Gavin Bryars – Allegresco / Alaric I or II / Three Elegies

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Contemporary classical, a group of clarinets

Moods

Contemplative, rich

Thoughts

I believe this is a compilation and each piece should be considered individually:

  • allegrasco is pretty good
  • alaric I ou II is a little slow which is effectively just a boring solo
  • three elegies is the highlight which features three pieces building with repetition, a tactic only found in modern compositions. Its best displayed in part 3 where a feeling of conclusion is reached. Incorporating more and more of the orchestra.

I'll likely seek out his more regarded compositions in the future but three elegies is worth a listen for the modern classical fan.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Gavin-Bryars-Allegresco-Alaric-I-or-II-Three-Elegies/release/6525989

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Gavin Bryars – Allegresco / Alaric I or II / Three Elegies

Description: Album Review of Gavin Bryars – Allegresco / Alaric I or II / Three Elegies


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

American Football – American Football

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Golden age emo meets math rock

Moods

Songs I play when walking over to your place

Thoughts

Adds to the typical somber 'classic' emo format with well timed brass and tasteful/tight percussion. All of this additional instrumentation is good with songwriting that builds in a skillful way. I think it's a stretch to call this emo jazz as it's referenced on Wikipedia but it's distinct enough to call out.

‘Honestly’ is a great highlight showing the strengths of this album: mellow catchy introspection breaking into an extended jam type thing; letting emotion and tension playout in a natural way. You can feel the frustration and confusion of a breakup.

This type of genuineness is what drew me to emo initially and is captured beautifully here. Recommended for golden age emo fans who need something more than the pop-punk mold.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/American-Football-American-Football/release/450722

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NfnXdXpjL0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Uj2JpvsvX4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CU4VGgX0nA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsCBUK_mvY4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr_DMGZ-JrY

Spotify


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American Football – American Football

Description: Album Review of American Football – American Football


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Nao Tokui – Mind The Gap

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Minimal electro / tech house / ambient / IDM

Moods

Cold winter light

Thoughts

Solid minimal record. *Blips* and *bleeps*. Uses production noise like warm record hiss to create additional character and atmosphere. Not much in the way of songwriting, this is more about mood, but there's enough of a house bump to keep this moving. Things pickup with 'rotation' and ‘pine ave’, blurring the lines between ambient and IDM.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Nao-Tokui-Mind-The-Gap/release/176683

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvh3u6zPmtw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DZrv_A4CPs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESrzFDBIZcA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3M7ckJyWj0

Spotify


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Nao Tokui – Mind The Gap

Description: Album Review of Nao Tokui – Mind The Gap


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Maribou State – Kingdoms In Colour

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

polished and well produced electro pop. Has a seriousness and rock aspect to it, an approach like downtempo.

Moods

Sounds like a show for 30 somethings thrown by Spotify and Stella Artois at a 'loft space’ with visible air ducts

Thoughts

The album takes a bit of time to get going but I like it. At times it feels generic and overly polished but tracks are rich and varied enough thanks to the great guests (Holly walker's vocals adding the most).

They seem like they'd be fun live. Just the right amount of positive energy while still maintaining an open jam feel. Reminds me of thievery corporation.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Maribou-State-Kingdoms-In-Colour/release/12448883

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT78T4jcMsI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vtvvdtzk4dw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwujOBXy1Fo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyX3EWdtbmA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAgJG6yJ5U8

Spotify


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Maribou State – Kingdoms In Colour

Description: Album Review of Maribou State – Kingdoms In Colour


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

J. Balvin – Vibras

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Classy reggaeton

Moods

👏👏

Thoughts

First I've heard this dude, like what I'm hearing and see a lot of potential in this style. Guess it's kind of similar to r&b/rap or some other global hybrid that's become the recent trend. Anyways it works: good upbeat energy with that classic reggaeton bump keeping it alive. What separates this from the corny bodega beat is solid production that gives this a sleek sexy modern appeal. Tracks are better towards the beginning but it works overall. Suggested for fans of global pop.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/J-Balvin-Vibras/release/12615542

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZcQNebnWrU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnJ6LuUFpMo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzgw0XldTC0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTs1RFjWidU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zn4dAuZ2RU

Spotify


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J. Balvin – Vibras

Description: Album Review of J. Balvin – Vibras


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

SOHN – Tremors

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

serious, dramatic, dark electro pop

Moods

sexy scandinavian

Thoughts

Enjoyable pop with some interesting ideas. I guess I like this, the album all kind of blends together through very similar and basic electro production. It's slick no doubt but a little dry and impersonal with vague lyrical themes. Reminds me of apparat.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/S-O-H-N-Tremors/release/5559093

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlLJcbK7Xiw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AslPYSm7jfg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0AX03wZH90

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9btsq496hkQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWpvoylTLO8

Spotify


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SOHN – Tremors

Description: Album Review of SOHN – Tremors


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Greyscalesound – Hologram

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

hip trapping with elements of vaporwave and hip hop mixed in

Moods

2020 Urban city headphone music

Thoughts

Engaging and accessible due to a forward energy. Trap at its heart, he flirts with modern electro styles but never commits, leaving this fresh and varied.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Greyscalesound-Hologram/release/6393753

Listen!

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Greyscalesound – Hologram

Description: Album Review of Greyscalesound – Hologram


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Emily Sprague – Water Memory

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

wide open ambient made with modular synths and winds

Moods

Observing water shimmering on a wall

Thoughts

Quality ambient with a relaxing atmosphere, reminds me of masters like Eno. A patient listen (or as background, it's ambient after all) is engaging through movement, both in individual songs and on the album as a whole. Ambient while generally pleasant can often feel monotonous and stale, she finds just the right balance.

 

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Emily-A-Sprague-Water-Memory/release/12014380

Listen!

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Emily Sprague – Water Memory

Description: Album Review of Emily Sprague – Water Memory


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Prince – Piano & A Microphone 1983

★★★★★ = Classic, essential listening

Sounds like?

Prince singing while playing the piano

Moods

An intimate session with the purple one

Thoughts

An interesting artifact that I think all Prince fans should hear once. Here we have a sketchbook like view of Prince's songwriting process (Purple rain, for instance, is just a brief thought in this session. It would be fleshed out months later). Intimacy is immediately established given the stripped down nature of this recording: gone are the sequenced to perfection drum machines and synths that would obscure him at times. It's as if you're hearing him with his guard is down and the beauty of his songwriting takes center stage.

While Prince's multi instrumentation ability is common knowledge here we learn he's a fantastic piano player, effortlessly toying with melody.

I see, feel and understand his soulful approach to music better after listening to this. Not because of the final product but the heart that goes into it.

Essential listening and gem in his esteemed catalog.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Prince-Piano-A-Microphone-1983/release/12548164

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5-HEBGPzFM

Spotify


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Prince – Piano & A Microphone 1983

Description: Album Review of Prince – Piano & A Microphone 1983


Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Pauline Oliveros – The Roots Of The Moment

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?

an accordian being drawn out over an hour

Moods

A strange horror soundtrack

Thoughts

I guess there's something here. Definitely different. Feel like the limits of avant-garde are stretched to a place I'm not interested in going.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Pauline-Oliveros-The-Roots-Of-The-Moment/release/2853717

Listen!

Spotify


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Pauline Oliveros – The Roots Of The Moment

Description: Album Review of Pauline Oliveros – The Roots Of The Moment


Rating: 2 out of 5