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

Swans – The Glowing Man

Style: Experimental Rock, Post Rock

Vibe: Cathartic, Visceral, Spiritual, Brooding, Shadowy, Apocalyptic, Ritualistic, Suspenseful, Climactic, Dark, Powerful, Heavy, Cryptic, Philosophical, Surreal, Epic, Hypnotic, Sombre, Meditative, Mysterious, Monolithic, Longing, Existential, Disorienting

Musical Qualities: Dynamic, Repetitive, Dense, Crescendo, Rhythmic, Droney

William Parker – Mayan Space Station

Style: Cosmic Blues, Jazz Fusion, Spiritual Jazz, Abstract Groove

Vibe: Cathartic, Kinetic, Energized, Exploratory, Cosmic, Spiritual, Propulsive

Musical Qualities: Power Trio, Collective Improvisation, Rhythmic, Dynamic, Loose, Instrumental, Ostinato

Yo La Tengo – Electr-O-Pura

Style: Noise Pop, Shoegaze, Indie Rock

Vibe: Autumnal, Nocturnal, Intimate, Heartfelt, Bittersweet, Eclectic, Sentimental, Romantic, Raw, Reflective

Musical Qualities: Loose, Melodic, Noisy, Driving, Jammy, Vocal Harmonies

Jackie-O Motherfucker – Freaker Pipe

Style: Free Folk, Post-Rock, Free Improvisation, Experimental

Vibe: Ritualistic, Murky, Witchy, Haunting, Mysterious, Raw, Hallucinogenic, Rustic

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Dynamic, Dissonant, Droney, Live, Lo-Fi

Hangedup – Kicker in Tow

Style: Post-Rock, Chamber Punk, Experimental Rock

Vibe: Driving, Murky, Cathartic, Ramshackle, Adventurous, Kinetic, Moody, Industrial

Musical Qualities: Percussive, Loops, Rhythmic, Atmospheric, Pulse, Droney, Dynamic

Instrumentation: Viola + Loops, Drums

Bardo Pond – Vol. II

Style: Drone Rock, Free-Psych, Space Rock

Vibe: Hazy, Exploratory, Lethargic, Meandering, Cathartic, Dreamy, Loose, Hypnotic, Murky, Communal

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Noisy, Dynamic, Lo-fi, Climactic, Riffs, Jams

Wadada Leo Smith – Spirit Catcher

Style: Avant-Garde Jazz, Chamber Jazz, Modern Creative Music

Vibe: Intertwined, Open, Patient, Flowing, Noir, Suspenseful, Spiritual, Communal, Abstract

Musical Qualities: Poly-Free Improvisation, Polyphonic, Acoustic, Complex, Instrumental, Dynamic

Instrumentation: Trumpet (muted), Harp, Vibraphone, Upright Bass, Clarinet, Trombone, Wooden Flute, Drums, Saxophone, Flugelhorn

Hawkwind – Warrior on the Edge of Time

Style: Space Rock, Heavy Psych, Prog

Vibes: Epic, Triumphant, Apocalyptic, Driving, Fuzzy, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Psychedelic, Riffs, Spacey

King Crimson – Islands

Style: Progressive Rock, Jazz-Rock, Chamber Music

Vibe: Pastoral, Mythical, Mysterious, Epic, Bombastic, Mellow, Aquatic, Dreamy

Musical Qualities: Dynamic, Progressive, Complex, Improvisation, Uncommon Time Signatures

Instrumentation: Electric Guitar, Mellotron, Saxophones, Flute, Piano, Drums, Electric Bass, Upright Bass, Cornet, Oboe

Loren Mazzacane Conners & Daniel Carter – The Departing of a Dream Volume VII

Style: Drone, Free Improvisation, Ambient

Vibe: Suspenseful, Haunting, Murky, Mysterious, Meditative, Responsive, Noir

Musical Qualities: Lo-Fi, Improvisation, Noisy, Atmospheric, Heavy Reverb

Muhal Richard Abrams – Colors in Thirty-Third

Style: Creative Music, Chamber Jazz, Free Jazz, Post-Bop

Vibe: Colorful, Sentimental, Impressionistic, Eclectic, Energetic, Introspective

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Dynamic, Poly-free Improvisation, Complex, Spacious

