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.
Musk Ox – Inheritance (2021)
Dead Melodies – Fabled Machines of Old (2021)
Ulher / Smith / Cogburn – The Eternity-Cult (2021)
Charlotte Keeffe – Right Here, Right Now (2021)
Anthony Braxton – 12 Comp (ZIM) 2017 (2021)
Musk Ox is billed as a chamber-folk trio, and consists of Nathanael Larochette on classical guitar, Raphael Weinroth-Browne on cello, and Evan Runge on violin. This is their third full-length album, and first since 2014.
Style-wise, I would peg them as rock-influenced chamber music, with all members having played with metal or progressive rock bands. Indeed, Weinroth-Browne and Runge trade riffs and power chords, while all three follow melodic lines that repeat and slowly develop. Larochette provides mostly plucked chords. The feel is cinematic, almost minimalist, and often resembles that of a chamber group performing covers of heavy rock bands. But, Inheritance in all new music, and fresh in that regard.
The opening self-titled suite is split into two parts totaling over 23 minutes. It exhibits a wide range of assertiveness, from the aggressive to the delicate. But keeping with rock themes, it moves along in a propelled fashion. Memorium explores slower and more melancholy themes, while Ritual covers similar ground though gradually grows heavier. Weightless caps things off with one of the more intricate blends of harmony on the album played at a deliberate pace before evolving into a rock-like set of rhythms.
In sum, Inheritance is a more than worthwhile effort for anyone who wished that their favorite prog-metal group would just break down and play classical music.
Grant Evans has traded individually and group-wise under a number of noms-de-musique, including Nova Scotian Arms, whose relatively hushed avant-ambient introduced the present reviewer to his work about a decade ago.
So Calender Moth comes as a bit of a surprise. Mustering “field recordings, lap harp, feedback, tape machine loops, prepared piano, singing bowl, shortwave radio, signal generator, synthesizer, digital percussion, metal, primitive reverb, bells, pure data,” and the kitchen sink, I’d bet, Evans unleashes a virtual fire hose of flinty effluvia, an unwholesome discharge of sounds thick and thin at full blast. It is quite an ordeal.
But over the course of an hour, the digital onslaught gradually wears down its sharpest edges and a more analogue, industrial feel emerges – machinery clanks, circuits short, steam is vented. The cacophony of zeroes speared on arrow-headed ones relaxes into quasi-bucolic, Rust Belt isolationism. This feels good.
Source: Wayward Music Series.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve been considering how we can most directly assist the artists who inhabit our particular niche of the Seattle music community.
With the Chapel closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wayward Music Series now moves from the concert hall to the living room. In place of our usual ten monthly concerts, Nonsequitur is curating and commissioning ten Seattle artists each month to create a series of streaming audio sessions of exclusive material. Many of these will be essentially “live” performances recorded at home for this occasion. Others may create a mix of pre-recorded material that has not been previously released elsewhere.
These tracks are available to stream at no charge on SoundCloud via the links below, and will be promoted like our concerts via our weekly e-newsletter, our Facebook group, and our Twitter feed. The artists retain all rights to their recordings. We strongly encourage you to visit their web sites and purchase their recordings or contribute to their personal crowdfunding campaigns.
This series will continue for as long as we are unable to use the Chapel for performances.
Ambient duo of songwriter Tomo Nakayama and film composer Jeramy Koepping.
#124: John Teske
Intonations is a suite of graphic scores for any ensemble