Experimental Rock's Trees Speak Summon Kosmische Sensations on 'Ohms'

On their inspiring second album, Ohms, Arizona avant-garde collective Trees Speak invoke the best of expansive electronica through motorik repetitions across a sprawling masterwork.


Yann Tiersen's 'Portrait' Is a Fresh Interpretation of Past Glories

Amelie composer Yann Tiersen teams up with a coterie of collaborators on Portrait to revisit works from a 25-year career, with poignant and reinvigorating results.


Rebecca Foon Gets Honest and Raw with the Gorgeous 'Waxing Moon'

Canadian cellist and activist Rebecca Foon channels her emotions into music that honors a planet in peril on Waxing Moon.


Throbbing Gristle Sounded Only Half Alive on 'Part Two: The Endless Not'

The promised new album emerged in 2007 mashing together an EP's worth of new Throbbing Gristle, four outtakes from the band members' solo work, and two songs hanging around since their reformation in 2004.


Wolff Parkinson White's 'Favours' Is an Arresting Combo of Vocals and Electronics

As Wolff Parkinson White, German jazz drummer Jochen Rueckert has crafted a baker's dozen of off-kilter tracks featuring various vocalists on his latest electronic music project.


Throbbing Gristle's 2004 EP 'TG Now' Offered Hope for the Future (album review)

The demon stepchild shadowing punk's footsteps in the 1970s, Throbbing Gristle, returned in this new century making the case that they had something new to say with TG Now.


Mute's Throbbing Gristle Reissue Campaign Enters the Reformation Years

In the latest component of a comprehensive reissue series, three limited-edition releases from the 2004-2007 iteration of Throbbing Gristle are back in print. We begin with Live December 2004: A Souvenir of Camber Sands.


Colin Stetson Goes to the Movies with Loud, Garish 'Color Out of Space'

Adventurous multi-instrumentalist Colin Stetson scores the new horror film from director Richard Stanley, Color Out of Space, and it's a noisy, deeply enjoyable headphone trip.


Coil's 'Stolen & Contaminated Songs' Is a Document of a Different Time

Coil's undeniable sonic invention can't quite mask an almost quaint self-seriousness on their 1992 album, Stolen & Contaminated Songs, which was recently re-released.


The 15 Best Avant-Garde and Experimental Albums of 2019

In an age when the personal is political feels as necessary as ever, we identify most with experimenters who transcend the throwing-shit-at-a-wall, banging-on-pots-and-cans approach. These artists occupy the earthly just as much as they occupy the mechanical and the celestial.


Richard Dawson and the Multitudes Contained in Brexit Britain

Richard Dawson's 2020 is a coruscating state-of-the-nation piece as Britain faces up to its muddled identity at the end of a tumultuous decade.


New 7" Single From Experimental Outfit JOBS Celebrates the Intersection of Music and Visual Art

With Similar Canvas, Brooklyn-based experimental quartet JOBS works closely with visual artist Sam King to create a striking single that feeds off another art form.


The Velvet Underground's 'Grey Album' and the Delineation of a Decade

The Velvet Underground's 1969 self-titled release, known as the "Grey Album", blazes boldly 50 years later, and retains the same sonic relevance as a Laura Nyro or Nick Drake record: artworks utterly of their moment, that sound like they could have been made yesterday.


Going Off the Rails But Knowing Where to Land: ESSi and the Art of Noise Rock

After more than three years together, Brooklyn duo ESSi finally released their first full-length album. PopMatters caught up with them before a show to discuss their effects-laden punk sound, New York's vibrant DIY music scene, and how Craigslist saved them more than once.


Bent Knee's 'You Know What They Mean' Is Another Successful Experiment in Boundary Smashing

Boston art rockers, Bent Knee turn a corner with perhaps their most accomplished album yet in You Know What They Mean.


Negativland Tell the Tale of "Certain Men" (premiere)

Your favorite sound collage maestros Negativland return with a meditation on greed that could have been written in the 1980s or the 1790s.


Jenny Hval's 'The Practice of Love' Is Brainy, Conceptual, and Hugely Entertaining

Jenny Hval's The Practice of Love is a playful, conceptual pop record that makes sorting through its heady themes as fun as listening to it.


The Jamie Saft Quartet Revives '60s/'70s Spiritual Jazz on 'Hidden Corners'

Producer and pianist Jamie Saft convenes a band designed to create a current take on the "spiritual jazz" of the 1960s and 1970s, and the result is Hidden Corners.


