Style: Experimental Rock, Brutal Prog, Free Minimalism, Math Rock, Noise
Vibe: Hypnotic, Cold, Ritualistic, Dystopian, Mysterious, Chaotic, Surreal, Loose
Musical Qualities: Dissonant, Improvisation, Minimalistic, Noisy, Complex, Instrumental, Pulse, Uncommon Time Signatures
Instrumentation: Saxophone, Electric Guitar, Loops, Percussion
Style: Glitch Pop, Art Pop, Future R&B, UK Bass
Vibe: Sensual, Mechanical, Futuristic, Sexual, Anxious, Surreal, Urban, Cold
Musical Qualities: Digital, Melodic, Glitchy, Dense
Style: Psychedelic Folk, Singer/Songwriter
Vibe: Flowing, Dreamy, Nocturnal, Mellow, Soothing, Introspective, Haunting, Pastoral, Airy, Ethereal, Intimate Bittersweet, Melancholy, Contemplative, Loner, Peaceful, Soft
Musical Qualities: Vocal Harmonies, Acoustic, Lush, Melodic, Sparse, Reverb
Style: Drone-Metal, Post-Metal
Vibe: Cathartic, Murky, Suspenseful, Passionate, Sombre, Powerful, Dark
Musical Qualities: Dynamic, Minimalistic, Heavy, Fuzzy, Feedback
Style: Singer/Songwriter, Chamber Pop, Progressive Pop
Vibe: Playful, Bittersweet, Satirical, Catchy
Musical Attributes: Lush, Progressive, Melodic, Lyrical, Polished
Style: Experimental Singer/Songwriter, Avant-Folk, Drone
Vibe: Winter, Existential, Imaginative, Introspective, Contemplative, Epic, Philosophical, Poetic, Ethereal, Loner, Meditative, Eclectic
Musical Attributes: Atmospheric, Droney, Lo-Fi, Lyrical, Progressive
Style: Neo-Psychedelia, Psych Pop
Vibe: Catchy, Colorful, Hallucinogenic, Hypnotic, Psychedelic, Stoned, Summer, Sunny, Surreal, Warm
Musical Attributes: Loops, Sampling, Lush, Melodic, Rhythmic
Style: Loner Folk, Singer Songwriter, Psych Folk
Vibe: Lethargic, Loner, Peaceful, Soothing, Airy, Mellow, Contemplative, Dreamy, Droney, Hypnotic, Intimate, Introspective
Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Droney, Slow, Sparse, Soft
Style: Chamber Pop, Art Pop
Vibe: Lush, Ethereal, Imaginative, Sensual, Storytelling, Surreal, Intricate, Airy, Dreamy
Instrumentation: Vocals, Keyboards (Piano, Harpsichord, etc), Upright Bass, Strings, Drums, Saxophone
Style: Collage Pop, Glitch-Folk, Plunderphonics
Vibe: Bittersweet, Warm, Eclectic
Musical Attributes: Sampling, Electro-Acoustic
“There is a heightened and sustained sense of intuition running through this recording whose sonic palette is so wide it captures – through soundscaping, invocation, lament, impressionistic vocal weaving – not only the transient and hybridised nature of life in Johannesburg, but also the heaviness of the air at the time of its recording. More ambient, controlled swirl of rhythm and experimental mixing than incessant groove, the album is an outpouring of a range of expressions that exist between the supposed binaries of indigenous forms of music and the electronic experimentation Johannesburg is known globally for.” (from Bandcamp)
Listening to Alex G, one might imagine a young alien sitting alone in his martian bedroom baring his angsty, teenage confessions to his 4-track tape recorder. Yet, at the core of his music, underneath layers of psychedelic guitars, weird pitch-shifted vocals, and occasional lo-fi hiss, lies some genius pop songs that feel simultaneously adolescent and mature.
Recommended for fans of lo-fi experimentation and bedroom pop. Alex seems to pull influences from all over and channel them through his own unique personality and penchant for odd, psychedelic production. Recalls Elliot Smith’s loner acoustic songwriting and drum machines pulled from 80′s pop songs; there’s even a fucked up jazz piano ballad thrown into the mix.
