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Album Ratings 1306
Objectivity 76%

Last Active 10-15-20 6:41 pm
Joined 06-29-12

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Average Rating: 3.44
Rating Variance: 0.45
Objectivity Score: 76%
(Well Balanced)

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5.0 classic
Agalloch Ashes Against the Grain
Agalloch The Mantle
Amenra Mass V
Black Sabbath Paranoid
Boris Flood
Burial Untrue
Chill Bump The Loop
Clever Girl No Drum And Bass in the Jazz Room
Converge Jane Doe
Defeater Lost Ground
Deftones White Pony
DJ Shadow Endtroducing.....
Fall of Efrafa Elil
Fall of Efrafa Tharn
Godspeed You! Black Emperor F♯ A♯ ∞
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada
Gospel The Moon Is a Dead World
Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon
Portishead Dummy
Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine
Refused The Shape of Punk to Come
Steve Reich Music for 18 Musicians
Suis La Lune Heir
The Dillinger Escape Plan Calculating Infinity
William Basinski The Disintegration Loops II
Yndi Halda Enjoy Eternal Bliss EP

4.5 superb
A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory
Rebirth of the cool. IT'S 1991 AND I REFUSE TO COME WACK 4.9
A Winged Victory for the Sullen A Winged Victory for the Sullen
Absolutely gorgeous ambient, and imo far superior to SotL by keeping it shorter and adding lovely elements in the piano. This one just sets the mood - this mood https://i.pinimg.com/originals/3c/39/37/3c3937b55e077318bf773647d0e77492.jpg . Peace, and the slow waves at the bottom of the sea. Now, like most SotL-related material, it does overextend, with the 6th and first half of the 7th track dragging on for a tad too long. Thankfully the latter half of 7 is gorgeous with its delicate piano. Up to Vicodin Tears this is easily a 4.7, but overall feels like a 4.4
Alcest Kodama
This is peak Alcest material, proggy post-rocky blackened shoegaze executed masterfully.
And yet it does not feel like a 5.0 contender. It has quite a few non-god tier points, and
although I perceive it as a better album it feels like it has less of an identity than EdL
did at the time. 2 except its lovely outro tempers the excitment of a superb jammy opener
quite early on in the album. 3 is then a jam, but followed by again a less good track in 4.
1, 6, and 7 are definitely the main jams here. The album closer feels a bit unnecessary and
does not bring much in terms of album finale, but at the same time it does feel like a
closing track was needed. I just found out it was a bonus track so guess I'll have to re-
listen without 8. Some of the best, most mature Alcest material yet, but I don't think
it'll grow past a 4.4
Alcest Écailles De Lune
Absolutely stunning evolution from their debut. 1-3 is god tier and easily 4.4-4.5
territory. Abysses, albeit a lovely dark ambient interlude, is what brings the album down
as it faults its construction massively. The last two tracks are much softer than the first
three, and progressively decay away in reverberated lushness. If it weren't for Abysses,
they could be a lovely descent down from the bm goodness of 3, similarly to Boris' Flood 4.
But the pause created by Abysses forces us to regard those last two tracks as a standalone
'second half' which never reaches the heights of the first one, whereas it would have
functioned perfectly as a counterpart to the increasing heaviness of the first three tracks
if it were continuous with them. The album is still lovely, but this critical flaw in
construction prevents it from currently being a potential 5 from me, and it ends at 4.35
Animals As Leaders The Madness of Many
Gotta confess my listen today was pretty perfect, but oh man what a good time. Since seeing this live it seems like every single riff feels memorable and gets me going. This is perhaps the lightest and most fun AAL got - 8 is just a straight up groovy math-rock track, and 9 is pure and gorgeous. Now this isn't quite flawless - 2 is this album's Not Unlike the Waves despite having some good riffz, and the record lacks perhaps transition game compared to others. There are lots of fadeouts or places where silence wasn't perhaps the best transition, but if I can forgive that in Dummy I can forgive it here can't I. Even some of the perhaps less dope tracks like 7 still line up fun riff after fun riff, and the quirky conclusion on 10 is perhaps controversial but I dig it personally. Matt Gartska makes my neurons feel like they're having a chaotic orgy and I like it. 4.7
Anna von Hausswolff Dead Magic
Fabulous album mixing a variety of influences, even bordering on ambient and drone at times. Eerie, tribal, epic in alternation.
Arvo Part Spiegel im Spiegel
Delicate and breathtaking. Like much of Satie's work, wonderful musical food for thought.
Belong October Language
Absolutely superb noisy, gritty drone album which navigates various flavours of the genre
masterfully. From the first few seconds I knew I'd love it. The record is weakest on tracks
like 4, 6, and the first two thirds of 7 (the track end is a nice noisy decay though),
where it is glitchier, less cinematic, and maybe looses its atmospheric focus a bit.
Otherwise, this is pretty much all jams except maybe 2. 5 sounds a bit different as sublime
descent into lower ended, underwater-sounding textures reminisced in a glitchier, less good
way in 7. 3 brings a lovely despaired Sigur-Ros-esque post-rock guitar line atop all the
noise, and it gives a special flavour to the track. After 6 and 7 I was hesitant to say
this is 4.5 territory, but the absolutely sublime decay of the album into a blur of noise
as a grand finale bumped it over the edge. 4.25
Black Sabbath Black Sabbath
Is there a more legendary intro track than this. This one feels a lot more 60s infused than what follows (can be heard on 3 or 4 for example), but their dark, fat sound is already there and aged so well. 1-4 is all jams, 1 being the evilest and darkest and 2 being super fun in contrast. 3 doesn't have the best transition from 2 or the best outro, but hell the riffs are fun. 4 is also incredibly fun. 5's a fine track but feels a touch more outdated and resolves on a fadeout. 6 is the track where you can tell they are having fun, and while it's not a jam it sure is cool and would belong on a 5.0. The nail on in the 5.0 coffin is the closing track which, let's be frank, is all good and well but didn't age properly and overextends pointless solos for a fair bit. Still a behemoth of an album, both from a historical point of view and just musically top notch. If ever you wanted to jam Sabbath in a festival while having a beer this might be the one? 4.4
Botch We Are the Romans
Oh boy I owe Botch a renewed discog run. 1-6 struck home ahrd and were easily looking at a 4.4. While the opener has bursts of genius but also some weaker sections, the rest is just fantastic with lovely riffs and chaos. I particularly liked the dissonance on 3, while 4 was nice but not as transcendental. I do love how calm it gets, setting you up nicely for the explosion coming up when the track changes to 5- you just sense it coming and that feels so good. 2 and 6 also have dope riffz riffz. Then I feel like past 7, the record loses steam a bit. 7 feels a bit more like your regular moshpit inducing metalcore, 8 is cool but feels like it lacks the madness of the earlier record, and frankly 9 felt like a drag. The hidden sort of DnB track, although quirky and completely out of place, is a fun addition imo and I quite like it. That end record brings this down to a mild, just about 4.5-tier 4.25
Brand New The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
Hits harder now than it did a few years ago, probably from jamming it on the road. It's like it now ties to my life a little more, and thus its impact is magnified. All in all this is a very well constructed indie emo idk what rock record that alternates between heaviness (1,4,6,7,9), catchiness (2,8,11), and emotion (the rest tbh) all throughout without it ever feeling erratic. The only construction gripe I have with this is that I wish it ended on 11 - the ballad on 12 albeit nice feels unnecessary. 5 feels like it drags a bit even though the track is good. Apart from those two and the interludey 10 maybe, every track is a hell of a jam. Songs I did not click too well with like 3 now feel sublime. Hey maybe I ll jam this in three years and it'll feel like a 5. For now, 4.35
Burial Kindred
If I ever get a second Burial 5.0, this is going to be the one. Man this doesn't age. 4.7
Burzum Filosofem
Some of the best and most original bm ever made. My personal favourite from Burzum. Strong contender for a 5, but for now a 4.7
Celer Para
Excellent ambient/dark ambient drone with rich, diverse and mildly surprising textures. Notrquite interesting enough to loop over 50+ minutes, but very near that top tier. Will re-rlisten. 4.2rEdit: yeah it does feel a touch long, but it still boasts some really unique and tastyrtextures and I find myself coming back to it often. Definitely one of his best works. 4.3
Celer I Love You So Much I Can't Even Title This
Some of the best sounding 'generic' ambient I've heard. Maybe I am overreacting due to being in the perfect mood for it. Very different from Para, whose charm came from original sounds and textures - nothing surprising here, but masterfully executed. Will have to re-listen. Oh and title is certainly not the record's strongest point. 4.3
Chihei Hatakeyama Minima Moralia
An ambient masterclass. Starting (I think?) his full length career with this is truly impressive. Extremely lush and diverse with guitar noodling a la Knobs, strings a la AWVFTS, lovely reverberated bells and chimes, and a slightly grittier conclusion, as well as lovely trebled clicks and crackles on 5. Have to give it another spin for sure, it might grow. 4.25
Cult of Luna Salvation
Effing beast of an album - a huge step up from their first two. To me this is the
defining CoL sound. Much more post-rocky and cleaner than its predecessors, it does not
lose the brutal riffs on some tracks, for instance the magnificent album outro. This
alternation of calm and heavy, clear and harsh vocals, dream and violence makes for a
very dynamic album. Riveting, diverse and with lots of memorable tracks, this is a clear
5 contender that has its unique personality to it. Solid 4.5
Cult of Luna Somewhere Along the Highway
Monumental album. The first few tracks are especially good, with many brilliant ideas (that synth
riff on 'Finland' is balls), and may surpass Salvation in their best moments. The rest of the
album does fall off a bit however, especially the middle. The heavy bits are brilliant and on par
with if not better than some of Salvation's high points, but the long calm phases are way weaker.
They're in a grimmer, slightly proggier style than the classic hopeful post-rock style Salvation
had, but just executed far less well. On the verge of losing its 5 contender status, but still a
solid 4.4
Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas Mariner
Absolutely massive and enthralling. One of the best uses of female vocals in metal. Julie
Christmas input notwithstanding this is already a fantastic CoL record with brutal riffs,
excellent song constructions, and vocals amongst the best. Julie is a incredibly clever addition
to their sound and brings a touch of madness, making the record sound like a lunatic witch ritual
with powerful imagery a la Dead Magic by Anna vH. This freshness and originality is amazing from
these masters of the genre, and this may very well become the CoL classic album I've been looking
for. I have to say the second half did not feel quite as good on first listen, and 'The Wreck of
S.S. Needle' is a bit of a weak point, but hell yeah this rocks. 4.6
Edit: same except SS Needle is a good track, the low point is track 4 whcih drags on a bit and
maybe the second half of the closer. Still 4.6
Cynic Traced in Air
Where Focus was trying to strike the balance between the proggy Cynic elements with the vocoded voice and all and their former style of technical (thrash cough cough) death metal, this one goes full on prog and hardly has any dm DNA left at all. I mean there's some, but just a little. And while Focus felt more god tier when it did manage to find the right balance (read: Textures), it also felt less cohesive on some tracks where the mix of dm and prog felt incongruous at times. No such problem here, and for that reason TiA feels like a stronger album overall. I did discover Cynic with this album back in the days and had a hard time with some of the vocals, but while it still doesn't quite work here and there (the mini chorussy bit on 2 is a bit cringe let's be honest) now I am really fine with them and I kinda love the psychedelic flavour they give to this acid trip of an album. The opener alone into the clean guitars opening up 2 told me I was going to have a fantastic listen. 4 is crazy good but the fade crossover transition into 5 is a bit of a shame. If I'm honest I was paying less attention towards the last third of the record, but it felt jammy pretty much. Alright, on this one I'll slap a 4.25
Daughters Hell Songs
Liked this a lot more than YWGWYW. TDEP without metal and a touch noisier. Very accurately titled. 4.3
Deafheaven Demo
Deafheaven's sound is already there, but the black metal influences are more predominant, still with the characteristic post-rock interludes they are known for and have come to use increasingly along the years. This early output is excellent, although less ambitious and grand than their full-length work.
Death Symbolic
absolute bonkers of an album containing some of their most legendary moments. The end especially 6-8 shows how wonderfully atmospheric and progressive they can get. 1-3 are also amazing, but I can't help but think Human keeps it more straight to the point. Like the solo on 2 is a bit eh if you ask me. Exceptionally strong still. 4.6
Death The Sound of Perseverance
IT COMESrFROM THE DEPTHSrOF A PLACErUNKNOWN TO THEEEErKEEPEEEEEEERrOF DREAMSrThis has some of Death's best banger tracks, but I have to say it got farther from a 5.0 for me. Transitions between songs are not always on point, and the Judas Priest cover is bad taste. Still incredibly solid though. 4.7
Death Human
I like a lot of death metal, but coming back to this always makes me feel like this is the absolute best death metal record out there, with the only real contenders being the three Death albums that followed it. Massive, innovative and never monotonous - the genre is masterfully executed. Especially after the remaster, this is a little bit like Pink Floyd in that you can tell it was made decades ago, but at the same time it does not sound old or outdated at all and is just as good today - if not better. Potential classic. 4.6
Erik Satie Gnossiennes
From reading online I gather only Gnossienne 1-3 were named as such by Satie, 4-7 having
been lumped in there posthumously. So I'm only talking about 1-3 here.rAbsolutely
stunning piano works with a unique, uneasy yet elegant feeling. No. 2 is my least
favourite, but 1 and 3 are absolute masterpieces. I sometimes prefer these to the
extremely overused Gymnopedies - depends on the mood really. They are drastically
different pieces of about equal quality. 4.4
Edit: jammed Hans Sjögren's version which I quite like today, and I take back what I said
on the second Gnossienne: it is short and sweet, and I don't really see it as a dip in
quality. I do feel like I prefer the third over both the other two Gnossiennes. 4.3
Evilfeast Mysteries of the Nocturnal Forest
This is fantastic and extremely atmospheric black metal. It remotely evokes a 2000's version of
90's Burzum. This is how dungeon synth truly shines, used either occasionally in conjunction with
bm or for short ambient interludes. Despite what I consider minor formal mistakes - fade out song
ends, abrupt changes in production that sound quite odd especially between the first two tracks
-, the record is excellent at crafting a wizardy, foresty, mountainy and mysterious feel, and has
enough unique traits to be quite memorable. Re-listen warranted. 4.4
Explosions in the Sky The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place
Why do I enjoy this so much? In the end this is crescendocore like any other - fantastically well crafted, but quite standard. Yes it is old and sparked a
lot of interest for the genre, but it isn't the first crescendo post-rock album ever. But you know what, it just works. These songs have been with me for a
decade now; this is music that makes me love life, in a delicate mixture of happiness, nostalgia, and a bit of a smile for those melodies which I recall so
well. Today the intro of Six Days is what hit me the most, but that changes with every listen. Man I'm pumped to finally see them tonight. 4.5
Francisco Tarrega Capricho árabe
Can a guitar be any more soothing than that? 4.6
Georgie Sweet Stories
Nujabes meets 90's soul? Add in a touch of XXYYXX on the second track, sprinkle with Hiatus
Kaiyote vibes and you get this little gem. This is only a two-tracker but it is splendid.
Cannot wait to hear more from her/these guys (not sure if this is a multi-person band or
not). Soulful, groovy and relaxing all at the same time. 4.25
Gnaw Their Tongues L'arrivée de la Terne Mort Triomphante
Orchestral noisy dark ambient/black metal. Don't have to say much more: this record is
f*cking terrifying and will chill your spine like day old pee in Siberia. The musical
embodiment of a cold, devastated hell. Glorious. 4.3
Grouper Ruins
Absolutely superb. My favourite from Grouper with Draggin a Dead Deer Up a Hill.
Absolutely worth a re-listen. Far heavier on the keys than DaDDUaH (what a strange
acronym), but that yields more than interesting textures. A lot of the album sounds like
Agnes Obel in terminal phase of depression, lost during a snow storm in some mental
hospital in the mountains. Magically dreadful. The last track is phenomenal and perhaps
the best of the album - instrumental ambient synth work that reminds of GYBE or
Agalloch's ambient moments. 4.4
Grouper Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill
This sounds like reading a book wrapped up in a warm blanket at home on a cold winter night.
Superb acoustic guitar-based ambient with indie-like vocals. It is a bit on the long side and
does not vary much, but because it has such a unique feel and texture, balancing between haunting
and reassuring, in the right conditions it just works. Amazing album.
Edit: Absolute wonder. Much folkier than anything she released previously, with lots of acoustic
guitar and fewer noisy/drone elements. This is a droney folk album at this point, not a folky
drone album, and its a favourite folk record for me. Hadn't properly rated it at the time, but
this is clearly a 4.45
Grouper Hold / Sick
Short Grouper records usually give me trouble because they frustrate me building up gorgeous atmosphere and then just suddenly stopping with no room to develop. Did not quite feel this here although I can't explain why. Wonderful short Grouper fix, more in the droney vein of her later records than of the folky DaDDuaH and the lp before that. 3.6 Edit: wtf past me this is perfect 4.3
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor
Probably my favourite of his so far on first listen. It feels like it offers much more in terms of memorable hooks, eg at minute 4 on III. Jammed Abbado's take. I starts with a nice intro, its first third is a bit flavourless, but the rise around min 5 is superb. II is my favourite Mahler movement at this point, with compelling storytelling, lots of dynamics and dramatic melodies. III is in the same vein, and made me decide this was my fave Mahler symphony. Min 14-15 is superb. IV is much more relaxed than the prior two movements, but that is most welcome given their dynamics and fullness. V is nice but not the best of all these. The finale is fine but not to the level of II/III. 4.3
Gyorgy Ligeti Requiem
One of the most cinematic, dread-inducing and frankly death-evoking Requiem masses I know.
The third movement breaks the suffocating atmosphere a bit and is by far my least
favourite, but this is still immensely powerful. Potential 5? Jammed the Berliner
philarmoniker from Ligeti Project IV. 4.4
Igor Stravinsky Le Sacre du Printemps
F*ck yes. Jammed Seiji Ozawa's version today and it seems like a good standard to me - pretty much what I know from the piece 4.75
ISIS Panopticon
So vast and gracious. The ultimate answer to MeTaL iS jUsT nOiSe? 4.55
James Carr A Man Needs a Woman
Bass truly is a magical instrument. Take the previous album, make the bass and drums more prominent and delightfully bouncy, and you get this little gem of a soul/RnB record (depending on the track). Really fits the definition of Rhythm'n'Blues. The soul tracks, and especially the more ballady-type songs (9 or 15 eg) felt a little weaker, just because the bouncier ones are so much fun you feel like you don't want a break in that groove. A whole lot of jams, 2-4,6,7,10,12,14 (which sounds like another song I can't for the life of me find the name of). 11 is one of the rare RnB tracks that don't really work as well. 13 is interesting because I didn't like it at first but it grew on me, so the album even has growing potential and I will have to give it a lot more spins. 16 has a bit of a darker and abrasive tone, which is fantastic as a closer. Sadly it ends on a fadeout, but hey this is from 68. And to think he was only 26, what a voice too. 4.35
John Coltrane My Favorite Things
Very lighthearted and accessible, but oh so fun. The first track uses the My Favorite
Things Melody which now reminds me of Ari so that was kind of amusing, but the track is
fantastic nonetheless, and very fun all the way through. It is kinda mixed like Time Out,
with a nice foundation of piano holding the fort all the way through. I did find the
mixing a problem on the darker, lazier, more melancholic second track, as the bass is all
the way to the right and all the high frequency instruments are on the left, leaving the
bass almost on its own on one side for a large portion of the track. Thankfully it is the
shortest track here and I'm making a fuss about the mix but it isn't even all that bad
anyway. The third track evokes city vibes to me (city jazz?), and evolves progressively
more 'aggressive' with the drums taking an increasingly prominent space. Perhaps the
least accessible track here, but still plenty fun. The fourth track is a lovely
lighthearted dancy jam and brings this up a point. A jazz classic for sure - I'm feeling
like I really need to do a proper discog run on Coltrane. 4.4 Edit: it's even better the
second time 4.5
John Coltrane A Love Supreme
I don't know what it is, but there is something special about this record. This is jazz that tells a story, even in its dissonances and its quirks. It tells a story of noir New York, of lost times, of love perhaps. It has an inexplicable darkness to it. The opener is the one that makes me a bit doubtful that it could be a perfect 5.0. 2 and 3 are the most accessible jams, the former being one of my fave jazz tracks period and 3 being more upbeat and heavy on the drums in a lovely, fun almost gershwin-esque way. 4's a perfect conclusion and honestly, this might be the jazz album I 5 some day. 4.8
John Coltrane Africa/Brass
I haven't crushed this hard on a jazz album in a long, long time. In many ways this marks a massive change in Coltrane's discog: this one is more adventurous, the instrumentation is much wider, and the influences range wider. 1 is one of his most daring compositions at that point with lots of little tasteful dissonances, a weird intro that I love, and somehow Rite of Spring vibes that I got goodness knows why. The track is full of depth, with lots of solos that flow very well into one another, including an uncompromising drum solo, and by the midtrack I already knew this would sit in 4.5 tier. 2 expands a famous traditional melody into a more relaxed jazz track with fewer 'experimental' elements, which is a good idea after the wild ride that 1 was. Then finally, the last track is a colourful, kaleidoscopic fresque of fun dancy jazz where Coltrane goes wild over super fun big band goodness. At the start the track wasn't my fave, but it rapidly became so fun that it raised this yet another point. The sound on this record is fantastic (at least in the spotify version) if it weren't for the excessive panning especially noticeable early on, which is perhaps my only complaint here. A masterclass. 4.6
John Coltrane Live At Birdland
A frankly excellent live album that deserves the praise it receives. Despite a couple slightly aggressive cymbals and things this is way better mixed than some of his studio recordings from that time if I'm honest. As quite often with Coltrane, the first track is a magical behemoth and perhaps the peak of the album here, but its qualities are continued by 2 and 3 albeit with a bit less harmonic spice. All three tracks feature absolutely bonkers drumming, extremely fun grooves, excellent piano playing tying everything up, and fun sax - it's just pure love. 4 changes things up a bit, and it makes sense since it was recorded in a different session apparently - but weirdly enough I found that it flows quite well, and is a good choice to relax a bit from the fun intensity of 1-3. It is kind of cool and intriguing, and in another album would work well as an opener, but functions very well here too. 5 does the same, and the quality and freshness these two tracks bring enable the album to not only not feel excessively long or tiresome, but also just bring freshness that bring the rating ever so slightly up. 4.25
King Crimson Red
Miles ahead of its time, with many sections sounding like they are from the 90s 16 years before even 1990. Aggressive, noisy in places, with jazzy sections, classical additions even especially on 4, and lots of tasty experimentation: what's not to like? Some of the vox are a touch wonky, particularly on 3 which is my least favourite tracks, and the sublime 5 is perhaps a touch overextended, but beyond that I don't see much here that I don't absolutely enjoy. The experimentation on 4 and the noisiness on 1 are so exquisite. 4.8
King Crimson In the Court of the Crimson King
Talk about a classic record. Every track is 5.0 worthy,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, except Moonchild. While I like its experimentation, and commend its forward thinking style (this came out in bloody 1969 waht), I can't seems to feel connected to that track as much as I do with the others. And the issue is its the longest one. Still a vibrant 4.8
Krzysztof Penderecki Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima
This will freeze the blood inside your veins. 4.25
Mastodon Crack the Skye
After seeing this with all the visuals it hits different. THE LAST BARON, THE LAST BAROOOON 4.6
Mastodon Remission
The rawest Mastodon LP out there. Fantastic drumming technique, bleak and spicy prod, and
the vox sound heavily distorted and out of this world. But apart from 7 I think they fit
the album's brutality and raw aggressiveness perfectly. The first half is incredible, and
1-4 is all god tier jams bar a few sections here and there. 5 shows us that they already
had those melodic, proggy, marine melodies in them as well with a lovely intro, seen also
on 9. But from 5 on the record seems to get lost into slower territories and seems to loose
its focus and direction quite badly. 10 does go back to the style of the early and is a jam
except towards the end, but at this point it feels like too little too late. We're still
being offered lovely material, sometimes post-metalish, but it's just not on par with the
first half, especially with the closing track ending it all on pretty much a fade out.
Still balls and still some of my favourite riffage out there - who dare say thrash metal
now. 4.4
Meshuggah I
What an absolute mindfking banger this is. Deserved a better conclusion though. 4.7
Miles Davis Kind of Blue
Gorgeous, relaxed jazz and one of the most consistent albums at that out there - that I
know of at least. It has an atmosphere to it, that of a timelapse of 50's NYC traffic,
but it is less atmospheric than A Love Supreme. The opener is an incredible feel good
jazz jam and a top tier track, but the problem is that, after 2 which is the perfect
continuation of the track, the album feels a touch like a downwards curve. 3 has a lovely
delicate atmosphere but lingers on it a little too long, and 4 is the weakest track here
although it is nicely playful and cute and certainly still a strong track. 5 is
deliciously relaxed and a gorgeous jazz track. While a jam it also reinforces that
overall feel of overall downwards curve in energy which I'm not sure I am a fan of. Still
a mammoth jazz record of course, and one of the few truly accessible ones. Perfect to get
started on jazz. 4.65
Mobb Deep The Infamous
As quintessential as hip-hop gets. Not quite there yet and I have my doubts, but this is still very much a 5.0 contender. The opener is perhaps not as iconic as Illmatic's but is a godtier jam, and Shook Ones is perhaps even godlier - Prodigy's verse being one of the best in hip-hop and one of my favourite moments in music altogether. This is packed with jams on 1,3,6 (quite Nujabessy), 7 (ethereal and vox-centered), 8 (hard hitting but far from god tier), 10, 11 (cool but again far from godlike), and 14-16. The vocal deliveries are diverse with multiple guests but consistently surgically sharp and fitting for the song, eg. Q-Tip in the jazzier 14 which contrasts sublimely with the bleakness of 15 and 16. 13 had the ideas to be a godtier jam, but the execution pales and the prod often feels too minimalistic. The record only struggles on some of the darker tracks which reminisce of what we will later see on Hell on Earth and don't feel like they fit the aerial tone of the album, like on 4 or 9, where a track like 10 is hard hitting too but in a way that fits the album massively better. The skits aren't the worst and certainly not annoying, and while I kinda wish they weren't there they do offer flow and continuity to an album which I decidedly struggle to find flaws in. 4.75
Nas Illmatic
Where The Infamous embodies classic collective East Coast hip-hop, Nas sublimes the solo rapper side of the genre with this masterpiece. It feels slightly more consistent than The Infamous, owing to a shorter runtime, an absence of skits, and the near-total absence of weak tracks. I say near total, because 8 hurts the album massively. The second half of the album (7-10) is clearly weaker than the first, but 8 is the one that really hurts the album by feeling quite out of place. It is bouncy and head bobby, but feels too slow and laid back compared to the early album without packing anywhere near the same punch. 7,9 and 10 are still jams of varying degrees, although 10 feels like it falls a bit flat as an album closer, but had 8 not been there it would be a very different story. On the other hand, 1-6 is some of the most consistent and iconic hip-hop there is out there, and is the reason why this still could be a 5.0. 2 is my favourite hip-hop track, only challenged perhaps by Prodigy's verse on Shook Ones. But I'm doubtful this will manage to reach the perfect album tier. 4.8
Neurosis Times of Grace
Absolutely bleak and ferociously dark. A dive into the depth of hell. Even though the music is in the end relatively simple, the evoked emotional response is extremely powerful. One of their best and sludgiest records. I wouldn't be surprised if it were Amenra's favourite. 4.3
Nick Drake Five Leaves Left
Sublime, and the added strings/piano/etc textures vary up the song very nicely, for an album that never bores - perhaps the fact that it's the first Nick Drake I ever heard many years ago helps too. 4.5
Nujabes Metaphorical Music
Fluffy aerial hip-hop/jazz to soothe the soul. Man when this is on, life's good. 4.8
Nuvolascura Nuvolascura
Phenomenal screamo with crazy drumming, constant changes and relentless gut-wrenching energy.
Amazing debut, a band to watch. 4.3
Edit: second listen, I stand by my rating. Not a classic contender, but this is an amazing
record. A trance in flames, maybe one half track too long (could do away with the closer), but
still. 4.25
Oxbow The Narcotic Story
Patrick Watson Je Te Laisserai Des Mots
I can't legitimately rate a single any higher than a 4.5 especially with a track this short, but as far as individual songs go this is an absolute stunner. Wonderful, breathtaking emotion. 4.5
Paysage d'Hiver Paysage d'Hiver
Need to re-listen because I was not paying enough attention. This is the first album where Pd'H successfully alternates ambiences and genres without it resulting in an odd record like on his first two outputs, which shows progress. The albums starts as a stark opposite to its direct predecessor, with a wall of bleak Pd'H bm with piss poor production that I used to hate but now kinda enjoy. The record does have dynamics later on and has multiple ambient-ish sections and additions of more acoustic instruments. A great record that I need to revisit. 4.1Edit: re-jammed, opener is f*cking balls, 4.3 material. The first half of track 2 is a bit more dull and does not pack as much of a punch, but it evolves in the second half and brings in more textures, becomes more epic in the middle, and more evil towards the end whcih sounds fantastic. Track 3 continues the evil vibe in its first half, but slowly becomes dreamier and aetheral with more ambient textures over the bm noise wall. Sounds good but actually brings the track down. It eventually slowly fades down into ambient bm-ey drone in the last few minutes. Overall, does not reach the 4.5 range yet, but clear bump to 4.2 Edit: bumpin this bad boy to a 4.3
Paysage d'Hiver Winterkälte
My favourite from Pd'H by far. This album shows a lot of maturity in construction compared to previous records, alternating very well between field recording sections, black metal bursts, and ambient parts. The production is a lot cleaner too, which arguably takes away a little bit of the Pd'H DNA, but makes the record less tough a pill to swallow. The middle section especially tracks 2 and 4 bring the album down a couple points. Their style of slower, more repetitive riff based and less atmospheric bm just clicks with me less than the rest. Prevents the record from being 4.4/4.5 material, but the other tracks keep it high up. Opener especially is a favourite Pd'H jam. 4.3
Pink Floyd Meddle
The most relaxing of all the 70's Floyd albums, and the first really legendary one as AHM was only a precursor. The bulk of the album from 2-5 does retain a lot of the earlier, folkier Floyd sound minus the psychedelia, and doesn't go yet too much into their later 'rock' grandeur, but the bookends (both jams obvs) are magical and represent what they were about to become. 1 is one of the best openers of all time, and 5 is a majestic epic, from the first minutes displaying a more rock sound, and is the track that nudges this back to 4.5 range. It is incredibly atmospheric in places, music to look at the sky. The midtrack gets weird but not for too long, and then it goes back to sublime stuff although the very conclusion is not their best. Between those two, 2 is ok and sweet but doesn't feel as jammy in comparison, 3 is a chill jam and probably the best in this mid-album, 4 is summer Floyd with lovely bounce, kind of a boppy jam, while 5 feels like it overstretches 4 and is a bit unnecessary. An album to enjoy life to. 4.4
Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii
I don't tend to rate live albums, but given this was played to be recorded without even an audience, I don't care. It is canon, and it is a 'studio' album - but recorded outdoors. And what a beast of an album. It is their first truly flawless album, like 70's Floyd took the best of their earlier discog, and transformed it into the first of the legendary 70's Floyd albums. Echoes is a highlight here and offers a much rockier version than on Meddle, definitely jams and 5.0 material. But it is not the only highlight, as 3 is an effing sick avant garde jam with crazy screams (avant garde done right dude), and 6 is a fantastic jam too, perfect take from their earlier discog with those oriental mysterious vibes, and showing that the album just summarises early Floyd in a better form. 4 has awesome drumming in the intro, and is fantastic but does get quite experimental, while 7 is just flat out unnecessary but is thankfully only two minutes long. The album does have a couple too many experimental weird sections than I can live with on a 5.0, but they're never too long. 5 is the only track that clearly sounded better on the studio version, but is still very nicely experimental and cool. The sample/sorta drone intro on 1 is nice too, and a trait we'll find later on in their discog. Just near flawless. 4.8
Pink Floyd Animals
Animals feels like it echoes back to the Meddle era to some degree, with the bookends and Dogs especially. While the bookends are short and sweet, as ever with Animals I can't help but feel like Dogs is a drag and brings the album down. Pigs is a cool funky track that could feature on a 5.0, but Sheep to me is and always has been the one track in this that is truly worthy of a 5.0 and matches the height of the album's titan predecessors. Unfortunately, that isn't enough to make the album a 5.0. Meddle still feels a touch less good, so 4.45
Radiohead OK Computer
A mammoth album full of superb tunes that I think suffers from some degree of generational mismatch. I am a touch too young to have grown with it, yet too old for my ma or pa to have grown with it themselves and raised me to it. Thus a lot of the tracks feel like jams but not god tier, personal ones. The tracks that do feel god tier - the cheesy 10 and more so 6 - are the famous ones I knew early on before I ever jammed the CD as a whole. The outlier being 12, which I just love as a sublime conclusion and bumps this a point. Because of this phenomenon, the album feels like it won't be a personal 5.0 - and it isn't a matter of familiarity, I've listened to this for years and years -, but it also just suffers from a weaker second half post the Pink Floydesque transitional 7, a vocal sample-based interlude, that is followed by a run of two harder hitting tracks that go more experimental (the intro of 9 is totally trip-hop). While I enjoy abrasiveness and experimentation, here it feels out of place for an album that was mostly made of rich, deep and complex yet easily digestable tunes. Thankfully 10-12 are all jams - 11 is so vast and spatial. The first half on the other hand is all classic jams except perhaps the electronic 4 which still feels like a very strong track that would fit on a 5.0. That first half is all classic, rich and dense songs that aren't really worth describing given how ubiquitously known they are, and somehow they feel like the soundtrack to a happy sunny roadtrip with your sad friends. Behemoth album, but that falls short of perfection. 4.8
Ravi Shankar Three Ragas
Did you like that last AAL album? Listen to this. 4.4
Sigur Ros Agætis byrjun
To me this has been 'almost a 5.0' for at least five years now. The beginning and the end are absolutely beautiful, but there is just a phase in the middle of the album where it struggles to match the quality of the rest, with a few sub par tracks that make me hesitant to make it a five. Still a strong contender though. 4.6
Sigur Ros Takk...
Magnificent opus from Sigur Ros. If happy childhoods had a soundtrack. I have no idea if
the lyrics are actually happy but I always found this bizarrely uplifting, with a heavy
touch of melancholy - missing those long lost happy days. Probably the most peaceful SR
album too. I shall need many re-listens but this is definitely still a 5 contender. 4.6
Edit: perfectly bridges the emotion of ( ) and the hooking melodies of AB. Might be my fave
of theirs? 4.7
Sigur Ros ( )
From the first notes you know this is going to hit right in the feels. Didn't have as good
a listen as I was expecting this time after not hearing this for quite a while, but it's
still a glorious album full of highly emotional peaks, that are unfortunately brought down
by some very (I daresay excessively) lengthy buildups and a couple tracks that do not pack
as much intensity as others. Still a glorious and top tier SR album, but I'm not feeling
the 5.0 on this one. 4.4
Slint Spiderland
What every noisy mathy rock band rehearsing in a garage aspires to be even to this day.
Drags ever so slightly around track 5, but this bangs and seems to grow half a point every
time I listen to it. 4.4
Suffocation Reincremated
I don't care, this is a huge dm fix with fat demo prod and distorted vox. It's a headbanger from the first minute to the last. Man I had forgotten how much I love this band. 4.3
SUMAC What One Becomes
Holy f*ck this record is massive as f*ck. Crass, bleak post-metal with heaps of low end and fantastic guttural grows. I don't understand why this is rated so low on here. The compositions are maybe a touch simpler than say Isis' or CoL's, but they sure are efficient. Mad headbangs - Locust Star as an album. The record also has some calm phases (e.g. the end of 'Blackout' whose melody sounds exactly like Perth by Bon Iver) and lots of dynamics. Last track is probably the weakest and it's still great. 4.3
Tame Impala Innerspeaker
Tunes tunes tunes. Prod is a bit rougher on the edge than I remembered, but man does this have catchy melodies. 4.3
The Body No One Deserves Happiness
Exceptionally bleak and abrasive. A unique album with a peculiar horror-esque feel.
The Dave Brubeck Quartet Time Out
Fantastic cool jazz with some of the most instantly recognisable melodies in the genre,
and I'm not only talking about the ultimate classic Take Five. It feels like less of a
unique flow like KoB and more like distinct songs, which isn't a bad thing. The high
points here can get higher than on KoB, but the album feels less consistent overall. A
lot of the tracks feel like they stray too far away and for too long from the melodic
territory they started with. The clearest example of it is the closer, which is one of
the weakest tracks here overall. It feels like the album would gain in having nearly
every track shortened by a minute or two. This is nonetheless a timeless classy, relaxed,
playful, bouncier than KoB autumnal cool jazz classic, with 2-6 being pretty much all
jams. If you think this one is just about Take Five, you are completely incorrect - it is
an achievement that they succeeded in making the tracks following it not feel like a step
down. Some part of me actually prefers some of the live recordings of Take Five, but the
one here is 5.0 worthy still. 4.5
The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
An album I love and enjoy thoroughly every time I jam it - especially the mid-album 5-8 -, but that lacks this 'god-tier' feel required to be a 5.0 or a 5.0 contender really. Textbook 4.5
The Prodigy The Fat of the Land
Has been one listen away from a 5.0 for years now. It is such an exquisite bunch of songs absolutely packed with complete electro-punk goodness and incredible energy. One day maybe.
Tim Hecker Radio Amor
Tim Hecker is a dominant artist when it comes to drone ambient, and that has been the case for a long time as he shows us with this brilliant record. Hard to pick favourites in his discog but this one is certainly up there, varying between melodic and noisy tracks, uplifting and dark moments - some sections even reminding of Thomas Koner. Stellar and always a good re-listen. 4.4
Tim Hecker Haunt Me, Haunt Me Do It Again
The broken noises draw landscapes before my eyes. An impressionist drone masterpiece telling blurred stories through creaks and squeaks over long, desolate ambient laments. Tim Hecker being a master of his craft with the album that introduced me to sound collage drone can only mean a top tier record. The only question is, is this my favourite of his, or did he ever beat it? First half is strongest, second is softer and really not far behind in quality. 4.5
Toby Driver They Are the Shield
Somewhere between 4.0 and 4.5. Violin/piano based prog, which in itself makes this worth a listen. Some really cool tracks (1,3,4) but the record is slightly on the lengthy side considering its overall tone scarcely changes.
Ulcerate Everything Is Fire
Absolute hell on earth. I haven't been this excited by a modern dm band in a long time. This made
me go 'holy f*ck' so many times, particularity the second half of 3, as well as 4 and 6. 5 offers
somewhat of a break slowing things down, but 6 takes you right into it. 7 slows things down again
but is still insanely bleak, and the closer, while not the strongest track, has incredible
moments too. I'll have to give it another listen to confirm this isn't just an isolated perfect
listen, but holy dang this gets an instant 4.5 Edit: bump 4.6
Unwound Leaves Turn Inside You
This is on the verge of getting to a 5.0, but I still need more listens to fully digest it and make my mind. Despite its lengthy runtime almost every single song is catchy and memorable. The album is masterfully constructed and keeps the listener entertained throughout the record. So many jams. 4.9
Unwound New Plastic Ideas
Always has been my favourite Unwound album after LTIY. Much more readily classifiable and accessible than the latter, it is an impactful, creative noise rock/post-hardcore album that packs a shorter, less grand but almost just as efficient punch as its little swansong brother. Always a jam. 4.3

4.0 excellent
(The) Slowest Runner (In All The World) We, Burning Giraffes
This is cool post-rock and certainly worth a check, but the first third struggles a lot by constantly building up into climaxes that never really feel like they lead anywhere, pausing, then building up again, repeating the pattern to a clock and thus losing the listener a bit. It's a shame because the instrumentation is quite original and leads to really cool sections (the intro or the buildup at min 5 on 1, and the gorgeous piano transition at 6:30 on 3). The advantage is that it makes it feel flowing and organic, but a bit boring to my taste. The middle of the album breaks this cycle and really is its peak. 4 offers a very nice and dark atmosphere that caught my attention by stopping the ebb and flow of conclusionless climaxes, while 5 is a super cool jam, full of cool ideas for start to finish, and convinced me that this band was well worth the check despite the rough first third. The interlude that ensues on 6 is also very nice. Finally, the last track dips in quality a bit, but still feels a bit better than the first third of the album due to its less predictable construction. It's a lot darker and starts off with difficulty, but by the midtrack and its ambient-ish passages (a style which I kinda wish they stuck to instead of taking so much inspiration from pointless crescendocore) at min 5 or 7-8, and from the pretty min 12 leading to an awesome conclusion. This has dope artwork, and I'm also baffled that sputnik can handle the band name. If you like post-rock check it. 3.75
(The) Slowest Runner (In All The World) The Flophouse Session
This is a live recording? Super impressive, hardly seems like it. This is EEB-era Yndi Halda minus the guitars (for the most part), minus most of the crescendocore DNA, and plus a piano. 4 does feel a bit more on the post-rock side of things with more prominent use of guitar, but otherwise this is mostly a neoclassical record really. 4 has pretty ideas but compared to the early record it fees like it looses its focus a bit. For 1-3 truly are gorgeous - easily 4.0 -, emotional, strings+piano based tracks, 1 being a masterful album intro and 3 having cool voices in addition. It doesn't really explode, it's not really post-rock, but it is beautiful. Then 4 brings it all down a point, and 5 reinforces that feeling by reinforcing the downward curve in energy and interest. It builds up nicely around the midtrack but it's not into much, and the conclusion although pretty near the end feels a bit contrived. 3.9
*shels Laurentian's Atoll
Diverse record packing some great post-rock, post-metal and interesting interludes in a not-so-short amount of time. Could stand its own as a full length really.
21 Savage Savage Mode II
Probable trap AOTY carried by Metro and Freeman, but not just. In terms of album construction, consistency and instrumental production this is probably the best I have ever seen for a trap album. The transitions are incredibly fluid and on point, and even their occasional absence like the abrupt pause before the vocal interlude on 8 are well chosen. The only two small issues that I see are the transition into 14, and the 11 which is the only track whose instrumental I disliked. It's not properly bad and in a vacuum it might be a fun track, but in the context of the album it sticks out a bit. Otherwise, instrumentally this is upper 4.0 quite easily. 21S also improved, and while the difference isn't as striking, he does work excellently well on a lot of tracks. You do have to look past the usual lyrical tropes that are often frankly smh (21 21, repeated p word, etc), and bizarrely there are loads of track where I found he kinda was struggling in the first third/half and then only wakes up and kicks in properly. But this still houses loads of jams (5,7,12,13) and although some are weaker (4,11), there is nothing properly awful. Also, the (intelligently few) feats are all very well integrated unlike what you find on loads of trap records. The added vocalists make sense and dont just feel like an invited rapper for the sake of namedrop. The only one I didnt quite like was Drake's, but it's mostly because the track itself is a bit on the weak side. There's loads to say and it's late and I cba to do a full track by track, but hell this is a great surprise - which plays into my rating a little ngl. 3.85
A Sunny Day in Glasgow Ashes Grammar
And the band continues with another incredible journey that defies description. The album flows very well, don't let the disgusting number of short tracks discourage you. This mixes dream pop (4, and just overall), ambient (3,5,13), techno (the next part of 13,16,20), funky or tychoesque electronica stuff (intro of 4, 7-9,21-22), post-rock (12), a tonne of weird interludes that actually work, accordion passages on 17 I think, you name it, in an ever changing blend that yet somehow manages to feel coherent. A true tour de force as nearly every single one of these tracks is very nice and some are quite jammy or have jammy moments. The two bits that marked me the most were the bouncy jam 6 and the second jammy half of 13, but really this is an album that should be heard as a whole. Again a rich, dense, baffling album that will require more dedicated listens to fully grasp. 3.9
A Winged Victory for the Sullen Atomos VII
Exactly what I needed after listening to Mia Gargaret and wanting more. This is soft,
simple ambient that they do so well. The first track feels like it's designed for dance
and is simple but well executed - I particularly enjoyed the subtle turn it starts taking
midtrack. 2 is also very nice, but 3 is where this stumbles a bit. Moving away from the
organic/acoustic brand of ambient AWFTS are used to, it starts off noisier and in more of
a drone style, which normally I'd enjoyed, but here feels a bit out of place, a feeling
which is reinforced by the suddenly far thinner prod. In fact prod on the track is
overall poor, varying a lot and having excessively large changes of overall volume. The
track has pretty ideas especiallyy near the end with the return of the piano, but its
early section separates the good ideas too far from the first two tracks for it to work.
Not AWFTS' best material, but certainly a nice EP to pick up when in need of a short fix.
3.75
Aburadako 1985
The vocals on this are pretty horrible and sound like a parody almost. I wish they stuck to a different style, why not the one heard on 9. But instrumentally, for 1985, this is absolutely incredible. Maybe I need to listen to it again without having a pint beforehand but hell is it full of good stuff. 4.1
Agnes Obel Aventine
This is sweet. Nothing too crazy, and no really amazing memorable tracks, but with a couple exceptions they are all very nice, relaxing and enjoyable. Good melodies and vocals, I might re-listen. Surprised this does not have a review yet. 3.9
Akhlys The Dreaming I
Really cool and bleak black metal, but not hugely original. The vocals are not my favourite but they're not bad at all. Tracks 1-2 and the drone intro of 3 are jams, Track 3 is super bleak and has cool moments but drags on a bit, and track 4 is a nice ambient outro. I might come back to this but I don't feel compelled to do so. 3.9
Alabama Shakes Alabama Shakes
On today's episode of bands I listened to in the distant past but lost track of for no reason, Alabama Shakes and their splendid debut EP I never checked out. Had to have been very exciting back in 2011. The first two tracks are great Alabama Shakes jam, and it is very impressive that they are on just a debut EP, both compositionally and prod wise. Track 3 is fine but felt a tad weaker, while track 4 displays more of their soul/worship music influences and is quite fun. I missed those guys, when are they coming back? 3.8
Alcest Les Voyages De L'Âme
Lovely follow up to EdL, and its logical foresty, shoegazy and softer counterpart. The album often relies on an alternation of ethereal, blackened post-rock ambiences and magical reverberated melodic hooks. When it works it is superb and can produce some of my favourite Alcest material (1, first half of 2, 6), but when it doesn't it quickly feels like the album is running out of steam (the rest of 2,3, 4, 8) which brings it down a lot. 7 is a really well crafted interlude. 5 is a peculiar track here, with a lovely ambient intro that softly builds up into a blurry cinematic post-rock atmosphere underlined by bm drums. It could have been boring but I actually dig it, it works very nicely as a midway album interlude, and could have been a nice finale if put at the end of it. Overall this is a sweet album but that I revisit mostly for individual songs, its structure doesn't feel compelling. 3.9
Alcest Spiritual Instinct
Alcest show us once again that they are a supremely consistent band. 1 is the clearest jam here and shows us a brand of Alcest we haven't seen before, more straightforward, with more prominent bass and drums (love it), lots of riffy riffs, and a lesser emphasis on lush reverberated atmospheres. 2 is in the same vein, albeit a bit less jammy - both tracks do have a few short clumsy sections here and there. The album then softens to more regular Alcest material and didn't mark me as much - the softest track being 5. 4 feels uninspired, but the other tracks are all really nice. I like the direction they took, and admire that they managed to once again change their sound (both in prod and comp) while retaining their identity, but somehow I wish they pushed it a little further. Still a solid 4.1
Alexisonfire Watch Out!
This has the melodic, riffy, rhythmic and vocal ideas to be a 5.0, but there are too many elements to waste that potential. The direction they chose is just not one I resonate with. But their sound can get very proggy at times, one example being 7's intro, and they mostly succeed at mixing that with more anthemic, corey songwriting. 6 has a dope intro with the clean vox+ bass, giving me Tool vibes somehow. My issue with this is the harsh vocals which are gimmicky and really not my cuppa, and to a lesser extent the ""anthemic"" group sung parts. This is like music for my adolescent self but well done, except those harsh parts. 1,2,4,6,7,9,10,11 all have great intros and/or clean parts, but are often ruined in the harsh sections - I disliked 9 overall for example despite the great intro. 2 and 4 have annoying bits in minimal amounts and are thus jams. 3,5,8 are the only truly weaker tracks from start to finish. The closer 11 is one of the best tracks too with a super fun groove to it and a lovely clean intro, and convinced me this deserves a solid 4.0
Alpha Wann Une Main Lave l'Autre
Solid album. Caveat is I didn't pay attention to the lyrics, but his delivery is usually amazing, one of the most enjoyable in modern FR rap imo. Album is long but does not feel too long and does not have a single real bad track which is rare. As usual in rap no real transitions between tracks, but they follow in a good order and construction is not bad. Most tracks are 3.2-4.0 with scarce 2.5 range sections, but album also has f*cking jams (1,3,8,16, 12 kinda). 3.95
Amber Navran Speak Up
Cool neo-soul EP with excellent grooves. Was rbobbing my head to the music all along. Some rsections are a little less tasteful than rothers with sounds that feel out of place or rgrooves that are somewhat lost at times, but rdespite this imperfect execution this is a rsolid EP that I will listen to again and ragain. 3.8
Amenra Mass VI
I'm frankly lukewarm on this one. To be fair I havent jammed any Amenra in some time, but a lot of this feels a bit formulaic, and while it is of course well executed, I feel like they don't explode as much or for as long as they did previously. There are lots of good surprises though: the pyre-evoking intro of Plus Prs de Chez Toi (thanks live gig), Spijt which is frankly a great, well placed interlude, the midtrack and finale on Diaken, and most importantly A Solitary Reign, which introduces a never-seen-before flavour of Amenra whereby hopeful guitars are placed atop the usual sludge, making for an unusual and quite magnificent feeling. But it just feels like the tracks build up for too long a time leading to not enough. The second half of Diaken crystallises the issue for me actually: the midtrack is super cool, then it stops, but instead of the album ending there we have silence then yet another long build up leading to maybe 30s of a finale that then ends abruptly. I like the finale, I like build ups, but the ratio seems just a bit off you know? I still love this band but unlike their prior releases I feel like the songs really don't work as well in studio as they did live. Maybe a matter of listening conditions though and will rejam. m/ dedex check ligeti 3.9
American Football American Football (LP3)
This is a great album by American Football. Not diverging much from their previous two albums but I like the use of keys on this as well as some of the guest vocals. Very relaxing and soothing with beautiful melodies, but nothing quite as catchy and memorable as their first LP. Will still re-listen to this for sure, but the first thing I did after finishing it was jamming Never Meant. 4.1
Amia Venera Landscape The Long Procession
Temporary rating as I had godawful poor listening condition, plus was not paying enough attention. Almost would 4.3 it right now though. Really diverse, and managed to make me like vocals I usually find annoying borderline insufferable. Post-rock, post-hardcore, post-metal, post everything, with intelligent interludes and shifts in atmospheres, instrumentation, and vocals. MUST re-listen. 4.2
Amulets False Horizon
Wonderful noise/drone. I might just jam this guy's discog. Track 4 is a pure jam and made me want
to listen to this, but all the tracks are pretty much jams too and the record sure is worth a
spin for those seeking noisey, gritty and aggressive drone. 4.1
Amulets Beneath the Surface
Yeah I like this guy's stuff - probably will jam his discog. Droney, gritty and repetitive ambient. Track 2 and 3 are the highlight jams, the former being on the drone side and the latter mixing in more organic instruments with noise textures, but every track is a jam to be honest. This is helped by the record being quite short. 4 is nice too and a bit grouper-y without the vocals. 4.05
Amulets In Flux
I love this guy's stuff. Pretty flat drone without vocals or anything quite memorable to it, so not really anything above 4 range material, but the textures are just so so sweet and droney. Very nice and inspiring albeit very much low ambition EP material - not going to be a classic album. 3.95
Andavald Undir Skyggðarhaldi
Absolutely amazing black metal. Would be in 4.5 range if it weren't for the vocals which I found
frankly quite horrendous most of the time. It is one thing to sound inhuman and despaired, it's
another to sound like field recording of evil sick burping babies. The instrumentals on the other
hand are out of this world and make every single track a jam. I love the unique gnarly,
aggressive, noisy, droney almost tone the band creates. It has horror and bleak feels, but also a
sort of emo feel at times - not sound, juts the emotion of it. An instrumental version of this
would nearly be a potential classic - the record is extremely strong, cohesive and unique, not
too long to bore but long enough to thoroughly entertain. 4.22
Animals As Leaders The Joy of Motion
While Madness is acoustic and earthy, Joy offers a synth-led spatial (and I daresay djentier) flavour of AAL. Admittedly my conditions were a bit less good for this one, but I have to say I prefer the former aesthetic - which is hinted at in the intro to 9 - to the latter - which the track evolves into later on. Joy also feels perhaps a bit less drum-centric than its follow up, possibly because the drums are often covered by a wall of synths and heavily processed guitars. A lot of my fave parts on this are actually the simpler, rawer, more bare bones bits like dat riff on 10 (one of AAL's best), which is telling of why I prefer Madness to this one. Perhaps the most telltale sign is 11, in which I find the electronic bells and whistles and overproduction work against the otherworldy riffs instead of complementing them. Joy has some of AAL's fattest riffz and top tracks (1,3,5 after a minute, 6,7,10), and is well constructed eg with the chill 8 following the fat af 6 and 7, but I feel like it struggles more to create an atmosphere (like 4 gets me out of the zone a bit) and anyway I prefer the rawer atmosphere Madness crafts. Still a strong upper 4.2
Anna von Hausswolff The Miraculous
This is underrated. Grand organ-based ambient ceremonial stuff that has some vocals reminding of Lana del Rey but miles, miles better. Album quality decreases ever so slightly through its course, but still a great jam. 3.9
Anne Boyd As I Crossed A Bridge of Dreams
Very pretty choral piece. I jammed it right after Ligeti's Lux Aeterna, so the comparison is a bit forced. This is less dissonant than what you'd expect from a Ligeti piece, but it is still adventurous, especially in the second half with some nicely laid out harmonic surprises. The very start of the piece is particularly well done. The later sections are perhaps more tonally conventional and give quite angelic, soft vibes. Really nice, but I preferred the ventures earlier on in the piece to the pretty but a touch forgettable softness of its latter end. 4.1
Astronauts Hollow Ponds
Lovely indie folk. 1 is a really nice intro and a jam I think. 2-5 are all nice tracks, but they got me worried. The songs are all simple, a nice acoustic guitar lick, simple vocals. Because of that, at that point the album started to feel repetitive and I thought I'd rate it below 4.0 range. Thankfully the second half picks it up a whole notch. The t/t starts with a relatively long ambient/droney intro, which brings most welcome variation. The actual song felt kinda eh, going back to the simple indie folk, but on its own I think it'd be a jam. 7 is a jam too. 8-9 both bring nice variation again , 9 being the densest and noisiest track here with New Plastic Ideas vibes throughout the track and a Pigmy Lush-esque ending. 10 breaks that by returning to simple indie folk with touches of piano, but at this point of the album it is most welcome, like coming home. Both 9 and 10 are jams, and the record is overall a very sweet 4.0
At the Drive-In Relationship of Command
This is really cool, but it also gets to my nerves. Some of the vocals are borderline insufferable, and the second half in general is a tad weaker than the first (which on its own would reach 4.0+ tier somewhat easily). The bass on this album is lovely and bouncy, and they do manage to pull really memorable, punkish anthems - see 3, 6 or 7 for instance, although on 3's verse some of the vocal notes simply don't feel like they're in the right place. 1 is a good example of how good the band can be instrumentally. 2's second half evokes The Smith at first, but the vocals really go rogue in the end and are symptomatic of what I don't like on this record. 4 feels like a kid with ADHD as a song. Then comes my favourite track here, 5. The intro is perfect, evoking Radiohead sprinkled with Deftones, the verse isn't annoying, and the chorus is anthemic. A nearly flawless jam that a bad conclusion doesn't manage to ruin. As I said, it is then followed by two fun punkish anthemic tracks, and at that point the album is looking bright. Then 8 gets too much and annoying, 9 is boring, 10 is a bit better but just alright, 11 is plain awful, and 13 is a bit awkward and meh. 12 saves that second half being dissonant, chaotic and cool, but really overall this is a 3.8
Baby Formula Baby Formula
A band to watch. Very sweet and lush blend of dream pop, shoegaze and the occasional
post-rock guitar with vocals aerially sung in Chinese. 1 is just a little intro thing,
but from the first seconds of 2 you feel how lush this is going to be. Same on 3, but I
wish the drums were less cheaply electronic sounding. Exact same comment on the superb 5.
The band is also capable of more upbeat and catchy tracks like 4, and can crank up the
distortion a bit - see the happy and summery 9. 7-8 are quite shoegazy, while the closer
demonstrates the strongest post-rock influences. Every track works, 6 being maybe the one
that hit the least and still cool. This isn't an album where I can really pinpoint
specific jammy tracks - just listen to the whole thing, it's quality stuff. 3.75
Banks III
I consider this to be ever so slightly superior to Altar solely because it is much more memorable. III sees Banks shift style a lot, both vocally and instrumentally. I kind of prefer her old style, but this is more unique. Vocals are much more processed and more noticeably autotuned, While this works in a lot of places, there are lots where it doesn't, and regardless her more organic, 'bare' vocals are missed. They remind of Ariana Grande in a lot of places too, both melodically and in how they are processed. Instrumentally, this explores a lot more than Banks' first two albums with tonnes of synthy sounds, piano textures, distorted drums etc., and while it does not always work it certainly is commendable. The first half of the record is by far the best and has only jams (1,2,4) or nice tracks. 6 has the first annoying section of the record with overprocessed whiny vocals, but otherwise it is cool albeit Ari-neric. The first truly bad track is 7, which is frankly awful all the way. 8 is in the same style but does it a little bit better, and its end is kinda nice with good ideas. From there on the record becomes more generic and Ari-esque, not much that is truly bad, but the catchy and memorable hooks from the first half are sorely missed. The closing track is probably the worst post track 8, but the actual ending is nice. Overall, just barely above Altar with a 3.4rSecond listen: 1-6 & 8 are jams, 11 is kinda cool, 10 and 12 are ok, but the second half is still a train wreck compared to the first. 3.9
Beach House Bloom
FINALLY Beach House wake up and, well, bloom. Instrumentally, this is far richer and more compelling than anything from their prior catalogue, and you can tell from the very well executed, compelling intros to 1 and 2, and from the post-rocky unfolding of 1 despite relatively generic BH vocals. Vocals do remain the main hold up here and still sometimes feel tame and a bit bland for example early on in 2, but they often eventually vary, with more adventurous vocal compositions, which then complement the richer instrumentals. 3 shows this with an ok first track, but a second half where the band finally reveals its potential and explodes a bit. 4 is an actual sweet good song that I'd come back to, but 5 is more regular BH albeit with more meat to it. The album peaks with 6 and 7, which are my first real BH jams, have more prominent drums, more ideas, and are just overall far richer and more compelling. Just hear the synthy bridge at min 2 on 7 for example. 8 is nice but doesn't reach the same jaminess, while 9 comes back to their regular flaws - albeit still with the richer sound on this album. Melodies on 10 evoke candy claws a lot, it's nice and better than their older stuff but still quite protracted and not truly my cuppa, while the ghost track feels like a bit of a bore. Clearly superior to anything else they've put out, with fewer flaws and songs I actually liked, so hell I'm slapping a 3.75
Beach House 7
To be fair to the band, this was quite an unfocused listen on my end, and frankly my rating is mostly based off the vague impression that this is stronger than Bloom. But by track 5 I really wasn't paying attention much and that wasn't the band's fault. Well, mostly not. To be fair to me though, I have come to terms with the fact that BH is just not going to be a fave band of mine. While 1-3 are all kinda cool, and certainly make the band's dreamy haze finally pay off with compositions that are inspired and flavourful especially in the synth section, by 4 they already fall back into their old traps - although it's not quite as bad as previously. 7 is nice and psychedelic. Beyond that don't ask me (shame). 3.85
Beau Navire Hours
Now this is the Beau Navire record I remembered. The shrieking, gut-wrenching vocals may
deter some, and partially deterred my past self, but I actually kinda dig them now. The
band displays the classic post-rock interlude - agressive screamo alternation formula, but
executed fantastically. The screamo is chaotic, brutal and frantic, and offers sublime
contrast to the simple, tension-filled, short but sweet interludes. This all makes the
formula not feel cliche. The only interlude that doesn't work is 10, which feels way too
long and marks the only dip in quality in the album, with 9's chaotic start being a touch
too much for me, although when it calms down it becomes a fun, bass-filled track. This two
track run costs the album a point. Otherwise, it stays strong all the way. The intro
melody is very pretty, and I love how it gets right at your face after 20s. The closer
reuses the melody from 5, which may seem a bit easy, but works very well imo and makes the
album more memorable. This band belongs amongst the greats. 4.0
Belong Same Places
A simple, lovely drone/ambient track in the vein of October Language softest bits. A slow emergence and disappearance of a single texture over 15 minutes. The length feels just right and, although it doesn't have the ambition to be a grand album, this is a great drone EP to grab. Nice art too. 4.05
Benjamin Clementine I Tell A Fly
A burlesque, patchworky album that makes for a very interesting listen. This is made of invariably superb light piano sections, random harpischord bits, grooves of various origins - there is even some DnB DNA in 8 -, broadway-evoking vocals - probably my main issue with the album - and lots and lots of other elements all pieced together in a completely non linear and rather chaotic way but one that works somehow. While it is a bit of a struggle to love in its entirety given how many elements it has, especially when like me you are allergic to musicals, this is nonetheless a super fun album, full of ideas and unexpected things, and frankly a worthy listen. Main highlights were perhaps 4,6 and 9, but this is a thing to be listened in full. RIP Ted. 3.9
Black Matter Device Modern Frenetics
Brilliant mathcore album, and a few tracks in I already knew I would need to re-listen to
it before making my mind on a final rating - it is a lot to process. The record is
extremely dynamic, jumping from sheer chaotic hardcore brutality to calm guitars in a
matter of seconds. The album mixes various influences and there are even some noise
sections sprinkled in. The recorded reminded me somewhat of a slightly less raw, 2010's
version of TDEP's Calculating Infinity. This is my rating for now, but I sense that this
may be a grower. 4.1
Blood Incantation Hidden History of the Human Race
I agree with my dexbro: they have a magnum opus in them, but this isn't it yet. I do think it is a step in the right direction though. Starspawn is imo an objectively better and more consistent record, but this one shows a lot more of their unique sound and is just more interesting on the whole. The first two tracks feel like your usual BI dm. The bass is nicely mixed, 1 is fat and the conclusion to 2 is fat. But at this point it felt like a downgrade from Starspawn really. Then the band starts to unfold their real potential with the sublime 3, an absolute jam that finally got me to feel space vibes and not Antiquity vibes (lol). It's the kind of grand intro/buildup that makes grand albums. Feels like taking off in an immense spaceship. 4 brings back the dm but mixes in elements similar to 3 and feels like they really found their sound. The intro is superb, min 3 is copiously fat, at min 6 the band goes into tasty dark ambient, before going back to guitars in a superb way. There, sadly, the track looses a bit of steam, going back to more conventional/generic dm, bringing back a bit of the wankery guitars that could be heard on 1. Min 14 on gets especially zzz. But eventually it breaks into a convenu yet nicely executed mix of wind recording and a nice chill melody on the guitar as album outro. The next one might be it. 4.0
Blood Incantation Starspawn
Now this is how you play around with different genres in a coherent manner. The first track showcases this especially well, opening with no mercy on hellish dm, showing hints of bm, fat doom riffs, beautiful dissonant guitars at 3:40, another excellent doom break at 8:35, atmospheric guitars at 11:40, back to fatness. And it all flows superbly well. The prod is miles better than on the EP, and the vox is fantastically atmospheric - reminds of Saturnus with its low ended reverberated growls. Bizarrely I get more Egyptian vibes out of this than I do space vibes. Now I don't think it is perfect, given there are some wankery solos here and there that don't seem like they work as well as on the EP. 2 is an absolute hellish jam and perhaps my fave track on the record unlike a lot of the folks here? 3 is its direct contender as their greatest implementation of atmospheric dm yet, quite sublime. 4 starts off on an ominous drone intro (me likey), and goes back to hellishness thereafter, while 5 does the same but feels a touch more generic. Yummy modern dm. 3.9
Blut Aus Nord The Work Which Transforms God
This album is unique, and for a straight up black metal record released in 2004 with no added elements from other genres, that in itself is laudable. The music has a strong horror feel to it and makes one's skin crawl minutes into the r ecord. However the record lasts long enough for the freshness and excitement of the first few tracks to slightly fade without renewing it with other atmospheres or ideas. A solid 4.1
Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago
Had a perfect, peaceful listen by an open window in the pastel hours of the evening. Such beautiful songs. As far as guitar songwriter stuff goes this is a beaut, with just enough blissfully low but not fully nonexistent variety in instrumentation, for example with the added brass/strings on 8, the occasional percussion etc. Didnt remember the closing track being this good. Discog rerun soon? 4.1
Borvlt Under The Green Shades
Really nice sput-made drone/dark ambient with rich textures. Not too long and very nicely produced. Solid work that really has an atmosphere to it. 4.0
Breag Naofa Breag Naofa
75% Cult of Luna's first two albums, 25% Fall of Efrafa's Owsla minus the violin, and some
of the best post-metal vocals out there: needless to say this album is a f*cking jam. Track
3 is quite subpar compared to the rest and brings the album down one or two points, but
track 2 is balls and the bookends especially the opener are really not far behind it.
Looking forward to the rest of their discog now. 4.0
Edit: no, 3 isn't subpar, this is all gold. 4.0
Breag Naofa Cearo
A little bit more FoE DNA in this one - it feels like a modern take on Owsla at times, but not as good. The first track is a gorgeous buildup leading to a nice explosion that did not quite match the quality of its intro, while track 2 is more aggressive and fast paced but did not convince me as much. I'm diced between 3.7 and 3.8 but I'll bias it to a higher rating because this is short and sweet and people should jam it. 3.75
Brutus (BE) Burst
Everyone is hyped over the new album but hey this jams. Somehow it sounds like it was recorded live, the production and vocals are a touch amateur. But when in general this can be a bad thing, here it gives the album a unique vibe. It feels like your teenage girlfriend's rock band except a lot better, and with tonnes of post-hardcore/even post-rock influences. There is a certain tenderness felt towards the music because of that. Idk it's weird. Also yeepee they're Belgian! 4.1
Brutus (BE) Nest
I was not quite convinced at first, and the first half of the album is a 3.8 reiteration of their first album that just charmed me far less. However, starting from 'War', the record lines up fantastic track after fantastic track, with lots of great ideas, cool riffs and drumming, and more post-rock influences. Second half is a 4.2, for an overall 4.0
Buena Vista Social Club Buena Vista Social Club
It is difficult enough to get music like this on a solid album format for me to
appreciate that fact alone. The album is sure good at setting a mood, and it will project
Cuban vibes anywhere you play it. It has a subtlety to it too, with a sense of melancholy
and longing for the old days - it is far, far from being just background chill music,
which I've seen it being used as a lot. However, the first half of the album (with the
notable exception of opener 'Chan Chan') pales in comparison to the amazing second half.
Overall still a solid jam. 3.9
Burial Rival Dealer
Mah dude went all over the place on this and I feel like he had fun making the record. 1 and 3 are dense enough that they could be EPs on their own. 1 is top tier and a solid 4.3. Some of the hardest hitting Burial material out there, bouncy, upbeat and fast tempoed as if Burial made a The Prodigy track. At 5 min the track transitions into something grittier and subtler but still bouncy, medig. Another transition at 7:30, building up to one of the loveliest ambient textures Burial's made - I miss Untrue man. There is even some kind of flute featured. On its own, this t/t would be a 4.3 EP. 2 is oddly happy but comforting. I'm not sure if I like it, it confuses me. It sounds like the soundtrack to the happy end of a movie where two lovers finally get to be together, and if it weren't for the vox I'd be hard pressed to guess it's a Burial track. 3 features a sitar (?) based beat, feels high as fck that breaks at min 7 into some kind of Burial-esque abstract hip hop, always with his classic vox. It's cool but not as much as 1, would be a 4.0 on its own, so the EP overall is around 4.1
Burial Truant/Rough Sleeper
One of the great Burial EPs. I have to jam that Tunes comp man. Truant is so lovely from the first seconds, bathing in good Burial lushness, but thereafter (and following a weird pause, common theme here with a lot of odd transitions between the sections of each track) it takes a darker turn with an uneasy feel. It is the Untrue sound, but with a different twist, and I love it. The track feels a bit patchworky and has some disrupting sections, but the last one is really cool with some of the noisiest, messiest and wicked Burial we've seen. Rough Sleeper starts in even a lusher way, and is overall a much stronger track - although both are jams. It is closer to his typical sound, less dark and slightly more upbeat in a sad way, although the midtrack features some great but pretty unique vox relative to his repertoire which makes the track memorable. The last section, again after an awks transition is good but really does not stand out as much as the rest of the track and feels far more average. Does not prevent this from being a 4.1
Cacartu Habitat
Damn, that Melbourne soul scene man. This is a really consistent record without a single bad track and with quite a few high points ('Orion's Belt' or 'Cyclone' to name a couple). It is also more guitar-centered than a lot of the genre which gives it a remote bluesy vibe at times. Groovy, relaxing, smooth, and a definite re-listen. 4.0
Cacartu Cacartu
This neo-soul EP felt just a touch better than their full length, with more variety in a shorter runtime (including an instrumental track 'Jeff the Chef' that bangs). Again, not a single bad track and overall a very enjoyable record. I did listen to it in better conditions though so not a super fair comparison with the LP, probably need a re-listen. 4.1
Camille Saint-Saens Danse macabre, Op.40
Who said classical can't be fun. This never fails to entertain. The middle passage doesn't feel aaaas compelling, and on a piece this short that hurts a bit, but man I always love hearing this. Jammed Bernstein's NYPO take this time round. 4.2
Cara Neir Part III / Part IV
This record is incredibly diverse instrumentally, ranging from furiously chaotic hardcore drumming to almost trip-hop/hip-hop beats - worthy of note, 'Choke' was recorded four years before the rest of the album and has a very distinctive style, yet it blends quite well with the rest of the album.rThe album's main strength - its diversity - is also its weakness, with a couple lower points and harsh vocals that very subjectively I am not a fan of. As I was listening my intended rating bounced back and forth between 3.7 and 4.1. Regardless of the rating, this rules and is definitely worth a listen.
Cecil Taylor Stereo Drive
As I understand it and per wikipedia this is the same album as Coltrane's Coltrane time. I rate this entry too because it only has one vote and poor Cecil Taylor deserves a fair few more ratings on an album that was originally released under his name I think? See my Coltrane soundoff for the deets .4.0
Celer Panoramic Dreams Bathed In Seldomness
Again, fantastic ambient-drone from Celer. Track 1 and 2 are not particularly great, they have brilliant textures but those are deserved by a choppy and erratic structure which struggles to establish a mood. Track 3 is much more linear which allows the atmosphere to set in, and the result is a fantastic track. Track 4 brings it up a notch and is the genre perfectly executed. Maybe not as surprising as Para, but very good. 4.15
Celer Advancing Dances
Nice, loopy, ominous and depressing, but simple and somewhat generic ambient from Willy. A good jam when in need for 16min of ambient but no more. 3.8
Celer Red Seals
Pretty flat, but good dark ambient record. The two tracks are essentially two halves of the same thing. Texture vaguely reminding of Para, but with a creepier tone. This record is chilling to the bone and pretty horror-esque, which makes it interesting although its complete lack of variability even in textures alone brings it down. Solid 3.9
Celer Could I Not Be Saved After All That?
Extremely repetitive ambient over 46 minutes - if you aren't already in love with the genre this probably isn't the record to start with. But it is so lush, so soft, so lovely to drown into that I can't help but give it quite high a rating. It is great as meditative music to ponder the meaning of life alone on yar bed, or as background music to work to before you fall asleep. 3.75
Celer Xièxie
A testament to the power of repetition. Think I'll review this one. 3.75
Chico Buarque Chico Buarque de Hollanda
I dug the second half much more than the first. Nice Brazilian music with amazing prod for its
time. I much prefer when there is either less singing or mixed singing with back vocals and not
only his, because otherwise it gets a bit much. Obviously there is the caveat that I don't get
any of the lyrics. Lots of jams (3,5,7,8,11,12) and nothing too bad either, but the songs feel
very short sometimes. 3.85
Chico Buarque Chico Buarque de Hollanda - Volume 2
Exactly the same thoughts as on his first: nice Brazillian chill music, but his vocals are a bit
much sometimes and most tracks are too short. Closer or track 8 are perfect examples of that with
neat instrumentations but vocals that get annoying after a while. This album felt superior but
the second half falls of a fair bit. 1-3 are jams, 5,6 10 are kinda nice. Instrumentation on 11
is really nice but the vocals again annoy towards the end. 3.9
Chippr Jones Tropics / COSM
A low ambition two track (plus interludes) math-rock EP that ends up being full of rsurprises. 'Tropics' is especially impressive in how many styles of math-rock and rambiences it fits in under five minutes. This will never grow past a 4.2-4.3 for me rbecause it is so short and lacks identity as an album, but if you have a dozen minutes to rspare this is worth a shot. A lot of head-nodding high points and makes you want to rlisten to a full length by them.
City of Caterpillar Driving Spain Up A Wall
Track 1 has a superb intro and explodes much more softly than I expected but is still great, whilst track 2 brings the skramz back a little more albeit still softer than their older records and is quite fantastic. Both jams I'd say. They still have a fantastic LP2 in them by the looks of it, if that ever comes. 4.1
Claude Debussy Deux arabesques, L. 66
Arabesque no. 1's opening and closing melody is some of the most gorgeous piano music I have ever heard. The middle is beautiful too albeit not at that same incredible level and the whole Arabesque is a solid 4.4. Arabesque no. 2 breaks the mood for me a little however, with its more classical, less impressionist style that I would almost call quirky at times, bringing the collection down for me. 4.0
clipping. There Existed an Addiction to Blood
Yeah following their discog this feels like a huge step up. It finally feels like a grand, ominous album with its own coherent (for the most part) personality and feel. I don't know if it is the layers of low ended noisy drones forming the basis of a lot of tracks or what but there is just something that ties tracks together very nicely. The record is weakest when it evokes their prior discog actually, i.e. tracks that feel like stylistic exercises more than parts of a cohesive whole. 9 and 13 are clear examples, while 8 starts off that way but then builds up quite nicely back into the album's style - I don't dig the guest vox though. The run from 1-7 is pretty much flawless. With 1 and the intro of 2 you already know this is going to be better. 2 and 5 are huge jams, and 3 and 6 have fantastic atmospheres - especially the latter with its horror feel. While weaker the second half still boasts some great tracks, with the fantastic second half of 11 and 12 which will be a huge banger live. It's a bit pretentious but I also dig the burning piano outro, it tickles my drone fancy nicely. Their magnum opus? Maybe, we'll see what they offer next. 4.05
clipping. Chapter 319
I missed this when it came out. First track is one of the most car-listenable clipping
tracks ever and is a great jam, while 2 echoes more to their prior material but is
excellently done with a fantastic ominous atmosphere. Plus what it all says. This is their
best work yet, although idk how fair the comparison is to a full-length like addiction to
blood. Might grow but for now 4.1
Coalesce 0:12 Revolution in Just Listening
This is an excellent metalcore album.It is far from being a disruptive musical monument like its contemporaries (TDEP's CI and Jane Doe) which I see it often compared to - questionably if you ask me. It does not have anywhere near as much of a unique personality as these classics, but it sure is well ahead of its time and sounds better than a lot of the metalcore from 2005 and up. 4.0
Controlled Bleeding Distress Signals
Listening to this while reading the 'treatment' chapters in A Clockwork Orange was absolutely perfect. This the first powernoise/hnw album I thoroughly liked. It fit the scenes of torture, horror and medical abuse so goddamn well. It is also quite diverse in a way, with vocals in the opening track or a melodic mid-third track. Do I like powernoise now? 3.9
Coops Life in the Flesh
For a concept album this feels a lot like a mixtape, with a lot of dope tracks but low coherence between songs and a bit of an erratic construction. Still, the quality of individual tracks pulls this up by a lot. This is a Londoner offering his take on various American hip-hop variations and echoing back to a range of different artists. 1 evokes Nas, 2 evokes CYNE, 3 reminds of Wu-Tang, and after a mild interlude on 4, 5 explores more modern directions with its jammy use of autotune and dub vibes here and there. The darker turn at the end is cool, shame that the transition into it sounds like yourcomputer freezing. His delivery is top tier, diverse, and with the nice added touch of the accent only being the cherry on the cake. 7 lost me a bit, but 8 is really chill. The track is symptomatic of the record as a whole though, as the middle section and outro feel like a different track entirely. 9-10 go back to a 90s vibe, then 11 is chill again (a lovely track at that though), 12 has a bouncier summer vibe, and 13 is more nocturnal with a dope instrumental. See what I mean by the individual tracks being good but record construction being erratic? This was going to be a 3.7 but the dope jam closing the album, despite an unnecessary outro section bumps this back up to a 3.8
Coops Lost Soul
Where Life in the Flesh struggles by mixing too many styles too randomly this one succeeds in offering a consistent atmosphere all throughout without boring either. Pretty much every track works on a minimalist instrumental with hard hitting drums, jazzy samples to provide texture and not much else, with Coops' relentless delivery atop. And you know what, it works crazy well. Tracks like 1-4 or 13 just work so well. The slight variations, for example the addition of female """soul/RnB""" vocals on 5 and 9, or the howls on the 12 are extremely well done and make the tracks stand out above the rest. Now while this is a much stronger album than LitF, the individual tracks do become perhaps a little less memorable. The album also feels quite long, with tracks past 13 kinda blurring out for me. And the album conclusion doesn't really feel like a conclusion. But this is still dope and well worth a spin. 4.0
Coops No Brainer
Well this one is even chiller than God Complex. You can tell thought has been put in album construction, because the record flows from nocturnal US trap, to really chill stuff, to more of a rapped emphasis near the end, with 13 evoking Lost Soul in a nice way and with cool guests. and 14 granting the album an extra half point as a chill conclusion. 1 is super smooth, 2 has a The Weeknd kinda vibe but without the voice processing obviously, 3 has the same vibe but with more of a beat to it, 4 is cool but ruined by a bad drum machine sound (thankfully it's short), 5 is soft US-style trap again and cool at that. Then 6 sees a shift away from that style and is a superb jam with dope sample processing, while 7 is cheesy but chill. 8 is supper drugged despite the instrumental not being the best, 9 resembles 6 with its tape/vibrato sound but isn't as impactful at all. 10 is also chill (like the whole album) but a bit too repetitive and meh. 11 is nearly a jam because it is so so chill, but it doesn't quite unfold and is just too short. 12 has a dope instrumental but not the greatest delivery. So fewer jams than other records of his, but great construction and overall quality. 3.75
Coops Crimes Against Creation
Back to the simpler, classic, instrumental + sick rapping style of Lost Souls, but perhaps with a touch less of a 90s sound. There isn't a bad track but I gotta say the first half had me leaning more towards a 3.7. 1 and 2 got me daym, but only 2 was really all that marking. 3 was you know alright rhodes hop, 4 has a dope beat and goes kinda hard but feels like it lacks substance a bit, 5 is more of that, and yeah by then I was only mildly excited. But the last three tracks, 6-7 especially, raise it up a notch with super chill instrumental, hard hitting drums, and great rapping as always. Despite 8 being a bit less convincing than 6 and 7, it confirmed my feeling that this is 4.0 tier. It is shorter and far more focused than Life in the Flesh, so while it maybe doesn't have as unique jams as LitF, as a record it feels quite a bit stronger. 3.85
Cortex Troupeau Bleu
Fun jazz record with distant touches of prog.I have a hard time with the vocals when they actually sing in French, bun when they just hum along it's fine. Instrumental side is really nice, groovy and fun. Loved the middle of the album (Tracks 4-8, of which the latter two are jams especially). The beginning and end have more of what I don't dig and less of what I do dig, but they're still nice. Overall a solid record I will re-listen to - vocals might grow on me. 3.9
Cult of Luna The Beyond
You know I don't know if I prefer this one or their debut LP. It is definitely a step up in
quality and maturity, as none of the sections feel amateur anymore. They definitely progressed.
This has some of CoL's angriest moments on Receiver and The Watchtower, which are my album
favorites and definite re-listens. The second half of the album falls off a fair bit and did not
rgrab my attention as much. I also don't like the cleaner, more electronic prod as much compared
to their debut. Which one I prefer in a vacuum is hard to say because of variability of listening
conditions for albums that are very similar, but as far as rating it I'll give it a 3.75
Cult of Luna Cult of Luna
For a debut this is a brilliant power move. Their most Neurosis-y album - gave me lots of Amenra vibes too. Track 1 and 2 are amazing and made me think their s/t is to CoL what Remission is to Mastodon, with a rawer sounds and riffs out of this world. The album also has a lot of low points however, with entire sections sounding almost amateur (e.g. the last track around the 3 minutes mark??). You can tell it was their debut. Track 6 is also a jam though, and the album is well worth a spin if anything for that rawer side of their sound. 3.8
Cult of Luna Eternal Kingdom
This one is a lot earthier, less proggy and far less post-rocky than its two predecessors. It evokes mountains, dirt and rocks. Track 3 is a top-tier CoL track, but the rest of the album's first half is on par if not very slightly above their s/t debut i.e. 3.9 material. The second half from track 6 onwards brings it up a notch though and is pretty much all faves. Overall this album is excellent and should be commanded for having its own feel and taking the band in a different direction. I do subjectively prefer the two preceding albums though - maybe in perfect listening conditions I'd dig that new direction even more? 4.1
Cult of Luna Vertikal
The coldest CoL album. The first two tracks and a half and the last four are fantastic and evoke cold, snowy rocky mountains and polar black peaks. Like a winter version of EK. Even the mixing of the vocals calls to that. I don't click at all with the middle tracks though. The electronic bits feel completely out of place, although I see where they were coming from and maybe it is my snowy nature read of the album that does not fit with it? Still felt kinda bored for those few tracks, among my least favourite sections in the whole of CoL 's catalog. Album is still a 4.0 overall
Cult of Luna A Dawn to Fear
Might be a grower. Super solid CoL record. Love the proggy organic sounds they're adding,
although they're mostly subtle and only truly shine in a few select places (1,7). The post-
rocky guitars are nice too and just in the right amount. 6 is the only weaker track and
feels like a misplaced dragged out album outro, although the bells towards the end of it
are absolutely gorgeous. Basically every other track has jammy sections, and they're pretty
much all jams except perhaps 3 which slows down a bit too much. 5 and its slow, enormous
buildup is going to be a huge jam live. However, 4 and the second half of 1 are on first
listen the only two real classic-worthy moments, and the rest has a lot of nice jammy
sections but that don't quite cut it to that ultimate level, bathing in nice CoL material.
