Vinyl

Archie Shepp – Live in San Francisco

Style: Free Jazz

Vibe: Sentimental, Heartfelt, Rebellious, Rootsy, Passionate

Musical Qualities: Improvisation, Acoustic, Thematic, Spoken Word, Live Recording

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

John Fahey – Volume 2: Death Chants, Breakdowns, & Military Waltzes

Style: American Primitivism, Acoustic Blues, Folk

Vibe: Meditative, Loner, Morning, Rustic, Spring, Spiritual, Pastoral, Bittersweet, Hypnotic, inspiration, Melancholy, Nature, Raw, Warm 

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Technical, Fingerstyle, Instrumental, Sparse, Progressive

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

On this mournful offering, Cave’s poetic reflections on loss, longing, and loneliness slowly float down a river of gloomy synth drones, somber strings, and sparse piano. While not exactly uplifting, the album has a sense of peace and beauty that continues up through the repeating final refrain, “and it’s alright now”.

fAust vs. Dälek – Derbe Respect, Alder

Style: Industrial Hip-Hop, Experimental, Krautrock

Vibe: Gritty, Dystopian, Mechanical, Political, Heavy, Cold, Dark, Conscious

Musical Qualities: Sampling, Noisy, Rhythmic, Studio-as-an-Instrument

David Crosby – If Only I Could Remember My Name…

Style: Folk Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Cosmic Americana

Vibe: Dreamy, Hippy, Longing, Bittersweet, Airy, Autumnal, Warm, Loose, Peaceful, Ethereal, Introspective, Psychedelic, Hypnotic, Mellow, Meandering, Stoned, Communal

Musical Qualities: Vocal Harmonies, Heavy Reverb, Jams

Land of Kush – Sand Enigma

Style: Avant-Garde Big Band, Arabic/Egyptian Folk, Psychedelic Jazz

Vibe: Intense, Sombre, Cathartic, Psychedelic, Complex, Ritualistic, Communal

Musical Qualities: Dense, Progressive, Dissonant, Acoustic, Percussive

Instrumentation: Santur, Upright Bass, Piano, Saxophones, Vocals, Percussion, Drums, Clarinet, Flute, Strings (Violin, Viola, Cello), Keyboards, Synthesizer, lap Steel Guitar, Electronics, Harp

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

James Brown – The Payback

Style: Funk

Vibe: Anthemic, Gritty, Groovy, Hypnotic, Communal, Confident, Passionate, Warm

Musical Attributes: Rhythmic, Repetition, Technical, Percussive

Laika – Silver Apples of the Moon

Style: Trip-Hop, Post-Rock, Experimental Rock

Vibe: Busy, Chaotic, Nocturnal, Psychedelic, Energetic

Musical Attributes: Odd Time Signatures, Polyrhythmic, Studio-as-an-instrument, Dense, Sampling, Percussive

Gastr Del Sol – Camofleur

Style: Post-Rock, Avant-Rock, Experimental Singer/Songwriter, Chamber-Folk

Vibe: Cryptic, Warm, Cerebral, Spring, Exploratory, Eclectic, Melancholy

Musical Attributes: Odd Time Signatures, Progressive Structures, Melodic

The Third Mind

Style: Psychedelic Jam Band

Vibe: Bluesy, Cosmic, Meandering, Pastoral, Rustic

Musical Attributes: Improvisation, Riffs

Innov Gnawa – Lila

Style: Gnawa

Vibe: Ritualistic, Hypnotic, Communal

Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Percussive, Group Vocals, Chants, Repetition, Improvisation

Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime

Style: Tishoumaren, Desert Blues, Psych

Vibe: Hypnotic, Desert, Groovy, Energetic, Warm, Uplifting, Conscious, Passionate, Psychedelic

Sonny & Linda Sharrock – Paradise

Style: Avant Jazz-Funk, Abstract Groove

Vibe: Eccentric, Energetic, Groovy, Angular, Sunny, Triumphant

Musical Attributes: Dissonant, Experimental Vocals, Improvisation, Rhythmic, Polished Production

Pharoah Sanders – Wisdom Through Music

Style: Spiritual Jazz??

Vibe: Joyful, Passionate, Spiritual, Uplifting, Warm, Love, Colorful, Communal, Cosmic, Earthy, Energetic, Groovy

??Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Chants, Africa-Influenced, India-Influenced, Improvisation, Polyrhythmic, Percussive

Pelt – Pearls from the River

Style: Ritual Folk, Dhrupad, Free Folk

Vibe: Meditative, Mysterious, Psychedelic, Spiritual, Earthy, Hypnotic

Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Drone, Improvisation, Instrumental, Repetitive, Raga

Bobb Trimble – Iron Curtain Innocence [Review]

Bobb Trimble’s 1980 debut (originally released on his own label) contains nightmarish folk-pop that fits on the fringe of the loner-psych lineage of Syd Barrett and modern bedroom-psych artists like Alex G or Holy Sons.?

