Conceptual

Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter Five: In the Garden

Style: Free Jazz, Creative Music, Liberation Music, Jazz Poetry, Spiritual Jazz

Vibe: Passionate, Rootsy, Poetic, Storytelling, Rebellious, Compassionate, Intertwined, Haunting, Spiritual, Driving, Communal, Triumphant, Sad, Powerful

Themes: Ancestry, History, Feminism, Trauma, Memory, Black Liberation, Identity, Death

Musical Qualities: Suite, Thematic, Graphic Score, Improvisation, Spoken Word, Complex, Group Vocals

Daniel Bachman – When the Roses Come Again

Style: Avant-Folk, Ambient Americana, Free-Folk, American Primitivism

Vibes: Meditative, Personal, Morning, Pastoral, Earthy, History, Hypnotic, Summer, Nature, Soothing

Musical Qualities: Collage, Electro-Acoustic, Glitchy, Suite, Vignettes, Instrumental, Sampling, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Atmospheric

Instrumentation: Banjo, Acoustic Guitar, Mouthbow, Fiddle, Homemade Instruments, Harmonium, Bell

Magma II – 1001° centigrades

Style: Zeuhl, Jazz-Rock, Cosmic Opera, Avant-Prog

Vibe: Epic, Theatric, Menacing, Driving, Anxious, Science Fiction, Cosmic, Dramatic, Eccentric, Dark

Instrumentation: Operatic Vocals, Drums, Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Trumpet, Percussion, Clarinet, Rhodes, Piano, Electric Bass, Flute

The Flaming Lips – 7 Skies H3

Abridged version of a 24-hour recording from 2011

Style: Post-Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Experimental Rock, Progressive Electronic

Vibe: Cold, Apocalyptic, Desolate, Ominous, Mournful, Sombre, Mysterious, Existential, Rainy, Spacey, Melancholy, Nihilistic, Haunting, Hypnotic, Lonely, Dreamy, Cerebral, Meandering, Greyscale, Dystopian

Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile

Style: Jazz (Spiritual, Avant-Garde, Folk), Modern Creative, Spirituals

Moods: Spiritual, Storytelling, Passionate, Reflective, Intertwined, Rootsy, Warm, Uplifting, Poetic, Communal

Musical Qualities: Suite, Progressive, Acoustic, Collage, Complex, Dense, Conducted Improvisation, Thematic,

Instrumentation: Alto Saxophone, Group Vocals, Wordspeak, Operatic Vocals, Piano, Trumpet, Upright Bass, Drums

Julia Holter – Loud City Song

Styles: Art Pop, Progressive Songwriter, Ambient Pop, Chamber-Jazz (Influenced)

Moods: Nocturnal, Surreal, Elegant, Ethereal, Observational, Flowing, Alienation, Cryptic, Disaffected, Lonely, Longing, Melancholy, Mysterious, Poetic, Romantic, Winter

Musical Qualities: Lush, Orchestral, Progressive, Vocal Harmonies, Lyrical, Dynamic, Complex, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Instrumentation: Keyboards, Piano, Upright Bass, Violin, Cello, Drums, Saxophone, Trombone, Percussion, Group Vocals

Mastodon – Blood Mountain

Style: Progressive Sludge Metal

Moods: Aggressive, Epic, Fantasy, Intense, Heavy, Complex, Forest, Energetic, Psychedelic, Driving, Knotty

Musical Qualities: Riffs, Dense, Progressive, Uncommon Time Signatures, Technical, Conceptual

Waajeed – The Patty Hearst Beat Tape

Style: Instrumental Hip-Hop

Moods: Rebellious, Political, Futuristic, Communist, Spacey, Conceptual

Musical Qualities: Beats, Suite, Samples, Collage, Spoken Word, Loops

Daevid Allen – Now is the Happiest Time of Your Life

Style: Cosmic Folk, Psych Rock, Space Ambient

Vibe: Cosmic, Whimsical, Surreal, Bright, Sunny, Mystical, Mythic, Poetic, Uplifting

Qualities: Atmospheric, Conceptual, Eclectic

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Synthesizers, Spoken Word, Tabla, Flute, Violin, Harp, Drums, Slide Guitar

Danny Brown – XXX

Style: Hardcore Hip-Hop, Psychedelic Hip-Hop

Vibe: Hedonistic, Personal, Sexual, Vulgar, Manic, Playful, Introspective, Depressive, Nihilistic, Aggressive, Anxious, Dark, Stoned, Storytelling, Urban, Surreal, Disturbing, Existential, Sarcastic

Musical Qualities: Sampling, Lyrical

Outkast – ATLiens

Style: Southern Rap, Psychedelic Hip-Hop, Neo-Soul

Vibe: Futuristic, Spacey, Philosophical, Surreal, Urban, Cerebral, Confident, Conscious, Storytelling, Determined, Conceptual

Musical Qualities: Technical, Progressive, Lyrical, Sampling, Group Vocals, Rhythmic

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata

Style: Gangsta Rap

Vibe: Cinematic, Crime, Confident, Aggressive, Storytelling, Urban, Groovy, Warm, Hedonistic, Summer, Vulgar, Introspective, Triumphant, Dusty

