Improvisation is the cauldron in which most great music is born, but for most musical acts it is just the beginning of the composing process. Some artists, though, are secure enough in their creative talents to make improvisation an integral component of their sound. The right musicians and framework can produce magic with this approach, and that’s precisely what a pair of internationally renowned string players have done on the self-titled debut album of Kamancello. If you like improvisation, chamber music, and portmanteaux, this is the album for you.
Kamancello juxtaposes the dynamic cello performance of Raphael Weinroth-Browne, whose … Read more
The Connecticut free rock duo Rivener sent me a message about their 2016 album, Svengali Gaze, about which I had mixed feelings – a sentiment I still hold. On September first, they released its successor in this self-titled package of about one dodrant-hour long. Here, I feel a stronger sense of vision and unity within the duo, which translates into semi-improvisations serving much more convincing purposes. The songs on Rivener are oddly reminiscent of Omniataxia‘s “Scatterwhite” in their construct and in their final forms. The band definitely borrows a lot from free jazz, but they apply their knowledge … Read more
Sometimes, we need to take a step back and take a listen to something that really makes you ask yourself “can this even be called music?” Of course, the answer is almost always a resounding “yes!”, but, to the neophyte’s ear, the answer might not be so clear-cut. Enters Sewing Circle, the project of Arturo, Noah, and Patrick – the latter of whom we already wrote about many times for his involvement in some of today’s wildest and most interesting musical projects – is, I believe, an improvisation-based experimental noise rock trio. The nearly thirty-minute EP is adventurous and, … Read more
Love Theme is Alex Zhang Hungtai and Austin Milne on saxophone, and Simon Frank. Love Theme, their debut album, is a languishing and bleak experimental jazz recording edited from improvisation sessions. The record is droning over almost all its runtime, with electronic music elements complementing the saxophonic exchanges. It’s melancholic and atmospheric, reflecting on the past and reaching within. There is nothing flamboyant about this release – it’s actually quite drab –, but in being so it goes straight to the point it wants to make: an ode and elegy to love. Through the slow burn of noise percussions … Read more
The scorching heat of the Arizona day, and the complementary soothing coolness of its night, is whence Sunn Trio emerges. Playing a punk-spirited, Arabic-music-tinged free jazz, the ‘trio’ release cassette recordings of their live performances since at least 2015, with Radiowaves. Their new, self-titled endeavour takes the form of a vinyl record. What baffles me is that there seems to be a whole lot of people credited for a trio… Indeed, there are no less than eleven players mentioned on bandcamp, making it rather close to the scope of a big band, but I suppose they would be guest … Read more
Out on July twenty-eighth, Meditations on Insignificance is the latest experiment by noise metal artists The Blight. This full-length release explores the Lovecraftian themes of cosmic insignificance and the nihilistic views that nothing we will ever do will matter the slightest bit in the end. Their approach to music consists of improvised noise layered with atmospheric pads and supported by an impressive display of drumming skills, not too far from an actual drum solo. Thematically, the album goes from small scale, with ‘Self’, to a gigantic one, with ‘Galaxy’. Themes that are exploited without uttering a single word – … 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
I’ve been a fan of Doom Salad for about a year or two now, just listening to their mind-bending experimental math rock compositions gave blisters to my fingers and cramps in my hands. However, instead of meticulously written and thoroughly thought about pieces, their newest EP, Sunscreens and Aerosols is four improvised tracks with titles drawn from a Twitter non sequitur spam account.
The songs stem from five recorded improvised tracks that were edited to keep the best parts and leave the bad ones, what resulted is fifteen minutes of music split into four distinct parts. The proficiency of the … Read more
I quite frankly wasn’t expecting that one… Over the very first listen there wasn’t much that just hit me. It wasn’t overly impressive and it wasn’t really “novel” in any way, but I kept coming back to listening to that album. I didn’t really know why, but there was something drawing me towards it. And now, after quite a bunch of listens, I can safely say that I really like the album. It’s good, well varied, nicely constructed, and the fact that it’s a live recording (with ulterior overdubs) makes it all the more interesting.
ITZAMNA‘s first single, Kiska, gives us a taste of what the EP, entitled “Metnal”, will be like. Verdict: It’s really promising! There’s the “clems6belio” vibe in there, but they’re a real talented and diverse band, so… I can only say that I’m looking forward to hear more from them, and definitely looking forward to their EP, coming out November 5!… Read more