Browsing All posts tagged under »instrumental rock«

Roland Bühlmann – Aineo (progressive rock)

October 15, 2015

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There is a minimal aesthetic to Aineo, but its compositions are structured hierarchically, not by any remotely Minimalist procedure. It’s an instrumental record, with cool, low-key textures, that, for the most part, can be uncontroversially classified as rock – a few folky moments notwithstanding. Everything about it conforms to established norms that say, roughly, each element in a texture will be active and melodically significant in direct proportion to its pitch. The music is not unremittingly monodic, and its textures are frequently more prominent than melodies that, if present, are sometimes no more than coincidences at …

Various Artists – Album Roundup

September 25, 2014

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Mark Harrison and his very capable band (whose members include the extremely talented duo Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker) play a curiously English take on American roots music. Their stylistic materials mine the cracks between country blues and old time country music, continuing a UK tradition that began with skiffle and was nourished by the likes of Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and the pop-jug-band sounds of Canned Heat. There’s a sense when listening to American performers in such styles, particularly the older ones, that they are singing from beneath a heavy encrustation of …

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…

Review Of The Year 2012, Part 2: 12 EPs

December 17, 2012

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In previous years I’ve assembled my annual review solely from album length releases; it’s interesting to note that the vast majority of music I come across, whether I actively discover it or somebody sends it to me for review, is in something resembling album format (notwithstanding that most of it reaches me as a sequence of ones and zeros). However, I do receive EPs and singles, and some of the very best music I’ve heard this year has come my way in shorter releases. It’s clearly time I reflected this in my end of year review, and as it would seem strange to compare two track singles with seventy minute albums, I’ve decided to assemble my favourites in two parts …

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

September 2, 2012

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This sophomore EP from The Light That Kills is less granular, more directionally narrative than the debut A Day That We Drift And Fall. This is not to say that it consists of conventional musical phrases arranged according to a nice, accessible formal grammar; that really would be weird, given Scott Crocker’s established experimental proclivities, but there is a far less atemporal approach to the succession of events, and there is a discernible dramatic arc to most of these pieces. There is also a more extended use of recognisable sonic sources, including some protracted free-rock improvisation in ‘Woken By Bells’, ‘Letting Go The Gods’ and particularly, most successfully, ‘New Eden’.

The Inner Road – Visions (progressive rock)

December 14, 2011

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Rock music is such an integral part of our audio culture that it has almost become invisible as a thing in itself: it doesn’t sound like rock music to many ears, in many contexts, but just like music. Furthermore, because of the way in which it is usually experienced, as a currency of mass culture, and thus a vehicle for a whole raft of subtly differentiated associations, those associations tend to obscure the physical ‘aurality’ of the music. The song is heard, with all its lyrical denotations, and the points of identification around which a listening subject may construct itself, but because that listening subject is typically alert to the…

The Fierce And The Dead – If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe (post-rock)

May 7, 2011

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This album contains, but does not start with, the follow up to TFATD’s initial release, Part 1, an EP consisting of a single eighteen minute track called ‘Part 1’. ‘Part 2’ is only a little over five minutes in length, but it does cram a remarkable amount of dramatic incident into that span.