Backxwash, Adapar, Cydemind, and Horse Lords

Backxwash – His Happiness Shall Come First Even though We Are Suffering

Backxwash—Montréal-based rapper Ashanti Mutinta—just released their new album: His Happiness Shall Come First Even though We Are Suffering, the final part of the trilogy that began with 2020’s God Has Nothing to Do with This Leave Him Out of It. So-called “horror rap”, this is some real heavy hip-hop on the more experimental side of things. I mean, it’s got features from Pupil Slicer (mathcore) and Ghais Guevara (another experimental hip-hop artist I like), so I’m already sold on it! As dmaestaz puts it so brilliantly in their own review on Bandcamp, “Backxwash and Pupil Slicer was the collaboration that we didn’t know we needed so badly.” Yeah, hip-hop and metal are worlds that rarely collide, but when they do, that’s the end of all time. Are you ready? Yeah, I’m ready. Are you goin’? Yeah, I’m goin’.

Adapar – Adapar (Iluso)

Álvaro Domene and Álvaro Pérez are two musicians that I highly regard and respect. They’ve released incredible music, time and time again. Previously, the two released Zodos and Radical Accretion, but now they’re back with a new project: Adapar. This project takes the furious improvisations the two are known for and digitizes them along with electronic instruments and production; a new sort of jazzgrind rarely seen before. It’s not something you’d want to put during a dinner with some friends, unless they have been thoroughly and expressly forewarned of the incoming intrusion. But, I’m encouraging you to listen to it for yourself first and foremost.

Cydemind – The Descent

Montréal’s Cydemind is an instrumental progressive metal band, avec violon, s’il vous plaît. They really hit hard with their 2017 album Erosion, and they’ve taken those five years to improve on their formula. To be clear, nothing had to be changed, give me long-form song structures filled with creative riffs, modulations of all kinds, exchanging solos, and lyrical melodies, and I’ll enjoy the hell out of it! Yet, I can’t deny that the quality is higher than ever. I’m sure that, behind the scenes, there has been a lot of cuts and changes to these compositions, to make sure that only the best come through to the final product. That’s certainly a rational practice, but it seems less and less common at large, and it’s reassuring to see them stick to it and provide the first line of quality control. Now be sure to listen to this album!

Horse Lords – Comradely Objects (RVNG Intl.)

Horse Lords are known as the just intonation psychedelic/experimental rock band. They’re not the first, but they definitely have the greatest mix of quality and output. Unlike some other groups, they release new albums on a somewhat regular basis, and with no compromise with regards to the “goodness” of them. On Comradely Objects, they’re back with a focus on repetitive, hypnotizing rhythms, unfamiliar harmonic language, and an air of revolution. One way to make the unfamiliar familiar is to assiduously sitting down and listening, taking in, all these JI intervals, so uncommon in the present world, yet so enthralling once you get to know them personally. Tell them I said hi.

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