on" stage. It helps that the album comes with a pdf file with clear technical notes, but I don't know how to talk about how it makes me feel. Or maybe I just don't want to hurry the process of turning how I feel into language. I am going to savour it.

July 17th, 2020

Brin - Highspeed Light Body (Phinery)

My introduction to Brin was a release earlier this year called "Microdose Skyline", a nice quickie with a somewhat murky construction of samples and its own sense for timing. The clarity on the preview track for this new one sounds like jumping from SD to HD, and the track is almost as long as the entire previous release. The whole album built off of live radio performances, and the hand played nature of the weird electronics comes through strong. I think this will be an excellent way to go beyond the taster and have a full course meal out of his sound.

Crazy Doberman - hypnagogic relapse and other penumberal phenomena (Digital Regress)

After the Crazy Doberman release on Astral Spirits earlier in the year, I wanted to dig more into the large group's equally massive discography, but I haven't gotten around to it. They've even had (at least) one more release in addition to this new one, and I had completely missed it. The previews on this seem cool though, and like it'd be a nice way to find out more about the whole psycho jazz thing they have going on.

Gila - concentrics : SIX (Phinery)

So I have no idea about who this is or what they're doing, but I guess this is their sixth one of whatever it is. But it's also coming out on Phinery alongside this Brin release, and based on my excitement for that, and the excellent Karl Fousek album they put out, and all of their old material from artists I like, I figure I should have an eye on this.

Laraaji - Sun Piano (All Saints Records)

I haven't spent as much time as I should with Laraaji, but I've had friends play his effected-into-bliss zither and keyboard songs, and it seems like a wonderful sort of music that I really should have more of. I may wait a bit for this new one here though, because I guess it features him returning to the piano after originally learning music on the instrument. I think I need to build more of an appreciation for what he's built before diving in, but for anyone already familiar, this seems like it'll be a noteworthy development in his musical output.

G.S. Sultan - music for a living water (Orange Milk)

There always seems to be a playful quality in the computer noise music that I like, like it's coming from a place of joy that it gets to use sounds that have no basis in the natural world. What I've heard of Sultan's music absolutely fits the bill there, but this one actually seems like it's going to evoke reality, without shying away from the artificial. The preview track has warped vocals and percussive synths that seem to be modelled after physical ones, and a synth with an envelope that makes it sound like it's something real that's been reversed. It's a "love-letter to liquid" according to the description, and if that means that the fluidity of this track will continue with the rest of it, then I think this might end up being something quite fantastic.

Tiger Village - Amblyopiac (Suite 309)

This is Tiger Village's 10th album, though I'm mostly only familiar with last year's "Modern Drummer" on Hausu Mountain. It seems like he gets into some really great stuff with busy, erratic rhythms, and his approach to using machines that aren't personal computers keeps things feeling like they're performed in the moment, even when the moment seems incredibly complicated. There's nuances to how this new one sounds different, and I'd really need to hear the previous work to say something different about it, but I think fans of irregular electronic music with beats should check out what's going on here.

July 10th, 2020

Galcher Lustwerk - Proof (Ghostly)

It's nice to see this new EP following last November's delightfully warm "Information". I guess this one won't have the live drums that were present on that album, and while I did like those a lot, there's ample evidence that Lustwerk can do phenomenal work without them. The specific way he can blend the tone of his voice over deep house sounds captures exactly how I want to feel when I'm up late. The only preview I've heard is the AceMoMa remix, so I'm not too sure what all to expect from the rest, but I'm confident it will be high quality stuff.

Kassel Jaeger - Swamps / Things (Shelter Press)

I fell in love with Kassel Jaeger's music with 2014's "Toxic Cosmopolitanism" and I have found many rewards since that point. I'll be going in blind on this one but I figure there will be electroacoustic sounds that carry a rich character, unfolding at such a deliberate pace that it will lead to accusations of ambientness by people who don't catch how eventful the music truly is.

NYZ - ROMTYZ (The Wormhole)

Getting my subscription to the Noyzelab Bandcamp has paid dividends, the meditation drone stuff on there has gotten a lot of play during the lockdown. The generative cellular automata material is also fantastic, and this new one is going to be some of that, powering instruments that play back some sort of stock sound, or something like that. There's something special about the way the sequences take shape and evolve. It's cheap to call this sort of thing "alien" but it has a way of going against my intuition of how music will move from moment to moment when it's directly based on decisions from humans, while still sounding highly musical.

WRS - ZONE 2 (Self Released)

A lot of people I'm friends with tend to be talented in arts and music, and I have this weird hangup about considering their work in the same way that I do with people I don't know. There's already a vulnerability in talking about music, through the exposure of the part of myself that drives the feelings, and then on top of that, now there's a person you talk to and you've seen them expose the part of themselves that felt good about their music existing. I need to get over that hangup, because I think the people I know are worth hearing about. I've only heard the two preview tracks on this, but this new one from WRS sounds like a goofy sort of electronic pop, a mechanically active music with deep quirks in the core, with a lightly abrasive side to it. Lots of really engaging stuff in the composition, I think I should have a place for this alongside my music from strangers.

July 3rd, 2020

Diamond Soul - Maya'mi (Orange Milk)

Never heard any of Diamond Soul, but I checked out the first preview track here, and I need to hear more. There's a rapid micro-collage quality to the music, but it's not overwhelming or tripping over itself, it stays relatively steady and focused in the exploration of the established sound palette. I don't know enough to say anything wide reaching about what he is doing in music, but I'm very curious to learn more.

Gaika - Seguridad (NAAFI)

I'd meant to get introduced to Gaika's music through a live show in 2017, but there were travel complications and he wasn't able to make it, and in the following years I never followed through with checking out his stuff. I'm realizing I made a big mistake in not doing so, now that I'm finally catching up. If you're unfamiliar, I'm not going to be able to do as good a job at describing the music as this interview at The Quietus, so just read that if you need a primer. This album will feature a lot of collaborations with NAAFI-affiliated artists, and it seems like they will make an excellent match.

Gong Gong Gong, Anton Rothstein and Angel Wei Bernild - Rytme Og Drone III | 節奏與嗡鳴三 (Self Released?)

Last year I spent a lot of time with Gong Gong Gong's Phantom Rhythm 幽靈節奏 (幽霊リズム), their stripped-down and repetitive rock music fit in nicely with all the other minimalist rock stuff that I've been enjoying. I still haven't explored much of the rest of what's happening in the Beijing scene they exist in, so I'm not familiar with the other artists on here. I also haven't heard any of the preview tracks on this, so I can't speak to anything specific about the sound of this one, but I feel confident that it'll be a great time.

Alvin Lucier - Works For The Ever Present Orchestra (Black Truffle)

Black Truffle continues documenting the amazing late-period work that Lucier has been doing. The material I've heard has had lots of focus on exploiting weird phenomena that can happen with sound in physical space, so I imagine we'll see more of that here. If you haven't heard any of this stuff, the description on Bandcamp says that the album is "some of the richest and most inviting that Lucier has composed and is an essential document of the current state of Lucier’s continuing exploration, as well as offering a seductive entry-point for anyone who might yet be unacquainted with his singular body of work". So if you're on the fence at all, this seems like the time to jump off and dive in.

Various Artists - Music In Support Of Black Mental Health (Objects Limited/Planet Mu)

Not only will the proceeds from this release go towards 5 different charities based in the UK and USA, but it will feature tracks from some long-time favorites of mine (µ-Ziq, Datach'i, Bogdan Raczynski), and more recent artists (Speaker Music, Beatrice Dillon, Jlin) who have been doing phenomenal work. That's not even all the examples in both camps, and there's plenty of names on the tracklist that I still need to get familiar with. This one is a very easy purchase for me.

July 1st, 2020

Jordan Nobles - Chiaroscuro (Redshift)

This is some truly outstanding orchestral music. I was lucky enough to get an early copy, which is good because Nobles wasn't on my radar at all and it would have been very unfortunate if I had ended up missing this. While the title of the album is taken from one of the two pieces contained within, it also seems apt for the album as a whole, because there is a night and day difference between the halves. The 2nd one is an older piece, Pulses, and as the title suggests, it is similar to that propulsive sort of minimalism, though the plural in the title is key. It doesn't feel locked in to a single grid, it's dynamic and seamlessly moves through complimentary speeds. An amazing piece on its own, but it's made all the better by coming after the first. The forward motion is basically absent, and it's more like experiencing the shadows cast by various overlapping perspectives of one frozen moment. There's a lot of variety in color combinations, and it's not like some kind of consistent droning sound, there's lots of clear variation in shape and amplitude. I love it, and it sets things up so nicely for the movement that follows.

June 26th, 2020

Arca - KiCk i (XL Recordings)

I'm not on the level of the superfans, but I've enjoyed a lot of Arca's work since those Stretch EPs back in 2012. There's been some serious and thoughtful writing about her lately, and I don't think I can add anything significant to that. If you haven't been keeping up, maybe read Philip Sherburne in Pitchfork interviewing her about the live streams she's been doing, or check out what some of the people at The Singles Jukebox thought of her recent mixtape "@@@@@".

Dan Drohan - You're A Crusher / drocan! (Self Released)

Drohan gets around in a bunch of different projects, and I wasn't familiar with any of them. But I was lucky enough to get a copy of this sent my way, and I'm glad to have the introduction. It's this endangered sort of music where you have live drums along with some other instruments and singing from various collaborators, all being used for studio/computer constructed songs that would require serious adaptation to be replicated in the live environent. With the devaluation of recordings and reliance on live performance for musician income, it seems like there has been an understandable shift away from this sort of thing, so I'm grateful to see it can still happen and be done well. The expanded possibilities of the studio constructions don't end up quantizing the life out of the recordings. This album seems especially quixotic because the more immediate song material is in the second "drocan!" half of the album, with no concern for the risk of people being scared off before that point, but I hope it finds its people because I thought it was quite a nice package.

Quin Kirchner - The Shadows and The Light (Astral Spirits)

Kirchner is mostly new to me, I missed his top bill debut from 2018 and most of the projects he's been in, but the KVL album from last year (he's the K) was some gorgeous slow moving jazz that has made me curious to hear more from this drummer. Though from the title track that's available for preview, this seems like it will get into some higher tempos and more elaborate structures. But on the other hand, the description from Kirchner says that this will bring many of his different influences together, so it's probably foolish to draw too many conclusions from one sample. I think this will be a fun ride though.

Gábor Lázár - Source (Planet Mu)

Lázár's old music sounded like a rhythmic psychoacoustic i-doser type of experience to me, and the way he's turned it into something danceable has been a great thing to witness, I've never felt like he's betrayed his sound along the way. I actually got an early copy of this new one, but I don't know if I've spent enough time to really speak to what's developed since his last one in 2018. I kind of just want to say "it's just better", but you're supposed to justify a statement like that, and I can't say exactly why I have that preference. But take the single "Excite" for example, that one's up for preview. The way the melodic elements all play off each other works so well for me, that initial bass line and then the more sound design type layer (that still carries pitch) set against the soft pad sounds, all setting the stage for the main line, it comes together beautifully. I think this album has more of that kind of experience for me than the last one.

Bérangère Maximin - Land Of Waves (Karlrecords)

So this has already been streaming on Bandcamp and available for purchase semi-recently, but this is technically the release date so I'm rolling with it. I've heard it, and I still don't really know how to talk about it. Maximin is one of those artists that can give me the slow-burn experience, where after 6 month of accumulated listens I finally recognize what has been drawing me in. I'm not there yet, but I like what I hear. If you have an interest in electroacoustic composition, I think she is someone you should know. Check out this Bandcamp Daily write-up on 2017's Frozen Refrains for more information, though this new album seems very significantly different from that older one, so maybe do that later.

model home - One Year (Disciples)

I mistakenly thought this came out earlier, here is what I wrote about it back in May: "I found out about this Disciples label from the archival Bogdan Raczynski thing they put out last year, wasn't sure what to expect but it seems like this label has some range. This track will let you know that we should be in for something special here. I guess some people are already aware, since this is a compilation from a bunch of mixtapes that this MC & producer duo have been putting out, and they have this meaningful lo-fi homespun weirdness. The sort of thing where even after the initial shock wears off, there's a lot going on with the music that will continue to be rewarding."

Pale Spring - DUSK (Doom Trip)

I didn't hear last year's debut from Pale Spring, but I liked the track on the recent Doom Trip compilation, so I should really be following up on that. I'm getting some lush night vibes from the singles, as the title suggests, so this is quite a victory for the southern hemisphere to see it come out so close to the solstice. I'm bashful, so I was afraid to call it "sensual pop" but I am emboldened by the apparent usage of the term from Decayed Tapes. It would be dishonest to avoid mentioning that this music from songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer Emily Harper Scott and husband/co-producer Drew Scott appears to have romance and bodies as a primary subject.

June 22nd, 2020

Nicole Mitchell & Lisa E. Harris - EarthSeed (FPE Records)

Mitchell's Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds is a major favorite for me. The sound that she brings together is remarkable, it's like the palette has color combinations that produce physical distortions in the same way that a burned retina produces a color with closed eyes. I'm unfamiliar with Harris, but judging by the preview track, their collaboration will get into similar strange territories with it's own distinctions, and I can't wait to go on the journey that awaits.

June 19th, 2020

Amnesia Scanner - Tearless (PAN)

I thought this was already out but I guess it got delayed to this day. I've enjoyed the trajectory Amnesia Scanner have followed, venturing into disgusting rainbow vomit music. I'm a big fan of A Man Called Rom=Pari, so that's a sound I can get into. The cover art made me think they'd be going hard in that direction, but from the singles, it only seems like the title track gets into that kind of space. So who knows, maybe this will be more cleaned up and unnauseated, which probably makes more sense from a commercial standpoint. I guess we'll see.

