Category Archives: experimental

Loraine James – Reflection

      1 Comment on Loraine James – Reflection
Album Cover for Loraine James "Reflection"

I sometimes wonder what would happen if reviewers didn’t receive press kits. It’s a question that re-emerges as I read about Loraine James and encounter phrases like “genre-bending IDM” and “paint portraits of Blackness, queerness and loneliness.” I don’t know what genre-bending IDM sounds like. What I hear in Reflection is a thoughtful and emotional record that builds on the… Read more »

Pan American (self-titled) and Pole 1

      6 Comments on Pan American (self-titled) and Pole 1
Album covers for Pan American (Self-Titled) and Pole 1

It’s a beautiful spring afternoon and I’m in the drive-thru at Taco Bell in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. It’s 1998 and I’m thrilled to finally have a Taco Bell in my neighborhood. I’m bored with the stash of CDs in my pickup so I’m flipping through radio stations when a sound I’ve never heard floats into my ears. A lazy beat… Read more »

Jessica Moss – “Opened Ending”

      2 Comments on Jessica Moss – “Opened Ending”
Album cover for Opened Endings by Jessica Moss

I’ve been revisiting Entanglement by Jessica Moss. The opening song, “Particles,” is gorgeous, and is what I wanted to hear back in the ‘90s when I was buying and quickly abandoning albums by Rachel’s and the Ordinaires and Tortoise. Unfortunately, the four-song suite, “Fractals,” feels almost academic, an impartial study of interesting ideas. In researching Moss’ work, I stumbled upon… Read more »

Sophie Trudeau – Confinement Songs

      No Comments on Sophie Trudeau – Confinement Songs
Album cover for "Confinement Songs" by Sophie Trudeau

I was going to review the new Godspeed You! Black Emperor record, G_d’s Pee AT STATES END!, but better writers have already said what I would say, albeit sometimes in a strange way. Instead, I’ll review a new-to-me discovery from the Godspeed collective: the five-song pandemic collection of “small weekly offerings while in confinement” from GY!BE violinist Sophie Trudeau. The… Read more »

Visionist – A Call to Arms

      2 Comments on Visionist – A Call to Arms
Album cover for "A Call to Arms"

The first 180 seconds of A Call to Arms is an intense journey. You are wrapped in a blanket of noise. Perhaps it’s an echo of long-abandoned factories, perhaps traffic roars amongst construction beneath your window, perhaps a raging river is tearing away your bedroom walls. Westminster Quarters begins to chime and the sound devolves into a fever dream of… Read more »

Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes

      2 Comments on Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes

Released: October 2, 2012 Every time I listen to this record, I hear something different. One day I hear Bill Laswell, the next Parliament, the next Bowie or Prince or Zappa. I heard the Grateful Dead once, but even though I’ve tried, I just can’t find that vibe again. I hear dodgy wanker music on Monday and then on Tuesday… Read more »

Ellen Allien – LISm

      No Comments on Ellen Allien – LISm

Released: March 19, 2013 As a DJ, producer, and label owner, Ellen Allien has pushed the boundaries of techno and electronic music for decades. Her music recreates the energy of Berlin much in the same way Coltrane’s music recreates the energy of New York City. One thing I like about Ellen Allien is her willingness to experiment, to risk failure… Read more »

Review: Victor! Fix The Sun – Person Place or Thing

Label: Friction Records Released: October 20, 2009 Albums that rely heavily on noisy dissonance and angular rhythms as a means of expression seldom even dabble in accessibility, but Person Place or Thing, the latest from Michigan’s mathy post-punkers Victor! Fix the Sun, is clear evidence of what’s missing from that narrow view. From the ringing guitar and wild, frantic drumming… Read more »