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Album Ratings 1961
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Last Active 01-10-23 12:44 pm
Joined 06-29-12

Review Comments 3,114

Average Rating: 3.46
Rating Variance: 0.38
Objectivity Score: 75%
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5.0 classic
Agalloch The Mantle
Agalloch Ashes Against the Grain
Amenra Mass V
Yea uh this is likely to get demoted alas. I absoluetly love them in a gig, and these tracks are 5/5 in that setting. I love them all of course, but I feel like for an at-home listen, it's not a 5. The buildups are just too long, on 3 especially. Still 4.5 ish but I on't expect this 5 will survive a second listen. [PENDING]
Black Sabbath Paranoid
Boris Flood
Burial Untrue
The run from 1-4 is standard setting, and quite decidedly a 5.0 for me. Unlike on most other albums, I find that the prolonged dip in energy that comes afterwards I really fitting for the album's sad, nocturnal, nighttime bus ride vibe, and especially given it is stilll punctuated by a few beaty tracks here and there. But I do find that the dip is still slightly too long, especially when all of the true bangers are all clustered at the start. That being said, there are many tracklists for this, and the one I jammed today on Spotify is I believe different from the one I originally 5'd, so the 5.0 is only tentatively [PENDING]
Chill Bump The Loop
Clever Girl No Drum And Bass in the Jazz Room
I was going into this thinking this would be at risk of being bumped down because it felt like one my weakest fives, but in reality man my adolescent love for this has not budged an inch. Yes it is a very lighthearted obscure little record and isn't a grand album by any means, but it just makes me feel all fluffy and comfy and I can't not love it. Its crisp production and intricate yet delicate playing take you right into the band's happy, soothing, sunny spring atmosphere that I want to live in forever, and for a record that is after all merely noodly modern math rock with a sax, that atmosphere is incredibly strongly evoked. Contrary to some other records I used to love, this one seems to gains value over time (at least for now), because on top of not feeling silly, there is a sweet taste of happy nostalgia that overarchs the memories I tie it with. I struggle to think of a record that stands so far above everything else I know in its genre solely out of the sheer goodness of its execution. This isn't the most technical math-rock (which I think is a strength as they know to remain subtle), this isn't the only math-rock band that uses brass, hell it's not even the only math-rock band called Clever Girl. But to me it is special, and it makes me happy every dam time i hear it. 5.0
Converge Jane Doe
Defeater Lost Ground
This is a record I really love and know every note from, but whilst it is imo a genuinely good hardcore record both in its angrier moments and in its emotional content, I cannot help but feel like this is a record you look back tenderly to which heightens how good you perceive it is, rather than a genuinely perfect quality record. I am 100% projecting, but it has a touch of a 'music I liked as a teenager' feel that I don't get with some of my other 5s like Mf18M. In light of that, I struggle to justify calling Lost Ground a perfect 5.0, although I did feel it was a 4.6 sort of deal all the way because like I said it remains a really strong EP. The last track being perhaps my least favourite kind of confirms that this probably isn't a true 5 for me. That being said I'd never bump a 5.0 down before wanting to do so on at least two listens, so for now this is still [PENDING]
Deftones White Pony
Dammit I also don't know about this one. I think that was my most recent 5 before the start of the great review, and it's still shaky? That ain't good chief. The album is ripe full of banger tracks, and has a distinctive, subtle, sexy and smokey style, quite unique even within Deftones' own discography. Tracks like Digital Bath or Change alone easily earn this a 4.5. But the album does take a couple tracks to warm up - not a groundbreaking view but the rapped vocals on 1 don't sit too well with me, and while 2 is a pretty good track, it takes until 3 for the album to truly hit you. And, while they are cool, there are a few too many tracks that are a good take on the "heavy riff + ethereal Chino vox and prod" style without being top tier stunning like the aforementioned highlight tracks. I feel like the album could have used being a little bit shorter, even if it cost some pretty damn good minutes. I don't know, I have to listen to it again - maybe I was set in the wrong tracks by the slow start. [PENDING]
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
A unique, kaleidoscopic, exquisitely produced atmospheric hardcore (?) album with powerful prog imagery and an absolute onslaught on the drumkit and bass. Even my least favourite track here is a pure jam, every riff is memorable, and I can't
get enough of this record. Probably my second favourite album. 5.0
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. In the context of his discogs, this kind of marks the start of Coltrane's shift towards more dissonant/free territories, which was already hinted at in prior albums but is here really showing prominently, particularly again on the piano. 4.8 Edit 22/3/23: the opener is perfect, dammit this is a 5.0
Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon
As far as albums go this is about as classic as it gets. Dark Side oozes class from every pore. That being said, being an absolute unmissable classic doesnt automatically make it a perfect 5.0 in my system. I do find that going all the way to the end of Money, everything is unquestionably 5.0 material, but starting from Us and Them tehre is a bit of a feeling of descent. There's still plenty of psychedelic colour and dlightful synthwork, the tunes remain tunes, and the album construction remains an undeniable masterclass with all the transitions. But I can't help feeling WYWH is just an overall stronger, better album that doesn't end on a long downwards curve like this. So is Dark Side a 5.0 or a 4.8? I wasn't expecting it to be, but the 5.0 is [PENDING]
Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here
Portishead Dummy
Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine
Refused The Shape Of Punk To Come
This is a hugely important and influential, masterfully constructed album with a unique, varied musical offering, and boasting some of the coolest ass songs one can hear. It is a classic album for sure. But is it a personal 5.0? It probably was mood, but some bits felt a bit lengthy for me - which is fine on a 4.8, but there was too much of it to feel like a personal perfect album today. And I have this seen live, which I would expect to reinforce the 5.0. I wasn't expecting to, but I did doubt this LP's 5.0 status on several occasions during this listen, thus the 5.0 is [PENDNIG]
Steve Reich Music for 18 Musicians
Nothing makes the mind levitate quite as much as Music for Eighteen Musicians. Uniqueness executed to perfection. Whether it be the original 1978 ECM recording or the 2007 Grand Valley State version, I can't see myself bumping it down. 5.0
Suis La Lune Heir
An important record for me, and one I maintain is about the best example of euroskramz you can find out there. The melodies are gut wrenching, the drumming is tight despite the record being less agressive than other entries in the genre, the riffs can be abrasive when they want to be, and both the intro track and the intro to the closer are to this day some of my favourite moments in music. That being said, on this listen, I did find that whilst 2 holds its own pretty well and offers some of that nice abrasiveness I mentioned, 3 really feels subpar, and the conclusion to 4 on this listen at least was a bit of a drag. On a full LP that wouldn't be a problem, but I struggle to accept it on a 12min EP. This felt more like a 4.5 tier record for being excellent, sometimes but not always perfect emotive euroskramz, than it did a 5.0. Thus its 5.0 is [PENDING]
The Dillinger Escape Plan Calculating Infinity
Makes you want to break everything. The viscerally aggressive, supremely technical, delightfully raw soundtrack to a hellish apocalypse. In many ways this feels like the explosive, demon/zombie ridden, combative prelude to F#A#infinity's melancholic desolation. Their dissonant tones remind of Stravinsky, and so does the constant tension they distil in the calmer moments. Yup methinks this one will remain a certified 5 at this stage. 5.0
William Basinski The Disintegration Loops II
Yndi Halda Enjoy Eternal Bliss EP
Man I know the conditions were opposite to ideal for me today (interruptions mood etc) but this did not feel like a 5.0 whatsoever, not even a 4.5. A 4.0-4.1 perhaps. Even with my least fave song removed from the full-length, there is still a lot of downtime on this. I know it's inherent to crescendocore but it really was tough today. True, when the nostalgia kicks in it's truly something, true the first half of Dash&Blast alone justifies why I ever even considered this a 5.0 and remains magnificient, true the closing track also has a lot of beautiful moments, but eh today I really could have demoted it. If i have a similar experience in better conditions, this may really lose a lot in rating. 5.0 is [PENDING]

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 . 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
Abel Decaux Clairs de Lune
A fantastic tetrad of piano pieces found by mr budgie thanku. Played Frederic Chiu's recording. This was written between the years 1900 and 1907 per wiki, and that is quite impressive. The intro to 1 is an instant attention grabber and quite fantastic in how broody and calmly thrilling it is. There are short dissonant bursts that are quite cool and impressive for the time, although it ruptures with the soft Debussy Ravel & co. sort of aesthetic, so I like them a touch lses. It really is a dark soundtrack to watch things decay. 2 continues this with perhaps fewer dissonances, and lots of expressive imagery, reminding of Dukas' Apprenti Sorcier a bit. 3 is softer and complentative, which is very nice - however at that stage I felt a bit like the 'goodness shock' of the first track was wearing off, and was looking at a 4.2. But the brooding, wonderfully atmospheric last track brings things back up to a solid 4.3
Agnes Obel Philharmonics
I can't be objective for one bit with this one, I know every single song almost note for note because of my maman and I have a lot of affection for the record. I do find that some of the later songs are not AS striking and memorable as in the first act, with some of the transitions not being quite ideal, and because I do prefer the first half of the record without hesitation that drops it a couple points. Thakfully the last two tracks pick things up quite well and we stay well afloat at a delightful, heartwarming 4.3
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 Edit: ok past Bedex wrong this is lovely,
I don't know why I find it so easy to give 4.5 tier ratings to Agnes but this is just such a
thoroughly lovely listen with not a single bad bit to it, and certainly lots that are wonderful
(1-3, the playful 4 maybe, 6-9,11, idk the whole album?). It might be better than Philharmonics,
or not, I don't know, but I don't quite have the same relationship with Aventine that I do with
LP1 so I do feel like I prefer LP1. 4.3
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
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
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.
Antonio Vivaldi Concerto for 2 violins in A minor, RV 522
One of my favourite Vivaldi concertos and concertos period. It's classical but every part just works so well at what it does . 4.3
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
Claude Debussy Fantaisie Pour Piano Et Orchestre L.73
Frolic. Verb. (intransitive) 1. To make merry; to have fun; to romp; to behave playfully and uninhibitedly. [from 1580s] We saw the lambs frolicking in the meadow. 2. (transitive, archaic) To cause to be merry.r4.3
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 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 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 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 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 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 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
Ichiko Aoba アダンの風
Absolutely gorgeous. There is a short run in the middle that made me question whether or not I'd slap a 4.3 on this thing, but you know what the few tracks after that do save the day. Ichikobroadens her sound enormously, whilst also taking a more ambient direction than folk in a lot of places - rather prominently on the gorgeous opening track for instance -, and the result is a marvellous thought-inducing patchwork of ghibli colours and adventurous childhood. No wonder she was featured on Link's Awakening. She didn't lose her sound, as is shown on tracks like 12 and 13 which remind a lot of her prior work yet fit with the rest nicely. She just expanded it beautifully. This is already clear from 2. The piano on 6 even reminds of Debussy-type impressionist compositions. What's more to ask. Perfect album to jam on a sunny morning looking at the trees gently swinging in the wind? 4.3
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
Igor Stravinsky L'Oiseau de feu
I realised halfway through playing that I was listening to a recording of the 1919 version (by Bernstein within London SO) and not a recording of the original version. Some of the similarities that I see between this and le Sacre are potentially due to that then. This holds a lot of the evocative power of Sacre, and a lot of its violence too (the Firebird Dance and the Infernal Dance especially), and in a vacuum this is a great piece. There is something special about Stravinsky's Russian era music. In comparison to le Sacre, this pales in terms of dissonance, experimentation, grandeur, length, and rpetty much every aspect; but in a vacuum, it is an excellent piece in its own right. Will check the 1910 version though. 4.3
Iron Maiden The Number of the Beast
Bruce comes onboard, and Maiden shift ever so slightly away from raw riffage to craft something a little more cinematic. That being said, many of the songs on here still fck, starting with the hella cool opener. 2 is not as riffy and displays more of that newer style, but remains a cool listen, whilst 3 blends the two and offers a nice grand track but also with poutre riffage. 4 is fine but feels a bit like a flat continuation of 3 minus the riffage, and it was perhaps my least fave here. It's good, but it lacks distinguishing features to it. Then you have the insane and classic 5-6 combo with Number and Run to the Hills, but the tour the force is that the following tracks dont feel any less good despite being perhaps a touch less classic - 7 fcks heavyily again, and 8 is a bit softer but a great grand track to close, though there isn't much of a conclusion. All round solid, many times exceptional. 4.3
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 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
John Coltrane The John Coltrane Quartet Plays
An excellent introduction to the spicier Coltrane. From the first notes on 1 it is clear that we are entering more dissonant territories again. The sax tone is decidedly incisive, and I thought the panning would annoy me but you get used to it. The dissonant jazz twist on a Mary Poppins theme is super cool. 2 evokes more jazz club sort of stuff, but still preserving the harmonic spiciness, whilst 3 starts on a slower, date night jazz sort of vibe with quite a famous melody I cant name rn. It picks up some way into the track and builds up the spiciness to 'heck yes' levels. 4 starts on a long bass solo that would almost have its place by a bonfire, and the track is overall quite atmospheric which I find is a cool way to conclude the album. Very solid and consistent, dissonant jazz that is more than listenable, jazz to feel smart and smug at your fireplace. 4.25
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 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 Meditations
Db is not really in order because this came out after Ascension I believe but it's also seen as the 'spiritual follow-up to A Love Supreme' apparently so whatever. An important one historically as this is the last album with Tyner and Jones, which makes me sad but all good things have an end. The first track is perhaps one of the spiciest Coltrane tracks yet ith 12 minutes of noisy free jazz that remains an enjoyable listen, especially 2 and more so 3 go back to more conventional, calmer jazz - though 2 retains some spice on the piano which is lovely. 4 summarises the record perfectly, starting on almost as much spiciness as 1 and evolving all through the track to unfold into decreasingly dissonant and ultimately very relaxing piano, continuing into the serene 5 with an incredibly smooth transition. The smooth transitions and this strong ending of the album bump it ever so slightly to a soft 4.3
John Coltrane The Olatunji Concert: The Last Live Recording
Crushing, immense, powerful. Both in composition and in prod, this is about the gnarliest jazz you will find in Coltrane's catalogue. Knowing this oozes the rage of a man's last few breaths makes it all the more evocative. I really found that spiritual side many give to Coltrane's later music. Ogunde is perhaps my favourite of the two in its relentless kaleidoscopic anger. My Favorite Things starts with a several minutes long welcome rest in the form of a bass solo, before gradually growing insane again and transforming into a galactic free jazz acid trip where flashes of shapes and color pop in your head, with occasional glimpses of sanity when the my favorite things themes hit (which I found gave me a somewhat weird feeling). The prod is so dirty and the music so aggressive that at times the enjoyment i get from this borders on the one i get from Prurient. The prod is not only gritty and noisy but also chaotically variable, and before you listen to this i'd suggest reading the short wikipedia article which does a good job of explaining the cool story behind of this and sets the mood quite well. Coltrane's last ever live recording, and his penultimate concert, a couple months before his passing; a monument, but not only for being his last. 4.4
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
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
Krzysztof Penderecki Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima
This will freeze the blood inside your veins. 4.25
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
Mastodon Crack the Skye
After seeing this with all the visuals it hits different. THE LAST BARON, THE LAST BAROOOON 4.6
Maurice Ravel String Quartet in F Major
Excellent string quartet with lots of colour and variety to it. Movement II is a particular highlight for me with its many extremely playful and fun sections with plucked strings and whatnot. I is far more conventional and grave in tone but is quite sweet in a posh garden party way. III is even more grave, but there is a complete shift towards hopeful vibes mid-movement. Finally IV sounds like the panicked, frantic soundtrack to a severe betrayal, and works quite well as the shortest movement here. Jammed the 1986 Cleveland quartet version because why not. 4.3
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
Natalia Lafourcade Musas
(M3, library) This thing is a dream and Natalia is a goddess. Can't get enough of it. Screw it, 4.5
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 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
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
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 ( )
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
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
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 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
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
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.
A Winged Victory for the Sullen The Undivided Five
This one compared to Atomos goes back to instrumentations that are closer to the debut. The piano pieces - which, as the first track title suggests would make Claude proud - are particularly clear examples of this. 3 evokes Satie very vividly. The album is however not a redo of the s/t. It uses the same instrumentation, but it is much more subdued, subtle, discrete. It is a soft cotton ball of an album, where the first LP had perhaps more prominent, repeated melodies that stuck in the head. Here every track has superb ideas, but they are presented in background and coat the echoes, rather than take the spotlight. I don't mind it per se and in fact I really enjoyed the album. It flows incredibly well from idea to idea and this is definitely one to spin in full. When the synths come in on 1 it really makes me want synths goddammit. 1-2 do feel a bit like the debut but underbaked though. Then the combo of 3-4 is superb, before 5 taks us to darker places, then hope again. 7 gets a bit dronier, and 8 is one of those tracks that shows the quality of ideas on (subtle) display here. I'm not gonna do a full track by track because it wouldn't work for an album like this. I will say that it does feel a bit like it ends out of nowhere, which made me a bit disappointed at the end - AWFTS can't seem to get album conclusions perfectly right can they? 3.8
A Winged Victory for the Sullen Invisible Cities
From yesterday. This is an album where AWFTS show us that they can do more than regular AWFTS, and that they can do it well without completely overturning their aesthetic. 1 indeed opens on lovely but typical AWFTS piano in a very nice way. 2 already introduces changes starting subtly with superb faint choral voices. Then brass kicks in (not a fan, a bit too Marvel OST), then some grittiness (love it), then new piano coming in at 1m40 that is just magnificent. The track ends a bit nowhere and I would've liked more of a buildup, but it shows where the album will explore. 3 continues the grit, 4 is nice, then 5-6 show some dungeon synth vibes imo (yes), and after these fuller tracks the very calm start of 7 is most welcome, before the track gradually buidls into superb cascading, distorted textures, followed by the absolute magical 8 in the context of the album. Made my rating go up. 9 goes from gritty from fully distorted (not sure I like the end tbh), 10-11 are nice, then 12 summarises again what the album tried with vocal sounds and gritty bits. 13 starts on lovely piano over lonely drone to conclude, then builds up distortion sounding almost like a metal intro, getting into prurienty territories at times, then stopping suddenly and beautifully. Whilst it's not the most coherent album in the world (but flowing well), or not having striking melodies like LP1, this is a show of force showing that AWFTS are masters at many more aspects of their craft than we've seen before. I can see how this LP resonates with fewer people - it is more drone at heart than their prior records. 3.9
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
Afel Bocoum Alkibar
Beautiful Malian music of a genre that I won't dare to classify but with a style largely consistent throughout the album, by a former member of Ali Farka Toure's band I gather. The variations are in the order of more or less group voices, the added strings on 3, things like that, but in essence jamming the first track gives you a good idea of what the next hour will be like. I gotta say the last song being perhaps one of the weaker one compounded to the album feeling like it needed to end at 50minutes ish drops this a point, but this is solid for anyone enjoying this type of music. 3.8
Agnes Obel Citizen Of Glass
Agnes' foresty, mysterious, magical album. A change of direction that is well done, but is hurt by album construction in my opinion, and that feels like it is looking for its footing a bit. Better writeup to come, 3.8
Agnes Obel Myopia
Placeholder soundoff but basically on this one the instrumentals are magnificient, and the vocals often - but not always - get a bit lost in fx and editing which must've been fun to play with but kind of disrupt the musical voyage for me. However it holds its direction better than Citizen did imo. 4.0
Akemi Fox You're My Favourite Day
I absolutely love the flair and style on this little EP. The blend of neo soul bordering on RnB with South American vibes with elements of bossa nova and reggaeton beats is absolutely delightful and totally up my alley. The vocal delivery is subtle and very well performed without pushing into showing off, which adds to the delicate quality this oozes. The two only downsides I saw here are the brief guest vocal performance on 2, which although ok is perhaps a bit too electronic/polished pop for the more organic dance the music otherwise calls for, and more importantly 4 is the only track that was not so convincing to me, as it is more of a slow straight up neo soul ballad which takes a bit away of the record's DNA. I thought it was a debut, but there is actually at least one preceding EP I can find. Great EP that I'll respin, by an artist I'll definitely follow after founding her through a collab with Children of Zeus and the almighty Georgie. 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
Albert Roussel Le Festin de L'Araignée
Really love this kind of energetic, ever changing, cinematic yet jolly vibe - you can see the cartoon play before your very eyes. Thoroughly enjoyed it. 4.2
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
Alexander Scriabin Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 6
Jammed Ashkenazy's take. Excellent piece which I think I preferred to the 2nd Sonata as it feels more coherent throughout. First movement starts rather angrily and furiously but resolves in a beautiful starry night feeling. Again Scriabin reminds me of the French impressionists but with added angst and bursts of slight aggressivity, which is a cool variation. This is particularly clear in the second movement which is much sadder than the first. The third continues this but does get a bit crazy like the start of 1 again, then 4 really wears its 'Funebre' name quite accurately. Great piece, with a little more in the way of stunning moments than the second I daresay. 4.0
Alexander Scriabin Piano Concerto in F Sharp Minor, Op. 20
Movement 1 gets very romantic and extra but is really quite good at it, movement 2 feels like an idyllic spring morning except in its middle portion which is sadder and that ruptures a bit with the rest, and movement 3 is kinda like 1 but perhaps with more of an emphasis on the piano especially early on. All very good, and yes it's maybe not the most stunning concerto ever, but it is great. 3.9
Alexander Scriabin Piano Sonata No. 2 in G sharp minor Op.19
Pogorelich's recording is excellent, though the volume spkikes a little too much in places. First movement evokes sublimely the French impressionists in places, but on the whole there is just a little bit more dissonance and adventure than you normally find with those. The second movement is a lot more adventurous and feels a lot like a cascade of flashing colours, but ends a bit out of the blue. Both are nice but have too few blissful moments for this to be on par with some other pieces, yet it remains great. 3.8
Alexander Scriabin Piano Sonata No.3, Op.23
One of the more consistent Scriabin piano sonatas so far, except perhaps in the last movement. I like to picture 1 as what Debussy would write if he came home drunk and a bit angry late at night and hammered the piano a bit too hard in places, but still crafted beauty out of it. It is the 'Drammatico' movement after all. 2 feels like playful villain music, like what would play as background of the evil plot in an old Tom & Jerry cartoon, and is short enough to make it work. 3 is softer, sadder, and perhaps my fave track here. 4 starts kind of like 2 with a ncie added cascadic feel, but then the movement is a bit erratic, getting very intense in the midtrack, Gershwiney almost in its abrupts accelerations and transitions from soft to intense. I liked it okay but I find it's not on par with the rest. 3.9
Alexander Scriabin Symphony No. 1, Op. 26
This is a wonderful relaxing symphony and is well worth the listen. It might be because with the nice morning sun I was really looking for a nice relaxed piece but man this was a joy. I gotta say the (rare) more intense bits, especially in the first allegro, were a bit less my jam, but I think that is clearly because of listening conditions, whilst the second allegro makes the intensity really work. The last movement is a bit of a curveball, and makes you almost think you're listening to a different piece as the voices kick in. I quite like it, and I think in a vacuum that last movement is great, but it just feels a bit randomly lumped in at the end. When the voices ove from solo to choral in the last third or so, it gets really nice and intense to be fair. 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 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
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
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
Angele Brol
Au soleil, c'est parfait. An sweet poppy album that works particularly best in its summery tracks and is impressively consistent, as none of the tracks feel like filler. Sure, some work better than others, but the ones that aren't as good at least tried something different, and the album never really bores. 1-3, 7-8 and 11-12 are all super catchy, summery bops with varying amount of synth goodness, and really make the backbone of the album. 9 is cute but doesn't work as well as the prior two tracks, though it has a nice darkness in its lightness that makes it interesting. 10 is romantic but in a non boring, non-ballad kind of way which I appreciated. So really that second act 7-12 is all great and confirmed the feeling I had on 1-3 that this would be a 3.9. I had some doubts before that though, as 4-6 is a bit weaker and more erratic. 4 is great but the guest vox is not too fab imo. 5 is reasonably catchy and is fun as it introduces English to the album, but despite its catchy chorus it is the first track that isn't really playlist worthy. 6 is kind of sad and balladey, which is fine but doesn't work too well especially after 5. So a quick dip in energy, but that is rapidly compensated by a great second act: the alb overall is a sweet 3.9
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
Antonio Vivaldi Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 3 No. 6 RV 356
Jammed the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra version depicted here a bit at random. 1 and 3 are very classical but very effective garden party violin type concertos in regular Vivaldi fashion, with a preference for the first as the latter is a tad short. The middle piece is more interesting as it is a bit sadder and melancholic, which brings this to a safe 3.8
Aseul Asobi
A humble little album that has lots more to offer than it looks, but suffers a bit from being a) a slow burner b) feeling a lot like an EP (is it one?) with little in the way of context and conclusion. It does have a more readily understandable structure than its predecessor in terms of genres, with an electronic typical Aseul start on 1-2, a dream pop phase on 3-4 (although 4 only maintains a guitar tone and goes back to more electronica), and 5-7 being a series of three synth pop near-bangers near jams. The latter three are really a positive note and some of the best Aseul material yet, lifting this up a point, but the absolutely nonexistent album conclusion keeps it well clear from a 4.0. Whilst 1 is slow to start the album it gets really colourful, but the more relaxed 2 is a bit meh despite being nice and synthy. 3 is the first Aseul track that I'd qualify as properly dream pop. So all in all lots of playlist material, but not a grand album for the ages. 3.9
Ash Borer 2009 Demo
It's nothing revolutionary, but it's also everything I wanted from a bm demo: raw, gut-wrenching bm with great vox, and the occasional melodic post passage. It's true the second track drags a touch in places and brings this down a point perhaps, but for a demo it's great material, albeit without much of a recognisable touch to it for something released in 2009. 3.8
Ash Borer Ash Borer
Very glad I checked it. It's far from perfect, and there are some losses of focus and rhythm in at least 2/3 tracks, but man when they explode these guys really can throw some raw and aggressive bm wall at you. This is particularly visible in 1 and 3 where the explosions are sudden (but good) after nice melodic or calmer passages. 3 has some of hte best bits here - that intro explosion, the melodic interludey bit around min 6, some other riffage later on, but also the worst with an album conclusion that gets frankly annoying and takes this down a point. 2 is quite epic like 1 but both have slightly awkwards bits, and 2 perhaps more so. All in all an excellent album that I'd recomment but with flaws that keep it to strict 4.0 range. At this point in their career AB feel like a band taht has a 5.0 in them potentially should they master album construction - but from the sput ratings it doesn't look like that magnum opus has come out yet. 4.05
Ash Borer Cold of Ages
Once again, Ash Borer truly excel in big wally black metal explosions, but struggle a bit with song and even album construction. I think the song structures didn't really warrant the record being cut in only four long tracks, which gives a sort of directionless feeling, as there are clear breaks and interludes within tracks where cuts would've made sense - like the gorgeous drone interlude at 8:20 on 2. More importantly, the tracks all have some less engaging, clumsier dare I say bits, and because they are so long that means none are 'perfect' on the whole. However, the band still absolutely rips it when they explode, which is particularly prominent on reprises. Min 13 on 1, 3:45 on 2, min 4 and 14 on 3, min 10 on 4 all make you go fck me this is good. The vocals are fantastic and some of my favourite in bm in a while, particularly on 1. And the band adds subtle but excellent elements to their calmer bits, like the angelic vocals on 3 and 4. 1 also has a sort of hopeful and magnificent side to it, like rain in the sun. Alas, the track lengths and clumsy bits make them not very playlistable, and also make the album imo inferior to the debut, although AB remain quite a fave and a band to watch in my book. 3.75
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
AZ Doe or Die
An excellent, classic 90s hip-hop album that loses a bit of its coherence in the second half but certainly would deserve to be more in the spotlight in my opinion, and that might easily grow on me. It is crazy how recognisable his rapping sounds from that one and a half tracks he was featured in on Illmatic - which is very prominent eg on 11 here. I absolutely adore the intro track and its brooding bass. 1-5 are very coherent in both style (of Nas-like hard hitting 90s East Coast hip-hop), flow and quality, which is rare even in the classic albums of the time which tend to have skits etc. The transitions into 6 and 7 do feel a bit rough, but that might be a merely prod/volume issue. 7 also introduces a rupture in atmosphere that we'll see again in the second half of the album with a more West Coastey, 2Pacey, Biggie-ey, even slightly 80s atmosphere, a bit away from the darkness of 90s NYC yknow. This comes again on 9 although it is a cool and kinda chill track. If I'm honest I was paying a little less attention in the second half due to work so this might be my fault and I owe this another listen, but I can't help feeling the album never finds the cohesiveness of 1-5 again, though it remains high quality through and through. Second half brings it down to a solid 4.1
AZ Pieces of a Man
Full of high quality songs individually, and flows exceptionally well overall for an album like this (a lot better than LP1), navigating transitions between widely different vibes very smoothly, but ultimately AZ's relatively monochrome albeit great delivery and the nearly hourlong runtime make the album feel quite too long. I'll be forgiving on the rating as there really are lots of tracks to keep here and maybe I was just not in the best spot for this. There are some very questionable things happening that the album could really do away with, starting with the loud bang on 1, the sex sounds on 5, or the excellent grim guest rapping section on 6 being stopped on a weird fadeout after 30s before the track moves on to something unrelated (though still cool with its sad vibes and great guests performances). The guests in general are great, and 3 with its prime era Nas feat really stands tall above the rest. Mostly this is somewhat sombre but with lighthearted delivery typical 90s East Coast hip-hop, but there is a lot of other things to be found eg. 8 being super funky or the colourful 14 which does help with the album length. 10 is really the only truly awkward track here, aside from that each song could be a cool track taken individually. 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
Baden Powell Os Afro-Sambas
A really lovely Brazilian album that is also a re-recording of a much older album by Powell, but this time accompanied by a quatuor of female vocalists who seem to be four sisters. And therein lies the secret ingredient of a glorious mix, for to me this chorale of candid and joyous voices adds enormous depth and feel to the songs. I love this album's version of Canto de Ossanha of course, and 3, 6 or 10 are also very happy jams. I find the broodier, moodier tracks to be perhaps less fitting to this sound, but remain very lovely with 4 being the first example as its title implies, or 8 being a later one. 9 stands out as a semi peculiar track, more instrumental, more trance inducing than it is dancey, but I would not say there is a rupture. In fact the album is very well structured and displays good unity and transitions throughout. The outro track is perhaps a bit long but it is otherwise nicely functional. It feels like the album could use being 10 min shorter, but not by slashing any particular song, just by trimming a bit of fat here and there. Quality and has some of my favourite Brazilian songs, but also has some downtime. 3.9
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
Basic Channel Quadrant Dub
To steal some random lastfm user's description this is a near perfect brain massage. Accompanied me through many a work night. First track is an easy 4.5, but I find that the second adds some unwelcome dancier sounds, and brings its variations a little too late to not drop this to a - still legendary - 4.2
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
Bennie Maupin The Jewel in the Lotus
Disclaimer: I have not heard much 70s jazz/jazz fusion in a long time and don't know much in those genres, but man this album hit hard. It is a powerfully atmospheric continuum of jazzy idea after jazzy idea. Some sections sound extremely modern for its age (maybe they remastered it because the prod is really quite good) to the point where I was sometimes half hoping for some kind of electronic FlyLo beat. While there are silences between tracks, and quite large discrepancies in atmosphere, with the dark, almost droney 3 with its eerie vocals being followed up by the super pretty piano-led 4 for example, it really feels like one strong flowing story. The only exception to that is the intro to the t/t, which ruptures the vibe quite abruptly. Despite some quite nice relaxed jazz sections, the track and its follow up on 6 don't feel as compelling, and frankly drop this down a point. Thankfully 7 and especially the superb conclusion 8 do come back to the quality of the earlier record. Certainly an album that deserves further listens and a place in my library. For now I think I'll slap a 4.1
Bennie Maupin Moonscapes
This is like Slow Traffic but much more successful and with more of a consistent vibe, with a touch more of that dreamy fusion style Lotus had eg on 2 and 6. I feel like I still do prefer the esoterism of Lotus, but this one is undeniably fun and funky with its all-round prominent and groovy bass. And this is true from the very banging album intro. After the more relaxed and dreamy 2, 3-4 are funky as hell again before 5 purrs in the ear with its soft jazzy guitar intro that gets super bouncy later on. It does end on a fade out though. 6 occasionally has a bit too much of spice for the album's vibe imo but is still a fantastic track, while the synthy 7 works quite well to close the album. Seems like the 8th track is only present on the Expanded Edition as a bonus track of sorts, and thats good because while its intro is nice and flows well, as a cover I find its purpose a bit questionable. All round solid and will go to me lib. 4.0
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 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
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 Timewave Zero
Well, it's no DM, but I gotta say it's a damn well crafted space synth voyage that moves slowly but without ever being static, and is quite good from the get go at setting a mood. Worked extremely well with the colourful purples of the sunset and flashy traffic lights out my window today. If it'd been released in like 1985 it would be an easy upper 4.0 if not 4.5. I will concede it goes on for a bit too long maybe, especially given its conclusion feels essentially like a fadeout, but on the other hand I really want to counterbalance people who low rated this out of spite for it not being dm, so you know what 3.8
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
Breag Naofa/Children of God Split
Another split that makes me want to check the band Breag played with. The opener by Children of God is an incredibly nasty, rather Amenra-esque evil track and is outirght excellent. After a surprising but functional intro, Breag's track unfolds excellently into the riff to very rapidly (and I would say slightly awkwardly) transition again into Breag Naopunk. It is of course really cool and catchy and you want to dance, but I again feel like the vocals were always better on LP1 with this band. The track ends and almsot sets you up to expect more, but this record is alas very short and it just ends like that. Wish there was more, teh length is the main downside here. Might have to check Children of God I guess. 3.8
BRUIT Monolith
Honestly I was not at all expecting to be this excited in 2021 by a 2018 debut post-rock EP. Especially when there isn't much that makes them stand out on paper: this is a mix of post-rock and ''''classical'''' strings, with a bit of electronica, synths and bleeps and bloops; no wild genre mixes, no vocals, no collab of note. Thus the band creates quality and excitement out of sheer compositional prowess, and that is to be commended. Yes both tracks are a slow emotional post-rocky crescendo like we've seen millions, but they aren't done like the millions we've seen. The ideas are many and ever flowing, and it's not like they add guitar 2 3 4 then drums then a violin; these buildups are nonlinear and beautifully controlled chaos. Now I will say that, although 1 does get quite intense, and although 2 has some magnificent strings at its peak, it does feel a bit like both tracks build up beautifully to end a bit abruptly, and go a bit nowhere in light of the vastness of the journey upwards. But hell man this is a debut EP and it's just so brutally good compared to what I was expecting seeing the tin. Very pumped for the full-length. 3.9
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 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
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
I think norma hite the nail quite right on this one with his rev. This is Burial succeeding a lot more consistently than it previously has at making a fully beatless record that is more than 15min long. Although this is ambient there is a whole lot going on, with lots of sounds, textures, fx and sample collages coming in an out very frequently. In that sense, it reminded me of a Tim Hecker i.e. ambient that shifts, moves and evolves, as opposed to a synthpad monoblock - a major difference with Hecker being the high prevalence of (Burial processed) vocals here, which makes Antidawn almost feel like the beatless, desperate flipside of Untrue. Can't help thinking of spending a depressed amount of time alone in your room late at night during the London lockdowns when jamming this. The vibe varies subtly, with 4 being more hopeful and 5 being more scared almost, but every track is equally good aside from 3 which I did find a bit subpar. Might have been just in the right mood for this but this felt like very strong output from B. 3.9
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
Calibre Steptoe/Silence
1 is an okay dubby track I guess with good prod, but frankly I skip it every time. 2 is the true meat and tatoes of this as one little gem of a liquid DnB track and one of my favourites. I've been jamming it for a good decade now or thereabouts, and contrary to lots of stuff I listened to back then, I still thinks it fcks. So all in all this is very much a compound rating averaging the two because there is next to no record construction here and no value to those two tracks being lumped together aside from enabling me to rate Silence on sput and aside from the lovely artwork. Lets say 3.8
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.
