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Ogive, "Folds"

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This new collaborative project pairs one of the UK’s most gifted and unconventional drone artists, Chris Herbert, with Spanish sound artist Elías Merino.  The duo were initially brought together by their shared interest in creating lushly textured soundscapes, but each has a very different process for arriving there: Herbert is quite fond of natural and non-musical "found" sounds, while Merino's work is primarily computer-generated.  Their commonalities handily eclipse any potential aesthetic clashes though, as Folds sounds like an absolutely gorgeous drone album enlivened by a churning undercurrent of grainy textures and sneakily obscured small-scale kinetic transformations.  I suppose that description could probably apply to much of Herbert's solo work as well, but Folds definitely feels like an extra layer of depth, textural complexity, and visceral power has been added to the picture.  Merino's presence has taken something already wonderful and elevated it to a whole new level.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 November 2017 09:43

Six Organs of Admittance, "Burning The Threshold"

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Ben Chasny’s latest release takes a quietly melodic detour from the more challenging fare unleashed by his recent hexadic composing experiments, a gentle path that seems to have been willfully chosen as a modest counterbalance to the pervading darkness of the last year.  I have some mixed feelings about that plan, as championing love and forgiveness sounds just fine to me, but Chasny occasionally errs a bit too much on the side of mellow, bucolic '60s/'70s folk rock for my taste.  If that side had always been the Six Organs aesthetic, it is doubtful that I ever would have become a fan, as I am most drawn to Chasny's psych side, as well as his unconventional guitar heroics.  As a one-off event, however, Burning The Threshold is quite a pleasant and disarming sincere album, offsetting occasional shades of classic Six Organs with a generous supply of surprisingly accessible hooks and melodies (as well as a bevy of talented guests).

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 November 2017 13:12

The Vomit Arsonist, "Meditations on Giving Up Completely"

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cover imageA fitting follow-up to 2015's Only Red, Andy Grant again delivers a strong suite of harsh, aggressive electronics, but with a slightly different mood to it.  Anger and frustration still abounds, but it seems to be shaded with a self-aware futility and nihilism that is very fitting and appropriate for the title.

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 October 2017 21:57

Michael C. Sharp, "Never Enough Time"

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cover imageMichael C. Sharp is no stranger to the world of electronic music, being a member of Austin’s psych heavy Sungod.  His previous experience, however, has been that of a drummer, which does not at all come through on Never Enough Time.  While the five songs on this tape are built largely upon interlocking loops, there is nary a drum sound to be found.  Instead it is a rich suite of synth excursions, with a bit of tasteful guitar thrown in for good measure, culminating in an elegant and powerful record.

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 October 2017 21:56


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cover image It is hard to not feel twinges of nostalgia on Marker’s self-titled debut.  The stiff drum machine beats, the lush synthesizers and chorus-heavy guitars call to mind a number of bands without ever actually sounding like them, feeling like a fitting devotion to a style without ever trying to copy its most notable practitioners, resulting in a warm, alluring album that has managed to sneak under the radar this year.

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 October 2017 21:58

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