Arnold Dreyblatt - Star Trap (Black Truffle)

Dreyblatt is one of those names that I've heard people say, but I've never taken the time to listen to his work. I'll probably go check out some his more established and celebrated music before checking this one out, because I guess he does some music using a double bass strung with piano wire, and that sounds like it could be amazing. But it is not featured on this album. This archival recording from the 90's has him composing for other musicians, but there's still something involving a broken escalator recording being used as a gate for the performers, that seems like it could be pretty cool.

Christian Michael Filardo - Rare Volume (Phinery)

This Phinery label popped up on my radar via a Karl Fousek release a little while ago, and I hadn't realized at the time, but this is actually the relaunch of a label that had been around from 2015-2018. Looking over their back catalog, I notice so many names that I associate with great weird electronic music, like LXV, Mukqs, More Eaze, G.S. Sultan, and plenty more. They've even got something from Jay Glass Dubs' The Hydra alias. So anyways, they're back, I've missed a few of their releases that have come out since that Fousek one, but there's another new one coming. I have no idea what it's going to sound like, but I feel like this is a label I need to be following, so I'll be checking it out.

Ingrid Laubrock & Kris Davis Duo - Blood Moon (Intakt Records)

I'm gradually finding out about Laubrock's brilliance after hearing her Contemporary Chaos Practices from 2018, and it seems like a great next step for me to check out this duo with longtime collaborator Davis, isolating their distinct approach to sax and piano interplay. The preview sounds so tuneful and powered by telepathic unification, this seems like an excellent showcase of Laubrock's talents while also being a great opportunity to find out about Davis'.

PERSONABLE - ROUGHS (Self Released)

PERSONABLE - TUMBLE (Self Released)

M Geddes Gengras has started pulling some music from his archives with the proceeds going to charities, and he has another two coming out on Friday. The first one seemed a bit focused on specific times and places, and TUMBLE follows that template, featuring material composed for a performance in 2017. ROUGHS is different, it's a general orphan compilation, featuring assorted pieces from live sets and mixes from 2015-2019. And it has a Chris Morris Blue Jam sample! That should be fun.

Rudy Royston - PaNOptic (Greenleaf Music)

Greenleaf put out the Webber/Morris Big Band album earlier this year, I hadn't been paying attention to them before that, but I figured they'd be worth keeping an eye on since that was really great. This new one from Royston will see the proceeds go to the MusiCares COVID-19 release fund. I'm unfamiliar with his work, but I'm intrigued by the description here. It's a solo album where he's credited with drums, cymbals, and voice, and I guess it opens with a performance of The Beatles - Black Bird that gets interrupted midway by Bad Company, followed by other pieces with direct inspiration. Then there's a group of tributes, some sacred music, and then another collection with direct references. Maybe this doesn't make the most sense as an introduction, but I'm very curious about this experience.

Omar S - Simply (FXHE)

This was announced as being titled "Fuck Resident Advisor" but I'm seeing this title on his website now. I've always heard that one of the fundamental rules of dance music is that you don't put a clap on the 1 and the 3, but Omar S will do it sometimes in a way that doesn't call attention to the rule breaking, he just makes it work. The previews sound great, and the site says it's only 12 dollars for a double lp, which seems like an incredible deal with how expensive records get.

Brandon Seabrook Trio - Exultations (Astral Spirits)

Seabrook is new to me, but his guitar on the first track has me convinced that he is someone I need to know. The rest of the trio is a rhythm section of Gerald Cleaver on drums and Cooper-Moore on a single-stringed bass instrument called the Diddley Bow, and they set down a foundation of perfectly measured chaos for Seabrook to fill with ecstatic sequences of notes, augmented by some restrained use of additional processing. The other track that's up for preview is a bit more subdued sounding, but it seems like this will have some thrills.

Speaker Music - Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry (Self Released)

I have no idea what this will sound like, but Deforrest Brown, Jr.'s work is always essential, regardless of medium. I only know about this because of the recent interview he had with Joshua Minsoo Kim at Tone Glow, but they don't really cover what's up with this one, at least not explicitly. His previous solo releases centered rhythm in a way that I still struggle to adequately describe, but who knows if that will apply here. But I am confident that whatever shape this takes, it will be worth giving your full attention.

Wife Signs - Beneath the Weight of Care (Healing Sound Propagandist)

I was given a promo copy of this debut from Kellen Perry, it's only around 20 minutes but it still felt like the time flew by when I listened. The music draws influence from the brilliant Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou's approach to tonality, chopping up his own recordings of scales that she used. This doesn't attempt to imitate the way she moves through time, and instead gets into the an endless moment. It could all be broken down into distinct sound events, it's never too blurry in the moment, but when it's finished I'm left with the impression of the color rather than the fine details. It is quite a nice haze to be left with.

June 12th, 2020

James Ferraro - Neurogeist (Self Released)

There's no previews on this, but the description says "Four Pieces for Mirai Op II", so I'm expecting something like the distinct synthetic take on modern classical he had on the referenced album. I love hearing Ferraro's talent for melody showcased front and center, so that sounds good to me.

Kate NV - Room For The Moon (RVNG Intl.)

Kate NV's 2018 album для FOR is an absolute delight that I love to come back to, it's electronic music that is full of accumulating patterns that make great use of smaller sounds with no tail, so that the empty space becomes a significant presence and establishes contrast with the colorful tones. I've only heard the singles for this new album, but it sounds like that principle is being applied to creating incredible pop music here. I highly recommend checking out the artwork for the singles and the music videos, it's a whole complimentary package. I have every reason to believe that this is going to soundtrack my summer.

Kentaro Minoura - 今戸焼 (Primordial Void)

I've never heard this artist, but this label seems cool, they reached out and let me know about this highly unusual duo featuring Gobby they'd released (since it was after it came out I didn't put it here, but it's a good one). They also gave me a couple promos for their upcoming releases, including this one, but I haven't been too focused lately so I still haven't listened in full. But I did recently hear the track that's available to stream for everyone, and I'm kicking myself for not taking advantage of having the whole thing. It's a long jammy track with lo-fi synths and electronic drums, not in a murky sense, more of a deep fried sort of sound. It has a peculiar rhythm to it that I think keeps it out of the aimless meandering, this totally sounds like something I need to hear.

Nihiloxica - Kaloli (Crammed Discs)

This joint venture between Uganda's Nilotika Cultural Ensemble and the UK's pq and Spooky-J has been putting out some cool EP's on Nyege Nyege Tapes over the past couple of years, and now they've got their debut album ready. From live videos that I've seen, it's just one guy on synth, and then the other five members on live percussion. It gets darker than the singeli music that Nyege Nyege Tapes is most famous for, but never in a way that is absent of life. The preview tracks sound incredible, the way the drums rapidly unfold while the synth tones drag out make me imagine a staircase materializing around an ascending figure. I'm looking forward to hearing the rest, this is going to be a blast.

June 8th, 2020

Upsammy - Zoom (Dekmantel)

June 5th, 2020

Amirtha Kidambi / Lea Bertucci - End of Softness (Astral Spirits)

Piotr Kurek - A Sacrifice Shall Be Made / All The Wicked Scenes (Mondoj)

Machinefabriek with Anne Bakker - Oehoe (Where To Now?)

Mike Pride / Jonathan Moritz - The Invitation (Astral Editions)

June 1st, 2020

Kyle Bruckmann - Triptych (tautological) (Carrier Records)

Bruckmann does some really cool stuff with oboe and/or electronics, he has a great collaboration with Olivia Block and also had some cool albums on Entr'acte. The latter ones were the type of electronic music that feel totally in the box, with no presence of physical space or real air, but this one seems like it will be taking corporeal form. The description mentions Wandelweiser and the New York School, along with the presence of an old EMU analog synthesizer, this seems like one I'll be into.

May 31st, 2020

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe - La Dialectique Peut​-​Elle Casser​.​.​. ? (Self Released?)

Lowe's approach to sound and rhythm in his electronic compositions is something I find so rewarding to hear, and I really think anyone who is interested in what might be called experimental electronic music or any of the more specific synonyms should hear what he is doing. I'm not sure what this one will sound like, half of it is available to stream right now but I think I will just go in blind. This is going to be two longform pieces taken from performances at GRM and Presencias/electrónica MX, I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with the extended durations.

May 29th, 2020

Deerhoof - Future Teenage Cave Artists (Joyful Noise Recordings)

There was a live stream of this around a month ago that I was able to catch, but obviously haven't been able to listen again since then. I've been eager to get back into it though! I mentioned in an earlier blurb about how I lost track of what Deerhoof had been up to, but what I heard reminded me of just how great it can feel to hear their music, how it can be surprising without betraying anything about who they are. I'm looking forward to hearing this one again.

Greg Fox - Contact (RVNG Intl.)

You may know Fox from his drumming in projects like Guardian Alien (featuring Alex Drewchin aka Eartheater), Ex Eye (featuring Colin Stetson), or other places (I quite enjoyed the Fox/Soper Duo album from 2016). This new solo album he's got seems very intriguing. The preview track I heard is dominated by the sound of the drum kit without any transformative processing on the sound, but there's some kind of sound triggering thrown in that expands the available selection of sounds without changing the physical process of generating them. I feel like this sort of thing can end up a bit cheesy but there's a deliberate limitation here, it's only bringing in some kind of abstract processed noise and something like an organ, and they're not all over the track, so it seems like it will be a complimentary support for Fox's already existing talents in highly expressive drumming.

David Grubbs & Taku Unami - Comet Meta (Blue Chopsticks)

Unami's collaborations in the previous decade were a huge part in progressing my ability to access musical listening, where I'd initially be mad at what had happened and really believe that something was wrong before I found my way to loving it as music. I had no such challenges with this album but the experience has been just as rewarding. I was very lucky to get a promo for this one, and on my 5th listen I made a note that I was surprised how familiar this music was to me already, how it felt like it had to have existed for a long time already. And I guess there is some truth to that, as I saw Philip Sherburne tweet that he "got a fleeting glimpse of Satie's "Vexations" in one of the songs". I wasn't familiar enough with Satie to catch that, and maybe there are other references in here as well. The album features a great deal of Grubbs and Unami together on guitar, building melody in a way that feels intricate and so deliberate but shows none of the weight of egos that want you to know how hard they worked, and that's what immediately hooked me. And the album offers up some other sounds as it goes on, but the core tunefulness stays throughout. It's an easy place to step into as a listener, but still has rewards that run deep, and I have found that to be a particularly valuable quality in the past few months. I hadn't actually heard the first collaboration these two had back in 2018, but something about this felt a bit sharper to me, I'd need to spend more time with it to really put my finger on it. Even without that experience though, I feel comfortable recommending this as highly as I can, I believe this album has a lot to offer.

Samuel Rohrer / Max Loderbauer / Stian Westerhus / Tobias Freund - KAVE (arjunamusic)

Rohrer and Loderbauer are two thirds of Ambiq, and I really enjoyed the albums from that group. It was like spaced-out electronic jazz, with drums and clarinet but also with everyone having some kind of electronic instrument as well. This one seems like it might not feel as much like jazz as it won't have any instruments powered by breath, except for some singing. But the preview track I heard suggests that it's going to have a similar sort of vibe, that kind that makes even more sense when I'm lacking sleep. So I'm pretty confident this will be something I'll need to hear.

Roly Porter - Kistvaen (Subtext Recordings)

This is Porter's first new release since his 2016 album Third Law. I enjoyed that one, some powerful sheets of colored noise with some rhythmic elements that go all dynamic in tempo so that they become a part of the fury rather than any clear divider of time. The preview track I heard suggests that this will be in the same ballpark, but I'll probably need a full listen to have an idea of whatever has changed in the 4 years that have passed.

May 27th, 2020

BONJINTAN (Sakata / O'Rourke / Di Domenico / Yamamoto) - Dental Kafka (Trost Records)

This one is a group that already had an album but I haven't heard it yet. If you don't know about Trost, it's a jazz label that has had a strong relationship with Peter Brötzmann for a while now. He's not on this album, but still, what I know from this label can get onto the extreme side of free jazz. This group is led by Akira Sakata, who I haven't heard much from but he's primarily an alto saxophonist who has been active since the 70's. He has a large body of work, which I'm only just now learning includes a Rie Nakajima collaboration from last year! I'll need to hear that. But anyways, the preview for this new album doesn't suggest it's on the scary side of free jazz, it's just avant-garde jazz, which I guess means free jazz except it doesn't sound like the instruments are mad as hell at each other. Sakata doesn't play in that skronk assault style, and then there's a passage where he drops out and Jim O'Rourke on double bass, Tatsuhisa Yamamoto on drums, and Giovanni di Domenico on piano all play something super inviting together, and Sakata eventually joins in and elevates it really nicely. I'm very interested in hearing the rest.

May 22nd, 2020

Andrea Borghi/Giacomo Salis/Paolo Sanna - MOT (tsss tapes)

Here's a trio of artists I haven't heard yet, but it looks like they release on labels I'm interested in like Dinzu Artefacts and Falt. The whole first side of the tape is available for a preview stream, and it has a sort of organo-mechanical feeling to it, like Rie Nakajima's motorized devices but with a bit of damp flesh in there. After establishing the dynamic, they throw in a twist that has me looking forward to finding out what the second side holds.

