Avant Music News Best of the First Half of 2018

2018 is halfway over, and there have already been a great many remarkable releases from this year. This list is a representation of the recordings that have grabbed my attention through the last six months. It is not comprehensive or complete, and does not try to be. I’m sure that there a few albums sitting on my desk or computer that should be on this list, but I haven’t been able to get to putting them on.

Nonetheless, enjoy this list. Consider it to consist of pointers to music that is likely to be enjoyable to AMN readers. I’ll be back in January with the 2018 year-end “best of” posts.

Like this list? Feel free to peruse previous years’ lists.

Album of the Year Candidates

Gropper, Philipp / Philm – Live at Bimhaus
Raison d’Etre – Alchymeia
YAK – Bardo

Excellent Releases

Aseptic Void – Ideazione di Contrasto
Chaos Echoes with Mats Gustafsson – Sustain
Death Drag – Shifted
Domene, Alvaro – The Compass
Evil Genius – Experiments on Human Subjects
Ghost Flute & Dice – Kropsbygning
Glasova, Jelena – The Malady of Death
Hezaliel – Paradise Lost
Ignite – Ignition (EP)
Jack O’ The Clock – Repetitions of the Old City – II
Karris, Reid / Group – Ghost Dancers Slay Together
Kitamura, Kyoko – Protean Labyrinth
League of Assholes, The – IM PEACH The Sequel
Lore – Lore EP
Moss, Michael / Accidental Orchestra – HELIX
Parker, William – Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics
Richards, Stephanie – Fullmoon
Rivener – Rivener
Romus, Rent / Life Blood Ensemble – Rogue Star
Shatner’s Bassoon – Disco Erosion
Sirvan, Maryam – Untamed Terror
SUSS – Ghost Box
Thiessen, Jennifer / Ida Toninato – The Space Between Us
Thing, The – Again
Threadgill, Henry / 14 or 15 Kestra: AGG – Dirt… And More Dirt
Tunnels of Ah – Charnel Transmissions
Uuskyla, Peeter / Tellef Øgrim / Anders Berg – Oslo Hærverk
Visions & Phurpa – Monad
Warren Schoenbright – Excavations
Weiss, Dan – Starebaby

Honorable Mentions

Steve Adams / Tim Perkis – A Few Eccentricities
African Ghost Valley / Billy Roisz – Angry Ambient Artists Vol. 3
Amado, Rodrigo / J.McPhee / K.Kessler / C.Corsano – A History of Nothing
Anker, Lotte / P.Thomas / I.H.Flaten / S.Solberg – His Flight’s at Ten
Awkward Geisha / Galaxxu – Sea Shanties & Mariner Tales
Bärtsch, Nik / Ronin – Awase
Bella – UN
Carrier, François / Michel Lambert – Out of Silence
Carrier, François / Michel Lambert / Rafal Mazur – Beyond Dimensions
Chrisman, Seth / Nathan McLaughlin – Earth Tones at the Metal Show
Cochrane, Chris / Stuart Popejoy – Geologic Time
Corbacho, Max – Nocturnes II
Cosgrove, Jeff / Scott Robinson / Ken Filano – Hunters & Scavengers
Dark Ages – Dark Ages
Davachi, Sarah – Let Night Come Bells End the Day
Davis, Kris / Craig Taborn – Octopus
Dependent Origination – Dependent Origination
Derome, Jean – Resistances
Dikeman, John / L.Allemano, L.Svirsky, M.Baggiani – The 2nd Path to Nowhere
Dødsmaskin – Fiende
End, The – Svårmod och Vemod Är Värdesinnen Var
Ensemble SuperMusique – Les Porteuses d’Ô
Epos Nemo Latrocinium – Iter Itineris III
Fang, Forrest – Scenes from a Ghost Train
Firetail – Nylon
Flamingo – Loud
Fonemi – Atene
Fujiyama, Yuko – Night Wave
Gallio, Christoph / Paula Shocron / Pablo Diaz – Statements
Giant Gutter from Outer Space – Charred Memories
Golia, Vinny – Intercommunications (Music for Woodwinds and Percussion)
Golia, Vinny – Music for Woodwinds, Piano, Strings, and Percussion
Golia, Vinny – Trajectory
Graham, Seth – Gasp
Hino, Mayuko – Lunisolar
Hunter, Anton – Article XI
Karris, Reid – April 18th 2018
Kira Kira – Bright Force
Kuhn, Peter / Kyle Motl / Nathan Hubbard – Intention
Lee, Peggy – Echo Painting
LEYA – The Fool
Liberatore, Matteo – Solos
London Experimental Ensemble, The – Treatise
Loxbo, Finn – Eter
Megalophobe – Megalophobe
Mz.412 – Ulvens Broder (10” single)
Nguyen, Nhung (Sound Awakener) – Oblivion
O’Farrill, Adam / Stranger Days – El Maquech
Otherworld Ensemble – Live at Malmitalo
Phillips Pabian Daisy Trio – Divergent Flow
Polyorchard – sextet | quintet
Previte, Bobby – Rhapsody
Psychic TV – Kondole Dead Cat
Psyclopean – Children of R’lyeh
Quoan – Fine Dining
Ray, Scot – vEsSeL
Reid / Kitamura / Bynum / Morris – Geometry of Caves
Rhyner, Charlie – The First Second
Rousay, Dane – IMP / ENV
Rousay, Dane / John Kennedy – Audit
Rudolph, Adam / Dave Liebman / Tatsuya Nakatani – The Unknowable
She Spread Sorrow – Midori
Shiroishi, Patrick / Rob Magill Duo – Eyes in the Dirt
Sloth Racket – A Glorious Monster
Sly & the Family Drone – Live at Cafe Oto
Sonar / David Torn – Vortex
Star Pillow, The – Symphony for Intergalactic Brotherhood
Stein, Jason / Locksmith Isidore – After Caroline
Taphephobia – Ghostwood
Taphephobia & Kave – Monuments
Taylor, Chad – Myths and Morals
TOC (Ternoy / Cruz / Orins) – Will Never Play These Songs Again
Trinidad, Joshua / Trio – In November
Various Artists – Automatas Sonoros
Various Artists – Heresy
Various Artists – In Tenebris Scriptus – A Dark Aural Tribute to H.P.Lovecraft
Various Artists – Interstellar Transmissions
Verga, Giovanni – Sylpic
Vortex – As Gods Fall
Wai, Yuen Chee / Lasse Marhaug – In Praise of Shadows

