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!

Spotify


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Emily Sprague – Water Memory

Description: Album Review of Emily Sprague – Water Memory


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

The Books – The Lemon Of Pink

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

String acoustic sample electro experimental

Moods

There's a creative thread here that's awesome to watch unravel, I love revisiting this album

Thoughts

I've come back to this album a lot over the years, why? Partially because it sounds lovely: an intimate folk album that incorporates just the right amount of sample based electro elements. I particularly love the first few songs but always find myself staying for the entirety.

The primary reason I keep coming back is due to an inspiring feeling that isn't easy to capture in music. It's almost as if you can feel the creative push at work, forcing themselves to explore new territory.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/The-Books-The-Lemon-Of-Pink/release/196682

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiXpi5u5Vu8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiuC8A8eKu4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC0jSezdwTU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1irbhY_dgY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ku-g3LiBxmg

Spotify


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The Books – The Lemon Of Pink

Description: Album Review of The Books – The Lemon Of Pink


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Paul & Linda McCartney – Ram

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Peak McCartney songwriting

Moods

A car driven by guitar

Thoughts

Fun rock with a moving energy. Paul covers a range of styles from Golden age rock and roll on ‘smile away’ to a Beatles like medley on ‘Uncle Albert’.

This is good chord driven pop at its heart by one of the world's best songwriters. Lyrically things are a little freewheeling and goofy at times but it works.

I found this to be seriously good on my first few listens, might become a personal classic if given enough time.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Paul-Linda-McCartney-Ram/release/4561199

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5qymNPUb1s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2eWWS0QMlc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Swl9Iqh6DQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrthE_waCV8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8pulOnIE5Q

Spotify


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Paul & Linda McCartney – Ram

Description: Album Review of Paul & Linda McCartney – Ram


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Szun Waves – New Hymn To Freedom

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Modern atmospheric jazz rock with electronic textures

Moods

Live at pompeii for spiritual robots

Thoughts

A modern spiritual jazz-rock record. Effective  use of synths modernizes things and adds an interesting texture. Perhaps the only true rock element is the percussion which feels like it keeps things moving forward in rock fashion.  Couple of highlights:

Fall into water- spacey and patient.

High szun maybe a bit more rock oriented. Certain tension is maintained with a noisy keyboard layer. Works while patient solos build around it.

Quite enjoyed this release.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Szun-Waves-New-Hymn-To-Freedom/release/12494167

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAO60apkxEo

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdaHQESTu4U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R12-Qn4g72Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txraa21q8FQ

Spotify


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Szun Waves – New Hymn To Freedom

Description: Album Review of Szun Waves – New Hymn To Freedom


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Dauwd – Theory Of Colours

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Chilled out electro

Moods

sorta like downtempo but not as down

Thoughts

Layered intelligent electro with a nice energy. Nocturnal feeling. Tasteful keys at times. Particularly like the energetic haze laid out on tracks such as analogische memories. Drifts into an almost bland territory at times but still great. I come back to this record ever few months and it's holding up.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Dauwd-Theory-Of-Colours/release/10402048

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqhq8vtSfNA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VMoLqPqK6s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Eqcee-pUm0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Q0_XEKb0k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjB2koTyujw

Spotify


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Dauwd – Theory Of Colours

Description: Album Review of Dauwd – Theory Of Colours


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Low – Double Negative

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Dark distorted ethereal electronic rock

Moods

One of 2018s best

Thoughts

They've taken that distorted sound that borrows from industrial (yeezus, arca, SoundCloud rap) and turned it into something poetic. I think it's best as the succinct ep disarray but it's all good stuff.

Apparently a lot of the sound is credited to producer BJ Burton. There's a playlist on Spotify that samples some of his productions, worth a listen to and someone I'll be keeping a lookout for.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Low-Double-Negative/release/12988816

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m31A4ZGss0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob0CILJ93bA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvEozu4Obfs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5Enxzh-O9Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzMo-EpWcPA

Spotify


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Low – Double Negative

Description: Album Review of Low – Double Negative


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Magic Sam Blues Band – West Side Soul

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Electric blues

Moods

Chicago:

The Cubs

Deep dish pizza

Magic Sam

Thoughts

Electric blues, you know what you're  signing up for here.

Solid record. More ‘pop’ focused than I typically like my blues but it's damn near perfect.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Magic-Sam-Blues-Band-West-Side-Soul/release/4808401

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZTkj8dgGNE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83rkEm7s5es

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSc6-0xBcjE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iwoj1hUMmg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3jPsCdZgn0

Spotify


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Magic Sam Blues Band – West Side Soul

Description: Album Review of Magic Sam Blues Band – West Side Soul


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Kalabrese – Rumpelzirkus

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Personal fun and funky electro (I guess discogs calls this left field electro?)

Moods

An electro record with feeling.

Thoughts

Reminds me of a slightly off kilter Lumio who shares the carefree fun quality of Koze. That description might sound cliche (and there's for sure a certain cliche cheesiness on these tracks) but there's a love and curiosity of life that's very alive in this music.

These tracks run long allowing you to get into the groove. I appreciate the songwriting, tracks are layered and evolve with a natural ebb and flow.

He’s become my goto artist for Friday late night working sessions in the lab.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Kalabrese-Rumpelzirkus/release/977370

Listen!

Spotify


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Kalabrese – Rumpelzirkus

Description: Album Review of Kalabrese – Rumpelzirkus


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?
Rap with an alt pop lean

Moods
Headphones on and taking in nu-NYC

Thoughts
I don’t know why, call it a natural curiosity, but growing-up I loved the radio and would spend hours taking in anything I could hear. I find pleasure discovering sounds and appreciate art that maintains this same dynamism. It’s reflected in a broader cultural awareness with my generation, whose been raised with the internet and the power of having humanity’s entire cultural output instantly available. So what do you do with it? You take your favorite parts and begin creating something new, sampling in other words.

I find this to be a representative album for today’s sample based culture as Banks, a versatile MC, floats effortlessly between pop and rap on this impressive set of alt-electro productions (think sampling today rather than the past). I appreciate rappers who are able to carve distinct sounds for themselves and feel this is a classic in the marriage of rap and electro.

Listening notes on specific time:
* 212 – immediately and undeniably great
* Idlest delilah / soda is glitchy greatness and a personal favorite
* ‘Gimme a chance’ succeeds as an OK pop song before switching into a gripping latin bit (maybe corny but I genuinely like it).
* BBD, ice princess, Yung Rapunxel take a turn into harder boomy beats that sound a little dated after the edm boom.
* Things drift off towards the end, but she soars on miss camaraderie. Not sure I’ve heard someone flow over edm so well.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Azealia-Banks-Broke-With-Expensive-Taste/release/6728221

Listen!
Spotify

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Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste

Description: Album Review of Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Mary Halvorson Octet – Away With You

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?
Big, modern, swinging avant-garde jazz

Moods
Feeling.. technical

Thoughts
She’s been hyped a lot for her live shows here in New York and as my first introduction to her I can see why as this is a must hear for anyone interested in modern compositions. Meticulously arranged, this offers layers of strings, brass and rhythm executed flawlessly.

Hats off to the vision and level of playing. Nothing sexy here, its ‘dooty’ plain vanilla jazz but damn those are incredibly interesting compositions.

Side one is where it’s at. Rewards repeat listens.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Mary-Halvorson-Octet-Away-With-You/release/9341908

Listen!

Youtube

Spotify

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Mary Halvorson Octet – Away With You

Description: Album Review of Mary Halvorson Octet – Away With You


Rating: 4 out of 5