Avant Music News Best of the First Half of 2022

In terms of sheer musical output, 2022 has already been quite remarkable. It is impossible to listen to, much less write about, the volume of high-quality experimental music that is coming out this year. Like 2021 and 2020, the pandemic did not slow down musicians’ creative processes, and now live music appears to be back to stay – COVID be damned.

In any event, this list is a representation of the recordings that have grabbed my attention over the last six months. It is not comprehensive or complete, and does not try to be. There are literally hundreds of albums sitting on my computer that probably should be on this list, but I haven’t yet been able to get to them.

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 2023 year-end “best of” posts.

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

Album of the Year Candidates

Van Cauwenberghe, Kobe – Ghost Trance Septet plays Anthony Braxton
Quail, Jo – The Cartographer

Excellent Releases

Atrium Carceri & Kammarheit – Colossus
Bégin, Richard – Fragile Section
Bohannon, J.R. – Compulsions
Chacon, Raven / Tatsuya Nakatani / C.Santistevan – Inhale/Exhale
Cocks, Laura – field anatomies
Congregation of Drones – Twenty Twenty
Dronny Darko / G M Slater – Dissolving into Solitary Landscapes
Ericson, Sture / Pat Thomas / Raymond Strid – Bagman Live at Cafe Oto
Flying Luttenbachers, The – Terror Iridescence
Fujiwara, Tomas / Triple – Double March
GOATFACE! – Akhenaten Bazucas
Grdina, Gordon – Oddly Enough – The Music of Tim Berne
Great Old Ones, The – Yog-Sothoth
Halvorson, Mary – Amaryllis
Hard Rubber Orchestra – Iguana
Hausswolff, Anna von – Live at Montreux Jazz Festival
Heldon – Antelast
Irarrázabal, Amanda & Gabby Fluke-Mogul – RAYAS
Karris, Reid – The Happy Life of the Tired
Kidambi, Amirtha / Luke Stewart – Zenith/Nadir
Lawler, Fergal – All Hope Is Never Lost
Leonard, Cheryl – Antarctica: Music from the Ice
Llyn Y Cwn – Du Y Moroedd
Malaby, Tony – The Cave of Winds
Mayas, Magda / Tony Buck / John Butcher – glints
Merzbow & Arcane Device – Merzbow & Arcane Device
Mirlitorrinco – Odas Mixtas Para Criaturas Mínimas
Mondkopf – Spring Stories
Motl, Kyle / Patrick Shiroishi – Apparitions
Pavone, Jessica – When No One Around You is There but Nowhere to be Found
Scatter The Atoms That Remain – Emancipation Suite
Seabrook, Brandon / Trio – In the Swarm
Secret People – Secret People
Shead, Adam / Quintet – Full Cycle, Thread New
Shipp, Matthew / Trio – World Construct
Shiroishi, Patrick / Marta Tiesenga – Empty Vessels
Shrine – Nausicaä
Sonologyst – Interdimensional
Stukot – Transitions
TenHornedBeast – The Lamp of No Light
Tineidae – Mothership
Ullén, Lisa / Elsa Bergman / Anna Lund – Space
Undirheimar – Vardlokkur
Various Artists – Anthology of Post industrial and Experimental Music from Italy
Various Artists – Hauntology in the UK
Various Artists – The Body of Horror – Music Inspired by the Cinema of David Cronenberg
Various Artists – Tomb of Primordials (Cryo Chamber)
Various Artists (CL / DFB / JDO / S) – Bassbients
Wild Up / Julius Eastman – Joy Boy
Wooley, Nate / Columbia Icefield – Ancient Songs of Burlap Heroes
Zorn, John – Spinoza
Zucker, Gabriel – Leftover Beats (Live)