Circa Survive – On Letting Go

Style: Progressive Post-Hardcore??

Vibe: Angsty, Existential, Cryptic, Anxious, Surreal, Epic, Intense, Intricate

??Musical Attributes: Odd Time Signatures, Progressive, Technical, Polished

Hiss Golden Messenger – Haw

Style: Country-Soul, Americana, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Passionate, Rootsy, Rural, Spiritual, Triumphant, Uplifting, Warm, Contemplative, Introspective

Emtidi – Saat

Style: Prog-Folk, Acid Folk, Kosmische??

Vibe: Pastoral, Forest, Ethereal, Hippie, Psychedelic, Nature, Morning??

Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Progressive, Post-Production FX

The Pentangle – Reflection

Style: British-Folk, Jazz-Folk

Vibe: Rootsy, Warm, Mellow, Morning, Rural, Carefree, Breezy

Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Vocal Harmonies, Progressive, Melodic

Osamu Kitajima – Benzaiten

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

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

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

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

Cat Power – Moon Pix

Style: Slowcore-Country, Singer-Songwriter

Vibe: Brooding, Hypnotic, Conversational, Reflective, Intimate, Lethargic, Confident, Moody, Overcast

Musical Attributes: Slow, Repetitive, Focused

Funkadelic – Cosmic Slop

Style: Psychedelic Funk

Vibe: Groovy, Afro-Futurism, Hedonistic, Psychedelic, Fantasy, Bombastic, Sexual, Communal, Triumphant, Playful

Yes – Close to the Edge

Style: Progressive Rock

Vibe: Epic, Triumphant, Bombastic, Lush, Uplifting, Fantasy

Musical Attributes: Complex, Polyphonic, Progressive, Techncial, Symphonic

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

Larry Coryell – Spaces

Style: Jazz Fusion

Vibe: Angular, Complex, Energetic, Triumphant,

Musical Attriubtes: Improvisation, Instrumental, Progressive, Riffs, Technical


Musicians: Larry Corryell, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Miroslav Vitous, Billy Cobham

Joshua Abrams – Natural Information

Style: Psychedelic Trance Music, Avant-Jazz, Creative Music, Post-Minimalism

Influences: Gnawa, Spiritual Jazz, Raga, Kosmische Musik

Vibe: Earthy, Hypnotic, Meditative, Cosmic, Psychedelic, Ritualistic, Spiritual, Tribal

Musical Attributes: Polyrhythmic, Acoustic, Minimalistic, Improvisation, Percussive, Instrumental

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

Yves Tumor – Safe in the Hands of Love

Style: Art Pop, Neo-Psychedelia, Trip-Hop, Experimental Electronic

Vibe: Nocturnal, Surreal, Introspective, Longing, Alienation, Abstract, Anxious, Dark, Depressive, Eclectic, Love, psychedelic

Josh Abrams & Natural Information Society

Style: Psychedelic Jazz, Creative Music, Post-Minimalism

Influences: Gnawa, Kosmische Music, Spiritual Jazz, Minimalism

Vibe: Earthy, Hypnotic, Exploratory, Mysterious, Ritualistic, Psychedelic

Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Improvisation, Minimalistic, Percussive, Polyrhythmic

Lankum – Between the Earth and Sky

Style: Irish Folk Music, Celtic Folk

Vibe: Rootsy, Passionate, Communal, Depressive, Rebellious, Triumphant

Musical Attributes: Vocal Harmonies, Droney, Acoustic

Jim O’Rourke – Simple Songs

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Chamber Pop, Progressive Pop

Vibe: Playful, Bittersweet, Satirical, Catchy

Musical Attributes: Lush, Progressive, Melodic, Lyrical, Polished

The Cure – Pornography

Style: Psychedelic Goth, Post-Punk

Vibe: Cold, Dark, Moody, Psychedelic, Nihilistic, Nocturnal, Depressive

Between – Dharana

Style: Spiritual Folk, Psychedelic Chamber Music, Kosmische, New Age
Vibe: Ritualistic, Religious (Hindu), Hypnotic, Spiritual, Tribal
Musical Attributes Acoustic, Percussive, Raga-Influenced, Chants

Ahleuchatistas – Head Full of Poison

Genre: Experimental Rock, Brutal Prog, Math Rock

Vibe: Exploratory, Cathartic, Cold, Angular, Adventurous

Musical Attributes: Instrumental, Complex, Loops, Dissonant, Odd Time Signatures, Progressive, Percussive, Dynamic, Improvisation

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

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

Deradoorian – Find the Sun

Style: Psych Rock, Kosmische-Influenced

Vibe: Introspective, Mystical, Spiritual, Confident, Conscious, Existential, Hypnotic, Motorik, Psychedelic, Uplifting

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.