The Underflow – Instant Opaque Evening

Personnel:
David Grubbs (Electric Guitar, Vocals)
Rob Mazurek (Piccolo Trumpet, Electronics, Wooden Flute, Percussion, Voice)
Mats Gustafsson (Flute, Fluteophone, Baritone Saxophone, Live Electronics)


Style: Electroacoustic Improvisation, Future Jazz, Experimental Songwriter (B1,

Vibe: Suspenseful, Futuristic, Abstract, Spacious, Cerebral, Eclectic, Exploratory, Open, Patient, Cathartic, Ritualistic

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Electro-Acoustic, Percussive, Noise, Atonality, Dissonance, Dynamic, Live, Atmospheric

Ryley Walker – Course in Fable

Style: Progressive Songwriter, Jazz-Rock, Prog-Folk, Post-Rock

Vibe: Spring, Introspective, Warm, Intertwoven, Bright, Colorful, Carefree, Reflective, Personal

Musical Qualities: Lush, Progressive, Odd Time Signatures, Intricate, Dynamic, Polished, Improvisation, Lyrical, Riffs, Orchestral Arrangements

Peter Hammill – The Silent Corner and the Empty Stage

Style: Progressive Songwriter, Art Rock

Vibe: Dramatic, Intimate, Longing, Existential, Theatric, Lonely, Alienation, Ambitious

Musical Qualities: Dynamic, Complex, Progressive, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Instrumentation: Piano, Vocals, Guitars (Acoustic & Electric), Organ, Horns, Flute, Keyboards, Saxophone, Flute, Drums, Mellotron

Vic Chesnutt – At the Cut

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Southern Gothic, Chamber Punk, Slowcore, Folk Rock

Vibe: Depressive, Angsty, Triumphant, Moody, Introspective, Somber, Passionate, Sad, Cathartic

Musical Attributes: Dynamic, Raw

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitars, Upright Bass, Violin, Drums

King Krule – Man Alive!

Style: Art-Rock, Progressive Songwriter, Trip-Hop, Post-Punk

Vibe: Brooding, Woozy, Grimey, Nocturnal, Angsty, Introspective, Surreal, Shadowy

Mogwai – Rave Tapes

Style: Post-Rock, Space Rock, Electronic-Rock, Kosmische-Influenced

Vibe: Futuristic, Nocturnal, Mechanical, Focused, Cinematic, Restrained

Musical Qualities: Instrumental, Dynamic, Pulse, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Mourning [A] BLKstar – The Cycle

Style: Avant-Soul, Psychedelic Funk, Trip-Hop

Vibe: Heartfelt, Passionate, Raw, Reflective, Communal, Intimate, Afrofuturism, Nocturnal, Political, Mournful, Eclectic, Powerful

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Groovy, Dynamic, Beats

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

Bardo Pond – Volume 8

Style: Free Psych, Space Rock, Jam Band, Shoegaze

Vibe: Adventurous, Communal, Cathartic, Murky, Epic, Psychedelic, Exploratory, Monolithic, Stoned

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Dynamic, Droney, Atmospheric, Fuzzy, Loose, Riffs

Eberhard Weber’s Colours – Silent Feet

Style: Chamber Jazz, ECM Jazz

Vibe: Impressionistic, Peaceful, Lush, Triumphant, Climactic, Open, Airy, Bright

Musical Attributes: Progressive, Acoustic, Instrumental, Melodic, Improvisation (Structured, Chordal), Dynamic, Technical

Instrumentation: Upright Bass, Soprano Sax, Piano, Drums

Revolutionary Ensemble

Style: Free Jazz, Creative Music

Vibe: Ritualistic, Loose, Cathartic, Complex

Musical Attributes: Collective Improvisation, Acoustic, Polyphonic, Active Listening, Instrumental, Dynamic, Live

Instrumentation: Violin, Upright Bass, Drums

Osamu Kitajima – Benzaiten

Style: Progressive Acid-Folk, Ritual-Folk, Psych-Rock



Moods: Sombre, Earthy, Ritualistic, Psychedelic, Brooding, Exploratory, Mysterious, Spiritual



