Best of Classical 2021


Contemporary classical is a Pandora’s box. You don’t know what you’ll find, and you have no idea how it could affect you! The new classical composers are always after something new, on the brink of knowledge and theory, they’re like post-doctorate fellows, and I’m sure some of them actually are! So, new compositions are fascinating, but new recordings of modern composers or even older ones can be truly satisfying as well. And on top of that, there’s another branch of composers; they might not be after a new sound, and don’t tread old ground either, but rather make new music … Read more

Dan’s Top 31 Albums of 2020

A bit late to the party, but here we are, nonetheless.

Let’s get the obvious out the way first. 2020 was a bad year, and this did have a knock-on effect with the amount of music that was released as well. While I personally would not say we had any absolute gamechangers this year, that doesn’t mean the year was an absolute waste. (At least, not in this one regard…) It was enough to bring me back from the dead, after all.

I may not have the same mettle for metal as Matt, nor the same dedication to deathlessly digging … Read more

Devin Townsend – Empath

Devin Townsend is an artist that has always been hard to classify. Releasing such a wide range of music, from death metal, to ambient, to new age, to progressive rock, to country. But to be confined to just one genre wouldn’t be Devin Townsend. Which is why he lets it all out on Empath, jumping from style to style at whim, and creating something truly unique as a result.

I reviewed the last Devin Townsend Project (DTP) album Transcendence back in 2016 saying it took Devin’s sound to a new level. Now that I reflect on it, that … Read more

EXCLUSIVE STREAM: Kurushimi Feigns Ignorance on What Is Chaos?

Sydney’s improvisation grind-jazz ensemble Kurushimi—or 苦しみ—is a strong musical statement since their self-titled debut in 2016, which I pretty much adored. Whether you call it directed improvisation or a musical game, they fear nothing and owe nothing to anyone.

With What Is Chaos?, the act sees Andrew Mortensen at the helm, and a revolving (and impressive) set of improvisers on their respective instrument. In over an hour of new music, they make hints to many respected and beloved (and sometimes obscure) musicians; from John Zorn to the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble to even … Read more

Laudare – d.é.o.m.é.

The Music

The Words

Life is a neverending game of catchup, recently demonstrated with Ryorchestra‘s overdue review, and today is Laudare‘s turn. d.é.o.m.é. was released in July and completely flew under my radar. The reason being that the band’s main music genre on bandcamp is “alternative”, a category I seldom if ever survey. I think it would do the band a great favour to change this to “metal”, and then complete with appropriate genre tags. But, in the end, the album has found its way to my ears, and I’m glad it did, because it’s phantastic.

The German … Read more