Chaos Echœs with Mats Gustafsson – Sustain

The Music

The Words

Mats Gustafsson is a giant in the world of free and avant-jazz. One of his latest works, on Fire! Orchestra’s Ritual, is just purely mind-blowing, as is the album in its entirety. Seeing his name alongside Chaos Echœs, one of the best contemporary forward-thinking black metal bands — their album Mouvement made it onto our February recommendations —, is just as much as a surprise as it is cause for excitement.

The collaboration, titled Sustain, is made of two parts of equal length that achieve a deranging, dense atmosphere that’s as far from … Read more

Turbamulta – Turbamulta

The Words

The minimalistic contemporary classical quintet Turbamulta released their self-titled album via Clean Feed Records on 16 March. The near-fifty-minute album is made of three main tracks, two of which are divided into smaller pieces, and a shorter interlude. The composition-improvisation process of the chamber ensemble seems quite unique and somewhat convoluted. From what I can gather, it seems like they reiterate upon previous improvised sessions, in a sort of musical feedback loop. I’d like to know more about it, but the words of the label itself seem shrouded in lyrical musings.

Nevertheless, the end product is pure joy … Read more

Théo Ceccaldi’s Freaks – Amanda Dakota

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Théo Ceccaldi is now a renowned jazz violinist, and he is now at the heads of Freaks, an experimental jazz sextet that bridges jazz-rock with avant-garde pop and Rock in Opposition. Indeed, it sometimes sound like a jazz version of French band PoiL, which is a major plus!

What can you expect from their debut, Amanda Dakota? First of all, a lot of odd themes and harmonies are sown all around the album, and the rhythm section tries to clumsily follow in odd times and bizarre subdivisions. This is something that I like a … Read more

P.O.N. – P.O.N. (1995)

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P.O.N. was a Japanese jazz fusion band active in the ’90s, and whose only release is this obscure self-titled album. I wanted to talk about it, however, because it is still relevant in today’s world due to its high production value and contemporary sound. P.O.N. features forty-five minutes of blazing saxophone, guitar, and vibraphone on top of a Zappaesque backing band.

How so? Well, if the regular rhythmic modulations — frequently shifting from straight eighths to many different n-tuplets — didn’t tip you off, you might as well be deaf. However, it is, in my opinion, much more … Read more

Omar – *3

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I’ve been anticipating a new release from French avant-garde jazz crew Omar for quite some time, since their previous album, *2 was released in January of 2015, and now, without so much a warning, the tourangeau quartet releases *3. After a quick album cover change – the original featuring another take on the “lobster phone” of their first, self-titled release – and a new bandcamp page – password forgotten, I presume? – Omar the Third is there for the world to see. Now, does it live up to the impossible expectations that countless listens of … Read more

Verneri Pohjola & Mika Kallio – Animal Image

The Music

The Words

Animal Image – or, by its Finnish name, Eläimen kuva – is, first and foremost, an animal documentary made by Perttu Saksa and Mouka Films. The picture is not what we’re here for today, however. Instead, we’ll be talking about trumpeter Ververi Pohjola and percussionist Mika Kallio‘s joint effort as the movie’s soundtrack. Given their role as audio support to a primarily visual documentary, Verneri and Mika had to be in a very special mindset. This unique frame of mind is one of the appealing aspects of Animal Image. The forty-minute album is all … Read more

Eave – Eave

The Music

The Words

Montréal’s Eave is a surprising new minimalistic free jazz quartet. They just delivered their self-titled debut album, and it’s a thing of wonders! Eave is strong by its meekness. It isn’t overtly boastful, and is of the discreet type. However, the reserved are often the most incongruous. As such, Eave paint the most disturbing scenes using very few and pale colours. It is free jazz done differently than what I’m used to. With bands like dMu, Nakata, or Waifu, I’m used to the horrid, the loud, and the terrifying; Eave brings me the calm, the odd, … Read more