Tzadik Records is a very special thing to me. John Zorn’s label showcases his own compositions, ranging mostly from jazz to classical, as well as other groups and albums who are spearheading their respective genres. It’s often pretty difficult to listen to these albums, since they are usually not streaming online, so I’ve gathered them all here and got the five best Tzadik releases of 2021. This way, you’ll know where to start looking to dive into the surreal world of Zorn.
Number Five: John Zorn – Heaven and Earth Magick
Heaven and Earth Magick is one of the truer … Read more
Number Five: Honne – Let’s Just Say the World Ended a Week from Now, What Would You Do?
I know next to nothing on Honne, but I was really hooked by 2018’s Love Me / Love Me Not, and here I am, in 2021, starting my top 5 of the year with this album! It’s the most straightforwardly pop album of the bunch, but it’s great, dynamic, and has a lot of interesting ideas! So, you should definitely check it out!
Let’s move on to nu prog, a genre that is somewhat obsessed with solo musicians and their guitars. Here are the album that I enjoyed the most out of 2021!
Number Five: Dzũng – Dzanca
On Dzanca, Vietnamese guitarist Dzung brings us eleven songs inspired by traditional Vietnamese folk songs. This gives the album a very distinctive feeling and sound, and I’m glad to hear these traditional songs, however transformed!
Number Four: Bodhi – Koans
Bodhi has been at it for some time now, and Koans is there to remind us why: melodies that stick in your mind, guitar … Read more
Number Five: Wood River & Cantus domus – Sediments We Move
On Sediments We Move, Charlotte Greve takes us on quite the panoramic tour! Backed by the Cantus domus choir, this is jazz with choir, and it’s positively disconcerting. I love it so much!
Number Four: Skrim – The Crooked Path
The avant-garde jazz journey of Skrim’s Crooked Path release is one you can’t easily forget, as you’ll constantly be thrown this way or that, to the whim of the composers-improvisers leading the boat. An amazing album!
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