Simon Toldam Trio – Omhu (Ilk Music)
Omhu means “care” in Danish, and, as you can hear on Simon Toldam Trio‘s new album, it’s a well chosen name. The music that welcomes you upon arrival is slow… quiet… thoughtful… careful. It might be one of the most minimalistic efforts in modern jazz that I’ve heard recently, but, just like last year’s Animal Image, it strikes a chord with me, rather powerfully. It’s delightful.
Green Dome – Thinking in Stitches (Case Study Records)
Thinking in Stitches is a beautiful avant-garde masterpiece. The harp-piano-drums trio Green Dome is supplemented by various electronic devices and techniques to craft one of the most unique sounds out there. There’s that sounds quite like the electroacoustic pseudostochastic compositions of Green Dome. The harp is a woefully underexploited instrument, and it shines here above all else, in this formidable context.
Diarrheal Blast – Diarrheal Blast (Turgid Animal Records)
What I first thought of when hearing a few seconds of Diarrheal Blast‘s self-titled magnum opus, I was instantly reminded of Wozzeck‘s masterpiece—in my opinion—Act IV. While I now see the comparison as unfaithful, as well as the comparison with Lighting Bolt, Diarrheal Blast does have a vaguely similar “free noise-metal” agenda. The clarinet, drums, and “fecalizer” trio will definitely try to damage your eardrums, to your utmost pleasure.
Cheeto’s Magazine – Amazingous
Spanish art prog quintet Cheeto’s Magazine has recently unleashed its third opus, and it’s—if I might say—quite Amazingous. I was rather on the fence, at first, because the good-hearted melodies and general upbeat songs therein seemed to get a bit too predictable to my taste, until I reached the twenty-five–minute mastodon “Big Boy”, a stunning, powerful, epic, and variegated composition of tremendous proportions. So much so that it reinvigorated by esteem for the songs I first thought lacklustre. In hindsight, it’s all ear candy; well-written and deserving much praise.
Deathcrush – Megazone (Apollon Records)
I’m not generally big into punk music. However, there’s been a few interesting ones already this year (the other one coming out soon to a mini-review near you). Here, let me write about Deathcrush‘s upcoming Megazone. The album draws as much from alt rock as noise rock as post-rock, and that’s to the entire benefit of their general sound. It’s harsh and electronic, and at the same time perfidiously melodic to the point that some ear worms get stuck in my head—and I hate that feeling—but Megazone is a really good product. Coming out on March 8.
Marilyn Mazur – Shamania (Rarenoise Records)
Marilyn Mazur is a long time musician and feminist, having started her first all-female ensemble all the way back in 1978. On Shamnia, she recruited a plethora of musicians (nine) to play, interpret, and perform on a myriad of tracks (sixteen). One of the concepts behind Shamania is to conjure that primal energy, that tribal rhythm, which is successfully conveyed by up to four people on various percussions and drums at the same time. The upper layers of the ensemble—that of the brass, woodwinds, strings, keyboard, and vocals—is lush and highly potent, rightfully conveying their big band sound when the song demands. It’s a stellar album, get ready for it on February 22!