Improvisation is the cauldron in which most great music is born, but for most musical acts it is just the beginning of the composing process. Some artists, though, are secure enough in their creative talents to make improvisation an integral component of their sound. The right musicians and framework can produce magic with this approach, and that’s precisely what a pair of internationally renowned string players have done on the self-titled debut album of Kamancello. If you like improvisation, chamber music, and portmanteaux, this is the album for you.
Kamancello juxtaposes the dynamic cello performance of Raphael Weinroth-Browne, whose … Read more
The Icelandic entity Seiðlæti recently released their debut album, Þagnarþulur. The folk music duo – Uni and Reynir – interprets there seventeen poems with minimalistic, ritualistic percussions conveyed by a total of six musicians. Right off the bat, I have to draw some easy comparison between Uni’s voice and world-famous Icelandic singer Björk. Both voices share some timbral similarities, especially when referring to the less experimental, folk side of the latter. Maybe it’s the inherent sonority of íslenska that bring the two closer in my head, but whether that is the case or not, I want you to know … Read more
Dougmore‘s debut album is a foray into folkloric music through the lens of art rock. Indeed, Outerboros is lush and complex, deep and progressive, and, on top of that, inspiringly beautiful. Don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of the folk singer-songwriter foundation of the project – with Douglas and his banjo -, for there is here a plethora of invited artists – playing a wide range of instruments, from wine glasses to trumpets, from bouzouki to double bass, from dulcimer to harp, and a lot of other things in-between. This not only bring in a variety of timbres … Read more
The Swiss avant-garde black metal band Schammasch – name taken from Šamaš, the Mesopotamian God of Justice – will release their third full-length album, simply titled Triangle, on April 29th. As the name suggests, the concept of this highly ambitious work is tripartite, each side clocking in at 33:30. Yes, that makes for more than a hundred minutes of music! Inspired by Richard MacDonald‘s sculptures, the cover album portrays circus artist Sasha Krohn, falling into nothingness, photographed by Ester Segarra. Every side of the Triangle has its own identity, and feels very unique, they deal with various concepts, … Read more
Book of Sand is an experimental one-man band shrouded in mystery. Just trying to put a name on the person behind it would require an extensive investigation; for now, they refer to themselves only as “d”, or “dcrf”. Since 2009, they have nine releases, one of which being a split with The Skin Horse. Last year, I reviewed The Face of the Deep, which I described as unworthy of listening, but upon further reflection provides a unique albeit rather abstract experience, and can be enjoyed for what it is, simply.
Earlier this year, Book of Sand released two albums: … Read more