Karl Evangelista w/Alexander Hawkins, Louis Moholo-Moholo, and Trevor Watts - Apura! (Astral Spirits)

I'm not familiar with any of the names on here, even the ones who have been around for a while like Watts, but Astral Spirits do great work and the description on the link here suggests a deep sincerity in pursuing humanity through improvised music. You should just follow the link and read that. I'll need some time to digest in full before I can approach describing it but I feel like it could live up to the idea of putting life into music.

Rafael Anton Irisarri - Peripeteia (Dais Records)

Irisarri is one of those names that I've heard celebrated by people I trust for a while now. But I haven't spent anywhere near the same amount of time with his music that they have, I can't be the kind of advocate for him that they were to me. I did hear his one last year, Solastalgia, I was overwhelmed by the unrelenting force of the distorted synths and I couldn't really bring myself back to it. It's not harsh noise or anything, but it just felt kind of draining. I respect the hell out of it but I still need to really spend time with his stuff and I haven't gone back to the older stuff yet. This new one seems like it might be a nice way in though, the first preview track has a clear and steady step sequencer (or something like that) giving the consistently spaced bloops, and overall feels less like the end of the world. So this might be a good way to ease myself in to what Irisarri is about.

Giovanni Lami/Chemiefaserwerk - Globuskorbmaschine (tsss tapes)

Lami has had some releases in the past that I've really enjoyed, like one called Bias from 2016, it had an overall sound that was degraded to the point of becoming impressionistic but still maintained shape and momentum. I'm not sure what the story is with Chemiefaserwerk but they're probably cool, both the performers are credited together with field recordings and tape machines so I feel comfortable going in blind with no preview.

Bill Nace - Both (Drag City)

Nace is one of those guys who has played with so many people that I think are great (Joe Mcphee! Chris Corsano! Okkyung Lee! Greg Kelley! Samara Lubelski! Susan Alcorn! Leila Bordreuil!), but somehow I've never heard any of the stuff that he's on. It's a huge oversight on my part, but now he's got a new solo album so it seems like the perfect opportunity to set this right. I only listened to the first preview, Part 5, and it's a collection of sounds that all originated from guitar but have been pedalled into different sound spaces and they make a wonderful kind of sense together. Really looking forward to seeing what I've been missing with him.

Nídia - Não Fales Nela Que A Mentes (Príncipe)

New releases from Principe are always worth keeping an eye on, but the first new release from Nídia since 2017 is particularly exciting news. That last one was a lively and distinct mix of dance music subgenres that originate out of Angola, and I guess other subgenres too. I get confused about genre boundaries, but I can say with confidence that it's so much fun to play loud and move to, and the preview for this one sounds huge and immediately had me needing higher volumes, this is going to be a blast. And there's a separate 7 inch coming out as well! Very glad to be seeing more from her.

Jim O'Rourke - Shutting Down Here (Portraits GRM)

Joshua Minsoo Kim did an incredible interview with Jim O'Rourke recently, and there was a mention of an upcoming release connected to INA-GRM, he said it was on the level of The Visitor but for that electronic side of his work. Thanks to a tweet from @JoelPBrady I found out that the Editions Mego site says it is coming soon! And then suddenly it's been revealed to come out tomorrow! I didn't expect this to move so fast but I'm excited to hear it.

Christine Ott - Chimères (pour ondes Martenot) (NAHAL Recordings)

I found out about this from Steve Smith's Night After Night newsletter. I'm not a paying subscriber yet, but he did share a free post with his own list of notable upcoming releases, which included this album. I'm not familiar with Ott or the two musicians who join in on processing the sound, Frédéric D. Oberland & Paul Régimbeau. But the basis of the album (judging by the preview tracks) is Ott playing the ondes martenot and then Oberland & Régimbeau taking the nearly century old electronic sound and using it for separate contributions that operate with a sound grammar that wasn't available when the instrument first existed, but in a way that supports Ott's performance and the joys of this instrument's distinct sound, rather than obscuring it. So this seems like something I'll want to hear.

Lucy Railton / Max Eilbacher - Forma / Metabolist Meter (Foster, Cottin, Caetani, and a Fly) (Portraits GRM)

In addition to the O'Rourke album, Portraits GRM will also be putting out a split release, with Max Eilbacher from Horse Lords and Lucy Railton from the amazing collaboration with Peter Zinovieff that dropped earlier this year. Very glad to see these two getting highlighted here, I'm more familiar with Eilbacher's sonic head trips but Railton also seems to have a great approach to sound and I'm looking forward to learning more.

TALsounds - Acquiesce (NNA Tapes)

You may know TALsounds as part of the Good Willsmith trio, her most recent release was a solo album in 2017 called Love Sick. If you haven't heard it, you really should go back and listen, it's all singing and synth sounds and it manages to perfectly capture the queasy beauty of the title, I would recommend it for anyone who is a fan of songs. The preview tracks on here sound like they have more stability to them but still have a rich sound, so I am really looking forward to seeing the full development here.

May 19th, 2020

Joseph Sannicandro - I Always Worked (Dinzu Artefacts)

Sound Kite Orchestra - The Venice Session (Dinzu Artefacts)

Philip Sulidae - Tupik (Dinzu Artefacts)

May 16th, 2020

Graham Dunning - Panopticon (Every Contact Leaves a Trace)

I saw Dunning stream some gameplay from Half-Life but with the sounds replaced, so that he would be able to make music by existing in and interacting with the game environment. That process is featured on this album, and I'm very curious to hear how it's come together.

May 15th, 2020

Charli XCX - How I'm Feeling Now (Atlantic / Asylum)

Charli XCX has been very open and collaborative with the process of putting this album together, and I haven't been keeping up with it. So there's going to be all sorts of significant aspects of this for the dedicated fans that I won't be picking up on. But even without that, she's a great songwriter and I like how she puts things together, so I'm sure there will still be plenty of ways this can work for me.

Crazy Doberman - Illusory Expansion (Astral Spirits)

The credits on this one are stacked with names that I'm not sure if I'm familiar with, I'm counting 16 of them. Oh wait there's John Olson at the end there, member of Wolf Eyes and a million other things who does a lot of internet meme stuff on top of that. So this is psychojazz music. That's what you're getting here. The group has a ton of cassettes and I haven't heard any of them, but I probably should because this sort of secretly careful improvised messiness iin the preview track is totally something I can get into.

Jordan Edge & Navid Asghari - Anamnesis (Opal Tapes)

Both of these names are new to me, Edge has a few releases out there and it looks like Asghari has been soundtracking British television shows and movies, and I don't have experience with any of it. The preview has a noisy electroacoustic quality to it, scrapes and tones, large vibrating metal coming into conflict with other metal or something that mimics it. I like that sort of sound, and the preview suggests a method of control that I find intriguing and don't understand, like the music takes me to a few places but the reveal is slow, if that makes any sense.

Golden Retriever and Chuck Johnson - Rain Shadow (Thrill Jockey)

Golden Retriever is the duo of Matt Carlson and Jonathan Sielaff. Carlson is responsible for one of the freakiest, most amazing doses of voice and synth from the last decade with The View From Nowhere, but Golden Retriever are more about the slow beauty. I haven't heard much recorded from Johnson but I saw him live, doing some very nice pedal steel guitar. I think these three should mix together well.

Kassel Jaeger & Jim O'Rourke - in cobalt aura sleeps (Editions Mego)

I already heard this one since Editions Mego are weird about release dates, but it will be fully released on Friday. I'm a big fan of both O'Rourke and Kassel Jaeger, and their previous collaboration was great so there was no way I was going to miss this. This one is a similar sort of well-paced sound voyage, maybe with a few more passages that feel as though they're obscured by darkness that make me want to turn up the volume to be more sure of what I'm hearing. Be careful doing that if you have thin walls and neighbors though, because they do step into the light as well.

Kazuma Kubota - Mind (Opal Tapes)

Haven't heard anything from Kubota, I guess they do noise stuff? I'm not sure if it's "noise" or "harsh noise", the preview is a bit harsh, but this still feels pleasant to me. It's not overly piercing and there's some dynamics so that it's not all loud all the time, I don't have to pull the structure out of the muck, it's clearly visible.

C. Lavender - Myth of Equilibrium (Editions Mego)

This is another one I got the early purchase on. You're going to want some headphones for this one, it's recorded in a geodesic dome with binaural equipment, and so if you've got headphones on this album basically will transport your head into that space, you'll hear all sorts of drones and soft noises with an extreme sense of clarity about where they are in the dome. And these are very well crafted sounds, if they weren't up to snuff then they'd fall apart when subjected to this sort of intense focus, but they meet the challenge.

Jerry Paper - Abracadabra (Stones Throw)

Paper has pretty firmly settled into this smooth, sort of loungey music, I don't know if it's breaking down any barriers but I think he comes up with some really nice tunes. This sort of sound could easily turn me off but there's something to his music that avoids the pitfalls, like a specific type of gloss that he avoids or something, I'm not sure. I can't really articulate why his stuff works for me, but I like hearing it.

Christian Rønn & Aram Shelton - Multiring (Astral Spirits)

Here's one I'm completely blind on, haven't even checked out the preview, but my friend Brian recommended I keep an eye out for it and Astral Spirits does great stuff with improvised music so I'm just gonna find out what the deal is when I hear it.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - The Mosaic Of Transformation (Ghostly)

I first heard Smith's music in 2015 from a post on Gorilla Vs. Bear, and between that point and the end of 2017 she released three solo albums and a collaboration with Suzanne Ciani. It was remarkable to see her push her sound at such a consistent pace. But then 2018-2019 only had minor releases, no major statements. So I'm very excited to see what she's cooked up here. It's easy to get lost in the modular synths that she uses, but she has a great knack for shepherding a song through the tangled wires and managing to keep it shining through on the other end. I haven't really checked out any of the previews so I'm not sure what sorts of developments to her sound are in store here, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Sote - MOSCELS (Opal Tapes)

Sote's music can feel like riding a rollercoaster that is itself riding another rollercoaster, like you're going through a loop while the coaster itself is plunging down 100 feet. He has a way of making exaggeration real and I love it. He's recently been doing incredible work combining synthesis with traditional Persian techniques and instruments, but on this one he's focused exclusively on synths. This is going to be so much fun.

Tim Stine Trio - Fresh Demons (Astral Spirits)

I haven't heard Stine or the other members of the trio, but guitar, bass and drums is a fun combination. Nobody's breathing with a direct musical purpose, everyone's just doing hand stuff. The preview has some really fucked up timing, the bass keeps things from going totally free while the guitar and drums get delightfully freaky. I'm into it.

Sugarstick & Xerox - Sugarstick & Xerox (Opal Tapes)

So here's another trio, but this time it's synth, drums, and bass clarinet. The shorter preview track sort of reminds me of that Greg Fox and Ryan Soper duo album Magenta Line a little bit? That album was really cool, and the bass clarinet here seems to add a lot of potential to that sort of colorful percussive blast music, I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of this turns out.

Thet Liturgiske Owäsendet - Det Var Folk Där Ute. Dom Är Borta Nu. (Opal Tapes)

This Swedish duo is new to me. Google Translate says this album title means "There were people out there. They're gone now." I didn't think it would come out to be something that depressing, maybe it's just bad timing and the title had earlier significance from before the global pandemic. The preview track isn't exactly upbeat, the first preview has that moody melodic ambient type of sound, everything's a bit floaty without being tethered down with strict timings, but it still maintains a form and doesn't get bleak or anything. So don't let that translation alarm you, I think there's some hopefulness in here.

Toiret Status - OTOHIME (Orange Milk)

I don't listen to enough Toiret Status, but I've enjoyed what I've heard. This is probably going to change that first part. The first preview track here, "#67" (don't worry, it's track 2 and there's only 10 total) sort of carries the spirit of heavy DSP abuse in 00's IDM, but with modern sensibilities towards having space between sounds and a playful approach in the sound selection helping it avoid what makes a lot of that older music seem so limited to me now. It's got a Co La collaboration on it as well, I think I'll be spending a good amount of time with this one.

Vladislav Delay Meets Sly & Robbie - 500-Push-Up (Sub Rosa)

I haven't heard the first collaboration between the reggae/dub duo Sly & Robbie and Vladislav Delay, but it's an interesting sounding combination so I put it down here. Vladislav Delay recently took a turn from spacey dub techno into much more abrasive territory, so maybe that quality will be more present here than in the first one.

Otomo Yoshihide & Chris Pitsiokos - Live in Florence (Astral Spirits)

Yoshihide does some really cool stuff with playing the turntable, the Les Sculpteurs De Vinyl album that he's a part of is a great one. He plays guitar and turntables on this one, and he gets some really cool sounds going on the preview track. I'm not familiar with Pitsiokos, but he's doing some great work matching the energy on alto saxophone, and it looks like he's credited with electronics as well, so it seems like we're going to get some really far out sounds on this one, and the duo format will really let the individual contributions shine.

May 8th, 2020

Dewa Alit & Gamelan Salukat - Genetic (Black Truffle)

Oren Ambarchi's Black Truffle label is always putting out cool stuff. This one is vinyl only, which means it's gonna be a while until I actually hear this one even if I did order this right now (and I can't really do that right now). But it seems very interesting. Alit is an Indonesian composer who has an affiliation with that Bang On A Can ensemble, I don't think he's on any recordings but he's done live stuff. The Gamelan Salukat portion of the name represents gamelan instruments developed by Alit, performed by 25 local young musicians. Hopefully I don't have to wait too long to hear this!

Madeleine Cocolas - Ithaca (Room40)

I keep missing stuff that Room40 puts out (though sometimes they seem to come out suddenly, I think the Lawrence English thing that came out last week was a surprise though maybe I just missed the announcement), but I took a listen to the preview tracks for this one and they seem quite nice. I'm unfamiliar with the artist, but what I heard was the sort of mix of piano and electronics that keeps on the pleasing sound but has that direct melodic quality that keeps me from using it as mood wallpaper, seems like it'll be nice to engage with.

