There has always been a tension in Waaktaar-Savoy’s music between a quest for dramatic intensity and a need to rely on easier emotions induced in a melancholic sense of unrecognized beauty. See the beauty in your drab hometown is an album that shines from various lights, sometimes glowing like a nocturnal sun, sometimes glimmering like a candle in plain daylight, as it is surely intended to do with such an album-title. While there are unique achievements, in the end you get the sense that more could have been made of such material, with more time devoted to it. The paradox of making a diverse album of less than 40 minutes is that some of the songs would have deserve more space to fully explore their potential. The quality of many of the songs here make you hope that there is more artistry to come, and not just songs useful for different occasions this time, but a true, immersive, album experience - of the ones that make you perceive differently the air, the world, your loved ones, or your drab hometown.
On "Thanks For Listening", more than on any other project he has engaged in, we have Thile wearing his influences on his sleeve, and the result is his most consistent solo effort, and one that – for the most part, but not necessarily enough - side-steps his propensity of excessive technical showmanship. We can forgive that to an extent – he is an exceptionally talented musician – but such forgiveness only extends so far; sooner or later, the goods have to be produced. Does he do it? Well, sometimes …
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.
The live performance of Heliographs is really different to the recorded version. Molvær's lyrical lines offer a late-in-the-night feel, while Zach's twisted percussions and Aarset's whole range of textures also throw back again the improvisational process that was an integral part of the construction of the sound in the originals. It is perfectly executed throughout and gives new life to this ever-lasting music.
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.
Now that Emilie has got a few more concerts under her belt since the early part of the year, the songs have expanded and evolved to show increasing variations musically and highlighting her full power and range vocally.
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!