releases

a few

Semblance - Forma (Kranky)


sequencer workouts and washes of wind and piano, deed it

Tord Gustavsen Trio - The Other Side (ECM)


pretty moody goody
I'm early.

Nostrum Grocers - Nostrum Grocers (Ruby Yacht)


great voices and moods, fun to relisten, not always sure what's what. milo and elucid.
I think you mean tonkotsu...

3

Eiko Ishibashi & Darin Gray - Ichida (Black Truffle)

Excellent performance of pads, loops, horns, piano. Textures, rhythms, melodies stretched across the duration...

Jake Muir - Lady's Mantle ()

all the hazy feels you need

Oneohtrix Point Never - The Station ()

fantasy suite

do u evn blie

OZMOTIC - Elusive Balance (Touch)


drones, glitches and sax make it perfect
"I make it perfect."

Pariah - From Here Where We Are (Houndstooth)


Things have come a long way since bass/beat days of Detroit Falls (which was in my 2010 beat mix). We're more in like bee maskish drifto it's good.

Carl Stone - Electronic Music from the Eighties and Nineties (Unseen Worlds)


Another awesome Cstone compilation. Music that bleeds and bends and folds and blends and drifts. Process experiments and time-bending environments.

finally caught up

exm / Mitoma - I/O Disc (Kaer'Uiks)

I love being given recommendations. I love it even more when they're this good. Groans, whines, fractured beats.

Black Thought - Streams of Thought, Vol. 1 (Human Re Sources)

super solid. love that it's vol. 1. A friend last week prompted a discussion of daytona/ye/nasir.... "yes, but..."

John Coltrane - Both Directions at Once (Impulse!)

It's not some rando show bootleg remastered. It's not 12 takes of songs you've already heard. It's a no-joke Classic Quartet session from 1963. Does not disappoint on that heavy promise. Kind of amazing that this fell out the sky (or closet).

The Essential Anthony Braxton: The Arista Years

I'm supposedly not a huge fan of compilations, but I've loved listening to this collection of idiosyncratic, playful, exploratory pieces by Anthony Braxton. It's a more reasonable experience than the previously released "complete" Arista. Braxton's compositions and performances bear the weight of genre and practice influences but break through expected boundaries with confidence. Of course this sax-bass duet would be played this way. Why wouldn't it? The music is able to occupy strange and natural spheres at once. Some of the highlights for me are more obvious pieces: the deterioration and minimalism of 22-M, the power on H-46M, the solo Giant Steps rendition.

Abul Mogard - Above All Dreams (Ecstatic)

Outstanding gorgeous synthjourneymusic.

Busdriver - Electricity is on our Side

So I have about 25 new albums that I'm listening to right now... more than usual, and it will take me awhile to work through them and come up with selects.

In the meantime I've been cheating my usual listening procedures and going back to one in particular.

Busdriver's new album is amazing.

Skee Mask - Compro (Ilian Tape)

This is really good. Techno, D&B, ambient elements all sounding amazing and working together well. Between this and Shred I'm a fan...

the end of an era

I mean... Selections from April.

MAJ Battle of the Bands

wow, bands

Kristjan Randalu - Absence (ECM)


not just sustains and brushes, but tasteful feedback too
It's a warm amalgamation.
winner of the "That Beautiful Chamber Sound" Award

The Nels Cline 4 - Currents, Constellations (Blue Note)


nels cline, julian lage, scott colley, tom rainey
captivating set of songs, from the muscular to the sensitive
winner of the "I Uploaded River Mouth as an Example of a Sound to Go After for this Thing I'm Working on" Award

John Zorn - Insurrection


julian lage, matt hollenberg, kenny grohowski, trevor dunn
winner of the Grand Prize
Notice who's on two of these albums. This one opens with some wild macho mayhem before stepping into sweet Dreamer territory. Comparable to C,C above in its variety but goes further in most directions, perhaps a little less Americana-oriented. From sweet to droned-out to metal-hard to thrashed. It's a wild album. This time when the editor asks if they "really brought it" I won't tell him that the sound was crappy and I couldn't hear anything and I don't recommend ever visiting this venue. I'll tell him, "Yes, they really brought it."

oceans

Félicia Atkinson - Coyotes (Geographic North)


raft down a steaming river of tones, voicebitscrackles, bells

speaking of warmth

Saba - Care for Me (Saba Pivot)


emotional/expressive/interesting throughout
fits w TDE vibes IMO but maybe I just don't get out enough
broken girls

northern exposure

Grouper - Grid of Points (Kranky)


Unloading with less haze and more direct emotion. I think of evocative, bereft [it's not] dreampop.

okay, we can have fun too

Thomas Fehlmann & Terrence Dixon - We Take It From Here (Tresor)


Not your (my) typical austere techno. Develops into something totally fun and infectious. Sounds like it's being played.

