Lou Kelly – From the Vault: Sore Losers (avant rock, cut and paste metal)
Brand new from Lou, we are presented a skillful and relentless experiment in stylistic mish-mash. As a freebie “gift” release of former contest-entry songs, this one cuts between metal flourishes, quirky Elfmanesque themes, square wave breaks, so many idiosyncratic genre motifs, and even a borrowed melody or two. Both performance and production are solid here, something we’ve come to anticipate from Lou. With disjointed diversity it manages to achieve some sort of cohesion in that you never really know what to expect, so nothing ever seems out of place. A release I would strongly recommend to (or gently cram into the ear-holes of) fans of Mr. Bungle and Fantômas.
Zajwert – King Midas Has Donkey’s Ears (electroacoustic, musique concrète)
From Warsaw, Poland label/arts collective BAS.Kolektyw—King Midas Has Donkey’s Ears is a solo recorded effort built on the premise of layering acoustic instrumentation and prepared piano against myriad electro-sonic experiments: radio frequency manipulation, assorted miking techniques of various resonant objects, “vacuum cleaners with attached harmonicas”, etc. The result is an engaging bit of almost-music with a playful nature made even more obvious by its novel packaging—physical copy is a bright blue cassette wearing a concrete brick for its case and bolted-on metal name plate as album cover. Lovely.
Sick Boss – After You [B-Side] (folk jazz, jazz rock, improvisation)
Released January, 2019 but actually a B-side from their 2017 self-titled album, this seems to be a lightly composed instrumental jam session. A live-sounding production lends itself well to the earthy nature of the nine and a half-minute piece. The melodic interplay gives off a vibe reminiscent of Belarusian RIO band Rational Diet. Rather subdued with just a modicum of restrained, sleepy background tension, this is a less rambunctious effort than much of the full-length from which it was omitted. Fans of tech jazz or bonkers improv squalling may prefer to take a pass, but if you tend toward a more rootsy, subliminal listening experience, After You might be your jam.