That’s the People’s mini-review! Well, mostly, anyway… Thanks for pointing out many of our lacunas in music knowledge! To another great year of music discovery!
Shabaka and the Ancestors is a band from Johannesburg, fronted by tenor saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings. The aim of Wisdom of Elders is to create British jazz through South African musicians, with their own, very different experience with music. The result is an entrancing seventy-six minutes of jazz that’s, yes, very British, but that’s also slightly ethnic and always true to the musicians’ origins. Truly, a must for the jazz passionate.
Lerdo is a Chilean progressive mathcore band, and Royal estampida was released on the twelfth of December. Oddly enough, it only seems to be available on Youtube, at least for now. Their mathcore infuses bits of post-rock as well, in the way the songs are built, sometimes. The feeling I get from listening to this album is that of a more indie, proto-Dillinger Escape Plan band. So, it’s not as rhythmically experimental or as well-oiled a machine as the American band is, but it’s definitely an interesting release from a South American group. Although I compare it a lot to another band, Lerdo does make its own original thing, and it’s very good.
Yeah, I overlooked it. GoGo Penguin‘s Man Made Object is, simply put, a magistral jazz record. It’s emotional, contemplative but also very participative, tightly-knit and masterfully composed. I don’t think there’s anything I could say that hasn’t been done, as it has received a lot of critical acclaim, already. Go and listen for yourselves.
Romanian post-rock band Am fost la munte și mi-a plăcut just released The BlueCat Studio Sessions, a short set of three songs – including only one new composition -, performed live at the studio from which the EP draws its name. The new song, ‘Nu faci dumneata ordine la mine în birou’, is perhaps the most interesting one, and will be on the band’s upcoming album. So, that’s another thing to which to look forward! If you didn’t get their 2016 release yet, it’s time to get it!
Nitkowski is a strange beast. Effortless Charm is just like an upside-down version of today’s math rock scene. Instead of being bright and consonant, like CHON, for example, it thrives on dissonance and unease. This only makes it that much more interesting. The album has a sort of grunge carelessness that adds to its [effortless] charm, and is downright hypnotic to listen to. It’s an interesting album that will get many of my hours.
Japanese band 兀突骨, or Gotsu Totsu Kotsu (Collision Bones) is really a roided-out death metal act. 兵ドモガ夢ノ跡, or Hei domoga yume no ato (Where Warriors Once Dreamed a Dream), came out in November, and is really one of the most extreme death metal albums of the year. The tempi are high, the guitar is in full tremolo-picking mode, the bassist slaps right in your face, and the singer spews out lyrics in sixteenth notes. On top of that, the production is excellent and a well-appreciated step up from their previous releases. If you want some extreme death metal, Japan is the place to go.
Autocatalytica is brewing some amazing avant-garde deathgrind. Vicissitudes – which is also available in instrumental – is the group’s sophomore full-length, and they reached a level of magnificence that’s just grossly incandescent. This album has tons of character as well, and that’s thanks to the very unique vocals that are laid on it. Maybe they won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but, if you like them, you’re in for a wild ride. It’s just a mind-blowing experience!
Californian band Vrtra – unless it’s VRTЯΛ, if we’re to believe the cassette cover art – oozed out a thick black fluid that they called My Bones Hold a Stillness. The band plays what could be labeled as progressive blackened doom, and if that genre tag doesn’t sound awesome enough on its own, let the music convince you. It’s only slightly over thirty minutes long, but the EP does a great job of demolishing the surrounding atmosphere and tainting it with the dark. It’s a fantastic and heavy album!