In Living the True Gods

Autechre - NTS Sessions 1-4 (Warp Records)


nobody does it better
the greatest
"he's a thot..."
if you only have 8 hours this holiday season,

loner

Lucy Railton - Paradise 94 (Modern Love)

cellomachine

this week's

Electric Indigo - 5 1 1 5 9 3 (Imbalance Computer Music)

crisp, staged, dynamic electronic music

depths and surfaces

Park Jiha - Communion

this is cool. melodies, atmosphere, sounds. music stuff?

I love hearing the expression of instruments with which I'm generally unfamiliar.

Flux Quartet - Michael Hersch: Images from a Closed Ward (New Focus Recordings)

Sustained (a)harmonies, from slowly terrifying to stab-punctuated aggressive/frantic to heartbreaking.

Björk - Arisen My Senses (One Little Indian Records)

Lanark Artefax, Jlin, Kelly Lee Owens. What an awesome suite of refractions of this great song. Would love a 2.5-hour mix of a selection of Bjork remixes.

5+12

Tessela & Lanark Artefax - WHYTBLU01

two great tracks. put these in your set.

The Fear Ratio - Live EP (Skam Records)

cool set of live tracks, love the playful slam of repeating highs on the OOOOOOH that makes little sense out of that frame. ERA sounds like it's from tri repetae, which is great. would enjoy their show.

Dedekind Cut - Tahoe (Kranky)

t'challa on the ancestral plane

Yann Novak - The Future is a Forward Escape into the Past (Touch)

details

Brett Naucke - The Mansion (Spectrum Spools)

dense world

Pierre Henry - Polyphonies (Decca Records)

Excellent retrospective compilation documenting the genius of Pierre Henry. Highly recommended.

quick 5

Jerry Quickley - (american) FOOL (Temporary Whatever)

peel and repeat

Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet - Landfall (Nonesuch)

It's funny how sometimes I'm not inclined to check out what icons are doing because I feel like I've been there... and then I'm reminded. Also interesting to go back to that time and place.

Maelstrom - Alph4 (Central Processing Unit)

goes

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Async - Remodels (Commons)

great reworking. had the chance to lie down for the duration. difficult to choose between itunes classic and whitecap.

and... Victory Lap. can't lie

whysomuch

I've been going through a lot (of music). So many new releases at the start of the year.

Took awhile to rule things out and keep things in.

Good to clear stuff out in time for the feb16 explosion.

these are the most-loved

Metaphors (Selected Soundworks from the Cinema of Apichatpoing Weerasethakul) (Sub Rosa Label)


Engrossing concrete environments teeming with insect buzz and occasional wafts of serene guitar, romantic fragments and upfront pop. Cool highlight of the sound work of these films, of which I've only seen a few.

Sylvie Courvoisier Trio - D'Agala (Intakt Records)


Awesome interplay. Typically exploratory, sometimes heavy, sometimes knotty, always interesting. Great group. Would love to see.

Kit Downes - Obsidian (ECM)


Organ recording. Really cool stuff, from the exalted to the eerie. Had a chance to listen in the dark and get into each instrument. Recommended (redundant).

Matthewdavid - Time Flying Beats (Leaving Records)


What happened to "and now people need some healing?" Heavy in car.

Evidence - Weather or Not (Rhymesayers Entertainment)


Hard beats, great flow. Even some content.

Shuttle358 - Field (12k)


best droneycomputersounds great cover good one

Yves De Mey - Bleak Comfort (Latency)


awesome sound design on heavy rhythm

Natalia Lafourcade - Musas Vol. II (Sony Mexico)


In the words of S.R., "You've done it again."

Favorite Albums

These are my favorite albums of 2017.

Tarkovsky Quartet - Nuit blanche (ECM)


soft and contemplative, moving between the composed and the improvised, hauntingly pretty, drifting through ephemera

Kendrick Lamar - DAMN. (TDE)


Sure I might have had enough of a few of the songs on the radio, but it's another great album with songs to immediately enjoy, rapping to relish, content to think about. Another entry in a catalog of outstanding releases that are also broadly popular.

Justin Walter - Unseen Forces (Kranky)


Directional flotation, serenity without stasis. Atmospheric without limiting itself.