I feel like the record is missing some clean vocals too - Julie's or not. Still a solid and
tentative 4.15
Edit: bumped a bit, this is super solid. 5 grew on me and is the album's second peak after
1, 7-8 being the last peak. The album is fantastic but goes up and down in intensity a bit
too much imo. 4.2
Cult of Luna Cult of Luna (EP)
Holy effing shite. The absolute bleakest and darkest CoL record ever. First two CoL albums + Amenra pre Mass V + crass prod. The EP is very impressive for a first release, the intro already sounds pretty much like their later records, the riffs are soul-crushing, vocals are excellent albeit quite lost in the mix, and they even already use touches of organ (I think?) on the first track, and a didgeridoo (?) on the second one. First track was my fave but honestly both are jams. The only less mature bit is the occasional bleep bloopy electronic sounds here and there on the first track, but other than that it sound like a full blown record really. If you enjoy CoL's rawer, earlier sound, or if you like stuff like Amenra, do not sleep on this!.3.8
Curved [MOS003]
I am definitely biased because this is the first MOS recorded I ever encountered, and one of the first techno EPs I came across in general. Still, this is fantastic, dark, menacing indus techno with curved oh so fat beats. I will say the last track's second half feels a bit subpar and brings this down a point or so, but still on this I'll slap a 4.05
Cuzco Sketchbook
This is really pretty math-rock. In every way the direct follow-up to their first EP: Clever Girly production and instrumentation, chill vibes, no guitar neck wanking for the sake of it, but beautiful melodies instead. There is something nostalgic and soothing about it - what math-rock from your childhood would sound like. For some reason evoked math-rock EitS to me. Needs a re-listen. 3.8
Cuzco A Medicine For Melancholy
Brilliant math-rock, the closest we'll ever get to Clever Girl most likely. Track 2 is the only one that is not quite a jam. Otherwise, nice bits and melodies all over the place, sweet tones, and even some pretty ambient sections. Not as good as CG, but spotless. 4.1
Cynic Focus
To this day, this is wonderfully weird and progressive. Imagine hearing this in 93 when you were just expecting some cool technical death/thrash based on the demos. Incredible, and I am glad I jammed the demos just to realise how giant a step they took. The opener is a fantastic summary of the album and displays right off the bat the weird vocals and tones we'll be offered all throughout. The conclusion in particular is fantastic. Sadly the album stumbles right after this strong start. 2-3 are relatively 'straightforward' dm tracks, and on them the vocoded vox and other prog elements feel like unjustified addition and no longer parts of a cohesive whole like they were on 1. I gotta say the prod, while more than alright, is not stellar, and doesn't serve the harsh parts or the bass too well imo. They're not as gritty and bouncy as they could be, respectively. 4 goes back to the calmer jazziness and proginness thankfully and is quite fantastic especially the last third albeit it sadly ends on a fadeout. 5-6 succeed where 2-3 failed, very good dm with only scarce proggy cynic elements - I particularly enjoyed 5's intro. 7 is a godtier instrumental jam and one of the proggiest here. The album intelligently ends on a strong track with vocals again though, only to sadly conclude on a fadeout. Immense, well constructed album that just had a little too many shortcomings to reach the 4.5 tear in my book. 4.15
Dante Mars Ajeto! Celebrating Digital Artefacts
Really really fun vaporwave album that flows naturally almost the entire time bar the intro on 3 and doesn't feel long at all. Will stay in my library. The tracks that worked best for me were the bouncier, groovier ones - and hell, some really do got some good bounce in em. 7 is a really bouncy jam, 15 is a jam that would fit right in a house set, and 18 offers sort of an ambient bounce. There are few weak tracks and excessively quirky bits. I mean sure, the opener sounds like it is from the OST of some documentary on African fauna, 3 is a bit abrupt in its transition, and 12 is the kind of bizarre I was worried about (but quite short). A few tracks are also half cool and bouncy but just have a little too much weirdness or a sample that doesn't quite work, eg 6, 13, or 19. Other cool tracks 4, 9, 14 (chill and groovy, kinda jammy), and the closer which is a nice ambient-ish piece. Surprised I liked this so much tbh. Thanks rellik! 4.05
Darkthrone A Blaze in the Northern Sky
Being the first of Darkthrone's black albums, this one probably holds the most historical importance. It is not easy to innovate, and as a turning point for the band and for extreme metal in general, this is quite a fantastic step. However, retrospectively (easy to say), I feel like the album's main flaw is its hesitancy to fully commit to the new bm sound. Again total respect to DT, it's not easy, I am merely talking about this as a musical object here because obviously historically it takes teh cake. The first two tracks and 1 (after an intro that is kind of quirky but honestly cool) especially still display a lot of dm roots, and a lot of slower, doomier sections, but with the new bm tone and prod. And because I don't like OSDM and doom as much, well, that doesn't work well with me. Hoerver the last min of 1 finally fully commits to bm with endless blast beats and an accelerated tempo, super cool. 2 also does that from the midtrack on, and the finale with the softer guitar atop the bm wall is simply fantastic. 3 is a bit better overall with some dope riff especially in the midtrack, and 4 is finally a huge, full on black metal jam (despite a short bit of urgh soloing) with absolutely filthy riffs, clearly my fave here. 5 continues this and is probably a jam too, while 6 comes back to slower stuff like the earlier record and is perhaps less convincing before the album ends just like it started, which is kinda cool. A massive step towards frozen forests for the human kind, and a giant step for DT. 4.0
Darkthrone Under a Funeral Moon
Now this one fully commits to DT's new sound: classic bm is classic. I gotta say weirdly I get
more evil ritual vibes that I feel the frost on this one, but hell yea this is really cool. The
tracks all flow really well and are pretty much all great so no need for a track by track m/ 4.15
Darkthrone Transilvanian Hunger
Classic bm is classic [2] Frankly I have a bit of trouble coming up with a different soundoff for this vs Moon as I found them to be very similar: just relentless, good old fashioned bm. I'd need closer listens in rapid succession to really tell. This felt like it had ever so slightly better riffs and even sharper prod, but idk if it is the version that I jammed but there are pauses after almost every track which breaks the flow a little bit. 4.2
Daughters Canada Songs
Hey why is this rated so low on here? This is one of the most fun grind albums I've come
across. It is quite unique too. The Hell Songs sound is already present and the record is
incredibly (too) short, leaving absolutely zero time to get bored. 3.8
Daughters Daughters
Really did not like the first track so I was a bit skeptical going into it, but tracks 2-5 bang so hard they completely changed my mind. If punk had been invented in the 2010s by people who were abducted by aliens in their teenage years and carried extraterrestrial eggs in their brains that's what it would sound like. 4.2
Daughters You Won't Get What You Want
Disturbing feel throughout the album. Very interesting listen although I did find the album somewhat linear and not as extreme in its concept as it could have been.
Dave Bixby Ode To Quetzalcoatl
Very nice folk album from the depths of time. From the first few notes I knew I'd dig this, the intro to track 1 is so sublime. 2-4 felt a little bit more like the kind of folk that necessitates to dig into the lyrics to enjoy but not so incredible instrumentally. But then it picks back up again, 5 being a super soft track (which 10 and 12 will be too, the later being the softest probably and a very nice closer). 6 is nice too, and 7 shows a bit of a more 'upbeat' side to folk which, while welcome, feels a bit incongruous with the soft mellow sad Ozzy-ish vocals. 8-9 are very nice as well and the album seems to get more instrumentally complex on these tracks, which really do not need one to look into what they say to be great listens. The harmonica on 11 brings a nice change, and is intelligently kept to a small contribution on that track alone. Will have to listen to this more. 4.1
Deafheaven New Bermuda
Death Individual Thought Patterns
Excellent death metal, but in my opinion really far from the (near?) perfect record Human was, despite having a very similar style. I would have thought Human was the later of the two, but not. Much simpler collection of songs whereas Human is a real story and has more soul. Some fantastic tracks on this one too though, such as Desitiny and Trapped in a Corner (I think, the third or fourth track). 4.1
Death Scream Bloody Gore
This is obviously well below Death's later, more technical, progressive and complex albums. SBG's songs are very similar to one another, and far less catchy and memorable. The riffs and songwriting are efficient but straightforward, simplistic even at times. But hell, this sounds incredibly good considering it came out in friggin' 87. Ten years later, many other bands could not still match that. It sounds dated now, but its quality has to be praised. 3.9
Death Cab for Cutie Transatlanticism
A strong album, but clearly no longer a 5.0 contender for me. The opener is a bit naive sounding but that's fine because it is followed by a series of simple yet catchy and captivating tunes 2-4. 5 is a bit naive and feels more like upper 4.0 material but still a fun track. 6 is more relaxed which is quite welcome, but the issue is that afterwards the record hardly picks back up at all. 7 starts as a second ballad which already feels like it wasn't the right choice, and the end track gets really boring. 8 has a sweet intro I guess. By 9 I already knew this wasn't a 5. 10 brings some nice electronica variety, but the album closer is boring and brings this down yet another point. 4.05
Deathspell Omega Mass Grave Aesthetics
Should've checked their EP's a long time ago. This is great and reminded me of the 'burning in hell' feel of Incantation's Onward to Golgotha's opener. This EP sounds a lot like death metal, but with black metal textures, and despite its 20min runtime it brings a lot of variety, with different atmospheres. orchestral elements sprinkled in etc. Re-listen warranted. 4.15
Deathspell Omega Kenose
I don't really know to label this - sludgy blackened death metal? It sure is diverse and very dense, thereby warranting a re-listen. Track 1 is really cool, track 2 is phenomenal, track 3 really fell behind and felt bland and generic. God that fadeout outro. 4.1 for the first two tracks, 3.9 overall.
Demilich Nespithe
While the very, very low ended vocals take some getting used to, they worked for me most of the time and are rare enough that they never become an issue, which wasn't the case of some of the demos. The prod finally gives them justice and highlights how riffy and technical this can get, with a weird deranged atmosphere stemming from it all. The first 6 tracks of the record are plain cool and juts line up fat riff after weird riff, peaking on the midtrack riffage on 3 and most of all on the whole of 4 which is a huge jam. After that I have to say I did find the record overextends quite a bit without ever giving the ear a rest - but as we know this depends a lot on listening conditions. By 9 I felt the record was loosing steam a bit, and by 10 I thought it was time for it to end. Still enjoyed this much more than I could remember from way back when, so I'll give it a pleasantly surprised 4.05
Demolition Hammer Necrology (Demo)
Bloody amazing demo. Makes me want to go on a death thrash binge. Some scarce solos and vocal sections feel a bit wankery especially compared to their previous demo, but every single track is a jam and a real headbang brutal riffage fest. Lovely and audible bass, good drumming. Will re-listen. 4.1
Demolition Hammer Epidemic of Violence
Yes now this is what I was hoping to hear after the demos. The opener scared me a little bit with its wankery bits and fade out ending, but after that it is jam after jam. Prod is far less muffled down and inoffensive than on Tortured Existence, resulting in a much more aggressive and fun record overall. I need to re-listen to it to pinpoint the jams and because this record is super cool, but for now I'd say 2,3,4,5,8,9. 4.2
Denzel Curry Nostalgic 64
Very strong debut record, well constructed for a rap album with nice fluidity between song - e.g. the transition between 7 and 8. 2 (despite the silly brrrrrah vocals in the background), 4 especially its bleak second half, and 8 are the clearest jams here. 5-7 are all very nice Denzel material too. 9 brings nice variation although the execution does not quite cut it. 3, 10, and 11 are the weakest tracks, with clich triplet rap and cheesy choruses. 12 has a great prod but remains only nice as a track, and the album closer is an odd track but that functions very well as album closer. Overall, lots of tracks I'll come back to and a solid 3.9
Denzel Curry TA13OO
Much proggier and kendrickesque than I expected. The opener is a gorgeous jam. A lot of tracks have multiple sections, and generally they start off annoying to meh with excessive vocals then morph into something super cool, for instance on 3, 12, 13. Loads of other jammy tracks on 2, 6-8. 9 is probably the weakest track. 4 marks an odd style shift that does not really work in the context of the album imo, but the track is cool despite a feeling of caricature. Overall a solid album I'll go back to with lots of creativity put in it. 4.0
Desert Medicine Desert Medicine
Stunning dreamy indie folk with gorgeous, delicate and fragile vocals. First song was my fave, but really they're all graceful and beautiful. A band to watch for sure, nice find budgie. 3.9
Discipline. To Shatter All Accord
By a mile their best album. It's not a fav album of mine, it won't grow much further I don't think, but it is sweet enjoyable prog. 1 felt like their best track so far, but after hearing the whole album I don't know if that holds true or if it's another track on this one. The run from 2's messy ending to the second third of 4 is quite weak and somewhat dull Discipline material (sounding a bit outdated in places too), but the record picks it back up with strings around min 8 on 4 that are one of he bands' best sections, then 5 with a lovely intro, nice track overall, and sweet album ending. 3.75
DJ Central Li'ud
Super sweet, surprisingly consistent and cohesive little house EP. Unlike many others it doesn't make the mistake of throwing four entirely different tracks together or adding a rogue remix, and instead offers a common atmosphere on all tracks which is nice to see. A perfect little record to spin whilst having a beer with friends on yar terrace as the sun goes down to warm up before a party or something. The EP is characterized by sparse vocal samples and most importantly a prominent, very audible smooth round bass. The latter is less present on 3 which happened to be my least favourite track although still chill. The second half of 2 and the whole of 4 were my favourite parts - the strong closer bumps this in 4.0 territory, helped by the intelligently short length at 29 minutes in total. 3.75
Doja Cat Purrr!
Maybe I'm uprating this a little because I wasn't expecting to like it so much, but yeah this is good dude. Fun pop-flavoured RnB with lots of personality and ideas. The EP starts off strong with a jam on 1, chill but upbeat and badass at the same time. The track has more ideas than it looks, both vocally and in the sweet sweet prod. 2 is more on the chill side and is great too. I dig her delivery, it is varied and fun. 3 continues this and while it doesn't start off the strongest, once what the prod and the synth open it becomes quite a dig. 4 is the weakest track here, as early on the soft prod feel a bit incongruous with the more aggressive vocal prod and delivery. It improves a lot as the track goes but yeah it brings the EP sub 4.0 although still firmly in 4.0 tier. 5 is kinda lusher and RnBey, very nice. Comparing this to other mainstream debuts, this is a great surprise. 3.85
Doja Cat Amala
Spoiler I'm going to rate this maybe a touch higher than I should because it does not deserve a 2.9 average. This is fun, diverse pop/RnB with pristine prod, and for a popular full-length debut like this it is really enjoyable and holds the distance well. Sure, it does slip up on 3 which kind of breaks the lovely bubblegum atmosphere of 1-2 (2 being a bit harder and eh but still with fun bits) with its autotune and slower pace, or 5 where the Canon sample is a bit pointless and cringe, leading to a shallow track that itself is one of the weakest here. But skip those and the really cool, chill 4 with cool guest vox would transition well into the light 6 which is a great representation of the general album's aesthetic - bar a handful tracks. 7 continues this without unfolding too too well, 8's a sweet dig, then 9 after a sweet intro surprises with its super upbeat unfolding - not the best execution but an idea I appreciate. 10's another highlight with its deconstructed pop vibes, 11 brings super cool dancestep energy, then 12-13 are two sweet RnB tracks to close off the record nicely. Deluxe tracks: 14's fun but quite mindless at times, more on the rap/twerk side; 15 even more so and it really does not fit in here, pretty awful; 16 completely opposite, super light and memey - can't say it's a highlight though, glad these tracks are just on the deluxe edition. 3.75
Downfall of Nur Umbras de Barbagia
Very interesting bm that I'd say any bm-appreciator ought to check out. The sparse use of
'traditional' folk instruments is very intelligently done here and gives ancient mysterious vibes
to the music, as if it were a lost beacon from an extinct civilization. The shrieking vocals are
a tough pill to swallow at times - although I did not really dislike them -, and the album does
loose a bit of its freshness and songwriting quality over time, the album closer being the worst
track. Absolutely worth a listen nonetheless. 4.0
Drudkh Forgotten Legends
Incredible debut. The Drudkh sound is already there, minus maybe some stronger folk influences, and the tracks are all good to excellent. This is a great record to get into BM, with extremely scarce vocals and relatively clean production. Not their best, but a truly solid album. 4.0
Dua Lipa Future Nostalgia
Tchoo tchoo hype train this is good mannnn, watch this space 3.95
Dvne Asheran
This is really cool. The instrumentals are phenomenal and remind of Mastodon at times, but with a myriad of additional influences ranging from psychedelic to black metal. These make the album quite unique and really a worthy listen - and re-listen. The one problem I had with this was the singing. There are two types of vocals on this album: the not so bad harsh ones, and the annoying ones. Clean vocals sound amateur and to me they just ruin the instrumental epicness going on in the background. Still, they seem to be less used in the second half of the album, and they are not too invasive even in the first half. 3.9
ee Ramadan
A collection of sweet sweet vaguely pygmy lushesque indie rock tunes that I just wish went a step further and got a touch more intense here and there, but still is of very consistent quality overall. Not a single bad track and a myriad of jams. 1 just passes and feels fairly inoffensive, but don't be fooled the record has much rocker (5,7) or catchier moments (2 and the closer which stands out quite abruptly from the rest with its funky riff but in an actually nice way to conclude the album in a fun manner). I don't know if I am tainted by hearing this on Feb 14th, but this feels like indie summer tunes to jam in a pick up truck with your gf in the midwest. The only exceptions being 8 which gives me a Christmassy vibe for some reason, and 9 which feels like a romantic ballad and whose weak end is perhaps the lowest point of the record while being still fine. Solid record, worth a check and probably will stick in my library. 3.85
Elder (USA-MA) Reflections of a Floating World
Awesome psychedlic/prog/stoner metal album. Very often feels like the logical continuity of 70's rock music except with modern day sound and heaviness. Even Pink Floyd-esque at times which is amazing. Some sections do feel excessively long and there is a tendency to sometimes go into random riffing and solos without much musical sense. Still, a brilliant record that manages to be both super cool and musically interesting. A definite re-listen. 4.2
Elder (USA-MA) Lore
Good lord this record is FUN. Groovy proggy Mastodon-y rock'n'roll goodness. The first two tracks are absolute bangers and I preferred them to RoaFW. Title track is probably the weakest, the last two are quite equivalent to RoaFW with a preference for the album closer. 4.2
Elliott False Cathedrals
This is top-notch emo/post-hardcore, especially for someone who like me does not enjoy
pop punk elements too much. The instrumentations are fantastic and production is unusual
but interesting, with very prominent and clear bass. The album starts mellow and heavy on
keys, emphasizing its emo sides, but evolves throughout the record and in the second half
often sounds like Tool morphed into an emo band. There are a few tracks that are subpar,
true, - the closing track for instance really does not do the album justice - but overall
this is definitely worth picking up. 4.2
Emmanuel All Killer No Filler
Excellent techno exploring a lot of textures in a short amount of time, from strong house influences on the opening track to more atmospheric ambient-dub techno towards the end, with a more industrial sounding middle track. Interesting sounds, especially on the last track. Very solid EP.
Emuul Crawling Across The Rafters
Great ambient record, with more instrument-based textures and fewer synth/noise/field recording sounds than commonly found in the genre - at least that's what it feels like. The first track is phenomenal, and 'Haunting with M' is really good too - the rest is ok. Worth a re-listen and props for having a black metal logo without doing black metal at all - although the ambiences created here remind of ambient black metal. 3.9
Enemies Valuables
Adorable poppy post-rocky vaguely mathy indie rock. From the first few seconds of the opening track you can tell this is going to be good. The female vocals on track 3 are a wonderful addition. Just a really pleasant album with nice dynamics and a good closer that calls back to the opener. Will happily re-listen. 4.0
Envy The Definition of Impossibility
Side A is sweet but generic post-rocky Envy material. Kinda between 3.7 and 3.8.
Serendipitous finding, the intro sounds super cool played at 33 rpm. Side B is the real
banger here, sounding like TDEP crossed with Envy. A very heavy and riffy track that also
boasts some delicate and intricate melodies, a delight. Side B is worth a 4.3 imo, so
overall this is a 4.1
Edit: Side B is a gem and effing brutal yet delicate, I stand by my 4.1
Erika de Casier Essentials
Super fun, sexy and cozy album that would be perfect for a night car ride back home. The
run from 1-7 is pretty much flawless with every track being successful. The record
navigates many genres and influences (trip-hop, RnB, female The Weekend, Sade) and often
calls back to 90's and 00's music without it being gimmicky. The clearest jam and perhaps
most interesting track is the opener, but really all the other tracks are really sweet -
just wish 7 didn't sample that iPhone screenshot sound though. 8 is the first weak track
with a somewhat silly beginning and not much else to it. 9 and 10 are nice in a vacuum but
fail to bring you back into the album. Makes you wish the album was a shorter EP and brings
it down a point. Thankfully 11 picks it up in the home stretch and closes the album nicely.
The remix doesn't really count but actually fits surprisingly well as a soft jungle take on
5, could very well be an original track. Overall 4.0
Edit: a bit underserved by lyrics in places, but still lovely and night time sensual.
Jammest jams are 1, 4-7, 11 sorta. Still 4.0
Evigt Morker 1
1 is stunning isn't it. 4 is really atmospheric too, 2-3 are a bit subpar. A record that's been with me for years and that will stay for many more. 4.0
Ex Eye Ex Eye
I really liked this - and I am surprised that I did because John Zorn-esque experimental saxophone sounds usually start to annoy me very quickly. Here the integration with vaguely blackened post-metal is brilliantly done and works well. I was worried that this would get too repetitive and annoying after the first two tracks though, and this is where the album is very well constructed as it throws at you a phenomenal ambient noisy track with no or little saxophone to relax your ears. The last track was the only one I disliked, but a couple minutes in I realized it actually was a bonus track and ditched it. Needs a re-listen. 4.1
Exhorder Slaughter in the Vatican
Now this is what I was looking for in my thrash binge. Nice brootal, riffy thrash metal. The vox is quite nice, but it feels like the dude has too many words to spit out at times (especially in the first track). The mixing of the drums is quite weird, the snare sounds lovely but the kick not so much. In general the prod is passable, but not the best either. To be honest every track has nice brutal riffs, super groovy at times (middle of 5, end of 9), and some nice but not as good sections, so I kinda lost count of which tracks are jams and which aren't. 3 didn't seem as well constructed and nice as 1 or 2. 4 almost sounds like angry Maiden with nice fat riffs. 5 introduces a welcome break in the onslaught. 9's intro is a bit weird, but thereafter it's a banger although the very album closing is also really weird. This isn't revolutionary but goddamn it's good thrash, I'll definitely come jam it again. 4.1
Falls of Rauros Patterns in Mythology
Uplifting black metal [2] This is bm that looks hopefully towards the clearing after the storm. Superb melodies and superb atmospheric guitars. While the clean-ish sections are all gorgeous, including the shorter tracks on 1 and 4, I must admit I was a bit on the fence at first about the bmey bits on 2. Maybe it was just me getting use to this bizarre mix of uplifting mood and black metal, or the fact that I was looking at a thunderstorm and maybe wished for something rawer and more aggressive, but as 3 came by I was fully into it. Superb tracks where I see touches of Alcest. The opening on 5 is truly gorgeous and so is most of the track, although there are erratic bits here and there. Had to pause here, so maybe that's why, but 6 felt a bit less good in its first half, kinda like 2. From the tastily fat midtrack however the track closes up on a great and well thought out conclusion - melikey. Yeah I ought to do a discog rerun of these guys. 3.85
Fazerdaze Morningside
Deceptively simple yet powerfully atmospheric summer bubbles dream pop. All-round a flawless record that keeps its track intelligently short to not bore, since the instrumentation is often quite bare bones. 7 is maybe the track that works the least due to its more melancholic tone, the rest is all nice. 1 is a super fun track that's quite representative of the album as a whole, but the synth turn at the end isn't the best. 2 is maybe naive in places but is super catchy and made me tap mah foot, therefore it's a jam. 4 screams summer and is perhaps the strongest jam here. 5 is more laid back, less upbeat and catchy, but splendid and yet another jam. 8 is awesome becomes it brings welcome variety with a much more aggressive rock chorus that is very well integrated with the rest, and the track makes up for the point lost by 7. Another jam I guess, before 10 which is perhaps the most interesting track here, I kinda wish it evolved into something a bit more upbeat but it is still super cool and the final jam on this little gem of a record. 4.0
Fief IV
Very similar to 1, but just better executed. I just wanna take a walk in the forest you know? 3.75
FKA Twigs Magdalene
As always, strong album from FKA Twigs, with few jams but consistent quality overall. I
preferred the first half, as the second half often feels a bit like a musical more than an
album - especially on 6 and 8. 7 is nice though, and the closer is a gorgeous emotional
lo-fi-ish jam that bumps the album a point a point on its own. 1 and 4 are also kinda jammy
in spite of Future's contribution, 5 is also a lovely track and 2-3 are ok. Solid. 3.95
Flourishing The Sum of All Fossils
Begins as a death metal album but progressively mixes a tonne of influences along the way, which makes it a very interesting piece of music that blurs the boundaries of the genre. Edit: yea this really cool. There isn't a single song that doesn't feature either really cool ideas with various influences mixed in, or just straight up fat riffage for days. But there is also hardly any song that doesn't have less interesting sections. If you condensed all the ideas in this into a 20 min EP it'd be an easy 4.5+, but there are just mokay sections intertwined with all the good stuff. The first half to 4 opposed to the amazing second half is a clear example, but it's true of almost all of the record. 5 is another example, with a skippable intro, a great entry right after that, then meh unfolding, then back into cool riffs again - a seemingly endless alternation. 1 evokes if TDEP did death metal, and 3 is particularly bonkers. The raw vocals are fantastic but some cleaner sections eg on 6 begged for variety. 7 starts nice and punkish, and 8 is a creat ominous, riffy ending track that sadly has a pretty blander conclusion than the album deserved. Great ideas, but a potential not quite fully realised. 3.85
Forest Silence Winter Circle
Extremely compelling frosty atmosphere, relatively minimalistic with few sounds going on at once, but always maintaining tension with some brooding synths and vocals over sweet wintery samples and things. The atmosphere drags you in right away in 1, but the vocals on 2 aren't too much my cuppa - although the track is otherwise really nice, especially towards the end with its ritualistic tribal vibes. I don't know if it is because I sank more and more into the album or if I genuinely liked them better, but 3-4 felt even stronger to me, with vocals that worked for me this time and really sweet droney textures. Honestly I was going to 3.7 this, but thinking of what it'd feel like to listen to this in an actual frozen mountain at night yep it deserves to be in 4.0 tier. I could very well see myself jamming this again. 3.8
Frail Body AT PEACE
This is super short yes, but I can't believe it only has a 3.4 average. Quality skramz with a nice atmosphere, I dig the somewhat amateur prod, not revolutionary but definitely worth checking out if you have a spare 5 minutes. 3.8
Francisco Tarrega Recuerdos de la Alhambra
A lovely guitar piece, but where Capricio Arabe sets the mood, this one feels like it'd need some Spanish sun to be fully enjoyed and find its vibe. Still 3.8
Full of Hell Rudiments of Mutilation
Dammit I forgot to upload my sound off yesterday. Well I won't mind re-listening to this anyway because it is far better than their debut LP. The first act especially is merciless, and when the first real pause comes in at I can't recall which track, it feels very well placed. The feeling I had on the first album that they just alternate mosh parts with calmer parts for the life setting is completely gone, this one is a nice studio album like it should be. There are more noticeable influences as well, with noisier Prurient/Merzbow-esque tracks e.g. in the intro, and fat heavy sludge parts too. After the pause track the record doesn't pick up as well though, and I feel like I had an issue with the way the album concludes and it falling a bit flat but I'm not sure. 3.8
Full of Hell Trumpeting Ecstasy
Even more fiercly merciless than its predecessor. This one is just a near constant barrage of aggression. And yet on a small format like this and with FoH's proficiency, it works very well. Now I'm not quite positive because like an idiot I forgot to upload my notes on the prior LP, but I feel like I prefer this one stylistically. I do enjoy when FOH go more in a dm direction like on 5 rather than grindcore, especially vocally, which is expected given I have the same overall genre preference. They vary beyond this dichotomy though, for example with 4 approaching bm territory. The sort of 'clean' voice on 7 evokes Converge quite strongly and I dig it. I also really like how they processed and integrated vocal samples, e.g. on 1 or 6. Finally, this is the record where FoH show they can do more than existing genres, with .y favourite tracks of theirs so far in 10. The track is super noisy and interesting, and stands out completely compared to the rest of the record and indeed the concluding track that follows it - which I'm not super sure about, feels like 10 would have been a better conclusion. 10 Definitely sets this in 4.0 range. I don't know if I'd say the prior LP was better, but on this one I feel a 3.8
Georgie Sweet Here
LP hyyyyyype!! Silk smooth and groovy as it gets. Great live performance too. Need that LP
Georgie! 4.2
Georgie Sweet Misunderstood
Idk what rating I am throwing at this yet but Georgie did not disappoint you should all listen to this and review coming soon https://futuristicamusic.bandcamp.com/album/misunderstood
Ghost Park 物の怪 (Mononoke)
I don't know who tagged this but this not post-rock by any means. Admittedly it is hard to tag. Lots of influences and instrumentations with field recordings, some brass, acoustic guitar, etc. Lots and lots of interesting textures and ideas make the record unique in its own right with good storytelling potential. Brilliant experimental ambient album which I will need to re-listen to - the opener is particularly good but so are a lot of the tracks. 4.1
Gia Margaret Mia Gargaret
Unlike her prior indie pop/folk effort, this one is almost wholly ambient and would belong on Erased Tapes. And frankly I find it very successful. There are perhaps a few downsides. After 3 you're kind of feeling the tracks build up to nothing and are introey without ever resolving, (but that feel goes away right after), the glitchy synth sounds starting off 5 are quite abrupt and broke the mood for me before the track goes back to lovely softness and mellowness thereafter, feeling a bit like music for ambient geat demos, and finally the concluding track has mixing issues. I appreciate the intent of keeping vocals (other than samples) as a nice surprise for the end and a callback to her first LP, but they are mixed way too loud to a nearly startling level, and that's a shame because prod is otherwise absolutely stellar on this. But all in all despite these downsides this is a very pretty, relaxing ambient record that I'd recommend. The use of pianos, on 1 over aquatic sounds, 6, 8, and 9 is particularly successful, the synths and electronic sounds are well mastered, and the sparse use of field recordings is aptly done especially with the waves on 7. Brava. 3.8
Giuseppe Tartini "Devil's Trill Sonata" Violin Sonata in G minor
A fun piece which would rather impress me were someone to play it in front of me, and that
works nicely to pretend you are elevated when having guests - despite the 'devil' quality
it is labelled with. A bit of the end of the first movement is used by Gramatik as a sample
and I'm glad I know where that comes from now. Bonus point for epic name. 3.9
Gorod Kiss The Freak
Lol I will get murdered for this but, unless Aethra really surprises me I think this is by far and away my fave Gorod record. I find their general style with epileptic alternation of riffs, soloing, and corey vocals at times just so much more suited for something short and fun like this, instead of their dm epics where they frankly tire me out quite quickly. There is still soloing that I dont agree with too much - on 1 right after epic riffs, second half of 3, and some of 5 where I feel like it actually works well -, but even when it's bad it's generally short lived. Otherwise, the riffs and the mood are hella fun, especially on 2, on 3 with the super cool premidtrack/midtrack riffage, and the fat riffs on 4 and 5. The softer sections - short intro of 4, sweet bridge on 5 - bring the few breaks needed even on a record this short, and yea this one I really might rejam. 3.8
Gospel Lived
This sounds like absolute shit prod-wise but the songwriting is so good it still makes you want
to tap ya foot and hear the whole thing. Man I wish I had been there. 4.0
Grouper Grouper
Wonderful droney, noisy Grouper record with far less folk and fewer vocals than in her later releases. I'm hesitant to 4.5 it just now but it's right there between a 4 and a 4.5. Need to re-listen more closely. Hard to breakdown by tracks, it just works really well as a whole with a couple odd transitions in places but spectacular textures everywhere. 4.24
Grouper Cover the Windows and the Walls
Wonderful record and chronologically the first of hers that truly marked me after her s/t. 1-3 are jams and a 4.2, potential 4.5 territory. 1 is a very organic and acoustic flavour of Grouper, much closer to DaDDuaH than her previous records. 2 is more like Wider, with vocals again being long choir-esque drones. Very melancholic and lovely, kinda jam. 3 pushes it further and is even dronier, noisier and less folk/dream pop than 1, like drowning slowly but in peace. The transitions between these three tracks (and those that follow) are flawless and the storytelling potential is compelling. 3 is a slow decaying jam a la Flood 4. This is an intense record that calls for perfect and attentive listening conditions. 4-7 are very nice tracks too, but don't quite have that extra edge that makes me want to 4.5 the first half of the record. 4 is probably a jam, quite a cinematic track that recalls the organic textures of 1. 5 is the same but less jammy. Before the record starts feeling stagnant, Grouper masterfully brings welcome variation with tasty loud, noisy drone textures in 6. 7 is nice and decays slowly to end the record. Memorable and very solid album. 4.1
Grouper A I A: Alien Observer
I still don't get if this is a two part albums or two separate albums - going for the
latter this time round for my disco run. Wonderful and solid vocal ambient from grouper,
moving further away from the organic folkiness of DaDDUaH. 1-4 are all jams in the same
vein, and the first and only real disruption are welcome dissonant bells at the beginning
of track 5. The track then proceeds to go back to the same brand of vocal ambient up till
the end of the album, and at this point the record starts feeling lengthy. Up to mid track
5 it is a 4.15, but especially after the last track it drops down. Clearly can see how it
feels like it drags on forever when listened to as the second half of AIA instead of as an
album of its own. In isolation I'd still say it is a 4.05
Grouper A I A: Dream Loss
This one is noisier and grittier than Alien Observer which I love. It has more dynamics, a perfect example being 6, but also some blanks which break the mood and rhythm a bit. Slightly superior to its counterpart because of its diversity an occasionally more aggressive textures, but not as much as when listening to both as a same album. Pretty much all jams. The closing track does not quite feel like an album end though, understandably so. 4.1
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 10 in F sharp [Unfinished]
I don't know how to rate it since it is unfinished, but this is glorious Mahler material. Jammed Bernstein's take. 1 is a lovely first track, pretty much spotless. 2 brings in a lot of twisted and dark notes. 4 has a lovely, 'hook' section in the middle. 5 was my favourite here, it dies out slowly, I don't even know if it was planned, but it is so wonderfuly melancholic in a way, symbolising Mahler's departure from this world. Big jam for that. Overall this is absolutely worth checking out and I'd say 4.2
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 9
Jammed Abbado's take. Movement 1 is sublime from the first few seconds, has surprisingly dark turns, is incredibly cinematic, and holds the distance perfectly despite being 25min long. Some fav Mahler material. The rest of the symphony does not feel as much like top tier Mahler material though. 2 is the weakest, 3 is a lot better. I love and hate 4, its beginning is lovely and sad, and I love how it lets the music die out properly instead of having a generic grand finale, but the bulk of the first half felt quite meh. Overall 4.1
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 4 in G major
Jammed Szell's remastered take. Very nice symphony. One of my favourites so far, yet it feels like a 4.1-ish. I probably rated the rest of his stuff a point too high, because I am still missing the hooks and memorable melodies people like Stravinsky exhibit to rate this in 4.5 range. 1st movement reminded me of the enchantment I found with his first symphony, with incredible storytelling potential. The second movement is my favourite here and a jam with its sweet darker tones. The third movement is more mellow and bland in its first half, but the second half turns much more dynamic and as always retains fantastic storytelling potential. Fourth movement has one of the best Mahler vocal sections I've heard and is nice. Overall if I am consistent with my past ratings for him this should be a 4.2 or so, but in reality I should drop my old ratings a point because this is a 4.15
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 1 in D major, "Titan"
I jammed the 1893 version with 5 movements. Not the most memorable symphony ever, yet I was
amazed by its incredible storytelling capacity. You see some Disney cartoon or 60-70's
heroic movie play before your eyes without having to think about it at all. This is
especially true of the Allegro Comodo movement (1st), and the Allegro Furioso (5th) has
fantastic moments too. Very romantic (style wise) symphonies, and very cinematic too.
Excited for the rest of his stuff. Have to re-listen with more attention and in the final
1899 version without the Blumine movement. 4.1
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 2 in C minor, "Resurrection"
Jammed Bernstein's version. This one feels more epic and heroic than the 1st, and has some vocals towards the end. Great storytelling again. Least favourite movements were III and IV. Favourite was probably the 1st? Have to re-listen, this is a long and dense piece with lots going on, but at least on first listen the average quality was excellent but there weren't any super memorable 4.5+ moments. 4.25
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 3 in D minor
Jammed Horenstein's take. Movement I is captivating and I love its darkness. Has a bit of a military tone to it. Movement III offers a nice contrast. IV and V kinda lost me, adding in voice parts that don't really fit imo, and even sounding like at Christmas song in a couple sections. VI picks it up again and is great. I-III are 4.3 material, but overall this is a 4.2r
Gustav Mahler Symphony No.7
Once again, a superb symphony with incredibly cinematic storytelling capabilities. I and II evoke classic Mahler material, but told from the bad guy's point of view, with more dissonances and evil sounding melodic lines. Lovely. III and IV see Mahler go a little bit more 'experimental', and these movements especially the two Nachtmuzik are probably my fav on the record as they show a side to Mahler's music that I have not seen much before. I didn't fall in love with V however, and it brings the symphony down a point or two for me - the grand romantic finale feels a touch grotesque after the insidious subtlety of the prior two movements. 4.1
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 6 in A minor, "Tragic"
Jammed Bernstein's Wiener take. This is a lovely symphony as always, but I feel like the last half hour with vocals is too long and again, not Mahler's strong suit. Movement I and III struck me the most, with III being some of the most emotional Mahler material yet, and both being jams. Also feel like I'm going to saturate my high ratings with Mahler's symphonies here darn it. First part is 4.25 and this is definitely one of his pieces I might come back to, but overall it's a 4.1
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 8 in E Flat Major
Jammed Solti's take. The first part (1-6) is fantastic, contender for fav Mahler material, and a solid 4.4 at least. Vocals that I for once really dig, sublime evilness, dissonance here and there. This is much more marking and memorable than the rest of his symphonies so far, no matter their quality. 5 is the only place where it works a bit less, but the finale on 6 is superb. Will definitely jam that first part again. The second part is a huge disappoint in comparison, loosing its energy, coming back to classic Mahler material (and honestly quite a bland flavour of it). Lost my interest especially in comparison to the innovative and interesting first part. Vox less prominent, but far less well executed - e.g. the male opera solo in German on 8 or Christmas carol-evoking vox on 10. The finale is especially zzz and way too long. So overall this is merely a 4.15
Gyorgy Ligeti Atmospheres
Gorgeous ominous, brooding textural piece by Ligeti, that is intelligently short yet feels
plenty rich. If you have a whole nine minutes to spare this is a must. Jammed the version
from Ligeti Project by Berliner Philharmoniker which seems to have volume issues? 4.1
Gyorgy Ligeti Lux Aeterna
Beautiful and frozen choral piece. A soundtrack to a silent forest after the blizzard, or to what the planet would look like after it freezes in nuclear winter (idk). As I understand this is a 10min standalone piece, in which case it kind of is hurt by its non existent conclusion - it just fades away really. But still superb. Jammed Bernius' Kammerchor Stuttgart's version. 4.15
Gyorgy Ligeti String Quartet No. 1
No stringed instruments were harmed in the recording process. As you'd expect, a lovely, but quite scary and somewhat chaotic piece from Ligeti, going from frozen string dissonances, to relatively conventional sections, to 'riffy' Rite of Spring-esque sections. While scary and deliciously epileptic, I found this perhaps less atmospheric than some of his other pieces. It is still delightful to discover all the ways Ligeti keeps finding to torture the instruments to scare us and surprise us as the piece goes, and it is very much an enjoyable and eventful listen. There are some really fantastic bits but not always, and because the version I listened to (Ralf Ehlers - Arditti quartet) had the whole piece on one track with no separation it is a bit tough to refer to it. A piece for appreciators of the genre, perhaps not a first choice for those who seek to discover it though. 4.0
Gyorgy Ligeti String Quartet No. 2
Felt a bit more structured than No. 1, and certainly has less 'downtime'. It is also generally closer to Ligeti's dissonant body of work, and abandons almost entirely the most conventional sections found on No. 1, a choice that tickles my pretentious ear. I'll happily check both again, but this one more excitedly so. This one deserves another listen for sure since I was busy trying to fix the dumb lastfm scrobbles. 4.15
Hajduk Свобода
The most straightforward Hajduk EP, with only a couple vocal samples and a very nice 'classical' album intro to break away from the relatively raw bm that constitutes most of the record. Both tracks are of similar quality ie really good, and despite being quite long hold the distance well - although 2 does better than 1. The outro of 1 feels a bit eh, it has a nice tone but it's just overstretching it. This is sweet and cold af bm, not groundbreaking, but still nice when in need of a short fix of softened PdH. 3.8
Hajduk Природа
From the first seconds of the first track with that folk instrument I can't identify I knew
I'd love this. The bulk of the track is raw bm that sounds like the random demos I used to
jam back in the days, but much better, and thankfully the folk comes back right at the end.
2 is my fav track here as a rich, tasty folkey droney post-blackey interlude track with
some fantastic textures - superb jam. 3 is also a droney but more on the distorted guitar
side of things, it's cool but not as good. The end (from min 5 onwards) is fantastic, but I
feel like the first half is a bit subpar and brings the record down a point. 4.0
Hallucinogen Twisted
I really need to give this a proper listen some time - which for this record means at full blast on speaker and not headphones, a few pintjes in. But because it still bangs when I am sat at my desk not moving at night and listening on headphones at a reasonable volume (protect ya ears boys), and because I can't imagine a trance record lining up idea after idea without fail and with a supreme sense of flow with the album feeling like a continuous set (althoug admittedly this is pretty much the only full on psytrance record I've heard so gotta work on that) this easily gets a 4.2
Haron Wandelaar
Nice piano ambient. Nothing mindblowing, but nothing bad either, some nice tracks especially 1 and 5, some odd but interesting tracks (2-4). Might rejam. 3.8
Haru Nemuri Haru to Shura
Great distorted (noise) J-pop J-rock which could have been annoying but really is quite the opposite. A lot of catchy moments, scarce weak moments, and cool ideas all over the place. The end is where the album falters. The three remixes are quite boring to annoying except the third one's second half, but I don't count them here. 10 is catchy but also has meh bits. 11 is the softest sounding (albeit still upbeat) bit of the album, which is a welcome break, but the track doesn't build up too well. 12 feels like an unnecessary track and the first real flaw in the album, 13 has cool math-rock bounce inthe beginning and a male guest voice which is fine I guess, but it gets a bit much and end up being annoying. And that's a shame because it is the album finale, since 14 is a silent track. Before that the album is bouncy track after catchy track, with varying levels of noise rock heaviness, sweet basslines, synthy goodness, and vox that really work. The only weaker points are the zzz interludes I'd say. Hard to pinpoint jams, but 2 and 4 would be a first pick - her screams on 2 got me really going. Overall 4.0
Hazel English Never Going Home
A 3.1 average? Hell no this deserves more. It's not perfect but it is so light, summery and wholesome. I love the prod, the tone, the voice, the whole aesthetic really. The main mistake for me are the last two tracks. They feel like a sequencing mistake - where 1-4 have a coherent, consistent sound, 5 ruptures this with a far dreamier, less pop, almost drumless track which feels a bit off all of a sudden, while 6 follows it up with drums again but on a slower tempo. A fine track but probably the least marking of the bunch. But boy, 1 is a definite jam, 3 and 4 have super jammy choruses, and 2 while being weaker with its less jolly and upbeat style still is very nice with a super pretty midtrack. Those four tracks flow super well into one another and it's a shame the other two aren't presented as bonus tracks or something. 3.8
Hazel English Just Give In
More consistent than her first EP, both in style and quality. Seems like the obvious winner the two despite it being close. I just love her sound on these EPs. The first track is perhaps my fave, a catchy pretty jam, while 2 slows things down in a dreamier, cloud watching sort of vibe with less pop DNA. Perhaps less playlist worthy but skilfully done. 3 and 4 are nice songs to start with but are elevated to pretty much jam rank by their super fun choruses. 5 is really nice and slower again, coming back to the style of 2. As a conclusion I think it is a good move, and the sequencing on this EP is clearly superior to the first opus. Blissful. 3.9
Heaven In Her Arms White Halo
This is good, but all over the place. Added to the base of proggier less screamo heavy Abyssal-era Envy we find a bunch of somewhat random influences from black metal to wankery bedroom shreddy 'djent'. While this may sound interesting these influences are baked in quite poorly, resulting in the record feeling erratic rather than a cohesive multi-faceted piece of music. It still has beautiful sections and is well worth a spin, but it is a shame those sections are drowned by the lack of artistic direction. 3.8
Holy Fawn Death Spells
Excellent shoegaze album with lots of great influences. Alcest-y guitars, touches of Sigur Ros ambient interludes, Deafheaven harsh parts, and a couple other good things. Does not quite transcend as the aforementioned influences may suggest, but still great. 4.0
Horseback The Invisible Mountain
This album increases very steadily in quality through its course. After the first track, a boring, tasteless, screamy stoner rock song that vaguely reminds of Om, I was going to rate it 2.9 quite honestly. But every track improves on the previous one, to end on an album finale that is frankly quite gorgeous, more hypnotic, more psychedelic, and just overall miles better (4.2-4.3 material) than the rest of the album - reminding of TEoES Neurosis with Boris' Flood's beautiful hypnotic repetition. Re-listen warranted. 3.8
I Hate Models Midnight Cults
For IHM this is pretty soft techno, but he pulled it off well. This is very cinematic and evocative, a perfect soundtrack for daydreams of industrial landscapes and raves in obscure neon-lit basements. It also has some weird phases too and the EP's quality fluctuates a fair bit, but overall it is a good listen. 3.9
I Hate Models The Lost Tapes
One of his top EPs. He could make a 5.0 album honestly if you compiled all of his best tracks and moments, and 1 would be the perfect intro to that album with a rich, ominous and layered ambient/drone buildup of textures. After that, the next three tracks progressively increase in quality. 2 is very fat, but feels like it could have exploded much better, and instead feels like protracted buildup that never quite resolves. It is still nicely industrial, dark and fat, and the vox make it still quite nice, but it ends up feeling like half baked potential. 3 is fatter and more consistent, and 4 is a huge gritty IHM jam, less synthy than the tracks I usually dig from him, just visceral, hard pounding basement techno that will turn your guts inside out. A top tier IHM track really, although it isn't quite perfectly constructed. And to top it all off, I love the art. Get on this people. 4.05
I Hate Models Warehouse Memories
The Emmanuel remix has good ideas, mostly but not exclusively from the original, but it is the weakest track. Thankfully I don't count remixes when rating techno EP like this. And for the rest these are three of my favourite IHM tracks including one of my favourite techno tracks period, thrown together on a nice consistent little EP with a cohesive atmosphere. Rare enough in my experience to warrant praise. Here's to hoping he'll beat this some day. 4.1
Ichiko Aoba Amuletum Bouquet
Very very pretty stuff. Idk if this announces a future album but even if it doesn't I ain't mad
because it kinda works as a short two track EP. 1 is very nice and champetre with the cute flute
additions, whilst 2 is more in her usual folk style but is very soft and blissful. Nice. An album
of this please? Or not you decide queen. 3.9
Ichiko Aoba Origami
Might be a matter of listening conditions, but while sweet and indubitably pretty, this one didn't feel as magical as the debut. Most of the songs feel simpler and more of what you'd expect upon hearing the words 'pretty japanese guitar folk'. This is clear from the start with 1-2. 3 does reintroduce Ichiko's delightful strummed cascades, and when the simpler 4 comes is works quite better than 1-2 in contrast. 5, continues this, then 6 is more of a playful fun track, immediately followed by another highlight on the darl, rich 7. Really cool, but also makes the album atmosphere feel a touch to erratic. 8 finishes on a pretty track again to conclude nicely. Sweet, but debut felt better on first listen. 3.75
Ichiko Aoba Kamisori Otome
rMy goodness talk about a perfect first listen. This is sublime, delicate yet intricate guitar folk with some iberic vibes over a pristine voice, and nothing else. And the result is so so pretty with a compelling atmosphere to it. My only gripe really is that I kinda wish there was an instrumental track thrown in there to vary away from the voice just a couple minutes, but otherwise this is fantastic, with 1,4,5 being my loosely favourite highlights amongst a sea of great tracks. Tbh the only reason I'm not throwing a 4.2 on this is that I don't want to be forced to slap a 4.5 on the next one if I like it even better. 4.1
Ichiko Aoba Utabiko
Starts off extremely strong, but looses a bit of steam midway. Although it takes its time tos tart, 1's intro is extremely well crafted, hinting at a complex track that is full of depths, ideas, and Iberic influences as seen in her debut but not so much in the second album. A very powerful track that makes you want to learn it on the guitar. 2-3 are magical Ichiko material, and are followed by the magical, slightly flamenco-ey instrumental 4. The lack of an instrumental track to rest for the singing was my only issue with the first album, and at this one this green opus feels like a 4.0-4.1 even, certainly a contender for my favourite Ichiko so far. Sadly, the second half never picks quite back up. Although still relatively intricate and still very pretty, 5-8 feel simpler folk songs, lacking a bit of the magic the first half had. The pause starting off 8 and its abrupt conclusion show what I mean by the record feeling less well crafted and thought out in its second half which feels a lot more like the prior album. Overall and because this is quite literally halfway between the first and second album, I'd call this a 3.85
Ichiko Aoba QP
Quite similar to the prior LP in that it is simpler and more focused than 0, but is very successful at the simple folk and still has some occasionally more intriguing stuff. The intro track is part of that with a nice choirey piece that drags you into the album right away before Ichiko's beautiful guitar tone catches you at the beginning of 2. It gets very playful at some point which is quite unforeseen and well done - one of the rare in-track atmosphere changes on the record. 3 is pretty (like every track basically) but evokes really basic indie folk, and were it in English you could call it utahcore. 4 is similar but gets extra pretty in the second half. 5 is a great Ichiko jam and brings back some of the more intriguing harmonies and intricate strumming patterns that she does so well. 6 is also very pretty, but 7 is less compelling. 8 again has a nice intriguing melody, then 9 and 10 again go back to simplicity but both and especially 10 are very well executed, with 10 getting shatteringly melancholic and haunting - another superb jam, that lifts this up a point to a nice round 4.0
Ichiko Aoba Mahoroboshiya
Quite clearly my second Ichiko favourite after the debut (don't @me johnny). Unlike 0 this one is less adventurous and compositionally daring, but more focused and coherent - which is helped by the much shorter length. I say it is less daring but there are still some fresh elements added to the sound. 1 sees Ichiko use more fx than ever before, bringing her close to the aesthetics of other bedexcore artists (liz harris), after the pretty but straightforward 2 the second half of 3 sees added textures which on top of her voice on the verge of breaking turns the track into the first jam on the record, or the superb broken instrumental piano jam on 9, which offers a nice breath of fresh air between the fun jam 8 and the superbly done and pretty reprise on 10, which with 11 are also jams to wrap up a latter third of the record that is pretty much flawless. There is a dip in quality with 6 feeling a bit naive and less compelling, and with the first half of 7, but from the midtrack onwards the utter prettiness that was also displayed on 4 and 5 comes right back. This is a simpler record than 0, but certainly not ta simplistic one, and as a record it works a lot better in my humble, ill-informed opinion. 4.0
Ichiko Aoba 0%
Didn't have good listening conditions (interruptions etc) but this did work better as a version of 0's songs. The live setting, well established by the nice intro track, favours a more introspective approach to the album, and the fact that is is much longer and takes its time helps with the variation in mood etc. Also I'm more forgiving of that in a live set anyway. This really has superb bits all round, but I still get the same feeling as I did with 0: it isn't as focused as some of her other stuff, and I don't feel like the record structures helps the key moments shine. Still makes me absolutely want to see her play live ASAP though. It's a bit long, but frankly because of the interruptions I didn't really mind. 3.9
Immortal Onion Ocelot of Salvation
Great jazz record. Reminds quite a lot of Gogo Penguin at times (which is to be expected
given the instruments are exactly the same), however this has also freshness and
diversity, creating very different vibes throughout the record. The opener for example
starts with what could be piano work by Joe Hisaishi, but the eponymous track brings in a
completely different atmosphere with funky groovy bass lines and a much quieter piano in
the background. This constant shift in style and mood makes the record interesting and a
much enjoyable listen, with the band managing to craft their unique sound quite
successfully.
indigo la End Nagisanite
How is this sitting at a 3.3? Criminally underrated. Super fun and chill Japanese math/indie rock. From the first notes of 1 you know this is going to be fun. Catchy and groovy melodies for the week. 2 is a jam, 3 is a bizarre interlude but that I like in this context. The guitar on 4 is super chill, and the track conclusion is fantastic.after another interlude on 5, 6 is yet another chill track which is sadly a bit protracted maybe, bringing the record down a point, but still cool. Evoked Radiohead in places for some reason. This will sta in my library for sure. Check this out people? 3.8
indigo la End Shiawase ga Afuretara
Take all of the energy of their past records, crank the construction quality way up, and you get this super fun J-rock record with again prominent bass and cool drums too. Vox feels like it is mixed a bit too loud in places, but prod wise that is about the only issue I could find even nitpicking. 1 is a huge energetic jam with slap bass, 2 is a is a jam too in the same style. 3 gets a bit much in places but is still cool. 4 is more of a slow paced emotional track that unfold super well but still has cool tracks. 6 gets a bit too abrasive to my taste but is still alright. 7 is a jam with lots of cool bass and drum breaks. In 8 the bass intro feels a bit exaggerated but once it stops it is a nice and relaxed track, and when the bass break comes back in the outro it's actually good. 9 changes the atmosphere into a darker, softer, sadder track, and it is most welcome at this point, illustrating what I mean in terms of improved construction by letting the energy settle for 8 tracks and then only breaking it up for a moment. 10 brings back the bounce and is a jam with again super cool bass and a catchy chorus. The closer is excellent, starting off as a ballad which is an idea I respect, but that gets more abrasive. Light grow on me as I get used to the loud J-rock vox. 3.95
Internazionale Elegy for the Victors
Absolutely lovely drone. Tasty mix of organic textures (pianos, mostly) and gritty,
decaying stuff in the background. The kind of drone that makes you all contemplative and
introspective. All jams apart from the last track - will re-listen. 4.2
Edit ok maybe I got a little over excited. This is the genre executed to perfection, but
this style of drone struggles to have 4.5+ worthy impact even when done superbly like
this. This is the kind of album that really can give you a 5.0 meditative experience in
the right conditions in the right place, but that also doesn't feel like it is a 5.0
intrinsically. But man this music makes me ponder the meaning of life. 4.1
Internazionale Seek and Create
One of his best pieces with some of his hardest jams, but also quite uneven in quality. 1 is a jam with a lovely uneasy texture layered with for once well incorporated vocal samples. 2-3 are nice but not as good, on the upper end of standard Internazionale material. 4 (I think? Around min 10-11 of the record) is the hardest and most interesting jam here, first with its gorgeous despaired textures, but then with the surprise element of a distant techno beat creeping its way in. The track ends up being an absolutely lovely mix of drone and dub techno. 5 begins with a sweet agressive drone tone la Deathprod, but the second half of the track is quite dull and disappoints massively. Album ending is relatively nice though. 3.75
JAK3 Moonlight Radiation
Very cool record that wasn't what I was expecting, but in a good way. It offers a very breezy, smokey, subdued brand of cloud rap amidst a lot of ambient/illbient/drone even. I really dig how 1 and the intro of 2 lead into the first beat being introduced. The vox part is alright, and I really dig the conclusion to 2 as well. 3 starts incredibly drugged although it doesn't unfold incredibly. 4 got me to kinda dig the vox here. 5 is the first that made the vox really work well imo though, and the outro with the vox samples is cool too. 6 is cool, but on 8 I felt like the flow was a bit off. 9 is a super cool noisy droney track, then 10 is nice but 11 works less well. By 12 this started to feel too long and my rating decreased steadily. The last few tracks pump the energy up though, even bringing salut c'est cool-core in the beginning of 14, and then going into D'n'B-ish beats even thereafter and on 15. This is rich and a style I don't know at all, so gotta dig deeper into that. 3.85
James Carr You Got My Mind Messed Up
It has been a long time since I last jammed a classic 60's soul/RnB record, so perhaps part of my enjoyment of this is partly stemming from simply missing the genre. This is quite unknown, and I had never heard any of the tracks before, yet they almost all felt like they could be classic songs. So this may grow on me even more as I get familiar with each and every track. I didn't really take notes too much, but some highlights that popped up were 1-3, 5 with its simple but fun bass that drags a bit too long, 9 and 11. I gotta give this another spin. 4.1
Joby Talbot Path of Miracles / Owain Park: Footsteps
1hr20 of choral music may seem like an ominous listen (this is Nigel Short's version), but honestly this is so rich and full of ideas that it makes for a great listen through and through that never bores, owing to the lack of repetitiveness with loads of variety in voicing, atmosphere and melody. My only two real gripes are that, on this version at least, the bells on PoM I are mixed way too loud, and that some of the bits in English just feel a bit strange to me. PoM II felt a little less compelling than the rest with fewer surprises to it. My favourites were Footsteps and PoM I, which seem more tonally adventurous with scarce but great spicy dissonances and harmonies which I love, while the rest is perhaps more conventional - but no less good, III and IV generally having lusher, angelic undertones with less dissonance, although IV changes things up a few minutes in. Again, a great piece that never fails to entertain and that I will certainly listen to again. 'Fun' fact, the premiere of this in 2005 in London had to be delayed because of the London attacks - which is kinda fitting to the music, especially Footsteps. 4.15
Johann Pachelbel Canon and Gigue in D
canon rock ftw (impossible to unhear it but this is a lovely composition nonetheless) 4.1
John Coltrane John Coltrane with the Red Garland Trio
A very nice bop record that feels perhaps underrated following Blue Train. Sure, I do feel like the parts that do not feature Coltrane's sax are a bit weaker than the rest - with the exception of the gorgeous Slow Dance where the piano-led sections are equally lovely -, and the fast paced closer, while potentially a fun track in a vacuum, perplexes me a little bit here for it feels entirely out of context after the peaceful tracks that preceded it, and feels like a very short, entirely unnecessary disruption to the album to end it abruptly. But for most of its course the album is quite loveable still and a fun piece to play every now and then. 3.75
John Coltrane "Live" at the Village Vanguard
This was super cool, but not as marking as I hoped it to be. Sure, I would have killed to see that live (to be fair I would have given a lot to get to see Coltrane live at any point really), but as a record to listen to I feel like there is better in the man's discog. This is a really sweet session, but that's kind of the issue - it feels like a session. I do love the energy, the prominent drums and the general vibe of the music, although the mixing sounds - forgivably since it's live- a bit off most of the time. The last third of 2 is the peak of the record imo, really darn solid, and 3 gets nicely spicier and adventurous, but sadly with the mix it gets a touch hard on the ear. Solid and good, but positively not my favourite Coltrane. 3.9
John Coltrane Soultrane
A very sweet opus, perhaps not ever truly marking, but also practically faultless. Soultrane alternates high energy and moodier, softer tracks with clock-like precision, starting on the perhaps slighly overlong but nicely swingy Good Bait, and ending on a track that is the only curve ball here, starting with exquisite, delicate piano, with then an abrupt transition into one of the fastest paced sections on the whole record. Honestly? It works, and the album makes it to 4.0 tier because there isn't a single unpleasant moment in it really. 3.8
John Coltrane Blue Train
Coltrane's jazz never got dancier than this. 4.2
John Coltrane Coltrane Time
I really dug this one, but quite inexplicably as it is quite simple and not fundamentally different from its immediate predecessors really. The only real difference being the (very occasional) audacities of Cecil Taylor on the piano, first and foremost with the short album intro that I dig a lot. If anything this album makes me want to check out Cecil Taylor actually. Not to take anything from Coltrane purring sax or from the other members really who also hold down the fort very skillfully. After the occasionally mildly dissonant piano ventures on the relatively slow paced 1, the album speeds up with the three ensuing tracks getting dancier and catchier. 2 evokes city jazz quite strongly, on 3 the rhythm section is having a blast and takes the spotlight here and there, then on 4 the brass comes back to the centre stage. Far from his most legendary record probably, but one I thoroughly enjoyed for sure. Oh and this was originally issue as a Cecil Taylor album titled Stereo Drive and titled Hard Driving Jazz for its mono version per wikipedia, so idk really where to rate this. 4.0
John Coltrane Giant Steps
I don't know if it is the spotify version (maybe) or the fact that I listened on headphones
(probably) but my experience was a bit tainted by the mix and especially the panning.
Having the sax which is the only treble-heavy, "aggressive" sound only on one side kinda
hurts the ear, to a point where I enjoyed sections without sax more because of it. At
least the bass is very nice and audible - but again wholly on one side which is a bit odd.
Still this is great Coltrane material, especially the last two thirds. 1 is dancy and fast
and 2 is nice and swingy , but 3 was a bit of a letdown and again the mix hurt it all. Then
comes 4, perhaps my fav dig here, alternating the simple swing and danciness with a bit
more harmonic spice here and there. The piano solo is love too. 5 continues this semi dark
semi jolly vibe and is a dig too. 6 is lazy and sadder with a very nice vibe, then in what
I found an intelligent conclusion 7 contrasts this with the danciest, catchiest track yet
with super fun melodies. I need to rejam this in a different way. 4.1 Edit: mono mix is way
better, but I was gentle with the stereo mix too. 4.15
John Coltrane Olé Coltrane
1961, what a year for Coltrane. The t/t on this is a top tier Coltrane tracks and one of his darkest? at this point, yet swingy at the same time. Easily brought this in 4.5 territory at 4.23-4.3 if not more. It's kind of Favorite Things' dark emo cousin, with some Oriental vibes coming from the Spanish influences. 2 is a bit more regular chill jazz. Like for 1 I really dig the presence of drums in the mix, but it just feels like a safer, less interesting albeit good track. Dropped this just below 4.5 tier, especially because it is a bit too long for its ideas. 3 is far more relaxed, late day jazz. I quite dig it and it is very nice, but I'm not sure I agree with the decision to end on such a downward energy and spice curve. The bonus track flows very well from 3 and just feels like a smoother, date version of 3 that works a little better and is very sweet, but because it wasn't in Coltrane's original releast I don't feel like I can count it in. 4.15
John Coltrane Coltrane (1962, Impulse)
Perhaps not legendary tier, but certainly top tier Coltrane with yet another album I will come back to. Unlike Plays the Blues in which the sessions felt quite uninspired, here the incessant meandering of the sax, piano and drums are full of flavour and spice. This is particularly true of the delightful opening track, perhaps the best here as it increasingly gets more rich and fun to turn into an absolute jams with many a solo and a lovely surprise chord. 2 is slower and has more of a relaxed evening vibe. Quite sweet before 3 becomes playful again, reminding of 1 and with some quite recognisable melodies. 4 is again slower and gets a bit darker too but is also really sweet, although the slightly protracted conclusion is maybe my one main gripe with this album. 5 brings the energy all the way back up with especially prominent drums, and concludes quite well an album that was pretty much brilliant all the way through, but lacked perhaps a couple behemoth, legendary tracks a la My Favorite Things/ Ole to really make it to 4.5 tier. 4.1
John Coltrane Impressions
After a lot of frankenstein albums assembled without Coltrane's input, it feels nice to finally come back to an actual record of his. We're back to the spice, especially with 1 which is perhaps the most dissonant and 'experimental' we've seen him being on record yet. It's almost excessive in places, but after the lukewarm fake coltrane albums that preceded it still feels cool. The track also introduces the major issue with the album: mixing and panning. While on 1 it's not too bad (but still a weak point), which can be partly forgiven because of it being a live take, on 2 it is frankly awful even though it isn't a live one. 3 improves but has some blatant mixing quirks, and 4 is the best one off. Despite the mix 2 is nice, and the more upbeat and dancey 3 is perhaps the best track here with really nice prominent drumming and a cool piano addition as conclusion. 4 is softer and very rainy feeling (so the title is of questionable accuracy hehe), super nice, but it concludes a bit into nothing, which coupled with the non-uniform mix hurts the album feel a bit, dropping this half a point. 3.95
Jorja Smith Project 11
How does this have a 3.1 average? Sure, track 2 is a bit of a boring Adele style ballad that I really wish had gone in a complete direction, but apart from that the EP is really cool. 1 is a lovely bouncy neosoul jam and a great opener, 3 is a ballad too but one that I actually enjoyed, and 5 shows a more hip hop side even with some rapped delivery and ends on a lovely lush conclusion. Her voice is a bit, I don't know, nasally in places especially on 1, but it's still greatly delivered on a promising EP. 3.75
Julia Brown to be close to you
Short but very rich. Feels like a hidden gem demo from the 90's that precursed a lot of things, except it's from 2013. The lo-fi production, occasional vox/white noise sample, and violin evoke GYBE vibes very vividly, as a hypothetical indie folk precursor of theirs would sound like. 1-4 is all very strong and in the same vein, but 5 offers a lusher and more psych interlude which frankly feels a bit weird here, while 6 goes to sadder folk first, then offers a GYBE-esque interlude with lush string pads and bells. 7 goes back to the style of the early record with semi happy lo-fi dreamy emo vocals indie folk and is perhaps the best summary of the album despite a weird transition again at the end. The whole album is great but 8 feels like the clearest cut jam here, especially its intro which would fit in a movie perfectly. If this had come out 20 years earlier, it'd be a classic. 3.8
JVH ALL NATURAL
Really nice collection of little lo-fi beats that hits harder and harder as the record goes. 1 makes you go ow yeah this is gonna be s o f t. 2's a bit cliche and perhaps the weakest track on the record, I mean it's fine but it feels the most generic. 3 is very nice and qutie inspiring although I didn't dig the second half. Now 4 and 5 hit HARD, and 4 especially is a jam, before 6 shows us how the cool the record could be with some vox over the instrumental with a lovely track. Shame a few of the tracks end on a fadeout but oh well. I'll be hearing more of this guy for sure. Available for free/NYP at https://jvhbless.bandcamp.com/album/all-natural-ep 3.8
Kayo Dot Hubardo
Glorious album by a glorious band. Despite its 90+ minutes runtime it is absolutely never boring, constantly switching both genres - from experimental metal to jazz, prog rock, post-rock/ambient - and instrumentation - guitar based, brass, keys, you name it. A crazy idea brilliantly executed. No bad tracks, but Thief, Zilda Caosgi, The First Matter, The Second Operation, Passing the River and the albumrcloser are highlights for me. 4.2
Krzysztof Penderecki Polskie Requiem
This Requiem is resolutely modern in that it lines hooking sections designed to mark memories in quite rapid succession, and does not linger much at all. While it is excellently done in the first half or even two thirds, with the whole piece clocking a 100+min total length it starts to saturate the ear after a while for it hardly ever comes down. The relatively calm Lacrimosa on 10 is a much welcome break after the fantastic but quite intense Recordare. The Sanctus that ensues feels like it could have been a brilliant conclusion, but there is still a half hour to go during which the Requiem almost thoroughly failed to move me, with a conclusion that is particularly laborious and 'poussive'. Before that tough, it is an amazing, ominous, evil, and sometimes epic piece of music. I do have a bit of an issue with some of the solo male voices on 7 or the second half of 8 which make me feel a bit like I'm listening to a Disney villain song of sorts, but otherwise it is all fantastic. 1-2 are deliciously evil, 3 is really dark and evokes an epic boss fight to my young ears, 5 has icy moments and is perhaps my favourite movement of all, and 6 is amazingly cinematic. That first half is in 4.1-4.3 territory really. Jammed the Swedish Philarmonic version. 3.85
Kurt Travis Everything Is Beautiful
Great poppy album with lots and lots of interesting sounds. Rarely found poppy stuff this interesting. The first half is brilliant, with only a few annoying vocals here and there. Second half falls behind with some tracks that are entirely annoying and a lot more of his cringy vocals, but it still has some good tracks and melodies. Inspiring e.g. the intro of It's All Over. Album has quite a few flows but it was a positive jam still. Will probably re-listen. 3.8
Lantlos .neon
Indubitably builds upon the strengths of its predecessor and adds lots to it, but not without flaws. There are lots of phases here where the post- DNA is most apparent, especially in the simple yet efficient intro of 1 and 3 where it could almost be a CoL song in places. And frankly I quite dig it. After that the bm entry 1 is a bit meh though, and the album despite the sweet round bass doesn't start the strongest way. The second reprise 5min in is super sweet and almost envy-esque though, prefacing the peak of the album on 2-3, with 2 being just strong overall especially at the start and 3 demonstrating lots of these newer elements I mentioned with post-metal vibes, clean singing from Neige (obviously lovely), and just a very cool song overall. The album never makes it quite back to that quality though, with 4 being fatter and cool but not as compelling, 5 not having the best intro but cool bm thereafter, and 6 which is slower and more cinematic. By that point things feel a bit draggy, and the heights of 2-3 feel a bit distant, but I do dig the grand, gritty outro to the album. An album that demonstrates very good steps forward and could easily be 4.0 if not more in its best phases. 3.85
Lantlos Melting Sun
Lantlos is a frustrating band. They have incredible strengths, but persistent flaws in album and song structure that just break the deal for me on album format. This one does feel like their magnum opus though, moving away
from relatively conventional bm+post-rock to offer a splendid and quite unique mix of post-stuff, bm, dreamy guitars, djenty-nu-metallish-core riffing (don't @me) especially on 2 and 4, a blend which really could have been
special and is brilliantly done. The problem is that the album's progression is extremely gradual and linear, the record feeling like one long continuum with no real peaks, and falls flat on the low energy 6 which I saw
coming. I don't ask for a grand finale on every album, but the nice, broody instrumental 5 would have been a far better conclusion imo, despite 6 offering superb tones in the intro especially, as 6 takes so much time to pick
up and really feels like it prolongs things unecessarily. 1 also has a delightful intro tone that gets you right into the album and has some fantastic guitar parts after quite cliche an entry, but also displays the second
major flaw of the album: low energy, passable but never great or compelling vocals, on top of the excessively slow and gradual progression. 2's entry is far stronger, vast and glorious, and despite the vocals the song is a
highlight, with also the grand reprise at 4:50. 3 honestly I didnt take notes on because you can hardly notice song changes with this thing. And then 4 again with its fat riffage is another highlight. A good but frustrating
album. 3.9
Le Pre Ou Je Suis Mort Le Pre Ou Je Suis Mort
This truly has 5.0-worthy peak moments (TOUS ESPERENT LA FORTUNE, MAIS AU PRIX DE LEUR LIBERTE) and has a relatively recognisable sound. The band takes its sweet time to build up tension, especially in the closing track, but the resolutions are o so worth it. Some of the melodies are fantastic, especially the intros. Yet I don't see tracks other than 3 being 5.0 songs on the whole really. An album that is sublime only in places, but that is also thoroughly great. The strings/synth idk in the very conclusion always get me too. 4.2
LEEBADA THE OCEAN
Normally I tend to distrust single high ratings on albums, but this is Abe we're talking about and he found a super fun little gem here. This is an album that should appeal to all amateurs of late 2010s/2020s pop and RnB, not just k-core fans, as it is full of colour, hooks and energy, without falling in the trap of being exuberant. In fact the sound is for the most part relatively subdued for something this groovy - where others would have added disco sound effects, huge string pads etc, this one keeps things relatively simple, making for a lovely aesthetic. The jazzy additions here and there add to the overall feeling of urban elegance. 6 vaguely but 7 especially break off from this a bit with sadder, piano led vibes that were ok but not as fun. I was a bit worried that the album wouldn't find its earlier heights again, but after the more trap infused 8 (perhaps less fun but definitely still an efficient track), the record lines up jam after jam with relaxed and catchy tunes, with the only real gripe being that instead of finishing on a jam with 12, 13 is fun and brings back the trap vibes again plus some guest male vocals, which works, but really not as well as 12 would have been as a conclusion. Still lots of highlights that I'm not going to list, because this one is staying in my library for more listens anyway. 4.05
Lil Ugly Mane Uneven Compromise
First and last act are the most interesting in that they feel more unique, and that final act is especially good (finishing a hip-hop track on noise? Bedex approves), but the two middle acts are incredible fun - especially the latter of the two. This is solid and yeah I need to look into the lyrics for sure. 4.15
Lillet Blanc Lillet Blanc
Really sweet dream pop on the dreamier less poppy side of the spectrum given relatively quiet and discrete drums. The first track feels like it was recorded on a different day or something, the prod on some of the guitars feels really subpar compared to the lushness of other instruments and of Emily's angelic voice which is nicely not overprocessed. It's still a catchy track, but it feels a bit amateur in places, which is an issue the two other tracks do not suffer from. 2 is a superb lush jam, and 3 while not as jammy perhaps is still a sweet song and perhaps the catchiest of the EP. This goes directly into my library. NYP at https://lilletblanc.bandcamp.com/album/lillet-blanc 3.9
Loure Smooth Talk
Really cool and groovy house EP with diverse sounds and textures. Nothing revolutionary, but a darn good listen nonetheless. Not a single bad track - in fact my least favourite is the only one that is a remix. 4.0
Lula Cortes and Ze Ramalho Paêbirú
A thoroughly interesting and enjoyable listen of a multicoloured, multiflavoured patchwork of folk instruments, prog stuff, psych stuff, which a noob like me would be hard pressed to further describe. I tend to favour the instrumental tracks which are all superb (2 perhaps my favourite and a clear cut jam, 4,5,7,9) or tracks where the singing feels like a village group singing or something (8,10) where the vocals work really well. Notice that's almost all of the record already. Tracks like 1 or 3 I find interesting all the way through, but a bit too abrasive. They're tracks I enjoyed hearing but wouldn't really seek out again. That being said, the instrumental last third on 1 is super chill, and 3 has an amazing start and improves a lot halfway after the singing portion I mentioned. 6 makes the abrasive aspect work a little better but is still not something I'd really seek out again. Really interesting and worth a check for anyone into this sort of music. 3.9
Lunar Vacation Artificial Flavors
Jollier and funkier than Swell, and honestly very exciting for the future of their career. 1 is a huge bouncy jam, and 3 is super funky too and pretty much a jam although the midtrack doesn't unfold in the best way. Still super catchy and goes on the playlist. 2 is slower and less upbeat but still a great song, while 4 is good but my least fave, taking a more electronic direction and offering a lazy summer afternoon vibe which I enjoy but feels like a sequencing mistake to conclude the album on. I particularly enjoy the mixing on the whole thing with nice audible bass, a soft bed of synths, and neither obtrusive nor excessively shy vox, extra props to whomever did that. 3.8
Marriages Salome
Compositionally this seems like a step up from Kitsune, but prod wise it goes further down which is surprising. It feels hollow, a bit distant and blurred, making the album sound more like a good live recording in lieu of a proper studio record. This adds to the feeling that this could be an awesome 'first act' band that I got in a few places. But what a first act band. The opener is weird in a good way, and offers super fun groove changes starting in the midtrack. 2 offers then a dream poppier side of the band, with great songwriting. This continues on 3-5 which all over superb dreamy guitar tones, fun drum breaks, and inventive compositions. With better prod 4 could be crazy good. 5 is perhaps their most immediate song offering great dream pop-ish vibes but with fatter, more distorted explosions. 6 feels a bit more like it comes off the prior EP but is still cool. 7 sees the band at its heaviest, and despite some questionable electronica elements it is a catchy jam with a fantastic headbangy chorus. Sadly, 8 and 9 feel a bit weaker after all that energy, and while the buildup to it is good, the album conclusion is frankly to abrupt. Still a nice, soft 3.75
Mastodon Leviathan
Very solid Mastodon record, especially the second half. The first half of the record feels like it is undecided between the proggy feel of their later output and harsher, sludgier post-metal sounds. The resulting mix is not as convincing as either of those. However in the second half of the album Mastodon succeeds much better at combining those sounds and at magnifying them through contrast between massive post-metal riffs and softer parts. The result is a phenomenal last couple of tracks which bring this on the verge of being a 4.5.
Matt Kivel Double Exposure
This EP/short album starts off as pretty but somewhat generic indie folk. As it goes however it does bring a lot of surprises and interesting ideas, with shifts in style on 'Kes' or 'Tetra' for example, and the album as a whole does not at all feel generic. This unexpected depth for what I thought would be straight up generic indie folk makes me want to re-listen to it. 3.9
Matthew Tavares and Leland Whitty Visions
A jazz epic like the greats, with incredible variety and storytelling abilities. This is one big jazz fresca with guitar, piano, sax, you name it, and I don't think it is the kind of album that warrants a track by track description. The outro to 2 is fantastic, the intro to 5 is fantastic and displays the variety of atmospheres found here, which the guitar-led (but a bit overextended) 4, the playful 9 or the piano piece on 6 all exemplify quite nicely. Go home Kamasi (c). Might grow, but for now 4.2
Mellow Gang Adjourn
On the EP they felt like a cool opening act; here they feel like the main band. They progressed by a mile and that is really nice to see. The songs are rich, dynamic and varied, and the record is full of colour. This is clear from the opener right away with its superb vox and layering. The rhythm section is also on point with a lot of fun drumming and tasty bass. I enjoyed the synths on 3 a lot. 5 shakes things up with male voices a little, and while I do slightly prefer the female vox this is a nice change and shows they thought about this well. The track conclusion is dope too. 7 is super chill and I generally like their guitar tones a lot. The closer shows lovely guitar tones too, and inbetween 8 offers short interlude that changes up the atmosphere again with its dark undertones. The good album conclusion bumps this the half point it needed to be a 4.0
Memoryhouse The Years
Sometimes all you need is pretty tunes, enormous amounts of reverb, and sweet vox. Lovely dream pop, that fluctuates between the inoffensive and the gorgeous on track 5 particularly, but also 2, both of which are nice dreamy jams. 5 alone bumps this to a 3.75
Mirrorring Foreign Body
Wonderful little Grouper-y folk record. Most of it feels like putting your head
underwater in a warm bath with extremely soothing folk washed out in a sea of Grouper
reverb. If it weren't for tracks 2 and 5 it would be just that, in a perfect way. Track
2 is more standard folk with more generic vocals, and is nice but not a jam. Track 5 is
meh and a surprise after such the nice run 1-4, the only dysfunctional track on the album
imo. It has a weird instrumental and generic vocals.I do like its noisy ending tho. The
closer is nice but does not feel as good as 1-4. Track 1 and 4 are my faves and wonderful
jams, so soothing. I love this, but it's not the strongest record ever. 3.9
Edit: after a few listens, 3.8
Misthyrming Söngvar elds og óreiðu
Great bm that somehow feels like dm in a lot of places without ever sounding like dm. Maybe
owing to the low ended, deep guttural vox a bit. The album feels hellish in a lot of
places, and my fav tracks were the most hell-sounding ones (3, a jam which somehow gave me
strong LOTR vibes, 6). The record is well constructed, with nice ups and downs of
intensity, crystallised by a great dark ambient interlude on 4 picked right up by solid
riffage on 5, and a dark ambient album outro on 9 that wasn't as good. The run from 1-6 is
stellar, although it took me a couple tracks to get accustomed to the band, but the end of
the record 7-9 felt weaker, especially 7 which felt more generic and kind of like the Not
Unlike the Waves of this album. 8 does have a nice intro. I deleted my notes accidentally
but based on memory this feels like a 3.95
Morbid Angel Altars of Madness
Look this is really cool death metal, and the remastered version on bandcamp helps with its age. It is quite impressive that this came out in 1989 and still sounds good and brutal. The vocals and instrument tones are great (except the snare drum here which I'm allergic to). However it does not feel as groovy and well-constructed as other death metal records out there that came out around the same time (*cough cough* Death *cough cough*). The album is lacking dynamics and a musical storyline so to speak, the tracks just come one after the other without any real variation of atmosphere. There are also some gimmicky solos or sound samples at times. It's a good record however and I'd re-listen to it gladly. This is a classic album, but definitely not a 5.0 for me. 4.0
Nadja The Bungled and the Botched
Yes the second track can be prohibitive, and I rarely listen to it in full, but hell this is fun and it has been with me for many years without me getting tired of it. Holy mother of riffs. 3.9
Nails Unsilent Death
Prod here strikes the perfect balance between raw aggressiveness and clarity. This is fun fun stuff, but feels a bit formulaic in places - the closing riff especially. Still a fun record to jam when in need of aggression, riffs and fun, with pauses where they're needed. 3.8
Nails Abandon All Life
This may be due to better listening conditions, but for the most part this one felt better, faster, and more fun than their debut LP. I was going to rate it 4.0, but the last track brought that down a fair but. It changes styles, going into something slower and more metal-ish. While conceptually that can be a cool idea, here the result feels contrived and not that great, like the record trying to be what it isn't: a grand album where such genre switches bring welcome variety. This would have been better staying a short bit of Nails fun at your throat, imo. 3.8
Nails Obscene Humanity 7''
This is ridiculously short, but it's also all good fun except perhaps the last track
overextending just a touch. The comparison with their LPs is not really fair, but also
rating this below the 4.0 wouldn't feel right. 3.75
Necrophagist Onset of Putrefaction
This grew on me with every track and I need to re-listen to it again. It is sometimes very hard and heavy, sometimes much softer, but always blissfully dynamic and tech. It also features a handful sympho guitar solos which I normally loathe, but the album manages to make me actually like most of them which in itself is an achievement. The vox are fantastic all throughout, and the prod is great this time (at least on the 04 re-edition I heard). The fact that this is a one man effort is astounding, as every instrument takes the spotlight in turn - I particularly enjoyed the brief bass lines that shine through here and there. I liked how 1 just goes at it right away, but wasn't a super fan of the high pitched soloing guitars over everything. Thankfully they stop in 2 which I like a lot better, fun and funky but not super brutal - which isn't a bad thing and just shows the record is very dynamic. I love the intro on 3 but I wish the track unfolded into something far crazier and chaotic, it feels a little too restrained. After that, 4-8 felt a lot heavier and made me like this record more by the minute, turning it from a 3.8 nice but not fantastic album to an apparent tech death classic. 5-6 are particularly hard and jammy. I'll come back to this. 4.05
Nepal (FR) 444 Nuits
First half is sublime and felt like potentially 4.5 range material. Aerial, supremely chill instrumentals and (mostly) excellent delivery. Didn't pay much attention to the lyrics but they are never strikingly bad (which is rare), and often feels well thought out despite the cheesy excessive verlan at times. Unlike a lot of fr rap records, this blue half displays consistent quality, a true identity and flow as an EP, and very few distasteful bits (a rare example would be the MGS sample but we'll let that slide). 1 is a jam (I wish it didn't have this many vocal samples though), 2 is a fcking jam and honestly a fav fr rap track, 5 is a jam, and the other tracks are all really good. 6 is a great finale for the blue half except it fades out. Really wish the blue half was a standalone record, because after that the EP falls back in the traps of fr rap, with annoying backing vocals on 8 (shame because the verses are nice) and 9, a slightly cheeky sample that doesn't feel like it belongs in a rap song on 10, and less nice delivery from him in places (7,10). 7, 10-12 are still cool tracks. I almost wish he rapped on the outro actually. This second half brings the record down a bit, but it still stands out as a very strong gem of French rap. RIP man. 4.15
Nepal (FR) 445ème Nuit
This one feels more consistent than 444, but also its high points felt like they didn't
reach the same heights, explaining my low ratings. Not the best conditions either but don't
think it affected me too much. The best part is the middle of the album, followed by its
last third, as the album goes back to the same brand of soft, cloudy, hazy, nocturnal rap
that was so enjoyable on 444's blue half. 3 is the first track of that kind, but didn't
quite amaze me because his delivery often sounds like he's just talking to you. 4 and 5 are
jams, the latter having the most successful feat of the two. 6 has a lovely deconstructed
lo-fi hip-hop instrumental with a sweet sax sample, and I wish the track focused on that
more than on his vocals which feel like they're mixed too prominently. Really didn't like 7
because the flow is exactly the same as Bodak Yellow's and it might be a funny reference or
something but hearing Cardi B from a male soft-spoken rapper in French just doesn't sit
right with me. Thankfully, 8 closes the album quite nicely without being a jam. 1 and 2
were in a different style and I enjoyed them less. Kinda feel out of place, like the pink
half on 444 a bit. Overall this is solid, but I much prefer 444 for all the jams it had.
