Jahari Massamba Unit – Pardon My French

Style: Black Classical Music, Spiritual Jazz, Organic Beat Music

Vibe: Kinetic, Spiritual, Playful, Groovy, Exploratory, Elegant, Intertwined, Retro, Loose

Musical Qualities: Improvisation, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Percussive, Acoustic, Rhythmic, Dubbed Out

Roy Harper – Valentine

Released in 1974 Chrysalis Pressing (US, 1978) Format: LP Style: Psychedelic Chamber Folk, Singer/Songwriter, Progressive Folk Vibe: Romantic, Floating, Heartfelt, … More

Fripp & Eno – (No Pussyfooting)

Style: Tape Music, Drone, Ambient

Vibe: Meditative, Dreamy, Quiet Catharsis, Alien, Mysterious, Contemplative, Hypnotic, Mellow, Cosmic

Musical Qualities: Loops, Atmospheric, Repetition, Instrumental, Droney, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Progressive, Improvisation

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

King Krule – Man Alive!

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

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

Califone – Heron King Blues [Deluxe]

Style: New Weird Americana, Warped Folk Rock, Psych Folk

Vibe: Twangy, Cryptic, Mythic, Surreal, Mysterious, Rustic, Mellow, Warm, Rootsy

Musical Qualities: Percussive, Loops, Electro-Acoustic, Rhythmic, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Improvisation

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Percussion, Organ, Piano, Vocals, Electronics, Cello, Electric Guitar, Pump Organ, Bass

Loma – Loma

Style: Art Pop, Ambient Pop

Influences: Chamber-Folk, Trip-Hop, Slowcore, Post-Rock

Vibe: Existential, Introspective, Brooding, Gossamer, Dreamy, Melancholy, Reflective, Moody, Eclectic

Musical Qualities: Lush, Atmospheric, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Lyrical

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

L’Rain – Fatigue

Style: Free Pop, Progressive R&B, Psychedelic Soul, Art Pop, Gospel-Influenced

Vibe: Woozy, Ethereal, Cryptic, Impressionistic, Heartfelt, Imaginative, Dramatic, Dreamy, Eclectic

Musical Attributes: Progressive, Lush, Vocal Manipulation, Sampling, Vignettes, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Groovy, Collage

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

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

Robert Wyatt – Shleep

Style: Surreal Pop, Imaginative Singer/Songwriter, Prog-Pop, Canterbury Scene

Vibe: Dreamy, Ethereal, Airy, Floating, Surreal, Eclectic, Introspective, Complex, Mellow, Imaginative, Atmospheric

Musical Attributes: Progressive, Melodic, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Active listening, Jazz-Influenced

Sam Amidon – The Following Mountain

Style: New Weird Americana, Post-Modern Appalachia, Jazz-Folk

Vibe: Autumnal, Earthy, Imaginative, Lush, Morning, Peaceful, Rootsy, Rustic, Warm, Contemplative

Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Melodic, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Improvisation, Progressive, Lyrical

Instrumentation: Fiddle, Drums, Banjo, Vocals, Percussion, Saxophone, Acoustic Guitar, Drum Machine, Percussion, Electric Bass, Organ Synthesizers, Flute

Collaborators: Leo Abrahams, Shahzad Ismaily, Sam Gendel,
Milford Graves, Chris Vatalaro, James Sultan

Tarentel – Ghetto Beats on the Surface of the Sun (#2)

Style: Post-Rock, Experimental Rock, Drone

Vibe: Exploratory, Meandering, Murky, Hypnotic, Psychedelic, Deconstructed, Earthy

Musical Attributes: Drone, Noisy, Repetitive, Instrumental, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Robert Wyatt – Old Rottenhat

Style: Experimental Singer-Songwriter, Art Pop, Canterbury Scene, Jazz-Rock

Vibe: Political (Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Imperialist), Satirical, Conscious, Melancholy, Hypnotic

Musical Attributes/Instrumentation: Sparse, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Layered Vocals, Digital Keyboards, Drum Machines, Percussion, Synthesizers, Piano

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

Yves Jarvis – The Same but by Different Means

Style: Psychedelic Gospel Folk, Bedroom Soul, Experimental Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Woozy, Imaginative, Cryptic, Warm, Ethereal, Stoned

Musical Attributes: Lo-fi, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Vocal Harmonies, Vocal Manipulation, Eclectic, Collage

Tortoise – TNT

Style: Post-Rock, Experimental Rock
Influences: Dub, Kosmische Musik, Bossa Nova, Lounge, Minimalism, Jazz, Electronic
Vibe: Contemplative, Eclectic, Focused, Futuristic, Impressionistic, Lush, Meditative, Peaceful, Soothing
Musical Attributes: Atmospheric, Complex, Digital Production, Percussive, Polyphonic, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Loops, Headphone Album, Rhythmic, Pulse, Instrumental, Progressive, Polished

Califone – All My Friends Are Funeral Singers

Style: New Weird America, Alt-Country, Psychedelic Americana, Chamber Folk

Vibe: Rustic, Rootsy, Bittersweet, Psychedelic

Musical Attributes: Chamber, Percussive, Studio-as-an-instrument, Rhythmic, Electro-Acoustic, Loops

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Vocals, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Fiddle, Mallet Percussion, Horns, Electronic Percussion, Upright Bass, Electric Bass, Piano

