16/30 hip-hop

che noir – food for thought

Che Noir’s 2020 album, ‘As God Intended,’ paraded grisly, fervent portraits of betrayal that rode cleanly over concise hip-hop rhythms. Two years later, ‘Food For Thought’ has been fatally let down by thin production and half-baked beats. Noir’s writing is often compelling, her flow is always tight, but the tinny mastering dotted throughout (particularly on […]

25/30 album of the week ambient experimental metal

boris – w

This is heavy metal where ‘heavy’ refers principally to matters of the mind. ‘W’ is an extraordinary ode to the most reflective of emotions, suspended by Boris’ atmosphere of rumination. It is simultaneously delicate, pounding, and dark, but even in ‘W’’s sombre corners, the instrumental tones are looking towards some far off light in wistful […]

22/30 ambient experimental

eiko ishibashi – for mccoy

Throughout her discography, Eiko Ishibashi has exhibited a range of sonic climates. It is as her orchestral tones lightly interact when ‘For McCoy’ feels at it’s mesmeric best. The problems, however, are underlined when the moods shift too quickly into cacophony and the wonder of Ishibashi’s gentle horizon momentarily cracks. Even so, these hurried sections […]

24/30 folk

jake xerxes fussell – good and green again

To construct ‘Good and Green Again,’ this superb North Carolina folklorist trawled through stories and songs of old, sewing the findings together with his laid-back voice at the seam. Fussell’s vocals pivot lightly off the story as well as the crisp acoustic arrangements behind him; he is an effective, cool narrator over a French horn […]

27/30 electronic experimental indie/alternative revisited review

dean blunt – black metal (2014)

This is a beloved album. Partly due to the release of its younger brother in June 2021, ‘Black Metal’ has enjoyed a thorough artistic renaissance, rousing a renewed appreciation for Dean Blunt’s idiosyncratic method. This record manages to be pathologically honest in its message, but layered and innumerable with its atmospheric devices; the strings throughout […]

30/30 indie/alternative pop revisited review

felt – forever breathes the lonely word (1986)

Felt’s career was guided by lead singer Lawrence’s grand ideas of artistic endeavour. He wanted the band to produce 10 albums and 10 singles in 10 years and then dissolve. They did. On their sixth LP, Felt carried sensitivity through bold melodies to assemble a masterpiece of organ-pop. FBTLW is a deeply intricate attempt to […]