April 2020

Album releases

Elder – Omens Highly recommended!

This is Elder at their soaring, proggy best. It has the monster riffs & hooks you'd expect, but also feels like the natural evolution of their sound into something just a hair more polished.

Fiona Apple — Fetch the Bolt Cutters

I don't know if I have too much to add to the commentary on this record. I do enjoy it; I think it's a very interesting listen, full of musical ideas, rhythmically quite complex, and lyrically poetic (although maybe a bit angsty for my tastes). I'm definitely glad to have experienced this, but I don't think it will make it into my heavy rotation.

DJ Ride — Beat Tape, Vol. 1

It's a beat tape, alright. Pretty solid stuff here, sometimes lo-fi, sometimes a bit cinematic, in general a solid record if you're looking for instrumental hip-hop.


Redi Hasa & Akın Sevgör — Time Highly recommended!

Oh my. I'm very happy to have stumbled across cellist Redi Hasa via his collaboration with the amazing Akın Sevgör here. This track is a cocoon of sound, gently weaving curls of string, synth and glitch until you feel completely at peace. This sound reminds me quite a bit of Murcof and these guys are quickly joining him in my list of all-time favorites.

Hedrun — Vulnerable in Bihag / Mose Bole Na Highly recommended!

This meditative EP feels like a science-fiction bhajan. Vulnerable in Bihag includes the skeleton of a devotional: chiming cymbals, quiet percussion, vocals and the gentle drone of a tanpura, but it's mixed to feel like the ancient memory of a prayer. Mose Bole Na is even more deconstructed, with a slower tempo, an icy fog settling over the vocals, and the suggestion of a drummer's dream, textural and long-forgotten.

Plini — Birds/Surfers

Plini is fully exploring the "prog" part of "prog rock" on this short EP. Two very pretty sketches, full of textures. I was disappointed there's only four minutes of material here.

New to Me

Rōnin Arkestra — Sonkei (2019) / Stranger Searching (2019)

Mark de Clive-Lowe's collective of Toyko jazz musicians shows off a lush & funky sound on these records. The Stranger Searching single is a scorcher but I also really enjoyed Onkochisin and The Art of Altercation from the Sonkei LP.

Tenderlonius — The Shakedown (2018)

Ed Cawthorne has a diverse skillset (he's a multi-instrumentalist, DJ and producer) but what we get on The Shakedown is "simply" an hour of propulsive, flute-forward jazz.

Toundra - II (2010)

This is a driving, riffy record that toes the line between post-rock and metal. Give it a spin if you like Russian Circles or Pelican.

The Physics House Band – Mercury Fountain (2017)

Lots of heavy music this month! The Physics House Band blends mathy headbanging with a jazz sensibility, bursts of saxophone and shimmering digital textures.

Emilio Solla Tango Jazz Orchestra — Puertos (2019)

I was a little skeptical since records like this often lean into the cheesy commercialism of tango music. But this album was a nice surprise; it falls firmly on the jazz side of "tango jazz" and ends up being quite a contemporary listen.