Browsing All posts tagged under »avant-garde«

Stars In Battledress – In Droplet Form (avant-folk)

September 30, 2014

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Music needs to be comprehensible; it is, after all, a form of communication. The more readily digestible it is, however, and the more easily it slips down, the fewer hooks there are to hang any unique meanings on it. There is an inherently unstable dialectic between the familiar and the novel, and somewhere around the mid-point of that duality’s oscillations are the sites at which it resonates with its listeners. The strangeness with which Stars In Battledress tend to strike the listener’s ear is not that of complete unfamiliarity; indeed, their music’s harmonies are primarily built

Various Artists – Album Roundup

September 8, 2014

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Richard Pinhas and Yoshida Tatsuya are legendary figures in the French and Japanese experimental rock scenes, respectively. ‘Experimental’ is a term that implies a bit of diversity, and the projects they’ve been involved with have covered quite a range of approaches, so there is nothing predictable about this record, and nor would there have been, whatever it sounded like. Pinhas is a guitarist with a penchant for live looping technology, which he uses here to create shimmering skeins of sound rather than hard-edged rhythmic repetitions, mutating colour fields with texturally filigreed surfaces and pelagically roiling depths. He uses quite pronounced distortion, which takes the music into the fringes of noise, but it is soft and warm, amniotically …

Present – Triskaïdékaphobie (avant-rock)

March 10, 2014

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If there’s one thing reviewing this album has taught me it’s this: always scroll to the end of the email. When I went back to the message in which this was submitted for review, I discovered that I had also received a link for Present’s second album, Le Poison Qui Rend Fou, which was re-released at the same time. I’ve now downloaded it (thank you, nice people at Cuneiform Records), but I won’t be reviewing it with this one; I probably wouldn’t have done anyway, as that’s not really how I roll. I prefer to concentrate on the sound, and ignore the seminal reputation (or otherwise) of the release; and there is …

The Fierce And The Dead – Spooky Action (avant-rock)

January 18, 2014

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It used to make a certain amount of sense to refer to The Fierce And The Dead as a post-rock band, and they have indeed been known to make use of that term themselves; I feel they’ve moved on, however, into some kind of a post-post-rock phase. Leaving aside my irritation at contemporary culture’s tendency to append the prefix post- to anything and everything, it’s a good enough term to describe a particular form of predominantly instrumental, texturally inclined music that employs the resources of rock; it’s a term with currency, pointing to an established set of stylistic practices, and to some…

Various Artists – Album Roundup

September 4, 2013

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We’ve all seen some pretty rough justice in the wake of global capitalism’s recent crises, but Greece has suffered worse than any other part of the developed world. The Figures Of Enormous Grey And The Patterns Of Fraud appears to be a response to these circumstances, although it’s too complex an album to be pinned down quite so glibly. Choral voices are layered with a complex variety of rock textures, ranging from post-rock atmospherics, through mathy convolutions to heavy prog riffing. It’s the big epic sweep of things that tends to predominate, rather than the individual voice or the…

Believers Roast presents The Exquisite Corpse Game

July 31, 2013

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The game of Consequences has a long history, probably in the order of two centuries, but quite possibly longer. Back when parlour games were essential lubricants to the passage of time, a progress not demarcated by the dazzling increments of the media age, such diversions had a far more prominent role in culture, and could provide a touchstone to other, less frivolous activities. The Surrealists, a diverse creative group committed to the elision of distinctions between the absurd and the profound, between work and play, between dream and waking, found the non-sequiturs …