The comparisons with Fennesz go so far, as do those with Tim Hecker. But on his second album, Jerome Deuson (a.k.a aMute) expands from his static debut A Hundred Dry Trees and brings the pop. In a characteristically experimental way, of course. The Belgian-based multi-instrumentalist adds drums and vocals to his palette of ambient strings, synths, and other instruments, but these aren't so much infused as slotted in, so we get sections of ambience, sections of noise, and then more conventional sections with rock instrumentation and even (hushed) female vocals. At times, the disorientation is decidedly deliberate: on "Hit My Country", chaotic, nondirectional sound, emphasized by violin arpeggios and tremolo, cuts to a broken beat and then a more conventional pop atmosphere 4:30 in. Sustaining complex ideas is never in question -- "Oh! Le Zeppelin" is 12 minutes of minimal repetition, slow-building atmosphere, and gradual additions of new harmonic lines creating a static, shimmering beauty. And even pop is within aMute's reach, as on "Sea Horse", which blossoms into a bright, airy pop song; as the bouncing guitar sounds fade you're left with an undeniably sweet feeling, the disorienting aftertaste of delicate complexity.
Dark, disturbing and cathartic '90s-inspired video from S!ege promises to move the listener, one way or another.
Dustin Christensen's Sad Songs is an excellent example of an EP set that has the structure and thematic coherence of an LP. Debra Fotheringham's latest compliments with the most searching and self-assured music of her solo career.
Directors Granik and Morano explore the tenuous bonds that connect us to society and the repercussions of tearing them apart.
Emily Pinkerton, Patrick Burke, and the NOW Ensemble Beautifully Unite the Traditional and the Contemporary
On Rounder Songs, Appalachian folk ballads are realized through a post-minimalist context. Never descending into irony or cliche, it's an excellent album that honors tradition in a lovingly modern way.
Nika States takes on the red steppes moniker to paint an emotional landscape with tender vocals and evocative instrumentation on her brand new folk release.
Most of the songs on the album are lesser-known hits, providing a good opportunity to become acquainted with a wider breadth of Franklin's discography.
Austrian Tolkien fanatics Summoning return five years after Old Mornings Dawn and continue to explore the lore and fables of Middle-Earth through their atmospheric brew of black metal.