Brethren of the Free Spirit-The Wolf Also Shall Dwell with the Lamb

Brethren of the Free Spirit The Wolf Also Shall Dwell with the Lamb:

A 12 string acoustic player and a medieval lute player come together and create a beautiful harmonic climate. Theres a lot of influences at play here one can hear the echoes of everyone from John Fahey to J.S. Bach.  Dissonance is incorporated beautifully and never in a way which is unpleasant. The pieces tend to be fairly repetitive, but in a way thats mesmerizing. Subtle changes and fills compliment the tracks well, making them more active while not taking away from their hypnotic nature. A really interesting release for fans of acoustic instrumentals.

Rating: 14/15 lutes making a come back

Carl Michael von Hausswolff-Strom

Carl Michael von Hausswolff Strom:

An interesting interplay of sine waves with the occasional bump and fuzz to keep things interesting. The sine waves resonate beautifully and can produce several interesting sensation in your skull. Hausswolff  does amazing things with very few elements, which speaks volumes of his deep understanding of composition.

Rating: 14/15 hums

AMM-Ambient 4: Isolationism

AMM Ambient 4:Isolationism:

A unique mix of free jazz, modern classical, and electronic music. This disk is completely improvised, and is extremely pleasant to listen to considering its atonal nature. Piano drums and cello, are augmented by Keith Rowe’s prepared guitar. Rowe plays the guitar by lay it out in front of him and manipulating it with a series of found objects and effects pedals. Though the other musicians play well, and manipulate their instruments in an interesting fashion, Rowe’s sonic palette is immense and overall simply more interesting than his compatriots. A fascinating listen.

Rating: 14/15 electric guitars are still cooler than acoustic instruments points

Pig Destroyer – Phantom Limb

Pig Destroyer Phantom Limb:

Vicious is the best way to describe this album. JR Hayes’ vocals have never sounded angrier, snarling through the tracks like enraged animal. Scott Hull shows off his skills in full. He easily switches from shredding riffs to something equally heavy, but catchy. This is all bolster by the new drummer who’s ability to not only keep up with Hull, but also add some grove is impressive. An artistic high point for this band.

Rating: 14/15 songs that should be the plots of movies

Kylesa – Static Tensions

Kylesa Static Tensions:

Oooh it might be early, but this album should be in consideration for best of 2009. Imagine if the current incarnation of the Melvins added a female singer/guitarist and then played metal. Yeah that’s how awesome Kylesa are. This disc is full of great riffs, awesome tribal drums, and a killer three way vocal attack. Get your hands on this immediately.

Rating: 14/15 not enough drummers

Neko Case-Middle Cyclone

Neko Case Middle Cyclone:

Case does not disappoint. This album brims with beautiful arrangements mournful lyrics, and Case’s thunderous voice. This album will grab you and probably never let go.

Rating: 14/15 Lovelorn tornadoes

TV on The Radio-Dear Science

TV on The Radio Dear Science

A well balanced album. TV on The Radio take funk, rock, hip-hop, punk, and even a little shoe-gaze, and make it all their own. Lyrically solid, but the vocal delivery and their seemingly endless supply of cool instrument sounds and production make this disk as kick-ass as it is.

Rating: 14/15 Golden Ages

Cecil Taylor-The Dance Project

Cecil Taylor The Dance Project:

Though his technical prowess has diminished slightly due to his age, Taylor’s feel has only gotten better. He can tickle the keys and he can beat them like a hammer, and he knows exactly when to do each.

Rating: 14/15 continued artistic growth points

The Dead Boys-Young Loud and Snotty

The Dead Boys Young Loud and Snotty:

If you like you rock and roll loud anthemic, and filled with sex and drugs, than this is the album for you. Musically focused on catchy attitude laden riffs. Vocalist Stiv Bators snarls and yells his anthems of debauchery with an abandon that most singers can’t muster. I just wish most punk was as good as this album

Rating: 14/15 rates of diminishing returns

Altenberg Trio Wein-Polish Piano Trios

Altenberg Trio Wein Polish Piano Trios:

Wonderful and haunting performances of two fairly obscure Polish composers. The music is largely dark and dissonant, but in a way thats more likely to catch your interest than turn you off. The musicians are astoundingly tight, and obviously know the pieces extremely well. Great and rewarding for fans of Modern Classical.

Rating: 14/15

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