Monthly Recommendations: October 2020

Polymorphie – Claire Vénus (Compagnie 4000)

“A musical and allegorical digression of a romantic relationship.” That’s how the French experimental jazz quintet Polymorphie describe their most recent project, Claire Vénus. The album follows a series of poems and serves as a living soundtrack to it, which exacerbates the force of each medium exponentially. The kind of music Polymorphie plays is jazz, first and foremost, but it’s the hard-hitting, distortion-tangled, polyrhythm-loving kind. You know what kind. You know you love this. With the various poems, the album goes through a wide array of emotions, and it conveys them superbly. When it’s sad, it’s desperate, when it’s funny, it’s ingenious, and when it’s angry, it’s chaotic. It’s a simply stellar and brilliant album!

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The Sound that Ends Creation – Memes, Dreams, and Flying Machines

Texas’s Sound that Ends Creation is a one-man mathgrind operation with a bit (quite a bit) of zaniness thrown in. Think Diablo Swing, Zappa, Unexpect, and music dreamed on krokodil. Their previous album came out late last year, so this one comes less than a year after, but is an improvement on an already-successful formula. Just listen to “Slurp’n Up That Ice Cream Baby”—or any of the other singles really—to have a good idea of what to expect from it when it drops!

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Terms – Asbestos Mouth (Skin Graft)

Terms is an experimental math rock duo created by members of Yowie, Jitters, and Grand Ulena. As you can imagine, the fun of this album is wonder where it will take you next. With the truly amazing guitar and percussion work in there, you’re certain to be entertained for the whole thirty-five minutes of it!

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Lésions graves – Symposium

As you might have guessed by the name of the album, Symposium is heavily influenced by classical music. As you might have guessed by the name of the band, Lésions graves is playing metal music. The two together coalesce into a distinctly unique avant-garde black metal iteration that focuses heavily on polyphony, odd metres, and many other musical paradigms usually associated with classical music, be it from the various standard forms of it, or more contemporary artists and schools. The two guitars serve as the main vehicle of these ideas—they are everywhere, buzzing like bees with their specific distortion sound, relentless tremolo, and continuous interplay—but they are joined by the drums—which are very idiosyncratic as well, approaching the various themes and sections not unlike another melodic instrument and, rather than merely serve as a glorified metronome, joins the fun in a very Peartesque fashion. Symposium is remarkable and certainly one of the most striking metal albums the year has to offer.

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Cut the Alligator – Niopee’s Call (Musiques têtues)

And now for something different… Cut the Alligator is a French ten-member funk band redolent of the seventies, but with a definitely modern twist. It’s not usually the type of album that’s featured on this website, though we’re not new to funk, but I was so enthralled by the utterly infectious grooves and melodies that I just had to share my complete enjoyment with everyone! Do you long for a stellar album to jam and bring good vibes with it? Look no further.

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Autocatalytica – Powerclashing Maximalism

Remember Autocatalytica, which I tagged “avant-garde deathgrind” back in 2016? Well, the Torontonian one-man (?) band is back with Powerclashing Maximalism, and it’s about as amazing as its title. I’ve had a hard time tagging this one as well, but I think I’ll stick with the good ol’ catch-all “progressive metal”. Yes, it’s got mathcore; yes, it’s got deathgrind; yes, it’s got djent, so what am I to do? Find the common denominator, I guess! So, you’ll be treated with an incredibly high calibre product for all aforementioned genres (and more!) Fans of heavy music and multiple genres, jump right in and support this awesome artist!

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Convulsif – Extinct (Hummus)

Out next month is Swiss jazzcore band Convulsif‘s newest opus, Extinct. You can tell straight away from the singles available that they are not messing around: odd metres, distorted bass, blaring saxophone, and blasting drums make for the perfect storm. The hidden player here is the violinist, often high up in extreme treble zone, where the wild shredding of the violin merges with the cymbals and other overtones to supplement the noise and cacophony of the record. Perhaps it is just a place where I don’t often focus my attention, but nevertheless it gives the record yet another layer of insanity. It’s a marvellous album!

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The Pneumatic Transit – Magnetic Therapy, Volume Ⅰ

Do you remember Jeff Zampillo? The name might—or mightn’t—ring a bell to some. He was part of the iconic Exotic Animal Petting Zoo band, back in the day. Well, The Pneumatic Transit is his new project, and we’ve talked about it before! Magnetic Therapy is another step in striving for the perfect balance between composition and improvisation, and was recorded directly to tape for that analogue effect and bragging rights! Yet again, Jeff is joined by a myriad of talented and stupendous musicians for this record, who each insufflate life into the project, the compositions, more than what one man alone can achieve, that’s for certain. This team effort is a glorious success which resulted in three tracks that are rather long-form and very powerful! Be sure to mark October 29th to listen to this beast once it drops!

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On November 1 2020, this entry was posted.
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