Taylor Batory Project – Space-Like
Taylor Batory is a multi-instrumentalist and composer from Michigan who has already released the amazing album The Salty Sardine under the moniker of The Majestic Sailors. Now under the more down-to-Earth name TB Project, Taylor just released a progressive rock concept EP detailing, in a sort of metaphorical manner, his time at Wayne State University. As such, the album goes through the colourful lens of prog and the result is a very palatable new prog release!
Michael Hersch – I Hope We Get a Chance to Visit Soon (New Focus)
Michael Hersch is a seasoned composer, and not a new name to the outstanding New Focus Recordings label. Indeed, his 2019 album Carrion-Miles to Purgatory was an equally outstanding release. This year, I Hope We Get a Chance to Visit Soon, in sixteen parts, explores the loss of a close friend of Hersch’s to cancer. As you can imagine, this is not a light-hearted record, and consequently it’s rather difficult to listen to some parts of it. In large parts, this is due to the tense and oppressive musical texture, but the high points really are when the jarring spoken word passages are delivered unevenly, unequally, surprising and unpredictable. A fantastic and harrowing release.
चेपाङ्ग (Cēpāṅga) / Chepang – भुईचालो (Bhu’īcālō) / चट्ट (Caṭṭa) / Chatta! (Nerve Altar)
Nepalese experimental deathgrind unit Chepang—in their native script चेपाङ्ग (Cēpāṅga), which refers to the indigenous ethnic group of central Nepal—just released the follow-up to their widely acclaimed 2017 opus डढेलो (Ḍaḍhēlō) / Dadhelo: A Tale of Wildfire, and it is quite an achievement! भुईचालो (Bhu’īcālō) / चट्ट (Caṭṭa) / Chatta!—hereafter Chatta—is a masterclass in efficient modern grindcore. The twenty-eight minute assault includes impressive guests such as Colin Marston and Mette Rasmussen to name but these two. Chatta an incredible and relentlessly brutal album that you ought to listen to at full volume.
ᚪᚱᛊᛏᛁᛞᛁᚱ᛬ᛚᛁᚠᛊᛁᚾᛊ (Árstíðir lífsins) – Saga á tveim tungum Ⅱ : Eigi fjǫll né firðir
The second chapter of Icelandic folk-laden atmospheric black metal entity >ᚪᚱᛊᛏᛁᛞᛁᚱ᛬ᛚᛁᚠᛊᛁᚾᛊ (Árstíðir lífsins)‘s Saga á tveim tungum, entitled Eigi fjǫll né firðir, has finally arrived! The first chapter, Vápn ok viðr, was released only in April 2019, but it seems an eternity ago! The two albums depict the events of Norway in the years 995 to 1030 as king and saint Óláfr Haraldsson vies for power from the point of view of two siblings, each with a unique experience. The two chapters of Saga á tveim tungum hop between folkloric passages, to atmospheric acoustic parts, to evocative bouts of black metal. Each part is around seventy minutes long, adding up to a total of about two hours and a half of incredible Nordic black metal. An unavoidable journey for any black metal fan.
Witch & Monk – Witch & Monk (Tzadik)
Witch & Monk is an experimental duo from London consisting of flautist Mauricio Velasierra and anarchist soprano and guitarist Heidi Heidelberg previously known as Bitch & Monk. On their self-titled album, the duo, joined by drummers Seb Rochford and Nicolas Stocker, play with the deconstruction of world music and its possible hybridization with contemporary genres and styles of experimental music, jazz, and rock. With eight songs, for a total of forty minutes, Witch & Monk is a unique aural experience on its own. If you know the band from its B&M roots, you can expect more or less a continuity, but if that’s all new to you, now’s your chance to hop in and have a great time!
Waveteller – Waveteller
There’s not much going around on the Internet for the Waveteller project, I could only find this short live excerpt, so let me give you some information. Waveteller is the project of Australian bassist Michael Mear, where he is joined by pianist Casey Golden—who is a known and respected name to me already—and drummer Ed Rodrigues. Their debut album, the self-titled Waveteller, focuses on musical interplay between the instruments of the trio and relies heavily on multiple rhythmic concepts such as the elasticity of time (sounds familiar?). So, hopefully there will be a Bandcamp page for this project once it’s released, on May 29th. For now, you can only trust my word that it’s a great album!