Dark post-punk goth-rock, which sets itself apart by having more prominent saxophone than guitars. The songs are usually set at a midtempo slither, with echoing keyboards and percussion (it doesn’t usually sound like a full drum set), and deep vocals which sometimes have an oddly Axl Rose-like quality to them (as in when Axl isn’t singing in a high-pitched voice). The songs tend to bleed into each other, so the drum machine sway of “Black Tar” comes as a little bit of a surprise when it first starts, and then the drumless birdsong chant of “Grace” comes as more of a surprise. “King Of The Lake” features more prominent guitar than anything on the album so far, along with more damp drum machine beats and everpresent moonlight sax. “Lightning Arcs” and “Two Or One” are 2 shorter, drumless songs that lead into each other and kind of feel like one piece. The album’s sound takes a bit of getting used to, it definitely isn’t the type of guitar-heavy brooding death-rock you might expect at first, and the sax definitely throws you for a loop.
Newest album from prolific minimalist composer/lute player Jozef Van Wissem. This album expands on his hypnotic playing style by adding vocals (which, of course, are hypnotic and repetitive like his playing) and even some electronic beats/glitches on a couple tracks. “Love Destroys All Evil” chants “Love destroys all evil and frees us”. “Confinement” successfully introduces electronic blips and glitches, and even settles into a 4/4 beat. “You Can’t Take It With You” is the album’s most lyrical song, with echo-shrouded vocals singing about gathering your belongings because you can’t take them with you. “Temple Dance Of The Soul” has more thumping beats and glitches, and no vocals, and is even more rhythmic and quasi-danceable. “After We Leave” is a brief, slow, solemn piece which sort of reminds me of Low’s “Lullaby”. “Invocation Of The Spirit Spell” seems to be a little bit of a slower variation on the previous song, and features Jim Jarmusch on guitar and vocals by Lebanese singer Yasmine Hamdan.
First solo Tujiko Noriko album since 2008, and her first on eMego since 2007. This is a bit more of an expanded sound than some of her more poppy earlier works, with tracks stretching out into ambitious suites (opening track “My Heart Isn’t Only Mine” is nearly 15 minutes long!) featuring lush instrumentation (horns, strings, koto, vibraphone, organ) in addition to the usual synths and glitches. There’s also a few guest vocalists (Maxwell August Croy of Root Strata label on several tracks; Chloé Fabre on “Through The Rain”) and drums by Austrian drummer Martin Brandlmayr (Radian, Trapist, Polwechsel, etc) on a couple others. I could be wrong, but I don’t remember hearing Tujiko sing in English as much as she does on this album. “Minty You” comes closest to the glitchy downtempo sound of her previous albums, but “Through The Rain” has far more of a live band sound with her usual quirky melodicism. “Under The White Sheets” changes several times through its 6 minutes, adding whistling synths (maybe a theremin or saw), horns, and different stumbling beats. “My Ghost Comes Back” ends the album with another long, woozy suite of slow, crashing dub-flavored beats, softly strummed instruments and gentle vocals.
Minimalist ambient dub techno from the drummer for Destroyer. While still minimal, this has a fuller sound than some of his previous works; there’s plenty of panning and miniscule detailed production techniques. There’s also use of vibraphone and Rhodes, and even some vocals (as on “Bleeding Ink”). Eerie minimal reverberations and ocean-wide bass vibrations. “Sea Island Murders” has slow backwards rushes, and slow bass pulses and pianos towards the end. “Iona” goes through 4 minutes of shimmering and drifting until a melodic pulse takes over for the second half of the track. “Catalina 1943” starts slowest and most minimal, but eventually shines with subtle pulses and distortion. “Sturgeon Bank” has another soft, minimalist melody and softly ticking beats. “En Masse” has more upfront pianos atop softly pulsating bass, and kind of granulated textures if you dig a bit deeper and listen to the sounds underneath. “Angle Of List” ends the album with its most straightforward ambient drone. The whole album is relaxing and simple on the surface, but there’s actually quite a bit buried deep if you pay attention to it.
