Mirrorring – Foreign Body

When I heard The Sight Below's harrowing cover of Joy Division's "New Dawn Fades" featuring the vocals of Jesy Fortino (Tiny Vipers), I immediately started dreaming of a more substantial collaboration between the two. While a rumored collaboration between the two and Benoît Pioulard has yet to surface (perhaps that material is what ended up as the … [Read more...]

Belong – Common Era

Conventionally, sophomore albums follow fairly soon after debuts. Not the least bit conventional, Belong's sophomore full length, Common Era, comes five long years after their debut October Language. The jawdroppingly gorgeous, cinematic dronescapes of that debut have given way to something much more peculiar and singular on their latest release. … [Read more...]

Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972

Not all ambient artists are treated with the reverence usually shown Tim Hecker, but then, his music is much more than just ambient in nature. It is difficult to ignore, not only because it feels so harrowing, but also because it's so physical when played at normal volume, full of tactile textures and warm, low-end rumble. When the recent news … [Read more...]

Benoît Pioulard – Lasted

Recording under the pseudonym Benoît Pioulard, Portland’s Thomas Meluch has staked out a singular sound which blends acoustic guitar-based, melodic songwriting with swaths of low-key drone, keyboard accents, subtle electronics, and rickety percussion, resulting in a sublimely downcast whole. Lasted, his third full-length album for Kranky, was … [Read more...]

Ken Camden – Lethargy & Repercussion

Solo electric guitarists have been releasing albums that sound like they were made on anything but a guitar for a good while now.  The first that come to mind are the avant-garde leaning gentlemen who use computers like they're exaggerated effects pedal. On the more melodic side of the spectrum you have Fennesz and Christopher Willits, following on … [Read more...]

Jonas Reinhardt – Powers of Audition

It took me a couple of albums to figure it out, but Jonas Reinhardt isn’t real. Rather, Jonas Reinhardt isn’t a living and breathing person, but the embodiment of an idea: specifically, a suave, perhaps academic, German electronic musician from the 70’s. Although press materials lead one to believe Jonas Reinhardt is a he, not an it, unmasking the … [Read more...]

Loscil – Endless Falls

Under the name Loscil, Scott Morgan has spent the last ten years exploring the borderlands between ambient and ambient techno, never quite falling all the way into one or the other. Over the course of his first four full-lengths, he consistently found a place where melody, sonic motion, and glitchy, barely-there rhythms coexisted, bouncing and … [Read more...]

Nudge – As Good As Gone

As Good As Gone, Nudge’s fourth full-length, arrives 4 years after their previous album, 2005’s Cached, and a plethora of activity from its contributors. Brian Foote, the only member who plays on all of the tracks here, has been putting together some DJ mixes as Leech, running the small label Audraglint, touring with friends’ projects, and … [Read more...]

Felix – You Are the One I Pick

Nottingham duo Felix delivers their first album, You Are the One I Pick, as Kranky’s final release of the fall. Curiously, there’s very little in Kranky’s discography that compares to this. While the label has been diversifying its sound over the last 5 years or so (I’m thinking of Out Hud and Bradford Cox’s Deerhunter and Atlas Sound projects), … [Read more...]

Ethernet – 144 Pulsations of Light

Kranky’s newest long-from drone artist, Tim Gray, goes by the name Ethernet. It’s easy to just think of the cable you plug into your computer when you hear the name, but if you focus on the roots of the word, ether and net, you start to get a better feel for the music’s approach. You have ether, with its varying cosmic connotations, and net, which … [Read more...]