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
Tele.S.Therion is a self-described acousmatic black metal ensemble based in Italy, with members from various European countries. They have been making music since at least 2009, and Luzifers Abschied is their eighth and latest release, from 2017. So… what is acousmatic black metal about, exactly? Simply put, it’s a “veiled” collective improvisation. The band refers to how Pythagorus would give lessons behind a veil, so his students would better concentrate, but I find the analogy here to be questionable, at best. How Tele.S.Therion operates is that each musician will add their improvised performance to a recording … Read more
Just in time to close 2017 with a microtonal bang!, composer Taylor Brook released Virtutes occultae: an exploratory double album for piano. Somewhere between procedural, improvised, and strictly composed, the eighteen parts of this magnum opus take you into the world of overtonality. In a nutshell, this album is played by six virtual pianos, each tuned to a different 11-limit just intonation tuning. The details on how Brook’s approach extends Partch’s are scarce and blurry, but, in any case, the result is utterly mesmerizing. The fact that the music is played only by pianos, virtual ones at that, … Read more
The Minnesota trio Not from Here puts a twist on the regular mathcore formula: the expected bass guitar is here replaced by a cello. This alternative lineup gives way to an interesting contemporary classical facet to the band’s music, most strikingly on their kétjegyű szók, “Ab”, “De”, and “Ex”, while being underlying in all the other tracks. Speaking of which, the songs on their self-titled sophomore release range from caustic mathcore to post-hardcore, with drafts of polyrhythmic sludge – the ending of “Should Certain Conditions Arise” –, drone metal, and progressive metal. It’s all instrumental, giving the music ample … Read more
Ever since Douve came out, in 2016, I’ve held the Boston avant-garde doom metal quartet Ehnahre in the highest of regards. Earlier this month, they released their newest experimentation on The Marrow, a four-track, fifty-three-minute slab of slow, heavy, and unbridled contemporary music. Yes, Ehnahre swims pretty close to modern classical music with their compositional approach, a feeling reinforced by their use of contrabass and piano. The band’s long, drawn-out pieces are very atmospheric and even entrancing, often relying on slow, repeated motives and spoken word passages to build a ritualistic summoning of heartfelt and mystic music. The outstanding … Read more
Spring and Summer are the two first releases of the Wildflowers tetralogy, but, as I’ve just come across this project, I’ll write about both EPs at once. Nhor was a British atmospheric black metal band who released a transcendental album in 2013, Within the Darkness between the Starlight. Since then, however, the project seems to have remained focused on the softer side of things, with 2015’s Momenta quintae essentiae and following shorter releases. All of their catalogue displays the same high standards of quality despite the genre change. The newest comers are the first two parts of Wildflowers, … Read more
Chamber music is, by definition, classical music played by a small group of instruments, where each member has its own independent partition to play. For example, string quartets and your usual metal band can, technically, be considered chamber music groups. Due to the minimalistic nature of the formula, it’s where we see the most experimentation happen. Indeed, it’s easier to gather a few people to play weird, boundary-breaking music than to convince a whole orchestra to do the same. Texan band Vmthanaachth is a quintet comprised of two guitars, a viola, and two saxophones. That is, according to some pictures … Read more