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1 – Chris Strickland – Animal Expert (caduc.)
Noise/sound artist Chris Strickland births a compelling pastiche of treated soundscapes. Very rooted in the gestural, electroacoustic vein of collage, his work is a gathering of the mantle of the considerable legacy of compositional giants like Luc Ferrari and Hidegard Westerkamp. This stunningly beautiful pieces earthy, elemental dynamics should best be consumed diffused over a multi-speaker array, but the transfixing power still carries within the limitations of the stereo field.
2 – ¡FLIST! – Fat Square (Art not Love)
A spooky rhumba introduces the soon-to-drop full length by spooky songsmith ¡FLIST! , who girds a sort of Nick Cave sense of drama in snappy spirals of swooning guitars and charging pointillistic pianos.
3- Silver Pools – Memoirs of an Oblong sphere (Independent)
Formerly Norvaiza and formerly of The Winks , Silver Pools is mandolinist Todd Macdonald ‘s latest work, a syrupy and psychedelic slice of chill that dollops the brain with Closedown style nocturnal shimmer. Restrained, but beautifully expansive.
4- Moss Lime – Ice Cream Sandwiches (Fixture Records)
Laid back and deadpan, Moss Lime has a touch of ESG minimal funk with soupçons of The Sea and Cake and Young Marble Giants. Breezy afternoon jams that drip a bit of sweet sunshine into your jellyroll. Standout track is the Congolese-y jam “Calabria 2014”.
5- Sneeze – Wilt EP (Glory Kid ltd)
I just turned 40, everyone I know is either lamenting that “grunge is back” or celebrating the big muffery that those crazy kids are all about these days. “Tant mieux”, sez I, bury me in a fuzz pile any day. Sneeze is a pretty gnar group from boston, destined to lay waste to basement slackers with their throwback riffs.
6- Anaal Nathrakh – Idol (Metal Blade)
After 2012’s stunning Vanitas , maniac grind/black/industrial virtuosos Anaal Nathrakh have birthed a grotesque new album Desideratum , out October 28th (naturally). I’m not quite as bowled over by this first single, finding it a bit tough to work out the hooks, but I feel like the band has grown to some sort of Lament Configuration like dark puzzle in the complexity of their songwriting. Perhaps a blood sacrifice will unlock it’s secrets. Someone pass me a goat, quick!
7- Kids Eat Crayons – Winston Eats Shit (Independent)
I have no words.
8- Chuck Lange – Jazz Wolf (Northsound)
This is (ostensibly) a tape from 20 years ago of smooth, sax-driven MIDI-fied jazz mixed with sounds of howling wolves. It is also one of the best things that ever happened. There is a track called “Wolf Callin’ Jam” OH MY GOD, IT’S SO GOOD.
9- Black Givre – Explosion Therapy (Small Scale)
A real pretty meditation on sample-hold swoosh jamming with some thoughtfully deep drumming, Black Givre tends to defy categories without being douchey about it. The work of one solitary freak, the free romps on this limited cassette is good for quiet, hashed out contemplation, or sandwich making, or both.
10- Harems – Sudden Negative Mass (Independent)
A very odd month begs a very odd top ten. Odd? Well… challenging, I assume, for some. Let’s end today’s journey with a sautee’d brainpan in the form of twisted up synth-bleak from new Montreal- based Harems. Shades of 80’s ambience adorn these excursions into restrained, dark squelchery. Coda. Goodnight.
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