Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

January 2019: Part Three

March 8, 2019

In the third installation of what my January playlist looked like, I’m going to be brief. These were things I listened to less frequently for a variety of reasons (some of which simply because I found them late in the month). I have sincere hopes that I’ll be faster when getting up my recap of the February list. But who can say? On to the music:

Vastness – Christopher Sky. Minimalist composition with a bent toward including clunking, clanking, noisy backdrops that emphasize randomness and technological efforts amid the sometimes-highly-melodic, sometimes-ambient structures.

Jacco Gardner’s Somnium. This is a dusky, psychedelic, full-band adventure. There’s lots of spacy synth, groovy bass, existential dread, and overarching awe. A very cool experience.

Abyssinia & Abyssina Rise – Te’Amir. Combines traditional African sounds and rhythms with instrumental hip-hop vibes to create a deeply unique and interesting fusion.

Ex / Spells – kj. Great waves of sound with just enough motion to make this not drone but ambient. The work is extremely compelling–a thoughtful mixture of atmospherics, slowly-unfolding melody, tape hiss, and space. There’s a brittle, cold, nocturnal nature to this work that is engaging. Both records are highly recommended.

Charlie Dreaming – discography. On the other end of the mood spectrum from the kj work is Charlie Dreaming, offering a warm, rich, noble, major-key set of ambient drones. These are the sort of thing that the word ethereal was made for; these feel like transmissions from the glories of beautiful outer space findings, heaven, or similar otherworldly situations. Very beautiful.

Double Concerto for Violin and Bandoneon, No. 1 – JP Jofre, Michael Guttman, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. A rollicking, adventurous piece for chamber orchestra. Lots of cinematic sweep, lots of character to the piece, and a lot of fun. Bandoneon is similar to an accordion in sound, making this have a unique flair that will appeal to those who like South American, European, and/or Middle Eastern uses of accordion or accordion-like instruments.

Ateş Yanmayinca – Aynur Dogan. Speaking of the Middle East, here’s some music of and inspired by the traditional Kurdish folk tradition. Middle Eastern music is a space that I know almost nothing about and am still trying to learn about, so I have nothing really to add except it’s very interesting and I’m enjoying learning about it.

Into the Void – Ogmasun. Instrumental post-metal that thrashes in all the right ways. Love it.

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Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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