David John Sheppard – Vertical Land

Since adopting a polymathic approach to music making twenty or so years ago David Sheppard has had no shortage of close collaborators to share outlets for his flights of instrumental imagination.  Working with the likes of school pal Keiron Phelan (within State River Widening and Phelan Sheppard), ex-Loft/Weather Prophet leader Peter Astor (in … [Read more...]

Colleen – Captain Of None

Having made such an assured step forward with 2013’s The Weighing Of The Heart on Second Language, it was perhaps inevitable that a larger and more globally-reaching label such as Thrill Jockey would sign up Cécile Schott (AKA Colleen) for this sequel set.  Paradoxically, despite such a leg-up, Captain Of None is a far more elusive affair.  Whereas … [Read more...]

P60 – Models

With a few notable exceptions, past releases on the hive-minded Second Language label have tended to veer towards the bucolic side of psychogeographical exploration.  Yet whilst this has served us well over the last six or so years, 2015’s planned spread of wares promises to push more urban and electronically-inclined artists to the fore.  If this … [Read more...]

Short Takes on 4 Songs

Grown Up Avenger Stuff – “Pins” With a slew of accolades, an upcoming album, Eclectica, on the way, and the release of an official video for “Pins”, the members of indie rock band Grown Up Avenger Stuff are keeping themselves in the musical mix.  Deirdre Kroener (vocals), Tyler Thomsen (percussion), Hunter Thomsen (bass), and John Thomsen … [Read more...]

Ellis Island Sound – Divisions

Having made us wait the best part of seven years between 2007’s The Good Seed and 2014’s Regions, it’s somewhat remarkable - but entirely welcome - that another Ellis Island Sound release should reach us so soon in the form of this seven-track mini-album.  Although featuring material chiselled during the same sessions as the well-carved Regions … [Read more...]

AU – Both Lights

Portland’s AU is a study in juxtaposition. Over the course of two LPs, songwriter Luke Wyland and percussionist Dana Valatka have earned more than their fair share of Animal Collective comparisons by churning out genuinely freakish experimental folk music, but there’s also a preoccupation with Terry Riley-inspired minimalism that counteracts the … [Read more...]

FAO#27 (Brave Timbers & Amiina)

The language of musical analysis is rife with clichés, contradictions and confusion.  Whilst it’s often claimed that a ‘less is more’ approach bears some of the greatest fruit, the hypothesis comes unglued when thinking of the layered and laboured-over studio triumphs of The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Miles Davis, Serge Gainsbourg and many others.  … [Read more...]

On (Reworked by Fennesz) – Something That Has Form and Something That Does Not

On is the duo of experimental percussionist Steven Hess and experimental guitarist Sylvain Chauveau. For previous releases, they’ve recorded sessions of improvisation together and then passed the tapes on to another experimental musician to work up as they please. With Something That Has Form and Something That Does Not, that approach hasn’t … [Read more...]

Interview with Christopher Tignor of Slow Six

Adam Costa: How did you first become exposed to and interested in classical music as a child?  It seems like classical music has had a significant effect on your work as a member of Slow Six. Christopher Tignor: The short answer is my mother.  She got me playing violin when I was three years old, and the rest of my brothers were all signed up … [Read more...]

Muskox – 5 Pieces

Toronto’s Muskox is a wily musical beast using acoustic instrumentation to explore overlapping jazzy and minimalist structures. With instrumentation provided mainly by banjo, harmonium, saxophone, double bass, cello, vibes, and other mallet instruments, the band eschews drums altogether, though that doesn’t mean they’re lacking in rhythm. In fact, … [Read more...]