Avant Music News Best of 2015 (So Far)

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2015 is halfway over and this year has seen quite a number of notable releases. This list includes over 100 albums each of which is worth a listen, if not more. The ordering below is rough, but should give you an idea of what we are thinking. Releases that we have reviewed feature links to said reviews. Enjoy.

English: Thurston Moore at the 2008 Brooklyn B...

Album of the year candidates
Biota – Funnel to a Thread
Magma – Slag Tanz
Merzbow / Mats Gustafsson / Balazs Pandi / Thurston MooreCuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper

Excellent Releases
Scott AmendolaFade to Orange
Anna Clock – Celestial
Kris Davis / Infrasound – Save Your Breath
Andrew Drury – The Drum
Andrew Drury / Quartet – Content Provider
Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook Up – After All is Said
Guapo – Obscure Knowledge
Stephen Haynes – Pomegranate
Jack O’ The Clock – Outsider Songs
Kiss the Frog – Hillmonster
Ligeia Mare – Amplifier
Roy Mattson – Mesmer
Northaunt – Istid I-II
NYM – Untitled
Han Earl Park / Catherine Sikora / Nick Didkovsky / Josh Sinton – Anomic Aphasia
Abbey Rader / West Coast Quartet – First Gathering
Remote Viewers – Pitfall
Daniel Rosenboom – Astral Transference / Seven Dreams
Schnellertollermeier – X
Sound Awakener – September Traveler
The Spanish Donkey (Joe Morris / Jamie Saft / Mike Pride) – Raoul
Robert Scott Thompson – Palimpsest
Tunnels of Ah – Thus Avici
Gebhard Ullmann / Basement Research – Hat and Shoes

Honorable mentions
Aires & Rui P. Andrade – Pânico-Ambiente
Apocryphos – The Prisoner’s Cinema
Ariadne – Ex Tempore
Atomic – Lucidity
Autistici – Live at Electric Spring
Michel Banabila / Oene van Geel – Music for Viola and Electronics
Daniel Barbiero / Jimmy Ghaphery – The Convergence of Parallel Lines
Barton Rage / Bill Laswell – Realms I
Beauty School (Chandler / Djill / Heule) – Residual Ugly
Black Dirt Oak / Jantar – Presage
The Bridge Sessions – Sonic Communication
François Carrier / Michel Lambert – iO
François Carrier / Michel Lambert / Rafal Mazur – Unknowable
Brett Carson – Quattuor Elephantis
Drew Ceccato / Tommy Babin / Chris Golinski – Tor
Piotr Cisak / Pawel Oleksinski – Lao
Jeff Cosgrove / Frank Kimbrough / Martin Wind – Conversations with Owls
DarkMatterHalo – Darkness Interrupted
Discordian Community Ensemble – Draught, Suspicion
Harris Eisenstadt – Golden State II
Eliogabal – Mo
Ensemble Signal – Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians
Far Rainbow – No Medicine That Can Cure a Fool
Lorenzo Feliciati – KOI
Agusti Fernández, / Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard / Bjørn – Amarnath
Cassio Figueiredo – Diario
Funerary Call – The Mirror Reversed – Part 2
Pete Furniss / Haftor Medbøe – Bitter Together
Gamardah Fungus – Bardo Thodol
Jeremy Gill – Capriccio
Vinny GoliaSolo at Gold Lion Arts
Milford Graves / Bill Laswell – Space / Time Redemption
Devin Gray – RelativE ResonancE
Gush – The March
Rich Halley / 4 Creating Structure
Ross Hammond – Flight
Ross Hammond / Catherine Sikora – Perfect Plasticity
Ross Hammond / John Bafus / Steuart Liebig – Lowburn
Hu – Vibrational – The Epic Botanical Beat Suite
ICP Orchestra – East of the Sun Net 2015
Ima x Atto Plain – Ima x Atto Plain
Iron Fist of the Sun – We Can Yield Our Own Footsteps
Jaga Jazzist – Starfire
Henry Kaiser / Ray Russell – The Celestial Squid
The Kandinsky Effect – Somnambulist
Karjalan – Sissit Want You Dead
Kaze – Uminari
Kellari Trio (Koskinen / Innanen / Hauta-aho) – Kellari Trio
Khost – Corrosive Shroud
Locrian – Infinite Dissolution
Lone Echo (Devin Sarno) – Lone Echo (EP)
Jon Lundbom / Big Five Chord – Jeremiah
Rudresh Mahanthappa – Bird Calls
Maoz / Ilgenfritz / Ligeti – Hypercolor
Rob Mazurek / Exploding Star Orchestra Galactic Parables, Vol.1
Myra Melford / Snowy Egret – Snowy Egret
Metallic Taste of Blood – Doctoring the Dead
Mz.412 – Hekatomb
Oiseaux-Tempête – Utopiya
Steve Olson Conversations
Jonah Parzen-Johnson – Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow
Craig Pedersen / Quartet – Ghosts
Pines – The Field Journal
The Quash Wagon Reclusion – A Room with Tempered Walls
Amy Reed – Solo Guitar
Rivener – Fires in Repose
Rent Romus / Life Blood – The Otherworld Cycle
John Scott (Stereocilia) – Slow Motion
Secret Keeper (Stephan Crump / Mary Halvorson) – Emerge
Sound Awakener – Be Whole
Spin Marvel – Infolding
Superimpose (Matthias Müller / Christian Marien) – Edinburgh
Tecumseh – Seven
Roger Turner & Otomo Yoshihide – The Last Train
Michael Vlatkovich / Septet – Ask 7
Eli Wallace / Jon Arkin / Karl Evangelista – Cabbages, Captain, & King
Yasunao Tone / Talibam! / Sam Kulik – Double Automatism
John Zorn – Simulacrum

John Zorn at the Stone Reviewed

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English: John Zorn Français : John Zorn

From The New York Times:

John Zorn, the prolific avant-garde American composer and saxophonist whose audacious works draw on modernist, jazz and hard-core styles and more, nodded to Beethoven in classifying as bagatelles some 300 snippets of pieces he composed this spring. As he explained on Sunday afternoon to an audience that packed the Stone, the no-frills Lower East Side performance space he founded, his bagatelles are like compact tunes written on a single staff, but packed with “harmonic, melodic and rhythmic information.”

