Here’s a brilliant – if deeply unsettling – slice of dubby electronica for you that genuinely seemed to make my tinnitus swerve to an entirely new, ferocious pitch. Taken from her recent LP Les Chemins De L’inconnu, out now on the relentlessly good Ilian Tape.
Canto Ostinato is the new volume of classical minimalism from musician and producer Erik Hall. Written for four pianos in 1979 by Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt, the piece is freshly framed as an intimate, hour-long solo performance consisting of multitracked grand pianos, electric piano, and organ, with Sections 17-30 out now ahead of the full album. For fans of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and meditative modern classical in general.
While producing his new album Meeting with a Judas Tree, Duval Timothy made a point of being in nature as much as possible, immersing himself in various habitats from South London and the hills surrounding Bath to scrubland in Ghana and the woods of Sierra Leone, taking recordings of birds, insects, monkeys, bats, plants, trees, stones on his phone, many of which made it into the final version. The result is a deeply immersive, meditative album which flits between electronic experimentation, jazz and modern classical, culminating with the sparse beauty of Drift.
I don’t often just copy in release hype for posts, but this is an important one, and gives you an indication of the tone of the album better than I ever could, so here you go…
“Blue Scar Vol I , is the first installation of a long form album. This tapestry of songs is a personal mythology of love and survival, I have been patiently writing and working on this since 2013, the year I almost died because of intimate partner violence.
“This body of work brought me back to my body, and continues to do so everyday, my prayer is that it does the same for all trauma survivors, that this music is a place we can tend to our personal and generational wounds as well as a place to honour our scars. This is for youngest selves , for my child self and my god self, who always seek to protect and heal me – this is a quest to relearn what love is.”
NNAMDÏ’s head-spinning new album Please Take A Seat takes great delight in wrong-footing you. Relatively straightforward rap one second, it will turn sharply into chaotic electronics or jaunty pop before throwing in the kind of guitar riffs more at home in 80s stadium rock. I’m not sure it always works, but it is highly ambitious and enjoyably eccentric. Anti is one of the more straightforwardly enjoyable moments, but it’s really worth checking out in its entirety to get the full effect of its undeniable power.
If Mondays generally make you feel tense and anxious, I’d suggest maybe skipping this one; and maybe the entire album from which it is taken. Lucrecia Dalt’s new album ¡Ay! does have contain some lovely melodies and lighter moments, but most of them are buried beneath twitchy, sketchy layers; rattling off-kilter percussion; warped, half-whispered vocals. It’s undeniably beautiful, but in a slightly panic-inducing way. And this weird video – despite it focussing on someone gently floating in water – is pretty much the opposite of relaxing.
Loraine James’s new album Building Something Beautiful For Me lands today and fucking hell it is amazing. I never really clicked with last year’s Reflection, but loved her ambient album as Whatever The Weather from earlier this year. Building… seems to sit somewhere between these ambient and club spaces and comes across almost like a work in progress, with tracks stopping abruptly or changing tone midway through. There are so many highlights picking a single track was very tough, but I went for Black Excellent (Stay On It) due to the simplicity of its construction – pretty much just a single, undulating synthline throughout – resolved perfectly by the bleak beauty of its final third.
Here’s one that completely passed me by, from all the way back in January. In a week in which pretty much everyone is – quite rightly – singing the praises of Gabriels’ incredible new album, I’m listening to an album which is similarly built around another extraordinary vocal performance, but that flew mostly under the radar, at least of many of the main music reviewers. The album, The Alien Coast, is unclassifiable in parts, but is at its most satisfying when it settles into its soul-forward groove, a la the stunning Minotaur.
Apologies for my recent absence (you noticed, right?) I was enjoying some post-birthday seaside celebrations and was way too busy pretending I’m rich to waste my time with music! Anyway, here’s some glorious Aphex-adjacent weirdness from Mads Kinnerup – the first single from his forthcoming album Interpolation – by way of an apology.
“Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is dancing in an eye-scorching tumble of neon bricks and video game aesthetics” is the opening line to the Quietus’s review of her new album Let’s Turn It Into Sound, and while it actually describes a recent music video, it could just as easily be a neat single-sentence summation of the entire LP. Hauntingly introspective one minute, exuberantly unhinged the next, it’s an intriguing listen from start to finish, with the circling synth patterns and warped vocals of Then The Wind Came a personal favourite.