Ari Rosenschein: Wire meets the Fluid on the most postmodern release Sub Pop has offered thus far. There is a Cobainesque guitar solo, and Dino Jr. touches everywhere. Grunge. ‘90s. Nirvana. Sonic Youth. There, I included them all. But actually, a fresh, fierce sound is developing in So Pitted’s rehearsal room. [6/10]
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Sam Taylor: Premier purveyors of the weird Moderat return, collaborating for a third time with aural ally Apparat on “Reminder”, with a swirling techno soundscape that evokes Trentemøller’s music as much as it does In Rainbows-era Radiohead. The track’s press release claims that Apparat’s vocals present, “an unfiltered insight into his personal take on the journey we call life – he is opening up, discussing his shadow, his fears and doubts.” If “Reminder” is a good example of what’s to come, then new album III can’t come soon enough. [8/10]
Ari Rosenschein: As if signing the brilliant Grimes wasn’t enough of a gift to music for one decade, 4AD continues to churn out releases by brilliant female Canadians. This time, the goods come from a Chicago-born Torontonian, who goes by U.S. Girls. The woozy chords at the heart of “Navy & Cream” sound like Wham’s “Everything She Wants” at half speed. The singer’s vocal squeak borders Cyndi Lauper territory—a locale well worth exploring. By the time the Princely guitar fireworks kick in you will believe. [8/10]
Sam Taylor: Let’s be clear, Beyoncé‘s greatest asset has always been her voice. On “Formation”, she might not be belting out another insta-classic like “Crazy in Love”, but she continues down an increasingly dark and enthralling path, stripping back her sound and redefining what makes ‘Beyoncé’ so distinctively… well, Beyoncé. Utilising the unique potential of the surprise release—and the Super Bowl—to whip the Internet into a frenzy, she’s using her stature in the industry (and the black community) to expose an army of fans to something truly new. On both “Formation” and in its accompanying video, Beyoncé retains the confident swagger of her eponymous 2014 album, harnessing this progression to produce a track that not only serves as a potent statement that #blacklivesmatter in 2016, but that good music does too… and it still has the potential to really get people talking. [8/10]
Atlanta producer Chris Hunt previously applied his compositional skills to the work of Cloudeater, but following the break-up of that outfit, Hunt has struck out on his own in developing the Tomb project. Juxtaposing wide cinematic flourishes with elements of jaggy noise that almost create a heavy metal effect, his new music is throughly visceral in some of the same ways as Rabit’s recent music on Communion.
// Notes from the Road
"Co-presented by the World Music Institute, the 92Y hosted a rare and mesmerizing performance from India's violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam.READ the article