by: Paul McEldowney
Efrim Manuel Menuck - High Gospel (Costellation)
On his first solo release, Efrim Menuck of seminal Godspeed You! Black Emperor continues to showcase his talent of making some of the most beautifully dissonant guitar-driven sound collages mixed with a unique brand of sentimental and political song writing virtues. Reminiscent of the first A Silver Mt. Zion release, High Gospel is comparatively stripped down, spacious, intimate, and highly introspective. Also like early Silver Mt. Zion releases, High Gospel is not a complete bummer and features an underlying triumphant and hopeful tone running throughout the album that .
Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter One: Les Gens De Couleur Libres (Constellation)
An explosion of politically and emotional charged avant-jazz grooves, Matana Roberts' COIN COIN really proves that she is 'one of the leading lights of contemporary African-American experimental music'. Distinct from the rest of the Constellation roster, Matana Roberts transcends the role of token 'jazz' artist on an experimental label as her record goes from haunting disjointed downers to ragtime freak outs and to gospel-inspired heart melters. This beautiful record is highly identifiable, non-alienating, and hypnotizing--an uncompromising combination rarely found within experimental jazz.
Hauschka - Salon Des Amateurs (Fat Cat)
Moving away from the more abstract, baroque, and minimal sounds of his first two full lengths, Hauschka's newest album features a prominent 'electro-pop' layered and developmental approach to song writing. The album is less spacious and patient than his previous efforts, but in return, is more deliberate, focused, and accessible. While the notion of 'electro-pop' may be frightening to , I use the term in the most general sense possible, and this album still retains his signature experimental and playful approach to piano playing, as he continues to duct tape parts of his piano and have ping pong balls bounce within its cavities.
Panthu Du Prince - XI versions of Black Noise (Rough Trade)
Remix album of Panthu Du Prince's successful 2010 release Black Noise. XI versions of Black Noise features remixes by Four Tet, Animal Collective, and others. Like the original Black noise, this remix is Chilled out, 'down'-tempo, not cheesy, and makes you feel like one cool dude(tte). Absolutely perfect night album and guaranteed cognitive booty bumper.
Jackie-O Motherfucker - Earth Sound System (Fire)
There's not many things better than seeing a new J-OM album in the mail. Earth Sound System is J-OM leaning on the folkier side of life, yet retaining their psych-weirdness that defines their corpus. This album is totally accessible, featuring many 'pop moments', and sends you to your personal Walden Pond. The album ends with a total R&R wall of sound mind blower.
Implodes - Black Earth (Kranky)
Another winner from Kranky. Every song on Black Earth is like the psychedelic sad end of the world with washes of fuzzed-to-death yet comforting guitar drones, ominous ethereal and nondescript vocalizing, and pounding reverby drums. A great anti-summer summer album to add to your collection of sedative psych-gaze.