I'm catching up to more current times! Meanwhile, here's what I listened to in April 2022.
Sandy Denny - No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology
In 2010, Sandy Denny (Boxset), a 19-CD box anthology was released. The box set collected almost everything that Sandy Denny had recorded during her brief and very expressive life.
I am not only blown away by her fantastic voice but what a singer she was; this double-disc album is splayed chronologically, which allows us to hear her progression as time went by. Not only is her voice brilliant, but some songs are breathtakingly wondrous; this compilation collects songs by all bands that she was in, including her solo material.
Gnod - Hexen Valley
Gnod are another experimental and extremely lovable band from Salford (Manchester, England) to which you should immediately listen. Even though they mainly use traditional rock instruments, the results are seldom anything that resembles rawk.
Gnod always shift in members and which instruments they play, but their geist remains the same. This is not boring music.
Terrence Dixon - Other Dimensions
Minimalistic techno funk.
µ-Ziq - Goodbye
Mike Paradinas revisited his old album Lunatic Harness and got the idea to get back into jungle. Too right. He's back.
Various artists - fabric presents Leon Vynehall
This is another terrific compilation mix album from fabric. Vynehall shines out everything from ambient to afro-house and breakbeats.
Shelley Parker - Wisteria
This is some broken-up breakbeat shit! I love this album. Never a dull moment. It brings back the excitement of what I really loved in the 1990s when the UK breakbeat scene was at its peak; this is spruced-up and wondrous. Damn, Shelley Parker is good.
SHIT AND SHINE - Phase Corrected
Imagine the black-metal band Abruptum at the peak of their powers: harsh, abrasive, distorted. Now, imagine their stuff with no reverb, no echo, and everything recorded directly into the mixing board with full distortion. Welcome to SHIT AND SHINE! It's harsh and I love the deeply distorted fuzz that sits like a rod through this album.
Brainwaltzera - ITSAME
This is some Aphex Twin-y stuff with lovely song titles, like 'Fwd: Re: late (Ref.: karoshi) ' Having said that, Brainwaltzera is unique and has never been better. Their game is on percussion and varying tracks. You're thrown from ambient to flowy, dreamy tech-pop, to wondrous free-flowing melodies that would make Tangerine Dream happy.
This is the best album yet from a very exciting music-maker.
Alabaster dePlume - GOLD – Go Forward in the Courage of Your Love
dePlume is a poet/town crier and won't let you forget it. With songs like 'Fucking Let Them', which combines a live spoken-word performance and jazz, you know you're in to be thrown. Surprisingly well produced for an album like this, in my experience.
Tord Gustavsen Trio - Opening
Some contemporary and slow jazz for you. Not my thing at all, which made this even more trying to listen to.
Damon Albarn - The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows
Made on Iceland, Albarn has made an album where his voice is the main instrument, floating above jazz instrumentation, ambient soundwaves, bossanova demo rhythms...
Kae Tempest - The Line is a Curve
Brilliant poetic rap from one of the most well-known contemporary poets, rappers, and essayists in the UK. This album is, I think, their best yet.
Wet Leg - Wet Leg
Pixies were brilliant until they reformed and started releasing music that was far less good than their older stuff. New bands like Wet Leg have since popped up and stolen the throne from the masters who created the map.
Some of Wet Leg's music is slacker shit, some of it's brilliant and exciting.
Spiritualized - Everything Was Beautiful
I've been catching up with Spiritualized lately. Friends in Texas have said their gigs are now among the best they've ever seen... So, I naturally missed them when they turned up in Stockholm, where I live. AARRRGH.
This is their latest album and it's lovely. Jason Pierce, who basically is Spiritualized, wrote everything and performed all or nearly all instrumentation himself. Whoa.
This is gospel and space music, all in one. There's beauty in here, the likes of which I seldom otherwise come across.
Daniel Rossen - You Belong There
A mellow, clear voice rides over piano, oboe, nylon guitar strings, and synths. This is lovely and lush. Flutes turn up. Slow music. Like gazing into the settings from Olivier Assayas's film Summer Hours. It's lovely. Old-school yet unique. Most of the harmonies are beautiful.
This could make a superb lazy summer soundtrack.
Grouper - Ruins
This album was mostly made using a four-track recorder in Portugal, in 2011. To me, this album feels like a dreamy walk through an endless day (in a good way).
Horace Andy - Midnight Rocker
The first time I heard Horace Andy's voice must have been on Massive Attack's song 'Spying Glass'. I loved it. I didn't listen to reggae at the time, but I soon started. I've not heard Andy in years, but this album brings me back to remembering how great he is. I'm really glad he's made this album. His wise and near-soprano voice reaches toward the skies and often touches stars.
Wet Tuna - Warping All By Yourself
Psych-funk with a lot of effects? Got you. Here you are.
It's fun and not memorable.
Rammstein - Zeit
It's not memorable. That's it. I think I listened to this album due to memories of some of their old tracks, which, in hindsight, aren't very fun to listen to. I think I've outgrown this for now. See you in ten years, Rammstein.
Röyksopp - Profound Memories
This band said they'd never release another album and here we are. They've brought in guest singers as usual, Astrid S., Susanne Sundfør, and Alison Goldfrapp. It's a lot of what I like: arpeggio smatters, lush electronic soundscapes, and yet no real bangers.
Still, Röyksopp always holds for high quality. It's just that they can't decide when to bring the magic: it happens, be it as a b-side or on an album, but it's not always where it should be.