Case Studies The World Is Just A Shape To Fill The Night
Sweet folk album that starts very strong. 1-4 are all simple but very elegant folk songs, with a nice interplay with the deep male voice and the discrete but subtle female voices in the back. 2 is a little on the sadder side, and 4 more on the country side, but overall a great set of songs. Then 5-7 feel more like pub songs, with more voices, wider instrumentation, and honestly I feel like it breaks the mood quite substantially. If it were only 5, which is not quite my cuppa but is fun at least, it might be okay, but the piratey 6 as well as 7 really don't convince me much. In its last third, the album redeems itself somewhat, but not enough to fully regain the points it lost. 8 is nice like 1-4, and so are 9 and maybe 11, but they feel less convincing after the pub songs. 10 does feel like a halfway point, as it does have that pub song vibe but retains the softer vibe of the more subdued folk songs, and it is okay. More of 1-4 would have been 4.0 easily, but here I'll say at most (and I think I am being generous) 3.8
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 Xièxie
A testament to the power of repetition. Think I'll review this one. 3.75
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
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.
Cicada (Taiwan) Seeking the Sources of Streams
I want to live in this album - Nintendo can we get this in the OST for next Breath of the Wild pls 3.8
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
Clara Malaterre Points Cardinaux
Whilst it starts off very Nick Drakey, the breadth of instruments, styles and vibes on display in such a short span of time is astounding. Uneblievably talented, and the closing track makes me super happy. Hyper coul 3.8
Clara Malaterre Portraits
Truly excellent little folk EP with lots of bursts of creativity sprinkled in in the form of swathes of fx coming in sporadically amidst the otherwise largely acoustic sound, little dissonances and compositional freehand that justifies the jazz tag this gets here and there, cool instrumental additions, and also well placed restraint to keep things subtle and elusive. These aspects magnify what would otherwise be a well crafted but not outstanding EP to make it into something I found to be memorable. The sort of falsetto, sometimes heavily vibrato-ing voice will not sit right with some, but with me it did. Whilst the first three song bear the same mysterious, slightly sad, slightly ichiko-esque vibe, 4 shows us Clara can also do upbeat stuff well, and 5 is really intriguing especially in its intro, although I cannot put my finger on what it reminds me of. A precious, obscure little gem. 3.8
Claude Debussy Estampes, L. 100
As always beautiful impressionist pieces with Debussy, where you don't really know whether the titles are just formidably well chosen or if they guide your mental imagery of the music. In any case, 1 could fit on a a Ghibli, and 3 really feels like a rainy day. That last track is especially quite the voyage. 2 is a bit more en demi-teinte. It has some lovely melodies to it, and even jazzy bits, but between the other two it feels a bit like a downer, whilst the bookends are faves. I jammed Arrau's version at random, but I don't think it was the best because I felt like his piano got angrier than it needed to be for something so soothing. 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
Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld Never Were The Way She Was
Man that's a cool ass album, thanks dede for hte rec. Whilst it is primarily based on the sax + violin duo (already on paper this sounds like a dope album dunnit), there are lots of subtle little things going on in the back that give the whole a superimposed mystic, esoteric, F#A#8-esque vibe. The very album intro is kinda droney, before transforming into a Steve Reich-ey pattern on the two lead instruments - already I was in love, if that's not a recipe for bedecore idk what is. After the shorter but imo less convincing 2, 3 feels again like if Steve Reich had written a jazz album before getting more intense in the midtrack. Very good. Again 4 is a bit shorter and less convincing, more of an interlude track really. 5 then takes a super cool turn in vibe and sounds like the soundtrack to evil orc plottings. 6 adds more prominent ?electronic elements in the back, and gets really intense and almost riffy, like GYBE writing the soundtrack to a lion chasing a gazelle in some BBC Earth docco. 7 is also quite evil sounding and intense, but does end more calmly after the storm, before drifting into the very soft noisy washout 8, which dies down slowly and beautifully in an album conclusion that bumps this a point. Mystic, very cool, quite unique, and wonderfully executed. 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 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 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 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
Cryptopsy Blasphemy Made Flesh
Phew. When silence hits after listening to this, it feels like the sweaty heat after eating an enormous spicy meal. This is completely on-brand, quality Cryptospy material, with fantastic technicity, lots of variety and dynamics, could very brief calm moments, a lot of crushing riffs, and ruh ruh ruh. Very impressive for a debut album, it is well produced and also flows quite well as a constant stream of chaos. The main hurdle, as ever, is the (very occasional) shrieky vocals that was present on Ungentle Exhumation, and make a come back on a couple tracks including 1 (which had me worried for a second), whilst the guttural vocals are much better than before but do get awakward in certain places like the end of 5. No highlights to speak of really, as the album feels more like an ever flowing stream of brutal ebb and flow. 4.1
Cryptopsy Ungentle Exhumation
Ok this was exactly what i needed right now. Surprisingly mature for a demo, this certainly isn't all round perfect - some of the shriekey, ?female vocals sound frankly horrible, and the deep regular Cryptopsy vocals are cool but get a bit ludicrous in places, some of the sections are a bit less engaging too although rarely for very long - but hell if this isnt good hard hitting Cryptopsy stuff with already most of their sound being there in good quality. 1-2 are really cool, 3 is not far behind, and 4 was a bit less convincing especially at the start, but all four tracks have the merit of never dwelling too long on a bad (or good idea) and keep you on their toes constantly with an never ending stream of dynamics. Good and exciting demo. 3.8
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 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
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 The Raging River
Man I do love me some synth of Luna. This feels like the band yet again finding a very slightly different twist to their sound, combining the heavy reliance on synths displayed on ADTF to their sludgier beginnings. This combination is most prominent on the excellent 1 (which becomes particularly beautiful starting at 6:30 whereas it is more on the aggressive, sludgy side beforehand), 2 which is super gritty and evokes almost the first CoL EP - emphasising the sludge side there, and 6, especially its majestic end with the last two minutes showing the synths going into a noisy whirlwind of emotions behind the endless (and quite rehashed in their discog ngl) post-metal riffage. People seem to like the track before last a lot too but it is about the one that least convinced me, feeling just a bit tame and more 'standard CoL' than anything here. Compare to the excellent atmosphere on 6 that unfolds superbly well into a beat we have practically never seen in their disocg before, going to a transition of desolate desperation before the majestic last few miuntes I mentioned, and to me it is clear 4 is instantly more simplistic and less engaging, dropping this a point. 3 I am not sure about as the ?guest vox isnt too my cuppa, but the track is short enough that the novelty is sufficient to counterbalance that. Rock solid as always - too often almost? Idk how to rate these anymore. 3.9
Cult of Luna The Long Road North
CoL are the true Gang of 4.0. To a point where the last few records are all starting to blend together. The album's main fault is that it lacks features to distinguish it from its predecessors and also true standout tracks. The opener starts off with one of the dopest album openings they have, and though the track isn't too fantastic CoLcore, it develops well in the second half. 2 is stronger, darker CoL overall. These tracks feel like they would be sublimed by the synths from last LP which are missed a bit. 3 is on its own not that notable a track, but it is a great transitional interlude and shows that these guys know to craft an album. 4 is the first highlight post-opening with its long slow buildup that resolves extremely well, though again I just longed for crazy synths. I might have gotten my notes meddled but basically 5-6 are softer songs that work well in terms of album structure. 7 is by far an away the top highlight here, laying its atmosphere very well before several heavy unfolds, lining idea after idea, and finally featuring some more prominent synthwork. Fabulous CoL track. 8 is not as good but is also a clearly strong track, on the darker, riffier yet nicely aerial side. I do find that the conclusion track feels a bit long and unnecessary, like a misplaced interlude that leads to nothing. 4.1
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 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
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
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
Dante Mars Ajeto! Life Enterprises
DMA sure masters his vaporwave. Man this is good. This one is slightly more on the bouncier, lighthearted disco side compared to Artefacts, not having some of those grittier tracks. This is clear from the opening track, and most of the album highlights are highlights because they offer instant B O U N C E (1,4,7,8,10). But that isn't the only think DMA can do, and even a slower, softer track like 6 can also serve as highlight. The other tracks are all fine, just perhaps a little less explosive but still fun listens, and there is a lot more in the way of album construction. My only gripe with this is with the last three tracks. The intro to 11 is the first time that I feel the album does not flow well at all, and while after that intro all three tracks are fine, they also feel like a bit of a drag as they clearly aren't highlights. Dropped this a point, but frankly don't compare this too closely to Artefacts bcs I don't really know which one I'd call my fave since it's been so long. 3.9
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 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
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
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 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 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 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 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. Edit: rejammed it and I thoroughly agree with my previous
assessment although I'd tamper the enthusiasm a bit. 1 has excellent hellish moments, 2 is
wholly hellish, and 3 is a long drag once its cool but simple explosion is gone. Still,
within their discog, this is the record where DsO finally show signs of being able to
maintain their hellish sounds for more than sporadic moments amidst the generic bm that they
were producing before. 3.8
Deathspell Omega Disciples of the Ultimate Void
Ok once again I cannot believe this sits at a 2.1 average. And I am probably overrating it a touch out of spite for that. But man for an old demo tape like this, it's really cool. It's not the greatest record in the world but it is cool and certainly impressive in how evil it already sounds despite the very raw and lo-fi prod (which I find adds to the character but is probably the reason for a lot of 1.0s and 2.0s in these parts smh). 2 starts a bit like a thrash song and reminds a bit more of first wave bm maybe, but otherwise this is all quite excellent raw bm with quite an atmosphere to it, with 3 being a bit slower but still cool. Potentially a keeper, although, probably not? But certainly cool and rules. 3.8
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
Deftones Adrenaline
From yesterday I forgot to upload: perhaps Deftones at their most straightforward and least atmospheric, making for a cool album that's impressive for a debut LP but not as grand as their later output perhaps. Most songs are a cool fat riff, Chino's signature vox, 3 minutes done and dusted. Simple, efficient, well done. I particularly liked 7 with its prominent bassy groove and its particularly fat 'chorus' riff, with semi lame but ok vox. The rapped mid track is a bit weird, and there I can see people likening Deftones to nu-metal quite directly (in 95!). By 8 despite no change in quality I presume, I started getting a bit fatigued by the formula presented here. Same for 9. Thankfully things moved from there. 10 is very cool around 1:55, with a more atmospheric offering foreshadowing future Deftones, and 11 is a great conclusion track, also more atmospheric than the rest. Tbh I was surprised to see such a worked conclusion on a more riffy songs type album like this. Bumped back the points it lost on 8-9 to a sweet (but underselling the merit of individual tracks perhaps) 3.8
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 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
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
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
Denzel Curry Melt My Eyez See Your Future
Long time since I last jammed his albums, but best Curry (so far) I'd say? The latter half did dampen my enthusiasm, but I was easily looking at a 4.2 up to 7 maybe. The production is pristine, lush, varied, multilayered, and transitions between tracks smoothly (so much so that I missed the track changes multiple times for my notes), what's more to ask. I loved 1 as an intro track, 2 has an excellent swingy choppy instrumental, his rap seemed flat at first in comparison but does get much better, 3 fantastic prod again and I love the reggae vibes in some places, 4-5 are more hazy and drugged up compared to the energetic opening trio but I like them especially 5. 6 feels like Nujabes with a bit more distorted punch on the drums, and the T pain feature on 7 is fun. 8 is the first time the album is not even meh but outright unpleasant with the Aint No Way shouts. It only occurs at the start, but the track also feels like it regresses into something more basic than anything before it on the LP. 9 is pretty mid too ngl, but 10 is cool (and my last heart song on the LP). 11 is pretty meh, but very short, then 12-13 is somewhat cool with its DnB element, but this is where the album gets a bit much and feels too long - the track is just too much in your ears at this stage. Thankfully 14 is a nice conclusion track, but yea overall album is a 4.0
Depressive Silence Depressive Silence II
A coherent, consistent, ever flowing stream of old school dungeon synth adventures. One of the (or the?) best releases I have heard in the genre. The synth tones are just gorgeous and singlehandedly carry the whole thing true. It tells stories this. And it's from 96? Damn. 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 (USA) 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
Disincarnate Dreams of the Carrion Kind
In fairness, I was interrupted a lot. This feels like relatively standard 90s dm, but particularly well executed and with some truly fabulous riffy moments. It's not all mesmerising which is why I don't see this reaching 4.5 tier any time soon for me, but the weaker moments and the shreddy bits are nicely few. It is a shame in a sense that this sticks to by the book dm though, as the intro and especially outro tracks hint at a much wider range of sounds that the band is able to achieve. The album would've been much more memorable had it incorporated some of those alternate textures and instrumentations within the album itself imo. 2 and especially 3 are cool, but 4 is really the first point at which the album displays its top tier qualities. 5 is also excellent early on, but does go to the slower, less compelling stuff in its second half. 6 has dope riffage, then 7 again goes back to slower and less headbangy stuff. 8-9 really felt like the album peak for me, whilst 10 feels like it is inferior to its predecessors and dropped this a point, before the outro lifted it up again for the reason i mentioned. Cool cool cool. won't be a 5.0 from me though. 4.1
Disincarnate Soul Erosion [Demo]
Very solid demo. I jammed the version that is crammed at the end of Dreams of Carrion Kind expanded edition so maybe they were remastered, but the prod is fat and the riffs are fat. Vox is great. There is occasional bothersome soloing and whatnot, most prominently at the very beginning of the t/t, but frankly if this is a mere demo I'm pumped to see the LP. Sligthly overrating probably due to the excitement this gave ma dm pickle 3.8
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) 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
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
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
Erika de Casier Sensational
I'll complete the soundoff later but tldr: while no song struck me as clearly as the ones on Essentials, this one doesnt yet have the benefit of time, and furthermore it comes out on top as a better constructed, more coherent and consistent record, where Essentials wasnt as well sequenced and has most of the favourites early on. This one remains true to her style, but adds some elements of its own, and I think it has a slight edge over LP1 as a record, so 4.1
Ernest Chausson Concert in D Major, Op. 21
Well ngl I kinda listened to this randomly because his name is funny but turns out it's actually super good. It is the perfect soundtrack to a villain whose big plan failed sulking over his defeat and brooding over increasingly demented plans to upturn his failure. It has the same slightly mad, slightly evil vibe of Schoenberg's non dissonant works, although perhaps a bit milder, and I'm all for it. It also has loads of wonderful piano moments interspersed amidst the dramatic strings. The fourth movement does feel a touch too long, and the conclusion is a bit too cliche compared to the work that precedes it, but still I liked this an awful lot. 4.1
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
For Against Echelons
Very good, although never truly outstanding post-punk with relatively softspoken, minimally producede vocals, that, yes, do give a bit of a dream pop vibe in combination with the post-punk - combo most prominently displayed on 3. 1-3 are quite fast paced, light hearted, cool post-punk with those vibes. Then there is an abrupt rupture of vibe on 4 (which makes for an awkward transition). The track goes much slower, much more goth, much more horror, and marks a darker turn in the album. The track then accelerates into a mild trance of sorts that is quite cool. 5 continues with a nice bass line. There's another awkward transition into 6 with a relatively long blank making the album feel slightly disjointed, which is saved by a really cool bass-led intro afterwards. 7 gets more synthy. 8 brings back the upbeat vibe of 1-3 but combined with the synthiness and bassiness of the last couple songs, making for another highlight, and finally 9 closes things on a wider, more spacious, longer more atmospheric track, which I think is quite a good way to close the album. This doesn't really reach 4.0 territory for me as some other post-punk have much stronger flagship tracks, but the quality, variety, and somewhat recognisable songs are quite strong points. As a debut, this is a 3.9
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
Francis Poulenc Nocturnes
Very enjoyable Nocturnes pour piano with compelling story telling. It's not the most famous or
memorable piece but I really liked it. Jammed Alexandra Tharaud's take. 3.73.9
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
Gaidaa Overture
Extremely well executed - both instrumentally and vocally -, relatively expansive (26min) debut neo-soul EP with a lot of promise, by a seemingly already quite popular Sudanese-Dutch artist. The songs are full of dynamics and all have multiple sections with little repetition to them - this is certainly not a record with loopey instrumentals with voice laid over it. The couple of guest voices are well integrated and short enough to not be disruptive. Honestly, aside from several of the tracks ending on a fadeout, this is practically faultless. I do find that I wasn't completely stunned by any of teh tracks aside from the closer starting halfway maybe. Most tracks are great, but none are complete stunners perhaps? Very stoked to see what comes next. 3.8
Gang of Four Entertainment!
Gang of the cool. Really classy, gritty (post) punky album that doesn't really have all that many 5/5 tracks for me but also is always successful. The style is far from gothic depression and is much closer to the punk roots of the genre; it evokes Minutemen and Television. The only part of the album I did not dig at all was the first 50s of 6 which are a bit slow and awkward. Otherwise, some of the tracks have a really cool and artfully stuttery quality to their riffage which makes them not very socially ok music but absolutely cool (1,6 after the intro, the ultra cool 10); some have a really fun Double Nickels on the Dime vibe to them (2, the funkey classic 4,7,9); 12 has a really cool noisy intro and works well as an conclusion track; and the rest is just outright good tracks without being too outstanding, but still fun to jam. Extremely consistent album as the outstanding tracks are nicely sprinkled all over. 4.15
Gang of Four Solid Gold
Yet another one I'll have to catch up on later bcs work work 3.8
Gemini Rising Best Case Life
Very sweet 80s worship album that does not seek to be too explosive, dancey or disco, but rather focuses on synths and building a neon atmosphere. It does have some memorable hooks for sure, but that doesn't feel like the overarching aim of the record. Does a great job of seamlessly integrating the EP songs which do not feel like isolated singles at all. I have to say album construction is a strength on this, it all flows well and the sequencing between calmer and catchier tracks is excellent. My only gripe is the transition on 12 which feels underwhelming after 11. 13 is a very pretty and calmer track that works fine at concluding the album, but I feel like they could have done away with those two tracks - not that the album feels too long though, and the synth outro is great. 1-2 are quite jammy and a good start as 2 feels like a better follow up to 1 than on the EP. 3 is a bit less compelling but flows well and is still fun. 4 is another jam with some great synthwork. 5-6 are more of the same, then 7 breaks a bit of the (mild) monotony a bit with some good catchiness and is a nice track despite a couple weird quirks. 8 is calmer, and like on the EP feels a bit fillerey, whereas 9 continues this calmer side but does it a whole lot better and is a great track. After this calmer phase 10 is more explosive thanks to its intrinsic contrast which is great, and 11 features a more prominent beat and is also one of teh more explosive, jammier tracks. Those last few good successes had bumped it to 3.9, but the last two tracks bring it back down to 3.85
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 Edit: well
cf review hehe 3.9
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
Giacinto Scelsi Natura Renovatur
I struggle a bit to understand whether the piece is only the t/t itself, or if the tracklist on spotify is part of the canon. In the former case this is probably a 4.1 sort of deal. From the start you get the jist: this is a less dissonant and abrasive, mostly just strings based Threnody to the victims of Hiroshima (which came out a few years prior it seems) which still is great at crafting a sense of dread and evil. Some parts feel a lot like the strings from f#a#8 without all the rest. The opening 3 tracks, despite 2 being a rather bland interlude between the two scary pieces, are quite great. The problem is that the piece maintains this for over 50 min wihtout varying much at all, and so the t/t on 7, which holds its own very well as a piece, feels hugely dampened by the fact that you've been hearing 35min of the same thing and are wanting some variety. A quality piece but that spreads itself too thin or too long. 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
Goodfight Florida Room
Supper fun poppy little jangly record for happy times. 1-3 are all jammy, then the mellower
slower 4 doesnt work a well imo, but is immediately followed by the jammy 5 and its nice guitar
tones which 6 then prolongs into more rock territory. 7 is a bit more naive and less compelling,
and 8 prolongs things a bit (especially the harry potter cover ghost track) but it's all fine.
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
Gospel The Loser
I'll give it a few more listened before i write a formed opinion, but I feel like it will sit within this range maybe? then again, at first I also thought the same of Moon. ?/5
Gospel MVDM: Magick Volumes Of Dark Madder
Incredibly fun prog jam that is full of rhythm changes and ideas. Compared to their usual stuff, the keyboardist is a lot mroe of a highlight here. The only issue is that this is "just" a prog jam; it hardly gets out of that mode, and doesn't really attempt to build anything from that. There are a couple sections with vocals but they're pretty short and tbh I dont think the vocals fit all that well. But man if that's not a fun jam. 4.0
Gravediggaz 6 Feet Deep
A great Wu side project that has lots going on for it, starting with a relatively unique (at the time) and prominent identity based around horror, evil, murders and halloween, as well as some truly excellent tracks. The LP starts strong with a fun, groovy track on 2, already showing the album's spooky tones, and the outright quality on 3 (after the 9 seconds long 1). 4 has a cool intro and unfolds into a relatively generic hip hop track that is hindered by a few awkward bits. 5 has a very ahrd hitting instrumental, but vocals that don't quite match it - a recurring critique here -, and is also very short. There are several of these almost interlude-like tracks that are short but very cool, like the fun and relaxed 10, or the rather evil outro track. The album is very good at alternating hard hitting evil tracks with more relaxed things. 6 is a cool evil jam, and 8 is an excellent relaxed jam, then 9 is a reallly classic horror track. Although this is perhaps the album's peak, there are enough jams all throughout to make the album great overall. 11 is quite ahrd and noisy, but isn't quite a jam, 12 is a cool track but not crazy cool, 13 is one of those hard horrorey tracks where the vocals don't quite measure up to the instrumental, 14 is quite a boppy funky track, and 15 is a slow, cool horror halloween track that only suffers from being a bit gimmicky on the vocals. A strong album overall and lots of strong playlistable tracks. Could grow. 4.1
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 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 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
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 Shade
Another album where I don't get what happened. I was really quite enthralled by the first four tracks. The noisy intro track evokes the s/t debut a fair bit, and its contrast with the clean folkiness of 2 is really quite beautiful. 2-4 are superb songs, like DaDDuaH but without the fx, and all feel so comfy especially 4. It's not as sad a vibe as some of her other records either. Then 5 truly is the question mark here. On another album it might feel like cool experimentation, but in the context of this one it is hugely disruptive to the flow and doesn't fit at all. It is loud, full of fx, has a beat in places, and really abruptly contrasts with the vibe set beforehand. It's especially frustrating when 6 takes us back to the simple pretty folk, which really makes 5 stick like a sore thumb. 6 is really pretty, but the recording is kind of weird, with a few pauses and start/stop/restarts, as if this was a practice session and not the finished recording. Still beautiful. 7 reaches the heights of 2-4 again and feels like a warm bath, o so perfect. 8 has morre fx again, but here the transition actually works as it is relatively subtle and maintains the vibe before morphing into a ghostly atmosphere. The closing track, although again pretty, also shows how this album could have gone boring if it had lasted a lot longer. It is probably the simplest track here, and I am not convinced it really does much in the way of concluding the album. Had it been more consistent, better concluded, and especially 5-less, this could've been a 4.1-4.2, but as is these painful issues drop it to a 3.8
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. 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. 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. 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
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. 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
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 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 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 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
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
Hallas Excerpts From a Future Past
Ah yes, yes yes yeeeeees. Exactly what one could have hoped for from the first EP. This is now superbly well produced whilst retaining all of its catchy qualities and building up on them. Sure the influences aren't concealed for one bit, sure some of the vox are a liiiittle too much (like I actually laughed a bit on 2), sure it gets a bit excessive at times (4 is a bit overwhelming), but man isn't it awesome and diverse. Transports you to other places whilst churning out tunes. What truly bumps it to 4.0 tier for me is, of course, STAAAAR RIDAH, but also the fact that the closing track is an excellent instrumental conclusion to close the epic with great panache, which really makes the album feels like a story and not just songs lined up one after the other. Great and might grow on me tbh. 3.8
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
Heavy Winged + Inca Ore Ring Mining
Very different from Inca Ore's other output - this really is her laying some sounds atop a base of Heavy Winged, i.e. fast, angry noise rock with tremendous energy. 1 especially is super cool and loads of fun, although I do wish it weren't instrumental as some demented shrieks would have topped the wall of sound quite perfectly to fully commit to the madness. About midway, we get to something far more ambient and I suspect more of Inca Ore's doing, and this ties the track together nicely into an excellent droney decaying end. There no transition between the two tracks, but both share that feeling of cool live jam that you'd love to watch being played. 2 is a bit softer and ambient at first, and does feature light vocals at the back. It then become increasingly mad and noisy, finally giving us some demented shrieks. The track feels like it stretches thing a bit perhaps, droppnig this a half point, but still this feels like a fun keeper and a tentative 3.75
Helena Deland Altogether Unaccompanied Vol. I and II
I'm not really sure why the two volumes have been lumped together in the database but you know what I'm not gonna question it. Vol. I 1-2 is textbook but excellently crafted indie folk, 1 having perhaps a few more surprises with some nice synthwork in the end. Given the short length, 3.8. Vol. II ie. 3-4 transitions a bit weirdly from this, which isn't a surprise given the records are separate, but in the context of jamming both together it does bring nice freshness. 3 is a trip-hop track almost, especially in the intro, and it's surprisingly well done, whilst 4 has almost the vibe of an acoustic-ish cover of an RnB song. Would probably be sort of 3.7 on its own. Together the two volumes have sufficiently good consistency iwth enough variety to warrant a soft 3.85
Helena Deland Someone New
To me this is a nice album that only suffers from dabbling in a genre and type of vocal display that can bore some and bores most on the long run. Thankfullu, the last two tracks take a turn into something much more ambient, Sea Oleena-esque almsot, which breaks the tiredness - and really I kinda wish the album explore that direction a lot earlier because these tracks are quite nice. The album does make use of nice ambient drones subtly in the back in many places, and so this style shift is foreshadowed a fair bit. 1 is an excellent opener that starts droney and eerie with some vocals, but takes an excellently executed surprisingly upbeat turn later on. 2 is a very nice track too, but 3 is a bit boring instrumentally ngl, though its last third gets more fun and poppy. 4 is more on the folk side and is pretty, whilst 5 is more on the indie pop side then gets fatter and synthier. 6 has a dope indie pop instrumental, and 7 is a cool weird instrumental which introduces the darker turn 8 takes in its intro very well. 8, like 1, slowly turns into happy and jolly vibes, which is very impressively well and subtly done. 9 is not quite a jam but displays some of the aforementioned ambient leanings in its indie pop, whilst 11 is very indie pop a la clairo, and 10 between them starts off on a nice folky + soft ambient vibe before turning more indie pop with a beat. 3.8
Hiatus Kaiyote Tawk Tomahawk
I can't rate this one any lower because it was such a staple of my formative years. The musicianship and vocals are on absolute point, especially the rhythm section, and the grooves are amazing and extremely memorable. While I like the bits
with rawer, more aggressive prod like the vox on 2, it is a bit excessive sometimes, most blatantly on 5 which remains kinda fun. The album's main issue is its construction. As the tracks are largely very short this feels more like a few
singles (Mobius Streak and Nakamarra, but also Malika and Lace Skull) which are all excellent tracks, surrounded by a cool jam with short segments but not really tracks properly speaking. 6 is a typical example as a bitchin track that ends
abruptly kind of for no reason. I also think the Live in Revolt version is better produced and more straight to the point, which makes it really hard not to compare the two record. A final constructive mistake is having a less good version of
Nakamarra with an unncessary (but good) guest feat from Q-Tip on a canon version and not as a bonus track or something. Again reinforces the '4 singles plus excellent filler but filller nonetheless' vibe. Still, I recall most melodies and the
rhythm section and vocals are genius, making for an excellent debut semi-LP. Malike has such a good intro goddamn i had forgotten. 3.8
Hiatus Kaiyote By Fire
The songs assembled here work well collated in this order as a standalone EP, but ultimately as they are all on the LP that followed it (and I don't believe there is a difference in version?), given that said LP is excellent on the whole this no longer really has a point as a record. Still of undeniable quality for a solid 3.8
Hiatus Kaiyote Choose Your Weapon
In some places this is a masterclass. Whilst it doesn't benefit as much from nostalgia and lacks perhaps an ultra flagship track a la Nakamarra, this one is immensely stronger as a record. It no longer feels like three singles amidst a series of cool but ultimately too short to be memorable interludes, and instead it feels like an album where the interludes have been nicely cut out for playlists. It boasts a fair bit of variety (there's even DnB on 12 like it is quite cool), and like LP1 gets bizarre at times, but unlike in LP1 it pretty much always flows well and the album just takes you from place to place in a smooth fashion - the only exception being 8 with its loud farty synth sounds which kind of rupture with the rest, though the everlasting groove and piano in the back do save it later on. The album loses a point in the last stretch because its runtime is quite long, and it could frankly do away with the okay but ultimately not riveting last track, in addition to the second half of the album feeling ever so slightly less captivating than the first. A strong 4.0
Hiatus Kaiyote Live in Revolt
Condenses in 13min most (but not all) of what one should retain from Tawk Tomahawk in one pretty much flawless performance. Outshines the LP by its extreme consistency and cohesiveness. The main flaw in this is the length really. Even Nakamarra manages to be kinda better here wiht all the backing vocals - outstanding. I am almost considering giving this a 4.3 but for now I'll stick to 4.2
Hillsfar Jewel of the Moonsea
From both the artwork and the music this has neardy board game/DnD/oldschool rpg written all over it and I am all for it. As we say in Franche it doesn't break three legs to a duck but it is crafted very well and excels at what it does - setting an atmosphere unintrusively. My only gripe would probably be that there isn't really a transition to speak of between the two tracks, and that it concludes a bit into nothing (which arguably does help it to be unintrusive tbf), but aside from that it has lots of ever evolving variety and I would not hesitate to play this in the back during a game night. 3.9
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 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
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
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 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 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 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
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 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 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
Igor Stravinsky Petrushka
Between the Firebird and Rite I would say this isn't as thrilling, but if you remove that shadow the piece is a very fun, full 16ish minutes that never falls flat and is relatively jolly/upbeat in tone, at any rate moreso than the other two ballets were. I listened to the Berliner, Stokowski take of the 1911 version. The record is a bit old and the audio saturates in lots of places, so maybe it wasn't the best. 4.0
Igor Stravinsky Apollon Musagète
Very lovely romantic mostly strings based piece. It is very relaxing and very nice at the end of hte day. Will def jam again. Idk what else to say about it. Jammed the von Karajan-led Berliner Philharmoniker 1973 version based on the 1947 altered version of hte piece. 4.0
Igor Stravinsky Le chant du rossignol
Unlike Petrushka, Oiseau and Sacre, I had absolutely never heard this one. I might perhaps bump it at some stage but I feel like I would need to get more familiar with it first. This makes cartoons play in your head. It switches vibes very fast yet very smoothly, going from utter evil to colourful frolic, from relaxed to furious, from tiny little bells that remind of the fee dragee to loud brass. I love the interplay between piano and flutes in the 4th movement for example (by far the longest). The 1st movement is probably the craziest and most dissonant, qutie impressively so for 1917. But to be honest I loved every movement here which is rare, though of course the overall quite short length helps. Outstanding piece that deserves another few listens from me. Today was, quite at random, Boulez's take with the Cleveland Orchestra. 4.2
Ill Considered Liminal Space
Quite appreciable modern jazz with not a huge amount to distinguish it from other similar releases I daresay but with quite some quality to it. There's a bit of a fusion feel throughout, and the first couple of tracks have some good groovy bass to them. The fusion aspect can be detrimental too, with 5 getting a bit annoying with its guitar and other noises. Thankfully 6 compensates by being calmer with some nice flutes, fun drums, and overall a really nice track. 7 is very cool as it feels a bit like vaguely AAL-like prog especially in the intro, but with a jazz sound and cool brass in the back. 8 Brings back the groove of the first few tracks but does get annoying in places, whilst 9 shows very fun rhythms but suffers from the album feeling a bit long. Feels like with a few tracks removed this could be mid 4.0 easily, but as it stands it was a bit too much for me without enough distinguishing elements to make up for it. 3.8
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
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
Iron Maiden Iron Maiden
The start of a career full of greatness, and what a matching start at that. Unbelievable that before this they were an 'underground band' and all of a sudden released this charts machine of an album. It's a bit rawer, a bit rougher on the edges perhaps than their later stuff, in addition to the vocals being somewhat more rauque perhaps (idk english word). Lots of banger classic songs already, like 1,4 or 8 especially from its cool ass midtrack. 2's first half is a bit slower and introspective, whihc is alright but doesnt move me as much, but the midtrack switches to something more upbeat and stays cool frmo htere on. 3 feels a bit like filler to me tbh. 5 is a fun instrumental albeit a touch too long for me maybe, 6 has some cool instrumentation with quite cheesy vocals - but a bit of cheese is fine from time to time man -, and 7 is fast, simple, catchy, and fun. I'll add a point for it being a debut. 4.15
Iron Maiden Killers
Although it perhaps doesn't have as many recognisable classic songs as other albums of theirs, and aside from the last two tracks (more on that later) this is the textbook definition of all killer no filler. The pace is fast, the bass is fat, the lyrics attack, and the result is just ultra fun and kewl. 1-7 could be listened to all in one go for a workout. 8 is also fantastic, but in a different way, being less agressive and more rock. This makes the contrast with the kinda fast paced, in your face a bit dorky 9 feels a bit meh after it. 10 also feels a bit like an additional track taht wasn't so needed. Before this, all quality, 2 and 6 being favourites, 5 being more interesting and less chuggy which is cool in a different way, and 7 having a couple seconds in the midtrack taht really make me think of pop punk for some reason which is cool to see in 1981. Did I mention this is cool? 4.1
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
Jaubi Nafs at Peace
After a superb, relatively ambientey intro that introduces us gently to the wide and varied instrumentation on display here (which will largely be unusual to the western listener and brings in wonderful textures) as well as some discrete ethereal vocals, the rest is a long instrumental jam session that is extremely dreamy and very nicely bass-led, which gives a lot of catchy moments, bits with a heavily jazzy feel (some moments feel like excellent jazz fusion but without any brass) and keeps the interest alive for the whole length of the thing. Favs: all [2], as really it makes no sense to just listen to bits and pieces of it - that being said, the tracks are mostly audibly demarcated so that it doesn't feel like one long blurry bloc either. It's not for everyone, but it was definitely for me. 4.1
Jessie Ware Devotion
A great debut that I may have underappreciated due to being tired. The neo-soul influences are clear egon 10, but it's not so much groovy or explosive as it is nocturnal - in fact energy-wise it reminds me of RnB. This is broken entirely by the super boppy concluding track which is a jam and which I appreciate a lot. I also enjoyed the numerous sonic ventures beyond your basic neo-soul/lo-fi beat kinda deal, starting on the excellent album intro, the more weirdtronica 4, the sudden Nujabesque hip hop on the groovy 5, the rock guitars on 6 and other places which I don't find as successful, and 11 where I find the guitar works better, etc etc. It's not a straightforward album, nor does it rely on catchy hooks whilst still being compelling. It doesn't always captivate though, and it lost me in places on softer songs like 7 or the end of 10. But the fun 8 and 12 quickly fix that. The remix feels a bit pointless - it could've been cool, but the rapped sections are extremely short and poorly integrated, might as well listen to the original because it barely changes it. Lots of playlist material here. 3.75
Jessie Ware What's Your Pleasure?
