REVIEWS

Reviews are long form reviews of full albums from experimental artists from around the world.

CHRIS OPPERMAN – CHAMBER MUSIC FROM HELL (Purple Cow, 2020)

The new album from the New Jersey-based composer/musician/educators – like all his music – a highly ambitious work and may be his magnum opus. Until the next one. It’s impossible to write about Chris Opperman – composer, pianist, trumpet player, music professor – without mentioning Frank Zappa. An avid fan of the late musician, Opperman …

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ANDREW SMILEY – LOOMING AS LIGHT TORN (SELF-RELEASED, 2020)

The latest album from the New York City-based guitarist, composer and improviser is full of stark vocals and fractured, atonal guitar wizardry, resulting in a fascinating and adventurous listening experience. I’m sure the world is almost as sick of “2020 is a shitshow” analogies in arts reviews as they are of 2020 itself, but bear …

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HIVE MIND – ELYSIAN ALARMS (DIFFICULT INTERACTIONS, 2020)

Greh Holger is a busy man. Between the Noisextra podcast that he hosts alongside Mike and Tara Connelly and his label, Chondritic Sound, the guy has his hands full. You could be forgiven for forgetting that he is also the sole force behind the industrial-noise act, Hive Mind. “Elysian Alarms” is the first release of …

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Wizard Colors – 0 1N20 BURN1N6 S9ACE 0 (Slow Start Records, 2020)

The Nevada-based outfit Wizard Colors lets loose with an extended track full of noise, chaos, and surprising warmth. The official purpose of “0 1N20 BURN1N6 S9ACE 0,” the recently released track from noise duo Wizard Colors, is actually delivered in the form of a question: “How many hours of guitar droning and synth swelling does …

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STEPH RICHARDS – SUPERSENSE (Northern Spy, 2020)

  The inventive trumpeter smashes more boundaries with an album that takes jazz into exciting and multifaceted territories. You can even smell it. In the age of pandemic and quarantine, live music performances are one of many aspects of everyday life that have been largely sacrificed. Fortunately, many artists continue to write, record and release …

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GUNN-TRUSCINSKI DUO – SOUNDKEEPER (THREE LOBED RECORDINGS, 2020)

On their fourth album, Steve Gunn and John Truscinski continue to create mesmerizing, cathartic noise full of rich textures. Put a guitarist and a drummer in a room together to improvise and the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, it can sometimes lead to aimless and uninspired noodling. Then there’s Gunn-Truscinski Duo. What they accomplish in the …

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INGAJA – REVERIE

The Lithuanian artist INGAJA knows what it means to swim in that liminal space between dark and light. Across the nine tracks on Reverie we hear the constant push and pull between the two as she defines their porous boundaries. Engaging her voice, spectral guitar work, reverb-heavy percussion and a studied ambience that places the …

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CHAMPION MOTORIST – SLIGHT RETURN

Returning after an almost 20 year hiatus from performing with one another, Andrew McLaughlin and Paul Shea have reconnected as the post-rock band Champion Motorist. The Melbourne Australia based band move from brooding post-rock passages that revel in heavy ambient passages pregnant with anticipation and full-throated riffage that push against the genre’s embedded structure of …

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