So, today, here is what I picked up.
- The Number Five Forever and Ever and Ever and Ever by Robert Grieve
Robert is a colleague from the Recurse Center. In addition to being a programmer, he’s a touring session musician that plays fretless guitar. In his session work, he is often asked to play fairly traditional stuff, but this is a more adventurous album. It’s somewhere between a drone album and a free jazz album.
It somehow feels like this Yoshi Wada album despite being made with completely different instrumentation and having a lot of discrete events (as opposed to continuous bagpiping) in it. It’s quite possible that this is a connection that no one else feels. Regardless, it’s a good listen if you like guitar and strange, evolving pieces.
- Dimanche à Bamako by Bounaly
This is a band in Mali just going at it live at a wedding. Pentatonic stuff is not my style, but this is the most vibrant and expressive guitar soloing I’ve heard in quite a while. That guitar player is projecting 100% spontaneity and connecting with the band and the audience, and it almost doesn’t matter what pitches he picks.
- Golden Pear by Omni Gardens
I have a playlist called “Slow Life 2” that I’m trying to grow. It’s all relaxing, non-obstrusive music.
Ideally, I could just pipe in a lot of comfy synth, but my problem with comfy synth is that a lot of it leans into cloyingness, which I understand is part of the point. I just happen to not have what it takes to digest that much sugar.
The tracks I’ve heard from Golden Pear so far are refreshingly not too-sweet and not too-boring while still not breaking one out of the Slow Life vibe. I guess that is the fruit nature coming through.
- Hymns From The Apocrypha by Suffocation
I just found out about this album an hour ago!
I tend to want to say, hey, this current new form of metal is totally killing it! But I have to admit, a lot of adventurous new metal like Pyrrhon and Ulcerate just make me think “Interesting. I support this but I think I’ll listen to something else” as opposed to adventurous old metal like Gorguts and Demilich, which really do connect.
This new Suffocation album sounds like a refinement of their classic churning NYDM stuff from the ‘90s, which was adventurous in 1991 but not adventurous (though still brutal) by 1999. And yet, it’s not the kind of refinement that drains the blood out of the work. They still sound really into it (even without Frank Mullen), and I find it really nourishing.
- Queen of the Golden Wood and King of the Golden Hall by Jim Kirkwood.
Jim Kirkwood inspired dungeon synth by making dungeon synth two decades before the term was coined. There is a real sense of adventure in these pieces, as you’d expect, a freshness that comes of someone doing something out-of-genre (sort of like the bands that played death metal before death metal was codified), as well as really mature flow control in long pieces that is missing from a lot of longer dungeon synth pieces (including mine).
I don’t know what’s going on with the pricing. His albums are all set to £0.50, and he doesn’t let you pay more. But the better for you! You can get eight albums for the price of an iced coffee.