2017 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part II

It’s that time again. We gather best-of-2017 lists from around the web and provide links here.

Sure, we haven’t reached the end of the year yet, but some intrepid individuals just cannot be held back. The AMN Best of 2017 is coming in early January. Stay tuned…

A Closer Listen’s top 10 ambient releases.

Jazz Right Now’s best of 2017

Nate Chinen’s top 21 albums.

Burning Ambulance’s year in jazz.

LA Times’s best of jazz.

Previous lists:

Part I

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AMN Reviews: Political Ritual – Political Ritual (2018; Ambiances Magnétiques)

Thumping rhythms, drones, effects, and subtle keyboard-laden atmospherics are the primary drivers of Political Ritual, a two-track album from the group of the same name. Consisting of the duo of Maxime Corbeil-Perron and Félix-Antoine Morin, Political Ritual explores the fringes of space-rock, ambient, modern composition, and minimalist techno with a hazy irreverence.

Cérémonie, at 20 minutes, is the livelier of the pieces, featuring the aforementioned driving, trance-inducing rhythms overlaid with grungy drones, as well as brief synth and keyboard themes. Borrowing techniques from experimental modern classical music, Political Ritual blends captured sounds with synthetic creations in a seamless fashion.  Projection_cathodique, also clocking in right around 20 minutes, focuses on a set of Berlin-school drones accentuated with bells and static-laden background ambiance. From time to time, electroacoustic elements and scratchy rhythmic effects are introduced. But the emphasis remains on deep and echoing sinusoids.

Political Ritual, the album, is a disturbing yet cinematic exploration of indistinct abstractions combined with concrete musical aspects. Given how difficult it is to break new ground in this field, credit is due to Corbeil-Perron and Morin for a unique amalgam that is somehow both fresh and familiar. Strong recommendation.

Chicago Scene: December 17-23, 2017

Hamid Drake at Moers Festival 2006, Germany

This is a weekly overview live avant performances in the Chicago area. Contact us if you’d like your shows listed.

Sunday, December 17th 2017

2:00PM at the May Chapel at Rosehill Cemetery, 5800 N Ravenswood (Free)
Dave Rempis Solo — Record release
The Few : Macie Stewart, Steve Marquette, Charlie Kirchen

5:30PM at Logan Hardware, 2532 W Fullerton, 773.235.5030
3rd Annual International Anthem Winter Solstice In-Store
Ben LaMar Gay, Kim Alpert
Alien Flower Sutra : Rob Mazurek, Emmett Kelly, Rob Shaw, Damon Locks
special guests TBA (RSVP)

8:00PM at PianoForte , 1335 S Michigan, 312.291.0291
Flutes and Voices
Robert Dick, Thomas Buckner, special guest Douglas R Ewart

Monday, December 18th 2017

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444 (wheelchair-accessible)
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Edward Wilkerson Jr, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
Dan Phillips Quartet with Jason Stein, Krzystof Pabian, Bill Harris
Christian Dillingham Quintet with Nick Mazzarella, Matt Gold, Dan Pierson, Jeremy Cunningham

Wednesday, December 20th 2017

9:00PM at Café Mustache, 2313 N Milwaukee, 773.877.3327 (wheelchair-accessible)
Dan Phillips, Jim Baker, Krzysztof Pabian, Bill Harris

Thursday, December 21st 2017

6:00AM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($27)
28th Anniversary Winter Solstice Concerts
Michael Zerang, Hamid Drake

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($12)
Trio WAZ : Edward Wilkerson Jr, Tatsu Aoki, Michael Zerang, with special guest Tomeka Reid

Friday, December 22nd 2017

6:00AM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($27)
28th Anniversary Winter Solstice Concerts
Michael Zerang, Hamid Drake

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($12)
Hamid Drake Group

9:00PM at the Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia, 773.227.4433 ($10)
Bill MacKay, Ryley Walker
Jaimie Branch, Ben LaMar Gay
Forest Management
DJ Doug McCombs

