Branch or Die

Jaimie Branch follows the path marked out on her first album, but adds new horizons to the picture. Her sophomore work is a fascinating collection of vivid and spontaneous reactions to the surrounding reality: whether encountered in the rehearsal room, in a concert situation, or on the geopolitical scene.

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Saxodrones

Two brilliant records that combine the saxophone and drone music: Lea Bertucci generates reverberating pieces by playing in a huge grain elevator, while Julius Gabriel uses added effects to create his narcotic musical visions.

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Imaginary folks

Some refer to it, others prefer to distance themselves from it. In my opinion, Opla and Širom’s latest records sound like contemporary folk made in large cities and their peripheries. Fiery and delicate at the same time, it takes a winding slalom course leading back to tradition.

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Holiday compilations #1

Travel to 1980s Brazilian underground, Peruvian sound-art, French children’s music, Melbourne’s blossoming jazz scene and Wrocław’s futuristic electronica. This is the first in a new series where I describe the most interesting compilations I’ve come across.

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Still breathing monsters

Four artists representing four different musical worlds are breathing new life into organ music. Ellen Arkbro keeps developing new conceptual ideas for using this instrument, Maja Ratkje adds additional sounds to it, Sarah Mary Chadwick uses it as an accompaniment to her songs and Kali Malone creates long, meditative drones, putting the ideas of deep listening into practice.

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Pulsating hits

ent albums by FOQL and Jakub Lemiszewski brilliantly showcase music based on incessantly pulsating rhythm, which forms a crazy yet coherent conglomeration. Dren’s rhythms, on the other hand, are as steady as they are sinister, and the duo skilfully create their ambient space.

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Old school made of gold

Is a revolution even possible? On their new records, Martim Monitz and Jad offer a direct, no-bullshit commentary on current events. And although they’re not trying to be innovative, they’ve still managed to fill an important niche on the Polish music scene.

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Parallel narratives

Parallel Persia is an epic album, thoroughly thought out in terms of both form and narrative. SOTE delivers a brilliant combination of traditional acoustic sounds and electronica, an impressive sonic synthesis, an innovative look at what futuristic folk may sound like.

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