Klyfta – Cosmic Pilgrimage: The Klyfta Tapes (1972-1975)

This lost slab of mythical prog doesn’t shy away from indulging in the retro pleasures of instrumental psych-jammage and triumphant jazz-rock. The atmospheric guitar, spacey Moog, and Hammond organ playing are both epic and economical, nary a note wasted. Philip Grondahl’s violin playing on the opening track is especially heroic, recalling the flights of Jean-Luc Ponty or Mahavishnu’s Jerry Goodman. Despite their collective starward gaze, Klyfta remains firmly grounded by the tightness of the rhythm section. Aside from the explosive entropy of the first track (beginning with Anders Strand’s expansive upright bass solo), the grooves focus on repetitive momentum with unwavering determination.

Spencer Zahn – Sunday Painter

Composer and upright bassist Spencer Zahn crafts a peaceful album of impressionistic and pastoral jazz that recalls Talk Talk, ECM Records, In a Silent Way, and Bill Frisell. The atmospheres are open and washy thanks to sweeping piano gestures and Dave Harrington’s guitar loopery, while the slow, rolling rhythms of drummer Kenny Wollesen and percussionist Mauro Refosco keep the results grounded.

David Lord – Forest Standards, Vol. 2

Style: Jazz Fusion, Future Jazz, Post-Rock

Vibe: Forest, Knotty, Intricate, Nature, Impressionistic, Mysterious

Musical Attributes: Improvisation, Modal

[Click for album overview, listening links, and more information]

Anna & Elizabeth – The Invisible Comes to Us

The Invisible Comes to Us is a haunting, modern take on Appalachian and Irish folk songs. Beautiful close-harmonies, banjos and acoustic guitars are juxtaposed with droning atmospheres of woodwinds, Moog bass, pump organ, and euphonium. Guest musicians include Jim White on drums and Susan Alcorn on slide guitar.

Natural Snow Buildings – The Snowbringer’s Cult

Amidst the icy winds of tribal drones and pagan folk rituals, there are moments of mystical serenity in the music of Natural Snow Buildings, like serendipitously finding warm shelter while lost in a punishing blizzard.

Botany – End the Summertime F(or)ever

While the luminescent drones and angelic simulacra of Deepak Verbera expanded out into the cosmos, Botany’s newest LP feels more rooted in the soil of our material reality. The bass heavy beats and impassioned vocal samples inspire movement and action rather than contemplation alone, not to say the results aren’t heady. Rich tapestries of resonant acoustic instruments (harps, flutes, percussion, strings), woozy synths, and warm tape hiss are as intricate as ever and easy to lose (or find?) yourself in.?Recommended to fans of Flying Lotus’ Until the Quiet Comes, Boards of Canada, and Alice Coltrane.?

Tricky – Maxinquaye

Style: Trip-Hop, U.K. Hip-Hop
Vibe: Dark, Nocturnal, Sexual, Surreal, Eclectic, Introspective, Love
Musical Attributes: Sampling, Beats, Rhythmic, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Lyrical

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

Albert Ayler – Holy Ghost

Style: Free Jazz, Spiritual Jazz
Vibe: Abstract, Active Listening, Chaotic, Energetic, Raw, Spiritual
Musical Attributes: Improvisation (Collective, Thematic, Free), Live, Lo-Fi, Instrumental, Acoustic

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

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

Solange – When I Get Home

Style: Modern Soul, Art Pop
Vibe: Reflective, Lush, Mellow, Confident, Groovy, Introspective, Summer, Warm
Musical Attributes: Melodic, Soft, Suite, Vignettes, Polished, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Beats

Sixteen Horsepower – Folklore

Style: Gothic Country, Americana, Chamber Folk?Vibe: Rustic, Sombre, Murky, Rootsy, Ominous, Loner, Western, Melancholy, Moody, Dark?Musical Attributes: Acoustic Instrumentation (Banjo, Upright Bass, Cello, Acoustic Guitar, Accordion, Piano), Atmospheric, Droney, Slow, Lyrical?Lyrical Themes: Alienation, Religious, Christian, Storytelling

Yes – Fragile

Released in 1971 on Atlantic Records Format: LP Style: Progressive Rock Vibe: Triumphant, Epic, Complex, Energetic, Warm, Lush Musical Attributes: Progressive, Polyphonic, Melodic, Odd Time Signatures, Technical