3:02 AM Dean Blunt ~ Forever ~ Black Metal ~ Rough Trade
3:14 AM Secret Pyramid ~ Her Spirits ~ The Silent March ~ Students Of Decay
3:22 AM Loscil ~ Bleeding Ink ~ Sea Island ~ Kranky
3:28 AM Andy Stott ~ On Oath ~ Faith In Strangers ~ Modern Love
3:36 AM Mark McGuire ~ Earth Grid (Activation) ~ Noctilucence ~ Dead Oceans
3:40 AM Tangerine Dream ~ Astral Voyager ~ The Analogue Space Years 1969-1973 ~ Purple Pyramid
3:47 AM Excepter ~ Destroy ~ Familiar ~ Blast First Petite
3:55 AM Tallesen ~ Strike Silver, Love Green ~ Still Lit Through ~ Software
3:58 AM Barbeque ~ Slow_Hi ~ Transient Portals ~ The Waveform Generators
4:01 AM Steve Roden ~ Incidental Mountain (Simply) ~ Flower & Water ~ Dragon’s Eye Recordings
4:03 AM Jozef Van Wissem ~ Love Destroys All Evil ~ It Is Time For You To Return ~ Crammed Discs
4:06 AM Noriko Tujiko ~ 12 Moons ~ My Ghost Comes Back ~ Editions Mego
4:10 AM Dreamcrusher ~ Godless Chic ~ Suicide Deluxe ~ Hausu Mountain
4:14 AM unknown ~ Komsa Griot (Hausa) ~ Folk Music Of The Sahel Vol. 1: Niger ~ Sublime Frequencies
4:19 AM Mouse On Mars & Matthew Herbert Double Gum ~ 21 Again ~ Monkeytown
4:22 AM Lia Mice ~ Everything’s Sailing ~ I Love You ~ Old Flame Records
4:26 AM Kid Moxie with The Gaslamp Killer ~ Museum Motel ~ 1888 ~ Undo Records
4:30 AM Flug 8 ~ Zukunft ~ Trans Atlantik ~ Disko B
4:39 AM Glacial23 ~ Warning Star ~ 12″ ~ Savage Quality
4:44 AM Wisp ~ Ephemeris ~ Touched Two ~ Touched
4:52 AM The American Jobs ~ Jailhouse ~ Carne Levare ~ Savage Quality
4:57 AM Negativland ~ Right Might ~ It’s All In Your Head FM ~ Seeland
5:02 AM Lawrence English + Stephen Vitiello ~ That Caress, Inverted ~ Fable ~ Dragon’s Eye Recordings
5:07 AM Jon Hopkins ~ Breathe This Air (Asleep Version) ~ Asleep Versions ~ Domino
5:10 AM Songs: Ohia ~ Blue Factory Flame ~ Didn’t It Rain ~ Secretly Canadian
5:18 AM Grouper ~ Call Across Rooms ~ Ruins ~ Kranky
5:21 AM Vashti Bunyan ~ Shell ~ Heartleap ~ DiCristina
5:25 AM Weyes Blood ~ Summer ~ The Innocents ~ Mexican Summer
5:27 AM His Name Is Alive ~ The Cup ~ Tecuciztecatl ~ London London
5:30 AM Taylor Deupree ~ Sea Last (06.05.08) ~ Lost & Compiled ~ 12k
5:43 AM David Shea ~ Fragments Of Hafiz ~ Rituals ~ Room40
5:50 AM Supersilent ~ 12.7 ~ 12 ~ Rune Grammofon
5:55 AM John Coltrane ~ Offering ~ Offering: Live At Temple University ~ Impulse!
Wichita-based artist Dreamcrusher is redefining all things noisy, distorted and blown-out, applying jarring levels of in-the-red to sturdy mechanical beats. The title track uses rave-inspired breakbeats, but others such as “Godless Chic” and “Ghost Orchid” have more of a trap influence. Tracks such as “Novokuznetsk” weld harsh feedback into melodic as well as rhythmic elements, in surprising and confounding ways. The tempos are surprisingly fast and giddy, and a few almost cheerful melodies poke through on tracks such as “Goths At The Beach”. All of this comes together on the 9-minute finale “Hypernova Bloodbath”. No other release I’ve heard this year (or possibly ever) sounds harsh enough to strip paint off the walls, yet is still grounded in solid beats, and even danceable. This crushes way more than just dreams. An absolute must-download at Bandcamp (tapes are available there, too).
A companion piece to this year’s LP Along The Way, Noctilucence finds the former Emeralds guitarist stretching out a bit, with 2 of the EP’s 5 tracks exceeding 10 minutes. This release isn’t as vocal-heavy as his last (only opener “Freedom Of Spirit” has some hushed vocals) but the beats are more prominent and even danceable. The guitar solos definitely push things more into classic rock guitar virtuoso territory, especially on the 12-minute title track (which also seems to be the most danceable one). 14-minute closer “Astral Protection” tones things down a bit, going for more of an extended zone-out, with soft rhythms and guitar flares simmering during the song’s second half.
