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,… Read more
Sababa 5—סבבה 5 in their native Hebrew language, basically meaning “The Cool 5″—is a neo-psychedelia band from Israel with a heavy dose of Middle-Eastern music influence laced in their funky grooves. Their self-titled album is instrumental, and while it would have been cool to have some vocals to match their style, there is no time where I thought that it lacked them. The melodies and grooves provide ample entertainment on their own, and that comes with the benefit of instrumental music: it’s easier to play it as background music to whatever else you’re doing. So… Read more
John Zorn, played by Brian Marsella, Jorge Roeder, and Ches Smith – Suite for Piano (Tzadik)
Official Tzadik website You have to believe me when it comes to Zorn material, as there’s no official preview of most of his music to be found online. However, Suite for Piano, despite its rather boring title and appearance, is one of his best works recently. First off, this release was inspired by Schönberg and Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and is Zorn’s take on various musical forms for piano—the prelude, the allemande, the scherzo, the menuet, and the gigue to name a few—played by … Read more
Imperial Triumphant – Spirit of Ecstasy (Century Media)
Alright, we have to talk about the new Imperial Triumphant. That album is truly something else. Not only does it take avant-garde black metal by storm, comparing favourably to the likes of Thantifaxath, but it does so with style and passion, shining the spotlight on many legendary musicians in the process (including Denis Bélanger, singer of Voïvod)! The music is dirty, oppressive, decadent, jumping from one filthy backstreet to another, and occasionally peeping through the window of an ivory tower to hear some fancy jazz being played at a banquet or … Read more
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