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First Singles, 2021

1. “Bird’s Lament” – Rob Burger. Alto sax, tenor sax, clarinet, bass, and drums inhabit this slinky, urbane piece with great aplomb. Originally composed by Moondog, composer Burger’s take on the piece creates a very street-corner-at-night vibe: a feeling of joyful possibility, subtle sensuousness, and possible danger.

2. “Flâner” – Meril Wubslin. A dense, hypnotic composition that draws on Middle Eastern melodic patterns, stripped-down percussion, and close relationships between all the elements of the piece (vocals, guitars, drums, electronics). Enigmatic in the best way.

3. “Return of the Sun” – Grasscut. A delicate, wistful piece relying on whispered vocals and ostinato piano. The end is compelling and rich.

4. “Calling James (live)” – Timo Lassy & Teppo Mäkynen. This tenor sax and drums duo is creates a staccato gem, a driving collection of pulse, rhythm and melody that feels like a hectic sprint along a friendly path.

5. “Shifting Sands” – Peter Chilvers & Jon Durant. A quirky, gently spiky ambient track in the vein of Brian Eno’s original ambient experiments; background music, but with compositional quality that rewards close listeners.

6. “Long Blue Light” – Leif Vollebekk. Vollebekk’s delivery is magical: he manages to sound casual and deeply emotionally invested at the same time. The chill, pedal-steel led indie-folk backdrop gives plenty of space for his voice to work its wonders.

7. “Joanna (Live)” – Lightning Dust. This is eerie, spacious, deconstructed work; it sounds like a country ballad slowed down into a slowcore acoustic jam with sprinklings of indie-rock thrown over all of it. The vocals are deeply compelling, and the bass work here is particularly memorable.

8. “The Way We Are Created” – Gabriel Vicéns. Splits the difference between groove-heavy vibes and traditional backline-and-solo work, creating a nice tension. I dig the grooves between the bass, drums, and piano.

9. “Bronko” – The Kompressor Experiment. Torrential, furious, pounding post-metal that spans tremolo-heavy post-rock to Rage against the Machine-esque funk-metal to riff-heavy thunder to doomy roars to even some mathy patterned digressions. If you’re looking for a tour of post-metal styles, this track will give it to you in spades. Fans of PG.Lost will find much to love here.