Monday, 17 December 2012

Favourite Cover Art of 2012

Pretty cover art for albums and EPs. Some are so good they're great, and some are so bad they're amazing. They are in no particular order, except for the first one which is my favourite.

Crippled Black Phoenix - No Sadness or Farewell

Laurel Halo - Quarantine

Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes

Torche - Harmonicraft

Children of Nova - Impossible Landscape

八十八ヶ所巡礼 - ○△□

of Montreal - Paralytic Stalks

Galneryus - Angel of Salvation

Saltillo - Monocyte

Sigur Rós - Valtari

Baroness - Yellow & Green

Thursday, 13 December 2012

.​.​.and darkness came - Various Artists

87 track compilation of ambient music, all proceed will go to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Some artists include Helios, Pleq, Hammock, Anoice, Lawrence English, Nils Frahm, Ólafur Arnalds, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Dustin O'Halloran, Max Richter and many more.

Friday, 23 November 2012

So I haven't posted anything in a while...

As you can see, this blog has been kind of dead as of the last few months. I'm sorry. I really have no excuse. I have this weird thing where I lose interest in something and then focus on something else. I'm sure one day my interest in writing reviews will come back, but the time isn't really now.

I will have a year end list of my top 100 albums of 2012 as well as a few other fun lists. Other than that, unless I really feel compelled to write a review (that's why I wrote that last one haha), you won't be seeing anything else this year.

I'm sorry.

I love you.

Have a song I like.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Atsuko Chiba - Animalia: Several States of Being

I can pretty much garantee you that you haven't heard of this band. They are a local 5-man experimental post-rock outfit from Montreal and this is their first EP. They opened for The American Dollar a couple of days ago, and announced that they released this EP, and I liked their performance, so I decided to check it out. I don't normally write reviews for local stuff. I usually stick to some of my favorite albums, but I have the sudden urge to talk about them now. Why? Well, I think they're really good. Like, really good. This is pretty damn impressive for a first EP. I didn't notice this until my second listen, but this EP has a really strong Godspeed You! Black Emperor feel to it (in case you don't know, they're my all-time favorite band). They have those ambient and drone moments as well as samples, sorta like those scattered throughout Godspeed's Lift your Skinny Fists. Like, at some points, it's eerily similar, though they're definitely not a copy-cat band. They have their own psychedelic touch to their music. They have their own sound.

Let's look at this track by track. The first track, Carpets Through the Fog, starts out with an excellent ambient drone and then quickly cuts to a quick psychedelic part and then goes back to drone. It's a nice intro. It segues into the second track, Silento Del Dezerto, which is by far my favorite form the EP. The bass in this is so fun to listen to. It has this fluttering synth that reminds me a lot of the fluttering guitar in Godspeed's Sleep (during the Monheim mouvement). Near the end, both electric guitars kinda play off each other with the bass in the background. That fades out and segues into La Mezquita, the third track. This is probably the closest these guys are to a Godspeed sound. The drums in this track really steals the show. It has this really dramatic quality to it. It builds up for 6 minutes with the guitars to a cacophonous climax which quickly fades out and then segues into the last song, Sunset Shirley (La Dee Da). This is a short outro, that has a melancholic feeling. It's a happy end to a journey.

This is certainly an impressive EP and I love what I hear, but I guess I do have some qualms. I know this is an EP, but I felt like some build up could have been a little longer. Some transitions from post-rock to ambience and vice-versa felt a little quick, like in the first track. I also felt that the outro could have used a bit more variety and maybe be a little longer. But yeah, the middle two tracks are definitely great. I'm looking forward for the material these guys put out in the future. They're pretty cool. After the American Dollar set was over and I waited for the bus outside, they passed by with their ironing boards and actually thanked me for coming to the show. That was kind of neat.

7/10 peeps might dig this.

Atsuko Chiba - Animalia: Several States of Being from Anthony Sifoni on Vimeo.


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Shit Worth Getting 2012 (Part 2)

Get this stuff. It's good.

Anathema - Weather Systems
Progressive Rock

Children of Nova - Impossible Landscape
Progressive Rock

Helios - Moiety

High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis
Stoner/Sludge Metal

Hilary Hahn & Hauschka - Silfra
Improvisational Modern Classical

Natural Snow Buildings - Beyond The Veil
Ambient Drone/Free Folk

Rebecca Brandt - Numbers & Shapes

The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation - Erop
Dark Ambient

Torche - Harmonicraft
Stoner Metal

Xiu Xiu - Always
Art Pop, Experimental Rock

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Midori - Aratame mashite, Hajime mashite, Midori desu

Midori is a 4-piece hardcore punk band from Japan. They're in a specific sub-genre of punk that's not too uncommon in japan known as Jazz-punk (well that's what I call it). They have the intensity of a punk band but play jazzy melodies with lots of swing notes. I've always been fascinated by this jazz-punk sub-genre, and I believe that this album may be one of the best of it's genre. The variety on this album really runs the gamut. The first song is a 44-second long acoustic, very lo-fi ballad with a cute pop-esque vocal delivery. It quickly segues into probably the most abrasive song on the album, vocally and instrumentation-wise. I absolutely love that kind of contrast. This album is full of contrast. Generally, when the vocals is more punk with screams and all, the instrumentation falls more under the jazz category, and when the vocals are pop-like, the instruments are abrasive and distorted. You'll also find a wide variety of moods, from happy up-eat sounding songs to more dark and rebellious tunes. Might as well mention some individual songs. My personal favorite is probably Himitsu no Futari, which is the jazziest of all the tracks, I find, and possibly even the most accessible. Chiharu no Koi is a very bass-driven song, starting out with a slow, 30-second plucked bass solo. The last song I wanna mention also happens to be the last song on the album, Muyoku no Muryoku. It's basically a free-form jazz song. It's by far the most experimental and ambitious of their tracks and it's almost all instrumental, so if you don't really fancy the vocalist, you might appreciate this.

9 out of 10 green-haired girls will like this.

Couldn't find any samples on Youtube, sorry. :(


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Cosmonauts Day - Paths of the Restless

Cosmonauts Day is a rather new Russian Post-Metal/Sludge band. I found them recently on bandcamp and they sounded interesting (and the cover art is gorgeous) so I downloaded it and I'm not disappointed. I got what I expected. They have a very atmospheric post-rock/metal side and they have sludgy qualities. The sludge is actually quite heavy at times, which I like. Some sections can even be pretty fast which caught me off guard at first, but it sounded great. The instrumentation is pretty standard, with the reverb-laden instrumentation. The album by no means treads on unusual or experimental ground. You do get what you ask for but that doesn't mean it's boring though. It has interesting ideas and textures. Certainly worth checking if you're interested in this kind of music.

7 out of 10 cosmonauts will like this.