Sinularia – Subwater Beats
What if you mixed wonky beats hip-hop, jazz, and AAL-style compositions and technique? Well, you get Sinularia. The unique character of the music that’s shown on Subwater Beats is utterly fascinating. The band consists of a drummer, a double bassist, and an electric guitarist. All of them seem very fond of effect pedals and post-production shenanigans. Regarding the composition, the songs move from one section to the next like tides ebb and flow, and it’s a real rhythmic challenge at times to decipher what’s going on. It’s real fun when bands make rhythm their main focus, and we see the happy result here. Do not miss this!
Sonic Assault – Neon-Lit Metropolis
The obnoxious advertisement ensigns, shiny from the rain, travel conspicuously of their own volition through the steam emanating from various exhaust vents from the slender, organic-looking spires that dot the city. Through the apartment window, amid cigarette smoke and wafts of cheap take-out food, a cybernetic arm grabs a glass of whisky, gently, and brings it to its owner’s lips… The year is 2077, and this guy is blasting Sonic Assault’s Neon-Lit Metropolis, perhaps the only cyberpunk-themed progressive thrash metal album out there. And it’s a blast! Maybe I’m overreaching with these Cyberpunk 2077 references, but this Swedish band’s whole deal is about AI, cyborgs, corruption, and nihilism. Maybe a more just amalgamation would be Judge Dredd, Cyberpunk, and Blade Runner. And if that’s not your thing, then just come for the music, because it’s killer!
Mad Fellaz – Road to Planet Cyrcus
Paraphrasing their Bandcamp description, Road to Planet Cyrcus is a turning point for Mad Fellaz. Instead of continuing with their (very good) flavours of progressive rock, this album takes aim at jazz fusion, funk, Afrobeat, and other “black music callbacks”. Well, the result speaks for itself: while I enjoyed their previous output, I’ve got to say that RTPC truly hit a soft spot for me. At some point, you might hear similarities to Toto’s Africa, progressive funk from the seventies, or even Japanese music. Maybe the goal behind the album is to tickle your nostalgia, a sense of yearning, Sehnsucht. And this is achieved quite critically, as Mad Fellaz make you long for and groove to never-before heard licks that you somehow instinctively know. It’s a great album!
Xiranda – Sulla Terra
I don’t know if you remember the time I wrote about Pás de problème or Insultanes, but you’ll be among friends with Xiranda. This Mexican group fuses together Latin music with musics from all around the world: Balkan folk, flamenco, klezmer and Gypsy music, you name it! While it’s got less of a punkish attitude than Insultanes, and less of a klezmer fix than Pás de problème, Xiranda focuses more on the intimacy and similarities between all of the world’s folkloric traditions to combine them in harmony. It’s less flashy, but feels that much more heartfelt.