This album is the first of Jessie's that displays a consistent sound and aesthetic all throughout, suppressing the compilation feeling that plagued her prior work in spite of a couple semi-questionable transitions. The vibe here is that of house, disco, synth bass, and subtle grooves. And what an album she gives us when construction serves the music. Nearly every track is an instant playlist pick despite hardly ever feeling like 4.5 tier worthy. The run from 1-5 is practically flawless. 6 is then calmer, which is perhaps less memorable/playlist worthy but works really well in the context of the album, before 7 keeps things even calmer and quite elegant before 8-10 bring the groove again. By 10 I was really thinking this could reach a solid 4.1, but I wish the two conclusion tracks kept the groove on the strong side as that second half of the album is resolutely less dancey. The closer is a nice aesthetic and works, but following the calmer 11 I was hopping for a huge boppy finale. Still an outstanding effort by Jessie and a solid 4.0
Joana Serrat Hardcore from the Heart
The album does a great job for the most part, then does end a bit on what I feared it would do seeing the alt-country tags. 8,9, and 10, whilst all pretty especially 8 and 10, are all quite saddey balladey low energy tracks, and I don't feel like that was the best way to end the album. 10 is outright country but the guitar is quite pretty. There are noticeable country influences in the rest, especially on 1 and 7 which really feel like someone stole a pedalboard from a dream pop band and starting playing their songs with it - and I'm all for it. 2,3, and 4 are more conventional dream pop tracks with more of a beat to them and are I daresay all good songs. 5's a ballad too, but at that point in the album it felt much more appropriate, and the ambient touches in the back do a lot to turn it from 'eh a ballad' to an actually pretty track. 6 is nice too. On the whole, this is an album I enjoyed a lot and would rejam, but if this is her best I'm not 100% sure I want to delve into the whole discog. 3.8
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 Adams Harmonielehre
This is a great, cinematic, subtly modern piece. Without resorting to dissonance, or extreme repetition, or any of the other themes that underpin modern 'classical', this one has very moderate Reichness repetitivity and not much else - just enough for you to know it was not written in 1750, but not in your face too much. There is a lot of emotional dynamism at play here, hence my qualifying it of rather 'cinematic'. My two only gripes are that some of the more intense, aggressive sections feel like they want to resolve into an enthralling Rite of Springesque riff that does not happen, and that the middle act is a bit less engaging than the bookends due to its sadder, more evil, quieter tone. Still a great piece that I really might well rejam. 3.9
John Adams Phrygian Gates
The quintessential Adams piece in the form of 24min of "minimalist" solo piano. Although some scarce sections do sound a bit like someone rubbing a piano at random due to the very high rate of notes coming through, most of this is quite nice and some sections are really entrancing and pretty. Of course this features heavy repetition but only within a given section as it does have many motifs to it - certainly quite a lot of prominent changes are to be found here. Budgie aptly compared this to a piano only version of Le Carnaval des Animaux and that is kind of a good description ngl. Really nice, short and sweet, a classic piece though not an absolutely stunning favourite either. 3.8
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 Blue Train
Coltrane's jazz never got dancier than this. 4.2
John Coltrane Ascension
Historically highly important as it marks Coltrane's full transition into more experimental/free jazz - the previous albums and indeed Meditations that came after this one dabble more or less extensively in free compositions, but this one is the first that does it all the way through. And it does it well; while it takes a specific mood to appreciate it, the enjoy is thoroughly enjoyable and doesn't feel annoying at all. It is controlled chaos, with just enough structure and variation to keep you hooked, but just too little for you to recognise much of the structure a all. It looks like it will work, a trace of discernable groove catches on, and then it goes chaotic agai. I think I am not fully mature for free jazz yet - I can enjoy it, this is cool, but it doesn't form images in my head like most other jazz records do. Still there's lots to be enjoyed here - starting from the album intro sounding like an orchestra tuning up then going increasingly dissonant, the end of part I, the start of part II, after which I felt slightly less engaged perhaps, the string solo at 13:30ish on part II that reminds more of avant-garde 'classical' away from jazz, before the brass comes back in to give a great cool latter half to part II as the rets from free jazz for a few minutes allows the listener to re-engage. And of course, there is incredible instrumental prowess on display here, with always my heart's favourite Tyner holding the fort all the way through. I jammed Edition I; I'll jam Edition II but I don't expect to see much difference between the two as this is abstract and free anyway. 4.1
John Coltrane Transition
1 reminds a lot of the noir NYC vibes of A Love Supreme, but in a more dancy club jazz form, and with some dissonances here and there. Super hella cool. This makes sense, as the LP was actually recoded in 1965, though released in 1970. This was the, hum, transition record between ALS and the later more dissonant freeform output. Thus I am not surprised to love this learning that this was actually recorded by the classic Coltrane quartet. 2 is a lot mellower but is not bad at all as far as soft wine and cheese jazz goes, the piano is especially nice and playful. The second half of 3 is fantastic and very similar to 1. I do prefer it largely over the first half, but it is cool too. It brings back the dissonance nicely after 2, and takes a while to get started but is worth the wait for that dissonance classic quartet sound. Compared to 1 it is a bit less dancy and catchy, more on the grand baroque dissonant side. The bass solo feels far too long, but the reprise afterwards is great with cool dark vibes. This LP is truly excellent jazz, but not packed in a way that makes it easy to share as there are spurts of dissonance and weirdness which prevent the two major tracks from going onto playlists. Perhaps not one of the greatest greatest, but certainly feels like a minor major opus in coltrane's major opus-full career. Very consistent aside from the long transition mid track 3 and perhaps its first half. 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
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 Crescent
A good album and overall of quite consistent quality - simply missing really stand out tracks, but a nice jam overall. Despite the usual panning issues the mix is far from the worst. 1 starts off very relaxed until the drums eventually kick in giving some smooth dancy groove. 2 is more piano led and is a rather compelling atmospheric track, followed up by the dancey, instant bop 3. 4 like 1 is a bit more relaxed but builds up into a nice little groove. The piano is once again a highlight and the source of occasional spice. After a long but kinda fun bass solo, the sax comes back for a really great finale that could have concluded the album very well. 5 is interesting so I dont mind it, but it certainly feels less of a conclusion. As the title suggests it is a drum-led, eerie, tribal feeling track and feels quite unique in Coltrane's catalogue, before a nice drum solo comes to close things off. So yea a cool listen, but not Coltrane's peak for sure, although he does show very well that he doesnt feel the need to take the spotlight all the time and leaves plentiful space for the other musicians which is nice to see. 3.8
John Coltrane Om
John Coltrane himself was apparently ashamed of this record (which is from a session from right after Live at Seattle, and during which he was reportedly on LSD but we don't seem to be sure) and didn't want it released (it was only released after his death as a cash grab). Why? To me thiis is extremely good free jazz and an album I'd want to rejam. It is weird, transcendental, and has some beautiful sections. It feels like it builds a specific atmosphere beyond lets wank our instruments best we can. It is hard for me to delineate things because Spotify doesn't split into parts 1 and 2 like the original LP release and instead lumps it all into one single track like some of the CD releases, but I think the only slightly weaker part was the start of part 2. The vocals in the intro and outro are quite fine and htey add some personality to the album. One I'll revisit I think. 4.1
John Coltrane Kulu Se Mama
The last Coltrane album to be released before his passing. That gives it a slight sour taste, because it shows a hint of where things could have gone had Coltrane lived through the glory days of jazz fusion. Indeed with its vocals, tribal atmosphere, and many less conventional added instruments, the title track gives a lot of the dreamy feeling I find in jazz fusion, with sections of standard bepop and more dissonant jazz in between. The midtrack is full on jazz. The transition into 2 is seamless, and 2 feels more like a classic Coltrane quartet jam (which indeed it is). I love that sound and my heart goes to 2 even though 1 is more interesting, but that might be simply out of missing that classic Coltrane sound. 5 is a very pretty yet short outro, the intro offering particularly beautiful contrast to what preceded it. The panning and mixing are questionable in places imo, and the album structure with a behemoth title track + two short more standard ones reminds a lot of early 60s Coltrane records. 4.0
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 "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 First Meditations (For Quartet)
Now there's an album whose listening experience was heightened by the artwork. I really like the psychedelic, abstract, dreamy trance vibes the art gives, and it really made me experience the album that way. As the album suggests this is a quartet version of what would later become Meditations, and as such it is one (the?) final recording with the classic quartet, Sun Ship having been recorded a week earlier. It is quite otherwordly jazz, not too abrasive, just delirious enough to feel acid-inspired and acid-complementary, sometimes playful, sometimes compassionate, sometimes more involved like on 4, and sometimes dreamier like on the lovely conclusion track 5 before the brass comes in with almost a scary feel to it. Jazz to be experienced, and although it's not my highest rating ever for a Coltrane it is certainly one I'd jam again. 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 Dear Old Stockholm
Am I missing something here? I do not understand how this has a 2.9 average. Sure it is a compilation and not an album, but still. All tracks were recorded with the classic quartet except with Roy Haynes instead of Jones behind the kit. And boy does Hayne give a good performance here, especially on 3-4. 1-2 were recorded in 1963 and are quite more conventional bepop, especially 2 which is softer wine jazz. 1 especially is quite good. 3-5 were recorded in 1965, nine days after The John Coltrane Quartet Plays, and it is immediately spicier. 3-4 are especially continuous crazy goodness, more along the lines of A Love Supreme's spiciest moments, and it's just an energetic delight of a listen. 5 is more calm, but I guess that was kind of needed, and it closes things on a relatively colorless but short n sweet way. A lot of the tracks were featured elsewhere so this is definitely a compilation, but goddamn I liked 3-4. 4.1
John Coltrane Creation
Bit of a weird one this - it doesn't seem to be an 'official' Coltrane approved recording, and is more of a compilation of live takes, but also per wikipedia this is the only known recording of the t/t on 3. And admittedly it's hard to find a clean version, here I listened to the tracks piecemeal on youtube. Pretty sure the (nice) version of 1 I heard was actually incorrect and came from Live at Birdland. 2 is also a very lovely track, with relatively poor recording quality in the version I heard but which gives it character. 3, the t/t and centrepiece of this bizarre album, is incisive, quite spicy and intense, and frankly excellent bumping this up a point, even with the cool drum soloing. Nice, I need to get my hands on a proper version to resolutely rate this though. 4.1
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
Joy Division Closer
Whilst Unknown Pleasures benefits from being more straightforward and perhaps is an easier album to get into, Closer has more substance to analyse in it I'd say. 1 is a lot more psych and hypnotically repetitive than anything on UP, which makes it cool albeit less catchy. 2 is a cool song that shows hints of Joy Division's synthpop future as New Order. 2 has cool guitars and becomes especially great and entrancing in its second half, maybe ahead of its time in some aspects. A caveat to these is that the vocals seem a little unfitting at times. They matched well UP's cold atmosphere, but here they sometimes don't really work. This is again clear on 4, where the fun rock vibes clash with the vox, and you don't really know where the track wants to go. So far I thought Closer was more interesting, but clearly preferred UP. After 5 which is a nice song with cool guitars though, the album starts to take a turn. 6 like 5 has a very cool intro, but also offers different vocals that fit a lot better, as well as a slow paced but excellent buildup, especially with the added guitars from 2:25 on. The track is perhaps my fav so far, and has lots of atmosphere to it. From there on, the album starts losing energy, getting more and more subdued. And whilst normally I don't like that, here it feels incredibly eerie in the context of Ian Curtis' story. The album slowly dying out, like a message, like an alarm (the album was released after his passing, it should be noted, afaik). And with that context, 9 with its lots of added synths, and its almost hopeful vibe, takes an incredibly beautiful dimension. Powerful. 4.15
Joy Division Unknown Pleasures
Legendary album that is successful on every single track, but that I don't think I fully click with (yet?) as it rarely really takes me to 'absolute jam' territory. The restraint and darkness is truly what makes this the melodies take their full effect, and turns simple guitar lines into memorable hooks and great intros. Even some of the long silences like on the intro of ?4 work well to this effect. The vibe change from their debut EP is absolute, and I'm curious to check Warsaw to hear what their LP1 was meant to be originally. That being said, the latter half of the album does show more hints of their punk roots (a welcome change to prevent the album from feeling monochromatic), and is more 'fun' and upbeat, and quite frankly whilst I like all the others I tend to prefer these tracks (especially 6,7 and 9). However Joy Division don't fail to bring us back to the darkness before letting us off, thanks to the excellent 10. The vocals set the standard, except on a couple tracks where they dont work as well for me - 2 where they sound a bit too opera, and 5 maybe. Amusingly on 1 and 9 the drums remind me a lot of the 2010's 2020's dream pop bandcamp acts such as Hazel English; percussions in general are a strong point here. Listened to the 2019 remaster today which is alright. Tracks like 3 and the whole first half in general remind me of Slint a bit which is cool given how much later Slint would come. 4.1
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
Julia Kwamya Feel Good About Feeling Bad
The perfect soundtrack for a vintage video of pretty women dancing on the beach at sunset in the 50s. Really neat little EP of catchy, dreamy, kaleidoscopic pop with a touch of Sade sensuality whose class and flair is all the more impressive from it being the debut effort of a young artist. One to keep an eye on for sure. 3.8
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 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
Kekht Arakh Night & Love
At its heights I prefer it to LP2, but it has also more lower points - namely it does feel like it drags on severely past 8 which LP2 didn't really suffer from. I agree with garas that this one draws its main interest from its soft passages and atmospheric interludes, 4 and chiefly 8 being prime examples, but also within tracks themselves. That isn't to say that we are still being served with delightful raw, nicely lo-fi atmo bm when things do explode, which 2 and 3 exemplify quite nicely, and an extremely well flowing record. Pre-8 the only lower point is perhaps 7 which does have awkward phases, but up till then the album is an easy 4.0ish rating. But I kind of wish the album ended on 8. 9's a bit awkward and quite breaks the magic, and by 10 the album feels long. 11 does rip hard and is the only really noteworthy track in this last third of the record, but whilst cute 12 feels a bit boring, and so the record comes down to another 3.8
Kekht Arakh Pale Swordsman
Black metal for sunny days? Music to be sad to in corpse paint whilst enjoying the sun? There is something magical about the way this mixes pretty sounds to a background wall of lo-fi raw-ish bm. 1-2 or 9 are prime examples of this, and perhaps the record's most unique trait. That's not to say the one-man band doesn't do aggressive bm well as well: 3-4 and 7-8 amply prove the contrary, whilst the softie break in the middle is most welcome. The prod won't sit right with everyone but I dug it. My only real gripe with this comes at the end, which is a shame. There is no transition between 9 and 10, and that's the first time the record fails in construction because before that it flows superbly well. And on top of that, 10 is a bit too long and cheesy I found, even though the other cheesy/romantic/emo bits on the album worked well. So album conclusion could be improved on and drops this down a bit, but tbh I wasn't planning on checking the rest of this discog and now I am wanting to do just that. 3.8
Keleketla! Keleketla!
A colourful, goddamn fun album that mixes a bunch of styles from African folk song to *~*electronica~*~ and jazz in quite a cohesive yet always evolving way. 1-3 are baller songs, but I have to concede I agree with most of the comments here that things fall down a bit afterwards, even when skipping the 'Edit' versions. Whilst still cool, the weirder 4 and the more rap electronic 5, and even 6 struggle to maintain the excitement, fun and patchwork coloured groove of the earlier tracks. The album starts finding its footing again on 7, but it's truly on 8 that the banger energy comes fully back. The transition from that dancey banger to the calm and contemplative 9 is a bit awkward I must say, and whilst I do think the track is a great way to conclude I find it's not integrated with the rest in the best way. 1-3 and 8 are perfect tracks to play in the back with your cool friends, and the album does a baller job of making you want to check its many featured artists. Super cool 4.0
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
L'Imperatrice Odyssée
Super fun little French touch Daft funk pop EP, with of course 2 being the leading jam, but the rest also being pretty on par with it. The EP really matches the aesthetic of its artwork, with 1 feeling like the synthy OST to the decollage of a steampunk spaceship, 2 being all glorious fun, 3 being a lot mroe relaxed yet still groovy and full of tasty synths, 4 being the perfect soundtrack to a seaside space cafe (whut), and 5 bringing back the vocals again. I do think that the EP could have used either 5 exploding a little more to match the energy of 2, or an additional pop track, because as it is the closer 6 feels like the EP goes back down in energy a little too quickly. That drops it a point, but it's still a solid little fun gem at a sweet 4.0
L'Imperatrice Odyssée (Version Acoustique)
I wasnt super sold on the idea of acoustic versions a priori, but darn it this is superbly well
executed. It makes for an EP that is of course a lot less catchy and bouncy, but also very
elegant and pretty which makes up for the reduced funk factor. Aside maybe from the slightly
questionable transition between 1 and 2 my main thought the whole time was just admiration for
how intelligently and elegantly they transformed the tracks. Even Agitations Tropicales has
superb added elements with extra vocals and flutes without ever feeling denatured, 3 is super
pretty, 1 is super cool, what an intro on 4, 5 is just a tiny classical strings piece that
transitions o so amazingly well into 6. This thing is incredibly cool. I do think it can be best
enjoyed by knowing the original EP before listening, if you want to give it a try. 4.1
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
Lawrence English Wilderness of Mirrors
I've been out of my drone phase for a fair while now, but this was an incredibly good fix for the remaining itch. A pretty textbook example of drone with a monolithic approach to sound, with little in the way of melody, acoustic sounds or even recognisable instrument tones. Here we just have drones that get crushingly beautiful (1), then get quite noisy (2), breathe to vast spaces (4), then go in the suffocating underground (5). The album is very well constructed, with enough room for pauses and enough variety without disrupting its continuity. It's perhaps not the most stunning drone I have heard, but it is pretty flawlessly executed. Also the art/title is cool. 4.2
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
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
Lianne La Havas Is Your Love Big Enough?
For a debut I would say this is very impressive. Heck for a regular album it is impressive. Her vocals are stunning, and makes relative successes of tracks like 10, which as a piano ballad would usually bore me out very rapidly. I'll concede that the tracks tend to overextend just a touch, and that they start feeling less memorable in the last third, but they remain all still good at a minimum. The unfold with the drums on 1 is noiche even though the intro is not the best, 2 is nice and catchy, 3 is nice and more relaxed, 4 is such a good song, 5 is a nice track taken from the EP but the male vox didnt bother me as much here, 6 is a surprise being weirder than anything else she's shown us so far and frankly I find it super cool. I'm not sure about the transition into the much softer 7 but it remains a nice track, followed by an even less explosive but still nice 8. 9 is again softer, and this is where the tracks were starting to blur into one another - the album could've ended there honestly. 10 is the ballad which does help a bit by changing things up, but it's still an overextended piano ballad. 11 is a nice song with nice guitar, and I really appreciate 12's intention to shake things up near the end which much more of a beat and explosive track, although it is not the best execution in the world (who mixed these cymbals) it remains a success. 3.85
Lianne La Havas Blood
I don't know if it was conditions, but although this has killer tracks and a killer vocal performance, I do feel like it struggles to really feel like an album sometimes. The tracks feel disjointed and like they dont have much to do with each other. 7 and 9 both feature aggressive beats whilst 8 and 10 are extremely soft songs, for instance. The opener is super class, and so are the softer songs, but it's truly when she adds in some groove that she truly shines imo - see 2 or 3. Very solid,very playlisty I daresay but I owe it another listen. 3.8
Lianne La Havas Lianne La Havas
This is surely slightly heightened by having seen it live before listening to it properly, but man what an absolute queen album. My main gripe with her prior output was that the individual tracks were quite good but the overall albums felt a bit compilationey and lacking an overarching identity; this is now fully resolved, for this s/t has a sound and sticks to it all the way through whilst exploring different directions it can be taken in. It's no wonder when I saw her life I could tell which songs were from this new LP without having listened to it - and I had a pulse of serotonin when recognising them again here too. Every track is a success, her vocal performance is outstanding, the instruments are having fun, even the interlude is a good time - an LP I'll be happy to rejam in full. 4.15
Life on Venus Encounters
Relatively run-of-the-mill and by the book yet brilliantly executed shoegaze/dream pop on the less distorted side of things - like a softer Nothing. Kind of inspiring in that it's the sort of tone I'd love to produce. While it all feels a bit samey despite the album being just about half an hour long, it's also all good. Some tracks do stand out slightly more, usually because they become instrumentally a bit more excited and catchy as the vocals remain the classic languishing dream pop vox that we know well; namely 2,4,5, and perhaps my fave jam here on 9. One I'll jam again for sure. 3.85
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 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
Ludus The Visit
Man this thing is COOL. It falls just short of a 4.3 for me because there is a large section of the last track that feels a little more like
experimentation for the sake of experimentation and gets to my nerves ever so slightly, but who knows the EP might grow on me anyways. This is an
incredibly soulful and colourful post-punk EP infused with Giant Steps and jazz rhythmics, some brass, diva vocals that you could see on a jazz
fusion record, all sorts of craziness, cool basslines, cool tones, and ideas throughout. Blends a lot of things from its era, feels ahead of its
time yet deeply entrenched in its time. I don't know how to better describe this, it's four tracks, jam it. The two tracks that are on the
Visit/Seduction compilation between the EP and LP but in neither of those are worth checking too, though they wouldn't change my rating of this I
think. They are both slightly insane tracks, and I find a touch of TDEP in Anatomy Is Not Destiny with the polyrhythms and the distorted guitars,
Ludus The Seduction
Ludus reinforce their image of a crazy (cool) band. This one shows a lot of 60s-70s prog/zeuhl/etc influences, with longer tracks that go bonkers and with complex song structures with long instrumental sections. After a kinda meh alb intro, 1's unfold into DnB + bass is quite cool, and after 2:30 the prog evolutions get super cool. This is not playlistable at all, but it has an impressive number of vibe and rhythm changes that make for an sweetly kaleidoscopic track. They retained their jazz fusion feel too. The end of the track is very chaotic and feels like two songs playing at once. 2-3 are much simpler with lots of groove to them but without losing their grit fully. The transition into 4 is incredible, and the track onwards has some friggin cool sections but also some weird experimentation eg. in the midtrack. 5 is the only track here that doesn't excite me at any point really and is just from the get go weirdness for the sake of it. 6 again has a lot of weird instrumental improv? stuff, which feels long after 5 and temporarily drops this to a 3.9, even though the track does a lot better with its weirdness. It takes a specific mood (even moreso than Ludus in general do), but some of it is really cool like the piano starting about min 7. 7 is a much more normal Ludus song and features some great guitars, and 8 is also one of the most readily fun songs here wiht some truly beautiful guitar work before a stunning album conclusion that washes out into a superb lush pad of ambienty reverb (and some screams). Crazy impressive for 1980, and the outro alone gains a point. 4.1
Ludus Pickpocket
Not Ludus' best, some of their good stuff, some of their ok stuff, a bit too much downtime for how short this is. 1's intro riff is cool, again the vox will be an acquired taste to some and take a mood but i like the lighthearted mildly abrasive weirdness here. 2 keeps up the jazziness nicely. 3 starts off as a laid back interlude for the first minute, then the guitar comes back, then the track goes laid back again. It is the longest track so far and frankly feels a bit long, though it retains te fact that Ludus is really a band with a certain je ne sais quoi. 4 is bass-led Ludus goodness, but 5 is a bit slower and more awkward, and 6 is a weird kinda sheepy (idk what I meant by that this is written in retrospect) conclusion. 3.8
Ludus Completement Nue Au Soleil
Ludus go out* on a bang with this short and very sweet, extremely Ludus-esque EP. 1 is a simple chill track that makes me reminesce of an era I never lived in and the fact that it is in French adds a nice touch. 2 is a really fun yet random track in a very Ludus way, and 3 is perhaps even more fun with its 60s rock and roll fun but with a synthpop prod and even occasional synths. Then of course it wouldn't be Ludus without it getting weird, and 4 is a random track more along the lines of LP2, with random bouts of jazz and dissonant piano and weird vox, and whilst on a whole LP that style was a bit too much for me, on one random track to close an EP like this I actually like it, especially because it gets quite weird even for them. Jam this I say. 4.1
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
Madonna Confessions on a Dancefloor
Post 80's Madonna's most consistent album. Look with the momma I got this has to be a favourite album, but nostalgia aside this is probably more in the upper 3.6 ballpark, which still makes it Madonna's best album in eons with the feel of a triumphant return, proving she's not only still relevant in 2005, but can also put out seminal (read: chart busting and/or that me momma spun a lot) pop albums and be up there with the contemporary stars. 1 which Abba can take most of the credit for, and 3 are the two top tier utter jams here, which makes the album slightly frontloaded. 10 is a solid third place although idk where the samples are from. Most of the other tracks are fun but not top tier, and have aged somewhat but still are pretty enjoyable. 2,4,5,8 which builds up very well to a pretty tepid chorus,9 which is somewhat better because of the use of dramatic Madonna strings are all in this category. 6 is a bit corny but still fun, but 7 is really very mid and perhaps the least convincing of the LP. 11 is frankly bad but in a fun way, I had completely forgotten about that track, and 12 is a fun track that doesn't really feel like a conclusion. 00s Madonna is peak Madonna nostalgia for me, and of that period this album is certainly the best. 3.8
Madonna Madonna
Really, really cool disco-pop debut for Madonna. The two main setbacks here are that a) some tracks drag on for too long which lessens their impact (1,2,7,8) b) wellll Madonna herself, bcs the vox sometimes feel a bit tame and less epxlosive than they could be. I'm nitpicking though because this certainly has some bounce to it. The intro on 1 is fantastic, and 1-2 despite being as I said too long are quite cool. 3 is shorter and quite catchy, but idk if it is the reissue version i jammed but its mixed weirdly stands out as louder and more aggressive. 4 is a bit of a downer in terms of energy and i worried the album had exhausted its ideas already, but hell no. 5-7 is the strongest run here, and up to the lengthy end of 7 I was considering bumping this to a 3.9 because the tracks are just so fun. 8 is super cool too, but alas it's a wee bit too long again, which reinforces the impression of an album that could have been a 4.5/5.0 even with slightly more efficient and poppy songwriting, but still manages upwards of a healthy 3.8
Manchester Orchestra A Black Mile to the Surface
It'd been a while since I last heard it. 1-7 is near perfect (in a indie 4.5 way), though 4 does put a damper on that as it sticks out a bit and doesn't feel it matches the others in quality. 8-9 is less perfect, but unlike 4 they don't stick out and do actually fit. They're good songs, they just feel half a tier below their predecessors is all. 10 is a nice but bare bones ballad with slightly over-reverberated vocals given how quiet the instruments are, then 11 takes on the more expansive sound again, with a slightly different, nostalgically hopeful vibe that makes it work well as a concluding track. Honestly might bump this eventually. 4.2
Manicured Noise Northern Stories 1978/80
Quite a long album that does an excellent job of holding the distance through atmosphere progression. 1-10 is a series of very dancy, bass led, disco almost tracks but with post-punk instrumentation+prominent bass riffs for days+crazy brass with variying degrees of boogie and a number of certified booty shaker jams, with vocals (6,9) or not (10). The vocals here won't suit everyone as they feel almost borrowed from a wholly different genre, but I do find they work in a cool way on the whole. 8's more melancholic vibe matches the artwork perfectly. Starting with 10, the album begins a long descent into a much more restrained, weirder, sadder almost angle. This is very gradual, as 11 is still groovy, 12 feels like a spaghetti western standoff, 13 has some vocals, 15 hints at lighter vibes again near the end, etc. It's not all just gloom from there on, but it's mostly gloom. And weirder stuff, but certainly not constant which makes it not boring. I do wish they came back to the more explosive vibes of the early album, especially after 16 which feels quite long, but I guess if you jam 18 which is an alternate 3 then you do get a pretty good ersatz of such a conclusion. Despite this gradual decline in energy which tampered by enthusiasm somewhat (not too much as it remains good moozak), this is an impressive album with some Minutemen disco swagger that you should check. Members of Ludus too! 3.95
Marissa Mur All Inclusive
A clinical case of yas queen as Marissa delivers exactly the record one could have expected based on her singles: a bubbly, fun, suitably short Mexican pop record full of colour that improves massively on her prior output, remaining semi-boppy most of the time and boppy on occasion. The pacing is also excellent, with calm tracks where they should be, and my only two gripes with this are a) the dual vocal tracks which ineivtably make the songs cheesy - I feel like the record is short enough that her voice alone would be fine the whole way -, and b) the closer which, although it has the merit of feeling like a closer by differentiating itself from the rest with its gloomier vibe, feels like a bit of a meh track thrown in at the end, instead of being the colourful and explosive track this record deserved to end on. Nice just at the start of Summer. 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.
Mastodon Blood Mountain
In many ways this feels more like the follow up to Remission than Leviathan did. This is very evident on the excellent 1-2, but also kinda on the proggier 3 and the again angrier and super cool 4-5. These opening tracks are really the highlight here, but already offer a glimpse of the issues to come with some strange vocals. 6 is a completely weird and disruptive track I cannot explain, and marks a transition into the weaker 2/3 of the album. whilst 7 nicely prefaces Skye which is cool, 8-9 feel like the band has little idea of where the music is going, both instrumentally and vocally. They try too many things and there is not much of a sense of direction. 10 has a fun proggy intro followed by a good ass riff, showing that the album hasn't wholly given up, but by 11 it feels long and their strange forays into more vocal territories are again met with a what the hell is going on more than enjoyment. 12 closes things with a cool weird proggy song that kinda works at first, but again that doesnt feel like it knows where to go from there. I wanna say 3.7 becausethe album feels like it has a breakdown midway even though its beginning is hella cool and the band remains quality, but i'll give the benefit of the doubt maybe i just wasnt in hte right mood or lost focus because of study so i'll say 3.8
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
Maurice Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte
Jammed Ragna Schirmer's version a bit at random. Extremely beautiful piece, and it tells so much
of a story in such a short amount of time. It's also a single sub 10 min track so it's a bit
weird to rate. Maurice I love your work don't judge me this is a meaningless rating on
sputnikmusic dot com 3.8
Maurice Ravel Gaspard de la nuit, M. 55
A progressive descent into madness in piano form. 1: que la folie est belle. Globally a very pretty track, although it gets perhaps a bit too nervous in places for relaxed piano playlists - but superb throughout. 2 is sadder, icy almost. 3 goes even deeper, and goes a bit more into vaguely dissonant anxiousness. It sounds almost gershwiny in places weirdly at first, but with it being stressed for 9 minutes with some relatively big semi silences, I found it relatively less engaging than 1-2 and my rating went down a fair bit. Jammed Martha Argerich's performance. 3.8
Maurice Ravel Sonatine
Que c'est magnifique. A beautiful albeit rather short piece on the pieno, with many facets and
many moods, and many moments of absolute beauty. Might grow as i rejam it. Checked Bertrand
Chamayou's take today. 4.2
Maurice Ravel Daphnis et Chloé
Kinda hit and miss symphonie chorographique (read:orchestral storytelling) from Ravel. When it hits, it hits hard. The use of voices in the introductions to the first and seconds parts (which, for the first partie, includes the second track too) create a sense of mysterious wonder that I love and that you get from some of the best movie soundtracks. The third part as a whole, though its end goes a bit intense, is also masterful in its story telling ability. Combined with the visions of a flock of bird going crazy outside, it really transported me to a fantastic place for a good chunk of time there. Miss, because the bulk of the first two Parties is kind of less compelling to me - idk if it was listening conditions, but it kind of just happened in the background for me, and without fail when I was brought back to the piece, it was because the introduction to a new Partie started - with the exception of the third partie which again is compelling in full. Jammed the Boulez 1995 Berliner Philarmoniker version. 3.8
Maurice Ravel Jeux d'Eau, M.30
Again, this is extremely short so weird to rate, but it is so powerfully impressionist, I love
it! You can see the rain reverbertaing on the lake from the cascading piano notes. Alexandre
Tharaud's version is what I am rating again. 4.2
McCoy Tyner Live at Newport
Very nicely crafted jazz, and sweetly produced for a 60s live record, but I also struggle to see any specific aspects that would push this above 'very' good tier, like a behemoth track you'd see on a Coltrane album. It's "just" all round very well made. There is more sax than on some of his albums of that year, but not on every track. 1 is fun jazz, 2 is more relaxed wine jazz, 3 ups the tempo again a bit and really starts to showcase tyner's outright quality even in more 'regular', less spicy jazz. I also noted some references to my favorite things perhaps? 4 gets ever so slightly spicier in some places, and 5 takes it up another half notch too. It is quite dancy but also the most interetsing and perhaps unique track here, but not hugely so. Quality record but I was hoping for a bit more given the average (admittedly with few ratings tho). 4.0
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
Midwife (USA) Like Author, Like Daughter
When does this never come up when I dig around looking for Groupercore? I massively enjoyed the most part of this. From the first few moments of 1 showing its gritty, noisy, yet restrained tones, I knew I'd love this. The sound is resolutely on brand with folky Grouper, but with its own take. The drone is less present, and the vocals are less depressing. Of course that is absolute bedecore and so I liked the heck out of it. Now I did enjoy the earlier bits more than the later bits. As time went on, I came to realise that the vocals were almost constantly produced with this thinned out, radio-effect type filter to them. And while for a long bit it works quite well, with time it feels a bit too uniform and like a limitation that prevent this from ever ascending to a higher tier. This adds to the feeling that 8 and 9, although the former moreso than the latter, are both a track too many. While 9 concludes things well, I feel the album would have really gained from being 10-15 minutes shorter, because in the last 15 minutes or so fatigue made my rating descend from a lower fringes of 4.1 to maybe at best a - still very respectable and worthy of a keeper - 3.9
Mingus Big Band Nostalgia in Times Square
In fairness I should not have listened to this 77min long big band record right after Africa/Brass. This has some very high points and it rarely displeases, but it just feels a bit bloated especially in the middle. I generally am not a fan of big band in jazz and prefer more stripped down instrumentation, but 1-2 certainly make me love it with a badass album intro and just plenty of fun all round. 3 intelligently calms things down a bit. 4 is really cool and has some fever dream/horror vibes to it in the intro, but I feel like it does not belong there at all. Cool in a vacuum, but here it feels weird. It becomes more Coltranesque later on but there are still some meh bits. By 5 the big band sound is getting too much but in a vacuum the track is cool, and 6 has fun swing to it. 7 makes the album feel like a soundtrack with its storytelling potential, but the album was loosing me a bit at this point. Then 8 comes in with some fast paced city jazz that is quite jammy in places especially the final reprise, and 9 offers a nice piano break in the midtrack. 10 gives a more bluesy piano vibe, and is very successful in places and rather poor in other with patchworkiness giving that OST vibe again. I have mixed feelings about it as a concluding track. Nice listen, worth a check, thanks rellik! 3.85
Minutemen Double Nickels on the Dime
The worst thing about this album is the number of times I've had to alt+tab to go heart a song. As ever with Minutemen, the funk punkey fast paced tracks make the meat and tatoes of the record, especially with the outstanding basswork, but it would have been too much over 80+ minutes and the band are more than intelligent enough to spread those tracks out and to vary things along the way. When you think you've heard every type of song this album has to offer, they hit you with yet another wholly different style. So whilst those faster paced tracks are where the album shines and where my glutes get a workout, the rest serves album construction dramatically well (and is often excellently done, such as the softer 4 or 8). This being said, I do find that it is less true of some sections of the album, a feeling strengthened by the relatively long runtime and the behemoth track count. I didn't check which track belongs to what side (plus I listened to the 43 tracks CD version not the original 45 tracks LP), but roughly speaking the first quarter of the album and the third quarter felt a lot more consistently engaging than the second and last one, which have more of a compilation vibe to them imo. This might be listening conditions-related though, as it varies over the course of the 80+ minutes. The album is incredibly class and makes me want to drive on Californian highways in an 80s Cadillac with a good ol burger in hand. The band is so cool it even makes me enjoy soloing like on 10. First quarter is easily a 4.3+, but overall ima stay for now at a 4.2
Minutemen The Punch Line
The epitome of short and sweet. Sure there is a number of tracks where the track ending feels rather abrupt and uncalled for, but on the whole it works quite alright imo. The rhythm section is again god tier on this with a bouncy bass and quite technical drums, some of the tracks evoking prog or chaotic genres of today - the rhythm section on 5 literally sounds like modern math rock for one -, others simpler punkish grooves, but always in a catchy way. The rest does not pale in comparison either, the vox being all quite cool and the guitar work complementing the rhythm section well. If the tracks were more developed, if the sound got a touch more abrasive in places, and if the sequencing was less symptomatic of the recording process (see wikipedia lol) this could easily be 4.5+ tier. 4.05
Minutemen What Makes a Man Start Fires?
