Mini-Reviews LXVIII

Looprider is a Japanese post-rock band who just delivered Umi, a twenty-five-minute song and EP. A little something special about the band is the fact that they have two drummers, a thing that is usually seen in more experimental genres. This piece is quite interesting; it build up momentum throughout its pretty long structure, and manages to take a few detours, left and right, to sprinkle the journey with slightly odd but interesting moments. It’s mostly instrumental, but features some calm vocals too.
MRW (pronounced em-er-vu) recently released Gwarectwo “Hrabia Renard” rok 1934, a twenty-two-track EP of mad avant-prog bordering with experimental jazz and zeuhl. With an average running time of a little more than one minute, each song has little time to expand and develop its themes, but the showcased compositions are very interesting as they are and represent quite a challenge, musically. I’ll be sure to delve into their previous releases and keep an eye out for their future ones.
Kebba Susso is a jally – a kora player -, and his latest album, Banjul-London, was released in January. The kora is a mix between a [double] harp and a lute from West Africa, and has more than twenty strings! It sure looks quite daunting to play. Kebba Susso’s album is a near perfect example of jazz world fusion. The traditional beats are intricate, often in odd-time signatures and with lots of syncopation, and the songs feature plenty of space for solos from many instrumentalists. It’s my go-to world fusion example!
Nadia Reid is a folk singer-songwriter from New Zealand. Her first album, Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs has really struck a cord with me, and I’m happy to present the followup: Preservation. The songs are very calm, soothing, sometimes almost haunting. I’d put that album besides Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell, for overall vibe, but then again my singer-songwriters knowledge is quite limited. Really recommended if you need some heartbreaking melodies.
아이즘 IJM is a South Korean group making some pretty cool world music and ethnojazz. There seems to be quite a lot of improvisation into the songs, and the instrumentation is quite diverse, ranging from sitars to West African flutes and percussions to electric bass guitar. Kali Dance is a superb album!
Flicker Rate is the project of Irish musician Spencer Bassett, and it’s releasing the second EP of the ‘EP trilogy’, Reframe, on March tenth. Between post rock, shoegaze, and math rock, the EP deals very good, if a bit simplistic, songs, for a total length of eighteen minutes. It’s an interesting and worthy project that’s sure to evolve a lot as it grows!
Going Home is the latest album from French post-rock band The Random Monsters. The instrumental band is joined by various singers on this album to complete the lineup and give us bone-chilling performances. Their music remains pretty quiet and minimalistic for most of the time, but knows how to kick in when asked for. Of particular note is the twenty-minute epic ‘No Church’: it’s the one truly instrumental song, and I think it’s the best track of the album. Be sure to check this out!

Legendary band Zu has finished working on their next album, Jhator, which is planned for an April seventh release. The forty-minute album has only two, very extensive tracks, but they are a real journey. Taking a step into a different territory for the band, this album is very ambient and based on drone and world music quite a lot. It’s going to be a new sound, but it’s still very well made and much deserving your time.
Behind their self-important-looking name, French band Tone Squad delivers some tasty jazz rock fusion grooves on their first EP, Legacy. It’s not the release of the century, but it sure does serve some quality dishes and, to be fair, the guitar’s tones are actually great! In the end, it’s a fun, short, and interesting EP with which to be presented!

On March 5 2017, this entry was posted.