Experimental

Fursaxa – Mycorrhizae Realm

Style: Free-Folk, Ritual-Drone

Vibe: Nature, Mystical, Ritualistic, Dreamy, Forest, Hallucinogenic, Nocturnal, Hypnotic, Sombre

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Droney, Repetitive, Mantra, Electroacoustic

Instrumentation: Harmonium, Vocals, Guitar, Harp, Cello, Flute

James Blood – Tales of Captain Black

Style: Free Funk, Avant-Garde Jazz, Abstract Groove, No Wave

Vibe: Frenetic, Knotty, Disjointed, Funky, Angular, Chaotic, Triumphant, Playful, Energetic, Free, Manic, Bombastic

Musical Qualities: Harmolodic, Polyphonic, Polyrhythmic, Collective Improvisation, Dissonant, Uncommon Time Signatures, Instrumental

Sunburned Hand of the Man – A Grand Tour of Tunisia

Style: Free-Rock, Ritual-Psych, Group Therapy

Vibe: Meandering, Hallucinogenic, Communal, Ritualistic, Surreal, Messy, Amorphous, Mysterious, Playful, Eccentric, Tribal, Warm

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Lo-fi, Loose, Percussive, Jams, Suite

Jackie-O Motherfucker – Liberation

Style: Free Folk, Mystical Americana, Drone, Free Improvisation, Post-Rock

Vibe: Weary, Hopeful, Rustic, Communal, Spiritual, Ragged, Eerie, Melancholy, Deconstructed, Hypnotic, Communal, Haunting, Raw, Suspenseful, Intertwined

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Dynamic, Lo-Fi, Atmospheric, Droney, Group Vocals, Dub FX

Instrumentation: Electric Guitars, Vibraphone, Flute, Drums, Violin, Cello, Clarinet, Saxophone, Banjo, Melodica, Sitar, Electronics, Turntable, Keyboards, Trumpet, Electric Bass

Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes – Ame debout

Style: Progressive Folk, Avant-Folk

Vibe: Brooding, Visceral, Witchy, Sombre, Forest, Intense, Driving, Passionate, Rebellious

Musical Qualities: Dynamic, Progressive, Experimental Vocals

Instrumentation: Organ, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Vocals

Sun Ra – The Magic City

Style: Cosmic Jazz

Vibe: Cosmic, Mysterious, Chaotic, Epic, Futuristic, Imaginative, Suspenseful, Ominous, Spacey, Surreal, Spiritual

Musical Qualities: Instrumental, Dynamic, Collective Improvisation, Dissonant, Atonal, Progressive, Free

Eli Keszler – Stadium

Style: EAI (electroacoustic improvisation), Future Jazz

Vibe: Futuristic, Kinetic, Urban, Abstract, Impressionistic, Meditative, Suspenseful, Mysterious, Complex

Musical Qualities: Percussive, Electroacoustic, Polyrhythmic, Field Recordings, Instrumental, Improvisation (Solo), Odd Time Signatures, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Senyawa – Alkisah

Style: Avant-Folk, Tribal Drone-Doom, Southeast Asian Folk Music

Vibe: Ceremonial, Apocalyptic, Aggressive, Hypnotic, Murky, Shadowy, Dark, Tribal

Musical Qualities: Percussive, Acoustic, Fuzzy, Heavy, Loops, Noisy, Repetitive, Droney, Extended Technique, Electroacoustic

Instrumentation: Homemade Bamboo Instruments, Electroacoustic Treatments, Percussion, Throat Singing, Chants

Dennis Wise – Wize Music

Style: Innervisionary, Psychedelic Tape Music, Ambient Dub, Future Folk, Experimental, New Age

Vibe: Alien, Mystical, Woozy, Nocturnal, Exploratory

Musical Qualities: Collage, Loops, Electro-acoustic, Percussive, Dub Fx, Dissonance

Günter Schickert – Samtvogel

Style: Psychedelic Tape Music, Loner Kosmische

Vibe: Shadowy, Introspective, Ominous, Nocturnal, Hypnotic, Hallucinogenic, Ritualistic, Raw

Musical Qualities: Tape Loops, Experimental Vocals, Atmospheric Layers, Improvisation, Droney, Repetitive