Prod is a bit thin on this, and it's also a slow starter (well in terms of number of tracks anyway, as always with Minutemen these songs are all very short ), as 1-3 are fun but quite straightforward punk tracks that really aren't all that memorable. 4 displays more of the interesting side of the band's palette, and the run from there is quite good, with 6 being a great track too, 8 and 10 being super fun, 11 having an elegant groove, and other tracks being rejam-worthy that I lost track of because the tracks are all like 50 seconds long to a couple minutes at most. I did find that, apart from 15 which is quite fun, the rest of the album beyond that point was a bit less engaging, and furthermore there is a strong feeling of stylistic inconsistency/compilation here that I find perhaps a bit more problematic in this one compared to the debut because it is a little less adventurous stylistically. So cool and good tracks to keep, but not their strongest by any stretch. 3.8
Minutemen Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat
The opening track is butterduck incredible and I wish the rest of the record ripped this ahrd. 2-3 is still super fun with some great bass grooves. I did find 4-5 a bit questionable in places, but then 6-9 (nice) is also a great run, albeit lighter than 1. It's kind of catchy punky groovy fast but soft music that you could jam with yar mates in the car you know? If it were all like 1 though this would be an easy 4.5 tier. 3.8
Minutemen Paranoid Time
Ah man these guys are cool. Dancing drums, bouncy bass, there's everything I need and it's only 1980. Some of the guitars are slightly nicely dissonant but we're at a low level of distortion here. While I love the instrumentals, the vocals weren't too much my cuppa on 1-2, but thereafter 3-5 are mad cool, 6 is more groovy than it is cool, and 7 works well too but I find it's a bit of an abrupt conclusion. Granted, asking for a proper EP conclusion on something under 7 minutes is a bit of a big ask. What a way to start a career. 3.8
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 Edit: ok screw it this is frustratingly short but it's such a jam and it's crazy how much it evokes much more modern bands to me (I hear some Unwound on 2 yes) 3.9
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
Mortification Mortification
Is it thrash? Is it dm? I'd say it's somewhere in between. It is quite aggressive both in tone and vocally, and I am all for it. The drumming is particularly flavourful here, promoting riffs that change incessantly and work really well most of the time, making for an album that really makes you bop yar head a whole lot. The usual cringe thrash tropes are not wholly absent but remain at an acceptable scarcity level, with the exception of 9 which is frankly a big nope for me and brings this down a point. Thankfully 10 and the questionably useful 11 still have some good riffage in store to make up for it thereafter. I often get fatigued wiht these thrashy albums, but slower tracks like 4 offer nice rest, and when it accelerates back on 6 after a very tiny interlude on 5, it's all the more powerful. Honestly one that I could see myself jamming again. 3.75
Mortiis The Stargate
Like its predecessor this is a much more varied and mature album by Mortiis - these two feel like his magnum opi. There is even less repetition than on the previous LP, and really this one feels like a continuous adventure that does not come back on its own steps, whihc is the first time I can fully say this of a Mortiis album and is a remarkable improvement. It's really epic, with some tavern vibes (eg on 1), some more epic moments, some more introspective moments, and it would really work fabulously as a DnD or other kinda similar thing soundtrack if it werent for my two gripes with this ie some mild volume discrepancies here andthere, but most importantly some of hte vox feeling kind of disruptive. I really like the sort of ethereal choral ones, but the deep ones or the ones that tell you a story are a bit disruptive to the atmosphere imo. Don't tell me the story, let me imagine it! Otherwise a grand Mortiis album. 4.0
Mortiis Keiser Av En Dimensjon Ukjent
Now this is a masterclass in how DS should make you feel. Right off the back it is very cinematic, makes you want to climb mountains and fight dragons in castles and caves. Some of it is angrier and ready for battle, some of it is more atmospheric, but the whole flows extremely well and is very cohesive without finding the overbearing repetition some prior Mortiis records suffered from. I do find that repeating the hooks from the past 20mins on track 4 and 5 is a bit of a misplay, but that's okay. The only two other real gripes I have with the album are firstly a weird super loud and abrupt moment at min 1 on 7 which made me think I had music playing in another tab or something for a second. and the fact that the last two tracks have several moments that would have concluded the album perfectly (especially the track before last which really feels like it builds up to the album ending, though the last track does a good job itself) yet it still ends on a fadeout. Grandiose and epic with spot on execution and only a few nitpicky critiques to be made. 4.1
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
Natalia Lafourcade Las 4 estaciones del amor
A very impressive offering considering how different this is to anything else in Natalia's published catalogue. That's not to take anything away from it, as it also is good in its own right. This is a series of four instrumental tracks recorded with the collaboration of the National Youth Orchestra of Veracruz, and it features very occasional voices, but in ambient choral esque form rather than Natalia's singing. I'm not even sure she sings or plays at all on this. The four tracks are all very lovely, and perfectly fit a tender, happy frollicking childhood atmosphere save for the latter half of Invierno which gets frankly evil - but is followed by one of the softest moments here in the track's conclusion. She managed to put a lot of sweetheart emotions into these 28 minutes, and it makes for a very neat, short and sweet 'classical' listen. A really lovely jam in the sun, and it could also work seamlessly as the soundtrack to some cute cartoon. The main fault really is this awful art man 3.8
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) 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.
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
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
New Order Low-Life
Undeniably New Order's magnum opus at that stage. 1-3 starts off w full synthpop NO. Whilst there are some kinda funny sounds in 1's intro, the tone behind is great (and a consistent highlight of this alb). The vox border on not great at times, but this fades. Instrumentally very cool, and like most tracks here (so im not gonna mention it for each) it is magnified in its conclusion. 2 again is a bit cheesily outdated at first but rapidly turns into a super dancey bop, almost disco, but still with the post punk guitars subtly in the back. 3 is on the sadder side but is still great especially with the added pianos from hte midtrack. Like Age of Consent on the previous LP, my fav track here is ofc the post punkest one, with 4 being a crazy jam after a Burzumesque intro - could well be my fav NO track. After such explosiveness, the ghostly calm of 5 is actually welcome. The added guitars at 1:40 start to make the track magnificient, and the only issue is the final fadeout. These two tracks alone bumped this to a 4.3 almost. Sadly, 6 is not as transcendental, with a quirky start and some bordeline vox again, and is more in line with the style of 1-3. Still a fine track, where 7 isn't. The main hook sounds like a Romeo and Juliet musical track and I cant unhear it, but beside that the track is corny and awkward, and the only onw I did not like on this alb. It's also the only track to feel overlong, as it doesn't have a great conclusion to extend the runtime. 8 is a fun way to conclude on a happy note with lots of 80s punk/Clash vibes to it, which prevents a further drop in points but also doesn't gain any. 4.1
New Order Technique
Like Brotherhood, this one hesitates between the electronic side and the band's guitar roots - but unlike on Brotherhood, the balance is now clearly being won by the electronica. The album's major flaw is the uninterested, almost lazy-sounding vocals. With better vox I'm convinced every track here could be a bop/jam. 1 for example is super boppy, some of it could be an MJ track and there are traces of techno/house coming later on. 2-3 are more on the dreamy pop rock side idk, but with the vocals they feel a bit undercooked, tho 3 is slightly better. 4 gets back to the electronic side, and whilst some sounds are kinda funny, the fun(k) is real. 5 is like 2-3, but on the better side like 3, and offers an excellent bridge around 2/3 into the track with great added synths in the conclusion. 6 is a bit slower and feels merely okay until again its bridge 2/3rds into the track. I don't think the conclusion is too successful though with some sounds sounding almost medieval. 7 is very funkey discoey electronic stuff again, and it's really a shame the vox (whislt not bad per se) are not at all on par with the rest. 8 brings back a bit more of the technoey aspects and benefits for slightly more engaged vocals, and finally 9 closes things acceptably on a fun but not quite jammy synthpop track with nicely creamy synth pads. NO have almost completed their transformation into a club band, and I love it, but really they need to work on the vocal side and give it more peps. 3.85
Nneka Love Supreme
Has its ups and downs, but creativity, range of influences, and production certainly aren't in the downs. 1-4 is an all round excellent series of tracks with strong UK RnB vibes esp on 2, whilst 4 is more electronic and kinda fun in an Ott way though the autotune will deter some. 5 switches styles a bit again and is a rich track but that I enjoyed a bit less. 6 has a nice intro and the strings near the end are a sweet addition, but the vibrating vocals werent too uch my cuppa (a recurring theme). 7 continued to lose me a bit, but I really loved the back music on 8 which I found quite inspiring in sound, making for an overall memorable track though I wasn't sure the vocals and drums fit in the best way. 9 switches things up to something much dancier making for a fun track, 10 has super fun prod in the back though again the vocals were okay but not my dream. 11 is a bop with its dub vibes, whilst 12 goes into charming rnb quite nicely. 13 has a nice memorable lil piano hook, though it leaves the album ending a bit into nothing. A good album I may well rejam. 3.85
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
Old Sorcery Dragon Citadel Elegies
As with seemingly every Old Sorcery record I check, this will join the collection of greatly grafted DS records that I'll happily come back to. This one feels extra well made from the get go. Track 1 is amazing with nearly solo ?flute creating a great ambience, then joined by voices and harp. Sublime. The intro to 4 is extremely cool. Otherwise I don't really want to pinpoint to particular sections as the album is a well constructed and very dynamic journey to be experienced in full I feel. My only two gripes are that the closing track is perhaps a touch overlong for what it offers, and the sort of weird Dingo pictures boing boing sound I was making with a ruler on the edge of a table in school (I know you dont if anyone's reading this but I know what I am talking about) which is the only downside featuring on 1, and which comes back in a couple places, most porminently 3:30 on 4. The overlong closer dropped this a point to a still very healthy 4.0
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 Where You Are and Where You Want to Be
A 00's record of uneven quality in the style of the kind of 90's emo/skramz that would go on to influence math-rock but isn't math rock itself. From 1 you can tell the prod isn't the cleanest (despite having jammed the 2020 remaster), but it's alright and the bass is nicely audible. The occasional skramz shouting is cool and in the ?last third the track has some great gutiar play. 2 has cool hardcore bits but the clean vox is a bit borderline meh - the track is still fine though. The softness on 3 is really nice, but the explosion that ensues really isn't all that great. The anger they get to near the end is really cool tho. By 4 the album was already getting into a bit of a noisy blur albeit still cool - it doesnt do enough in the way of hooks and contrast to give a clear feel of progression. 5 is the second track that wowed me (idk which one was first lel) with its pretty calm part and its apocalyptic ending. 6 is an okay calmer track with cool subtle ?banjo additions. 8-9 offers an excellent transition from calm hopefulness at the end of 8 to the very aggressive start of 9 which we see again near the end, tho in between the track gets a bit erratic. The riff at 2:50 on 10 is cool but comes after a bit of downtime, and the weird recording distortion at the end is questionable. 3.8
On The Might of Princes Sirens
I think I overrated the previous opus, but I can't say this one is worse so now I'm forced to 3.8. Band is a much better emo band than it is a skramz band, and the most successful tracks tend to be the softer ones - which for the most part sit on the second half of the album. This is evident on 2 which is fine on the softer bits but really struggles in the aggressive bits, after 1 which is a fantastic opener I gotta say. 3 is good but has some questionably nasal vocals, whilst 4 is one of the most successful abrasive tracks with a sense of erratic chaos that reminded me of late TDEP somehow. 5 has an amazing intro riff that unfolds terribly although the track gets better later on. 6 is also abrasive and also kinda cool, then the interlude 7 gives us some much welcome rest. 8-9 are softer tracks and so much more consistent, whilst 10 has a fun opening on the bass that unfolds not so well, but then there is a call back to the opener which would have been an excellent way to conclude the album. Inexplicably, they carry on whith 11, which tbf isnt half bad and has a good intro, then 12 whihc is just skippable nonsense. A quality band but with as many weak points as they have strnegths. 3.8
Oublieth Arcanes
Holy mother of synths. Do you want that Blood Incantation album, but shorter, less ambient and with more dynamics (and a good dose of daddy Vangelis inspiration)? This is the record for you. My main qualm is that, on the rare instances where the record goes back to more standard medieval sounding DS, even ever so slightly, it kind of does not fit with the expansive spacey synthiness of the rest. This is especially prominent on the second track. Otherwise, a short and very sweet trip. Thanks garas! 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
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 Ko Sira
Preeetty much the same comments I had for Moussoulou. Although as the album went on I got used to the violiney-countryey sounding strings and they started even to be an element I enjoyed. It's been a long time since Moussoulou but from memory I feel like I preferred this one slightly. 2 builds up greatly, some of the vox deliveries on 3 and especially its last third are really cool, the calmer 4 comes in at a great time, the lower ended voices on 6 are a very well made addition and most welcome, and the album's just a great jam all round, although I think for people who aren;t used to the genre it may feel a little flat or repetitive. 3.9
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
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 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 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 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
Parquet Courts Wide Awake
Fun alb with lots of sounds and influences mixed into the globally punk aesthetic. In fact I usually prefer when they focus on those influences rather than the punk aspect, but that's not to say that I dislike the punkish tracks. 1 for instance is super catchy and bouncy (thanks bass) despite the vox that I'm not always the biggest fan of. I did warm up to them as time went though, including on 2 where after a Doors-evoking intro I started liking the vox more and more - plus the instrumental side is cool. 3 transitions very well into a cool slower track, then 4 is very surfey with 60s pink floyd-evoking vox, and it;s frankly a highlight for me. The riffage starting of 5 ruptures a bit abruptly imo, but the track is quite fun especially from the midtrack on. 6 is one of the more punkish tracks that I find a bit meh, but 7 is more successful especially with its fun Amen break. 8 is quite interesting as I almost got RnB vibes from it at times which is cool. 9-10 are more conventional but sure are fun stuff. The transition to 11 is a bit poor and it's kind of like 6 although the guitar and bass are good as always. 12 starts off with a darker, more post punk tone which I dig, but it feels like the track didnt fully bake it falls a bit flat. I like how with the spoken dialogue they make it clear that 13 is conclusion track, and it's a very fun and groovy Clashy tune. Bumped this a point, but then it ended on a fadeout why why why, but I'll give the album the benefit of the doubt because I had a massive interruption in the middle so it's not quite fair. 3.8
Paul Dukas The Sorcerer's Apprentice (L'apprenti sorcier)
Hard to not relive the Fantasia animation with this one. The piece itself has some excellent motifs, and I particularly like its slow buildup and its conclusion, but I gotta say my enthusiasm was tamed somewhat in the later middle section as it seems to go in circles a bit. Still an excellent, legendary piece that I'd rejam gladly. Listened to the version pictured here i.e. Cincinnati orchestra. 4.0
Paul Dukas Prelude Elegiaque sur le Nom de Haydn
This is a nice and broody piece for playlists, but it is also so short and not quite recognisable enough that it doesn't warrant much more than at best a 4.1
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
Phoebe Bridgers Stranger in the Alps
Unlike a lot of ppl here I don't find this to be too samey/boring - after all I do like some fairly unvaried folkey albums, so it doesn't bother me here. I do find that Bridger's voice, whilst excellent most of the time, can sometimes not quite work for me especially in higher notes. Gene put it well. Sometimes it really does all sound quite corny. But mostly this is pretty, rarely stunning indie folk/balladey indie pop. 1 is beautiful and the subtle buildup is lovely, though I am not a fan of the panning. 2 is a bit more poppy or rocky even, which I think kinda ruptures with 1, but individually it is a good track. 3 would have linked up with 1 a lot better, as it is some more beautiful indie folk w nice instrumentation beyond guitar. 4 after that makes the first good non-comical use of a ?banjo I've ever heard. I do find that a few of the songs (2,5,7) overextend in their last third, with attempted climaxes that feel overlong nd don't really work. Before that tho 5 and 7 are both very pretty, especially the unfold at 1:10 on 7 which is a relief bcs for a sec I thought it'd be a ballad like 6. 6 works quite well with enough going on to keep the interest up, but two piano ballads in a row would've been too much. 8 is another simple pretty folk song, with some more examples of the vocals I don't really dig, and 9 attempts some variation with added male vox which I think are poorly integrated and detrimental to the track. 10 is a pretty ambientish ballad, and it's nice to see a wee outro track. Not a mindblowing album, but a sweet one. I should rejam it I wasnt super focused. 3.85
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
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
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 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 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
Pijn and Conjurer Curse These Metal Hands
A post-metal album that is really, really cool and exciting in some aspects, but doesn't feel like it quite matches the potential of its ideas and is hindered quite consistently by vocals that are okay but not so great, except in a few harsher sections like the shortest track 3. Every single track has an excellent intro, and the album intro is particularly top tier; by the post- book, but brilliantly done. Despite the meh clean vox, there's lots to be loved here with a bmey surprise and a lovely bridge in the second third. 2 offers darker and fatter riffage, and 4 has again a particularly cool intro with great bass work, but they could have done away with the vocals frankly and the finale feels a bit underwhelming and uninspired for an album that has so many melodic ideas. Makes you want to check out the bands' future outputs though, because they've got some solid stuff in them - I'm not sure who did what on this but it feels like one coherent band I'd say. 3.8
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
Pinkshinyultrablast Happy Songs For Happy Zombies
Very very cool debut EP. Sounds a lot like if Life on Venus played fast and with more of a catchy, fast-paced punkey approach almost rather than slow ethereal shoegaze. From the first seconds what strikes is the beautifully intricate yet abrasive tones these folks manage to craft without sounding messy. Beautiful employ of vast, vast amounts of fx, and nice sporadic shoegaze vox to work with it. I do wonder how this would work on a longer format, but here on something this short the somewhat lack of variety is not at all a problem. The band also goes quite ahrd at times as the riffage on 2 can demonstrate. I do find 4 to be slihgtly less engaging than the rest, though it is still a great song and does have its fair shair of riffage plus a nice noisy outro I quite dig. Still drops this a point to a lovely and promising 3.9
Pinkshinyultrablast Everything Else Matters
Like on the EP, pinkshiny prove that they are a band that can do both abrasive and chill, with lots of influences, lots of intra-song variety, and with an excellent mastery of their fx boards. That being said I do find their reverb-drenched sound to be a bit much on the longer run, and by 7-8 I felt a bit saturated and the album felt overlong, despite 8 being cool. The droney album outro particularly reinforced that feeling of lengthening the sauce like the frenchos say. Pinkshiny don't really do much in the way of memorable choruses or repetition, which makes for music that is very cool and full of ideas and surprises, but that is difficult to recall even minutes after you jammed it and adds to the blurry feeling. My last gripe with this is the dreamy, reverberated, high pitched vocals. They are cool sometimes, and fit very well in places like the intro to 3 or 5, but very often it feels like it would take a very specific mood i wasnt in to fully dig them. I would have liked something more abrasive to match the energy in the back. A cool intro like 4 feels like it falls a bit flat when it unfolds on those vox. But the music in teh back is always cool and full, and 1 is an incredibly well crafted intro song that takes its sweet time but is worth the wait, with cool vocal textures, synths and moog homage to the Floyd-inspired song title before an excellent abrasive opening. 3.85
Pinkshinyultrablast Kiddy Pool Dreams
This is from yesterday but i put it on the wrong record oops. I think this is an incredibly cool wee EP with lots of substance to it for how short it is. I can easily see how the extremely fx'd vocals (which somehow give me ambient kpop/krnb vibes lol) could deter many, but in the context of the band's extremely produced sound here I don't mind them at all. I see that 1 is on Grandfeathered and 2 is pretty much an electronic reinterpretation of 1, but this still feels like an EP in its own right. 1 is crazy cool a fast paced, aggressive math rocky opening that unfolds into a nice lush bridge that sometimes bursts into heavy (bedroom djenty almost with this prod) riffage to make for a track that keeps you on your toes quite nicely. 2 is a looot more electronic, with lots of chopped stuff especially in the intro and outro, and with vocals that Liquicity would love to reuse. It is quite a cool track too and it is impressive of the band to display prowess in something so strikingly different from the first track. Solid. 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
Quadron Avalanche
I might be slightly overrating this because a) I did find it stronger than the debut although the conditions were very different b) the fact that it hasn't received any sput attention since 2017 is sad! This is an album that doesn't live up the promise of its first two tracks but still stays afloat. 1-2 are indeed the peak here, both jammy, one being more soulsy and the other showing more hints of RnB DNA. There isn't a transition properly speaking, but the flow is very coherent, which gave me hope that they had fixed the greatest flaw of teh s/t. They didn't quite overall as there are still sequencing issues on this LP, but the flow overall is much improved. 3 is cool too as it shows more pop influences and house even, which gives a feeling of diversity without the album feeling erratic. But the track already shows the record losing steam. 4 also breaks the flow a bit, and my enthusiasm was going down. 5 could have been bad but works well, and 6 picks things back up definitely. 7 has a bit of a weird start but does work, and 8 is cool with a Kendrick contrib that works well, but alas a fadeout. Although most of the tracks are cool, I found that almost none worked as well as 1-2. 9 is nice neo soul, and 10 is a kind of cool slow solemn track to end the album that could've been bad but that I did like. Still an album worth a lsiten with sweet prod, sweet potential, and vocals that are mostly good although not always the best, but that are supplemented nicely with subtle additions in the back. 3.8
Quiet Sun Mainstream
Great 70s prog rock that never feels like the best ever but is super cool for sure, and throws a
few surprises at you, some good, some bad. Whilst the first few tracks feel a bit incomplete
without vocals, the album for the most part makes it really work as the tracks stop shying away
from intensity and do feel like they fully unfold, but then the album finally starts its vocal
almost three minutes into the final track. A strange choice, especially given the vox aren't bad
at all and would have held up for the whole record, but it's kinda cool in a way I think. The
album intro is also cool as hell with sizzling crisp production and already at 5min a fun change
of pace that these albums can do so well and that we'll find plentiful other examples of further
along. As always in the good instances of the genre the bass is playful and bouncy, keeping the
fort up for the most part. 3 shows cool experimentation in its first act though I question its
musicality before going back into prog rock (with cool percussion and a melody that reminds me of
Zelda TP's shadow world lol) which makes it even more of a strange interlude section. 4 is an
extremely chill track, and the abrupt transition back into 5 puzzles me a bit. 5-7 are really
well crafted 70s prog rock and are so consistent they bump this a point. Yea a fine prog rock
album amongst many, with great artwork I gotta say. 3.8
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
Raum Daughter
More than Grouper or even Raum's second LP, this really feels like Nivhek LP2. This is particularly prominent with the keys on 4, and once you realise this the Nivhek identitiy is also quite noticeable on 5, less so but still on 6 which feels a little more like random tape drone stuff, and somewhat on the very long 7 that lets the LP die out in agony and eventually drowns into depressed piano repetition that reminds of Basinski's Cascade but with more variation to the vast emptiness. Not a word is uttered on the whole record, which contributes to setting it apart from LP1, and makes it resolutely a drone album with lots of keys. 1 opens on a Sea Oleena-esque sad piano which doesn't prepare you for a drone album at all, and I got to say the way the droniness is introduced about after a minute was really one fo teh weaker points - it just feels like your audio crashed or something because it is so abrupt. The track is good though and gets very pretty once the piano comes back in. 2 is lovely drone, and 3 is good but less engaging perhaps - good thing 4 brought my interest back up with its Nivhekness. Man I missed Nivhek. 3.9
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
Rise (UK) Messages
Some surprisingly strong points I would say when it comes to nu-jazz/UK jazz a la gogo penguin a bit/lo-fi beat + jazz and that sort of erm jazz. Tracks like the two 'Messages', 3, or 10 with its more acoustic-sounding drums are quite high point and evoke older, grander jazz delightfully whilst obviously giving it a more modern/electronic touch. The record is hindered by its structure however, with too many tracks that are too short with too few transitions and far, far too many fadeouts, which makes the whole lot feel a bit clunky when it could really have been a more compelling album where it more smoothly continuous. The sparse of vocal samples is really well done I have to say, giving some nice soul to the lot, and 9 is a successful interlude as it changes the vibe a fair bit. Worth a check if you're into this sort of genre. 3.8
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
Robert Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.54
This concerto packs so much in the space of 30 minutes it's quite unbelievable. Beyond description probably. It goes from sad to frolicky, from delicate to vast and wide, from subtle to grandiloquent, all the while getting the musicians to display excellent virtuosity. The number of musical ideas per minute is truly impressive. I'm not going to say more: just enjoy it in full, in all its grandeur. 4.2
Roly Porter Kistvaen
I'm kind of unsure about my rating because I havent heard his other stuff in a long while (and just similar records in general) so the comparison isn't the most fair, but this feels like his peak so far. Lots and lots of beautiful gritty textures on this, with delightful and quite subtle use of grain and noise. In contrast, acoustic moments like the strings the gritty 2 (starting off on really cool menacing textures) eases into towards its end, or the soft piano sounds the album ends on (v nice although feels like it had a little bit more of potential in it) are magnified in beauty. The album starts off strong with 2 but especially 1, a fantastic intro track that kind of dies into nothing but features some really cool vocal parts morphing into droney organs and gritty glitches - superb, wish it had a better conclusion. 3 is more on the soft and pretty side although there is still a bit of wall of sound in places. 4 has cool textures but not as much of a compelling tension to it, however for once its conclusion is quite cool with the spatial synths. The first half of 5 kinda lost me despite the cool texture here and there, but the second half brings the attention right back up with a cool ominous wall of sound before the peaceful 6 ties things up nicely. An inspiring album for aspiring ambient producers, if anything. 3.75
Rosalia El Mal Querer
Rosala goes pop, Rosala takes a good dash of electronic, and Rosala dumps a whole lot of the acoustic guitar to make space for these new influences while retaining a lot of the flamenco AAooaoAoeeoEOAoeAOoeAAaa vocals, albeit in smaller doses. A shorter format definitely suits her, and even then the last three track feel almost superfluous, with the pretty good 10 being stuck in between two over esoteric tracks. There is a lot of charm to be found here in the weird but flowing mix of mysterious vocalisations, traces of beats, and unusual prod/instrumentation. Although the first LP is perhaps 'objectively' stronger, the overall enjoyment from this one is simpler and more readily accessible. Only track 4 was a true let down, being excessively weird and way too random in its background noises. 2 or 7 were particular favourites. This is not a bangers album yet, and it is worth listening on the whole as there is care put into the construction - 10 is for instance magnified by being preceded by a much calmer track. And since it is short and overall more readily enjoyable, unlike LA I can see myself re-jamming it in semi-full in not so long. 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
Salim Washington Sankofa
In my opinion, far superior to its follow up. The album throws its weirder tracks early on, which might deter some, but for the bulk of it it is all in all excellent but somewhat conventional jazz with great flow between tracks - to a point where you quite often don't feel that it is a new track. It also alternates nicely between a select few calmer, softer tracks, and bouncier things. 1-3 feature sometimes unusual vox, and it takes a bit of getting used to. 1 is nice but fairly standard vox aside, 2 brings more dissonances and some dreaminess and bluesy piano. 3 is the first peak of the album and a jam with its choirey intro, which marks pretty much the last of these vocal bits as the rest of the track and album is more instrumental. I recognised 4's melody (probably from the other alb that I jammed before this?) but it is quite fun and big band high energy similarly to 5. 6 is softer with flutes etc, then 7 is more energetic again but with a bit of a disappointing conclusion. 8 is softer and transitions nicely into the superb piano on 9 before the track eventually brings back the energy. I do like that the conclusion track - which btw is advertised as live but isn't really noticeably different from the rest - brings back a little more of dissonant spice to conclude things. It is just a little too long, which turns a solid 4.2 into a final 4.15
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
Sea Oleena Weaving A Basket
Absolutely superb record once again. I struggle to pick a favourite with Charlotte's extremely consistent output. This again combines a mildly happier, less droney folk Groupercore with some remote Agnes Obel vibes, to varying ratios. 1
calls strongly to the former and 3 to the latter, while 2 is nicely ambient inbetween. 4 is a bit more subdued folk, and while it is pretty indeed I do find it a bit compelling than the rest. Same goes for the first couple minutes on 5,
until the track develops itself to really display the full range of styles explored by the album in one single song, probably turning into my favourite on the album. It even has a full on drone section to it > I'm happy. 6 is absolutely
superb Groupery stuff again and would have been a wonderful way to conclude the album on 4.2 with growth potential. Sadly, there's still the long 7 to go, and I have for it pretty much the exact same comment as for 4, meaning that the
album ends on 11 minutes of less compelling folk. I feel like it drags for a bit too long and brings the album. Just with a little bit of fat trimmed this could easily be in strong 4.5 range. Get on this folks 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
Shabaka and the Ancestors We Are Sent Here By History
Actually jammed this on Feb 11 but forgot to upload the soundoff. I really, really enjoyed this album and its neverending groove, starting from the fabulous intro track and even from its first few seconds. The little dissonances and the cool repetitive vocals eg on 2 reinforce the spiritual/transcendental vibes, though they largely disappear for most of the middle section of the album. Yes it's nothing revolutionary but I do thnk it is delightfully executed. The midtrack reprise on 8 with all the flutes and instruments is simply lovely for example. By 10 I did concede this was getting a bit long, though in a vacuum the track itself is quite cool and finally brings back the transcendental vox from much earlier, and always with the GROOVE. 11 works great as a nice conclusion track on the more contemplative starry side of things with the piano and brass duo, although its veeery end does fall a bit flat. Fak it I just liked this too much to not go for a sweet 4.1
Shadow Community Restless Song/ Halcyon's Coffin
Very pretty debut EP that could make for great things on a longer format with its extremely lush, light and airy mix of dream pop, indie pop, jazz and even some hints of math-rock I feel here and there, blurring it all into a cohesive whole somehow. Quite a dreamy experience that is only too short to score much higher than it does. 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
Slift Ummon
Not exactly what I anticipated on the basis of the title track (which is frankly better produced
and cooler on the KEXP version, but still a jam here), but still graet. Only the last track, and
perhaps a few moments here and there match the stoner energy and danciness of the s/t track.
