Floral – Floral
Everybody’s favourite math rock band is back with yet another eponymous release! Floral, the long play, features just over thirty minutes of new material from California’s tap rock sensation. Fans of the band will rejoice to see that the formula has gone unchanged. Enter for emotions and tappy licks!
ႢႨႭႰႢႨ ႫႨႵႠႻႤ (Giorgi Mikadze) – ႵႠႰႧႳႪႨ ႫႨႩႰႳႿႤႫႨ (Kartuli mik’rujemi) / Georgian Microjamz (Rare Noise)
You read that right: Georgian Microjamz is exactly what you think it is! Giorgi Mikadze, the keyboard player in 2017’s album of the century, Mikrojazz!, is back with boundaries-breaking new music. ႵႠႰႧႳႪႨ ႫႨႩႰႳႿႤႫႨ (Kartuli mik’rujemi) / Georgian Microjamz is a fusion of avant-garde jazz and traditional Georgian music. The fact that all of this album is designed and performed using xenharmonic theory is just mind-boggling. The various temperaments exploited on there are not just a gimmick, but truly serve the compositions. Thanks to guitarist David Fiucziyski and bassist Παναγιώτης Ανδρέου (Panagiṓtēs Andréou), who break no sweat burning through these unconventional tunings, the band is complete with masters of the craft. The album comes out on February 28, be sure to grab it, and be ready to see it on the year’s end list!
武士 (Bushi) – The Flawless Avenger (Infinity Entertainment)
Italian progressive rock quartet 武士 (Bushi) just released a new album. The Japan culture-fascinated band follows the book of the samurai, the 葉隱 (Hagakure), as inspiration for its music. On The Flawless Avenger, Bushi used a few uncommon techniques that add a layer of depth and mysticism to their music. First, all the lyrics on the album are haiku based on chapters of the aforementioned Hagakure. Since haiku are very short poems, they are repeated many times over the course of a song, which makes for a nice motif-like theme. Second, the guitar is played in an all-G tuning; yup! all strings are G strings. This undoubtedly creates an interesting limitation when it comes to playing, and indeed it ends up rather interestingly, when you pay some attention to the riffs, chords, and voicings that are possible. Finally, it’s a really good album, filled with ear hooks and banger riffs.
The Conjuration – Gospel
The Conjuration is a progressive blackened death metal one-man band from Virginia, and Gospel just came out. This new album is a logical continuation of their previous efforts; it’s, in a lot of ways, more: more extreme, more progressive, more disjointed (as a positive quality), and better produced. It’s a manic fever dream, descending into insanity as it goes along, and it’s marvellous for that!
Masaa – Irade (Traumton)
Masaa is a German quartet fusing Eastern and Western music traditions into a beautiful, esoteric, transcendental unity. Irade at times borrows the sounds of Iberia, the Maghreb, the Caucasus, and many more, but nevertheless, as a whole, it sounds coherent and uniquely magnificent. That’s an album to make you voyage!
Doctor Nerve – Loud
Doctor Nerve is a nonet. You probably first imagine a nonet playing lush jazz ensemble music, but Doctor Nerve instead channels that energy into making harsh experimental jazz-metal (which is all for the better!) The six tracks on Loud are, indeed, loud, but also intensely rhythmic and creative with their orchestration, harmonization, and the way they’re generally written out. It’s unfortunately pretty short, at under twenty minutes, but it’s definitely a good time while it lasts!