Zs – Xe

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

Günter Schickert – Überfällig

Style: Loner Psych, Kosmische, Tape Music, Berlin School, Inner Space Music

Vibe: Nocturnal, Introspective, Exploratory, Hypnotic, Brooding, Contemplative, Mysterious, Suspenseful, Sombre, Loner, Hallucinogenic, Paranoid, Aquatic, Haunting

Musical Qualities: Studio-as-an-Instrument, Pulse, Loops, Atmospheric, Echoey

Spires that in the Sunset Rise – Ancient Patience Wills It Again Part II

Style: Free Folk, Ecstatic Minimalism

Vibe: Ritualistic, Forest, Nocturnal, Haunting, Hallucinatory, Cautious, Exploratory

Musical Qualities: Loops, Repetitive, Dissonance, Drones, Slow, Electro-Acoustic

Instrumentation: Experimental Vocals, Harmonium, Flute, Spiked Fiddle, Banjo, Acoustic & Electric Guitars

The Same – The Same

LP, Originally released in 1981 by Unlikely Records Freedom to Spend Reissue (2021) Style: Ambient Pop, Experimental Home Recording, Minimal Wave Vibe/Mood: Aquatic, Nocturnal, Hypnotic, Impressionistic, Moody, Intertwined, Dreamy, Headphone album Musical Qualities: Loops, Home Recording, Atmospheric, Percussive, Polyphonic, Pulse, Electro-Acoustic Instrumentation: electric guitar, casio vl-tone, vocals, marimba, electric bass, acoustic guitar, digital organ

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

Aquiles Navarro & Tcheser Holmes

Style: Future Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz

Vibe: History, Collage, Futuristic, Eclectic, Complex

Musical Qualities: Improvisation, Percussive, Electro-Acoustic, Spoken Word, Suite

Nicolas Jaar – Space is Only Noise

Style: Progressive Electronic, Ambient House, Collage Pop, Sound Sculpture

Moods: Cryptic, Surreal, Aquatic, Hypnotic, Nocturnal, Futuristic, Melancholy, Collage, Urban, Mellow, Meditative, Ethereal, Eclectic, Rainy, Romantic

Musical Qualities: Sampling, Electro-Acoustic, Field Recordings, Atmospheric, Melodic, Loops

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

Black Forest / Black Sea

Style: Psychedelic Drone-Folk, Free-Folk

Vibe: Forest, Mystical, Nocturnal, Mysterious, Exploratory, Abstract, Spontaneous, Murky

Musical Qualities: Electro-acoustic, Improvisation, Lo-fi, Loops, Drone, Collage, Suite, Atmospheric

Sarah Louise – Earth Bow

Style: Free Folk, Cosmic Appalachia, Ambient Folk, Healing Music

Vibe: hypnotic, amorphous, confident, cosmic, dreamy, earthy, ethereal, existential, exploratory, forest, warm, spiritual, spontaneous, soothing, psychedelic, passionate, nature, meditative, hallucinogenic

Musical Qualities: Suite, Electro-Acoustic, Studio-as-an-instrument, Loops, Home Recording, Progressive, Field Recordings

David Grubbs – The Coxcomb [Review]

Style: Primitivist Theater, Avant-Folk Minimalism, Drone

Vibe: Pastoral, Alienation, Hypnotic, Abstract

Musical Attributes: Sparse, Theatrical, Repetitive, Minimalist, Acoustic

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Voices, Organ, Cello, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Saxophone

Gastr Del Sol – 20 Songs Less

Style: Avant-Folk, Experimental, Math-Rock

Vibe: Sporadic, Chaotic, Abstract, Agular, Cerebral

Musical Attributes: Noisy, Glitchy, Collage, Complex, Electro-acoustic, Instrumental, Studio-as-an-instrument

Gogoj – Oviparity

Style: Experimental, Electro-Acoustic, Noise, Drone
Vibe: Eerie, Noisy, Suspenseful
Musical Attributes: Atmospheric, Electro-acoustic, Improvisation (Solo), Dynamic, Atonal, Loops
Instrumentation: Electric Cello with Effects

dumama + kechou- Buffering Juju

Style: Nomadic Future Folk, Organic Beat Music, South African Folk, Progressive Folk??