Instead, we are offered with a loooong jam of spacey stoner rock. A true voyage, always cool,
always showing nice ideas, but also struggling to make individual tracks stand out and feel like
jams. It's all an excellent odyssey in which the chapters are not delineated at all. In that
aspect the band remind me a lot of an Ozric Tentacles where the albums are nearly instrumental
and always cool but also really dont have jams that stand out individually, the albums working a
lot better as whole records I guess. I dont generally like blanks in an album, but here it kinda
helps giving it more structure and delineation. There is cool drumming, cool bass all along - in
many ways this is a prog album. A super cool spacey trip at any rate. I don't agree with the
apparent general sentiment that this is too long, but I had to pause a lot tbf. 3.95
Sly and The Family Stone There's A Riot Goin' On
Idk man, I can see how this is better than their prior albums, but I am still not clicking with this band. Something about the lack of real hooks, the somewhat flat song structures, the held back prod on the vocals, makes it impossible for my mind to latch onto the music. That being said, I will concede there is a fair degree of bum shaking goodness foundation here, see tracks like 5,7 or 8, and I did really likethe guitar riff at the end of 11. But 10 really bored me and got weird. I'll give a tame 3.8
Sly and The Family Stone Fresh
I don't know if I am imagining things or if the prod actually got loads better, but this is the crispiest and beefiest I have heard Sly&FS being. The bass is clear, the voices sound good, and this definitely helps reinforce the ongoing groove. I do still find this impression I always get with this band that the tracks are a permanent wall of nice but rarely stand out to memory, on first listen at least. But because the sound itself is less blurry, it isn't as detrimental here. The quality is undeniable, it's not the most upbeat funk in the book but it maintains a nice, round, slow-ish paced groove throughout. Probably my favourite by the band on first listen, is that a heretic thing to say? 3.85
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
Sofia Campos Salvar el Fuego
Extremely consistent Mexico-Argentinian (?) folk/pop (?) album that rarely transcends but is also practically faultless without a single bad track and maintaining a relatively coherent mood throughout. If it weren't perhaps for the fact that it is the same vocalist all along, this could really pass as a chill playlist to play in the back, where as the Musas albums by Natalia do go left and right in terms of vibe for example. This does maybe lose a touch of steam near the end, but the extremely Brazilian feeling of the closing track brings the energy back up and keeps the rating at a very healthy and much recommended 3.8
Sofia Campos Lugares Imaginarios
My thoughts on this are very similar to the first album -she is extremely consistent, and also varies the vibes between contemplative/relaxed (1,3,5,7,9 and its piano touches, 10 which is one of the few that remain subdued throughout without unfolding into drums etc, whcih makes for a really soothing and functional conclusion track) and softly dancy, sometimes with Brazilian flair (2,4,8 which opens up into some brass even). All very good, and her singing is very nice, though 3 does highlight htat 3 will always remain my absolute queen. The male vox on 6 works very well to bring some variety to an album taht is perhaps slightly more consistent even than its senior, but also is 10+ minutes shorter which obviously helps. 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
Squid Lino
I did not AT ALL expect this to be so good. A 2.8 average debut EP wasn't too appealing, but I am very glad I checked it. I absolutely love the superb intro track which I find very Pink Floydey and frankly quite inspiring. 2 and 3 both transition superbly from the track prior, and feature ubiquitous synth nappes in lush prod that renders the whole delightfully psych and vast. I do find that 2 doesn't unfold very well at all, remaining very tame and being far lest rocky, explosive or psych than it could be for a large portion of the track. This is also true of 3, but less so as the bulk of the song is more successful and nicely psych. Very excited for the rest of the discog if this was at a 2.8, although I worry that the problems here with songs unfolding in tame ways may be recurrent. 4.1
Squid Town Centre
From 3 days ago too oops. I also forgot what I wanted to rate this but I know it was in 4.0 tier because Squid are at it again with an excellent wee EP, starting with once again an excellent intro track that feels like it could introduce some prog rock or jazz fusion album, but instead has an excellent transition into the jammy 2, a supper cool and catchy post punkey punkey idk track. 3 is not as fun a listen imo but remains cool and bitchin, and the last third improves things and frankly resembles the second track in a good way. 4 starts off cool, but it feels a bit like an interlude you'd find in a longer album that we're not gonna get. It ends up turning into a proper track though, with a grim outro that is really cool. I'm ready for a full length by these folks because their EPs have lots of meat to them. 3.9
Squid Houseplants
Yea again a one tracker but it is way cooler than the beginning (and bulk) of the song lead you to believe. My favourite bits are indeed when they deviate from the functional and catchy but ultimately quite dull DUM DU DU DUMM groove to go into depression with a surprise saxophone early on, or for the more agressive last quarter of the song. 3.8
Squid The Dial
I mean it is just a track followed by its radio edit, but in actuality it doesn't feel hugely repetitive and rather feels like a continuous ~10min track split in two. I wish there were a real conclusion to it, but aside from that it is a really cool track that reminds of a slightly more aggressive version of Television. Again it's a track so hard to judge but maybe 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
Steve Reich Duet for Two Violins and Strings
A very pretty piece with a nice motif whose emotional impact is heightened by the strings based instrumentation - the only fault really is the length, because at 5 minutes this feels really short (although a change of motif is well due by the end), and so it struggles to feel like a 'grand' piece. But on a playlist or something, where it doesn't sit alone being this short. its heartwarming, emotionally hopeful vibe is quite nice to start a sunny morning like today. 3.8
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
Susumu Yokota Grinning Cat
A weird and wonderful album that starts on an excellent ambient track, then occasionally goes into beats which are a lot better integrated here than they were on Sakura. See already the hip-hopey vibe with the piano starting from the midtrack on 2, which 3 continues in interesting ways although it ends on a fadeout. 4 is nicely ambient, 5 is nice with marimbas and stuff with a hella nice unfold later on with the beat, whilst 6 is more dissonant but in a cool way. 7 is nice ambient techno, 8's also good, then 9 goes into vaguely dissonant vaguely jazzy stuff which is cool and dandy, followed up by nice anxious piano on 10. By 11 I paid a bit less attention to writing notes but you can just see this is just a nice, varied album that still flows well, and ends on a strong note as the drums on 12 are super cool. Zero 'bangers', but just all round good stuff. 4.05
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
T.R.A.M. Lingua Franca
Cool jazz fusion that takes extensive inspiration from the fusion classics but does add its own djenty touch and displays really nice rhythmics and guitar melodies. More to write up againnnn 4.0
Tales Under The Oak The Toad King
Magic forest dungeon synth reverie with a solid effort through and through (without being mindblowing, but certainly a record that can be jammed front to back). 3.8
Tales Under The Oak Swamp Kingdom
Love the aesthetic, love the sounds, love the chill pond forest magical vibe. IT's a fairly unassuming little DS album, but it's thoroughly successful at the humble thing it does. 3.8
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 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 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
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
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 Boo Radleys Ichabod And I
This is really, really cool and I wasn't expecting what I heard. I would have hearted pretty much every track if it was on Spotify like their other stuff (rip). 1-2 are a very cool punkish take on shoegaze (this is from 1989 too so not the earliest stuff but quite early), 3 is cool too, and then the album goes surprisingly ahrd on 4-5. They really are aggressive insturmentally and it is inspiring, music that I would like to play. The only issue I slightly take is the vocals, which whilst quite good remain at the same energy level they were at on softer shoegazey tracks, which doesn't always fit hugely with these more aggressive tracks. But still ok and instrumentally they are dope. 6 is calmer and has a fun beat, it's still cool but not as outstanding as the rest. 7 has a really great tone and is nice and noisy - again, super cool, whilst 8 comes back to more of the shoegazey tone to conclude things nice and softly first then with a more rock approach. The prod on this has a slightly raw flavour which I dig, especially the drums which get quite loud and aggressive at times. Impressive and an album I'll jam again I think. 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 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 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 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 Names Swimming
Really cool and yeepee they're Belgian. While I appreciated them, I wasn't so sold on the first couple tracks, where I found myself wishing they dropped the sort of gothic atmosphere and went into something more on their punkish side and catchier. And thankfully, that's what they do. 3 is particularly cool and 4 is even catchier. 5 and its glacial synth wall and overall slower atmosphere works better than 1-2 thanks to contrast effect. 6-8 rely on a simple bass groove to tie the songs together, and it all works, 6 being the most interesting one as it ventures on top of that into random jazz sounds and stuff whereas the other two are simpler but I daresay catchier. 9 then goes back to a gloomy, ominous vibe, but I kind of like that as a conclusion. I am rating the original vinyl version here, but the CD sounds are worth a check. They do feel like disjointed bonus tracks though even though they dont seem to be presented as such, but 10 is a jam, 11 has a nice vibe to it even though i find it a bit weaker, and 12 is nice. Kinda making me want to glance at their (much) later output. 3.8
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 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 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 Smiths The Smiths
(M3) Solid debut, but one that takes time to reveal its flavor. The lovely Smiths contrast between sadboi vocals and fun engaging bass heavy stuff at the back takes time to show its nose. 1 is indeed a pretty standard, slow paced song at its core, tho well executed and with pretty pianos near the end. 2's a bit faster and bass heavy which is nice, while 3 after a minute speeds up to show their punk influences, but unfortunately has pretty weird vocals. 4 has cool cute instrumentation but I'm not sure it fits with the vocals. 5's nice and then 6-9 finally gives us a run of really solid Smiths songs, with faster paces and more engaging upbeat instrumentals particularly 6-7. This preludes QiD quite nicely. 10 goes back to slower stuff, but after those faster songs it actually works well as a contemplative rest. I do not think however the album should have ended on another slow and even more subdued song with 11, as it gives it a bad energy curve imo. Still 3.8
The Sound Jeopardy
Really cool post-punk that oscillates with high regularity between faster paced, fun songs (1,2,4,6,7,9) and softer stuff, which makes for an album that is quite well structured although there is a touch of a compilation feel. But tracks like the slower 3 which wouldnt be all that great in isolation works super well here. 1 is a great cool album, and it and 2 showcase how the band kind of retains its energy when you don't expect it, which I quite enjoyed. 5 is more of a slow building, grandiose song, and is a bit overlong albeit cool - the first sign of fatigue. 7 has cool catchiness coupled with mystery synths, a formula that 9 repeasts, but I found that in the last third I was getting less and less engaged, and so I suppose that drops this a point. Definite keeper though. 4.0
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
Tokyo Shoegazer Crystallize
Great album showing lots of sides of shoegaze and post-rock even - alas the last track is a bit of a draggy letdown. Full writeup coming too yknow 3.9
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
Tool 72826
If this truly is the first thing they ever released, it is damn impressive. This thing bangs harder than most thrash metal I've heard. Now, will I listen to this again, probably not. The prod is more than respectable for an early EP/demo, but it does feel muffled and thin still, and the songs (or some at least) seem to be featured again in their later works with better production. That doesn't take any of the merit away. Vocals move between sort of hard rocky thrashy generic stuff to more Tool-typical vox. The riffs riff to various degrees, and tracks like 1 or 3 are very cool. There are whiffs of their future sound to be found everywhere, there is nice bass when you can hear it, but every other track feels a tad more generic - albeit pretty cool. Kinda rules, won't listen again. 3.8
Touche Amore ...To the Beat of a Dead Horse
Not as good as I remember, tho I do like me their rawer sound on this. The more intense tracks and the ones I remember listening to over and over again are still utter jams (3,5,7-9, some other bits), but the rest is more of a good okay and certainly doesnt engage me as much as it used to. Still pretty fire, but yea I don't think this will land in my top favourite albums ever either. 3.9
Touche Amore Touche Amore
Honestly, might be conditions but I enjoyed this more than beat of a dead horse almost. This is perhaps a less unique product, but a more focused and digestible one - and it also gets forgive points from being a debut. This is TA with teh prod of dead horse (nice), but a more energetic and punk version of TA, where horse leans more into the emo side. Right off the bat the intro to 1 is sick and the unfold excellent - total jam. 1-3 in general are all hype high energy tracks, then 4 has a cool intro but its doomey intro marks a lower point. 5 and kinda 6 continue this low point, tho it's never bad and 6 has some more kick ass sections. But it still feels like the energy has gone down a notch here, until 7 cranks it right back up with probably the second top highlight here with a sick track with sick transitions. 8 has a cool intro but eventually with the long interlude in the middle it almost feels like two tracks randomly lumped together, and the latter one is a bit more molle and concludes in an ok but not ideal way. As always with TA the most impressive thing here is how many ideas they manage to fit in 14minutes. 3.9
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
Trist (GER) Hin-Fort
Track 1/disc 1 crushes yer balls with intergalactic might. After nearly 15 minutes of brooding ambient intro, which may be too long in some cases but that I enjoyed this time, an absolute wall of PdH/darkspace bm is unleashed. I find the transition from the ambient and the hinge vocal sample into the bm to be a bit weaker than it could have been actually, I almost wish the bm was louder. Although the bm riffage itself is extremely monolithic and hardly varies, it is supreme, and there is enough variation in the background bells and whistles to give a lot of nuance and depth to the wall of sound. You travel through space as the relentless drums kick to oblivion. After maybe 25 min of this, we get a brief interlude of vocal sample, then the crushing wall comes back again. This second half could have maybe used a little bit of differentiation from the first, but it still crushes (to be listened to LOUD and on full blast). This first track is easily a very upper 4.0 if not a 4.5. Disc 2 is a long series of dark ambient/ambient tracks interspersed with various vocal samples. It very often feels like listening to the audio from the trailer of some horror movie. I found it cool, and it is nice to have a tail end to rest after track 1. But the disc is just far, far too long for me. 15min of ambient tops would have been great. One hour? Too much man. Not because I dislike ambient, but because the glorious track 1 should not be merely half of the album. Still badass. 3.9
Turnstile Time and Space
On this one Turnstile refine extremely well the packaging around the songs, but until the second half struggle with the songs themselves. Indeed the key selling point here is the interludes -whether it be the excellent soulsey (yes) interludes on 4 and 12 or within tracks- and other additions the band made to their sound. They don't all work though with some added vox not really working for me, and the tracks often feel very short. 1 is a the darker and less fun than usual mid-good track, 2 has a great epiano intro that transitions well but some of the weird new vox, 3 has a great interlude 2/3rds into the track but otherwise continues this darker vibe that I don't think fits the band too well. 5 is the first track that feels truly fun and after a nice intro offers fat riffage and clean vox that are good to see albeit a bit cliche. 6 is a slightly overextended, functional dumbfunstile track that would work better live but does have some nice added keys. 7 goes into faster hxc and has an excellent transition into the main riff altho it's not their best riff at first. 8 has an excellent intro and one of the best riffs yet, making the dark vibe work a lot better. 9 is the only bad track of the second half (/album?) with vocals taht sound a bit like a7x. 10 was on the preceding EP and is still a very fun RATMesque/hxc bop. 11 is a dope track with great riffage despite the meh added vox, and 13 closes on one of the best Turnstile-of-the-mill tracks with excellent riffage in places and fun added vox. An LP showing the band blooming to maturity in album construction and mixing in new influences a la Refused. 3.8
Turnstile Glow On
Goes in with a synthy thing followed by a bang, goes out with a bang followed by a synthy thing. Things wrap around. This reminds me a lot of Refused's glory days, both from the guitar tone, and its nature as a hardcore punk banger with lots of interspersed random influences that shouldn't work but really do, a random example among many being the wee piano on 3. The pacing on this is great, with just enough banger headbanger tracks followed by just enough calm stuff, though I will say the stretch 6-8 made me doubt this would last. Thankfully the following songs do well to bring the quality back up, and this is one I'll jam again both in playlists and as a whole. Urgh I gotta do a Turnstile run now tx dedebro 4.0
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 Artist funeral music
I expect most of the ratings here are trolling a bit but hey I don't care I liked this. For an uncompromising hour of thai classical funeral music this was quite the psychedelic experience, partly owing to the recording quality with the sound being crispy and saturated in a lot of places, party to the almost complete lack of vocals, and also to the frequent slight dissonances or melodic oddities that I so perceive with my uneducated ear in an instrumentation that I am not used to at all. It did feel like a little too long about midway through the second side, and also while I was quite transported and fond of this idk that I'd listen to it again any time soon, but man if this wasn't a unique listening experience among the ones I've had. Cool stuff, La Monte Young would dig. 3.9
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
Unwound Repetition
One of Unwound's best, and certainly harbours some of their top tier tracks, I find Repetition is mostly hurt by its somewhat erratic sense of direction. 1-2 are top notch, angy bangers, and a short album of just that would reach 4.5s easily. Although 1 is perhaps more straightforward fun, 2 is particularly interesting with its synths and multilayered sound. 3-4 are similar although a lot calmer. Although the whole album features it, this starting quartet really showcases how crispy and crunchy and groovy the bass is on this thing. 5's a neat interlude, and 6 preludes Leaves quite strongly which is cool. 7 is hypnotic and cool but by then I was missing the aggressive edge from 1-2 quite substantially. Near 7's end you get some of that back, and then 8 is a top banger like 1-2. 9-10 remain nicely aggressive. I really like how 11 gradually transitions into weird demented jazz, which would've made for a tremendous album conclusion and therefore feels 12 somewhat unnecessary and long. 4.1
Unwound Fake Train
Angrier, noisier, yet more subtle than the debut - a great album through and through with lots of good jams and riffz. I didn't really find there was a drop in quality anywhere it's just a fun listen all round ay ay 3.9
Unwound The Future of What
placeholder placeholder placeholder placeholder placeholder placeholder 4.1
Unwound Challenge For a Civilized Society
Very clearly the prelude to Leaves as Unwound venture into a much more atmospheric side with longer instrumental pieces with hypnotic elements and weirdcore touches. The aerial 5, the latter part of 7 after the faster-paced start, 9 and 10 are prime examples of tracks that are largely devoted to atmosphere and no longer to being bangers. This works well, but not perfectly. The band offer a less enchanting experience with those are their sounds remain much narrower than the grand variety on leaves, and the pacing towards the end becomes really all too sluggish with the album feeling a bit long as there are no faster, catchier bits interspersed. It does it better earlier on, with 6 or the first bit on 7 being a litter catchier between two longer astmospheric pieces. This new approach on the album is not so visible earlier on, as 1 is a pretty regular Unwound track - a fine one at that, but a bit too slow and sluggish to be a jam -. 2 on the other hand is an extremely cool Unwound track with a uniquely feeling riff, whilst 3 remains quite conventional albeit slower and grittier, making for an okay track. The transition into 4 and its slow energy buildup, both very well crafter, sort of preface the more atmospheric side to come. Good, but more of a practice sketch for the new sound to come than a perfect iteration of the sound that was or woud become. 3.8
Unwound Corpse Pose/Everything is Weird
Some of the best Unwound material of that era - the main problem here is the two tracker format, that's it. 1 starts things off on a bitchin bouncy bass riff and unfolds amazingly, whilst 2 takes a grittier approach and has some evil undertones especially near the end. Both tracks are catchy, gritty jams, and a longer record of this quality would very easily reach in the 4.5. But here it's just two tracks and there's not much else to say about it m/ 4.15
Unwound MK Ultra/Totality
Excellent Unwound EP that keeps on getting angrier but without losing its subtlety. 1 starts off very reminiscent of Slint only with slightly more aggressive prod especially on the drumkit, then it morphs into cool Unwound anger but keeping a lot of depths, evoking a lot of the Leaves sound already, and honestly it feels like a classic Unwound track to me. 2 goes quite ahrd from the getgo but again, it keeps it subtlety and remains incredibly recognisable as an Unwound track. It gets very angry towards the end with an almost sludgey riff in hte back which is really cool, and honestly the whole EP is a jam. 3.8
Unwound Unwound (Demo)
How this is sitting at a 2.8 average is beyond me. I am probably overrating because I was set up to expect something way worse (and also it's a demo), but man this is incredible. Although none of the tracks are weak it's perhaps a few minutes too long, maybe owing to some questionable transitions between tracks; but it remains incredible energetic noise rock/hxc pretty much at times, ripe with ideas and with a lot of different vibes - compare the atmo-ish instrumental 4 to the angry 5 to the jolly intro on 6 for instance. The prod is maybe a bit thin but with enough volume it's all fine. A keeper, and it's just the first demo what the hell. 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
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
William Basinski Watermusic II
Excellent aquatic ambient track. It's not perfect though - in some places the sounds ring a tad too loud -, but it does the job and sets the mood perfectly. 3.9
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
Wolves in the Throne Room Diadem of 12 Stars
A long, continuous bm epic that shows a lot of variety and is a lot stronger than I remember. I would say it only stumbles twice, in its two doomier segments. The first after the superb slower, folkier section on 1, but being salvaged by a well crafted bm acceleration; the second near the midtrack of 3, after which the hellish Ulceratey almost riffage of the end track brings the interest back up. Globally, 1 is epic bm that makes you want to climb mighty mountains, 2 is tortured bm (both vocally and later on in riffs) that makes you feel lost in the blizzard-ridden mountains a la PdH, 3 feels like finding the evil forteress atop the mountain, and 4 is the aftermath of the adventure, starting all haunting and softly melodic (especially with the female vox we were already introduced to once earlier on in the album) with a great soft guitar tone in its intro, then becomes a lot angrier with a hella powerful midtrack riff and a moshpit-inducing segment near the end. Not to be underlooked also the few but very beautiful soft melodic segments really help keeping the album entertaining for its whole hour runtime. For a 2006 debut, really an impressive feat. 4.1
Wolves in the Throne Room Two Hunters
Weirdly enough, the weakest parts here feel like they are the straight up bm bits. This might however just be out of contrast with the sheer beauty of the rest. This album is a master class at intros, atmosphere buildups, clair obscur play with the clean and hard sections, and building up calmly to abrupt and satisfying harsh explosions. Perhaps the least engaging bit was the midtrack of 2, but on the whole this is truly stunning. 4.2
Wolves in the Throne Room Primordial Arcana
Definitely their best since their early Cascadian years whilst keeping some of their more recent DNA, though I feel some are going a bit overboard with the praise here. The bits inbetween bm still kick ass, and finally the bm no longer feels lukewarm. Some of it even evokes the frozen goodness of Drudkh (3, 4 from its midtrack on), or the Oregon folkiness of Agalloch (e.g. 5 after its excellent atmospheric midtrack). That's not to say that it's all perfect. I really like how 1 introes the album, and the midtrack break and synthy ambient outro to 2 are cool too. 4 starts off on a really cool rupture, but quite a short one, and evolves into mokay bm before freezing up as said before. 6 starts off on fat nice bm, but around min 4-5 it gets quite awkward. I like the nice finish on a soft ambient track with 7, though it has a bit of an underwhelming feeling too. The bonus track is alright, more ambientey stuff, nice but nothing to get too excited about. This is a good album and their best in a long time, but I wasn't completely thrilled at all times either. 3.8
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
Phew. Again, WRVTH pack a lot. I definitely prefer NRS, but the s/t holds its own and beats it in some regards. The transition game is gorgeous (1>2,9>10 especially), and there are some surprises such as the sexy sax featured on 6 midway, or more prominently on the instrumental 9 atop a gorgeous layer of post guitars with a beautiful intro. The two downgrades though are that soft parts are less subtly imbricated with the harsh ones - this LP does more of a standard alternation -, and the harsh parts themselves get a bit full on, and even rarely unconvincing. 1 already shows that there's some tech death DNA in this, with growls even. But its intro is beautiful, and when it comes back for an outro with the bass kicking in at 5:15 to prep for the transition into 2, it is gorgeous. Alas the explosion on 2 is more generic - I find the alternation of growls and skramz vox a touch corny, I prefered what NSR does vocally. 3 is an interlude with nice bass, a djenty form of which features on 4 too which I quite dig even though not the best track. 5's a bit slow and tbh awkward with some Nile vibes. Aside from the sax, 6 is also not the best along the same lines (Niley skram). By 7 we see that the album leaves us less downtime than NSR and is quite full on - the midtrack is very pretty tho. 8's angry, and after its transition the explosion on 10 is a nadir in quality and the rest remains a bit slow and awkward. The intro on 11 is excellent and *that* guitar made me gasp ow yis with its prod that makes it stand out. The explosion is mwerf, but the midtrack is so pretty. A worthy prelude to NSR with ideas of its own. 3.8
WRVTH No Rising Sun
Phew. Now this album has a lot going on. The band leverage their technical prowess beautifully to create unceasing tension, which starts from the very intro. They craft a delicate balance between the soothing, echoing, modulated reverb guitars of post-x influences, and gut wrenching, atmospheric and expansive skramz, to which they sometimes add whiffs of black metal - an influence that only points it nose around 6 or so. In a way, it's kind of like Seizures, but with harsh parts that I like a lot better, and way more of the even better soft bits. The balance is ever frail, and from one moment to the next the band take you from soothing calm to complete chaos, to then mix the two in an improbably functional contrast. As ever in anything proggy, the tracks meander without verse or chorus, yet they remain captivating and build singular identities - the album does tend to take a second or two to silently breathe between tracks, which separates the songs. 1-4 are an incredible run, then the soothing elven voices of 5 come as a surprise, before 6 throws sparse moments of bm-ness at ye - which I must confess aren't always my favourite sections. As it progresses, the album evolves from mysterious to progressively sadder, especially on 8 and 10, which completes the album on a feeling of utter emptiness. With the album's story, as told by comrades Mars and Slex (cheerio folks), it really hit hard. This reminds me of Gospel in that it has so many layers, so many moments, that I think I will digest more of it as I listen to it again. And I sense it might grow? Who knows. For now, I'll settle on a 4.1
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
Yazmin Lacey Morning Matters
I had heard this a week or two ago but forgot to soundoff it. These 5 tracks are all well crafted in Yazmin's style of interesting acoustic drumming and vaguely soulsy instrumentation. In fact there's something about the sound and prod here that makes me think of a live jam quite a bit sometimes, on tracks like 4 eg. I do think this improves slightly on the past, and tracks like 3 and 5 are really quite strong jams in her choppy drums brand of neo-soul. One to watch for sure. 3.75
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
Zwangere Guy Wie Is Guy?
Really cool this one. I think it holds its 64min runtime quite well. The first act 1-9 is all quite nocturnal, dark and subtle smokey rap, from playlist material to straight up jam, and with varying degree of chillness. The only exception is the chorus on 5, which kinda breaks an otherwise really cool track for me. The more conventionally bouncy (after an epic intro sample) 10 and 11 are a bit of a transition phase, whereupon the vocals and overall atmosphere make the album start to feel a bit lengthy. The second act addresses this by varying up more in genre and bringing up more guests. It's a more arduous business to make it work, and as a result it's more of a mixed bag quality wise. 12 is a peak with its funkiness and Selah's great contribution. I like the change in atmosphere from 13, but the guest not so much. 14 is jammy in the style of the earlier album. Then 15 is the greatest example of how cool this alb's play with various languages is. Sadly, Blu and Guy's cool contrib are kind of overshadowed by the brrt brrt skrrt things and the shpongled vox in the back breaking the track. 16 goes again back to a more nocturnal style, but I'm not a fan of the francophone guest - the vlaams vocalists are better. 17 after a dramatische muziek intro is more conventional car trap, the chorus being a bit lame but the second guest cool. 18 is drilley and kinda cool, and I thought it was a good idea to end on a harder track. Then 19 hits even harder, almost to an annoying degree, but it is short so it kinda works. 3.9

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 Micrograms
"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
4 Bonjour's Parties Okapi Horn
Very nice. To be fair to the debut I had much better conditions for this one, but Okapi did feel far superior and more engaging, especially in the first few songs. I did phase out a bit about halfway, but some of the tracks still managed to bring me back. 7 because it was a bit too quirky in its first half (but the second is cool), 8 because it brings back the soft math rock influences a bit, 9 becuase it is nice and chill but also bcs its conclusion exemplifies what I find a bit less interesting in this. STylistically this is very similar to the debut: soft inidie folk with very varied instrumentation. The chimes reminded me of Takk a fair bit actually. 1 and 3 were perhaps my faves but I'd need to pay more attention in the second half of the record next time. 3.6
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 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
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 songs
To me this is unquestionably Adrianne's strongest full-length to date. It is more coherent without sudden jumps in atmosphere or from folk to country for example, and there aren't really any bad songs - the guitar at least is always nice. My main gripes are vocal. Firstly, I find that it gets a bit too whiney shakey for too long at times; and secondly, this isn't true of every song but sometimes she leaves no space for the instruments and just hums constantly like on 7 myyyYyyYy daAaaAAauuuUUghteeeEeEeEr. So it gets a bit tiresome after a few songs, although in a vacuum most would be nice. And I do appreciate that the songs do sometimes leave breathing space for the instruments, wether in the intro/outro or more rarely within the song - the closer being a prime example Some of the tracks have more intricate strumming and some are more conventional or minimalistic, but the sequencing is well done in that aspect and it brings nice variety. 1,2 kinda 3 although earlier on it's not as compelling, 6 with its engaging guitar, the more minimal 8 and the simpler 9, and the very well constructed and initially peaceful closer are highlights. As I said the rest is pretty fine too except the voice gets a bit much in the mid-album. If I grab an Adrianne LP for my lib it'll be this one. 3.7
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.
