Data Pagan – Data Pagan
The stylized version of Data Pagan‘s self-titled debut album will probably break this page in many wonderful ways: D̷̖͇͇͔͒̑̌̄A̶͍̗̝͎̮̼̩̰̻̙͓̦̟͋̒̎̂̔͆̄̽̽͒́̌͂̑̔͜Ṭ̴̑̊̒̅̎̔̕͝A̶͕̹̮̫̻̲̯͓̿̏́͐̈́ ̸̟̌́̓̕P̶̢̪̫̬̦̺̪͎͇͕̳̠̳̿̓͛̒̌͒̃̒̑͐̾͌̈̕͘͜ͅA̸̢̡̨̛̛̯̫͔͍̺̮͙͓͂͗͆̋͛̓͘̕ͅĢ̷̢̛̜͇̗̻̼͍͕͇̟̯͒́͆̃́̾͊̑͝ͅA̴̧͖̝̬̻̬͍̣̲̐͗̓̋́̓͊̏̃̅́͗̓͌Ņ̷̢̨̪͕͈̹͍̬͑̃͋͘. Coming from the same master brain as Zombieshark!, Data Pagan takes the glitch aesthetics and artificial aspects of cybergrind to impressive heights. I once said that the album sounds like a less gorey, but still as fantastically contorted, as Mulk, which is high praise. This is quite a fun album!
Far Corner – Risk
The newest of Far Corner is finally here! Risk came out via Cuneiform Records, and it’s one hell of a ride! The group’s chamber music meets avant-prog approach is here further improved upon. It’s no surprise, then, that Far Corner is going to end up on many lists at the end of the year. Ah, I should stop lying to myself, the best of musics are always hidden beneath six feet of dirt, so you should probably expect much more mediocre releases on this year’s album of the year lists. I’ll be happy if I succeed in helping one person discover this here album, however. So, please take my word for it, and listen to this amazing album, reminiscent of King Crimson and Gentle Giant, and some Zeuhl artists as well!
Casey Golden – Atlas
Atlas is the latest release from Sydney pianist Casey Golden. With a quartet, Casey composes and plays some marvellous songs. Atlas is very soft and, at the same time, quite pervasive. The use of dissonance is well balanced and subtle, not with the goal of challenging the listener, but instead of being slowly approached by it. Atlas is rough and spiky, at times, but purposefully so, and the moments at which it is feel so “right”. Tasty.
Ottone Pesante – Apocalips
“Heavy brass metal” gives you all the elements you need to guess into what you’re headed. Italian band Ottone Pesante is back with its third release. The group is a trio comprised of trumpet, trombone, and drums. Thanks to either pedals or studio tricks (or both!) the band feels like at least a brass quartet, perhaps even a bigger ensemble, at times. On Apocalips, blast beats and brass is a match made in heaven—or hell, rather—to the benefit of all of us weirdos who adore this kind of experimentation. The first brass metal album? No. The best? Perhaps, but certainly one of the best that this kind of experiment has yielded so far.
Oscob – Junkie
This album is a real journey. German electronic artist Oscob just put out Junkie, a musical hourlong story putting us in the metaphorical mind of a drug addict. Spoiler alert: it’s a losing fight. The album starts upbeat and clear with breakcore and drum and bass influences, but slowly falls into deeper and deeper layers of harshness. The sonic experience is in constant renewal as it gradually becomes torn and disfigured, until the utter annihilation of “Total Self Destruction”. Cathartic.
Louis de Mieulle & Matt Garstka – Outside the Square
This pair’s second collaboration, the sequel to the amazing Dual EP, is quite different. This time around, the two astoundingly creative musicians take progressive rock and jazz fusion into more synth-heavy territory. Without mentioning the overused “synthwave” tag, Outside the Square successfully demonstrates some sweet electro-jazz fusion not unlike Tigran Hamasyan (imagine him playing keyboards instead of grand piani). Each composition has interesting hidden meanings (read the liner notes!) and has been conjointly made by Matt and Louis, respectively taking care of rhythm and melody. Truly fabulous one!
Azusa – Heavy Yoke
On Heavy Yoke, Azusa liberates their vision in one jaw-dropping and deft movement. The female-fronted melodic mathcore band, made with people from The Dillinger Escape Plan and Extol, resembles the latest effort of Rolo Tomassi a bit, without aping it or suffering from the comparison. Heavy Yoke is full of energetic riffs, fun time signatures, and explosive vocals. Thanks.
Zela Margossian Quintet – Transition
Armenian jazz might not be something you hear every day, if I assume you are one average reader from this website. It is therefore a great opportunity to be acquainted with the genre! Zela Margossian Quintet‘s Transition, coming out on the thirtieth via Worlds within Worlds, showcases high-calibre jazz with middle-eastern roots, most prominent in the choice of the scales and the instruments played on the album. The end product is a brilliant world fusion release, don’t miss out on it!
He Was Eaten by Owls – Inchoate with the Light Go I
At long last, the follow-up to the revered Chorus 30 from Blues for the Hitchhiking Dead is here, and I can say He Was Eaten by Owls don’t disappoint. Inchoate with the Light Go I is intricate—contrapuntal melodies and loaded harmonies interweave over complex rhythmic patterns—and lush—the variety of instruments used goes from acoustic guitars to pipe organs and from synthesizers to choirs, and many unnamed in-betweens. At under thirty minutes in length, there is no room for less than stellar moments. Everything on the album shines and is arguably perfect. Get this album!