The first impression always counts. Some albums are simply charming from the first audition and lose no charisma throughout. SIBERIAN XP has just released one of those. It’s called Animalphabet, it’s out since October 6 and it’s sung entirely in English even if SIBERIAN XP come from Bordeaux, France. A group of long-time friends, playing together since 2011 while being in other side projects as well, SIBERIAN XP might have taken their time to release a debut album, but the result is outstanding. An exceptional production, accompanied by excellent video quality for singles, and with an appealing alternative rock genre sound. (read more)
‘from now to now’ is a vert:x full length vinyl album. But their album catalogue goes back to 2007, with self-released CDr, splits, EPs and exclusive tracks for various compilations. A vinyl record was just a matter of time and considering the amount of great songs they have circulated all these years, I can only imagine that one of their greatest challenges was which ones to choose for pressing. Therefore, the selection of songs cannot be random and deserves consideration and further exploration into vert:x discography.
There is no jazz like piano jazz. It has accompanied and played an important role the history of the genre right from the beginning. It brings emotional depth to anything that’s part of, especially in instrumental duos, no matter if it teams up with guitar, with saxophone or with another piano. Radament from Spain is another great example of melodic and harmonic capabilities, this time coming out from when piano meets drums. This very interesting project is represented by the jazz pianist Juanjo Fernández and the drummer Giorgio Fausto Menossi. Full of lovely ideas, contemporary in approach and keeping a high-quality end throughout, Radament makes great use of the duo members’ experience in various other groups and projects, the academic background and their skills to bring quality sound and composition.
Manescape formed in 2006 and are coming from Głogów, Poland. After a couple of well-received previous releases, ‘Antibodies’ came out in February this year, a mix of shoegaze, stoner and post rock which gives content to their neo-psychedelic rock style, as they labeled themselves. There are plenty of beautiful tracks (or antibodies) on the album, all of them would deserve to be mentioned. ‘Black Bodies’ and ‘In Moments of Oblivion’ are more into the dirty groove stoner riffs, with unmistakable guitar signatures and steady rhythmic section. But Manescape are not afraid of approaching long compositions, which is always a good sign for a band confidence. ‘Beautiful Agony’ is a song over 7 minutes, but so well constructed that you never get bored or lost on the way.
Firefang are garage-grunge trio from Gent, Belgium, with distorted electric guitar, socially engaged lyrics, screaming out vocals and stoner blues elements. Fast as punk, desolated like blues, loud as rock’n’roll, Firefang smells like grunge spirit to anyone prone simultaneously to vulnerability and power. Everybody likes upgrades. Every one likes novelty, original styles, new values to bring that feeling of being moved forward. The eponymous LP of Firefang shows a great deal of influences without being a tribute to any genre and moves ahead with enthusiasm and self-assurance. The album is loud no matter if the songs are mid-tempos or bursting out of the stereos.
Enter Oblivion by Glasgow Coma Scale proves that post-rock can move forward without necessarily being predictable. It delivers everything you ever wanted to hear in a post-rock album without the slightest feeling that you’ve heard it all before. The album never runs out of ideas. It’s not abrasively explosive but it holds irresistible force. It’s expressive, attractive and uplifting beyond doubt. It’s positive and warm. It’s that good.
20 albums which filled up concert venues, personal play lists and music news. Or deserve to. Not a top 20, in order of release. (read more)
David Bowie, Suede, Tindersticks, Megadeth, Motorpsycho, Rotting Christ, Mike & The Melvins, Kaada/Patton, Staraya Derevnya, Hatebreed, NAILS, Swans, Gojira, Magnetic North, vert:x, Dead Sea Apes, Blown Out, Earthling Society, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Crobot, The Lucid Dream, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Leonard Cohen, Metallica
‘Satyros Ironykos’ is a 7″ single coming from the out of nowhere of an enigmatic underground scene without any time and space stamp. Georgio ‘the Dove’ Valentino finds inspiration in the most uncommon places and stories, giving ways to a singular imaginary. The lengthy ‘Mille Plateaux’, released in 2014, was a fine confirmation that Valentino doesn’t really fit in a distinct genre nor that he cares about mainstream cultural rules. His latest release, ‘Satyros Ironykos’ makes another stand-alone gem in his catalogue.
After the well-received debut EP Something Dark To Dance To, Doganov makes a strong follow-up with another self-release, a full album this time – Conducting Chaos.
Conducting Chaos brings an evocative sense of a certain moment in time and the atmosphere of a specific place which might be very well the world we’re living in.
20 albums which filled up concert venues, personal play lists and music news. Or they deserve to. Not a top 20.
Björk, Massis, Songhoy Blues, Spoiwo, Zu, Drenge, Thee Oh Sees, Faith No More, Slaves, High Tension, vert:x, Soulfly, Public Image Ltd., Slayer, David Gilmour, Girl Band, The Dead Weather, Orchidfoot, Shining (NOR), Wolf Eyes, Kurt Cobain
The first time I heard a vert:x track was on Dandelion Radio during its 2012 Festive Fifty. Festive Fifty was originally an annual list of best songs voted by John Peel’s listeners on BBC Radio 1. After Peel’s death, the BBC continued the tradition for a while and when they ended it the internet-based Dandelion Radio decided to carry it on. The 2012 edition included names like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Savages, Pussy Riot, Public Image Ltd., Tame Impala and many others among which vert:x made it into the Top 10.
Among the Belgian new releases so far, here’s the self-titled album from MASSIS. Produced by MASSIS and Patrick Delabie and recorded, mixed and mastered at Studio 195 Wernhout in Holland, the record is an impressive debut with 8 tracks that moisturize and nurture the passion for instrumental noise rock.MASSIS is an impressive release that won’t leave you indifferent. A product of talent amplified by music experience. It’s really impossible not to like it.
‘Walking Into White’ is a deep, resonant record with many variations which somehow keep the same high level of intensity. An ambitious project which obviously couldn’t be done without a significant previous experience. Melting together contemporary, medieval and Spanish rhythms or vocal, guitar, cello, synthesizer and trumpets harmonies, and still keep this sense of a strange unity, which comes natural as if it was the most normal state of play… Such magnitude can only be found the frame of life itself.
20 albums which filled up concert venues, play lists and the music news. Or which deserve to.
The saxophonist Mihai Iordache needs no introduction in Romania. His career as alto sax player is rooted in ‘80s and, since then, he has put his unique sound mark on many releases and live collaboration, either with alternative rock and jazz bands of the Romanian music scene (Timpuri Noi, Sarmalele Reci, Orient Express, Jazz Unit, Kumm) or in national and international festivals and appearances in Romania ( Stufstock, Jazz and More, Green Hours International Jazz Fest, Garana Jazz Fest), in Hungary (with guitarist Eichinger Tibor as a guest) or in Belgium (with Eugene Chadbourne).
Willie Dixon once said: “The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in song, inspiration, feeling and understanding.” Elements that shaped up a musical universe since the end of the 19th century. But no matter the styles or techniques, and maybe more than any other works, the blues will be always about authenticity. With their debut album – Troubles on my mind – PIERRE K Band put forward the beginning of a journey through some of these feelings and reveal their own genuineness.
There is probably at least one concept hidden beyond each song. Each new audition brings along new understandings, more nuances, richer, deeper and clearer than the previous. If you plan falling in love with a fine piece of art, here it’s your record. All you need to do is finding a Sunday afternoon. The rest has been exquisitely taken care of.
Some of the best albums of year 2013. 20 albums which filled up concert venues, play lists and the music news. Or which deserve to.