Akemi Fox Colour You In
Very neat EP, albeit perhaps a touch less outstanding than its predecessor. 1 is a very well crafted soft spoken intro, that highlights the choppiness/out of syncness/grooviness of the excellent 2 with its heavier RnB touches and backing vocals that reminded me a lot of Banks. 3 features neat tropical vibrato guitar that reminds of Lianne's latest album, but I kind of found the vocals unconvincing, not in their performance but in their composition - the song feels a bit blander than its elements called for. Like on EP2, 4 is a slower, more balladey type track, but I like it better here than on EP2. 5 is another soft track, and an even better one with its pretty piano and excellent vocal delivery. So a slightly less memorable EP perhaps, but still a very well crafted one, with brownie points for being -I think?- a solid debut. 3.7
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 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
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
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
Alexander Scriabin 12 Etudes, Op.8
Good piano etudes that all work well on the whole except the 12th which gets a bit obnoxious at times, at least in the version by Alexander Paley that I listened to. Otherwise they go from very slight dissonance and burstey accelerations to soft French-esque impressionsism - especially 8 -, a mix which I am finding more and more characteristic of Scriabin. 3.6
Alexander Scriabin 8 Etudes, Op.42
I appreciate that these are etudes, and they certainly require lots of virtuosity to be played. But the overall result is not overwhelmingly good. 1,2, or 8 sounds like beautiful impressionist composition, but after somebody tripled the number of notes on the sheet and played by somebody on 16 cups of coffee before 9am. 3 exaggeratees this even further and has almost a bumblebee-like quality to it. 5 and 6 make it work a lot better, and have lots of color to them with some villainous parts, some crazy parts, and more introspective sections. 4 stands apart from the rest as the only track that doesnt feel so accelerated and overcrowded, being a delicate, soft piece with a lot of impressionistic value to it and a slight touch of spice still, whilst 7 is too short to really say much about. 3.3
Alexia Avina Betting on an Island
Pretty ambient folky stuff on the happier side of things - a bit of midway between Gia Margaret's second album, a happy version of Sea Oleena, with maybe a sprinkle of Ichiko Aoba's latest album in terms of vibes. Although it doesn't vary enough to excite me on the whole record, on individual tracks the vox are very pretty, though slightly generically pretty in places. The somewhat clumsy intro on 4 is an example. That being said almost every track that starts in a not so interesting way does develop ideas later on, just like the controlled rhythmic mismatch around 1:10 on 4. And most tracks start very prettily and remain good, 6 being a good example with a great pretty and inspiring intro that continues into nice ambient experimentation. I will say I find the generic electronic percussions that feature on a couple tracks a bit cheap and not fitting well, and 8 feels quite unnecessary as a track, dropping this a point, but I could see myself revisiting this and liking it more. I will definitely come back to a few selected tracks at any rate. 3.5
Alexia Avina All That I Can't See
More consistent and coherent than LP1, but also falters down halfway through, which on a 24min record is quite a problem. 1-3 is far more ambient than LP1 and is to me the highlight of the record as it transitions very well. 4 is more folk, on the simpler side of ichikore aoba, remaining cool but without being stunnning. 5 really is the weak point here as a kinda lame folk track, and although 6 is more ambient and ichikoesque again I doesn't manage to make up for 5 before 7 comes to raise the interest a bit. 3.55
Alexia Avina Unearth
A whole let better and more consistent than anything else she's put out. Instead of meandering between indie pop, folk, and ambient folk, this one offers a coherent atmosphere of ambient folk that maintains its atmosphere all the way through and never makes you feel like an element or segment is unwelcome, even in the less memorable tracks. It is rarely properly stunning, but it is strong all the way through. Like a happier, relaxing more than depressing, off brand but still functional Sea Oleena that does the job quite well when in need of more material in the genre. 3.7
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 Alph Lauren 2
Indubitably better than EP1, both vocally with Alpha being far more incisive and innovative, far now from his quite debutante performance on EP1, and instrumentally as the record mostly strays away from the efficient-but-a-bit-generic-asf style of the first EP to try new things. This isn't immediately obvious as 1, while nice, remains quite flat and chill cute, albeit with an absolutely excellent outro that i was surprised to see on a track like that. 2 transitions in a cool way and packs more of a punch as the EP reveals its substance a wee bit more. 3 exemplifies what I mean by the instrumental side having made progress as well. 4 works but is just, yknow, 'the mandatory Nek track' unto which Nekfeu imprinted his style a little too much to my taste, whilst 5 is elegant and quite frankly one of the best tracks here. 6 is nice and incisive but has a bit of cringe in it, whilst 7 goes back to the safer style of EP1 but much better (and after the first 6 tracks, a safer track is more than fine yknow). 8 bugs me and drops this a point, as its second half is great and would have joined well with 7, but its first half really sticks out like a sore thumb and, while ok, feels just weaker and breaks the flow unnecessarily. 3.4
Alpha Wann Alph Lauren 3
It's been a while since I jammed AL2, and I am not even sure which one I prefer between the two. This one feels like it has better standout tracks, but it also feels erratic and some tracks are experienced as frank fillers. The intro vox on 1 is not so great but once it unfolds the track is quite incisive, and the instrumental supports it well. 2 is perhaps more conventional and quite worth a listen too. So far, so good. 3 then breaks this by being not only meh per se, but by also not fitting at all in the EP. 4 reminds a lot of 1, and 5 of 2, both being good tracks again. 6 is quite hard hitting but the feat kinda breaks it for me (what is this Nekfeu-worship delivery) and the EP really doesn't end too well as 7 is frankly not my cuppa for one bit and 8 is fine but just falls flat as a record conclusion. Idk man some playlist material but it's not fantastic by any stretch. 3.4
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
Alpha Wann don dada mixtape vol. 1
This feels a lot less like a compilation than I had anticipated, despite Wann's success at featuring each guest's style in their respective tracks - the great 4 being undoubtedly Freeze's before the first word is even uttered, and the hard hitting, dumb instrumentalled 3 being clearly Kaaris' who works really welll here alongside Infinit. It almost feels like an LP2 just with loads of guests. 1 is a short minimalistic, hard hitting, dark track, not my fave but definitely a cool way to open. 2 brings more the smoke n weed vibes and I felt a bit of zwangere guyness in the delivery (lol). The bong rap instrumental on 5 is nice but I'm not sure about the vox, then the shift once Nekfeu comes on is really cool. 6 is chiller but I really dislike the intro on 7. 8 has a cool insutrmental but im not into its vox. 9 is another okay but ultimately eh bong rap track, but 10 is frankly not my thing with its skeet skeet swshing. 11 is much better instrumentally again but I still wasnt too into the vox, though the 'sung' chorus brings some welcome variety. 12 is nice n dancy, 13 is not bad either, but by then it's really getting too long and it all blurs out. 14 has a cool instrumental idea but again the delivery feels a bit robotic n slow, 15 is weird but in a cool way I dont mind it, I'm a normie for liking 16's simpler instrumental, and 17 is not a bad one to end on with its cool kinda mysterious vibes that change it from the rest. Some great tracks, a lot of okay tracks - more of a playlist one for me, but it's a compilation after all anyway. 3.6
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
Altar of Plagues Mammal
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
Alvvays Blue Rev
Much grittier than I remember Alvvays being, which is complemented by the slightly rough (in a good way) prod and the seemingly semi-live recording process; but with a few too many filler tracks imho. The style feels quite Australian to me, like Polygon Woods grit meets Hatchie candor, mixed in various ratios. 2 showcases the latter element quite clearly, whilst 3 shows the grittier, garage rock almost side and has an excellent last quarter when it goes faster and ahrder. 4 is the first track to feel a bit underwhelming and 'mou', whilst 5 is faster again with cool instruments but shows how the vocals dont always work here. 6 is ok but a bit gnangnan, which is more in line with what I remember from Alvvays' bulk material. 7 has fun synths but again pretty tepid vox, whilst 8 has some meh but also some good sections where the band gives it a good go if you will. 9 is calmer with some lana del rey vibes vocally (idk), but it's quite a decent track with some fun notes ngl. 10 navigates the line between annoying and cool with its prod that makes it soothing to lower the volume. By that point my rating went donhill. 11's alright, 12's a soft track that works quite well at giving us a break without being boring, but 13's frankly tiresome. The conclusion track is a synth ballad in lieu of a piano ballad, which has the merit of offering a decent conclusion with an appreciable idea. A rating not to compare with the previous opi, 3.45
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
Ana Roxanne Because of a Flower
Has some truly stunning bits, but suffers from similar problems to ~~~: namely questionable sequencing and a lack of fluidity between tracks. 1 is a nice short vocal sample that sets the listener into a contemplative mood, getting them ready for the absolutely stunning 2, a superb ambient drone jam with gradual additions of endlessly reverberated vocals that have a bit of a Dead Can Dance vibe to them. At that point I was pumped for this, but then the transition to the chimey synthey 3 is really not so great, although once the vocals kick in it becomes quite beautiful. 6-7 which are much more ambient and ethereal vocals-based like 2 would have fit a lot more there imo, especially 7 with its lovely tape hiss and repetitive piano which makes for a rather flat album conclusion. Instead before that we have echoed chimes on 4 for too long (should have been an interlude imo), and 5 which features drums and is relatively cool but that kind of ruptures with the overall ambient vibe. Same comment as with ~~~: some fantastic potential, but not quite there from an album perspective. 3.5
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
Angele Brol La Suite
I am taking this as a bonus edition with bonus tracks that, whilst they are unusually lumped at the _beginning_ of the record, aren't really meant to be included in a full album listen, on the basis of a kinda erratic vibe and the fact that there is a cover of one of the LP tracks in there. On the other hand there are 7 added tracks here, which feels like it warrants a rating. So I am rating those 7 alone, not the whole thing. 1 is cool although I am not sure autotune fits her the best here, and 2 is a nice track that frankly could've fitted on the original album. 3 is ok but a bit of a snoozer and the first relatively poor transition here. 4-5 show a yet unforeseen side to Angele, both having bitchin intros and displaying more RnB vibes than usual in her sound, especially 5 which is the best of the two as 4 doesn't unfold super well. 6 is an excellent track and would be a jam if it werent for the scarcely present but sufficiently annoying guest. Finally 7 is a lovely cover of Ta Reine that works quite well, and that would not have fitted at all on the original album so good idea to have it here. As far as deluxe editions go this is unusually solid, but it's also a tad below the original album. 3.45
Angele Nonante-Cinq
Fuller soundoff to come later probably, but in short this album (contrary to what the artwork may suggest) shows Angele's more nocturnal, urban, neon side, where Brol was more of a chill summer afternoon soundtrack. This one is more produced, more autotuned in the back, and has a lot more prominent rap/trap DNA. It feels more full. At first I wasn't so keen on this new style, but as I got to terms with knowing that the style of Brol would scarcely come back - except maybe on 4 -, it got better. And whilst some of the tracks feel like slightly forced radio anthem fodder, some are true successes. 3.5
Animals As Leaders Parrhesia
Here AAL sound like their best copycat - or in places, even like humans showing they can do AI generated djent better than an AI. They return to the electronic production of Joy of Motion, and largely return to the compositional style of their earliest albums. The acoustic contributions from MoM are completely gone, and the album just feels like an endless stream of riffz without much context. The softer interlude 5 is the first to truly go against this trend, and aside from 2 which has substantially more meat to it, the first half of the album feels a bit underwhelming. Their compositions are just as complex in terms of polyrhythmic shenanigans (as far as I can tell at least), but this prowess isn't showcased by much context - the songs are just about the well crafted chug. The second half does a fair bit better, especially 7 with its fun Woven Web-esque riffage, and 8 too to a lesser extent, but the riffy, conclusionless 9 really ends the album on a chuggy chug chug feel rather than the soulful music AAL has presented before. Not their best effort. 3.3
Ann Annie Wander Into
Nice ambient-ish stuff, that ranges from chihei hatakeyama synth + piano soft b a t h for the mind (like on 1), to beep boops (4) sometimes a la Knobs maybe such as the more guitar heavy 5 that I quite like. It's nice to play in the back, but it has too much beep boop to be my favorite album in the genre. 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
Ariana Grande positions
This is a very consistent album - pretty much never gets annoying, which is rare for an ultra mainstream pop alb likethis -, but also an utterly mild one. It's like every track would work well as a mall soundtrack. It's nice and pretty -
the aesthetic very much evokes the cleanliness of a fragrance store -, but it doesn't even try to pop bangers or too memorable a track. Noname for example did the soft spoken marshmallow gold rose aesthetic with much more impactful tracks
that do stick in memory, so it isn't a question of the style not being compatible with memorable tracks. The one exception is 8, which gives us a glimpse of what neosoul Ari could be - and frankly there's great potential there. In
contrast, 9 feels like a disappointment going back to the pastel trap stuff again, even though there is nothing wrong with the track. I like Doja Cat's music more than her feat here, but otherwise the guests work well within the tracks. I
gotta say the album mostly lost me after a few tracks especially past 8, but 11-14 do feel like they try a bit harder. Still though, there isn't really anything bombastic, or explosive on here, and I already can't remember a single track
except 8. 3.35
Arne Domnerus and Rune Gustafsson Svarta Far
Completely random find as I was looking for a metal band called Rune and stumbled upon a Swedish jazz guitarist fella. Whilst album construction has many flaws, this is full of great tracks. My favourites are the more relaxed ones where the guitar takes on latin flavour - perfect for relaxed sunny snoozetime. This is particularly prominent on 7 and 8 but there are others. The transition into the super fun and dancey 9 is a bit weird but the track per se is great. 10 continues things fine, and then 11 finishes the album on the other style it does quite well imo: brooding, dreamy fusionesque jazz. Notice that this run 7-11 is quite strong and in fact bumps the album a point, for what comes before it is a tad more erratic. While 1 and especially 3 are other examples of nice relaxed tracks, 2 is frankly laughable with its super out of date guitar effect ventures. 4 is fine and sort of fusioney. 5 feels a bit like the local village band having a jam, and 6 really feels like western saloon jazz music, which is fun but really shows how the album doesnt really know where to go - an impression reinforced by the fadeout at the end of the track. Thankfully as I said, the second half or so bumps this from a 3.6 to a 3.7
Aseul New Pop
Really cool and ripe with ideas, flowing (somewhat) seamlessly from genre to genre whilst maintaining a coherent, lovely dreamy fairyesque atmosphere with bleeps and bloops and cuddly chimes. There's bit of techno (5), vaporwave DNA all over, sad piano on 7 prefaced by a lovely section on 6, ethereal trap beats on 8, you name it. I do find I preferred the boppier, catchier tracks, like 5 before it unfolds into a happy childhood, or 9-10 with their delightful 80s spin. I do find 11 to be a bit of a bummer, being back to the slow mellowness, when 12 would have connected with 9-10 much better. It's a good conclusion and a nice 10 min piece that slowly relaxes you out of the album. There is nothing profoundly outstanding on this, but it is a sweet listen through and through and a keeper. 3.7
Ash Borer Bloodlands
First track is excellent and made me think this was underrated. The intro and first explosion are amongst AB's best, which is saying something - I just love their atmosphere. The track is overall super cool, and despite suffering from the usual AB flaws - excessive length, some awkward bits eg. at min 10 - it really would warrant a low 4.0 tier rating. The windy outro is cool, and the track feels like a village burning then slowly turning to ashes in the blizzard. 2 also has a very cool albiet simpler intro, but the track stuggles a lot more to find its footing, and while it works sometimes still, it feels quite sluggish overall (to both start and explode). Brings this down to a 3.65
Ash Borer The Irrepassable Gate
It's always difficult to rate when a band changes styles unexpectedly. The shift isn't too drastic here, this remains black metal, but they do move a way from the bread and butter atmospheric passage - atmoblack - more calmer passages of their prior records. This one is slower, it evokes older era bm at times, and I just dig that less - but kudos to them for trying new stuff you know. I also find that the prod makes it sound like a debut a bit sometimes, which obviously doesn't help. The style shift perhaps could've worked better on shorter format, and in fact the outro of 1 makes it feel a bit like a standalone EP that could've been worthwhile. The droney noisey midtrack on 2 is really cool and also makes the track feel like it could've been an EP in itself. The second half of the track picks things up and is actually excellent, one of the peaks of the album. In fact the peaks are when AB do what older AB did. 4's nice. There is an album conclusion that wraps things up nicely, and all in all this still has some (but fewer) excellent atmoblack sections, with still out of this world vocals; it just doesn't reach the heights of their prior work on a consistent enough basis. 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
Banks Serpentina
I think this is a fairly underwhelming offering from Banks, and that's not just because I really liked the previous one. The complex production value is still there, and there aren't really any tracks that are properly unpleasant - it just feels all flat and I struggle to think of a single track that truly wowed me. There's a lot of soft, mildly convincing tracks that just pass, e.g. 4,8,9,12, and the balladey 13 which was a terrible way to end the album considering my overall feeling. The opener is fun, but already 2 feels like an underbaked mid album filler song rather than what should be a banger to start on. The record feels like it is shaking keys at you and changing sounds all the time and adding little things to keep your attention but it only semi works. 3 is kinda cool, and 5 is more in your face which helps even though I'm not sure I love it. 6 is closer to III and is a fine single, but it is 7 which is truly my favourite here and a good reminder of older Banks. 10 is a fun lighter track but ends on a fadeout, and 11 is the most fun track here with its intro and beat. But yea there's hardly a jam to be found here. 3.3
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 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
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
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? 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. 3.5
Ben Buitendijk OBQ008
While it's not crazy crazy good, 1 is a compelling dark track, which manages to remain engaging for its whole 9 minutes by varying things up gradually but constantly. Frankly on its own a 3.5 tier track. But then 2 is just tozziesque techno without much interest, and 3 is even less compelling, managing to drop the rating for this by a lot by being just too long and too repetitive in a bad way. So overall I guess since there's a good track I enjoyed, maybe 3.0
Ben Buitendijk Ouroboros
Just what i needed for late night work, and a couple of those tracks will join me playlists as well. 1 is the highlight here with its hypnotic acid melody, and 2 is a pretty cool industrial techno follow up that works quite well too. 3 sadly feels a bit redundant with 3 and lost me a bit. 3.3
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
Bennie Maupin Slow Traffic to the Right
Again sounds quite modern, but shows a different vibe compared to Lotus. This one feels more like club jazz, a fun, somewhat bass-centric jam session. As such it makes for a gig I'd enjoy a lot, and an album I'd gladly rejam, but it does have less of that mystical esoteric atmosphere that Lotus showed. It's cooler, but doesn't tell a story as much. This is reinforced by 4 which weirdly ruptures the atmosphere by sounding like a sexy jazz jingle, sounding almost comical especially in the intro. Thankfully 6 (to which 5 is just an intro) does not continue this and goes back to a style evoking Lotus a bit more, with a fun bass groove, making for perhaps my fave track on this. Honestly might come back to this and that closing track especially. 3.7
Ber I'm Not In Love
Checked this wee summery naive-but-cute indie pop thing because Hazel English co-wrote track 2, and indeed 2 is my favourite here being quite catchy and bouncy despite its relative simplicity. The intro track is quite nice too but is very short, which makes 4 the only competitor to 2 as 3 is at heart a frankly boring vaguely country ballad with a bit of extra fx that do help. Alas 4 doesnt come even close to 2 and is maybe just about playlist-worthy, maybe not. 3.3
Billie Eilish dont smile at me
placeholder placeholder placeholder placeholder placeholder 3.3
Billy Woods and 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 Matter Device Hostile Architecture
Perhaps I just wasn't in the right mood for such heavy and chaotic music, but this felt like a
bit of a headache. There is a lot of craziness and violence, but not much contrast offered as you
would find in a Botch or TDEP. It's just a constant onslaught that doesn't have enough to it to
function as an onslaught only. I gotta say the Daughters influences are a little bit too clear,
especially on 2. This feeling of needlessly frantic chaos is reinforced by the very short track
length, which do at the same time help as things move along too quick to bore. The record, though
a bit insufferable early on ngl, does improve a lot as it goes. 4 has a cool end breakdown, 5 and
6 have great heavy intros, and 7 is actually damn cool. But yea on the whole this is maybe a 3.45
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 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
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
Blindfolded and Led to the Woods Nightmare Withdrawals
Horror deathcore with lots of ideas. Reminds me of a less proggy Seizures actually. I think I just wasn't in the right conditions for this - mood wise and also had to focus on me work. Still could tell this is super cool and full of riffs, but I found that the quieter bits like the midtrack on 3 or the second half of 9 felt like relief as well as instinsically cool moments which isn't ideal. 3.7
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
Boa (UK) Twilight
Yea this is essentially an alternative version of the first album, and it's not that easy to tell which one I prefer. On the one hand yes, Duvet as an opener and the edited sequencing thereafter works miles better, making 1-5 quite a great run despite 3's weaknesses. It's actually quite interesting in how it shows the impace (good or bad) sequencing can have on an album. On the other hand, most of the tracks are still relatively meh mom rock with some truly annoying moments, and the added tracks aren't all that much help. The acoustic Duvet cover is nice and 13 is kinda cool but still has weak bits, while 14 is a forgettable closer compared to the nice run from 9-11 with the flamencoey 11 being the closing track on the first album version. I still feel like the sequencing wins ever so slightly and if I had to keep one of the two albums it'd probably be this one, so it deserves a small edge. 3.3
Boa (UK) Get There
While it never really reaches the heights of their prior output in terms of top tier tracks, it's also better at doing their less interesting material (i.e. the simple alt rock songs) and is overall imo a more consistent album. 1-3 is just quite fun alt rock that is done better that the alt rock songs on LP1 as she doesn't sing all the time. Not quite my style and nothing to write home about, but way better done imo. 4-5 do get a bit lame and got me worried, but then 6 introduces a quite clear style shift that will colour most of the album's second half. The guitar parts become softer, more intricate, the bass becomes more prominent, and the rhythm feels proggier - instrumentally evoking soft Opeth in places. There are also some (very mild and occasional) dissonances that are unexpected here, and singing that is processed in more interesting ways than straight up alt rock. 7 continues this, while 8 brings back some of the alt rock but still maintaining this 'proggier' style, quite like 10 while 9 is surprisingly eerie in a cool way. 11 is nice and contemplative, definitely making the energy cure here a downwards one, but still being interesting. I cannot for the life of me explain what they were thinking with 12 which completely ruptures this after a moment of silence and just sticks out like a sore thumb, but still this is the strongest ba LP imo. 3.4
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
Brainiac Bonsai Superstar
Honestly I fail to see how this is 0.6 avg better than LP1. It feels very similar in that it
is cool, interesting gritty weirdcore stuff that I enjoyed listening to but probably won't
listen back to very often. I enjoyed some of the noisiest sections e.g. 5 quite a lot, 6 is
really upbeat and bouncy but the vocals were a bit too weird for me, then after two pretty
decent tracks it was all starting to be a bit much for me. By 11 I was really no longer
convinced. The early album tho feels quite a bit stronger than LP1. Overall I feel about the
same, a solid 3.6
Brainiac Smack Bunny Baby
I think this was really cool stuff, and it feels a bit underrated. I do think the band is much stronger here instrumentally than it is vocally. The vocals aren't really bad, but they often feel like the music deserved better, or are overbearing. The initial trio demonstrates this quite well: 1-2 are pretty cool gritty tracks with less than ideal vocals, and 3 is less gritty but really fun with super cool riffage - but there is just too much of the vocals man. 4 continues this, while 5 is more on the crazy noisy weird side, which for a whole album would annoy me but here is cool. 6 is more kinda cool weirdcore, whilst 7 and 8 are nicely riffy and cool, though 8 doesn't start off as well. 9 remains fun thanks to its riffage in spite of the vox. The vox on 10 is cool, reminiscient of quite hardcore punk stuff, but although the voice itself is nice, what he sings is kinda cringe - almost feels like talking but screamed. 11 is hella cool. This record is cool, what's up with this average? 3.6
Breadwinner The Burner
The Burner is a puzzling one. On the one hand, some of its tracks are not only impressive for their time (this is gritty math rock that was recorded between 1990-1992 and released post band breakup, with even tracks like 1, the only one featuring vocals really, or 3 both strongly prefacing TDEP's mathcore offerings), but also bangers in their own right. The aforementioned TDEP-esque 3, but also the groovy as hell 5 and 7 are very cool tracks. But on the other hand, the album can feel very sluggish at times despite its stylistically obliged constant changes, either because the tracks themselves feel directionless, slow or weird for the purpose of being weird (see for example 4 or 9, especially its first half), or because they dont feel cohesive with one another - an impression taht probably stems from this being a posthumous collation of two EPs plus three unreleased tracks, rather than a record conceived as an album by the band from the outset. I don't really know how to rate this one, but I feel like the points it gains from being such an early record reminding of much later things are counterbalanced by the ones it loses from lack of structure and consistency. 3.7
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
Breag Naofa/Monuments Collapse Split
I am stunned by how subpar Breag Naofa's performance is compared to Monuments Collapse's. Based
on the music I would completely have thought the bands were the other way round; MC sound more
like BN than BN do. 1 is a classic intro that is cool and functional, and the unfold into 2 is
outright excellent. 2 is pretty run of the mill fat riffey post-metal, but it goes quite ahrd,
works well, and does show brief excellence at 5:30 with the added guitars. 3 has an extremely
BN/FoE type intro and a great one at that. The unfold is a bit less cool than 2's, and the track
is a pretty simple progression, but the riff at 5:45 is immense and the track picks up
thereafter. In contrast with MC's contribution, 4 feels quite dull and even gets a bit annoying
with some of the high pitched ritournelles. The vocals though nicely roarey are overproduced and
frankly I'm not a fan. MC's vocals sounded more like the BN vocals I am used to than this. The
second act rise around min 9 is more engaging, and the guitars at 12:20 are kinda cute. 5 has a
much bette intro especially the melody at 0:55, but the unfold is very underwhelming and the vox
feel even more metalcorey. Again the second rise around 8:50 is a lot cooler, but the ensuing
explosion is really awful, then the album concludes into nothing. The unnamed bonus track is the
best BN track here with a nice intro, kinda cool vox, a nonlinear progression with more than
chugchug, and frankly some excellent bits like 7:30, but hey I dont rate for bonus tracks. Oh
btw, not a trace of BN's punk side here, even though some buildups call for it. MC: 3.8 (makes me
want to check them out), BN: 2.9, Total: 3.4
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
Burial Streetlands
Slightly puzzling this one. I really appreciate the extremely minimal ambience crafted by 1, and continued somewhat too long by 2. You can really see the nighttime London images/documentary playing before your eyes, even though especially on 1 there are practically no sounds to speak of. 3 springs a bit out of nowhere if I'm honest with its Vangelis-ish, old timey synths arpeggio based flavor of ambient coupled with some esoteric vocals you could find on some BBC archaeological documentary about an old lost civilization, and its abrupt shifts in volume and space filling, going to much darker places, then back to the arpeggios. Don't get me wrong, I like the ideas it presents, but I am a bit confused as to how they stick with the prior two tracks, or indeed with themselves. The track is cool but is a clusterfak patchwork of things. 3.4
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 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
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 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
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
Castlesiege The Council of Trees
A bit hit and miss, but solid when it hits. Like some commenter said, it reminds me of videogames I have not played. It really plays nicely into that SNES/GoldenSun aesthetic. Track 2 is pretty bad, and there are a few others that mismatch a bit in atmosphere or just have a few sounds that break them a bit for me, but if you strip those away the record would be a 3.8 for me because I like that vibe so much. As it stands 3.6
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 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 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 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 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 Vamps
Track 1 is really nice, aquatic piano a la Basinski and is frankly worth a solid 3.5 - simple but very effective and relaxing -, but track 2 lets things down and looses the magic a bit to just be you know, a minimialistic, overlong piano piece. It's fine but brings this down a solid notch. 3.25
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 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
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 Late Spring
As ever with most of Chihei's discog, this is very much a background listening album, but it also is a good one at that. Not too varied but hypnotic enough and just about enough variation and ideas to keep you entertained when the goal of jamming this isn't to fall asleep. 6 with its stutterrings or 3 and 7 with their slightly grittier sound are prime examples. This is definitely not one of those albums with two 45min long tracks. There are lots of fadeouts between tracks which is a shame, but I guess it helps underline the variations between tracks. 3,6,9,11 are highlights but this is really one to just spin in the background. The concluding track is a nice example of how lush Chihei's sound gets. 3.5
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
Claude Debussy 6 Épigraphes antiques L.131
This is late Debussy, and the compositional prowess and style remain recognisable of course. But the atmosphere of these 6 pieces is - understandably - not very coherent, some being a little more mysterious and inquisitive, and other being more contemplative and soul-resting more along the lines of his better known piece. And I can't help but prefer the latter category. Furthermore I don't feel like any of these have the magic and memorable factor of some his other stuff. So not my favourite Debussy material for sure, but still a nice listen without doubt. 3.5
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
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
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. 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 Vertikal II
It's been a while since Vertikal, but I feel like these tracks embody the cold, machine, steel aesthetic a whole lot more potently,especially with the digital electronic tones and the synths. It feels like being in desolate dunes of mirrors. 1 is particularly good at this with its slow tempo. 2 Would be probably quite cool live, but in comparison to 1 was too much of a slow repetitive burner to truly engage me all the way. 3 was also way better at doing it, making 2 probably the weakest track, despite a nice main hook that is present from the intro onwards. 4 has some very pretty moments like 7:30 and a sweet buildup, but the vocals aren't really all that convincing and the unfolding is a bit missing before the track dies out in quite a cool way with its almost tribal vocals. I wasn't super focused, so it is impressive that the record gave me such precise mental imagery, but equally it is also quite clearly not the best CoL out there as it lacks dynamics overall. 3.7r
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
Cynic Ascension Codes
From the get go and the album intro on 1+2 I really like the extremely synthy, airy style of prog this offers, which reminds me a bit of The Contortionist's Intrinsic in that I quite enjoy it yet it isn't too well received. The album is largely instrumental, and it's a good thing because even for Cynic here the vocals are really stretching it. On previous albums, they were an acquired taste; here they just feel half assed. This is very clear on 6 or 13. The album is quite nicely continuous in spite of all the interludes, which contributed to my enjoyment of it at the start, but also made it feel getting very long after a while. By 15 I really needed it to be done, and although there's not much after that it also felt like quite the stretch. Really like the style of is, not quite its execution, but when feeling free to cut it short this is a good album to jam for sure. 3.5
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
Dante Mars Ajeto! MELT: PLUS
Maybe it is my mistake for jamming this while being sleepy expecting to find some bounce to wake me up. This is generally much slower and calmer than DMA's Artefacts or Experiences, and I just resonated with that approach less making for the first DMA record I check that won't land in me lib. 2 does have some bounce but its tempo cant keep it alive, 4 has some very cool and explosive sounds but doesnt quite manage to become a fully poppy track, 7 is quite funky although not a jam, and 8 does the relaxed vaporwave style well. The remix on 9 put me to sleep almost, but quite in a good way. Still I'm not too crazy about this one. 3.35
Dark Millennium Ashore the Celestial Burden
It's okay and there's lots of potential on display, but I am not a fan. For starters the bulk of this has a lot more doom DNA than I expected, and well I am not a fan of doom. I can see the vox being divisive, but I more often like them than not. The truly cool stuff here is the occasional proggy/atmospheric elements that remind of bands that would come about much later, such as bits of acoustic guitar and prog bass on 4, more guitar stuff on 5, the really cool out-of time riffy piano (?) additions at 4:45ish on 6, and the interlude 9. Some of the (scarce) dmey/ heavy riffy sections are also quite cool, like min 4 on 1, the start of 2 and 5, the end of 7. But almost every track has a bulk of doom that is ok with occasional good riff at best, and borderline amateur/cringe eg. on 1 and 3, and by 4 I was already getting out of the album a bit, although the proggy elements I mentioned did bring me back to it. So all in all not a keeper, and not even a track that I'd keep on the whole either. 3.3
Darkspace Minus One
Honestly this is pretty great, and I found it far more engaging than LP1. The first track opens with a lot closer material to what I always hope for with Darkspace - a grand wall of bm sound complemented by space evoking synths and/or black hole/supernova-esque grandeur. It does loose a bit of steam for a couple minutes after min 5, but picks things back up after that. It could of loses itself again in the last few minutes, before getting quite epic in a soloey kind of way at the very end sort of min 14. Great quality Darkspace outright and one of my fave tracks at this point of their discog (including LP1). 2's charm and merit is more in how surprising it is. Quite early on we get a slow, pounding, deep slow techno type beat almost, sounding very electronic, and quite unexpected. The track slowly morphs into an almost Rammsteiney industrial kind of thing and gets quite cool with the riff starting around 4:40, before eventually devolving into a dark ambient/droney type conclusion that works ok. I frankly didnt pay too much attention closer to the end. Worth a listen really. 3.55
Darkthrone Sardonic Wrath
Feels quite underrated. Might be a hot take but this feels like my fave DT since the black trilogy. Usually I don't dig slow bm all that much, but this one makes it work and some of the tracks truly have great riffs - see the end of 4, or 7 for instance. The droney album intro is nice too and helps setting the mood. There's maybe one or two tracks too many on this but either way I enjoyed it a good bit. 3.65
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
Darkthrone Ravishing Grimness
At first I was a bit concerned because I usually am not a fan of slow paced bm. Call me a noob but I just prefer when the tempo goes brrr you know. However as the first track progressed I realised this is still an album I can enjoy quite a lot, for o brother does it have RIFFZ despite the slowness. I thought that to an increasing degree with each track, but it was probably just me getting used to this album's sound. While it certainly will never be a top fave of mine, it's still a record I enjoyed for the most part, and probably the first of the lest revered DT albums that I'd see myself going back to just because I like it. 3.6
Darkthrone Plaguewielder
To be fair to this I had a listen with lots of interruptions so quite unfair of me to judge, but basically this is run of the mill DT bm plus a touch of punkiness I guess. Tracks have good riffage but they are often twice too long for the ideas they try to stretch. So it's fine but there isn't really much to stand out, and it's kind of hesitant between being atmospheric or punky riffy and as a result the album feels kinda half-baked. Still fine so 3.3
Darkthrone Hate Them
Now on this one the punk is abundantly clear. The guitar tone is also deliciously grainy and as garas put it, rusty. While tracks like 5 show the hxc roots-with-bm-tones approach quite evidently, there's other stuff to be found here, the first track reminding me a bit of sludge with its slower tempo. While the riffs are consitently cool, the tracks do kind of blur into one another after the first few, and I don't really know that I'd want to come back to this. Plus 7 is completely incongruous with the rest, at least in its intro. But this was a fun listen nonetheless. 3.4
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 The Underground Resistance
Without question my favourite in this Darkthrone era. The vocals are often quite alright although there are a couple areas where it still hurts, but more importantly this one is far riffier and fatter than its predecessors, evoking thrash metal and bands such as Hellhammer on a good day. The vocals are worst on 2,4, and 6 when they remind of glam metal/power metal almost. The last track in particular dropped this a couple points because some of the vocals are frankly ridonkulous, and the track is way too long although it does have great riffage like everything else here. Far more fun and enjoyable across the board this one thanks to the power of RIFFZ - unlike its predecessors I might come back to it. 3.5
Darkthrone Eternal Hails
Starts very cool on a spacey psych-ish guitar tone that is very much in keeping with the artwork and got me very excited as to where this album could go. Alas this is an aesthetic taht only comes back on the outro of 1, and also a bit with the synths on the closing track 5. Otherwise this is mostly a regular doomthrone album for the most part, with some tracks being quite successful and some less. between its spacey intro and outro, 1 works well although the vox are kind of faltering in power imo and arent all that hot anymore. 2 starts off with good riffage despite its slow tempo but the vox really suffer again, and also the track loses steam a bit and by the midtrack it's quite a lot less engaging imo. 3 however saves things, being one of the cooler, angrier and most atmospheric DT tracks in a long while as far as I remember. Complemented the rain here very nicely, and probably the track I am most likely to come back to. 4 has a gorgeous distorted opening tone in the intro but unfolds quite terribly into an okay less energetic track that just feels underwhelming after 3 but works ish in a vacuum. At 6:30 or so it finally wakes up and becomes quite cool. 5 is more relaxed and spacey which works quite nicely as an outro. The album would be a lot better if each track was cut in half and only kept its good half to make a 20min spacey EP if I'm honest imo. 3.4
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
Deathspell Omega Inquisitors of Satan
Again, perhaps is underrated from being released 10 years too late to be really innovative, but even then still feels a bit to monotonous. Whilst 1 has really great evil riffs, the novelty wears off quickly, and the band never really offer any break or change from the bm barrage, which only works with evil tracks such as the opener. 2 is a lot more run of the mill and Darkthrone-ripoffey, and like much of the album feels ok but quite forgettable as there isn't much personality there for the mind to latch onto. 3 displays a lot more of the cool evil riffs, but the next cool moment that happens to awaken the interest beyond 'standard ok made bm' is the riff change at 4:45 on track (emphasis) 6. 7 is also angrier in places which is cool, but on the whole not really an album I intend on jamming again. 3.3
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
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 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
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
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
Depeche Mode Music for the Masses
I am kind of disappointed if I'm honest. A lot of my feelings for this are the same as for Black Celebration: the synthpop gothic post punk esque sound is fantastic and complemented by crystalline prod, but they don't do much with this sound. 7 is a good example. There are cool ideas, there is a cool sound, but where is the song? I really struggled to engage with this album. This is reinforced by a strong compilation feel, though there is a nice unity of sound. Songs like 5 which clearly cut at the end remove a lot of the sense of flow. 3 is pretty cool, 6 is perhaps more engaging than the track or two before it, 8 has a very cool intro, 9 is slightly engaging I guess, and 10 again has a great intro building into a really weird yet grandiose instrumental track that I like a lot and that stands out. But despite this the album overall didn't really captivate me, though I must say the conditions were perhaps not ideal. The bonus tracks puzzle me even more. What is all this, I don't even know what I am listening to. 12 is kinda fun I guess, and so is 16 with its Depeche ZZ aesthetic - but gotta say the execution on that fun idea is very tame. I really like the broody yet sappy melancholic feel of the piano piece on 17, and 18 is a huge question mark - wtf is Moonlight Sonata doing here. At leats Black Celebration benefited from being the first to introduce their sound, whereas this largely feels like a repeat of the same mistakes. 3.3
Depeche Mode Black Celebration
A historically crucial album, as now DM finally display their classic, dark goth synthpop sound that we all know. Alas, imo, it is first showcased in an album where the sound is carrying it all and core songwriting is often not that great. 4,5,9,10 (which ends on a fadeout) particularly are either lame songs or boring ballads at their core, but are saved by all the synths, processed vocals, and beautiful prod that is thrown at them (particularly visible on 5). The opener is kinda cool but not a jam by any means, the transition into 2 is smooth altho weird, but 2-3 are less catchy although still not bad. 3 is violently 80s lol. 6 does better at being a song than its predecessors but gets annoying near the end, 7 is an okay synthy track and 8 is quite cute. 11 has a bit more of a beat and some good ideas but is ultimately not great and kinda concludes into nothing. Sadly the deluxe/bonus tracks are a better album than the album. Skipping the lives, 15 is a famous bop, 16 is mostly annoying but has some fun bits, 18 is a version of 2 with a prod i like much better as it emphasises the instruments more clearly, 19 is ok and 20 sounds a bit ridiculous today, then 21 and 22 are weird and cool tracks that arent maybe much to jam in and of themselves but that work super well at contrasting with the rest of this and would have been great on the actual LP. Bonus tracks notwithstanding, 3.35r
Depeche Mode Some Great Reward
DM's clangy, metallic, samples heavy opus stars off on a weird but intriguing intro followed by vox that are by now the classic DM ones we all know. 1 is not necessarily a track I would rejam a million times but it def has lots of ideas. I like the bass intro riff on 2 but not much more to say about it, whilst 3 is a cool classic song after which 4 feels a bit sleepy though all the weird sampled sounds maintain some interest. Same goes for 5 though it's not so bad. 6 is a piano ballad which really is a big boo and has nothing to do on this LP, but 7 finally brings back more of a beat that we've been missing since 3. It's a pretty cool DM song from that era tbf the era of sampler machines and a cold'n' weird aesthetic. 8 is again an okay song that isnt necessarily rivetting but does have some pretty unusual and interesting sounds in there. I knew 9 and it is quite cool, featuring some more of these cold, steely drums. The ending is a bit weird with a fadeout then followed by a random synthy conclusion, but given it has its own identity, lots of ideas, and (only) a couple standout tracks, this feels still like a 3.5
Depeche Mode A Broken Frame
The comparison with LP1 is almost obligatory, as this one is also best appreciated mostly ironically. I think on this one the band feels more accomplished (which is surprising given the loss of personnel), but to counterbalance that the LP lacks a flagship track like Just Can't Get Enough on LP1. 1 shows us this more 'abouti' side already as well as sadder vibes than anything on LP1. 2 has some truly excellent synthwork which is the highlight on this alb tbh, and more post-unkey vox than ever before, but it also has some kinda funny bleep bloops especially in the intro before 40s. 3 is slower, and colder, but also less engaging. It has a bit of a Disney villain vibe with its corny melodies, and this will be a recurring theme as I could have almost the same comment on the haunted house halloween synthpop 5, or 6, or in a different way the christmassy 8 which is quite a functional track nonetheless. 4 is a cute instrumental that almost sounds like a joke jdg track, though it does have brief but excellent synths just before min 2. 7 is also a cute track but sounds a bit funny like the outdatedness of LP1 (which applies to most tracks here), 9 is another one of those cute instrumentals, and 10 concludes the album on a slow burney note which isn't ideal, alhtough the conclusion section itself is well crafted with its prolonged layering and repetition. An okay album with some sparks of excellence amidst mostly fun but not very good material. 3.3
Depeche Mode Construction Time Again
Here DM offer an album with a lot more mystery and flair than before, with lots of percussive elements, tribal sort of sounds at times, and instruments we werent used to hearing in the band's prior catalogue. That being said, there is also a lot of awkwardness and outdatedness. The band hasn't yet found its vocal identity. 1 feels very outdated but does have some cute sounds, 2 has a great halloween/luigi's mansion vibe atop a cool bass riff tho its accelerating finale is a bit weird, then 3 shows us how this album is largely kinda weird, but cool weirdness I guess. 4 is a famous song and shows a lot more of their future colours here, and its reprise on the kinda useless but fine 10 shows it is the flagship here. 5 is cute but feels a bit underbaked like most of the early DM material, 6 is weird but not that great, then 7 wakes things up with a lot of bounce n groove but does show how the vocals are not yet on par with the rest/lack identity. 8 has a supre fun intro and gets kinda dissonant in the middle which is cool. I like this album, it's not the best but it has an aura and some great bits. 3.6
Depeche Mode Speak & Spell
Of all the ultra-famous Depeche Mode songs, no wonder this album's flagship track is the jovial,
cute, happy and dancy Just Can't Get Enough. This album is DM before they developed an ounce of
dark side. Aside from said flagship track, which comes clutch right at the end to conclude the
album on a boppy note and giving it an extra point, the only track that is wholly unironically
enjoyable is probably 1. 2-9 is just a collection of wonderfully outdated 80s synth tracks. This
album is largely bad, but fun bad, like a bad horror movie that is so terrible it makes you
laugh. 8 is the only track that didn't really catch me, and with 10 the novelty wore off a bit,
not aided by 9 being instrumental (tho it is cool and sounds a bit like an old videogame OST).
