Sandy Ewen & Weasel Walter, Snowpoet, Party Pack Ice, Grind-o-Matic, See You Space Cowboy & Second Grade Knife Fight, Utsav Lal, Сольвычегодск, Nautilus, and Œstre

Sandy Ewen & Weasel Walter – Idiomatic

Long time musical explorers Sandy Ewen and Weasel Walter released a new free noise jazz album as a duo. Under the name Idiomatic, the group goes in long form musical peregrinations, which yields three tracks, each over twenty minutes long, that alternate between hectic improvisation and crushing atmospheres of noise and distortion. The verdict is quite simple: this album is awesome!


Snowpoet – Thought You Knew

Lauren is perhaps one of my favourite singers. I became acquainted to her voice with the mind-blowing experimental jazz band Blue-Eyed Hawk, but her work in … Read more

Astrakhan – Without New Growth Process Is Bloodshed

The Music

The Words

Alright, Vancouver’s progressive stoner metal crew Astrakhan released an album, in 2016, that was already promising, but today we face the repercussions of that promise. Have they delivered? I’m glad to say they do. Without New Growth Process Is Bloodshed is an improvement on all fronts, and possible one of the best progressive stoner albums out there! One comment on bandcamp compares it to a mix of Protest the Hero, Tool, and Mastodon. I’ve got to say that while I see the latter two parts, I have a hard time noticing the similarities with PTH. … Read more

John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble – All Can Work

The Music

The Words

Twenty-one. That’s how many people play in this so-called “large ensemble”. This jazz orchestra is noticeable in many regards, but the most important of which is their musical output. All Can Work came out on January 26, and it represents over an hour of amazingly well put together modern jazz compositions that often remind me of some of the best prog rock out there. I’ve got to say this might be due to Theo Bleckmann’s voice, which is perhaps the most reassuring thing in this quite avant-garde environment. While the aim of the work here is … Read more

Kami Octet – Spring Party

The Music

The Words

We truly are well treated in this early 2018. So much great music has been knocking on my eardrums that it’s difficult to keep track. Although a late 2017 release, France’s Kami Octet, an avant-garde jazz eight-member ensemble, and their album Spring Party, was only just now heard by yours truly. The release is an adventurous and thorough experiment on contemporary jazz, sharing similarities with Fire! Orchestra and other such modern artists like Jaimie Branch. I’ve noticed the former mainly due to the vocal eccentricities of Christine Bertocchi, who at times recall moments of … Read more

Death Drag – Shifted

The Sounds

The Words

Iluso has a great track record for providing us with some of the wildest, most adventurous jazz albums out there. I think I’ve become acquainted with the label through dMu’s Synaptic Self, which was a true revelation to me! Today, they’re back with Death Drag‘s debut album, Shifted.

Shifted is like a free jazz album built with the tools of noise metal. The trio consists of drummer and composer Mike Caratti, aided by Santiago Horro on heavily distorted bass guitar, Roberto Sassi on guitar, and Luke Barlow, who plays keyboards and Rhodes. Each … Read more

Ouzo Bazooka – Songs from 1001 Nights

The Music

The Thoughts

This sound is not brand new, not anymore. Last year, Aussie psychedelic rock band King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard treated us with the first of five albums in a year: Flying Microtonal Banana. The album used quarter-tone instruments in the band’s own blend of surf, psych, and prog rock. Although the effort was a bit hit and miss, it was interesting and showed great potential for this sort of “desert surf” rock sound.

Enter Ouzo Bazooka, and their latest album, Songs from 1001 Nights. While not their first release, it seems to … Read more