Saturday, December 23rd 2017

6:00AM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($27)
27th Anniversary Winter Solstice Concerts
Michael Zerang, Hamid Drake

For more information, such as directions, as well as upcoming performances, see:

http://now-is.org/, http://www.ratchetmusic.com, http://www.mcachicago.org, http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_culturalcenterschedule.html, http://www.skylarkchicago.com, http://www.hideoutchicago.com, http://www.elasticrevolution.com, http://www.myopicbookstore.com/music.html, http://www.lampo.org, http://dalniente.com, http://iceorg.org/events/category/chicago, http://www.emptybottle.com/

Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

English: Ron Miles at a concert with Bill Fris...

Source: Downtown Music Gallery.

Kramer & Bill Frisell: Brill II! Ron Miles: Jason Moran / Thomas Morgan / Brian Blade / Bill Frisell! Keiji Haino & John Butcher! Frank Zappa Summer ’82 Legit Blu-Ray! Kan Mikami / John Edwards / Alex Neilson! Jon Catler & RaKalam Bob Moses! Gerrit Hatcher Duo & Trio! New from Sunnyside: Kirk Nurock & Jay Clayton, Guilem Flouzat Trio & Vince Mendoza / WDR Big Band!

Archival Discs from Norma Winstone! Albert & BB King & Bobby Blue Bland! Chicago Blues All-Stars! The Gist! Johnny Thunders! Chimera! Cimberline! Hamas Kalkaba & Golden Sounds! Les Filles de Illighadad!

Plus Rare Vinyl from: Derek Bailey / Anthony Braxton / Hans Bennink! Khan Jamal Creative Arts Ensemble! Leadbelly! Basil Kirchen! Crystallized Movements! And a big CD Nuscope sale!

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THE DMG 26TH ANNIVERSARY SERIES OF SONIC CELEBRATIONS Continue with:

Sunday, December 17th:
6pm: ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE: CRAIG FLANAGIN & NORMANDY SHERWOOD & AMI YAMASAKI Guitar and Modular Electronics & Guest Vocalist
7pm: PRAIRIE MUFFIN: FUNG CHERN HWEI – Solo Violin

Sunday, December 24th: Christmas Eve – No in-store

Sunday, December 31st: New Years Eve – No In-store

Sunday, January 7th, 2018:
6pm: BRANDON LOPEZ & NINA DANTE – ContraBass and Vocals
7pm: STAN ZENKOFF and SEAN ALI – Bb Clarinet and ContraBass

DMG is located at 13 Monroe St. (between Catherine & Market Sts) in a basement below a small gallery. Take the F train to East Broadway or the 6 train to Canal or the B or D to Grand, or the M-15 bus to Madison & Catherine. Come on Down, the Sunday Music Series is Always Free & the Vibes are Always Cosy

Posthumous Pauline Oliveros Opera at Roulette Reviewed

Source: I Care If You Listen.

On November 30, 2017, just a few days after the first anniversary of her death, Pauline Oliveros’ phantom opera The Nubian Word for Flowers received its premiere at Roulette in New York. Two new music greats, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and Experiments in Opera, joined each other onstage, following a vodka tasting at the venue, to deliver the highly-anticipated sounds and sights to sold-out, standing-room-only crowd of Oliveros (and/or vodka) enthusiasts.

Steve Roach Interview

English: Portrait image of Steve Roach at Soun...

Source: Echoes. Roach discusses his Grammy nomination.

As he’s just been nominated for a Grammy Award, the first ever nomination in his 40 year career, I thought it would be a good time to talk to Steve Roach, the critically acclaimed electronic music artist who has released over a hundred albums since his debut, Now, in 1982. But his 2016 album, Spiral Revelation, is his first to be ever be nominated . He’s in the New Age category alongside Brian Eno, Kitaro, Peter Kater and inexplicably, India.Arie. Unlike other Echoes Podcasts, this is pretty much a raw interview in which Steve talked about the Grammys, his musical process, and his guilty music pleasure.