John Ghost – Airships Are Organisms (Sdban Ultra)
Upon first listening, Airships Are Organisms immediately made me reminisce Canadian prog act Glaswegians and the timeless Tubular Bells. This was perhaps only a temporary passage, but it was nonetheless present strongly in the opening piece, “Deconstructing Hymns”. In fact, the entirety of John Ghost‘s opus is highly diversified and masterfully crafted. As they put it, the album is “an exploratory symbiosis drawing on electronics, post-classical, cinematic atmospherics + jazz”, and I’ll have to agree with them. Airships Are Organisms draws as much from contemporary classical and jazz as it does, at times, post-rock and drone. It’s a truly stellar full-length that will be out in late September.
For Now – The Turning
The Texan modern jazz quintet For Now just released The Turning, their sophomore album, independently. The band follows singer and composer Isabel Crespo and her vision of aural arts, visual arts, and written arts. This takes the form of a wonderful album at the juncture of modern jazz and contemporary classical that’s accompanied by a physical zine that takes the place of the booklet, and the amazing lyrics of each song. In all, a gracious and rewarding album.
Hermann Nitsch – Albertina Quartett: Zweite Streichquartett in sechs Sätzen für zwei Violinen, Viola und Violoncello (Trost)
The Bandcamp page for Albertina Quartett is a bit dry. The only description reads the same as the album subtitle, which can be grossly translated to “Second String Quartet in Six Songs for Two Violins, Viola, and Cello”. The entire album fits on two discs, at one hour and thirty of run time, which makes it pretty substantial. It is, however, filled with creative ideas and interesting moments that make you think twice about what just went. One of the most striking moments for me was at the end of “Erste Satz”, where each player seems to go mad and play screeching high notes. My impression of this particular moment is that it was trying to mimic the whistling of the wind going through an old house. The whole album is quite amazing, droning on at times, at others surprising and abrasive. A gem of contemporary classical music for sure.
Vessels – Vessels
This odd new trio from Copenhagen just put out something I’m enjoying quite a bit! Vessels‘s self-titled debut brings, as so many have done before, the worlds of progressive metal and jazz together with their very own vision. The take of Vessels on this fusion is what distances it from the rest. Instead of targeting the technical proficiency of acts like Asymmetric Universe and Atrium, it uses more relaxed grooves focused on building an atmosphere and staying in it for a little while. “Dreadnought” is a stellar example of this. Vessels lives off of odd-time rhythms and languid sax wails. It’s a brilliant album from the emerging artists!
CP Unit – Riding Photon Time
Saxophonist and composer Chris Pitsiokos already is recommended by us for his previous, stellar album Silver Bullet in the Autumn of Your Years. This time around, he’s back with CP Unit for a live album. The way Chris writes is with the musicians first in mind. His compositions, as he puts it, are not how-tos, but rather where-tos. Thus, each play of a “composition” is a new and different journey, and that album represents one possibility among infinite parallel ones that has been captured and rendered to disc. Enjoy!