Vibe: Heartfelt, Imaginative, Futuristic, Ritualistic, Spiritual, Earthy, Psychedelic

??Musical Qualities: Electro-acoustic, Percussive, Polyrhythmic, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Progressive

Spires that in the Sunset Rise – Psychic Oscillations [Review]

Psychedelic electro-acoustics and earthy minimalism from long-running avant-folk group Spires that in the Sunset Rise. The multi-instrumentalist duo of Ka Baird and Taralie Peterson ritualistically loop and layer a hypnotic tapestry of pre-verbal vocalizations, upright bass, flute, saxophone, synth, and autoharp, running each instrument through trippy stereo delays, visually represented by the two minute-apart clocks next to each other on the album cover. While not as witchy or jarring as the their early releases, Psychic Oscillations finds the band as entrancing as ever.

Off World – 1

Style: Progressive Electronic, Experimental
Vibe/Mood: Ethereal, Spacey, Futuristic, Mysterious, Suspenseful, impressionistic
Musical Attributes: Atmospheric, Instrumental, Studio-as-an-instrument (Loops, Editing, Dubs), Vignettes, Improvisation
Instrumentation: Synthesizer, Drum Machine

Horse Lords – The Common Task

The Common Task is an incessant barrage of jolting polyrhythms that simultaneously hypnotize and disorient.

Style: Experimental Rock, Math Rock, Post-Rock, Totalism
Vibe: Hypnotic, Surreal, Triumphant, Complex, Political
Musical Attributes: Microtonal, Polyrhythmic, Repetitive, Odd Time Signatures, Saharan Africa-Influenced, Technical, Instrumental

Paul de Jong – IF

Style: Collage Pop, Glitch-Folk, Plunderphonics

Vibe: Bittersweet, Warm, Eclectic

Musical Attributes: Sampling, Electro-Acoustic

Spaza – Spaza

“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)

The Taj-Mahal Travelers – July 15, 1972

Originally released in 1972 on CBS Records 2019 Superior Viaduct Reissue Format: LP Style: Free Improvisation, Ambient Jazz, Drone Vibe: Ritualistic, Mysterious, Hypnotic, Open, Meditative, Slow, Psychedelic

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

The Sea Ensemble – We Move Together

An obscure release from the great creative label ESP-Disk, containing exploratory, mysterious and playful improvisations from The Sea Ensemble—the husband/wife duo of Zusaan Fasteau and Donald Rafael Garrett. While they are both trained musicians and multi-instrumentalists, an uninhibited childish spirit permeates this release, as can be seen in Donald’s crude but visionary cover drawing; Yet the recording also feels imbued with ancient wisdom, as heard in their primal and instinctive vocalizations throughout the album

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

The Necks – Vertigo

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

Ensemble Pearl – Ensemble Pearl

Style: Drone-Rock, Dark Ambient. Experimental

Vibe: Suspenseful, Eerie, Atmospheric, Slow, Haunting, Dark, Psychedelic, Mysterious,

Musical Attributes:  Dissonant, Repetitive, Sparse, Instrumental, Noisy

Musicians: Stephen O’Malley (Sun O)))), Atsuo (Boris), William Herzog, Michio Kurihara

Supersilent – 6

LPx2, Rune Grammofon (Distributed by ECM), 2003 Recorded December 3-7, 2001

Anthony Davis – Epist?m?

Style: Poly-Free Improvisation, Modern Classical, Avant-Garde Big Band

Vibe: Complex, Hypnotic, Intense, Suspenseful, Cerebral

Musical Attributes: Polyrhythmic, Polyphonic, Odd Time Signatures, Acoustic, Poly-Free Improvisation, Repetitive

Instrumentation: Orchestral, Mallet Percussion (Marimba, Vibraphone, etc) Violin, Cello, Piano, Trombone, Drums, Flute, Bass Clarinet

Zammuto – Anchor

Released in 2014 on Temporary Residence Records Format: LP Limited edition, includes screen printed cover, #140/1000

Tarentel – Ghetto Beats on the Surface of the Sun (#3)

Style: Drone, Post-Rock, Experimental Rock, Tape Music?Vibe/Moods: Murky, Exploratory, Hallucinogenic, Mysterious, Nature, Abstract?Musical Attributes: Drones, Loops, Dissonant, Atonal, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Repetitive

Oren Ambarchi – Live Knots

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)

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.?

