Please donate to help save PopMatters. We are moving to WordPress in December out of necessity and need your help.

Tristan Perich's 'Drift Multiply' Charts a New Course for the Fusion of Composition and Electronics

Tristan Perich's Drift Multiply is essential listening regardless of your tastes, the combination of violins and one-bit processors has never sounded so graceful.


Max Richter's 'VOICES' Is an Awe-Inspiring and Heartfelt Soundscape

Choral singing, piano, synths, and an "upside-down" orchestra complement crowd-sourced voices from across the globe on Max Richter's VOICES. It rewards deep listening, and acts as a global rebuke against bigotry, extremism and authoritarianism.


Irmin Schmidt Meets John Cage on 'Nocturne'

Irmin Schmidt goes back to his Stockhausen roots with a new live album, Nocturne: Live at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.


Pianist Gabriel Ólafs Champions Brevity Over Showmanship on 'Piano Works'

Gabriel Ólafs' Piano Works is a testament to the power of melody and mood. The music is both concise yet brimming with beauty.


Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.


Fave Five: Rafael Anton Irisarri

As one of the most celebrated ambient composers working today, Rafael Anton Irisarri continues to evolve. We celebrate his metal-tinged new album Peripeteia with a look through the albums that made him.

Evan Sawdey

Jazz Guitar Virtuoso Wolfgang Muthspiel Gets the 'Angular Blues'

Jazz guitar virtuoso Wolfgang Muthspiel scales back to a trio for Angular Blues, trimming the fat while leaving plenty of space for inventive and exciting improvisation.


A Winged Victory for the Sullen's 'The Undivided Five' Is a Breathtaking Album Full of Subtlety

Each track of ambient duo A Winged Victory for the Sullen's The Undivided Five captures the sound of two exceptional musicians drawing in deep musical breaths and then exhaling something of lasting ethereal beauty.


Anna Meredith's 'FIBS' Is an Audacious Blast

Scottish composer Anna Meredith makes a busy, joyful noise on her long-awaited second studio album, FIBS.


'All Encores' Is Nils Frahm, Beautifully Deconstructed

German composer/producer Nils Frahm has compiled his last three EPs into a varied and satisfying full-length release, All Encores.


Composer Mario Diaz de Leon Merges the Acoustic and Electronic on 'Cycle and Reveal' (album stream) (premiere)

Composer Mario Diaz de Leon uses traditional classical instruments in combination with experimental electronics on his latest album Cycle and Reveal featuring four recent works. Hear it in full now.


Composer Luke Cissell Makes an Arresting Musical Statement with 'String Sextets Nos 1 & 2'

Kentucky-born, New York-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Luke Cissell continues to experiment across different genres with a pair of exquisite new chamber pieces.


Cory Smythe Merges Jazz and Classical on 'Circulate Susanna'

Cory Smythe's Circulate Susanna is a mysterious meditation on rural America (and minstrel songs) as heard through the ears of a pianist with history in both new music and improvised music, featuring extended vocal technique and detuned guitar.


Aizuri Quartet's 'Blueprinting' Is One the Best Contemporary Classical Debuts of the Year

The string quartet format is tried and true within classical music. However, there's something truly special about the Aizuri Quartet, something vivacious and energetic that makes their performances truly irresistible.


Horne + Holt Demonstrate the Beauty of Experimentation, Strings on New LP, 'Wires' (album stream)

Ex-Godspeed You! Black Emperor and White Denim/Young Mothers men (Jonathan F. Horne and Randall Holt) join forces for a gorgeous cello, guitar collaboration on Wires.


Layers of Poetry, Piano, and Silence Resonate with the Latest from Composer Maike Zazie

Stillness and language resonate with a beautiful message on Fragmente, a fantastic new release from the Berlin-centric composer Maike Zazie.


Old and New Worlds Meld on Esther Lamneck's 'Tárogató Constructions'

Woodwind virtuoso Esther Lamneck interacts with live electronics on her latest from Innova, Tárogató Constructions.


Luke Cissell Is Joyfully All Over the Map with 'Thinking/Feeling'

Musical polymath and classical composer Luke Cissell releases another album that's impossible to categorize but very easy to love.


