AMN Reviews: Insect Ark – The Vanishing (2020; Profound Lore Records)

Insect Ark is one project of many from polymath Dana Schechter. The Vanishing, her third release under this moniker, features Schechter on bass guitar, lap steel, electronics, and synths, while Andy Patterson takes on drumming duties. Collectively, they produce a compelling all-instrumental release that lands somewhere between metal and King Crimson inflected prog rock, with a sprinkling of doom, psychedelia, and post-rock. More obscure comparisons might include Catatonic Effigy and Warren Schoenbright.

Regardless of influences or loose categorizations, Insect Ark gives us six heavy, plodding ruminations. Despite being a duo, Schechter’s multi-instrumentalism and liberal use of overdubs results in The Vanishing having a think, dense sound. Anchored by heavy riffs and pounding rhythms, the lap steel adds a melancholic twang while the synths flesh out this dark atmosphere. Toward the second half of the album, the pace slows and comes across as being more open and improvised. The emphasis switches to dissonant textures, and the mood combines walls of sound into something resembling a symphonic approach.

Ultimately, Insect Ark is a heavy rock band that employs unusual instrumentation and solid writing to great effect. The Vanishing hits the shelves on February 28.

RIP Sean Reinert 


Sean Reinert, longtime drummer for progressive/technical metal pioneers CYNIC, has died. He was apparently found unresponsive at his California home Friday night (January 24). No cause of death has yet been revealed. He was only 48 years old. Reinert was a founding member of CYNIC, along with guitarist/vocalist Paul Masvidal, and he remained in the group until September 2015.

Cynic and Death (another group Reinert drummed for) were a group of bands that revitalized heavy metal for a short period of time in the early- to mid-nineties. I saw Reinert with Cynic at a Berkeley, CA show in 1994. Prior to the performance, he was playing soccer outside the venue.

I lost track of him and the genre in general after that, but remained a casual fan and always thought that Cynic was 80’s King Crimson taken to a logical extreme. If you like what goes on with John Zorn’s Simulacrum, there is a fairly straight line between Reinert’s works 25+ years ago and that. RIP.

Jazzword Reviews

Source: Jazzword.

Dans Les Arbres

Louis Sclavis Quartet
Characters on a Wall

Evan Parker/Agustí Fernández/Ivo Sans

Fifty Years After… Live at the Lila Eule

Up and Out

Sam Eastmond

Colin Webster/Vasco Trilla with Michal Dymny
Live at the Spontaneous Music Festival

Daniel Thompson/Colin Webster

New Releases from RareNoiseRecords

Source: RareNoiseRecords.

Giorgi Mikadze
Georgian Microjamz

Giorgi Mikadze – Microtonal Keyboards
David Fiuczynski – Fretless guitar
Panagiotis Andreou – Fretless Bass
Sean Wright – Drums

The folk music of Georgia is one of the earliest and richest polyphonic traditions in the world, despite being little known to the rest of the modern world. Combining a sense of national pride, musical invention and exploratory spirit, pianist/composer & arranger Giorgi Mikadze has created a striking new hybrid of traditional Georgian folk music and progressive microtonal jazz on his breathtaking debut album, Georgian Microjamz.

Bobby Previte, Jamie Saft, Nels Cline
Music From the Early 21st Century

Jamie Saft – Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes, MiniMoog
Nels Cline – Electric Guitar, effects
Bobby Previte – Drums

Thursday, Feb. 20 @ 7pm
151 Loisaida Ave
New York, NY 10009

When future generations listen back to the sounds of this still young millennium, what music will remain to define the era? Master improvisers Bobby Previte, Jamie Saft and Nels Cline make their bid for immortality with Music From the Early 21st Century, their venturesome new album on RareNoiseRecords.

The Best Experimental Music on Bandcamp: January 2020 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

All kinds of experimental music can be found on Bandcamp: free jazz, avant-rock, dense noise, outer-limits electronics, deconstructed folk, abstract spoken word, and so much more. If an artist is trying something new with an established form or inventing a new one completely, there’s a good chance they’re doing it on Bandcamp. Each month, Marc Masters picks some of the best releases from across this wide, exploratory spectrum. January’s selection includes solo cello explorations, absurdist electronic cartoons, rubbery beat workouts, and wintry percussive atmospheres.

Newsbits: Perowsky, Medeski & Chris Speed / Matthew Shipp / Kirk Knuffke / Bernard Fort / Ali and Lowe / Maija Hynninen

Burning Ambulance reviews the new album from Ben Perowsky, John Medeski, and Chris Speed.

Matthew Shipp celebrates his 60th year with a solo piano recording. “The Piano Equation”, due out May 1, 2020, is the first release from Tao Forms, the new label founded by drummer Whit Dickey

Kirk Knuffke’s new release is coming out on Royal Potato Family.

Editions Mego is releasing a new set of electroacoustics from Bernard Fort.

Rashied Ali and Frank Lowe’s Duo Exchange garners a reissue.

I Care If You Listen reviews Maija Hynninen’s first album.