Otherwise the album is just plain fun, and I had way too good a time to rate it at the 3.0 avg it
sits at. With the jammy last track we're getting an enamored 3.5. Edit with the CD bonus tracks:
12-13 continue the style of the album, however idk if it is because i have fresh ears but they
sound better executed than most on the original LP. 14 is really cool and has a completely
different tone, it is weird and really stands out. 15 is nice bleep blooping but doesn't add much
compared to the original version and takes away the voices, whilst 16 is a pointless remix that
just makes the track longer and less catchy for no reason. I don't rate for bonus tracks, so
still 3.5
Depressive Silence The Darkened Empires
Not as convinced by this one if I'm honest. The first track and the start of the second are great early DS that instantly put you in an adventurous medieval SNES RPG mood that I love. But track 2 starts introducing poorly sequenced pianos, 3 is cool but has a very boss metalzone digital distortion sound to it that I would say does not really fit here, and 4 just made me laugh with its ridiculous vocals in the intro (which I cannot find scrolling back through so maybe I was on some sort of shuffle on bandcamp oh no lord no) but is a competent track - it's just that the record feels a bit disjointed by then. 3.4
Depressive Silence Depressive Silence Demo
Originally posted on May 7 23, reposting after database fix. rGenerally I LOVE the sounds on this with the old school rpgey synths. I found the bmey/Lustrey vocals cool, thought they do have the drawback of making this a little less of a potential background ambience. 1 is the longest track here but seems made of several subtracks that are quite disjointed. 2 is a little more straighforward rpgey stuff, while 3 is quite nuanced and ambientish. I dig, and this thing's age obviously earns it some bonus points. 3.7r
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 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 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 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
Diplodocus Slow And Heavy
Short, sweet, to the point. I did think it was more medieval sounding than dino sounding for the first couple tracks, but starting from 3 it felt very dinoey. It is quite a continuous flow so no point doing a track by track but I noted 8 as a kind of highlight. Nice but now I want to jam Rite of Spring! 3.4
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 (USA) 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
Discipline (USA) 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
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
doesn't e​.​p​.​3rd
I'm slightly overrating this because I haven't had fun with random math-rock like this in a long time. This does a great job at doing extra things to distinguish itself from the sea of lovely but ultimately all somewhat samey soft noodley tappey math rock records out there, although it does also display quite a strong offering in that particular brand of math rock in a few places. This is all most visible on 1 and 2 with their nice, tight grooves with a prominent drums mix, but also some random aggressive, slightly electronic outbursts that are a bit meh on 1 (still with the merit of trying something new though), and actually really phat and well done on 2. 3 is short and very sweet, whilst 4 offers a grittier brand of math rock that reminds more of earlier albums in the genre - quite cool. I gotta say 5 loses itself in its quirky electronica weirdness a bit, which definitely dropped the record below the gracious 3.8 I was considering given it is a debut, but at least 6 is a really good, really cool, hella fast track that closes things nicely. If you like math rock ever so slightly check this out! 3.7
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
Doja Cat Planet Her
rImproves on Hot Pink especially early on, with three colourful neon tracks with a latin sort of beat to them and great coherence, but misses huge jams. 3 is perhaps a little more divisve but is still cool in its rnb vibes. Then once again Doja feels like she doesn't know if she wants to be a pop artist with a trap side, or a rapper, and offers us with the nto horrible but instantly less interesting 4. 5's a bit more colourful but is too long, and 6 is also meh and too obviously destined for Tiktok. Ari does bring a lot of substance to it without being overbearing, and in fact all the guests here are excellently integrated into their tracks and feel really in their place. 7 and 8 are more of pop with a trap side, and instantly I like those better, but amusingly the spotify play counts are far lower. 9 is very the weekndey and works well. By the end of the record the transitions and coherence go downhill. 10 is again another not bad but very meh trap song, whilst 11 is a trap song that works quite well actually. 12 is aggressively ok with unfit rap, and 13 whilst catchier than the rest could've been more of a bop imo. Highs less highs, but fewer lows than LP2 iirc. 3.4
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
Eldur Siggja
1-2 remind me of Lustre, but better done. Really sweet atmospheres throughout. And unlike Lustre, when the bm guitars, drums etc come atop the synthy ambience, it doesn't feel forced. The idea of the three tracks being the exact same length is cute, but imo it results in them feeling like they dont really conclude or flow into one another; they are just three separate tracks of literally the same calibre that must be concluded by the deadline so to speak. 3 is quite different in that it goes in more conventional bm. The vocals are cool and the song is nice, but it just feels a bit more generic and less flavourful than the rest. When the big boy drums kick in near the end though it does rip. So cool tracks, but in terms of album construction this isn't a very cohesive release. Gotta check more from Eldur! 3.5
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.
Endling Proper Nouns
Not going to do a track by track here, but really an honorable effort from our resident anatelier. Pretty tones (1 sets the stage), dreamy vox, some cool unexpected sounds (eg the intro to 5) - this is a dreamy ambienty indiey project that has some room to mature but that already provides a strong offering. Well done matey 3.4
Endling The Heavy Frigate
This album cuddles me and I'm all for it (more fluid than the debut too nice progression buddy) 3.6
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
Evigt Morker Enande Mane
I am perhaps overly kind to this because I missed old Evigt and this is the closest he's gotten to his past EPs in years. While not the greatest bangers of all time, 1 and especially 3 have this nice mixed of atmospheric, ethereal pads and strong techno backbone that I really enjoyed in his first couple EPs and that he's struggled to find again ever since. 4 is undeniably weaker, but reminds of the undeniably weaker tracks he also had on past records. His latest evolutions aren't wholly lost though, as 2 is much more hard hitting and punchy, and also bring faint psytrance traces that I quite enjoyed. Not sure how well it joins up with the rest, but it is certainly a fun track too. If you enjoyed EP1-4, this is the first of his newer records that I'd recommend to ya. 3.5
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
Far Caspian Between Days
Cute, well crafted but not transcendentally good little debut EP that is a sweet listen from start to finish. The instrumentals remain relatively simple or subtle but manage to be quite catchy, mostly prominent on 1 (whose intro I really like), and 4, on 2 too but resulting in a slightly less convincing song with the fadeout, and to a lesser degree on 3. 5 is noticeably calmer especially in its first half, but remains nice. The vocals dont have huge walls of effects for the genre, andthe prod works very well overall. Nice, might jam some tracks again, but not necessarily a favorite record. 3.5
Far Caspian The Heights
The punchier tracks (1 especially,4) are pretty fun and would work as road trip soundtrack. The slower, less catchy tracks are well crafted, but a bit flat and forgettable for me. 3 does stand out a bit with its use of synths, but yeah. I don't see a reason to rate it any differently from EP1, though it feels like overrating a bit. 3.4
Faye Meana Nothing's the Same
Well executed but slightly shy debut EP in the seemingly ever flowing stream of London-adjacent neo-soul talent. The second track is perhaps the catchiest and best executed here, whilst its two follow-ups are a bit more lukewarm, though consistently nice and well sung. The last few seconds of the closer do pick things up a bit, with a more perky bass and tighter drums, giving a glimpse of what I hope is to come. 3.3
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.
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
Flowermage Lily of the Valley
Excellent textures here - the very intro made me pump the volume up. The tracks evolve gradually,
introducing new elements in a very organic way, which is truly the form of drone that I enjoy
most: not static, ever changing, but almost imperceivably so. This is ominous, brooding, but
delicate at the same time. I did find there were some panning issues and a couple volume spikes
that could use a bit of taming, but beyond these sort of technical formalities I can't really say
there's anything I can fault here.It is an exciting debut which left me wanting for more if
anything, and the project could easily achieve a 4.0 on longer format. Well done garas, one of
your top releases imo! 3.7
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
For Against December
Starts off very strong, but quickly fades into a long drag before being saved by the last few tracks. 1 is indeed an amazing intro track and 2 is not far behind it, both displaying the band's mix of post punkey goodness instrumentally, and soft spoken, fx'd vox that remind of dream pop. They work to varying degrees: whilst ok on 1 I do feel like classic, more gothy post punk vocals would have served the song a lot better by not giving out as much of a teenagey flavour, but on 2 they work like a charm, then on 3 not at all. 3 remains very cool instrumentally, and so the opening trio is the album's peak. 4 is the first song that feels a bit bland instrumentally, and 4-6 feel like ok but generic songs which gets draggy near the end before 7 gets actually boring. Thankfully 8 saves thigns a little by returning to the style of 1-3 - which feels like a relief more than than the song feels cool in and of itself, and 9 continues this by opening on a nice prominent beat + bass riff that unfolds not as well into a cool but kind of amateur-ish feeling closing track. Saves face, but really beyond the opening trio there isn't enough here to justify more than a 3.45
For Against In the Marshes
You know I wasn't going to extend my dive into these folks' discog further than this EP, but the synthpop turn they take in places here makes me want to extend for a record or two. The opener is a weird electrocore + vocal montage combo that works well at dragging you in despite ending on a fadeout. Afterwards, 2,3, and later on the closer 6 take a more hypnotic approach, with slow, atmospheric tracks more than they are banger songs. Although it does struggle to reach beyond 'kinda cool' status for me, I do find the tracks quite sucessful at what they do - it's just what they do isn't something I crave often in music. 3 displays some cool abrasive guitars and is perhaps the more notable of the three. The record highlight is definitely 4 and especially 5 though. 4 is a cool track that builds up into synth pop with a sort of slow melancholic goth atmosphere (clear from the itntro), but 5 really goes a step further with a catchy beat and is just a super fun song, even with some brilliant sporadic dissonant moments to keep things interesting. Almost single handedly justifies the opening sentence of this soundoff. 6 is ok, but it left me craving for more stuff similar to 4 and 5. 3.6
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
Francis Poulenc Mouvements Perpetuels
A very sweet listen of a piece with lots of movement - just a bit short. Like the nocturnes I jammed Alexandra Tharaud's take. 3.7
Francis Poulenc Trois Pieces
Still Alexandre Tharaud. This one is good but a bit all over the place. 1 is Poulenc's Gnossienne 1 in vibe and I quite like it, the end of 2 is really sweet, and 3 is ADHD in piano form. Nice but not really the piece I'd come back to. 3.5
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
French 79 Angel
A solid little album without too much pretense. Every track is pretty catchy and bouncy, Prydz-esque synthy house (?). Because it always remains instrumental, and because the tracks are quite long (sometimes excessively slow burners, such as 3 which unfolds in a super cool way but after over two minutes of slow intro), these feel like tracks that would fit well within a set, but that a set could not be solely composed of at risk of being quite boring. 1, 3, and 4 are the highlights. 2 is a little slower, more backgroundey, and is frankly overlong. 5 is again softer and feels like it prolongs things unnecessarily with some low energy, and drops this a point because the EP would 100% be better without it. 3.4
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 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 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 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
Gang of Four Yellow EP
A slightly messy EP that begins very well on a good ol' bouncy Go4 track, four of which would easily make for a 3.8 EP, but that is then followed by a slower, more subdued and slightly awkward track on 2, though the track gets cooler in its second half. 3 ups teh weirdness again with some ?harmonica over a weird bass tone. It's kinda cool in a weird way but it's very far from being a jam. 4 is a bit more conventional but reinforces the feel of a very disjointed EP as the tracks really make no effort whatsoever in transition and also have a bit too much abrupt variety between them on such a short record. 3.5
Gemini Rising Gemini Rising
A very neat little 80s worship synthpop EP that isn't perhaps shockingly good in itself but that I think for a debut is very strong and exciting. The opening track in particular is especially nice and catchy, a lovely jam. 2 is a bit less catchy despite its mildly bouncier rhythm but it's still nice. 3 is a synthy instrumental interlude which works quite well at building up tension. Slightly its follow up on 4 is an emotional track and I just don't think it was the best idea to end on that which substracts a point from this. I have to say however that the prod on this is so delicious and crisp that it makes me enjoy even 4 where it is nice to see them play with fx and add modern touches to the 80s worship aesthetic with autotuney things etc. Sweet sweet sweet. 3.5
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
Giorgio Moroder From Here to Eternity
Indeed, super catchy, super synthy, and very impressive for a 1977 release. This one does a lot better than Knight although its last third feels a bit disjointed and not so good. That being said 8 is the memest track of all time and is ridiculously fun. 1-5 are a long continuous synthy disco jam with highs and lows but always maintaining the groove. The buildup intro to 1 (though its unfolding not so much) is a great start, and 4 is especially jammy and delightfully produced. There is a bit of a silence at the end of 5, which is an achingly clear mark of the album transitioning into a few tracks that are a lot less connected and less good. 6 stays cute and vintage but is far less fnuky and fun than its predecessors, and the intro to 7 with the vocoder is a bit funny nowadays, though impressive for 1977. This weaker last third drops this a point or two to a shweet 3.6
Giorgio Moroder Knights in White Satin
Jammed this yesterday but fell asleep without writing this up lel. This is bitchin disco and instrumentally it is full of colour and ideas all throughout. The first three tracks are one continuum, and while one might fear repetitivity Giorgio brings on many ideas and variations to flavour it up. I only really take issue with the vocals, which seem tame and make the thing feel lengthy at times - it feels like it is all missing an explosive chorus, and the result feels structurally flat. 2 being instrumental was in fact my favourite part. 4 is another highlight, but 5 didn't fully convince me. It is true the strings and particularly the sax are very fun additions, but the vox, relatively slow tempo, and first fadeout conclusion on the album don't quite sit right with me. 6 is super cool and funky (in fact it reminds me a lot of funky town), although the lyrics are a bit mh excessively not subtle. But then again I dont normally rate based on lyrics do I. 3.45
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
Goodfight Lifejazz: Florida Room
Lucy got me worried because frankly this version of the track is nowhere near as good, being all demoey and with rougher prod with also fewer elements to it (the female vox are gone for instance, only the male ones are there I think). But the other tracks do actually benefit from the demoeyness in a noisy psych candy claws way, and the versions are quite enjoyable in and of themselves as a renewed flavour. 2 for instance would fit perfectly on my surfey surfey playlist - if only it were on spotify -. 3-4 continue this, then 5 is a bit slower and perhaps a bit less convincing although the midtrack is cool. I found that 6 suffered a bit more than the others of the vocals being a bit shaky and not quite there yet, although its faster paced instrumental with a couple fun ideas is quite cool. 3.3
Goodfight Ghoster
Fine EP with tonnes of instrumental potential but that vocally is a bit too much on the fun and quirky and naive side of things to my taste, even compared to their other records. This applies to every track and it's a bit sad because instrumentally this is really cool. It is no surprise that some of my fave part are the instrumental last thirds of 2 and 3. 3 does have a fun groove throughout but is a bit less explosive than it could be - still fun. 4 is great starting on a sort of bossa nova vibe before the beat kicks in in a cool way. You can tell they had fun making this with some slight jazz tinges, or their accordion and frog samples on 5, or other things; it's just that the vocals are frustratingly not quite my cuppa here. 3.35
Goodfight Dac Mcmicken, the Legend Of
Nice vaguely psych indie pop but that doesn't quite manage to remain compelling for the whole 28min. The first two tracks are really quite cool, but by 3 when the backing female vox arrive it gives the ensemble a bit of niais feel that I dont quite dig. 4 despite still slightly cheesy vox brings some cool funkiness, and 5 sees the band having fun with weirder sounds and more of an experimental instrumental-ish track. I kinda wish it ended there, because 6-7 really feel like okcore and 8 while being a nice chorussey outro track doesn't feel like as interesting a conclusion as 5 would've been. 8 kinda feels like an interlude more than a conclusion I'd even say. 3.3
Goodfight Goodfight
Very coherent, largely peri-instrumental and kinda wobbly drugged up stuff with a fun sound (like the vague jazzness on 4 which is super fun), with interspersed mid era pink floyd-esque ballads (7, or 10
which kinda took me out of the reverie tbh), and a few more involved tracks such as the nicely dreamy 5, or of course 2 which transitions extremely well after the intro on 1 and has a dope section
starting around 4:10, though I'm not a fan of the male-female vox mix in the early stages. 3 is also kinda neat dreamy stuff with almost childish sounding vox. I kind of lost track after a while, and the
album might have been better off being 5-10min shorter, but it's still a sweet and sour piece of acid-infused candy. (M3,library) 3.7
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
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
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 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 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 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 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/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
Hallas Hällas
For a debut EP 2 years before their first full-length this is excellent and very exciting, although it does raise a worry that the formula may struggle a bit on a longer record. The production is a bit gritty in places, but aside from that this already feels like a mature record. Both vox and guitar tones already make you crave for Star Rider (which may be a case of Never meant syndrome). 1 has a great synth intro and guitar tone as i said, but the track does feel like it struggles to unfold as it goes and feels a bit overlong. 2 and 3 are the highlights here I'd say, with plentiful Sabbath DNA but not just that. Both songs are really cool and pack more than the first 30s lead you to believe. 3's first half is perhaps a bit less cool, but after a great bridge mid-track the second half really cranks up the riffage. 4 is pretty eh in the first half but again the second half catches up although perhaps less memorable than 2-3, an impression reinforced by an album conclusion that feels utterly unnecessary and falls flat. A bit of a shame that brings this down half a point, but still a healthy 3.65
Hallas Conundrum
This one starts excellently, with a cool intro track that unfolds deliciously well into the dadcore 2. Alas (ba dm tss) I dont think it holds the distance quite well. It does feel far more coherent an album than the debut, and the flow is great and seamless. After 1 the album's essentially a series of prog passages (whether it be intros, outros or interludes), sporadically building up to cool more hard rock moments. And the problem I find is that the tracks that have the best prog passages build up to the least good rock bits, and vice versa, meaning that no track is excellent on the whole. I also take issue with the vocals on this alb more than the first, as they often feel like they could use more meat to back the instrumentals backing them up. That being said there is still a great epic feeling that emanates from the music (I wanna play Skyrim now), the influences are clear be cool, and the album has other strengths as I mentioned above. 3 is a bit of a sea shanty choraley idk track, and I dont know how to feel about it. 4's cool and so is 5 in an 80s way. 6 has a cool buildup, and 7 after a rather meh intro is quite cool when the synths kick in at 1:10 - fonkay. The intro on 8 is excellent, some of the transitions are great like 5:45, but idk if finishing on a more instrumental track like this was the best idea versus having something more explosive - especially with the vocoder section lol come on guys. 3.5
Hallas Isle of Wisdom
Yea this is without a doubt the least catchy Hallas, although their production value remains excellent. You can tell they had loads of fun making this (just listen to the keys and the soloing on 6, or the soloing on 8 which doesn't work for me I gotta say), but the the tracks often have a feel of 'mou'. They're cool, but not epic; they're fun, but not explosive. It works in places, like 2 or 6, but on the whole the album feels like a bunch of good ideas packaged in a way that make them feel like they just pass without really catching on. The album ending on a fadeout is a big no no too. 3.45
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 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 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
Hazel English Summer Nights
Hazel returns to the haziness, dreaminess and candor of her EPs, abandoning a bit the change of direction initiated with the LP. The tracks are nice and comfy and functional, though none seem to reach the lovely heights of some of her previous dreamy ones. But they're well enough crafted and good fun, though not as memorable. The production is a little more polished, a little more electronic, and the voice processed differently, which gives a different flavour and perhaps removes a bit of the dreamy magic, but adds a slightly more pop flavour for which the enjoyment will vary. It's not quite back to the first EPs, but it's much closer than the LP was. 1-2 are the best here and closest to the older sound, whilst 3 is not far off and the guest feature does add a nice touch of diversity. 4's perhaps a bit cheesier than the rest and I wasn't so into it, and 5 feels like the record has definitely lost steam already, which drops this a couple points. If it was all like 1-2 it might be a good 3.6 aided by nostalgia, but here I struggle to think of this more than a 3.4
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.
Helena Deland Altogether Unaccompanied Vol. III and IV
Again, no idea why these were collated together in the database but oh well. Volume IV clearly seems like the superior one, whilst III feels perhaps like the most forgettable out of all four volumes if memory serves me right. IV's first track is the only electronic one here and unfolds in an almost Tychoey manner, making for a very cute although far from outstanding track. The second track (so 5 here) is very pretty cute indie folk that is quite by the books but very well crafted. III on the other hand starts off on a pretty folk intro track that I question the utility of on a three tracker (I guess as a five tracker in the combination of III+IV then it makes more sense). 2 then starts off on a relatively generic, detuned/slow vibrato guitar sort of dreamy vibe that turns into a cute and relaxed soft folkey indie pop track, still with the dreamay tones. 3 is the most melancholic one of the lot with some Grouper touches in the tones, but this is just very faint and the album isn't really ambient much at all, it's just fairly relaxed indie folk. All nice, never outstanding, though 5 is real real pretty. III: 3.4, IV: 3.5, Total: 3.4
Helena Deland Drawing Room
A pretty debut EP that is always good but didn't really stun me either, hence the rating. 1 is a cool slightly folkey indie pop track with surprising depth to it. At the end of 1 but especially the intro of 2 (makes sense given the title: 'Black Metal'), Helena adds a lot of distortion, and idk if I agree. Since the vocals don't change, I find the distorted guitars feel a bit incongruous with the rest of the soft dreamy aesthetic. Gotta say the unfold after 2's intro is nicely crafted though. 3 is the prettiest and most pristine track here, tapping into Helena's beautiful soft voice to make a nice track on the more ambient folk/dreamy side. 4 also is on the softer side, and is pretty, but not as lush as 3 as it is more on the side of regular indie folk. It's simpler, it's nice, my jaw didn't drop. Sweet and for a debut it is of quite high quality and variety. 3.7
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
Hiatus Kaiyote Mood Valiant
One thing is sure: HK have the raw talent, instrumental n vocal prowess, and songwriting ability to make music with immense depth that might easily reach in the 4.5+. But for my taste, I'm not sure the relatively marked change of direction they took here is the one to achieve that. It is very successful in places but also carries problems. After an incredibly smooth entry on 1-2, 3 feels very aggressive and almost epileptic with how busy it is. Usually HK excel at keeping the groove alive on weird start/stop polyrhythms; on 3 it actually feels disjointed. Bass is huge tho. 4 goes much softer and plays superbly with vocal prod. 5 starts amazingly and shows the album at its best with this new busier, more electronic, more hip-hop, Fly-Loesque Brainfeeder sound. The track does get very full with strings, brass and a long ending section. That worked for me, but in another mood it might not have (plus it's a slight issue for playlists). 6 is also great, but also gets very, very busy. At a gig that would be insane, but here idk if the band wants me to relax or go apeshit. 7 is an incredibly pretty song with its cassette distorted piano, 8 finally has more of a stripped down classic HK groove, and 9-10 are great but you do see that the second half of the LP is a lot calmer, when I think it would have worked a lot better the other way round. 11 is the final mistake costing the alb anotha pt as it is a well sung but ultimately not that interesting ballad that could entirely be done away with, as 12 is also a softer song but that is much more interesting and concludes the album well. Lots of problems, lots of greatness, 3.7
Hildegard Hildegard
A sweet album whose purpose I struggle a bit to see - I don't really know what story it wants to tell, partly due to the very minimal aesthetic at play here, and partly owing to the music itself being quite subdued. Mostly these are slightly dreamy, slightly weird RnB esque songs that vaguely remind of a much much tamer FKA Twigs or Banks, and I have to concede some are quite good - Jour 2,3,5 and 7 particularly. The others are fine but rather forgettable. It should be said that seing Helena Deland on the vocals here is really cool because this has absolutely nothing to do with her solo discog, which is yet another example showing the variety she is capable of. 3.5
Hillsfar Raiders on the Moonsea
This isn't a fair comparison, I have no idea if the difference comes from mood or what, but this felt weaker than the memory I have of its predecessor. The chief complaint is that this is more disruptive, with a couple more abrupt changes but especially a lot of invasive drums that often don't frankly sound very good in 1's first third. 2 is a little smoother, but that also makes it feel flatter. 2 could go on the same background DnD playlist LP1 was starting, but 1 is just too in your face nd loud at times for what it wants to do. 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
Ian William Craig A Turn of Breath
IWC certainly can craft some truly beautiful and subtle textures that are utter 2019 Bedecore, playing with vocal elements, extremely faint touches of guitar, lots of noise and sound rehashing etc. 1-2, the beautifully dlp-esque albeit short 6, 7, the really nice and peaceful 10 (a highlight), or 13 which starts of the 'extended' tracklist that I jammed by mistake are all clear examples. The issue lies with how these delicately crafted composition are articulated with one another. Often they aren't at all, with long blanks between most tracks. It is a pity because 1-2 flow super well, but this smoothness in transition is rarely found later on. Another minor issue is the use of less processed, sung voices, which although they provide some welcome change of sound, do disrupt the atmospheric power a bit, especially on 12 where they sound almost christmassy early in the track. Fantastic tracks arranged into a less fantastic album. 3.5
Ichiko Aoba 0
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
Igor Stravinsky Octet for Wind Instruments
This has some fun ideas and sections, and it is sufficiently short to make the unusual
instrumentation not annoying or anything, but it also only occasionally grabbed my attention
and mostly sounds a bit light and jolly to me without much depth otherwise. Jammed the
Eastman Wind Ensemble version. 3.5
Igor Stravinsky L'Histoire du soldat
A cute, relaxed piece which was a great fit for a lazy Sunday morning, that feels like it tells stories with a Wes Anderson vibe - a bit goofy and quite jolly. Like village drama or something. Part II is goofier than part I, especially in its intro. 6 feels almost like the village tavern soudntrack/bar or something. But yea not much more to say about that - if it played on classic fm I would enjoy it, but I wouldnt seek out another listen particularly. 3.6
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
Inca Ore Birthday Of Bless You
Feels like a massive improvement compared to her prior discog, and perhaps i am overrating due to the contrast. Instead of messy and chaotic and frankly hardly musical sometimes, this really feels like music. Noisier, dronier Grouper evoking Liz's debut is the sound dominating a lot of tracks including for example the pretty jammy 1 and 3. The weird stuff isn't gone, but as I said for the previous album it works much better in the context of an album where there isn't only just that, and so tracks like 7 are more than welcome. I did feel like it loses a bit of steam the closer we get to the end, but it's still solid and I think unlike her other stuff thus far I'll jam it again. 3.5
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 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
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 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 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 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 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
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 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
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
Jackie Mendoza LuvHz
Cool little hazy psychey drem weirdpop EP that hopefully prefaces cool things for the future. It is more interesting than it is thrilling, but it's still pretty enjoyable. 1 and 4 are cool because they mix the hazey, noisy, weird chopped production value to a slightly dancey undertone, though 4 does not unfold as well. 2 is an okay but fairly forgettable drem track, whilst 3 does it more nicely. 5 has the more prominent beat here and is quite nice drem pop stuff, whilst 6 explores an interesting angle here with more of a horror/creepy vibe. I'll be curious to see where she goes next, and I might rejam a couple of these every now and again. 3.4
Jessie Ware Tough Love
Nice, but frankly a bit disappointing compared to the debut, because it almost always feels a bit
tame and it also doesn't know where it is going, between the resolutely more Rnb 1, pop, soul,
and even a bit of disco vibes on 7, which is frankly the closest to a jam here but also leaves
you wanting more when it's followed by the balladey 8, with some heights but certainly
underwhelming. The end of the record in general dropped it a pointm as 9 is more pop and nice at
first but never really unfolds, and 10-11 are frankly forgettable. 3 and 6 are more electronic,
with 3 being quite groovy and 6 being a bit empty at first but progressing nicely. 2 on the other
hand feels like a bland pop track. 4 evokes the soul of Alabama Shakes and 5 is quite groovy,
bringing the hopes up a bit, but as I said overall the album feels a bit undercooked whilst never
being bad. 3.5
Jessie Ware Glasshouse
Sensibly better than tough love with a few more standouts, but still has this feeling of compilation of a few good songs among a lot of ok but bland stuff. The intro track and 2 are very cool, which made me hopeful. 3 is softer and more rnbey, 4 is catchier, and both are nice, but by 5 it's already starting to feel a bit ok fine let's get a move on. 6 stands out as very cool and completely unexpected, I thouhgt it was a cover but apparently not. Dramatic shift of style, that unfortunately is poorly integrated as 7 comes back to regular soulsey balladey stuff and is frankly boring in contrast. 8 brings some surprise again with a pretty post-rocky intro and an unexpected but well done unfolding, not quite a playlist jam but a cool track nonetheless. 9 is then a pretty slow song, showcasing how faulty the structure is in this album. So far this is still superior to TL and in 3.5-3.6 ballpark. Then 10 is another slow song but more on the pop side, kinda nice but overstretches a fair bit, 11 is also ye fine, then 12 brings this massively down by ending this looon downward energy curve on an absolute snooze of a country ballad - maybe the lyrics are nice idk but this is skippable as hell musically speaking. Brings the alb way down to barely a 3.4
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 Adams Hallelujah Junction
Roughly 17 min long modern piece for two pianos. In classic Adams fashion, there are some really pretty parts, a few quite meh parts, and not many wow parts (technical terms, I know). Up to 6:40 we are graced with a really nice and charming modern piano piece very evocative of Reich's piano works. Past 6:40 though this switches to something much less atmospheric or nuance, to basically the pianists hitting dem keys hard. I find it kind of meh and disruptive tbh. The ensuing section is very pretty though, and reminded me of Glass' emotionality on the piano. The pianos trot along with quite a story-telly evocative progression. The last quarter of the piece alas goes back to some more syncopated, agressive bourrin stuff, to then evolve into some mildly dissonant Gershwinesque stuff, neither of which I feel suit the piece or even are much successful. So this particularly, and to a lesser degree due to it being somewhat short the section at 6:60, easily drop this 2 or 3 points. 3.6
John Coltrane Stellar Regions
I don't know that this is the last grand Coltrane record the ratings average and count seem to depict. Granted it has very cool passages, in that special brand of Coltrane that is just bordering on free dissonance but retains enough structure to just not be that. But the tracks are quite short, sometimes to a degree that hinders the album structure and make it feel like a random compilation - see for instance the transition between the cool and spicy 6 to the much, much more standard 7, or the abruptly very calm intro to 10 between its later spiciness and the cool craziness found on 8 and 9. There is a bit of an eerie feel from this being one of the (the?) last studio Coltrane recording, and Alice Coltrane's piano meanderings are very cool in many places, but this feels a bit too disjointed for too long to be a top top tier Coltrane record imo. Still a good time, and quite a spicy time albeit far from his spiciest. 3.7
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 Interstellar Space
For an album that is 100% a sax-drum duet with chaotic rhythm and relatively erratic (but not dissonant) sax with zero in the way of hooks or anything for the memory to latch on, this works surprisingly great. Sure it feels like a technical exercise more than an album; sure it feels a bit like what some other albums use as interlude, except it is only that and goes on for 35 min; but in the end I didn't have a bad time, and the album does feel like it has a conclusion. CD bonus tracks: 'Leo is more of the same except a touch noisier, it's cool but obviously as the album feels like it has a conclusion it its 4 track version, that one feels disjointed. Jupiter Variation is also just more of the same. So it's really a question of whether you want to listen to a 35min or 50min long album like this. This was recorded the year of Coltrane's death, and makes you wonder where he would have gone next. 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 Sun Ship
The mixing on this is really really poor, and I struggle to look past it. What the hell is this panning, this wasn't recorded in the 50s. This is the classic quartet, but not with their usual engineer Rudy, and goddamn who did they hire instead. The mixing makes the a bit excessively crazy plain feel really a bit much. The panning is less disruptive on 2 which if it werent for it would be an excellent track. 3 is cool, fast paced and fun, but mixed terribly. 4 is also cool but more in a mystique way. 5 feels very long and interludey though, and it kind of just dies out so I dont really see its point. I think musically this is a 3.7, but with this mixing I cant give it more than a 3.4
John Coltrane Coltrane's Sound
Another one of the label-made records, this time based on 1960 sessions recorded around My Favorite things. It certainly does not live up to that album, but starts off quite strongly with 1 being a super fun light and dancey jam with particularly cool drums but everything else working great as well. 2 is much softer in wine jazz style - not the best transition but it's fine -, then 3 transitions very well from that into a quite cool alternation of more fun dancy jazz with some city jazz vibes interspersed. 4 is also bouncy but a bit more relaxed, and at this point the album is starting to struggle to captivate. 5 is more on the nocturnal side but isn't too memorable and is a bit lengthy, then 6 feels a bit like filler. So a couple tracks to keep but not a peak album. 3.7
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 Afro-Blue Impressions
A great live session with lots of heights, but that's a bit too long and often fails to convince me that I should come back to these live versions instead of the studio ones. These are all quite recognisable tunes, especially My Favorite Things on 4 of course. It illustrates what I am saying here: it is still a great tune, and some sections in this live version are especially cool, but overall I still would check the studio version over this any day. 1 starts off relatively relaxed and bland but does gain in spice as it goes, while the relaxed 2 continues this with touches of piano and drums spice but nothing too crazy. 3 is just Coltrane having fun. 5 is another highly recognisable tune, and 6 is super fun. After the calmer and cute 7, 8 is also calm and at this point the length of the record is starting to become really plapable. 9 does save the day by being crazy cool fun again, but overall I think the average on this is bang on. It's great, but it isn't by any means a top tier Coltrane record, even if you just look at his live stuff. 3.7
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 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 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 Live at the Village Vanguard Again!
