Released in 2011 on Constellation Records Format: LP
There is a certain beauty just to being alive, and Ought make it their mission to find it through raw rock n’ roll that veers seamlessly between upbeat post-punk, meditative feedback drones, dramatic ballads, and cathartic guitar freak outs.
Recommended for fans of post-punk that blends the moodiness of Joy Division, Iceage, and Television with the experimentation and noisiness of This Heat and No Wave.
Released in 2019 by Gogol Mogul Format: LPx2
Released in 2016 on Don Giovanni Records Format: LP
Released in 2018 on ECM Records Recorded July 2017 Format: LP
Released in 2014 on Temporary Residence Records Format: LP Limited edition, includes screen printed cover, #140/1000
Released in 2010 on Constellation Records Format: 10″x2
Released in 2015 on Noumenal Loom Format: LP
Released in 2017 on Luaka Bop Format: LPx2
Released in 2012 on Rad Cult/FrenchKiss Format: LP, Orange Vinyl
Released in 2018 on International Anthem Recording Co. Format: LPx2
Released in 2011 on Temporary Residence Format: LPx2, etching on D-side
Released in 2014 on Warp Records Format: LPx3
Released in 2019 on Kemado/Mexican Summer Format: LP
Released in 2017 on Rostrum Records Format: LP
Released in 2017 on Jagjaguwar Records Format: LP Includes 12″ 14-page photo and lyric booklet
Released in 2019 on Editions Mego Format: LP
Released in 2011 on Frenchkiss Records Format: LP
Released in 2011 on True Panther Sounds Format: LPx2
Released in 2016 on Mexican Summer Format: LP, white vinyl
Released in 2012 on Hyperdub Records Format: 12″ EP
Released in 2010 on Asthmatic Kitty Records Format: LPx2 Artwork by Prophet Royal Robertson
Released in 2012 on Constellation Records Format: LP + 7″
Released in 2019 on Constellation Records Format: 12″ EP
Released in 2012 on Sargent House Records Format: LP Signed by Nick Reinhart
Released on Ideological Organ in 2017 Format: LPx2
Released in 2011 on Constellation Records Recorded 2009-2010 Format: LP
Released in 2011 on 4AD Format: LP
Released in 2019 on Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP Limited pink vinyl
Released in 2011 on Underwater Peoples Recorded in 2010 Format: LP
Released in 2015 on Sub Pop Records Format: LPx2 Deluxe edition Overview Josh Tillman is an open book; while his … More
Released in 2015 on True Panther Sounds Format: LPx2 Recommended Tracks A1 – Ten Days of Falling (Brooding, Dancey, Dramatic) … More
Released in 2010 on Warp Records Format: LPx2
Released in 2015 on Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP, gold vinyl
Released in 2013 on ATP Recordings Format: LPx2
Released in 201 on Young Turks Format: LP, die cut cover Recommended Tracks A2 – Red Lights (Spacey, Funky, Energetic … More
Released in 2017 on 4AD Records Format: LPx2, Blue Vinyl
Released in 2018 on Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP
Released in 2013 on Bella Union UK Pressing Format: LPx2, Bonus 7″, Holographic Cover Studio album takes up sides A, … More
Originally released in 2013 on Erased Tapes 2015 VinylMePlease Pressing Format: LPx2
Released in 2010 on Domino Records Format: LPx2 Recommended Tracks: Angel Echoes – A1(Mellow, Hypnotic, Lush) Love Cry – A2 … More
Released in 2015 on Asthmatic Kitty Records Format: LP, clear vinyl First Pressing, limited to 10,000 copies
Released in 2013 on Corpse Flower Records Format: LP, Orange Vinyl Limited to 300 copies, 215/300
Released in 2012 on Polyvinyl Records Format: LP, white vinyl
This hypnotic, noisy, and improvisatory live album from Australian experimenter, collaborator, and improviser Oren Ambarchi features two separate performances of his epic composition “Knots”. (Click for full review)
Released in 2015 on Joyful Noise Records Recorded April 4-5, 2014 Format: LP, clear seafoam green vinyl
Released in 2015 on Brainfeeder Records Format: 12″ EP, Red Vinyl
Released in 2015 on Space Lung/Land Breathing Records Format: LP
Released in 2016 by Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP
Released in 2019 on Eremite Records Recorded in 2017 Format: LPx2, Screen-printed jacket
Released in 2018 on Jagjaguwar Format: LP
Compared to the immediate songwriting and lush textures of Helplessness Blues, the progressive folk-rock opus Crack Up feels like an impenetrable wilderness on first listen with its dense, tangled arrangements and complex compositions.