AMN Reviews: Norbert Rodenkirchen / Robbie Lee / James Ilgenfritz – Opalescence [Telegraph Harp]

Opalescence is a recording by an unconventional trio of musicians from highly diverse fields. The instrumentation alone—flutes of various kinds, bass recorder, and sopranino saxophone on the one hand, and double bass on the other—promises intriguing contrasts of range and timbre. It’s a promise made good by the musical backgrounds of the players. Rodenkirchen specializes in flute music from the medieval through Baroque eras, but he also plays what he aptly describes as “experimental archaic music;” Lee, although represented here on contrabass recorder, gemshorn, various flutes and sopranino saxophone, is a wide-ranging multi-instrumentalist known for improvisational experimental rock; double bassist Ilgenfritz, with a background in jazz and contemporary composition, is a well-established figure in New York’s new music/improvised music scene. What unites all three is a fluency in improvisation and a sensitivity to the places their voices take within a unique system of instrumental differences.

Rodenkirchen’s solo pieces Phosphorescence and Iridescence open and close the set respectively; both float with an uncluttered lyricism while understatedly using extended techniques to shore up their essentially song-like lines. Ilgenfritz’s solo on Mille Regretz is a virtuoso turn through a thicket of harmonics and bow articulations that mimic a flute’s range and colors. Rodenkirchen and Lee’s duet tracks take the form of a loose Baroque canon, or exploit fractional differences of tone and tuning. On the trio pieces, Ilgenfritz manipulates the bass’s overtone profile through finger weight and bowings in order to weave it artfully into the texture of Rodenkirchen and Lee’s combined sounds.

Altogether, a fine set of music.


Daniel Barbiero

AMN Picks of the Week: Flamingo / Alvaro Domene / John Coltrane / Jack O’ The Clock / Reid, Kitamura, Bynum, & Morris

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.

Flamingo – Loud (2018)
Alvaro Domene – The Compass (2018)
John Coltrane – Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album (1963)
Jack O’ The Clock – Repetitions of the Old City – II (2018)
Reid / Kitamura / Bynum / Morris – Geometry of Caves (2018)

This Week in New York 


Theremin virtuoso Carolina Eyck and jazz singer and composer Theo Bleckmann perform in a double bill at Le Poisson Rouge.
Monday, July 2 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $20-$25
Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, New York, NY

Dither Quartet performs music by Eve Beglarian, Josh Lopes, Lisa Renée Coons, Gyan Riley, James Moore, and Taylor Levine as part of the Rite of Music Summer Festival.
Saturday, July 7 at 1:00 PM & 3:00 PM
Governors Island, Colonels Row, New York, NY

Elena Moon Park is a Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist with a passion for the preservation of diverse music and culture in the United States. Presented in partnership with Bang on a Can, this performance series is held in the Museum’s outdoor sculpture garden. In case of rain or artist’s preference, concerts take place in the galleries.
Sunday, July 8 at 3:00 PM
Free with museum admission
Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Road, Queens, NY

All About Jazz Reviews

Source: All About Jazz.

William Parker
Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics (Gotta Let It Out)

John Coltrane
Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album (Impulse!)

Derek Bailey & Jamie Muir
Dart Drug (Honest Jons Records)

Bill Frisell
Music IS (Okeh)

Rob Mazurek
Marfa Loops Shouts and Hollers (Harmonipan)

Theirs (Cuneiform Records)

Coming to Portland

Source: Creative Music Guild.

Improvisation Summit of Portland 2018
July 6-7th, 2018
20/day, 35 pass
8371 N Interstate Ave, Portland, OR 97217

Bill Brovold and Bebop ’79
July 18th, 2018 — 8-10pm
$5-15, sliding scale
Turn! Turn! Turn!
8 NE Killingsworth

Extradition Summer concert
July 21st, 2018 — doors at 7, music at 7:30pm
$10-20, sliding scale
Leaven Community
5431 NE 20th Ave. @ Killingsworth, PDX

Denzel Mendoza
Aug 1st, 2018 — 8-10pm
$5-15, sliding scale
Turn! Turn! Turn!
8 NE Killingsworth

Interview with Bill Frisell 

Source: DO THE M@TH.

I was born in Baltimore, but my family moved to Denver. My father was a biochemist. He was born in Two Harbors, Minnesota, he went from Two Harbors to Saint Olaf and then from there to Johns Hopkins and got a PhD in Biochemistry in Baltimore. That’s where he met my mom who had grown up just outside of Baltimore, that side of the family comes from Baltimore or West Virginia, it starts to get into little bit Southern situation there.