Well, it’s been a great year for music, and especially can’t-even-be-called-music. Seeing as the year is just about over, we’re going to wrap up with a list of the best albums of the year. We are glad to say that CTEBCM is and remains at the forefront of music journalism, and we are proud to present you the first top 5 of the year! Who really wants to wait until 2018 is actually over to decide what was best? Not us! Let’s stop pretending that releases in December matter. In fact, we can safely assume that nothing that comes out … Read more
We are pleased to present a live video of Ikarus performing ‘Ryuujin’ off their most recent album, Chronosome.
Ikarus is a Swiss contemporary jazz band with an interesting configuration. They take a typical acoustic jazz trio composed of piano, bass, and drums, and add two scat vocalists – one male and one female – to the mix. This results in a highly unique sound defined by sublime vocal interplay underlaid by dynamic compositions.
The human voice, unbound by language, is more versatile than any other instrument one might use. Ikarus certainly proves that with their stellar performance. The rhythm … Read more
You’re Welcome is an impressive debut EP of progressive jazz from Watchdog, a new French duo consisting of keyboard and clarinet.
Joe Santa Maria has given us a diverse and intriguing EP in Echo Deep that morphs back and forth between quirky minimalist jazz and chamber music that trades percussion for strings.
Looping sax overdubs combine to form experimental, minimalist, atmospheric jazz on Johnny Butler‘s Carousel.
The title may no longer be accurate, but Family Junction‘s Never Released Greatest Hits is an interesting and well-executed blend of prog rock and indie rock sensibilities.
Israeli prog/fusion trio … Read more
Kurushimi is a new collective of sorts including members of Serious Beak, Instrumental, adj. (bands we have covered here on CTEBCM!), Fat Guy Wears Wolf Shirt, as well as a few other members. They just dropped their self-titled debut on Art as Catharsis, and I’m going to be up front with you: there is no point trying to attach genres to this (so naturally we’re going to try it!). Like all great music, it defies easy attempts at description and categorization.
The first question that came to me upon hearing of this project: What does Kurushimi mean, anyway? Knowing nothing … Read more
“Retro” is a term that to some, applies solely to bands that are derivative, stagnant, unoriginal, uncreative, and too mired in the past to produce anything of value, like your dad’s bar band. I must say that retro psychedelic progressive rockers AJ Froman prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this is not true at all on their latest release, Phoenix Syndrome (well, not necessarily true, anyway).
Everything here sounds like it could have plausibly been written and recorded in the 1970s. The riffs, bass lines, and synths wouldn’t sound out of place at all. I mean no disrespect by that … Read more
Amsterdam’s Spinifex erupt with chaotic intensity on Hipsters Gone Ballistic, a set of avant-punk-jazz aberrations that are simultaneously crushing, refined, and unpredictable.
Based on his incorporation of retro synths into his cutting edge jazz fusion style, I get the impression that Evan Marien is a fan of chiptunes, however his production skills and bass chops help put his latest release, Artifacts, on an entirely different level.
The debut Advent EP from blackened folk metallers Wandering Oak is a promising display of occult darkness forging a distinct identity without forgetting the roots from which it sprung.
Satan’s Secret is … Read more
Oxford, UK’s progressive fusion duo Bambino dell’Oro‘s latest album Los Belvos is a set of sumptuously textured modern jazz pieces underlaid by complex grooves. The core of the band is made up by two multi-instrumentalists specializing on drums and piano/keyboard respectively, but they also have a bassist with them most of the time and occasionally a soprano sax player as well on this release.
The album’s overall feel is energetic, effortlessly flowing between odd time signatures that are given time to breathe without overstaying their welcome. They make strategic use of a wide texural palette including instruments such as … Read more