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Luke Cissell Creates Dreamy, Electronic Soundscapes on the Eclectic 'Nightside'

Nightside, the new album from composer and multi-instrumentalist Luke Cissell, is largely synthetic and electronic but contains a great deal of warmth and melody.

Recent
Music

David Grubbs and Taku Unami Collaborate on the Downright Riveting 'Comet Meta'

Comet Meta is a brilliant record full of compositions and moments worthy of their own accord, but what's really enticing is that it's not only by David Grubbs but of him. It's perhaps the most emotive, dream-like, and accomplished piece of Grubbsian experimental post-rock.

Music

Inventions Conjure Mystery and Hope with the Intensely Creative 'Continuous Portrait'

Instrumental duo Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) release their first album in five years as Inventions. Continuous Portrait is both sonically thrilling and oddly soothing.

Music

Christine Ott Brings the Ondes Martenot to New Heights with the Mesmerizing 'Chimères'

France's Christine Ott, known for her work as an orchestral musician and film composer, has created a unique new solo album, Chimères, that spotlights an obscure instrument.

Music

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
Music

Composer Kosta Jevtić Offers 'Reflections on a Journey' to the Mediterranean

Serbian composer Kosta Jevtić evokes the clement Mediterranean in solo piano form on the brilliant new album, Reflections on a Journey.

Music

Jim White and Marisa Anderson's 'The Quickening' Takes an Experimental Journey

Avant-garde drummer Jim White and folk guitarist Marisa Anderson get together without rehearsing to see what happens on The Quickening.

Music

Luke Schneider's 'Altar of Harmony' Hews Close to Ambient Tradition

Luke Schneider's Altar of Harmony often sounds eerily close to the Robert Fripp guitar of No Pussyfooting, only he trades in the old six-string for pedal steel.

Music

Orions Belte Travels '600m Per Minute' (EP stream) (premiere)

Norway's Orions Belte deliver a wide-ranging but cohesive collection of instrumentals on 600m Per Minute. "You pick up inspirations from words you read, cities you go to, a painting hanging in a corner at an exhibition," says guitarist Øyvind Blomstrøm.

Reviews

Sylvain Chauveau's 'Life Without Machines' Is an Indictment of How External Forces Falsely Shape Humanity

Whereas so many contemporary albums are created to harness flash and consumption, Life Without Machines allays bedazzlement. Sylvain Chauveau advocates for unplugging and disconnecting, and only then will we truly live.

Music

Matt Evans' Ambient Soundscapes Transcend the Genre on 'New Topographics'

New York-based percussionist/composer, Matt Evans brilliantly infuses his spacey sonic landscapes with the sounds of everyday life on New Topographics.

Music

Matthew D. Gantt's 'Diagnostics' Is Complex, Futuristic, and Totally Bonkers

Experimental artist, composer and educator Matthew D. Gantt has created a delightful new album, Diagnostics, that's both maddeningly dense and refreshingly playful.

Music

Circles Around the Sun Shoot for the Stars on New Album

Jamrockers Circles Around the Sun's self-titled third album finds the band transcending darkness after losing their founder in 2019 to chart a groovy new course.

Music

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.

Music

Nick Storring's 'My Magic Dreams Have Lost Their Spell' Is Beautiful, Haunting, and Otherworldly

Canadian composer Nick Storring's latest album, My Magic Dreams Have Lost Their Spell, is mysterious, multilayered, and unforgettable.

Music

Ryan Rumery's 'At, Apart' Traffics in Nuance in the Face of Isolation

Film music composer Ryan Rumery kicks off a new Bandcamp-only Friday release series with At, Apart, which is devastating in emotional scope and careful sense of arrangement and place.

Music

Mute Duo Dazzle with the Ambient, Country-Tinged 'Lapse in Passage'

Mute Duo's second full-length album, Lapse in Passage, is dark, multilayered, and uncommonly beautiful. It's like David Lynch baked in the Texas heat. It's the soundtrack to a Cormac McCarthy-inspired fever dream.