The apocalyptic chamber-folk of Bethpage soundtracks multiple chapters of cryptic storytelling, mixing one’s darkest thoughts with religious imagery and allegory through banjo sing-alongs and haunting spoken word passages. The heavy climaxes are whirlwinds of bombastic drums, driving bass, fiddle, clarinet, and banjo that often recall the communal chamber-punk of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra. While many tracks feel seeped in shadow and darkness, a heavenly light occasionally floods in through some truly serene and beautiful passages.
Released in 2013 on Matador Records Format: LPx2, 45rpm
Released in 2012 on Brainfeeder Records Format: LPx2
Released in 2014 on Southern Lord Recordings Format: LP
On his latest, producer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Bibio blends serene folk pop, lush instrumentation, pastoral guitar instrumentals, nature field recordings, Walt Whitman-esque lyrics and beat-oriented grooves into the perfectly crafted springtime album. Ribbons feels like daydreaming in a garden or out in the woods under a tree or by a trickling stream.
The Books’ music is simultaneously funny, innovative, catchy and enlightening. They use found sound and spoken word mixed with innovative recording techniques and acoustic instruments to create beautiful sound-collages that somehow create unity between all these disparate sources, as if they were all meant to be together. Everything these guys do, solo or together, is absolute genius.
Progressive Cool Jazz with thematic structural development, and ECM-Style reverbed production. Recommended track: Ark La Tex
Released in 2016 on Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP
Released in 2014 on Innovative Leisure Format: LPx2
These transcendent drone meditations will envelop you in a dark blanket of fuzzy guitars and blooming synthesizers.
Ryley Walker’s virtuosic fingerpicking and intricate folk-rock songwriting vibe heavily with a backing band of Chicagoan jazz musicians, including upright bass, drums, Rhodes and electric guitar. The first LP of this release is a studio album of jazzy folk rock songs for fans of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks or Tim Buckley’s Happy Sad, while the Bonus Lp of this “Deep Cuts edition” is a 40 min live improvisation on one of the album cuts that probably beats anything on the studio LP. It’s rad to be able hear both the concise, song-centric studio side and the loose jammy side of this exciting artist in the same release.
Released in 2013 on Warp Records Format: LPx2
Self-released in 2013 Format: LP, includes CD
Released in 2013 by Drag City Format: LPx2 Front and back cover by Michal Mozolewski Inner gatefold drawing by Simon … More
Released in 2014 on Drag City Format: LPx2, 45rpm
Released in 2012 on Invada Records Format: LPx2, orange vinyl Limited to 500 copies
Released in 2011 on Blackest Rainbow Format: LPx2, 180g Ltd. to 750 copies
“Side one features a collection of songs performed by a pliant and almost pristine quartet playing songs by Ornette Coleman, Paul Motian, Chris Schlarb, and Shadduck himself, while side two finds Anthony leading a loose, rocking and roiling double quartet performing more obliquely structures pieces and employing a healthy dose of spontaneous improvisation. Both ensembles strike my ear as CLASSIC, spanning the areas of jazz impressionism and edgy-yet-controlled “free jazz” with dedication and distinction.”
[From the liner notes, written by Nels Cline]
Released in 2015 on Sargent House
A far cry from the sparse folk usually recorded by Will Oldham, “Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties” finds his intimate voice and warbly acoustic guitar enveloped by the cosmic drones, blooming synths, airy flutes, and hypnotic tape loops of Chicago new age trio, Bitchin Bajas. The lyrics are essentially fortune cookie mantras and, while there’s a chance they’re tongue-in-cheek, it’s difficult not to smile and feel a brightening of the spirit when hearing uplifting phrases like “Your hard work is about to pay off, keep on keepin’ on” or “you and your whole family are well” get repeated over and over. This collaboration is a soothing, heartwarming listen and a refreshing change-of-pace from Oldham’s tendency towards melancholy and solemn lyrical content.
Released in 2014 on Stones Throw Format: LPx2
Darkly cinematic rock instrumentals with some creeping, Dostoevskian vibes. This is probably the most meticulous and progressive album I’ve heard from these guys, who are always finding new ways of funneling their omnivorous library of influences into their dramatic and atmospheric psych rock stylings.
Whilst in Istanbul for an artist residency, the adventurous Canadian chamber rock group (featuring past members of Silver Mt. Zion and GY!BE) recorded with an ensemble of Turkish musicians, augmenting their core sound of cello, marimba, drums, and tenor banjo with the saz and several other instruments used in Turkish and Arabic folk music.
Released in 2012 on Southern Lord Records Format: LPx2, etching on D-side
After 20+ years of using his introspective songwriting as a playground for psychedelic lo-fi experimentation, underdog hero Emil Amos hands the production reins to John Angello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) for his most polished album yet, capturing the best aspects of 70’s rock classics without ever feeling cliché. The hi-fi analogue production brings a newfound clarity and depth that allows Amos’ songwriting and instrumental performances to bloom; the choruses are anthemic, the atmospheres are darkly psychedelic, and his lyrics are just as philosophical and contemplative as ever.