3.9
Ness Heads Numb
This is Drake/The Weeknd/Post Malone etc in female version and actually good. Surprised this isn't more popular - give it some time. 1 is an effing hard-hitting jam in that style, 2 is more cloudy and emotional but a very nice track too. 3 starts a bit cheesy with some acoustic guitar but intelligently drops it mid track, making it welcome variety and not just cheesiness. The track unfolds with a lot more complexity and variety than I expected with some heavily processed vox and a shift to a more electronica style. The guitar comes back on 4 although the beat drops quickly into the track, but it just unfolds into something much weaker and the first actual downer of this otherwise lovely debut EP. Same goes for 5, which is fine but packs nowhere the punch of the early record, and those two tracks bring this down a couple points to a 4.0
Neurosis Through Silver in Blood
This is a great album for sure, but I found the buildups often too long for climaxes that
are not as impactful as they could be, with notable exceptions in the massive 'Locust
Star' or 'Aeon'. The second half of the closing track offers some of the most psychotic-
sounding Neurosis out there, and the opener is the perfect background for the Germans
marching on Poland to start off WWII (oddly specific yes). Apart from that, ToG does it
better. 4.2
No Note if this is the future then I'm in the dark
Fantastic, fun and gritty little album offering a sweet blend of chaotic, noisy, sometimes post-rocky skramz/hxc. I found the track construction on 1 a bit weird and the prod put me off a little bit at first - it's not too bad but it's not great -, but rapidly thereafter I was convinced and the album didn't disappoint again. The intro on 2 is dope and the track unfolds into Daughtersy chaos which I love, 3 displays the style really nicely, and 4 gets a little more conventional post-rocky skramz but is still cool. Then 5-6 is perhaps the album peak, with 5 which is an f-ing dope chaotic jam followed by 6 starting intelligently slow and atmospheric before building up the violence again, into a super chill post-rocky conclusion at 2:35 slowly building back into euroskramz. While it is on shiny display on those two tracks, album construction is a quality of the record in general, alternating very well between chaos and atmosphere, frantic drumming and relatively calm and lush passages. 7 is even more slower and atmo than the beginning of 6 was, then 8 is fast and upbeat again, and then 9 starts like a crazy jam and finished on a grand, atmospheric conclusion. So solid this. 4.1
No Somos Marineros Lomas Verdes
The early record struggles a tiny bit, but from 4 on this is dope. I find that their heavy vocals on song climaxes are not always quite on point except on 7 eg, and the instrumental climaxes are consistently better. The intro track takes its time but I think it's really cool. 2 has quite heavy punk leanings, I dig it but some of the math rock aesthetics feel a bit contrived here. Then 3 has a lengthy intro again, it's fine but I feel like it comes too soon after 1 to reach its full impact. The technicity and fat drumming are great though (through the whole record). 4 and 5 are pretty much the same track, and here make great use of the polyrhythmic riffing. The end to 4, and the whole of 5 brought this closer to 4.0 tier desptie questionable heavy vocals. 6 has a long calmer phase but here it is a good idea, then the cool explosion showcases again the vocals struggling. They work better on 7 which brought this into 4.0 tier more firmly, before the bonkers 8 sealed the deal with a really cool despaired jam. Worth a check for sure. 3.8
Noname Telefone
I really enjoyed this record. This is the hip-hop form of a marshmallow. It is soft, comfy
and mellow. Strong abstract and soul influences. Both the vocals and instrumentals feel
fresh and innovative. I'm rating it quite high for now, but it may evolve either way -
become a grower, or on the contrary drop in rating after the surprise effect fades. A re-
listen is definitely on the cards. 4.1
Nthng Remember Us
The opener is fine, and I would accept it on a larger 5.0 album, but on a three tracker where it takes up a third of the runtime it single-handedly prevents the EP from being a 5. The middle track has gorgeous bits (I especially enjoy how it starts) and could fit on a 5.0 EP, but it also drags a fair bit and doesn't feel as full as the gorgeous 3, a sublime introspective trip that always makes me want to turn the volume up and is perhaps one of my favourite techno tracks ever, having been a strong motivator of my foray into techno in the first place. 4.1
Nuvolascura As We Suffer From Memory and Imagination
Boy I love this band. I need to rejam this versus the s/t and perhaps on another day though. I probably overhyped the s/t, and I perhaps wasn't in the best conditions to jam this one, but on first listen I feel like I prefer the debut. This one has higher highs but seems less focused, with more sort of down time (if such a term applies to the band) and sometimes track construction that wants to do too much and to go into too many directions. There are loads of jams but I didn't write them down because this is very short and also not the kind of album where I feel like it'd make sense to come back to singular tracks. The absolutely dope closing triad bumps this a point to a temporary (probably) 4.0
Oh, Yoko Seashore
I'm going to consider this a single with two bonus tracks I won't count because I really dig the t/t and didn't quite vibe with the remixes. 1 is very pretty ambient with lovely textures, some guitar, some piano, some voice, wrapped in pristine prod as you'd expect from Will. I'm a sucker for this type of stuff, it is just so smooth. 2 starts off very nicely as an instrumental continuation of the soft textures, perfect to fall asleep to on a hammock or sumthang. Unfortunatelym the couple little dissonances which were so lovely early on in 1 come back on 2 and kind of break the lushness of it all, and thereafter the track remains nice but not incredible. 3 is even more disruptive with the drum sounds it adds and some of the voice samples too, and while it turns into a sort of nice Tycho-ey track and has a very sweet outro in the vein of 1-2, it is still pretty awful sequencing and completely out of place - then again it's a remix so not a huge surprise. Rating 1 alone this feels like a 3.75
Ojne Prima Che Tutto Bruci
This is good screamo in European fashion - with heavy touches of post-rock -, but it feels
somewhat overhyped. Great melodies, vocals a la Envy but with a bit poorer rawer production and
in Italia, which I enjoyed. This is a great album but also nothing too crazy - feels like your
typically brilliant screamo record. 3.9
Old Sorcery Realms of Magickal Sorrow
This is some of the best dungeon synth I've heard. Yet I still would have a hard time rating anything above 4.0 in this genre. This record has an amazing opener and almost as good a closer. On their own I might rate these two tracks a 4.0, but the middle of the album - albeit short - drops a lot in quality and exemplifies the genre's shortcomings: it sounds almost funny, or like the vintage soundtrack of some old pc medieval game. There is a fine line there. 3.8
Omega Dawkins alpha
A weird one. Has really tasty, noisy drone textures - especially on 2 which is a definitive jam. The record feels like it does not quite know where it is going, boasting random samples, abrupt transitions, ventures into other genres such as techno on 7 or lo-fi hip hop on 6 (jammy), and while there is definite quality in a lot of the tracks, this erratic nature disrupts the immersion for me. 3.8
On The Might of Princes Sirens
Oumou Sangare Mogoya
Instant crush on this album. I think I need to do a full discog run after all. This one is resolutely more modern (duh), with crystalline production and more complex/multi-layered instrumentation. There are influences from lots of other genres, and the album moves a bit away from the 'popular Malian folk' vibe for lack of a better term, except on 4 which resolutely evokes her prior discog in a nice way. From the get-go with 1 and its fun start with so much going on you know this will be a different beast of a record. 2 continues this trend, and 3 is incredibly dancy. As I said 4 is more folk and is quite calm which shows intelligent sequencing. 5 echoes a lot to the 80s and to disco years with its synths and chorus, and honestly it is so fun it might be my fave track here. 6 is so fun, 7 is so groovy, that 8 feels a bit less flavourful in comparison albeit still nice. The piano coming in near the end is an especially nice touch. Finally, the closing track very smartly goes back to a more subdued style with a superb tone, and it firmly bumps this about half a point to a solid 4.2
Oumou Sangare Moussolou
Lovely Malian music in which I recognised a lot of Fatoumata Diawara's sound - which isn't a suprise, as Oumou mentored Fatoumata. The first track was my fave but the whole record is a beaut. Funnily enough the strings featured on track 3 that sound like violin (I am not positive it is a violin so I won't assume so) felt quite incongruous to me and made the track my least favourite because my brain ties those sounds to country and GYBE, which is probably direly uncultured of me. Solid solid solid. 3.8
Oumou Sangare Worotan
Similar to Moussolou, this one felt somewhat more digestable even though it is almost twice as long with seemingly longer tracks too. I'm probably talking butt and it's just a matter of different conditions. My least favourite tracks were those straying away from the instrumentation on the record, namely the brass on 3 and the violin (?) again on 4. Everything else was great, and the particularly strong end record with 7-9 being catchy (7 the most, a jam) and the gorgeous, peaceful 10 as a concluding track bumped this up. 4.0
Ozean Ozean
Superb shoegaze on the soft and mellow side of things, I don't understand why it has such a
low average here. Sure, it is quite short, and all three songs end on a fadeout with no
conclusion which takes the record down a point, but it still has lovely vox, tasty shoegaze
instrumentation, and some sweet bass lines. All jams, 2 being probably my favourite. Yes,
you should check it out. 3.95
Panda Riot She Dares All Things
Really cool record and bursting with ideas for a debut. The prod is a bit on the thin side but it's really not much of a problem. This is a record full of 'imperfect jams' where some sections are fine but some are really jammy. But it's full of promise, inspiring, and I enjoyed it a lot. 1 is a dream rock jam, but the rough transition into 2 showcases what I mean by the band not being fully mature yet. The track is cool though especially the drums, and the second half brings it up a notch. 3 has catchy melodies but also some of those more awkward sections I mentioned, and 4 is a textbook dream pop imperfect jam to toke with yar alt gf. Really cool ideas all round. 5 has a pretty intro but the track thereafter is not the best here. 6 is quite catchy but doesn't really hold the distance, although the concluding section is catchy. 7 is a superb song starting off on the pop side of dream pop and slowly dirtying it up with shoegaze vibes. Lovely and convinced me to give this an extra half point (it was at a 3.75). 7-8-9 really show how they can bring up different flavours of the same style and make it feel cohesive, even without necessarily being the best constructed album in the world. 8 is really pretty and delicate, while 9 brings back the fuzz for a dreamy finale that definitely settles this at a promising 3.8
Panda Riot Far and Near
This band is super cool and they know what they're doing. Again this is full of ideas and difficult transitions they manage really well. The clearest example is the use of distortion on 1 and 4 which despite being sudden and abrupt works very smoothly and comes off as a nice surprise. The trippy 1 is perhaps the clearest jam here as it evolves with a multitude of cool elements - a track that keeps on giving. It's not that the rest is ever bad or weak but 1 just has that extra edge. 2-3 give off 'champetre'/Big Fish vibes that I got from bands like A Sunny Day in Glasgow or a cleaner Candy Claws' Hidden Lands, 2 being perhaps more complacent and 3 jollier. 4 is super happy and fun with the distortion as I said. After a pretty and relaxing interlude on 5, 6 starts off with distortion straight away and is a cool song on the more rock side of things. The finale and it's fun riffing brings this up half a point (despite the overall thin prod) to a 3.75
Panda Riot Infinity Maps
Man this band is cool. And I do mean c o o l. There are so many fun riffs and ideas on this record it's uncanny. It's also beautifully produced and the multilayered, diverse sound design is excellent. There's piano, synth, guitar, fuzzy guitar, vocals, backing vocals, everything you'd ever want. Just hear how beautifully produced 1:15-1:20 is on 4. My only small gripe is that vocals could be perhaps processed a bit more impactfully. With catchier vocal melodies they could achieve fantastic success. The early record 1-9 is pure joy, ripe with ideas, and an easy 4.05. There's just riff after riff, and even a distorted interlude on 3, what's not to like? Not a single bad track, and as soon as you start feeling there may be a downtime they just throw another riff at you that makes you bob yar head. 10-11 feel like the album is loosing steam a bit, and while beautiful in itself, the lovely ambient on 12 doesn't help with that. The late record has lots of very short track and I feel like that contributes to the problem. 13 is like the early record, 14 has more of an electronic vibe and is cool too (continued by 15), while 16 is cool too but has a few down sections. 17 is very dreamy, and while that was cool in the early record, here it doesn't feel like such a good idea despite the track having great elements still. Feels like unnecessarily extending the record, which would have benefited massively from being 5-10min shorter imo. 18 is a weird conclusion, feels like a transition into another track to end the record abruptly. Don't see the point of it really. 3.9
Paysage d'Hiver Kristall und Isa
Great Pd'H record with a very bleak start and a bleak ending. In between the record alternates
between calm ambient phases and bm sections. Nothing that stood out as amazing, but all good too.
Even though it's one of the shortest Pd'H records, it still feels too long. Tracks 2,3,4, and
maybe the closer are jams. The opener is ok too, but the record overall feels like it drags on a
lot and does not have a lot of crazy high points. It's just nice, nothing that stood out as
amazing, but all good too. 3.8
Paysage d'Hiver Das Tor
Another bm fave from Pd'H. Sounds like the evil continuation of Winterkalte with more cinematic voice textures and also soft but more lo-fi prod. Idk what those two albums in the middle were all about. The middle of the record (track 2 and the first half of track 3) is stellar and top tier Pd'H material. Track 1 and 4 are jams too. Closer perfectly sums up Pd'H's discog with bm decaying into synthy ambient then wind recordings (otherwise dropped from the album). It does have low points, especially the second half of track 3, but album is a definite re-listen and a solid 4.15
Pestilence Consuming Impulse
Not sure if I prefer this to their first - the high points were higher, but there weren't
that many of them. Tracks 1-3 are absolute jams and made me think this would be a 4.4.
Track 2 in particular is an immense jam with wonderful riffage, and track 3 is basically
cool dm with some horror choir-esque sounds. 4 is cool too but not a jam. The meh slow
bits it brings continue on 5 and make the track weak. Plus urgh that fade out ending.
Track 6 does the slow bits right and the first half is kinda jammy, but the latter half
is merf. 7 is nice in the middle and the horror sounds from track 3 come back. 8 and 10
are kinda ok but not jams and have many wankery bits. 9 is merf. Idk I guess in the
numbers this is superior to their debut lp, but with such a strong beginning and weak
rest of the record it feels like a disappointment and I feel I liked it less. 4.0
Pestilence Malleus Maleficarum
Gotta love the Latin title. Fantastic debut lp that starts off very poorly. Track 1 and 2 are
quite meh and the vocals sound terrible like the guy can barely sing through diseased lungs and
has again too many words to spit out. 3.0 range. Track 3 is a massive turning point and is a
grand thrashy deathy crazy jam with incredible diversity for its 4 minutes. Despite a few flaws
and wankery solos here and there, tracks 4-8 are also all jams or at least have many jammy
sections. And then the album ends like it started with two meh tracks, although the closer has
some nice riffs. What the hell are those last 5s lol. Overall still a solid and brutal thrashy
album that I'll re-listen to. 4.05
Pi Ja Ma Radio Girl
An adorable little indie pop EP that sits on a cloud and tickles the Trifolium fibres in my musical taste. 1 is nice but I felt like the vox was mixed way too loud. It is twinkly and glittery cute pop, the kind of track I'd be happy to hear on the radio. Catchy, but not quite a jam you know. 2 is even cuddlier and feels like music that would work for kids just as much as it works for us nerds out here. 3 has more of a folk style still with this happy fairy vibe to it, and 4 is a repeat of the track in a demo version that I honestly could not tell was a demo version. The track is so sweet I didn't mind it being repeated at all. The soundtrack to paradise. I am so pumped to hear the LP! 3.75
Pi Ja Ma Nice To Meet U
Really fun cutepop. I'm not sure why but the early four tracks got me worried and felt inferior to the rest, but from 5 onwards this was all kinda jammy or full on jammy. 1 is sweet, 2 feels a bit 'gnangnan' (don't know how to translate that), 3 is nicer, 4 is music that my ma would like, but really overall it didn't feel as memorable as the EP tracks. Those actually come back in the LP as 5 and 6, both feeling like jams. I thought it was maybe because I was familiar with those two tracks, but now, they only sparked a streak of jaminess. 7 is also a jam and is quite a rich track, 8 transitions to something funky and upbeat and is a real fun jam, 9 is more ethereal and almost grew into a jam before ending on a fadeout, 10 is a nice and catchy kinda jam, and 11 is perhaps one of the most interesting tracks on the record with a whole lot of psychedelic influences infused into Pi's sweet pop style. Perhaps not a classic album, but certainly a lovely enjoyable one. 3.9
Pierre Schaeffer Diapason Concertino
I love this. It is quite amusing that a lot of the sounds and textures I hear here are
things drone/ambient/experimental artists are replicating with tape desks etc. nowadays,
whereas back then it was the forefront of musical technology/evolution. The interest of
this tape piece is far from being merely historical, and it has very sweet compositions in
and of itself with a superb collage of piano parts and other bits. If this were released
today, it'd already be cool - but the fact that it is from 1948 adds so much more eerie
flavour to it. 4.2
Pierre Schaeffer Cinq études de bruits
Tape field recordings from 1948 anyone? This one is again very interesting historically speaking, but feels less like something I'd keep in my library, although Etude Violette is a jam, Etude Noire is cool with its reversed tapes, and Etude Pathetique past the first minute experiments nicely with pretty chimes and spliced up vocals. 3.9
Pierre Schaeffer Symphonie Pour Homme Seul
This one uses tape in much more interesting ways that Suite Pour Quatorze Instruments, and why it may seem very bizarre and random to some I did really enjoy it. Feels like a snapshot of the mind of a madman. I'll come back to this I think. 3.95
Pink Floyd The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
This is a fantastic debut, especially its first half which showcases good PF traits already, with 1,2 and 4 being my jams here. However, it didn't age nearly as well as their 70's mastodons (tracks like 8 or 11 are examples of this), and I find its interest more historical than anything else. Songs end on fade-outs or silences so we're missing the perfection of PF's album construction. There aren't too many experimental weird bits, they're mostly on 5 midtrack,6 which is the only annoying track,7 and the end of 11. 7 is a pivot point and sees the album shift style a bit to more traditional-evoking English songs and less PF goodness, and the second half of the album feels a bit blander. Overall 3.9
Pink Floyd A Saucerful of Secrets
Perhaps less grand than Piper, and hints less at their later wonders, but this time round the album felt like psych-Barrett era Pink Floyd done better than on the debut. Had to pause just before 6 so this isn't completely fair but hey. The first third is best nad incredibly P S Y C H. 1 has weird panning, but 2 and 3 are jams - 2 feels like hippie times and 3 sounds like Om almost 40yrs before Om. 4 takes a more psych rock approach, and is cool at first but gets a bit weaker and annoying, evokes the worst of Piper. 5 literally has a dungeon synth intro and is weird Floyd done right this time, echoing Piper's transition track only better. 6 is part super jammy and part boring, back to the P S Y C H of the first third. 7 is just ok, and the album 'pre-conclusion' feels a bit weird, definitely preventing this from being above 4.0
Polygon Woods Post Space
Australian psych rock means two things: this really isn't revolutionary in any way, and
also this is really good. This particular flavour of the genre makes heavy use of synth
pads which I love, and also shows some sprinkles of dream pop DNA - particularly
noticeable on 3. The bass is also really good on this, while the vocals are extremely,
well, psychedelic sounding. I like that this has a proper intro track despite the short
length, and while I didn't resonate as much with the last track this EP is definitely a
keeper for me. Far better produced than their first EP too which is nice to see. 3.9
Prurient Frozen Niagara Falls
Incredible album. Very dense and bizarre. Absolutely needs a re-listen. A noise record
over 90 minutes long sounds like a terrible idea, but it is so diverse and navigates so
many genres that it ends up being never boring and always surprising. From straight up
noise/ hnw on multiple interlude tracks, to Mass Effect synth sountrack overlaid with
noise in the opener and 'A Sorrow With A Braid', to dungeon synth almost on Jester Agony,
to glitchy noise that I hated on the track before last, ending up on an ambient track
that Agalloch could have made for the album finale, the whole thing being sprinkled with
vocals going from whispers to distorted spoken word, to growls and to screams evoking
black metal. Stunning. Jams on 1,4,5,12 and the album conclusion is perfect too; dip in
energy on 6, 10 and 15. 4.2
Pygmy Lush Mount Hope
This has really good tunes, a bit as if Unwound were a folk band
Rachel Chinouriri Mama's Boy
If you like Lianne La Havas, you HAVE to jam this. This is why you should always check out first acts folks. A collection of tightly crafted, catchy neo-soul infused tunes. The prod under serves them a bit and feels somewhat hollow. They'd maybe need to sound fuller to achieve banger status, but every track is excellent nonetheless. 1 is very Liannesque and quite a jammy banger track, 2 is more intimate and subtle with a super chill beat again, 3 is funky and groovy as hell and is again a jam, 4 is more dubsteppy and a bit Ratatat-esque I'd say. 5 is an acoustic version of 3, but I think it concludes the EP extremely well, especially because 4 while a good track would not have offered the best conclusion. Sweet, sweet debut EP. Check this out people! 4.1
Radiohead A Moon Shaped Pool
Yeah I don't know how this ever felt like a possible 5.0 to me, but it is still a gorgeous Radiohead album. I really enjoy the lush, ambient, deconstructed keys style of a good part of the album, but it doesn't always quite strike home. For starters I don't understand 1 as the opener, it stands out completely and either of the two following tracks (both jams) would have been much nicer and fitting openers imo. Still an ok fun track though. 4 is the first track that falls kinda flat but is well constructed, breaking the lushness of 2 and 3 with some acoustic guitar then slowly easing its way back into the keys. 5 is more electronic and hard hitting, which again shakes things up nicely and demonstrates their mastery of album craft, but only the second half is jammy. 6 is a sublimely delicate winter jam that demonstrates the style of AMSP perfectly executed. 7 is a bit more in classic Radiohead 'rock' style but remains merely ok, and 8 despite some lovely sounds also feels like it doesn't quite work. 9 is a jam and shows a lovely mix of their prior sound with the new twist taken on this record. Very nice. 10 is nice but just passes by before the godtier jam that is 11, a top tier Radiohead track that I think is solely responsible for making me think this could ever be a 5.0. Gorgeously hopeless and sad, with beautifully fragile vocal delivery and impactfully simple instrumental. Glorious. So yeah the album has huge jams but just alternates too many merely nice tracks in between to claim even the possibility of a 5. 4.15
Raum The Event of Your Leaving
Once again, Liz is incredibly consistent. Lovely ambient/drone album, with a slowly increasing prevalence of Liz's vocals. The record seems like it slowly transitions from cold and gritty textures, to comfortable warmth reminding of Mirrorring - that second half feeling a bit superior on first listen. 2 is the grittiest track but also my least favourite. 3 and 4 are jams, 1 and 5 being really nice too. 3.85
Rebekah My Heart Bleeds Black
A fantastic set of crass, pounding industrial techno tracks to morcellate your brains out. 1-4 is excellent in that style and would form a very strong EP. 2 is a jam which represents what I like to imagine Berghain sounds like, and 4 is a jam too. Unfortunately the run from 5-6 is much much weaker, starting with the annoying 808 (or whatever they are) snares on 5. At the end of it I thought the album would be too long and that it should have been a shorter EP, but I was wrong as the enormous jam 7 comes in zith its gritty and noisy textures to bring the interest right back up - despite a middelkerk conclusion to the track that is a rare instance of the album not flowing well. 8 starts by a simple pound that's just fine, but at min 2 or thereabouts it morphs into a vast, ominous track that could have been a fantastic closer. However there is still 9, which flows well from 8 and is quite atmospheric too, wrapping up the album nicely - although perhaps not as well as 8 would have. This is good man, will stay in my library. 3.85
Ritchie Valens Ritchie
This was surprisingly good, but the latter third let me down quite badly. I hardly know the first thing about 50's music so bear with me. His young voice is quite refreshing I have to say, and makes balladey songs like 1 actually enjoyable for me. Quite obviously this is more a compilation of tracks than a properly constructed album but oh well. 2 is catchy and fun rock'n'roll, 3 is an ok blues song, 4 is again fun and upbeat - the kind of music you hear in roadtrip scenes in American movies -, but the real surprise here comes on 5. A jam that I could only describe as a sad folk ballad? Super cool, some of the guitars sound like they could be from a 90's emo song or something. 6 is more US roadtrip music, fun but not super memorable. It all goes downhill from the quite boring soul 7 and onward. 8 is also boring in ballad style this time. 9 and 10 are instrumental, and I do find it a good idea and a surprising album construction feature to offer a break from his vocals. Both tracks are kinda nice, but sadly the closer is boring again and the only track where his voice did not work for me. Still a surprisingly nice album that charmed me more than I expected it to. 5 alone bumps it a point to a (what a sad story this guy had man) 3.8
Sadus Swallowed in Black
Yes yes yes. This is practically death metal at this point, and the wankery solos or bad vocals are now extremely scarce. Ergo, I like this album. Riffz and riffz for days, and I was mildly headbangin' the whole time. I'll come back to this, one listen is not enough. 3.95
Saor Forgotten Paths
This is a brilliant record that mixes black metal with elements of folk and out-of-the-ordinary instruments like violin or flute. The songs are very dynamic and there aren't five minutes in the album that are the same This will require multiple listens to definitely make my mind on it, but it is definitely a cool ride. 4.1
Sea of Shit Sea Of Shit
Look I don't know much powerviolence and co. at all, but I know that this is fun as hell, full of good riffz, and nicely headbangy. Hell I'd love this live. The prod is a bit tamer and hollower than on their 7 inch which is a shame, but it still sounds fine. Again everything flows quite nicely although the breaks between tracks are more noticeable heare and there. They slow down the pace here and there with some doomier riffs, on 9 for example, or 13, or the closer - where I feel they don't fit as well but eh. In fact I'm not sure the album conclusion is the greatest. But before that this is super fun. There's no point listening to isolated tracks really, but highlights were 2,3,6 (those riffz would be so fun live), and 11. 3.85
Sea Oleena Sleeplessness
This is wonderful, delicate and lovely acoustic guitar-based dream pop/indie folk. Its simplicity does not take anything away from its sheer quality. Reminds of
Grouper but much less ambient and a lot happier with tonnes less reverb. Will have to re-listen, but immediate crush on this. 4.2
Edit: ok maybe I got a bit overexcited, but not by much. 1 and 6 are very nice but perhaps the least marking here. 5 is more aethereal and groupery and brought this
to a 4.1 as it felt like a 4.0 before, which was confirmed by the sublime, very ambient 7. The prod is gorgeous, and the extra sounds on 2-3 work really well, while
4 is such a pretty song. 4.1
Sea Oleena Sea Oleena
This is great dreamy Groupery acoustic dream pop in the vein of their (her?) Sleeplessness
EP. It did not strike me quite as much as the latter, but it still is a lovely record. It
has some good ideas and explores things, which at select times sounded just a touch odd.
Nothing too bad and I thoroughly enjoyed the record - will have to re-listen. 3.8
Edit yea I agree with my past self. This one alternates ambient tracks then folk tracks,
and those (2,4 and especially 6 despite some questionable snare? mixing) are particularly
loveable. Also the beginnig to 1. Yup I'll stick to my 3.8
Sea Oleena Shallow
Very nice debut album of sweet less droney and more organic Grouper-like music, quality
on par with the EP's. The first few tracks did not quite convince me I have to say, 3.5
range material. But starting from track 4, the quality goes way up with some phenomenal
tracks, particularly track 4 and 6, making the album a definite re-listen. The great
second half bumps the album to a grand total of 3.9
EDIT: idk what I was on about, the first half is so pretty too especially the dreamy too.
Lots of inspiring stuff with beautiful tones and lovely reverberated vocals. Had a pretty
much perfect listen today ngl. 4.1
Sed Non Satiata Le Ciel De Notre Enfance
Instrumental are goddarn good at times, and simply sublime at others. Vocals are not the best screamo has seen however. Nothing too bad, just not the best. 4.2
Seizures Reverie of the Revolving Diamond
This reminds me of The Contortionist's Intrinsic, not in terms of the actual music, but in
terms of how I absolutely love the proggy soft parts, and wish the harsh parts were
different. Goddamn I want that reverb tone so bad. Don't take me wrong, the metalcore parts
are fine - I just feel like they don't live up to the potential of the soft bits, and also
don't mix too well with them, except on a few tracks like 3, 7 and 9. Oddly enough the
purely non-harsh tracks feel weaker than the bits sprinkled in the midst of all the
metalcore. There aren't any jam tracks really, but this record is absolutely stocked with
jammy sections all over it - the end of the closer is a gorgeous example. It's an
interesting sound for sure and an album I'll re-listen to. Absolutely love the title, band
name and art combo too. 3.8
Sergei Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27
Jammed Valery Gergiev's LSO take. Excellent symphony with lots of depth, very little downtime, and a variety of atmospheres packed very quickly like fluidly after one another, but that because of this also feels like it lacks stand out section for the memory to latch upon. There's lots to unpack and one listen doesn't quite do it justice, but also backlog be backlog man. The entry to the first movement is really nice and dark, and the movement in general has quite a dark, emotional, enhanced history doc vibe to it. I feel like it is a touch timid and could go further in the emotional romanticism in place but it is still fantastically well executed. It does drag though, and the Wagneresque parts at min 17 for example aren't quite the best, and the finale thereafter also feels a bit drawn out. The reprise on 2 is really nice though, with lots and lots of depth and ideas flowing very well. 3 is softer and quite nice, really heavily romantic - as in romance not stylistically this time - in places, while 4 starts off with a mildly amusing, midnight ball sort of vibe, but by min 7 gets quite cool and offers a nice -stylistically- romantic finale. I might be a bit harsh but this was too confusing for a single listen. Don't compare this with my Mahler ratings etc pls. 4.1
Sewer Election Wreck
This confirms two things. First, I like (?harsh) noise. Second, I am entirely illiterate when it comes to noise. For beyond saying that it is quite diverse with different flavours of noise from distorted stuff to walls of white noise, and also that it is quite intelligently made with some pauses and alternation of aggressive and less aggressive phases, I'd be hard pressed to explain why I enjoyed this. But hell I did. What makes a good noise album as opposed to a bad mishmash of random, well, noises? I don't have a clue. 3.8
Siege Drop Dead
This came out in 1984? Incredible. Well I did listen to the 93 CD LP version but still. Sounds vintage, but from a compositional standpoint it could have come out in recent days. 4-5 are standout chaotic tracks, and 1-2 are jams too. The intro to 8 shows that they can do lighter things just as well, but the track doesn't unfold too well I found. I am not a huge fan of the vocals especially on the closer, but the track is still fantastic, with its bass + sax intro and general insane, john zornesque chaotic jazz kind of vibe. A beautifully executed style rupture which I wasn't expecting. A historical 4.2
Simge Ben Bazen
Cool Turkish pop/electropop album with folk here and there that has a lot more to offer than the first few tracks let presume. 1-4 are all variations of summer electropop, 1 having fun bits but also gimmicky bits, 2 being flatter overall, 3 having a great intro and being less cliche, a fun summer track, and 4 being another fun track. 5 is a turning point showing that this won't be just a pop record with a superb (Turkish, not guitar balladcore) folky jam. 6 continues in that vein and is quite lovely too. 7 has a cool intro and eases us back into the funky electropop stuff with a slower track than 1-4, although the song's main interest lies in its first minute. 8 takes us back to the fun pop wholheartedly and gets super fun after a minute or two, ngl. 9 starts interesting but unfolds quite badly and is the weakest track here. 10 is a nice elegant track, while 11 shows us a more subdued, lo-fi hip hop vibe almost - yeah man this album is diverse. By 12 which is just alright it starts to feel a bit long though, and while 14 is an alright closer, 13 feels superfluous - it's a nice albeit cheesy acoustic cover of 4, might have been better as a bonus track instead. This is light yet quite rich, and you know what, I dig it. 3.75
Smile To The Wind Illusions
Great screamo record that stands out because of its very fast tempo and brutality. It gets right at your face and reminded me somewhat of Beau Navire.
Snarls Burst
Sweet sweet dreamy indie rock record, generally very lighthearted and lovely (3 and 4, jams of sorts, or 6 which I love too) but gets a bit slower, rocker and I'd say eerier on tracks like 5. 8's a ballad that unfolds nicely and brings welcome variety, and the record as a whole is just very nice. I'll come back to it for sure. 3.8
Sound of Ceres Nostalgia for Infinity
Underrated. I liked this a whole lot more than Candy Claws' stuff - SoC has a lot cleaner and softer a sound but still retains a strong part of CC's aesthetic. This album truly puts the 'dream' in dream pop, with a very lazy and hazy record to chill to in a sunny summer prairie - this isn't catchy dream pop for car rides. The intro on 1 is super nice and dreamy, while 2 is simpler and less catchy but with a very cool atmosphere to it. 3 continues this style, then the album takes a catchier turn on 4. This has a lot of synth part and electronica bits, which here reminded me a bit of Yoshimi in a remote way. 5 is a lazy but blissful jam that is transitions superbly into its own continuation on the catchy 6 which is pretty much 5 part B really. After this strong mid album, I was convinced this would get at least a 3.8 - before that I was thinking of a 3.7 maybe. 7 is the only track that looses momentum a bit, but 8 is incredibly chill, and after a short interlude, the concluding track offers hypnotic synth works that stands out from the rest of the album but works great as a finale and makes the last track another jam. 3.9
Stars of the Lid And Their Refinement Of The Decline
First disk could be 4.5 material on its own, but unfortunately they dragged it for too long again. The album is still much more successful at keeping you entertained and varying the textures than its predecessor, and feels so much vastly superior that I wonder if I wasn't in poor listening conditions for Tired Sounds compared to this. Disk 1 is pretty much all jams, 1-4 being classic SoL sound, 5 bringing welcome variation with darker undertones, 6 bringing more changes including bells stuff, 7 being the only a bit weaker track here feeling a touch bleep bloopey and boasting a long awks silence at the end, although the piano+vox in the intro is nice. 8 is less lush at first, then reintroduces the lushness beautifully, 9 is more material like 1-4, and 10 is probably one of the strongest jams here with more of a post-rocky drone supplemented by lovely keys. I'm telling ya, disk 1 is 4.5 material. Then comes disk 2. 11 is nice and bleak albeit lush, but 12 feels excessively long and kinda lost me. 13 changes it up with cello or something but it didn't convince me, by 14 the album had lost me a fair bit and just felt too long, and no longer like 4.5 range material. 15 brings the interest back though with a nice keys based track, not sure if jam or not, and 16 being kinda jammy with sweet, WWII-evoking textures. 17 would have been a cool outro to the album, but sadly they felt like they needed to add 17 more minutes of generic SotL material which is nice in a vacuum but here feels unnecessary and dragging forever. Overall this still scores a 4.1
State Faults Resonate/Desperate
Every album of theirs improve on its predecessor. Superb post-rocky screamo again, yet I seem to struggle to fall in love with this band. Prod has improved a tonne and sounds nice and round with lovely prominent drums. Still not a fan of the vocals but they did improve. This one sounds a lot more -core at times e.g. on track 2, and has some wankery bits e.g. on 4 or at the end of the album before the piano melody (which is 'convenue', but nice). Some gorgeous Suis La Lune-esque melodies again e.g. on track 6. The songs transition incredibly well into each other and the album's flow is top-notch, which makes it a bit hard to pinpoint jams - it really is a cohesive record. I don't quite like when the record goes happy almost and a bit more poppy while retaining the screamo vocals and sound, like on tracks 10-11. Sounded a bit odd to me. It maybe occurs earlier in the record too but it took me a while to put my finger on it. Still a strong 3.9
State Faults Clairvoyant
The first half of this up to track 7 or so is incredible, about a 4.35 and clearly a potential grower. The music is brutal, intelligent, changes pace all the time and is just a chaotic delight to hear. Drums are incredible, and I finally love the vocals with those more aggressive instrumentals behind them .Track 4 is my tentative favourite of the album, but 1-6 are absolute jams bar some sections of 3. The t/t is a turning point and is much slower and doomier than the rest. It's not quite my favourite, but also it brings a bit of freshness mid-record, and in the context of making a grand album and not just a great album I think it fits really well. The run from 7-11 has more ups and downs, whereas the first half was all ups. Highlights are the brutal last third of 9, and the melody on 9. 11 is a jam and graciously comes back to the sound of the first half. I feel diced about rating this in 4.5 range, but also I've grown more cautious about what I 4.5 since I 4.3'd Nuvolascura. Clairvoyant feels superior, so I guess I'll have to rejam both. I still think this is fantastic and a grower, so it'll tentatively reach a 4.25rEdit: it has bursts of 5 genius but it doesn't quite manage to maintain it all the way and the second half falls off a tad, 4.2
Steve Lehman Sélébéyone
Really dug this. The first track got me especially excited. I love the mood, the rhythmic
weirdness, the jazzy instrumentation, the non-English sounding Wolof bits mixed into the
English rapping, with voices that I enjoy. In general the improvy jazzy tracks like 2, 4 or
9 are the ones I enjoyed most, while darker tracks like 3 or 6 didn't convince me as much.
5 is dark too but does it better. Beyond jazz and rap, the album has even more variety and
takes an electronic turn at the end of 6 and on the deranged 7. A strong album, I need more
of it. 3.9
Still Woozy Lately
Fun RnB/psych infused alt pop for summery laziness. The bubbly 3 and 4 are probably the dreamiest and most relaxed, while 1 and 5 offer some tasty groove. 2 felt a bit weaker and skippable but is still nice, for an overall strong EP. 1 and 3 would probably be the strongest jams? 3.75
Suffocation Human Waste
The relatively raw production of this early Suffocation record brings color to a classic death metal sound. Absolutely massive and brutal record, but short enough to not lose its freshness in its course. 4.1
Sundrugs Low
Where the prior album started off strong but overextended, this one starts with merely ok
tracks to finish on a perfect run of three strong jams. Second half is highly recommended
drone. 1 is sweet but a bit forgettable, then the record goes a bit all over the place with
a spacey 2, a sci-fi cavernous 3, and an interesting track on 4 with sort of psychedelic
downtempo sprinkled in with some Lustre and DS (can tell that you liked this garasbro).
From then on the record picks it up, with 5 being a lovely synthy repetitive track that is
way too short and would otherwise be a jam, 6 being nicely cinematic like drifiting in the
ocean or space, and 7 being sweetly gritty. The last three tracks bump this up hugely
though, as they're all jams. 8 displays nice piano laid atop some lovely dronebient, to
later turn into drone and lead to a fantastic conclusion. Title's very fitting. 9 is an
aquatic soundscape, I mean it's short and not really a jam but it fits, and 10 is the
behemoth track here with a 21 min runtime. It starts dark and mysterious, menacing almost,
and later brings the gritty subtlety I loved so much on the debut. It feels desolate and
alone, and my rating went up by the minute. Perfect for contemplating my Oregon trip
pictures. The last third is softer and perhaps not as jammy but still very nice, and the
hopeful conclusion is very well delivered. This will stay in my library for sure. 3.9
SUZANNE The Distance Between You and Me
What a lovely, breezy, delicately produced aerial K-RnB EP where every track works. Like LEEBADA this has an elegant, subdued sound making for an EP that is definitely going to stay in my library. Short and sweet, just 5 tracks' worth of goodness that flow well into one another. It's only 17min long, if you are interested in the genre this might be a good entry point. 4.2
SUZANNE Underwater
Nice K-RnB too. More ambient and perhaps less catchy than Distance - with the exception of 2 -, which isn't something I mind at all - 1 for example is really nice and fittingly aquatic. I have to say the prod on this is a touch too abrasive and lacking roundness in the bottom end to my taste, but I am nitpicking as it is overall very nice. 3.8
Swans To Be Kind
I used to absolutely love this album, but this time round I wasn't so convinced. Sure it has plenty of fantastic, memorable, 5-worthy moments, and it holds the distance superbly well for a 2hrs+ album, but I just don't think the length is fully justified here. Feels like the (plentiful) ideas are stretched a little bit too thin. May just be a case of a bad listen, but this hardly feels like a 4.15
sway (CA) The Millia Pink and Green
Some of the lushest and softest shoegaze I've heard in recent memory. Listened to this in the wrong order thanks to Spotify but I will rejam it anyway because this a sweet, continuous stream of reverberated softness that felt like a 4.1 from start to finish. 3 (the real one, Sullust, not Spotify's 3) feels perhaps a little dronier, 4 more ambient, 1-2 vaguely more classically shoegaze with their guitar tones, and 5 is the most melodically hooking track of all thereby making it a great album conclusion, but the record just feels like one continuous stream of soft dreaminess you want to wrap yourself in and sleep on. The vox evoke soft Neige and are often mixed quietly e.g. on 5 which reinforces their softness, and there is hardly any distortion let alone fuzz here, maybe on 2 a bit. Get on this people. 4.1
Swing Marabout
Consider this a joint -dex recommendation of some sweet, chill Belgian-hop. Instrumentals are often complex, multi-layered and evolving, far from being a mere loop over a drum line. This is displayed from the get go and all throughout, but my favourite example are the added percussive sounds coming at min 2 on 2. His delivery is also excellent and varies from hard hitting to more fun and laid back a la Hippocampe Fou minus the parody aspect. It's nicely displayed on 8 for example. Every track is sweet but 2 and 7 are hard hitting jams. The exception being 6, which is outright horrible and completely out of place - prevents the album from being a 4.2 for me. I love the very inspiring intro texture on 9, but the track doesn't unfold into more than a merely ok track. 5 is the only track where I really wish he didn't rap, I feel like it would have worked better without it. All in all this is a nice example of everything that French-language rap does well, and only scarcely shows what it does wrong. 4.15
Tame Impala Lonerism
This one bridges the gap between the EP and the first LP. It is more modern than the former, but far more 60's psych than the latter. It has also a lot fewer tunes than LP1, but to be honest I listened to LP1 a lot more and it defines the Tame Impala sound to me so it's not exactly fair. This one still boasts some tunes, 7 of course, 6 to a lesser degree, and the fantastic 9 which manages to mix the catchiness and the psych vibes incredibly well. The outro to 11 is also super jammy but only lasts a few seconds and ends on a fadeout. Album is incredibly constructed. The opener already states the record as being firmly different from its predecessor, and the two open in very different ways but both very well. The closer tracks stands out being in a very different style, vibe, and instrumentation, and is a class example of how you do that properly. Fantastically well done, before it I was going to give this a 4.15, but it brings it to a solid 4.2
Tame Impala The Slow Rush
This is a frustrating album, because it often feels like it could have been a fantastic psych pop bop, yet the production, instrumentation and arguably singing remain too subdued to fully attain that potential. It is like Kevin remained partly prisoner of the past Tame Impala sound, and felt like he needed to retain this psychedelic laziness without it being always appropriate on the album. Tracks like 3, 5 or 6 exemplify that, and while being kinda jammy, could have been huge jams were they more pop and explosive. They have banger melodies in them and feel like they just don't unfold enough. 7, while not as jammy, does the blend of psych and pop a bit better. The record feels hesitant as to which direction to go for, and the result feels like it is half the album it could be. Yet I think it gets way too much heat for what it still delivers. When prod and instrumentation give themselves the means to be bouncy, it works amazingly, see 8, 9 and 11. 4 is kinda cool, my best description for it (rofl) would be Ott-pop? And I really like the opener. Sure, 10 feels a bit eh, and the closer, while having cool ideas, disappoints a bit with its protracted ending going into a fadeout (taking this down half a point at least), but this still feels like a 3.85
Tame Impala Tame Impala
This is the best 60s record that was recorded in 2008. It is interesting how the first track which is on Innerspeaker feels like a normal Tame Impala track whereas every single other track sounds like it is straight out of the 60s. Is the track truly different at its core, or is it just that knowing its cleaner LP version takes away the feeling of outdatedness that comes from the crasser prod here? Anyway there is no reason to ever jam 1 here since the prod doesn't serve it and it is again on the LP, but in a vacuum it is of course a great track. 2 is a huge jam and it is fun how much it sounds like the music that inspired him. 5 is also on the more psychedelic side and maybe a jam as well. 3 on the other hand is on the more rock side of things, and while still nice it definitely feels like the weakest track here. 4's more fun than 3. This is a very interesting way to start a discog because with this EP Tame Impala just sounded like a 60s psych rock revival band, and transformed itself for the first LP. 3.8
Tame Impala Currents
After Lonerism's 60's-evoking psychedelic ventures, this one takes a decidedly more electronic turn while retaining the psychedelia. I can't help but feel it is compositionally complacent on certain tracks (4 especially, 5 a bit too). The synthy tones and prod are so good that the tracks can afford to become simpler, but in places TI went a little overboard imo. This is especially true of the slower-paced, less catchy tracks, although 2,3 and 8 do it quite well. Now this does boast some solid jams, for instance 1, 7, and 13, and the conclusion 11-12 is also very strong, bumping this a point. But the record lost me a bit midway on this listen. 4.0
Tertia May Kind of Purple
Very rich debut (?) EP. She'll be a fantastic first act for Erika de Casier. 1-3 are great
neo-soul tracks, 1 being chill and simple, 2 being Erika-esque and nocturnal, 3 being a
little simple and seemingly immature at first, but then unfolding in multiple ways with a
nice verse allowing her to display fantastic vocals. 4 is more in the style of classic
soul, but is very fun and enjoyable with the backing vocals and the blues guitar offering
welcome variety. This is just solid really. 3.9
The Dillinger Escape Plan Miss Machine
The closest we'll ever get to Calculating Infinity for a full-length record. Feels less raw, and already marks a shift towards their later sound. This brings a lot of fresh ideas and the music has many high points, even though some tracks do fall a bit behind. Excellent and a must listen when looking for that early TDEP sound, but with a touch more melody and a touch less brutality.r4.2
The Great Yawn Botanica
Superb folk on the slight indie pop side of things, with sublime vocals. The record has some gorgeous tracks, and does not hesitate to venture in jazzier, poppier, or ballad territory on 5, 4 and 11 as respective examples. The first half felt stronger, especially with 1 and 3 which are lovely jams, and the second half of 4 which is gorgeous too. 7 is the first track that didn't grab my attention as much, everything before that is really sweet, but after it the album didn't feel like it held the distance too well, loosing my attention a little bit. 8 with its backing vocals giving Obel vibes is kinda jammy though, and 11 and 12 are gorgeous too. Overall 3.9
The Jezabels She's So Hard
Superb. I am really excited for their even more praised records now. Art pop infused indie rock, but with incredibly diverse instrumentation and loads of creative ideas. Not all jams, but I respect every single track. 1 is a gorgeous jam with a top notch intro. Like all songs on here it is quite dense, and tbh not all parts are favourites, but overall a very solid track. 2 is less my cuppa but the ending is cool. 3 is in the same vein. 4 and 5 take it up a notch again, each with superb bridges - especially 5's piano bridge -, although the vox is a bit much occasionally in both tracks. This isn't an all time favourite album but I really love this band and how creative they get. 4.0
The Jezabels Dark Storm
Scratch my first impression, it was due to poor listening conditions. This is superb, especially the first two tracks which are both jams. The vocals work even better here and feel catchier and (nicely) poppier than before. This doesn't take away any intensity to the music, which feels extremely intense despite not being extreme - an achievement to be praised. 3 and 4 are more of the same without quite reaching the same level but remaining sublime. 5 is the weakest track here, it's not bad but being the album closer and in contrast to the rest it brings the album down a point. The post-rocky touches on 1 and 3 are a bit clich but still sweet and a noticeable new addition. Also love the artwork. 4.1
The Jezabels Prisoner
This is a band that knows what they're doing. The record isn't just their EPs in a longer format - it is masterfully and carefully constructed, and bears a feeling of grandeur as a record the shorter EPs didn't quite have. The album retains the post-rock influences seen on Dark Storm, but in a much subtler and more integrated way which is delightful to hear. The opener is sublime and quite literally one of my favourite album openers, period. The following track is also an incredible jam, and both are godtier tracks with huge intensity and voluminous instrumentation. 3 retains that intensity but is perhaps not quite as strong a track, then the record gradually descends in intensity which is welcome - 14 tracks of that would have been too much. The record is very dense and quite long (without being too long) and I'd be hard pressed to pinpoint all the jams and weaker tracks. The descent gets to its calmest on 11, with a lovely keys-based ambient interlude (jam), then picks it right up with 13 which is also a jam. 14 is a questionable closer in my opinion, in fact the bonus track felt like a better closer. Throughout my listen I was hesitant between 4.2 and 4.3, but the closer tips it down. This is really dense and I can't commit to a 4.5 range rating just yet. Still reaches a solid upper 4.2
The National High Violet
This is very pretty and it will grow on me for sure as I get to know it better - hadn't heard it in years, literally. But because it is quite restrained and subdued, only few tracks stood out on this undedicated listen - 6 and 9, namely. This isn't the kind of album you can fully appreciate whilst doing something else so don't @me I'll listen to it more closely next time. 4.2
The Newfound Interest in Connecticut Tell Me About the Long Dark Path Home
Really lovely post-rock/emo with tasty prominent and aggressive drumming contrasting with the relatively soft, raw and lo-fi instrumentals and vocals. Some of the best post-rock I've heard in the last few months, and the emo bits are mostly really nice too. The record is very consistent and pretty much all jammy, but the tracks that struck me most were 1,3,4 and 6. Not going to be a classic, but a thoroughly enjoyable record nonetheless. 4.15
The Oh Hellos Through The Deep, Dark Valley
Usually with this kind of music (happy indie folk) I think this is nice but quite generic. Here however there is so much variety - for example in the vocals, going from solo male to female to group chant to and fro - that it did not feel at all generic or simplistic. It is a nice, feel good late spring record that I will happily re-listen to. 4.1
The Oh Hellos Dear Wormwood
This really sounds like a rural hipster village had an hour long jam session where everybody showed their talent. Indie folk with touches of country. This is fun and cute quality music, even though it is not my favourite genre. Some tracks are great (e.g. 'Caesar') and the record is definitely worth a spin. I maybe preferred their first opus ever so slightly though. 3.9
The Oh Hellos The Oh Hellos' Family Christmas Album
Forgot to rate this yesterdayrSurprised by how much I liked this. My favourite was
probably track 1 and my appreciation went down after that, but good Oh Hellos material
still. A bit weird to be recognizing Christmas song melodies though. Will re-listen. 4.1
The Weeknd After Hours
First half is a solid 4.2, but second half falters a bit despite a fun synthpop twist, and overextends a tiny bit too. Still feels like his magnum opus so far where he magnifies his style, and the album is a nice summary of his musical 2010's decade as a way to open the 2020's. Opener's very nice, then 2 is a big jam with its bouncy, burialesque almost prod. 3 follows with a dnb prod, 4 feeling more like regular The Weeknd and the first weaker/gnangnan track. But already we see the variety on display here. 5 is a kinda jam with nice bounce, and I love the ambient-esque prod on 6. The intro is jammy but the track feels a touch too long. 7 is a harder hitting trap track (but still with his vox), and it is another hard jam. The record then takes a turn and moves into its weaker 2nd act. 8 feels a bit much. 9-11 then take us on a synthpop trip, and while they're all nice, especially the overall better 10 with its fantastic, sax-led conclusion, they fail to bring the record back up imo. 12 ends the synthpop phase and brings back the eerier electronica style of the early record, but minus a lot of the energy it had. Does help with the album length though, because at this point it is starting to feel long indeed. 13 brings the energy back and is really nice, but it was about time the album ended, and while 14 is niec it feels outright unnecessary. Well done man. 4.0
Tigers on Trains Grandfather
This is cute and quality indie-folk. Sounds like summer in the American northwestern states. Some great jams, but none that marked me incredibly. Will have to re-listen. 4.0
Too Young To Go Steady Dropout
To me this is indie pop that feels like post-rock - in places it's even post-rock with vocals that actually fit it. This is particularly true of 1 and 4, both really nice and 4 being the jammiest track on here. There are feels of epic Rocky Mountains summers infused in there. 2 is a bit more pop and made me bob ma head, it is nicely catchy. 3 is weaker and feels more generic compositionally speaking. I'm not sure I'd call this dream pop for the most part, but 5 would be the track for it with its dreamy lushness. 6 is quite catchy and, while perhaps not my fave track, summarises the album pretty well - really sweet post-pop, to speak in gross neologisms. Very nice and worth a check, this goes in my library. 3.95
Touche Amore Stage Four
I have to say I am somewhat biased because I have always slightly preferred TA's rawer, more hardcore side, but this is a more than solid album for a band that is yet to ever disappoint with the records they put out. This album brings the hardcore influences ever so slightly down, and brings in more pop punk, emo and post-rock more than ever before in a TA album. I still found it missing the catchy hooks and melodies that were plentiful in their previous records, perhaps due to the change of style but also to my listening conditions. The last track takes a very interesting musical direction, and it is almost a shame that the album ends right after that. Will have to re-listen to it for sure. 3.8
Ulcerate Shrines of Paralysis
I need to rejam this because the conditions weren't ideal and I might rate it higher on second spin, but either way this is clearly superior to the prior two LPs, and I think clearly inferior to EiF. From the get go you notice first that the prod is again not the best, and that this is the good old Ulcerate we had on EiF again and not the slower, more deathcorey stuff we had before - the vox feel like dm again. It does retain some of the blast beat walls and some other flaws, but it's really not too bad and the atmospheric, ominous atmospheres are better integrated into their sound here. 1 in itself demonstrates all of this. 2-3 is more of the same great stuff, with a nice break around min 5 on track 3. The t/t shows well how much they have improved the ominous vibes in their sound. 5 is a very cool interlude, and generally speaking this may be due to listening conditions but I felt like the latter half of the record was superior and bumped it a good point, with 6-8 all being fantastic and closing the album on a strong note. Again I need to revisit this, but for now 4.1
Ulcerate Stare Into Death and Be Still
I don't know how much of this is due to not so great listening conditions or overhype syndrome, but this felt quite similar in quality to Shrines and I kinda saturated on some of the later tracks. I have a similar comment for it in that it combines the visceral brutality of EiF (albeit toned down) and the ominous atmosphere of the two albums that followed it but more successfully so than they did. But on first listen at least I much preferred the hellish violence of EiF to this. I find the calmer, more melodic passages a bit draggy here and not as interesting as they could be - 5 being a prime example. The slower part at 5:30 doesn't even function as an ear rest imo. 1 and 2 are dope tracks, but I'm not too sure about the early track and later midtrack on 3. The premidtrack is cool though, and the conclusion fantastic. 4's cool too. By 6 I was kind of saturating, but thankfully it offers a nice rest for the ears. I didn't quite dig how it unfolded in semi bmey fashion. 7 got me tired, and its fadeout ending didn't help, but thankfully the album ends on a strong note with the closer being of the best tracks, if not the best track period. Stylistically I'm just way more into EiF than this, but I owe this a relisten against Shrines. 4.1
Ulver Messe I.X-VI.X
Darn it there really isn't anything Ulver can't do. Ambient/Dark ambient bordering on orchestral, WWII documentary soundtrack. The album is phenomenal and works very well in creating a dark, chilling atmosphere. The opening track is gorgeous, and the only low point point I found was 'Son of Man', or the singer's input in general. A solid 4.2
Ulver The Assassination of Julius Caesar
Good god is there any genre these guys can't do. Amazing post-punky pop. Consistent
quality throughout the record, lots of head-bobbing moments, some questionable vocals.
Overall a very successful album. All tracks are faves although the closer is what bumped
the album from a 3.9-4.0 to a firm 4.1.
Unknown Error The Yearning / Midnight Special
One of the most solid DnB/Jungle records I've heard. Sweet beats throughout without falling into the trap of an endless accelerated Amen break, sweet melodic lines, rich textures - both tracks are chill and pounding at the same time. Prefer track 2 slightly, the complete lack of EP intro is regrettable, and tbh it does not have much stature to it, but this is quite a jam and could grow on me. 4.1
Vaa Ur sägen och hävd
Yeah this is clearly some of the best DS-type music I've heard. Wonderfully cinematic, and knows to keep things short. I did feel like the last track was a bit of an excessive drag, and the record may have been better as a three tracker imo, which brings it down a point. But still a fantastic garasfind and a good 3.9
Ved Buens Ende Written In Waters
The instrumentals are really cool, proggy and inventive, mostly not bm I'd say but at times it
does go bm-ey. Really interesting instrumentals that are the sole reason why I want to re-listen
to this because the vocals whether clean or harsh are godawful. The clean ones sounds like they
are impersonating a ghost to scare kids on Halloween, and the harsh ones sound like a baby
burping. Track 7 is a perfect example of a cool track being ruined by Casper vocals. Thankfully
the album does not have a lot of vocals, which thanks to the creative instrumentals keeps it at a
safe 3.8
Venenum Trance of Death
Great, brutal and inventive death metal. Re-listen needed. I was not so convinced by the first 3-4 tracks. A bit gimmicky and erratic at times if you ask me. 3.7-3.8 range. But the ending trilogy, especially part II, definitely bumped these above that range to a comfortable 3.9
Vestiges The Descent Of Man
Man if this were better produced it'd be monumental. It's not the end of the world but you do feel like the prod hurts the experience a bit. The ambient intro and outro tracks are great, although the latter feels a bit too long. Then 2 offers a fantastic sample platter of everything the band can do: you get FoE crust, sludge, black metal, post-metal vibes, and it all flows surprisingly well. The track is overall bonkers and the transition into 3 is a masterclass. 3 is also great, but by min 4 struggles a bit and annouces a dip in quality in the middle of the album. 4 is a simpler track and is fine but feels far less marking than 2 or 4. 5 picks it up again with a super cool buildup into a great explosion that makes you really wish the prod were fuller and better. 6 has a nice explosion too, again hurt by the prod, and reinforces the impression of the outro track being excessively long by having a protracted conclusion itself. Fantastic potential especially shown on 2, but I feel like they can do even better things. 3.75
VIM UKIYO
Very very sweet and catchy little dream pop EP with some nicely memorable melodies. I recalled 2 just from hearing it once when budgie linked it so hey well done band. 1-2 are very nice, but 3 and 4 really bring it up a notch with two lovely upbeat, catchy jams, 3 being the lusher one and 4 being the one you can dance to. I wish the EP ended on this fun track and not on 5, which while nice is certainly not as good, bringing it down a point. 3.75
Viva Belgrado Flores, Carne
Very nice post-rock with skramz explosions. Tracks 1-4 are quite jammy and could be a very solid EP on their own. The record bores a bit when it dwells too long on post-rock interludes like on track 5. 6 is probably the best jam here and delves even into post-metal riffage at times. 8 has really cool riffs but doesn't use them well. Still kinda jammy. Towards the end the record feels less memorable (although I had to pause at track 8 so not super fair). It feels a bit like a sine wave with constant alternation of calm post-rock and skramzey explosions with almost clock-like precision, with solid average quality but few moments that truly shine. 3.85
Viva Belgrado Ulises
Clearly superior to anything else they've put out. I am a sucker for prominent drums and they sure are impressive and more prominent here. The first half of the album is incredible, but from track 7 onwards it does seem to have more trouble. Not bad by any means, but it does struggle a bit to keep your attention for the last few tracks which brings it down a point or two. The end of 10 is jammy, and the beginning of 7 is interesting and jammywith an indie-rock sounding riff but with skramz prod and drums. The closer is a bit convenu, I like the noisier bit at its riffing peak but you can tell they were going for a grand finale and it is a bit convenu. 1-2 are jams, pbtt meets Spanish Envy. 3 is a jam too and interesting, it has kind of a rap feel to it with La Dispute vibes? 4-6 are nice. 5 shows that the drums make the record feel a lot more brutal than their other output. 4.1
Why Bonnie Voice Box
Maybe it is because of the sun and the gorgeous weather magnifying the music, but this felt stronger than their prior outputs. Why Bonnie sets a specific mood, and here it worked perfectly for me. From track 1 on you can already tell they sound got very full with a lot going on. Their construction is good too, with 3 being a far more abrasive track which perhaps didn't match the mood I was looking for with this listen but in a vacuum is still a good track, immediately followed by 4 which is the softest track here to rest a bit from the momentary distortion our soft ears were exposed to. 5 is also great as a conclusion. Overall solid, LP when? 3.8
Windrikje Frostland
This is a simple album, didn't feel that special to me or anything, and yet for some reason I really dug it. Maybe because it is DS (or I guess winter synth hey garas) without sounding like a game soundtrack at all? 2 is probably the weakest track here. 1 is nice and has a heavy desolate atmosphere to it. 2 is a bit weaker, 3 is a lovely sounding jam, 4 is nice but a bit forgettable - although I love the drony very intro and outro -, 5 is kinda cool even though not the most atmospheric track on the record, epic and ominous sounding with its distant drums, and finally 6 wraps it up nicely with a slightly japanese sounding track. The record is short and sweet, and I'll revisit it. 3.9
worms as blind as dirt worms as blind as dirt
I really can't articulate thoughts when it comes to noise. This is a lovely hnw tape made
of two different walls of noise. It feels a bit like Paysage d'Hiver cranked the bad prod
to its absolute peak and disintegrated the audio. I like the prod, it is aggressive but
not too much and preserves the relaxing features of white noise while also being quite
destructive. This one hit home harder than other noise projects I've found so I'll bump
it a point. 3.9
Wormsblood Bounds Beaten
Great, raw black metal with quite an extensive sound palette that is very fluidly displayed in the span of ten minutes. I do take issues with some (but not all) of the vocals, because some of the delay effects just sound cheesy, while nothing else about this is even remotely cheesy. But I love the sound they offer, and if I weren't in the middle of a Darkthrone discog run I'd start their discog right now. I will after DT because I'm quite excited by this. 3.9
Y La Bamba Mujeres
Wonderful album that starts off as good albeit generic dream pop, but brings much more to the table later on. The record navigates an array of styles impressively well whilst staying cohesive. Some songs sound like they would belong to a 50's black and white Mexican movie, some are sad, some are upbeat. The only track I did not like was the one before last, and maybe the bonus track which I did not care for anyway. Will re-listen to it. 4.1
Yeule Serotonin II
Great debut LP leveraging her early discog but also adding new things. The clearest example of that is this seemingly odd mix of synthpop on a fat house-ish beat that was never in her prior EPs. It is best executed on 2 and 7 where it is quite fun, and it is also on 5 after a lengthy intro but not done so well. 3 shows a nice flavour of psychedelic dream pop with some Culprate vibes to it. 9 feels a bit like vaporwave and is quite cool. There is also a lot of ambient on this, starting with the very sweet intro track and constituting most of the interludes. 8 also starts off and ends that way in lovely fashion, but the bulk of the track is less soft. At 10-11 the album takes an angelic turn with two superb and delicate ambient tracks, to then end on the most experimental track of hers yet, a glitchy ambient thingy that ends on a wash of noise - which I love and bumps this up a point. Very well constructed, quite original, bring on the next LP! 3.85
Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson
Not revolutionary but very enjoyable post-rock with some emo parts sprinkled in.
Zao The Well-Intentioned Virus
This may be me getting used to the band and the vocals, but my taste for this grew quite steadily throughout the album. I had trouble with the first couple tracks, but the middle of the album is fantastic and the end is not too bad either. Really interesting, proggy metalcore/hardcore reminiscent of a lot of amazing bands out there. A re-listen is needed, the album may become a grower. 3.8

3.5 great
070 Shake Modus Vivendi
Neon 80s sci-fi space version of The Weekend using near-ubiquitous autotune and vast
amounts of synths, some of which sound quite vintage and even Pink Floydy here and there.
Nice and full of ideas if you can tolerate autotune, but overstretched for a tad too
long. By 8 it starts feeling a bit lengthy, and you're just about halfway. 8 and the
following songs aren't bad though which keeps this at a reasonable rating. The early
record could get a 3.8-3.9 with a superb vox based Rnbesque intro track, the cool 2, the
jammy 3, the more industrial sounding 4 which I don't think I'd like in an album but
works here, and the deliciously 80's + 2020 cloud rap 5. 6 is a bit weaker and 7 is
anecdotal being only 17 seconds long. 9 is pretty and picks up the interest a little bit
with some intelligent acoustic guitar lines to freshen the sound a bit, while 10 and 11
get simpler and more bare bones to relieve a bit from all the synthyness, which shows the
album is intelligently constructed. 12 is the only bad track but thankfully it is short.
By 13 it is really about time the album ends, and it is a good thing because 14 gives a
good conclusion to an album that, while not flawless, is interesting, promising, and
deserves a fair bit more than the avg rating it has. 3.55
1200 Micrograms 1200 Mics
"Let's give title each track after a different drug lol so edgy" Not the most serious aesthetic here with lots and lots of samples telling us psychedelic things, but let's look past that. 1-5 is a solid, easy 3.7. It is trance/psytrance that is never hugely memorable because of its simple, straight to the point approach with drums+bass+synth line and that's it, but it also does the job without fail and without any annoying section really. It is quite mindless and repetitive, so definitely not a record to recommend to someone who wants to discover trance without quite enjoying it yet. 4 is softer and trippier but looses a bit of steam by the midtrack, which is saved by 5 being one of the fattest cuts. By 6 however, it is starting to feel a touch long, and the first cringe sounds also start to show up in the end track. 7 has some great buildups and rave potential but furthers this starting to feel too long. 8 starts quite badly with the guitar but once it goes away by the midtrack it becomes really fun with some added tribal drums. The second half is super cool but it ends out of nowhere. At this point I realised Spotify is dumb and has the same track twice, so 9 is a repeat. Looks like there are multiple versions of this album but this is definitely not a correct one. The last track is more of the same, and the record ends on a 3.35
1200 Micrograms Heroes Of the Imagination
To me this holds the distance better than 1200 Mics. It is the same style of mindless,
club-oriented trance that does the job and feels like it's from the 90s even though it
isn't, but it just works better across the board. Again, really not something to start
discovering trance with though. The best comparison I could come up with (realised this on
8) is that this is Salut C'est Cool, but serious + psytrance synths. There are some flutes
and other more shpongeley elements, on 3 where the flute is cool but not very well mixed in
conjuntion with the electronica, and 5 where it is far better used. 4 is my fave track here
and 5 is second with maybe 8 as third, while 1-3 is a bit all the same. On 7 the electric
guitar is used well for the first time in their discog, but the real track bringing this
all way down is 6. The Money for Nothing sample is a very cheap gimmick and the remix into
a trance track is pretty awful. Even when the track doesn't use the sample it uses electric
guitar awfully and the track is just not a good time. It brings this down but even with
this massive, bad taste faux pas I can't have this one not beating 1200 Mics so 3.4
21 Savage Issa Album
Had to interrupt this multiple times so I didn't quite measure the full impact of its longer runtime at 56 minutes, but this felt far stronger and consistent than his earlier tapes save Savage Mode. Feels underrated. First of all he pretty much entirely drops the gimmicky pew pew skrrt skrrt, which is a saving grace. The album's aesthetic surprisingly match the artwork quite well; far from the gangsta aesthetics one could expect, a lot of the tracks like 3,5,9,11 have bubbly, light and colourful cartoon instrumentals and are all super nice - although on 9 his vocals fail to feel congruous. 1's also a nice 21s track, and 2 is quite cool although his repetitive, slightly nasal delivery isn't so great. 4 is a rupture in atmosphere, going back to darker things between 3 and 5, but it is short and passable enough. 6 is cool but a touch too long. 7 is nice and relaxed, but after that the second half of the album felt far weaker - although again it might be my listening conditions. 8,10,12 and 13 are all far weaker - 13 being the worst by far. Thankfully, the closer saves the beans being a cool darker, autotuned track more in the vein of his tapes (but better made), and brings this up to a 3.3
21 Savage i am > i was
Cool art on this. I don't know if it was the conditions but this felt all good but a bit bland, with no track truly standing out as a jam. 1 is prbably the most marking with its chill childish gambino, along with 7 which is essentially a post-malone track with hardly any 21sav in sight, and 8 which evokes Mask Off. Again 21sav is at his best when... he's less there? 2-3 are kinda meh, 4 is fun but has excessively repetitive hooks, which is also 5's flaw. 6 is alright but basic ATL trap. 9 has a chill nocturnal instrumental. 11 is darker but a bit boring. 12 is kinda cool in a cloudy, smoky way, and 13 is hte same but even better. 14 and 15 just pass honestly. The album feels like it hardly explodes, has mostly minimal insrtumentals, flat delivery, and few truly marking hooks, whilst at the same time hardly ever being bad. Issa Album was more colourful with higher ups and lower down, but this feels of equivalent quality. 3.3
21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin Without Warning
I should re-listen to this because I was set up to expect more aggressive/explosive vibes than this offered, where it is despite the trap vox quite a subdued nocturnal record - a style quite evident on the calssy jam 9 for example. For a trap record it is surprisingly consistent and good as an album, with great transitions (helped by the cohesive mood) that often made me think a track was a new section of the previous song - the best example being the neat transition from 4 and its jammy instrumental but questionably fitting delivery from 21sav into the jammy 5. 6-10 also flow really well into one another, although there isn't always a proper transition to speak of. While generally I tend to dislike multiplicity of vocalists, here it is a strong point of the album, bringing variety and avoiding fatigue while maintaining a consistent style. This is best shown on the jammy opener, but is true of the record as a whole. Some tracks like 2 or 8 are perhaps a bit subpar, but I was really not expecting such a well constructed and cohesive album for the genre given the lineup. Props boys. 3.6
36 Music for Isolation
Very pretty piano loop-based ambient EP. Nothing groundbreaking, but just sweet lovely tracks. 1 and 3 feel clearly like the top tracks, with 4 not so far behind and evoking Hisaishi to me in its melody somehow? 2 doesn't change the formula, yet feels clearly inferior which is interesting. Might give this a shot for a review. Once again a good garas find! 3.5
36 and Zake Stasis Sounds For Long​-​Distance...
Thanks garas for the rec! This is an album to be listened in the background. On dedicated listen, it would feel way too long and too samey. I don't think it would hold its own. But if you are looking for a continuous wall of lovely, lush, Stars of the Lid-esque ambient continuously well executed, there you have it. My favourite part was the first act, 1-3, but that's probably just because my attention went away a bit after that. I had to skip most of the last act because my battery died, but I feel like this is the kind of album where it does not really matter as there are no surprises to be expected. A genre consistently well executed, but without any extra edge to tip it into the top tier arena - this is the perfect definition of a 3.5
A Sunny Day in Glasgow Scribble Mural Comic Journal
This is dense and I'm honestly quite baffled by it. My rating is temporary because this needs a re-listen. This record is bizarre and defies tagging for most of its course. The vocal ambient/droney intro track flows into sort of dub techno, and after that into a series of experimental sort of dreamy sort of noisy tracks that I'd be hard pressed to describe, but globally felt quite difficult to get into although they have good moments. It is like the record is lethargic and had too much drugs, or like what you hear and remember when you are semi conscious about to fall asleep you know. It sometimes sounds deranged, like on 4. 6 is kinda cool and noisy. Slowly, the record wakes up from its bad trip or dream; it becomes more digestable, more genre-defined, easier to interpret. 9 is the first track that felt like that with some nice dreaminess. 10 is a cool electronic buildup with a great bass-led outro. 11-12 are dreamy shoegaze of sorts, and I suppose prelude their later sound. I feel like this would be best describe as having a Mulholland Drive kind of vibe? 3.5
A Sunny Day in Glasgow Sea When Absent
Continues the more straightforward style they started on AA, but executed better. It doesn't work on every track, but it works more often than on AA. Prod's always been a bit bizarre with this band, but while it complemented the more experimental LP1 and LP2 nicely, here I feel like the album would benefit from being cleaner. 1 is a great quirky opener, I would't want the whole album to be like that but it works nicely to kick it off. 2 intelligently becomes less weird and is kinda jammy, although some weird parts don't quite work - the syncopated vox early on or the break at 3:35 for instance. 3-4 felt a bit unremarkable and just pass nicely. 5 feels like a deranged Tame Impala a bit and is more impactful. 6 takes a chiller flavour but is nice. 7 is unremarkable again and 8's just an interlude. The end of the album is stronger, with 9 being a nice catchy synthy jam with a cool intro, 10 continuing in the same vein of catchier more straightforward songs and is kinda jammy itself, while 11 goes a more psychedelic route again and works in places but not everywhere. 3.6
A Winged Victory for the Sullen Atomos
This one is a lot more 'acoustic'/instrument based as opposed to the electronic sounds of the s/t. It's quite sad in vibe overall and actually reminded me more of the Mono/WEG joint album in places than of their own s/t. The opener is the only real jam here and is quite gorgeous and cinematic. After that, the album has sporadic jammy tracks or sections (2,4,8,10), but past the end of 5 (VI) it looses your attention and feels like it is missing hooking textures that the first few tracks offered. 9 is nice in that it brings some grittier textures, but it's not a jam and it comes way too late in the album to save it from being a bit bland. 3.3
Aboombong Asynchronic
Weird but cool drone ambient experimental idk what throwing a lot of sounds together into a happy mess. This includes West-African percussions most notably on the fun but not transcendentally good 1, some random noisy jazz in the middle of 3, and a kind of post-rocky, much softer concluding track which stands out as quite different from the rest and works well as an album conclusion, bumping this a point. 2 was perhaps my fave, I really dig its intro and how it progressively turns darker and more dissonant. I also dig how dark gets. Nice rec park - who got it from Ghandhi I think? 3.4
Adrianne Lenker Hours Were the Birds
Folk with country leanings to a varying degree. Quite pretty, especially vocally, but overextends a fair bit. The first half (pre-interlude on 6) is perhaps more marking, but feels a bit erratic. 1 unfolds with nice surprise as soft folks with vaguely country singing, then 2 emphasises the country aspects even more - an ok song but that worked a bit less than 1 for me. 3 goes back to simple but pretty folk, then 4 adds a beat and is almost country danceable, then 5 is a sweet folk song again. A bit too much of back and forth change in vibe imo. 7-10 is far more consistent with more remote country notes and a sadder vibe overall, but the album progressively lost me with 8 and 9. 10 is the best song on this latter half though and helps a bit, reminding of French folk songs. Sweet, but not one for the history books. 3.5
Adrianne Lenker a-sides
At first I thought I'd like this more than Hours. 1-3 are all really pretty folk songs with nice guitar and singing, and even well done integration of male vox on 1. Nothing amazing but a touch more compelling than the LP. But after the countrier 4 and 5, despite some cool vocals still, the EP kind of lost me and felt like more of the same. Which, on a 20min record is pretty bad. A sweet but almost thoroughly forgettable listen. 3.4
Adrianne Lenker b-sides
Once again, a very pretty set of tracks with some that are a bit a bore and that lacks variety overall. 1 is actually really nice guitar folk/country, kinda makes you want to learn it on the guitar. 2 is slower and frankly not marking except some vocal ventures, while 3 succeeds far better at the same style with overall more interesting and delicate vocal delivery. 4 is a bit naive and again not that interesting. By 5 you're really wishing for some variation, which does come in 6 with a bit of lighthearted snowy folk, and especially on 7 with surprise male vocals that I quite dug. Man I swear if you compiled all of her best songs into a 30min EP it'd be an easy 4.0, but this is at best a 3.5
Adrianne Lenker abysskiss
By far and away her most consistent one yet, despite my rating not being that much higher. Instead of abruptly switching atmospheres and erratically gonig from sad folk to happy country, this one evolves progressively and smoothly, the only exception being the awful, non existent transition between the mellow 3 and, after brief silence, the sudden distortion of 4 (very mild, but in music this soft it still feels harsh). 1 is pretty superb folk and almost a jam, 2 being very similar, into the slightly jollier and countrier 3. 5 is softer and more contemplative, and 6 is nice too. As always with Lenker, this is great for 20 minutes, and then by track 7 is starts feeling all too samey. However 8 does bring a couple darker chords and much welcome slight melodic variation, saving this from really dropping points. To me she could do very well on EP format, and she definitely makes some really pretty songs both instrumentally and vocally, but as a solo artist she still needs to progress to fill time in interesting ways on a full-length format. 3.6
Agent Fresco Destrier
The instrumentals are phenomenal, will the band delightfully mixing in a lot of proggy elements, notably heavy use of keys in their overall alt rock/ post-hardcore sound. However to me this is sometimes ruined by vocals that are way too much on the whinier/lyrical side of things. It is just a matter of taste anyway and album is a great listen nonetheless.