Sonic Youth Founder Thurston Moore Asks Why a Song Can't Be an Hour Long

Thurston Moore talks about the three instrumental pieces spanning nearly three hours that make up the Spirit Counsel box set, the people who inspired them, and the fact that he doesn't really consider himself a "guitar guy".


No Wave Veterans Disturbed Furniture Deliver Recently Unearthed Live Set From 1981 (premiere + interview)

Part of New York City's vibrant art and music scene in the early 1980s, Disturbed Furniture still kick with the shock of the new in 2019. Vocalist Alexa Hunter looks back at walking among the Hells Angels and the city's art elite.


The Dust Blows Forward: 'Trout Mask Replica' at 50

In 1969, the deeply strange musician known as Captain Beefheart released an album that is still ahead of its time a half-century later. PopMatters spoke with musicians and writers about this landmark work of art and why it continues to fascinate.


'O Meadowlark' and the Raw Acoustic Catharsis of Joseph Allred

Tennessee-born, Boston-based guitarist Joseph Allred releases his third album of primitive, off-kilter acoustic guitar and banjo music.


Fountain of Time: An Interview with Bill MacKay

Chicago songwriter and guitarist Bill MacKay reflects on his softly powerful recent experimental rock work, and a life spent in thrall to the innate poetry in people and places.


San Diego's Those Darn Gnomes Up the Weirdness Game With "Birds" (premiere)

Can slime mold be a muse? Can you cross more streams than this collective? All those answers and more are shrouded in mystery on new track from Those Darn Gnomes. Maximum weirdness.


Lee Ranaldo, Jim Jarmusch, Marc Urselli, and Balázs Pándi Settle in for a Dark Night

Producer Marc Urselli's quartet takes its time to explore the shadows on their self-titled debut.


The Art Ensemble of Chicago: We Are on the Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

A wildly revised version of this venerable creative music ensemble makes a clean, beautiful new recording in the studio and live, with fresh music from Roscoe Mitchell and an argument that the original Art Ensemble of Chicago had everything to do with today's New Jazz.


Sick Gazelle Issues Haunting, Improvisational LP, 'Odum' (album stream) (premiere)

Featuring Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), and Eric Block (Veloce), Sick Gazelle's Odum is the result of a meditative hour-long improvisation in a Chicago recording studio.


Yann Tiersen Releases "Erc'h", His Latest Stunning Video (premiere)

French composer Yann Tiersen's latest album ALL connects the natural world with music, and his latest visualizer for "Erc'h" is as gorgeous as the music is.

PopMatters Picks: the best new cultural offerings

Areni Agbabian Brings Heart and Spirit to Minimal Avant-Garde Folk on 'Bloom'

The key to Areni Agbabian's success on Bloom is a purity of emotion; passion laid bare in such a way that it allows her and Nicolas Stocker to execute not only with significant technical skill but with feeling.


Karen Haglof Continues Reclaiming Her Rock Flag With 'Tobiano' (album stream + interview)

Oncologist and avant-garde pioneer Karen Haglof returns with a tuneful, probing collection of songs that further re-establish her as an intriguing voice in rock.


Yann Tiersen and the Project of a Lifetime

For an album that is so geographically and linguistically focused, Yann Tiersen's ALL is strangely beautiful when robbed of all its context.


Walking Bombs and Gridfailure Create Unlikely Alliance, Issue "Supply and Demand of the American Soul" (premiere)

Gridfailure's David Brenner calls the tune "the soundtrack to survival among thieves and backstabbers". A dark, star-studded LP follows in late April.

Jedd Beaudoin

As Sun of Goldfinger Emerges, Genre Disappears

Like his earlier Prezens project, jazz guitarist David Torn's latest band Sun of Goldfinger thrives on surprise and texture instead of form or tradition.


Loneliness Is the Cloak You Wear: Scott Walker, 1943-2019

From 1960s teen idol to '70s crooner to latter-day experimental trailblazer, Scott Walker's artistic trajectory is one of the strangest and most admirable in music history.


15 Essential Scott Walker Songs

We celebrate the career of experimental pop pioneer Scott Walker through 15 of his essential songs.


Strange Vistas from the Occultism of Coil and Psychic TV

Psychic TV and Coil were vanguard bands that blended ritual magick and creative method. But even their esoteric beliefs bore scant resemblance. This is a split that runs deep.

Collapse Expand Reviews
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.