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Album Reviews


Album review: Chihei Hatakeyama – ‘Late Spring’: a halcyon, beautiful ambient journey

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Album review: El Michels Affair -‘Yeti Season’: Big Crown kingpin proves he’s a 10th dan at soundtrack funk magic

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Album review: Renee Reed – ‘Renee Reed’: an excellent, ethereal debut from Louisiana folk chanteuse

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An impactful, cradle-to-grave reflection of self, Yaya Bey’s new EP The Things I Can’t Take With Me came together unexpectedly. Bey was set to record her next album when she found herself in the midst of a broken relationship, after which the original project changed direction. Its title refers to her journey of self-reflection, where …

THE MOST potent fusion music, the stuff that’s born from experience rather than cooked up as an experiment, comes from travellers in search of sounds. Julien Lesuisse is one such explorer. The vocalist and sax player has been a central player in Lyon’s Mazalda, a band that steadily evolved from jazz messengers to sound system-driven …

To me, Xiu Xiu has always been a project marked by its ambition; whether it’s finding new ways to express the spirit of musical heavyweights like Nina Simone or Angelo Badalamenti, or forging a new kind of visceral yet fragile sound on albums like A Promise or 2019’s Girl with Basket of Fruit. Jamie Stewart’s …

WELL it looks like the summer vibes may need a little boost this year, so here’s a release that’s set to heat things up. Brazilian troubadour Joao Selva, now based in Lyon, definitely aims to shake us around with his samba infused, funk primed second album, Navegar, available on Underdog records from April 2nd. Born …

Last year’s debut album ‘Kinds of Sadness’ by Brisbane solo artist Cloud Tangle was a sign of something special brewing in the home studios of Amber Ramsay – it was one of our favourite Australian/New Zealand releases for 2020 and indicative of a prodigious talent. Cloud Tangle is back with the album ‘Swells’ – another …

Exploring dark memories embedded in nostalgia, MØAA present their debut LP Euphoric Recall out now on WWNBB (We Were Never Being Boring). MØAA was first conceived by Jancy Rae when she began writing and recording demos while living in the forest near Seattle. Serving as an outlet to process a troubled past, MØAA was named after …

Without a doubt one of the most potent voices in modern composition today, Christine Ott is as happy to push right out into dark, even industrial-infused experimenta as she is to play a straight bat with absolute confidence in the deeper classical tradition and the wider avant-garde palette; she can do it all, if she chooses, and when she breathes the ondes Martenot into life; there really is no one to touch her

You know what the best thing about Keys is; for all its intimacy, the focus wholly on how the two players and their instruments mesh,a real joy in creation rings through. William Tyler, Black Twig Pickers, Jack Rose fans; please come on over and pull up a pew

Balmorhea draw a line back in the tradition to the much-missed Louisville, KY outfit Rachel’s, who opted to take an idea and use whichever instrumental mix they found brought out the best of what they wished to convey. And The Wind roams freely and with precision across a spectrum from formal classical through a more pastoral take on the form and all the way out to ambient experimentalism, spoken word, found sound, with a unity and cohesion. It’s just a lovely, thoughtful record; complex in its simplicity

Late Spring takes elements of IDM, shoegaze, and drone, and fashions them together in an impressionistic, delicious fog, with a pretty unique pastoralist feel, alive in nature. It’s pretty much the only album I’ve ever heard that makes me reconsider such unassailable classics of the slow leftfield as Stars of the Lids’ The Tired Sounds Of … and Windy & Carl’s Consciousness and made me think: whoah there guys, these records are a bit … sharp-edged, right? Take it easy. Let it breathe. That halcyon. Late Spring is bloody, bloody beautiful.