Musical Qualities: Sampling, Technical, Rhythmic, Lush

Moor Mother – Circuit City

Style: Future Jazz, Free Jazz Theater, Jazz Poetry

Vibe: cathartic, cerebral, dystopian, energetic, futuristic, bombastic, intense, noisy, passionate, poetic, political, powerful, rebellious, urban, heavy, AfroFuturist

Musical Attributes: Complex, Conceptual, Dense, Dissonant, Spoken Word, Theatric, Progressive, Polyphonic, Improvisation

John Carter – Fields

Style: Avant-Garde Jazz, Country-Jazz, Jazz Theater

Vibe: Rural, Historical, Sombre, Resolute, Intertwined, Passionate, Storytelling, Determined, Resolute, Heartfelt, Complex, Theatric, Conceptual

Musical Qualities: Suite, Acoustic, Progressive, Collective Improvisation, Polyphonic, Dynamic, Technical

Sons of Kemet – Your Queen Is a Reptile

Style: Afro-Caribbean Jazz, Spiritual Jazz

Vibe: Protest, Political, Intense, Propulsive, Conscious, Energetic, Groovy, Hypnotic, Passionate, Rebellious, Spiritual, Powerful, Tropical, Conceptual

Musical Qualities: Dense, Polyphonic, Rhythmic, Improvisation, Spoken Word, Percussive

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

Gong – Camembert Electrique

Style: Space Rock, Canterbury Scene, Prog, Jazz-Rock

Vibes: Eccentric, Surreal, Playful, Epic, Psychedelic, Theatric, Energetic, Spiritual, Conceptual, Energetic

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Complex, Driving, Technical

Fletcher Tucker – Unlit Trail

Style: Ritual Folk, Drone

Vibe: Ancient, Forest, Meditative, Ritualistic, Intimate, Devotional, Earthy, Nature, Autumnal, Contemplative

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Field Recordings, Drone, Atmospheric, Sparse, Suite

Brainticket – Celestial Ocean

Style: Kosmische Musik, Prog, Space Rock, Progressive Electronic

Vibe: Cosmic, Ethereal, Aquatic, Groovy, Exploratory, Hypnotic, Meditative, Hallucinogenic, Spiritual, Futuristic

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Suite, Raga, Headphone Album, Raga, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Dense

Lyrics: Conceptual, Egyptian Book of the Dead, Spiritual, Philosophical

Steve Hillage – Fish Rising

Style: Prog-Pop, Canterbury Scene, Space Rock, Jazz-Rock

Vibe: Playful, Aquatic, Mystical, Adventure, Spacey, Hypnotic, Sunny, Energetic, Triumphant, Colorful, Conceptual

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Groovy, Technical, Polyphonic, Suite, Melodic, Riffs, Atmospheric, Jams

Richard Dawson – 2020 [Review]

Style: Progressive Songwriter, Art Rock, Progressive Pop

Vibe: Satirical, Depressive, Anxious, Dystopian, Bright, Eccentric, Existential, Longing, Pessimistic, Urban, Storytelling

Musical Qualities: Complex, Dense, Progressive, Intricate, Dynamic, Conceptual

David Bowie – Black Star

Style: Art Rock, Jazz-Rock
Vibe: Introspective, Moody, Passionate, Sentimental, Sombre, Conceptual
Musical Attributes: Lyrical, Complex, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Rhythmic, Progressive
Lyrical Themes: Death, Existential, Personal, Reflective

Gong – Angel’s Egg (Radio Gnome Invisible Part 2)

The second Radio Gnome transmission finds Zero the Hero astral projecting to PlanetGong where he meets with Selene the Moon Goddess and the Octave Doctors to learn the infinite powers of their lovewisdom vibrations. This psychedelic journey brings together fantastical imagery of pothead pixies and flying teapots (and a dose of hippy hedonism) with heady spiritual concepts delivered in a quite fun and silly way, but even before digging into the concept I was immediately grabbed by their unique style spacey jazz-rock with its propulsive bass lines, immersive synthesizer atmospheres and serpentine soprano sax soloing.

Mastodon – Leviathan

Originally released in 2004 on Relapse Records 2014 pressing on Oxblood vinyl Format: LP

Sufjan Stevens – Illinois

Released in 2005 on Asthmatic Kitty Records Format: LPx2 Listen: Purchase: https://asthmatickitty.com/merch/illinois/  

Human Behavior – Bethpage

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.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Murder Ballads

Style: Goth Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Dark Cabaret

Moods: Winter, Sombre, Dark, Theatrical, Storytelling, Ominous, Brooding, Violent, Vulgar

Musical Qualities: Lyrical, Lush, Polished

Damien Jurado – Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son

Lushly cinematic folk-rock draped in sweeping string arrangements and spacey synth atmospheres. Damien’s reverbed falsetto recalls Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Bon Iver as he softly sings of God, “spaceships”, and other imagery blending Christian themes with science-fiction.

For fans of My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses, and Beck’s Sea Change