23/30 electronic experimental funk punk synth

grotto terrazza – kalte k​ö​stlichkeiten

A stylised, sharp, mid-century album cover will often precede a dry, synth-pop experience—it’s the go-to aesthetic for the scene. However, Grotto Terrazza has the eccentricity to angle away from formula and towards his own voice. Kalte Kö​stlichkeiten is tight, engaging, and sincerely bizarre. There are so many words to call it: drum machine punk, chipmunk […]

23/30 ambient experimental

okada takuro – betsu no jiken

Okada Takuro was in a folk-rock band once—Mori Wa Ikiteiru were distinctly less interpretive, but possessed the same life-affirming curiosity as its leader’s solo work. Betsu No Jikan, Takuro’s first album in two years, contains six tracks, each a puddle with elegant rain dripping down upon it at shifting tempos and with fresh textures in […]

25/30 ambient electronic experimental

kaitlyn aurelia smith – let’s turn it into sound

This record sounds as though it was made by a band of sparrows, who enrolled in music school, microdosed on psychedelics and met at the studio. ‘Let’s Turn It Into Sound’ swoops, glides, but also reflects, stands still, chirps. It is winding and unpredictable, eschewing long, ascending passages for enterprising left turns. The pop tones […]

23/30 darkwave experimental

diamanda galás – broken gargoyles

‘Broken Gargoyles’ sounds as though it came from the underbelly of a Lingua Ignota record. The subterranean, off-the grid experience de-places the entire album, so that it is not certain enough to attach to any specific plane, even hell. Though the poetry (much from German expressionist Georg Heym) is often about human suffering, Diamanda Galás […]

17/30 experimental

hudson mohawke – cry sugar

The first time I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I was enthralled. On my third watch, I had to ask “…why is he ageing backwards?” The glass shattered. It is hard to relisten to Cry Sugar when its eccentric, elongated musical venture is never justified. The experience resembles talking to someone while they […]

26/30 classic review electronic experimental

max tundra – some best friend you turned out to be (2000)

Like any great artistic display, ‘Some Best Friend You Turned Out to Be’ is perpetually unfolding, now into its third decade. The record’s acidic, demanding experience persists and each listen will provoke fresh revelations on its enduring scientific logic. Max Tundra is less concerned with an unknown, distant land and more with the life going […]

26/30 ambient electronic experimental idm

sam prekop, sam mcentire – sons of

‘Sons Of’ would look magnificent over anything from shuffling film of microscopic plant cells to stock footage of a helicopter drifting through the Tokyo skyline. It corresponds gracefully to all forms of experience, material or immaterial, with an understanding glow. In doing so, it implies a nature to dance and a dance to nature. There’s […]

24/30 bass electronic experimental


Bass has sifted the pockets of its sub-genres for decades, perpetually in search of a fresh direction. But like a recent graduate with strict, expectant parents, the genre often falls back on a sturdy, lucrative route. Eschewing even a whiff of ‘Youtube Football Compilation Music,’ ‘SCREAMER’ plugs spirited pop melodies and a scorched, glitchy coating […]

18/30 experimental hip-hop

the koreatown oddity – ISTHISFORREAL?

‘ISTHISFORREAL?’ sounds like it came from the back rooms of a nightclub with flashing light fixtures. By assuming the seedy, neurotic gristles of the issues he addresses, KTown comes to embody them with an irony undercut by stone-cold seriousness. That said, while tracks like ‘MISOPHONIALOVE’ contain a smart premise, they would be more proportionate in […]