Akua Naru The Journey Aflame
If CYNE were one woman instead of a bunch of dudes. Cool instrumentals, groovy vocal deliveries. The album drags on a bit and feel a little flat at times, but the mix of influences and spotless execution are to be appreciated. Not the album of the century but a worthwhile listen for sure, if anything for the cool style this record has. 3.7
Alcest Shelter
I don't mind the shift to post-rock in itself. I do mind that the resulting album sounds quite generic throughout its course (if it weren't for Neige's vocals and some vaguely different instrumentations like on the album closer). it is not a bad album, but it just does not cut it for me. Only a couple memorable high points - mostly track 1 and 2, maybe 3. In a vacuum this would still be meh, irrespective of the rest of their discog. 3.3
Alcest Souvenirs D'Un Autre Monde
This is a lovely debut that already shaped their song with a lovely mix of softness and
black metal, but not their best effort either. 5 is the track that tips it down a point,
with relatively annoying vocals and a weak riff. Generally speaking, this record is
strongest during instrumental or vocalised parts, whereas when Neige sings, the riffs go
simpler and the overall music is less entertaining - although his performance as a singer
is not at fault. 3 is the main jam here, with an enchanting intro and atmosphere. Literally
the artwork in musical form. 4 is kinda jammy too but not as much, and 6 is really cute. 1-
2 are worth a listen as well, esp the guitar around 2.5min on 1, but because of the verse
parts they aren't jams really. The fade out album ending is a bit of a shame. Still a solid
3.7
Alex Reece Pulp Fiction / Chill Pill
Sweet, straight to the point old school DnB. 1 boasts a super nice and round bass, and is proper DnB in the literal sense: sweet drums, some samples here and there, b a s s, and nothing more. It is maybe a minute too long to my taste, but a very nice relaxing slow-tempoed track nonetheless. 2 features a really bouncy beat that varies a fair bit, but I didn't like those high pitched hats in the intro too much. thankfully the track changes leads a fair bit at the 1:40 mark and becomes very fun. Loveably vintage and a sweet track as well. 3.65
Aloe Island Posse Aloe Island Adventures
A very good surprise for a random bandcamp find like this. Well executed nu disco/future funk/vaporwave/whatever that's not the record of the century but that is also a fun listen all the way through. The first three tracks are very in your face and intense. They're cool but it also gets a bit too much in places. 1 is super funky though with all the brass additions. Then 4-6 take a simpler approach and it works wonders to make the music more approachable and impactful, with all three tracks feeling better than 1-3 peaking on the jammy 6 and its super fun bass. Then 7 takes its time to conclude the album softly, in a relaxed sunset sort of vibe, which I think works great as a conclusion. Well executed and grants this a 3.55
Alpha Wann PPP
Yea kinda cool but not great. The mixing is quite bad with excessive bass and excessively aggressive drums, and that kinda breaks 2 and 3, while 1 is just meh of its own accord. 3 is the better executed one and is indeed the best one (still imperfect mix though), but 2 has the more potential. I might be remembering incorrectly but I feel like the Colors Show release version of 2 has a subtly better mix that massively improves it, but might just be my imagination. 3.25
Altar of Plagues Mammal
Altar of Plagues White Tomb
Didn't like this as much as I recalled. The first two tracks are good especially the opener intro, but the last two go into into doomier black metal that I find a bit meh, while dropping a lot of the post- and more experimental elements. Prod is somewhat weird at times but it is rarely bothersome. There are lots of better albums that I'd jam instead of this. 3.3
Alvvays Alvvays
Some very nice tracks, but an example of album where the vocals don't always work well for the music and are far too ubiquitous. By 5 I had enough of her voice, and there were still four tracks to go. 8 is fun for example, but within the album it doesn't work as well because the constant, candid voice becomes too much after a while. It's especially not too great on slower, calmer tracks - on the candid upbeat tracks like the jammy 1 or the jangly 4 it works quite well actually. 2 has a fun catchy chorus but I found the vocie too nasally on the verse, while 3 calms things down and is more subdued, starting off quite beachy and unfolding in a pop direction, quite jammy as well overall. 5 is the first track that I felt truly weak, and 6-7 were other examples of slower songs not working very well here and her voice saturating the lsitener a little bit. 9 is the only chill track in this second half that kinda works with its synthy sounds. Overall to me this sounds like a promising but quite immature band putting out a couple bangers amongst a lot of tracks that need improving. 3.5
Alvvays Antisocialites
On the last one they were hesitant about their direction, but here they found it. This is
fun, lighthearted summery indie/surf rock with dream pop guitar tones and candid vocals.
Really sounds like they'd be Aussie but they're from Canada so whoops. Now they did find
their direction, but while I do like it it's not my favourite aspects of their music that
they chose to pursue. The songs feel very short and didn't mark me as much as the jams from
LP1. 1 is nice, 2 starts a bit naive but has nice The Smiths vibes (a recurring theme), 3
is kinda catchy and clearly shows their going for a catchy indie rock vibe, but tracks like
4 or 5 showed me that this wasn't my thing too much. The nasally voice gets a bit much a
times, and despite the cuteness of the songs or the fun dream pop guitars this remains fun
background music to me and not much more. 6 is nicely surfey, 7 is fun too, and 10 shows
more dissonant guitars, but the record kinda lost me over time I have to say and it's only
34min long. 3.4
Ana Roxanne ~​~​~
Nice tape with good potential making for an artist to watch. I do wish the tracks better flowed into one another, this very much feels like a compilation tape. But the ethereal vocal ambient jams 1 and particularly 4 are quite lovely and sublime, evocative of the lushest, warmest and softest Grouper tracks. 3 is more synth base with some noise textures and is very nice too, but I did find 2 to be quite disruptive with its bleeps and bloops. 5 mixes the vocal and synthy aspects for a quite nice albeit slightly more amateur feeling result. 6 is mostly field recordings, and feels like it'd fit much more in a longer album than here where it only serves to weirdly prolong the tape. I'll be checking out her future stuff because this could get really nice. 3.3
Anacrusis Screams and Whispers
Clearly their best album for me, yet still not one I feel like I want to go back to. 1 starts off great, vocals aren't the best but the track is nice. I like it, they almost sound like a different band here. I'm not a fan of 2 but you can tell this is going to be a much better album. 3 goes really wankery though, with the strings, squeals etc., particularly in the end. At that point my hopes of this being an album I'll be back to went down, and never went back up really. 5 is an interesting track, 8 is kinda cool and 9 offers nice drumming. For the rest, this is mosty ok thrash, with the occasional good idea (prominent bass on 3), and the occasional squeal or annoying solo. Erf. 3.4
Antigua y Barbuda Try Future
Ily Vinny xoxo Very early on it felt like I'd owe this a relisten because there is (as you'd expect) a lot going on. The drumming is obviously sick, there's hardcore, atmo interludes, bm passages, and (sadly) most noticeably awful glam metal vocals that feel completely out of place and ruin the music whenever they show up. Thankfully they remain quite scarce otherwise the record would have been unbearable. I can see what they were going for with it but it just doesn't work for me, except maybe on 7. The track starts off on sort of superhero movie OST-type stuff before going back to the band's style progressively, showing along with the 80s synth intro on 1, the atmo interlude on 4, and the really cool apocalyptic ending on 5 (a track otherwise ruined by the vocals) that this record is well constructed, conscious of its own intensity and therefore providing pauses and softer dynamics when needed. The prod on 2 is not so great but it improves, and if you look past the vox you hear some nice gospely vocals but also some of those bmey bits. 3 has a better sound and is nicely atmo. 6 transitions very well from 5 into a fat bmey riff, and is quite dope in spite of the (scarce) vox. 8 has cool riffs too. Idk man for now I'll say 3.6
Apex By The Way/The Yearning VIP
Apex once again shows his quality as DnB producer. The first track is quite straight up
DnB that could pass for a Liquicity track, it has some lovely moments and ideas but feels
like it overextends quite a bit, especially to end on a fade out like that. Track 2 is
pretty much identical to its Unknown Error version except there are a few added piano
sounds here and there and a slightly more articulated intro I guess (I think, this is all
based on memory). Which version of the track I prefer I am not sure, but I definitely
prefer The Yearning/ Midnight Special to this EP given again the overextended and
somewhat weaker first track. 3.6
April + Vista You are Here
On paper, this sounds really phenomenal - female Anderson.Paak vocals layered on abstract hip-hop/FlyLo type beats. The first track + prelude got me really excited about the EP, but after that the record never really takes off and falls kind of flat. It is lacking stand-out tracks or melodies. These guys would be a perfect opening act for Flying Lotus or something, but they don't yet have the stature to be a full main act of their own in my opinion. Hopefully they improve and also find a better name. Will still listen to their other stuff. 3.3
Ariana Grande Dangerous Woman
Hard to rate this objectively because it is blasted on the radio/in stores etc. all the time so of course lots of tracks feel recognizable. Following her discog I can tell why this got so much hype when it came out. Huge improvement from her two first albums. This one manages to vary genres without it feeling random, the record feels well constructed and very strong on that front especially for such mainstream pop. Tracks 1-8 are 3.7-3.9 and are p much all jams except 6. Then it goes to crap again. 9 is supremely annoying, 1.1-1.2, and track 10 is meh as f*ck. The closer is ok but I wish the record stopped at 7 or 8 instead. Still a jam and re-listen album, overall 3.6
Astronauts End Codes
This was sweet, but not as noteworthy as their first, as they stuck more to the simple sweet indie folk without much variation, whereas their first record ventured into more distant territories. All nice to very nice tracks, with the exception of 2 and 3 which gave me Flight of the Conchords vibes - which when you are trying to make serious music is not a good thing -. 1 and 7 marked me the most as very nice lovely tracks, but honestly I couldn't pinpoint the jams as the songs really resemble one another and blend into each other. 9 also grabbed my attention owing to its nice, faster pace, which frankly in a record with so little variation is enough for you to notice. 3.6
Aussitot Mort Nagykanizsa
Post-rocky screamo-ish stuff. The first track is a jam, second track is the worst, the rest is
good. Will re-listen to it, it has too much depth for me to leave it at that one listen. 3.7
オオハシ (Ohashi) sankaku ni narande / 2​.​45GHz
Fun little math-rock two tracker. Track 1 is math-rock with well-done female Japanese vocals, track is an instrumental, slightly noisier grittier version of math-rock. Both pack a good punch and record is a solid 3.6
Banks Fall Over
An exciting EP to start with. Track 2 is a definite jam. Track 1 is kinda nice too although I'm not the biggest fan of the instrumental. Didn't care much for the two remixes - they're both kinda cool, but their strongest points are her vocals anyway. Plus I don't like havnig remixes on studio albums. 3.5 without the two remixes, with them I guess 3.3
Banks The Altar
Big jump in quality from Goddess imo. The Altar sees Banks explore many different directions, not always successfully, but generally interestingly. Not that many clear jams (1 and the fka twiggy 2, maybe 10), but apart form 4 and 5 which are really by far the worst tracks, especially the mainstreamy radio poppy 5, most tracks are ok to nice. 11 and 13 are kinda cool, and 12 is an example of Banks succesfully doing a mellow track. Not earth-shattering, but a fine album. 3.35
Banks Live and Stripped
Interesting stylistic exercise. I am not sure how much post-processing was done on her voice, but I find it truly impressive how much she is able to replicate the deeply electronic effects from III in this stripped down setting. 1 is a fantastic cover, and much more than what I would expect from a mere 'acoustic covers' EP like this, with not only a stellar performance from Banks herself, but also interesting little instrumental bits and guitar parts here and there that change up the track nicely. 2 feels a bit more flavourless, and 4 also feels more like a generic acoustic cover/ballad but is still quite pretty. 3 has more of a beat to it and could pass a regular track on a regular Banks record, not necessarily this live and stripped EP. Second best track on here imo. 3.55
Beach House Beach House
Nice and chill, but just nice and chill ambient dream indie idk pop something with a very subdued but well produced sound. Some psych elements and fun sounds but nothing too major. 5 takes a darker turn and honestly I found it the most boring of the lot, while 6 was my favourite, with a bit more of a beat to it, more depth and ideas than anything else here. 7 starts of similarly well but evolves kinda weirdly, although the conclusion is very nice and the transition into the nice intro to 8 well is articulated. Sadly 8-9 are kinda bores too honestly. The ghost track on 9 is perhaps my favourite on the whole thing, a nice, dreamy, grittily produced piano-based track with some great singing with remote Grouper vibes (thus instant dig). Still not too impressed, definitely nothing that makes me think of this as a keeper but it's all quite fine really with a fun consistent sound at least. 3.3
Beach House Devotion
Agree with the userbase: this is similar to the debut, but slightly better. Same relatively peculiar blend of psych, dream pop and stuff, but slightly better executed and more entertaining. 1-3 are nice and chill with increasingly better execution, 4 doesn't start so well with the sadder vibe but evolves really well once the piano kicks in and gets really cool by the end, dreamier and dreamier. 5 is my first real Beach House dig, while 6 returns to more regular BH material but is still nice and fine. By 7 though I have to say the length was starting to hurt. I had to pause there, which may explain why I didn't feel that way about 8 which was quite fine, and 9's nice sounds helped, but by 10 the feeling was back. While they're a bit corny, the Christmassy vibes on the last track kinda helped being being a bit refreshing if anything. So yeah nice, but again not something I feel like I'll come back to before long - if ever. 3.45
Beach House Teen Dream
Again, improves upon its predecessors, but still feels well below its potential. The songs often feel tame, especially on the vocal side, and there is a sense that the good ideas could be better served. 1's a sweet song with an especially nice intro, 2 is nice psych relaxed and beachy but already feels tame, and 3 reinforces that feeling with simplistic vocal lines - although the nice intro and some of the detuned sounds are very nice. Weirdly enough, 4 evokes generic old BH material at first, but unfolds way more than the songs that preceded and features some of the most successful unfolding on the album (into a fade out outro cough cough ok fine). 5 is also less tame but sadly on the silly side with its musical/xmas vibes, and makes the album construction feel questionable. 6 is nice instrumentally but the vocal are still a bit of a bore, although it unfolds a bit later on. Same for 7 but I dug the vox more, while by 8 the album was kinda losing me despite nice synth layers. 9 is a boring piano track that feels like it is way older than it is, while 10 summarises the album well with a nice australian beach intro, tame unfolding that improves later on (making it one of the best songs here with the most depth), to then finish on a fadeout conclusion. A safe album, an ok album, not a fantastic album. 3.5
Beach House Zebra EP
Perhaps my favourite record of theirs so far, simply benefiting from being an EP with all
relatively (for BH) strong songs with less sameyness than on their full lengths. Still, I can't
help but find this band so tame. It's a bit pretty, it's a bit dreamy, a bit psychedelic, but
it's all very mild - I need me some stronger flavour. Honestly the most marking song was the
remix at the end, which at least adds some cool unexpected textures like a post-rock guitar over
their sound and more of a sense of grandeur, making an actually good song that I enjoyed. Says a
lot doesn't it. 3.5
Beach House Depression Cherry
Where Bloom saw BH explode and finally get out of their shell, Cherry has them retract back but finally succeed at calmer, more psychedelic songs. There are still plenty of tame and dull moments, but also lots where it actually worse. Tracks like 4-5 are the clearest examples, in contrast to the quite boring 6. 7 is also quite nice, especially with its synthy intro (synthiness is a recurring theme here). The transition into 8 is, well, disjointed at best, and the track has a pretty clumsy, first act-quality start until a melodic shift at 1:30 which displays exactly what I mean when I say that BH need more dynamics to make their sound super cool instead of dull, because in those moments like here it just works miles better. 9 is nice and psych again although it drags on a touch. Earlier on the album is less consistent and has grittier touches. While 1 starts off tame, it progresses quite nicely into psychedelia. 2 adds quite an agressive guitar in places, and that is a super nice surprise in the overall mellow BH sound. Works super well, but the softer sections in between pale in comparison. 3 has a sweet intro and some cool melody ideas, but is ultimately a zzz song. Once again, I don't ask them to be more aggressive or anything, their genre is fine - it's just that to me they often fail to make the songs actually compelling instead of merely nice. 3.65
Beau Navire Lumens
I'm not sure how much nostalgia/memory played in my appreciation of Hours, but this one felt far, far weaker, more generic, less clearly constructed, and just less memorable overall. It's still cool, but not great. 2 is a clear example of this, feeling more generic and less mature than any of the tracks on Hours. Lumens does have its moments - the intro on 1 is dope, 5 has cool rhythm changes also its conclusion gets annoying, 8-9 have cool bits, and the slowly decaying, ambientey post-rockey album conclusion, whilst cliche, is well done. But I still fail to see any reason why I'd ever come back to this over Hours. 3.5
Beau Navire Life Moves
While still thin and very demo-ey, the prod on this is far better and at least acceptable compared to the one on their actual demo tape. I like how 1 wastes no time getting to the meat of it, but 2 felt like a stronger track with a cool intro and early math-rock vibes. The thing is that the hyper intense Beau Navire screamo vocals and general vibe feel a bit incongruous on that type of instrumental, which whilst good feels like it doesn't quite belong there? 3 feels a bit less cool instrumentally, but also more congruous. From then on it is like the band realised they wanted to do screamo and not Don Caballero with despaired shrieks, as 4 shows a fantastic intro that finally feels like it belongs with the voice and the general vibe. Sadly the track doesn't unfold too great after a minute or so, but the ensuing three tracks work very well, 5 being especially chaotic. These last three tracks feel like the band finally found its sound. And while on its own this album doesn't feel super convincing, owing mostly to the prod but also to the kinda weird compositions early on, it did set them up for the rest of their discog. Not a great debut, but an encouraging and exciting one. 3.25
Belong Common Era
This oscillates between shoegazy drone and droney shoegaze. The end of the album (7-9) is frankly a bit boring and brought it down a couple points. 1 has an odd intro but thereafter it's a nice track. 2 and 3 are really nice droney shoegaze tracks, and 5 is a jam of sweet shoegazy drone reminding of a male vox version of Grouper. 4 is the only weak track in that first half and is frankly quite boring, but overall that first half is still between 3.7 and 3.8. Saddly the boring second half brings the record down to a mere 3.5
Ben Buitendijk Transcended Being
How was this not in the db?
https://obliquemusicnl.bandcamp.com/album/obq004-ben-buitendijk-transcended-being-ep T/t is
a superb dub techno jam. It is simple, but it just works so well in giving you a sensation
of falling into a comfortable spiral. Delicate ambient pad, massive low ended but smooth
kick, lots of little hats and high pitched noises to populate those upper frequencies,
can't ask for much more. 2 is a little more bare bones with less of a pad layer and just a
nice relaxed beat, and 3 is even more minimalistic and sleepier. It's fine for a while but
3 especially feels like it lasts for too long. Brings the record down a point to a 3.4
Ben Buitendijk Venomous
Doesn't have a single track as marking as the t/t on transcended being, but much more consistent overall. This one is dark, broody, and pounding. Much more basement club-oriented than Transcended Being. 1 feels like it'd be a perfect intro to a live set of that kind although it isn't hugely memorable in a vacuum. 2 is even bouncier but less catchy. Some welcome variation comes in at min 3, and the track is nice overall. 3 is also dark industrial yet...soft? Probably due to his prod choices. Sounds a bit muffled you know. It's interesting at least. Perfect techno to work with in the background, not so much for dedicated listen. At min 4 it does bounce really hard though with those extra hi-hats coming in. The locked groove is what it is, just a little beat for less than a minute. I mean yeah sure it's fin but it's too short to really matter. Nice EP. https://obliquemusicnl.bandcamp.com/album/obq001-ben-buitendijk-venomous-ep-2 3.5
Ben Chatwin Drone Signals
Huge improvement, and it's nice to see. On its own I would maybe have made this a 3.1 or .2 but in the context of his discog this feels exciting, here have a 3.5 man. The album no longer feels like a series of intros. When tracks do buildup, they feel like they buildup for their own sake, e.g. on 2. He does display some pretty nice drone/ambient too e.g. on 1, 4, and the noisy 7. Now let's not get carried away, this isn't superb dronebient either. There is too much movement, too much going on, there is no room for the textures to breathe and no space for the notes to decay. This is best heard on 5. I might write a review on this, because it is interesting in showing how a collage of pretty sounds doesn't always make a nice ambient track. Makes me want to follow his future stuff. 3.3
Billy Woods, Kenny Segal Hiding Places
This is cool and worthy of praise, but as a whole it failed to fully convince me - especially the
second half. Love the explorations, the work on the beats, and the delivery in general function
wells with them. I like the destructive tape loop feel of the prod in places, it's quite faint
but may be a cool thing to explore. 8 is a good example, although delivery is a bit odd at times
there. 1-5 are jams especially the latter 3. 4 especially is extremely 2010 beats tape sounding,
which is super cool. 5 explores a different direction which is nice, although it does not succeed
as well with the delivery. 6 is bleh but at the end there is a mini trip hoppy track that adds
variety and is much welcome. After that every track is bleh to ok, nothing fully bad but few
sections where it all works. Prod is really great in places, some sections of 11 for instance,
but I also hated it in other sections of the same songs. The monotonous delivery starts to get
annoying towards the end, and 12 is a bit poussive. Good, but not amazing imo. 3.5
Black Midi Schlagenheim
Sweet experimental post-punk ish record, but didn't impress me too crazily. Tbf I was
interrupted in the middle and I was expecting something harsher so I will have to give it a
second chance anyway. Lots of peeps seem to have an issue with the vox but I found them
nice and fitting. The middle of the record was best, with 4's cool explosion, 5 being a jam
with a bouncy midtrack and the record's general experimental approach paying off the most,
and 6 boasting a cool post-punk atmosphere with electronic bits and lost of jammy bits,
especially the second half - although it's a shame it ends on a fadeout. The rest of the
record after that is cool rock-ish post-punk with a lot of bounce. 8 goes aggressively
crazy in a The Body sort of way, but the end of 9 is less successful at the craziness and
the bulk of the track doesn't work too well either despite the fun bounce initially. The
early record reminded me more of 90s bands like Slint and Unwound, and 1-3 are all quite
cool and boast fun experimentation. But overall I'm still only half convinced by this 3.6
Black Thread Embers
I liked this tape a lot, really nice and distorted. Unlike a lot of his other tapes, there aren't really abrupt transitions into different textures which makes for a much more coherent record. However as always it seems with Black Thread, it never really surpasses the status of 'nice'. 3.4
Black Thread flaming sprig
More cascading fragments, this time with some nice, abrasive destructed loops evocative of some Hainbach. I enjoy the noisiness and grittiness of it all, and some of the textures are really tasty. This will clearly be an artist I look further into. I have seen this style better executed elsewhere though, the loops aren't quite as trippy as they could be, and the destruction doesn't progress much within each track. The guy knows how to end a track though. 3.4
Black Thread Effulgent Angel Piss
This is a strong tape. Parts 1 evokes Scars of the Shattered Sky and I'd say is a jam, with
some distant melodies washed out by prominent hiss noise and warble. Part 2 is a bit less
marking, but still nice, fluctuating between wind-recording-esque textures and grittier
things. Think ths one will stay in my library. 3.7
Black Thread Drifting Snow
Pretty warbly piano tapes. The second half of part A is especially nice. 3.4
Blood Incantation Interdimensional Extinction
First of all, superb album art - wish they did away with the cheesy skulls but I still love it. Prod is quite off here, and for example the bass is compositionally lovely but sounds weird here imo just because of the mixing and whatnot. This is a band showing great promise without being quite mature yet. 1 starts kind of awkward not sure I like it, but from min 2 on it starts hitting hard. 2 starts nicer but still has awkward grooves here and there. But this is where the band's potential really shows its nose. At 1:35 the track takes a nice pysch turn, into fat riffage, into a crazy acceleration. Love it. 3 shows potential too, and especially the first third onwards is quite funky. Massive sound. 4 might be my fave track here though, with fantastic aerial melodies laid atop a deep dm foundation, ending on a cool conclusion. If they only got better from here, that's great news. 3.55
Blut Aus Nord Memoria Vetusta I - Fathers Of The Icy Ages
Pretty disappointing bm album given it's rating. There are great tasty riffs in multiple places in tracks 1-4, but aside from that the record feels erratic and "poussif" with not so great drumming and vocals. That first half is still worth the listen, but tracks 5-7 are really forgettable. Kudos for mixing an audible, clean and groovy bass. 3.3
boa (UK) The Race of a Thousand Camels
While this has lots of ideas and sections I like, I can't decently call it a strong album. For starters, this is a case study of a singer just singing too much. On pretty much every track except Duvet and a couple others, it feels like she just can't stand more than 10s without singing, where tracks would have benefited a lot from having more instrumental parts. Stylistically, this is hesitant between great bass led indie grooves (the iconic jam 3, the nice 5 with its pianos and strings exemplifying how I wish she sung a little less,maybe 8 which is instrumentally cool but makes no sense here with this random switch to a male singer, and especially 9 which also introduces elements of reggae and other things making for a super rich track), sections that evoke noisy rock and unwound almost (the excellent inspiring chorus on 2 that feels like a prechorus though, some of the chords on 4 despite zzz singing, 6 despite its poor chorus and again singing, 10 with its cute intro but noisy chorus - and a bad fade out), very generic and frankly not well executed alt rock (1 although the midtrack improves things, 7 that starts ok but gets really generic and zzz, a lot of other bits and pieces), and random things like the reggae bits on 9 or the oriental sounding 11 which is kinda cool. An exciting debut but also a worrisome one, I wonder if they will correct the many flaws here. 3.25
Borvlt The Light Shines Through
Nice sput made droney ambient with some sweet textures. Prod makes it not fill the ears as much as I'd like, but still a good jam. 3.6
Breag Naofa II
Yeah this is clearly inferior to their debut. Sounds like it would be their debut in fact. Slower, sudgier, and less hardcore than their first and their EP - going against the progression between those two -, it also feels more dull and less diverse. Track 4 (XII) stands out as a clear re-listen, the other tracks are pretty forgettable. Closer stands out because of the weird French sample that does not really work imo. 3.7
Britney Spears Circus
Hell yeah. Hands down her best album so far, and I foresee it being my fav album of hers period. This LP confirms two things: she is a very consistent album maker (only two actually weak tracks here, the gimmicky 5 especially in vox in places, and the kinda annoying 10 that still boats nice RnB vibes here and there), and she also has very few hidden gems, as pretty much every single jam she produces is already famous - although I had forgotten a lot of the ones on this particular album. 1-2 are fun although I know the Dirty Loops cover of Circus too much to fully enjoy the track. 3 is a nice, aerial sadgirl song. 4 has a cool intro, starts off quite badass, and also has a cool chorus. A top britney track although not really a jam. 6 is a huge infectious jam and a top tier track as well. 7 is another aerial sadgirl track, and 8 maintains that style but in a not sad way. Cool track too. 9 is super catchy as well and also a jam tbh. 11 isnt a jam but is nice with cool bass. I wish the ballady 12 wasnt there and it brings the album down a point (I mean it's alright but feels out of place), but the closer (already heard on Blackout what?) is kinda cool and brings this up half a point. 3.55
Calibre Condition
This album sounds like two EPs mushed together. For the first four tracks (which, on their own, would be a 4.2 EP) and a couple of the last tracks, Calibre does what he does best: subtle and smooth liquid dnb. But between those, he switches genres, from more aggressive dnb to dub ventures. Variation was not a bad idea given the record's length, but it still hurts the album. Calibre is not as proficient in those other genres, and I personally enjoy them less. It is still an excellent album that I may re-listen to, and has some of Calibre's finest tracks, but it falls short of its potential because of the artist's persistence in making excessively long albums - although he gets away with it quite skillfully. 3.7
Candy Claws Ceres And Calypso In The Deep Time
Here's a band whose aesthetic I struggle to fault but that I also can't seem to get into. When the sound gets noisy it's in a way I rather don't enjoy, and I feel like the blurred, fx-drenched aesthetic was better done elsewhere (cf A Sunny Day in Glasgow). And it feels like it overpowers composition, with songs like 10 or 11 having cool melodic ideas but that I was distracted from by the prod etc. Now this has cool tracks too - the excellent album opener, 3,6,7,9 - the latter of which shows that a more transparent sound makes their song immediately more impactful, whilst the other demonstrate that it is possible to make good tunes with this approach, but also contrasting with the band struggling to achieve that elsewhere. The rest is alright or meh, and frankly I don't plan on coming back to this before a solid while has passed. 3.5
Candy Claws In the Dream of the Sea Life
I had trouble with some of the noisiness in a couple of the first tracks (1 and 3 namely) which got me a bit worried, but it resolved for the rest. I like me a noisy aesthetic, but here it felt overpowering and incongruous with the otherwise obviously chill aim of the music.For the rest this is very nice, chill and psych. I particularly enjoyed 2, 5 and 7 which is really p s y c h, but the whole record was fun really. Might come back to it, but perhaps I'll find the rest of their discog even better so we'll see. 3.6
Candy Claws Hidden Lands
This one gives me A Sunny Day in Glasgow vibes from being one long continuous, difficult to comprehend blur with a peculiar atmosphere to it. I do know I enjoyed it more than their prior LP - for starters, unlike the latter, this one is never annoying and the prod is much improved. I love 1 as a very soft way for the album to ease itself into the ears, and the beginning of 2 is a perfect follow up although the track unfold into a sort of carnival atmosphere I find a touch odd. 5 is kinda fun, 6 has a sort of ritualistic vibes to it especially in the last third, and is one of the few distinct sections that stand out in the overall blur. Another one of these is the fun synth (or do I recognise a theremin?) coming into the second half of the closing track. I really might rejam this one, feels like a Big Fish village lost somewhere. 3.65
Captain, We're Sinking The Future Is Cancelled
Probably the pop punky post-hardcore album I've liked the most so far. Touches of emo at
times. I liked the first few tracks the most and the last few tracks the least, with some
annoying parts towards the end. Had a fun time picturing Michael Scott jamming this
though. 3.7
Carly Rae Jepsen Emotion
Miles and miles above her prior material - she finally feels like an accomplished pop
artist and not some teenager music maker - yet I can't help but feel that it doesn't bang
as hard as it could have, and that over time the vox do still feel too naive. By 9 I was
starting to feel like the album was too long (despite it actually being short), and tracks
like 12 could be jammy in a vacuum but felt just like overstretching it. 10 is kinda bouncy
again despite some questionable sound choices, but otherwise 8-12 was a bit of a bore.
Stylistically this remains summer/springbreak pop at its core, but somehow manages to make
it not annoying and kinda rich and cool on most tracks - none are really annoying at all,
and most are nice. The album does explore multiple directions, most noticeably 80's music,
but also Anastacia vibes on 6 - interesting but not jam -, or vox that remind of a happy
Banks on 2 - kinda jammy synthy pop - and 4. 1's intro sounds like it comes out of Zelda
TP, and the track shows right away that the album is going to be better and more
interesting. 5 (edit: think I meant 6, Boy Problems) is a huge bouncy jam and the only real
banger here, which puts the record above the level of mere consistency, but below banger
goldmines such as Ari's or Banks'. 3.3
Carly Rae Jepsen Dedicated
Continuing the explorations seen on Emotions Side B, the early record is full of ideas but consistently seems to fall flat and often fails to feel either catchy, bouncy, sexy, or whatever else pop can be. She is obviously having fun, experimenting and maturing from the naive teenager pop to blend in more of a personality which is nice to see, but execution isn't always perfect. The songs are all very short, which is good on poor tracks but also makes the good tracks feel like they just slip by. The opener overextends a bit but is a nice track. 3 is a nice champagne pool party track and is kinda jammy tbh. 6 really shows what I mean by the record struggling to resonate with me. 8 has nice RnB track but the chorus is a bit eh. 9 has a lovely piano loop but I felt it'd be better used on a different kind of album - it works though. By 10 my rating was going to be something like 2.9, but 11-15 really take it up a notch. Carly goes back to more straightforward synthy summer pop, but without fully abandoning the ideas of the first two thirds of the record, and it just works better. 11-12 and 14 are very cool, and 13 is a kinda basic summer jam. 15 does fall a bit flat like the early record, but works well as an end of the movie/credits type of album closer and warrants this the last point it needed. Will have to re-listen to see if I prefer this or Emotion. 3.3
Caustic Wound Death Posture
This was fun death/grind with lots of good moments, but even though it changes pace a lot and has multple different vox etc, it all felt a bit flat. 4 and 5 are highlights, but there are lots of sections that I felt were less memorable. Still a fun band and the low growls are great, albeit a bit unidimensional. 3.6
Cautious Clay Blood Type
Cool modern RnB with processed vocals, randomly found on bandcamp. Well produced and has lots of potential, but the songs blend into one another and no section really stands out. I guess 6 was most recognisable because that is the track I found this with, and 2 has fun additions with the brass and layered backing vocals. An artist to watch. 3.4
Celer Jima
Classic Celer material. The first track is best, very nice and dreamy, soft with the occasional grittiness, really soothing and with a kinda marine feeling. The second one is cool too, a wall of repetitive synthy ambient, but its not nuanced enough for me. It's neither gritty nor delicate enough, which is a balance the first track and many others of his strike better. 3.6
Celer Engaged Touches
For most of its course this record is quality but somewhat generic ambient that Stars of
the Lid were doing better many years prior. In its scarce best points it reminds of Para
with similar textures, but at its worst it evokes Arte documentary background soundtracks
and nothing more. Not unique enough to my taste. 3.4
Celer Close Proximity And The Unhindered Care-All
Not his best work. First track is fantastic
and has some amazing sections that evoke
similar feelings as f#a#8 does. Mildly
depressing. It is oddly constructed however
and has a lot of weird mini blanks that sound
like poor track separations but aren't even
that. Track 2 is almost boring, and track 3 is
ok especially the latter half. I'd probably
only re-listen to track 1. Eeeh who am I
kidding I'll rejam the whole album anyway. 3.5
Celer Shima
Nice record from Celer. The second track is very similar to the first one. Both are good individually - with my preference going to the first one owing to its seemingly richer textures -, but the record as a whole feels like it drags on for too long without offering much that is memorable. Still a good relaxing record with a wonderful first track that I'll re-listen to many times. 3.7
Celer Loma
Very nice droney ambient piece. The first two thirds are one tasty ambient Celer texture,
and towards the end the tape starts undergoing relatively extreme warble and pitch changes
which gives an increasingly ominous flavour to the piece and makes for an interesting
track. Quit short, but worth a check for drone peeps. 3.7
Celer Mane Blooms
Side A is a fantastic (albeit short) track with wonderful textures, lots of depth and richness, and a nice evolution, but side B felt a bit like a letdown and just flat in comparison. On a record this short, that has to bring you down quite a few points. But side A's definitely worth a check. 3.4
Chaos in the CBD Accidental Meetings
Elegant piano house with a vintage feel. The first track is one of the best constructed
house tracks I know, with a good slow jazzy buildup, vocals that are just right, and a
dynamic structure instead of a repeating loop. However the actual melodic line is not
that memorable. The second track is actually pretty interesting especially in the
beginning, with some unique tribal sounding drum patterns. It feels a bit out of place
though. The third track is pretty forgettable and the last track is similar to the first
one, except the melodic line is a touch catchier but the track construction is less good.
An ok house EP that has the merit of having a unique mood to it, but falls a bit short in
execution. 3.6
Chico Buarque Chico Buarque de Hollanda - Volume 3
Good album, but not as great as his prior works that I've tried so far. 1 and 3 are jams, 2,9 and 10 are nice too. The rest varies from ok-kinda nice to boring or meh. The man has to be commended for the diversity of atmosphere brought by the record in spite of its short 36min runtime, with e.g. an ok movie ballad on track 8. Same remarks as usual regarding the vocals. 3.55
Chico Buarque Chico Buarque
Merf. His most 'fun' ay la bamba album. Not my fave, but not bad either. The end of the album is best. 7-8 are nice, 9 is a jam, the closer is a jam despite the funny sound, and only 10 is meh. 3 is the only other true jam, a beautiful ballad that stands out from his other jams. I appreciate the occasional changes to female vocals e.g. on track 4. Track 1 is the only truly unpleasant track, and the rest is meh to ok with fun sounds. 3.3
Chihei Hatakeyama A Long Journey
This one was nice and had some good peaks, but again felt far less memorable than his debut - conditions perhaps. 8-9 dd remind a lot of his debut style and were among my faves, along with the soothing 3. 7 is quite nice with lots of field recordings, but the closer with more field recordings feels a bit unnecessary. Nice but I would always jam the debut over this. 3.4
Chihei Hatakeyama Saunter
Beginning is kind of weak, but the album improves over time to become nice, soft, happy ambient. 2 is one of the weakest points, and is way to fx-ey, sounding like a guitar pedal demo almost? Again, Chihei varies the sound and doesn't stick one particular set of instruments or textures, showing us some nice guitar again on 4. Last track is particularly nice. 3.45
Chihei Hatakeyama Coastal Railroads in Memories
Incredibly peaceful. Music to listen to while bathing in the sun on the seaside. Has more movement than Winter Storm, which makes for a more nuanced and entertaining listen - a bit less soporific and more meditative, you see. 3.25
Chihei Hatakeyama Void XI
Sweet and lush ambient drone, with just enough movement to it. Infinitely relaxing and soothing, but too long to my taste. Had it been 30min, it would be a 3.6-7, but as it is this is a 3.4
Chihei Hatakeyama Void XVI
The n-th episode of Chihei making a 5/5 album when it comes to sleeping to it, but not so marking for daytime listening. I have to say the opening track is very pretty and I was hoping to rate this a bit higher than his regular stuff, but the rest just feels like filler. 3.4
Chippr Jones Two Rooms
Fun little math-rock record with lots of tapping sections and synth interludes. Nothing too crazy
but definitely an enjoyable listen. Edit: this is really sweet and worth a check, more than I
remember. It's mostly ambient actually, with the superb 1 especially the gritty part at the end,
3,5-9 all being ambient sketches. They are all pretty, and 8 is actually really beautiful and
inspiring, but it is very long (10min out of 35), and after 5-7 which already felt a bit less
compelling than the earlier record, and followed by yet another pretty ambient texture on 9, that
kinda drags the EP down. The math-rock tracks (2,4,10) are all pretty darn cool, well produced
and intricate, and I remembered some of their melodies to a surprising degree after having jammed
this like at work once. The return of math on 10 with a fun groove after so much ambient was a
nice call to not end on a low descending energy curve, but 4 really takes the cake as a super fun
math rock jam. I mean, 2 kinda takes the cake too especially when some of the more aggressive
guitars and drum come in in the second half. So summary this is super cool, but it looks like
they split up the band - big sad :[ 3.65
clairo Diary 001
Huge change of direction and improvement in effort from her, honestly part of my rating comes from the relief of this not being an nth clairo badly produced sort of sadfolk mini-EP. Straight off the bat you hear that this is better produced, has fuller instrumentation, and is more dynamic than anything she's ever done before. There's a beat, there's rhodes, even a guest rapper on 1 that actually works. The vocals have also been a bit processed and improved upon on 2 for example. This really is a pop record all things considered, with not so much dream or indie DNA in it - 3 sounds like Ari on lean a bit. The synth introing 4 is a bit of a curveball but the track thereafter is quite a catchy pop song. On 5 you do wish she'd put a little more energy in her vocals - that, or complement the lazy aesthetic by reverberated dream pop fx. 6 makes the lazy aesthetic work quite well and feels quite drugs. I think the record could have kept going because it kinda ends on nothing, but this is still massive improvement for her in a direction that isn't quite what I thought she'd go for but that I do dig, and for that I'll slap an encouraging 3.3
clairo Immunity
Don't feel super convinced by this. It feels hesitant, like she's still looking for her direction and trying different things at once. There's autotune that feels completely out of place (cf 3 although I like the instrumental ending or the boring first half of 11 bring this down a half point), randomly distorted bits (on the otherwise French radiocore 7, a weird thing to do really but a passable song still), etc. There's also a lingering Ellis feeling of this all being 'boring nice' and bland, but it's not always there. To me Immunity is most successful when clairo sticks to a cohesive direction throughout a song, and that's most commonly on tracks with electronica leanings and strong beats (sometimes evocative of hip hop what). The sunny afternooney 2, 4 sorta although the vocal fxing feels like an attempt to give the song flavour it doesn't have, the kinda jammy 6, 10 with its nice vocal performance, and the second half of 11 fall in that category. 3 or 5 show how confusing the direction on this is, like the tracks don't know what they want to make you feel. 5 is a nice picnic soundtrack though I guess. For the rest this is generally fine, but forgettable. 3.25
clipping. Splendor and Misery
Again this has some really good bits, but they struggle to keep their full-length efforts consistent. Some of the tracks show clipping. displaying a wonderful dark, industrial and oppressive flavour of their style when it's well executed. 3, 12 and especially 8 are jams that display that. On the other hand, some of the tracks here are just completely out of place - 2 feels like a stylistic exercise more than an actual song, and what on earth is even 13. Other tracks that are could would be 5 which is going to be a huge banger live, and the last third on 10 that is quite fat despite a boring early track. For the rest, it's either interludes or tracks that don't really work - 14 for example, which brings the noise textures back but isn't all that marking. Hoping the latest LP will be the one. 3.3
clipping. dba118
Well this is essentially noise-hop so it perfectly fits my getting into noise. Track 2 felt weaker with a lot of bleep bloopey sections, and 3 felt the strongest as the track where the blend of noisy stuff and rapping is the most fluid. Strong, short, sweet. 3.65
clipping. CLPPNG
Much more accessible than their prior output, and mixing in a lot more elements from more conventional or even mainstream hip-hop - see the autotuned anthemic chorus on 6. This works well in places like 2, 5 or the quite bouncy 10, but also not on other tracks. 3 is a bit annoying, 8 is very annoying, and 12 is boring. The album outro resembles the experimenting of their early stuff the best. This is good, but it didn't captivate me, and it feels to me like a band still seeking its direction. 3.4
clipping. Something They Don't Know/Mouth
clipping's most socially acceptable piece at this point in their discog. Yet they don't entirely give up the experimentation and the abrasive sounds, for example the tastily dissonant piano sample in 1, but it is clearly more accessible and less aggressive, with no walls of noise etc. The first track has a tasty intro and cool fun vocal delivery thereafter, reminding of fun rappers a la Chill Bump or Hippocame Fou (first that came to mind fight me). The only bit that doesn't work is transition into the last third of the sum with the vinyl scratches, but thankfully it is quite short. 2 is cool again and would be a nice track to show clipping to someone without scaring them away too much. 3.65
clipping. Wriggle
Beats the prior EP as their most 'showable' record yet, as this one not only is quite easily palatable and catchy for the band, but also is so without abandoning much of the experimental style that demarcates them from conventional 2010s hip-hop. 1 is a great intro and shows what I mean here by finishing on an abrupt but short wall of noise to melt your face off. 2 is quite catchy, and 3 is aggressive but also kinda showable to people. The t/t on 4 is quite fun but a bit weirder and less socially acceptable. The acid techno line at 2:30 is a fun addition to see in their sound. 5 is has a lot of stuff going on and is quite fun but also isn't a great track. 6 on the other hand is the first real jam I find in their discog (I think), blending superbly accessible elements (female guest vox for instance) to a weird and noisy instrumental. If you want to show your friends the concept of experimental noisy hip-hop, this might be the track. 3.65
Coeur de Pirate Blonde
This is better than I expected. The vocals are lovely and most of the instrumentals are actually very nice albeit often naive sounding. I tried not to pay attention to the lyrics because were this in English I would not care for them. The issue with this record is that the songs are all very short, and although they flow relatively well into each other, none have time to give a lasting impression - which is also a good thing because practically none get the chance to become annoying. A sweet pop album. 3.6
Coma Regalia, Vril, Ostraca & Untold Want Yarrow
Nice screamo compilation/4-way split albums. My fav sides in order: Vril (aka Nuvolascura) > Coma Regalia > Untold Want > Ostraca. Untold Want offers cool material but that doesn't feel hugely memorable. Ostraca's first track really clashes in terms of prod and sound, and the first track just seems odd like it comes from an entirely second record. Their second track is cool though, and the band is probably the slowest, sludgiest here. Vril's side is clearly the best imo, 7 and 9 being two fantastic tracks. The transition into Coma Regalia's final act is seamless, and the vocals are the only thing that actually let it transpire on a noticeable level. Coma Regalia's style is pretty similar to Vril's, but just felt a touch less good and memorable although the intro to their last track is kinda catchy. Worth a check if you dig Zegema Beach Record or Nuvolascura. https://zegemabeachrecords.bandcamp.com/album/yarrow 3.65
Coops God Complex
Coops' chillest one yet. The first half of the record feels weirdly disjointed from the second: it's not as well produced, more erratic and certainly less cohesive. 1 has a cool intro but the track doesn't develop too well. 2 continues the sad vibe and has a really tasty RnB vocal intro that then only gets to rap, the instrumental is sweet especially the conclusion, but sadly the prod feels off. 3 is a relatively standard, chill piano-based track. 4 has a really sweet instrumental with Nujabes-style flute thingies contrasting with Coops' more aggressive delivery, very nice but doesn't quite hold the distance. 5 has very nice piano but I'm no sold on the delivery. 6 is one of the weakest tracks with a beat that feels like it's off youtube despite a few nice sounds - also idk if it's intentional but the notes are nearly the same as the evil theme from stranger things. From then on we suddenly enter the second half of the record which could be a 4.0 tier EP quite easily. 7 is a jam where the contrast between the extremely chill instrumental and his hard delivery works really well. 8 is also very chill although more generic and less marking. 9 is kinda jammy and shows how good the prod suddenly got, with the bass especially. 10 is a smooth jazzy jam, 11 is a fun track that reminds of French rap somehow, after the skit on 12 13 and 14 are also super chill before the nice outro that works quite well as a conclusion and clearly represents the atmosphere of this second half. On another day this could be a 3.8 quite easily, but because of the first half I'll slap a 3.7
cordless All Your Faces/ Left
Hey this isn't actually half bad, although no clue why they are tagged nightmare pop. This is dreamy and not nightmarish in the slightest. Track 1 is fun dream pop, while 2 takes more of an electronica turn with fun percussive sound but a weaker track overall bumping this down a point. I really dug the vox in 1, and the grittier finale on 2. Convinced me to check their EP at least. 3.3
Cuerpos Cosmicos Rain
Hey I really liked this! This is a lovely electronic flavour of dream pop (emphasising on the pop and very far remote from any shoegaze influences, it is dream pop in the literal sense of the words). I really dig the vocals and instrumentation tones, although I had a bit of an issue with the drums on 2 and especially on 1. They are still nice tracks but far from my faves here. 3 is really nice and relaxing, 4 is a dig, 5 is very nice too and offers a jolly sweet conclusion, while 7 calms things down even more (if that were even possible). It's not my favourite track either, but the piano additions near the end are very pretty. 8 is a cool track that reminds me of French pop in some weird remote way - and I thought that before noticing the track was called Paris I promise. 9 is perhaps the catchiest here with a nice beat, it could play on the radio really - in a nice way. Exciting debut, I'm looking forward to more. 3.7
Cuerpos Cosmicos Loneliness is a Very Special Place
Very short clocking at less than 5 minutes, but really sweet. She could make a full album out of this style and I would quite dig it I think. This is Cuerpos Cosmicos x autotune a la 070 Shake, and honestly it's quite well done and I dig it. A bit hard to rate because of the minuscule length, but 3.5
Cult of Luna Bodies / Recluse
Not sure why this wasn't in the db, can't believe I added a CoL record to sput. Prod is different to their contemporary stuff and sounds much sludgier. Track 1 is the main point of interest here, with one of the fastet paced CoL songs and a brutal one at that. It does not quite evolve into too strong a track past the first couple minutes though, and ends abruptly. Track 2 is much slower and resembles much more full on sludge metal. It's a bit less interesting tbh. This is a cool EP, but only worth if you really dig CoL and want to hear what they experimented with. 3.3
Cult of Luna/The Old Wind Råångest
This is some of the sludgiest and darkest CoL out there. Apart from maybe the vocals and the
poorer prod it is hard to tell it is a 2016 split and not an early CoL demo. I like it and will
re-listen to it, but I'm also not too crazy about it - does not have much to it except massive
riffage. 3.7
Cursive Vitriola
I am diced with this one. Overall this is great emo, and some tracks (e.g. 'Ouroboros')
do stand out, with dark atmospheres and interesting melodic lines. Other tracks feel
pretty generic, and in general I am not the biggest fan of the vocals on this. Solid
album overall nonetheless. 3.7-3.8
Curved [MOS006]
Heck yeah this is the record I needed. Dark, brooding, industrial techno much in the vein of MOS003. The tracks did feel of decreasing quality, with 1 being a huge jam, 2 being super cool but mostly in the second half, and 3 finishing to drag this down under the 4.0 tier with its excessively long buildup unfolding into not too much. I think I prefer MOS003 but this confirms I really dig Curved's general style. 3.7
Cuzco/Catholics Split
This is a cute math-rock EP. The cuzco track is nice and diverse with good sections. 3.7 material. The catholics track is odd but interesting, with some unusual sounds for math-rocks, strings etc. Overall this is a pretty inconsequential record and I don't like the concept of splits in general, but this was a worthy and sweet little listen. 3.4
Cynic Demo 1991
Yeah this reminds very strongly of Human-era Death, both vocally and with its very fun, rhythmically intricate style of dm. The prod is still quite demoey, but this is quite fun and definitely the most worthwile of their demos - it packs a fantastic amount of riffs given how short it is. However I wouldn't say it is a hugely important record, as you can just listen to Death and get the same thing but better made, better produced, more aggressive, and less wankery in places. A very strong and exciting demo for the time though. Sill no trace of a vocoder in sight. 3.65
Cynic Carbon-Based Anatomy
While it certainly isn't top tier Cynic material, this is the only non-full length effort of theirs that I feel is worth a space in one's library because it shows an aspect of the band that I haven't seen elsewhere: the use of traditional/traditional-sounding instruments and voices. This is clear from the get go with the lovely opening track, and is also best demonstrated on the jammy 3, offering us sort of tribal-esque ambient tracks that make the record unique in their discog. The issue is that, between these transitional tracks, the more typically Cynic material the band goes into feels kind of bland and flavourless, much like the prior EP. This is true of every track but 1 and 3, although 4 unlike the others is quite successful at mixing the particular sound of this EP to the Cynic sound from the prior effort. But 5 with its solos, or 6 with its cliche post-rock leanings and vocal samples feel like a bore. So I guess 3.4
Danny Ocean 54+1
My expectations were very, very low - was expecting a bad reggaeton album with the one guilty
pleasure song, Me Rehuso. The album is actually pretty solid and consistent, with diverse
instrumentation and smooth mood shifts - it does not have just radio banger wannabees. Some track
have kind of a vintage feel - 2 or 4 for instance. Does not have too much autotune and whatnot,
although you gotta get past the 'niais' feel of most vocals here. No bad out of place guest feats
either. Opener is sexy but kinda fragile, 1-4 and 10 are jams. 7-9 are kinda nice. 6,11, and 13
are merf, either too niaises or too generic. 5 and 12 are the only unpleasant tracks here, which
was a surprise. Idk man my rating is probably biased because I was expecting an annoying record,
but it's actually pretty good. 3.55
Darkthrone Thulcandra
Wasn't too convinced by the first and a half tracks - a bit too doomey and non committal to riffs with not enough time for them to really develop before the band changes to another doom part, a style that I just like a lot less, plus vox that sound a bit wonky - but the transition at min 2 on 2 is really superb, the track from there on is kinda cool, and then 3 frankly bangs super hard in places with a bm tone that I absolutely love. Sadly the track doesnt quite focus on that just yet and still has a bit of an erratic feeling, but still a strong track even when not taking the fact that this is a demo into account. Really solid for a demo this old. 3.3
Darkthrone Soulside Journey
It's not a surprise that this isn't really the record DT are known for, nor that it won't be my favourite of theirs, as this is relatively (but not wholly) generic early 90s dm, and good but not incredible. There are some relatively unique touches, especially synthwork, but with the exception of the great first track where they are a fantastic albeit short-lived surprise, I don't find them well integrated at all. Like come on some of the sounds on 10 and 11 just sound ridonkulous. While in the early tracks this was actually solid dm despite my historical unappreciation of the genre, looking at a 3.8 or thereabouts despite some occasional quirks (some solos - although on 7 despite it being cringe the tone is really cool -, the weirdly abrupt end of 3 although maybe that is just the version I listened to, some of the vocals on 4), with time and especially from 9 onwards this starts to feel long and a bit too repetitive, as the most successful track really was 1, which makes the album gradually drop to a 3.5
Darkthrone Panzerfaust
Frankly (don't @me) I'm not that convinced. Sure the riffage on 1 is some of the best DT material out there, blissfully frozen and blizzardey, and 4 is kinda cool, but there's lots not to be crazy about here. There lots of slower bits, the prod on vocals on 1 is especially strange, lots of tracks end on fadeout, the album conclusion with the spoken word is ok but a bit questionable, idk this doesn't feel as focused as the black trilogy. Feels like a step back. To be fair though I didnt have the best listening condition so I might check it again still. 3.6
Daughters Daughters
Interesting grindcore. The noisy interlude on track 2 was probably my favourite. Even for grind stuff this is way, way too short and has no time at all to tell a story, but the music itself is good. Vocals subpar and uninteresting compared to their other stuff. 3.5
Deafheaven/Bosse-de-Nage Split
To my surprise I actually prefered B-d-N's track. The bulk of it is quite generic albeit nicely bleak blackgaze/bm, but its first third is gorgeous with a sublime intro that is probably the best GYBE material GYBE hasn't made, and a sweet first explosion with unusual rhythm to it. Deafheaven's side, while boasting stronger vocals, pales in comparison. The first explosion feels generic and too doomey, but the calm interlude part before it is really nice. The end explosion feels clumsily done and not well produced. Thankfuly the middle part displays a nice mix of post-rock and bm. Overall this is worth checking out but not mindblowing. 3.6
Deen Burbigo Fin D'Après-Minuit
French rap with quite a few really tasty, lush nocturnal instumentals, but sadly with quite generic vocals with not too great delivery imo. Track 2 with its processed guest vox (really cool) show how much better this album could be with a different vocalist or kind of vocals, including track 1 and its very nice instrumental. Track 3 changes up the style a bit and is quite uninteresting and generic. 4 takes us back to the chill and is perhaps the top track here as his own vox work a lot better and the guest vox work well too, while the instrumental is in the vein of 1-2. Sadly this is broken again right away on 5 with its cringe vox all through. 6 does the same but far less cringe although it's still not great. 7 is quite nice but the chorus is boring, and 8 is eh with meh delivery and a not so interesting instrumental. Nice but since he is a solo act I don't have too much hope the flaws and things I don't like here would change in future records of his. 3.45
Default Genders main pop girl 2019
Quite a hallucinating trip. Mixture of a bunch of more or less popular electronic music genres including some drum and bass parts, with overlaid odd yet interesting vocals. Perhaps not my favourite thing in the world, but definitely original and worth a listen. 3.6
Delusion (FRA) [MOS005]
By far Delusion's strongest EP on Molecular Structure, and it's not even close. This one takes the kaleidoscopic, psych vibes of MOS004's opener and makes two tracks out of it, the first with a dope intro and ahrd but a touch incongruous beats with interesting percussions here and there, cool but not quite a jam, and the second with a merciless introduction of a pounding beat over a psych lead, going into a super dope clubbby, danceable direction and becoming Delusion's hardest jam. He tends to layer simple leads echoing into one another that are a bit too simple in the track build ups but shine o so well in climaxes. Sadly the last track is a bit meh and feels like a long protracted outro owing to the relative scarcity of beats in it. Quite forgettable and brings this down a point. 3.6
Demilich The Echo (Demo)
The first of their demos that I would call 'exciting' firstly because the prod, while still thin and far from great, at least allows us to distinctly hear riffs, and secondly because the voice found a happy middle ground between the goodness of their very first demo and ludicrous burpcore. This has gimmicky bits here and there, and again the prod prevents it from being truly great, but it is nicely technical, quite brutal despite the hollow sound, and a sweet listen. 3.3
Demilich ...Somewhere Inside the Bowels of Endlessness...
Very much like the prior demo. It's cool, exciting, and the scarcity of the vox make work, but I wouldn't say it is mind blowing either. Sections like the beginning of 5 feel a bit awkward for example. The technicality is there again, but when it doesn't show its nose the record feels like it looses a lot of its flavour. I'm not sure if I prefer this one or The Echo, but it doesn't matter because I don't really feel a need to ever come back to either. I did have a slightly more enjoyable time on this one even though it's probably due to the conditions, so it gets a mild 3.5
Demolition Hammer Skull Fracturing Nightmare [Demo]
Fun demo, I actually liked the bad prod. Track 2 was the most wankery, 1 and 4 are total jams though. Nice thrashy dm that makes me look forward to their full length discog. 3.7
Demolition Hammer Tortured Existence
Man the prod waters this down so much compared to the demos. It feels a lot more wankery too, especially the vocals, because you don't have the brutality behind it to compensate. 1 and 5 are still jams but sounded better in their rawer form. I think I'd jam Necropsy over this any day. This is still quality thrash and the riffage is there, even though the sound serves it less. 3.74
Denzel Curry 13
Strong EP, with 1 and 2 both being jams with interesting prod - although 1 is superior. 3 is nice and hits hard, and 5 is a cool track. 4 feels like it comes out of nowhere to ruin the record, compiling all the bad traits of Imperial in one track and bringing the record down a couple points. Still a 3.75
Denzel Curry Zuu
His most straightforward album - standard Denzel track after standard Denzel track. The middle of the album especially 4-6 is the strongest part, with 5 being a jam and the other two being not far behind with their horror feel. The rest did not impress me as much - some tracks or vocals are cool, but there is always an element (sample or vocal guest) disrupting the track. 3.4
Denzel Curry and BADBADNOTGOOD Ultimate / Sick & Tired
Pretty fire and a successful collab between two artistic projects that I love. It is quite intense and the short length actually serves it right, but you're also wanting some more. Can we get a full-length please? I preferred the jazzier 1 to the more intense 2 which does have some subpar sections, but overall this works really well. 3.7
Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats Unlocked
This is cool, but I think it suffers from the beatmaker and vocalist somewhat competing for attention and not working together as much as they could, and also from the beatmaker himself having some erratic song construction at times. There's a lot going on and the record feels like it has a very short attention span. But in general some of the sounds are amazing, evoking 90s Wu-Tang with some of the samples, Quasimoto/Madlib on other tracks, and some tracks feeling quite fresh and original. 1 shows the former two influences in a Denzelless beat, then 2 is quite cool. I dig the transition at 1:20 but not so much some of the weird vocals they added - a common theme. The vibe on 3 is cool and Denzel is on point but the slow tempo forces him into awkward flows, and again the added voice are zzz. 4 is cool again but shows what I mean by them competing for attention. 5 is quirky and I dig some bits and hate others. 6 is my fave here, it's an original track that is very well executed without annoying elements at all. 7's first half is really fun with the bass, but then the track just dies. 8 has a dope beat again and is kinda cool, but again most of the tracks are too erratic to make a lasting impression. Still, this is shorts and has lots of ideas, so worth a check. 3.5
Desolate (DE) Heroic Death
The first track is a jam and quite exciting for the rest of his discog. Simple, works well, and while evoking Burial it does not sound like one of his many copycats. The rest of this was a bit of a disappoint, with 2 being a tad too long and weaker, feeling indeed like aforementioned copycats, and 3, while full of potential and pretty ideas including a nice strings-based intro never feels like it quite starts and instead feels like a protracted interlude. Still looking forward to his discog, but this is a 3.3
Desolate (DE) Celestial Light Beings
Strong, cinematic first half, but the second half falters. After a nice, very Burialesque opener featuring some lovely piano, Desolate shows us why he chose that artist name. The music evokes a feeling of being lost in a vast, desolate city in the moonlight. It boasts a lot of strings atop the electronica and Burial-ish vocal samples. 2 is quite sublime, and 5 showcases the cinematic powers of this record. Apart from 3 which is a little bit too much of a copy of Teardrop apart from a sweet conclusion, the run from 1-5 is excellent and maybe 3.8 material. 6 breaks that with a questionable beat resembling slowed down Djrum, followed by 7 which is kinda weird, while 9 and 10 are pretty but fall flat - especially the former. 8 saves the day with some nice sax samples and some steeldrum giving it less of an ominous vibe as seen on the first half and more of a mystery Divine Moments of Truth feel almost, but the second half overall still brings this down to a 3.6
Desolate (DE) Exceptionalism
Quite an significant style shift here, with Desolate abandoning mots of the night- time, lonely urban vibes of his prior discog for happier, beachier, relaxing undertones - except on the sweet album opener. This newfound style truly shines in the middle of this where it is most nuanced with some remainders of his Burial touches of old. 6 is a jam and feels like 50% Tycho 50% Burial's NYC. 7 is the best jam here with a lovely piano piece that transforms itself with sublime vox. I kinda wish a beat kicked in at some point almost though. 8 is very nice too with some sax and lush reveberated chill vibes, and demonstrates that the record has finally found its sound there. Kinda jam too. After that the record looses its precious balance, with 9 being some slowed down Burial and 10 just falling flat (he isn't great at album conclusions). The early record bar 1 is straight up a bore though, just feels like some nice but tasteless Tycho-esque material. 5 and 2 are maybe the best in this part. I do prefer nocturnal Desolate to paradise Desolate, but this feels on par with the previous record which keeps a slight edge because it was more interesting. NB I messed up the discography order so 'previous record' refers here to Celestial Light Beings. 3.55
Desolate (DE) Lunar Glyphs
Bridges the prior album and the next while displaying more hip-hop influences than anywhere else in his discog, but quite forgettable. The kind of album you don't regret listening to but know you won't ever come back to. Hints of Tycho can be heard on 2 (interestingly with the mood of CLB though) or 12, while the hip-hop influences are clearest on 8 which is kinda nice, 10 where it is clearest, and 12 which really feels like it needs a voice to be complete. 7 calls back to the cinematic nature of CLB but is hindered by excessive bleep bloopiness, and the preceding track after a very nice intro of deconstructed piano is hurt by patchworking of far too many genres (hip-hop, house, Tycho, ambient). The best track here are the Farewell interludes, 5 being a sweet granular piano jam, and 2-4, 8 , and the sad 9 are nice too, while 11 almost sounds amateur. 3.4
Desolate Moon Phases Heathenstones
Nice synthy droney dark ambient. Tracks 1-3 and the closer are jams. The opener is wonderfully
ominous with choir vocals drowned in reverb and overlaid atop droney goodness. 2 and 3 drop the
choir textures and offer great desolate synthy dronebient. However the whole run from track 4-8
drops significantly in quality (5 is quite ok). The background synths start to bore ya after a
while, and the additional textures are more and more clumsily integrated, making the track pieces
feel like they don't fit together. The closer picks it up again and drops the unnecessary
textures for a more consistent, nice and desolate synthy ambient drone track. 3.65
Destruction Release from Agony
Enormous improvement on their prior sound. Finally it actually sounds fat. The prod is fuller and darker, the riffs are thicker and more prevalent, it feels brutal. The record even evokes early Death at times, no wonder I like it more. Now this is still not fantastic. There are still wankery solos all over the place - although some are occasionally good -, the vox still often feel outdated or like little girl squeals, and some tracks are just not on par with the rest. But lord is it better, and you can tell from the first few seconds of 2 after the very nice intro track on 1, beginning with a riff that in itself hits harder than anything they've released before. 2 is one of the best Destruction tracks I've heard tbh. 3 is a bit early Deathy. 4 has the kind of intro that also makes this record superior with actual track construction, displays how much their riffage has improved, and has parts that are honestly jammy. 5 is quite fat and perhaps the most consistent track here. The end of album falters a bit (tbf I had to pause), 6 reminding more of the prior album, 7 having a nice fast aggressive first half but a terrible solo covering the second, and 8 having a cool riff at min 2 followed immediately by the worst solo on the record and a weird conclusion. So yeah this won't stay in my library, but at least it had the potential to. 3.35
DIIV Is the Is Are
While the first half of this felt stronger than the prior LP, and this one having a lot more tracks I'll retain, as a record on the whole this felt weaker. It might be due to listening conditions and interruptions, but it feels like it drags on for a tad too long. Even though 14 and the closer are quite nice, by track 10 I was loosing track of the album really. Prior to that though, this offers nice fun songs when the band decides to have a lot of vocals. The opener, 7 and 9 are quite catchy songs in that regard, but the best track here is probably 4, the only song I'd call a jam. For the rest, this bears the same comment as the prior LP: it's nice, but not hooking. The band's instrumentals are sweet but to simple not to rely on vocals a bit to grab the listener. Still a nice effort, and while I rate it lower it has a better chance to end up in my library simply because of the better high points. 3.5
DIIV Oshin
Textbook 3.6: this is an album that I enjoyed all the way through but that did not strike me in a lot of places either. Would be nice to jam in the background or something because there isn't a single bad track here. This is largely instrumental although there are some nice vox here and there - I really dig them on 6 for instance. But before they kicked in on 2 I thought this was going to be instrumental. This is light, sweet, very chill, and rarely catchy - 8 probably being the catchiest one with its fun upbeat drumming. The music rarely explodes so to speak (if ever), which may partly explain why this never felt hugely marking. But tracks like the post-rockish 4 are just lovely. 11 is perhaps the only track that lost me a little bit, not because it is bad, but just because its darker, psych undertones didn't feel like they fit the band as well as the rest. I love the tones on 13 too, and the album opener is nice as well. 3.6
DIIV Deceiver
They mixed in a lot of rock and shoegaze into their dream pop to renew their sound with this one, and honestly I quite dig it. This album reminded me a lot of Nothing. They do sprinkle in some darker undertones, mostly from lovely dissonant guitar lines, giving off some distant Slint/90's alt bands vibes, on tracks like 3 or 4 especially in the last third. However this is stil mostly a happy, lighthearted record, with tracks like 6, 7 and 9 being quite fun/chill. 9 is in particular poppy and a nice upbeat jam, which contrasts nicely with the slower 8. I however wish the record had stopped there. The closer, while not bad, brings the dark vibes a bit and concludes on a grand atmospheric finale (into a fadeout), which I feel was a mistake. Bumps this down half a point to a 3.7
Dirge (FR) Wings Of Lead Over Dormant Seas
This album was a bold, bold choice. Doing a 2hrs album without being Swans is quite a bet. The first couple tracks are fantastic post-metal and are well worth a listen. However the record loses its focus over time, delving into prolonged noisy experimental-ish ambient tracks that don't have much to offer, and with the exception of a great album closer, the latter two thirds of the album are quite boring for a very, very long time. Still an ok listen overall, but that does not make me want to check out their other albums. 3.3
Dis Fig Purge
Deliciously bizarre record with a mishmash of noises, screams, weird vocals, and weird sounds. While I usually don't enjoy such collage albums very much, here it manages to craft a deranged, crazy bad dream atmosphere that I really enjoyed. 2 is just a touch too long, but 3 perfectly illustrates that deranged bad dream atmosphere. 4 was my least favourite track, going away from the mentally deranged to the slightly annoying side of weirdcore. Thankfully it was follow by my fave track, 5, a mentally insane jam that makes me want to see her play live. From 6 onwards the record structures itself a little bit more, which shifts the atmosphere slightly but also shows variety and good construction. 6-8 are calmer, closer to ambient, and 8 is especially chill with a minimal mix of simple ambient and reverberated vocals that aren't crazily distorted and whatnot like they were in the early record. The closer is a textbook drone track but a quite nice one at that. Worth a check, and definitely worth checking her future output. 3.65
Discipline. Push & Profit
This is ok prog, but I wasn't mesmerized. There are fantastic sections sprinkled here and there. The album intro on 1 is lovely, 3 has a lovely section towards it sixth minute but is otherwise a meh track, 6 has a lovely piano section in its middle, 7 boasts the best section of the record in its ending, a Pink Floydesque jam. Why they ended the record with a fadeout on 8 instead of that I'll never understand. The vox on 1 got me worried, and frankly most tracks on this are quite meh, apart maybe from 2 which is a nice instrumental and 8 which is quite an ok track despite its bad end - bar of course the sections I highlighted. 3.4
Discipline. Unfolded Like Staircase
This does feel better than their first (less lyrically grand and all), but I'm still not convinced. Everything feels like a blur, the tracks are long and lack dynamics or standout section to really stick with ya. The album intro and outro are both weird and I daresay badly done. 1 starts with a lovely bass+vocals only groove, and has occasional brass too which is cool. 2 around min 8 is one of the best sections by the band, and 5 might be their best track yet. For the rest this is mostly fine but just not really marking. 3.5
Djrum Mountains
Track 1 is interesting and dubby but not quite a jam. 2 and 3 are the same smoky, pounding, vaguely burial-esque I daresay techno track. 2 is a jam but 3 drags a bit. The closer has more of a techno vibe, but again with this smoky, London at night prod. Three interesting takes on a same nice atmosphere, but nothing that really sticks with me. 3.6
DNCE Swaay
1 and 3 could be enormous funk pop bops, if it weren't for the fact that prod is a tad tame - where's the bass man it should be way more prominent. 2 and 4 are fine, but while 2 is alright tucked in nicely between the two bops, 4 feels a bit unnecessary and drops this a point. A cool starting EP though, would've made me want to follow the act had I heard it back in 2015. 3.4
Dodheimsgard Satanic Art
I should re-listen to this because I didn't pay enough attention. Short and sweet raw-ish black metal with a nice piano intro and outro. The riffs are good, I enjoy the bad prod, and the vocals are great too. The record boasts quite a few random sound bits and samples (pianos, strings, little girls screaming), which sometimes are great but sometimes don't quite fit and break the atmosphere for me. Still makes me want to check out some of their other records. 3.6
Doja Cat Hot Pink
On the one hand Amala is more erratic and typical of a pop album as far as construction goes, on
the other hand it feels like it has more memorable tracks and more value as its exploration are
often well executed. Hot Pink is more consistent with a more unified direction going mostly into
fully rapped songs, but because that direction isn't Doja's strongest it results in a mildly
disappointing album with only a couple tunes sprinkled in. The best tracks are in fact the ones
where she goes back to pop and RnB, only keeping rapping to limited sections to add nice variety,
rather than rapping the whole time. The jammy 5 and 8 instantly feel l so far above the rest. 6
does the same thing but rapping ends up overwhelming it especially with the feat, and the song is
quite meh anyway. 9 is also interesting, although it articulates very poorly with 8, feeling like
a dark but flavourful remix of some Erika tune. Nice. For the rest, the rapped songs work best
when it's sort of a bubblegum vibe like on 1 and 12, or 2 with its fun intro but poor unfolding
and 3 which is simpler but works better than 2. At worst, the songs are proper awful with really
poorly done autotune - 4 or 10 despite a cool intro. Beyond that, 7 is kinda like 6 but works
better with a couple nice ideas and doesnt have the feat to hinder it, while 11 is a nice track
that has fewer non rap elements than 5 and 6 but still works quite well with rap that flows
better into the track than elsewhere. I wish she'd aspire to be a rapping pop star Doja, not a
rap star. Maybe with different producers for LP3? 3.3
Domestic Terminal The Second Chicago Fire
Nice lil indie rock single by our resident Yoyo, the kind of stuff Sowing would insta 4.6 but that's actually worth a check (lel don't ban me pls xoxo) . The song is worth a full listen as it progresses quite nicely,
prod is great for a small debut like this, and it's just well done! EP/LP when? https://open.spotify.com/album/0etPTgJw1p7PNwwUuoYZSl 3.6
Doss Doss
With the exception of 3, this is three instances of well done but really generic music embellished by nice reverberated dreamy vocals here and there. 1 is festival-aftermoviecore with curve ball addition of the cute vox, it is nice but it feels like it keeps building up to explosions that either don't happen or fall very flat (see 3:50). 2 feels like background music to some kind of Carribean cruise ad with added cute beach sounds with the steel pan and again the cool vocals. 3 ruptures completely from the rest with its really dreamy, hazy, shoegazy almost aesthetics atop a sort of trip-hop foundation. I'm describing it very poorly but it's a jam. Then 4 goes back to the earlier style and is the fastest, jolliest one yet, to a degree that feels almost funny to me and, while fine, really isn't my cuppa. Idk how to rate this really but because I dug 3 a lot we'll go for a safe 3.3
Dubby [MOS001]
Sweet, aerial dub techno reminding strongly of Yagya and Ben Buitendijk to a lesser extent. 1 could literally have been on Sleepygirls. The second track does every now and then feature darker beats in the vein of other records by the label, but for short amounts of time only - which is my only gripe with the album, as the contrast with the light leads is very nice and would have been worth exploring a little more. 3.6
Electric Universe Cosmic Experience
Better than its predecessor because it doesn't waste 20 min into two pointless closing tracks, but 1hr13 of psytrance is still hard to digest. Again, not quite an album I'd turn to for at-home listening, but pretty fun ravey stuff. 1,2,5,6 and 7 all work really well, the latter being perhaps the best track here with its occasional pads in the background to give texture to psytrance hooks that already among the best here. 3-4 loose a bit of steam, although the intro to 3 and the midtrack to 4 are cool. But 4 shows an instance of mindless guitar soloing over the psytrance which I just find a boring way to fill time, and that's used again on 9. Tbf after an hour it was hard to not feel like a lot of this was filler material. 8 starts of cool but looses a bit of steam too. What saves the album and easily gives it an extra point is the concluding track, which I must say does its job fantastically well and gives a real, well timed and well composed conclusion to the album as it slowly dies off with flutes and ambient synths easing the slow death of the psytrance rave. Wasn't expecting such a great conclusion here, nice. 3.4
Emglev Noz Veil
I liked this a lot, but there are a couple of what I'd call formal mistakes that break the deal for me a little bit. 1 is a really lovely dungeon synth jam with some ambient/dark ambient undertones. The stereo panning on 2 is really odd and is one of those formal mistakes I mentioned. While I've heard a lot worse and you get used to it quickly, it is still a bit detrimental to the atmosphere 1 crafted so nicely. 3 corrects that and is the other great track on this - perhaps a jam too. Then the other formal mistake comes: the very odd closing track, that pointlessly (it's only 40s long) disrupts the atmosphere created by 3 with its faster paced melody that comes and goes out of the blue. Definitely brings this below the 4.0 tier. Nice rec garas! 3.55
Emmanuel Diamonds & Ashes
Neat little two-track techno EP. 'Diamonds' is a banger with an intriguing, industrially eerie vibe. 'Ashes' is very similar but did not quite click with me as much, although it does build up a nice atmosphere towards the end of the track.
Eructation 1992 Demo
As a demo this is truly excellent and makes you wish there was a full-length to follow it up (well there is that compilation thing but that's not the same). For a 92 dm demo this is well produced, the vocals are quite good, it's all good. As a record in the more general sense though idk if this is dm I'd recommend, but it feels like it'd preface greatness and I wonder what happened to those guys. Each track improves imo. 1 shows bursts of technical dm DNA before 1:55 for example, but then it switches a lot into less impactful (read: thrashy) riffz like at 1:55. The track does have dope moments, although it ends on a fadeout, to then only have an outro that also fades out. Why oh why. Still an ok track though. 2 has funky riffs although the bass tone is a little off at times, not enough to ruin the riffing though, and 3 has some really dope riffs and is more on the instrumental side. Now I'm sad that there's no LP. 3.55
Eructation The Fumes of Putrefaction (1992-1995)
Most of my general comments from the demo apply here: this is well produced for demo material, it's full of idea and good riffs, but its value mostly lies in how exciting it is for their hypothetical future output that actually never came to be, while as a record in and of itself it is cool but not something I'd recommend or keep in my library really. I have to say I am surprised at how well it holds the distance, and the added tracks all feel at least as good as the best demo track (3) or better. 1-3's the demo, 4 has cool tech riffage in the intro and is already better than anything on the demo, 5 is as good as 3, 6 lines up some great riffs followed by not so great riffs (a common theme). Then 7-8 are what truly elevates this a point above the demo, with 7 being fast and aggressive all the way through which I dig (it's kind of a jam actually), while 8 ruptures completely and delightfully from the rest with a clean guitar interlude that has fantastic prod for its age and demo material status. Reminds of some AAL almost. 9-10 were recorded later on (I can't really talk about construction here since this is a compilation), and the voice changes but not for the better imo. The return to riffage on 9 isn't the best, but again both tracks do also boast some pretty sweet riffz - a lot of them actually, especially some of the tech hints on 10. 3.6
Exhorder The Law
I really enjoy Exhorder's merciless, straight to the point, riff barrage style of thrash metal. A fav thrash band. This one has very high points, but is overall not executed as well as its predecessor. The prod is a bit less aggressive, and the vocals feel a bit less good. Tracks like 1, 5, and 7 (except its last third which is jammy as hell) feel like they don't quite work. 2, 4, and the intro of 8 are jams. 4 in particular is interesting, really technical sounding, with lovely slap bass but a slightly annoying funky guitar riff which is the only thing bringing the track down. Amidst the constant and excellent riffing, this one also has more wankery bits - eg the rest of 8, 9 which even has a sorta breakdown to it, or the wankery mosh machine that is 6. Overall still a 3.7
Explosions in the Sky How Strange, Innocence
This one feels like it is for the history books. Like much of its descent it is an agreeable listen, but it also lacks the impact of their later output and is a bit rough around the edges, which means there isn't much reason to come back to it other than its relative historical importance. The production is a bit off, some guitar tones aren't too good - for example the fuzz tone appearing midtrack on 3 -, and some moments feel a bit amateur e.g. the climax at the end of 4 or the end of 6. More importantly, there are few actually hooking memorable moments. The album intro is very nice and reminds of 90s indie - after all, this one came out in 2000 -, and it feels less fluffy and more abrasive than TEinaCDP. That fluffy sound is already prefaced here too though, early on in 4 being the clearest example. The middle of 3 has also cool drums. But all in all, this feels far less personal, emotional and overall enjoyable than other similar albums, and it feels more like a full-length quality demo than it feels like a mature album. It's still impressive, a nice listen, and its age warrants respect as it came way before the wave of crescendocore we saw later on, so I feel like its avg rating is well deserved. 3.7
Fazerdaze Fazerdaze EP
Cute dream pop EP, but that feels pretty uneventful. The first track is a happy and cool
jam, the kinda track you can show to your non-nerd friends. Unfortunately it is the only
jam here. 2 is perhaps more interesting with its quirky and childish sounds, but isn't
quite a jam. 3 reminds of 1 but with a touch more shoegaze, and 4 shifts styles a bit with
a catchy bass-led track that reminds of the 90's a bit. 5 and 6 are quite subpar though and
kinda boring, contributing to the EP leaving little impression besides being a nice listen.
3.4
Fennesz Venice
This is ok ambient-drone, but it does not quite cut it for me. Some tracks are cool - 'The Other Face', the opener and closer - with nice interesting textures, but others e.g. track 2 are more a glitchier gimmicker version of ambient that I like a lot less. At the very least I think these tracks are not well integrated and break the drone mood created by the others, instead of changing it. Still a nice jam. 3.6
Fief I
Very sweet medieval sounding, enchanting music. It sets a mood superbly, with only track 3 feeling a little subpar. It reminds of the Graveyard Keeper OST but better - not hugely ambitious, but very good at what it does. Perfect forest walk soundtrack. 3.6
Fief II
It might be because I am listening to this so shortly after I, but it feels quite a bit weaker and more conventional than its predecessor. That said, it is still nicely evocative music. For some reason the vibes I get here are that of a medieval town, whereas the prior LP took me to enchanted forests. 3.4
Fief III
This one tells more of a story and brings us from the village/urban vibes of the second record (I can't imagine this was unintentional given the track names) into the forests the first record took us into. And while the end record is really lovely, I can't help but prefer those foresty vibes above all else. The first record felt ever so slightly superior but it may be benefiting from being my first Fief record ever, so I'll slap the same note on this one. 3.6
Fief V
Maybe it was the conditions but this felt at home right between II and III, at a low 3.5
Flares Levitation
Shows a whole big lot of potential, but quite rough over the edges. This isn't mere crescendocore - I mean it is, but it is of the inventive kind. Prod is lo-fi but it has its charm versus the usual crystal clear post-rock sound. Drumming is often syncopated for lack of a better word, and it feels like their drummer wanted to be in a math rock band instead at times. The first track starts on a sweet kinda inspiring melody which could go into other directions than just post-rock. The transition at 3:30 into something more upbeat, the crescendo that follows is nice, and honestly the track on the whole is the best executed one here and is kinda jammy. 4 is mostly ok interlude material, but the crescendo at the end is massive and possibly the best on the record. 2 and 3 on the other hand feel very amateur at times, especially the synth work on 2, and the bridge at min 4 on 3, thankfully followed by a dark and riffy climax. So yeah I guess I might jam other things by these guys, but even if it is inventive, it remains the tried and tested ol' crescendo post rock as we know it. 3.45
Floating Points Anasickmodular
Really cool I don't really know how to tag it so I'll just go with Wolfe's tag i.e. tech
house. Track 1 has a nice beat to it but I'm puzzled about the leads - I do enjoy how
psychedelic they feel though. Track 2 is outstanding and a psychedelic late night rave
trip, pounding and prog at the same time with lots of variations and buildups within the
track. Track 3 brings the record down a bit, by the end it is quite nice, but its beginning
feels really bare and empty compared to the richness of track 2. 3.65
Flourishing A Momentary Sense Of The Immediate World
Really, really cool and exciting demo/debut EP that is quite different from their full-length (at least from what I remember). This one is chaotic and more corey, reminding of CI-era TDEP in places, which is nicely complemented by the raw but far from awful prod and the coarse vocals. The songs all flow well into one another and it's hard to think of them as highlights as opposed to a long, epileptic continuum of riffage and aggressive screms. The one exception is 2, with its absolutely superb sudden acoustic bridge back into ominous riffage. Superbly done. This might be a demo, but honestly I think I might well jam it again. 3.5
Fluisteraars Bloem
Very nice bm with lots of ideas for a band I think I'll watch in the future. The record starts off quite timidly though, 1 being a pretty straightforward bm track with some good riffs but hindered by relatively tame prod - I would have liked something a little more aggressive to the ear maybe. 2 does throw some ideas in but I wouldn't say it really worked for me, I found the midtrack a bit funny sounding to be honest. However after that the record picks up in quality and quite dramatically so. 3 involves slightly cleaner yet still screamed vocals which I really dug, and has more of a personal, recognisable sound to it, with I daresay traces of Agalloch DNA that I obviously enjoyed. 4 starts off on really cool frozen riffage, then displays even more innovative sounds with strings additions, supplemental vocals, and some really great cleaner sections that match the artwork well with the track finishing in strongly atmospheric fashion. Kept my rating going up as the band really displayed a thickened, enriched sound on these two tracks. 5 is similar, starting on a frozen riff to then add strings and additional vocals, and even flute and some brass, but I found the track still less striking than 3-4, keeping this under the 4.0 bar at a solid 3.65
Flyingpool Flyingpool Demo
Sweet dream pop from Belgium? Thanks budgie for the rec. 1 is the strongest track here, a dense jam that starts off as lush dream pop and shows great promise with complex vocal layering, some synths, a post-rocky guitar here and there, and a keys-led finale. Makes them feel like a band to follow. 2 displays trip-hoppy vocals on a similar dream pop instrumentation, but the track works less well and is less ambitious. 3 is the most trip-hoppy and synth driven track here, it's quite nice but the grand vocals over the toned down music take some getting used to. 4 is the most post-rocky track here and the second strongest one, boasting a lovely intro that builds up very nicely into a climax that doesn't quite get the conclusion it deserves. The vox is nice but tbh I feel like on a full length they'd need more vocal variations, such as seen on 1. Overall this is sweet and I'll watch their future releases. 3.6
Folamour Shakkei
Really cool little jazzy house EP. There is not a single bad track, unlike many other records like it. It is nice, it grooves, it feels good, and that's all we ask from it. Not the album of the century, but definitely an EP that I'll jam again. 3.7
Forbidden Forbidden Evil
The mid album is some of my fav thrash I've heard (from the 80's at least), but the early record and especially its end bring it down a lot. The wankery guitars and solos, the ear piercing lyrical vox and the general awkwardness are just far more prevalent there than they are in the mid record, although they never are truly absent. But come on 3, with its fun riffz and great vintage vox is a jam despite a few weird guitars here and there, and 4-5 are solid fun too - the fast and pounding riffs in 5 got me going. The intro of 6 is a nice welcome break too, and the record knows to pause its riff barrage for an instant before starting even stronger. But after that the track doesn't unfold well although some of the riffs are fun. 7-8 repeat the mistakes found in 1-2, i.e. way too many bad vocals and wankery bits, and brought what could have been a 4.0 territory album way down to the bar below, although the intros to 2 and 8 are quite cool. If their next album takes away some of the wankeriness, this could be a fav thrash band. 3.6
Frail Body A Brief Memoriam
Relatively nice skramz that reminds of Beau Navire with its highly distorted vocals. At times it is lovely controlled chaos, but at other times it feels like a mess and can be a bit much. 1 and 3 were my fav tracks, the latter in particular being kinda jammy, with lots of headbanging potential, but again with the vox being a bit much at times. For the rest, there are occasional sweet melodies but also annoying bits and it didn't mark me much overall. 3.4
Freeze Corleone Projet Blue Beam
I really enjoyed the middle/second third of the album, a quite dark brand of French rap.
