Matt’s Albums of the Decade, Part 1: #190 through #101

At the beginning of this decade, I lugged around not one but two binders of physical compact discs which I had purchased with money in order to listen to music I enjoyed. This rapidly became consolidated onto an iPod, which held thousands of albums, some of which I had purchased with money, giving me access to anything I already enjoyed at any time. Then a few years ago, I lost this device, which permanently changed my listening habits. I switched to carrying around an older iPhone with very limited space, so even with the streaming power of Tidal (yes, TidalRead more

Kamancello – II: Voyage

Comprising Canadian cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne and Iranian kamanche player Shahriyar Jamshidi, Kamancello is the fruit of collaborative improvisation, with the dynamic skill sets of each player bouncing off each other in unique and enchanting ways. Weinroth-Browne has, in a sense, the more challenging job of delicately balancing low-end rhythmic richness with melodic lead performance and harmonization; Jamshidi, with all his talents, is restricted to the higher range of his kamanche (think Persian violin) and thus contributes almost exclusively higher leads and harmonies. The duo juggles their three modes (kamanche leading, cello leading, dual harmony leads) with precision and aplomb. Coming … Read more

Warforged – I: Voice

Consider the metal albums over the last decade or so that have received near-universal acclaim from critics and fans. The names that come to my mind include such releases as Vektor’s Terminal Redux, Mgła’s Exercises in Futility, and Rivers of Nihil’s Where Owls Know My Name. One common thread among these crowd-pleasers is that they tend to be a band’s second or third album; they’ve taken a couple of releases to find their footing and refine their sound, then it all finally comes together a few years into their career. Comparatively, very few bands … Read more