23/30 classical folk singer-songwriter

ichiko aoba – ichiko aoba with 12 ensemble (live at milton court)

This latest project with a small orchestra underlines Aoba’s plunging emotions while slowing her fall into them.

30/30 classical revisited review

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 classical post-rock revisited review

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 […]

26/30 classical drone experimental revisited review

alio die – aura seminalis (2008)

I’m able to remember back to simpler, more innocent times, when the tithing was strong, the jerkins were well-fitted, and an Ox only cost a small drawstring bag of silver coins. Alio Die remembers this bygone era well, and he made a beautiful album about it. Aura Seminalis is a compositional translation of Renaissance life—dramatic, […]

23/30 ambient classical electronic experimental

mabe fratti – se ve desde aquí

It’s hard to escape the imperious darkness of this album. The opener could soundtrack dead souls squeezing past each other to order some mead in a purgatorial nightclub. Mabe Fratti, through carefully layered textures, creates an atmosphere of medieval tension that is constantly in touch with both chaos and reflection. The Guatemala-born, Mexico City-based cellist […]

24/30 classical electronic

sarah davachi – two sisters

Two Sisters doesn’t march to the beat of a procession—Davachi conjures her own, singular atmosphere. Her nameless solemnity, drawn from centuries-old influences, gives rise to a kind of occult fear. The record manages to outlive fashion by incorporating such rich, untouched histories and arranging them below a spacious drone. The organs, for which the composer […]

22/30 ambient classical

OHYUNG – imagine naked!

Brooklyn-based composer OHYUNG follows the ambient tradition of producing broad, lengthy work marked by subtle changes. On ‘to fill the quiet!’ we hear an alloy of crackling ripples sat in between stunning diaphanous structures that move with the patient repetition of a swing. Flow is the 114-minute album’s most important component. It dictates the enormous […]

23/30 classical experimental

SAULT – air

On their sixth record in half as many years, the covert operation that is SAULT add classical transcendence to their broad canon. ‘Air’ withdraws from trenchant societal critiques and calls upon a monumental choir and orchestra to convey their message of unshackled expression. At times here, SAULT traverse human mysteries; elsewhere, they broker communications from […]