Brian! – Cataclysmic Engine (Nefarious Industries)
What if you replaced the bassist with a bassoonist? Well, Brian! answered this question in 2010 with their debut EP EEE. Twelve years on, the New York power trio has mastered its peculiar sound and grown more confident, more adventurous, and more certain. With the Cataclysmic Engine, you can hear the idiosyncratic sound of the bassoon, somewhere between electric bass and synthesizer during the riffs and a genuine woodwind instrument during solos. I love this instrument, and I’m really grateful that such a band exists! Be sure to check out this new album and go see the band if you have the chance!
Trevor Dunn’s Trio Convulsant & Folie à quatre – Séances (Pyroclastic)
No need to introduce the legendary Trevor Dunn, really. He’s back with his Convulsant trio—alongside guitar virtuoso Mary Halvorson and drummer extraordinaire Ches Smith—for his new avant-garde jazz album, Séances. The album has been recorded with the strings & winds quartet Folie à quatre, which really adds character to the whole album. As you can expect from the three alumni of Tzadik Records and John Zorn, it’s an album out of the ordinary. It’s strange in all the right ways, and if you’ve listened to any previous album from Trevor Dunn, you know you’ll love this.
Miriodor – Éléments (Cuneiform)
Alright, I know I’m from Québec, and it’s a shame I didn’t know this band existed before their release of Éléments on Cuneiform. This band of madmen has been around since 1980, and this is their tenth album, and, possibly (but hopefully not) their last! Their brand of avant-prog is the eclectic kind; always hopping from one scene to another, kind of like switching channels on the television. If you like to be whiplashed around, you’re going to love this!
Oiseaux-Tempête – What on Earth? (Que Diable ?) (Nahal)
You can read my thoughts on Oiseaux-Tempête here, with my review of From Somewhere Invisible, so I’ll try not to repeat myself. With What on Earth—French title: Que Diable ?—Oiseaux-Tempête hone their uncanny post-noise rock sound to get the sharpest edge in this cinematic scene. Similarly to Bruit ≤ or the Black Heart Rebellion, it’s like a soundtrack to a movie, imagined or not, and it’s one that transports you, travels you through landscapes, cities, betrayals, discussions… It’s a truly poignant masterpiece.