‘Mångata’ is one of those words that can’t be directly translated. Although one could argue that no word can be translated exactly, because the two words will carry different insinuations and complex networks with a plethora of emotions, meanings, and other words. However, Wiktionary describes this swedicism as ‘the roadlike reflection of moonlight on water’, which is better conveyed by the EP’s artwork than any description. From foreign languages to the musical one, the issue remains. It’s incredibly difficult to put music into words because each chord, each progression, each rhythm, timbre, pitch, length has an unfathomable amount of cultural … Read more
Milco is the most Animals as Leaders-like non-Animals as Leaders project I’ve listened to, recently. The debut EP of Raymond Milco, 練馬 (Nerima), is full of bittersweet technical djent riffs, with the common thumping, tapping, and advanced chords that are often lazily called jazzy. The twenty-odd minutes of the EP are made out of intelligent composition and ingenious ideas; the songs flow more intuitively than on The Madness of Many, AAL’s latest endeavour. Of course, Ray doesn’t come near the levels of virtuosity displayed by Messrs. Abasi, Reyes, and Garstka, the skills of Milco are more than appreciable and … Read more
Music is a wonky art form. It’s so ethereal and intangible, unlike poetry or sculpture. It’s just variations in the density of a medium – air, most of the time –: they pass you by and you try to grab enough to make sense of them. You don’t get a second glance, you can’t hold it and analyse it thoroughly unless it’s transformed; either as notation or spectrum analysis. That’s why, I suppose, the most popular forms of music keep their message simple; more people can comprehend what they’re experiencing. Even then, it’s messy, it’s blurry, and, most of all, … Read more
Sheen Marina describe themselves as a ‘surf-noise’ band. However, I think that’s doing their music a disfavour, as it cannot be completely covered by this umbrella term. In their upcoming album, Travel Lightly, there are also strong flavours of math rock and avant-prog, which can hardly be foreseen with the ‘surf noise’ label. This thirty-minute album consists of nine tracks with varying degrees of interbreeding with the other aforementioned genres, all over a pretty clear, reverb-drenched surf rock basis. ‘WYSC’, for example, is almost a straight-up math rock song, with complex rhythms and odd time signatures, while ‘Nose Ring … Read more
Coming all the way from Singapore, progressive indie rock band Sub:Shaman just released their most recent album, Apnea. Consisting of nine explorative tracks, this forty-five minute magnum opus intertwines a wide variety of genres into the band’s own style and vision. Progressive rock, math rock, indie, and jazz all partake in the melting pot that is Apnea. The alternative quintet will use scat singing, pulsating electronic notes, dissonant chords, odd metres, and seventh chords to their advantage, and it creates something greater than the sum of its parts. I didn’t remember why I followed this page on bandcamp, but … Read more
It’s not every day that you see a math rock quintet delivering an album that’s as whacky as the more experimental duos and trios out there, but that’s just what Los Angeles’ Featherwolf have done. Their eponymous debut album cooks bands like Doom Salad and Yowie and dissolves them into something less volatile, more manageable, but that still has a lot of angles and personality. Featherwolf isn’t for the faint of heart, you definitely need to like your rock spicy and varied. It’s a great, entertaining EP, and a promising start for the band!
The Mexican instrumental experimental metal trio Parazit recently released their newest album, Paradigm Paralysis. At first glance, you can already feel how the three are held together by the strong chemistry in the group. The overwhelming bass is front and centre, overdriven, and played aggressively. The drums are not too far behind, with their intelligent rhythms and careful timing supporting the stringed instruments in their wingless flight over strange territories. Last but not least, the guitar’s slew of effects help vary the sonic landscape and put in context the meanders of the bass and drums. The whole sounds like … Read more
Italian experimental progressive rock outfit Hibagọn just released their debut album, after two previous EPs in which they solidified their sound and personality. At forty minutes long, Polyposmic brings us a healthy dose of the mathematic prog duo. Focusing on fast-paced odd-time signatures, polyrhythms, and dissonant intervals, the creature by the name of Hibagọn is able to outdo its previous achievements. With the help of various effect pedals, guitarist Dowi is able to make us forget the fact that there is no bassist or complementary guitarist or keyboardist (except on ‘Orogenesis’ and ‘Zero’). Polyposmic is a fun time and a … Read more
The Mercury Tree is one of the rare bands that has managed to constantly grow and improve with every record they put out. On their fifth record, Permutations, they are barely recognizable as the same band that created their radio-friendly alt-rock debut nearly a decade earlier. Permutations is an extremely dense and challenging listen that demands and rewards multiple listens; it is one of the rare records which combines technicality and innovation with a strong emotional core.
Bandleader Ben Spees has been the only constant throughout the band’s discography, and he manages to be the lead vocalist, guitarist and … Read more
Jazz nerds are the best people to write math rock, it’s a fact. Case in point, the band Father Figure, which referred us to this wonderful new trio, themselves play some jazzy math rock that is sure to stick on the walls inside your head. Strobes features members from Troyka – another great jazz-math band -, and other bands I shall research into as soon as possible: Point X, and Three Trapped Tigers.
The only music from Strobes available for now comes in the form of live music videos, but they are professionally done and not recorded with a … Read more