Wow. Just wow. This is Miles Davis at that stratospheric peak he seems to ride every few albums, the ones with mountains of praise written about them over the decades. For some reason it’s far less revered than the likes of Kind of Blue, Bitches Brew, and On The Corner, but it’s just as important to his development as an artist and just as incredible of a listen for jazz fans today.
Demdike Stare – Wonderland
Demdike Stare have returned with a full length release over four years after their last with a quietly radical shift in sound. After exploring all the hidden spaces beneath the world of techno, they seem to have finally let some light in.
Wonderland is a revelation from any direction, surprising longtime fans and cracking open unexplored depths for the uninitiated. The timing couldn’t be better: this album hits an apocalyptic fever pitch right as 2016 winds to its dystopian end.
Boris – Live at Pyramid Scheme 8/13/16
After years of waiting, I finally saw Boris live. It was incredible. It was exactly what I was hoping for. It changed my perception of a band that’s been a favorite for almost a decade. I now see Boris is completely new light.
Standing in the Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids, MI, I felt a blast-furnace heat that burned away any trace of skepticism I had about the power of live rock music. It’s been a long, long time since a band gave me such a revelatory experience.
Anohni – Hopelessness
I want to make this clear from the get-go: Anohni has crafted one of the most powerful vocal performances I’ve heard in years, wrapping it in incredibly sumptuous production that sounds like virtually nothing else out there in 2016.
With her incredible voice backed by innovative sounds by Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never (a longtime favorite of mine), this album instantly became my favorite work by the artist formerly known as Antony. Her gender transition seemed to herald a new boldness and sense of purpose, as these 11 songs definitively show.
The Durutti Column – For Belgian Friends
This morning, terrorist attacks in Brussels killed dozens of people and injured many more, stoking flames of hatred and fear around the world. There is no end in sight for this fire. But like with all tragedies, we’re seeing an outpouring of humanity from the art world.
Today, someone in The Durutti Column group on Facebook shared the video below, saying, “something I created a while back – a bit more poignant today mes amis…”
Thug Entrancer – Arcology
Arcology is a huge leap for the sound artist, real name Ryan McRyhew, after 2014’s hypnotic but oppressively dark Death After Life, which made my best of the year list. Instead of scaling up even larger, he’s taken his process apart and rebuilt it with more nuanced, texturally rich pieces. What once felt like dizzying vertigo is now a sprawling maze.
Surprise new Kendrick Lamar album: untitled unmastered
I woke up to some really interesting news. Kendrick Lamar dropped an official collection of many of the songs he’s been debuting on Colbert, Fallon, and other one-time appearances over the last year. I’m just posting to share the new with any friends and readers who haven’t heard yet.
The whole brief album is streaming right here: