It has barely been a year and a half since Mammal Hands‘ album Floa was released – hint, we liked it –, yet, the British modern jazz trio is back with Shadow Work. Nearing fifty minutes in length, the album is, once again, a marvel of jazz music. Melodic and carefully crafted, their third release is a joy to behear. The piano and drums and saxophone trio is master at crafting memorable melodies on poignant progressions, with a firm grasp on the elusive art of tension and release, and a broad curiosity that leads to them incorporating sounds … Read more
Ilevens is the latest brainchild of microtonal musician Brendan Byrnes, of whom we’ve already praised the projects here on this website, and Transmitter is their debut EP. The concept of Ilevens, formerly known as 11ins, was to form a full microtonal pop/rock band, and the chosen system was 22 equal divisions of the octave. After many demos, under both the 11ins and Ilevens monikers, Transmitter is ready, with two brand new compositions – “Solavai” and “Transmitter” – and re-worked versions of their earlier songs. While the uncommon pitches will surprise more than one person, the psychedelic, progressive, pop-rock style in … Read more
Three years and a half after the release of their widely acclaimed debut album Sacred White Noise, Toronto’s progressive, mathematical, atmospheric black metal trio Thantifaxath is coming back with Void Masquerading as Matter. This four-track, thirty-six minutes EP sees the band expand the territories of their bleak kingdom with new ways of conveying rhythmically uncertain black metal. If they didn’t convince you yet with their debut full-length, – then, you’re a madman, but still… – this EP is certain to challenge your preconceived ideas on the genre and, at the very least, pique your interest. On top of … Read more
Oh, Art as Catharsis, it’s not the first time we praise you and undress our hearts to your fascinating gift for finding jaw-dropping new music from the island-continent of Australia. We can continue to deny we are total fanboys by arguing that it’s the first time we do so this month, but we know everybody sees through us and the lies we tell ourselves. Well, until Lachlan and AAC starts to disappoint us, we will continue to praise the label’s merits and its amazing roster. This time, it’s an Australian-American band: Sydney’s and New York’s Ground … Read more
Japanese-American saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi, whom we’ve come to spect and respect for his involvement with some of the best and craziest music acts out there – like Upsilon Acrux, Corima, Sewing Circle, and Nakata, to name a few –, is going to release new music under a his solo moniker with the album Tulean Dispatch. The project deals with the Tule Lake internment camp, where his Japanese grandparents were placed during World War II. The album not only reflects on these past events but draws parallels to what is happening today in the world and the USA. It’s a … Read more
Thoughts from a Stone is a praise-worthy successor to the band’s debut album, and expands many ideas that were expressed there further. For example, what I like to call the “chromatic neighbourhood” – many consecutive chromatic notes – in chords and scales. Its traditional use is to bridge the perfect fourth and fifth with a tritone, especially in blues, but it can sound very unsettling when using it around the tonal centre and with more than three neighbouring notes.
Ariadne – Stabat Mater
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On Stabat Mater, however, Christine and Benjamin take
Fissures – The Long Winter Demos
You might remember, back in 2013, Slice the Cake’s singer releasing one song – “I” –, under the Fissures moniker; a sort of progressive, atmospheric post-metal track. The rest of it would not be released until 24 October 2017 as The Long Winter Demos, nine tracks and one hour long. The whole album is quite good and really promising as far as being a demo. I suggest you take a look!
Ni – Dedoda
I got really excited when I saw something about a new release from Ni, one of my favourite French… Read more
They’ve done it! Again, perhaps, but Mikrojazz!, with the subtitle Neue expressionistische Musik (New Expressionist Music), is the latest, and arguably one of the first, completely microtonal jazz records to come out. With the combined talents of Philipp Gerschlauer on saxophone, David Fiuczynski on fretless guitar, Jack DeJohnette on drums, Matt Garrison on fretless bass, and Giorgi Mikadze on keyboards, Mikrojazz! has all the fuel it needs to develop xenharmonic compositions for jazz. Does it deliver? Yes, it does, but not without a few criticisms of mine. The players take up the challenge of writing and playing jazz in … Read more
On 27 October, New York’s experimental electronic multimedia duo Ariadne will release their long-awaited fourth album, titled Stabat Mater. While I wasn’t initially fond of their previous release, Tsalal, it grew on me tremendously, leading me to believe I might simply have not been ready yet for this sort of experience. On Stabat Mater, however, Christine and Benjamin take things to a whole new level. Here, songs are shorter, but there are a lot more of them: twenty, in total – but it could be argued that there is only one, a fifty-minute giant split into various … Read more
Belgian post-metal band Charnia released their most recent work on 20 October: the forty-minute unbroken track “Het laatste licht”. Grossly, the album-length song is split in two vague sections. For the first half or so, it’s a chamber music session comprised of a violin and double bass duo where lazy and languid voices interweave to form a droning piece, between melancholy and despair. The second half starts past the twenty minutes mark with a drumbeat that is soon joined by the rest of the band. For the remaining time, strings and electrics join forces in a slow, heavy, and pounding … Read more