The album only scarcely annoys, which is impressive, and is well constructed with a nicely
defined atmosphere, rare enough in hip-hop to deserve praise. His delivery is excellent
most of the time, but it occasionally stumbles and feels amateur which is quite weird. This
is shown on 5 and particularly on 9, both jams, the latter exemplifying some of his best
lines with some of his worst deliveries. 6 and 7 are also jams. 8 has an annoying intro
with a hook repeated over and over (which also faults 4, one of the weaker tracks), but
after that it is quite a nice heavy track too. 10 is dark but chill, but is a minute or two
too long with a vocal sample just listing stuff? 11 is an ok track but I wish the album had
a better conclusion - would've bumped it a point. 1 feels a bit silly and simplistic with
its Harry Potter sample, and 3 is the only annoying track tbh. 2 is cool and chill. Overall
a solid, well-constructed album with a bunch of jams, but I'm hesitant to put it in 4.0
territory yet. Ekip (you gotta stop saying that every line dude). 3.7
Freeze Corleone Vieilles Merdes Vol. II
Surprisingly good and much more colourful than this LP's relatively flat successor. This one toys a lot more with autotune and quite often evokes Booba quite vivdly. Completely different from his 2019 LP but honestly pretty much just as strong because more consisten. 1 is a super cool autotuned opener. 2 is nicely deconstructed and def but he does his classic bad protracted conclusion here. 3 is super cool, very US rap sounding. 4 is fatter and nice, but gets a bit much by the midtrack. 5 has really cool distorted vox in the intro and is quite fat thereafter. 6 is the first (only?) weak track because it is super gimmicky. 7's instrumental reminds of Chill Bump a lot and obviously I gotta love that. 8-9 are cool boobaesque tracks, while 10 evokes the LP that would come after this one. is nice and fat, 12-13 continue that boobaesque style again. By 14 it starts feeling a bit long, but the female guest vox that come in are really good and help by bringing some welcome freshness, although the track remains a bit eh. 15 is kinda cool despite meh vox, and it gets a bit too much. Thankfully, it is the lats track. Man, this makes me wonder if I should dig up his even earlier stuff? 3.55
Freeze Corleone LMF
Habitual flaws (questionable lyrical tropes, poor track conclusions), newfound strength (great coherent atmosphere), but also some newer mistakes: freeze evolves, but this isn't his final form, I hope. The main issue with the album is that his delivery, while strong and impactful, hardly ever varies. Thus the album quickly fatigues, and songs that in a vacuum or in a playlist would be very strong feel here like they just repeat the same ideas. This is particularly true of tracks 1-10, while the album's last third feels somehow fresher by spacing out his verses, which helps with the 65min runtime. Freeze intelligently brings a lot of feats to the table to freshen things up, but while it sometimes work brilliantly (5,7 in which his own delivery also changes nicely), it is often merely ok (12,13 and frankly 14, which while lmao brings welcome variety), and often really not all that good (9,, the dumb feat on 10 despite a brilliant intro,,16). Instrumentals are the album's strongest point by far, especially in the intros, and every track is good to fantastic on that end - except the slightly dumb start to 2. The album's dark, often piano-led, nocturnal yet hard hitting atmosphere is really nicely laid out and coherent. Highlights include the bookend which are just executed really well, the softer 8 which brings welcome relief, the fantastic more ambient 11, and 12-13 with their amazing vocal tribal ambiences in the background. A great, great sign of evolution, but still a bit of an overshot. 3.5
Full of Hell Amber Mote In The Black Vault
Dope little EP that packs a lot despite being only 6 minutes long. While I am not a fan of the higher pitched voice in the low-ended, fat first track, after that it feels very fitting. 2 is more on the hardcore punk side of things, and 3 is deliciously chaotic. 4 is the real weak link here, starting on an awkward section with pretty much just that high pitched voice shrieking in the void over pretty much nothing, which then resolves into an okay riff but that feels really subpar compared to the rest. Drops this a point down a tier to 3.7
Full of Hell Weeping Choir
I don't see how this is their best effort yet by any stretch. Sure, it does rally up a lot of their influences and shows perhaps their best bm side to this point like on 5. But first of all the shrieked vocals don't always succeed and are often not great like on 1 or 2 (where the instrumental is balls but the singer sounds like an angry cat), and their absence often helps, 3 feeling the best of the opening triad for that sole reason (well I guess also the riffs rip ahrd). 4 follows up with some noise sutff which I always like. 7 is perhaps the peak of the album, mostly sludgy, ending on a calm last third before a bm finale - showing once again that the band has heaps of potential. But it doesn't realise it quite, the album feeling erratic and not even succeeding at grindcore/sludge in places. 10 is a great example as it is followed by 11 which is far more successful in the same style, although the album conclusion is frankly laughable. 8 does it well too and has cool deep guttural voice, but also shows gimmicky traits here and there. On 9 the samples and noise parts are the greatest appeal. Idk man this is a fine effort but it feels like it mixes the best of their last two records with the erratic flaws of their debut. This isn't their magnum opus yet - or so I hope. 3.65
Further Down The Zone Tapes
Nicely done sputmade ambient with varied sounds and textures flowing well into one another, going from dronier things on the opener to vintage synth parts, to piano etc, but with the whole thing still cohesive which is great to see. On the prod side it does feel quite thin at times, as if the whole thing was recorded on a cassette dictaphone, and the volume varies a touch too much to my taste. The opener creates nice tension, and unlike Ben Chatwin the tension does resolve well as the track unfolds. The following track is less straightforward and showcases morphing variations from pretty piano into dissonant textures into nice synth work. 3 has pretty sounds too, however I feel like the second half of the record was strongest and bumped this up a couple points, 4 being my fave track probably with its pretty piano bursts first and then nice synth work, 5 getting sweetly distorted and 6 offering nice sounds as well. Well done dude, release more pls 3.5
Future 56 Nights
This is easily Future's most consistent, best constructed record yet. The cringy elements like backing vocals, gunshot sounds etc are entirely removed, and as a result the record is hardly ever annoying. It's perhaps also not as jammy because it is safer, but the overall quality as a record is clearly improved. 1-3 are all stripped down instrumentals, Future's delivery and no other bells or whistles. Some of the most listenable Future material yet where there isn't a stupid element to come and banish tracks from your playlists forever. 4 feels a lot weaker (which was already announced by 3 to some extent) and brings this down, while 5 is the clear accident here with an awful, laughable youtube instrumental. Those two tracks really are a faux pas, for 6-7 come back to the quality of 1-3, 6 with a nice sort of emotional soft piano based vibe, and 7 being the most interesting track of the record with a cool synth arpeggio instrumental. Kind of a jam and not one I was expecting on this EP. Keep this at a healthy 3.4
Future DS2
This is Future's most consistent LP so far. It's never quite amazing and I didn't find any real jam, but a lot of tracks are quite good and car playlist worthy. There is a common aesthetic and many of the instrumentals are nice or interesting. I do not understand 4 which not only is awful in itself but also is the only track that completely cashes with an otherwise quite coherent album - although without much at all in the way of progression, conclusion or construction. 1's okay with a cool instrumental but meh delivery, 2 goes kinda hard, Drake's feat on 3 works well and the track has a subtle, interesting instrumental. 5's less dumb than 4 but still the second weakest track here (mostly fine), 6 is kinda basic but cool with hard hitting drums, 7 is quite fun with the orchestral-ish strings, 8 has a nice nocturnal synthy vibe, 9 is tame but fine, 10-13's all quite cool, with the breezy 13 working nicely to end the album. Bonus tracks: 14 cool, 15 a cool mix of oldschool and modern trap with some of his best flowing delivery on this LP, 16 p forgettable with its nintendo instrumental, 17 kinda cool, nocturnal sad but also quite hard, and 18 one of the hardest on this record, kinda cool. 3.35
Gallery Six Underwater Paradise
From the get go you know that this is the peak of G6's work and superior to Fogbound Island. 1 is instantly recognisable unlike any of the tracks on FI; and 2 is a gorgeous jam of spacious ambient - that sadly is a bit overlong and finds itself distracted by overused field recording towards the end. 3 is nicely textured ambient again but somewhat without does mistakes. 4 is essentially just hydrophone recording, it's nice and relaxing but like FI feels a bit like sound to sleep to and not necessarily a track on a good album I'd enjoy iduring daytime. 5 really is the ugly duckling here, with horribly excessive use of water sound that is just utterly disruptive to the mood and gets annoying very quickly. If it weren't a short track I'd have skipped it without hesitation. 6 goes back to the sound of 2 and 3, while 7 offers a very nice, thinner and drier texture that I enjoyed a lot but that again sadly gets slowly overpowered by the invasive sound samples. This feels vastly superior to Fogbound, but I also can't decently rate it in 4.0 tier when it has such a terrible track ruining a lot of the mood, so 3.74
Gallery Six Gentle Scars
Standard stuff from Gallery Six. Lovely droney ambient field recording, but quite generic from him - nothing to make it stand out in a good or in a bad way. Still a good jam. 3.6
Gallery Six The Fogbound Island
Very nice drone to fall asleep to, as usual with him with great use of field recording as supplement. However, the three tracks feel a bit isolated, with no transition really, and no apparent album construction although the vibe does vary a touch from track to track. I doesn't feel as much as a great 'record' to jam, but rather feels like a compilation of three different ambiences to fall asleep to on three different days. As always I don't really include the remixes in my rating, but briefly track 4 feels like more of the same but with far clumsier use of field recordings although with a better evolution within the track from lushness to noisiness, while 5 is better done but more generic ambient that is very nice but also pretty forgettable. 3.7
Gia Margaret There's Always Glimmer
A lot of lovely songs, but I can't help but feel like this is still an artist looking for her direction as some tracks work far better than others. Generally speaking the subdued, melancholic ballads felt quite superb, and the more energic tracks with happier vibes yet the same vocals felt a little less effective and perhaps a little discordant. After a lovely knobscore opener, this becomes evident already on 2, with 10 being another example. 3 shows more of a folk aspect and is very pretty, while 4 feels a bit cliche but offers very sweet piano and bell sounds. 5 is extremely soft, like a pillow feather. 8 is quite beautiful a piano-led track, and 9 is another sweet folk song. 11 is sweet too, and the closer in itself bumped this a point. It is rarely stunning, but she clearly has the potential to make something gorgeous from front to back. 3.6
Giant Swan Whities 016
Very cool experimental techno (?) EP. 1 especially is super fun despite being bizarre, the intro particularly. It's just a fun aggressive track you should listen to really and I'm hesitant to make it a jam. 2 is much weaker although it flows well from 1 and just goes too weird to my taste. 3 sits a bit between the two in terms of weirdness and quality. It starts off (after a bit) as a cool and twisted track in the vein of 1, but afterwards it goes to a more straightforward style of techno and fluctuates between weird stuff I find boring and quite hard and fat techno I enjoy. Check track 1 basically. 3.4
Giorgia Angiuli Trust The Hours
Really nice synth-based techno with a few nice vocals here and there. It isn't revolutionary but it does the job really well and that was a fun listen, more on the psych side of techno but with some fat bits here and there. The last track convinced me a bit less which drops this half a point. 3.45
Giorgia Angiuli You Shine
I was considering stopping with her discog but now I might just continue. She really did
improve in the last couple years because this is miles better than her 2016 stuff, both in
prod and composition. This EP is darker andmore straight to the point techno than her
earlier stuff. 1 has really dope ominous sounds but falls a bit flat - feels like the track
is missing a 'peak' or two -, while 2 is even better. There are some awkward sections but
most are dope and again some of the songs are really cool. 3-4 are remixes so per usual not
included in the rating, but briefly 3 flows extremely well and could be made by Giorgia
herself while possibly being the best constructed, most consistent track here - nice pool
party background music or something -, while ZAC's remix is clearly the weakest of the
bunch, hesitating between turning the track into a club anthem which makes for some cliche
sections (although dat bass at 3:50 is pretty dope), or keeping the track as it is which
makes the remixing feel a bit pointless. 3.25
Glaskin Debris Disk
This EP is quite disappointing because it starts off great, the first track 'groundwork' is a massive ravey-industrial techno banger, and the second track really has a lot of punch too. But then it all goes downhill. The third track is average at best, and the remix on the last track is completely forgettable. A promising debut still, if they evolve in the right direction. 3.6
Glass Beach The First Glass Beach Album
Lovely diverse and creative debut with lots and lots of high points and good ideas, but that hardly ever manages to sustain them for more than three minutes without something coming up to ruin the party. The vox often sounds naive and can be annoying. The record mixes a lot of stuff whilst remaining somewhat cohesive which is good to see, but I won't attempt to really describe it. 1 is kinda cute once the drums kick in but eh, 3 is a lovely interlude, 5 is a cool indie rock jam, 6 is kinda bouncy and Speed of Sound in Seawater-esque, 7 is a cool glitchy interlude, on 8 they go more aggressive which is cool at first but quickly gets annoying, 10's first half is kind of a jam with a lovely tone but the track goes to crap in its second part, 11 is sweet, 12's intro is a jam with a bouncy bass bu the vox ruins the bulk of the track. 14 is bouncy and cute, and would have been a better finale than 15 - although I commend the intent to have a proper finale. I'd love to see this played live. I'll come back to bits of this, but the album can't reach the ranks of favourite. 3.65
glowing domes sow
Another nice tape from Cascading Fragments. This one fluctuated between 3.7 and 3.8. First track is at the very noisiest end of the drone spectrum, as some shatters of melody can be heard here and there but are utterly destroyed by a wash of noise. I enjoyed the latter end of it even more. The second track is half pure noise and is quite nice at that, and half hainbachesque music that isn't all too well executed and brought the tape down a good bit. 3.65
Gorod Aethra
Ok I lost my notes like a dungus so this won't be very detailed sorry future me, but essentially
this is my favourite Gorod LP. They drop most of the wankery bit, when they are here it often
works - like the intro solo on 2 I think -, and there are loads of influences. It feels like they
tried to move away from death/deathcore and expanded to a proggier side, with traces of Opeth,
Mastodon and stuff like that. There are still some questionable vocals but overall this is really
quite fun - there's even bm drumming in places, and you can always count of them to line up 20
riffs per minute. However, even though they do offer some pauses and bridges, by track say 7 it
gets quite tiresome, dropping this below the critical 3.8 bar, and frankly the last track is
awful and brings all of their old flaws back. Quite a poor way to end an album that could've been
really fun had it been 15min shorter. 3.65
Gorod Neurotripsicks
Fck this sucks but also it owns. Here's a frustrating album that goes on for way too long and gets hurt by it. I have to say the first half of the intro track is quite unique and draws you into the album with its corey vocals and interesting instrumentation. The riff midtrack is original but a bit eh, then it gets very Cynicey. For the rest, the album will alternate about 75% of super cool tech death riffz with intricate rhythms, 10% of tech death riffz that don't work so well, and the rest is just wankery solos and stuff that gave me bad memories of thrash binges. Some of the riffs are really fat like 3 despite the burpvomit vox which are generally fine but never really the selling point for me, but by 4 I already knew the cringe bits would probably keep this sub 4.0. By 6 the album was already getting a bit long, and with 7 I wanted it to stop, with about 25min to go. Some parts of 8 are really terrible to a laughable degree. 10 gave me some hope with some particularly cool riffs but that are then followed by some guitar neck tappy wanking, and 12 is just an awful track. I give them bonus points because when it works, this is really good, and I am still excited to check out their discog, but I'm also scared. 3.3
Gorod Transcendence
My favourite Gorod record so far - although I think I rated the debut higher? The first track is very much in the prior LP's fashion i.e. awful, with no intro whatsoever. But 2 and 3 are really really cool, offering acoustic takes on tech death that not only reveal how good gorod could be if they use their musicianship to better ends, but also sounds surprisingly fun and flamencoey idk especially 2, while 3 evokes its prog/tech death roots more but is still super cool. The transition back into normal Gorod sound with 4 is rough, but after a few min the rather long (15min) track reveals itself as one of the most consistent stretches of music Gorod had ever offered at this point in their careers. The awful EP structure with two randomly acoustic tracks in hte middle hurts the rating for this, but as far as songs go this is the one I am most likely to listen to again. 3.5
Gorod A Perfect Absolution
Based on the appalling artwork I was expecting the worst Gorod yet, but surprisingly this turned out to be my fave of theirs so far in their discog, and for now the only LP I could see myself coming back to. Finally they offer a real album intro again like on the debut, and a quite nice sort of classical piece at that. While the vocals arent the best to my taste, the aggressive entry on 2 is quite cool. Then the track goes back to more regular Gorod material. But this time - and this applies to the whole album, they turned the wankery bit I don't like way done with fewer pointless solos and whatnot, they stripped away the pig vocals, and the record generally insists more on its prog metalcore tendencies and less on mindless deathcore etc. On 2 the riff at 3:15 is kinda cool for example, and 3-4 are also fine. 5 is a bit of a stumble with an awful midtrack and a sudden pause at the end which sounds like it shouldn't be there, making you think you just finished an EP. The intro to 6 is really cool though, showing how good they are with soft sections which offers some great ear rest that was sorely missed in prior records. 7 makes the solos etc work quite well with a nice groove from the midtrack onwards. 8 is my favourite track on here, displaying all the band's best traits (despite not being perfect) with nice non wankery technicity, a cool soft part at 2:20, and lots of ideas and depth in general. 9 comes back to regular Gorod, and while there is still boring soloing etc it doesn't feel as awful as on prior record since there was such a long nice break from it. 3.5
Gorod A Maze of Recycled Creeds
One of the more bearable Gorod albums, but again not something I plan on coming back to ever. While this is ripe with ideas, riffs and grooves, the epileptic way they are connected with one another plus the occasional solo or bad vocal just make it an experience that I might want to cherry pick from, but not really relive on the whole. It certainly is one of the better ones though. Although cheesy we are graced with an intro track again, and while the entry on 2 is a bit questionable especially vocally, it gets bettern and from the midtrack on it's actually darn cool. 3 starts off with cool riffage and despite some vocals and sections is on the whole actually dope, especially the bridge midtrack - again, I much prefer Gorod's soft sections than when they go brr brr constantly. The intro is a bit lel but the track is kinda cool thereafter. However you start feeling the Gorod syndrome where it all starts feeling like a blur of blast beats and tapped arpeggios, which makes 5 quite forgettable. The intro on 6 but the rest is still meh. The band does however give us a break in the last third. This is a recurring theme actually: they give you breaks and bridges and things, but always too late for things to not get annoying first. 7 has some riffs and groovy sections, but 8 brings the wankeriness up a notch and is quite a rough part honestly. 9-10 have some funky bits but also some questionable vox, some of which remind of a Gojira ersatz - waddayaknow. But here some of the grooves feel a bit ridiculous if I'm honest. Ah, this is ok, but I feel no urge to hear it again really. 3.4
Grouper The Man Who Died in His Boat
First half is a very mild and bland version of DaDDuaH. 3.3 range, not much more. Track 7 is a turning point and the most marking jam on the record, disrupting the general Agnes Obely guitar-based ambient folk style for something much dronier and more experimental sounding. After that the record proceeds in the same ambient folky style, but better, with 8, 9 and 11 being jams - not quite at the level of DaDDuaH though. 3.7
Grouper A I A
The first half of this album is amazing and exactly why I love Grouper. A very unique brand of vocal ambient, bordering on noise and drone. Stunning. The second half however drops in quality in my opinion and goes more into a sad minimialistic pop direction which I enjoy a lot less. 3.6
Grouper Water People
These are two very pretty songs. The problem is that the reason why I enjoy Grouper's music so much - because it sets moods and ambiances so powerfully- does not function well in a 10 minute two-tracker format. I wanted the record to continue and be the beginning of an album, instead of being an isolated island of music with no context and no conclusion. Still great sounding music, though.rEdit: again I think past bedex was a bit harsh. First track is pretty run of the mill grouper and nothing to marking, but the second is even more subdued and aquatic and I love it. Still hard to rate because of the legnth, but 3.4
Grouper Paradise Valley
These songs are incredibly soothing and beautiful. This is excellent music for sure. Why a 2.5 then? Because this is awfully and frustratingly short. Grouper's music works infinitely better on longer formats. I am actually outright upset because I wanted this to continue - it is so beautiful, but it ends out of nowhere. Maybe listening to all her EP's as if they were one single album I'd give that a 4.0-4.5rEdit: ok shaddup past bedex, these are gorgeous and even if it is infitiely frustrating to not have more you were harsh. 3.6
Grouper Way Their Crept
Not as good as her first at all imo. Grouper usually makes her music very memorable and hooking despite it being soft and texture-based, but here most of it is lacking that genius touch. The first half of the record feels ok but bland and forgettable, quite atypical of her. Second half is stronger with 5, 7 and 9 being good jams, but overall this is still a 3.5
Grouper Wide
This one is really accurately titled. The vocals are mostly long, grand, choir-esque drones instead of the usual whispered lyrics and intimate singing, giving the whole piece a sense of grandeur and desolate wide spaces. The record feels almost post-rocky at times, like some experimental droney section of it - track 3 is an example. Track 4 is more typical Grouper with keys etc. 2 and 6 are jams, with 6 almost belonging to some sick cowboy movie, and 5 is kinda jammy too. The tracks are varied but don't flow amazingly well into each other - 7 being an example of a nice mellow interlude... that completely breaks the mood built by the track before it. 8 and 9 are quite unpleasant tracks and I have to say some of the weakest Grouper I've heard so far. Other tracks are nice to ok. 3.65
Grouper Violet Replacement
Certainly her droniest and least Groupery album yet. I'm not sure how I feel about it. The first half of Rolling Gate frankly bored me and was far from the best drone I've heard. The second half much improved and was really nice. Sleep is a very solid drone piece with lots of evocative power, and despite its long run time it keeps the listener entertained by very slowly rolling in field recording elements and varying background textures. I did find the latter third with field recordings a little less inspired than the rest of the track though. Overall this is mostly very good drone but it feels a bit flat, I need to re-listen to it because I perhaps was not in the best of conditions. 3.45
Grouper/Inca Ore Split
My first encounter with Inca Ore and it makes me want to check the rest of her stuff. First
of all, for a split this flows incredibly well. You can hardly tell the artist changed;
rather, it feels like a two act story of a character fine at first, then slowly descending
into mental insanity and paranoia in the second act (IO's). Surprisingly to me I liked that
2nd act better. The opening song is a superb Grouper jam with percussive keys, but 2 is
weird and feels too fast tempoed for a Grouper song, while 3-4 are nice meditative vocal
ambient but really not that marking. Then comes Inca Ore with some very nice oppressive The
Lighthouse-evoking pounding sounds on 5, then a series of track evoking a deranged version
of Grouper. 5-8 is all jams and in that vein. Brings the record up a lot, but unfortunately
it falters well before its conclusion. 9 is a weaker track already, 10 is a weirdly loud
(on spotify at least) straightforward drone track without much to it, and 11 is an outro
that just passes. Together these three bring the record back down below the 4.0 bar, but
it'll still stay in my library for 1 and 5-8 which are just wonderful. 3.6
H A S T Elegy
"Experimental" jazz band from BE? Count me in. This is very much a band that is looking for its own direction, finds it, loses it, and finds it again. The sequencing feels a bit chaotic. The opening trilogy is very well constructed, a dissonant blend of jazz and rock guitars that slowly descends into softness track by track up to the point of morphing into ambient on 3, only picking back up with a gentle inquisitive melody at 1:30. 4 is perhaps my favourite dig with Gallery Six -esque sound collages atop pretty guitar for a lovely ambient track. They should have cut it and made it an EP at this point, because the issues start here. The transition into the jazzy 5 is a awkward, although the reprise thereafter is nice and gentle, only to be abruptly broken by the abrasive rock intro to 6. I feel like the transition works surprisingly ok, but the song doesn't unfold well at all. 1 is in fact the only example of the band using distorted guitars which I liked. 7 feels pointless and like it just breaks the dynamics. I like avant garde bruitiste stuff but this is not where it belongs at all. 8 starts very well with more pretty ambient guitar, but then they start distorting and soloing over a background of nice ambient jazz, which is incongruous and just doesn't work. 9 is pretty guitar again to close on a somewhat ambient track. I feel like their next record, if they explore the directions they excel at, construct it better, and work on flow and transitions between tracks a little more could be really great ambient jazz. 3.3
Hallucinogen Deranger
Clearly stronger than its unfortunately name counterpart imo (although listening conditions may have biased this) because it has energy from the start and doesn't stop, like Twisted, whereas Space P was always looking for solid footing for half a track before truly kicking off. Yet the tracks do feel a lot weaker than on Twisted. 1 doesn't flow well, is too erratic and a few truly marking hooks, while 3 is a bit stronger but has a pretty bland conclusion. Plus it's again a CD only track. 2 on the other hand shows a little more of exploration in the sound and isn't really straight up Hallucinogen material. I can't say it is my favourite track of his, far from it as some sounds are a little bit funny to the ear nowadays, but I can certainly commend the venture. 3.3
Hallucinogen The Lone Deranger
Being in the shadow of Twisted is tough. And it sure hurts this album, because despite it being different and good in a vacuum I can't help comparing it to its monumental predecessor. Deranger gives hints to Posford's slow transition towards the Shpongle sound: this one uses slower tempos here and there, and more sounds samples. This is clearest at the end of 8. 1 with its vocal sample and quite slow tempo gives more psych and less party vibes than Twisted, which is a fine choice but one that I enjoy less. 2 changes this and gets the party started. It is a hard track, but it pales in comparison to Twisted's bangers with somewhat gimmicky vocal sampling. 3 is a great track, and shows how good Posford is at making tracks flow into one another. 4 also shows hints of Shpongle, but without all the folk and vocal elements of it. It gets really cool by the 2:30 mark. By 5 I realised the album strongly feels like it has less of an identity than Twisted, because the sound changes up a lot more and the whole lot feels less cohesive in consequence. But the track really has fat moments. 6 is like its Pt.1 on the EP bringing in weirder sounds which (especially the water sample) are sometimes a bit intrusive. Pity because the bassline is super catchy. 7 is perhaps the best track here and could honestly been on Twisted, while 8 continues the vibe but more poorly with some unfortunate sound choices. If I wanted Twisted sounds I'd jam Twisted, if I wanted Shpongle I'd jam Shpongle, but deranger sits at an uncomfortable middle which doesn't quite work for me. Still a 3.65
Hallucinogen Mi-Loony-Um!
Quite clearly the best Hallucinogen EP I have heard. Note that I'm referring to the bandcamp sequencing here, same as on sput, because spotify messed it up again. 1 is the best of the two Hallucinogen track, showing a different style to Twisted with additional sounds etc beyond the psytrance synths and drums, but being more successful at it than in most of his previous attempts imo. As far as I understand there was no real Hallucinogen LP after this, but this would have been a good preface for a renewed direction if he wanted to go that route. While 2 flows well from 1, the first half is quite a lot less successful and struggles to find its footing. Around the midtrack though there is a super cool ominous sound that comes in, and beyond that the second half of the track is actually dope (which is a trait I recognise again from Deranger EP). Per usual I don't count the remix in my rating, and thank goodness because despite being alright it is entirely incongruous with the rest of the EP and would make little sense as a real part of it. Some of the sounds nicely remind me of Curved so much I wonder if Curved didn't take this as an inspiration somehow, but otherwise the first half is alright but quite simplistic. The second half is a bit more psychedelic and quite anthemic I'll give it that. 3.55
Harm Done Abuse / Abused
Very fun hxc/powerviolence, but I do feel like the last few tracks by slowing down a bit dip in both quality and energy, bringing this down a bit. 3.65
Hatchie Keepsake
Kinda nice dreamy pop. I liked the catchier tunes, 1, 4 and 9 being solid jams. The rest was nice
but forgettable. No really poor track and no annoying moment. It's a nice debut but nothing mind
blowing. 3.3
Hazel English Wake Up
For her LP she turned the reverb down and dropped much of her dream pop aesthetics. It's hard to not be overharsh as this disappoints compared to her EPs, but I try to look at it in a vacuum. This is an indie pop record with occasional dreamy leanings, but even as such it doesn't work too well. Much of it feels very generic. 1 is an example of song that does work quite well, especially thanks to its vast and ethereal chorus. 2's a fun but generic indie rock song, and I already felt like this was never going to be in 4.0 territory. 3's forgettable and so is 4 but at least it's quite pretty. 5 is a bit dreamier, generic again but pretty. At that point it felt like a 3.5, but the rest of the record never really grasped me. The intro to 6 could be on The Voice, the rest is alright with vague surf rock vibes but again forgettable. 7 is dreamier again and has the first striking chorus since 1 but it is quite brief. 8 is a full on sort of catchy pop song that could well pass on the radio and I wouldn't mind it. 9 is an outright boring song. 10 has another nice intriguing moment that grabs your attention a little bit, and the song is nice. So I'll be nice and keep this in 3.5 tier because again I don't want to judge it too harshly out of wanting more of her EP style (I jammed a track off Just Give In immediately after and boy do I like it better). 3.3
HeklAa Pieces Of You
Beautiful and diverse piano works. For some reason it sounds like it would fit very well in the middle of a metal album or at the end of a hardcore record as a contrasted finale.
HellHammer Death Fiend
Crass, very raw, punk-ish thrash metal with occasional doom touches. I dig the prod, but it
does induce a bit of record fatigue and come 9 you're pretty happy that it is the last
track. The record is best when it is fast-paced and brutal, 1 being a surprise jam here,
and 8 probably the second best track. 2 is nice too but a bit gimmicky. The record is
weakest when it slows down and goes doom (with the tone even the fast parts evoke doom
though) like the record's middle. 4 does go fast in midtrack and is a good summary of the
record as a whole. 6 after its outdated intro and 7 are kinda bouncy and could be cool if
it weren't for record fatigue. Overall, not great, but surprisingly I think I'll come back
to bits of this. 3.4
Holding Absence Holding Absence
First track is a fantastic jam, but after that the vocals grow rapidly annoying as f*ck when they
go all lyrical and grand. In that regard reminded me a lot of Tesseract. Album is full of good
ideas, but in nearly each song there is also an equal amount of annoying sh*te. Track 7 for
example has a nice verse but an annoying chorus. Album is quite diverse, super melodic
metalcore/post-hardcore with post-rocky guitars at times, lots of ambient textures in the
background, and a nice piano interlude on track 10. But naive and urgh tracks like 5 and 6 bring
it down a lot, so it's a shame. Too much vocalising. Overall 3.4
Hypnosia Violent Intensity
Beast of an EP, I'm pumped for their LP now. Sometimes all that's needed is sweet riffage, no BS and no wankeriness, which this record is almost devoid of. It's not too ambitious or grand, but it's sweet and I bobbed ma head all along. 3.65
I Hate Models Totsuka no Tsurugi
Great and unique techno ep that mixes almost psychedelic melodic lines with banger rave beats. This is acid in a non acid way. I am not a huge fan of distorted kicks, so my appreciation decreased somewhat steadily with every tracks as these are used more and more. However this is a greatly imaginative and creative piece of music that deserves to be listened to. More melody than in most of IHM's work. 3.6
Ichiko Aoba 0 (Zero)
Contrary to popular opinion (hallo johnnyofthedex) this is positively not my fave Ichiko album so far. It ventures into more diverse directions, and the experimentation is very successful, but it just feels like there is a lot of downtime and an overall lack of coherent album identity. Beside the stylistic ventures which I pretty much thoroughly enjoyed, the bulk of the record is a bit simpler than her past work, with guitar parts that are often less intricate. It's pretty, it's fragile, but it lacks this magical uniqueness that I found elsewhere in her discog. 1 is very cute until its melancholic conclusion, transitioning into the simple but pretty and sadgirl 2. 3 is the first to show signs of new elements to her sound with cool guitar at 2:45 and some mildly dissonant stuff at 6:40, which in a vacuum I find interesting and enjoyed, but whose appropriateness within the album I rather question. 4 is again nice but feels a bit empty although again I appreciate the sonic ventures. 5 is very cute again, while 6 offers cool explorations and darker vibes with same comments as before. 7-8 are both pretty and moving but again rather minimalistic tracks. I'm just less enchanted by this style than I am with her cascading strumming of the earlier days. Will have to recheck in better conditions though, this is still a lovely album with lots of stuff to dig and explore further. 3.7
Immortal Bird Empress​/​Abscess
This was nice. Interesting blend of genres - blackened chaotic hardcore? Also good female vocals. The record lacks dynamics and feels a bit flat, but most of the individual songs are good - although there are low point in the middle of the record e.g. track 4. My favourite part was the drone outro, and the bookends maybe. 3.6
Immortal Onion XD [Experience Design]
Up to the last two tracks, I was going to 3.8 this. The album has a soul and lots of great moments. 1 is probably the weakest before those last two closers - I don't like the prod on it (and it is the only track where prod was a problem) with over-agressive cymbals, and while some of the rhythm changes are cool they often feel contrived. 2 after that is a far better track, with a nice piano+bass transition section and a fun conclusion. 3 is probably the best track here, more on the emotional pretty side of things, emphasised by the bowed bass (? string thing) which turns it into a superb jam. 4 continues in that style, then 5 intelligently brings the energy and groove before superbly albeit derivatively ending on Hisaishi chords. 6 already shows sign of the decline the album will undergo, with weird sections where the drums come in and go abruptly early on and in the midtrack. While imperfect, it still has cool moments - I love the key change from 5 in the intro, the section between the intro and the midtrack is nice and the bass solo in the last third is fun as a hell - and wouldn't have prevented this from being a 3.8. But the last two track feel like they prolong the album erratically and unnecessarily, going into weird electronic grooves - while I appreciate the intent, I don't think it is executed well. From the midtrack on, 7 goes back into the earlier album style and is quite nice and groovy, but 8 is all over the place. The conclusion in particular is symptomatic of this, and the two tracks bring this down to a 3.65
Incantation Onward to Golgotha
This is cool but not really my type of dm. Still impressively brutal and abrasive after all these years. If you want to know what being burnt alive sounds like, jam the first track. 3.6
indigo la End Aiiro Music
This one felt inexplicably flat despite having dynamics in both song and composition. The tracks just feel like they blur into each other as the listener's attention drifts away and is only called back in a select few places. The weird thing is there are calmer songs and more aggressive songs, rhythm changes etc, but they fail to make the album feel dynamic and colourful. Maybe it is due to the relatively unchanging vocals? I guess in itself that makes the album an interesting piece to analyse and learn about record construction. So yeah for most of its course this is lighthearted ilE material with occasional math-rock guitars here and there (see 6 eg). 9 is a fun song that I recognise from idk which other one of their records, and is pretty much the first time the album grabbed my attention beyond 'this is nice'. 10 is boring piano, and is followed by 11 which is another waking up point with its weird but cool electronic style. The verse on 12 is catchy, but it felt like it was about time for the album to end. 13 felt like that again, as its protracted conclusion feels a bit like an album finale. The actual closer is a great track and album high point though, finally offering a rupture that works with that funky guitar at the beginning, unfolding nicely, and ending on a cool bass solo conclusion. Bumps this a point to 3.4
indigo la End Ano Machi Rekodo
More J-Rock for the ages, I'm not sure what this is doing on my dream pop list honestly at this point. On this one the transitions struck me as being really bad in places. There is an awkward near-silent break between 3 and 4, 4's conclusion is not great to say the least, and 5 starts on a silent pause again. 7, although it offers sweet bell songs feels way too long as an interlude. It's a shame because in terms of the tracks themselves, album construction is impeccable. We start on a kinda jammy upbeat slightly cheesy J-Rock opener, and the two following tracks remain at the same energy level. But 2 gets a bit annoying in places, although the bass break into the last third is really nice, and 3 gets a bit much but some passages are super fun. The vox is quite loud on this record I have to say. Then 4 is a nice, calmer ballad that feels in the right place, followed by 5 which starts off the J-rock again but more gently as an easy way back in. 6 is more J-Rock but feels a bit much at this point. The interlude 7 goes into the superb intro of 8, which unfolds into a nice track to wrap up the album well. So yeah well constructed but not the strongest tracks in the world and formal mistakes on transitions here and there. 3.3
indigo la End Nureyuku Shishosetsu
Nice and full of fresh ideas, but sometimes falls short in execution. Some tracks display newfound yet clear funk/disco/city pop influences, and it makes for really fun songs. The opener starts the album off like that, and so does 2, which got me really pumped thinking this would be the funkiest ILE album yet. But they don't keep this up and only bring it back most noticeably on 7 which even has a questionable but fun jazzy rapped section in it, as well as 9 which gets a bit much in the midtrack but is otherwise fun. Not all the good ideas derive from these 70s-80s roots though, and 8 is a fun track with great vox, and 10 has a cool intro although the conclusion is annoying. The conclusion section on 6 is fun too, and 11 is a nice standard ILE track. What I wasn't a fan of was tracks 3-4 which feel like the band on amphetamines/ADHD, and is a bit too hyper for me. Thankfully 5 calms things down and is alright. They have lots of ideas in them and they could really make a grand album out of em some day. 3.55
indigo la End Pulsate
For sure their softest, most laid back record yet, and one that I mostly enjoyed. The addition of keys with lots of piano thrown into their repertoire is nice. To be honest I had to pause this many many times so it wasn't the best conditions, but I enjoyed this more or less thoroughly even though some of the songs do overextend and get a bit much/annoying, for instance 8 or the s o f t closer. While this was all fun, there were also few actually noticeable high points. 1 is really nice, 3 is fun, but 9 is really the one stand out track, starting like a funky 70's song, then not unfolding too much, but then going into a super fun and jammy intrumental section in the middle. The added emo/mathy guitar twinkles show a nice mix of genres, and the track's easily one of the best and memorable tracks on the album, its clearets jams. Again I'm a bit puzzled by the remixes here, but in a vacuum they're quite nice. 3.55
indigo la End Sayonara, subarashi sekai
Fun record with good lighthearted moments, but that isn't as successful in the abrasive parts. 1 is a huge fun j-rock jam and certainly a track I'll come back to. Made me think this was underrated. 2 is a bit more abrasive and thus weaker, 3 sitting somewhere between the two - at first. The tracks are quite long and unfold into a multitude of melodies, so the midtrack on 3 is actually super jammy, and the ensuing melody also is. In the last third it comes back to its own intro though which isn't the best. 4 evokes chill math-rock but doesn't unfold too well (feels a bit low in energy), until the second half which is more post-rock-ish and actually quite nice. 5 is fine and atmospheric, but 6 is abrasive and annoying. After a brief piano interlude which is quite welcome, the conclusion track is quite nice. 3.3
indigo la End yoru ni mahou wo kakerarete
Again, feels a bit underrated. But this is a great example of an album where, while individual songs are great, construction hurts the record as a whole. The mood changes are too abrupt and too short. We go from a fun upbeat math-rock/j-rock opener with a fun intro but ok unfolding, to a very chill Toe-esque acoustic ballad almost - very pretty sunny morning music -, to a sudden dark noise rock almost turn on 3, followed by a noisy interlude, followed by a very nice chill sunny morning math-rock track. The changes are just too abrupt and too erratic, and while 3 could be a cool song in a vacuum, here it hurts the album. 6 has fantastic drum breaks here and there but is an overall weaker song. 7 is nice, then all of a sudden we are offered the band's version of a Marche Funebre on a dark, sad piano. Excess consistency is the enemy of variety, but here there is just not enough cohesiveness. 9 is a pretty song with a super cool intro and tone, and 10 brings the energy up with a really cool punchy intro. 11 displays more of the fun, upbeat drums and is really nice, and 12 brings back the prettiness. All in all solid with some great tracks, but their magnum opus for sure. 3.6
Infant Island Infant Island
Very solid debut record with a great blend of post-rock/screamo (heavy on the post-rock side). The album misses some differentiating elements but has an excellent base. I'll be looking forward to their future output and will enjoy re-listening to this!
Internazionale Vigilance
One of his (their?) better works, with some tracks/sections on par with EftV. 1-2 are jams. Lovely buildup on 1, and 2 reminds of Our Fortress is Burning III. 3 is cool and interesting, surprisingly featuring a slow, pounding kick drum from the middle of the track onwards. Nice. 4 is lovely with cool use of aquatic sounds. After that, the record loses a bit of steam in its second half. 7 is probably the nicest track here, with lost city under the sea vibes. 8 is the weakest and reminds of his hollower works, but at least the album ending is very well done with a nice buildup of gritty, decaying textures. 3.6
Internazionale Armour of Stars
This feels more like a long collection of sketches rather than a full blown album. Most tracks lack coherence and sound more like sound collages than composed tracks. That being said I like the noisiness of it, and had it lasted only a disk or two it could have been a lot sweeter. A couple tracks I retained were disk 1 track 2, 2-4 and 4-1. 3.3
Internazionale Brothers Of The Baltic Pearl
The first half of track 1 and track 2 are pretty forgettable droney ambient stuff, particularly the former, but the second half of 1 (from~8min onwards) is a lovely slightly noisy jam and the first time Internazionale vaguely matches Elegy for the Victors in all I've jammed so far (except of course EftV). 3.35
Joanna Teters Back to Brooklyn
Great neo-sould EP with some remote hip hop influences. Groovy and amazing vocals. The first track is particularly good, the rest has its up and downs. Pleasant music that I will re-listen to - and I'll make sure to check out her other records too. 3.5
Joeii Zeit zu bleiben
Random bandcamp find. Caveat to this whole soundoff: this is German rap/hip-hop, I do not speak German, so I don't have the slightest clue what the hell this is saying. The gorgeous instrumental to track 1 is what got me here, and the track is indeed a jam. The fact that it is in German doesn't really get me out of which as I suspected it would, except on weaker tracks like 4 where the vox isn't great. The instrumental is still nice though. 2 also felt weaker, while 3 is good albeit not on par with 1. 5 isn't too great, reminded me of aspects I tend to not enjoy in French language rap. 6 is nice and nocturnal, and I enjoyed the delivery. 7 is alright, the guest vox is nice. The track feels more emotional but again I don't get what they're saying so the fk do I know lol. This gets a slightly inflated rating because it did manage to make me enjoy German rap, and I do find 1 to be a jam. 3.3
Johann Pachelbel Toccata in E minor
The beginning and right after half are cool sections but the rest isn't hugely memorable organ music. And this is super short too so weird to rate. 3.5
John Coltrane Lush Life
No idea what happened with this one. The early record has some of the weakest Coltrane material since his debut (in sput's discog order that is, I gather this album was actually recorded quite close to said debut), but later on things improve dramatically. The first track is quite nice and somewhat interesting being really stripped down. It's pretty much just Coltrane's velvet smooth sax, the rest is very discrete. 2 starts on really weird drums that just don't sound good to me, and follows up with a nice sly, sneaky vibe. But the track feels like it doesn't know where to go or what mood to convey; calm, malice, dissonance, happiness, it just ebbs and flows all over the place and the result doesn't quite work. 3 has a cool jazz feel but is perhaps the weakest track here and I didn't find it convincing at all. The various solo part (esp drums and bass) feel contrived and like they come out of nowhere. Weirdly enough the following track is one of Coltrane's bests at this point. The intro piano is sublime, and the track is rich and evolves in a coherent way unlike 2, from dark vibes to the good life. A solid jam. 5 is perhaps not as stellar but still very good, dancy jazz in the same style of some of his other stuff. These last two on their own would be 4.0 tier, but here this is maybe a 3.6
John Coltrane Standard Coltrane
Yet another one of those Frankestein Coltrane albums put together by the label after he left and without his input. On this one you can really feel it, as the album structure makes no sense. 1 and 4 and really smooth, relaxed evening wine jazz tracks, and the transitions with the far more swingy and playul 2-3 is rather abrupt. 1 is merely ok, the man himself having made nicer and more relaxed jazz in that vibe. Doesn't feel memorable at all. 4 on the other hand is far better executed and is really quite a sweet track overall. 2-3 are quite nice, but on 3 I rather dislike some of the big bands sounding bits where the brass is doubled. The piano bits are really nice and playful though, making up most of the track. Overall a sweet album, but there is far better in his discog even when looking for generic relaxed jazz. Maybe 4 can stay in a playlist or something. 3.45
John Coltrane Stardust
Yet another one of those Frankenstein albums made to ride on Coltrane's fame. However I'd say this one is really not that bad and is actually well constructed. It's not exactly the most memorable album - it's mostly just 'nice' jazz without any spice or particular hook for the mind to recall -, but you know what for a lazy afternoon with some warm tea it works just fine. 1 starts very soft and relaxed, then the energy goes up gradually with increasing prominence of drums and swing, until 4 relaxes a little bit somewhere between the energy level of 2 and 3 to wrap things up quite nicely. I liked the bowed bass section and Coltrane's bits on 1, but the rest was really quite filler-y I found. 2 is very nice and so is 3, especially with its very cool finale despite a relatively uneventful bass solo before that. A nice relaxing album - or compilation, rather. 3.7
John Coltrane Coltrane (Prestige, 1957)
An okay debut that I sadly feels isn't too memorable or marking. In fact the single most memorable thing here is the 'hook' or whatever you want to call it that features on 1 starting from the very intro, and boasts a farty brass instrument that I can't quite identify and that breaks an otherwise nice smooth jazz tracks as soon as it pops up. For the rest, this is all very nice, but not hugely marking jazz, 2 being smooth and mellow with tasty piano, 3 being nice and dancier but with a bass solo I'm not too convinced by, 4 which offers more of the same with the occasional return of the farty brass, 5 with a slightly more interesting, mysterious, playfuk, pink panthery almost vibe to it but that looses interest as it goes, and 6 which is more of the unremarkable same. A nice debut with hardly a faux pas, but not really a Coltrane album I'd come back to. 3.6
John Coltrane The Last Trane
This one failed to convince me really. The first track is perhaps the first of Coltrane's that I actively dislike. It feels like epileptic jazz, which was hinted at on the last track of the prior album but becomes here really quite insufferable. There are some nice sections but they're almost always instantly ruined by some spasm of one instrument or another. 2 is on the other hand very slow, and quite enjoyable. 3 should have been the one called Slowtrane imo, for it does have a very nice, weighy slow groove to it, especially the first half. The second half looses its focus a bit, and the last track feels like it doesn't quite know what tempo to go for - slow and soulful like 3, or more upbeat and catchy in the vein of Blue Train - and ends up somewhat awkward as a result. Don't get me wrong, this is still nice jazz, but in the man's discog I don't really feel the need to come back to this, at least as a non-background listen. 3.4
John Coltrane Coltrane Jazz
For the most part this is a series of surprisingly well-flowing jazz tunes with a variety of atmospheres, never hugely memorable but always great. The stereo mixing is an issue in places but rarely. 1 is life's good jazz, 2's city jazz, 3's dancy jazz, 7 is lazy slightly sexy jazz, and 8 is dancy again with cool drum breaks. Out of all these 7 does what it does the best and is a jam. 4 and especially 5-6 have a little bit more spice and feel a touch more interesting. 4 has a sort of sly spy/James Bond kind of vibe, then 5 is perhaps the weirdest of all and is really cool in that regard, and 6 starts off quite unique too although that goes down later on. Track conclusion is really nice. This is a very solid jazz record that I'd listen back to with great enjoyment, but in the grand scheme of his discog it doesn't feel quite legendary of marking enough to warrant top tier ranking. Great execution though. 3.7
John Coltrane Settin' The Pace
As I understand it this isn't really an official Coltrane record; rather, the label
wanting to take advantage of Coltrane's booming fame released old, previously unpublished
recordings long after he stopped working for them, without his input really. This is
nonetheless quite a sweet record, albeit far from his best. 1 has a fun intro with some
percussion I can't identify, then goes on to be a really really relaxed late evening jazz
piece. Perhaps the greatest track here, although the bass solo near the end, while nice,
feels a bit out of place. 2 is a little more upbeat and generic, smooth restaurant jazz
(don't @ me). It's fine but not really memorable. 3 is similar but a lot better and with
occasional spicy touches which I enjoyed. 4 is the most upbeat of all tracks, which is
fitting with the 'Rise and Shine' title. It is quite fun and the last 30 seconds are
particularly good. So bizarrely enough this is actually quite a well constructed record
with a consistent upwards energy curve. 3.65
John Coltrane Ballads
Not much to say about this one. This is the Coltrane album to put in the background while watching your cat sleep by the fire with a glass of wine. Every track is relaxed, velvety smooth late evening jazz. The one note is the couple funky drumming bits on 6, and the fact that the ending to 7 would have concluded the album perfectly, so 8, although not any better or worse than anything that preceded it feels a bit pointless - especially since its own conclusion is rather unremarkable. 4 is the one slight curve ball here, dropping the soft relaxed atmosphere for something more playful and interesting, but even then it still fits relatively well. An album that works very well at being generic, which means it pales in comparison of Coltrane's grandest endeavours. 3.5
John Coltrane Coltrane Plays the Blues
Much like Settin the Pace, this is a case of the label lumping old Coltrane recordings together and selling the result as an album to benefit from his rising fame at the time. So not really a canon Coltrane record I suppose. Stereo mix is a bit off but the not the worst. Side A is far weaker, and although 1 starts off with a not too memorable but quite nice sort of city cafe atmosphere, the ensuing tracks are of decreasing quality and all too samey. You only notice the track changes because of dips in quality actually, because otherwise the tracks just sound like musicians endlessly jamming for the sake of jamming to try to find ideas but not quite getting there. Overall 3.0 tier pretty much. Thankfully, Side B is much stronger (upper 3.5 tier), with all tracks displaying more ideas and distinctiveness. 4 is sweet and playful, the sax knowing to stay quiet to let the piano shine as well as the bass in a nice outro, 5 is slower and more of a smoother vibe, while 6 is similar to 4, perhaps less good but resolutely superior to anything on side A still. Just jam side B really. Overall 3.4
John Coltrane Dakar
Yet another album released to ride on Coltrane's rising fame. Here he wasn't even leader of the band as these were originally recorded under Pepper Adams' and Cecil Payne's names, which explains the somewhat unusual instrumentation for a Coltrane record with multiple saxophones and baritones, which gives the album a bigbandy sound in places eg the intro of 5. The label just released this as a Coltrane album, but it really isn't quite. Still a fun listen, and within his discog it brings quite fresh stylistic devices - which makes sense since it's not really him is it. 1 is a really fun caravan-esque track that offers more than its intro lets you think, and the main highlight here with the other bookend, 'Cat Walk', which is perfectly titled really need I say more. The intro to 3 is cool, but 2,4-5 kinda feel like you know a fun but meandering session that is a good listen but really won't stick in my memory, although parts of 5 are quite cool. Not quite a Coltrane record, and probably not the one you should check next. 3.4
John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman
While I admire the voice and technique, the singing kind of breaks this for me. As soon as he starts singing I can't help but think this is what our grandmas used to get horny to. Sure in 2020 it might still work as an elegant date bedroom eyes soundtrack, but as a more focused listen it frankly sounds a bit funny now. However instrumentally this is really smooth jazz, and I would have loved just an instrumental album of this. The longest runs without singing like on 3 or 6 are without fail the most enjoyable sections - the latter changing atmospheres to something a touch more upbeat and spicy instrumentally, but still just as snorefest vocally. The instrumental part at 3:15 on 4, or some sections of 1 or 2 can't remember show the musicians and especially the drummer having more fun than you'd expect as soon as the singer stops, and it just makes you wish this had more of that. 3.6
Jorja Smith Lost & Found
3.3 seems like a severe average, but the album does have a striking downward curve in energy and I daresay quality. It works best on punchier, bouncier tracks, and less on ballad-type songs which make up most of the latter half of the record. Her voice fits very well the high energy beats, but feels like it lacks fullness when laid atop bare ballad piano. The first half is great though. The album opening is fantastic, and 1 is a really nice bouncy neo-soul ish track. 2 is also lovely and I love the little lo-fi piano sample that comes here and there. It was already present on 2, but 3 really shows how the prod can under-serve her voice by making it a bit more nasally and moany than it needs to be. Her vocal abilities are fantastic still, and she displays it more on this LP than on the EP that preceded it. 4 is a more relaxed, elegant track. 5 continues in the same vein but starts to feel weaker, and 6 is the first weak track here being the first ballad too. 7 is more of the same, tuning down the soul/hip-hop vibes for more generic pop vibes that don't quite work. 8 catches up nicely though with a very sweet and bouncy track, and 9 is nice too with more hip-hop vibes present especially in the vocal delivery. 10-12 are boring ballads (except perhaps when the drums kick in on 11, and 10 being the best executed of those on the LP) and bring this down a couple points and definitely below 4.0 range. 3.6
Julia Brown An Abundance of Strawberries
Nice weird lo-fi indie pop stuff. Most of it sees the band go in a much more electronic direction than before before going back to the folkier, violin layered sounds of their first opus - just with better prod - on 12 bar its weird outro. They do find here a happy middle ground between the dirty prod of LP1 and the overclean prod of the 2013 EP. Apart from that track and the outro bit, all tracks are more in the electronica style. The record is rather erratically constructed, and the fact that most songs fade in and fade out make it feel a bit unstructured and more like a compilation which is a shame. 2 is nice and smokey, 3 is very sweet with the chimes in the background, 4 has lovely distorted vintage tones and 5 is quite catchy, but if there is one jam on here it is the lush 10, a much longer and more complex track than anything before it that feels like it could have been a brilliant album closer. I kind of lost track during the mid record, but 7 shows them going really abstract electronica on this. Nice, but I feel like I prefer their debut. 3.65
Julie Byrne Rooms With Walls and Windows
Very nice but also extremely one dimensional album .of ambient sadgirl indie folk of sorts with remote country inspirations on the guitars here and there. Thankfully that single dimension is one I appreciate and enjoy a lot, perfect for watching the trees dry under the sun. By 10 it did start to feel a bit too long, and while I appreciate the idea of having an instrumental track as closer had it come 10 minutes earlier, here it feels a little excessively draggy. Still 3.3
Julie Byrne Not Even Happiness
Similar style to RWWaW (lol that acronym) but imo far better executed and produced with a more marking ideas. The instrumentation is also richer, with for example flutes (I think?) on 3 or strings on 4. It has a bit more of a country flavour especially on the nice 1-2, it's quite well constructed with a welcome instrumental interlude on 5, and has some really sweet bits and pieces like the end to 6. My only gripe is probably the (I think purposefully) shakier vocal delivery over a relatively bland instrumental on the last track, and the fact that this is all very very safe. Nothing groundbreaking but a very sweet, well produced folk/ambient folk/ ambient country? album with a consistent atmosphere, promising lots for the future but not quite to for the history books just yet. 3.5
JVH Still Looking
More nice beats, but felt a tad weaker. 1 is a bit bland and too long if it was just meant as a short intro track (kinda weird to have an intro outro and interlude track on such a short EP but alright). 2 is very nice and shows us that JVH can use vox just fine. 3 is a nice beat but feels like it could have unfolded into more and ends on a fadeout. 4-5 feel like your regular cliche youtube lo-fi beat, 6 just passes, and 7 is a nice outro track. 3.3
Knut Untitled EP
This sounds like Neurosis and Converge had a baby. It works really well as an EP. It is good music, but none of the tracks were incredibly memorable for me. Will re-listen for sure. 3.7
Kou Machida Dotera Iyatsura
Bizarre, but a good kind of bizarre. I'm not sure how to describe this - chaotic Japanese noise rock? An epileptic album that navigates from idea to idea incessantly (see min 4) but makes for a good fun listen anyway. There are only scarce places where it doesn't work; min 15-16, or min 32 (must be the track before last I reckon). From the first minute you get that it is going to be a funky but weird listen. Min 8-9 is super funky, 11 is deliciously weird, 18 is incredibly fun, 25 is mentally messed up in a fun way, 29 is cool too, and in between those nice phases the material doesn't feel like it is filler or anything. A deconstructed collage of fun stuff that I see as a 3.6
Krobak Little Victories
For the most part this is quite simple, generic post-rock with less good tones than usual in the genre I would say (although they can get great in places). Why is it worth a check then? That solely comes from the excellent violin playing. It's not just that the violin adds a beautiful texture as an instrument, evocative of EEB; the violin compositions just seem a tier or two above everyone else's. Whenever the music strikes home, it is because of a violin melody - and in between those moments the listener is left to long for more violin-led goodness. 4 is a good example, starting with generic guitar work that doesn't sound too marking, but getting very pretty as soon as the violin comes in at min 4:30. Moments like the reprise at min 9 on the closing track are just superb. Right before it I thought the album was getting overlong, but it changed my mind right away and bumped it a point. 1 also has pretty violin. The intro to 2 was a good surprise as a nice rupture from the post-rock atmosphere with jollier rhythms and guitars before going back to the more generic material. So yeah worth a check for post-rock fans and inspiring in places, but not spectacular either. 3.6
Krzysztof Penderecki Anaklasis
Some really cool bits, but I find some of the percussions break up the atmosphere a bit,
and there are too many quieter sections. But the ones that aren't quiet are quite
fantastic. 3.65
La Dispute Rooms of the House
This is a good La Dispute album. It does not stand out as a highlight of their discography, but it certainly isn't bad at all either. In this album I particularly enjoyed the calmer songs including 'Woman (in mirror)' or the closing track 'Objects in Space'. Solid record. 3.7
Lala &ce Le Son D'Apres
Starts off very nicely, and has a specific atmosphere to it which is great, but falters a bit over time and feels a bit flat towards the end. Still shows great promise and I'll be following her stuff - checked this because I liked her feat on Freeze's Vol.2 album. I like the opener and its tired delivery, and I dig 2 too in its female Booba style of sorts? Kinda jammy. 3 is fine and has more of a soft club vibe to it owing to its reggaeton-esque rhythm. 4 takes a bit more of an emotive style and has some cool bits but feels a bit much. 5 and 6 feel more skippable, 5 being on the abrasive side, and 6 just feeling plain awkward. As you can tell this marks my rating dipping a bit, as the albums struggles to bring it back up thereafter. 7 is cool with the nocturnal style of the early album but with a male guest vox, and it turns super cool once Lala comes in. 8 has a club vibe again but less subdued and is kinda cool. 9-11 feel 'alright' you know, although I dig the cloudiness of 11. 12 is fatter and a bit meh tbh. I was hesitant between a 3.2 and 3.3, and the closer made me decide 3.2, but re-listening to the early record while writing I now feel like a 3.25
Lantlos Lantlos
An album that starts off pretty mundane, but gradually builds up in interest. 1-2 are ok but forgettable bm. 1 gets a bit too long even. The acoustic bridge on 2 is the first trace of more interesting things to come, but it isn't executed very well. 3 is pretty regular bm but with already a bit more meat to it especially in the last quarter with some nice walls of sound. 4 starts off the same way, but it is truly starting at the bridge with a vocal sample that you start feeling that Lantlos will be a great band. The reprise is well done and shows post-black metal DNA in all its grandeur. The most personality Lantlos have shown at that point in their discog. The transition into 5 is well done, into a long, soft acoustic passage that, unlike on the demo, doesn't just randomly end, but rather leads to a cool melancholic reprise, pulling this up to a 3.5
Lantlos Agape
The individual sections are often really cool, but album construction is severely flawed here. 1-3 alternate black metal and soft sections like clockwork, making the whole thing feel a bit contrived. The prod is also a touch questionable imo but nothing too bad. The bm parts alternate between the dark, bleak, deathspell omega-esque on 1, just a great tone on 2, a nice reprise on 3, and a really cool, post rocky grand and cinematic reprise on 5 that unfortunately unfolds a bit into nothing, making the track fall a bit flat and not feel at all like a closing piece - thus making the album itself also feel like it falls flat. The softer section are all well executed, but 4 especially because it is just a soft track with no black metal explosion does break the cycle and brings freshness on top of being nice in and of itself with its purring bassline, making for perhaps my fave track here and certainly the best constructed one. 3.6
Les Abysses Reveal the deep
Sweet synthy stuff with lots of atmosphere to it. Strongest track is 5 which is sort of dungeon synth but with a peculiar twist to it that I can't quite put my finger on, a jam. 2 made me think of JM Jarre a bit with its new agey synths and bits of drums here and there, kinda jammy too. 4 has some noise textures in the background which I like, and the other tracks had nice synthy sounds but didn't feel as strong compositionally. Sweet and solid. 3.5
Loma Loma
Nice, quite original - interesting blend of somewhat downtempoed indie folk-pop with tribal and psychedelic touches, but not crazy good. 1-3 are nice, especially 1, and 3 makes the band sound like a nice first at a gig - same goes for 6. 4 is Erased Tapes sound + aerial vocals and is one of the two kinda jams on the record, before the record goes into more industrial and electronic directions, which is nicely done but doesn't produce the best tracks, before going back to softened psychedelia towards the end of the record. 9 is the other jam, 10 has a nice instrumental but doesn't get too good until its second half. 7 sounds like a folky post rock interlude, it's pretty sweet but I wish they made it evolve further. This could have been a lot better as the band manages to craft very delicate and subtle sounds, but it feels like it lacks ambition a bit. 3.6
Low Roar Low Roar
An encouraging cutefolk debut with strong flaws as a record but showing signs of greatness. Some songs really have a compelling yosemite spring morning atmosphere and this will probably will stay in my library for those. This is particularly true of the more folk based tracks, with highlights being 1,2,6-9,11, and maybe 5 with its very peaceful vibe. They do however display the main flaw of this record: on their own the songs are very cute and pretty, but 54min of cute prettiness with little variation in mood and very tame compositions is too long and makes the songs loose a lot of their impact. But sound wise the prod is absolutely pristine, the instrumentation is gorgeous, and, while a bit naive sounding in places, the singing fits very well. But it feels more like a playlist record than an album to play in full. There are changes, but they're rarely successful. 3 takes a more bare bones, electronic approach, and frankly it doesn't work nearly as much. 4 is kinda between that and 1-2, but isn't as compelling as the latter, despite the strings and the voices in the chorus being quite superb. 10 feels like a remix but isn't. While the transition is awful making it feel completely out of context, on its own the track is quite cool, although it kinda stops on nothing where I wanted it to go into full dub techno. Does refresh things though. The only truly successful 'experimentation' is 12, which starts darker than everything else, then introduces super cool trip hop drums that give the track an entirely new flavour. The unexpected electronic noisy conclusion is the an excellent way to close the album. 3.6
Lunar Vacation Swell
Very nice little EP to start off their discog. Perfect listen in the sun. I prefer the
faster paced song because they complement their fun summer vibes well - mostly 1 which is
a nice jam, and also 4. 5 is slower and doesn't quite have the same fun in it, but I
really dig it as a lazy sun song and think it works very well as a conclusion. 2 is a
slower ballad which would bore me were it a piano+vox kind of song, but that I still
enjoyed thanks to their dream pop sound and aesthetic. 3 is simpler and less catchy than
1, but the sped up section at the end is super cool and proves that I dig these guys more
when they jam to fast paced stuff and make fun songs. Wish the whole track were like
this. Exciting debut that also gets a bit of bonus love for being a debut. 3.6
Lunar Womb The Sleeping Green
Fantastic dungeon synth that feels like a staple of the genre, yet I have a hard time seeing it in 4.0 territory. My notes got a bit mixed up between 2-4 so don't quote me on the track numbers. 3 is super peaceful, and 4 is just an all round great DS track, and they both feel like they could be jams. 1 is incredibly dreamy too, while 2 is cute and evokes a cartoon or RPG. 5 is nice but feels unwarranted, especially to conclude the album on a fade out. Very nice. 3.7
Malaise (US) Death Do Us Part
This was a fun listen with some nifty ideas and melodies, and overall great prod for a small record like this. Track 1 is my favourite. Feels like a clean section of 00s metalcore with some Deftones DNA. The band is quite adept at mixing fat riffs with more atmospheric voices and guitars, and that's really cool. The voice processing gives a lot of -core flavour but I actually dig that. I am remotely reminded of a cleaner version of Intrisinc-era The Contortionist without the whole polyrhythmic aspect. There are better comparisons to be found but idk that's what I thought of. 3.4
Malena Zavala Aliso
Very sweet debut record of chill indie pop with folk, dream pop and ambient leanings. It's
not quite there yet as it lacks jams and marking hooks, but to me it shows great promise.
As a record it feels a bit tame and none of these felt like truly stunning tracks, but they
also could fit well on a nice relaxed playlist. I like the fact that there is an intro
track to begin with, with nice bass and psych flavour. The tracks that ensue are all
varying degrees of chill, 2 being perhaps more on the fun/pop side of things, 4 being a
good example of her great singing performance, and 5 embodying the artwork quite a bit. The
chorus guitars just evoke surf and late afternoon beaches you know. 6 and 7 are very cute,
both quite high tier. 8 is more contemplative, and like every track is quite pretty. 9 and
10 to me step it up a notch and suggest she knows where to head, as they try to be a little
more memorable with the nice surprising unfolding at min 2 on 9, and the exciting additions
of eguitar and even synths on 10, with nice bass too. Probably the most exciting track of
the record even though it feels a touch protracted at times. 3.5
Malena Zavala La Yarara
Very nice too and feels ever so slightly more consistent than Aliso. Brings the same brand of vaguely ambient, vaguely psych indie pop with interesting sounds. That style is kind of the record's meat und po-tah-toes, covering the chill 3 which only suffers from a bit of a pointless outro, 5 (which feels a bit French for some reason, a sweet highlight imo), the very nice 6, 7-8 and 10, which feels like the sountrack to falling asleep in a hamoc on the beach in the late arvi and concludes the album quite adequately. 1 is also a highlight, with a very nice ambient/psych intro with a great drums+bass entry. Not a jam but a really sweet and fun track. 2 is a highlight too but I wouldn't really know how to describe it. 4 changes things up for a dark atmosphere, and while the track doesn't quite work imo I appreciate its intent and really dig its badass intro. 9 is a super sweet highlight with a remote dream pop flavour to it. Well done Malena! Will be watching future albums. 3.6
Marie Dahlstrøm 0.0
I had to pause in the middle for a good while so this isn't exactly fair, but this EP feels like by far and away her strongest material so far. The style is far more electronic with prominent beats, away from the more balladey type songs she used us to with prior release. This is a bit less true of the last track, which felt like the weakest one and brings this half a point, but even that one is quite nice. There is also more vocal processing and more prevalent use of backing vocals etc, which cleverly addresses some of the weaknesses I found in some of her prior releases. A great sign of a blossoming artist for a very sweet EP. 3.45
Marie Dahlstrøm Nine
A cool EP too. Less focused than 0.0 but stronger than Gloom as it sticks to the more electronic, upbeat, beat-centred approach of the former while still falling in some of the traps of the latter. 1 with the prod and the soft guitar evokes Hiatus Kaiyote a bit. 2 starts off with some of the voice issues I found previously with her, but improves a lot later on and becomes really cool, with a nice beat to it too. 3 Continues the flaws and is in more of a balladey style, making it the dullest track on the record. 4 thankfully changes things up very nicely and is quite a successful track. 5 tries that too but isn't so successful despite some great ideas like that change at 1:25 or thereabouts. 6 is is quite a nice neo soul song and another one that works quite well. 3.25
Marie Dahlstrøm Kanel
This one tries harder and has more interesting/fun ideas even than 0.0, but it doesn't execute as well hence the lower rating. But in my view that still makes it a more interesting and exciting record. Also the art is simple but so nice. 1 is a super fun track, it doesn't just quite hold the distance and I wish she explored lower registers with her voice but it's still a huge improvement. 2 has a balladey intro and scared me for a second, but once the drums start to kick in it morphs into a sort of elegant house track that really pleasantly surprised me. Didn't expect that style from her and it's kind of a jam honestly, especially the chorus and some of those synths. It has a nice bass once it shows up, and lots of instrumental sections - which is nice because surprisingly her vocals still feel a touch flat in places. The same applies to 3 - mabye she just uses too much head voice to my liking? Still a fun groovy track that evokes 90s RnB. 4's not so great, feeling like an unnecessary continuation of 3's ideas before 5, which is more of a softer piano track but works very well here to conclude things. I'd say 3.35 but 2 really was a pleasant surprise so 3.4
Marie Dahlstrøm Like Sand
This is still well executed but relatively generic neo soul. It lacks hooks and jammy tracks to really be memorable, but it's all quite nice. I was struggling that she'd struggle with a longer runtime, but she cleverly made the LP hold the distance by changing things up adding guest vocals and not singing herself in a lot of places on these tracks (6,9,13,14) which are all quality and set up their follow ups for success. The latter two especially convinced me that this just deserved a 3.5 tier as I was hesitant to 3.2 or 3.3 this. 1,2,12 have chill late arvo vibes which work well with her sound. 3's kinda fun too, but 4-5 show her usual issues, although 5 has a fun instrumental and improves over time with cool ideas and guitars at the end. 7 has its impact refreshed by 6 as I said and is a fun track with a relatively memorable hook which is good to see. 8's more of the same with some nice piano. 10 is a gentler track but that works very well for once with its elegant, jazzy piano and sax with cleverly sparse singing. Unfortunately 11 is also a ballad and not nearly as good. 3.25
Marriages Kitsune
Had to pause before the last two tracks, and hell did these last two feel a lot stronger. Also noticed Emma Ruth Rundle was on the bill only towards the end. Nice stonerey-spacey-shoegazey post-rockey EP that shows great promise, but prod especially on the guitars felt a bid muddy, blurring out the compositions - although the bass is nice and audible. The opener is a good example of that, and feels a bit simplistic. 2 is more interesting and dynamic. The transition into 3 is great, which is true of the EP in general - transitions flow when they should, and are abrupt when they need to. 3 in itself shows crescendocore guitars but also fat sludgey tones in the midtrack, and it is cool to see the variety of sounds the band can produce. 5 is super cool with its bass line, but I kinda wish it unfolded into a full on track with vocals like the rest. 6 starts nice and deftonesey before going into pretty post-rock. I might give this another spin if I end up enjoying their LP. 3.6
Mc Tha Rito de Passá
Brazilian pop-ish stuff. The songs are fun but I am not a fan of her voice. She seems shy, apathetic, or restrained in a lot of places. This did seem like it improved through the album, not sure if it actually gets better or if I just got used to it? 1-2 are kinda weird and weren't too much my vibe, 3-5 are fun songs but again I thought the vox wasn't the greatest - 3 is kinda dancey for example, but the voice takes away a lot of the energy -, but starting from 6 her voice does get better and the song is fun. The songs feel a good length and the record doesn't make the mistake of being too long. The vocal notes on 7 felt kinda weird, I'm not sure if it's just my uneducated occidental ears failing me but it all just seem odd. 8's alright. 9 is one of the songs where her voice works the best and is a kinda badass track, really cool, and might have been a better closer than 10 which boasts great ideas but is very erratic and doesn't feel like a fantastic track overall. Nice, I might have to watch what she releases in the future. 3.3
Mellow Gang Play
Very nice debut EP. It might be because of the slightly dirty prod that evokes a live setting, but I can't help but feel this has a first-act-I'll-be-excited-to-check-out feel to it. They describe themselves as psyche pop and I guess that's fitting. Track 1 is a nice, funky electronic opener with gorgeous voice, but feels a bit flat as it progresses and seemingly fails to build up. The other tracks do unfold better though, and have nice elements to each of them. I like the synths going crazy on 2 (although I wish the vox were a little more dynamic here), the cute sounds on 3, and the fun percussions on 4. As the record went I started to enjoy their style more and more, especially on the closer which is nicely p s y c h. Excited for the LP. https://mellowgang.bandcamp.com/album/play-ep 3.4
Memoryhouse Choir of Empty Rooms
Hardly a memoryhouse record, this one is straight up ambient. There is a nicely welcome trace of vocals on the last track but that's it. Some of the tracks are really nice ambient, and some feel superfluous, so all in all this is a sweet record but not a huge deal either. 1 kicks things off nicely, 2 gets darker and slightly noisy which I always love, but by 3 it starts to feel samey. 5 adds a touch of water samples here and there and is quite nice but feels a bit too fx-based. 6 is a top track here especially at the end with its lovely glacial sounds, which 6 reuses but in a far less interesting composition. 8 is nice with the vocals as I said, which is a cool idea to close off the album. 3.4
Memoryhouse Caregiver / Heirloom
From what I gather (but I may well be wrong), Heirloom appears on a later album but Caregiver isn't released anywhere else and justifies this being a legitimate EP. Both songs are quite nice albeit not stunning, in standard Memoryhouse fashion imo. The conclusion to Heirloom is a high point. I'd have to re-listen to their followup LPs to see if this deserves a place in my library or not. 3.5
Mgla Exercises in Futility
Very high quality black metal, especially the second half. It is nothing more than that though, and it feels like it lacks some personality that would make it recognizable and memorable.
Mihai Edrisch Un Jour Sans Lendemain
Good screamo with annoying vocals. With all due respect he sounds like he's pushing through a voice loss, not like he's screaming or singing, and since the vocals are almost ubiquitous here they are quite detrimental to the record. The middle of the album is the strongest, with 5 and 8 being jams, and the first half is not far behind. Tight drumming, beautiful melodies, a couple headbanging grooves and sporadic piano samples. The last few tracks past 8 are much weaker and bring the record down a couple points, but the outro track is cool. 3.5
milareva Search For The Light
Fun little soul EP. Great drums, the rest is pretty generic, but quality. The bridge section in 'Appreciate' was probably the highlight. 3.4
Minilogue Blomma
A sweet album that works well as nice soundtrack when you're busy on something else, but that would feel a tad too long when focused on it. To be fair, maintaining interest for most of the behemoth runtime even on unfocused listen is an achievement. The only track I skipped to the end to was the 45min one, which starts quite nicely as synthy ambient but without that vintage touch Steve Roach would have, but then gets bleep bloopey and lost me about midway. In contrast, 7 has a jazzy feel and is quite nice, while 8 is also ambient but much shorter, making for a great conclusion. The album flow is bizarre as it sometimes almost comes to a full stop (which, on an album this long often makes you think it is finally the end) - an example being the transition between 5 and 6. 1,2, and 4 are kinda cool and perhaps more upbeat. The sounds around min8 on 3 are really a terrible choice and the only time the album is unpleasant, not sure what happened there. This is a sweet listen. Perhaps not worth 146 minutes of your dedicated attention, but well worth it as a soundtrack to whatever you want. Thanks Trrif! 3.25
Minutemen Joy
Track 1 is 1981 Daughters, track 2 is well written post-punk, track 3 is 1981 post-punk Funky Town. Why oh why do the songs end so soon after they started? Three minutes that are well worth a (frustrating but excellent) check. 3.6
Modjo Modjo
I was expecting this to be a one track album with 'Lady' and nothing else memorable, but I was
pleasantly surprised. 3 is obviously the major jam here, but all the other tracks with the
exception of the album closer - which sounds like a bad cover - are really fun, have some zing to
them and aren't bad tracks at all. It's rare to have an album in this genre that is this
consistent. 1-4, 7 and 9 are faves, 6, 9 and 10 are meh but fun, and no bad track except maybe 12
- if that. 3.7
Monosymbiosis 1
On the one hand, this does sound like a dude spending a fun evening with his synths and nothing grander (and I thought this before reading the description). On the other hand, it is nonetheless powerfully evocative drone, despite its simplicity. The soundtrack of a grave floating in cold space. Awesome and not too ambitious. 3.45
Murphy Radio S/T
Very nice math-rock twinkle, that feels relatively generic (albeit well executed) and less personal/recognisable than the EP for the most part, but that stills shows signs of greatness especially in the second half, making for a band to watch. Like on the EP, the prod can get nicely crispy and punchy especially on the snare, making for much more impactful songs than the rest of the regular math-rock doodle noodling. The opener is nice and punchy, and the drum intro on 4 is really fun too, but the track evolves into generic CHON stuff. 2 is an example of less punchy track which becomes far less interesting. 3 is the first of a few additions to their sound with scarce vocals, but the generic math-rock behind it makes the track still feel a bit unmemorable. The LP has two acoustic ballads on 5 and 8, but neither are as good or welcome as the one on the LP - but they're alright. 6 marks the transition into the much stronger second half, with a nice addition of strings giving an ominous feeling, breaking into a bass solo and cool punchiness - one of the best tracks since 1. 7 is also a punchy track then adds brass. 9 continues in this style minus the brass, with very nice melodies and grooves in the bridge, and ends with an addition of an electronica beat. 10 is a fun punchy closer, and despite the overall absence of highlight jams this high note second half brings the LP back up to a 3.6
Murphy Radio Naftalena
Indonesian math-rock that doesn't fall into the trap of mindless noodliness and offers nice crispy prod, relaxing jazzy bits, and punchy CHON-esque bits does the job for me. Will be checking their other things. 3.5
Musk Ox Woodfall
Haven't listened to any neo-folk in a long time, but this was a good ride. It has a lot of low points, and few truly memorable melodies, but overall it is a nice record that would perfectly fit the atmosphere of a cabin lost in summer woods as sunlight peeks through the leaves. Might re-listen. 3.5
Nai Palm Needle Paw
My conditions weren't ideal (had to focus and the album is a bit invasive) so I struggled
with this more than I should have. My main issue is that, whilst I love Nai's voice and
singing, over half the vocals are her or backing voices going
AAaaawoaAwaaAAawwwhhmmmmwAaAaa - and while that is great in a small dose, having so much
gets to yar nerves a bit. The vocals are mixed quite high and it just gets overpowering
sometimes, like on 2 in the midtrack where they just repeat the same stuff on and on again.
I far preferred more subdued tracks like 6, 8, the midtrack on 10 - the early track being
weird in a cool way but getting a bit too much in places -, or 12. 11 has nice bits too.
Some tracks like 3 or 5 feel like a performance I would enjoy live but not listen to at
home - 5 is a cool cover of the HK song you know. I do absolutely love Nai's guitar
playing, especially on the fantastic intro to 2. It also complements nicely the Aboriginal
(?) vocals by Jason Guwanbal Gurruwiwi on the opener and closer which I both absolutely
love - also love the small conversation sample included at the end of the record. Feels
like I owe this a re-listen at least for some tracks, it just wasn't the right mood. 3.3
Nails You Will Never Be One of Us
Strangely enough the prod on this one feels far mushier and muddier than previously, but not in a way that serves the music. In fact, the first four tracks sound like a demo, not their latest LP to date. It has cool riffs here and there, but it is slower, less fun, and with the bad prod I'd never listen to this over their earlier material. Then, surprisingly, the record picks it up with more abrasive, faster paced songs that also have much more chaotic hardcore DNA into them, which of course I like. The end of 5 is stupid, but aside from that 5-9 are all jammy tracks. 8 shows the chaotic elements nicely, and 6 demonstrates that Nails can make slower tempos work. The first few minutes of the closer are cool too, but the track then goes on and on forever with cliche slow riff after cliche riff, and my rating went downhill because of that. On an album this short, having an uninteresting closer this long is a massive mistake. Still an ok 3.6
Natalia Lafourcade Musas Vol. 2
Some excellent tracks mixed among a few bland songs that make the album good but not exceptional. Still a worthy listen with a few favourites mixed in there.