Daedelus - What Wands Won't Break (Dome of Doom)

I discovered Daedelus' music in high school from the Tigerbeat6 Inc. compilation, and kept up with his prolific output over the years. Odds are even if you don't know the name, you've heard the music sampled on Madvillain - Accordion. But then I did my dumbass thing where I left college and wanted distance from who I was, and the combination of their distinct approach to melody and a move into cleaner sounds led me to stop keeping up. This one caught my eye though, because it's supposed to have a reduced emphasis on melody and a less clean sound. The preview tracks seem to confirm this and sound like a lot of fun, I think I'm back in.

Fire-Toolz - Rainbow Bridge (Hausu Mountain)

Honestly you should just read this profile in the Chicago Reader if you're not aware of this album or Fire-Toolz. But if you're in a hurry, I guess I would call her music risky, because she's synthesizing all sorts of influences that can be off-putting to people, the sort of things that follow statements like "I like all music except...", like there's harsh metal vocals and bright synths and just so much activity, the listener is given so many opportunities to check out. But the sincerity behind it is so clear, and every aspect of it that's pushed me out of my comfort zone has been greatly rewarding, I love it.

France Jobin - Death is perfection, everything else is relative (Editions Mego)

Technically, the release date for this got bumped up to May 1st on Bandcamp, and I missed that, but it looks like it's hitting other retailers and I'd imagine the streaming services as well on this date, so I'm featuring it here. I've heard a little bit of Jobin's work via the 2016 album Singulum. The gorgeous and slow moving approach to electronic sounds seems like it is continued on here, though on an emotional level it seems like this like this will get into some heavier territory, going by the description the label has.

Okkyung Lee - Yeo​-​Neun (Shelter Press)

Here's something I've already listened to via the preview stream that The Wire put up. I've heard some of Lee's music and it had a lot of noisy and far out cello playing, very cool stuff but probably not the sort of thing you'd want to listen to with your parents, unless you have a sonically adventurous parents. But this album is a quartet with Lee on cello and three other musicians on harp, piano and bass, the music is full of melody and it is not scary! Wonderful stuff, safe for the whole family without any sacrifice to substantially interesting musical content.

Grischa Lichtenberger - kamihan ; il y a peril en la demeure (Raster)

This took me a bit to put together because the Boomkat description appears to be from an earlier album, the first in a 5 part series that Lichtenberger started in 2015. So I thought this was a repress, but it said this date for the digital release, so I did a bit of digging and saw on Forced Exposure that this is in fact the conclusion of the series. Apparently I missed the middle of this series that was covered by a triple EP. I'm glad I figured it all out though because Lichtenberger does really great work with making hard-hitting beats that twist up mechanical sounds using all sorts of irregular human qualities, it's always great to hear something new from him.

Michele Mercure - Pictures of Echos (Freedom To Spend)

I love the perspective that Freedom To Spend has developed in the archival releases they put out, they've helped pull so much character-rich electronic music out of obscurity and it all makes sense together in a way that I don't know how to explain. They put out a previous compilation from Mercure called "Beside Herself", it has this song called "An Accident Waiting To Happen" and it's such a fun one to play to people, it takes screeching tires and crash noises and mixes them with drum machines and driving synths, coming out at the end with a total jam. And she's got a lot more range than just that! I haven't heard any previews of what is on this one but I'm sure it is cool.

Ways + Simon Toldam - Fortunes (Lorna Records)

This is one I was lucky enough to get a promo for, but I still don't know if I have a good handle on it. I like to be in this position, so I've got no complaints. Ways is a duo of alto sax and drums, and then Toldam plays piano, and they make very restrained music that gets a lot of strangeness out of a minimal sound. There's something to it that makes me think of cylindrical piano rolls with plenty of blank space driving each instrument, with irregular sizes driving the potential for looseness in how long a cycle can take or how closely they sync up, and through that process finding unusually perfect synchronizations. I don't think I can do the whole thing justice in a description, that certainly doesn't describe everything this album holds. This is absolutely something I want to go deeper with.

May 7th, 2020

Sote - Parallel Persia Remixes (Diagonal)

Mark Fell & Rashad Becker turn in remixes for Sote's amazing album from last year. These three names are behind some incredible electronic sounds so this is an extremely packed small release and I will not be missing it.

May 5th, 2020

Beatriz Ferreyra - Huellas Entreveradas (Persistence Of Sound)

After recently being converted to Ferreyra fandom via the Room40 release in March, here she is with another three pieces of musique concrete. This one features a recent composition from 2018, so I'm really interested in seeing what that's like. But if anything was clear to me from the previous release, I need to hear Ferreyra music from all possible eras, so this is all very welcome.

May 1st, 2020

Bit Folder - Silicon Frontier (Central Processing Unit)

Not familiar with this artist but I'm trying to keep up with CPU because I've found that I really enjoy what they put out. I'm bad at genres but I keep seeing electro thrown around for a lot of these, alongside IDM and techno, and it seems like that applies here but I can't say that confidently. But maybe that gives you some idea if this is of interest to you, it definitely sounds good to me.

N. Chambers - [Unknown Title] (Self Released)

Norm Chambers has said that he'll have something up for Friday, and he has such a fantastic approach to making music with synthesizers, utilizing distinct timbres and relationships between sounds that avoid the cliches of what the machines want you to make. I am always interested in seeing what else he has to offer.

Elysia Crampton - OCORARA 2010 (PAN)

First things first, "all proceeds go to the American Indian Movement West / AIM SoCal chapters", so your money is going to a good cause should you choose to grab this one. Crampton has been putting out some amazing music over the years, often getting placed under the deconstructed club banner but bringing an anti-colonial perspective to the use of influences that really sets her apart. This was originally a commision for Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2018, so it seems less explosive than what I normally expect from her, but it sounds like she is creating something beautiful in this format so I've got no complaints.

CV & JAB - Landscape Architecture (Self Released?)

Christina Vantzou and John Also Bennett's first collaboration left me feeling very confused. There was something to the music, that much is sure, but I didn't really know what to make of it. But recently I have been experiencing great relief from Bennett's Music For Save Rooms, so I think I'm in a better position to recieve whatever they've cooked up together.

Sarah Davachi - Five Cadences (Self Released)

No idea what is up with this one but I saw Davachi mention she had this coming on Twitter, and she does incredible stuff, her recent performance for Experimental Sound Studio's Quarantine Sessions was the sort of captivating cloud of long notes that pulls me in

Deerhoof - Surprise Symphonies (Joyful Noise Recordings)

Here's a b-sides and rarities compilation from Deerhoof that was included with the massive cassette boxset they had earlier this year, so it's previously released on multiple levels but I'm pretty sure this will all be new to me. They were a big part of my musical life when I was at college but I think I put too much of that time into them, because I ended up distinguishing the next stage of life by having significantly less Deerhoof in it. But I've been coming to realize that they've kept doing great work in the time since then, so it will be nice to catch up on some of this stuff that I missed.

dreamcrusher - Panopticon! (PTP)

I listened to the preview track for this after watching a YTP (YouTube Poop), and the YTP did the thing that a lot of them do where one part of the video is suddenly VERY LOUD. So I was primed, but I was still shocked by how loud and noisy the song I was hearing was getting, and it just did not let up the whole time. Like you can still make out that this is a song and that there's instruments and structure, but the noise is so strong here. I am very glad I'm paying attention to PTP (the label) because I hadn't heard anything from this prolific artist and they seem cool.

Emeralds - [Unknown Title] (Self Released)

John Elliott said on Twitter that they're starting up an Emeralds Bandcamp and it will include "unreleased, rare and live stuff". As a fan of synths, linear music, and zoning out, this is good news! A lot of that rare stuff will be new to me because I never went too deep into their huge catalog, it'll be fun to see what I've been missing.

Karl Fousek - Another Use For Time (Phinery)

Fousek just released an album of short pieces for a serge modular system, which led me to finally get on his Bandcamp subscription. And now here's another new one, part of which draws from a show 11 months ago that I attended. There was a lot of cool spatialization stuff that seems like it was translated nicely to stereo recording, which is important because what he's doing with accumulation really benefits from it. Looking forward to seeing how the rest of it all fits together.

M. Geddes Gengras - Time Makes Nothing Happen (Self Released)

Gengras has a new one with 10 tracks of "rhythmic synthesizer music" lasting 55 minutes. He gets some wonderful sounds out of these machines and I'm always glad to hear some more. Most of what I've heard from him is stuff that I get lost in, where time doesn't feel all strictly divided, but this sounds like you could dance to it. This preview track "bend (edit)" has repeating step sequences that make gradual changes, and great reverb usage like at the beginning where it's a high frequency drum hit will ring out and evoke one space but then this mid-frequency envelopeless sound comes in after and has a different sense of space to it, so there seems like there will still be plenty to get lost in. But you can do that while dancing now.

Sarah Hennies - Forager (Self Released)

Here is the full hour long version of a piece that appeared on Hennies' 2018 album Embedded Environments. If you're not familiar, she does really incredible compositions primarily featuring percussion, last year's Reservoir 1 is an amazing experience. This piece was recorded in a silo, resulting in a very interesting magnification of all the sounds.

Klara Lewis - Ingrid (Editions Mego)

I haven't spent enough time with Lewis' previous albums, but I don't think they would have prepared me for this. Looks like it's going to be a longform loud ambient type of thing, I can be kind of particular about the timbres in that music but the preview sounds good to me.

Koeosaeme & CVN - Split Series Vol. V (Orange Milk)

I've only seen this mentioned on Twitter but I guess it'll be up on the Orange Milk Bandcamp on Friday if it's not already. And Orange Milk are having a huge sale for Friday, 50% off with the code 50off, so you should definitely be stopping by there anyways. These two have had some really cool releases on the label, the Koeosaeme one from last year is quite the sound adventure, so this split should be worth checking out.

Lord Of The Isles feat. Ellen Renton - Whities 029 (Whities)

Whities does cool stuff, not familiar with the musician or poet involved here, but the preview tracks have a nice mix of synths and poem reading so I'm interested in seeing what this is all about.

LXV - Fyzz (Self Released?)

I've mentioned before how much I enjoyed LXV's album from last year, and this is more electronic music with a bright album cover featuring a drawing of an insect. But this track shows a whole lot of new things for me to enjoy, everything feels slower and smaller, the rhythmic elements are degraded down to small fragments and shy tones peek out from a blanketing one. The way I'm engaging with this and feeling pulled into the music seems different from how it went with the last one, and this expanded vocabulary seems very promising.

Sean McCann / Matthew Sullivan / Alex Twomey - Saturday Night (Recital)

This short clip gives some idea of what this will sound like, but who knows? I would be extremely pleased if it kept up this vibe of slow quiet instruments and room noises, there's this tasteful warm weirdness to it that I am completely on board with. But I'm sure if they push into other territory that could work too.

Prants - Axon Ladder (anòmia)

Prants' sole 2015 release Hot Shaker Meet Lead Donut has been a favorite of mine since I came across it. The duo of Bhob Rainey and Chris Cooper made this 29 minute electroacoustic thing that ranges from harsher tones to smaller sounds, it's a dynamic experience. I was struck by how quickly I cared about what the sounds were doing. Even with the element of harshness, I found it really easy to throw it on and have a good time, and I've spent a lot of time with it. Now they've got this much larger release, it's gonna be a CD/DVD I guess so the DVD can provide quad audio, and look at this artwork in progress, there's so much. So I'm probably not going to have the same easy "just toss this one on" relationship here, but I think these guys can absolutely deliver on something ambitious, this could be huge.

The Soft Pink Truth - Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase? (Thrill Jockey)

Drew Daniel's Soft Pink Truth has documented many of his genre interests that don't get covered under the Matmos stuff, but none of it has ever seemed like something I would call smooth. Just look at this video. There's still a vibrancy to the music, the colorful video is appropriate, but the contributions from Deradoorian and Sarah Hennies and all the sounds Daniels brings in are all really beautiful. The harshest element is probably like the drum component that has a phaser on it or something, which is a really nice touch. But yeah I am so psyched for Daniel to explore this part of his interests, and it looks like he's brought a lot of good people along to help and that's awesome too.

Speaker Music - Percussive Therapy (Self Released)

DeForrest Brown Jr. has been making some excellent moves into producing music after doing so much with writing about it, his 2019 Planet Mu album was this amazing combo of trumpet and electronic percussion. His approach to rhythm disrupts linear time in a way that I'm still not sure how to adequately talk about, but I love hearing it, and from the preview here it sounds like he's continuing to develop that sound and I am very excited to hear more.

Sunwatchers - Brave Rats (Amish Records)

It hasn't even been a month since Sunwatchers' album came out and now here's an EP on Amish Records. I'm mostly familiar with Amish from their Required Wreckers series of far out electronic sounds, so it'll be nice to check off two boxes and get more into Amish's main stream and also get another dose of Sunwatchers' psychedelic jazz-rock.

Max Tundra - [Unknown Title] (Self Released)

Some "long-lost Tundra relics" will be showing up on Friday, and I'm glad to hear it. I was just listening to Some Best Friend You Turned Out To Be for the 20th anniversary of that album, and it still blows me away how that album can be so much fun and so impossible to categorize. Maybe this new thing will be from an earlier era or from the later synthpop stuff, I figure if it's "long"-lost then probably more like the former, but I'm eager to find out.

