Erik Levander | InåtForwind (CD/DL) Swede Erik Levender presents Inåt (translation: Inwards).  Listeners have about thirty seconds to self-reflect before being pummeled with a devastating drop.  The synth-tones like wire; meshed together to form uneasy quakes.  High-pitched frequencies counter-weight luridly grim moments of de facto doom.  The cover art (Katharina Ira Allenberg) suggests a stoney self-examination; the […]

Swans Leaving Meaning Young God Records (LP/CD/DL) Few bands have successfully navigated through such a long history of stylistic changes, personnel upheavals and emotional shifts as Swans. It helps that now after so many eras and bands and genres head Swan boss Michael Gira is officially christening what we have known for decades. That Swans […]

Seasons (pre-din) | Distortions of a CellForwind (CD/DL) If within the first few moments of Distortion of a Cell one is not enraptured by the rhythmic noise and pulsating mechanical beats, listeners may have neglected the grand contemplative noise that Seasons (pre-din) generates in this cathartic odyssey.  The first three tracks evolve in a theme […]

PYUR | Oratorio For the UnderworldSubtext Recordings (CD/DL) Enter the PYUR (Sophie Schnell’s) ‘upside-down’ in Oratorio For the Underworld.  If it seems pretentious to summon the ‘oratorio’ title (joining the most popular: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Handel’s Messiah, and Haydn’s The Creation) there may be, for the listener, an apprehension of grandiose expectations.  However, listeners are in for a contemporary dark-electro […]

Jon Rose & Alvin Curran | Café Grand AbyssRer Megacorp (CD/DL) Musicians operating in the realm of instant synthesis (this usually translates as “finest improvisers”) are defined by the ability to exploit the elusive qualities of information overload. What appears as a chaotic, and ultimately insufferable cacophony to idle ears and brains transmits instead a refreshing sensation […]

ESSi | Vital CreaturesRamp Local (LP/CD/DL) Brooklyn duo Essi’s debut album Vital Creatures is an impressive first offering. The duo consisting of virtuoso guitarist and vocalist Jessica Ackerley and drummer Rick Daniel escorts the listener through 14 tracks that confound genres. I am hard-pressed to categorize the music contained here, moods shift, tones weave in […]