Hovering between Iceland and the United Kingdom like the plume of ash of the Eyjafjallajökull, the progressive hardcore trio Down I Go recently released an EP by the title of Mortals. Their 2015 full-length, You’re Lucky God, That I Cannot Reach You struck my imagination – and I’m sure many of yours – with just how near perfection and unique it was. I still have shivers when the “Mother in the Pen” theme gets brought back at the end of “The Sending”, it wraps this masterpiece beautifully. Mortals is more akin to one of the band’s other thematic EPs, … Read more
Nyn is a technical death metal project with a now solid history. Entropy: Of Chaos and Salt is the project’s third release and sophomore full-length album. This time around, Noyan Tokgözoğlu sought the talents of Tom Geldschläger, also known as Fountainhead, and Jimmy Pitts, of the Pitts Minnemann Project fame (among others). While I was no fan of Nyn’s first two releases, this one is different. Through the years, musicianship improved greatly, and so did composition and production skills. First of all, the bass and guitar parts on Entropy are some of the wildest available in the tech-death world. So … Read more
The Icelandic entity Seiðlæti recently released their debut album, Þagnarþulur. The folk music duo – Uni and Reynir – interprets there seventeen poems with minimalistic, ritualistic percussions conveyed by a total of six musicians. Right off the bat, I have to draw some easy comparison between Uni’s voice and world-famous Icelandic singer Björk. Both voices share some timbral similarities, especially when referring to the less experimental, folk side of the latter. Maybe it’s the inherent sonority of íslenska that bring the two closer in my head, but whether that is the case or not, I want you to know … Read more
Chryste Panie – Polish for “Christ, Lord” – released their self-titled album earlier this year. The quatuor plays an interesting blend of free jazz and ambient electronic music inspired by devotional and shamanic music. Here, the synthesizers stick exceptionally well to the ritualistic free jazz aura the band is conveying. The droning notes and chords are exploited to their full extent by saxophonist Michał Małota, while the drummer and percussionist provide rhythmic continuity and occasional eccentricity. One of the defining moments of the album is on “Wejście”, when the folly picks up and a very rare entrance of a voice … Read more
From the Montréal metropolis comes yet another jaw-dropping album. Anomalie is the alias of musician and producer Nicolas Dupuis, and Métropole is their debut EP. The strong grooves and heavy electronic funk are what will immediately jump to you upon listening, and you can’t help but be caught by the flow. This EP oozes of Snarky Puppy and Tigran Hamasyan, among many others, but with a definitely more electronic music edge to the jazz artists mentioned. Amidst all the keyboard and piano virtuosity lie beats in various feels, like the swing feel and other shuffles – among which some … Read more
The trio’s music is really impressive! The first disc is often reminiscent of German favourites Ikarus – minus the scat –, with their entrancing odd rhythmics and polytonal melodies. Truly, a chef-d’œuvre of modern jazz composition and interpretation. On the second, slightly shorter side, a new world opens up and it sounds like an entirely different band playing, which is at the same time enthralling and disorienting. You’ll quickly get along to the idea, considering just how interesting this part also is.
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At over an hour and a half long, the musical side of Yellow Fog Sword
The massive eighteen-piece big band, or small ensemble, from Germany Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra released, in early July, their latest album in Vula. The hourlong release, which features seven tracks, is very eclectic and dense. Their music has a sometimes retro quality to it, which takes you back to the music of the thirties or forties, but retain an undeniably modern aspect. The vast array of musicians play demanding compositions, like the fast-paced and hectic ‘In Light of Turmoil’, blaring almost relentlessly for more than thirteen minutes. I can only imagine how the drummer’s right arm feels after this… … Read more
Out in September but available for streaming now, Austrian Namby-Pamby Boy‘s self-titled third album aims at the no small task of transcending genres and categories. While not being outside of any pre-existing box, Namby-Pamby Boy is an album that breeds jazz, electronica, hip-hop, and rock together in a buffet of compositions. The ten-track, one-hour album goes from moody to energetic and offers plenty of interesting and powerful moments, thanks to the lush keyboards and meandering saxophone rocking the songs. The album will be out on September first through Babel Label.
Mathcore can be an interesting beast. What can sometimes be seen by some as just a bunch of weird times signatures and senseless noodling put together in a blender, it has the potential to be a powerful medium of expression for the musician, and a unique experience for the listener. Enters Ikea Mutilation Manual and their debut EP, Anxiety Assembly. Owen Swertz and Tom Verelst set out to write and record nine songs, or “Images”, for this record; each started and completed in one evening. Creative restraints often lead to unexpected and surprisingly innovative results, as is the case … Read more
Australian and British entities Lost Salt Blood Purges and Boring Bathtimes have collaborated on a release of massive proportions, elegantly titled Yellow Fog Sword. On this release, Michael Snoxall (Lost Salt Blood Purges) set out to create a novel and its accompanying soundtrack with Oliver Aldridge (Boring Bathtimes), whom he already had made some small collaborations in the past. The original story of Michael ended up as a forty-four-page novelette, illustrated by Ov Exvn Infërnvz. Then, the outline of the music was created, with directions for pacing and events, and the task of coming up with music was handled … Read more