Omar Rodriguez Lopez – Old Money

Style: Psych / Prog / Experimental Rock

Vibe: Bombastic, Hallucinogenic, Chaotic, Energetic, Psychedelic

Musical Attributes: Progressive, Dense, Complex, Rhythmic, Riffs, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Technical, Odd Time Signatures

Miles Davis – Double Image

Style: Abstract Groove, Jazz Fusion, Raga Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz, Ambient Jazz

Vibe: Exploratory, Abstract, Mysterious, Chaotic, Hypnotic, Psychedelic, Suspenseful

Musical Attributes: Collective Improvisation, Polyrhythmic, Rhythmic, Dense, Complex, Polyphonic

Featuring Dave Holland, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Bennie Maupin, Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, Airto Moreira and others

Nicolas Jaar – Cenizas

Released in 2020 on Other People Records

Artist: Nicolas Jaar

Format: LPx2


Style: Progressive Electronic, Ambient Pop, Sound Sculpture

Vibe: Introspective, Mysterious, Nocturnal, Shadowy, Abstract, Dark, Hypnotic, Meditative

Musical Attributes: Electro-Acoustic, Progressive, Digital, Studio-as-an-Instrument

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

Sunburned Hand of the Man – Fire Escape

The free-form psychedelia and tribal “group therapy” of Sunburned Hand of the Man are in great hands with producer Kieran Hebden (Four Tet)—his dubs and cuts transform their usually lo-fi, meandering jams into something much more immediate, without losing any of their exploratory and spontaneous energy. Recommended for fans of polyrhythmic Afro-inspired percussion, dubbed out production, communal sound rituals, and dense psychedelia.

The Microphones – The Glow Pt. 2

Style: Lo-Fi, Experimental Singer/Songwriter, Loner Folk
Vibe: Heartfelt, Imaginative, Introspective, Nature, Intimate, Loner, Bittersweet, Depressive, Psychedelic, Raw, Lonely
Lyrical Themes: Existential, Alienation, Breakup, Philosophical, Poetic, Personal, Death
Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Noisy, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Analogue Recording, lo-fi, Distorted

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

Stereolab – Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night

Style: Progressive Pop, Space Age Pop

Influences: Kosmische Musik, Bossa Nova, French Pop, Lounge

Vibe: Spacey, Lush, Retro-Futuristic, Catchy, Groovy, Motorik, Nocturnal, Uplifting

Musical Attributes: Melodic, Headphone Album, Odd Time Signatures, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Progressive, Lyrical

Lyrics: Philosophical, Political, Communist, Bi-Lingual (English and French)

Instrumentation: Synthesizers, Vibraphone, Drums, Electric Bass, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Brass, Strings, Keys (Organ, Clavinet, Harpsichord, Wurlitzer)

Eddie Henderson – Realization

Style: Abstract Funk, Jazz Fusion, Spiritual Jazz

Lineup: Eddie Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Bennie Maupin, Lenny White, Billy Hart, Buster Williams, Pat Gleeson

Vibe: Cosmic, Exploratory, Groovy, Atmospheric, Spacey, Spiritual

Musical Attributes: Collective Improvisation, Polyrhythmic, Odd Time Signatures, Studio-as-an-Instrument

The Mars Volta – Amputechture

Style: Progressive Rock, Experimental Rock

Vibe: Epic, Psychedelic, Chaotic, Bombastic, Cerebral, Complex, Cryptic, Energetic, Ominous, Intense

Musical Attributes: Dense, Polyphonic, Technical, Odd Time Signatures, Headphone Album, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Progressive

Ambarchi / O’Malley / Dunn – Shade Themes from Kairos

Style: Drone-Rock, Experimental Rock

Influences: Dark Ambient, Psych Rock, Kosmische, Noise, Drone-Metal

Vibe: Shadowy, Ominous, Brooding, Dark, Driving, Haunting, Hypnotic, Mysterious, Exploratory, Nocturnal, Hallucinogenic

Musical Attributes: Studio-as-an-instrument, Dissonant, Droney

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.

Radiohead – The King of Limbs

Style: Experimental Rock, Art Rock

Influences: Electronic, Kosmische Musik, Glitch, Afro-Beat

Vibe: Surreal, Psychedelic, Messy, Hypnotic, Warm, Mysterious, Cryptic

Musical Attributes: Sampling, Percussive, Polyrhythmic, Studio-as-an-instrument, Dense, Looping

Themes: Nature

This Heat – Deceit

Originally released in 1981 on Rough Trade Modern Classics Reissue (2016) Format: LP

Yesterday’s New Quintet presents Yesterday’s Universe: Prepare for a New Yesterday (Vol. 1)

Style: Organic Beat Music, Psychedelic Funk-Jazz, Instrumental Hip-Hop

Vibe: Groovy, Stoned, Retro, Eclectic, Raw, Psychedelic

Musical Attributes: Sampling, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Beats, Rhythmic

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

Makaya McCraven – Universal Beings

Released in 2018 on International Anthem Recording Co. Format: LPx2

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

Herbie Hancock – Crossings

Releases in 1972 on Warner Bros. Records Format: LP

The Books – The Way Out

The Books’ music is simultaneously funny, innovative, catchy and enlightening. They use found sound and spoken word mixed with innovative recording techniques and acoustic instruments to create beautiful sound-collages that somehow create unity between all these disparate sources, as if they were all meant to be together. Everything these guys do, solo or together, is absolute genius.

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