Oort Smog – Smeared Pulse Transfers (Sweat Band Records)
Oort Smog is the collaborative output of saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi, of Corima fame, and Mark Kimbrell, both of which also play in Upsilon Acrux. Needless to say, the release of this twenty-minute EP is long overdue! Coming out on 26 April, Smeared Pulse Transfers sees the duo at their best—performance- and creativity-wise—and it’s a most satisfactory snack while we wait for the next full-length of their main band(s). You can have an avant-goût of the [incredibly good] album with this live video, just imagine this with much better production value and some layering, which gives the feeling of listening to a trio or quartet at times! I don’t need to reiterate it, but I’ll do it anyway: this album is insanely great!
Serpents of Pakhangba – Serpents of Pakhangba (Vmbrella Records)
Serpents of Pakhangba is the latest creative project of Indian musician Vishal J. Singh, whom you’ll remember mainly for his primal band Amogh Symphony. With Serpents of Pakhangba, Vishal teams up with other high-level musicians to craft a totally different entity. Their sound primarily incorporates folk music from various traditions and an avant-garde take on modern technical metal, all sung in a conlang of Vishal’s own creation. “Invocation” bears its name well, introducing us to their world with an atmospheric drone piece, but it’s on “Thus Sings the Midwife of Planetary Transformation” that the journey really begins. It all starts out in a jazz fusion fashion, but things quickly escalate, and the whole twelve minutes is quite awesome! I’m totally excited to hear more!
White Pulse – The Fast and the Furious 9
Despite the album’s name, which makes it sound like a low-effort meme or parody, The Fast and the Furious 9 is a blast! Swiss trio White Pulse has put its best into making this gem of “noise jazz”. The electronics merge harshly with the sax and drums and the guitar more often than not is drenched in a wall of effects. Their compositional—or improvisational?—style is very much like a collage, somewhat akin to another crazy Swiss band: Five Pound Pocket Universe, although the latter dealt more into metal and grindcore. Buy this album for a musically surreal experience!
Rïga – Totem
Rïga is a contemporary electro-classical project centred on percussions by Bastien Jouvin. Totem is considerably shorter than their previous album, Reganèl, but the compositions herein seem to have taken a similarly considerable step up! More engaging and better produced, Totem is atmospheric and rhythmic, and it uses electronic music to create immense textures that became an intrinsic part of the experience. That’s a satisfying little EP to enjoy!
Mopcut – Accelerated Frames of Reference (Trost Records)
Mopcut‘s latest is a statement to modern electronic music and what can be achieved if you add just a little touch of jazz into it. Accelerated Frames of Reference is an intense but short full-length. It starts off with a bang on “Fictitious Forces”, but soon enough the noise, atmospheric, free, and experimental aspects of Mopcut’s character shine through and resurface to give us an exquisitely deranging time. Refreshing and disturbing.
Toned – La fête de Saint Michel
La fête de Saint Michel, out in February, is Toned‘s latest output. The Pennsylvania band deals in improvised music and noise rock, and their most recent effort is a stellar showcase of what they can achieve. The four tracks add up to over thirty-five minutes of uneasy, avant-garde improvisation laced with jazz, rock, and electronic music elements. If you’re looking for something new and wild, this is a good pick!