For full disclosure, yes, I’ve backed this project on indiegogo. Nonetheless, I think this album is a really awesome one! Monoliths and Sepulchres is the debut full-length from Denton, Texas-based experimental jazz unit The Octopod. The aptly-named Octopod features eight musicians, including three horn-blowers (correction: five). As such, their music is heavily textured and rich. The album moves from free jazz during the prelude, postlude, and interludes to composed scores in the main tracks. Consequently, the result is a highly aberrant album that’s nonetheless a more than recommended listen. Its theme is to grow progressively … Read more
Moloch was a defining album for me. As one of the first, and, above all, best, albums truly bridging the gap between jazz and metal into a strange form of palatable yet challenging avant-garde jazz record. The Polish quintet is now back with their third release: Million Miles. Their newest takes up where Moloch left off – kicking and screaming –, and offers us an experience that’s almost as searing as its predecessor. However, instead of pure abrasive power, Million Miles is more delicate, tasteful, and mature than its older sibling. They obviously still share the same genes, but … Read more
The Australian jazz metal fusion orchestra Valtozash is quite a newcomer, when it comes to their young age as a group, but they’ve already made their marks with their 2016 debut album, Iron Maiden Voyage. Barely more than a year later, they’re back with a sophomore release in Wizard-Bird. For those unaware, the ensemble is quite extensive: five saxophone players, three for trumpets, four trombones, and a vibraphonist all play alongside the traditional guitars-bass-drums trio. On top of that, the track from which the album title is taken features the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra! Through musical humour and a … Read more
Classical music and jazz are opposite and unreconcilable ends of the musical spectrum. Clearly, Logan Strosahl and his Team have never heard such words of warning, or, if they have, they foolishly ignored them and ventured forth. To the wise man’s surprise, however, they have returned victorious! Holding in his hands three tomes and chanting in a mighty parade, Logan handed one of the books to the old man and he looked at it with much confusion, assaulted by the unorthodox fanfare. Unfortunately, as is most common in the sixteenth century, the man was illiterate. There is no moral to … Read more
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
With members from Poland and Chile meeting in the Netherlands to play modern, progressive jazz together, Quantum Trio just released a massive hour-and-a-half-long double album, Duality: Particles & Waves. Besides being of massive scale and tremendous musicianship, Duality is a concept album on the wave-particle duality, an important concept in quantum physics. The first disc, Particles, is focused on the tangible, while the other one, Waves, embodies the ethereal facet of matter and energy. Concretely, the shift is very noticeable on the music itself. As per their own description, Particles contain polyrhythmic tunes and ballads, both undeniably … Read more
Nakata is an avant-garde jazz improvisation duo from Los Angeles, California, including Patrick Shiroishi (from Upsilon Acrux, Corima, and other bands) on saxophone, and Francisco Casanova on piano. The project has already many releases on bandcamp, and ‘Now It Can Be Told’ is taken from their upcoming album, Bokanovsky’s Process, which will come out on April third. If you’re somewhat into experimental jazz, musicians pushing boundaries, or just expressive, abrasive, and challenging music overall, then be sure to listen to this track!
‘Now It Can Be Told’ is a six-minute sonic journey, from the intriguing and mysterious start … Read more