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Taylor Deupree, "Fallen"

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cover image For his first solo album on a label other than his own for quite some time (although 12k and Spekk could almost be siblings in the world of record labels), Fallen features the prolific sound artist turning his focus to beautifully understated sounds to the piano, culminating in eight songs of delicate and pensive tones, with the focus shifting between the pure sounds of the instrument to gorgeous production and back again.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 April 2018 07:17

Luciernaga, "It Takes Strength to be Gentle and Kind"

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cover image Joao Da Silva’s latest release under his Luciernaga guise was a quickly made work, but that is anything but apparent from the contents.  The tape, recorded this past winter, is an excellent summation of the work Da Silva has been involved with for the past eight years, with some additional and unexpected twists and turns along the way.  Rich electronics, unconventional guitar, and lush production all define this latest entry in the growing Luciernaga discography.

Last Updated on Sunday, 08 April 2018 22:23

Roberto Opalio, "Once you'll touch the sky you will never return to dust"

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cover imageSeemingly birthed from the same fascination with vinyl surface noise as The Sky With Broken Arms, Roberto Opalio's solo companion piece is perhaps even more unique and consciousness-expanding than its sister.  It is also unexpectedly varied and weirdly beautiful at times, blurring together the usual deep-space lysergia with viscerally unnerving dissonances and hypnotically looping crackles and pops.  While those added touches certainly delight me, this album is unmistakably and absolutely Opalio-esque to its core, standing as one of the most sharply realized and distilled releases in the MCIAA oeuvre.  If The Sky With Broken Arms is a brief glimpse into a hypnotically otherworldly scene, Once You'll Touch The Sky is a phantasmal travelogue of the troubled dreams that follow in its wake.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 April 2018 08:27

Ashley Paul, "Lost in Shadows"

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cover imageIt has been roughly four years since Ashley Paul's last album and I was beginning to despair, but she has been busy moving to London and becoming a mother.  While the latter is not particularly conducive to tirelessly crafting brilliant experimental music, she somehow still managed to compose her finest album to date during a brief residency in Spain.  Characteristically, the pointillist, prickly dissonance of Jandek is probably the nearest touchstone, yet Paul radically transforms that stark foundation into something sensuous and eerily beautiful (sometimes even embellishing it with perversely festive splashes of color).   In fact, a few pieces even sound like grotesque caricatures of nursery rhymes (Paul’s baby was perhaps a subconscious and subversive muse), which only deepens Lost in Shadows' dreamily wraithlike and otherworldly spell.  While it can definitely be a challenging, dissonant, and disturbing listen at times, Shadows is unquestionably Paul's masterpiece.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 April 2018 06:59

Slomo, "Transits"

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cover imageI have been casually aware of Slomo since the murky, gnarled gloom of 2008's The Bog, but apparently not familiar enough to realize that each of their infrequent releases tends to unveil a significant evolution.  As a result, I slept on this 2017 release, only belatedly realizing that it was one of the year's most woefully overlooked masterpieces.  With Transits, Chris McGrail and Howard Marsden shed all traces of their doom-shrouded ambient sludge past to craft a transcendently lysergic tour de force of pulsing minimalist drone brilliance.  I am always hesitant to throw around Coil as a comparison for any artist, yet I am legitimately hard-pressed to think of any closer kindred album than Time Machines, as Slomo achieve a similarly singular feat of reality-blurring slow-motion wizardry that feels far more like a ritual or invocation than a mere album.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 April 2018 08:52

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