Avant Music News Most Popular Reviews of 2018

Below is a list of our most popular (i.e., well-read) original reviews of the year. We will soon be publishing our annual best-of lists across two posts.

  1. SUSS – Ghost Box (2018; Bandcamp)
  2. Raison d’Etre – Alchymeia (2018; Cyclic Law)
  3. Chaos Echoes with Mats Gustafsson – Sustain (2018; Utech Records)
  4. Anguish – Anguish (2018; RareNoiseRecords)
  5. Dan Weiss – Starebaby (2018; Pi Recordings)
  6. John Zorn at The Art Institute of Chicago
  7. Jazz em Agusto Festival Part 1
  8. YAK – Bardo (2018; Bandcamp)
  9. Jack O’ The Clock – Repetitions of the Old City – II (2018; Bandcamp)
  10. Awkward Geisha / Galaxxu – Sea Shanties and Mariner Tales (2018; Bandcamp)
  11. Norbert Rodenkirchen / Robbie Lee / James Ilgenfritz – Opalescence [Telegraph Harp]
  12. Aseptic Void – Ideazione di Contrasto (2018; Eighth Tower Records)
  13. Adam Hopkins – Crickets (2018; Out of Your Head Records)
  14. Kyoko Kitamura’s Tidepool Fauna – Protean Labyrinth (2018; Bandcamp)
  15. Mauro Sambo & Matilde Sambo – …sibilava tra i denti… [Plus Timbre PT066]

2018 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part IX

It’s that time again. We gather best-of-2018 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 2018 is coming in early January. Stay tuned…

Feminist Jazz Review best releases of 2018

Dark Forces Swing best jazz of 2018

5:4 best albums of 2018 part 1 and part 2

Dogeye from Ashville 103.3, best experimental music

Sasha Frere Jones’ music enjoyed in 2018

Expresso magazine’s best classical, jazz and world music releases of 2018

See also:
2018 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part I
2018 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part II
2018 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part III
2018 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part IV
2018 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part V
2018 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part VI
2018 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part VII
2018 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part VIII

All About Jazz Reviews

Source: All About Jazz.

Echoes & Sirens (Aussenraum Records)

Dave Rempis
Icoci (Aerophonic Records)

Draksler – Eldh – Lillinger
Punkt.Vrt.Plastic (Intakt Records)

Ingrid Laubrock
Two Works For Orchestra With Soloists (Intakt Records)

Fish-Scale Sunrise
No Queen Rises (Relative Pitch Records)

Stephan Thelen
Fractal Guitar (MoonJune Records)

Marion Brown/Dave Burrell
Live at the Black Musicians’ Conference, 1981 (NoBusiness Records)

Bobby Naughton / Leo Smith / Perry Robinson
The Haunt (NoBusiness Records)

Mat Maneri / Matthew Shipp
Conference Of The Mat/ts (Rogueart Records)

Davis – Frith – Greenlief
Lantskap Logic (Clean Feed Records)

The Way Ahead
Bells, Ghosts and other Saints (Clean Feed Records)

Audible Edge Performances in and Around Perth, January 27-31

Source: Audible Edge.

Jan 27 / PICA / 6:30pm – 9:30pm
JAN 28 / OLD CUSTOMS HOUSE / 6:30pm – 9:30pm
JAN 29 / OLD CUSTOMS HOUSE / 7:30pm – 9:30pm
JAN 31 / VANCOUVER ARTS CENTRE / 6:30pm – 9:00pm

JAN 27 / PICA / France Jobin Masterclass Day 1 (10am-1pm)
JAN 27 / PICA / Superimpose iMprov Workshop (1:30pm-3:30pm)
JAN 27 / PICA / Festival panel (details TBA) (4pm-5:30pm)
JAN 27 / RTR.FM 92.1 / Difficult Listening (9pm – 11pm)
JAN 28 / OLD CUSTOMS HOUSE / France Jobin Masterclass Day 2 (10am-1pm)
JAN 28 / OLD CUSTOMS HOUSE / Flock (2pm-5pm)
JAN 30 / DENMARK ARTS / Plant iMprov Workshop (6:30pm – 8:30pm)

France Jobin (b. 1958) is a sound/installation artist, composer and curator residing in Montreal, Canada. Her audio art can be qualified as “sound-sculpture”, revealing a minimalist approach to complex sound environments where analog and digital intersect.

Plant are the duo of the Sydney-based Jim Denley (saxophone, flute and electromechanical devices) and Èric Normand (bass guitar) from Canada. Their musical language employs electro-acoustic noise and highly unconventional means of sound production through their respective instruments towards fragmented and surreal sound worlds. As both musical and community leaders in each of their respective cities and nations, this duo presents not only a sophisticated and highly specific sound world, but also an embodiment of caring and generative ethics of experimental music-making.

