|Jac's First Half 2016|
Well it's that time of year again where I'm a week and a bit late to post half yearly list after everyone raced to post theirs a week and a bit early. I ain't got time to waste time.
a i sha
Musique concréte / field recordings
Melodeath - This is honestly one of the most palatable death metal albums I've ever heard, and I mean that as a kind of backhanded compliment. I can see this being an excellent gateway album for people looking to get into the genre, but for my ruined ears I need something a bit more gruff.
|67||Ches Smith / Craig Taborn / Mat Maneri|
Avant-garde jazz / chamber music
Allir vegir til glötunar
Black / death
Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 8 and 9
Classical period / concerto - Not the best interpretation I've ever heard: Tame performances and somewhat dodgy recording quality on the piano, but Mozart's music is delightful enough to overlook these minor qualms
Funeral doom - See my review.
Noise / post-punk
Obscurations (To Feast On The Seraphim)
|58||Aes Dana and Miktek|
The Unexpected Hours
Death metal - Iffy drum production aside, this is some good Ulcerate worship.
Program Music II
un/even and one
Lowercase - This was actually quite difficult to get into at first, due to the fact that you miss so much if you let yourself get distracted. But lowercase is as lowercase does.
|52||Oren Ambarchi, Kassel Jaeger, James Rushford|
This is From the Mouth
|46||Felicia Atkinson and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma|
Comme un seul narcisse
Musique concréte / ambient
Larvae Offal Swine
Black / death
|43||Kassel Jaeger, Stephan Mathieu, and Arika Rabelais|
Ambient / field recordings
Machine Into Flesh
Experimental big band
Stare at the Devil
Harsh noise / musique concréte
Perennial Void Traverse
Death metal - Blatantly rips off Obliteration but hey, just about everything in metal is an appropriation of something else at this point so w/e
Schnittke: Penitential Psalms
Modern classical / choral
Death Industrial / Dark Ambient - I hoped for more of the explosive viscera of "Night is a Trap II" to capitalise on all the suspense building, but the suspense building is pretty awesome in and of itself anyway so I can't complain.
Tech-thrash - Yes, it's not #1, get over it.
Ambient / lowercase
|34||Le Concert des Nations|
Les Elements: Tempetes; Orages; Fetes Marines
Anna Högberg Attack
Art rock - RIP
Le Dernier Crépuscule
Death metal - Slightly-flat production aside this is about as enthralling as I expected it to be.
|30||zeitkratzer / Keiji Haino|
Stockhausen: Aus den sieben Tagen
Ultimate Care II
Musique concréte / IDM - A dense and disorienting exercise in sound design. Requires a very specific listening setting as it's easy to get lost and feel disconnected but ~
Traditional Synthesizer Music
IDM - See my review.
Hideous Silhouettes of Lynched Gods
Black metal - Almost irritatingly good in light of being only two damn tracks long. Full length pls.
Speed / black / thrash
Bach: Das wohltemperierte Klavier 1. Teil
Baroque music - I was hesitant to check this as I've never been partial to solo harpsichord (too bright, lacking in dynamics and expression) but somehow this has hooked me for two hours at a time, without intermissions.
Exhumation of the Ancient
Death / doom - Devastating tunes with Infester-esque vocals
Tech-death - High-octane tech-death with progressive tendencies that is reminiscent but not an imitation of American styles that were prevalent in the 90s.
She Sleeps, She Sleeps
A Failed Entertainment: Works 2009-2014
Modern Classical - A compilation of dynamic, textured and suspenseful pieces consisting of sparse soundscapes in which the instruments almost seem to chatter with each other, occasionally erupting but only for the most brief of moments.
Distance | Collapsed
Death / doom - See my review.
Avant-garde jazz / Experimental big band - Takes a long time to get into the swing of things but once it does I'm hooked until 71st and final minute.
Black / death - Absolutely fucking gnarly, ever so sloppy demo with astounding production quality (for a demo at least), do check if you're into all things black-y and death-y.
|16||RIAS Kammerchor / Akademie fuer Alte Musik Berlin|
Baroque music / oratorio - This is the first rendition of Bach's St. John Passion that I've heard and I'm impressed (duh), but I'm gonna check some other recordings as this one is a little sibilant and peaky in places. Performances are impeccable, notwithstanding.
Ambient / Glitch - Bit of a shame this has gotten the worst reception of any Hecker because it's one of his best. Yes, it's reminiscent of Oneohtrix Point Never, but still far in excess of anything Lopatin's done anyway.
|14||Howls of Ebb|
Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows
Death metal - Definitely Howls' densest album, musically speaking. Though I think it lacks the fun-factor of the debut and the expansiveness of the EP, it's another jewel in the band's now rather lavish looking crown.
|13||Jachna / Mazurkiewicz / Buhl|
Avant-garde jazz - Unbelievably methodical for something that - from what I've read - is improvised. "Nie Wiem, Mysle" feels sculpted from the ground and up, and "A Ya" is a superb bout of organised chaos. Whatever, it sounds good to these ears.
IDM - See my review.
|11||Szilard Mezei Sextet|
Lerakat / Depot
Avant-garde jazz - Not for casual listening, but extremely rewarding if you're willing to put in the time to flesh it out. Can feel like a mish-mash of everything but the kitchen sink at time but it's a beautiful mess no less.
Stabat Mater: Italian Sacred Music
Baroque music - Joyful but surprisingly undramatic tunes from a few composers in whose work my interest has been piqued.
Outsider house - Okay, yes, the second track is by far the best one but that still counts for quite a bit when probably in my top 5 of the year so far. The others are nothing to sneeze at, hiding their subtle beauties beneath a blanket of iridescent fuzz.
Jazz - Undemanding, concise arrangements that cover a broad range of emotions from jubilation to melancholia. Has a bit of Klezmer vibe to it.
|7||Christian Wolff / Michael Pisaro|
Free Improvisation - The kind of spaced-out, breathable free-improv that I wish I could find more of. Constantly teeters on the edge of resolution but never quite gets there.
Ambient Techno - Simple but sublime and surprisingly malleable beats that invoke a palpable atmosphere. Only complain is that I wish it was longer.
|5||Akademie fuer Alte Musik Berlin|
Handel: Water Music
Baroque music - Just a superbly recorded and produced rendition of three seminal suites by an ensemble that's quickly establishing itself as one of my favourites.
|4||Matthew Revert / Vanessa Rossetto|
Musique Concréte - Without trying to sound like a complete dilettante, I haven't even bothered scrounging for some narrative structure to this album, even if I'm sure it's present. I'm not even too sure what Revert's role in the arrangements and sound manipulation is, all I know is the result is oddly soothing. Maybe it's the presence of Australian accents, who knows?
The Last Witness
Death metal - See my review
|2||Hesperion XXI / La Capella Reial de Catalunya|
Granada Eterna 1013–1526
Medieval / Renaissance classical music - My infatuation with this album might have something to do with my unfamiliarity with this period of music; it all just sounds so fresh and lively. The Arabic-style vocals and instrumentation give the whole thing a sort of mystical vibe without sounding gimmicky or inauthentic, which is to be expected under the direction of the one and only Jordi Savall.
Death metal - After hearing the preview tracks I was reasonably excited but each of this album's constituents are so much more affecting when heard in context. Definitely better than Coloured Sands, having trimmed the fat while simultaneously taking the "DM-as-movements-rather-than-songs" approach to a whole new level. I know it's ~cool~ to hate on Gorguts for whatever reason now but for people who aren't total retards this will hit like a tonne of bricks.