동양고주파 (Dong-yang-gozupa) – 곡면 (Gogmyeon) / Surface
Not unlike fellow Korean musicians in 잠비나이 (Jambinai), 4인놀이 (Sainnol-i), 호나 (Hona), 정가正歌 앙상블 (Jeongga Ensemble), and Tierpark, the purpose of 동양고주파 (Dong-yang-gozupa) is to merge traditional Korean music with modern Western styles. Here, the trio focuses on the 양금 (yanggeum, a hammered dulcimer), supported by bass guitar and drums (with the inclusion of traditional percussion as well). Their compositions take the form of post-rock and progressive rock and are a great vessel for the yanggeum to shine. Take a listen to their album for some sweet sounds!
Alexandra Grimal – Nāga
Hot off the release of her improvised duo with Joëlle Léandre, let’s rewind a little bit to March of this year. This is where Nāga was released. Nāga is a transcendental double album of avant-garde jazz brilliance played by a septet of outstanding musicians. If you start listening to “Inti”, you get a compressed version of what to expect from the rest of the disc within the first few minutes: ethereal atmospheric passages, tupletful Zappaesque black pages, and a solid grasp on storytelling and musicianship that’s pretty much unmatched. You need to go back to this album; it’s so unique and great.
Diploid – Glorify (Art as Catharsis)
Australian experimental grindcore act Diploid is back with yet another hard-hitting subversive manifest: Glorify. The twenty-four minutes of abrasive, noisy, brutal grind is truly something to experience. If you’ve liked the band’s earlier recordings, I don’t see why you wouldn’t this one; if you’re new to their game, check them out and enjoy being crushed into a paste.
Oiseaux-tempête – From Somewhere Invisible (Sub rosa)
Experimental post-rock band Oiseaux-tempête just released their newest deranging output. From Somewhere Invisible sounds a bit like Enablers, a noisier Swans, a more atmospheric Psychic Graveyard, or a less electronic Wreck and Reference. The thing is that they create atmospheric compositions with a lot of instrument effects and spoken word narration. Their 2018 album طرب (Tarab) marked me enough to write it in my “Best Of” post, and From Somewhere Invisible certainly continues on this tangent.
Tower Jazz Composers Orchestra – Tower Jazz Composers Orchestra (Over Studio)
With just over a CD’s capacity of original music, Italian collective Tower‘s self-titled double album is a substantial collection of pieces by the various composers in its ranks. The fifteen tracks on the album didn’t even exhaust the supply of musicians they have; if they had all written one piece, we’d have a twenty-four-track album that would probably barely fit inside two dics. Moreover, due to the disparate nature of a composers orchestra, some compositions sound like big band jazz songs, some others like avant-garde experiments, while others still are more akin to classical music than jazz. That makes for an amazingly diverse record that nonetheless keeps a high standard of writing and performing.
Ghost Rhythms – Live at Yoshiwara (Cuneiform)
French progressive ensemble Ghost Rhythms‘s long-awaited live album! I’ve got to say, their studio albums were highly impressive in their own rights, but this live rendition of their compositions is even more so… The project aims at playing around with rhythmic concepts, hence the name, and so it’s something that immediately appeals to me, an outed rhythmophile. This CD is filled to the brim with stellar performances and genius compositions. I mean, it’s on Cuneiform Records, so you know it’s quality, right? Moreover, I’m talking about it, so, go and do yourself a favour!