Necrophagist Epitaph
I am trying not to be biased by the artwork which I utterly dislike here whilst I loved the one from LP1, but this felt far, far weaker. Stylistically it has more slower tracks, more solo-ing, and seemed less brutal overall - the prod is really never aggressive and the vocals are nearly the only element warranting giving any sense of grittiness. While the other one made me enjoy the soloing for the most part, here it made me cringe a tad more - the supreme point being the end of 6 playing Prokofiev's Dance of the Knights, which made me decide once and for all that this was not only weaker than Onset of Putrefaction but also sub 4.0 tier. This still has fun bits and fun riffage, but there's hardly a track I can call a jam although 1 is fun indeed, and 5 accelerates things for a nice change. 2 starts not so great, evolves very well, and then ruins it again in the conclusion. Apart from that, I'd never jam this instead of Onset of Putrefaction. Perhaps it'll check back on this one some time it case it was just a matter of bad listening conditions, but for now 3.6
Nepal (FR) KKSHISENSE8
This is his most consistent EP with not a single weak track really, but it is also the least marking, and the most generic sounding - I just enjoy the style here less. The run from 4-8 is particularly uneventful, albeit of good quality. The feat on 6 is kinda nice, and 8 provides a quiet and soft album outro which echoes the album itself, leaving almost unnoticed. There isn't really a clear cut jam here but the first half is more interesting, especially 2 which mixes a cloudy atmosphere with trap, and 4 which has a nice, darker atmosphere as opposed to the lushness of his Blue Half thingy. 3 has a lovely instrumental but feels again a touch generic, and 1 has a not so good instrumental and was perhaps one of the weakest tracks. Overall don't think I'll come back to this bar a couple tracks, but it's not bad by any means. 3.5
niña love letters to you
She displays a nice, diverse sound with some dream pop, trip-hop, and even a lovely guitar interlude. The tracks don't all quite work, and the ones surrounding the interlude are perhaps the weakest, but she definitely piques my interest with this EP and I'll be looking out for what comes next. The first track is a nice dream pop jam, and the second is nice and trip-hoppy. The last track is better than the bland 5 but is not as strong as 1-2, although it summarises the record quite well blending dream pop guitar and vox sorta with the trip hop vibes of track 2. 3.35
Night Flowers Night Flowers EP
This was a great soundtrack to read the 'songs of the dedexcade' list to, because it evokes the good old days time and time again with its delicate undertone of melancholy. Idk what it is but the prod feels a touch off, but it is still fine. 1 sounds the most nostalgic and dreamy, and already proves the band has a multi-layered and rich sound. It is chill and mildly sad, like a longing for the old days, whereas Fazerdaze is a soundtrack to the old days themselves. 2 and 3, like Fazerdaze, feel more like the latter, by stripping away the dream pop influences a bit and feeling more post-hardcore ish. 3 is perhaps my fave on the record. 4 takes away the sad melancholy and honestly I don't think it works all that well for them. Weakest track on the record, bringing this down to a 3.65
Night Flowers Wild Notion
I think I owe this a second listen to decide if it is upper 3.5 or lower 4.0. It is an album that takes a specific mood, and I found that mood more readily during the second half, so I perhaps underestimated the first half. The record walks the line between mildly annoying naivety and fun catchiness quite well, but not always perfectly. 1-2 are nice and catchy, but 3-5 felt quite naive. Oddly 5 evokes French songs from the 80s to me? After that the record brought it up a solid notch (but as I said maybe it was just me getting used to its atmosphere), as 6 has a very solid and jammy intro, 7 shows how the naive side can work by alternating the cute vox with rock vibes, 8 is beautiful in the right mood, and 9 is catchy too. The record does end on a lower note though, with 9 overextending a bit and 10 feeling merely ok. Gotta re-listen. 3.7
Night Tempo Fantasy
Just a thoroughly enjoyable and funky neoncity record which, while I won't really remember any individual songs, was a fun ride I might keep in my library after re-jamming the highlihts. The atmosphere on this is like the Mariokart victory music x anime x funk. 10's an example of a track that feels flatter and alright but not marking at all. 4's last third is perhaps the only time the record gets annoying. 3 features an actual vocalist, and offers a nice funky rapped break from the generally samples-based vox. 6 is nicely f u n k, the midtrack on 7 with the sax is incredibly fun, and 8 is against just a whole lot of fun packed under 4 minutes. Lovely. 3.55
Nivhek After Its own Death/ Walking in a Spiral
Had to pause for hours in the middle of this so will have to re-listen.rSides A&B are a rnoisier, grittier version of Grouper. Unbelievably good (4.3 or something?). Sides C&D rare instrumental percussive ambient without vocals that vaguely reminds of the water gong rworks by Klaus Wiese. I liked these tracks too but not as much. Overall still an rundecided 4.0-4.1, re-jam warranted though.rRe-jammed, Side B is my fave by far with a fantastic intro, noisy stuff in the middle. Side A thrilled me less, and overall the record felt far less good with overused gong sounds in way too long sections. The melodies keep coming back it feels. Maybe I missed that on first listen because of the pause? Have to re-relisten. 3.4
No Somos Marineros Demo juvenil en vivo
Maybe it's because I haven't listened to math rock in a while but this was a fun listen and a respectable demo to start your career with. Prod's a bit rough on the edges but that's only a bit of a problem on 1, which is the most in your face tracks and my least favourite. The rhythm change at 1:10 onwards is cool, but the voices feel overwhelming and literally screaming for attention. There is also no intro whatsoever which reinforces this impression a bit. Voices are far better use on 3, where they flow in naturally some way into the song, and complement the music instead of trying to cover it. The music itself is cool but perhaps less marking than on 2 which is pure math-rock and heaps of fun and prettiness. 3.4
No Somos Marineros Onnie Jay Holy
Again just a track, but it is their best yet. To me this is the first one where they make
the vocals work well and don't make the mistake of using them too much. The song packs a
lot of fun ideas and makes me hopeful about their full length output. 3.5
Nthng Shine
Ok dub techno/ ambient. Track 1 2 3 are nice and varied, but nothnig really noteworthy.
Track 4 is a good idea but ends up being boring and way too long, bumping this down to the
2.5 tier. Second track is probably best, followed by the opener. 2.7rEdit: Idk what the
hell I was on about after that first listen. Sure, 3 is a weak track, with incessant bleep
bloops ruining an otherwise fine dub techno foundation. But 1 is lovely albeit not hugely
original aquatic ambient with lost keys droning over the reverb, 2 is superb dub techno a
la Purl with a high pitched pad and tasty crepitating noises, and 4 is a fantastic outro
that gives a sense of grandeur to the EP and would fit perfectly at the end of a nthng LP.
It has a sort of downtempo hip hop beat, nothing to do with dub techno really, yet it fits.
Great stuff. 3.55
Nthng Untitled [LT029.5 Sampler]
I know this was a sampler for the then-upcoming nthng debut LP, but it was released on
vinyl long before the LP was so I think it counts as a semi-EP . Track 1 is a costco
version of Human from Remember Us. It is good, but only insofar as it reminds you of
Human. In itself it doesn't have much added value, and I don't think I'd ever jam this
part II over the original. In a vacuum though it is still nice . 2 is a short and sweet
interlude. 3 is a massive, gorgeous dub techno jam and my favourite track of the LP,
which as I recollect it was quite a disappoint (I should rejam it though to be fair). So
this EP is pretty much a concentrate of some of his best tracks, but it just lacks the
identity and panache Remember Us has. The third track is special though, 5.0 dub techno
material. 3.3
Nthng Microdose
Nice dub techno, but not hugely memorable. Track 1 is a slow but steady buildup starting off nice and low ended but with some of these typical nthng synths coming in nicely after a few minutes. It is perhaps not as jammy as some of his more recognisable tracks but it is certainly up there in the high tiers of dub techno. 2 offers a clearer hook and explores it on the ravier end of dub techno. It's the kind of dub techno you'd love to hear in a club you know to loose your mind to. After a while it starts to feel like it lacks substance especially with some awkward hi-hats coming in. But variation ends up coming to save the day. This isn't a top tier jam but it would have been nice material on the EP for example. 3 is hindered by just a weird beat that lasts the whole track which otherwise boasts some kinda cool sounds. The conclusion is nice though. Good nthng material, good MORK material, but the best of neither. 3.25
Nthng Turn to Gaia
Not the best album intro in the world again, but it's alright. 1 starts off as funky techno, and once again when these nthng dub synths kick in they instantly turn it into a different track don't they. Much lovelier, but still not hugely marking or an amazing track, and quite a skippable one. 3 is in somewhat the same vein, but from the first few seconds with the syncopated synths you know it's going to be a bouncy one. And indeed it is a bouncy one, even reinforced at 4:40 by some lovely shakers. It is a better track than 3 and certainly a more memorable one (I still remembered it from first listen), but still not a jam. Now the real reason you should jam this EP as I recollected well is the sublime centerpiece A Souls Search, an incredibly lush ambient track with a myriad of pads and a nice rond bass behind it. It is an ambient track that you can tell was made by a techno artist because it retains some of the bounce and some of those sounds without being techno itself ever at all. And for that alone, it is interesting. Jam jam jam, and single-handedly brings this to a 3.3
Nthng Hypnotherapy
Much better than his first LP imo. The tracks are more memorable, and the record has a cohesive atmosphere for the most part. He uses vocal samples as hooks here and there, and while he isn't quite a master at it, it certainly helps maintaining the listener's attention without making the mistake to clutter every track. 1 is good and similar to the prelude track on LP1, also introducing the vox samples as a surprise although I am not sure they particularly fit here. The tracks are still long and slow to settle, but they seem to have more variety to them. 2-4 are very strong and have a cold, hypnotic quality to them - 2 and 3 are jams. The middle of the album really dips in quality, 5 shattering the ambience with its quirky sounds and lighter beat, and 6 being nice with its vintage synth sounds but not mindblowing. 7 brings back the quality of the earlier and is nicely atmospheric, and 8 makes the vox sample work better because it is so lost and isolated in a wall of sound - wish it didn't repeat as much though. I really liked the textures on the album outro 9, and overall this is surprisingly solid. 3.65
Nubya Garcia When We Are
This is an interesting take on modern jazz with prominent and aggressive drums. Very likable sound although the EP itself feels like it is just the of two singles instead of a consistent record with a beginning and an end. I have not checked out her full length yet but this made me want to. Did not care much for the two remixes although they are not bad by any means. 3.7
Nuvolascura 2017
This isn't even a debut demo, more like a small compilation of songs they had recorded for different purposes because renaming to Nuvolascura. And yet it's very exciting, as the first track, albeit short, is fucking balls of a track and an excellent Nuvolascura jam displaying a lot of versatility in under two minutes. Nothing else on the record matches up to it, which kinda makes sense since 2-4 were recorded together for a split LP with three other bands where 1 was entirely separate. 2 starts off slower and weaker, but the melodic bit in the early midtrack is quite nice, but it then doesn't unfold too well. 3's a kinda weird interlude which would be nice on a longer album (well, it actually was on a longer album in that split LP). 4 starts of awkward but the acceleration midtrack makes it nicer but still nowhere near as exciting as 1 was. Bonus point for excitement, 3.6
Oathbreaker Eros|Anteros
I have to say I did not listen to this in the best conditions (had to pause a lot) so
this is not super fair to them. The first half is more hardcore-heavy and reminiscent of
what these guys sound like live. Not mind-blowing but quite cool with good
instrumentations and vocals. The middle track 'The Abyss Looks Into Me' is brilliant and
I thought this was an excellent album closer. Except it actually carries on for nearly
another half hour of their doomier side, and I did not find it quite as good. Tracks 1-5
would have been a 4.0, but this is more like an overall 3.6
Obliteration Total Fucking Obliteration
Some parts of this are 4.0 tier worthy, but as I found previously with Obliteration there also are cringy elements that feel dramatically out of date or not at all my type of dm, which kinda spoil the soup for me. And it's just here and there: some of the vocals especially the cleaner ones on 3, some of the guitar sounds which already show up on 1, the soloing on 3, etc. Still, every track has fat riffs, and 2 is actually fantastic and almost cringe-gree - I just don't enjoy the doom ending as much. 3 is perhaps the worst one here because there are so many beer metal elements to it, while 4 is fine but has a pretty awful conclusion that brings this down a point. h idk man I'll say 3.45
Obliteration Perpetual Decay
A cool debut that shows the same strengths and flaws I seem to always find with this band. Some bits are amazing with some fantastic riffing, some bits are fast and do the job without being stunning, and some bits really feel out of date. Tracks like 1,2, or 6 clearly show that. I seem to particularly enjoy the riffy conclusions on this one, with the conclusion to 5 (peak of the album, jammy),6,7 and 10 greatly surpassing the tracks they close. I generally like it less when they use a slower, doom tempo, but 1 or early on in 5 do make it work. 3 and 4 before the awkward midtrack break, 7 from the midtrack on (not hugely marking before that) and 8 despite the soloing which kinda works here ngl are also some cool dm tracks. 9 really hurts this album though, being the most outdated sounding track here. It could be from 89 if it weren't for the cleaner prod, and it's really the weakest track. The intro bass is its only redeeming aspect. The band is great at riffing but not so much at filling the melodic space between dem riffz, and it shows on 10 which seems to reuse melodies from the album and which itself seem to have been heard before a thousand times. The speedy midtrack does the job though, the conclusion is cool as I said, and the single break at 3:45 gives a glimpse of greatness, but overall these last two tracks do bring this down a half point. 3.45
Obliteration Cenotaph Obscure
To me this is unquestionably the best Obliteration LP at the moment. They mostly drop the old school revival stuff including the pointless soloing, refresh the prod to more modern standards, and drop the slow paced doom bits while upping the bm influences. For my taste those are all dramatic improvements. Still has the occasional cringe vocal or solo (looking at you third minute on 4) but it is generally short lived and followed by more evil riffz. The record flows well and is well constructed with the intriguing interlude on 3. It isn't my favourite dm record ever but it sure is blackened death that I enjoyed for the greater part of the album. Feels like I have to check whatever they release next now. 3.65
Odd Person The flowers of arcadia
Lots of weird sounds, lots of echoes, lots of reverb - a nice fun tape! Nice find garas 3.3
Old Sorcery Strange and Eternal
Lovely DS again from Old Sorcery, but I didn't feel it was quite as good as the first LP. 1 is lovely DS with many different vibes that nicely transition into each other. Literally the album cover in music. 2 I'm not as much a fan of, feels more gimmicky. 3 is my fav here and a solid DS jam, with a lovely mysterious forest atmosphere. Really tasty textures. 4 sounds a bit like a glorified snes soundtrack which isn't my cuppa, and 5 is ok but not fantastic. The vocals didn't convince me much but by the 11th minute they had grown on me and I ended up digging em, nice complement to the music. I dig the synthy track ending, and the addition of a distinct album ending is nice too. 3.7
Ombre Believe You Me
The intro is extremely sweet and made me think this was going to be fantastic, but the two tracks that ensue feel completely out of place. 3 has cool sounds but weird male vocals that I don't quite dig. 4-6 come back to a more experimental, Barwick-led style I imagine, and are all great. 6-8 are also nice and pretty, but they feel a bit like a gear demo you know - pretty sounds, simple ideas, but not much else to go buy. Worth a listen honestly. 3.4
Ondubground X Chill Bump Ondubground X Chill Bump
Tours, France collab between a dub artist and the hip-hop duo. Mixing dub and other electronic variants with rapping surely has been done before but I don't know very many examples of it so this sounded fresh to me. While not my fave CB work, this has some dope tracks and is worth a check. The opener has a really cool intro but unfolds in a pretty standard instrumental dub track. 2 is kinda jammy and made me bop me head with its fat dubsteppy drums with Misc.'s rapping. 3 is the only track to go into more of a house direction, but while I see the idea the prod is weird with veiled vocals, and feels like it's hesitant to truly explode. 4 goes kinda hard and brings some cool elements like middle-eastern strings. 5 doesn't work as well and reusing that Macklemore melody is a bit boring if you ask me. The record uses autotune sparsely but well on 6 and 7. The dubstep parts on 6 go quite ahrd, but 7 is a bit less good especially when it tries to go ahrd. 8 starts off a bit too simplistic even though I like the male guest vocalist, but the second track is jammy with misc's rapping and the howled female vox in the background. 9 starts off like 2 and unfolds in a more instrumental direction with traditional vocals, which is a cool way to end the album. 3.55
Ouroboros Glorification Of A Myth
Despite it being really, really wankery melodeath (kinda), I actually like this record a lot.
Part of that is nostalgia, but the torrent of highly technical, Oriental-sounding riffs this
record throws at you single-handedly makes it a worthy listen despite meh vocals and a lack of
structure or storytelling. 3.6
Panda Riot Northern Automatic Music
3.1 feels a bit low for this, but it's true that it feels far weaker than their prior output. While the early record flows surprisingly well given its variety, after that there are lots of long blanks between tracks, and when the tracks do transition it doesn't always work - the most glaring example being the very soft, lush conclusion to 6 into the abrasive intro riff of 7. And the album is missing key jams to really be memorable. It is however still ripe with ideas and inspiring sounds. I love 1 which is both fat and dreamy with its walls of distorted guitars over Hidden Lands-vibe vox. 2 gives more indie folk vibes but still with dream pop guitars in the background, it is cute but less impactful. 6 is in that same style but even less memorable although the conclusion is very nice. 3 is upbeat and more on the car playlist end of dream pop. 4 has the first weak bit with awkward vox in the beginning, but the change midtrack is cool and the conclusion is even better. 5 is more electronic and unfolds into a really pretty track. Despite the bad transition, 7 is a r eally cool track more on the rock side of things with jammy sections. 8 is quite inspiring as a nice multilayered instrumental. 9 is more shoegazy and has good bits but is a bit meh overall, 10 is a pretty interlude into the dreamy 11 which works fine as a conclusion. 3.4
Parades Foreign Tapes
This is a record that is full of ideas, fun riffs, fun instrumentation etc, but that somehow didn't really resonate with me. I'm not sure why but it's like the songs fail to bring emotion, their ideas being too disjointed to make the tracks jammy. I owe this a relisten. There are lots of cool drumming and intros (1-3,5-7), variety with 3 being more on a pop side or 5 being an interlude with really sweet sounds, diverse instrumentation - I particularly enjoyed the added brass and the conclusion on 9. I do have to say not everything works, like the post rock guitar on 9 feels super contrived, and the male vocals feel shy and subpar compared to the female vox. But I still didn't get as transported as I'd expect. 3.6
Paysage d'Hiver Steineiche
Not really convinced by this. The first track is great, bleak, svper trve bm as you'd expect from
Pd'H. Vocals sometimes sound like an evil baby crying but great 3.9 track overall, worthy of a
re-listen. Track 2 is bizarre and brings in some more guttural growls over some weird erratic
instrumentation that sounds a bit like doom metal with bm tones. Not amazing but interesting at
least. Track 3, the longest, is quite boring and mixes dull ambient/dark ambient, vague bits of
dungeon synth, and low spoken word in German from what sounds like an evil old dude in a
nightmare.
Overall this is quite meh. 3.4
Paysage d'Hiver Schattengang
Also a bizarre album, but liked it more than the debut. Track 2 especially is a gorgeous, bleak
and merciless bm Pd'H jam - definite re-listen. Track 3 is synthy ambient. Kinda nice but nothing
too crazy. The opening track is probably the oddest, with lots of random sounds and textures, and
very deep, guttural vocals - not the best here but I like it. Love the intro too, and I find the
artwork wonderfully fitting and somehow gorgeous albeit cartoony. Overall a solid
3.65
Paysage d'Hiver Einsamkeit
Almost entirely ambient album with this one. I quite dig it. Each track was good and felt more interesting than the previous one. Track 1 is good field recording/synth ambient. Track 2 has more interesting textures with more aggressive synth textures. Track 3 brings bm touches for the first time and is even more aggressive. Might grow on me, have to re-listen. 3.4
Paysage d'Hiver Im Wald
On first listen I'm not really convinced by this. Now yes this is July so perhaps another day I'd have liked it better. Also I can't fairly compare it to prior PdH albums bcs it's been a while. But this felt a lot like riff A for 10min, interlude, riff B for 10min, interlude, rinse and repeat, which on a 40min record is all good and well, but over 2hrs just tired me out. The tracks feel like the PdH formula applied to the T - well executed, but formulaic. The prod is nice and lo-fi, but I perhaps would have preferred something more abrasive to reinforce the RIFFZ. Now I say this but by track 13 my ears really were suffering. It was fine after I paused to take a wee though so maybe I'm just a noob. Now this does have great tracks - 1,4,6 - perhaps my fave here,8 and dat violin, and 13 after min 7 when I took the aforementioned wee. The latter feels like slowly dying in the cold and I really dig how it concludes the album by slowly, well, dying out. Bumped the album a point, but sadly it had previously been dragged down a fair few points because I found 9-12 (and even the beginnign of 13) to be quite fillerish, boring and lacking definition (need to relisten I was maybe just fatigued by then), even borderline insufferable in places. The intro to 13 is very good and nice to the ear which was welcome. 2 was a sign of what was to come, it already felt like the formula merely applied and far less striking than 1. 3.7
Pestilence Dysentery
Far superior to their other demo, it's not even close. The vocals and song constructions are a
tonne better, and the wankeriness is way down. I have to say sometimes it sounds like there are
too many words and the dude is struggling to articulate them out so fast. My fave was track 1 but
probably just because I was paying a touch more attention at the beginning of the record, all the
tracks are equivalent and pretty good. Nothing earth-shattering here though, this is a demo after
all and is fairly generic. 3.5
Pierre Schaeffer Suite Pour Quatorze Instruments
This one feels a lot like a weird piece of orchestrated music more than a tape/electronic piece in places really. It does offer good vibes, but all the relative randomness and sudden changes of atmospheres (probably owing to the tape splicing etc mixing different bits of various pieces of music) achieve is to make me feel like I am listening to the OST of some movie that doesn't exist, where the sudden additions are justified by images or actions on-screen. Again the historical value is undeniable and this isn't a bad listen by any means, but I felt far less transported by it. It feels more like it belongs to its time than the previous pieces did. I do like the Prelude, and the conclusion of the Vth act is really cool and more avantgardey than the rest. 3.6
Pierre Schaeffer Etude Aux Objets
Tracks 2 and 4 (Objets etendus and objets lies) are actually quite dope and ambient/droney but fly by, 1, 3, and 5 are just random bleep bloops that I don't care for however historically relevant they may be. I guess something like 3.4
Pierre Schaeffer Orphée 53
Calling this an 'opera' as I've seen is a bit of a stretch, but I did enjoy hearing a longer piece from him. The first few minutes got me really pumped up as they evoke Ligeti-ish, kind of ominous orchestrated music, but rendered even more ominous through tape effects thereby making tape a strong added value. Sadly, a lot of what ensues is what I would call relatively random sounds and noises here and there, some of which are on the border of funny and not really fitting with the atmosphere I am getting from this (perhaps it is my own fault as a listener though), for which I would say again the interest is merely historical and not too musical. There are lots of good bits here and there, with nice ideas, surprises (sudden bursts of piano or even brass) and textures (for example the atmosphere behind the German vocal in the middle of the piece around min 20), as well as recurring themes which is fun, min 27 showcasing great atmosphere and a lot of the themes and surprises that were included in the first half of the piece. But on the whole I can't say this is a fantastic listen, albeit it sure is an interesting one. 3.55
Pilori (FRA) À Nos Morts
Cool stuff and a band I'll be following. This is blackened crust that navigates both sludge tempos and hxc aesthetics quite well. One of my main gripes is the vocals. They are great in isolation with really raw, distorted prod, but they are a bit overpresent and overwhelming at times. Otherwise the sound is quite great except a couple of faux pas here and there (looking at you track 7). What excites me most is some of the really evil-sounding ideas the band has and some of the riffing that's really nice and aggressive, making 3-5 and 10-11 some of my favourite tracks. 6 is really cool and clever too as a calmer interlude, which contributes to the album feeling well constructed and nicely flowing. A good start (?) for a band that might come up with truly great stuff in the near future. 3.65
Pink Floyd Ummagumma
I vibe with Disk 1 a good bunch (just makes you want to see them in the 60s yknow), but Disk 2 is just a long protracted series of tracks at various degrees of unnecessaryness. 1-4 are acid jams, although by the midtrack of 4 it starts to feel a bit lengthy. Egyptian-sounding organs and synths, edoteric drums, tasty bass, scarce vocals, yum. 2 when it explodes with crazy screams sounds like delicious prog rock. On disk 2, 1 sounds like a Zelda OST, and 2 sounds like Nils Frahm on its first third and La Monte Young in the rest. Album is crazy good so far (maybe 3.8), but it all goes downhill after that. 3 is the first track I didn't fak with, and 4 sounds like an OST in a bad way. 5 is a pretty Nick Drakey ballad, 7 is super pretty, sadly 6 is a horrible track. The rest is just nice or boring, until the annoyingly experimental 11 and the pretty but short conclusion on 12. Eh not the most marking PF album, but the first 6 tracks are worth checking out. 3.35
Pink Floyd Atom Heart Mother
AHM is a turning point and sees the birth of legendary rock Meddle,Pompeii era Floyd, away from psych era Floyd, but it still remains at the infancy stage and won't quite make it to the same heights just yet. The t/t is the first instance of a long, complex, build up intro that we'll later see in SoYCD and similar tracks, and by min 7 you hear how much grander they're becoming. Min 11 with its guitar parts is the aforementioned rock Floyd being born. Unfortunately the track never quite unfolds, keeping it out of their pantheon, and by min 16 although you see their taste for backing vocals a couple minutes before that, the track definitely turns back into their earlier flaws and weirdness. The track feels like it lost its course and coherence along the way. The conclusion from min 21 on shows us their grand rock leanings again, but not as good. One side B, 2 and 4 and both peaceful folk jams, and 3 is a jazzy? pop? bop. So far the album is very well constructed and feels like it could end at a 3.7-3.8, except the last track overextends for way too long and has too few ideas bar a cool last couple minutes, bring the album down to a 3.5
Plini Other Things
Dedex's got it. This evokes bedroom AAL with nice additions of keys etc., instead of a
teenager making youtube djent videos in the hope of attracting the female kind for the
first time by riffing as fast as they possibly can. 3.7
Polygon Woods Polygon Woods
For a debut EP this is very strong. They have great tones, they know what they're doing and their compos flow like soft liquid cream. Leaves me wanting for more. Sure the prod is a bit spicy most noticeably on the first track, but in a way that gives it a certain raw aesthetic that's kinda charming. 1 is really nice aussie psych rock with a touch of thom yorke sprinkled in, 2 slows things down and is more on the psych side of things, while 3 confirms that I love vibrato as an effect and is just plain fun too, kind of between 1 and 2 in terms of energy level. Fun stuff that'll go in my library, well done guys. 3.6
Porches. Summer of Ten
At first I wasn't sure how I felt about this. It is quite bizarre and difficult to describe. Keys-based indie weirdcore pop with vaguely dissonant male vox? It is interesting and I grew to quite like it as each track went by. 5 is perhaps the most digestable, being closer to regular psych pop, and 4 is quite bouncy. A cool alien record that makes me excited for the rest of their discog. 3.45
Porches. Pool
Feels like the first time they make their style work since 2011's Summer of Ten EP. They tone down the moany annoying vox and the weirdness, especially in the early record. 1-2 are bouncy jams, vaguely evoking Depeche pop. 3 has jammy sounds but vox that don't work as well, which will be a recurring theme as the album goes on. 4 is ok but I did not even notice the track changed. 5 shows again good sounds but less good over worsening vocals. The auto-tune use is generally good but is sometimes excessive and sounds like a parody, especially on 7 and on 12 which concludes the album quite flatly. 7 is still a cool track with a nice synthy bridge in the midtrack. On 9 the singer gets quite moany but the instrumental is cool and the conclusion well crafted. 10 is cool, and 11 is a boring track in the vein of their earlier stuff. This started off as a 3.8, but overall it feels more like a 3.55
Portal (Cynic) Portal
Very cool instrumentally (for the most part), but the cliche, naive and overacted vocals break it for me. The album overextends quite a lot too. By the end of 7, which is one of the countless tracks to offer a tasty bassy instrumental but yawn-inducing vocals and whose conclusion could have nicely ended the album, I was thinking of a 3.8-3.9. But, although 8 does have interesting sounds in its intro, it and 9 are a bore, while 10 is cheesy to a cringy point. Dropped the album a couple points. Before that, 1 evokes Focus a lot but with the overacted female vox, which work better in places on 2, with the track offering an especially nice ritualistic last third. 3 is the strongest track here, offering a groovy prog jazz fusion jam. 4 much like 7 bores vocally, while 5 is superb instrumentally and remains a strong track despite questionable vox here and there. 6 has pop undertones, and the intention ought to be praised, but the chorus really is a bore, especially in the end. Had potential but too many flaws to be called excellent. 3.65
Prince Of Denmark To The Fifty Engineers
Much, much better than Soulfood. It does have some oddities and doesn't sound too amazing, but it is a very interesting EP with lots of sweet textures and ideas. Unlike Soulfood, I'll come back to it. 3 and 4 are of particular appeal to me with their drone ambient textures laid atop the delicate dub techno beat a la nthng. 2 proves that this guy knows what he's doing and can handle a 9min hypnotic minimalistic track without it feeling too long (again, improving compared to Soulfood). The track is subtle at first but gets quite dissonant and is the third jam on this EP. 1 is not so much a jam, but still boasts an interesting synth groove. Very solid. 3.65
Prison of Mirrors (ITA) De Ritualibus et Sacrificiis ad Serviendum Abysso
Cool evil bm, but I don't think they have fully reached their potential yet. They have some cool ideas and sounds, but they are most commonly overused, protracted, or simply lost in a sea of more generic sounding stuff. The prod on some guitars on 1 is particularly flat and poor, and compositionally it's fine but has been done better before, but the end of the track is ok. 2 has a cool drum intro that rapidly unfolds into cliche, but the second half gets progressively more evil and hellish and gets really cool by the end, concluding on a monk chant sort of thing that is super cool here, but will be overused later. The intro to 3 is quite clumsy but the unfolding riff is crazily glacial and really cool, into a nice monkish bridge entering the last third of the track. This hinge between 2 and 3 really is the peak of the album, as the behemoth 4 is pretty boring and far too long, with only some cool riffage here and there but certainly not enough to hold the fort for 22min. The fadeout outro into monks feels cheap too, considering we've heard that twice already and it sounded exactly the same. 3.3
Protector Misanthropy
Fairly generic but cool and fast thrash metal with vocals I don't like but don't really hate and nice riffage at times with sweet brutality to it. No jams, track 3-4 are the coolest, but bits of wankeriness here and there on track 6 for instance, and 1 is weird with horrendous vocals. A record I will happily forget, but wasn't unhappy jamming. 3.4
Rayana Jay Morning After
A bit of a disappoint. The soulful groovy goodness of the first track or two rapidly fades and is overpowered by the poppy R&B elements the opener baked in so delightfully. The record sounds less and less mature as it goes. The end sounds quite basic and typical college freshmen material, which is a shame. Beginning still really good. 3.4
Recondite PSY
Both tracks sound like they would make a fantastic 1 min section on a live techno set, but also are a bit too long and samey for what they can offer here on their own. Still solid to listen to in the background, but lacks a bit of dynamics to be substantial party music on their own, and not dark/atmospheric enough to be something else imo - I mean yeah the first track is fairly dark. 3.4
Rihanna ANTI
Complete surprise after the prior album, as this one has a real identity - doesn't sound
like it is the same Rihanna in a lot of places actually-, is well constructed, and is never
annoying. Fantastic turn for Rihanna and makes me excited to hear what she comes up with
next. The whole thing could be a top tie mainstream album a la Dangerous Woman, if only it
weren't for the run from 10-13 which is full of ok but dull ballads, 10 being folky, 11
soul-ish, 12 showing Rihanna overstretching her voice, and 13 at least offering a nice
album ending. Before that, the album was easily in 3.5-3.6 range. 1 is a kinda jammy hip-
hop infused track, 2 is a lovely interlude with remote FlyLo/Thundercat vibes, 3 (and lots
of other bits) remind of Banks' flavour of RnB - not a jam but I enjoyed how atmospheric it
is compared to her prior records -, 4 is maybe 20s too long but I like it - feels a bit
like a modern take on her early hits but with a more intimate, sexy, laid back direction.
Drake's contrib is a bit eh but does not ruin the track at all. 5-7 are ok to boring. 8 and
9 are the album's peak, both jams. 8 is an incredibly sexy track. 9 starts off weird in
contrast - the transition is not so great, but the track is the biggest surprise on here,
being a long track full of depth and with sweeet dream pop DNA (yes). Strongest track on
the record probably. If only she stopped there. I'll re-listen to this, but maybe stopping
at 9. Bonus tracks uninteresting. 3.35
Ritchie Valens Ritchie Valens
Not sure if it's listening conditions or what but despite La Bamba offering irresistible fun this album felt a tad weaker. It alternates between more of the upbeat, road trip, Hollywood kind of tracks that are still quite fun (1, 3 kind of dancey and I feel like I know it from somewhere,6 which is alright, 9, and the closer which at least doesn't end the record on a boring note), and slower, kind of prom soundtrack songs that often feel like they fit his voice a lot less (2,4,8,11). 10 is bluesy and kinda meh but not too bad, and 5 just passes. So yeah this feels like a less cohesive collection of less good songs, and with the exception of a couple tracks I'd never come back to this over the other LP he put out in his sadly short career. 3.4
Roly Porter Life Cycle Of A Massive Star
A bit more consistent, and helped by its short length, but still not quite there yet. Track 1-2 are very consistent, but after that the album looses track of itself and goes back to the bleepbloopiness that hurt its predecessor. Volume is also weird on here, and some tasty textures go amiss because they were just too quiet compared to the rest - had to play with my volume knob more than I would expect. This is particularly true on 4 which has tasty dronebient textures that are just very, very quiet. 5 feels the most bleep bloopey, even with its noise layers added in the second half, whereas in 3 it's not as bad - the blank at the end of the track is unfortunate though. 1-2 on the other hand are fantastic and sound like what it's like to be on a broken lost spaceship, trying to survive and repair it before the black hole sucks you in too deep - and I'm not saying that just because of the title/artwork. The midtrack on 2 is particularly lonely and lovely. That can't save the record from its own inconsistency though, 3.3
Roly Porter Third Law
This feels like his best so far, and confirms that I want to follow his future output if any. He has lots of potential, but the album falters again and is still quite weak for most of it. He manages to make drone that is pounding, crazy, and aggressive instead of ambient-ish, which I love and which I hope he does more of, like on 1-2 and the first half of 3. After that, the record becomes quite boring (except the cool end of 4) and usual RP bleep bloop stuff, until the second half fo 7 and the whole of 8 which is a clear jam, both are grand, epic tracks and explore a lot of flavours of drone/synth etc - 7 reminds of a less noisy Prurient. 3.7
Ronin Arkestra First Meeting
Ok modern jazz. Some hip-hop beats/rhythms in scarce places. Fairly generic and not super memorable. 3.6
Rotten Sound Exit
Has a lot of great riffage, but also a lot of merely alright moments in between the good passages. It also felt quite long compared to it's actual length, and the only real break is only found on 17. Very nice, but comes in a tad too late. The closer after that starts on a nice intro riff but fails to unfold imo. 3,5, and 14 except the vox on the last third are top highlights. But gimmicky moments (peaking on the end of 6 which literally sounds like they burped into a mic) kinda are too numerous for this too reach too high a rating in my book. 3.5
Sadus Death to Posers
This is an exciting demo and tells me Sadus may be one of the few thrash bands I dig a lot. The riffz are plentiful, diverse, fast, slow, heavy, punky, and the record is super fun in that regard. Just listen to the first half of 3 for instance. This is quite aggressive, especially for 86. Now, they do fall in the usual traps of thrash, with wankery solos for example on the second halves of 1,4 or 5, shrieky vocals that often get annoying (but also kind of have a cool bmey vibe to them in places), things like that. But it is never completely awful like I've seen with other bands, and is usually quite short lived. If they drop those elements in their later discog, they might be a top tier thrash band in my book. 3.6
Sadus Illusions
If I like their future albums I might re-listen to this, I'm not sure I was in the right setting. This confirms what I thought of their demo: the highs are very high, this has the potential to be thrash I love, but it also still features wankery solos here and there (not too many) and speedy zzz tracks (4,5) or slower tracks with an odd groove (6 I think it was) which don't do much for me. Vox have improved, don't really get annoyingly shrieky anymore and isntead evoke bm in places. Riffz are still fat and diverse (see 2 or 9 for instance). Idk this is great but I need to listen to it more closely. 3.6
Saif Streets Ain't Saif
Nice South African trap/rap, but nothing majorly fantastic. Delivery wise she reminds of an r-rolling non annoying Cardi B, especially on track 4 which could fit right into Cardi's discog but just is better. Kinda cool but not a jam. 5 is quite boring after that. 1 has ethereal prod and I wouldn't have expected it to work with Saif's delivery but it actually does, the track is nice. I love the ambient prod on 2, quite inspiring, but there the vox doesn't work at all and feels out of context. I do dig the chorus though. 3 is cloudier and dreamier, nice but not fantastic. 3.4
Saint Pepsi Hit Vibes
I absolutely loved the beginning, deliciously fun future funk/dico, but the mid album really dipped in energy and the latter third never caught up. To be fair I was kind of expecting this to be 100% high energy jolly diso style so maybe there was just a mismatch there and I owe this a re-listen. 1-2 are incredibly fun, but 3 is my main jam on the album here with its fantastic bounce and strong disco vibes. I wish it didn't end on a fadeout though. 4 (still nice) and especially 5 dip in energy a lot. 6 starts like it'll bring back up again, but it actually keeps at a slower pace. 7's finally does bring the energy up with an elegant vibe, it gets a bit excessively glitchy in the midtrack but only briefly so that's fine. 8's an elegant interlude, and 9 is nicely chill which is surprising for the genre. 10 brings the bounce again finally, but by then it's been 6 tracks and it feels too little too late. The track is cute and quirky, but a bit too quirky which prevents it from being a real jam. 11 has some nice bounce and the second half is jammy, while the outro track is anecdotal. 3.65
Saint Pepsi Empire Building
This one is more successful on the chill tracks than it is at making ya bum shake. 1-8 is somewhat weak but it improves quite a bit after that. 1's just an intro track, 2 is nice and playlist worthy but suffers from somewhat thin prod, 3 is slower and less marking but ok, 4 starts to feel quite weak although the sax and guitar are quite nice. 5 is kinda nice with an interesting, heavily sidechained prod, while 6 prefaces the alter record with a very chill, lounge kind of track, still suffering from thin prod but still playlist worthy. 7's fine but eh, while 8 is the big mistake on this record. It ruptures completely from the rest with its hard hitting drums and less breezy instrumentation, and even in a vacuum sounds pretty silly - the intro especially. 9 with its very nice deconstructed piano intro clearly shows that 8 has nothing to do here, 9 would have been a much better transition from 7. 10's kinda dancey and nice, 11 is okay but forgettable, then the record concludes on four strong, very chill tracks (with 13 feeling a bit like late arvo cocktailcore so a touch different) to finish on a strong note. Bumps it to 3.45
Scary Larry Scary Larry
The black metal bits are ok but I did not care much for them. The ambient bits on the other hand are very nice and make me want to re-listen to this, especially track 2. The prod is a bit odd during the bm bits (bass and some drums mixed way too high/clear, trebles a bit absent) which undermines them a bunch, but on the ambient sections it is good. 3.6
Sea of Shit Sea of Shit 7"
Super fun little EP of aggressive stuff. I dig the vocals and prod, and this is a band I feel like I'd really dig live. Unlike a lot of grindcore, the tracks here flow seamlessly into each other and aren't really properly one minute long songs, but rather they just split one long song in a bunch of little slices. The closing track is theonly one that's a bit longer and it was quite fun, including in the feedback noisy conclusion, so it bumps this up a point. 3.6
Sea of Shit 2nd EP
When it hits, it still hits hard, but I feel like on this one there are too many slower, doomier tracks that pack less energy for the record's benefit, whereas on the 10 inch they offered nice pauses. Starting and closing the album on that style with two of the three longest tracks on the EP breaks its energy a lot. The middle still rips and 2 gives of great Cursed vibes, and 5 is a fun Sea of Shit jam. 3.5
Shakira Fijacion Oral Vol. 1
This album is kind of what I expected Ladrones to be and it is weird that it comes after
Laundry Service and not before. No real banger here, but a really nice and consistent album
with heavier use of acoustic guitar, more of a relaxed latin vibe, and occasional synth
arrangements like on the closer. No bad track really. 1 is gorgeous and the major jam here;
4,5 and 9 are the other jams I noted. The acoustic takes at the end are anecdotal but
they're alright. 3.4
Silvia Perez Cruz 11 de Novembre
Starts off with a series of sublime, subdued tracks, but kinda lost me in the middle and longer than it needed to be. Her voice is as soft, delicate and light as it gets. 2-4 are all soft jams of a graceful blend of - I like the vocabulary for this - Spanish folk, flamenco, and what I imagine old Spanish movies' OSTs must sound like. In general this record feels much older than it actually is, which is a nice thing I guess? 5 changes it up with a jumpier, cheekier, kinda weird track with a jazzier side that I kinda enjoyed. A welcome break from the softeness, which 6 takes us right back to, this time with a sadder, more melancholic take. Up to this point I felt this as a 3.9-4.0, it is incredibly lovely. The a capella 7 and especially the monkish guest vox was a bit too much for me though, and is a turning point after which I never quite got back into the album. There are lots of instruments on display here, albeit very few play together at any given time. But things like the banjo on 8 got a bit too much for me, although the track is nice in places. 9 continues the same style, but a bit better. 10 goes back to the guitar-led softness of the early record, but felt a bit too whiny. 11 is Brazilian inspired, starting with sort of bossa nova vibes to end on Brazilian carnival music of sorts. By 12 the record feels really too long and the track gets especially annoying towards its end. Thankfully the closer is nice and fine. 3.45
Sleep Dopesmoker
I don't really get what all the fuss is about. Yes this is really cool stoner
rock/metal(?), it definitely has tasty riffs and textures and is quite hypnotic. It's
good, but I did not find it transcendental or deserving a 4.0+ average. I have better
memories of Om for instance - have to rejam their albums for a fair comparison though.
3.7
Sleep Talk Growing Pains
This is the term 'post-hardcore' taken almost literally, with enormous post-rock influences laid
atop a good ol' hardcore basis. The instrumentals are really good and the genre mix is
interestingly done - with even some Suis La Lune vibes at times. Production is a bit odd with
very hard hitting hardcore drums onto a mostly mellow background, but I quite like it. The vocals
however are quite annoying and generic metalcore-ish most of the time. The sparse clean vocals
are on the naive side but they still sound miles better than the harsh vocals. Overall a good
listen that makes me want to watch them and listen to their other stuff - there is a good idea in
almost every track. 3.5
Slow Meadow Those Who Rush Across the Sea / You Felt Like Home
Track 1 could be the opener to a grand 5.0 post-rock album and would work perfectly well in that context. Here though, it feels like it builds up beautifully into nothing, for the second track really doesn't do much and just painfully highlights how much more 1 needed to unfold into. Pretty, but frustrating. 3.3
Socially Retarded/Sea of Shit Split
This is super short too, but because of the band's crass and more unique sound it felt stronger. A fun little tape, but really too short to have claims at anything higher. 3.4
Sound of Ceres The Twin
This one struggles perhaps a bit more than its predecessor when it comes to crafting an atmosphere - the band's instrumentation seems a little less full and simpler in places - but this still feels way underrated. Track 1-3 are nice and soft, with perhaps increasingly lacking substance but not to a dramatic degree, then 4 is catchier and more hooking. After an interlude, 6 is kinda cool and ritualistico-hypnotic with nice synths, while 7 is alright but a bit cheesy. The end of the track with the fat beat is kinda cool even though it's quite a convenue idea. 8's alright, 9 is nice, and 10 is the clearest jam here - the band seems really good at closing albums on super fun, whirly electronic-leaning tracks. This closer in and of itself bumps this a point or two to a final 3.65
Speaker Music Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry
For the most part this feels more like a stylistic/performative exercise of making tracks with distorted drum machines, fx and not much else, which I can appreciate and really didn't mind but also wouldn't really seek out as a piece of music to listen to again. There are also a couple tracks where the music is just a background for long voice samples, chiefly the opening track and 9. I find it better done on 9 where it doesn't disrupt the musical aspect at all which finds the message reinforced, whereas opening on one long sample like this feels a bit like a sequencing mistake - which doesn't say anything about the message per se of course. Where this record truly shines however is when it manages to mix the drummachinecore to other things. While tracks like 2 and 4 are cool sonic objects, 3 stands out between them by incorporating brass into a sort of glitch-jazz vibe. The tastefully dissonant piano on 6 is another example, and the album ends on a peak with the continuous 10 and 11 being a masterclass at using voice samples intelligently as textures and not just a centepeiece, with 11 bringing in the brass back in a great conclusion with amazing distorted sounds too. An album of tracks like these and the jazzy/piano based ones would easily be at least middle 4.0 tier if not more, but here they feel like they merely drag up by a point or two an album that feels like it spreads its ideas out far too much. 3.6
Spectral Voice Eroded Corridors of Unbeing
First of all, these guys have crazy good taste in artwork. Now this is deathened (?) doom with the occasional dm section. And these occasional bits are crazy good, pounding and hellish. The guitar tones are just so so deep, and the guttural voice is incredible. The band is at its best when it lays out massively reverberated walls of fat guitar tones and growl. These sections are sometimes followed by dark ambient which works really well in the context of the album. And in fact the record works least when they go riffy riff and play your generic doom really. 1 is great, but 2 already sticks to the same riff for too long. At 10:45 shows how the way they let walls of low ended reverb fill the space after each riff is so tasty. 3 has a great intro and a nice dark ambient outro but it doesn't unfold too well. 4 offers nice atmosphere, but 5 is definitely weaker (apart on the dm bits) and too much of that aforementioned generic doom style, bringing the album down definitely below the 4.0 bar into a (surprised I enjoyed a doom-ish album so much) 3.7
Spieglass Patience
I really dug the intro on this and the first two tracks in general. Gorgeous, multilayered ambient/post-rock based ambient, lovely and meditative stuff. Well done Josh D. This lost me a bit at track 3: the track's simpler nature, as essentially one long guitar piece fed through an fx chain felt a little more generic and far more like a dude jamming in his room you know, whereas the multi-texturality of the prior two pieces packed a lot more punch imo. Now I say this but track 5 does the same thing yet sounded a lot fuller than 3 so what do I know. Maybe 4 helped a little by going back to the pre-3 style, although it didn't quite get me back into the record and has hardly any conclusion to it. Now 6 did lose a couple points for me, as it ruptures a lot with the rest of the record in terms of mood with a much jollier, more orchestral sound that evoked pirate movies to me for some reason. And the transition into 7 reinforced this impression of lacking cohesiveness, although the track itself is pretty and boasts a lot of welcome layers with drums, and orchestral strings whose melody sounds a bit like Enrique's Te Amo (auditory hallucination probably). A more cohesive version of this with tracks flowing well into each other like 1-2 could easily get a 4.0 out of me, but for now this is a 3.65
Spieglass Genera
More Spieglass prettiness with sweet, sweet tones. My only complaint is that 3 builds up
really nicely adding loads of elements towards the end and then it just dies right away : (
7 also stands out from the rest by starting in a bit of a different style that evokes Fief,
to return past midtrack to piano-led prettiness for a sweet sweet finale. 3.6
Stars of the Lid The Ballasted Orchestra
For the most part this is just ok ambient/drone, with appreciable variety (vital for an 80min record), but nothing mindblowing. 1-2 are nice but not amazing dark ambient, 3 breaking those into much sweeter and softer ambient textures, resulting in 4 which isn't all that noteworthy really. 5 gets a bit interesting in the middle but mildly still. Feels a bit like a sleep piece from R Rich. 6 is to my recollection the first prequel in their discog of the sound they'll eventualyl display in the last two albums. A nice and peaceful track, like hearing the waves while falling asleep on the beach. 7 morphs the track (as its second part) into something similar to the album opener, which at this point feels a bit boring. The album closer is definitely the high point here, also prequelling their later sound, but this time done a lot better, and thence becomes the first real jam in their discog, bumping the album up a point. Overall this is mostly too long and not too interesting, but it has some sweet bits. 3.3
Stars of the Lid Avec Laudenum
Yeah I really don't think SoL discography is really all that good before the last two albums. This record is strongest when it evokes (or outright displays) their later sound, on 2 and 5 especially. The latter is really nice, and the first half of the former is probably the album's strongest point with delicate sweeping waves of ambient lushness - quite a jam. Unfortunately the second half of the track looses its focus a bit. This is crystallised in 3 which is the weakest track here. 4 might also be a jam but in a different way as it is very droney and not lush at all, quite Kner-esque. 1 is pretty bland SoL material that could have come from any of their prior efforts. This is vaguely starting to get nice but really it's mostly ok ambient and only reaches 3.5 territory because of 2 and 5's sounding exactly like they could be in their last two albums - in 1999 though, which is impressive. 3.3
Stars of the Lid The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid
I'm sorry, this has great material, but it really does not have the stature to last two hours. By the end of the first disk it already feels kinda long. It feels more like a sleep concert piece than an actual album, but even then it's not particularly amazing imo. The album does mark an evolution from their prior discog though, and you understand that from the first few seconds, but I just wish they didn't make it a slow mammoth like that. 4 is sweet, the run from 6-8 is lovely and 8 is a tasty sleepy jam. On the second disk 4 is kinda jammy and a strong, varied track, 8 is a peaceful jam, and 9 is basically just a drone but it's quite nice. The closer is incredibly soft and really makes it feel like the album is meant to be slept to. As for the rest of the tracks well they're ok, but generally failed to grab my attention. Condense this and it'd be in upper 4.0 range, but as is I can't give it more than a 3.4
State Faults Head in the Clouds
Nice screamo, but nothing that quite amazed me and I'm not really a fan of the vocals. They're not unpleasant but they're not my favorite. The clean vocals on the closer are annoying though. Nice instrumentations otherwise. 3.3
State Faults Desolate Peaks
Superb post-rocky screamo, but undermined by vocals that I seem to be mildly allergic to and prod somewhat lacking substance and low end. I paid a little less attention during the first half so can't point out the jams, but the record sure is full of them. Track 7 and 10 are jams with gorgeous melodies a bit a la Suis la Lune, and 9 is a nice example of the band's more brutal side. This makes me look forward to the rest of their discog, but its actual sound limits it to a 3.7
State Faults Moon Sign Gemini
The first two tracks are taken straight off Clairvoyant, and the last two as I understand were previously somewhat unreleased (at least not as part of an official "record" properly speaking). 4 is really cool and could well have been a top track on Clairvoyant. 3 seems out of context here, coming from a different era for the band, and displaying a style that I find a little closer to PBTT but with excessively harsh voice for the style perhaps. Breaks the cohesiveness of this EP of sorts a little bit. In a vacuum I'd say this is a very exciting little EP, but in the grand scheme of their discog I'm not sure I see its purpose - might as well have released track 4 as a Clairvoyant bonus track and taken a pass on 3. Still, this is short and worth a check. Not sure how to rate so we'll go for 3.6
Submotion Orchestra Colour Theory
I was expecting to be disappointed by this, but I wasn't. Yes it abandons a LOT of the
jazz/soul elements of their earlier records, emphasizing a whole lot more on electronica
sounds. This almost sounds like a Four Tet/ Culprate record at times, and at other times
like some festival house EP. But is that necessarily a bad thing? There are a lot of
tracks on there I thoroughly enjoyed (Red Dress, In Gold, a couple others) and none that
I really disliked. I might re-listen to this. 3.6
SUMAC Love In Shadow
Did not like this one nearly as much as WOB. It's interesting that they have pretty much the same avg rating because they felt very different. This one is quite erratic, and although individual sections are quite cool - I liked for instance the funeral doom-influenced heaviness of some riffs in track 1 - they are just arranged really oddly, even within tracks. Chaos and bizarreness can be interesting and amazing, but they weren't here here. The last track is the one exception, with a very coherent transition from noisy ambient to classic SUMAC material and a great track overall. Singlehandedly bumped this from a 3.4-3.5 to my final 3.7
Sundrugs Hidden Scenes
First half is great and probably around 3.8-9, but the record overextends a lot and the end is kind of a drag. The prod is weird at times, feels like a tape a bit with sound lacking fullness a bit. Takes a while to get used to but it some places it is nice. The record is a near continuous stream of reverberated lushness with very slight gritty textures now and then, only interrupted by an odd interlude on 4 and a fade out followed by a blank at the end of 7. The subtlety of the sound and ever so slight noisiness is fantastic and the main highlight of the record. 2 is a nice oceanic jam, and bar 4 the run from 1-6 would be a 4.0 range EP. Unfortunately the rest drags for way too long without variation, and feels a bit too fx-based drone with the sound lacking fullness. The subtle grittiness is lost, 7 falls flat and the album conclusion falls flat too again on a fadeout. This is feels like an immature album by a very talented artist I'm excited to look into further. 3.65
Sundrugs Endless Reverie
Boasts some nice tracks in a variety of ambient styles, but just a bit uneventful and lacking high points to pull it up. 1 is vocal based Ottbient that is extremely peaceful and sort of jammy, a nice track to introduce someone to ambient music. 2 is a nice post-rockbient intro, but fails because it builds up to nothing - it is inspiring though. 3 starts in tychocore and evolves into really nice kinda jammy ambient pads. 4 is very similar to 3, and 5 is the first weak track here, sounds ominous but boring and morphs into not much at all. It is nice to see that each track has a nice development to it and isn't just a loop or a pad repeated over three minutes. The second half has both stronger and weaker tracks, with 6 being much darker and more interesting, 7 being nice genericbient despite the bleep bloops early on in the track. 8 is dark ambient plus field recording, sadly the two layers feel completely discordant with each other and out of place. 9 is a nice disruption with very noisy field recording textures, but has a bit too much going on to be a top tier noise track. 10 is maybe the best track here with nice and eerie dark ambient quickly turning into deathprodesque drone sprinkled with Tim Hecker, very nice. The closer is nice in a vacuum with simple but nice droney stuff, but it doesn't work as an album conclusion, falling flat on a fade out. This is ok, but it's really not a grand album. 3.45
Svarte Greiner Penpals Forever
Quality drone, but not one for the history books. This one is much more bare bones than the previous album, consisting for the most part in a dark ambient texture and scarce random sounds that are rare enough to create an atmosphere without ruining it. Because it is simpler, this one is maybe less interesting than Knive, but it just succeeds better at what it does. It is very nicely done drone that I enjoyed listening to, but it's really never hooking, mesmerising or mindblowing and felt like a solid upper average 3.6 or something for most of it. 1 is a dark and intriguing album intro, a simple and jammy track that feels like it is just the right length. 2 is a bit softer and I like it but is even less marking, but the rain sample towards the end creates a nice build up. 3 is the soundtrack to dying in your sleep and brings the quality back up with a nice, slow descent in an increasingly low ended bass abyss of sounds. It hits more than track 2, not because there are more textures, but because they feel denser and richer, more nuanced, more evocative, more evolving and shifting. 4 continues this intensity into a nice buildup, bumping this temporarily to a nice 3.7, before coming back down. Track 5 (side B-3) really is the mistake here that brings the album down a severe notch. The track feels a flatter and in excess, it is mostly just wind and lacks the depth and richness of 3-4's textures. I wish the album had ended on the build up of 4 and not let a protracted downward curve let its energy go quietly. I do like the noise washout ending though, but that just was not the place to have it. 3.45
Svarte Greiner Man Bird Dress
Nice sound/noise collage over dark ambient, but the second track brings it down a fair bit. I usually don't dig this genre too muc, but 1 executes it very nicely. 2 not so much and feels like a drag. Thankfully 3 is nice especially at the end, and is quite shorter, so this still remains in 3.5 territory. But it's just nice, never mindblowingly good at any point, so 3.3
Svarte Greiner Twin
This is nice, ominous, textbook drone. For once he doesn't play with too many textures going all over the place, and as a result the record is very atmospheric and nicely consistent. It is simple, not hugely memorable, but well executed. 1 is a bit religious sounding which is cool, and decays out nicely at the end of the track. Could be an EP of its own really, and I was worried 2 would feel too long. But it is sufficiently different and grabbing for it to not be the case. The midtrack is especially nice. The second half does feel a bit less interesting and too long, but the actual conclusion is very nice and brings right back up to a textbook 3.5
Svarte Greiner Black Tie
The first track failed to have much of an impact on me. It starts off with distant, ominous percussive sounds and organic strings-based dark ambient. It gets more abrasive come min 4 and in other places, in the middle of the second half eg, and these bits are really cool. Unfortunately between them not much is happening and I didn't find the atmosphere very impactful at all - the way the track dies in just vaguely tense ambient with not much to it is a good example. Track 2 on the other hand is a fantastic, slowly rising dark ambient jam that is just nicely executed. Overall 3.45
Svarte Greiner Depardieu
I haven't quite followed the chronological order here but funnily enough this is one of the pieces enjoyed most in his whole discog. A two tracker made of sound collages of some random percussions, field recordings and noises that works surprisingly well for its style. 1 is very tasty and crispy with a lot of compressed noises. 2 works a bit less imo but continues in the same style, and I appreciate hydrophone textures always. I also really dug the very last few seconds that go quite noisy, so 3.4
Svarte Greiner Raggsokk
Again, he succeeds better in the shorter EPs. 1 reminds a lot of the vibes on Knife, which makes sense since this is a B side of it or whatever. The track is nice but I wish it were longer. It feels a bit pointless being this short. 2 is very similar but adds some weird La Monte Young-esque vocals that I really liked here, but again it feels a bit short. Quality wise this is great, but because it is 5 minutes long it's not much of an EP really. 3.5
Svarte Greiner Drunk, Road, Tree
One of the best instances of him executing his general style of minimalistic drone + a bit of gritty samples here and there. 1 is really just regular SG material but really works nicely and is sweetly aggressive. 2 is fantastic at crafting an oppressive and suffocative atmosphere, kinda jammy really. 3 is more deranged and noisy, it feels perhaps not as nice and a bit too messy but it's still cool. This feels like my favourite record in his discog and the only one I'm likely to come back to in its entirety. 3.5
sway (CA) Winter Heart
Track 1 got me really pumped and proves that he is able to make jams while shifting his style a bit. For here the vox are much more prominent and highly mixed, and the vibe is generally less ambient and more dream poppy. So yeah 1 is a jam, but after that the more distorted 2 and the erratic 3 feel like they really don't work as much. 2 has an awful electronica midtrack which just is not successful, don't know what happened there. 4 is fine but it is too short. In fact all three last tracks are too short, breaking the little atmosphere they managed to create. But given that 1 is a jam this still gets a 3.3
Taylor Swift 1989
I've heard my fair share of bad mainstream pop albums, and this clearly isn't one of them. I'd say it sits at the bottom, low growth potential end of my personal mainstream pop top tier at this point. It is very consistent with not a single bad track, consistent direction for the first time since her country days, and top notch production all around, but the real bangers are also relatively scarce. Namely 3, the guilty pleasure super famous 6, and 10 are super fun tracks. The album doesn't feel like it truly starts before 3 actually. 1 is okay but really not that catchy for summer teen pop (perhaps because it is quite slow). 2 improves with catchier delivery, sweet nostalgia vibes, and just being funny, but doesn't yet feel like a banger. 4 is not bad but not great, then 5 is catchier again. Even the less dancy songs have cool sounds or good melodies here and there, and again none or bad - see 7 or 9. Some of the vocal deliveries are impressive, like on 8, and the album manages to make me not mind a ballad on 11 thanks to synth background, prod etc. The sequencing is smart, putting the ballad right after a catchy peak and not following up with another emotional song but rather with the nice sappy 12. The closing track feels a bit flat compared to 2-12, it's neither catchy nor vibey, which is a bit of a shame, but it doesn't prevent 1989 from being one of the most consistent mainstream pop records I've heard. 3.5
The Brwry The BRWRY LP
Nice sput made idk, blackened crust punk? Very solid comps with lots and lots of dynamics. Prod is mostly good but has issues in places which breaks the deal a bit for me. Vocals are not my style quite but it's not a matter of technique - just taste. Lots of jammy sections. Great variety of influences with bits of black metal, deathcore somewhat, stuff like that. I had fun spinning this! 3.45
The Crinn Shadowbreather
Great instrumentals - albeit with some wanker solo bits - ruined by a constant barrage of bad vocals. They never stop and are just generic metalcore. If you look at bands like Death, Converge, TDEP etc, the vocals are impactful because of the voice but also because they pause, have dynamics etc. They don't just scream constantly, whereas here at least twice per song the singer(s?) go AAAAAAAAAAA and absolutely never shut up. Opener is a great jam though, and the second track has some tasty sludgey riffs too. 3.3
The Day Midnight Parade
Again an excellent start of the album, but they seem to struggle to keep the interest up for the whole length. 6 and 7 display a light, jolly kind of instrumentation which could be nice, but the tracks just feel like they mass remarkably despite 7's sweet guitars and choruses here and there. 9 is a sweet but long ambienty track that didn't really mark me much at all, and pretty much every other track in the album's second half is either an interlude or not super grasping. But the first half is fantastic. 1 is super pretty (could have used being a linute or two shorter though), 2 is nice generic dream pop for the road etc, 3 is a bit synth poppier and is quite fun. 4's an itnerlude, and 5 shows that this is definitely poppier and synthier than their debut, and is quite a sweet fun jam (nice bass, nice catchy chorus, sweet textures). 3.7
The Day Strangers With Familiar Faces
Post-rock infused indie pop which starts incredibly pretty but goes more generic along the way. 1 is lovely, and 2 is a stellar jam with a gorgeous emotional track. After that, 3-6 pack nowhere near the same punch, going back to more conventional emotional pop songs, to a point where 6 is a simple acoustic guitar ballad. But man 2 is beautiful. 3.6
The Day Soon I Will Forget
Bit of a disappoint imo, and bizarrely my main gripe is the vocals. While they were generally a super strong point on the past records, here they feel somehow unconvinced? Less motivated/confident? Idk what it is but it feels like the singer isn't as much into the music as she was before, and by automatic mimetism so am I. It's a shame because the instrumentals are generally really well done. 1 has a super cool intro that unfolds into the eh vocals and prefaces what's to come. 2 makes a sort of post-rocky pop song, while 3 starts off really catchy with some 80's-ish drums and grooves, before the tired singer comes along to reduce the energy level. The last third is quite cool and catchy though, leading into the again post-rocky 4 which aGAIN is tamed down by the vocals. I can't remember the originals well enough to compare the two versions, so this soundoff is awfully ill-informed, but hey if you mind just write one and make sputnik a more active place pls. 3.3
The Dillinger Escape Plan Under the Running Board
This is super cool and announces the monumental Calculating Infinity. Must have been
considered an extremely promising EP at the time. It is very short though, which does not
leave it enough time for buildups or changes of tone, and feels a little bit random - but
not in a good way. Still very solid songs when looking for the earlier TDEP sound. 3.7
The Dillinger Escape Plan & Nora NJ
There isn't much of a reason to jam this beside to complete a discog, but it is still a good, fun and short listen so why don't you check it out. As expected, TDEP's track is the best here, but Nora's effort holds its own and they have great sections. Just a nice thing to listen to when you have a spare ten minutes. 3.5
The Fahrenheit Drill Ugly
Exciting sputmade mathcore/metalcore stuff. The spastic, chaotic songwriting makes the thing super fun, and while the prod could be a little bit better it's quite impressive for a little two tracker like this, nicely complementing the band's somewhat deranged sound. I tend to prefer the harshest bits honestly but this is cool and I'll be checking their future output. Well done guys! 3.5
The Haxan Cloak The Men Parted The Sea To Devour The Water
Man I thought this was going to be great, but the middle part really let me down. The intro is gorgeous, vocal ambient drone that very slowly builds up until a nice drum patterns kicks in at a surprise. That first part belongs in 4.0 territory really. The album outro, a lush, reverb-drenched synthy descent is absolutely superb too and could well make it to that level as well - although the very finale was really not the place to have that noisy texture there. The middle of the album however, from the moment the choral drone starts being sidechained to the drums right until that synthy outro is really disappointing Haxan Cloak material, not unlike his first LP, that just really brings the record down a solid bunch. I'll re-listen to parts of this, but it only reaches an overall 3.5
The Infinity Project Feeling Weird
Strong traits, but falls off in execution, though I'll come back to some tracks for sure. This offers a different style of psytrance compared to Hallucinogen. It is more bare bones and closer to techno with repeated motifs and fewer bells and whistles around them. Tbh when it is successful I dig it a lot. Idk if it is my version but the first track and a half have a pretty awful treble-heavy mix which kinda breaks the deal for me in what are otherwise nice psytrance tracks. It suddenly resolves for the second half of 2 which immediately feels super cool and jammy. 3 has an atmo intro that doesn't unfold too well until the atmo synths come back at 2:20. It's a track with some good bits but also some sounds that remind of crash bandicoot. 4-5 are really cool and the prod issues are long gone. The album really peaks in its middle with 6 being super cool too despite running a bit out of steam in the last third, and 7, my fave here and a fat jam, raising this to a 3.8. 8 continues and is great too, with the reprise at 2:45 being nice and fat, but the last third of the track is a bit awkward and announces the album starting to struggle again. The intro to 9 is a bit awkward but is quite fun with its acid techno sounds. The midtrack vocals did not age well at all, and the end track doesn't quite work. Then comes 10, which is a dub track with a protracted intro that feels entirely disjointed from the rest. It is a remix of a prior track so idk if I should really count it, but it feels so utterly pointless without appearing to be a bonus track or anything that I have to sadly drop this a point because of it to a 3.7
The Jesus and Mary Chain Darklands
Nice post-punky vaguely shoegazy alt rock stuff. Impressive for 1987. I didn't dig the more atmospheric, slow paced tracks as much - although the closer is very nice -, and all my favourite are the more upbeat and catchy ones, namely 3,6, and 8 mainly. Very nice. 3.7
The Jezabels The Brink
With 1-2 I was confused as to why this has such a lower rating. They are both sublime
Jezabels jams. After that though, the record seems to loose its focus, hesitantly various
directions and not quite succeeding. The record has a more pop direction overall which I
enjoy. They go on 80's pop in places, definitely use more synths, and loose the post-rock
grandeur of their past material. It has a couple sublime bridges and bits n pieces but
overall the bulk of the album is pretty bland. The last two tracks pick it up though, but
nowhere near the level of 1-2. Can't say anything more precise bcs I deleted my notes like
an idiot, but this is definitely the first dip in quality in their discog. 3.7
The Jezabels Synthia
Yeah this one didn't click too much either. Again much poppier, with as the same suggests lots of synth pop bits. 1 has a lovely album intro but the bulk of the track feels a bit lackluster. 2 also has a cool intro and is a stronger track overall, with better integrated vocals and touches of baroque. 3 is also good and shows post-rocky touches, showing how diverse the album gets. 4's full on synth pop but I find the vocals don't really match it and the track is kinda eh. 5-6 are the album peak, two gorgeous tracks, and the latter taking a darker turn and showing the best instance of the synth pop turn the band took whilst retaining scarce post-rock touches. 7 has a cool bass but feels amateur for most of it, like a first act you'd see at a gig, and 8-9 kinda lost me tbh. 10 is a sweet ballad (which normally I wouldn't like so that's an achievement), but it is overstretched a little bit and feels excessively lengthy. Overall this is a good album, but it's not consistently living to the potential of 'synth pop Jezabels'. 3.6
The Jezabels The Man Is Dead
Nice dream pop/art pop that's quite nostalgic/National-esque at times.. Amazing that this was their debut given how nicely produced it is and how compositionally creative it can get. Impressively mature. 2-4 are a bit too art pop for me, they're not quite my cuppa, but I respect them, they're good tracks. The end of 3 is really nice. 5 is a jam, nice drumming and all, and 1 is not far behind it - don't know if it is a happy song or a sad song and I like that. 3.6
The Stargazer's Assistant Resurgam I, Resurgam II
By far their darkest, droniest, eeriest, and most consistent album so far, because it doesn't loose itself in too many instruments and textures. Instead, the atmosphere flows and evolves slowly, allowing the listener to follow along instead of feeling lost in randomness. In fact this album gave me strong Svarte Greiner vibes. Now this isn't fantastic either, as it feels quite flat, and albeit nicely cinematic it also feels like it drags on for a touch too long. But I was not going to follow these guys' output on the basis of their first three records; now maybe I will. 3.35
TLRVT Classic Waffle
Cute instumental rock with mathy touches and pretty post-rocky guitars. Nothing overwhelmingly good but it's a fun short listen and 2 is above the rest. https://tlrvt.bandcamp.com/album/classic-waffle 3.3
Toby Driver In the L..L..Library Loft
A really odd album. Toby Driver whining on some experimental-ish ambient-ish rock. Really liked the first track, tracks 2-3 are really forgettable, track 4 was ok. Meh - better jam some Kayo Dot, or another album of his. 3.4
Touche Amore Is Survived By
Your classic TA album. Also one of their weakest. It sounds a bit like they were not sure which direction to go with this, drumming-wise especially. The first track is just weird, and the album end (past track 8 one of the high points) is full of good ideas but does not execute them quite right. Still a great jam that I'll probably re-listen to. 3.7
Trespassers William Having
By far their best imo. They mostly (but far from completely) abandon the boringpop ballad style, and when the vocals agree to fit the style they work best. You end up with very nice, lush, post-rocky stuff with vocals that sounds great. 4-6 are in that style, followed by a ballad track but that works here because it brings variation instead of the whole album being like that. 8 continues that for a touch too long but then become a really nice track with beautiful desperation in the second half of the track, and the song displays the two sides of the coin I'm talking about here. Unfortunately the album end reverts back to their style I don't dig much for 9, 10, and the first half of the long closer, bringing the LP down a couple points for sure. The second half of 11 is full on ambient without vocals and it is very nice. I wish they had done the same for 2, where the intro sounds like a knob demo and is instrumentally very nice, but where I wish the vox weren't there. Still a nice track. 1 is one of their best, with lovely intro textures and nice processing of vocals which gives them some flavour. 3 is a typical track that should have no vox because they clearly are out of place. All in all I'm still not a fan of the band, but this is a much stronger album. 3.6
True Widow As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center
Stoner rock + shoegaze = double stoner. Great record to blaze with friends in a campervan in the desert somewhere. Not revolutionary but good rock songs to chill to. 3.7
Two People First Body
Good dream poppy melancholic album. The opener is an absolute jam and the first half of the record had me hooked, but the second half really drops in quality and I was frankly bored come the album closer. First half alone makes it worth a spin though. 3.6
uchu nekoko Summer Sunny Blue
Honestly this little record is not at all what I expected after the first EP, but it is great fun and it'll make it to my library. This one is far funkier and less dreamy. 1 starts off with fun bass despite odd mixing in places, fun brass too, making for a really sweet and funky song. 2 is cute city pop sorta stuff. 3 is the dreamiest of all with its acoustic guitars, somewhat more of what I was expecting after the first EP but still with a very different sound. Finally 4 is city pop too on the lignt and jolly side of things. Despite all four songs having quite different vibes the EP flows very nicely, what's more to ask? 3.6
uchu nekoko Kimi No Youni Ikiretara
More in line with what I was expecting from the first EP - I don't know what the story behind that second EP is but I am happy it happened in between these two dream pop/gaze ventures. 1 starts off on a nice but just nice distorted track. The distortion won't come back before 5, but that's fine because I tend to much prefer their softer tracks. 2 is indeed really sweet, soft and cuddly, and 3 even more so, making it a seaside afternoon jam. Really lovely. 4 is still soft but with a much darker and sadder vibe. It's fine and I appreciate the venture but 3 left me wishing for more s o f t n e s s. 6 is yet another nice soft song, but 7 is a bit of a letdown with a pretty boring piano ballad over vinyl crackle samples. Drops this half a point maybe to a uugh idk 3.3
Ulcerate The Coming of Genocide
Dense, brutal, technical, and full of ideas : I am incredibly pumped considering this is only their debut EP (2003 demo notwithstanding) and widely regarded as inferior to their ulterior discog, yet still felt fantastic and fun. I don't like everything, especially some vox here and there, but the riffs and melodies change so much and so fast that it never becomes a true issue. And this only rarely occurs anyway. 3.6
Ulcerate The Destroyers of All
Felt a tad weaker and more generic than its predecessor. Drums are a big part of that - I
don't know if it is from the way they're composed, the way they're mixed, or both, but
where drums on EiF felt technical, subtle, and a fantastic framework for the rest of the
instruments, here they just feel like a wall of blast beats after the other, which again
feels more generic and is just less interesting to me. The snare in particular is quite
high, which may affect this phenomenon, which the conclusion of 3 is symptomatic of. Now
this is is still quality, brutal death metal, but except in a few places (the start of 3 is
the first time the album evokes EiF, and the midtrack of 6 is another holy fk moment), it
has nowhere near the wow factor EiF had. Might be a slightly excessively low rating, but
this felt like a 3.7
Ulcerate Vermis
This felt ever so slightly superior to the prior LP because it does have some great Ulcerate moments, but I also do not think it belongs in 4.0 tier so my rating has to be the same. I do second dedex's soundoff on the prior LP in saying that this sometimes evokes Deathspell Omega's evil, massive, ominous vibes but in dm form. After an alright doomey intro on which the prod doesn't sound too great - which is a bit odd for a third LP -, 2 got me hyped up and is one of the most solid tracks here despite deathcorey vocals that I don't dig too much. The perfect example of the cinematic, evil version of Ulcerate I mentioned. Sadly 3 (despite some cool sections) and a lot of the tracks thereafter either feel like they suffer from the same flows as the prior LP, or are kinda interludey and not really memorable - 4 feels like a super long interlude imo, and 6 is one but at least is an appropriate length for it. Because the fat tracks aren't all that fat, I didn't feel like I needed the rest provided by those tracks. 5 starts not too great but evokes track 2 a lot after that and is solid, and same goes for 7. 8 has cool bits but again those boring spam drums kinda break it, although the conclusion is dope. But these good beats are far too few and too spread apart, and with a closer like 9 I was convinced this is just a 3.7
Ulthar Cosmovore
Checked this out solely based on the awesome album art, but it was good. Great ideas with a cool mix of death, black metal, and some scarce psychedelic elements, but I found them poorly executed. The transitions are not seamless to say the least - you can see them thinking 'and now let's do a super bm-ey section' instead of having an organic transition. First two tracks are best with some good riffage, after that I kinda lost interest but still was a nice listen. 3.3
Vali Forlatt
This is nice neofolk, with strings (cello?) and sparse use of flutes that give it a nice 70's prog rock touch at times. It does have some great sections that charmed me more than these instrumental acoustic guitar neofolk albums usually do, but a lot of the album felt pretty bland too. Amusingly I got some hispanic/cuban vibes from some of the tracks including the opener. 3.5
Ved Buens Ende Those who Caress the Pale
Nice record that sits between a demo and an EP in terms of quality. Black metal background with different vocals and lots of prog touches. Props for having a nicely audible bass. Fave track is 5 by far - the proggiest and main instrumental one, a solid jam. Some of the clean vocals sound odd but they are varied and not overwhelming so it is fine. Looking forward to the LP. 3.4
VIM Waiting
This one emphasises more on lush, dreamy ambiences, and makes less catchy songs. While this works for some bands, here I find that their relatively simple compositional style was better suited to the style of their first EP. 2 is in this vein and is one of the strongest tracks. For the rest, the tracks feel all nice but just a bit flat you know? 3 is a clear example of that. This is with the exception of the last track, which makes this dreamier style work much better by adding darker flavours to the music. It overextends a little bit, but I'd say it is the other strong track on the EP. 3.6
Viva Belgrado Demo 2012
Really cool demo. Sadly the last two tracks bring it down a notch, and I am not a huge fan of the clean emo vocals in Spanish. The harsh vocals I quite liked. Post-rocky screamo, nothing super new but nicely down with simple and efficient melodies. Track 1-3 are jams of decreasing jamminess - 3 being just nice post rock. Looking forward to their full discog. 3.6
Viva Belgrado El Invierno
Solid EP too. With this one they sound like Spanish Envy. Harsh vocals have improved and the meh clean vocals are practically gone. The bookends are both jams, especially track 1. The other tracks drop significantly in quality especially track 3 which has a few blurps and relatively poor sections in it. Still a solip EP that packs a punch despite relatively simple riffage at times. 3.7
Viva Belgrado Bellavista
A weird one that boasts good ideas and a change of direction that I appreciate, but shaky execution in places and a lot of formulaic stuff as well. Generally speaking they softened their sound quite a bit, and while the skramz isn't all gone it certainly is quite scarce, with only sparse harsh singing. The formula on this opus involves prominent, upbeat and fun drums, relatively light and simple instrumentals, and weird La Disputey vocals sung in Spanish that rarely feel like they fit the otherwise cool instrumentals. They sometimes use fun voice effects (2 for instance) that change it up a bit, but that's essentially it. 4 is an actual pop song, chill but not mind-blowing, demonstrating that they went much softer here. In contrast 5 goes back to skramz, and while simple the transition works well - but the track conclusion feels amateur. 6 executes the general album style well, and the last third is just alt rock basically. 7 shows how out of place the vox can be. 9 sounds like the sort of music I jammed end of high school and honestly it's quite cool, even the weird break at min 2, but the finale is way too post-rocky generic. 10 and 11 bump this up a point, 10 offering a midtrack break that I love although it was a weird place to start screaming again, and 11 just offering a grand album closer which finally changes up the vox, bumping the record a point. The sort of album I might revisit the high points of for inspiration, but that won't stay in my library really. 3.5
Voidspawn Pyrrhic
A really exciting, well produced dm demo that borders on funeral doom in places. While I'm not usually much of a doom guy, with that tone and those fantastic guttural vox they truly make them work. They remind of a baby Ulcerate in some places especially 1-2 with some relatively dissonant guitar work, while some excellent riffs on 3 evokes the atmospheric riffs of Blood Incantation - good names to have on a dm soundoff hey. Sure it is very short and has some clumsier sections - the intros to 1 or 3 feel a bit cliche -, but if they release anything new in the coming years I will get my hands on it asap because they sure have the talent to produce something truly great. 3.65
Wax Doctor The Spectrum / The Step
Heard the 2015 remaster, which makes this sound really crispy and sweet - not sure what the original is like. First track is really cool old school jungle/dnb with solid atmosphere and lots of variations. Excellent 3.9-4.0 track really. Second track is a bit weaker and more bare bones, focused on the drums and not much else, and while it works well it certainly isn't as compelling as the first track, bring this down a couple points. 3.7
Why Bonnie Nightgown
Lovely EP that shows a lot of promise. The breadth of genres displayed on such a short 5-tracker is impressive, and they're all well executed. The opener is a lovely sad kinda dreamy indie rock track, 2 is a super catchy dream pop track (much catchier than anything from their first EP), 3 is their most shoegazy track yet and is nicely peaceful, 4 takes an unexpected electronica turn that I love especially the processing of vox, and 5 is a cool sad album closer that sounds like it comes from an old magnetic tape that has seen a few too many winters. Lovely and I'll be watching their future output. 3.65
Windows Lost For Love
Really good little house EP but that fails in the last track. The first two are super fun and bouncy, and would have earned around a 3.75 probably. But the last track slows it down, takes away a bit of the fun for a different atmosphere, and I don't think it really works especially on a track this long. Were it three or four minutes it'd be a different story, but here this brings the EP down. 3.6
Windows Life Knocked Me
The highs are less high, but the lows are less low. I don't count the two remixes here. First track is the strongest with its nice house vibes over an interesting beat, yielding something Tycho would have liked to make. The early second track slows things down a bit and dips in energy at an imo inappropriate time. But at 3:30 it transitions very nicely into a different vibe entirely, very elegant and aerial, and I dug that a bunch too. 3.6
Winterfylleth The Threnody of Triumph
This is a good black metal album with lots of variations and nuances in atmospheres. The beginning in particular has more of an epic battle feeling than most modern BM records, although the feeling of winter, cold and bleak winds is still very much present. There are some really good ideas and elements with some folk instrumentations, a touch of male choir, etc. However the album is long and loses some of its energy and freshness along the way. An overall great but far from perfect record. 3.7
worms as blind as dirt worms as blind as dirt (2)
More cascading fragments goodness. 1 is a lovely jam made out of harsh noise muffled to an extensive degree, making it almost sound like a wind field recording before it dies out nicely into a wash of white noise. 2 is much more abrasive and I like that, but I feel like it doesn't work as well as the harsh noise tracks on the first s/t. Oh btw this is a second s/t album, the (2) is just there because sputnik wouldn't let me upload two albums with the same name 3.45
Wormsblood The Grave Hill
I really like their raw, depressed bm style especially instrumentally, but some of the flaws that don't impact shorter releases so much are felt here. I mean this isn't very long, but still longer than Bounds Beaten. Things like the funnily excessively echoed vocals which only occur once or twice in BB (lel) are quite detrimental here as they are repeated. While after the anecdotal intro track 2 is fantastic and gut wrenching despite the funny echoes, and frankly a solid raw bm jam. 3 offers a nice rest from the intensity, but thereafter the record drops in quality as 4 and 5 feature some funny sounding vox (although instrumentally the band is solid as hell), while 6 feels like it prolongs things unnecessarily. Do jam 1-3 though it's dope and justifies this staying in my library eventually. 3.4
Y La Bamba Entre Los Dos
This isn't mind blowing, but it is short, sweet, and interesting, and people shouldn't sleep on it. 1 is a lovely, weird bouncy jam, quite unique and mixes sort of mariachi vintage and modern dreamy pop. 2 is also really nice, also weird, more on the folk side of things. Not quite a jam though. 3 is a bit less nice but at least offers interesting vox - that I'm not quite a fan of. 4 is a relatively forgettable Hispanic (don't know her exact origin so won't call out a specific country) folk, but it's short so fine. 5 is the second jam of the album, super bouncy and weird. 6 and 7 are a bit annoying. 7 less so but ending the album on a fade out is bad taste. Overall a fun record with jams I'll come back to. 3.45
Y La Bamba Mariposa De Coalcomán
First track feels like a nice intro to their psychedelic hispanic indie folk sound. 2 cranks the pysch up a fair bit with a more destructed and drugged sound, I wasn't a fan of the first half but the second half was fairly nice. 3.4
Yeule Yeule
Dream pop vocals over weirdtronica. Quite nicely done and exciting start to her discog, but in a vacuum not an incredibly strong EP or anything. 1-2 are cool, 5 is the weakest. 3.3
Yeule pathos
Extremely pretty electronic softness that often reminds of a better version of Tycho (especially on the closer) and features a tonne of echoes and delays of a myriad of pretty little sounds highlighted by a sweet prod. Best example of that prod is on 4 with those sweet crispy plucked noises. 1 is a sweet fairy intro to the album and reflects its tone pretty well, and both 3 and the closer are lovely as well. 2 convinced me perhaps a touch less because it strays a little away from the overall feel of warmth and lushness the EP has to offer. Very sweet, man this is going to be a good discog. 3.65
Yndi Halda Under Summer
Even though I 5'd EEB I don't dislike the different direction these guys took. 'Helena' (especially the intro) and the opening track sound great. Track 2 and 4 not so much though, pretty forgettable. Overall this style fits them well too and the shift is not too stark, but this just does not match the quality of EEB. Seeing songs from the two albums live is night and day. They can do better. 3.7
Yola Orphan Offering
I'm quite surprised that I didn't mind this at all and actually rather enjoyed it, given this is a genre I usually don't dig for one bit. Her voice does a lot but it's really not the sole reason. I'm also absolutely baffled that she is English because this is one of the most American-sounding records I've heard, really living up to the 'americana' name (country sprinkled with soul). I mean seriously, can it get more American than track two on this? The turn at min 3 on the intro track is quite cool, before that I was worried this would be far too generic despite the great singing. The only fault is the closing track, which gets quite annoying rather quickly and is also one of the longest songs sadly. Dropped this a point or two on its own really. Still props for an enjoyable record. 3.35
Yukari Echo
Super dreamy electronica with some fun glitchiness to it here and there. I enjoyed the style on display here and hope she releases more eventually? I never found this to be quite 4.0+ worthy, but it's quite consistent in quality. 1-2 are very nice but 3 gets a bit much by the end with the synths and some of the vocal notes - nothing too bad though. 4 is a fun track and perhaps one of the best here, a super chill soundtrack really. 5 is nice too, but I wasn't a huge fan of 6, and the remix on 7 while alright in itself felt like it was prolonging the record for no reason. This not too great conclusion brings the album down a point or so, to a mild 3.65
Zach Bryan DeAnn
Honestly given I am not a country dude for one bit this was a nice surprise. This is country that very much feels like folk due its stripped down instrumentation, essentially just him and a guitar, and also due to the atmosphere not being jolly yee haw let's ride our cows but rather sappy and melancholic. With the grey skies and the rain outside this was very nicely fitting to the mood. 1-2 are good,3 was a bit of a letdown being too repetitive, 4 is better, 5 shows that I like it less when he goes less subdued but the track improves by the midtrack, and after that I didn't really take track by track notes because this is all a bit of the same honestly so who cares. I'll give it one bonus point for surprising me because I really wasn't expecting to enjoy this record all too much. 3.7
Zake zakè (扎克)
Another great garasfind. Four great drone pieces that feel very relaxing and certainly have
a mood to them. 1-2 remind of a less filed-recording based Gallery Six. The prod is a bit
off on 1 I feel like, with some frequency bands feeling overrepresented in the mix, but
it's nothing too bad and the track is still great and peaceful with a lovely texture. 2
adds in some light bird recordings which are light enough to not be gimmicky but still add
a lot to the piece. 3 is much darker than the other two (and the next track), it is broody
and noisier, very nice. It might be the bandcamp version, but there then is a long silent
gap which I find really broke the atmosphere for me. Not really sure why it is there. 4
comes in with a very long fade in that made me adjust volume a bit to much, and feels a bit
flat and unidimensional at first even though the one texture is very nice. Distorted
textures slowly come in and progressively add great grittiness, which adds great variety to
the track. The end is superb, I just wish it too less long to get there! 3.7
Zake Orchestral Tape Studies
Four ambient pieces that flow quite well with one another. 1 is a bit noisier than the
rest, and while I usually enjoy that, here once it transitions into the cleaner, pristine 2
it immediately feels like an improvement. 2 is really sweet and peaceful, a stripped down
version of AWFTS in a way. 3 is more of the same but between 1 and 2 in terms of impact. 4
is a bit different, with very emotional strings and very sad vibes compared to the zen that
came before it. Evokes those sad post-rock violins but without the post-rock. Truly
gorgeous as a soundtrack to a loved one leaving or dying or something. Unfortunately I wish
the field recordings were better used; while in the bulk of the piece they're nice and add
texture, in the intro and outro they feel misplaced. Still a sweet 3.65

3.0 good
21 Savage Savage Mode
Far better instrumentally and vocally than an of his prior work, yet still feels like it struggles to hit home. 21's delivery is very lazy and laid back, which works for some tracks but is a bit tiresome and flat over the long run. When he does get more intense it works really well, like on the jammy 2's first half, but he hardly ever builds up in intensity. The use of autotune on 9 freshens things up nicely resulting in a chill trap track, but it's a bit too little too late since the track closes the (intelligently short) tape. From the very opener you see that the gimmicks (pew pew skrrt skrrt etc) are still there but in far smaller quantities which is great to see, and that the instrumentals will rbe nice, broody and nocturnal. 3 is the last peak track here, with Future's sporadic but much welcome contribution and a generally intimate atmosphere that you wouldn't expect from a dude with 21's persona. 4 has great instrumental but makes you wish 21 would whine less. 5 just passes, and 6 has a really cool intro. 7 is the hardest hitting track in that half of the record and is quite cool although the repetitive midtrack is annoying. 8 has a nice subdued instrumental but feels a bit contrived. Even though this is a lot better it doesn't feel strong enough to be in 3.5 tier, because besides No Heart it mostly makes me want to check Future's discog and not 21's. 3.2
A Sunny Day in Glasgow Autumn, Again
This one is a much more straightforward listen. It is shorter, the mix of genres is much simpler and most songs are dream pop, even the vox feel less processed and distantly reverberated. It also left often feels like one continuous stream and more like a compilation of separate, relatively generic songs. The goal is clearly to make you tap ya foot - the art says 'pop songs' quite fittingly' - and ventures less into psychedelia. This works on some songs, but not enough of them are jammy to compensate for the lost of the sheer 'interesting' factor. From 2 already you can tell this is a more straightforward album. 4 sounds like dream pop heard from a distance but is weak wth sounds way too aggressive for the record. 5 feels a bit like Porches with that weirdness that doesn't flow right and similar vox. The second half is much stronger, with 6 instantly claiming itself a poppier fun song even before the drums kick in, and when they do boy is it a jam. 7 feels Depeche Mode infuse and again shows the increased immediacy of this LP, 9 is a catchy song again albeit not as jammy as 6, but 11 often less energic a conclusion than this deserved. Overall a good effort but they did not quite manage the change of direction on all the tracks. 3.1
A Sunny Day in Glasgow Planning Weed Like It’s Acid / Life is Loss
As always with this band this is a fluctuating blend of various different genres and influences, but here the mix rarely works. 1 is interesting being constructed as a properly pop track with a semi anthemic chorus and all whilst remaining quite noisy, 3 is nicely weird starting off as dissonant rock and going off a tangent with a wall of organs etc, worth a check, 4 is nicely dreamingly psychedelic and 5 is the peak of the EP with a lovely dreamy jam with incredible surf vibes that makes you want to light it up. So this might stay in my library just for that, but after that 6 is meh, 7 is actually annoying, 8 starts off quite meh but takes a cool electronica turn around the 2:30 mark, and 9 is only relatively nice noise pop. Oh and 2 was weak too. So overall 2.75
A Swarm of the Sun Zenith
This is better than Zenith - which is surprising because it came beforehand. It is also a pretty generic post-rock release. The first half is a lot more interesting and diverse, whilst the second half really drops dramatically in quality and becomes frankly dull. I feared the end of 'I Fear the End' would never come. Still, this album has quite a few ok moments and some that are actually good. 3.2
Alex Cameron Forced Witness
While I can see the appeal, this has an aesthetic I struggle to resonate with, except on a few select funkier, more upbeat tracks. Cameron walks the line between quirky fun and absolute corn quite shakily, and as far as I am concerned it is more frequently on the latter side than the former - but I also understand how it would be the contrary for others. Anyhoo this is undeniably far far superior to his debut, and you can tell from the first few seconds. This has more variation, more in-track evolution, more sounds and more colour. Because of that and of the surprise brass addition, 1's a fun track. 2 is also helped with the fun sax and is fine too. 3's one of my digs as a fun 80s song. But 4 and its duet I struggle to take seriously, probs my least fave track here. 5's the same but a bit better, but 6 and 9 (nice) are no-nos. 7's at least funkier and alright, and 8 is ok too and quite fun. 10 is perhaps my one other real dig, it works quite well. But other than that this isn't really my cuppa, don't @me dedex 2.8
Alex Cameron Miami Memory
Yeah this guy's style isn't my cuppa. Kind of the same thing I found with FW: to me it sounds goofy, and when it is a fun upbeat track that kinda works, but if not it doesn't work. Feels like music that requires checking the lyrics for appreciation, which isn't my jam. Even the fun tracks feel kinda shy and tame, always remaining at slow tempos, never quite exploding. Quite a few times (1,2,5) I feel like the late additions at min 3-4 are really cool but should have started one minute in. I do prefer this one to FW as I mildly enjoyed most tracks. 2 and its darker industrial vibe but spoiled by singing that doesn't fit at all, 3 and its funky intro but very tame unfolding, 4 which is kinda like FW but still has trouble with some questionable deliveries, 5 where the drums make the song at least ok and upbeat-ish, transitioning well into the ok 6. 7 is a highlight, like 5 but actually starting up, you know, from the start, with rich instrumentation, and proving that I do dig this one more than LP. Best track here? Maybe, still has a slow, tame quality to it though. 8-9 is more of the same but by 9 his delivery started to get to my nerves ngl. Was going to 3.0 this, but them 10 is properly awful, like 1 reminiscent of his first LP. Summarises a lot of what I dislike here. I have to say though there is a really well crafted and thought out album conclusion here, which means 10 only brings it down a half point. 2.95
Anacrusis Reason
This makes me hopeful for the rest of their discog. The annoying squeals and stupid vocals are generally far more scarce (except on track 1 which is just godawful), and there were tracks that genuinely caught my ear (3, 5-7's first half). This is good thrash but just with too many bad elements and too annoying an opener to be a favourite of mine. If I really like their next albums I might re-listen to this to give it a fair chance, but for now it's a 3.1
Anacrusis Manic Impressions
This one feels superior to Reason only owing to the last four tracks. The rest was honestly a disappoint, and did not feel to me like an improvement over Reason - almost less good actually. The 'progressive' elements don't really make the music any better for me - quite the opposite. Even when nice thrash riffing does pop up, it's always ruined by wankery guitars or annoying squeals, an example being 3. Honestly by track 6 I was going to rate this sub 3. Track 7 and the first half of 8 are however quite nice, and show signs of the massive improvement 9 and 10 will be (bar a few questionable vocals on 10), those two being the first Anacrusis track I genuinely kinda liked, especially 10. Not quite jams though. The very closing of the album is kinda weird. 3.2
Arias Estrellas de Madera
Ok math-rock with lots of electronica sounds in it, but not much more. The electronic sounds are a touch original but are not often well utilized, for instance in track 4 where they don't really work. Tracks 1-3 are nice and 8 is a jam at least in part. 6 is not too great but is kinda interesting with a middle section sounding like a mix of math-rock and downtempo vaguely abstract hip hop stuff. Overall an ok album that I will not remember all that much. 2.9
Armistice Armistice
The 5.0 review and mariachi-esque instrumental on track 1 got me excited about this, on top of Beatrice Martin's voice. But in the end the godawful naive 'gnangnan' feel this album oozes completely overshadows its qualities. The duo vocal style is particularly cheesy. The instrumentals remain quite interesting through the EP though which still makes this worth a spin. 3.0
Ataraxie Slow Transcending Agony
Great vocals, but I really was not convinced by the instrumentals. Granted funeral doom isn't particularly my thing, but this felt gimmicky and simplistic in a lot of places - although there were a few tasty riffs here and there. Not much I'll remember except DUUUUM DUUUUM BADUUUM UUUUUURHHHH. Meh, 3.0
Banks Goddess
This just barely makes it to 3.0 range because it stays consistently ok despite a relatively long runtime. The only true jam is Waiting Game, but some other tracks (7,8,10) are kinda fun and jammy. The opener is also nice. For the most part, the rest of the album is ok but just plain unmemorable - however, there are few tracks that are actually annoying or bad (2,4,9). This does not have much interest beyond the jammy tracks that were on the EPs, but it's not terrible by any means. 2.8
Beach House Thank Your Lucky Stars
Idk if this is actually the weakest beach house yet or if my listening conditions are to blame, but frankly I don't care enough to bother trying to find out. While 1 is cute and kinda nice, and 2 nicely psychedelic especially when they wake up, there is still this eternal feeling of dullness and numbness that makes this band seemingly unable to ever reach more than 3.5 tier for me. 3 becomes proper annoying with that bass synth, 4 is a bore, and frankly while the rest of the album was all fine, I was completely out of it by 6. I guess the last track would be a nice slow dance finale ost in some cheesy movie, but that ain't my jam. 3.0
Beau Navire Demo Tape
Prod wise this sounds like absolute ass (at least the stream that I found here dozq https://tenzenmen.bandcamp.com/album/demo-tape ), and unless you're doing a discog run there isn't much of a reason to ever check this I guess. But despite the extremely thin prod, songs like 2,4, 6 a bit, and 7 especially manage to shine through. Had I grabbed this tape in 2011 I would have thought man this is an exciting band but they need to get themselves an audio engineer. 3.1
Bedroom (TN) Grow
Nice little indie/lo-fi record on the depressed slowcore side of things. Nothing too crazy.
