Tyresta & Ruan “Already Complete”

Focusing can be one of my biggest challenges. There are days where everything seems just out of reach, drifting by in the periphery like ghosts fading into the ether. Beautifully crafted moments are crystallized in Tyresta and Ruan’s collaborative Already Complete, purposefully at a distance with an invitation extended. There’s a sheen across the entirety of Already Complete where everything feels new, untouched. Arpeggios break apart, drifting skyward … Continue reading Tyresta & Ruan “Already Complete”

Andromelos2 “Space Wrecked Castaways”

Let me preface this review by recommending that anyone reading this should check out Kawabata Mokoto’s Bandcamp page. It’s an unbelievable treasure trove of solo recordings, random collaborations, AMT rarities, and so much more. One such gem is this new album from the trio of Kawabata, Nakaya Koichi, and Okano Futoshi. The original Andromelos featured Masonna on electronics back in 2004, but Kawabata and Futoshi … Continue reading Andromelos2 “Space Wrecked Castaways”

Eric Arn “Highest Order”

Eric Arn is a lifer. I was first introduced to his work in 1993 on Shrimper’s Abridged Perversion compilation (a release that I often say changed my life and that’s no exaggeration). His presence in Primordial Undermind (And All Tall Monsters Stand fried my brain when I first heard it nearly 30 years ago) stands out and his evolving, individual vision and talent are on display with this … Continue reading Eric Arn “Highest Order”

Imka “Manyara”

I can’t quite remember how I found Imka’s work, but his compositions built around bio-electrical signals generated from plants are, above everything else, deeply moving sonic portraits. Manyara’s gently flowing landscapes are intimate vignettes, connected through spindly tendrils and warm sun rays, collecting dust in corners we ignore lest we have to confront too many painful moments. Yet, Manyara also provides moments of otherworldly solace. These two sides … Continue reading Imka “Manyara”

Ash U Ra “Inútil”

Ancient spirits collide with the concrete and kick up a sonic dust cloud filled with dead spirits on Ash U Ra’s latest, Inútil. Death rituals pulse through the viscous air on murky opener “Mantener silencio,” as buried drums sling their rhythms from beneath the mud. Slowed voices rise from a shadowed veil, further adding to the overwhelming ominous feeling. “Mantener silencio” is heavy in every … Continue reading Ash U Ra “Inútil”

Brin and Josiah Steinbrick “Bliss Place”

I think about what my bliss place is a lot, but it’s an ever-moving target. Brin and Josiah Steinbrick’s Bliss Place, however, is a vivid kaleidoscope where sound fractals bend into futuristic shapes and ideas. Anxiety-ridden circuitry flutters through artificial landscapes, shapeshifting through unexpected high rises covered in lush flora, creating the strangest star map imaginable.  Short coin blips and muted voices of “100 ppm” are … Continue reading Brin and Josiah Steinbrick “Bliss Place”

Camila Nebbia & Patrick Shiroishi “The Human Being as a Fragile Article”

Even though Camila Nebbia and Patrick Shiroishi speak Spanish and Japanese, respectively, The Human Being as a Fragile Article is a document of the two saxophonists developing their own common language. Dizzying passages give way to expressive, even poetic reveries as the duo search the world outside for commonalities to scatter into the distance. As Shiroishi roils, spitting out death throes on “El ser humanx como un … Continue reading Camila Nebbia & Patrick Shiroishi “The Human Being as a Fragile Article”

Forest Management “String Loop Series”

These six pieces were originally released in 2017 in three separate parts, but Forest Management has reissued them on CD and made them available again digitally and the world, frankly, is better for it. String Loop Series is a lush, moving cascade of sound that wraps around itself, holding tight and guarding against the outside world. Repetitive motions build tension with sweeping orchestral tones stretching across infinity … Continue reading Forest Management “String Loop Series”

Hisato Higuchi “Bridges”

Fractured sentiments hang tenuously from a ghostly puppeteer’s fingers, strings entangled in vapor carrying the august tones of Hisato Higuchi’s “Bridges.” The song, his first offering since last year’s incredible キ、Que、消えん?, continues that fragile thread with Higuchi’s voice glazed across the languid, creeping guitar notes. Soft reverb blankets his sound world, cushioning the heavy blows so the mood hits like a velvet hammer. Higuchi is a … Continue reading Hisato Higuchi “Bridges”

Damiana “Vines”

Natalie Chami and Whitney Johnson joining forces on Damiana is a gift. The two Chicago artists hover in the same ether with similar, though still unique, approaches and the melding of their collective energy is spellbinding. Vines brings together sky-gazing synth arpeggios, viola dreams, and their twin voices into a femme-centered sonic glasshouse. Chami and Johnson intertwine, flourishing in the connective tissue of these four songs. Emotional … Continue reading Damiana “Vines”