30/30 classic review post-rock rock

slint – spiderland (1991)

The opening licks on ‘Breadcrumb Trail’ do not imply the sprawling jam of ‘Spiderland,’ nor do they show any signs of its nocturnal ambience. This record flooded from the basement of a band not doing as well as they could, while playing with a pointed creative privilege. The introspection means that they cannot flail outwardly. […]

30/30 blues classic review folk rock

bob dylan – blonde on blonde (1966)

Clarice Lispector’s 1973 work ‘Agua Viva’ is written in the syllabic flow of a perfect novel, but expressed through streaming narratives and hellishly opaque metaphor. An outline. I think Bob Dylan had the same idea on ‘Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands’ – to write passively with lyrical latitude and have faith that between alien […]

30/30 classic review classical

franz schubert – winterreise (1828)

Six months after his only commercially successful concert, Schubert died of an illness that history has since crosshatched as syphilis and/or typhoid fever. Despite the elemental desolation of Winterreise, it is ecstatic in movement—dropping low and leaping in a daze to touch the sun. The strict, often slow, tempo jousts with liquidus emotions that would […]

30/30 classic review punk rock

7 year bitch – ¡viva zapata! (1994)

We expend a lot of energy trying not to be irritable, so when anger rises it rouses the question of whether to silence it or push forward. That, of course, depends on stimuli. For 7 Year Bitch, the stimulus was the death of their guitarist, Stefanie Sargent, and the brutal murder of their friend, The […]

30/30 classic review pop rock

the velvet underground – loaded (1970)

Of all the terms I read when scanning the mixed user reviews for Loaded, ‘lukewarm’ struck me the most. This was the Velvet Underground record that intended to leave the warehouse and make love to the radio (almost literally on Rock & Roll). The blueprint foretold breezy, warm, and painless tracks, where the droning sonic […]

21/30 art pop folk

gaye su akyol – anadolu ejderi 

On her maximalist fourth album, Gaye Su Akyol again makes expressive use of the burnt tremor in her voice, this time singing directly to Istanbul. Through its baroque psych-rock, the record blazes through its themes without deference to taste and/or accessibility. This is certainly Akyol’s most anti-pop album to date, as she takes the scenic […]

19/30 hip-hop

lee clarke – genes

I have a system of analysis for beat tapes: imagine playing them over a five second YouTube ad for gym supplements, or a loading screen for a hotel lobby TV. If you can describe the music as ‘appropriately neutral, wholly inoffensive, and almost insultingly innocuous’ above the visual aid, then it has failed. A fair […]

20/30 jazz pop rock

fievel is glauque – flaming swords

We never entirely trust the ostensible positivity of Flaming Swords. It’s a disarming album of very smooth jazz, which it then cuts up into unpredictable, coltish motions. The septet have an infectious sense of play that – forgive the middle-class dad analysis – the French do very well. Fievel is Glauque succeed less in producing […]

30/30 classic review classical post-rock

glenn branca – the ascension (1981)

“The only reason why I ever even bother to pay the slightest attention to this fucking world is because I love music.” – G.B Few records will ever ask as many questions about rock or life as Glenn Branca’s The Ascension. In Branco’s 1981, the art world had fossilised and underground ideas were at risk […]