Various Artists - New York Dance Music Vol. 2 (Towhead Recordings)

Volume 1 for this came out in March, and I still haven't heard it but there's a lot of people who have been doing some really cool stuff recently like AceMo, MoMa Ready, Kush Jones, and J. Albert. There's also a bunch of names that I need to be introduced to, so I think both of these compilations will be good to hear, it seems like some fantastic dance music is being produced here lately.

ZULI - Trigger Finger Remixes (Haunter Records)

If you've been checking out recordings of Aphex Twin's DJ sets over the past few years, you've probably heard some of ZULI's stuff even if the name is unfamiliar. You should know his name if you're into that sort of thing, he does not fuck around. This release has a bunch of remixes from people like Lee Gamble, AYA, and Acre. They have some great source material here, should be cool to see where they all take it.

April 24th, 2020

Frans de Waard & Martijn Comes - Various Weights (Moving Furniture Records)

Something in the experimental/sound art field, a collaboration with two solo tracks, where each person is working with sounds provided by the other. I'm unfamiliar with the artists, but I've been meaning to look into Moving Furniture more, and I like this sort of remix approach to collaboration, so I'm interested in checking this one out.

Filmmaker - Royal Dungeon EP (Opal Tapes)

Haven't heard much of Filmmaker yet, I'm not super deep into the whole industrial techno thing, but I like some of what I've heard from both Filmmaker and that genre as a whole.

Matthew D. Gantt - Diagnostics (Orange Milk)

This got some kind of early Bandcamp release and I didn't notice, but I guess it'll probably be on the other streaming services this Friday. What I've heard from it is far out, like there was this whole thing 10 years ago with a collective called paintfx.biz, you can still see some of the art there, but their whole thing (which I remember seeing referred to as Defaultism among other terms) is what I think of with the contemporary use of basic MIDI soundfont sounds, and I am into it, especially when it gets as abstract as this one.

Ewa Justka - Upside Down Smile (Editions Mego)

Here's another one that had an early Bandcamp release, though Editions Mego are always fuzzy with release dates. Justka is one of those wild genius types, a PhD student who has all sorts of knowledge about building electronic instruments, and applies it to the creation of weird headflossing music with this really precise approach to distortion and all sorts of other treats for the ears.

Dane Law - Algorithmic Music for Synthesised Strings (Astral Plane Recordings)

Law had a collaboration with Of Habit on Opal Tapes that I really enjoyed, and I like algorithmic stuff so this should be worth checking out.

Steven Lehman - Xenakis and the Valedictorian (Pi Recordings)

Pi Recordings is beginning a series of digital releases to raise money for freelance musicians affected by COVID-19 with this recording of Lehman on alto saxophone in his car. It seems like it's short pieces, the preview track is under a minute and sounds pretty wild. Apparently it was made as a gift for his 80 year old mother with supremely adventurous taste, like she played Xenakis - Bohor for his haunted house themed 10th birthday party according to the description. So you can celebrate a cool mom for a good cause with this one.

Macula Dog - Breezy (Wharf Cat Records)

I saw Macula Dog play live where they each had some kind of headgear on with projections of their faces coming out of the back of the head, so that they'd have their heads on the wall bouncing around based on how the actual heads moved. I've heard they make zolo music, and that genre seems made up, but I guess they can be a little goofy. But it's necessary, the compositions couldn't be what they are without the cartoonish exaggeration in the sounds, and you have to have some sense of humor for that.

more eaze - mari (Orange Milk)

I found out about more eaze from that recent claire rousay collaboration, and that is one of the highlights of my listening this year (why not give it a listen). Her approach to vocal presentation and melody seems like it will lead to some really fresh pop music, so I'm very interested in seeing what this one has in store.

Ervin Omsk - Peilen (Orange Milk)

I think I am going to have a lot of fun discovering how these sounds make sense together.

Osheyack - Memory Hierarchy (SVBKVLT)

Taken from a live performance at 2019's Unsound Festival, this is some sort of dance music with lots of different wordless voices popping up with shouts and gasps, at least on the preview track. Though the description on the release makes it a bit difficult to tell what exactly to expect, it seems like it should be interesting.

Lorenzo Senni - Scacco Matto (Warp)

Senni is a really interesting character, he has a label called Presto?! that will put out some really abstract stuff from people like the guy who wrote the book on granular synthesis, Curtis Roads. But Senni's music is this really immediate drumless construction of synth lines, with a heavy connection to trance. I sort of flirted with getting into trance with some mp3.com artists back in the day before going in a different direction, but I think this guy can help bring me to the joys of it and open my mind a little.

Chad Taylor Trio featuring Brian Settles and Neil Podgurski - The Daily Biological (Cuneiform Records)

Here's Chad Taylor showing up again, that guy has been busy. Here he is leading a drums/saxophone/piano trio, and that's a nice combo (listen to Diom Futa if you don't believe me).

Various Artists - HausMo Mixtape II (Hausu Mountain)

Here's a great opportunity to hear tracks off of the many great release Hausu Mountain has already put out, and a preview from the hotly anticipated Quicksails album.

Zeroh - BLQLYTE (Leaving Records)

The vocal performances on the preview tracks for this show so much range, Zeroh moves from rapping to singing and varietes of processing in a way that so confidently makes it's own kind of sense. And the music around the voice is full of all sorts of dark flourishes, this seems like it could all come together very nicely.

April 17th, 2020

Rob Clutton Trio - Council Of Primaries (SnailBongBong Records)

I've actually heard this in full because I was given a promo, which is cool because this wasn't really on my radar at all. Clutton has been on some recordings with people I know of, but his activities and those of the Toronto jazz scene in general weren't really something I was close to stumbling into unprompted. But I'm glad I was, because there's something I need to dig in on here. The drumming on here from Nick Fraser will jump from clean hits to some sort of technique that warps the sound, and feels like some sort of inversion, creating a vacuum where he was previously pushing outward. I was really struck by the track Thing One, the way Clutton plays for some of it, it's like he's establishing a tempo and then jumping to a different one. I've been a bit unfocused with my listening habits due to all of the quarantine stress, so I need to go much deeper with this one, like I don't even know how to address Karen Ng's saxophone but the range she covers seems very significant to making this album what it is. I'd certainly recommend this one, it has some particular delights to it.

James Brandon Lewis / Chad Taylor - Live in Willisau (Intakt Records)

Taylor has been showing up with some great drumming on all sorts of albums I like, from the Sticks and Stones stuff with Joshua Abrams and Matana Roberts in the early 00's to the Chicago Underground Quartet album that just came out a few of weeks ago. I'm unfamiliar with Lewis, but I guess he had an album last year with Jaimie Branch on it so I'll probably need to check that out if I like what I'm hearing here.

Alvin Lucier - String Noise (Black Truffle)

Lucier is not just the guy who was sitting in a room, he is an active composer, with some great stuff that explores sound's capacity to act as a carrier of space in a way that resonantes with younger composer's, like the Lea Bertucci album that just came out a couple of days before this. One of the compositions on this is from 2019 and Google says he is 88 years old, that's so cool.

Plone - Puzzlewood (Ghost Box Records)

It has been 21 years since Plone released their last album and I am so excited to hear where they're at now. Even if they're not making as music as wonderful and playful as they used to, I'll still be happy to see what it is. But looking at the colors on the cover, it seems like it's going to be a playful one.

Tomeka Reid / Alexander Hawkins - Shards and Constellations (Intakt Records)

I forgot to keep track of what Intakt was putting out, missed a few but this caught my eye. I've been hearing Reid play cello on some stuff like Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds from Nicole Mitchell, and she always seems to be an active part of why the music is great, so I need to be trying to hear more from her. I'm not familiar with Hawkins, he's in the UK, playing with people like Evan Parker and Han Bennink, so he's probably someone I should know. So this should be a fun way to learn more and also this is just a piano and cello album, it's nice to get some drumless jazz going.

See Through 4 - False Ghosts, Minor Fears (All-Set Editions)

This is another album I've got a promo of, though I wasn't able to spend as much time grappling with it as the Rob Clutton Trio album. It features Karen Ng and Nick Fraser as well, but with a different double bassist named Pete Johnston behind the compositions, and piano from Marilyn Lemer. This one can get slow, but never seems to be using negative space the same way as the Clutton Trio album, there's always some sense of propulsion to it and it can even get quite jaunty at times. I mean, the tonality of the piano and sax together is a bit weird so maybe this isn't traditionally the sort of thing that you'd call jaunty, but it would work for a very specific type of upbeat stroll. I'm not sure how I'd describe the whole sound, even if I had listened to it many more times I don't think I'd be able to describe it better than the "prog chamber jazz" description it has on the bandcamp page. If that sounds like something you'd be interested in, this one is worth checking out.

Mako Sica / Hamid Drake - Balancing Tear (Astral Spirits)

The frame drum work that Drake does on Joshua Abrams - Magnetoception is some of my favorite drumming, so I'm always going to take an interest in seeing his name pop up on something new. I'm unfamiliar with Mako Sica but apparently they're some sort of trio, one of the people is credited with a wide assortment of instruments, and the preview track sort of has that cosmically spiritual thing going on. That all sounds promising to me.

April 15th, 2020

Lea Bertucci - Acoustic Shadows (SA Recordings)

Bertucci makes some incredible music that does a lot of great stuff with sound's capacity to act as a carrier for space, and the language of sounds she gets out of her alto saxophone is so rich and precisely developed. This album is an adaptation of a live event, constructing two 20 minute pieces out of multiple performances with additional musicians in a massive enclosed space under a bridge. I can't wait to be enveloped by it.

April 10th, 2020

DJ Python - Mas Amable (Incienso)

The preview track here is doing a sort of weird dub/illbient thing with heavy delay feedback on some slowly spoken words in a way that reminds me of Leslie Winer & Jay Glass Dubs - YMFEES, and I love that album so I'm definitely going to check this one out. The preview track has a bit of a different approach to rhythm than YMFEES, there's some stuff that I don't understand but I'm into it in a big way.

Laurel Halo - Possessed (The Vinyl Factory)

Laurel Halo is one of my favorite artists working today, and even though this is a soundtrack (something I think is difficult to make work on its own since it's tied to another medium) I still think this could overcome my biases against the format.

Menzi - Impazamo (Hakuna Kulala)

I haven't dug into the Gqom music coming out of South Africa, so I'm not at all qualified to speak on what it is or isn't, but the preview track on this sounds really cool so maybe this will be my way in.

Bogdan Raczynski - Debt EP (Unknown To The Unknown)

Raczynski had an excellent archival release last year of material from the 90s, but it seems like this EP is some brand new stuff. He has proven over and over that he knows how to have a great time throwing drums all over the place (I can't recommend his "I Will Eat Your Children Too!" EP enough), but the drums on the preview track here seem much different to me, with a steady bass drum that glides around on the pitch a little, but otherwise steadily throbs away while other loops accumulate around it. It gets changed up after some time, but the loop process seems very central to what this music does, in a way that seems pretty different from the old stuff. I'm very curious to see how the rest of this shapes up.

Charles Rumback - June Holiday (Astral Spirits)

Back in October of last year, Astral Spirits sent out an email describing their 2020 planned releases, saying that this one would be a "Vince Guaraldi-esque piano trio record", and I thought that sounded promising. The prospect sounds even more appealing to me right now.

Squarepusher - Lamental (Warp)

I guess I already own this digitally because I got Be Up A Hello through Bleep. That's cool. I liked that album, so I figure I'll get something out of this companion EP as well.

Sunwatchers - Oh Yeah? (Trouble In Mind Records)

I actually have heard this one already via a stream from The Wire, it's a lively sort of instrumental rock music that uses lots of repeating lines on a linear structure. They have a saxophone too, so I want to make a comparison to the big minimalism rock of bands like 75 Dollar Bill and Horse Lords, though the specific way this one can get rollicking makes it feel like its own beast.

Various Artists - Doom Mix Vol. IV (Doom Trip)

Doom Trip is a label with a wide range of sounds presented in their catalog. They've built up quite a roster, with this compilation featuring exclusive tracks from Fire-Toolz, Nmesh, Mukqs, Dntel, Cruel Diagonals and more. The Bandcamp description suggests that a lot of care was put into making all of this different music make sense together, it's a difficult thing to pull off but I think they may have done it.

Various Artists - NAAFI X (NAAFI)

This compilation celebrates the 10th year of NAAFI. They're a label out of Mexico City with a focus on dance music. I haven't explored them enough, but they seem to be putting out some very interesting stuff that gets into futuristic territory while drawing from regional music of Mexico.

April 7th, 2020

Hiele - Stadspark (Radio Tests Antwerpen)

Hiele came to my attention from the end of 2016 list that Entr'acte had made for Boomkat, which highlighted a really peculiar album that has a mix of synth tones and drums that manage to stay soft without sacrificing excitement. In the years since then he's had a soundtrack and very recently a short release of buchla music easel sketches, but this new one sounds like it will build on what drew me in with the 2016 album. There's a queasiness in the preview track that seems to be some different territory, but I feel just as hooked as before, very excited to see what the rest of this sounds like.

April 3rd, 2020

Félicia Atkinson - EVERYTHING EVAPORATE (Shelter Press)

Very nice to wake up to a surprise album from Atkinson scheduled for the immediate future. She does really great stuff with contemporary fidelity, using voice recordings that make breath noises matter and allowing sounds to have a sort of matte finish. The description says this features additional voices, I am very curious to see where that takes things.

Clarice Jensen - The experience of repetition as death (130701)

Jensen is a cellist who released something last year called "Drone Studies", and it was such a great combination of performance with the cello and processing/construction, the way it moved through layered constructions into a unified sound with that little bit of extra push on processing a specific sound out of the source, I thought it was some really engaging stuff, and I'm interested in this followup.