3:01 AM Secret Pyramid ~ Still Return ~ The Silent March ~ Students Of Decay
3:06 AM Hundred Waters ~ Down From The Rafters (Tim Hecker Remix) ~ Down From The Rafters Remixes ~ Owsla
3:11 AM Tallesen ~ Set Red, Seize Grey ~ Stills Lit Through ~ Software
3:13 AM Loscil ~ Sturgeon Bank ~ Sea Island ~ Kranky
3:19 AM Jozef Van Wissem ~ Confinement ~ It Is Time For You To Return ~ Crammed Discs
3:23 AM Mark McGuire ~ Entity (Presence) ~ Noctilucence ~ Dead Oceans
3:29 AM Lia Mice ~ I Love You (Mark McGuire Remix) ~ I Love You ~ Old Flame Records
3:35 AM Barbeque ~ I Want To Hold U But I Can’t ~ Transient Portals ~ The Waveform Generators
3:37 AM Mouse On Mars & Funkstorung ~ Bon Djerry ~ 21 Again ~ Monkeytown
3:41 AM Autechre ~ spl47 ~ Touched Two ~ Touched
3:46 AM Noriko Tujiko ~ Minty You ~ My Ghost Comes Back ~ Editions Mego
3:50 AM Flug 8 ~ Maler ~ Trans Atlantik ~ Disko B
3:56 AM Angelo Badalementi with Kid Moxie ~ Mysteries Of Love ~ 1888 ~ Undo Records
4:03 AM Dreamcrusher ~ Arctic Cyst ~ mp3 ~ Bandcamp
4:10 AM unknown ~ Tuareg Chant ~ Folk Music Of The Sahel Vol. 1: Niger ~ Sublime Frequencies
4:14 AM Wganda Kenya ~ El Nativo ~ The Afrosound Of Colombia Volume 2 ~ Vampisoul
4:18 AM Juniore ~ Christine ~ Le Pop 8 ~ Le Pop Musik
4:20 AM SPC ECO ~ Right Mind ~ The Art Of Pop ~ Saint Marie
4:24 AM The American Jobs ~ Black Tar ~ Carne Levare ~ Savage Quality
4:30 AM Philip Corner ~ The Gothic Dances ~ Satie Slowly ~ Unseen Worlds
4:34 AM Glacial23 ~ Laminar Techno ~ 12″ ~ Savage Quality
4:36 AM Negativland ~ Jar The Ear ~ It’s All In Your Head FM ~ Seeland
4:40 AM Sin34 ~ Uncontrollable Urge ~ Do You Feel Safe? ~ Sinister Torch Records
4:42 AM Ariel Pink ~ White Freckles ~ Pom Pom ~ 4AD
4:45 AM His Name Is Alive ~ African Violet Casts A Spell ~ Tecuciztecatl ~ London London
4:48 AM Medicine ~ The People ~ Home Everywhere ~ Captured Tracks
4:53 AM Dean Blunt ~ Mersh ~ Black Metal ~ Rough Trade
4:56 AM Grouper ~ Labyrinth ~ Ruins ~ Kranky
5:01 AM Songs: Ohia ~ Cross The Road, Molina (Working Title: Chicago City Moon) ~ Didn’t It Rain (reissue) ~ Secretly Canadian
5:05 AM John Coltrane ~ Naima ~ Offering: Live At Temple University ~ Impulse!
5:22 AM Vashti Bunyan ~ Holy Smoke ~ Heartleap ~ DiCristina
5:27 AM Weyes Blood ~ Bound To Earth ~ The Innocents ~ Mexican Summer
5:30 AM Steve Roden ~ Feeling, Smelling, Tasting ~ Flower & Water ~ Dragon’s Eye Recordings
5:35 AM DJ Paypal ~ FM Blast ~ Teklife: Next Life ~ Hyperdub
5:38 AM Machinedrum ~ B Patient ~ Vapor City Archives ~ Ninja Tune
5:43 AM Lee Bannon ~ RMF-3 ~ Main/Flex ~ Babygrande
5:46 AM Clark ~ Silvered Iris ~ Clark ~ Warp
5:49 AM Dorian Concept ~ Ann River, MN ~ Joined Ends ~ Ninja Tune
5:53 AM Andy Stott ~ Faith In Strangers ~ Faith In Strangers ~ Modern Love
Newest album from musician/photographer Daniel Herrmann, whose Flug 8 project explores minimal electro-pop and Krautrock-inspired techno. Several tracks feature Herrmann’s monotone, minimal-wave-inspired vocals, but the beats are steady enough to fill a tech-house dancefloor. “Trans Atlantik” and “Musik Aus Metall” show the most blatant Kraftwerk influence, although the latter features metal sounds by N.U. Unruh of Einsturzende Neubauten, and there’s a few other kling-klanging moments on the album as well, such as “Hohenkammer”. The album detours for some more downtempo moments a few times, with “Watch Me Grown” and “On A Spear” featuring Bjorkian vocals from Mono Girl. “Android” turns the arpeggiator up and the tempo down closer to actual Trans Europe Express speed. “Ostsee” is even slower, more shimmering, and lyrical. “Zukunft” is the album’s longest tunnel-trance moment, at nearly 10 minutes. “Maler” provides the album with one last fluttering, twinkling midtempo blissout, before the shakey, sputtery “Zeckenwalzer” ends the album on a somewhat confusing note.
Following last year’s Movements Of Night LP (one of my favorite releases of the year), Students Of Decay is now reissuing the project’s 2011 tape The Silent March on vinyl, as well as releasing both as a 2-for-1 CD. Compared to the more drifting, icy Movements Of Night, The Silent March seems to be more overtly guitar-based, coming close to ’90s space-rock (pick any favorite Kranky or VHF band) and Popol Vuh soundtracks, with softly flowing waves of sad guitar drones. “Still Return” in particular shreds with noisy guitar and soft vocals. “Her Spirits” strips back to spare, slow guitar strumming and whispered vocals, until the scorched distorted guitar comes in after a minute and a half, followed by tambura drone and chimes. “Eternal” is another lost, wandering drone with guitar and chimes that builds over 8 minutes, getting increasingly intense during its second half. The two “Silent March” interludes briefly call out from the gray fog.