5/22/20 NEW RELEASES
JAMES ELKINGTON – Ever-Roving Eye LP/CD (Paradise of Bachelors)
The Chicago based English guitarist & Reckless regular Jim Elkington is one of the city’s most accomplished musicians of this past decade. He’s collaborated with Jeff Tweedy, Richard Thompson, TORTOISE, Michael Chapman & Steve Gunn just to name a few & this is his second solo album. Nods at 60s & 70s British folk like Bert Jansch, John Martyn & Richard Thompson, Chicago ex-pats Jim O’Rourke & Ryley Walker, Elkington’s playing is as stellar as ever & his songs just keeping getting better.
GAS – Oktember LP (Kompakt) reissued
Reissue of the 2nd EP by Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS Project originally released on Mille Plateaux in 1999. This EP is re-sequenced with the title track switched to the b-side with the track “TAL 90” from the Pop Ambient 2002 compilation on side A. That track is a beautiful ambient piece with sampled strings that has a sort of mournful quality to it. “Oktember” is classic(al) GAS with a shuffling minimal techno pulse & some chopped-up samples. RECOMMENDED of course!
RAFAEL ANTON IRISARRI – Peripeteia LP (Dais)
The always reliable ambient/drone artist Rafael Anton Irissari returns with “Peripeteia.” Irissari’s recordings have an epic quality to them with deep bass tones, thick & swelling strings & an overall cinematic feel. Fans of FENNESZ, Johann Johannsson etc…should check this out.
AUGUSTUS MULLER – Machine Learning Experiments LP (Nude Club)
BOY HARSHER’s producer-extraordinaire AUGUSTUS “GUS” MULLER has dipped his toes into the soundtrack world, scoring two experimental erotic films, “Orgone Theory” and “Hydra”, for the UK film collective Four Chambers, now compiled here on “Machine Learning Experiments”. These delve more into ominous synth textures than BH-esque darkwave rhythms, balancing rich atmospheres with percussive sensuality. Any release related to BOY HARSHER is an auto-grab for this writer, and this is no exception. RECOMMENDED!
NNAMDI – Brat LP (Sooper)
Chicago multi-instrumentalist Nnamdi Ogbonnaya continues to experiment & break down musical boundaries on “Brat.” The album opens with a complex acoustic song that almost sounds like a chopped-up Elliott Smith song. Elements of jazz, R&B, bedroom pop & even math rock are somehow fused together to create this truly experimental hip-hop record. Fans of Moses Sumney, CHILDISH GAMBINO, TORO Y MOI, D’Angelo & even BJORK will love this.
SUNWATCHERS – Oh Yeah? LP (Trouble in Mind)
“Oh Yeah?” is the crazed new album by the NYC band SUNWATCHERS. Considering what these guys are doing, their music is pretty melodic & listenable but that doesn’t mean it isn’t bonkers sometimes. “Love Paste” sounds like a lost TELEVISION melody & the FLOWER TRAVELLIN’ BAND meets KING CRIMSON riffage on “Three Worm Store” & hints at fusion like Tony Williams Lifetime are truly exciting to hear. Man, this one is a scorcher! RECOMMENDED.
TALsounds – Acquiesce LP (NNA Tapes) blue vinyl
GOOD WILLSMITH’s Natalie Chami returns as TALSOUNDS, crafting gorgeous ambient and drone music with a hint of improvisation. A prominent member of Chicago’s DIYcommunity, Chami’s sonic explorations of subconscious emotions were perfected on the stage, allowing for the expressions to become uninhibited. For fans of synth wizards KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH and TIM HECKER, or local post-rock titans TORTOISE, this is a stone cold winner. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
WILD NOTHING – Gemini: 10th Anniversary version LP (Captured Tracks)
10 years on & this debut album by WILD NOTHING still sounds fresh & new today. Since then Jack Tatum has become a highly regarded songwriter & WILD NOTHING have released a number of great albums. Looking back now, that 2010s era of NYC dream & bedroom pop seems so joyous & wonderful. This limited 10th anniversary edition is on “sea blue” vinyl & comes in a silk-screened sleeve. RECOMMENDED.
Other important new releases
TONY ALLEN & HUGH MASEKELA – Rejoice LP (World Circuit) restocked
ALINA BARAZ – It Was Divine 2LP (Mom + Pop)
STEVE EARLE – Ghosts of West Virginia LP (New West)
HODGE – Shadows In Blue LP (Houndstooth)
JERRY PAPER – Abracadabra LP (Stones Throw)
NINA SIMONE – 1957-1962: The Essential Works LP (Diggers Factory)