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.
Released in 2014 on Constellation Records Format: LP
Released in 2018 on The Leaf Label Format: LPx2 Includes vinyl-exclusive track on side D
Released in 1975 on Virgin Records UK Pressing Format: LP
Album Information: Originally released in 1966 on Blue Note Records Recorded May 19, 1966 1973 Reissue Format: LP Personnel: Cecil … More
Released in 2012 on Young God Records Format: LPx3
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
Released in 2011 on Temporary Residence Format: LPx2, etching on D-side
Released in 2012 on Constellation Records Format: LP + 7″
Released in 2000 on Constellation Records Format: LPx2
Released in 1973 on Atlantic Records Format: LP
Released in 2008 on Constellation Records Format: LPx2
Originally released in 1999 2009 reissue on FatCat Records Format: LPx2, 180
Released in 2001 on Temporary Residence Recorded in 2000 Format: LP
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 2016 by Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP
Released in 1968 on Nessa Records Recorded on August 11th & 25th, 1967 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 2005 on Constellation Records Format: LPx2, etching on D-side
Originally released in 2009 on Relapse Records 2013 Pressing Format: LPx2
Originally released in 2005 on P.W. Elverum & Sun 2015 Pressing, re-mixed and re-designed Format: LP, white vinyl
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.
Released in 1970 on Atlantic Records Format: LP
Released in 1969 on Atlantic Format: LP Pressing quality: While this album is a masterpiece, these early pressings/masters sound a … More
Released in 1991 on Touch and Go Records 2000’s pressing Format: LP
Released in 2007 on Temporary Residence Format: LPx2, etching on D-side
Released in 2006 on Warp Records 2012 Pressing Format: LPx2, 180g, 45rpm
Originally released in 1999 on Temporary Residence 2016 expanded edition
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.
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)
“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)”
Released in 2017 on Black Truffle Records Recorded live on October 28, 2014 at SuperDeluxe Tokyo by Masahide Ando Format: … More
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.
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.
Released in 2004 on Constellation Records Format: LPx2, Side D is blank
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)
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.
Released in 1981 on ECM Records Recorded in concert in May, 1980 at Amerika Haus München, Germany Format: LPx2
Released in 2002 on Arts & Crafts Records Format: LPx2
Information: Released in 2002 on Constellation Records
Album Information: Released in 1997 on Constellation Records Format: LP, includes inserts, a flyer, and a penny smashed by a … More
Album Information: Released in 2007 on Constellation Records
Released in 2014 on Merge Records Format: LP
Album Information: Released in 1975 on Atlantic Records Produced by Jimmy Page Format: LPx2 Recommended Tracks: A3 – In My … More
Acoustic-shredder/singer-songwriter ventures out of the jazz-inflected folk-rock territory explored by his last few albums to create something that feels fully himself. Deafman Glance is full of angular left turns, complex structures, airy flutes, jazz detours, and psychedelic atmospheres. A balance of great songwriting, jazz musicianship, and experimental/art-rock tendencies. Recommended to fans of Tortoise’s Standards, Tim Buckley’s Starsailor, and King Crimson’s Red. (Click for full review).
Released in 2008 on Important Records Format: LP
Taking a detour from his usual loner-droner psych folk style, Ben Chasney enlists former Comets on Fire bandmates to jam some heavy rock burners with a a cosmic amount of electric guitar shredding, evoking Neil Young & Crazy Horse blasting off on a rocket. The new electric energy brought to this album is balanced out by an equal amount of the fingerpicking prog-folk and meditative acoustic ballads that have been developing in his music since the 90’s. While I will always love his more melancholy, nocturnal records that sound like he’s lost in a forest somewhere, I welcome the fiery energy of Ascent.
“Recorded in an old wooden barn, this second album is swaddled in twilight autumnal ambiance. While the record is bookended by the band’s awesome psych-rock explosions, much of the material here shows increased referencing of jazz influences (modal horns, brushed percussion) and a more organic deployment of micro-electronics. Raw and polished, visceral and cerebral, the band combines rock and jazz traditions of space music with the ‘instrumental’ potentials of mixing room to present a true gem of a record.” (Press Release)
Album Information: Released in 2009 on Constellation Records Tracklist A1 – Do A2 – Make B1 – Say B2 – … More
Progressive alt-rock that prioritizes dynamics and atmosphere over flashy solos or superfluous complexity. Recommended for fans of Oceansize, Deftones, Mogwai, or the last two Isis albums.
Godspeed’s last album before their 10 year hiatus was produced by the legendary Steve Albini, resulting in what might be their heaviest and most direct album to date. Coming off the heels of September 11th, Yanqui U.X.O. seems to be a reaction against the ramped up military-industrial complex and its promotion of fear and xenophobia, as well as protesting Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The back cover even goes as far as connecting each major record label to some type of weapons manufacturer.
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