Retrospektiv 2010–2016 by Grand Mal X

Grand Mal X | Retrospektiv 2010–2016 Ant-Zen (DL) Swedish duo Grand Mal x flirt between old school electro patterns and more modern DSP shapes, combining the two into an irresistibly propulsive funk on some tracks and a much more abstract terrain on others. Retrospektiv 2010 – 2016 is a collection of previously released material, originally from various tape labels and one track that had until now been unreleased. The album crackles into life with “laced pork chops”, an oblique soundscape that bristles with electrified energy and dark synth tones. One of the most experimental tracks, it is also the track … Continue reading Retrospektiv 2010–2016 by Grand Mal X

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A Trio from Tonus

Tonus Cagean Morphology Intermediate Obscurities I + IV Texture Point  | A New Wave of Jazz (CD/DL) Belgium label A New Wave of Jazz has released a steady discography of albums, all sharing an in-house visual design that favors minimal aesthetics. This visual identity, incidentally, is the work of Rutger Zuydervelt, the experimental sound artist who records as Machinefabriek. This dedication to minimalism extends to the sounds on these releases, each exploring a less is more approach to improvised jazz. Label director Dirk Serries is present on all recordings, and this month sees the release of a trio of Tonus albums. … Continue reading A Trio from Tonus

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The Height Of The Reeds by Arve Henriksen

Arve Henriksen | The Height Of The Reeds Rune Grammofon (LP/CD) The northern English coastal town Hull was, in 2017, selected as UK City of Culture, resulting in a range of artistic events being bestowed upon the city. One was a commission involving Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen creating the audio for a soundwalk across the Humber Bridge. He was aided in the composition by fellow Norwegians Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang. The success of this event surpassed expectations, running an extra two months in duration as it attracted so many visitors and participants. So successful in fact, that the Rune … Continue reading The Height Of The Reeds by Arve Henriksen

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For The Love Of…by Distant Fires Burning

Distant Fires Burning | For The Love Of… Audiobulb Records (CS/DL) Review by Darren McClure The fourth album from this ambient project by Gert De Meester finds the artist stretching his processing skills into interesting territories. His background as the bassist in bands assists in the direction of Distant Fires Burning, focused as it is on the sounds of the Fender Jazz Bass. The bass guitar isn’t a common instrument adapted to experimental drone music, the only band I can think of that has put it to the fore is the British group Rothko, who use the low tones to … Continue reading For The Love Of…by Distant Fires Burning

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Double Negative by Low

Low | Double Negative Sub Pop Records (LP/CD/CS/DL) Review by Darren McClure 25 years into their career, Low release their twelfth album and do so by taking a major departure in sound design and aesthetics. The sparse, spacious rock compositions are still intact, but this time they’ve embraced new levels of distortion and noise to frame their songs. This is immediately evident on album opener Quorum, which grinds into life via a heavily distorted guitar loop that vibrates and grumbles under gated compression, slowly allowing Alan Sparhawk’s vocals to shine through. It’s a repetitive, head-nodding and speaker-shredding way to kick … Continue reading Double Negative by Low

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Radiance by Stephan Mathieu

Stephan Mathieu Radiance (Schwebung; CDx12; DL) Special to Toneshift.net: Review by Darren McClure The Radiance series began with a crowd-funded request by its creator, Stephan Mathieu, the best part of two years ago. From that point, 12 installments were released digitally on a semi-regular basis, and the physical edition has been released this month. 12 CDs housed in a beautifully designed boxset trace Mathieu’s interest in slow-motion drones and electroacoustic atmospheres, each exploring different recording techniques. Sound sources include gramophone 78s, singing bowls, gongs and harpsichord. Elsewhere, entropic systems for piano and loudspeakers feature on one disc, and a similar … Continue reading Radiance by Stephan Mathieu

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