Released in 2017 on Black Truffle Records Recorded live on October 28, 2014 at SuperDeluxe Tokyo by Masahide Ando Format: … More
Released in 2014 on Invada Records Format: LPx2 Tannum Brown vinyl, limited to 1000 copies
Released in 2015 on Drag City Composed using Ben Chasny’s Hexadic System
On Towards Language, Norweigan trumpeter Arve Henriksen creates a blend of meditative and suspenseful ambient-jazz, demonstrating a more soothing side to his playing than his noisier output with electro-acoustic improvisers Supersilent.
Released in 2018 on Kranky Format: LPx2 Track Notes and Observations A1. This Life (Droney, Climactic, Mournful) Synths slowly dancing … More
The Whole Thing is Just There is another beautiful and life-affirming release from Young Jesus, the second with the current L.A. iteration of the band. Their inter-band chemistry seems stronger than ever, with telepathic improvisations, symbiotic catharses, and a mutual love for each other that is easily felt from a listener’s perspective. The lyrics deal with self-exploration and one’s relationship with the world around them, finding solace in spirituality, existentialism, literature, and the ethos of free jazz. Stylistically the music seems rooted in late-90’s indie rock and emo, with seamless but adventurous detours into post-rock, noisy post-hardcore, and free improvisation. Excited to see where these guys go next.
Released in 2018 on Domino Records Format: LPx2 Includes 12″x12″ glossy lyric and photo booklet Track Listing *A1 – Turn … More
Released in 2018 on P.W. Elverum & Sun Records Format: LP
Released in 2018 on Thrill Jockey Records Format: LPx2, Metallic Silver Vinyl
Released in 2017 on Domino Records Format: LPx2
There is a fathomless void within each of us. And while many choose to run from it, clinging to anything to keep from falling in, Deradoorian dove right in on her meditative release, Eternal Reccurrence. Here she provides somewhat of a sonic roadmap for diving deep within yourself, guided by the blooming drones of harmonium, Juno synthesizers, and flutes. Arising from the ether, layers of otherworldly voices sing mantras of facing our Shadow (“Mirrorman”), finding the love that resides in the core of our being, and bringing it back with us into this material dimension.
An ethereal and somewhat haunting ambient-folk collaboration between guitarist/singer Meg Baird (Espers, Heron Oblivion), and harpist Mary Lattimore, who’s recorded with Fursaxa, Steve Gunn, and others in addition to her hypnotic solo work.
Highly Recommended for fans of Natural Snow Buildings, Laraaji, and 60’s British & Scottish Folk music
The new album from guitarist Yonatan Gat finds cohesiveness in its sprawling diversity. Stylistically it combines the rawness of garage rock, the thematic improvisation of Free jazz, and the experimental editing of musique concréte with psychedelic production, Arabic and Klezmer scales and surfy tremelo guitars.
Recommended for those who know that “psychedelic” is not a sound, but a spirit of creativity and exploration within the mind. Those who know Deradoorian for her work with Dirty Projectors will appreciate the complex arrangements and production, albeit in a much more mysterious context. Fans of Bjork, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Flaming Lips, Portishead, or Can will also find a lot to love.
Eric Chenaux’s gentle falsetto is the most constant, tangible element on an album characterized by a permanent state of flux. The guitars are warbly and unsteady with their fluctuating tones, volume, and pitch. Yet, despite their experimental nature, they never sound abrasive and, together with some mellow Wurlitzer, create a soft, pillowy environment for Chenaux’s romantic crooning about the nature of love, the moon, and warm nights.
Dynamic and uplifting house music characterized by filtered drums and enveloping synth textures. With its driving arpeggiations, danceable 4-on-the-floor grooves, hypnotic build-ups, and soothing ambient tracks, Singularity is extremely well-paced, and it’s most beautiful moments full of sublime wonder.
On Automaginary, the Gnawa-inspired cosmic jazz of Natural Information Society is augmented by the flowing textures of Chicago new age trio Bitchin Bajas to create an album of enveloping drones and trance-inducing rhythms. (Follow link for full Review)
Over the past decade, Josh Abrams has been using his guimbri to create music inspired by the ceremonial music of the Gnawa in North Africa, infusing it with a wide variety of influences from kosmische to minimalism to the avant-garde jazz of his local scene in Chicago. On this album, the focus is on “pure motion” driven by double drummers hypnotically interlocking with guimbri, guitar, keys and harmonium. Each individual plays unique rhythmic figures that push and pull against each other like polyrhythmic tectonic plates, creating constantly changing, yet circular grooves.