Musical Attributes: Progressive, Acoustic, Percussive, Rhythmic, Complex, Dynamic



Slint – Spiderland

Style: Post-Rock, Math Rock, Post-Hardcore, Slowcore

Vibe: Angsty, Angular, Cold, Heavy, Impressionistic, Suspenseful

Lyrical Themes: Alienation, Existential, Poetic, Storytelling

Musical Attributes: Dynamic, Slow, Dissonant, Raw, Repetitive

Rob Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra – Dimensional Stardust

Style: Avant-Garde Jazz, Experimental Big Band

Vibe: Cosmic, Energetic, Passionate, Colorful

Musical Attributes: Complex, Dynamic, Progressive, Suite, Polyrhythmic, Spoken Word

Ezra Feinberg – Recumbent Speech

Style: Post-Rock, Post-Minimalism, Progressive Folk

Influences: Kosmische Musik, American Primitive Guitar, Minimalism

Vibe: Airy, Nocturnal, Pastoral, Peaceful, Focused, Imaginative, Impressionistic, Contemplative, Warm

Musical Attributes: Atmospheric, Instrumental, Progressive, Pulse, Odd Time Signatures, Pulse, Dynamic, Headphone Album, Minimalistic

Charles Mingus – The Great Concert of Charles Mingus

Format: LPx3

Style: Post-Bop, Avant-Garde Jazz

Vibe: Bombastic, Passionate, Energetic, Intense, Manic, Playful

Musical Attributes: Complex, Dynamic, Live, Improvisation, Acoustic, Instrumental, Polyphonic, Progressive, Rhythmic

John Surman, John McLaughlin, Dave Holland, Karl Berger, Stu Martin – Where Fortune Smiles

Style: Free Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz

Vibe: Triumphant, Energetic, Epic, Exploratory, Loose, Spiritual, Suspenseful, Angular, Chaotic

Musical Attributes: Polyphonic, Progressive, Complex, Dissonant, Dynamic, Technical, Acoustic, Improvisation (Collective, Thematic), Instrumental

Doug Carn – Spirit of the New Land

Style: Spiritual Jazz, Black Liberation Music, Vocal Jazz

Vibe: Triumphant, Uplifting, Conscious, Groovy, Passionate, Poetic, Cathartic, Spiritual

Musical Attributes: Improvisation, Dynamic, Acoustic, Progressive, Rhythmic, Technical, Melodic, Complex

Mogwai – Mr. Beast

Style: Post-Rock, Shoegaze, Slowcore

Vibe: Cinematic, Moody, Contemplative, Focused, Fuzzy, Melancholy, Sombre, Cathartic

Musical Attributes: Dynamic, Melodic, Noisy, Repetitive, Slow, Atmospheric, Polyphonic

Tarentel – We Move Through Weather

Style: Post-Rock, Experimental Rock
Vibe: Exploratory, Hypnotic, Meandering, Murky, Mysterious, Nature, Abstract, Aquatic, Driving, Droney, Psychedelic
Musical Attributes: Instrumental, Repetitive, Atmospheric, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Loops, Innovative, Dynamic

John Coltrane – Live at the Village Vanguard Again!

Style: Spiritual Jazz, Free Jazz
Vibe: Passionate, Spiritual, Exploratory, Triumphant, 
Musical Attributes: Complex, Modal, Thematic, Acoustic, Live, Improvisation, Dynamic, Instrumental

Jim White and Marisa Anderson – The Quickening

This impressionistic and contemplative collaboration channels deep American folk roots through free flowing improvisations. The panoramic and sensitive drumming of Jim White (Dirty Three, Cat Power, etc) is a perfect match for Marisa Anderson’s primitivist guitar sensibilities, which feel both immediate and abstract.

