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

Kamancello – II: Voyage

Comprising Canadian cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne and Iranian kamanche player Shahriyar Jamshidi, Kamancello is the fruit of collaborative improvisation, with the dynamic skill sets of each player bouncing off each other in unique and enchanting ways. Weinroth-Browne has, in a sense, the more challenging job of delicately balancing low-end rhythmic richness with melodic lead performance and harmonization; Jamshidi, with all his talents, is restricted to the higher range of his kamanche (think Persian violin) and thus contributes almost exclusively higher leads and harmonies. The duo juggles their three modes (kamanche leading, cello leading, dual harmony leads) with precision and aplomb. Coming … Read more

Suess – 10 der größten Schlagerhits aller Zeiten

The Music

The Words

It is not every day that I am speechless in front of new music. However, the mad geniuses behind the French-based band Suess broke my inner mechanisms. 10 der größten Schlagerhits aller Zeiten is the group’s debut album, standing tall with thirty-four minutes that feels like hours. I don’t know how to describe the sounds found therein, other than they are based off of the Schlager music genre in some way.

This is an unlistenable mess… to most, if not all. However, it did strike me, oddly. I thought it was the “so bad it’s good” … Read more

Kendall Burks – Waves

The Music

The Words

Kendall Burks is a musician and composer from Littleton, Colorado. Primarily using loops, he creates cinematic soundscapes, atmospheric compositions. That’s not to say that they don’t take centre stage. On Waves, this formula is put to work in a style that amalgamates progressive rock, math rock, indie folk, and world music in a whole that sounds minimalistic, rather than pompous, and that’s utterly delightful.

As the album goes on, you slowly get sucked into its quicksands. The guitar parts usually take the lead, but they are joined by many percussive and rhythmic ideas from other … Read more

Advanced Mathematics 4: Notes inégales

Whew, we’ve recently gone from a very new concept, microrhythms, to a fairly advanced discussion on polyrhythms, polymetres, and polytempo. I hope that this season of Advanced Mathematics is enriching to you! Today, we’re going to talk about notes inégales – uneven notes –, what kids today call “swing feel”. It goes much deeper than what you probably imagine, and I hope you’ll learn something today!


The Triplet Feel

Most prevalent in jazz and blues music, the swing feel usually involves altering the length of two consecutive and equal notes. The most common example of this is the … Read more