Minor Science - Second Language (Whities)

I love the songs I've heard from Minor Science, he has a really cool way of creating something idiosyncratic from various areas of dance music while still being something I could dance to, and now here he is with a debut album, very excited for this one.

RXM Reality - blood blood blood blood (Hausu Mountain)

I hadn't heard this artist at all but I watched the performance he gave during one of Experimental Sound Studio's Quarantine Concerts (check out their schedule for lots of more cool looking events, and give a donation for the artists if you are able!), this performance was so awesome, a thrilling blast of sounds. It seems like it's difficult to reach this level of intricacy in construction without getting in the way of the forward motion, but I can still bop around to it.

Sun Araw - Rock Sutra (Drag City)

I haven't kept up with Sun Araw as much as I should, but apparently this is "the first album recorded live-to-midi with the band", so I guess I hadn't missed this bonkers development. This track "Catalina" sounds weird as hell and I love it. There's this tiny beat doing this dizzy rhythm while artificial sounds irregularly stab around it until they feel regular, and they all exist in this isolated virtual space but then there's this swelling sound that exists separately and sometimes provides a sense of being in the open air. And also there's vocals.

Thundercat - It Is What It Is (Brainfeeder)

Artists sometimes can get to a place where I see them as inescapably themselves, they grow and change and get older but there's never anything that betrays how they seemed when I was introduced to them. I think this is more an issue for the listener than the artist, I don't think it's an artistic problem that should necessarily be addressed. But I kind of get that way with Thundercat. Maybe this one will change it, but even if it doesn't that's OK.

Trash Panda QC - Jumps 19 (Conditional)

Conditional is good at finding people who do great work with the advances in live computer music, and the preview track is quite the journey into some abstracted rhythm, sounding the way it looked when you get a scrambled, somewhat legible signal for a cable tv channel that you aren't paying for.

Webber/Morris Big Band - Both Are True (Greenleaf Music)

This one chat room I'm in had some people pushing Anna Webber's album from 2019 "Clockwise", and I'm so glad they did because it was something I needed to hear. It's this peculiar jazz that draws from 20th century percussion composition from people like Xenakis and Stockhausen, and finds a place for all of it in this powerful, colorful statement. I'm mostly unfamiliar with Angela Morris, but she is on J. Pavone String Ensemble's album from last year and that was also really great. This album has Webber and Morris leading a big band of 18 musicians, so this seems like a great way to see new aspects of these two composers and find out about a bunch of other musicians that I don't know yet.

Yves Tumor - Heaven To A Tortured Mind (Warp)

I've really liked what Yves Tumor has been doing, the transition from the ethereal sounds of Serpent Music to the more direct songs of Safe In The Hands Of Love was so cool to see, and the single from this album suggests they're really making a play at something more popular, while still continuing to do the weird multi-tracked constructed super-vocalist thing from the previous album. This should be interesting, and will also end up being compared to so many different artists, and none of the comparisons will entirely make sense.

April 2nd, 2020

Klaus Filip & Moé Kamura - p a s s a g e i n (Winds Measure Recordings)

I know Filip s music from fantastic electroacousic improvisation albums like Messier Objects, and Kamura has done vocals and guitar with Taku Sugimoto on those lovely and quiet Saritote albums. No idea what sort of music they'll make together but it should be cool.

March 27th, 2020

David Behrman, Paul DeMarinis, Fern Friedman, Terri Hanlon, and Anne Klingensmith - She's More Wild... (Black Truffle)

This is some archival thing from 1981, never released. No idea what it's going to sound like but Oren Ambarchi's Black Truffle label does extremely high quality work. With that in mind, plus the album cover and the description from the artists of "Western Performance Noir", I'm sure this will be worthwhile.

Chicago Underground Quartet - Good Days (Astral Spirits)

I like what I've heard from Rob Mazurek, Jeff Parker, and Chad Taylor, but have never heard the Chicago Underground Quartet album they took part in back in 2001. The preview track on here is a take on Alan Shorter's piece Orgasm, and I especially love how Parker's guitar and Taylor's drums go off when it really gets going. It may not be too indicative of how the rest of this will go since the rest is all composed by the group members, but it sure does seem promising.

Gerald Cleaver - Signs (577 Records)

I saw Dave Segal mention this, the first solo album from a jazz drummer who has worked with people like Henry Threadgill, working in the field of electronic music. Segal's write-up in The Stranger is good so if you really need some convincing just give that a read.

ELEH - Harmonic Twins (Important Records)

The description says this is "slow moving monophony tuned to the overtone vocalizations generated by a particularly beautiful sound sculpture made by Harry Bertoia". You should take a look at Bertoia's Sonambient sound sculptures in action here to get an idea of what we're dealing with here, if you've never seen or heard them. I'm thinking this will be a very nice one to get lost in.

Liberty Ellman - Last Desert (Pi Recordings)

I'm unfamiliar with the artist, but I've really been enjoying diving in to the jazz tha Pi is putting out, so I'd like to see what's going on here.

Bernard Fort - FRACTALS / Brain Fever (Recollection GRM)

Recollections GRM has reissued and also dug up unreleased archives of some wonderful far out electronic sounds, this one is from an artist I've never heard and features an older previously released piece (released in 96 but recorded in 81) and something newer from 2017. Only heard the preview of the older piece, it sounds like a playful mass of crunchy long sounds that glide around in pitch, I'm very curious to hear the whole thing and see how the newer work compares.

Annie Hall - Fum (Central Processing Unit)

Still making my way into CPU's catalog, so I haven't heard Hall's previous EP. But the preview here sounds like some great melodic IDM so I'll be checking it out.

Roscoe Mitchell & Ostravaska Banda - Distant Radio Transmission (Wide Hive Records)

I saw this listed on Forced Exposure, no idea what it sounds like but I like what I've heard from Roscoe Mitchell and the cover shows him with an orchestra, and the description talks about it being based on a transcription of an improvisation and other interesting stuff, I would like to hear this.

The Necks - Three (Northern Spy)

I've never listened to The Necks, but I've heard a lot of people speak highly of them so I figure I'll give this one a try.

Razen - Robot Brujo (Hands In The Dark)

Hands In The Dark have put out some really cool albums from people like Byron Westbrook or Piotr Kurek, they seem worth keeping up with so I'm going to check this one out without knowing much about it.

Nick Storring - My Magic Dreams Have Lost Their Spell (Orange Milk)

I've slowly been realizing that Storring is a really great musician via his Exaptations and Qualms albums, they both consist of two pieces that are around 20 minutes long and go through a whole emotional journey with numerous acoustic and acoustic-sounding instruments. This one will have shorter durations, so don't get intimidated if you're unfamiliar, this looks like a great place to jump in.

March 20th, 2020

Container - Scramblers (A L T E R)

I've really enjoyed Container's music over the years, it's the sort of thing that makes me wonder why I'd ever need coffee if I have his noisy live techno to blast. The sample track makes me think this is going to be an especially concentrated dose.

Beatriz Ferreyra - Echos + (Room40)

Recollections GRM put out a compilation of Ferreyra's music and I still haven't listened to it. The preview track here makes me think that I am making a huge mistake by remaining ignorant, this is some incredible musique concrete. It is time to take the overdue journey into what she's doing.

Nick Forté - Enter The Jargon (Schematic)

I enjoyed Forté's IDM stuff on Schematic and Sublight back in the 00's, but what really blew me away was this extremely wild release from 2015 for Amish Record's Required Wreckers series. He manually crafted 5 one second waveforms without listening to them, and used those to build the album. That album is essential. This one seems to fit in more with what I know from his 00's output, but there's some really intriguing things going on in how the preview track is constructed, I'm on board.

Golem Mecanique - Nona, Decima et Morta (Ideologic Organ)

Stephen O'Malley's Ideologic Organ label (a sub-label of Editions Mego) puts out some cool stuff, no idea about this musician but from the description she has some sort of weird hurdy-gurdy type instrument that I am assuming is behind the rich drone on the preview track. Or maybe that's something else, but whatever it is, it sounds fantastic. There's vocals too, so don't go thinking that drone is all this has. I might not be ready for however ominous this one will get, but on the other hand maybe I'm exactly as ready as I should be.

Hoshina Anniversary - Odoriko (Alien Jams)

I've enjoyed what I've heard from Alien Jams, they seem to cover a fair amount of territory going from music connected to electronic dance music subgenres, like Nochexxx - Planet Bangs, to more abstract longform explorations from Kepla. This seems to be on the former side, but the bandcamp description mentions "mesaured dynamic atmosphere", which seems like exactly the right term. The preview track doesn't come out guns blazing and drums banging. It's not relaxed, it didn't sound frantic or anything, but there's a compelling restlessness that brings unexpected twists driven by subtle details.

Irreversible Entanglements - Who Sent You? (International Anthem)

The first Irreversible Entanglements album was a really striking mix of urgent, substantive poetry from Camae Ayewa (aka Moor Mother) with a sort of free jazz that rises to that urgency while holding a groove together when needed. I am excited to see what they bring to this moment.

JC Leisure - Mutations For (Warm Winters Ltd.)

I'm pretty sure this guy is behind the release JC - HEAVY_LAYERS_0​.​5​.​wav, something I came across through some random circumstances. I had a blast with the overdriven and fragmented sampling of jungle, garage, and hardcore mixtapes from 1994-2002 on that album. This seems like it's going to be pulling from similar sample sources, but with a much quieter approach if the preview track is any indication.

Mukqs - Anaglyph (Self-Released)

You may know Mukqs from co-running the Hausu Mountain label or from the group Goodwill Smith. This is a very recent recording, from March 17th, taking material that had been developed for a live set last year and running it through a chain of loop devices. That may make it sound like you're going to get some sort of loop soup here, but the preview track has all sorts of jagged edges to it, it's not getting lost in the murk, it's living in a relaxed whirlwind of synth sequences. You also might be thinking "well it's rushed out tho so it's going to sound rough", but that's wrong too, it sounds like Angel Marcloid did a fine job on the mastering.

Prolaps - Pure Mud Volume 7 (Hausu Mountain)

This is Machine Girl and Bonnie Baxter, who you may have heard collaborating on the track "Vomit" from Machine Girl's 2017 album. Both of them have been doing great work since then (go check out Bonnie Baxter's solo releases), so I don't even need to hear any previews to know that I want to see what they can do together over an entire album.

Seven Orbits - EP0001 (SVBKVLT)

I started paying attention to SVBKVLT after last year's releases from 33EMYBW, Slikback & Hyph11E, and Gabber Modus Operandi. Those were all some very fresh and thrilling doses of beat-centric electronic music. This is the debut release from Seven Orbits sounds like it will keep up the trend, I guess it's using some sort of software live performance setup for audio and visuals. Even if the visuals will be missing here, the preview track makes me think that the live performance aspect will lead to some very interesting quirks in the music.

March 18th, 2020

Heaven Copy - Carry Me Home (A R C H I V E)

The people I follow on Bandcamp were buying LXV's album from 2019, and it had a very striking cover. So after seeing it multiple times I decided to check it out, and I was blown away by the distinct sound and approach to non-overwhelming abstraction. This is an alias I've never heard from LXV, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the deal is.

March 17th, 2020

Fean - II (laaps)

I saw this one popping up in my bandcamp feed, I'm unfamiliar with the artists, but the previews make me think this is going to be some sort of quietly weird improvised music that plays with a sense for melody and edits performances down to keep things focused. Which means I should probably hear the whole thing.

March 16th, 2020

Triple Negative - God Bless The Death Drive (Penultimate Press)

Penultimate Press came to my attention through their release of far out sounds, they've been doing lots of Henning Christiansen archival releases lately, and also had a fantastic album from Jérôme Noetinger and Anthony Pateras last year consisting of piano and revox tape machines manipulating the piano. But this is rock music! Nothing straightforward, the preview track rides on a groove and mangles the fidelity in a way that enhances the drive while assorted vocals shamble in around it. I didn't give their first album enough of a chance but I don't think I'll make the same mistake here.

March 13th, 2020

Acolytes - STRESS II (Haunter Records)

I heard Acolytes in 2014 after I saw they came out on Helm's label and figured it would be worth taking a chance on, I didn't keep up with the 2018 release, but this sounds very different from what I remember. I should really listen to that 2018 one. But this looks like it's going to be all long tracks, the preview is some 12 minute thing, driven by rhythm and going through some significant evolutions in sound.

Richard Chartier - Variable Dimensions (LINE)

Chartier also records music under the name Pinkcourtesyphone, runs this label LINE, and this new one seems to fit into the genre of music called lowercase. That covers a lot of music that has been on my periphery but I haven't really focused on, and so I figure why not give this a try and see where it leads me.

Electric Indigo - Ferrum (Editions Mego)

I thought this wasn't coming out until next week but it looks like it got bumped up. Not familiar with the artist but this caught my attention due to it being released on Editions Mego. Seems like it'll be some actual metal sounds, not those synthesized metal sounds that are popular right now, but with a synthetic element from all sorts of processing. Seems like it'd be up my alley.

The Fear Ratio - They Can't Be Saved (Skam)

I was under the impression that when I'd heard James Ruskin recently, he was brand new to me, but back in 2015 I heard something from The Fear Ratio, his duo with Mark Broom. It sorta had some hints of dubstep being incorporated into the IDM amalgam sound, not overwhelmingly so, probably still had hip-hop beats as the primary influence. Not sure where they're at now but I'm curious to see.

Four Tet - Sixteen Oceans (Text)

It's been 19 years since I first heard Four Tet and it has been interesting to see him push what he's doing into new territory over that time. I'm not sure if it's possible to compete with the unreasonable nostalgia I have for the first half of those years, even if he went backwards to that early sound and bettered it, the person I am now wouldn't connect with it like the person I was then. But I don't need it to compete, it'll be nice just to see what he's doing.