Anthony Braxton – Creative Orchestra Music 1976

Style: Avant-Garde Big Band, Free Jazz

Vibe: Cerebral, Bombastic, Energetic, Complex, Abstract

Musical Attributes: Dense, Poly-Free Improvisation, Polyphonic, Dynamic, Instrumental, Technical, Innovative

Gruppe Nuova Consonanza – Improvisationen

Style: Free Improvisation, Experimental, Tape Music

Vibe: Suspenseful, Active Listening

Musical Attributes: Collective Improvisation, Atonal, Sparse, Dynamic

Instrumentation: Trumpet, Upright Bass, Cello, Trombone, Percussion, Piano, Electro-Magnetic Tape

Ornette Coleman Double Quintet – Free Jazz

Style: Free Jazz

Vibe: Communal, Bombastic, Complex, Energetic, Passionate, Chaotic

Musical Attributes: Collective Improvisation, Dense, Instrumental, Acoustic, Dynamic, Polyphonic

Ulver – ATGCLVLSSCAP

This heavy drone rock feels like a journey through some haunted terrains and forests in ancient Europe. Monolithic fogs of synths and electronic soundscapes drone on for minutes at a time, occasionally being infiltrated by psychedelic guitars and pummeling marches of drums and bass. Given the cohesive ark, determined focus, and fluidity of the album (without as much as a pause between tracks until track 7), it was surprising to find that most of the songs are studio-enchanced improvisations pulled from 2014 tour recordings.

Recommended for fans of motorik drums, the thick drone of early Earth or Sunn O))), psychedelic guitar noises and fuzzy stoner rock riffs.

Cecil Taylor – Unit Structures

Album Information: Originally released in 1966 on Blue Note Records Recorded May 19, 1966 1973 Reissue Format: LP Personnel: Cecil … More

Dave Harrington Group – Pure Imagination, No Country

Innovative guitarist and producer Dave Harrington (Darkside) uses his latest record to explore the outer reaches of improvisation and compositional post-production. Pure Imagination, No Country is jazz-rock fusion stripped of its retro connotations—fusing hard grooves, free flights of collective improvisation, and futuristic ambience to create something that is at turns atmospheric and in your face.

Recommended for fans of Bill Frisell, Terje Rypdal, or Jaga Jazzist

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.

Tarentel – The Order of Things

The Order of Things takes you on a strange journey, starting off with a long ambient song built around field recordings, light acoustic guitar and some weird drones in the background. Highly recommended if you’re a fan of experimental post-rock, drone, or music that doesn’t like to be easily categorized.


King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King

Released in 1969 on Atlantic Format: LP Pressing quality: While this album is a masterpiece, these early pressings/masters sound a … More

Dirty Three – Horse Stories

The third album from the Melbourne (Au) violin/guitar/drum trio consists of loose, drifting instrumentals that conjure images of vast, open plains. Though the music here is often melancholic and lethargic, it is occasionally swept up with bursts of passionate energy and possessed by cathartic longing (especially the pleading and utterly beautiful violin solo on “Warren’s Lament”). All three instrumentalists have very individual styles that complement and dialogue with each other in refreshingly unique ways.

Soft Machine – Third

Pulling away from the jazzy psych-pop of their first two albums, Soft Machine gears towards sprawling sidelong compositions of spacey prog infused with thematic jazz fusion improvisations, compositional edits, and heavy doses of experimental post-production (Click for Full Review)

Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada EP

“Side A is cut at 45rpm and features “Moya”, a broiling cascade of upward scales that repeatedly explodes beyond its own threshold. “BBF3” on Side B clocks in at 18 minutes, and was the band’s most lyrical, multi-movement music to date — more elaborated melodic figures wind around an angry spoken-word field recording (infamously culminating in the recital of the speaker’s poem — verses lifted straight from Iron Maiden)”

Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke, & Oren Ambarchi – This Dazzling, Genuine “Difference” Now Where Shall It Go?

Released in 2017 on Black Truffle Records Recorded live on October 28, 2014 at SuperDeluxe Tokyo by Masahide Ando Format: … More

Young Jesus – The Whole Thing is Just There

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.

Yonatan Gat – Universalists

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.

Natural Information Society & Bitchin Bajas – Automaginary

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)

Marriages – Kitsune

A unique blend of post-rock, stoner rock, and shoegaze crafted into a cohesive, perfectly fluid 25 minutes. Hallucinogenic atmospheres, shadowy guitar effects, and mysterious pitch-shifted vocals envelope driving, stoner-fuzz bass lines that often liquify into the watery chorus-bass you might find on the Cure’s Disintegration or an Isis album.