Natalia Lafourcade - Musas (Columbia)


These songs are great. The performance is great. Los Macorinos are great. Her live performance was great. The videos are great:

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - On the Echoing Green (Mexican Summer)


das erhabene

Sote - Sacred Horror in Design (Opal Tapes)


electro-acoustic magic

milo - who told you to think??!!?!?!?! (Ruby Yacht)


milo's works are better each time. banks is not the future milo the future

Sylvain Chauveau - Post-Everything (Brocoli)


very electronic music pop

Post-Everything by Sylvain Chauveau

Lee Gamble - Mnestic Pressure (Hyperdub)


d&b+ae?

Kassel Jaeger - Aster (Editions Mego)


Atmospheres, buzz evolutions, interruptions, darkness. Kind of scary. That release with Jim O'Rourke was also a good one.

Open Mike Eagle - Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (Mello Music Group)


I appreciate the layers and ambiguities, listening to it again and making more of it, reading interviews and making more of it. Some great quietly-spoken, close-mic moments.

Anouar Brahem - Blue Maqams (ECM)


quiet fire, need live, Y2B

Claire M Singer - Fairge (Touch Records)


where was this in the blade runner movie

Bjork - Utopia (One Little Indian)


blissing me

electronic

Claro Intelecto - Exhilarator (Delsin)


melodic drop on Through the Cosmos says it best, but in any case this is cool and dubby somewhere in between a lot of things

Obsequies - Organn (Knives)


super computer music
so knives has been been pretty awesome so far

home stretch

although there are sure to be a few more posts between now and then, I've started reviewing the year's favorites

in any case, a few recent releases I'm really liking:

Carlos Niño & Friends - Going Home (Leaving Records)


soft ritual, shimmering sunrise, lazy ascension, cloudmorph

Thomas Demenga - J.S. Bach: Suiten für Violoncello (ECM Records)


sublime woody bach recordings

Schumann Quartett - Landscapes (Berlin Classics)


great program of material

Rabit - Les Fleurs Du Mal (Halcyon Veil)


We start out with some sharp, saturated bowed strings and eventually crumble into beatless murk, from the discomforting samples of Dogsblood Redemption to the guided nightmare of Elevation.
what's with that cover

Les Graciés - Low Doses (Firecracker Recordings)


crazy samples, good balance of motion and stasis, crazy staging (how many times did I take off my headphones because I thought something was happening around me?), this album is great

Armanda Hammer - Rome (Backwoodz Studioz)


rhythms, rhymes, all good

some stuff

Claire M Singer - Fairge (Touch Records)

a kind of magical dawn, like a contemporary version of das rheingold's overture

Rødhåd - Anxious (Dystopian)

moods

Invisible Church & Marie Davidson - Whatever Makes You Feel Safe (Yerevan Tapes)

heavy and voice and beyond what came before

caught up

I'm glad we can finally agree on something.

Ben Frost - The Centre Cannot Hold (Mute Records)

And now we get the whole thing, inaugurated with a terrifying breath. Surely the second coming is at hand.

Booms and twinkles.

While I'm glad this is an album rather than another soundtrack of sorts, it does make me think we have a missed Blade Runner soundtrack opportunity here (among others, including the one that was dropped).


 

Anouar Brahem - Blue Maqams (ECM)

Look at the team. Mastered, beautiful cross-cultural ECM music. This group needs to come here. It will be awesome live.

Open Mike Eagle - Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (Mello Music Group)

keep pushing, style and content

Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference (Young Turks)

Emotional suite of memorable melodies and a unique sound informed from many directions.

STILL - I (PAN)

weirdo rhythms from everynowhere going hard just look a that coverman

AnD - Social Decay (EDLX)

coarse

Kelela - Take Me Apart (Warp)

90s r&b from the future makes a lot of sense warp records

six for a thursday

Kassel Jaeger - Aster (Editions Mego)

A thin fog approaches, slowly obscuring horizons, allowing hints, memories, flashes and threats of drama. A range of environments develop, from a near-static floating transparency punctuated by crumbling snowflakes to an organ elegy buried 100 feet down. Padded enough for decompression, active enough for attention, detailed stereo for the headphone bonus.

 

Sylvain Chauveau - Post-Everything (Brocoli)

I'm liking everything he puts out. In the vein of Fennesz, Sakamoto, and of course Sylvian (kind of weird given the name nearness). Emotive use of drones, saturated noise, melody and vocals for what are finally songs.


 

The National - Sleep Well Beast (4AD)

It's a mostly-mellow rock album. Not usually my thing, but I keep coming back to it. They're good, resonant songs.