This is cool, but if i got to see a Coltrane gig this wouldn't be my first pick. Tbf I wasn't expecting something this free jazzey, thus was perhaps not in the best mood for it. The first track starts alright, but the weird brass starting at 3:30 (is it Pharoah Sanders' solo?) really is not my cuppa. It's cool in an avant-garde sort of fashion to be able to make your brass instrument sound like a dying cow at times, but as a musical experience it's a no from me. The piano in the back by Alice Coltrane is super pretty though. Aside from that solo the track is kinda cool Coltrane stuff, far less free than Ascension but still with a solid amount of dissonance. After a cool meditiative interlude on 2, we are offered a version of My Favorite Things that is hardly recognisable except in a couple places at min 3 and near the end (where it is particularly cool amidst the semi-chaos), and is otherwise quite crazy and free, displaying Coltrane's evolution within the decade. The mix at min 7 is particularly cool with the brass going crazy on the right side and a wee flute playing gently quietly on the left. There are some weird fade ins n outs in places but that remains rare and not a problem - the mix was a bit more difficult on 1. Okay but not really an album I would come back to often in Coltrane's discog, except maybe for Alice's piano. 3.7
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 Expression
The first posthumous Coltrane album. Starts of very well, and ends well, but i struggle a bit with most of the middle album. Intro track is a brief but nicely spicy standard Coltrane tune. 2 then follows being a very introspective track with sounds we haven't heard before, almost reminding me of some of Disney's Jungle Book darker vibe, with flutes and Pharoah Sanders' contribution that isnt present anywhere else on the album afaik. The track is really moody and broody, which makes it particularly ominous knowing how close to passing Coltrane recorded it. But by the midtrack, some of the flutes get very loud, some of the notes get very aggressive, fast and repetitive (but still consonant ie. not in a free jazz kind of way) when i kinda wish the track kept to its spiritual undertone. The end is honestly borderline insufferable in short places. 3 also gets similarly loud and buzz in your face kind of annoying, though the angry drums are really quite cool. Then the closing track after a nice intro melody theme concludes on a much better note, with superb piano being the highlight, but still with occasional spurts of not so pleasant instrumentation preventing it from being a true Coltrane classic track. Some great aspects, but some problems that make it far from his best in thsi era. 3.7
John Coltrane Black Pearls
Ok that other soundoff was wrong because this is also again a frankenstein album made by the label. But for once, it is suprisingly consistent and it all flows superbly well into one long and well produced club jazz session. Thoroughly fun, but also thoroughly generic if it werent for some ventures of the sax on 1 and the drum solo at the end of 3. Makes you want to be a jazz musician to be able to jam tunes like that, it's so sweet. One that's worth listening to when in need of jazz that's not too spicy, not too fusion, not too experimental, but just fun. 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 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 The Believer
I should redo this discog with only the canon albums because this is yet anOTHER label-made album based on recordings from 58. And again you can feel the stylistic difference compared to things from his 60s records. There's an emphasis on repeated hooks as well. But all in all despite not being canon this is quite fun. McCoy's piano is definitely the highlight on 1, in the intro and the rest; the rest of the track is fine and fun as far as late 50s bebop goes but nothing to write home about. This is contrary to 2 where the piano is only one of the strong elements, the track being a dancey bouncy jam that I'd gladly listen to again. 3 ruptures the mood completely with its nice but not fantastic wine jazz undertones (as advertised by the title), and from then on the record becomes kind of erratic in structure. The melody on 4 is hookey I guess but I find the instrumentation doesnt work in quite a lot of places. The intro is especially meh and then after 90 seconds it switches into more conventional - albeit still not great - bebop. Then 5 starts off as city jazz and is quite fine with some hooks, but again, nothing crazy good. 3.55
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 Bahia
Apparently the last one of these frankenstein label-looking-to-ride the fame albums. The fact that it is made of much older recordings (from 58 I gather?) is quite palpable here, as this is far more run-of-the-mill and sort of conventional jazz than what Coltrane was coming up with around the time of release in the 60s. 1 and 4 are fun club jazz with 1 being especially dancey from the get go, while 2 fits that vibe too but is a bit more full on and fast paced, and I daresay annoying. 3 and 5 are relaxed one jazz, and quite excellent one at that. Not much else to say: this is well done generic jazz. 3.6
John Coltrane Newport '63
This is good, but there is just better Coltrane material out there - live or studio. Although it is the shortest track, 1 is perhaps the weakest, with its long sax solo with nothing else towards the end and not much else to offer. It's fine but in the context of the man discography it's wholly forgettable. The live version of My Favorite Things starts off not so great as the mix gives excessive prominence to the sax which looses a bit of the magic of the tune, but once the piano+drum solo starts it gets really quite cool. Then Coltrane goes a bit off tangent near the end, and while I do like me some spicy notes, with this tune it doesn't quite fit. 3 has lots of drums + sax, and much like 2 has cool bits but is a bit lengthy and has not so cool bits. The conclusion is nice. 4 is an enigma, as it comes from a completely different live session and has nothing to do with the rest, being far simpler, dancier, bepopper jazz with a different mix, yet was released as part of the original album tracklist and not as a bonus track on some reedition - or so it seems. A weird choice, that just feels like it lengthens things for no reasons and takes away a bit of the record's identity. 3.6
John Coltrane Live In Seattle
I lost my notes because I am a donkey but basically 1 is super cool albeit rather dissonant and spicy, 2 is a bit softer on the ear and both track together were probably looking at a soft low 4.0 tier rating maybe, but although the bulk of the track is fine, the 36min long 3 gets very tiresome, especially in some moments eg. min 6 ? with some of the sax and midtrack with the wtf vocals that are quite insufferable albeit short-lived. Thankfully 4 offers nice though protracted rest in the form of double bass noodling. Nice and saves the record a little bit, but still struggles to get maybe on the whole a 3,6
John Coltrane Concert in Japan
This oozes big energy through every minute, and there's 247 of them. A behemoth that mostly suffers from being so unmanageably long. I find the piano focused moments are often the best, and the drumming is a strong point throughout. The story behind this as the one and only, utterly triumphant, frantically packed Japanese Coltrane tour 1yr before his passing is of note. Overall I'd say Shinjuku [...] got the better concert of the two, but the first one starts very strong with 1, a huge, intense, spicy jazz trip that makes you want tattoos, tho the sax occasionally gets a bit too gnarly. 2 begins a lot calmer before gradually waking up to a pretty cool track too. 3 starts with a 12 min long bass solo which makes for a veeery calm transition, then grows into an increasingly noisy and gritty track that gets cool but feels like its takes ages to end, tho the finale with the crowd is great. As we switch into the Shinjuku concert, 4 starts as relaxed and blissful as its title indicates before nicely growing more anxious to transform into a really cool, fever dream kinda spiritual track that reminds me of First Meditations. 5's a nicely gritty track with some moments that make sense amid chaos and a hella cool drum solo, a track that makes you travel places. The piano heavy, fast drums finale is very fireworksily nocturnal and is very cool. 6 starts with a 15 min bass solo, and although its second half is better I find it a bit less convincing than some other tracks here. It's a bit weird but a bit fun to hear the Favorite Thigns themes popping up amidst chaos. How do you boil down 4hrs+ of Coltrane to one rating? 3.6
John Coltrane Blue World
Once again, this album's main fault is that it feels a lot more like a (?cash grab) compilation than an album. There are three takes of Village Blues and two of Naima on here, both tracks having very recognisable intro hooks which makes the repetition intensely blatant. That being said, this particular record does a whole lot better than some of its predecessor posthumous 'lost album' releases as it does actually have a coherent, consistent atmosphere and evolution bar a few nonexistent transitions, unlike the previous opus which was all over the place for example. The vibe here is slow, tranquil, smooth but not boring jazz, and it is really relaxing. It is clearly not as spicy as some of the other classic quartet releases, but it is still a good time. If it didn't have all these repetitions it would probably lie somewhere around the transition from 3.5 to 4.0 tier, not sure on which side, but as is, this is maybe a 3.6
John Coltrane and Archie Shepp New Thing at Newport
The opening speech is kinda cool 'and now, the master of them all, Mr John COLTRANE' gave me semi goosebumps (also needed John Cena theme). Track 2 is fabulous, though again the ehavily panned mix hurts when listening on headphones and should really be listened to more on speakers. A great classic Coltrane quartet jam nonetheless with the same perfect slight spice and utmost piano excellence. 3 starts off playful, but quickly starts feeling a bit erratic and goal-less. In fact this is true of the rest of the album, and is perhaps most clear on 6 when it ends on a strong note of meh, though 4 is quite nice and dancey. Sweet but apart from 1 and 2 not much I'd ever keep. Might be that I wasnt in the best mood for it tbf. 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
Jorja Smith Be Right Back
Forgot to upload this one earlier - this is a nice EP that shows a Jorja in good form and improving. For starters there isn't really a bad track, and she did away with the bland ballads that clunked her prior records. The closing track does start on a sadder, melancholic vibe, but it does keep a beat going and is great fun. There is still a feeling of looking for a direction, but there is more of a direction to speak with, as the mid-record emphasises more on her soulsy side whilst the beginning and end revel more of an electronic, 'modern' style. 1 is really cool and has a nice prod with vocals that are both good and intelligently sparse. I am not as sure about 2 as I feel like some of those beats won't age too well, but the track remains alright and beside the meme horn sound in the beginning 3 is really cool in its prod. The first guest rap verse doesn't work hugely well for me but hte second one is better integrated with the interesting drums and prod. 4 starts the guitar-ish-led soul phase of the record in excellent fashion although a wee bit too short for my liking and with a questionable skit at the end. 5 continues the exact same vibe but is just a touch less memorable, before 6 prolongs the guitar soul vibe for one last track in a very nice and soft song. 7 brings back a beat with a reaggeaton groove tucked away discretely in a comfy prod, making for a track that is both subdued and catchy working really nicely before the emotional-ish closer I mentioned above. Well done and a definite look upwards for the future! 3.65
Joy Division An Ideal for Living
Joy Division before they added sadness and post- to their punk. 1 and 4 are super cool and dare I say fun punk tracks, whilst 3 is cool instrumentally with a nice dark and murky sound but suffers from not so convincing vocals, which 2 does too on top of the fact that it sounds like a punk version of Funky Town which I can't seam to unhear even though this came out a couple years before Funky Town. Interesting to see how much they evolved after that first EP, but also a cool punk EP in its own right, particularly its bookends. 3.7
Joy Division Warsaw
What Joy Division - aka Warsaw at the time of recording, but not at time of release if I understand correctly - 's LP1 should have been. And indeed this is far closer to the EP punk sound than it is to the rest of their discog. In fact I was hoping it would link these two aspects of Joy Division together, but the version I heard did not have the added symths and really is just a straight continuation of what the EP was - which makes it even more surprising that they transitioned so gracefully into sad post-punk. This may have to do with prod and engineering changes as well, as this Warsaw LP sounds a whole lot more like rawer punk than crisp electronic'd post-punk. On the whole this is relatively basic punk, though not repetitive, not based on hooks to shout, and with plenty of space for the instruments to express themselves, so for sure a nice and quite subtle brand of 70's punk if anything. The tracks that stood out most to me were (I think) A4, A6, and B2, chiefly because of their nice grittiness on the guitar and adventures beyond repeating the same motifs for two minutes that punk can sometimes fall into. I jammed the 12 track version that is on youtube as fulll album, there are plenty of versions for this so I dont really know which is the canonical one - I'd be interested to hear the version with added synths that made the band initially not release this. 3.7
Joy Division Love Will Tear Us Apart
Yes this is a legendary song, but firstly this is still a single realese, and secondly I don't think it's even my favourite Joy Division track. It does have an enormous aura to it though, undeniably, from Ian Curtis' story. To be honest I prefer the Pennine version on 3 which has more prominent drums and a slightly different mix to 1. 3 Feels more like the synthpop future of the band, whilst 1 accentuates more the gothic side. Tbh I prefer 2 to 1, it's just a catchier song to me, though it doesn't have the benefits of being such a classic song. For the release overall, considering every track is great but two out of the three are a reepeat, I say 3.7
Joy Division Licht Und Blindheit
1 is really cool in its atmosphere that reminds almost of dungeon synth in the far back and is very consistent with the adventurous and epic album cover that would very well on a DS or black metal relesse. Alas the vocals are of the opera type I don't really like with Joy Division. 2 is a cool track however, in the punkier side of Joy Division that I do like. All in all a slightly anecdotal EP that works quite okay for what it is. 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
Julianna Barwick Florine
More Julianna material of the same quality and flavour: music where she turns herself in a (sometimes a touch too much) reverb-drenched choir. It is nice, short and sweet, but there always is a little something that blocks it from being outright stunning. The very pretty 5 stands out as being much more piano-focused, and the closer 6, although more straightforward vocals-based Julianna stuff again, works very nicely after that as well, though the EP (acceptably) kinds of ends into nowhere. 3.5
Julianna Barwick The Magic Place
This is far more of a full record than Sanguine was, with longer tracks (i.e. now they are of regular track length, not just snippets) and transitions here and there - at any rate, far fewer fadeouts, though criminally almost the album does end on a fadeout. This LP is also almost twice as long, and has a slightly more unified style of loopey ambient vocal choral stuff with discrete instrumentation, perhaps a little too unified even as the main fault I found here was lack of variation whereas the strength of Sanguine was to show a breadth of sound from blissful to droney. I lost my notes like a dumb dumb so the details wont be accurate. Tracks like 1-3 feel really nice and showcase the album's style quite well, but by 4 you kind of wish for that style to shift a bit to something else especially given how inherently repetitive it is. This continues on 5 which made my rating drop quite a bit. Thankfully the next few tracks do shift things a bit - only a touch too late perhaps for me - by focusing more on individual instruments, and by making the vocals step back a bit. 6 looks more at the piano, 7 at the guitar, 8 at a synth loops and even a cool drum beat after a while, before 9 eventually comes back to a blissful choral + piano combo that is one of the strongest tracks here but does end on a fadeout. Again I really like her style, I don't think this is the magnum opus I am looking for yet but there are some tracks to rejam. 3.65
Julianna Barwick Sanguine
I love the sound displayed here, but the format it is showcased in is also frustrating, as - aside from 11 which just about reaches the 3:15 mark - everything here is a collection of sketches between 1-2min long, with fade in intros and fadeouts. And even 11 is pretty short. As such, the record feels more like a collection of disjointed drafts, or a demo to show her sounds, rather than a full fledged EP/album. But I do really like the sound she crafts, whether it be groupery loopey drone folk, or much lighter vocal loopey stuff. 11 for example is really light hearted and enchanting, making me want to live amongst hippies swimming in norwegian wildflowers. Other favourites would be 1,3,6,8, idk honestly I liked it all. If her later records build on this sound she's likely to become a Bede favourite. Now how do I rate this,. 3.5
Julianna Barwick Pacing
i mean this is two tracks of pretty much just ambient piano. It's very pretty, in fact it's
kind of what I was hoping to get from Barwick, something pure and blissful. The first track
is imo clearly hte best but 2 holds its own. The thing is the ideas here would be fantastic
on a longer form record, but as they are, they're cool and playlist worthy, but they can't
make a grand record of their own. 3.6
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
Tracks 1-3 sound like if a Liquicity producer decided to make kick snare pop: it is lush, mildly cheesy, full of echoey synths, and quite catchy and cool with 'ethereal' vocals. 4 displays some super prominent dnb bits even. A sweet catchy EP there, but I do find 5 to be a bit of a drag if I'm honest, which dampens my enthusiasm a touch. 3.5
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
L'Imperatrice Matahari
Jammed the French version because why would I not. This album's main mistake is to start quite funky and boppy, and then to deprive us of that for the rest of the album, with the exception of 10 which is an instrumental reprise of a prior track anyways. I feel like opening on a few of the more psychedelic/soft songs would have made them work a lot better, as here the contrast with the explosive tracks hurts them a bit. Beside this structural problem, the album is as always quality through and through. 1 takes its time to introduce the album with some classic L'I smooth synthwork, 2 delights us with beautiful synthy bass that makes me want a moog. This nice basswork is continued on 3, but to be frank the sort of multi vox disco vocals in English work less well for me than the regular L'I vocals and the track feels a bit anecdotal. 4 is a huge jam with again funky moogy bass and a great a capella intro. Then the album goes a lot calmer on the nice 5, and as I said hardly picks back up after that. 6 is similar and has some cool added vox. 7 is more lush and cuddly. 8 does give us a bit of the Moog funk back, but it's not as explosive as before. 9 is an excellent 'scared' song, and 11 is also an excellent song that makes me thikn of the drifty space tracks in super mario galaxy lel. Its only flaw is that it really doesn't conclude into anything, reinforcing this feel of the album falling a bit too soft in its latter two thirds, and settling that it belongs below 4.0 tier. Yet with the quality I can't decently give any less than a 3.7
L'Imperatrice Tako Tsubo
In a vacuum, a well crafted album after all. But in the context of their discog, and knowing what they can do, this is a huge frustration. Restraint can be good in music, but this has too much of it. This is clear from the very start with 1's very sparse explosiveness - the track has good ideas but remains way too tame. It does also intro us to one of the album's strengths: da bass is deliciously mixed. 2's more of the same, 3 is instantly less good, and 4 is even calmer, although it ha chorus that hints at what I wanted, and once hte beat starts it does have nice cocktail vibes I guess. Their sound just calls for funk, guitar, syncopation, brass, and we hardly get that. 5 is once again not bad, but low energy. The section at min 3 on 6 is cool but short lived. 7 is slightly groovier and better, albeit not in the way I expected, and I really love 8's space cartoon aesthetic. 10 does get the funk going a little more too (9 being just an interlude) but it's still not one of their huge jams. 11 has quite nice synthwork, and 12 has more of a beat but remains tame and never explodes. 13 is yet another of those low energy tracks - feels like the album could go on for hours, especially because there is no conclusion at all. It just falls flat, and nearly each track feels like a rest track between two other rest tracks. I am trying not to let my frustration affect my rating, but yes I liked their prior output a lot more. 3.4
L'Imperatrice Sonate Pacifique
Promising little EP that, after the super synthy 80s voyage intro track that i quite frankly love feels like it is just missing catchy vocals to match its funky super fun instrumentals. I don't mind instrumental music, but these just feel incomplete without vox. 3 does have vox, but weirdly I find that it makes it feel too long and not sticking well enough with the rest as teh vocals are more on the dreamier side. Still a great track, and whilst i thought at first having the instrumental on 5 would be a mistake, it kinda shows that the track fits better with the rest that way. 4 is particularly cool too. 3.55
L'Imperatrice L'Imperatrice
Ok I think this one actually is their debut EP - and wow is it cool. For the most part, it still suffers from the fact that it feels like it could be so much more explosive and catchy with some good soulsy vocals. 4 is especially prominent in this, being super catchy and groovy, but feeling a bit like great background music for a place like george st social rather than a real funk pop bop because it is instrumental all the way through. On a longer format these instrumental tracks (2 and 4) could pass as excellent albeit long interludes, but here they feel like they miss that vocal element - despite being all the way through. The real surprise with this EP is the fact that most of the vocals that we do get are rapped, especially in the rather Jazz Liberatorz/CYNE type vibe 1, but also sporadically on 3 with a different voice which I assume is also doing the singer doing the other vocals on 3 - alas her contributions are far too scarce and the non-rapped vocals are not convincing enough to make the track feel like the pop bop it could be. Excellent, encouraging, promising and full of their future sound, but not quite as full-fledged as it could be. 3.65
L'Imperatrice Séquences
A super fun and funky EP that only falls short of 4.0 tier because I don't really see the point of padding half the runtime with instrumental versions of 1 and 2 on 3 and 4. Their vocals are good and make the songs even catchier without being ever overbearing, so I struggle to see when I'd need to jam an instrumental version since I am not running a playlist for cafes. This being said 1 is incredibly funk and has lovely synthwork, it is not explosive in a pop way though but just calmly bouncy. It is certainly fun but remains more relaxed than 2, which is an even boppier, even funkier jam with lots of depths to it and lots of elements coming up along the way such as brass or extra synths. Take the exact same tracks but muting the vocals, and you get 3 and 4, whose only real merit is to showcase how good the instrumentals are behind the vocals, and how they would work standalone if there werent a better version two tracks earlier (aka the version with vox). 3.7
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
Lanterns on the Lake Gracious Tide, Take Me Home
Very soft n pretty indie with lots of post-rock influences with strings and slow layered buildups, the whole giving a very strong Sigur Ros-esque vibe (Takk/Agaetis era). The record intelligently varies the aesthetic, with the great first couple of tracks (coming from the EPs I believe) transitioning after the pretty intro-ed but a bit too simply structured 3 and the pointless 4 into a very energetic 5, before calming down again until the drumming intro on 8. It isn't complacent in its lushness and knows to change things up gently but surely. On the whole not a mesmerising record, but certainly a sweet and lovely one, for those in search of very soft indie with a very big lush sound. 3.7
Lanterns on the Lake Misfortunes And Minor Victories
Better than the first EP, but remains cute and sweet but not much beyond that-type stuff. 1 is cute, 2 gives the impression taht it will have a lot more with its post-rocky tones and more noticeable drums, but although kinda cool it doesn't feel like it lives up to its potential. Then 3 and 4 are both really pretty, 3 perhaps being the best whilst 4 is nice too but a bit generic (and also the banjo is a bit fonnay lol). But 3 is really quite beutiful, and unlike the prior EP this one feels more like a keeper. 3.5
Lanterns on the Lake Until The Colours Run
An album that is quite good at doing what it does, ie. being mild and inoffensive but in a very pretty way. The drumming is most praiseworthy here, as it is the main driver of interests in the songs that do stand out. The middle of the album is the best crafted, especially 4 which has an excellent and inspiring intro with a much more poppy side than anything else here, whilst 5 is a rare example of a sad piano song that I actually enjoyed, and 6 whilst being not as cool as 4 does have lots of ideas and feels like an English Sigur Ros wannabee being relatively successful at that. In comparison, 7 is quite a dull ballad. 8-9 are quite good example of how the drumming saves tracks, as both starts on a very nice but ultimately generic post-rock guitar tone but do gain a lot of interest as soon as the drumming comes on. That being said the vox are nice and pretty throughout, though there are times in the album when I wish they would be a little more intense. The first three tracks are also quite generic post-rock with vocals and susprisingly abrasive explosions (with slightly difficult prod), that works quite well in the opening but thereafter gets old quickly - the album really gets a second chance with 4. Not really an album i'd seek again but i really wouldnt hate listening back to it if I didnt know what to put on. 3.5
Lanterns on the Lake Beings
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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
Laura Itandehui Laura Itandehui
Pretty Mexican folk that isn't fully realising its potential yet. 1 hooks you nicely by displaying the singer's vocal abilities over a quasi inexistant instrumental, and some fun sounds are displayed on such tracks as 3, while the much more upbeat 4 is quite fun. 5 is really not my cuppa in places, and 6 is not flawless but pretty neat in a kinda generic way. 7's better imo, and 8 is very soothing. Not a huge amoutn for playlists, but a pleasant listen, and an artist to watch, probably? (M3, library) 3.3
Laura Murcia Cassette
Very cute Mexican song two tracker. I am not sure how to approach this as a release but it looks like the 2017 original edition only had the two tracks I am rating for, although she also released a version on bandcamp with a lot of singles that came out since. So I am not sure what's up with that. What I am sure of is the quality of this and perhaps moreso of the ensuing singles, and the fact that I'll be checking her future output eagerly. As a two tracker it is so short it struggles to get a high rating, but for sunny peace it sure is quality. 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
Lianne La Havas Lost And Found
I'd say in terms of a debut this is very strong, both because the excellence of her vocal performance alone justifies excitement for the future, but also because stylistically this finds its good niche of groovy, smooth soulsy stuff. 1 is very lovely, but I only wish the male voice wasn't there as it makes it sound more cheesy without adding much imo. 2 has a nice piano I guess but even her voice can't save it from just being a cheesy ballad. Things pick right back up afterwards with the simple but fun 3, the smooth 4, and the higher tempo, more beaty, more electronic 5. There isn't a world turning song here, but it's all good - and hindsight tells us the reasonable excitement stemming from a debut EP like this was justified. 3.5
Life on Venus Odes to the Void
I am not quite sure what it is, but this one feels a lot weaker than Encounters. It feels less dreamgazey, atmospheric and ethereal, and more like cutsey but bland alt rock fed into a reverb. A contributing factor could be the vox; they are no longer layered between multiple vocalists and they are more bare (less fx), which has pros and cons but imo doesnt work so well with the lazy shoegaze singing style here. Tracks like 6-8 feel all too samey and a touch naive. 10 brings on a nice wall of fuzz but it doesn't save the carrots. This meh feel already started with 1 which is nice but passable, but 2 and especially 3 bring up the catchiness a lot and are some of the few tracks I'll keep from this. But sadly by 4, the naive gnagnan feel had already started. I really don't think it was a matter of mood with this one as I was wanting to jam more of them, it's just less enjoyable for me than the debut. 3.3
Life on Venus Departure
If I were to guess I'd say this was recorded before the 2nd LP as the vox are still closer to the first LP and so are the style and quality. 1 is really cool and one of the most distorted songs by the band yet, and 3 is a very pretty song bang on in the style of the first LP. 2 and 4 were far less convincing, but they aren't bad and given this is a short EP I can forgive that to some degree. 3.65
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
Low Roar 0
Quite underwhelming if you ask me. Sure this is pretty folktronica (far more electronic than I remember the debut was although it's been a while), and I have nothing against wholly soft albums, but here there are too few memorable moments, and more importantly to few slow build up intros that make the album feel like an endless ebb and flow between soft and less soft that never explodes but makes you want it to explode. There are some highlights though and individually I suppose most of the tracks would work. The album intro is really cool reminding of sigur ros x radiohead, and the track itself is great. 2 is symptomatic of the problem as its soft intro should imo have been skipped entirely as it intensifies nicely in its second half which would have been a better follow up to 1. 6 has kind of a memorable hook and is quite nice. 7 is another highlight and is one of the few tracks that has a bit of a punch from the get go. 9 is almost a jam and perhaps the top highlight here with its post-rock leanings while keeping the folktronica sound. Because it was more intense, it makes the calmer 10 work unlike the prior yawney tracks. 12 has a nice intro texture, then goes back to yawncore, but the instrumental last third is quite cool and would have been a nice way to end the album, as 13 recycles themes from 6 and feels wholly unnecessary. Nice, but too little spread over too long. 3.4
Low Roar Once in a Long, Long While...
Largely abandons the folk aesthetics to concentrate on electronic elements a lot more. The second act is largely ambient, and so I am not really surprised that most people found this be a downgrade from 0 while I quite clearly prefer it (although yknow could be conditions). 1 is really cool and really displays the style shift from the get go. 2 seems cheesy at first but improves and the guest vox are a nice addition. 3 brings back the folk for a very subdued but really nice song, that has a lot more impact here than it would have among 10 other folk ballads you know. With this electronic vibe, the songs have more character and the album feels less repetitive as a result, as shown by 4 and 5. 6-7 is a bit too soft and perhaps the album's weak point as the last third is really well executed. 8 evokes electronic radiohead, 9 shows darker vibe that are unheard of in Low Roar's discog at that point, and while 11 is a bit yawney 10 and especially 12 are very nice and ambientey, concluding the album on a light and uplifting touch. Downwards energy curves arent usually my jam but I gotta say it works quite well. 3.6
Low Roar ross.
Brings back a little more of the folk to resemble the earlier Low Roar output more than the prior album. And it works quite well. My main gripe with this is that the voices rarely deviate or surprise you, and so while in isolations the tracks can work very well, in succession it takes away a lot of their impact. After the nice intro on 1 which prefaces the return to folktronica and the overall sound on the album quite well, 2 is a really sweet and nice song, perhaps my fave here. I like the drums on 3 but his voice already feels a bit not quite in the right place. 4 is a nice piano ballad that you know isn't my cuppa but is fine, and then evolves into a synthy instrumental second half which is really cool and shows that he at least does not make the mistake of singing constantly and letting the instruments speak. 5 is a nice ambient transition into folkey stuff again, before 7 surprises us with some nice sax after the emotional but relatively skippable 6. Although it begins by an odd silence that I don't see the point of, 8 is quite superb instrumentally, but again the vox are a bit to blame - especially those few vocoded sections which I really do not get in the slightest. 9 is a nice lo-fi interlude kinda thing, and then 10 again is quite good instrumentally but is a bit of a snore vocally. The conclusion with the more intense drums and the synths and the brass-ish sounding elements and the strings later on is a really welcome surprise though, which bumps this half a point. 3.35
Low Roar Inure
A nice EP, which like (it seems) every single Low Roar record is nice, but hardly goes beyond nice too. 1 is surprisingly ambient and contemplative being fully instrumental, and it gets quite beautiful with its lamenting strings. It is a great setup for the next songs, which is smart enough to use vocals quite sparingly after bringing back some folk into the mix, and is as such one of the more successful LR songs. The issue with this one as well as 1-3 is that they are two short, and feel like they end when really they should have expanded for twice as long. 3 is more ambient and ethereal which is nice, just wish it went on for longer. 4 is a sweet folk/country song and is the only track here that is actually long enough to feel complete, without overextending. While it isn't my favourite thing in the world, in the context of the EP I quite like it. A nice EP, but that is just LR being LR. 3.5
Lucy Gooch Rain's Break
Pretty much the same soundoff as for the last one, except the novelty wore off. The last track does strike as a particularly good implementation of her style which maintains my hopes that she will have great things to release in the future, and the EP does flow better than EP1. I don't think this would work on a longer format, but as an EP it is very nice. 3.3
Ludus Danger Came Smiling
At the start of this, I was very excited. The first track sounds like it could be Coltrane's, and 2 is nicely weird with the jazz + the vocalist's laugh. 3 is mystique drums stuff, and 4 is weird jazz again. But at that point it started to transpire that Ludus kind of left out their usual post-punkey songwriting on this one and just went full avant-garde weirdcore. And while that was fine at first, especially given the music retained a decent proportion of jazz in it, as time goes on there's more and more downtime, blanks, weird stuff that is okay to listen to but that I really have zero drive to jam again. I have to concede I had veeery long interruptions through listening to this, so it's not totally fair of me to rate it, but there is also nothing here that makes me want to give it a second try. There is a bit of normal Ludus voice on 7, but then lots of weirdgarde downtime until 11 which has nice piano at least, and 13 which offers fun drum stuff. 14 is also interestingly weird, but 15 this gets really a bit long and the fact that there is no conclusion at all and that the album just kinda dies reinforce that feeling of once listened good forever. I'll be kind in rating in light of the poor conditions, so 3.3
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
Madonna Like a Virgin
This one looses a lot of the disco flavour of LP1, with the exception of the super boppy 6 which really echoes the debut. The result is a perhaps more generic pop album but that isn't bland at all, although the outdatedness is quite palpable. 1 has cute bleep bloop but is one of those tracks that feel a bit generic. 2 shows the album's style quite well, subdued but quite catchy, which I find interesting. With 3 I cannot refrain from thinking of Shrek (always good but perhaps more comical than musically appealing lol) but hey ho all in all it is a super fun song nonetheless. 4 is fun too but just shows how this feels quite outdated. 5 is just a great sound all in all, and so is the discoey 6 as mentioned above. 3.7 starts off at as a boring ballad, but although it is frankly slightly funny at times it manages to not unfold in a cringe expected ballad way. 8 is the first and only subpar song here, but thankfully 9 in the vein of 2 and 4 is quite generic but nice and gets quite cool towards the end, enabling the album to not end on a bad note. So not as catchy as LP1, but mostly fine and fun despite not being hugely memorable 3.6
Madonna True Blue
An archetypal '80s pop release [2] 2012 TheNotrap got it right m/ This is a super fun record, with quite a few bangers, lower energy tracks that work well, not a single bad track really, but most importantly utter outdatedness that is really fun and unabashed, making this record perhaps not as portable to modern times as otehr Madonna LPs, but incredibly fun nonetheless. I do find the energy curve to be quite downwards apart from the beachy Mario Galaxy last track, and that brings the album down a touch. Will write this up better later but 3.7
Madonna Like a Prayer
Tbf it has been a long while since i jammed the preceding records, but this certainly does not feel like her best ever. The record hesitates between super cool Nile Rodgersy tracks where it really shines (especially the jammy 2 and 9), ballads that are mostly okay but kinda don't work with the rest (5, 8 kinda, 10 despite it's great itr), a short spell of musical-sounding tracks that kinda work (7 and 8 again, with the semi-classical transition between the two being the highlight, and the hook of 8 being another highlight), and several okay but not jammy but still fun songs (1 after it's intro 'riff' yes, 4,6). Oh and there is also a random outro track that is frankly unnecessary, and 3 with drums that are cool to see in 1989 with a strong Rnb feeling, and that gets quite nice in the last third with the added vocals and elements, but that isn't all that convincing for the first half. The resulting record is great if you cherry pick the tracks, but also kind of erratic and not so convincing on the whole despite having a couple solid jams and several good tracks. 3.6
Madonna Bedtime Stories
The top highlight here is 2 which in many ways (especially vocally) heavily prefaces the style of peri 00's Madonna, which is completely my jam. Kinda odd that it is the only track to that though. Indeed, the rest is a mostly well crafted, good-ish but very forgettable watered down disco pop album with recurrent ?hip-hop? influences? Idk there is something that reminds me instrumentally of the GTA San Andreas or something lmao. Jam the intro to 3 (which even has a rapped section with a guest vox) and tell me that doesn't scream that vibe. 1-4 are mostly okay, 5 is slightly mroe engaging with its beat, 6 again shows that strange hip hop sidem 7 has some sax and 8 goes even more soulsey, 9 is some more filler-feeling stuff,10 has fun synths in the back and sort of works as a hypnotic track I guess, and then 11 is about the most fittingly milquetoast conclusion track they could have written. Okay, not fantastic, prefaces better things to come and marks the nearing end of thigns that were. 3.45
Madonna Erotica
Starts in a really cool and surprising way and works ok on the long run but without quite matching up to that excitement. The runtime is long but ok, as the track count is reasonable and the tracks sustain their lengths well by always adding a few things along the way. This is very much a transition point for Madonna who resolutely abandons the 80s for the 90s. From the nice intro track you can even spot some signs of 00's Madonna in some aspects. 2-4 introduce us to a new house/bass/club oriented Madonna, and tbh i dig it, particularly 2, which is a perfect tropical cafe OST from the 2020s but with delightful touches of 90s outdatedness. Her delivery is more subdued than previously but it works with the groovy beats. 3 feels perhaps a little more outdated. However there is a long stretch before these clubby vibes come back. 5 is already slower and more sensual, closer to her older stuff, but it still works well. The slower, rnbey almost 6 ishte first to not convince me so much and is merely okay. This is when the album starts dipping below 4.0. 7 is super cool however and starts on a hip hop beat almost before unfolding into some sexy stuff. 8-9 (9 with a nice intro) bring back the club vibes very well, but alas that is short lived as 10 is again slower although nice and spacey. 11 feels a lot more like her 80s stuff again but is cool. 12 and 13 lose the album its last point, as the former is sweet but a bit dull, and the latter despite a nice beat feels like a questionable way to conclude on a down note. LP nearly was a super cool 90s dancy gem, ends up being a nice record with some great playlist cuts. 3.7
Madonna American Life
Suburbian soccer mom: the album. Now I cannot be 'objective' with this, having been raised to it, but I have to say nostalgia does not save many of its tracks. The issue is mostly pacing. The album starts with 3 of its best, catchiest tracks in the style of its perhaps somewhat outdated, but still super fun and very much my jam brand of pop full of triangle synths and electronic drums. All three bangers, although 3 perhaps less so. Then we have a long spell of tracks that, albeit not bad per se, are on an ever downward trend in energy. 5 is fun in that it outdated pretty badly, but by 8 we are at the mellowest ballad and it's frankly downhill with my rating. The album finally goes back to more of a beat, more catchiness, and more synths on 9 which feels like a deliverance but is also fun in its own right, before the album throws the banger 10 at us. Would have been a good conclusion, but it felt obliged to also give us 11, which whilst a fun calmer song is not as much of a finale as 10 would've been. Playlist album for sure. 3.3
Maeror Tri Multiple Personality Disorder
At first I was quite excited by this because it's been a while since I jammed some proper drone, this from the 90s, and the intro track and its follow up are quite great. But like every other track bar the intro, 2 is too a bit too long, and whilst the textures are nice it feels a bit too samey run of the mill drone on the whole. Still pretty strong. Then 3 is extremely minimalistic which I quite liked but idk how much I would jam ever, and 4 brings much grittier textures which are non-musical but cool in places and really excellent in others with some even horror-feeling parts. 5 is more musical and soundtrackey but at that point I was a bit out of the album if I'm honest. Cool drone, but that I have little desire to jam ever again, and taht isn't old enough to gain significant bonus points. Love that band aesthetic tho. 3.5
Maeror Tri Myein
Although this is far too true to its genre to be recommended to someone wanting to discover drone, for those who are convincingly into drone it is a good record. Its sole merit lies in the textures, but it evolves just enough to feel monolithic yet ever changing. The first two tracks in particular are very well crafted and have a g