27/30 classic review folk metal

comus – first utterance (1971)

People are strange, so why is folk music ever anything but? Comus’ debut album crept from the roots of a mystical forest, where gothic festivities took place in the light of a burning fire. It is everything between creepy and fantastically beautiful—”I carry you to your grave, my arms your hearse” is one of the […]

27/30 classic review garage rock psychedelic rock

various artists – the best of pebbles vol. 3, caveman stomp! (1992)

This is a best-of compilation of a compilation series—the third in its own series. Why am I choosing it to mention? Well, a neighbour gave it to me and it’s been on repeat for three days. The masterful Pebbles series collated the most transgressive, acid-soaked trips in psychedelic rock. Caveman Stomp! zooms in on their […]

27/30 classic review singer-songwriter

ron sexsmith – ron sexsmith (1995)

What is artistic confidence? Probably writing an album of saccharine songs, singing them with frail Canadian vocals, and somehow sounding wholly sincere and completely natural. Ron Sexsmith is a great songwriter. Similar to Nick Lowe, another great, Sexsmith expresses emotions and situations in a frank, guileless tone that also breathes out unreplicable kinks. There are […]

27/30 album of the week jazz jazz fusion

makaya mccraven – in these times

‘These Times’ has been lovingly made with a torrent of textures. Through the labyrinthine motions, McCraven and his entourage stay relentlessly kinetic with an unusual level of calm. That is a genuinely great aspect of this record: it is testing, but it works for you, with you. The liquidus quality of the marimbas, flute, and […]

27/30 r&b soul

sudan archives – natural brown prom queen

“I’m not average,” says Brittney Parks, a lot. Natural Brown Prom Queen has a confidence proportionate to the Ohio native’s vision. The instrumentals don’t merely embody her celebratory themes, but urge them further, like a tennis match in which both players secretly support themselves and the opponent. This is as clarified as neo-soul, hip-hop, or […]

27/30 classic review jazz

blossom dearie – blossom dearie (1957)

Margrethe Blossom Dearie died in 2009, aged 84. It is strange to think that the voice we hear on this record, so precisely alive and sweet, could ever be anything but. A lover of jazz and bebop, Dearie was widely admired in return by figureheads such as Gil Evans, Bill Evans, and Miles Davis. Her […]

27/30 classic review folk funk reggae rock

lijadu sisters – danger (1976)

Watching the Lijadu Sisters in an interview is like observing two parts of the same brain popping off with thoughts: “If I’m in the kitchen singing a song, and I’m walking towards the bathroom, I hear her singing exactly the same thing”. The death of Kehinde Lijadu in 2019 signalled the  physical end of a […]

27/30 classic review electronic idm

monoton – monotonprodukt 02 (1980)

In 1980, a young Austrian named Konrad Becker accentuated electronic capability amidst the tonal constraints of ‘Western music’. A year later, he acted in Das Boot. Becker is now a lecturer, among many, many other things. A single lecture of his will cast most mainline documentaries to the realm of the rudimentary. Monotonprodukt 02 conveys […]

27/30 classic review indie/alternative rock

life without buildings – any other city (2001)

It’s hard to say how a vocalist ought to be. That said, ‘Any Other City’ is narrated by the most infectiously fun British voice of the 2000’s. The record was mainly made by ex-art students who then returned to visual or written forms of expression. For a moment, each of their artistries met to birth […]