COS – Cosmix

Style: Prog, Jazz Rock, Canterbury Scene, Cosmic Disco

Vibe: Triumphant, Complex, Anthemic, Groovy, Spacey, Exploratory, Energetic, Warm, Eccentric, Surreal, Playful, Adventure, Epic

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Thematic, Lush, Group Vocals, Technical, Rhythmic, Odd Time Signatures, Improvisation, Polyphonic

Instrumentation: Flute, Electric Bass, Electric Guitar, Horns, Synthesizer

David Bowie – Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)

Style: Glam Rock, Art Pop, Funk Rock

Vibe: Sleek, Eccentric, Energetic, Anxious, Grandiose, Urban, Dystopian, Theatric, Playful, Passionate, Futuristic, Manic, Sleazy, Surreal

Musical Qualities: Groovy, Polished, Dense, Catchy, Riffs, Anthemic, Rhythmic

Steve Hillage – Aura

Style: Progressive Pop, Space Rock, Synth-Funk, Canterbury Scene

Vibe: Playful, Spacey, Colorful, Anthemic, Groovy

Musical Qualities: Catchy, Progressive, Polished, Riffs, Rhythmic, Technical, Shred

Ornette Coleman – Body Meta

Style: Free-Funk, Avant-Garde Jazz, Jazz Fusion

Vibe: Angular, Anthemic, Manic, Kinetic, Driving, Intertwined, Chaotic, Funky, Triumphant

Musical Qualities: Polyphonic, Collective Improvisation, Rhythmic, Instrumental, Dissonant

Personnel:
Ornette Coleman – alto saxophone, producer; Bern Nix – Electric Guitar; Charlie Ellerbee – Electric Guitar; Jamaaladeen Tacuma – Electric Bass; Ronald Shannon Jackson – Drums

Akron/Family – Set Em Wild, Set Em Free

These guys are my favorite American Rock band. Every album they’ve released explores different sides of rock, folk, experimental and psychedelic music in such a natural, unforced way that my mind usually envisions them jamming by a campfire in the woods. What’s even better is I imagine I’m there with them singing along and worshipping the great creative spirit that inspires their music. There’s such an unpretentious, inclusive sense of community and spirituality in their music that I can’t help but feel welcomed and embraced into the family.

Irreversible Entanglements – Open the Gates

Style: Free Jazz, Future Jazz, Jazz Poetry, Liberation Music

Vibe: Ritualistic, Triumphant, Aquatic, Communal, Futuristic, Philosophical, Poetic, Anthemic, Cerebral, Confident, Conscious, Determined, Epic, Existential, Groovy, Healing, Heavy, Liberation, Political, Powerful, Rebellious, Evocative, Mystical, Intertwined

Musical Qualities: Thematic, Collective Improvisation, Acoustic Instrumentation, Spoken Word, Progressive Structures, Rhythmic, Polyphonic, Dynamic, Complex, Dub Fx

Media Jeweler – The Sublime Sculpture of Being Alive

Style: Post-Punk, Math Rock, Art Rock

Vibes/Moods: Alienation, Overstimulated, Anxious, Urban, Eccentric, Anthemic, Satirical, Dystopian, Angular, Chaotic, Colorful, Urban, Philosophical, Playful

Musical Qualities: Catchy, Dissonant, Riffs, Dynamic, Dense, Melodic, Rhythmic

Charlie Haden / Liberation Music Orchestra – Ballad of the Fallen

Style: Experimental Big Band, Avant-Garde Jazz, Flamenco

Vibe: Mournful, Communal, Political, Anthemic, Conceptual, Conscious, Liberation, Sombre, Traditional

Musical Qualities: Polyphonic, Suite, Acoustic, Complex, Dynamic, Thematic Improvisation, Instrumental, Orchestral, political, Technical

Susan Alcorn Quintet – Pedernal

Style: Avant-Chamber Jazz, Poly-Free Improvisation

Vibe: Abstract, Open, Suspenseful

Musical Attributes: Thematic Collective Improvisation, Instrumental

Instrumentation: Slide Guitar, Violin, Electric Guitar, Drums, Upright Bass

Fire! – Defeat

Style: Avant-Garde Jazz, Progressive Fusion

Vibe: Nocturnal, Groovy, Primal, Surreal, Alien, Propulsive, Powerful, Seductive, Suspenseful, Moody, Monochromatic

Musical Qualities: Rhythmic, Polyphonic, Complex, Dissonant, Extended Technique, Thematic Improvisation, Repetition, Experimental Vocals

Swamp Dogg – Rat On!

Style: Country-Soul, Funk

Vibe: Anthemic, Bittersweet, Triumphant, Political, Satirical, Playful, Groovy, Sunny, Conscious, Heartfelt, Warm, Sentimental, Rebellious, Philosophical

Musical Qualities: Lush, Rhythmic, Polished, Melodic, Lyrical

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!

Style: Chamber Rock, Post-Rock

Vibe: Climactic, Triumphant, Epic, Anti-Imperialist, Anthemic, Communal, Apocalyptic, Suspenseful

Musical Qualities: Dynamic, Instrumental, Atmospheric, Field Recordings, Progressive, Suite, Droney

Kraftwerk – Autobahn

Style: Krautrock, Electro-Pop, Progressive Electronic

Vibe: Motorik, Mechanical, Anthemic, Futuristic, Sleek, Urban, Warm, Hypnotic, Driving, Bright

Musical Attributes: Melodic, Repetitive, Progressive, Catchy, Polished, Studio-as-an-Instrument

The Awakening – Hear, Sense and Feel

Style: Soul Jazz, Spiritual Jazz

Vibe: Uplifting, Joyful, Anthemic, Communal, Groovy, Spiritual, Spring

Musical Attributes: Complex, Improvisation (Chordal), Rhythmic, Technical, Thematic

Instrumentation: Piano, Upright Bass, Trumpet, Saxophone (Tenor), Flute, Drums, Trombone

Holy Sons – Raw & Disfigured

Style: Loner Folk, Psych Rock, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Introspective, Loner, Dark, Nocturnal, Psychedelic

Lyrical Themes: Philosophical, Existential, Death, Personal

Musical Attributes: Lush, Melodic, Lyrical

Sly & the Family Stone – There’s a Riot Goin’ On

Style: Psychedelic Funk

Vibe: Triumphant, Energetic, Anthemic, Communal, Rebellious, Groovy, Sunny, Psychedelic, Powerful, Confident, Eclectic, Complex

Irreversible Entanglements – Who Sent You?

Irreversible Entanglements follows up the scathing fire music of their debut with regenerative and ritualistic earth music. “Who Sent You?”, is a record that looks not only to the violent “rhythms of oppression”, past and present, that need to be burnt to the ground, but to a future built from the ashes of these unjust systems. Irreversible Entanglements are simply one of the most powerful bands in existence, building their symbiotic improvisations with fervent passion, hypnotic rhythm, and urgent truths.

Holy Sons – In the Garden

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.

Jim O’Rourke – Insignificance

After a prolific career as a noise/improvisational/experimental guitarist and a few forays into folk and chamber pop, Jim O’Rourke surprised his audience with an album closer to straightforward rock than his audience could have ever expected of him. Yet underneath it’s catchy, cheery, and polished exterior, his lyrics are full of humorously bitter resentment. Like his debut singer/songwriter album Eureka, Insignificance is full of the meticulous and lush arrangements that Jim would become known for.

Grails – Chalice Hymnal

While each Grails album uses instrumental rock as a means to explore a vast record collection’s worth of influences, none have done so with the subtlety and focus put into each track of this latest offering, allowing us to see the intangible essence of their sound more clearly than ever.