Hidden Shoal Records – Eat Your Friends

Over almost a decade, Hidden Shoal records developed a reputation as a consistently innovative and experimental music label, giving to us music of remarkable qualities whether it was the instrumental excursions of Gilded, the blissed-out indie of My Majestic Star, the electronica of Marcus Mehr, the alt.folk stylings of Kramies - the HSR list of … [Read more...]

Lovelace – Lands

There isn't and there hasn't ever been a shortage of artists making what is variously described as alt. folk, lo-fi and other variations on the description of music that relies much on its tunefulness and less on its instrumentation. A five-piece, Lovelace are songwriter/guitarist Rebecca Whitbread, bassist Petter Grevelius, drummer Bernie Gardner … [Read more...]

Interview with Totemic

Hello Doug!  It’s so great to touch base with you about your fantastic drum & bass-driven Falling EP which recently dropped.  You’re a man of many talents – DJ, producer, music artist – and you specialize in violin, which you incorporate into the drum & bass mix.  How would you describe the sound or style of your new EP? I would describe … [Read more...]

Interview with Dizz1

Melbourne, Australia-based turntablist, producer, drummer, and teacher Dave Norris is known in the electronica genre as Dizz1 and he collaborated with an international cast of artists for the music project SoundLab.  The creation of material for this project took place at a tiny eco-resort about an hour away from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the aim … [Read more...]

Cyril Secq / Orla Wren – Branches

I’ve previously opined on these pages (in my review of the Vic Mars’ excellent album, The Land And The Garden) that ambient is, by and large, in the doldrums. “There’s way too much of it and it all sounds the same,” goes my old-geezer grump. What once took ingenuity and was the product of well-considered aesthetic  choice has been neutered by the … [Read more...]

Bryan Deister – Spines Of The Heart

Experimental electronica and avant-rock purveyor Bryan Deister does it all on his 23-track, 2-disc opus Spines Of The Heart - from the music, lyrics, and vocals to the recording, mixing, and album artwork. The only outside assistance came from Bernie Grundman who mastered the platter. Spines Of The Heart made its debut in late December 2015 as a … [Read more...]

Owls Are Not – 2

Listening to the five tracks on 2, the second release from the Warsaw, Poland based Owls Are Not, I had a definite sensation of déjà vu. The frantic synth squalls, the virulent drumming, the random vocal and other samples and the actual tunes, all of it sounded distantly familiar, the various elements that make up the Owls Are Not sound each … [Read more...]

Lila Rose – We Animals

I hadn't ever heard of the condition hyperacusis before I began writing this review, but it seems that Lila Rose had the misfortune to be born with the condition, which affects the muscles of the ear and can make some everyday noises unbearable, even painful to hear. Exactly what effect this has had on Lila Rose's music isn't perhaps something that … [Read more...]

Offthesky – The Serpent Phase

The Denver-based experimental sound artist Jason Corder (AKA Offthesky) has, over the last fifteen years, released no less than fifty albums. This presents any but the most Offthesky dedicated reviewer with something of a conundrum. Whereas any release that is separated from its predecessors by (say) eighteen months can sensibly be regarded as a … [Read more...]

Isnaj Dui – Dioptrics

A singular quality of the great, maverick World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer was to make the complexity of his games appear effortless. In displays of near-Mozartian simplicity all of his moves seemed to happen exactly ‘just in time’, entirely belying the inherent intellectual and creative oomph necessary to achieve such a high level of play. To … [Read more...]