• Music

    Various Artists – Anthology Of Experimental Music From China

    I don’t do top-ten lists, and I don’t ever plan on doing that in the future, but things can change at any moment.  Still, if I had to nominate a favorite record label at this moment, there’s no doubt it would be Italy’s Unexplained Sounds Group.  Each compilation is a tour guide of experimental music from select parts of the world.  This one is near and dear to me, as China was and shortly will be my home for quite a while, and Raffaele Pezzella does yeoman’s work documenting what is happening in the Middle Kingdom experimental-music-wise. Here are some…

  • Music

    Gralitsa – Little Mosquitoes Are Sleeping This Night

    Some time ago I had reviewed the work of an ethno-folk-jazz band from Kostroma, Russia called Gralitsa, and I found them favorable.  I have to say that I find this album at least as favorable, but it sounds like a totally different band.  This sound is far more affected by genres like trip-hop, downtempo music, and darkjazz (a touch, anyway).  There’s also a slightly ‘free’ element to the music, though it never sounds disjointed. The track Echo Poor Heart is the cornerstone of the album, showcasing the vocals of Olga “Gralitsa” Rodionova layered on top of a dark, jazz noir…

  • Music

    IO – ∀LICE

    I have a particularly strong attraction to Porto Alegre, Brazil.  I have a few friends from there, one in particular who was a charmer, and it seems that everything from jazz to progressive rock seems to do well there. This is the breeding ground of IO, a visual artist, scenographer, fashion designer, performer and musician from Porto Alegre.  She uses a more cinematic approach to musique concrète music, and the pieces play like wordless stories that play for the cinema in your mind.  It’s a very well-recorded album, easy to get lost in, and it was a pleasure to listen…

  • Music

    trajedesaliva – Ultratumba

    It’s so nice to see new music come from Galicia, where my paternal ancestors hail from. trajedesaliva are from Vigo and seem to be influenced by dark ambient, ritual music and post-Industrial soundscapes, though it doesn’t try to overwhelm the listener. Something I really liked about this album is that it sounds, in parts, like 1970s Kosmische Musik (think of Tangerine Dream in their 70s prime), which makes this unique among darkwave or dark ambient bands.

  • Music

    Alexei Aigui & Ensemble 4’33” – Alcohol

    I have been a fan of Alexei Aigui’s ensemble work for at least 20 years now, going all the way back to his appearance on the excellent, though now defunct Russian label SoLyd (see the release here).  He has become even more innovative, more progressive, and this latest album, Alcohol, will be appreciated by those who like chamber-rock, symphonic rock or even those into avant-progressive / Rock-In-Opposition-style music.  You can purchase the album over at Apple or check it out on various streaming platforms by clicking this link.

  • Music

    Štefanec feat. Legrand – Eternity

    Perhaps a new genre of music has commenced with this release – that of monastery synth, rather than dungeon synth.  Though there is little information available on either Štefanec or Legrand, Kalamine Records provides some notes via their Bandcamp site here: Štefanec and Legrand (Croatia) started their collaboration back in 2017. After two years, they are releasing their first joint album Hope, for the record label HDR Limit. In 2020, the album Pjesme iz bunkera was released for Croatian label Slušaj najglasnije publishing house. May 1st their third joint album Eternity is released on Kalamine records.

  • Music

    Jeff Gburek with Ilaria Boffa – Reifications // Minimal Animal // Reanimations

    Another Akashic Records masterpiece.  This imprint never fails for me. Jeff Gburek works with Italian composer, researcher and poet Ilaria Boffa to make a hazy, deeply psychedelic piece of musique concrète.  The three works on this album are sonic storytelling, layering voice on voice, and  is perhaps the best way I can describe this release.  Sublime, but I expect no less from the parties involved.

  • Music

    Khara (ХАРА) – Mandragora (Мандрагора)

    Khara is an Old Slavonic word meaning “the smile of God.”  Truly, God must have been smiling to allow such a weirdly joyful music to come together.  Mandragora brings together a bardic style of rock & roll infused with traditional music from their native Khakassia, whose native inhabitants share a lot of cultural affinities with the Kyrgyz people.  Other influences in this record include Tuvan throat-singing by Alexey Khovalyg, a talkbox expertly handled by band leader Alexander Medvedev, and Alexander Pakhtaev adding such as the morin khuur or horse-head fiddle common in this part of Russia and Central Asia. This…

  • Music

    Frau Blücher and the Drunken Horses – Smile

    Sounding like a band crossing the energy of American garage surf gods The Lords Of Altamont, French punks Les Thugs with the legendary Motörhead, Frau Blücher combine a poppy, but aggressive garage-punk with hints of metal.  The band name comes from a running gag from the movie Young Frankenstein, and you can read about the history of the name here.  Gags and comedy aside, Frau Blucher make great power pop.

  • Music

    The Lamplight Club – Gallows Tree

    We have quite a treat tonight.  The Lamplight Club was a six-piece band out of Essex, England who produce a sound that fits comfortably between 60’s garage-psych, gothic folk and touched with a noir country tinge to it. You can stream their songs via Spotify here.  If there are more honorable streaming services to recommend, please do so.