Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
If you're looking to break into the world of contemporary jazz, Hemlock is the album. The third from Ratchet Orchestra in the group's 18 year lifespan, the album feels both comfortably experienced and stride-catchingly fresh. Which isn't to say that the band hasn't been striding along wonderfully since it's debut, only to point out that the group's third feels like its grand achievement, its youthful revelation--18 years in. Hemlock is a swelling set with enormous range, offering both orchestral jauntiness, and freely improvised chaos; moments of joyousness and playful abandon matched with loosely threaded melancholy; and all of it managed with a master-craft's touch. More simply, Hemlock is an expression of artistic genius, music that transcends genre. Ratchet Orchestra have tapped into something that demands being recommended in fevered tones, as if your life depended on listening to it. Who knows, maybe it does...it's pretty good.
At 30 strong memberwise, Ratchet Orchestra is no small operation. Check out the band crammed together in the Hotel2Tagno studio, working their voodoo...
More videos of the band recording after the jump.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Fusing together seventeenth-or-some century classical music with free jazz in a series of blissfully morphing pieces, Eivind Opsvik and band play a superb set on Overseas IV. Be patient with it and you'll find, in addition to the lovely composed sections, some really wonderful, lush bursts of jazz.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Liked the Black Dice album from earlier this year, but just liked (should probably go back and listen to it again). I've actually been more fond of Eric Copeland's solo work lately. Limbo is really, really good, I think. It might be my favorite of his, actually. Anyway, it is what it is: skronky-whatever-psychosis. Good cover.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
I'm in thick with this thing. Makes it so you can only think of obsidian knives. Luminous blackness. This is music for stalking prey by. Or rather, music by which prey is knowingly stalked. Heavy music. Not in the ears so much as the chest. Caverous, sub-level music. This is Lost In London Fog With Jack The Ripper type stuff, plenty of murk and brood, and only slow-moving time scraping by in-between life and black sky black blood black pit of corpses.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Jack Rodriguez is unstoppable. Somehow he always manages sneaking out two full length albums before I've finished savoring what I thought was the last one. And their always super good, too--upper-drugged electro-wonderment stumbling along in some kind of hyper, robotic giddiness. So, keeping you up to date, Feeble in the Biome is the latest slice of staccato-rich, color-rich electronics from First Dog. And it's his tenth! A landmark for the most consistent, hardest working left-field electronicists we have. And if your playing catch-up from two months ago (like I am), see also Language from the Grip..
Friday, November 9, 2012
I'll just get straight to the point: Telstar Drugs are amazing. This self-titled debut of theirs? Album of the year contender. Related to the recent surge in post-punk/pop coming out of Canada, Telstar Drugs is the embodiment of a smart, angular, infecting, imaginative album fully realized. I endorse it for president (of the president).
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Songs About Nothing is about something not anything Jerry Seinfeld after a lobotomy ambling dumbly into oncoming traffic and also is Lescalleet hitting something (nothing) on par in-between John Wiese and good friend Graham Lambkin obviously he's the destroyer the reinvigorator of dead or dying bodies making Larry David try and play Big Black at the bottom of a lake filled with dead automobiles tied with a string of loose splaying AV cables face duct-taped and every kind of parasite marking forearms with overtight tyings of floss and/or not dystopia go figure.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
The release stream from Drip Audio is sparse. Over the course of the last few years, the Vancouver label has been putting out between one and four albums a year. In an era when labels and musicians seem to be flooding the market with every spec of sound they can set to tape, Drip Audio is an enviable example of no-filler curation. It's more, though, than a simple avoidance of filler; Drip Audio is the diamond standard: when they release albums, you make room in your year-end top ten list. 2012 example: The Peggy Lee Band's Invitation, an album brim-filled with musical grandeur of the highest order. It doesn't get better. For their fifth album (where have I been?) the group has assembled a deeply dynamic set of both gilded and crust-inhabited arrangements, effortlessly transitioning between jazz, orchestral and free improv motifs, all of it cohering blissfully. It's a marvelous set, really. The back-and-forth between major key jauntiness and loose instrumental unraveling on "Why Are You Yelling?"; the languid beauty of "Your Grace"; the dirty, meandering, crushed improvisations of "Not So Far" which twine and resurrect into an unlikely, casual grandness--the album's a miracle. In the post-election haze here in the US, this is something in which you can find true hope. I think I'm just going to turn off the lights and listen to The Peggy Lee Band for the rest of my life...
If your allowing yourself slip back and be engulfed by music outside of the calendar year, consider Lost Lost Lost. Found these guys while doing a routine search of bands I wish were coming out with a new album soon (namely, Minus Story) and found Les Marquises.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Make sure, when you are searching for Diamond Terrifier, that you are not searching for Diamond Terrier, which is something else altogether. Terrifier is the right word here, even if Sam Hillmer's debut solo outing is slightly less terrifying than his work with Zs (and only slightly). Kill The Self That Wants To Kill Yourself is also a bit more concise than the earth-eatingly expansive New Slaves, but fans should feel right at home with Hillmer's deranged saxophone spirituals spread here over a bed of fragment dub. In the hands of Hillmer, the saxophone remains my favorite instrument.
There is something plastic and nerdy about this recent HEATSICK 12" that I'm absolutely in love with. Two wonderful sides of palm-tree-swaying casio-dub for the Lego demographic. It's getting bitter cold here in Providence and Déviation's toyish magic is perfect for making summer out of the looming winter.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Surprisingly giving little EP by Nap Eyes. In four songs it casually captures something immense and lasting (which is a lot more than can be said about the grand majority of indie rock I've heard recently). I've been replaying it for weeks now. There's something in the water up there in Halifax...