 

astrïd & Rachel Grimes - Through the Sparkle (Gizeh Records)

careful magic

 

Antwood - Sponsored Content (Planet Mu)

Of the moment. Builds from last year's Virtuous.scr, this time with an excess of machine-gunned bass instead of constant breaking glass (IIRC). Also significant this time around is the heavier thematic conceit woven throughout, from the titles to the painful (for me anyway) samples, to the final “human” robotic ballad juxtaposing saccharine piano-chord-over-pad progression against frenetic happycore arpeggios. On the Planet Mu press info the artist describes it as "honest, flawed, with a little humour, and slightly up its own ass." I love I.T.

 

Lee Gamble - Mnestic Pressure (Hyperdub)

in a few days early, idmish junglish shamer really good. I think this will make it to the end.

why excluded

Lanark Artefax - Whities 011

I thought this made it here the first time around.

Well I ended up listening to it again recently and its absence is undeserved.

Great stuff.

beethoven

It's wild what he was able to do as a deaf composer (as Kissin's performance of Sonata 32 closes out the new DG release in my headphones).

why so many

looking as though I discern among nothing

Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman - Triple Fat Lice (Stones Throw)

rap and rap and rap; this is my favorite of the lice releases

on point all the time

 

Rafael Anton Irisarri - The Shameless Years (Umor Rex)

quiet becomes ocean becomes power

 

Nadia Sirota & Liam Byrne - Donnacha Dennehy: Tessellatum (Bedroom Community)

Spiraling strings. Also comes with a cool video.

 

Andrea Belfi - Ore (FLOAT)

At first this sounds like it's going to be an OK release with some moody drum beats, but then things break down with reversals and intricacies and it gets really good.

 

Vijay Iyer Sextet - Far From Over (ECM)

great band, great music, big group

 

Angelo de Augustine - Swim Inside the Moon (Asthmatic Kitty)

There's a big of magic in this mood. Saw him open for the Planetarium show at the cemetery and took note to look out for this one. Glad that I did.

 

Pessimist - Pessimist (Blackest Ever Black)

A friend asked me what genre this was so that he could find more music like it, and I was like "well this track is kind of a hip-hop beat, I guess this might be a trip-hop track, but that last track was more of a techno track and now this one starting up is basically jungle. So I think the label is the more informative thing here." BLACKEST EVER BLACK

Which leads us to...

 

Second Storey - Lucid Locations (Houndstooth)

Another release melting many "rave" genres into one aesthetic/approach. This one's wonkier/funkier/brighter than the Pessimist release. Both are great. Different moods.

pure moods III

 

that's a lot

more's on the way

milo - who told you to think??!!?!?!?! (Ruby Yacht)


While I slowly work through a larger-than-usual list of music, I've found myself cheating my system to come back and relisten to this album before its turn. The opening Baldwin quotation sets up a context of both poetic telling and knowing and critical engagement. The music proceeds to live up to its introduction, springing from traditions of rap, hip-hop, jazz, poetry proper and poetics more broadly to think through and connect the personal and social. And it sounds great. And there's fun. get

in it or zoned

X.Y.R. - Labyrinth (Not Not Fun Records)


d r i f t z o n e z o n e d r i f t z o n e c o s m i c z o n e d r i f t z o n e z o n e d r i f t l i f t

Tyshawn Sorey - Verisimilitude (Pi Recordings)


hmm...

electronic

Sote - Sacred Horror in Design (Opal Tapes)


Santour, setar, electronic revelations. This is so good.
I actually saw Sote live a long time ago, the first time I heard of him...
at this: https://www.kuci.org/show_feature.cgi?id=181
TBH a little overshadowed by some of the Warp all-stars that night... in any case this album is awesome. Would love to see the live version.

Ben Frost - Threshold of Faith (Mute))


Noisy landscapes with plenty of bell/metal/clay-type sounds.

Elusive - Moments (DOMEOFDOOM)


Elusive has been on a roll with strong releases, and this one stands out. Will stay in rotation awhile, particularly in the car. Harmonic elements near the Flying Lotus / Brainfeeder sphere... I can still do with less key jangling / coin jingling, but it's a great set of beats/music.

this thing


I don't really know why it's online already, but it is. It's interesting and not what I expected. Will say more about it later.
I feel everything at the same time.

get it over with

rarely does something make it through the gauntlet of appreciation, doubt and criticism so quickly, but I'm enjoying these two

Untold - HEK029 (Hemlock)


two tracks of that haunted futuresound

Serenus Zeitblom Oktett - Erster Teil - Zweiter Teil - Dritter Teil (Hyperdelia)


three pieces of thoughtful, processor-engaged ensemble performance
not sure what else to say

that ra courtesy mix is great
seeking stingray kern

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