I'm always on the lookout for great new recordings that fly below the radar of popular culture. Here are three that I am currently digging, along with audio streams generously provided by the artists and their labels. If you dig what you hear, investigate further—and please consider supporting these fine artists by purchasing the music rather than copping it for free on some pirate site.
Stick Men are Tony Levin (Chapman Stick, voice), Pat Mastelotto (acoustic and electric drums and percussion), and Marcus Reuter (8- and 10-string Touch Guitars, electronics). On this follow-up to last year's improvisational and largely dark ambient Open, the trio present nine mostly instrumental compositions rooted in the heavier music of King Crimson, but informed by energies unique to this particular constellation of players. Reuter and Levin deftly interweave complex rhythmic, harmonic, melodic, and bass ideas with the fluidity of a master juggler—and without sacrificing musicality for virtuosic exhibition—as Mastelotto keeps the conceptual juggernaut from veering off course or collapsing under its own weight. Stick Men team with Adrian Belew's Power Trio to brilliantly revisit KC material as the Crimson ProjeKct—but Deep suggests that Levin, Mastelotto, and Reuter may be the chief beneficiaries of the King's artistic and spiritual legacy. Stick Men.
Track: "Nude Ascending Staircase"
Purchase Deep here.
Sonic Mining Company
Sonic Mining Company
SMC is an improvisatory collaboration between guitarist Reeves Gabrels, bassist Frank Swart, and drummer Adam Abrashoff. Renowned for his ability to brilliantly traverse the territory stretching from accessible rock (David Bowie, the Cure) to the decidedly experimental, Gabrels definitely opts for the latter on this outing—though Swart and Abrashoff ground the wildness in earthy grooves. Gabrels utilizes freaky fuzz boxes, squawking filters, dynamic delays, rasping ring modulators, and other recognizable tools to excavate the essential aural ores—but he and his cohorts' adventurous spirit is what transmutes them into intriguing amalgams—aided by the adept production and mixing of Rob Stennett (at Subterranea Studio, no less). "Road Head" provides an excellent example. Ropeadope.
Track: "Road Head"
Purchase Sonic Mining Company here.
Twenty-eight year-old bassist Julie Slick (along with her drummer brother Eric) popped into the public eye as part of the Adrian Belew Power Trio, which she still performs with in addition to the Crimson ProjeKct and other bands. Her eponymous debut album featured some great guitar work (including Soundscapes by Robert Fripp), but Terroir is a guitar smorgasbord, dishing up tasty fretwork from Belew, Tim Motzer, Rick Musallam, Mike Visser, Steve Ball, Robbie "Seahag" Mangano, and David Torn (who also plays oud on one piece). Stylistically, Slick's compositions combine post-, progressive-, math-, psychedelic-, and other "rocks," with more ambient, electronic, and experimental flavors, resulting in a satisfying phonic feast. Peak guitar moments include Belew and Musallam's interactions on "Sirène" and Torn's artfully unhinged soloing and sonic manipulations on "6." Slick Sound.
Purchase Terroir here.
Dr. No Effects Introduces the MotherBrain Analog Delay
Watch Conner Green of Haken's Bass Playthrough of "Earthrise" (VIDEO)
Stefanie Drootin-Senseney and The Good Life Announce Summer Tour in Support of New Album
Issue Sneak Peek: Inside Garbage's 'Strange Little Birds' Sessions
RealtimeOnly Releases Reverbical VST/AU/AAX Stereo Reverb Plugin
Ramones: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
The MIDI Association Offers Free MIDI Spec
Bob Moog - On Synthesizers: Modulation, Part I
At Auction, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Broadcaster Is a No-Sale Mystery
How Good a Guitarist Is Johnny Depp? Joe Perry Asked Him for Lessons
Thoughts on Caring for the Elderly (Guitar)
New Issue Preview: Revolver June/July 2016
Video: It Lies Within Tour Documentary, Part 1
Gojira Premiere New Song and Music Video, “Silvera”
History of the Blues in 50 Guitar Riffs
Expand Your Melodic Colors with 9th Arpeggios
John Entwistle's Isolated Bass Track from The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" at Shepperton Studios
Copyright ©2016 by NewBay Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28 East 28th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10016 T (212) 378-0400 F (212) 378-0470