Belly Slow Dust
I'm feeling lukewarm on this. It's nice but doesn't feel all that special. 1 is an alt rock song, 2 is a bit better with darker undertones, but 3 is way worse and really did not do it for me. 4 is the most interesting of the bunch with some weird guitar reminding of Slint a bit, while the sort of ghost conclusion track is fine in the same vibe but feels a bit pointless. 3.15
Belly Star
I don't know if there were tensions in the band or what but, similarly to the EP, they have loads of cool ideas and then they make forgettable, generic rock songs out of them, as if they never really committed to being a little spicy. The cool bass intro of 3, the dope intro to 9 or the intro to 13 and 14 are all followed by relatively vapid songs. 1 is a cool intro track and 2 unfolds unexpectedly after a cool intro, but all in all it's a fun song. 5 is quite fun but feels really generic after a little while. 7 shows how cool and Slintey they can get, but it is one of the very few songs where they sort of commit to that aesthetic by repeating some of the more dissonant riffs - and still for the most part it's a pretty generic song. Because 6 and 8 (nice intro riff though, maintains a bit of the slint aesthetic) are bores it also feels a touch incongruous unfortunately. 10 shows that despite most songs being forgettable, the bass on this record is usually pretty cool. Beside the tracks I've mentioned this is all quite forgettable to aggressively boring really - the conclusion is one of the worst with melodies that are simplistic to the extreme, and brings this down maybe a point. 3.0
Belly King
Yup, again some great ideas but an overall slightly flavourless album. This one feels a bit stronger than Star with a fair few more well constructed ideas I have to say. 1 is quite nice particularly the intro, 2 and 4 are kinda cool 90s song that feel like they could have been hit songs had they been a bit more memorable, but 3 is vapid and feels like a generic band with a singer having a fair bit more fun than the other members. 5 is typical Belly: after a boring intro, they have a really cool intro with a dope distorted tone, then proceed to make a boring song out of it. 6's boring but 7 starts on a cool riff too and uses it better. 8 starts well but overextends a fair bit, 9's kinda fun I guess with the intro and some random halloween vibes here and there, 10's actually one of the (few) solid songs, and 11's just ok. I'm just not ever quite convinced with these guys, but it's never bad and they do have more ideas than many a band. 3.1
Belly Dove
When this started I thought this was underrated and would become my fave Belly. 1 starts off with a very nice album intro and unfolds into a fun song. 2 starts of nicely too, and I thought maybe modern Belly isn't so bad, but while the song has cool bits it already starts to show some of their regular flaws (read: some odd vocal choices and exccessively tame composition). 3 is kind of a cool track but does have not so great vocals. From then on, the album feels ok but super generic and really isn't all that interesting. Feels a bit like something Radiohead would jam and then turn into much, much better music. 8 and 10 are the two generic songs that are kind of fun and not just a bore. 9 is more on the dreamy side but by that point I was already out of the album. 11 ends things on a sort of country ballad which works fine and at least has the merit to chagne things up a bit. Eh I guess I'll slap a 2.8
Belong Colorloss Record
Nice drone. Not as noisy as the debut. This one relies a whole lot on vocal samples, which form a near constant layer underneath the drone/ambient textures. It's not particularly well done tbh, Grouper was doing it much better at the time tbh. I think the fact that the vocals hardly ever stop doesn't help. Te first three tracks aren't really noteworthy but the closer is kinda nice and bumps it into 3.0 territory. The short length feels surprisingly ok. 2.8
Black Curse Endless Wound
Might be that I wasn't in the right mood for it but I didn't enjoy this much. I'm not a huge fan of the vocals although they're still alright, and the blackened death style is kinda cool. I really dig the psych aspects at the end of 3, and 4 has a cool witchy atmosphere. But the sort of gasps in the mic at the end of it are typical are the numerous little gimmicky things I don't like, including the soloing guitars over the main riff on the album conclusion which I found really annoying - sorry DDD if you read this, I know you love it. This is alright but just wasn't me cuppa today. 3.1
Black Thread the earth is a failed illusion
This is two very nice noisy drone textures. But clocking a grand total of what 7 minutes of music heard elsewhere, I can't decently call this a great EP really. 2.9
Black Thread Seeping Pitch
Side A is one of his best and very evocative, was going to put this in 3.5 territory, but side B is one of his weakest although it does improve near the end, and brings this way down to a 2.9
Black Thread Rippling peacock ashes
Two sets of Amulets-y distorted tape textures. Simple, but works quite nicely. Side A feels
like it's a tad better than B. 3.2
Black Thread Pinkfire
This is a series of four, maybe five different tape textures with varying degree of grittiness (the last ones having more wobble, grittiness and tape destruction than the lusher first couple). There isn't much continuity at all, and none of the textures are particularly marking, although they're all nice in their own right. A sweet background drone record, but not a strong album per se. 3.15
Black Thread Meadowlark (Premonition)
So this one was a weird listen. For the most part, I thought this was overrated and I was feeling a bit disappointed. This is a single pad of ambient that evolves over 30min, and while it is very nice, lush and comforting, there is other stuff like this that I like more. Yet, come the end, I didn't really wanted it to end. It puts you in a certain headspace, and I wanted to stay there. So I guess this deserves a second listen, but for now I found it a bit flat and it gets a 3.2
Bomba Estereo Elegancia Tropical
The first half of this album is really cool, refreshing and fun. Beachy poppy noodly latino rock with a vast array of influences and electronic sounds - I would not know what to call the genre really. 'El Alma y El Cuerpo' is such a jam. Unfortunately past the fourth track the album has a stroke it seems and throws a series of dull or annoying tracks at you, drowning the good sections sprinkled here and there into a sea of disappointment. May re-listen to double checks which tracks to jam. 3.1
Bomba Estereo Estalla
Nice and has the right ideas, but often struggles to really amaze. I don't know latin music genres much at all so please forgive my utter ignorance. My main gripe is probably the vocals, which are sometimes super cool, but sometimes really fail to hook me. 2's a good example. I also am not a fan of the English bits but idk if I can really blame them for that, especially since it is only on 1 and on 7 which are otherwise nice tracks. From 1-4 the record is quite bouncy with heavy bass, and 3,4 especially feel like some kind of local party music that you play at the village or something, 3 doing it a tiny bit better. 5 is the first of two interludes that use a super cool wind instrument which appears to be a Millo flute - the flute being more discrete on 10 which is overall less marking. 5 is among the best track, but 6 transitions quite awfully from it with too much singing too soon and the vocal's a bit meh. 7 works better but perhaps it just because it flows more naturally from 6 than 6 from 5. 8 goes back to the jolly, bass heavy style of the early record and is quite a fun track; while 9 is alright offering a slower dub sorta vibe. The transition from 10 to 11 is a whole lot better than with the prior interlude, and the album ends on a strong note with 12 having a lovely intro and the best instrumental here beside the flutey bits. Despite some rough vocal bits here and there it's a catchy song. But all in all this feels like an enjoyable listen but not one I'd seek out again soon. 3.0
Britney Spears In the Zone
She keeps improving and delivers a solid album with a much more defined style. Said style is essentially a semi-sensual 00's RnB vibe built over a hook made out of an organic instrument - a guitar, strings, some sort of wind instrument. That describes most of the album, except the end which does falter a bit and contain the only two cheesy tracks of the whole thing: 10, which is fine really, and 12, which is a ballad but fits better here as an album closer than it did breaking the rhythm on her former LPs. 11 is an actually fun summer pool party music with a bit of rapping in places, simple but dancey. The album peaks on the huge 6 which is a huge jam of course, and is followed by 7 which is a nice urban 50cents-vibed track that is fun and dancey, which means that 8 and 9, while nice, feel like a downward curve. 8 is kinda synthy like 4, with some nice bits here and tehre and a China-evoking strings sample, while 9 has a bit of a slow reggaeton beat to it? 1-5 on the other hand are all very consistent albeit almost never jammy, and demonstrate the aforementioned style without exception. 1's a fun track but I feel like hte melody is recycled from a Madonna track at times. 2 evokes Madonna too. 3 is almost jammy and is packed with cool ideas, 4's mildly fun and catchy, and 5 varying up the organic textures a bit with some wind instrument. A solid pop record and one I feel might end up being my favourite Britney LP. 3.2
Britney Spears Glory
While this still isn't great, and has hardly any memorable track I'll come back to and certainly fewer jams than its predecessor, it is an album I respect much more than its predecessor. It is still very generic but boasts more fresh ideas and personality in the first three tracks than Britney Jean did on the whole. Britney abandons the club tomorrowland vibe to produce something that remains in the same vein stylistically, but gives lighter, summery pop vibes. 1 is my favourite track and probably the only jam here, a lovely opener. 2 is kinda cool too, and while it could work without the feat I appreciated it. 3-4 are fine, and 5 shows RnB sensibilities mixed with festival house stuff - it's not that great, but shows again that unlike the previous one this record at least tries to come up with something original. 6 alternates an electro swing feel (not sound) and Electronic Super Joy OST-core (yes), wish it stuck to the former but still a fun track. 8-10 are all nice and further demonstrate what I am saying here. 11 feels a bit weaker and is on the verge of being annoying but still feels fine, and the closer, once again, is alright. As Britney says herself, 'this was fun'. Maybe all hope isn't lost after all, but the probability of getting a great Britney album again remains fairly effing low. 2.8
Burial Claustro/State Forest
Meeeeh. Track 1 is in classic Burial style and got me hopeful for the first 10 seconds, except it
is done poorly and never reaches the subtlety of the Untrue days primarily owing to overwhelming
and annoying vocals repeated way too many times. 2.2 range. Track 2 on the other hand is a
wonderful electronic ambient track that I'll definitely re-listen to in the 4 rating range. So
overall I guess this is a 3.2
Calibre Shelflife Vol. 2
This seems quite overhyped here. It is good Calibre-style DnB for sure, and the fact that is not a boring listen despite its mammoth runtime and low variability shows its quality. However none but a couple of the tracks (e.g. 'Life') truly stand out, and this is more of a background album than anything really memorable. 3.0
Callisto Secret Youth
Cool prog/post-metal instrumentations with somewhat dark atmospheres. Unfortunately the over-prominent clean vocals bring the album in a direction that I do not like (a la Tesseract for instance, a bit too lyrical and singer-focused). Harsh vocals are quite great, but really sparse. There is a lot better out there. 3.1
Candy Claws Two Airships / Exploder Falls
Pretty fun instrumental rock mixed with lots of electronica elements but with very very grainy and aggressive prod that reminds of noise rock albums, but without the music feeling like it was intended to sound that way (I totally could be wrong though). It does go a bit crazy and noisy eg at min 8 on track 1. Now this is fun and has plenty of ideas, but it feels a bit hyperactive, never goes down, and instead throws ideas left and right constantly. That's super fun on a short run, but as it goes it kinda tends to saturate me. Track 1 on its own would have been my cuppa, but 2 just felt like a huge weaker drag. It still has fun stuff but it gets to your nerves here and there. Min 5 or min 11 are good examples. This is a band with lots of ideas and I'm looking forward to their full-length work, but this wasn't a good way to use this creativity. 3.05
Celer Canopy
Not sure what to think of this. It is very, very minimalistic dark ambient - to a point where it is probably boring. Yet despite having barely any...sound at all, it does create a strong atmosphere. What it would feel like to live in a basement at night for months. Surely not his best release, but an interesting one that I want to re-listen to. 3.2
Celer Vestiges of an Inherent Melancholy
Very mild Celer record, which isn't necessarily a bad thing - but here it does not work because of the constant mood shifts and disruptions from odd choices in field recordings. The first two tracks are a very sleepy, sleeping concert type of ambient. Then the record disrupts that mood with a sample of people shouting, which wasn't the best decision if you ask me. Track 5 is a creepier, grand and slightly para-esque track, 6 is regular reverby ambient with field recordings, and at that point you feel like the record is more of a Celer sampler than a standalone full-on record. Track 8 brings back the para tones and felt strangely familiar - not sure if it is because it perhaps borrows from track 5 or other Celer records, there is a strong possibility I jammed this before and forgot to rate it lol. I guess at least that means the track is memorable. The bookends are jams, but the rest is pretty unmemorable, and since the album is also poorly constructed it only gets a 2.8
Celer The Die That's Caste
Starts off with very nice, broody, dark subaquatic drone, very soft and not gritty at all. The soundtrack to deep ocean diving, watching a whale descend into the abyss. But the prod feels quite amateur I daresay, especially for him. After 10min (even though it's only 17min long) it's getting too samey though. It doesn't have the density of pieces like Para or Basinski's to work on a long time like this without much variation - or rather, very slow variation, for the sound does lighten up after the first track. I'm also not a huge fan of the vox sample at the end, which kinda disrupts the mood if you ask me and seems out of context and contrived. So yeah apart from the first track which I find very nice, pleasing and cinematic, this isn't exactly a strong Celer tape. 2.95
Chico Buarque Construção
I certainly do not get how this is his most revered album on here. I may have been tilted by the first track which I found frankly horrendous, but most of this album is ok zzz. The second track is also annoying, but more mildly. 4 is a good summary of the album, beginning as an interesting and fun track - Brazilian James Bond soundtrack - but turning annoying after a few minutes. Some of the tracks (3,7) are kinda nice but were ruined for me because they have funny sounds that I associate to Les 12 Travaux d'Asterix. It has some jams (the last two tracks and 5), but it's really not his best as most songs are merely ok to boringly fine. 3.1
Chihei Hatakeyama Dedication
I don't know if I just happened to have a wonderful listening experience with the debut, but this one, while retaining the same style of diverse yet cohesive ambient with lots of guitar, field recordings and other sounds atop the general lush ambient pads, feels a lot weaker. Part of that comes objectively from the songs not flowing into each other, making this a compilation of rather short ambient pieces instead of a grander, 40min piece. The long silence at the end of 3 is symptomatic, and perhaps the worst instance of this. The tracks themselves also feel less cinematic and compelling. 2 still is lush and pretty, 6 and 7 are quite nice, and the concluding track is a fantastic drone piece bringing this up a point. But overall this is still far weaker - 5 for example feels quite amateur and a bit randombient. 3.2
Chihei Hatakeyama Winter Storm
Your typical very slow, minimalist ambient/lush drone. Powerfully soporific, and as sleepy music it works superbly, but as music to listen to in and of itself it doesn't have huge value I think. 3.0
Chihei Hatakeyama Void XV
Yet another one of those nice, static ambient records Chihei does very well, but that fundamentally struggle to be hugely striking. It might be fatigue from the other ones I jammed recently or just conditions generally, but this one felt uneventful and nowhere near as compelling. The textures are far simpler, and the usual nuances and details he adds are not as present - compare track 2 to track 4, for instance. 3.0
Chihei Hatakeyama Butterfly's Summer and Vanished
I try to not let this suffer from discog fatigue, but it does feel like an nth episode of Chihei 'background ambient' Hatakeyama's catalogue. The last track is a dig I guess, but the diversity of textures and the various bells and whistles of the first opus seem long gone now. 3.2
Chippr Jones Scout
Yes this is a single but pls Jom don't nuke :[ The versions on this are different than on the Two
Rooms EP where they are live recorded takes. That being said, removing all the ambient material
makes this a bit contextless and sweet but entirely forgettable, so I don't think I'd ever jam
this over the EP. If you like math-rock do check their two EPs though they're really quite fun.
3.2
clairo Aquarius Boy
Man I am excited for her LPs because I enjoy her style, but these 3min long records are frustrating. I love her extremely subdued atmosphere and her soft voice, and this being the first record that doesn't suffer as much from prod is also the first that might be worth keeping in one's library. Ima slap a 2.9
clairo Moth Girl
More of the same, but with increasing hints of maturation. 1,2 and 4 are her usual nice but not groundbreaking indie folk-ish over a background of white noise/bad prod, 3 changes up the instrumentation from a guitar to some kind of toy keyboard or something, and while the idea of variation is good I don't think the track works too well, and finally 5 is the first song of hers that I'd call 'well produced' and is very nice not only for that but also for its nice subdued take. Adds a half point to a 2.75
clairo Creased Laundry
Not going to repeat my soundoff for the nth time - this is pretty but feels a bit pointless. Prod has improved thus these are some of her best songs, but why is the mellow 3 (my fav) so much quieter on bandcamp? 2.8
clipping. Midcity
Bad listening conditions and got interrupted but essentially this feels a lot like their first EP where a lot of the sections are a super cool blend of noise and rapping, a lot are borderline bore, and very few are bad. I love the album intro continuing the style of the EP but just better. 8 would be quite fat at a gig, and 12 works really well. On 13 they show their most accessible track yet, and honestly I missed the experimentation. It's not their strongest track. On 4 I didn't like the guest vox (but I did on 6), and 5-6 are examples of tracks that don't really work. At the risk of sounding like a complete pretensious arse I actually liked most of the closer track, reminded me of the early works by Steve Reich. 3.2
clipping. Chain/Jump
Track 3 is a jam and one of my favourite clipping tracks so far in this discog run. It is perhaps more immediate and less experimental but not entirely give up the noise textures. Track 1 has some cool parts but is a bit more erratic, and the a cappella versions break the rhythm and just feel pointless. I'll come back to track 3 but that's it. 2.8
Cloakroom Infinity
This has pretty cool instrumentals. It starts off sounding like it will be yet another post-rockish emo type of sound, but quickly into the album stoner rock guitars kick in, adding much welcome flavour to the music and making the album quite unique, interesting and worthwile. That stoner sound is most obvious on the last track. However mixing genres in innovative ways does not do everything, and some instrumental parts are weaker than others. The weakest element of the album end up being the vocals in my opinion. They sometimes sound like a sad cartoon bear complaining about being hungryr3.2
Converge Beautiful Ruin
These are the kind of Converge songs I love hearing live but will never listen to otherwise. 3.2
Coops What Do You See?
Typical example of a record that has dope individual tracks but that suffers from erratic construction. The mixtape effect is strong. I supposed these are mostly covers because I recognise so many samples/melodies but idk. 1's cool with its dub vibes, not too convinced by 2-3, 4's a bit better and darker but eh, 5 has cool backing vox processing but otherwise reminds me a bit of those like two Turkish rap songs I know, 6 is a huge chill jam, 7 starts on too iconic a sample for comfort but is cool thereafter, 8 is a semi dig with its creepy vibes, 9 has post-apocalyptic nocturnal vibes and while it's not a jam I like it, 9-10 shows how there is no connection between tracks as 10 goes back to jollier modernity but ends up merely alright, 11's meh, 12 is kinda chill but still not super convincing, 13's just a skit sure, 14 is the most 90s beat of the lot, 15's a sweet chill track, 16 is fun gangsta sorta rap, 17 feels Mobb Deep which I dig obviously but I don't feel like it holds the distance, 18 despite unfortunate lyrics is smooth and cool, 19 is just regular hip hop but good again, 20-22 are all dope with great/interesting instrumentals, and 23 is a nice chill conclusion track. The album ends up on a strong note which brings it up a fair bit. So basically 1,6-9,14-16,18-22 are to maybe retain (hey it's a good chunk) and the rest will remain faint memories. 3.1
cordless EP
Typical example of a record where there is too much singing. I don't mind the vox I actually like her voice, but it is so ubiquitous that it gets tiresome and samey for the listener. Some instrumental sections and more dynamics would have been nice to see, because in its present state I got out of the record after three tracks (and it is only a five tracker so). 1 is sweet and very lush, but the rest kind of blended all together. Still a band I'll watch. 2.9
Crypt Master Reign of Decay
Nice creepy drone find garas! Some lovely textures on there, especially on 1, 3 and 6. I
wish the trebles were used a little more, some noisy textures would be lovely over the
horror inducing, low ended synthy chilling pads. 3.15
Current 93 All the Pretty Little Horses
This is great when it sounds like music. Swans gone folk, or Mantle Agalloch gone so depressed they lost the energy to make metal. The problem is, this record often sounds like a guy narrating over background music instead of performing vocals for the music. This ruined the record for me, as I felt like I was listening to the soundtrack to some wicked Disney movie instead of the awesome neo-folk album this should have been. 3.1
Cynic '88 Demo
This is thrash metal with not a trace of their later style, but honestly in spite of the not so great prod which I forgive anyway given it's a demo, it is far better than a lot of the thrash I've heard - simple, not too wankery, short, but kinda fun. 3.0
Cynic Reflections of a Dying World
More thrash albeit a touch more aggressive than the 88 demo, and you know what? It's not
bad at all. If this were a demo by a band from my thrash binge I'd be pumped because it
could turn out to be a cool thrash band, but yeah somehow the guys who made this demo are
Cynic. The prod is awful but in an unusual way I daresay, and some parts aren't all too
great, but overall this is good, fun, simple but riffy thrash that I enjoyed. 3.2
Cynic '90 Demo
Whilst still far remote from what they would eventually go on to release, this one starts to give tiny hints that these demos were indeed released by Cynic and not by some obscure thrash metal band. This one ups the aggressiveness even more although the prod does not allow it to go too far, and displays a lot more technicality than previously, which is evident from the first track on. The vocals are angrier, the riffs are mightier, more numerous, and more complex, and while the wankery soloing bits at the end of 2 and 3 prevent this from ever leaving the 3.0 tier, I would say this demo is the first one to be actually worthwile for a Cynic fan wanting to see where they came from, and in a vacuum is still a fun technical thrash demo with just a slight hint of dm. 3.24
Cynic Re-Traced
I am trying to look at this in a vacuum without the context of their discog - and in that sense, I guess it's kinda cool -, but I have a really hard time not seeing this as someone taking songs from TiA, sucking all the life, colour and dynamics out of it, and leaving a cool but monochrome skeleton - not unlike what was done with the artwork. This is particularly true of 1 and 2. The issue isn't quite that the metal is gone, but rather than the flavour and dynamics it gave to the music hasn't found a replacement. And when the 'metal' comes back on track 5, it makes the song instantly stand out as a dynamic track even though it's not necessarily that good. The album does find its balance even without the metal on 3, which is quite solid and gives good hope as it unfolds into the pretty guitar intro of 4, but 4 disappoints and quickly bores with its whiny vocals. Eh just check 3 or jam TiA. 3.15
Cynic Kindly Bent to Free Us
I would love to like it, but this album is killed by completely erratic song structures. The tracks have nice sections, but they almost all feel disjointed and there appears to be no direction they want to get you to. It lost me entirely because of this. There are other problems I find, like the bass tone and lines feel really odd in places, for instance in the opening track right after a great intro, but song structure is clearly the core flaw here. 1 does have some nice atmospheric sections but already showcases all of the album's problems. 2 is cool and has a jammy chorus despite the cringy bass, but it is pretty much the only track here that I'd say is worthwhile as a whole. The intro to 3 brings the psych back and the last third is cool too, but the rest lost me. 4 starts off more aggressively which is cool, but again the track structure made no sense to me. And honestly after this point I kinda lost track, reinforced by 5 just being kinda long and interludey. The passage at 3:40 on 7 is a clear example of what I mean: there is a lovely buildup that randomly resolves into a weird, pointless solo. 8 has a terrible intro and doesn't save the goodies in any way. 2.9
Dark Watcher Dark Watcher
I don't mind the prod too much but I often find the tempo to be weirdly slow with this -
then again that's a common theme with me. Love the intro to 3, some fun riffing (the end
track has a couple fat phases) and melodies in places. Great to see some sputmade bm! 3.1
Darkthrone A New Dimension
Another cool demo which shows punk roots and dm roots atop the bm precursor stuff, but again that is just a cool demo to hear and not really a record to come back to. They lay out a lot of ideas, but it feels more like a stylistic exercise a la let's jam out and find ideas than a truly constructed record - which is fine, this is a rehearsal demo after all. I do dig the ambience track though. 3.2
Darkthrone Land of Frost
As a record in a vacuum this is probably not something I'd listen to very often. But for a 1988 demo it is really impressive. While the prod is, well, what you'd expect it to be, the guitar tones - and not only the fuzzy ones but also the cleaner on say 4-5 - are really cool, and there are bm sections that are genuinely nice Darkthrone material. They just did so much more of that good stuff later on that it doesn't make too much sense to jam this except for the historical aspect, but they sure offered a promising demo, albeit with its quirks like some of the vocal fx experimentations on 3 for example. Sweet stuff. 3.1
Darkthrone Cromlech
More old school dmey with black touches really. It's cool and it works quite well, but it is fairly generic. As in if I found this as a demo with a different band name on it I wouldn't be too eager to check that band's catalogue. Not a Darkthrone record I plan on revisiting, well, ever really. The riffs are fun and there isn't really any bad element, so I was going to 3.3 this maybe, until track 4 came along with its completely different prod that makes it stick out, a couple drum sounds that literally feel like comedic sound effects, and some pretty awful vox, bringing this down to 3.2
Defeater Defeater
@dedex wheeee that track selection
First half is frankly boring. I don't know if it is due to the odd prod and mixing on the
vocals
or if he genuinely does not sing as passionately but singer almost sounds bored himself.
The
second half is a lot better and has all the tracks that grabbed my attention (All Roads,
Dealer/Debtor, No Guilt, No Man Born Evil). I might re-listen to those once or twice but
that's
about it. 3.1
Delusion (FRA) [MOS002]
Slower paced than your regular techno, with darker, more mysterious vibes than MOS001. I find the slow tempo didn't quite work on the first track as much as it does on the second, although both tracks seem to find much
better groove and footing in their respective second halves. Still, this doesn't feel like a record I'd be dying to come back to in the foreseeable future. There is a mysterious third track on YouTube and I'm not sure
whether it should count towards the rating or not. It does offer interesting lead synths with an uneasy vibe, most clearly in the second half yet again, but the drums are weird, the tempo is wrong and the groove feels
off - it's like the track doesn't know where to go. I guess it should bump this down a bit. 3.15
Delusion (FRA) [MOS004]
Where the last one was two m'okay track (and then a youtube outlier we won't include), this one is all over the place. The first track is a dope jam reminding of Curved's MOS003 with its regular tempo compared to MOS002, deep reverberated kicks, and dark undertones. The lead does feel a bit incongruous in the first two minutes, but when the second synth line comes in the track takes a fantastic psychedelic turn and gets its jam status. 2 is slower, more awkward, and pretty much in the vein of MOS002 - just m'kay really. Then 3 is the first truly bad track I encounter with this label, despite sometimes interesting incisive drums, owing to its simplistic, flavourless lead which makes the track boring to no avail. Sure it improves in the second half, but that still doesn't make it worth it. Even though this rates lower than MOS002, I'd be more likely to come back to it for the sole sake of track 1. 2.9
Delusion (FRA) [MOS008]
"Full EP out soon !" they said in July 2016 : ( As it stands, this will forever be a one
track preview of an EP that never came to be in its complete form. It's a shame because
this is a top tier Delusion track with its hard hitting beat over echoing synth leads as we
know from Delusions' past work. It feels like he/she/they were improving with every
release, but I don't know if they continued producing. Anyway because it is so short and
only a one tracker, despite said track being good this can't be more than a 3.2
Delusion (FRA) [MOS009]
I just realised this last "EP" was by Delusion too so I have no idea what happened to MOS008 since MOS009 came out over a year later. And then after this one they disappeared seemingly forever? This label is mysterious. Anyway this one is a wholly different style from 008, the beat is much lighter, and the track has an ambient/dub feel to it. Feels like it'd be a great 'cooldown' track on an album between harder hitting cuts. On its own though it's porbably a 2.9
Denzel Curry Imperial
This one got me really pumped in the beginning, but failed to convince me. The opener is merciless, and the verse is super jammy, but the chorus kinda sucks in comparison - an omen for what will follow. Track 2 is also a jam with an interesting prod, and again a chorus that kinda sucks. The run from 3-7 goes from ok to annoying (6 is kinda cool though). The prods are often good, but ruined by annoying choruses or back vocals, and Denzel's delivery instead of saving it all sometimes adds to the mess. Then the record calms down and 8-10 are much more relaxed and sort of jammy I guess? Get the record a couple extra points up to a 3.05
Departures Green Turns To Red, Then Turns To Gold
It's a good two-tracker that makes we want to listen to their full-lengths. On its own though it really is just two quite cool screamo/ post-hardcore songs in a complete vacuum, nothing too memorable. 2.8
Departures When Losing Everything Is Everything You Wanted
At times this sounds like Defeater and Pianos Become the Teeth had a baby that was about two thirds as good as it sounds. At other times this sounds like the -core stuff I was listening to ages 14-15, but a bit better. Overall this is an enjoyable hardcore record, but not much more. 3.2
Desired Timeless
A fun little future funk (?) record that has some good bounce but tends to push its own concept a little too far. A lot of the tracks just have a little too many quirky samples or just abuse the 'fun Japanese samples bouncy tracks sidechain kick snare' envelope - the closing track being an example of that, or also the Sonic samples on 5. By 6-7 the record starts to sound a little bit like a parody of itself. But when it knows to remain relatively subtle (if the word applies here), hell is it fun. 1 and 3 are jams in that vein, 2 is a bit weaker but is super fun too. 8 is quite disco and funky, and one of the strongest tracks too, along with 10 which again shows how good this can be if it knows to not go over the top. 11 is a simple but fun party track relying on heavy sidechain, too bad it extends for a little too long. Nice but I feel like there gotta be better records in the genre? 3.0
Desolate (DE) The Invisible Insurrection
Sweet but a bit forgettable. This has roots in ambient, lounge, downtempo etc, with touches of Burial and Djrum but not in the same style as them. He uses organic instruments like strings and piano a fair bit too. 5 is a very pretty and relaxed jam, and 10 is the jam from the Heroic Death EP - the only track he took from that EP so good taste there. 1 is kinda cool and has a different vibe to the rest of the album with some dark, creepy undertones, but transitions well into the much lusher 2 - still nice. The rest is pretty, but also not super marking. 3.2
Destruction Bestial Invasion of Hell
Look this is perhaps not much I'll come back to, but it is a cool demo that makes me think this is going to be a fun thrash discog. Only a few wankery bits here and there, and most tracks are catchy and moshy as fk. 3 is a bit weaker and slower in the intro, but catches up alright. 2 and 4 are probably my fav tracks. The production is not the worst I've seen and makes it all nice and crunchy, and vox aren't too wankery, tbh I grew to quite dig them from 2 onwards. There are some really meh bits like the conclusions of 4-5, and 6 is a bit on the wankerier side of things, but hey this is a demo I'll forgive that. Don't disappoint me on your LPs guys please. 3.0
Destruction Infernal Overkill
Not awfully bad, but man I still can't get into thrash metal classics. Nearly every track bar the instrumental 6 (mindless but with some cool sections) has a wankery solo in it, which is a shame. Thankfully they're generally not too long. Vocals are generally quite good. The good riffage is quite scarce and the songs feel more speedy than they feel brutal really. 5 despite a meh intro is the strongest track here and could be a jam if it weren't for the midtrack solo which warrants the record a point. The prod gets quite bad in places eg on 2, and overall this record just feels like it is hesitant to be a more brutal and aggressive early death metal album but doesn't quite manage to be a fun thrash metal either, the songs except 5 just feel like they like fluff and substance. Far, far from being the worst thrash I've heard though - there is hope. 2.8
Destruction Eternal Devastation
The highs on this go higher than on the debut, and it feels generally stronger, yet I can't bring myself to rate it any higher. This just isn't a good album and I won't come back to it. The prod is not incredibly polished, and while it isn't a great surprise at first, it gives some guitars a bm-ey quality which can be quite nice. 1-2 gave me a lot of hope. The riffage is nice, the solo on 1 actually works well (2's is wankery), 1 especially feels darker and just thrasher than their debut. But the vox kinda break it with intermittent little girl squeals or just annoying vox, and this will apply to the record as a whole. Still those first two tracks are fine, but then 3 comes with a godawful intro followed by two minutes of what can only be summarised as a clumsy track. The middle third is a bit better, and the last third is quite catchy but still overall eh. 4 temporarily pounds nicely midtrack but the bad vox, terrible intro and headachy end just ruin the track, 5 is simply boring, 6 offers some actually nice speedy thrash after a boring intro, and 7 starts with an odd standout interlude that could have been a nice album conclusion but instead precedes a mildly boring track. Meh. 2.8
Destruction Cracked Brain
1-3 got me pumped, nice thrash with good riffage and very few annoying bits. Thought they had evolved from their prior flaws, but unfortunately not quite. Each ensuing track displays either annoying vocals, boring riffs, or wankery solos which ruin it. On 8 the speedy bits are kinda fun, and some riffage can still be found e.g. at the album conclusion, but yeah I'm still not a Destruction fan by any means. Soz park 2.8
Devastation Signs of Life
This improves enormously on their debut - it sounds like a different band -, but it still isn't a super strong album. The singer woke up, and the prod is much better but far from perfect, with the bass still being a touch weird and the overall sound feeling quite muddy in places. 1 is nice and brutal, probably partly owing to the surprise effect compared to the previous album. The run from 2-5 progressively lost me, the good riffing being too occasional compared to other bands. The album lacks dynamics and feels like a constant stream of the same riff over relentless kick drum pounding. The breakdown mid 5 brings a welcome pause but really isn't all that great. 6-8 improves massively, 6 being a jam, with much better riffage and super cool sections. 8 is a rollercoaster of quality and has some of the album best bits but also boring sections. 9 is meh again, and the album has no finale at all - it just abruptly stops. Eh, may come back to a couple tracks but that's all. 3.15
Devictus This Is Not Forever
Nice soft and mellow sput-made ambient. I liked the intro with the voice sample and field recordings, but I did feel like the voice samples in the middle of the record broke the rhythm and atmosphere a little bit. A caveat is I did not listen do this on my usual headphones so can't really speak fairly about the prod, but it sounded good to me except perhaps a slightly mushy lower half of the spectrum at times - again maybe was just my headphones. Wish the transitions were a little more seamless to create one coherent cozy atmosphere, but the individual tracks sound great. 3.0
Drake So Far Gone EP
Up to the last two tracks I thought this was overrated. The tracks are very erratic and patchworky with multiple vocalists and vocal styles - 3 being a good example. The record feels best when Drake doesn't really on guests and raps himself tbh. 1 is a cheesy but nicely cloudy track that reminds of Craig David a bit. With 2 you can see the potential of ethereal RnB + bits of rap atop but it just doesn't quite work here. The end of 3 is cool, and when Drake raps it's not too bad either, but the rest is a bit messy. The track sounds very 2000's in places funnily enough. 4 is dumb and annoying, the worst track here, owing to Lil Wayne and Bun Ba fair lot. 5 is pretty bad too, but when Drake raps its ok. Thankfully 6 and 7 are really cool, the former being kinda jamy and the latter a full jam. On 6 Drake displays his mature style already over a sweet subtle ambient prod. Shame that the track lacks variety very badly and feels way too long and overstretched. 7 has a REALLY cool prod, which at first doesn't feel like it matches Drake's style too well and could have been better even instrumentally, but has a cool chorus and quickly felt like a jam. Nice. Overall still a 2.9
Driftwood (BE) Only Fighters Left Behind
A perfect example of an album where one little element brings the whole thing down. To me here, it is the male vocals. There is just something about their whispery, falsely sensual delivery that I just dislike and that ruins every track they're in for me. The female vocals are sublime, so when there's both it's kind of ok. Instrumentally the album is sweet trip-hop flavoured indie pop with the occasional neoclassical strings or strings and piano based interlude. 2 and 7 are of the latter kind, both sweet pieces, and the closer is a nice ambient wintery track. 1 already shows what I don't like about the male vox, and I don't even get what it is doing there before the 'Prologue' track. Another example is 9 which gets ruined after a sweet intro. 3 on the other hand is a lovely piece with just the female vocals, and 5 shows the trip-hop flavours this album can display. Full of potential but I can't bring myself to rate this higher than 3.15
Dua Lipa Dua Lipa
The first half on this was honestly in 3.4 territory. If I had to get pumped on a road trip with people who can't stand anything else than mainstream pop it'd be a possible pick. No standout track really but no bad egg either, can all be jams in their own right. Then the second half from track 7 brings it all down with a series of mellow, romantic tracks that were really zzzzzzzz, with the clear and odd exception of track 10. Should've swapped 10 and 7 and ended the record there. 2.9
Dwig Big Tales
Inconsequential but nice downtempo house-ish stuff. First track is the nicest and has some interesting dark vibes to it; the rest is nice, but just nice. 3.1
Electric Universe One Love
At its best this is a super fun, relatively minimal, super ravey trance record. Quite different from Hallucinogen and I would perhaps not seek it out as much for at-home listening, but pretty dope. This includes 1-2 despite both tracks overextending a little bit in the last couple minutes, and 5 which is the peak of the record imo and a jam. For the most part this is more of the same style, but with tracks that spread their ideas way too thin and offer a couple really cool sections among heaps of passable stuff with some questionable melodies here and there. That goes for 3,4,6,7, although the last third on 7 is quite cool. At its worst, this record offers a conclusion that just seems unnecessary and fillery. After one hour of ravey trance, the record gets slower, less energic and more introspective - and I just don't think that's the right moment to switch to that. Shame because at a higher tempo the melody midtrack of 8 would be quite dope, but yeah those two last tracks are weak - at some point it sounds like a cat stepped on the sequencer or something. The end of the record is pretty cool I'll give you that, but I don't see myself rec'ing this to someone who isn't a trance fan already. 3.1
Ellis Born Again
This felt very flat and generic in a lot of places, both vocally and instrumentally. She has a pretty voice but the singing felt monochromatic and all too samey. There must be some sort of music theory explanation that I can't formulate, but the harmonies feel generic and samey - it is like I have heard these chords before to a point where I wondered if some of these were covers, and the record hardly ever offers harmonic spice. The upside to all this is that when the record does give the slightest hint of an explosion or colour, it is exacerbated and makes the song feel instantly better. The emotional, guitar based tracks like 1 feel particularly dull and meh. 2 is more upbeat and kinda fun. 3 bores like in the verse but offers cool explosions where the vox finally feel like they work well. 4 with its more electronic instrumentation works better and feels less flat, but 5 is really meh despite nice-ish vox and synths, because of a piano melody that just feels extremely basic. 6 is more upbeat and one of the best tracks, but I could swear I have heard some of the melodies before and I thought it may be a cover of some kind. By 7 the album already feels long because of the overall lack of variety, but at least 8 makes the emotional style work and ends on a cool explosion. 9 is also alright thanks to the more 'aggressive' (read: not backgroundey) drums and guitars. 10 bores again at first, but the reverberated modulated guitars starting up around 1:20 are nice and then it sort of explodes so it's not too bad. Still a very bland record overall. 2.9
Entro Senestre Rosegold
Fine but forgettable house/dub techno. First track is best and the reason why I checked this out, not a jam but close. Quite relaxing but also deep with some nostalgic chords repeated all over. 2 is the glitchy kind of dub techno I don't really like, but still chill. 3 is weird, vaguely Burial-esque but with an odd syncopated beat that does not quite work. 4 is the second best track here, reminding of Djrum's mountains, but again with a weird syncopation to the rhythm that breaks the atmosphere a bit. Won't come back to this except for 1 maybe. 2.9
Erik Satie Pièces Froides
Not his best piano works. Great ideas in almost every track, but almost none on par with the magic of some of his other pieces. The first act, 'Airs faire fuir' sounds almost classical at times. The second act is better in that perspective, but also slightly less emotion-inducing I found. Favourites were probably 'Modestement', 'Passer' and 'Encore'. 3.2
Fetid Steeping Corporeal Mess
Cute death metal album. Vocals are good, guttural and deep without being gimmicky, but the instrumentals feel a bit outdated and dorky. Nothing too bad but also not an evolution from 90's dm - of which there were better albums, you know, in the 90's. Intro to the closer stands out, with nice electronic synth textures that are a pleasant surprise before going back to dm as in the rest of the album. Closer is the best track in fact. 3.2
Flourishing Intersubjectivity
A bit underserved by very flat prod. More on the sludgey side than their prior output, with the occasional soloing that I notoriously don't like (it's mild though and obviously there is still a good sound overall). 1-2 have some nasty, evil riffage, but again underserved by prod and some compositions. The wild Flourishing ideas are a bit absent here but not entirely, eg the punkish acceleration midtrack on 2. 3 stands out as an extremely nasty and noisy kind of erratic track. It is more ambient than anything, a bit a la Agalloch's Scars of the Shattered Sky, but it is quite unique and I dug it, bringing this up a point. 3.0
Frail Body those that left those that remain
OK skramz, but less impressive than IN PEACE. 1 is a bouncy groovy jam though. The rest of the album feels more generic. 2 is post-rocky and atmospheric, but the explosion is super convenue, and 3 and 4 are just generic (but ok) skamz. Eh. 3.1
Freeze Corleone F.D.T.
Cool and quite consistent, but feels all too samey and spreads its ideas too thin. Had it been 20min shorter it could be a banger. Almost every single song is in a minimalistic, dark style of rap/trap, but they get so similar that by 7-8 you're really wanting some more variety. He still does his usual gimmicks - ekip, petasse, reusing the same word 5 or 6 times as an end of line rhyme, etc etc - but it is generally alright. I dug 1, 3 is a jam with delivery evoking Orel, although the conclusion isn't too great, 4 is nicely hard hitting, 5 is quite boring but I like the slowed down, deconstructed conclusion. 6 is nice, and 7 is quite fat but overextends a bit. 8 is a nice destroyed drugged track, and 9 brings welcome variation with a nice bouncy instrumental making for a cool track. 10-12 stars to drag and really bring the album down, but the closer is quite nice. 3.2
Freeze Corleone X TheHashClique THC
Starts off strong, and has a few jams sprinkled all over, but has severe dips in quality on most tracks thereafter. Freeze experiments a bit with autotuned or even cloud rap here, and he does so very successfully. 3 is a fat jam, and 7 is a cloudy jam which sticks a bit out in the general dark, nocturnal urban vibe the album gives off. Tracks delivered in his usual style can also be quite strong, and the opener is solid, while 2 experiments with a sort of lo-fi prod on the vox which is nice for an intro but feels like it should stop at some point in the track yet doesn't. The closer is also a cool track, and the bulk of 9 is nice and fat, but the intro and outro are cringe. For the rest, every track suffers from a different subset of a lot of recurring flows: annoying repetitive hooks as intro and outro, excessively long outros, poor conclusions, gimmicky lyrics, bizarre vox processing in places, and instrumentals that often sound like they come from some beatmaking channel on youtube. Rarely annoying, but not great. But the jams still pull this up to a 3.15
Frohvahr Dungeon Ghosts
Very nicely produced sput-made dungeon synth. Great tones. The record feels like one long track and does not have a lot of variety to it - which impacted my rating a fair bit -, but it does create a strong, mysterious atmosphere while avoiding the video game OST/funny effect that would have been easy to fall into. Props man. 3.15
Full of Hell The Inevitable Fear of Existence
This is fun, but I also don't feel the need to come back to it. But yeah based on this alone one can already see why seeing them live is so dope. Last track is doomier and a bit of a drag if you ask me, so that brings this down a couple points. 3.1
Full of Hell Roots Of Earth Are Consuming My Home
This is cool, but it feels like it is mostly designed for the live setting (in which it is dope that's true). Like the sudden acceleration and fat sludge sections often seem to be designed to induce moshpits and fat headbanging. In terms of at-home listening unfortunately that yields a feeling of contrived and a slightly random structure imo. Plus a lot of the sections between the aggressive parts feel a bit awkward, and the tempo is often off even when the onslaught is on. The intro track starting on electronic chaos into classic full of hell aggression is dope at first, but after it explodes it feels a bit meh. 2 is super fat, and 3 is a lot more complex than its simple yet effectively fun beginning suggests. Some of the sections are dark and really cool, some work less well. 4 is a fun FoH track, and 5 is super cool with its electronic noise+shouts. No wonder they collabed with Merzbow, this sounds like Prurient. 6 again is fun but feels like it belongs in a show more than a studio album, and after 7 that feeling starts to get a bit old. 8 is great and ominous, but 9 is boring. After an interlude, the concluding track is more of the same, but I did dig the sludgey part especially near the end. Don't think I'll come back to this. 3.2
Future EVOL
Starts off quite encouragingly, but rapidly falls back into Future's usual traps: quite a disappointment overall. Tbf the comparison between my rating for this and prior projects is dubious bcs there was a long break during the discog run. 1-2 are regular Future tracks with a nice mildly dark vibe and quite playlist worthy with no annoying moments or bad ideas really. The intro to 3 is a bit funny and preludes to grimmer things, but while not quite playlist worthy the track still hits hard in places. Bad intros are a recurring theme here, with 4's evoking britney spears, then a rave with cool sounds, then unfolding quite disappointingly, and 5's feeling outdated as hell, unfolding in a cool way although not without annoying sections. 6 is quite meh, but 7 while not as good as 1-2 raises the bar quite back up. 8 has a funny synthwave intro then unfolds awfully, but 9 is like 1-2. The intro to 10 is pretty terrible, but The Weeknd's feat is actually really successful and much welcome as variation - so much so that when Future's part kicks in, you realise you would kind of have preferred if this was just a wholly The Weeknd track. 11 is one of the few good surprises here, with nice instrumental especially the strings at 2:30, while 12 has yet another dumb intro but does work quite well in some places. Inconsistency, erratic structure, dumb additions that break otherwise fine songs, a couple jams in a sea of filler and excessively monochromatic delivery: this sure is a Future record. 2.9
Future Monster
Ok this is his best so far, but feels a bit overrated. One thing is that Future himself
hardly ever fails here; unlike in prior records where his delivery could ruin a track as
much as the instrumentals themselves, here it is nearly exclusively the latter. This one
has quite an identity with lots of synths and emotional tracks, so it works relatively well
as an album. There is a bit too much happening at once in the album intro, but the track
unfolds quite fatly (lel) although a bit slow to my taste. 2 has great delivery and the
flute part is dope, but there also are mario galaxy sounds breaking the deal. 3 is synthy
and kinda cool, not super aggressive, but after a lovely midtrack bridge the second half of
the song reveals itself as one of Future's best sections yet, sort of ambient trap. I dig.
4 is back to gangsta aesthetics and could be a jam if it weren't for some ludicrous backing
skrrt. Lil Wayne's feat is really good. 5-6 are a bit flat and a bit forgettable but not
bad I guess. 7 like 4 is fat but ruined by backing vocals. 8's a bit dumb and the weakest
track at that point. 9 is cool with a sort of bare piano instrumental that fits his
delivery surprisingly well. Future works quite well on intimate tracks like these. 10 is
kinda cool with its horrorsynth and delivery again, but idk if I'd call it a strong track.
11-12 are weak again, kinda simplistic and youtubey, before 13 closes nicely on a top tier
Future track, great especially when he drops the autotune albeit not perfect. Edit: welp
apparently I heard the 2019 version on spotify. 3.2
Future Purple Reign
Not a strong Future record, but one that holds good surprises - chiefly, the excellent jam 5 which may well be my fave Future track so far in his discog. Most songs, while they have good sections here and there, suffer form memey sounds, instrumentally and vocally, that just make them feel more parodic than musically interesting, and certainly preclude them from playlist-worthiness for the most part. The closing track does make it work, although it offers pretty much nothing in the way of album conclusion. The two prior tracks are also worth mentioning: 10, as one of the rare examples where the instrumental is less memey but the vocals are really unfitting and clearly the weakest point; and 11, which is ok, but weirdly quiet and subdued compared to everything else on the record. The dark, hard intro track is also quite fine, and so is 8. 6 is kinda ok but the harder vibe after the excellent 5 kinda clashes badly. Really not all that great but I recommend 5 vividly if you like Future. 2.9
Gallery Six Bud Flush
I like pretty much everything this guy does - this however is not his best output.rIt is somewhat moving away from field recording and sounds a lot more like 'regular' ambient - and to me this makes it lose its flavour, because there just is better 'regular' ambient out there. The experimentation and addition of noisy bits especially on the closing track are laudable.
Gesaffelstein Conspiracy PT. II
This is what would play in the background of a generic underground nightclub bad drug trip scene in some TV show. It's ok, but not incredible - it sounds pretty quirky and gimmcky. Track 2 > 1 >> 3. 3.2
Giant Swan High Waisted
Pounding techno with lots and lots of distorted sonuds which is cool, but also lots of bleeps and bloops and generally weak leads. Some sections are jammy but don't last too long. It is generally foot tap-inducing material, but just not a great listen imo - although not unpleasant. It's sort of danceable but that's it. 3 is clearly the strongest track yet not a jam with a nice pounding hook, and 4 is the weakest with just a wall of bleeps and bloops. 2.9
Giorgia Angiuli Underskin Harmony
Nice, but quite generic for the most part and not fully mature yet when compared to her 2020 EP that I jammed (which is expected obvs). Her vocal processing is not quite at the right spot yet, although it is quite fine in places and especially on the fourth track, but there it is sadly a bit brought down by overacted delivery. 1 is bland and generic but has good tones. It improves temporarily in the midtrack but yeah it feels quite hollow, sort of summer house vibes where you feel like it's missing a few sounds. 2 has a bit more to it and starts off pretty cool despite the questionable vocal processing. The piano transition perfectly demonstrates by the track feeling like they need more meat, it's a good idea but the execution diminishes its impact. The ideas are there indeed though, and the synth arpeggios in the last third are quite cool. 3 sounds like what a youtuber would make in a 'how to make summer house anthems' tutorial video, it's not bad but again not hugely marking. 4's clearly the best track both in execution and ideas, despite a simplistic beat and bassline - the atmospheric ethereal sounds that pop here and there are very nice. But still, doesn't have lots to it. 2.8
Giorgia Angiuli You Are My Religion
Probably the best one out of those three early EPs. 1 is very meh and feels like it'd be earlier material or stuff still at the draft stage. It's very simplistic and not that interesting really. 2, while having fewer bells and whistles with no vox etc manages to work a lot better. It is very tastefully produced and is a nice atmo track worth keeping. 3 brings back the style of 1 but far better executed, the guitar lines being particularly cool, and brings this in definite 3.0 tear to let's say 2.85
Gorod Leading Vision
Like the debut, has many many flaws, but has neither the excuse of being a debut nor the novelty factor for me to save the rating. The first half had me looking at a 2.5 range rating honestly. It felt a lot more wankery and like it had fewer cool moments than the debut - in reverse proportions almost. 1 has no intro whatsoever and goes chug chug right away. The midtrack riffing is fun, but the vocals and especially the pig squeals in the second half are really not my jam - a recurring criticism here.2 at 1:05 is pretty darn cool, but 3 then goes on to wankeriness and awful soloing etc. I like the instrumental tech stuff like min 2, but it is quite rare. 4 is less bad, 5 brings the pig vox again but the instrumental section at 2:30 is really cool. Then, after a rather laughable intro, 6 starts an upwards shift in quality in the album, with from 0:55 onwards the longest uninterrupted streak of enjoyable music here that makes even the questionable vocals and soloing work quite well - probably the best track here. 7 continues this with a meh intro but a nice opening riff. On 8 the porcine wankeriness is back at min 1 but then it goes away again and the riff at 2:15 frankly owns. See what I mean by good moments interspersed with bad stuff? 9 has an awful start but doesnt get too bad after that, and 10 changes things up a bit with groovey ouroboros-esque stuff that I dont mind (preferable to soloing heh) and then an outro that is, well, a nice surprise although questionably fitting. Some rare great ideas, but overall I am far from convinced. 3.0
Gramm Personal Rock
Impressive that this is (sort of) dub techno from 99 given the production value, but I found it quite bland overall and devoid of groove whilst also failing to be truly ambient. It's fine, but I don't think I'd come back to it. 1 starts off nice especially once the pads kick in at min 2. On those first two tracks it is especially noticeable that the high frequencies are very prominent and aggressive which hurts the lushness imo. The hats and the bleeps stand out way too much. The dub techno aspects on 2 are cool, but the pointless bleeps and bloops will be a recurring theme in the album. 3 is more of the same although the midtrack is quite nice bassy funky ambient in the vein of Turn to Gaia. 4 is simple but sweet and it first half doesn't have bleep bloops which is welcome, sadly they do come in in the second half which is much weaker. On 5 at 1:30 again there are really sweet synths, and a 2:35 the groove is quite fun, signs of greatness, but the record just lurks on the edge of its potential without really ever fully going into it and quickly defaults back to bleep bloops. I do like how subtle and muffle it is though, but it doesn't focus on that enough for it to work. 6-8 is just boring, and 8 especially feels unnecessary - 7 was an ok end. The ghost track is funky though, but yeah this is a 2.9
Grouper Grid of Points
Like Ruins, heavily keys-based. Same frustration as with most of her short EPs - this is too short, and the mood barely has time to settle that it already ends. More so than the length of the record, it's the length of the individual tracks that hurts. The material is nice but not grasping enough to make up for that. 2.9
Grouper He Knows He Knows He Knows
This is ok - middle track is the most interesting one with cool textures - but again Grouper does not work well on short formats and this feels more like a practice draft than a formal record. 2.8
Grouper and Roy Montgomery Split
This is ok, but really not all that great. Montgomery's side is nice an interesting, but reminds more of the opening act for some cool gig (like GYBE) than a strong enough headliner act. Grouper's side is really not her best material, although I do appreciate the scarce noisy touches, and the best thing about this split is how well it works as a single album as opposed to two sides that clearly sound like they come from different records, and how seamless the transition is. 3.0
Gustav Mahler Das Lied von der Erde
1-2 have to be commended for making me like an opera for solo male voice in German. 1 is quite bleak although it gets romantic by the end, and bar a few weird notes it's really nice. 2 is also really nice. 3 goes all naive and 'champetre', goes a bit Disney-esque almost, and although it is cute by the end I was a bit bored. The rest of the piece mostly oscillates between those naive zzz bits and some nicer, darker bits that often don't last very long. The mammoth 31min last movement puts the last nail in the coffin and, although never truly bad (only track 4 is actually annoying in places), it just lost me completely and brings the piece down a point. Sorry Gustav. 3.2
Hainbach Songs for Coco
I've got tonnes of respect for Hainbach's content, both musical and video. For the most part this
record feels like ok but quite bleep bloopey ambient drone. I don't quite like the 100% L/R
panning on a lot of the tracks, feels like the stereo space should have been explored less
simplistically. Although it sounds good, its bloopiness puts a dent in the atmosphere it creates,
and it mostly lies in 2.8-3.0 territory. Two stand out tracks and jams however in 4 and 6,
especially 4, where the music beautifully breaks up to creat noisy, gritty textures that I love,
bring it up a notch or two. Impressive stylistic exercise considering this is all made with the
Cocoquantus. 3.15
Hajduk Кръв
Good bm but nothing mindblowing [2]rI like the raw prod but the EP really sounds like what I was jamming based on random Metal Archives pages back in the days where I hardly knew what black metal was and had only heard stuff like Lustre and Mirkwood. Track 2 is kinda nice though with sweet riffage a la Drudkh, and I can see their potential. 3.0
Hallucinogen Space Pussy
I'm a bit confused with this one, because some of the melodies and synth sounds feel like drafts of Twisted tracks (especially on 2) but this came out a year later. Anyway it is far weaker than Twisted for sure. There are some cool melodies and ideas, but they feel shy in the mix and hardly ever explode, whereas Twisted was banger after banger. The tracks also seem to have trouble starting up, the second half always being an improvement on an always sort of disappointing first half that struggles to find its footing. The intros don't hook you, they make you wait if that makes sense. The third track has the lowest low and the highest high. There is no transition at all from 2 to 3 (which makes a bit of sense since 3 is a CD only track and wasn't included on the 12"), and the first half of the track doesn't have much to it beside a bit of chopped vocals that remind of future Shpongle work. But the second half of the track is pretty dope, perhaps the best executed on this EP which it bumps into 3.0 tier. 2.9
Hana Hana
This isn't jaw-dropping, but it's a sweet promising debut that makes me want to check out her subsequent LP. Her vox is really nice and is the overarching element of the album, the background music changing exploring different electronica directions - varying lever of poppiness. 1 is quite light summery dream pop, and I kinda wish it either went full way summer pop, or remained darker and more subtle, instead of remaining in a grey zone. 2's a bit dull, weakest track here. 3 is nice but had potential it didn't live up to, still with nice vox of course. 4 and 5 are quite cool and interesting (4 being some sort of dub house track I guess), and would be the reason why I'd ever come back to this. 3.2
Harm Done Hammer Tape '15
First track sounds a bit bmey mixed with upbeat and fast riff changes from hxc which is cool, the rest is fine but this is just too short to rate much higher than a 3.0
Harm Done Harm Done
Some tracks are cool (first half of 3, 7), but they're all so short and the album (EP?) itself is so short that it literally never has tome to make a lasting impression, especially since their sound, while cool and fun, is not hugely recognisable vs. other hxc thingies. 3.1
Harrison BDP ARS001
1 is a really chill, bass led, nearly voxless house track and is quite atmospheric and nice. 2 strips away more of the house elements and drags for a bit too long, with some gimmicky elements like the wobble around min 5. Brought this down a few points. Remix doesn't count in my rating but it's merely alright at first then unfolds weirdly. 3.15
Hatchie Sugar and Spice
I liked the first track a fair bit, nice Aussie dreamy pop. However every track after that gets
less and less good, turning more into pop of the annoying kind while retaining fewer dream pop
elements. I'm not that excited about her LP now. The closer is a frank 2.6 and the overall album
is a 3.1
Also that album cover is so cringy
Hatchie and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart Sometimes Always
1 is not great and too short, feels pointless. 2 is a fun Hatchie song that'll go into my playlists. Heh this is like 5 min long so just check it, but as a record it's kinda weak. https://hatchie.bandcamp.com/album/sometimes-always 2.8
Helen The Original Faces
The first third sounds like dream pop that would fit right in at the end of a Black Mirror episode, the second third sounds like slightly noisier shoegaze, and the last third sounds like an amateur band tried to replicate the latter two in a garage. Not bad, but really not memorable at all for me and no jam to retain. 3.0
HLLW Bølge
This isn't particularly groundbreaking or memorable, but it reaffirms MORK as a dub techno label you should keep an eye out for. Quality little EP that never sounds quite amazing, but is also consistently good. 2-3 are a little bouncier than the dreamy 1, and 3 feels slightly superior and a bit like a jam. Unfortunately, 4 is a bit weaker with an awkward beat and general lack of energy, thankfully it is the shortest track here but it takes the record down the couple points 3 had earned it. 3.0
I Hate Models Intergalactic Emotional Breakdown
Failed potential, especially on track 1 and 2, but worth checking out. The songs are too long, poorly constructed, and often have gimmicky bits that break them. Album intro is pounding and would be nice in club but isn't so nice to listen to. At min 3 we get some touches of the epic synths that made Warehouse Memories EP so glorious, and the track honestly had the potential to match that EP in quality as it displays sublime moments if it weren't for the excessive length and gimmicky bits. 2 again is kinda cool and pounding, but the gimmicky vocals and 808's break it again. I wish he stuck to his darker style, could've been a hell of a track. Wanted it to end by min 7. 3 is more subtle and atmospheric, the most consistent track here. It looses its quality around min 4, but at min 6 we get a nice synthy transition into more psychedelic dub techno that makes for a nice finale, and the track brings the album up a couple points. I don't take the vinyl only track into account for my rating here, and thank goodness because it is annoying as fuck. 3.2
I Hate Models / Umwelt Requiems
The IHM track is cool and would work great as a set closer or something - not so much for at home listening but cool. The Umwelt track has ideas but doesn't function at all as a track imo. https://newfleshrecords.bandcamp.com/album/rave-or-die-10-gold-2019-rod10gold 2.8
Ichiko Aoba 鮎川のしづく
A fine listen, but not really one I'd hugely recommend. The bulk of the album is made of hydrophone (I suppose) recordings that mostly make you want to pee, but aren't all that compelling otherwise - it's fine but I've heard more interesting field recordings. Some of the tracks have more elements and are cooler, like 5 with the guitar and the man talking. In its second half the album brings more and more musical elements, which in contrast to the relative emptiness of the first half is a welcome refreshing addition no matter how minimal. 13-14 is thus kinda nice, and 15-16 with the guitar and low and behold her singing. 16 is way too long though and goes on erratically. 17 is still pretty, and 18 is a superb piano-led jam, perhaps the only track here that will actually stick in my memory. 19 is cute but the singing feels a bit too whiny/chipmunkey in places, prefacing some of the memey vocals on 22 where it's a least cute but evokes meow meow ratings from community, and 23 where it's frankly rofl. Eh I didn't mind it and there's a jam so 2.8
indigo la End Crying End Roll
Way too erratic as a record to really hook me, this feels like it wants to go in too many directions, some of which work beautifully, but a lot of which do not. A prime example is 7 being a remix in the middle of the record, taking IlE into an (kinda boring) electronic turn all of a sudden. The closing remix on 12 felt more appropriate and interesting, albeit not greatly executed. Intro's nice though. The tracks that do work are mostly the opener, which while having a slightly cheesy naive feel to it does emulate the bouncy IlE sound heard previously, and 9 which is a superb jam and the best track here, bringing back the bass heard on the previous album, and feeling weirdly lost in the middle of this record. 2-3 decrease the energy from 1 a fair bit, but the end of 3 is quite nice as far as laid back atmospheres go. 5 brings the cheesiness way back, and 6 is a bit annoying if you ask me. 8 shows the electrojazz (?) sound done quite nicely before the vox kick in and kinda break it for me. 10 comes right after the best jam here and is one of the few actually annoying tracks, showing how erratic the record is. 11's alright but by then I was lost entirely. Still has good bits here and there so 2.9
Infant Island Sepulcher
Between explosions, this is full of sweet melodies, nice buildups, and great transitions. Whenever it explodes and goes full on screamo mode, this sounds like ass because of the mushy, muddy, flat prod. Remastered, this could be great, but as it is I have a hard time getting into it. I think the cymbals in particular sound like white noise more than they sound like drums really? Weird. All the gorgeousness and cinematic grandeur of the post-rocky guitars is effaced by a wash of unrecognisable distorted sounds. Not a huge fan of the vox either. Track 3's an alright droney interlude, but this is so short I'm not sure it was really needed. 2.85
Internazionale The Opaline Dancer
I like the title, but yeah I can't find anything as interesting as EftV in this guy's discog so far. This one almost sounds like dungeon synth at times, like on track 1 or 2 and in the middle of the album, but it's not the best I've seen and apart from that it struggles to set a mood. 3.0
Internazionale Sisters Of Ambrosia
This is ok drone, but I find it a bit flat without entertaining enough textures to maintain full interest all the way through. Mostly noisy textures with very few smooth or organic elements. I don't think it would stand its own on focused listen, but on background listen it's ok. 3.1
Internazionale Protection Glass
Mah, this is fine but nothing to retain really. End of track 1 is the best bit, track 2 is cool, first track of track 1 warrants the same comments as Armour of Stars. Sweet drone but not quite memorable. 3.0
Internazionale The Pale and the Colourful
4 is a nice track and quite a jammy one for the matter, but apart from that this is eh
ambient/drone/synth stuff. It is too bleep bloopey to my taste to really set an atmosphere,
yet not melodic enough to entertain without a texture focus. It is quite synthy in parts,
e.g. on the closer, and often sounds like B-sides of the Stranger Things OST, in a bad way.
