Monthly Recommendations: December 2019

The Antistandard – All of Them! (Discordian)

The Antistandard is a Barcelona-based avant-garde jazz quintet conducted by saxophonist El Pricto and his graphic scores. Featuring established members of the contemporary music scene like guitarist Diego Caicedo, The Antistandard is a solid recording of new extreme music.

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Le Grand Sbam – Vaisseau monde (Dur et Doux)

You want it short?: Le Grand Sbam is basically Poil orchestra.

You want it a bit longer?: Vaisseau monde is an avant-prog gem featuring the core members of Poil plus singers Jessica Maresco and Marie Nachury, vibraphonist Mélissa Acchiardi, as well as a whole classical ensemble. The result is an absolutely mind-blowing progfest that will definitely be one of the most insane and best albums of 2019! Mandatory listen, or else it’s the goulag!

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Silent Fires – Forests (Ambitious Mindful Projects)

Pianist and composer Alessandro Sgobbio just released Forests, a collection of compositions for contemporary classical and electroacoustic quartet, under the name Silent Fires. The inclusion of electroacoustic elements into what is, for the most part, a modern classical record highlights the strength of this technique—which is now a genre by and of itself—and really helps to create different textures, unattainable by the acoustic ensemble. It’s a really surprising and enjoyable record.

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Gloss Coma – 002 (Black Mirror)

Jorge Elbrecht is an enigma. After releasing a brilliant progressive blackgaze record earlier this year as Coral Cross, here comes the second album under a different moniker: Gloss Coma. This project deals into astonishing darkwave, cold, industrial, and at times pure nostalgia (hear “Perish” for a prime example of this). Jorge is an incredible musician, eclectic and exploratory, and I’m really glad that his back catalogue gets such high-quality releases!

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Sasha Berliner – Azalea

New York-based vibraphonist and composer Sasha Berliner just released Azalea. First off, the vibraphone and nonchalant swing might give you a “dark jazz” feel, but the album gleefully explores various genres and headspaces, from the aforementioned soft, moody jazz to the modern, alternative one, there’s plenty to like on Azalea!

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Kimura – Kimura

Argentine sludgy mathgrind? Sure! Whatever! Out of all the amazing things happening in their sound, Ismael Pérez’s drumming is the one that hit me the most. It’s intense and varied and creative and I’m just blown away by these snare rim shots, they’re just so nasty! Seriously one of the most bone-breaking releases of the year, and, at over twenty minutes, is quite a long album for the genre. That means you get a lot of chaotic stuff (the best stuff)!

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Staghorn – Wormwood Ⅲ

Chicago band Staghorn has been a really nice late surprise to me! On Wormwood Ⅲ, the band brings their finest crafts and exposes us their quasi-apocalyptic anti-capitalist concept story in spoken word with accompanied post-metal soundtrack. This is an amazing release, it’s only too short!

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Loplop – Loplop (Gotta Let It Out)

Loplop is a newly founded free improvisation trio from guitarist Jon Lipscomb, bassist Dan Peter Sundland, and drummer Ole Mofjell. Their self-titled debut is outright incredible! They perform hectic, spastic, pugnacious improvisations that never seem to take a break. This is something I crave! It’s an exhausting album to go through, challenging the listener and daring them to keep going, but the reward is intensely gratifying.

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Shipley Hollow – Infinite Zest

Toronto-based math rock band Shipley Hollow just released an incredible EP of catchy odd-timed songs that follows up from their 2017 Eating the Entertainment and improves on its formula! The title itself is brilliant on its own, but the various tracks on the record, alternating between instrumental and vocal tracks, are great and a lot of fun so don’t miss out on it!

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Awes – Modern Love

Awes are awesome, Their 2018 demo already drew comparisons to Hella from me, and this one, their actual debut album, only goes further in all the things they were going for. Fans of aggressive math rock—not quite mathcore but close—this is a must!

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The Canyon Observer – Urn (Kapa)

“Urn”, the seventeen-minute avant-garde doom metal track presented here, is described as being a bridge between the more traditional material the band previously put out—like their album Nøll—and their future material. If I draw two points, with Nøll and Urn, and extrapolate to a third, I’m expecting some downright bizarre music (which I can’t help but anticipate eagerly). “Urn” is an astonishing, dissonant, apocalyptic masterpiece of what doom metal can be. I seriously cannot wait for further experiments to be unveiled!

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Monogamizer – Purgatory’s Hype Men

Monogamizer is a hard-to-define entity. It seems to me that “progressive death metal” carries too much of an Opethian vibe and longform propensity to correctly represent the band’s short and to-the-point compositions that are nonetheless rife with off-time signatures, modulations of all sorts, and unusual song structures on a death metal canvas. “Mathcore”, on the other hand, doesn’t qualify for the opposite reasons. So, imagine something between these two and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what they sound like. But, you know what’s better than that? Actually listening to them.

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Montecharge – Demons or Someone Else (Wooaaargh)

Switzerland, as I’ve said many times before, is a hotbed for really good blackened music, and Montecharge is only the latest example of this. Demons or Someone Else is an aggressive blackened hardcore album exploring creative ideas on the genre and its usual tropes. An album that deserves your attention!

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On January 1 2020, this entry was posted.
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