Jefre Cantu-Ledesma

Structural concerns aside, dream pop and shoegaze both principally hustle their wares through a textural esthetic – dream pop with an ethereal sheen of glassy reverb, wordless whispers, and blurry effects; shoegaze with languid waves of distortion, swells of feedback, and ripples of noise. But what if you completely removed the structure from both, … [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...]

The Alps – Le Voyage

What’s the difference between a trip and a voyage? Calling an album a trip is a cliché everyone falls back on from time to time. The phrase certainly captures the idea of experiencing a transportive feeling, but unfortunately also carries with it dude-talk hallucinogenic connotations which suggest being out of control or dispossessed from will. … [Read more...]

Jóhann Jóhannsson – And In The Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees

Jóhann Jóhannsson’s prominence among Icelandic musicians comes from the confidently grand scope of his recent works. Either conceptually robust (IBM 1401, A User's Manual), instrumentally robust (Virðulegu Forsetar), or both (Fordlandia), Jóhannsson has seemingly moved on from the more intimate, electronic-infused sound of his earliest work on the … [Read more...]

Indignant Senility – Plays Wagner

The idea of “Plays” albums goes back a long way, arguably to the first commercial recordings of classical musicians interpreting pieces of long-dead composers. This idea achieved both artistic and commercial success in mid-20th Century jazz, as its communal and interpretive nature allowed for both canonization and tribute within individual … [Read more...]

Rameses III – I Could Not Love You More

Ambient music as a genre can have a lightness, an imperviousness to criticism. This album put me to sleep. This album just sort of drifts by, never asserting itself. This album requires patience. This album never knows where it’s going, and takes its time getting there. This album sounds like a bunch of one chord songs. In most any other genre, … [Read more...]

Small Wonders #1

Wolf Eyes - Shattered C-10 Hospital Productions (www.hospitalproductions.com) This very short, two track cassette comes courtesy of Dominick Fernow from Prurient's Hospital label. It's more of the distorted and druggy sounding sickness we've come to expect from Michigan's favorite sons. Side A is approximately five minutes of slow, mangled … [Read more...]