Music

Quarterly's 'Pomegranate' is a Small Treasure of Charm and Warmth

Brooklyn-based duo Quarterly combine elements of folk and classical on the intimate, calm, and unique Pomegranate.

Music

Horse Lords Create a Loud, Disciplined Roar on 'The Common Task'

Experimental rock's Horse Lords release their first album in four years, and it's meticulous and complex, but also undeniably joyous and celebratory.

Music

Unconditional Arms Fuse Post-Punk and Post-Rock on "You're Just As Desperate" (premiere)

Featuring members of Wavves and the American Scene, Oakland's Unconditional Arms deliver an inspired instrumental that bodes well for a bright musical future.

Music

Jacoti Sommes Gets Spacey and Soulful with the Irresistible 'Travel Time'

Ohio-based producer Jacoti Sommes creates a warm sonic world where trippy vibes coexist with funky jams on his typically strange, lovable new album, Travel Time.

Music

Elkhorn Improvise the Hypnotic 'Storm Sessions'

Instrumental guitar duo Elkhorn tweak the formula with a third musician on their latest album, The Storm Sessions. Rarely has a blizzard sounded this good.

Music

Ross Goldstein's 'Timoka' Is an Ominous Collection of Dark Instrumental Beauty

Composer Ross Goldstein forges a challenging musical path on his latest album, Timoka, a wondrous collection of dark, often bleak instrumental compositions.

Music

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.

Music

Frank Lenz Creates a Playful, Mad Scientist Vibe with the Wonderful 'Pyramid'

The latest album from accomplished composer and session drummer, Frank Lenz, is equal parts experimental, amusing, and oddly funky.

Music

Pan American Expresse Powerful Emotions Through Guitar Instrumentals on 'A Son'

As Pan American, Mark Nelson sings for the first time since his magnum opus Quiet City, but his emotions are most powerfully expressed through his instrumental guitar compositions.

Music

'Little Common Twist' Is an Odd Thing of Pastoral Beauty from Charles Rumback and Ryley Walker

On their first collaboration since 2016, a meeting of experimental musical minds has produced an album full of quiet, off-kilter introspection.

Music

The Pirate Ship Quintet Reconcile the Gloom and Hope of Post-Rock

On Emitter, UK instrumental ensemble the Pirate Ship Quintet dive deeper into the textures and sensibilities that define their beautifully melancholy sound.

Music

William Tyler 'Goes West'

Think of William Tyler's fingers as the wind rattling the leaves on the trees. There is no storm coming, but the gusts have their own power and cannot be ignored. They make a statement.

Music

Lubomyr Melnyk's 'Fallen Trees' Is a Thing of Uncommon Beauty

The latest album from the Ukranian-born pianist Lubomyr Melnyk combines lush melodies with stunning instrumental technique.

Music

The Trouble Notes Shine in the Regal Poignance of Their "Grand Masquerade" (premiere)

Berlin-based "indie-world fusion" trio the Trouble Notes blend violin, guitar, and percussion into a whirlwind of contemporary and classic sounds on this instrumental track, "Grand Masquerade".

Music

10 Acts to Watch at Sziget Festival

With another grandiose edition of the legendary Sziget festival about to begin, we draw your attention to the acts you shouldn't miss this year, here or anywhere else globally.

Music

Brits in Hot Weather #1: Tirzah, Immersion, Sorry, Thyla, and Barbudo

Today begins our new regular guide to the best new music coming out of the UK. The first edition features Tirzah, Immersion, Sorry, Thyla, and Barbudo.

Music

Two Bands From Washington State Offer Unique Takes on Jazz Classic "St. James Infirmary" (premiere)

In this double premiere, Birch Pereira & the Gin Joints and Hot Club Sandwich both take on the jazz standard.

Music

The Best Ambient/Instrumental Music of 2017

In a year when the daily damning headlines make us all want to retreat into ourselves, the ambient/instrumental crowd aren't being idle by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, this roundup of brilliant new voices proves that ambient artists are taking more risks and breaking more ground than we ever thought possible.

Evan Sawdey
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