Exclaim! Music Reviews

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English: Nels Cline @ All tomorrow's parties f...

From Exclaim!:

​Nels Cline & Julian Lage
Gesu, Montreal QC, July 1

Robert Glasper Trio
Monument-National, Montreal QC, June 28

​Body/Head
The #1 Legion (Downstairs), Calgary AB, June 27

Musique Machine Reviews

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English: William Basinski live. Polski: Willia...

From Musique Machine:

Grizzly Imploded – Anabasi
Richard Chartier & William Basinski – Divertissement
Nightmare Castle – Phibes
Swallowing Bile – Guerrilla
Tristan Louth-Robins – The Path Described
Cory Strand – Oblivion Adorned

AMN Picks of the Week: Robert Scott Thompson / Locrian / Roy Mattson / Autistici / Bridge Sessions

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Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Robert Scott Thompson – Play is the Supreme Bricoleur of Frail Transient Constructions (2012)
Locrian – Infinite Dissolution (2015)
Roy Mattson – Mesmer (2015)
Autistici – Live at Electric Spring (2015)
The Bridge Sessions – Sonic Communication (2015)

Ingrid Laubrock Residency in NY, July 31 – August 1

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From Ingrid Laubrock:

Saxophonist and composer Ingrid Laubrock will premiere new music over two evenings on July 31 and August 1 at the Jazz Gallery in NYC as part of The Jazz Gallery Residency Commission Series. The two nights will feature two very different ensembles performing the same compositions: the first evening (7/31) she will be joined by Kris Davis on piano and Mary Halvorson on guitar, and the the second evening (8/1) by Vincent Chancey on french horn and pandeiro, Eivind Opsvik and Michael Formanek on double basses, and Tom Rainey on drums. Ms. Laubrock will perform both evenings on soprano and tenor saxophones as well as short pieces on piano. Of the new works, Laubrock says, “My idea behind composing one repertoire for these two entirely different lineups was to write music that is malleable and completely new sounding in two consecutive nights of performances, kind of ‘the same, but not the same’. I chose the two basses in the second lineup to create an extra challenge for me as a composer and arranger.”
Performance details are as follows:

The Jazz Gallery
1160 Broadway, New York, NY 10001, (646) 494-3625

8PM & 10PM, Friday, July 31
Ingrid Laubrock: soprano and tenor saxophones, composition, piano
Kris Davis: piano
Mary Halvorson: guitar

8PM & 10PM, Saturday, August 1
Ingrid Laubrock: soprano and tenor saxophones, composition,piano
Vincent Chancey: french horn, pandeiro
Eivind Opsvik: double bass
Michael Formanek: double bass
Tom Rainey: drums

Seattle Scene: July 9-31, 2015

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From Seattle’s Wayward Music Series:

WAYWARD MUSIC SERIES
Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center
4th Floor, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle 98103 (corner N 50th St. in Wallingford)
Every month, Nonsequitur and a community of like-minded presenters and artists offer ten concerts of adventurous music in an informal yet respectful all-ages setting: contemporary classical, free improvisation, the outer limits of jazz, electronic music, microtonal/new instruments, sound art, and other extraordinary sonic experiences.

Earshot: Triptet + Bloom
Thu. July 9, 8:00 PM; $5 – $15 in advance

Earshot’s juried series, Jazz: The Second Century, presents Seattle artists, selected by a peer panel, performing original work, in a concert setting. Triptet features Tom Baker on guitar, Greg Campbell on drums, and Michael Monhart on saxophone. Bloom is a new, acoustic quartet led by trumpeter/composer Brennan Carter, with Levi Gillis on tenor sax, Mark Hunter on bass, and Jarred Katz on drums.

A Consecutive Sequence
Sat. July 11, 8:00 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

A Consecutive Sequence is drummer Dio Jean-Baptiste and saxophonist Bryan Lineberry. They borrow elements from EDM, hip-hop, math metal, Coltrane and Shepp with an emphasis on evolving sonic textures, injecting simple and thoughtful musical ideas into loosely improvised formats to bridge the gap between the uncharted and the inescapably enjoyable.

Seattle Composers’ Salon
Fri. July 10, 8 PM; $5 – $15 at the door

The Seattle Composers’ Salon features finished works, previews, and works in progress by by regional composers and performers in a casual setting that allows for experimentation and discussion. Tonight, music by Keith Eisenbrey, Kam Morrill, Nadya Kadrevis, S. Eric Scribner.

THU.-SAT. 7/16-18 – Substrata 1.5 festival line-up confirmed. Three-day festival passes are sold out, but there are still tickets for some individual nights.

THU. 7/23 – Earshot Jazz presents Jazz: The Second Century, Bad Luck + Frank Kohl Trio + Citizens Band

FRI. 7/24 – Percussionist Mike Gebhart presents large ensemble improvisations inspired by Santeria

THU. 7/30 – Earshot Jazz presents Jazz: The Second Century, w/ Action Figure + Meridian Big Band

FRI. 7/31 – contrabass clarinet improvisations by Paul Hoskin and Arrington de Dionyso