I would love to be able to write a pithy line that sums up the album's diverse experiences, but this sentence is as close as I can get, given the quality craftsmanship in diverse forms. However, it's a recommended listen to just about everyone, as there's something there will work wonders for you!
We need narratives, they are what defines us. But something in Emel’s music stubbornly refuses to be defined. It exists somewhere beyond both apolitical isolationism and cultural appropriation; it builds roads and bridges but, similar in that to Tanya Tagaq, whose Inuit throat singing mixes with the boldest improvised music, never does so in a didactic way, staying true to the cathartic power of music as transformative experience. It might be just another narrative, exploited by the press release, which states that the album was made "in seven countries across three continents”, but in a time of ban and rejection, where Trump and the rising alt-rights are threatening all that this music stands for, it becomes all the more important to stand with it, as an anthem for more freedom together.
Jessica Sligter is probably one of the most interesting artists to have emerged during the last decade in the field of experimental pop music. This inexhaustible new album is a considerable step ahead in an already impressive catalogue. She deserves a wider audience. May this help it grow.
Eyes of a Blue Dog are an Anglo-Norwegian trio consisting of Elisabeth Nygaard, Rory Simmons and Terje Evensen. "Hamartia", the follow-up to their acclaimed debut, "Rise", had its work cut out for it. And while many would consider them a "Jazz" ensemble (of sorts), the question that would arise would be: "Will this be more or less jazz than before?" The answer: yes. And No. And mostly: who cares?
This is primarily a downright beautiful album from a musician that has matured a lot within a short timeframe ... Music lovers should keep Herskedal on the radar to see where he goes next, as this album certainly bodes well for the future.
I think the success of this is recording over previous Isungset releases can be attributed to a slightly higher production standard and the use of non-ice instrumentation in conjunction with the proprietary ice instruments that define his sound. An excellent album!
There is something very Zappa-like about the sound here (early post-Mothers era), despite the lack of a rock band underpinning. The orchestrated interplay of the mostly acoustic instruments (Ryan Ferreira's guitar accounting for the majority of the electonics). Moods duck and weave, shifting methodically but not formulaically.
This albums contains everything from summerish meadows to sousing around in a small 1 engine bi-plane at 1500 meters with distorted bleeps to match and more Domp-Damp's and Dhums-Dhums' than you can shake a stick at! Yay!
According to Wesseltoft, this project is about creating good energy and good vibes between the musicians and the audience. And to that I'll have to say: Mission accomplished! It's simply impossible to be in a bad mood after listening to this music. It is catchy and cool and optimistic, and placed in a musical landscape that certainly hasn’t run out of steam yet.
It's a truly intense and emotional experience to listen to this album. Moe-Repstad's voice is so high in the mix that he gets inside your head. I personally am very much about the music when I listen. I'm usually not that interested in lyrics as part of music. Or at least it is very secondary to the music itself. But Moe-Repstad demands attention and it is impossible to stay neutral to the lyrics
On listening to the opening title track Midwest and you hadn’t read the sleeve notes you would think that this was just a straight ahead jazz album dominated by Mathias Eick’s pure tone with a great rhythm section led by Jon Balke on piano. Then the folk fiddling of Gjermund Larsen kicks in, and you quickly realise that this is something different.
Some tracks will certainly appeal to listeners more than others, but what those tracks will be is down to each individual listener. There are tracks that will downright irritate some, while the same tracks will populate others' favourites. And there lies the real beauty of Squarepusher: his music is divisive, obstreperous, rambunctious, yet very handsome. We can forgive all those little missteps (as we see them) because he gets so many other things … RIGHT!
If you start with one sound artist based in North of England, add an and installation from the IOU Theatre, mix in William Mace on cello and then you will have a very low key, soft spoken without words, beautiful start of 2015.
The release is for doing nothing in particular, for watching the butterflies as they dance in the hedgerows. Perhaps the flight of the flamingo (or butterfly!) across continents and the sounds and music evoked is what binds this release together. An investment in this release should provide many years of enjoyable listening. A masterpiece by one of the world’s finest female musicians.
Punch Brothers seem intent on exploring new territory with each album, yet seem equally intent on staying put. One of these days, they're going to have to commit, and realise they can't retain all their fans with every album, and make the plunge into their own unique identity. Of course, they may simply enjoy the safer and more obvious stuff. Which, as they say, is fair enough.
As far as pop music is concerned, with all its strengths and limitations, Please is a really consistent record, definitely one of the best from last year, perfectly mixing its expressive content with a much varied approach to sound. He offers the rare example of a songwriter constantly willing to go forward and has perfectly understood the mechanism of pop expressionism. I am really looking forward to hearing what he will bring on next.
David Sylvian is, for me, a singular reference when it comes to pop music. He has tried to take it further, particularly for the last 15 years with his solo albums and a set of collaborations, continuously pushing beyond the format's boundaries while accepting his own music will be listened to in that underrated context. I tend to consider him as a fellow of Mark Hollis, but one who managed not to disappear into silence. there's a light that enters houses with no other house in sight is another step along a path parallel to this trajectory towards nothingness, and it works tremendously well.