Superimpose (Germany) is ONE sound – Matthias Müller (trombone) and Christian Marien (drums) have been developing their collaborative research into sound since 2006 – incorporating concerts in Europe and the US, and an intensive rehearsal process that forms the basis of a clarity, depth and connectedness in their playing. Their improvisations are the result of two independent voices – acting, fusing, diverging and shifting, and cutting their own ways whilst moving in the same direction – this symbiosis redefining boundaries and roles, and creating one distinctive sound.

Laura Altman is a clarinetist, improviser and composer, born and based in Sydney. She has been an important young voice on the Sydney improvised music scene since 2007, playing with groups such as The Splinter Orchestra and Prophets, and collaborating with Australian improvisers including Jim Denley, Dale Gorfinkel, Monica Brooks and Peter Farrar. Laura has toured Australia and Europe with a range of projects including the trio Great Waitress, featuring Brooks on accordion and Berlin-based pianist Magda Mayas.

Andy Butler is an Australian pianist, harmonium player and composer currently living in Paris. He plays in improvised and experimental settings, with a particular focus on music that blurs the distinction between improvised and notated ideas. Current projects include The Phonetic Orchestra, an improvising large ensemble; DRUM, a collaboration with Jon Heilbronn and Callum G’Froerer; ellipsis, a piano trio with Jon Heilbronn and Christian Windfeld; and a new duo with Joe O’Connor. Other collaborators include Simon Charles, Josten Myburgh, Jim Denley and Jon Smeathers. On occasion, Andrew performs as a solo pianist.

Dharma is best known in Singapore as guitarist of avant-rock group The Observatory. His initial experimentations with the electric guitar were with effects and later on incorporating objects to bring it to a grittier level, often transcending to a mystical and industrial-esque dimension. “Intergranular Space” was his debut album as a solo performer and since 2015 he has been pursuing solo performances more actively. In 2018 he appeared at the Angelica Festival in Bologna, Italy and also toured actively in Europe. He also recorded “Electric Animism”, his upcoming solo album, in 2018.


AMN Reviews: Albatre – The Fall of the Damned (2018; Shhpuma/Clean Feed)

On the heels of the new Ikizukuri release, bassist Gonçalo Almeida returns with another trio that blurs the lines between jazz and metal. This time, he is joined by Hugo Costa on sax and Philipp Ernsting on drums and electronics. In addition to bass, Almeida also plays keyboards and electronics. The Fall of the Damned resembles what might happen if a punk rock group attempted to play like King Crimson, Ornette Coleman, and Philip Glass at the same time.

From the outset, it is clear that Albatre enjoys a little dissonance in their morning coffee. Almeida and Ernsting lay down labyrinthine and yet semi-repetitive rhythms, over which Costa provides punctuated, staccato lines, as well as angular and wailing leads. The keyboards and electronics are mostly for purposes of atmosphere, and add an ominous feel in line with the album’s title. For the most part, the seven tracks (ranging in length from four to eleven minutes) move along at an agitated and hypnotic pace.  Almeida makes generous use of bass harmonics and strumming in synch with Ernsting’s pounding yet minimalist patterns.

Comparisons? Aside from Ikizukuri, the avant-rock group Present might not be a bad place to start, though Albatre is more stripped down. The U.K.’s Warren Schoenbright is another reference point. Regardless, this album comes recommended for anyone who is into some youthful and erudite aggression.

Avant Music News Most Popular Posts of 2018

While this list leans heavily toward “best of” posts as well as posts from earlier in the year, it is still interesting data on what happens to catch people’s eyes here on AMN. More year-end lists to follow…

  1. Avant Music News Best of 2017: Part II – Albums of the Year
  2. Avant Music News Best of 2017: Part I – Honorable Mentions
  3. Avant Music News Best of the First Half of 2018
  4. ECM Records to Release 21CD Art Ensemble of Chicago (and Related) Box Set
  5. AMN Reviews: SUSS – Ghost Box (2018; Bandcamp)
  6. 2018 Best of Lists from Around the Web: Part I
  7. Now Hear This Festival in Edmonton, March 21-25
  8. DownBeat Announces Winners of the 2018 Int’l Critics Poll
  9. Rare John Zorn Interview About the End of his Masada Project
  10. King Crimson World Tour in 2019 – First Dates Announced

Cold Spring News

Source: Cold Spring Records.

Available for pre-order now:

MZ. 412 ‘Svartmyrkr’ CD / LP / Ltd LP / T-Shirt (CSR257CD/LP/TS) – out 8th February
Anni Hogan ‘Lost In Blue’ CD / LP / Ltd LP (CSR266CD/LP) – out 8th March


Viviankrist ‘Morgenrøde’ CD (CSR268CD)
Left Hand Right Hand ‘Biting The Hands That Bleed You’ CD (CSR254CD)
The New Blockaders ‘Live At Sonic City’ CD + DVD (CSR261CD)

Plus new albums from:
Soft Issues, Kollaps, The Telescopes, Det Kätterska Förbund (Nordvargr + Trepaneringsritualen)…the fifth and final 2CD in our Dark Britannica series: “The Forme To The Fynisment Foldes Ful Selden”