Horse Lords - The Common Task (Northern Spy)

I've been enjoying all of the music coming out lately that has drums and guitar and plays with constancy, without droning on with just one thing. 75 Dollar Bill and Kukangendai both had albums last year that sort of fit that bill, though they both sound quite different from each other, and Horse Lords have their own distinct character as well. I listen to their 2016 album Interventions a lot and it is still just as thrilling as when I first heard it. I am going to listen to this ASAP.

Nazar - Guerrilla (Hyperdub)

I'd missed Nazar's EP that came out at the end of 2018, but I decided to check out the preview track on this new one and I'm not entirely sure how to describe it. I want to say it's vivid without being pretty, aggressive without going into morose greyscale, distinct without sounding like all the other stuff being clumsily shoved under the umbrella of deconstructed club. I don't know if that will all hold up when I actually hear the album but I want to see it.

Stephen O'Malley - Auflösung der Zeit (Editions Mego)

I like O'Malley's solo work, that one on Shelter Press was cool, and of course his work with Sunn O))) is a great time. So I don't even really need to look into what this is about or check any sound samples, I'm already interested.

March 10th, 2020

more eaze & claire rousay - If I Don't Let Myself Be Happy Now Then When? (Mondoj)

I've been really enjoying digging into rousay's recent odd percussion output, I'm not familiar with more eaze but from the sound of the preview on this, I really need to be, because this sounds like it really goes places and I do not know how to write about them lately so you should just listen for yourself.

March 6th, 2020

Foodman - Dokutsu (Highball Records)

Foodman is amazing, I've been lucky to see him live a few times and see the changes in his style that have come up since he switched from dedicated music hardware to using computers. As demonstrated in this video, it seems much easier to dance to, it's like he's going for something in more of a house music style. Looking forward to seeing what else he's got on here.

Jasmine Guffond - Microphone Permission (Editions Mego)

I was recommended Guffond's album Yellow Bell years ago and never gave it enough of a chance, so this seems like a good opportunity to try again. I haven't even checked out the preview track, but I've been seeing a fair amount of praise for this new one so I figured I'll just let it show me what it is when I play it.

Celia Hollander - Recent Futures (Leaving Records)

I haven't heard anything from Hollander, she has released music under the name $3.33 in the past, I should probably check that out because the first preview track on this one has an approach to rhythm that I am into, a structure that goes places and puts the work into getting there, and there's these scissor-type sounds pinging between each ear that are a lot of fun on headphones (when it'd be so easy for that to turn annoying). If the rest of this works as well for me, I'll definitely be checking out the $3.33 stuff.

Mads Kjeldgaard - Akkorder (Ambitious Tapes)

This is one that you can already stream and I already bought, some headspinning computer music with very persistant synths that pipe up at regular intervals and create a macro-structure that could give the impression that not much happens, but inside the sound (best accessed through headphones) there is all sorts of activity and it is so much fun to sink into.

LEYA - Flood Dream (NNA Tapes)

Mostly unfamiliar with this group but they had something with Eartheater at the end of last year that I thought was nice. They're a harp and violin duo where they both take vocal duties as well, and then there's some guest contributions from people like John Also Bennet on a couple tracks. Seems a bit on the dark and tastefully dramatic side of things, so I'm not going to start my day with it, but I have the impression this will be good night listening.

Temp-Illusion - Pend (Zabte Sote)

Temp-Illusion are a duo based in Tehran, and this album appears to be in response to the psychological violence of the constant threat of war that has been levied at Iranian citizens. They're a part of a scene of electronic musicians working in the country that Sote has been highlighting with his Zabte Sote label, and I think they do have a talent for intricate beat programming that doesn't blanket the entire composition or weigh down the momentum when the intricacy really gets going. If that's your sort of thing then you may want to check this out, and then investigate further with the massive Girih: Iranian Sound Artists compilation from 2018.

March 5th, 2020

Norbert Möslang - Patterns (Bocian)

Möslang was in Voice Crack back in the day, an amazing pioneering group for noisy improvisation, and while I haven't kept up with everything he's done, I've enjoyed a lot of what I've heard. This one features a lot of different musicians contributing with brass and woodwind instruments so I'm curious to find out what that's all about.

February 28th, 2020

Afrikan Sciences - Have It Tall b/w Daily Gates (ESP Institute)

A 12" single from Afrikan Sciences , who is doing some really incredible stuff with rhythm-oriented electronic music in my opinion, I am always willing to see what he is doing.

{arsonist} - Reality Structure (unifactor)

The sample track on here sounds like my kind of mixing of strings and synths, with a beautiful sound but also a composition worth paying attention to.

Big Blood - Do You Wanna Have A Skeleton Dream (Feeding Tube Records)

This is a band I haven't totally kept up with, I heard them in college from my friend Brian, they had a tour CD with a cover of Can - Vitamin C. I've seen this one described as having some girl group vibes, and the sample track seems to live up to that, so I think this will be a good one to catch up with.

Caribou - Suddenly (City Slang)

Dan Snaith has had a big impact on my listening, both with his own music as Manitoba/Caribou and also through his mixes that he would put on to his tour CD's. So just on that legacy alone, I can't miss out on seeing his next move.

Jeremy Cunningham - The Weather Up There (Northern Spy)

Not familiar with this artist but it's a jazz album featuring Jeff Parker, Jaimie Branch, Ben LaMar Gay, and Tomeka Reid among others. It seems like it has a compelling concept to it, and Northern Spy have a good track record for me, so I'll be interested in checking this out.

Werner Dafeldecker - Parallel Darks (Room40)

I like what I've heard from Dafeldecker, and I like music that operates in the worlds of field recording, musique concrete, and electroacoustic sounds, so of course I am going to listen to this.

Alabaster DePlume - To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1 (International Anthem)

I have no idea about any musician involved with this, but I like what International Anthem are doing so I want to see what this is about.

The Giving Shapes - Earth Leaps Up (Elsewhere)

I pre-ordered this already, which in this case means I can listen to the whole thing early, and I've been listening to it frequently. It's a duo of harp and piano, with both players singing as well. The label that put this out hasn't ever put anything song-oriented like this, so I was very curious to see how that would go. I'm very glad I decided to take a look, because I probably wouldn't have thought this would be my kind of thing without some kind of prompting, and it's cool to know that I would have been wrong.

Calum Gunn - Addenda (Central Processing Unit)

CPU are a cool label, and this artist has some involvement with Entr'acte, another label that I enjoy (but I don't hear enough from them because they're usually on a physical-only approach). The samples here sound like my kind of IDM.

House Panther Dream Ensemble - Five Questions (unifactor)

This has John Elliott from Emeralds in a trio with two musicians I am not familiar with, but from the preview it sounds like they're making some beautiful music here so that's got my interest.

Moth Cock - Mystics and Statistics (unifactor)

Moth Cock are a really fantastic band who make hard to describe music. This one seems like it's gonna be a bit headier and drawn-out, maybe not the best way into them (I'd recommend the one they had last year on Hausu Mountain for that) but I'm excited to see what they do here.

NYZ - Millz Medz (Important Records)

David Burraston came to my attention from his very indepth Syrobonkers interview with Aphex Twin, and since then he's been getting a lot of his own music out into the world, and it all goes really deep with knowledge of sound making machines and experimental processes, I love it and will be taking advantage of his bandcamp subscription offer very soon. This one has him using Barbara Hero's Lambdoma tuning system on a Buchla 100. I have no idea what the implications of Lambdoma are, this is the first I'm hearing about it, but I'm excited to learn more and see what happens.

NYZ / ELEH - Split LP (Important Records)

David Burraston again, doing a split with ELEH, who I keep hearing about but haven't really given a good amount of focus. The NYZ track is going to be something with FM synthesis and I absolutely love what he did with it on his album NTE GDN so I will not be missing this.

Leo Takami – Felis Catus & Silence (Unseen Worlds)

Unfamiliar with this artist, but Unseen Worlds puts out great music so I'm fine just going in mostly blind here. And I like how the cover art has a cat on it.

U - Lowlands (Where To Now?)

This has been available to stream and purchase digitally on the bandcamp page, so I'm not exactly anticipating it, but I am anticipating telling people that they should listen to it when it's more widely available because the first track has a really great breaks and squelchy synth combo that still manages to sound fresh to me in spite of hearing so much music that fits that description. And then it goes on to other territory, this one is really worth checking out.

Wasted Shirt - Fungus II (Famous Class)

I haven't really spent too much time with Ty Segall's music but I've enjoyed the songs I've heard from him, but this is a collaboration with him and Brian Chippendale from Lightning Bolt. I've spent a lot of time with that band's music and from where I'm sitting right now, I can see my copy of Chippendale's book Ninja. So I figure there's a good chance I'll have a lot of fun blasting whatever this is.

Vladislav Delay - Rakka (Cosmo Rhythmatic)

I've heard some Vladislav Delay and appreciated it but never really got to the level of knowing and cherishing it as much as the fans (though I think eventually I still could), but I'm still very curious to check this one out, especially because it seems to be a new, more abrasive direction for the project.

February 26th, 2020

RM Francis - Nth White Dot (Conditional)

This guy is local to me so I've been able to see him live and get my mind blown, and Conditional Records puts out some really great computer music, so there's no way I'm missing this one.

February 25th, 2020

Dean Roberts - Not Fire (ErstPop)

I'm a big fan of Erstwhile Records, and have been slowly learning about how Dean Roberts is amazing, so this was easily placed in the "must hear" category. I've been listening to the whole album via pre-order, and I think it is some excellent post rock (the kind like Talk Talk I guess, though no comparison is ever perfect). Erstwhile Records is having a sale right now, but this one is new so it doesn't count, but you'll still need to use promo code 2020 at checkout to get the regular price.

February 24th, 2020

FOQL & Fischerle - Personal Wastelands (Paralaxe Editions)

I found this through Shawn Reynoldo's First Floor newsletter, no idea about the artists or anything but the preview sounded like some interesting electronic music with a heavy rhythm, so I'd like to check it out.

Urs Graf Consort - Uva Ursi (bison)

I have no idea about any of the musicians involved, only found out about this through Jennifer Lucy Allan's monthly column for The Quietus, but the preview tracks sounded very intriguing and difficult to describe, so I'll be making sure I get to checking out the whole thing.

February 22nd, 2020

Henning Christiansen - Peter der Große / Gudbrandsdal (Institut for Dansk Lydarkæologi)

Found out about this one from National Sawdust Log, I've really enjoyed the Christiansen that I've heard, and this archival release that features predominantly electronic sounds seems like it could be an interesting chapter of his work.

February 21st, 2020

Ka Baird & Muyassar Kurdi - Voice Games (Astral Editions)

I hadn't been keeping up on the activities of Ka Baird at all until last year, and I still have a lot of catching up to do, but her album had some amazing stuff with flute and voice, so I'm interested in keeping up with whatever she's got next. And I'm unfamiliar with Kurdi so this will be a good opportunity to find out a bit about what she's doing. And it's on a sublabel of Astral Spirits, so I'm sold.

Various Artists - Kearney Barton: Architect of the Northwest Sound (Light In The Attic)

I found out about this one from Dave Segal writing in The Stranger, it's a compilation that Segal also wrote the liner notes for, showcasing numerous bands recorded by the engineer Kearney Barton. I'm unfamiliar, but the tracks linked in the post make me think this will be a cool one.

CP Unit - One Foot On The Ground Smoking Mirror Shakedown (Ramp Local)

Here's something I saw on the National Sawdust Log, their On The Record section covers upcoming releases and I'm using it to investigate areas of modern composition and improvisation that I don't know so well, and when I saw the description mention Ornette Coleman's harmolodic funk alongside noise rock and musique concrete as reference points, I figured this would be one I'd need to hear.

crys cole - Beside Myself (Students of Decay)

I liked crys cole's electroacoustic album Sand / Layna from a while back, haven't heard her Oren Ambarchi collaboration that's come out since then (I need to get on it especially now that it's on Bandcamp), but I want to try to not take so long to get to this new solo one from her.

Davey Harms - World War (Hausu Mountain)

I'm unfamiliar with the artist but Hausu Mountain does great work and the preview track sounds like weird noisy techno, I'm into it.

Jan St. Werner - Molocular Meditation (Editions Mego) (Editions Mego)

Werner is in Mouse on Mars and also does some really cool stuff on his own, and this one is on Editions Mego, I like a lot of what they put out so I won't be missing out on this one.

Roger Tellier-Craig - Études (Second Editions)

I've been meaning to keep up more with this Second Editions label, I've only heard their Karl Fousek album but they have some other artists that I want to hear more from. I haven't spent any time with Tellier-Craig solo, I've heard him in a trio with Fousek and someone else, and I guess he was also in Godspeed You! Black Emperor from 98-03, and in Fly Pan Am and Set Fire To Flames, so he has some significance in that Montreal post-rock scene. So I'm curious to see what happens on this one.

Jennifer Walshe - A Late Anthology Of Early Music Vol. 1: Ancient To Renaissance (Tetbind)

I haven't spent much time with Walshe's music but there's so many signals that I should, from Drew Daniel writing the liner notes to her 2019 album ALL THE MANY PEOPLS, to trustworthy sources like the National Sawdust Log and Jennifer Lucy Allan (writing in The Quietus) plugging this new one. This album involves machine learning trained on Walshe's voice performing early Western music compositions, as far as I understand it, and that sounds like something I'll want to hear.