Honorable Mentions

Abhorrent Expanse – Gateways to Resplendence
Adelaidean, The – Solarpunk
Ajna – Mors Ultra
Ali / Foster / Lopez / Wallace – The Inflatable Leviathan
Alio Die / Dirk Serries – The Chapters of the Eclipse
Amba, Zoh – O, Sun
Armstrong, JoVia – The Antidote Suite
Baldwin, Nat – Blind Field
Balungan – Kudu Bisa Kudu
Barbiero, Daniel – Special Editions Community …for double bass & prerecorded electronics
Barrett, Natasha – Diabolus/Ras
Becuzzi, Gianluca – DeepeR
Beissel, Frank / Steve Roach – Nautical Twilight
Bernard, Will – Pond Life
Beyond the Ghost – Sundown
Bisio, Michael / Quartet – MBefore
Blood Luxury – Blood Luxury
Burka – Claustrofobia
Burnett, Aaron – Correspondence
Carter / Ishito / Plaks / Swanson / Panikkar – Open Question Vol. 1
Carvalhais, Hugo – Ascetica
Cericola, Loris – Metaphysical Graffiti
Chemical Resistance – Grief of Loneliness
Ckraft Epic – Discordant Vision
Clearfield, Rob / Quin Kirchner – Concentric Orbits
Clucas, Dan / Kyle Motl / Nathan Hubbard – Daydream and Halting
Coleman, Anthony / Brian Chase – Arcades
Colonial Skyway – Evening on Earth
Corbacho, Max – Equinox
Crypthios – Vestigium
Cymerman, Jeremiah / John McCowen – Bitter Desert
Darja Kazimira – Medea Forgives Jason
Dead Melodies – Memento
Den Sorte Død – Depressiv Magi
Dickey, Whit / Quartet – Astral Long Form: Staircase in Space
Dikeman / Gonzalez / Håker Flaten / Horne – Texas Butt Biters
Dikeman, John / Pat Thomas / J.Edwards / S.Noble – Volume 1
Dikeman, John / Péter Ajtai / Nicolas Field – The Throes
Dunstan, Nick – Spider Season
Duplant, Bruno / Julien Heraud – Nocturne Incertain
Eaters of the Soil – EP II
Echoes from Jupiter – Le Grand Tour
Elnath Project – The Fourth Rift
Emmeluth / Andersen / Nergaard – The A-Z of Microwave Cookery
Fowler, Chad / Matthew Shipp – Old Stories
Garchik, Jacob – Assembly
Gauci, Stephen / Wendy Eisenberg / Francisco Mela – Live at Scholes Street Studio
Grdina, Gordon / Haram – Night’s Quietest Hour
Grimal, Alexandra – Refuge
Grossman, Michael / Jai Morris-Smith – Curious Music
Heinemann, Jakob – Resonant Ocean
Heldentenor – Blood Moons and Black Lakes: Chapter One
High Castle Teleorkestra – The Egg That Never Opened
Jensen, Clarice – Drone Studies
Johnson, Max – Hermit Music
Kaluza, Anna / Jan Roder – Am Frankfurter Tor
Kloob & Onasander – Tempestarii
Kollaps – Until the Day I Die
Kuhl / Ballou / Dierker / Stewart – KRAFT
Laplante, Travis – Wild Tapestry
Lencastre, Jose / Common Ground – Common Ground
Lustmord / Various Artists – The Others (Lustmord Deconstructed)
Macri, Nick & Mono No Aware – Amache
Mahanthappa, Rudresh / Hero Trio – Animal Crossing
Matsumoto, Kozue / Patrick Shiroishi / S.Watanabe – Yellow
MAW (Meadows / Ackerley / Wallace) – A Maneuver Within
Metatron Omega – ISIH
Miller, Benjamin – In the Moment
Mindwarden – Timeless
Mostly Other People Do The Killing – Disasters Vol. 1
Motl, Kyle – Hydra Nightingale
MWWB – The Harvest
Nam-Khar & Vortex – Nag-Hammadi
Nonsun – Blood & Spirit
Nyctalllz – Purifying Noises for Your Demonic Genomes
NYIÞ – ᛬ᚢᛁᛋᚿᛁ•ᚼᛆᛏᛁ•
Okazaki, Miles – Thisness
Orca, Attack! – You Won’t Remember This (Cassingle)
Oxley, Tony – Unreleased 1974-2016
Parish, Shane – Liverpool
Pavone, Jessica / String – Ensemble Of Late
ProtoU – Memory Alpha
Ravenna – For the Public
Retribution Body – Baphomet
Reuter, Markus – Truce 2
Schwalm, J. Peter / Stephan Thelen – Transneptunian Planets
Serries, Dirk – Garland in Grey
Serries, Dirk / Trösta – Island on the Moon
Shiroishi, Patrick / Cassiopeia Sturm – The Invention of the Saxophone
Smith, Ches – Interpret It Well
Smudges, The (Jeff Gauthier & Maggie Parkins) – Song and Call
Soonago – Fathom
Sorey, Tyshawn – Mesmerism
St. Hugh, William – Dominion
Stancati, Mario Lina – Vairgya
Stetson / Martin / Sharp / MacDonald – Void Patrol
Stewart, Luke – ‘Assassinations’ for Free-Jazz Quintet
Stewart, Luke / Silt Trio – The Bottom
SUSS – Heat Haze
Talweg – Monster Rebellion
Tasselmyer, Andrew – Limits
Van Horn, Marla – A Daughter of Hades
Various Artists – Anthology of Experimental Music from Japan
Vasallo, Nick – Apophany
Veldman, Hessel – Ymuiden
Veloce, Stellan – Complesso Spettro
Vigroux, Franck – Atotal
Void Stasis – Ruins
Wøllo, Erik – Sojourns
Wooley, Nate – Live at De Ruimte
Xerxes the Dark – The Rise of AI