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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


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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

David First, "Civil War Songs (For Solo Harmonica)"

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cover image The third installment in David First's Same Animal, Different Cages album series (which are constructed from the use of a single instrument) is a contradictory piece of art.  On one hand, it is clearly the most song-focused of the series thus far: a record of melodies and more conventional structures that contrast with the often pure experiments of the previous installments for guitar and analog synthesizer.  However, by nature of the instrument used this time, a harmonica, I found it to be a more challenging work, but one that is still as rewarding as the releases that preceded it, and perhaps the most conceptually rich as well.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 October 2017 22:32

Emptyset, "Skin"

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cover imageThis latest EP is something of a daring experimental coda to this year’s excellent Borders, as studio wizards James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas attempt to translate their crushing, frequency-saturated onslaught into purely acoustic recording techniques.  Obviously, there has been a lot of foreshadowing throughout the duo’s career hinting at this direction given Emptyset's longstanding fascination with architecture and natural resonance, but it was not until Borders that the essential missing piece was added to the formula: the viscerally biting snarl and rattle of a homemade zither.  Given that Skin further constrains an already hyper-constrained vein of minimalism, this EP is primarily just for existing fans eager to see how well Ginzburg and Purgas handle pushing their vision to a seemingly self-sabotaging extreme, but a few of these simple variations survive the transformation with quite a lot of raw power intact.

Last Updated on Monday, 23 October 2017 07:30

Aaron Turner & Daniel Menche, "Nox"

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cover imageWhile the gargantuan, triple disc Sleeper from Daniel Menche is still relatively new, he and SIGE head Aaron Turner (he of an immense number of projects) also managed to find the time to record this collaborative LP.  Recorded over a two year span, Nox is far more inviting and downright beautiful than I would have expected from two artists who have always shown hints of the sort in the past.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 October 2017 19:55

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