February 20th, 2020

Dj Diaki - Balani Fou (Nyege Nyege Tapes)

This label has been gaining a lot of attention for their singeli music releases, an exciting new sort of dance music that gets fast, but they've been covering some other areas as well. This one gets into the "Balani Show" stuff that has been happening in Mali, which you can read about in the linked album description.

Thomas Köner - Motus (Mille Plateaux)

I remember Mille Plateaux from way back in the 00's with their Clicks n Cuts style of music, and then I saw that Köner had an album coming out through them. He's an ambient musician I've been meaning to explore further, so those two factors combined means this is one I'll need to hear.

February 14th, 2020

Anáhuac - Anáhuac (Astral Spirits)

Haven't heard the previous release from this trio out of Mexico City, but they sound like they hit a lot of my interests in improvisation with electronics and double bass.

Anáhuac - ascua (Astral Spirits)

That's right, they have two albums coming out on this day. Worth noting that both of these are mixed and mastered by Werner Dafeldecker, who is very good,

Melaine Dalibert - Anastassis Philippakopoulos: piano works (Elsewhere)

I haven't explored any of this Wandelweisser affiliated composer, but Dalibert's music on Elsewhere makes me think they'll be a great performer for the introduction.

Euglossine - Psaronius (Orange Milk)

Another musician I am relatively unfamiliar with, but I do like a lot ot what I hear from Orange Milk and the preview sounds like it could be up there with the best of the label.

Katie Gately - Loft (Houndstooth)

I probably would've completely missed Gately's 2016 album cover if a friend going back to college days (Brian) hadn't told me about it, and I really enjoyed the maximalist glitch pop thing it had going on. While this one seems to be a departure in some ways based on the preview, I'm still very interested in seeing where she's going.

Cindy Lee - What's Tonight To Eternity (W.25th)

Some friends have been very enthusiastic about this music from a former member of the band Women, but I haven't really given any of the output a fair chance. This seems like a good opportunity to change that.

MHYSA - NEVAEH (Hyperdub)

MHYSA's work under her own name and as a part of SCRAAATCH have been a cool part of what was happening in electronic music last decade, I think it will be very interesting to see her launch into this new decade with a debut on Hyperdub.

Rrose & Silent Servant - Air Texture Volume VII (Air Texture)

This is a mix with what I believe are exclusives from artists like Lucrecia Dalt, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, and Laurel Halo along with many others. And I've liked what I've heard from Rrose so this seems like something I'll need to hear.

Sign Libra - Sea To Sea (RVNG Intl.)

Didn't know this artist but RVNG have a great track record for me, so I watched a video for a song on this and I'm not sure what to say but it's got my attention.

Jacoti Sommes - Travel Time (Orange Milk)

More from Orange Milk, featuring a Columbus, OH that was discovered by label co-owner Keith Rankin upon moving to the city. Always great to see that sort of thing, and this case in particular seems like it'll be a fun one.

February 7th, 2020

Beatrice Dillon - Workaround (PAN)

Villaelvin - Head Roof (Hakuna Kulala)

February 2nd, 2020

Afrikan Sciences - Journey Into Mr Re (Self-Released)

Spiritczualic Enhancement Center - Transporting Salt (Crash Symbols)

February 1st, 2020

Steve Beresford & John Butcher - Old Paradise Airs (Iluso Records)

January 31st, 2020

The Ah - Mere Husk (NNA Tapes)

Siavash Amini & Saåad - All Lanes Of Lilac Evening (Opal Tapes)

Asa Tone - Temporary Music (Leaving Records)

Whettman Chelmets - I Don't Want to Let Go, but I Need to Let Go (Misophonia)

Seth Cooke - This Content Is Unavailable In Your Country (Self-Released)

Dan Deacon - Mystic Familiar (Domino)

Will Guthrie - Nist-Nah (Black Truffle)

Life's Track - Race Against Time (Opal Tapes)

Lucy Johnson - Soundtracks 2013 - 2019 Vol. 1 (Opal Tapes)

Long Distance Poison - Technical Mentality (Hausu Mountain)

Men With Secrets - Psycho Romance & Other Spooky Ballads (The Bunker New York)

Proswell - Amaterasu (Touched)

Squarepusher - Be Up A Hello (Warp)

Tryphème - Aluminia (Central Processing Unit)

January 28th, 2020

William Fields - Shackamaxon (Conditional)

January 27th, 2020

Schacke - Artificial Intercourse (Instruments Of Discipline)

January 24th, 2020

Charles Curtis - Performances and Recordings 1998-2018 (Saltern)

Jennifer Curtis & Tyshawn Sorey - Invisible Ritual (New Focus Recordings)

Robert Haigh - Black Sarabande (Unseen Worlds)

Jeff Parker - Suite for Max Brown (International Anthem)

January 17th, 2020

Bergsonist - Middle Ouest (Optimo Music)

Jim Black Trio - Reckon (Intakt Records)

John Chantler / Steve Noble / Seymour Wright - Atlantis (1703 Skivbolaget)

Liz Durette - Delight (Feeding Tube Records)

Aly Keita / Jan Galega Brönnimann / Lucas Niggli - Kalan Teban (Intakt Records)

Nick Malkin - A Typical Night In The Pit (Soda Gong)

Manuel Pessoa de Lima - Realejo (Black Truffle)

Britton Powell - If Anything Is (Catch Wave Ltd.)

OOIOO - Nijimusi (Thrill Jockey)

Oval - Scis (Thrill Jockey)

Pulse Emitter - Swirlings (Hausu Mountain)

January 15th, 2020

Green-House - Six Songs for Invisible Gardens (Leaving Records)

January 10th, 2020

Brunhild Ferrari & Jim O'Rourke - Le Piano Englouti (Black Truffle)

December 13th, 2019

Fred Anderson Quartet - Live Volume V (FPE)

a•pe•ri•od•ic - for a•pe•ri•od•ic (New Focus Recordings)

Daniel Lopatin - Uncut Gems Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Warp)

December 9th, 2019

Stellar OM Source - I See Through You (Dekmantel)

December 6th, 2019

Avey Tare - Conference of Birds / Birds in Disguise (Domino)

Clark - Daniel Isn't Real OST (Deutsche Grammophon)

Wendy Gondeln and Mats Gustafsson, with Wolfgang Voigt and Martin Siewert - The Shithole Country & Boogie Band (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Russell Haswell - 37 Minute Workout Vol. 2 (Diagonal)

Arto Lindsay, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark, Phil Sudderberg - Largest Afternoon (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Joe McPhee and Fred Lonberg-Holm - No Time Left For Sadness (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Speaker Music - of desire, longing (Planet Mu)

Melanie Velarde - Bez (Commend)

Ben Vida - Reducing the Tempo to Zero (Shelter Press)

November 29th, 2019

Doon Kanda - Labyrinth (Hyperdub)

Jay Mitta & Sisso Meet The Modern Institute And Errorsmith - At The Villa (Nyege Nyege Tapes)

Moth Cock - If Beggars Were Horses Wishes Would Ride (Hausu Mountain)

Rie Nakajima - Fusuma (tss tapes)

Oto Hiax - Two (Editions Mego)

November 22nd, 2019

Robert Ashley - Improvement (Don Leaves Linda) (Lovely Music)

Clark - Branding Problem (Throttle)

Galcher Lustwerk - Information (Ghostly)

RAMZi - Multiquest Level 1: Camouflé (FATi)

November 15th, 2019

Tetuzi Akiyama / Nicolas Field / Gregor Vidic - Interpersonal Subjectivities (Astral Spirits)

Ekoplekz - In Search Of The Third Mantra (Front & Follow)

KVL - Volume 1 (Astral Spirits)

Lee Gamble - Exhaust (Hyperdub)

Benoît Pioulard - Sylva (Morr)

Arthur Russell - Iowa Dream (Audika)

Ziúr - ATØ (Planet Mu)

November 8th, 2019

Thomas Brinkmann - Raupenbahn (Editions Mego)

Frank Denyer - The Fish that became the Sun (Another Timbre)

FKA twigs - MAGDALENE (Young Turks)

Peter Ivers - Becoming Peter Ivers (RVNG Intl.)

Amirtha Kidambi & Lea Bertucci - Phase Eclipse (Astral Spirits)

Sean McCann - Puck (Recital)

Oval - Eksploio (Thrill Jockey)

Andrew Pekler - Sounds From Phantom Islands (Faitiche)

Rrose - Hymn to Moisture (Eaux)

Shapednoise - Aesthesis (Numbers)

Matt Valentine - Preserves (Beyond Beyond Is Beyond)

Steven Warwick - MOI (PAN)

Wobbly - Monitress (Hausu Mountain)

November 5th, 2019

Jim O'Rourke - to magnetize money and return a roving eye (Sonoris)

November 1st, 2019

Malibu - One Life (Joyful Noise/UNO NYC)

Joe McPhee/Graham Lambkin/Charlie McPhee/Oliver Lambkin - Live in the Batcave (Black Truffle)

Joséphine Michel / Mika Vainio - The Heat Equation (Touch)

Yann Novak - Slowly Dismantling (Room40)

October 25th, 2019

Ka Baird - Respires (RVNG Intl.)

First Tone - Reactions (Spectrum Spools)

Kepla - Within The Gaze, A Shadhavar (Alien Jams)

Grischa Lichtenberger - Re: phgrp (reworking ›Consequences‹ by Philipp Gropper’s Philm) (Raster)

Anna Meredith - FIBS (Black Prince Fury)

Meara O'Reilly - Hockets for Two Voices (Cantaloupe Music)

Pita - Get On (Editions Mego)

Francis Plagne - Rural Objects (Black Truffle)

Sunn O))) - Pyroclasts (Southern Lord)

Teebs - Anicca (Brainfeeder)

François Tusques - Alors Nosferatu Combina Un Plan Ingénieux (Finders Keepers)

October 18th, 2019

Anunaku - Whities 024 (Whities)

Battles - Juice B Crypts (Warp)

Ilia Belorukov & Vasco Trilla - Laniakea (Astral Spirits)

Eartheater - Trinity (Chemical X)

Guerilla Toss - What Would The Odd Do? (NNA Tapes)

Steph Horak & Renick Bell - Live at Pirate Studios, Bristol (Conditional)

HXXS - Year Of The Witch (Captured Tracks)

Sarah Belle Reid - Underneath And Sonder (pfMENTUM)

Matana Roberts - COIN COIN Chapter Four: Memphis (Constellation)

October 15th, 2019

George Barton & Siwan Rhys - Kontakte (Stockhausen) (All That Dust)

Cassandra Miller - Songs About Singing (All That Dust)

October 12th, 2019

Formanex - 20 Years Of Experimental Music (Mikroton Recordings)

October 11th, 2019

808 State - Transmission Suite (808 State)

Bonnie Baxter - AXIS (Hausu Mountain)

Jaimie Branch - FLY or DIE II: bird dogs of paradise (International Anthem)

Richard Dawson - 2020 (Weird World/Domino)

Lightning Bolt - Sonic Citadel (Thrill Jockey)

Bill Orcutt - Odds Against Tomorrow (Palilalia)

Marcus Schmickler - Particle/Matter-Wave/Energy (Kompakt)

Masahiro Sugaya - Horizon Volume 1 (Empire Of Signs)

October 4th, 2019

Danny Brown - uknowhatimsayin¿ (Warp)

Carla dal Forno - Look Up Sharp (Kallista)

Julia Reidy - In Real Life (Black Truffle)

September 29th, 2019

Cristián Alvear / Klaus Filip - 6 Chords (Ftarri)

September 27th, 2019

John Coltrane - Blue World (Impulse!)

Girl Band - The Talkies (Rough Trade)

Hecker - Inspection II (Editions Mego)

Tyshawn Sorey & Marilyn Crispell - The Adornment Of Time (Pi Recordings)

Telefon Tel Aviv - Dreams Are Not Enough (Ghostly International)

Galen Tipton - Fake Meat (Orange Milk)

September 20th, 2019

Maria Chavez - Plays (Stefan Goldmann's Ghost Hemiola) (Macro)

Luc Ferrari - Photophonie: Bandes magnétiques inédities (Transversales Disques)

Keiji Haino / Jim O’rourke / Oren Ambarchi - In the past only geniuses were capable of staging the perfect crime (also known as a revolution) Today anybody can accomplish their aims with the push of the button (Black Truffle)

Sarah Hennies - Reservoir 1 (Black Truffle)

Inoyama Land - Commissions: 1977-2000 (Empire Of Signs)

Cameron Shafii - Pithy & Prolix (anòmia)

somesurprises - somesurprises (Drawing Room)

Carl Stone - Himalaya (Unseen Worlds)

Tomaga & Pierre Bastien - Bandiera di Carta (Other People)

Topdown Dialectic - Vol 2 (Peak Oil)

xin - Melts into Love (Subtext Recordings)

Ai Yamamoto - Going Home (Dragon's Eye)

September 13th, 2019

Bass Clef - Hard Lessons Hardly Learned / Holy Days Wholly Dazed (Open Hand Real Flames)

Charli XCX - Charli (Atlantic / Asylum)

Ned Collette / James Rushford / Joe Talia - Afternoon-Dusk (Feeding Tube Records)

Daphne & Celeste - Sunny Day (Remix EP) (Balatonic)

Jenny Hval - The Practice of Love (Sacred Bones Records)

Anne Imhof - Faust (PAN)

JPEGMAFIA - All My Heroes Are Cornballs (EQT Recordings)

Mukqs - Any% (Doom Trip)

Nicholas Langley - Plays The Vitamin B12 (Strategic Tape Reserve)

Shasta Cults - Configurations (Important Records)

Philip Thomas - Morton Feldman Piano (Another Timbre)