It's fine but eh. 2.9
Jay Mitta Tatizo Pesa
A genre I had never even heard of (singeli is it?), and it makes me want to hear more from
it, even though I don't feel like this is the strongest album in the genre? Not sure. This
uses a combination of very high tempoed electronic-ish beats, electronic sounds, and more
organic sounds coming from what I guess must be traditional instruments - at least I can't
identify them really. This feels like it would be insane drugged up in a Dar Es Salaam
nightclub or something, but I'm not sure how it fits into at-home listening. 1 was a bit
weird and headachy and got me a bit worried, and the intro to 3 was similar, but the track
gets cool thereafter and 2 is nice too. 4 boasts fun sounds. A lot of the tracks thereafter
gave me videogame OST vibes and felt like they would be dope on some cool action packed
level or someting, like a sped up Electronic Super Joy OST of sorts on 5, or 7 having more
of a haunted mansion level atmosphere. 8 and 9 also gave me video game vibes, 9 being a bit
less nice. By 6 the album gets a bit much though, and I wasn't a huge fan of the closer,
but again it has the merit of making me want to dig further into the genre. 3.2
jofi Lafcádio
Sput-made ambient with an increasingly organic instrumental sound and decreasing electronicness to it. Album has nice textures throughout, but the second half feels more complete due to richer composition and shift in instrumentation than the first one. So track 3, 4, 5 are faves here. 3.1
Julia Brown Library B/W I wanna be a witch
This is really short and I kind of wonder why it exists tbh. It sounds like songs taken from LP1 but with much, much cleaner prod, which takes away a lot of the charm imo. On 1-2 the vocals stand out far too much, and it shows that they're not all that good. Sounded much better when buried deep inside a wall of bad prod. On 3 it those work though, as the song is much lusher and boasts a backing vocalist which makes the scarce vox sound a lot better. Kinda jammy but it is very short sadly. This is nice but feels kinda pointless. 2.9
Jun Fukamachi Starview HCT-5808
I absolutely loved the quirky and cute album intro on this, but after that it felt like a long series of good synthy jazz fusion-ish stuff sprinkled over a sea of just weird bleeps and bloops which I wasn't a fan of. Min 7 feels like the album finally starting with cool drumming, a synth build up and an actual melody. It sounds a bit like a futurustic Sci-fi Mario Partyesque version of Tigran Hamasyan there for a minute. Min 9 has some fun Pink Floydesque vintage synthy stuff. Min 18 is fun. See how sparse it is? This is full of cool ideas but they just last for a minute or two and then it goes back to semi-uneventful stuff. Min 22 has a lovely droney sound. 24 boasts some nice, simple piano, and 27 is a beautiful passage too . The distorted synths at min 36 are cool. Thankfully, the last 10 minutes of the album are consistently good and take us from a successful mix of synth and pianos to a fun guitar solo, to a bouncy funky groove etc etc. Wish the whole album was like that conclusion, which bumps it a point. 3.1
KAS:ST Cosmic Walkers
Good dark and industrial techno atmosphere, but really not much that is memorable to get this higher than a 3.0. It does have some good ideas and textures to bring it above the 2.5 bar, but probably won't re-listen to this.
keepsakes Puerile Politics
Gritty techno with good ideas but poor execution. 1 is ok but has a questionable beat and leads that aren't good enough to quite make up for it. It improves around 2:30 and I dig the The Prodigy vibe there; after that, the track pounds much harder, but the beat is still questionable in places. 2 is worse and just a weak track overall. 3 is quite good and funky but the execution is messy. Some tracks are jammy but the track feels like it doesn't quite know which direction to go into and thus changes all the time. Some section are still dancey and bouncy, bring the record up a solid notch, and I think at a club or something I might find it jammy. The remix on 4 is boring but I don't factor it into the rating. 3.05
Kelela Hallucinogen
Nice and pleasant R&B - but only nice and pleasant. People are complaining about her similarity rto FKA Twigs, but this record has a lot less weirdness and personality to it in my opinion, which rmakes it safe but also less interesting. 1-3 are a straight up 3.0, very nice but nothing rmemorable enough to be a jam. 4 is a touch more memorable, and 5-6 take it up another notch with ra touch more experimental sounds - 6 being a potential jam. This slightly better second half rbumps the record to a 3.1
Koffee Rapture
What one would imagine reggae in 2019 would sound like. Vague trap influences, very clean production. Track 1 is a jam, track 2 and 5 are ok, 4 is meh and 3 is just annoying. She has potential but the songwriting isn't quite there yet. At least it has cool vibes. 3.2
Krzysztof Penderecki St. Luke Passion
I did not quite finish this yesterday, but I don't think I'll be coming back to it any time soon - even though I need to eventually because I might be missing something -, so I am giving it a not super firm rating now. While this has great moments - for example the opening and closing and the first act on Penderecki's take (with the cover art that's here) -, they feel far too disjointed to really strike. In particular, there are long, drown out pauses, or phases where someone is merely speaking over near silence, which makes the whole thing feel more like a mass or even a sort of twisted musical at times in lieu of a prolonged, coherent piece of music from start to finish. And because of that I have a hard time appreciating the scarce musical bits which do get fantastic and are quite diverse, but are just sprinkled over far too empty a plate. 3.0
Krzysztof Penderecki Three Miniatures for Clarinet and Piano
This is nice, 1 and 3 are fun and playful, but it's also so short and random it feels like excerpts from a bigger piece instead of something that would work standalone. It's weird to rate but I'd say 3.0
Lantlos Isern Himel - Demo 2005-2007
A promising start. 1 is pretty generic bm, and is a bit underserved by the prod which is quite fan on the drums but really flat on the guitars, numbing the metal a bit. But 2 is already a fairb bit more interesting starting with its pretty intro and with its bridge but also even in the bm part themselves which just feel fuller, especially the post-bridge re-explosion. 3 is an instrumental piano track that is very nice to see especially on a bm record in 2005, evoking remote Hisaishi notes. 4 is then a sweet acoustic guitar outro. The issue is, I thought both these tracks and 4 especially were introes. The fact that nothing comes after 4 makes it feel like they put an outro track after an interlude, which is just strange and throws the listener off. To be fair it seems like this is a compilation, but to me that is the main flaw here. Move 1 after 4 and fuse them into one track, and it'd be a different story. 3.1
Les Discrets/Alcest Split
This is a pretty weird record, mostly made of tracks from other albums. Track 3 is probably the stupidest with a demo version of a previously released LD track. Breaks the cohesiveness of the record that was already tenuous owing to its split nature given the poor demo production of the track. Track 1 is as always for me with LD gorgeous instrumentally but yaawn vocally. Track 2 is actually my favourite from LD. Percees De Lumiere stands out and completely eclipses the rest of the record by miles and miles. Sole reason with track 2 why this is not less than a 2.0. Last track is ok but so cliche. A weird, completely incoherent record that I don't think should exist. 2.8
Lillet Blanc Casco Bay
Not super convinced by this one. The songs feel messy, heteroclite and inconsistent with a little bit too much going on at once and not enough stability to either build up an atmosphere or create hooking melodies. I also don't like the vox here as much, they fit mush better on the lush atmosphere of the s/t. 1 is still a jam with a lovely blend of surf rock and dream pop, which we find again on 5 but in a less good version. 6 is quite groovy but also dreamy, more in the vein of the s/t. 2 is lusher, 3 has a nice use of abrasive guitars but that just doesn't fit with the rest, and 4 features keys that sound really odd. All three tracks but especially the latter two show what I mean by the record being 'messy'. The first track is the only one I'd come back to, otherwise I'll take the s/t over this any day. 3.2
Loure Avenues
This is a nice jazzy house EP. The production is good but still sounds a little bit amateur in some places - you can almost see the loop running on FL studio with some piano sampler if you've had experience with that. Probably wouldn't be able to tell listening to this where it is meant to be listened to: on a beach, in the car, at a pool party. This is a feel good record and it does feel groovy and relaxing - that's all we ask from it. Last track stands a bit above the pack, third track is the weakest in my taste. 3.2
Lous and the Yakuza Solo
Nice RnB/pop from Congo/Belgium, with a relatively light tone musically but heavier stuff lyrically. There are also some trap leanings especially on the last track. It's nice but a bit inoffensive, there isn't much here that struck me but there's also nothing bad really. I'll check the LP with very mild excitement when it comes out. I wouldn't be surprised to see her get lots of success here in BE though. 3.05
Lucy Camp Summer Camp
This offers a cool unexpected blend of dream pop, synthwave and rap/trap vibes, but the execution is not always successful. 1 is kinda jammy as the dreamiest track here, 2 following in the same vibe but feeling less impactful. 4 is also a successful track offering strong indie pop vibes, and the track could pass on Triple J or something. 3 goes into a darker nightmarish vibe, but the vocal become far more generic and frankly a bit dull. 5 and 6 definitely brought this sub 3.5. The instrumental on 5 feels quite amateur imo, although the rapped delivery has improved (is it the feat?), resulting in a meh track. 6 improves with cool synth work and gets quite nice in the midtrack, but the conclusion with the vocoded vox is again not too great imo, bringing this to a 3.15
Lucy Camp Down Talk
The tracks are usually quite fun, but I really do not dig her rapping delivery. It is fine at first, but it is very flat and repetitive, and also gives off strong Cardi vibes which I'm not a fan of. It does work a bit better on 3, but the male guest on 4 has the exact same problems and doesn't save anything. The track does have a nice beat but the rapping feels out of place. Track 2 is really cool apart from the rapping, the opening track being quite anecdotal. Up to track 4 this was looking at an upper 3.0 rating, but the fifth track reusing Burial's Archangel entirely without any credit, adding one quirky synth that breaks the atmosphere, and rapping over it with her flow was something I did not appreciate at all and dropped this quite a few points. The idea of rapping over Burial is cool, but the flow ought to be better, Burial's vox ought to be taken out, and most importantly he should be credited if you're going to change so little shouldn't he? 2.9
Lyna Lemon Haze
Sweet and diverse Belgian pop EP that shows promise but also lots of room for improvement. A recurring problem is that she seems to not put enough power or aggressiveness in her vox, resulting in it feeling a bit like she's trying too hard to be badass. This is mostly felt on some rapping sections, but also in sung sections on the closer. 1 is a cute, bouncy and bubbly pop track, probs the best here. Sounds a bit Ariana-esque, but it's not a copy by any means. It's way too short though. 2 creates a bad and awkward transition into annoying urban vibes with an annoying hook and vox that struggle to match the aggressive tone, although the second half is a touch better. 3 would have been a much nicer transition, also with urban vibes but with much more restraint and sweetness in the vox - remind me of Koffee. Kinda cool tbh, but again too short. 4 has a sweet intro, but once it kicks all in it's really not my cuppa. Once she sings and stops rapping it's actually kinda cool. 5 mixes 2000's RnB with some glitchy undertones and is an interesting kinda cool track. 6 is a slightly Banks-flavoured RnB, not bad, but not crazy good. Overall 2.9
Mad'M When the Sun and the Moon Rise
Best daroncore ever 3.0
Mamiffer Statu Nascendi
Meh. I really, really liked the first track, and the second track was ok too albeit nowhere near as good. I was still hopeful, but track 3 and 4 crushed those hopes in boredom. I don't know how to describe this: droney ambient post-rocky folk with female witchy vocals? Had lots of potential, but only fulfilled in the first track. 3.1
Marco Fusinato Spectral Arrows: Singapore
First track is great harsh noise, but towards the end you feel the traps it will fal into in the second track, as the wall of noise stops abruptly in I daresay a completely non musical way. Just sounds like your Internet connection is having trouble? And while in the first track it only occurs a couple times towards the end, the second track is almost entirely constructed around that. Plus there are a couple sections where the noise wall just isn't nice. Still a good listen for the most part though. https://ujikaji.bandcamp.com/album/spectral-arrows-singapore 3.0
Marie Dahlstrøm Gloom
A nice EP that would have gained a lot from being 10 minutes shorter. While she sings well, I wish there were more dynamics throughout the record in terms of register, processing, or energy level. It makes tracks which in a vacuum would be quite neat feel a bit redundant, 'more of the same' and thus far less impactful than they could be. This is especially true after the nice interlude on 6, where the nice and elegant 7 and 8 feel like they overextend the record despite being quite nice. I have to say the backing vocals and the male guest on 7 and 8 respectively help a bit, and she definitely had the right idea to add variety with 10 finally adding loads of variation. It comes a bit late, but certainly makes for one of the greatest tracks here with the most depth. Unfortunately the EP is also ill constructed, as both 9 (soft emotional track, really not the place to have that as energy curve was already headed down, nice buildup of energy and bass though so it's fine) and 10 could have been nice album conclusions, lessening the impact of 10 and making the outro 11 feel unnecessary. Drops this below 3.5 tier. Before that, 1's a pretty album intro, 2's fine but fairly generic although it gets way better by 1min30 gets chill with some of the pianos, 3 is very elegant with the piano, 4 is one of the best with great guitar tone in the intro followed by nice vocals and drums, while 5 is also top tier with its more upbeat vibe and nice rapped additions - sadly as I said above it is followed by an excessively long dip in energy. 3.2
Marrasmieli Between Land And Sky
Cool bm with some slaying riffz, but also with some protracted material. Unlike some of the others here I find the folk/synth additions very fitting, as they make the otherwise quite hollow and pale prod feel a tad fuller and more powerful. In fact I find the album works best when those elements are mixed to the bm, whereas when they're not like on 3 the tracks feel weaker. 4 does make it work though thanks to fuller tones and textures, and quite fat midtrack riffage. 2 has some fun riffs too. In 6 the synthy elements do feel a bit contrived I agree, but the riff at min 7 slays hard. Sadly it is quite short, and the lengthy outro brought this right back down to a (sorry DDD) 3.2
Memoryhouse The Slideshow Effect
More folky pop, less dream. This can be especially noticed on 6, which despite the melody being nearly the same feels like a completely different track to the version on The Years. Right after that 7 is a jam and probably the dreamiest song on the record, 1 being kinda nice too. But apart from that this is pretty mild and bland I gotta say. 2.8
Memoryhouse Soft Hate
Nicer than their previous LP, but really not mindblowing. Feels more like poppy pop in lieu of folky indie dream pop at times. 3 and 7 are kinda jams, but the record often feels a little naive and innocent, like on 8 (although the end of the track is nice). It'd be quite nice to jam in the car with non musical friends maybe, but not much beyond that. 3.1
Memoryhouse Digital Fire, Digital Burn
Fun little compil, nothing too serious but it was a good listen. The last track is fun in sort of drugged up electronica dream pop. You know what, despite the Christmas theme and the godawful art I might come back and re-listen to this. 3.2
Mental Architects Celebrations
This little math-rock EP has some cool bouncy groovy moments. At other times it sounds very much like ASIWYFA, which isn't bad at all. The rest, most of the album, is simply 'ok'. Nothing incredible here but a nice listen still. 2.9
Misthyrming Algleymi
I quite disliked two thirds of this, but the last third is cool. I had a hard time with the vox, but that's not the only problem. 1-3 have cool intros, but the tracks develop into things I don't like too much, with gimmicky bits and solos, and by the end of 3 I was already bored. The album almost feels like (but doesn't sound like) power metal in places. 4 has a nice ambient feel, but then evolves melodically into boring power metal territory before ending on a fade out. 5 transitions awfully and 5-6 are just boring, although nicely hell-sounding. 6-8 are much better than the rest and show that the band can be successful with this style. The midtrack on 7 feels like cool black'n'roll. 8 is nice and melodic, quite rich, and has a cool album outro. If it were instrumental, it might be a jam. Overall this is maybe a 3.0
Moonchild Be Free
It has cool moments, but this is really not as groovy and cool as it could have been - probably owing to the somewhat slow tempos throughout the whole album. The album has dynamics, but those aren't all that great - 'Turn It Up' for example feels completely out of place and disrupts the album rather than bringing welcome variation in it. Vibes and energy are quickly lost and the album ends up being a pleasant but not that memorable background soul record. Has potential though, as some sections are really great and the vocals are of high quality. 3.2r
Morbid Angel Blessed Are the Sick
Not a fair comparison since I jammed them weeks and weeks apart, but did not impress me nearly as much as Altars did. Sounds gimmickier and more outdated. The middle of the album has some good old school death metal tracks, but the first few and last few tracks especially are kinda meh and really wankery at times. The notable exceptions are the two instrumentals, with 'Desolate Ways' being my fav track of the album. 3.0r
Nails Obscene Humanity
Cool, riffy and fun, but the prod tames it down a lot. The 2014 should top this completely hopefully. Still a good demo to start a discog with, 3.2
Natalia Lafourcade Natalia Lafourcade
This is very different from what I know from her more recent output, but it still is good fun. This is essentially a late 90s pop record (in 2003) with her vox, which feel less mature and are not always on point, but are still fine. Track 9 is an example where the instrumental is really nice and fun but her vox doesn't feel like it really fits. 2-4 are kinda fine, 5 is a highlight and is quite funky, 6 has good melody in places but isn't all too great, 7 is interesting with a sort of DnB beat to it. 8 shows more rock influences. 10-12 is more of the same in the early record. The remix track is a bit annoying, but the acoustic closer is really nice - perhaps because that's what I am used to hearing from her. This is a nice debut but in a vacuum it's not hugely interesting. 3.15
Necrophagist Necrophagist
The start of the record is a bit funny I gotta say, and the vox takes some getting used to, but every track feels like it improves. Prod isn't the best but compared to the prior demo it feels fantastic. 2 offers fun riffage, 3 is actually pretty arhd, and 4 has a lovely bass in the intro and made me actually enjoy the solo towards the end. Solid. Now, as I understand it, the band that recorded this pretty much fell apart so I wonder how different the LP will be, but as a demo/first EP this is exciting nonetheless. 3.55
Night Flowers Glow in the Dark
Always nice, never marking, super short, and 2 feels a bit gnangnan. 3.15
Night Flowers Hey Love
1 is a pretty kinda jammy track, but 2-3 felt quite naive and not in a good way, although 3 does show some nice rock influences. By the looks of it 1 is the only one that made it to the LP so that's good I guess? Also means there isn't a reason for me to come back to this really unless the LP ends up being terrible. 3.05
No Somos Marineros D'arcy
This a case of a talented band suffering from lackluster album construction and struggling to commit to a direction. They switched to a hazier, shoegazey kinda direction with lots of chorus and phaser. That's fine and could have been fun, but it feels like they were hesitant with the change. 1 is really upbeat with their super drumming again, but then 2 is awkward, then 3 brings the drumming again over the shoegazy vibes. Cool track and the band definitely finds great melodies, riffs etc, but the problem is that after the album has stated itself as kind of upbeat with prominent drums, the band chooses to turn the energy way down and go for really relaxed songs. 4 whose intro is a clear example of their renewed aesthetic, 5 which does have a cool explosion at 3min but with lazy vocals still that feel like they weren't decided on making a proper explosion, and the lazy 6. Idk if it is a matter of mood but this switch to much more relaxed vibes didn't work for me, because after the tasters 1-3 you're waiting for the band's energy to pick back up and it doesn't quite do that. 7 is nice dream pop but with excessively lazy vocals. 8 brings back the more aggressive sound, but it feels a bit weird after these tracks. At least it prefaces 9 which finally goes full on and is a really cool track, buuut ends on a fadeout. Yeah this is full of ideas but it is missing some fundamental sequencing and construction. 3.15
NOISIA The Tide/Concussion
First track is Noisia doing Noisia, nice but not memorable really, second track is kinda cheeky and fun and bumps this up a couple points (it"s only a two tracker after all) 3.2
Noname Room 25
This will require a re-listen before becoming a definitive statement, but the album fails to create as strong an atmosphere and mood as Telefone did. It is in the same style, there is an attempt for sure, but it just does not work. In a vacuum though this is still a pleasant little hip-hop EP with interesting instrumentals and vocal deliveries. 3.2
Nothing Tired of Tomorrow
I really like Nothing's sound. Pretty much any generic song by them sounds great to me, and that is exactly what happened on this album. It does have some scarce good moments, especially in the beginning, but after the first couple tracks it never caught my attention at any point even though it all sounds great. There are no catchy melodies, riffs, or vocals that stand out and make you want to stop for a second to listen closely. There are no bad moments either, and in general it is a very pleasant album, but for me it was quite a big step down from their previous opus. 3.4
Nthng It Never Ends
Re-jamming this in preparation for the new LP but it was just as I remembered: really not all that marking. The prelude is quite cool and slowly builds a wall of synths, nicely stating that this will be an album that takes its time - at 70 minutes, that's quite accurate. The problem is that, until the closing trilogy which I find better crafted than the rest, and with the exception of 4 which was a standout single on the EP but here feels like it blurs itself into a sea of bore, this album never truly grabs me and feels like it has a lot of incongruous elements. The songs are too long and there isn't much for the mind to be hooked to. The simplistic beat on 2 for instance completely breaks the atmosphere 1 took so long to build, and I just don't get that. The bassline is nice, and some sections are cool, but the track overall fails to ever convince me. Same goes for 5. 3 has a way darker beat which is more cohesive with 1 and nicer, but is still meh. Then on its latter third-ish, the record improves. 6 is a snthy interlude akin to 1, 7 is alright generic nthng material, 8 shows a cool blend of Shed and nthng but should have been 6 minutes shorter, and finally 9 is what I had been waiting for all along on this album with the only true standout track alongside 4, with a nice, dark, cold, broody, foggy atmosphere to it. Bumps this a point or two to a 3.05
Nthng 1996
First track is excellent - man at that point nthng was such a hot artist with that following Remember Us. It starts off with a darker, industrial, Henning Baer-esque beat, which is odd from nthng. But quickly, the dub synths come in place and somehow fit perfectly that darker beat. The first couple minutes are full of surprises in fact, with excellent additional hats added and vocal samples. The track unfolds well and is a cool jam. The third track has a cool groovy drum beat, but is far simpler and feels a bit bland and forgettable in comparison. The second track takes everything 1 and 3 do well, and does it badly. It attempts a groovy beat that just doesn't work and that characterises the kind of techno I usually skip; the additional drums sound completely out of place and the vocal samples do nothing to help. A poor track despite the usual dub synths. Definitely do jam the t/t on this, the rest isn't really worth it though imo. 3.2
Obliteration Nekropsalms
From this I conclude that I don't like doom/death because frankly the slower parts bored me almost without fail, except for the riff near the end of 4. It doesn't help that it sounds like this record was recorded in 92 and mixed in 88 while being two decades years younger. Now they do have some truly great riffage in the faster sections - and some pretty run of the mill but at least efficient and energetic bits too -. The riffing midtrack on 1, the intros to 2, 5-6, the super cool end of first third riff on 6 or some of the faster bits on 7 are all good examples. The issue is that those faster paced sections are scarce and very short lived. You get fifteen seconds of excitement and then boom it's doom. 6 was perhaps my fave track because it lined up some of the most fun riffs and keeps this above 3.0, but yeah no matter how much I like those sections, 5 minutes of them in a 40min long album is just not my idea of a strong album. 3.1
Oh, Yoko Amusement Park
This is a collection of ambient ideas ranging from samples from very old songs to guitar ambient to relatively droney stuff. It is all pretty and well produced, but the problem is right there: it is just a collage of ideas. It is too random and changing to function well as an ambient sort of piece, and as a result if feels more like a series of cool interludes or intros you'd see on a Refused record for example, but not quite standalone music. Still sweet and 3.1
Oh, Yoko I Love You...
I have trouble with music this contemplative being so disjointed. I feel like an ambient-leaning album should morph from idea to idea, and only rarely be abrupt. This one breaks its own atmosphere with several transitions - the end of 1 which breaks its otherwise solid atmosphere with interesting elements, the awful drum introduction on 3 after the blissful 2, though followed by a fun ambient jpop track that doesnt quite commit, back into the hypnotic but not super great 4, or the intro of 8 which is cool but breaks the atmosphere again. Even between tracks that do flow well there often is no transition to speak of or no connection really. There are tracks that do function very well: 5 which is great music to look at the slow life in the trees - would've been a great album intro imo -, the cool foresty sounds of 6 with some Sigur Ros DNA, the fun synth+voice combination on 7 evoking a much much more accessible La Monte Young, the very nice 10 with its dark and ominous Celer-ey (lol) sounds, the nice vocal ambients on 12, the nice synthwork on 13, and the stunning 14, perhaps my fave here as a soft and inspiring tracks. That is most tracks, true, but as a record this feels more like a compilation to me, and again especially with this vibe and genre mix I have trouble with that. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood, I'll give this another listen. 3.2
Oh, Yoko Sports Day
With this I got pretty much the same feeling as with Alex Cameron. I don't really see the appeal or the point. All four tracks are essentially made of one synth line plus cute vocals atop. 2 does have more interesting sounds, and 4 is at least upbeat with its more prominent drums, but yeah apart from that I see nothing bad but also nothing really great. 3.0
Oiseaux-Tempete Oiseaux-Tempête
Feels like off-brand GY!BE at times. Not bad by any means, but didn't have very many high points for me. Good, not great.
Old Tower The Rise of the Specter
This is cute dungeon synth, but really nothing all that great. Maybe dungeon synth just isn't my thing. Might re-listen. 3.1
Oneohtrix Point Never Zones Without People
I mean this is cute but I have a hard time seeing beyond the dorky videogame OST textures, except maybe on the first track which I enjoyed a fair amount. There are no transitions whatsoever between tracks, and these complete blanks ruin the little album structure there even was in the first place. This sounds more like a compilation of synth improvs someone made in their bedroom than a real meaningful album. 3.1
Pallbearer Sorrow And Extinction
Yawn. Doom metal with a vague sludgy tone and vocals from the 80's. Mostly ok, but often gimmicky - especially the second half of the last track urgh. Best track was the 3rd one I guess, or maybe the first half of the last track, but even those I'm not really interested in re-listening. Did not get psychedelic vibes from this really. 3.0
Paysage d'Hiver Die Festung
Pretty inconsequential Pd'H synth ambient record with no bm whatsoever. Track 1 is the best and
probably 3.9 material as it creates a great atmosphere. Definite re-listen. The other tracks are
all a little bit quirky and bleep bloopey. They aren't bad but just really mwerf. Not memorable.
Not bad, but not good either except one track: a textbook 3.0
Paysage d'Hiver Kerker
Bit of a love-hate relationship with this one. The mix changes the one band frequency it lets through (yes) and shifts towards a muffled low end compared to the crisp aggressive treble-intense mix of previous records, particularly the direct predecessor to Kerker - the s/t. Vocals also shift down and move from piercing shrieks to guttural almost dm growls, which fit the mix better. The result of this is on the one hand, interesting dark ambient with a vague bm/dm undertone that expresses despair, darkness and isolation of industrial life, as opposed to the wide open white spaces of blizzardy winter the previous records evoked, and on the other hand, sounds like what a Pd'H gig would sound like if you were standing outside the venue down the street and could hear the basses from the gig from far away a little bit. Overall bit of a meh from me, but appreciable meh. 3.0
Pestilence The Penance
I like the intro track, but the three 'real' tracks were quite meh. 3 was my favourite beside the intro track because it has the most good riffage, but throughout the record the good riffs are lost between wankery sections and questionable transitions, and the vocals are quite meh. It's a good demo, but no one that would have gotten me super hyped as it lacks any real non-generic high point. 3.0
Pestilence Spheres
Pestilence go much softer on this one, both in prod and actual music played. They also go much more prog, and one effect is to make the synthy videogamey interludes work here. They sound crazy and prog a la TDEP or Refused, not out of place like on their previous lp where the contrast with brutal thrashened death metal was just bizarre. Tracks 4 and 7 are good example. This is true too for the main tracks, although most of the time those synthy and electronic sounds are poorly used and do sound out of the place like on track 5, sometimes they work really well. It creates a sort of weird crazy sound again a bit a la TDEP - I wouldn't be surprised if they liked this album - and track 3 for example is kind of a crazy weird jam. The middle section on 6 is a real prog jam too. However the album as a whole failed to convince me, as it has few true jams, and many many quirky dorky sections or sound that don't work, but I clearly prefer it over to TotA. 3.1
Pianos Become the Teeth Keep You
This album has a much more pop feeling to it than their other records, beyond the obvious post-rock/emo. Album feels quite flat, and more like a collection of songs than a real album with structure and evolution. The songs work very well in a vacuum, but as part of the overall album they just blend together due to the lack of dynamics. This makes most of the songs pretty forgettable - even though the album has really excellent tracks too. A lot of songs also feel like they end when really they should have started exploding. A lot of climatic moments are missing, which contributes to the album feeling bland.
Pianos Become the Teeth Wait For Love
Very similar to its predecessor, but in my opinion a little bit better. The band seems more
comfortable with their new softer sound and experiments with it a little bit more, offering
a fresher and less bland album. However the quality drops somewhat towards the end of the
record, and overall it still only is worth a 3.2-3.3
Pierre Schaeffer Le Trièdre fertile
This one is far more recent (composed in 1975 unlike what sput says), so the 'this was revolutionary for its time' effect is quite diminished. It is also far more electronic sounding and less tape-y, whether or not they actually did use synths for this I'm not sure. But for the most parts this sounds a lot like someone recording random bleeps on a synthetizer and not much else. 2 does have a nice sine wavey texture, 3 plays with noisy textures nicely and has cool sounds in the midtrack, 5 has better than average bleeps, and the end of 7 is kinda cool, but overall I can't say this is too interesting or much of a good listen. 3.0
Pillorian Obsidian Arc
The first track is quite cool and made me hopeful this would be good - like Agalloch gone even blacker than on MotS. Except the rest of the album was a passable 'not bad, but not great'. Really not that exciting black metal, and it is quite disappointing to hear Haugm's vocals on such unimaginative music given his past output. 'The Sentient Arcanum' is a cool noise track. 3.1
Pink Floyd More
Tbf to them this isn't really a canon album, but more like a quickly made side OST project. Had it stopped at 9 it could have been 3.2-3.3 material, but the last tracks are really a letdown. 11 is a prime example, being clearly an OST filler track and nothing else. 12 is funny at least, and 13 is nice but sound like an interlude. Before that, the album has better tracks but it still woefully constructed with repeated dramatic changes in mood and style. 1 is a nice intro track, and 2 is PF going hard rock which is kinda cool although it gets gimmicky. 3 is gorgeous. 4 is weird,5 is a nice happy folk song, 7 has cool tribal-ish drums, 8 is kinda cute and atmospheric and is a jam, 9 goes back to rock and is a fairy average track that ends on a fadeout but the bass is quite bouncy. See what I meant about album construction? 3.05
Pocahaunted Gold Miner's Daughters
Weird tribal ambient/soundtrack material. First track is the best (3.8-3.9). The rest is mostly dull, with scarce great sections - for instance a droney country depressed ambient section on the second track that reminds of GYBE - that do not make up for the overall feeling of meh. 3.2
Polygon Woods Window Seat / Rabbit Holes
By the looks of it this is just a compil of two singles off a future album (?) rather than a legit EP in due form. Indeed the two tracks feel massively disjointed and lack any context, but because this is a single it isn't a surprise that construction is a bit inadequate. These are good tunes though: while 1 is a bit run of the mill Polygon Woods its conclusion is quite cool, and same can be said of 2. So exciting for the EP/LP they preface, but in and of itself as a record this is a bit strange. 3.1
Pool Kids Music to Practice Safe Sex To
This has great instrumentations, but to me the vocals are often out of place. They are sometimes really great and complement the music nicely, but oftentimes they sound amateur and bring the record down a level in my opinion. Cool indie/math-rock nonetheless.
Porches. Water
Nice, but doesn't work superbly well. It is simpler and more bare bones than the same tracks on Pool, resulting in a safer, less annoying, but ultimately less interesting record. 1 is kinda bouncy but what the hell was the ending of it. 3 is kinda catchy, 4 is nicely summery and pop but the vox are a bit much and boring, and that applies to a lot of the rest of the record in fact. 5 is a weak track, 6 starts off very smooth and could have been a sort of jam if it weren't for the cringy vocals it unfolds into. 7 is kinda cool and shows the album feeling very 80s like on Pool, but again the vox fails. 8 is a folktronica outro which could have been weird but actually works quite nicely to wrap up the album. Still can't shake that feeling of meh though. 3.0
Porches. The House
Much more electronica based than their prior output, this one hits perhaps harder when it does, but it very often fails due to a combination of annoying moany or autotuned vocals, excessively minimalistic instrumentals, or erratic bleep bloops. The very album intro is good but quickly you feel like ok stop the moans now. The outro track is quite nice and wraps the album well into a sort of vox led ambient thingy. 2 is one of their most fun tracks, displaying the electronic style on this record done well, and is kind of a jam. 4 shows the most dream pop they've ever been in the intro but doesn't unfold incredibly well. 5 despite being moany sort of works I guess. 6 shows them going RnBey - experimenting nicely - but is too bleep bloopey to work. 8 is another bouncy electronica track but the vox ruin it, and they ruin 9 even more. Even without that the track feels weak, but interestingly it made me wonder if I'd have this much trouble with female vocals. 10 is the other kinda jam here, it takes a while to kick in but when it does it does nicely. 12 shows autotune used quite well in daft punk fashion, but the track doesn't work because of the weird instrumental. 13 is cooper fx generation loss guitar + annoying vox. So yeah an erratic record quite like their prior stuff, but showing a definite change in direction which can work quite well in places. 3.1
Prince Of Denmark 8
Behemoth of a techno album clocking at nearly 3 hours. Yet its huge runtime did not bore me, and I didn't have to push myself to finish the album. That in itself is an achievement. The album is generally consistent and strong, with tracks flowing well into each other, but I found it drastically missing hooks and memorable tracks. It all flows from one mild flavour of minimalist techno to another without ever being very marking. Exceptions are 7, kinda jammy with a tasty lead, 10, a kinda jammy dub techno track that takes it time to kick in, and 16 which is the clearest cut jam here and made me go THAT'S IT, finally a memorable hook. By 15 (1hr40 in!) the album had started to feel a bit draggy, so it comes at just the right time too. For the rest, most tracks are nice but forgettable, often have bleep bloops or questionable sounds that ruin them, and the record especially lost me after 20. 21-22 are hypnotic and pounding but frankly boring, and no longer flow well with each other - the second half of 21 is nice though. 23 is a good ominous album closer, showing again that the album construction is its strength. For the rest, not much I'll remember - I'll save my notes somewhere because there are so many tracks there isn't enough space here. 3.2
Prison of Mirrors (ITA) Unstinted, Delirious, Convulsive Oaths
Fairly run of the mill black metal with not much to retain but also nothing properly awful. The first track starts with no intro at all and is by far the blandest, offering only very scarce evil passages with the ress being pretty forgettable. 2 brings this a point or two up, having an ambient sort of intro at least and especially a few really nice tasty riffs. Don't think I'll ever come back to this though. 2.85
Protector Leviathan's Desire
Clearly their best and most brutal record. The vocals have a lot to do with my liking this - they're not great, but imo the best of all their records I jammed. This feels like they regressed for the following two LPs, but still a turning point in their career. The middle of the record is best and easily 3.5 range material. The rest has more weak bits, whether it be out of place slow sections, boring drumming, or some soloing sections - although these work better than they ever have for Protector. It's still ok material though, probably at the level of their lps. If I'm ever to jam Protector again this would be the record I'd spin no doubt. 3.2
Protector 2 Track Demo Tape
The intro of track 1 is kinda cool, a bit dungeon synth-y, but after that it goes to somewhat wankery thrash metal. Not a big fan of the vocals. Track 2 improves on that and is nice thrash, but the demo is not all that memorable. 3.0
Prurient The History of AIDS
I enjoyed the first half on this quite a bit. As usual with noise, it is hard to put into words, but there is just something about Dominik shrieking auditory abuse over a wall of noise that just tickles my fancy. The first two tracks are quite heavily vox-based, then the rest is mostly 'instrumental' noise. Up to track 6 this was somewhere in 4.0 territory, but sadly track 7 then felt very disruptive to the atmosphere. How can a track feel disruptive on an album that's made of mostly random noises and bleeps I don't know, but it clearly ruptures with the rest. Something with the frequency spectrum perhaps? 8 is kinda nice and brings back the first half, but I had trouble getting back into the album thereafter because it already felt long enough at 7 and could easily have ended there. There are some nice bits here and there but the closer feels disruptive again and turns into a headache almost. Throughout the second half my rating went downhill to a low 3.2
Rebekah Murder in Birmingham
This is very much a live set at its core, and not quite a constructed EP. That is its strength, as the sections you perhaps like less never last more than a couple dozens of seconds. The whole thing feels consistent, and hardly does it ever not sound good. Hard, visceral, aggressive techno in the vein of her live sets. That live feel is also the EP's greatest weakness. None of the tracks truly focus on a particular melody or motif. They could be divided up very differently and the EP would feel exactly the same, which is to say a 15min set made of a collage of segments of different songs. Because of this, the EP isn't really memorable like a say IHM EP can be because none of the tracks commit long enough to a melody for it to ever stick. But it also never falters. If you need a soundtrack to keep doing work in the middle of night when all you want is to go to sleep, this is it. 3.1
Requin chagrin Requin Chagrin
First track is quite cool with some dream pop and post-punk touches, but after that I very quickly lost track. This is just a series of acceptably produced surf rock tunes in French, and it is fine but also it all feels like a blur to me. I suppose if it were not in French it might sound less cheesy to me, and there are some cool guitars on 5 that got my attention, but yea I hardly took notice when this ended and the music stopped. 2.8
Requin chagrin Semaphore
Perhaps mildly better than the debut but frankly that could just be due to listening conditions. Pretty much exactly the same soundoff: this is dreamy surf rock that is hardly ever bad but just blurs all together and doesn't really stick in memory, on top of the fact that it being in French makes it sound a bit cheesy to me at times. 1 is kinda cool and starts off with weird intriguing songs that drag you into the album, but sadly this kind of sonic venture never happens again in the record. Some bits to stand out a little bit, like the instrumental last third of 3, 4 as a simple tune that is kinda cool, or 8, but by 6 really it all feels to samey and lukewarm. Ok but not a dig for me. 2.9
Rihanna Music of the Sun
Honestly I am impressed with this debut. Like Shakira's it benefits from its cute outdatedness - this screams early 2000's all over the place, but especially on 1-3 and 6-7. It is also quite diverse too, boasting diverse beats stemming from reggae/dub on 2 and 4, to rhythmic changes on 6, to other interesting things like on 3 (I lost track after that). With the exception of the album closer which is frankly long and annoying and brings the record down a point, 5, and maybe 10 where the guest is a bit annoying, this does not have any bad track really. 4 is the first track to not entertain actually. 9 is really fun and may even be a jam. Other high points are 3,6 and 8. Not much else I'll come back to, but a much richer, nicer and less annoying record than I anticipated. 2.8
Rihanna Loud
Listened to this on 8/11 but forgot to upload here. Probably her strongest album so far. Only three annoying tracks on 3, 8 and 9. 5 is the truest jam of her discog so far, a super bouncy and dancy track. 4,6 and 11 see Rihanna finally succeeding at making emotional/ballad-type songs. 11 is a great album finale with Eminem's feat coming as a neat 'surprise'. 7 brings back the dub influences a bit which is nice to see, and 1-2 are nice modern era Rihanna track although they have not-so-good moments too. Overall a somewhat solid pop album (wish there were more jams though), topped by Rihanna's best album artwork imo. 3.0
Robert Hood Minimal Nation
Techno is based on a strong, prominent, regular beat. A good kick, good snares, good hi-hats are essential. And this record does this very well. The kicks are tasty, the hats are crispy, and the foundation of the music is quite solid. The issue is that techno cannot just be a strong beat. And the leads here always feel lackluster, bleep bloopey and uninteresting, only catching my attention a couple times. They are generally neither dark, nor ambient, nor ravey, nor dancy. They're just bloops - 3 being a prime example. Now this is from 94 so there is a bit of room for forgiveness, and tracks like 4 (or its near exact copy 10) or 7 do have kind of a nice groove to them, while 9 is nice and perhaps the strongest track here with more pads and just a thicker sound in general. But overall I still found this only mildly fun really. 2.75
Roly Porter Aftertime
Drone/noise that had great potential - the high points are amazing, albeit scarce - but that failed at execution. The records feel erratic, hesitating constantly between ambient, lush synth stuff, bleeps and bloops, and straight up noise, the whole of it feeling mostly boring. 1-2 got me hyped up as very noisy tracks that I found to be jams - thought this would be like Controlled Bleeding again. At the end of 2, the energy falls down to somewhat boring ambient, and the record never manages to reach that intensity again after that point. 5 would be cool as some kind of metal interlude with its nice wind instrument, but on a low energy album such as this one it felt too soft. It does grow well as a track though. 7 brings back the noisiness, and is a sublime jam as string come atop the noise mid-track. Apart from that, nothing noteworthy. I'm excited for his discog because he's capable of beautiful things, but this can't be more than a 3.1
Sadus A Vision of Misery
This one is kind of weird in that it feels like they went backwards in their evolution. The wankeriness is way up, and the record feels erratic in construction, incessantly switching grooves, genres and tempos, breaking a lot of tracks which would otherwise be individually nice. By 6 they had lost me really. 1 feels like an 80's record, which is another layer to the overall feel of backwards evolution. 2 is kind of bm-ish and nice but is short. 3 is nice, fun and technical, but the second half is wankery although it unfolds in a nice riffy conclusion. 4 has fun bits here and there but by then you really feel how erratic and wankerier the record is. Like 5 ends on a slow paced doom riff? It just doesn't work. Thankfully, 8 and 9 bring the quality way up, 8 being nice and aggressive, and 9 bringing pleasant proggy bass here and there. The album conclusion on an ominous mysterious melody is extremely nice and a very good choice. Not my fancy in terms of thrash records, but these last two tracks bump this back up to a 3.2
Saint Pepsi New Generation
Bit of a disappoint. Maybe I was expecting funky stuff too much, but the prod here often sounds quite thin and takes away a lot of the bounce potential.This is already blatant on 2, which starts like a banger but unfolds quite poorly and doesn't feel like it reaches its potential at all. The record also feels a lot like a mixtape or compilation, switching vibes and sounds a bit too erratically for it to claim much cohesiveness. The very short track length coupled with the prod also prevent tracks from graduating to banger status. 6 would be kinda nice as background music I guess, and 7 shows again the funkiness being destroyed by the thin sound. 9 now does work well as a chill track. Otherwise, this is ok but pretty uneventfull. 3.0
Save Us From The Archon Fear Eats the Soul
This kind of technical wanking really isn't my cuppa, but they crafted their most emotional moment here with the superb intro to 4. I dig the intro to 2 as well but the track thereafter is even less appealing to me than the first one. Prod seems to thin up on the dirty parts and that contrasts a lot with the delicious lushness of the scarce chill parts. IF these guys had made more ambienty albums they could have been fantastic, but apart from 4 and the intro to 2 there's nothing here I'd come back to really. 3.15
Sean C. Johnson CIRCA 1993
This record alternates between soul and rap/hip-hop quite freely. It ended up not being as good as I expected from the first track. It is not bad by any means but there just is something that does not work - perhaps the discrepancy in mood between almost romantic soul sung by a dude versus hip-hop vibes? Some tracks are cool though and I particularly liked the first and last one. 2.9
Secret Stairways Enchantment of the Ring
It's a fun little dungeon synth album. Really not an unpleasant listen, although quite naive-sounding at times. I liked the opener the most because it somehow reminded me of LOTR's OST. 3.2
Shakira Laundry Service
Yeah I'm a normie and prefer this over any of her prior ones, probably a touch owing to nostalgia (dear mama had a CD of this). There are a few more true jams (1,3, and of course the closer which is recycled from ladrones, 6 is kinda jammy too tbh), and the record is super fun. It's also less consistent than ladrones, with a lot of tracks being borderline bad (4-5 are good examples). The versions in different languages are odd but also an interesting case study. Some songs clearly work better in Spanish (Ojos Asi, and the opener), but some frankly sound better in English, e.g. 3. At this point of her discog I'm excited because she's starting to boast some really solid and fun tracks amongst the okay stuff. 3.1
Shakira Magia
Honestly glad I jammed this, the second half falls behind but this record is super fun. It's wonderfully outdated and very funny/cute because of that, I like it more than a lot of pop star debuts out there. 1-3 are funny jams and sound like they're straight out of some cheesy daytime Spanish language TV soap opera from the 80's. 2 makes you feel like you're at a party in 80's rural Colombia, and 3 is so precious with its English rap sample. Just plain fun. 4 is a bit boring though, and 6 is quite annoying with Shakira venturing into wankery rock territory. 5, 7 and 8 are mild versions of 1-3, nice and fun but not as good. 9 is super fun. Because of the number of poor tracks I can't rank this higher than lowest 3.0 territory - honestly the first 3 tracks may be upper 3.0 to lower 3.5 - but this is so fun it gets a 2.8
Shakira ¿Dónde Están los Ladrones?
Certainly the strongest and most mature of her non-Americanised period. She does have a lot
of annoying vocals because she just does too much whining and whispering and such, which
kinda kills some otherwise nice tracks such as 7. 3 and 4 are kinda jammy, but the real jam
here is the album closer - super fun jam and defo my favourite Shakira track so far into
her discog. Other than that most tracks are okay-nice and less outdated than on her
previous records, but not much to point out. She goes quite heavy into rock on 5, but the
vocals kill it, 9 is yawn and bland, and 6 is bland too but hints towards her following
records. Was maybe overhyped by the 4.0 average. 3.1
Shakira Oral Fixation Vol. 2
Very similar to the previous one in that it is quite bland, has even fewer jams, but is also quite consistent. It does feel less good, in parts owing to the Americanization of the music which she does not negotiate as well (and as a non latino looses some of its original flavour). The closing track brings it down a couple points, and the only relative jam I noted was 6 - 10 being just a poorer English version of the opener on Vol. 1. Even Hips Don't Lie (which wasn't on the original release) isn't all that jammy compared to some of her prior tracks. Merf. 2.9
Space Frog Welcome All Species
Yeah this is fine, but if you condensed its best moments and developed the potential of certain songs it'd be a huge banger album whereas here it has a lot of ups, downs, and flats. A lot of tracks have relatively uneventful first halves and build up for too long but have great dancey second halves: 5, 7 (has cool ideas but doesn't unfold too well) 10, 12 (starts off as boring slavcore from 3:00 onwards gets nicely ravey), and arguably 9 which is the central jam of the album and the reason why I'm checking it in the first place. 6 is kinda psych and reminds of Hallucinogen a bit, another track I'll come back to. 3's more ambientish, it is fine but not really my vibe. 8's boring until the eurodance synths kick in and even then it's not all that great. 11 is a diverse track, starting with trance on a sort of dnb beat, getting annoying a bit, then some slavcore, symptomatic of the lack of construction put into this album. Yeah so some bits I'll come back to but as a whole not the strongest album in the world. 3.05
standards standards
Maybe it is because I've jammed it a couple times before, but I like this a lot more than 'Friends'. Still generic noodly tappy math-rock, but at least some riffs are memorable. 3.2
Stars of the Lid Gravitational Pull vs the Desire for an Aquatic Li
This one's a bit better, still not great, but quite impressive for its time. Just very soft droney dark ambient. I like the closer, bits of 2 and the last third of 4 maybe, the rest is mostly ok, but I don't think I'll ever come back to this album. 3.0
Stars of the Lid Per Aspera Ad Astra
Fairly unmemorable SotL record, but not a bad one. Divided into two parts, the first
reminding of their earlier material with occasionally nice textures but too much variation
to grab your attention for a long time, perhaps with the exception of 3 which is a nice
track. The second half reminds more of their later sound, most notably with the prominent
use of acoustic strings on 4, and 6 that reminded me of the synth textures they'll come to
use later on - including with AWVFTS. Kinda nice track at times. It's cool to see the
evolution and the record does feel like a turning point in their discog, but beyond that
there really isn't much to retain. 2.9
Sundrugs Abstract Forms
This is just a collection of drone/noise sketches, and it isn't pretending to be a grand album at all or to have much coherence. 1 is noisier and more experimental than the rest of his stuff, it starts off nice but soon enough becomes too bleep bloopey for me. 2 again starts very nicely with an ominous intro, but shows even worse bleep bloops immediately afterwards. 3 is the best track here with broken reverberated noises that struggle to exist, evoking the end of a Disintegration Loops track, but I wish the track was an intro that went somewhere instead of just ending after a couple minutes. 3 is a nice idea but there isn't much else to retain here. 2.8
Svarte Greiner Knive
Interesting drone that rarely succeeds in execution but remains of interest. The bulk of
the album consists of sound collages usually laid atop a layer of strings of some sort,
sometimes pizzicato which I'm not a fan of here especially on 5, and with the occasional
vocal layer added to it. The bookends are best by far here, both jams, with 1 demonstrating
the concept outlined above done just right, and 9 being an unexpected but powerful vocally-
led ominous jam. 4 is also nice in an ominous style, 6 works very well in places with some
noisy bits but isn't jammy on the whole, and 8 works well but not as much as 1. For the
rest, this has good sounds and ideas here and there but it just all feels too bleep
bloopey. But man the opener is really superb. 3.2
Svarte Greiner Kappe
The first track, although starting with relatively hollow prod, rapidly gets fuller and unveils into a wash of very noisy and gritty drone, a solid jam and my fav tracks of the last couple albums of his I jammed. The random sounds from bells and chimes over the dark ambient give a very horror feel to the track and it's just fantastic. 2-3 after that feel vastly emptier, with some nice textures here and there but just too sparsely distributed in bleeps bloops of drones surrounded with near silence. 3 does improve during the midtrack but onlyy for a couple minutes. 4 is nicer with fuller layers and feels like it should have been the outro to 1 while 2-3 should not have been there at all. 1 single-handedly brings this up a couple points to a low 2.8
Svarte Greiner Til Seters
First track is generic SG material that frankly isn't all that interesting. 2 starts off as a very sweet ambient jam, doesn't quite unfold too well but goes progressively darker and ever so slightly dronier as time goes. Very nice track. 3 is also nice as gritty and noisy ambient drone with some vocal samples coming in at min 5. It does feel a bit gimmicky with the obvious vinyl hiss and crackles for a e s t h e t i c s, but it's still a fine track. 3.05
sway (CA) This Was Tomorrow
It's interesting how I have heard three records from this dude and they could have come from three entirely different bands. That alone warrants respect. This one explores a more electronica direction on nearly every track, boasting a lot of Cynic-esque autotuned vocals and synth works. I like the intent, but I don't think it quite works, especially in the mid record. 3 sounds like a weird house remix of itself, and on 4 the mix of shoegaze + electronica + 070 Shakes vox really doesn't feel coherent. 5 feels skippable. Thankfully the later record improves a lot. 6 is less electronica more in the vein of his prior work and simply works better. 7 is a sweet interlude abruptly transitioning into 8 but thankfully 8 quickly calms down into a cool track with a nice conclusion. 9 shows a bit of an abrasive side here with some riffage and is frankly cool, but again the overprocessed vox feel out of place. 10 is nice and has cool moments like the bridge at min 3. The very early two tracks kind of make the electronic sound work too, 1 being an interesting opener with a very cool intro and more of a post-rock vibe to it - still retaining solid shoegaze lushness, and 2 boasting some nice prominent drums but again with the vox not quite fitting. This record feels like a somewhat failed but commendable experiment. 3.0
Tallies Tallies
This is dream pop tone (both instrumentally and in vox) that lingers on the border of straight up pop, pop rock, and surf rock in places (see 10). Some tracks are really nice and fun (3, 4 which is cool and kinda feels like the theme for a 90's cartoon, 8), but most feel a bit bland. The vox pales in places for example on 5, and a lot of the songs fail to be catchy, or dreamy, or mood setting without ever being unpleasant but also rarely above merely 'nice'. 3.1
Taylor Swift Red
You thought I had given up on my discog run didn't you? Honestly this is my fave record of hers so far, and I don't quite get why her country era stuff is rated so much higher. I guess I just don't like the genre, whereas I don't mind more generic pop like this. Structurally this has two acts: the one from 1-7 where she changes her sound - still generic, but away from country pop, and the one from 8-16 which goes back to her previous style and frankly bored me. The only exceptions were 9 which despite being a bit silly amused me with its fairy christmassy vibes, and 15 which goes back to the style of the first track - only to be left again come the boring closing ballad reusing some melodies from the very album, dropping this album. There are a few melodies here and there that feel very predictable, but maybe I just know the songs subconsciously. 1 is a fun opener, 2 brings the banjo back a bit and is basically a nice pop take on her prior style, 3's alright, 4 has a relatively silly rebel little girl verse but a cool dubsteppy chorus. It is cool to see her music explode a little finally. 5 and 7 are kinda like 3, but perhaps not as good. 6 I knew, it is basic pop but I still prefer this to a boring guitar ballad. Honestly on this I want to slap a 2.75
Tertia May Not From Concentrate
Sweet, but not as nice as KoP. The opener is great, boasting a pounding, bass heavy trip-hop beat that she likes with some nice Amy Winehousey vox before the male guests kick in and bring hip-hop vibes. Very nice. 2-3 is a bit odd, with the vox feeling unbalanced and too aggressive for the lush instrumentals they're covering. Especially true of 2, 3 is still nice and Sade-ish. 4 is a sad piano-led ballad, and while I don't usually dig that kind of stuff here I quite liked it. Excellent delivery. 5 confirms that the bookends are best here with a very cool soft and mellow, Noname-esque track that finds a much better balance between vox and instrumental than 2-3 did. Still well below KoP in terms of consistency and quality, but a bit more diverse which shows promise for a future LP. 3.2
The Gloaming The Gloaming
This is some pleasant folk-ish music. It starts off great with a very peculiar mood, and
music that adds many layers to a strong base of soft Irish folk. However this initial
freshness quickly wears off after the first couple of tracks, and most of the album
sounds either like a cheesy sad pop song sung in Irish, or some good but forgettable
movie soundtrack. The last song comes back to the goodness of the first few tracks, and
the album is worth a listen for those. Note that the album is sung in Irish, not in
English, which is cool and rare enough to point out. 3.1
The Oh Hellos The Oh Hellos
Meh. Cute indie folk, but not their best work. Track 1 is a jam, but track 2 and 3 I found quite annoying and generic. Track 4 isn't super great either but at least it is a bit interesting - although I did not like the outro. 3.0
The Peter Franks Group Elements
Nice soulsey abstract hip hop instrumentals of sorts. Never hugely compelling, but an enjoyable listen. 1 has nice percussions and evolves quite nicely with strings etc, while 2 has really cool DJ Shadowesque drums, but on both the keys feel a bit too simplistic and repetitive for a standalone track (as opposed to a beat for vocals to be added to). 3 strips away pretty much all of the neosoul/hip hop dna and is just a sadder, piano led track which is quite pretty. 4 maintains this sadder vibe but brings the drums back and is probably the nicest track of the bunch. 2.8
The Physics House Band Mercury Fountain
This experimental math-rock ish album has some really cool head-bobbing moments with compulsive foot tapping going on, and some others where really it is just weird sounds that aren't all that interesting. A very uneven ride but some sections are worth it
The Stargazer's Assistant Remoteness Of Light
This is alright ambient with lots of cool elements, but that never quite manages to capture me or maintain the atmospheres it creates for long at all. The first half of 1 and midtrack on 2 are quite cool, and 3 is one of their most solid tracks bringing this up a point, but yeah this failed to resonate with me or to make me want to come back to it really. 3.15
The Stargazer's Assistant The Other Side Of The Island
Cool ambient with lots of ethnic sound, but the concept just doesn't seem to have been pushed anywhere near its potential. Track 1 is odd in a cool way at first, but feels protracted a little bit and doesn't unfold into much. 2's just an interlude, and 3 is a kind of uneasy drone which I didn't find particularly appealing. The overall feel of dread, mystery and uneasiness in the whole album is kinda cool, but this isn't a stellar listen by any means. Art's cool though. 3.1
TotorRo Come to Mexico
Cool energetic math-rock EP with some good tunes. However I thought this had fewer nice head-bobbing melodic parts and more annoying noisy parts than its predecessor. If I wanted to re-listen this I would probably listen to Home Alone instead - based on my distant memory of Home Alone that is. Come to Mexico does have some sparse moments where cool ideas are included and renew the music - some brass, and vocals. 3.2
Trespassers William The Natural Order of Things
Again, a nice soft EP that doesn't feel very memorable. 2 is pretty, the album outro is pretty, the rest is nice but just passes really. 3.05
Trespassers William Noble House
Quite flat EP of soft folk. 1 and 2 have nice beginnings but don't unfold too well. 3 is a bit boring, and 4 is fine. My fave tracks are 5 and 6, 5 being sort of field recordy ambient drone, and 6 morphing it back into some folk and having a very different feel compared to 1-4 because of that. Not mindblowing, but quite nice, and certainly giving a lot more flavour to the EP. 2.95
Trist (GER) Willenskraft
This is the concept of ambient black metal taken to the T. Pretty mild and unmemorable overall. Best track is closer, followed by track 2. The buildups are very long which I have no issue with per se, but the explosions are fairly inoffensive too, resulting in a fairly flat album. The extensive field recordings are also no the best out there, a la Pd'H when half of the album is wind noises. 3.0
Turnover Peripheral Vision
This is a nice relaxed emo-ish/indie record. It is probably worth more than the 3.0 I am giving it, but it just did not impress me that much. I found its tone quite naive and a bit too 'happy summer' to my taste. I just am not a fan of the genre, but within the genre it is quite a good album to grab.
Two Sided Agency Bonjour Tristesse
1-2 are alright sort of atmospheric acid techno (which in its concept is interesting), 3 is a banger jam and made me listen to this in the first place, 4 is weak in its first half but imporves in the second half. Nice, but not much to fuss about except track 3. 3.0
uchu nekoko Hibi no Awa
Nice little EP that gets me pumped for the rest of this sadly short discog. I really love
the tone on 1, it has something soft and nostalgic to it. Very sweet vibe I'd seek out
again. 2 starts off more abrasive and upbeat but I'm not really a fan. It does get nicer
after the intro but not as nice as 1. The vast dreamy sky finale contrasted with the cute
voice is quite nice though. So this is super sweet, but all in all it is so short and
inconsequential as an EP that I can't really rate it all that high. 3.2
Ulcerate Demo 2003
Far more generic and less exciting than the 2004 EP, but strong nonetheless. Track 3 is actually pretty solid which bumps the record up a point, and prod is fine. No reason to ever jam this over the EP or probably any of their later records, but nice. 2.95
Unknown Error Heaven & Hell EP
Not really a fan of this one. Mostly generic Noisia-esque DnB - I was missing completely the feeling of uniqueness I found with The Yearning/Midnight Special. Track 3 is probably the best instance of that style, with its prominent use of cinematic strings - some of which I feel are a sample from the I, Robot OST? I'm not quite sure -. Track 4 continues that use of strings in its intro, but does not quite live up to it afterwards. Track 2 is second nicest, and track 1 is third. The record is organized a bit oddly because 2 and 4 are calmer while 1 and 3 are more aggressive. I might come back to 3 and maybe 1/2 when in need for nice aggressive DnB, but not for much else. 3.0
UVB The Power of Saying No
Crushing ravey techno, but quite poorly executed. IHM does it miles better. There are good hooks in this and the drums are generally good, harsh and bouncy, but there is always a sound or two that just sounds odd or out of place and ruins the dark mood of the track. Ok, but not great. 2.9
Waves No Shore Nothingness
Just a single that I checked kinda randomly. It has pretty moments, I dig the intro guitar (tone), and some of the vox are nice. It's not supremely exciting but if they release a short EP or something I might check it out. 3.0
Weyes Blood Titanic Rising
This is nice and pretty pop. What Lana Del Rey could have been. Still did not really resonate with me though. 3.1
Why Bonnie In Water
Sweet debut, but nothing majorly incredible. 1 is a fun start in dreamy road trip rock style and is probably my fav here, but it's not quite a jam. 2-3 felt weaker. 2 has a 'classic' rock and dream pop vibe to it that was already here on 1 but is just stronger, and 3 especially feels amateur in places with some vox and guitar tones. 4 is better again though, even though the vocals get a bit much. 3.1
William Basinski Watermusic
Not the best Basinski piece. It essentially is Watermusic II but not as good, with fewer textures for most of its runtime. Why then would one ever jam Watermusic I then, even if in a vacuum it is not bad per se? 3.0
William Basinski On Time Out of Time
Jamming to see if I want to see this played live, and I might but not if it's a huge hassle. The central piece is nice bare bones soft drone texturation with just enough variability to not bore yet without being bleep bloopey - Willy knows what he's doing. The track is quite nice and evolving, and often evokes a dronier, less analogue synth Steve Roach. By 20 minutes though, I felt like it was time to either stop or bring more variation. Variety does come in at min 24 but without quite working. Thereafter the track is still sweet in a vacuum but just feels protracted for way too long, and it was never that jammy anyway just merely nice. It gets really Steve Roachy near the end before ending on a slow, protracted fade out - really meh there. I was kinda going to rate this low after that, but thankfully the second track is much nicer with very nice aquatic textures, and has the intelligence to keep it short, thereby bumping this a little. 3.1
Wye Oak Civilian
I really liked the first track on this, and a couple other ones. It does have its high points and is a cool indie rock with interesting instrumentations, perfect for a psychedelic listen on a road trip. I will probably re-listen to it, even though it failed to grab my attention during most of the album. 3.2
Yeule Coma
Has a lot more vocals and feels a lot more generic tycho-esque than the previous EP whilst struggling to create as ethereal an ambience. It is still sweet, soft and comfy music though. 3 was my favourite track (it is the most ambient one after all) and 4 was quite nice too, while 2 or 5 demonstrate that Tycho vibe I get quite well. 3.05
Yndi Halda A Sun​-​Coloured Shaker
This was going to be a 2.2, but the last two minutes and a half of eerie keys-based noisy ambient are simply gorgeous and bump this to a 3.0. The rest is an even less inspired version of Under Summer and unlike the latter is frankly quite boring.
Yola Walk Through Fire
This isn't hugely longer than her EP, but boy did it feel a lot longer than it actually is. Where the EP surprised me by making me enjoy genres I don't usually dabble in, this one was mostly boring with scarce highlights here and there. The production and her voice are amazing, but the compositions are often extremely generic or outright funny. 1 is laughably christmassy and 2 is so goddamn cheesy that 3 is the first track that I could take seriously. 4 is really cool too and perhaps my fave on the album. 5 is laughably yee-haw, 6 and 7 are a bit boring, 8 is a super boring ballad, and 9 is another ballad but that manages to be less boring and boasts a super fun chorus that I dig. 10 has a fun start and is a nice track too, but 11 is a bore. I like what she sings on 12, and the song is nice, works well as a closer with the late brass additions, and prevents this from dropping further down because my rating went sub 3.0 about two thirds of the way in really. The two deluxe edition tracks are quite fun and worth a check but I don't include them in my rating because deluxe editions suck. 2.9
Yvette Young Piano EP
This is nice and sweet. Good concept, and her proficiency on the instrument is commendable. All things considered though this is far from being a transcendental record, and although it sure is pretty it is not super memorable. 'Math piano' has a lot of potential left to explore (isn't this just some subgenre of jazz though?). 3.1
Zach Bryan Elisabeth
Granted I am not a countryhead for one bit, but I feel like making an album this long in a style with so little harmonic and sonic variation was a mistake. If this were a 20-30min EP with tracks 1-6 this would easily be in lower 4.0 tier, I really dig his folk-country style with bare instrumentation. Would stay in my library for sure. 3 and especially 4 are fuller and more upbeat, and 5 is cheesy. But by 6 and especially 7 I knew fatigue would kill this. Variations in sound are very mild and usually not successful. The acapella intro on 8, harmonica on 11, or piano on the slower 15 are all examples of variations that simply either fail to save the song or make it worse. The additional guitars on 12 and 13 are quite cool though, and harmonica is better used on 14. Drums on 16 make it a fun song too. But the last track with drums, piano and backing vocals changes up the sound the most yet still feels like the same song over and over again because those melodies have been used dozens of time before in the album. Some of the guest voices are cool, and the second half does include some other kinda good songs like 10, but this album really did not hold the distance for me. Shame because for the first 20min maybe I really enjoyed it, maybe I'll have to jam it again when I'm more used to country. 3.1

2.5 average
070 Shake Glitter
Autotune rap that isn't entirely devoid of ideas but consistently fails at exploring them. The intro of 1 lasts too long (over half the track) but once it kicks in it becomes the strongest cut on here and shows her potential with something jazzier and simpler. For the rest of the album the instrumentals are very nocturnal and dreamy, quite nice, but the songs probably owing to the vox never feel like they quite work. For instance on 2 she audibly tries to force her voice to sound lower than it is like pre-puberty boys, and it is a shame because the beat is quite nice. It jsut works better with the guest vox. 3 has good ideas that are hardly explored, but the second half is nice, Mario Galaxy rap of sorts. 4 displays perfectly the nocturnal dreamy atmosphere I mentioned but is quite meh. I sense some Ott in it which makes it interesting. 5 is just meh and drops this a couple points. Hey this isn't fantastic but at least it doesn't follow a recipe and makes it worth listening to her following output. 2.7
21 Savage The Slaughter Tape
The first track got me excited despite its relatively weak instrumental, as 21 offers a sad, horror kinda vocal delivery that I hadn't seen from him before and that I dug a bit, but the rest of this was quite underwhelming. To be fair it is well put together, as tracks of similar vibes are after one another instead of randomly mixed. 2-5 just have weak instrumentals with awkward grooves, which imo breaks any good section offered vocally. On 6 we learn that Metro Boomin is producing, but the end result albeit alright feels really subpar compared to his later output. These are alright songs I guess but I wouldn't keep them in my library. 7-9 go into autotune and improve a bit. 7 has a great instrumental that comes out of nowhere, but sadly the vocals aren't too well executed and 8 ends up being a stronger overall track albeit not as striking. 9's alright too, but 10 gets annoying. 11 is softer and not annoying but has an awkward flow, 12 is boring autotune, 13 has a fun instrumental with ok vox, and 14 felt invisible. Not horrible but it all just feels very skippable. 2.25
999999999 000000005
Pretty ravey techno that ends up being more of a headache generator than a banger. This may be sound great at a rave for a couple minutes but as a standalone EP it does not work very well and lacks diversity. 2.7
A Sunny Day in Glasgow New Christmas Classics
Bit weird this, and not really worth a check, but not properly bad either. 1 is an xmas song. It has cute sounds, it has that vibe, but it is naive. Eh. 2 is just weird and felt very skippable, plus the intro with relatively aggressive sounds feels like it disrupts the semi-existent flow of the EP. There are some nice bits though so I hope they focused on that in their later discog and not on those weirdcore bits. 3 is a kinda weird nearly a capella track that would work well as an interlude on some albums but not here. 4 is kinda catchy and fun and christmassy without being naive like 1. It's the strongest track here, but it still miles away from being a jam. Don't bother with this unless you're a fan. 2.5
A Swarm of the Sun The Rifts
Woefully uninspired. Not an unpleasant listen by any means, but the record just lines up one deja-vu post-rock/post-metal riff after the other with nothing fresh for the ear to catch on. Practically no memorable melodies at all, let alone unique musical features that would differentiate the album from the swarm of post-rocky records out there. The last two tracks however are actually not that bad, and a few head-nodding moments throughout the album save it from being a 2.0.
About Tess Song of the Bird
This is an obstrusively protracted series of really cool instrumental rock parts of different flavours that invariably drag on for too long and turn into annoying wankeriness before moving on. You can tell they had fun making this, but it's not always fun listening to it, I had to pause in the middle and it still felt way too long. The record could have been 35-40min long and it'd be a gem, but here it ends up being something I can't decently recommend to not just scroll through to get to the good bits. 1 opens up on a nice stoner rock tune that makes ya tap yar foot, the mathrocky turn at min 10 is really nice, fun and honestly jammy but comes too late (I'm not going to say that for every bit but it applies every time). 2 starts off on another fun mathy bit that takes a chiller turn at min 5. Things change up around min 10 and it is quite fun. 3 has a pretty, post-rocky intro into a fat fuzzy riff (melikey), and changes into fun rock at min 6 (not before getting old and annoying obviously). Around min 10 there is another fun bit but that just dies out. I don't get it, why not split a new track here? And btw why are the two first minutes of 4 not in 3, they're an exact continuation of it? Anyway, min 17 is also super fun on 3, then 4 is more of the same. Fun part at min 2, min 7 would be cool as a bridge in a non instrumental song but here on its own idk, and then the conclusion is hugely protracted. Shame bcs this is full of good ideas. 2.7
Alkerdeel Morinde
Great vocals, but instrumentation is simplistic and feels amateur at times. The sludge feel baked into a black metal base isn't enough to compensate for that or to make the album not forgettable. There are good ideas though and this isn't a terrible album by any means.
Anacrusis Suffering Hour
This is mostly fine, with some good riffing eg on 8, but the singer's constant squeals kinda ruin the deal for me. I do appreciate that it is not too wankery, but it's really not all that memorable a thrash record and if you add the squeals into the mix it really becomes one I won't come back to. 2.65
Ande Vossenkuil
I wasn't too keen on this. I did dig the calmer bits, and the record does have good dynamics alternating between angrier bm tracks and softer things like 1 which I very much dug, 4, or the closer. But the tracks themselves do feel like they last dynamics and colour. On 6, four minutes of the same riff repeated over and over again just didn't work for me, and 5 felt quite dull too. I did dig the slower riffs on 2, and the beginning of 4 although the vox in the midtrack was questionable, but yeah on the whole perhaps it just wasn't the right time for me but I had to push to finish the album. Sorry Jim there's potential there but the tracks just felt too long for the little variety they offer. 2.5
Annihilator Never, Neverland
A bit less annoying than its predecessor it feels like, probably because it is trying less to be thrash metal and embraces its heavy metal/power/speed leanings. Still a thoroughly wankery, caricaturesque, quirky record that bored me most of the time. The only kinda cool bits were 7 because it is instrumental and short (unlike most songs which feel like they take forever), and 4 has some nice acoustic guitar parts but a boring chorus. We lose the sweet bass tone and the riffs, but somehow the album feels more consistent than the debut - still barely reaches a 2.3
Ariana Grande Sweetener
Here too some songs are biased because they're famous. Big step down from DW. Reminds of her
second album, but instead of festival summer pop we have here mild pop with various amounts of
trap/rap, which rarely works with Ari's style but is sometimes kinda cool albeit puzzling, as in
5 one of the album highlights with 2 and 9 (3.7-3.9). Most of the tracks are really meh, some are
frankly annoying like 3 or the chorus on 6. 7 is kinda fun but reminds of some Wii soundtrack
lol. 10 I half love and half hate. Overall a little bit better than her second just for the
attempts at enriching her sound, despite their relative lack of success. Best Ari artwork though.
2.3
ASAP Ferg Trap Lord
Yeah I don't think I really want to listen to his other outputs if this is rated the best.
It's alright, but it is way way too gimmicky to my taste and there are very few tracks I'd
actually come back to. Some ideas are nice though, especially when teh record gives a sort
of mysterious, tribal, ancient Egypt vibe to it sort of? For example 1's intro and general
sounds give off a bit of that, but the track itself is a bit awkward and doesn't work. 5
offers a nice, nocturnal take on this atmosphere. 3 has kinda cool instrumentation and a
really good outro to it, but the vox in the track bulk are quite bad. 4 is the first
actually strong track, really cool and chill. 6 is alright too in that chill vibe. 7 is
just funny because of the lyrics. 8 is back to more regular trap, but hte beat has a
youtuber-made beat quality to it which isn't good (so does 2). The rest is pretty
unnoticeable to be honest, but the record is hardly annoying so it's fine. 2.3
Banks London
Track 1 is a very solid jam and the reason why I followed BANKS in the first place. Track 2 is ok-ish but at least it's memorable. Track 3 and 4 are quite meh actually and the EP is more underwhelming than I remember. Track 1 is the shortest and does not save it from being a 2.7
Ben Chatwin Staccato Signals
Indubitably better, as Ben feels like he finally is losing his constant propention to build up tracks without letting them breathe and be tracks of their own, which makes this feel like an intro sketchbook than its predecessors. Still not great though, as the record just did not grab my attention. 3 is kinda nice, 4 has sweet textures, 9 is pretty, 10 is meh and has pretty moments, and the album intro is a jam because the guy sure can make an intro. Still just maybe a 2.5
Ben McElroy Bird-Stone
Cello-based ambient. Sounds a bit like a GY!BE or a Sigur Ros interlude. I really liked the first track or two, but then the album really does not evolve and after some time there are no more surprises or excitement, rendering the album quite dull. Also vocals on 'Bernie's Army' should have been dropped entirely, not so great. However this is good at setting a certain atmosphere, and despite the low rating I mat very well re-listen to this - especially for the first couple tracks. 2.4
Black Thread Autumn Flowers
Side A has two nice, but utterly disconnected textures. The second, heavily distorted one is especially nice. Side B is not that interesting really, although I like the hissy album outro. 2.5
Black Thread leaves falling
Excessive use of tape stoppages here break the ambience a fair bit. Track 1, by far the longest, is symptomatic of this, as an otherwise very nice piano-led tape piece is ruin by constant interruptions in the sound that take you out of it and make you think something is wrong with your audio system, especially when the background hiss stops too. Seems a bit gimmicky, and breaks the track for me. 3 makes this work a lot better and is very nice with lots of distortion onto the piano tape. But it suffers from excessive stoppages too. 2 is just forgettable, and 4 isn't much better. I might come back to 3 but that's it. 2.7
Blood Incantation / Spectral Voice Blood Incantation / Spectral Voice
This is a random Blood Incantation track that is fine but feels a bit pointless and has worse prod than their debut EP, followed by a simplistic Spectral Voice track, saved by the buttfantastic vocals but otherwise quite boring with riffs essentially made of one chord a bar and that's it. I guess the intro is kinda cool though. This split is fine but I really don't see a reason to check it if you're not trying to do a full discog run or something. 2.7
Blood Spore Fungal Warfare Upon All Life
This has some good riffs here and there but come on guys it isn't all that great. Even though the bm vocals are good the instrumentals feel clunky and clumsy. It sounds like a demo with the production but not the compositional qualities of a full release. 2.7
Britney Spears Blackout
Ok so for some reason this is one of the first albums I had on my first ever ipod and here it plays against the album because this sounds incredibly outdated and quirky to me now. So my rating is anecdotal really - I remembered much more than I was anticipating though. The LP is very synthy and has a distinct style compared to her prior output. Some tracks evoke Madonna a fair bit - 5, which has a dream pop feel to it without having a dream pop sound and is kinda jammy ngl, and 7 which is kinda fun and clubby. The end record is stronger and brings it up a point, 10 being a fun track, 11 are strong Britney sexy rnb track, and 12 being an alright closer I guess. But before that, 9 is one of the weakest tracks and the only annoying one in the bunch really. The opener is not her strongest really, and the two following tracks are kinda zzz too. 4 has a nice verse but an awkward chorus. 6 is cool and has a nice halloween vibe to it? 8 is kind of alright and kind of annoying. So yeah I can't judge this fairly, but it does have strong tracks and is scarcely annoying, as I've come to find most her albums were so far. 2.6
Britney Spears ...Baby One More Time
Not terrible, never properly annoying, but also has few tracks that actually work. 1 is the best track here and honestly a very strong way of starting off a pop discog given how cult it is. Just from the cult factor it is incredibly fun, don't lie. But come 2 which is far less popular, you realise that it all sounds quite outdated. It's a sort of fun track but the chorus is boring. 4 is funny in a bad way, it sounds like a compilation of island music cliches made for a Scooby Doo OST. To be fair there is a lot going on which is cool, but the chorus is just childish. 5 is a nice pop track, but just nice. 7 is a kinda fun 00's track for kids. 9 is actually a fun track with an ok chorus, kinda jammy. For the rest of it, this is populated by bland pop songs at various degrees of outdatedness and cheesiness, and even blander romantic prom ballad songs that never quite work, especially 8 with the male guest vox making it incredibly cheesy. 11 is perhaps the one that works the best in that style. 12 is just a weird conclusion. This stays in 2.5 territory thanks to 1 and the hints of good stuff present here and there. 2.3
Britney Spears Oops!...I Did It Again
Again, her material is almost never annoying, but is also very often skippable. The tracks that are worth it here are the all famous opener, which has some nice bounce to it but not as much as her debut's opener, and 11 which is actually a nice sort of RnB track. For the rest, all the bouncy tracks feel like variations on the opener - the grooves feel like they're the same, with a different chorus, cf 6 or 7 for instance. It's generic but it's alright. Now there is also some truly laughable stuff here: the ends of 3,6 and 11 have some skits in them which just cracked me up, and 4 is one of the worst ideas of all time with a cover of Satisfaction. Of course, the ballads are boring. So yeah, this is never annoying, but this is hardly a hair above a perfect mid rating thanks to the two tracks that stood above the crowd. 2.55
Britney Spears Britney
Britney displays here hints of a style that is more original in an album that feels more diverse than her prior two efforts. She brings up the OO's RnB influences and bounce from the get go, with a first track I am not sure I like but that brings welcome variety to her discog. 2 has a nice bounce and I feel like if it were more famous it could be a bit jammy. 3 on the other hand reminds of her earlier material, and 4 is yet another boring ballad. These first four tracks pretty much show the breadth of styles you'll find the album. 5 has a fun verse but a meh justin timberlakey chorus. 6 is quite funky and really proves that, albeit still hardly above a straight 2.5, this album is clearly superior to her first two. 7 is a silly cover like she already did on her prior LP. 8 contrary to 5 has a fun chorus but a not so great verse. 9 is boring and 10 again has a nice chorus but a boring verse. 11 is interesting as a ballad but with a bouncy beat which makes it a lot more palatable, sadly it ends on a fadeout. 12 just passes really. She's still struggling to come up with a single real jam that I didn't already know really. 2.7
Britney Spears Britney and Kevin: Chaotic
Not bad, has a couple scarce ideas (the synth bits on 2 I think it was? and the string samples on 3) here and there, but as bland as it gets. Never unpleasant either though, so 2.5
Britney Spears Femme Fatale
Birtney found the Eurodance patch on her Casio keyboard. This one takes a completely
dancefloor-oriented electronic approach, and looses a bit of the Britney style I enjoyed on
Circus. It's still an okay record, but it will probably age far less well - already has in
places actually -, and feels a bit more generic too. Most tracks feel mindless, but okay
and mildly catchy. 1 has a fun last chorus, 2 works a bit better, 4 sounds outdated already
but is kinda infectious still, 6 too. 3 is slower and brosteppy, it's alright but again you
see how this won't age very well. 5 and 7 are kinda boring. 8 sounds like a parody track
almost, like a Salut C'est Cool x Britney collab, featuring the dumbest outro on the album,
and while it could have been fun the result is awful. 10's again alright and mindless. 11
is interesting and sounds like it could have been a redo of a song from say her third album
but with the sound of this one. It's kinda nice but feels out of context. The 'acoustic'
melody of 12 offers a nice break from the general abrasive eurosynth sound of the album,
and to intro a closer track I think it is an excellent decision. It is a nice track on its
own, but most importantly I really respect its choice as a closing track. Bumps the album
up a point. Rating still low because this doesn't really have a single Britney jam I want
to come back to. 2.6
Britney Spears Britney Jean
This album continues in the dance/summer festival/club direction the previous LP took, and pushes it to a point where the old Britney is now entirely gone. This feels more like a David Guetta album where Britney happens to contribute vocals. To be fair, while incredibly generic and frankly dumb, some of them are dangerously infectious, catchy, and I daresay kinda jammy. Come on 2, is fun, although it feels like the track would be better without Britney's input. 5 is as brainless as it gets but still fun and so is 6. Actually no, 7 is as brainless as it gets. But at that point in the album, it still felt like a low 3.0 area thing, although woefully generic. Sure 1 feels like it never starts although it has a nice intro, 3 is too long for how simple it is, and 4 has nice dance parts but the rest in between is boring (and also reuses the melody from Dragostea Din Tei?). After 7 though, it goes downhill. The intro to 8 is maybe the only non-generic sound happening in this album, but the song after that feels contrived, generic and a bit katy perry-esque. This is Britney aligning herself to the standard and not setting it any more. 9 is probably the worst track here on the sole ground that it is completely erratic, and alternates emotional bits with dance drops and groovy parts with no logic or flow whatsoever. The result is frankly boring and confusing. The closing track is entirely unmemorable. I don't rate bonus tracks, but 13 is symptomatic of this album with its absolute tomorrowlandcore composition, sort of bopiness, and general dumbness. Brtiney's gone it seems. 2.6
By The End Of Tonight A Tribute To Tigers
Random math rock-y with pretty poor production for the genre. Tracks 3 and 4 save this from being a 2.1, but in the end this is still pretty annoying and erratic. There are some tasty riffs here and there, but it scarcely sounds good and never sounds amazing. 2.4
Carly Rae Jepsen Tug of War
Is it bad? No. Is it annoying? No not really. Will I come back to it? Probably not. It's a nice debut, but it feels very generic. 1-2 and 6 completely feel like happy kids music from the 2000's, and 2 makes me feel nostalgic for a life that wasn't mine, that of a young girl kid growing up in California in the 2000's. Songs feel like they belong to the school era of your life. 5 for example is completely a slow prom song. Some songs like 3 feel like generic Christian pop, the kind of stuff the hot girl in the school will sing at the high school talent show whatever in some movie. The last third is best, with 7 and 8 having a touch of an interesting twist, especially with vaaaguely soul vox, and 10 reminding of a female-led, profusely pop, distortion-less Teenage Dirtbag. Honestly it's not bad, and probably my fav track here. 9 interrupts that third with more generic core and feels a bit much and 4 is weaker too. Thankfully both the album and the songs are short, so this isn't too bad and about a 2.3
Carly Rae Jepsen Curiosity
As generic and inoffensive as pop gets, but not a properly bad record either. 2 is the weakest track here and gets quite annoying and boring, while 3 is extremely plain too but not quite annoying. 1 screams later 00's even if this was released later, and I'd be lying if I said it isn't bouncy and catchy. I also feels very very naive - far more so than Ari's bops for example -, but tbh it's kind of a jam and the best track here, fight me. 4-6 are not too bad either, 4 is nicely summery but still generic, 5 is the second best track and one I'd honestly be ok catching on the radio for example, and 6 is not far behind. They're all still generic and bland though. Just slightly above completely average at 2.6
Carly Rae Jepsen Emotion: Side B
For the most part, this is still bland naive, far more so than Emotion LP, but the EP also displays some hints of greatness to come. This is especially true of 2 with its 80's/Depeche Mode vibe in the instrumental which surprisingly work quite well with her bouncy vocals and summer verse. A surprise jam and quite honestly one of her best tracks so far. 6 shows an interesting chorus and an ok verse, but the instrumental is a bit lackluster. 7 is quite an ok romantic track but with a dumb verse. So yeah, she's showing promise, but for the rest, pretty much every track is super naive. Not much that is unpleasant though, except maybe 3 - the kind of track that just gets stuck in your head and drives you nuts. 1 sounds like a parody almost, but I guess it'd be nice in a club or something, and 8 while naive as ever has some cool sounds. If anything this made me excited for her next LP. 2.7
Celer Merkin
This is the weakest Celer record I've heard yet. Not much going on, no interesting textures
really, just plain stripped down sine wave synth tones with some reverb. Nothing unpleasant, it
is just really boring and not memorable. It's good music to fall asleep to I guess though. The
last 10 min are vaguely better than the rest but merh. 2.3
clairo Do U Wanna Fall In Love?
This is produced with ass, but I actually dig the sort of relic tape quality it gives to the otherwise simple albeit nice soft and jolly folk music. But I would be a pretentious liar if I said I thoroughly enjoy it because some bits just outright hurt the ear on 1 and 3, 2 being bizarrely produced differently. This is ridonkulously short so it's hard to rate. It feels like I will like her future work, but it's hard to call it decently publishable music per se. 2.5
clairo Have A Nice Day
Prod has improved and no longer hurts the ear. The best prod is on 2. 1 is clean but a bit weird as the sound keeps swooshing back and forth between left and right, while 3 is still a bit dirty but in a relatively appreciable way - sadly the song is maybe the blandest one of all 3. I like her style and I like 2, but being this short this feels a bit pointless you know? 2.7
clairo Late Show
As it seems to be the case with every one of these little demos, this is pretty but feels pointless. The songs are entirely disjointed, and the prod (which is a bit better for 1 and 4, giving in the former case a sort of tape, 40's love song vibe which I dig) varies even from track to track, destroying all sense of this being a real record more than a compilation of songs randomly put together. If it weren't for that this might sit at a 2.8 because the opening song is very nice and my favourite of hers so far, but as a record it really doesn't do the basic things well at all. 2.7
clairo metal heart
I'm finding it hard to rate this. It doesn't feel like a finished, polished record. Rather it feels like she threw together a bunch of old songs made at different times, some of which didn't make it to an EP previously I guess, and called it an album. The production varies from song to song, and the songs have no connection whatsoever between them - which could be fine but not when even the prod isn't cohesive -. I do love her more contemplative, better produced tracks that just feel like old songs to be melancholic over while watching the grass grow from your terrace (1,2,7), but the more ""intense"" tracks like 3, 4 suffer from the prod instead of being given a nice old tape flavour by it, and just don't feel like anything more than drafts. 5 makes it work a little better, but again the transition into 6 with the prod is quite rough. The bonus tracks are more of the same really - it doesn't feel cohesive at all. But hey some of the songs really are pretty and with some more construction her style could really work for me. 2.7
clairo Growing
I'm puzzled because 1-2 are some of her most boring track yet because they emphasise the guitar a lot more in the mix, which highlights how simple the songs are and takes away from the atmosphere, but at the same time 3 is one of my favourites, giving me sad folk vibes a bit remotely a la Grouper, which I dig. But yea that doesn't save it at all and it's not at all a jam anyway. At least the prod is pretty clean now, like the last non-bonus track on Metal Heart. 2.5
clipping. The Deep
Pretty inconsequential EP. I really really dug the midtrack on 1 starting at 2:35, unfortunately it lasts like 15 seconds. The rest of the track is pretty beep bloopey and frankly boring to me. 2 is kinda fun I guess. 3 is more in usual clipping style and is kinda nice but really not enough to make me rate this much higher. 2.6
Controlled Bleeding Knees and Bones
Brutal power noise/hnw. Did I like this? I don't have an effing clue. I did not hate it, which is an achievement. Some sections actually sounded great. Most were just meh, some were actually funny. Am utterly confused by this. 2.4
Cornfield Fugue [MOS007]
The least successful MOS EP so far imo. I do not tend to include remixes in my ratings but I'll discuss them first: Curved's remix on 2 is the single best track here and by far, because Curved manages to make the music explode where Cornfield's falls a bit flat and feels introey. The second remix - also by curved - is the single worst track here and doesn't work at all. Now the two Cornfield tracks both have the same flaws: they feel like the opening track to an hour long set, but never quite unfold. 1 starts off on Rapoon-like dark ambient textures with a dark beat, not as hard hitting as Curved's but still quite good, but the track stops where it feels like it should have started exploding after a long build up. 3 is the same but even less good. Meh. 2.7
Covet effloresce
Might be just me but this sounds like a demo for their earlier material rather than a newer full-length. Far fewer high points than their s/t.
death's dynamic shroud.wmv I'll Try Living Like This
This one didn't really work for me. The bulk of the album is what I don't quite enjoy in vaporwave: a lot of glitchiness, a lot of weird vocals, apparently random song structures which as my dexbro said sometimes sound like two different peolpe are making separate bits of a same track instead of working together. There are some nice bits, for example 2 changes completely after the 1:40 mark and becomes quite nice and chill and psych, but reverts to glitches later on. I also don't really enjoy the excessive videogame/anime samples etc in places like on 3. To be fair the album is never unpleasant except the closer, but it's almost never my cuppa. I did dig the middle a lot more. 4 starts nicely but has an awful conclusion, which is relieved by the cheesy sitcomcore 5. It morphs into more chilled and relaxed vibes, which continue during 6 and 7 and are the peak of the album imo. The intro to 7 is nic