Prudent Primate – Aphelion
It’s not the first Prudent Primate album I find myself enjoying, although it’s my first time writing about them here. Aphelion is Bristol’s nu jazz quartet’s latest offering, and it’s also their finest! From their debut 2018 album through their 2019 EP, the band has honed its sound and sharpened their own grasp of what exactly works right for them, giving way to a considerable album with zero filler content; only good vibes and amazing musicianship.
The Central – Dentist
One of the nuttest mathcore bands out there just released a brand new surprise album: The Dentist! As you can expect if you’ve ever heard the band, The Dentist is spazztastic and femtoglobulic to a floven degree! If that sentence makes no sense to you, it emulates what you might find whet you hit the play button.
Ort – Imagine: Being an Animal
Some of the best math rock entities seem to come out of the guitar-and-drums duo. Ort is no different, and, after their 2017 self-titled, they’re back with a more fully fleshed-out follow-up called Imagine: Being an Animal. Not purely math rock by any means, the band draws heavy inspiration from noise rock and post-hardcore as well, giving something more straighforward in terms of rhythmics, but compensating with more energetic and driving riffs. It’s certainly a release that bodes well for the future of the duo.
Anatrofobia – Canto fermo (Aut)
What a weird and ingenious record this is, I have to say! Anatrofobia are back from a thirteen-year silence with Canto fermo, an experimental jazz record both daring and silent. One aspect of its complex personality is the unhinged creativity at the core of the compositions, showing no shame nor restraint as to its potential or capabilities. The other side is represented by the hushed, almost shy vocals of Cristina Trotto Gatta, barely audible, providing a deranging, eerie feeling that permeates through the whole album. The two parts really are what makes the album so fantastic.
Nihiloxica – Kaloli (Crammed Discs)
Nihiloxica sounds like Afrofuturistic dystopian electro music, but at its core, it’s a six-headed percussion ensemble from Uganda. I’ve greatly enjoyed their previous, shorter releases, but Kaloli is their first full-length. On the album, the band showcases what they do best: repetitive but evolving tribal beats where the past meets the future with dark synth lines, oppressive rhythms, and deranging soundscapes. It’s a massive success, and there is plenty to enjoy and dig into on the record!
Brandon Seabrook, Cooper-Moore, and Gerald Cleaver – Exultations (Astral Spirits)
Guitarist Brandon Seabrook is no newcomer to this blog. His style of playing and composition is uniquely bewildering and his participation with other musicians always memorable. This time, it’s a legendary trio with Cooper-Moore and Gerald Cleaver. Exultations, out on Astral Spirits, is a different kind of free jazz record, one only Seabrook et al. could achieve. It’s noisy, off-kilter, but weirdly balanced, which makes it all the more rewarding to listen to.
Maud the Moth – Ὀρφνή [Orphnḗ / Orphnē] (Nooirax)
Maud the Moth is the solo project of classically-trained singer and multi-instrumentalist Amaya López-Carromero. Her compositions cover a wide range of genres and styles, from folk to jazz to classical and more experimental and avant-garde srtylings as well. Ὀρφνή—which is the name of a Nymph, also known as Styx, who lived in Hades—is a creative and otherworldly album with glorious production and even better compositions.
Klô Pelgag – Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs (Secret City)
Klô Pelgag is spearheading the new art pop movement in Québec, with her idiosyncratic compositions, eccentric performances, and grasp of musical and lyrical components. Hopefully, her example will encourage many other artists to disregard boundaries. Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs, named after the village of the same name, is an exquisite pop album, sung in French, that plays with the abstract and absurd, the progressive structures and progressions, and with a large range of instrumentation providing a fitting backbone to the outstanding songs it harbours. Give it a listen, or ten, you shan’t be disappointed.
Neptunian Maximalism – Eons (I, Voidhanger)
Eons is, first and foremost, a trilogy. A three-disc monument transmuting doom metal, spiritual free jazz, and psychedelic music, just as the description mentions, in three steps: To the Earth, To the Moon, and To the Sun, about forty, thirty, and sixty minutes long respectively. As you can see and hear from the video, the band—a quartet formed of Guillaume Cazalet, Jean-Jacques Duerinckx, Sébastien Schmit, and Pierre Arese—doesn’t limit itself with traditional metal instruments, but also adds sitar, flute, saxophone, and various percussion to name but a few. The over two-hour spiritual voyage is truly something out of this world; heavy and psychotropic and spiritual. It comes out in June.
Sanggar Tripittaka – Ndag surye (Insitu)
One of the most amazing things I find with music nowadays is the reappropriation of traditional music and its recontextualization in today’s world. One such example of this is Sanggar Tripittakan‘s contemporary gamelan ensemble, playing the compositions of three modern gamelan musicians. The result is this beautiful amalgamation of Indonesian music, very lyrical, and off-putting to the Westerner’s ears. I’d strongly recommend consuming more gamelan and non-Western music, starting with this one, to develop your ear, open-mindedness, and comprehension. Just like spicy food, you can’t truly appreciate it unless you’re somewhat accustomed to it. I urge you go down that path, and this album is a marvellous starting point.