[ Already Dead Tapes, 2017 ]
Chicago based psych jam masters Crown Larks returned in May with their third, and best to date, full length. Titled simply Population, it takes their brand of floral, richly arranged krautrocky flurry of sounds and gives them an even more sophisticated spin, like the wild, ass-kicking jazzy opener “Howls”. The organ driven songs on the album, often supported by the wild, abrasive saxophone create a rich, lush atmosphere that seems to just barely hold together before disintegrating into full-on insanity without ever doing so, instead keeping on going forward just on the edge of losing its mind. Just when you think things are going to go bonkers, the precise drumming keeps the chaos in check. Truly intriguing release from those fellas, like psychedelic music with a safety valve. Highly recommended!
[ Geographic North, 2017 ]
After some 10 years in the making, Lifetime of Love finally sees the daylight since Deerhunter drummer Moses Archuleta decided to start a then-yet unnamed solo vehicle. Torn between autobahn-friendly minimal techno and grainy, hazy ambience the album relies on chance and the sense of constant searching. Lifting samples from found LP’s and smearing soft synthesizer textures all over the place gives Lifetime of Love a sense of timelessness and an ominous feeling of reviving dead souls who were stuck under a thick layer of analog dust. Skeletal rhythms arouse the inhabiting spirits into a hypnotic dance while the specters hover in the distance. Recommended!
[ Wharf Cat Records, 2017 ]
Born in Florida, matured in New York City, Deep Marble Sunrise by the stoned sungazers Coca Leaf take the best of both worlds: the balmy, hot atmospherics of the swampy southern state and the eclectic mish-mash of the Big Apple, with all its dynamics and movements all rolled into one big ball of pure fun. Jumping between catchy disco, smoky psychedelia, piano-driven ambient, no wave nihilism and overall experimental willingness to go beyond genre boundaries, the album is a rollerocaster of emotions and moods, travelling from the dancefloor to the deepest neck of the woods in the wilderness while retaining echoing drums, meaty basslines and crazy guitar solos. It’s a league of their own. Highly recommended!
[ IF, 2017 ]
It was in early 2017 when I received a beautifully packaged double cassette by the Atlanta based industrial trio NAARC. When I listened to the tapes, they didn’t catch my attention at first. The harsh, electro-industrial seemed simply out of my league. But then I asked myself: “Since when exactly do you classify yourself into leagues!?”. So I listened again as a means of reverse engineering the post-industrial genre I’m hooked on lately and I got some sort of an epiphany. I’ve never been able to precisely describe the “industrial” genre, but now I am, because it’s so clear now. The rusted, acid-stained sound truly sounds like something born in a dirty factory, and the two lengthy tracks that finish the album go beyond, into the noisy fog somewhat reminiscent of Skullflower. It’s like getting lost in the part of the city you were never aware of, but enjoying the surroundings.
[ Orange Milk, 2017 ]
On his second full-length for Orange Milk Records, Darren Keen achieves the escape velocity that plunge him beyond the clichés of footwork, setting him free of endlessly repeating spoken-word samples that, let’s face it, can get quite annoying after a longer while. The drum patterns are as tight, fast and complex as ever. But here, Keen manages to slow down sometimes, providing a much-needed rest from the sensory overload of the genre, while proving that he’s able to break the mold and look further without locking himself into the safe zone. The album is full of politeness, which is also a welcome thing in the world of ubiquitous trolling and constant middle fingers toward everybody. Keep being polite, Mr. Keen. It works very well. Highly recommended!
[ Abstrakce Records, 2017 ]
In the first installment of The Encyclopedia of Civilizations, a long-term project by the Spanish label Abstrakce where different artists are asked to present their visions of various ancient civilizations, the land of the pyramids is the focus of two West Coast synthesists. Jonas Reinhardt and Jürgen Müller (the more esoteric side of Panabrite’s Norm Chambers, making his first appearance in the musical world after 2011’s Science of the Sea) split sides on this vinyl LP with their progressive electronic visions that translate the hieroglyphs into arpeggios, sequences and New Age approximations through a series of Teutonic impressions with a mythical edge. I told you man, the pyramids were built by the aliens, man. Synth-wielding aliens. Highly recommended!
[ UNO NYC, 2017 ]
The map of Tumult: Emerging from the depths of the Internet, the co-founder of NON netlabel and Richmond citizen Chino Amobi has slowly worked out a personal brand in the world of digital punk through a string of EP’s, singles and mixtapes, resulting in the debut full length PARADISO, out on the NYC based label UNO NYC known for fishing out visionaries and weirdoes such as Fatima Al Qadiri, Mykki Blanco, Gobby or Arca. PARADISO may be overwhelming not only at the first listen, but also at the second, third and so on… Hell, it may always be a bit overwhelming. But what else you might expect from an album that is trying to convey the sense of disinformation and chaos of the Planet Earth in the year 2017? Sirens wail, speech patterns fly in the air like bullets, the information overload is unbearable while abrasive electronic beats and melodies batter you like riot police during a peaceful protest gone wrong… Disjointed narratives emerge from brutal drones and an industrial atmosphere creates a feeling of constant invigilation. The world is a mess, everyone’s an enemy and there’s no place to escape. Chino Amobi captures these feelings of information war perfectly. Highly recommended!