Marc Mellits and New Music Detroit Shred, Soothe, and Smolder on Their First Recorded Collaboration

The hippest composer in post-minimalism today, Marc Mellits, receives an excellent tribute from the superb contemporary music ensemble, New Music Detroit.


New Indiana Issues "Media" Ahead of Debut Album (premiere)

Longtime friends in New Indiana turn their habit of recording conversations into art on "Media", a cross between contemporary classical and chamber pop.

Jedd Beaudoin

Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto Take an Exquisite Journey on 'Glass'

Musical innovators Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto recorded Glass live, totally improvised and inspired by an extended moment spent within structure, art, and nature.


Hior Chronik - "Magnolia" (video)

Greek neo-classical composer Hior Chronik shares his latest gorgeous video for "Magnolia".


Every Scene Fades: An Interview with Ambient Producer Rafael Anton Irisarri

He was one half of the duo behind PopMatters' top pick for Ambient/Instrumental album of 2017, and now Rafael Anton Irisarri is taking ambient music in a surprising direction: one that's intended to remind you of the apocalypse.


Echo Collective Pays a Glorious Homage to Radiohead's 'Amnesiac'

Echo Collective Plays Amnesiac is a stunning record of vibrant highs and sedated lows, interpreted with irresistible grace and wit by a stellar group of musicians.


​​Árstíðir​ Previews New LP 'Nivalis' With "While This Way" (premiere)

Icelandic outfit Árstíðir continues breaking new ground with "While This Way", which is poised to introduce a new range of fans to the veteran group.


Sarah Cahill Honors Terry Riley in a Moving, Pristine Four-Disc Collection

Eighty Trips Around the Sun: Music by and for Terry Riley is a massive tribute in honor of the pioneering composer on his 80th birthday. A labor of love and admiration from Sarah Cahill, unquestionably one of the finest pianists of our age.


'Pulse/Quartet' Is a Testament to Steve Reich's Engaging Compositional Voice

With excellent contributions from the International Contemporary Ensemble and the Colin Currie Group, Steve Reich's Pulse/Quartet is a shining work from a modern master.


Modern Music Icons Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet Collaborate with Heart-stopping Beauty

There's no mistaking that Landfall is an album heavy with gloom and grief. Nonetheless, it's beautiful and an excellent first collaboration between Anderson and Kronos.


Ryuichi Sakamoto's 'Async: Remodels' Is One of Those Rare Remix Albums That Enhances the Original Recording

Ryuichi Sakamoto's async sounds almost as good when it comes out the remix wringer as Async: Remodels.


Thomas Strønen's Time Is a Blind Guide Delivers Thoughtful Improvisations and Stellar Group Dynamics on 'Lucus'

Adapting to a new pianist clearly hasn't been a challenge. Fusing jazz, classical, and striking modern aesthetics, Thomas Strønen's Lucus is a beautiful reflection on musical freedom.


Eyvind Kang Catches His Breath on 'Plainlight' So That You May Too

Eyvind Kang seizes the moment when the clouds part to bring us Plainlight.


Del Sol String Quartet: Dark Queen Mantra

Featuring a shining collaboration with Terry Riley, the Del Sol String Quartet have produced an excellent new music recording during their 25 years as an ensemble.


Dan Deacon: Rat Film

For an artist like Dan Deacon so intensely involved with constant maximalism at the expense of almost all other endeavors, this is a left turn.


Steven Mackey and Jason Treuting: Orpheus Unsung

A guitar and percussion-based wordless opera that details the tragic Greek myth, Mackey and Treuting construct an ambitious and accessible musical landscape.


Nick Photinos: Petits Artéfacts

Photinos champions a wealth of intriguing contemporary composers with his collection of solo, chamber, and electroacoustic works.


Los Angeles Percussion Quartet: Beyond

The Grammy-nominated modern music ensemble explores location and language on their latest release. Beyond is a striking and ambitious work in both intent and depth of material.


Eleonore Oppenheim: Home

The varied merits of acoustic bass and electronics are explored on NYC-based musician's stunning debut solo recording.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

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