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Music

Gabriel Saloman: Movement Building Vol. 2 (LP, Shelter Press, October 2015)

If I have one complaint about this album from (sorry) the less well-known half of Yellow Swans, it’s simply that at 31 minutes it’s too short. Otherwise, it’s magnificent. It’s primarily guitar drones and percussion, although for much of the first part of the record it sounds like the guitar is being bowed or scraped […]

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Music

Kreng: The Summoner (CD, Miasmah, January 2015)

This is one of those records I love a little more every time I hear it. The opening is almost unbearably quiet, there’s something tiny rustling in there that you strain to hear. Of course, this is an obvious set-up so you jump when the big scary noises happen. It’s a move straight out of […]

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Music

Angel: Terra Null (CD, Editions Mego, June 2014)

I’m not normally comfortable with people describing music as “difficult”. If I find a record difficult, doesn’t that say as much about me and my experiences as it does about the music? So I’m going to stick with saying this: I doubt many people would classify Terra Null as easy listening; I certainly don’t. However, it […]

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Duane Pitre & Cory Allen: The Seeker & The Healer (LP, Students Of Decay, July 2014)

Just your regular duo: Duane Pitre plays bowed guitar and piano, Cory Allen plays piano, harmonium, and 49-stringed drone harp. Hang on, what? The drone harp was custom-made by sound artist Allen, it more or less sounds like the name suggests, and it’s rather magical. It’s also worth mentioning that at least one of them […]

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Music

Mika Vainio: Kilo (CD, Blast First Petite, July 2013)

You kind of know what to expect with a Mika Vainio release: it’s going to be big and dark and heavy and there are going to be giant bassy throbs which well up out of your woofers like some sort of sonic kraken, and in between (especially in the work under his own name) there […]

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Music

Anne-James Chaton & Andy Moor: Transfer (CD, Unsounds, May 2013)

I find Anne-James Chaton strangely wonderful. He has appeared here reading out the serial numbers from receipts found in Carsten Nicolai’s wallet on Alva Noto’s unitxt, and reading news reports of important events of 2009 along with other texts (like the terms and conditions on train tickets) associated with those dates on his solo Événements 09, both […]

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Music

The Haxan Cloak: Excavation (CD, Tri Angle, April 2013)

The album art for Excavation consists of a painting of a noose-like rope against a blank near-black background. This gives a subtle clue what kind of a musical experience we’re in for. And, indeed, the music is pretty doomtastic: deep deep bass sounds loom out of the speakers, industrial rhythms stutter and spurt, minor chords float […]

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Music

Sanso-Xtro: Fountain Fountain Joyous Mountain (CD, Digitalis, April 2011)

Melissa Agate pairs gentle, woozy drones with delicate melodies on a range of tinkling chimes, slow-mo accordians, folky guitars, and the like. The effect is a very sweet kind of psychedelia. Of course, too much sweetness gets cloying, and I do find her occasional vocals tend to tip things over the edge into tweeness. But […]

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Ayshay: Warn-U (CD single,Tri Angle, September 2011)

This record resists categorization rather brilliantly. The title track is mostly (as far as I can tell) mainly composed of three heavily processed loops of human voices, along with some gentle laptop effects (the only beat is a barely present pad). Two are wordless drones or chants, one a rumbling bass and the other a […]

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Music

Tim Hecker: Ravedeath, 1972 (CD, Kranky, February 2011)

Within seconds of starting, Tim Hecker has turned it up to 11. You should turn it up, too: this assault of awesomely crunchy drone demands to be played loudly. (I hope the neighbours don’t mind — if they do, they might be too scared to complain.) It roars, it pulses, it stutters. I kind of […]