Style: Free Improvisation, Post-Minimalism, Trance Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz
Vibe: Suspenseful, Hypnotic, Epic, Anxious, Impressionistic
Musical Attributes: Atmospheric, Repetitive, Droney, Dissonant, Electro-Acoustic, Collective Improvisation, Minimalistic
Released in 2015 on Constellation Records Recorded June 3-5, 2014 Format: LP
Released in 2015 on Ninja Tune Format: LP
Style: Free Folk, American Primitive Guitar, Poly-Free Improvisation, Experimental Rock
Vibe: Contemplative, Pastoral, Loner, Moody, Melancholy, Mellow, Abstract, Eerie
Musical Qualities: Improvisation, Complex, Electro-Acoustic
Released in 2015 on Relapse Records Format: LPx2, 45rpm, Red Vinyl
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 2015 on Noumenal Loom 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 2015 on Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP, gold vinyl
Released in 2015 on Asthmatic Kitty Records Format: LP, clear vinyl First Pressing, limited to 10,000 copies
Released in 2015 on Brainfeeder Records Format: 12″ EP, Red Vinyl
Released in 2015 on Space Lung/Land Breathing Records Format: LP
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 2015 on Drag City Composed using Ben Chasny’s Hexadic System
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.
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.
Released in 2015 on People Teeth Format: LP
Kendrick travels through the history of African-American music and into the future, taking inspiration from P-Funk, G-Funk, jazz, trap and everything in between. His lyrics display an acute awareness of someone battling with the weight of fame, institutional racism, and his own depression. This album is simultaneously personal and universal, and nothing short of revolutionary.
Style: Arabic Folk, Avant-Folk
Vibe: Mourful, Passionate, Political, Psychedelic
Musical Qualities/Instrumentation: Electroacoustic, Buzuk, Vocals, Prepared Guitar, Field Recordings
Saxophonist Colin Stetson and violinist Sarah Neufeld employ innovative performance techniques, mutating ostinatos and an atmospheric sense of texture to compose minimalist compositions that are as brooding and haunting they are hypnotically beautiful.
Kamasi Washington and his band The Next Step, pick up where their forefathers and mothers left off by making spiritual jazz that respects the jazz canon without getting stuck in the past. This album ranges from free to groovy to melodic without losing sight of its mission. The inclusion of such a large band, an orchestra, a choir, and even a turntablist allows an infinite, colorful array of tonal and dynamic possibilities.
Meditative jazz explorations of space, rhythm and textures inspired by Miles Davis’ ambient jazz pieces, Gnawa ceremonial music of North Africa, the spiritual jazz of Pharoah Sanders and Don Cherry, and the mutating minimalism of Steve Reich.
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This double album set is recommended to anyone looking for extremely primal, complex punk rap with a wide range of influences, including industrial hip-hop, IDM, math rock, noise, and psychedelic rock. Fans of experimental, aggressive hip-hop like Dälek or Public Enemy will probably really dig this, as will fans of math rock for the extremely innovative musicianship and intricate interplay of Death Grips’/Hella’s Zack Hill and Tera Melos’ Nick Reinhart (who plays on 5 of the tracks).
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Kaleidoscopic pop driven by round, groovy bass locked in with funky, motorik drumming, all floating through layers of swirling, delayed guitars, shimmering synths, and dreamy vocals. Recommended to anyone looking for a smooth, sugary middle ground between Stereolab, Toro y Moi, and Neu!
Jazzy Folk-Rock with dynamic songwriting, passionate vocals, and acoustic shredding accompanied by fluid drums, watery vibraphones, distorted keys and groovy upright bass. FFO Astral Weeks, Joni Mitchell, John Martyn, and Tim Buckley
“Day of Mangoes” is overstimulation at it’s finest. Just imagine floating down a river through an unexplored tropical paradise where every corner brings a new array of colorful sounds. Warm synths gliding over clunking piano give way to chorus-drenched highlife guitars strumming over thick synth basslines. Manipulated vocal samples emerge from nowhere and then disappear into radio static just as quickly…RIYL: Animal Collective, King Sunny Ade, & Madlib
Released in 2015 on One Little Indian Records Format: LP Review Music inspired by a break-up is nothing new. Usually this … More