Fursaxa – Mandrake

Style: Avant-Folk, Free Folk, Psych Folk

Vibe: Forest, Witchy, Nocturnal, Ritualistic, Earthy, Raw, Nature

Musical Attributes: Dissonant, Droney, Lo-Fi

David Grubbs – The Thicket

On experimental musician David Grubb’s first dedicated songwriter outing, he synthesizes technical bluegrass banjo and fingerstyle acoustic guitar playing with imaginative arrangements, abrupt stylistic shifts, philosophical questioning lyrics, improvisation, and drones. Featured musicians include drummer John McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea and Cake), bassist Josh Abrams (Natural Information Society), and drone violinist Tony Conrad.

Brokeback – Field Recordings from the Cook County Water Table

Doug McComb’s first album as Brokeback is imbued with pastoral Impressionism, experimentalism, and a sense of Zen contentment. The record is mostly centered around his Bass VI, a short-scale bass with six strings that is trebly enough to function in both guitar and bass roles. This versatile instrument is usually wet with chorus and reverb that sculpt a fluid, aquatic tone to complement the slow, tranquil melodies. Outside of some solo pieces Doug is joined by a variety of accompaniment including lap steel guitar, synth, upright bass, Rhodes, vocals from Mary Hansen, and light percussion provided by producer/Tortoise bandmate John McEntire. This is a record that can be appreciated from a passive impressionistic standpoint, as well as under the microscopic attention of an engaged ear. (Follow link for full review)

Recommended for fans of Tortoise or Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti Western soundtracks

This Heat – This Heat

Originally released in 1979 on Piano Records 2016 Modern Classics pressing on Light I’m the Attic Records Format: LP, includes foldout booklet

Tangerine Dream – Phaedra

While the music on Zeit feels motionlessly suspended in the empty vastness of space, the music on Phaedra seem to discover a swampy alien planet, Pulsing sequencers, dramatic mellotrons, airy flutes, and sweeping synthesizers are drenched in strange echoes and reverbs to create suspenseful alien soundscapes.

Julia Holter – Aviary

Released in 2018 on Domino Records Format: LPx2 Includes 12″x12″ glossy lyric and photo booklet Track Listing *A1 – Turn the Light On (Bombastic, Energetic, Cathartic A2 – Whether (Pulsing, Driving, Staccato) *A3 – Chaitius (Ethereal, Atmospheric, Ambient, Progressive) -long floating, atmospheric intro with wordless vocals -becomes jazzy and cosmic as it builds -loose and …

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Eric Chenaux – Slowly Paradise

Eric Chenaux’s gentle falsetto is the most constant, tangible element on an album characterized by a permanent state of flux. The guitars are warbly and unsteady with their fluctuating tones, volume, and pitch. Yet, despite their experimental nature, they never sound abrasive and, together with some mellow Wurlitzer, create a soft, pillowy environment for Chenaux’s romantic crooning about the nature of love, the moon, and warm nights.

Dawn of MIDI – Dysnomia

An acoustic trio of piano, upright bass, and drums utilize creative extended techniques to play evolving minimalist compositions of mutating grooves, polyrhythms, and textures.

Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld – Never Were the Way She Was

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.

David Grubbs – Creep Mission

Album Information: Released in 2017 on Blue Chopsticks Records (Imprint of Drag City Records) Eli Keszler – Drums, Percussion (Tracks 1,2,4) Jan St. Werner – Electronics (1,4) Nate Woolley – Trumpet (1,2,4,6,7) Recorded by Mitch Rackin at the Seaside Lounge, Brooklyn, Jan-Mar 2017 Mastered by Douglas Henderson Cover Art: Albert Oehlen Back Photo: Tom Van …

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Tim Hecker – Harmony in Ultraviolet

A dense fog you can sink into and never want to leave…Glacial, enveloping waves of sound meticulously sculpted from processed organs, piano, and distorted guitar feedback.