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.
The Yardbirds 2015 Tour Kicks Into High Gear With Bassist Kenny Aaronson
Live Coverage From the 2015 Warwick Bass Camp
Eagles of Death Metal Announce New Album, Hit the Road With Bassist Matt McJunkins
Alberta Cross Announce New LP
Shure Intros ULX-D 900MHz Digital Wireless Systems
Dwarfcraft Devices Releases New Pitch Shifter
At last, a box to convert MIDI to old-school DIN sync and back again
Roland launches System-100 plug-out synthesizer
Malcolm Cecil among highlights at Chicagoland synth meet Knobcon 4
Gary Clark Jr. Premieres “Grinder” Music Video
Ghost Pedal Creates Wah Effect Without Physical Pedal | Video
Gabriella Quevedo Plays Fingerstyle Arrangement of The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” | Video
Watch Slayer’s ‘Raining Blood’ Performed with Hand Farts
Hate Eternal Announce Headlining Tour
Listen to Doomy New Slayer Song, ‘Cast the First Stone’
"Boogie Uproar" — The Up-Tempo Soloing Style of Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
Buskers' Rights: Know the Laws of Street Performing
George Lynch Talks Inspiration and the New Lynch Mob Album, 'Rebel'
Copyright ©2015 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