Dark Ages – Dark Ages
Experimental math rock is a wild and wide genre. Latest in line is the New York semi-improvisational crew Dark Ages, whose approach to the sound includes doom, stoner, and punk influences. These translate well into challenging and fun music that’s harsh but oddly approachable.
Yossi Fine & Ben Aylon – Blue Desert
This trio (yes, it includes the unmentioned Lio Romano on keyboards) from Israel plays Middle-Eastern rock with all the microtonal mumbo-jumbo we’ve come to expect form such acts! The compositions on Blue Desert are sweet and sound quite close to the “world music” influence, more so than those from many other groups who cherish more the rock side of music. Great album that gives a genuinely change of scenery.
Changeling – II
From Minneapolis spews forth Changeling, a challenging black metal band channeling post-hardcore, atmospheric, and occult influences to craft a unique and compelling sound. Their pseudo-psychedelic rite conjures a hypnotizing set of chants that sound convoluted and dizzying. Great album!
Ground Heights – Ground Heights
Israelian Ethio-pop crew Ground Heights released this amazing album back in 2017, but I thought it’s never too late to discover it for oneself and spread our love for it. Ground Heights is an album of original compositions, plus one cover of Ethiopian singer መሀሙድ አህመድ (Mahmoud Ahmed), which is very reminiscing of Ethio-French project Ukandanz. This is a fine and very fun album to listen to! Enjoy!
Uboa & Muddy Lawrence – The Apple of Every Eye
Mash together the terms experimental and harsh and noise and doom and you’ve pretty much got The Apple of Every Eye, latest collaboration between Xandra Metcalfe and Reece Prain of Diploid fame. The album’s three songs cover a wide range of noise aesthetics and emotional textures that are as compelling as they are aggressive to those who dare hearken. This is foul, and very good.
The Aftermath – Vermine
Long after their 2012 EP, Meurs, Québec’s Aftermath finally decided to record and release new music under a new EP, Vermine. With six years separating them, the band’s sound changed and matured quite a lot. While I wasn’t a huge fan of their previous output, I have to say that this one made itself a comfortable nest inside my head. Vermine is much more tech-death-oriented, with dissonant death metal and mathcore influences rising to the surface in the centrifuge that is this album.
The Fractured Dimension – In the Precipice of Many Infinities
The Fractured Dimension is undoubtedly one of the most densely layered, thought-out, and complex symphonic progressive metal acts out there; the brainchild of keyboardist Jimmy Pitts. As an added bonus, drummer extraordinaire Hannes Großmann plays on this album, lending his incredibly skills to Pitts’ musical vision. As usual for this project, the orchestrations–mostly VST, but a violinist and a percussionist do appear in the credits–are lush, diverse, and creative. This is a stellar album!
Electric Coconut – Here It Comes
Raise the volume, not only because the mixing is a bit quiet, but because this album is made of absolute fire! Self-labeled as “ghost jazz” (I’ve seen this somewhere before…), the Idaho sextet actually plays what is a very pop music-oriented style of fusion jazz. I have to give high praise to Angel’s versatile voice and impressive range. One of the most jaw-dropping vocal moments lies in “Golden Hour” and its soulful falsetto near the three-quarter mark. Wow! Be sure to catch this [name-your-price] album and sit tight!
Cristiano Calcagnile – Stoma
Through We Insist! Records we can rejoice in the experimental jazz of Italian percussionist Cristiano Calcagnile. You guessed it, Stoma–stylized as St()ma–puts a strong focus on trying new things, with the drums as focal point for a lot of the time. The album is highly experimental in many aspects: “Segnali” is about harmony, noise, and timbre; “Tatoonomi” puts the focus back on percussions; and “Medicazioni liturgiche” is very free and percussion-heavy. All in all, Stoma is a great album for every fan of experimental and percussive music.
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