REVIEWS

DEREK ROGERS / SPARKLING WIDE PRESSURE – MINOR PHASE PATTERN (KIMBERLY DAWN, 2010)

I feel a little guilty reviewing this, as the release from the 3″ CD-r label Kimberly Dawn Recordings is (perhaps unsurprisingly and indeed unfortunately) already sold out of its limited run of 50 copies, and the only place I’ve been able to track down that has even but a five-minute excerpt from the piece is a YouTube …

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HEINALI AND MATT FINNEY – LEMONADE EP (SELF-RELEASED, 2010)

Matt Finney, who made up one half of this years most startling discoveries Finneyerkes, is back with another bout of spoken word from the economically, spiritually and emotionally crushed everyman. This time, however, he is paired with Ukrainian musician/soundscapist Heinali. The dramatically heavier and ominous tones of Heinali’s electronically manipulated industrial/post-rock replaces Randy Yerkes’ skeletal passages and underscores the …

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JULIAN LYNCH – MARE (OESB, 2010)

Mare, although we are a month late on it, feels like a mid-summer nights birthday party; a celebration, a gift, an often overlooked cultural event. The native New Jersy-ian (and bffs with Real Estate, Ducktails, etc..) and current ethnomusicology grad student at the University of Wisconson-Madison has created an astute bedroom-pop album fixated on ambience and texture but …

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PATRICK PORTER – BACHELOR PAD BLUE, BENT PANTS & STRAY CATS (SELF-RELEASED, 2010)

Patrick Porter is one of those rare artists. He’s a brilliant poet, a published writer, accomplished painter (word is that the drummer from Slipknot bought a ton of his work… which makes little sense to me. Even more perplexing is Porter’s claim that he threw bananas at the band during the transaction), and a great songwriter. He’s …

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DEAD DRUMS – CAROUSIN’ USA (SELF-RELEASED, 2010)

Here’s a quickie but a goodie. Baltimore’s Dead Drums and its new single “Carousin’ USA” sounds like what our generation’s front porch rocking chair music will be when we’re all old and fat and lazy (can’t wait). Slow, easy-going, delicate, and beautiful. It’s damn-near the simplest song I’ve heard all year—two bass notes, mild-pop groove …

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M. OSTERMEIER – CHANCE RECONSTRUCTION (TENCH, 2010)

Punk, inherent in its form, is manifesto driven. With every molecule of available sound-space taken up it leaves no room for dialogue. A closed form. Aggressively ideologically driven, wielding a treatise like a meat cleaver. This sort of monolithic propulsion of sound, however, has no place in M. Ostermeier’s exploratory ambient-classical compositions. Ostermeier weights and …

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COMA CINEMA – STONED ALONE (SELF-RELEASED, 2010)

I haven’t met Mat Cothran personally, but listening to his band Coma Cinema’s latest release (via cassette) makes me feel as though we’d known each other our whole lives. Like we’re… soul mates. Yeah, that all sounds a little homo-erotic and emo and everything, but damnit, Stoned Alone feels like our breakup record. Mat, are we breaking …

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LOTTE KESTNER – CHINA MOUNTAIN (SILBER, 2010)

China Mountain can be found on a map. Right…There. Lotte Kestner’s musical influences are traceable as well. On China Mountain we hear echoes of early nineties slowcore bands like Idaho and Hayden, we get the sense of the strong female singer-songwriter signed to Sub-Pop, K, and Kill Rockstars record labels, as well as flashes of the faraway hazinesss of Laura Gibson’s latest ambient/improvised project with Ethan Rose. China …

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SUN KIL MOON – ADMIRAL FELL PROMISES (CALDO VERDE, 2010)

There is something approaching perfection in Mark Kozelek’s voice. Cutting through the obvious effects (reverb, multi-tracking) there is something like crystalized sadness at the core of it. Kozelek transcends the hubris of the over-indulgent schlockiness of the perennial sad-sack singer-songwriter in a couple of important ways on his latest Sun Kil Moon vehicle Admiral Fell Promises. …

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