Archive for the ‘Album Reviews’ Category

Steve Roden & Frank Bretschneider Suite Nuit LINE Steve Roden is a Pasadena-based sound, visual, and mixed media artist who’s been releasing work under his own name. Roden’s music has always struck me as inherently organic, equally informed by technique, process, and instinct. He’s called it “lowercase” in the past, music that focuses on the […]

Samples and samplers are getting so sophisticated that the casual listener might not even distinguish sampled strings from a real orchestra any more. At the same time, contemporary ‘modern classical’ composers somehow all seem to work within the same set of parameters. Right from the opening track it’s obvious that Aerial is something else, almost beyond […]

As I got older I began to gravitate towards classical music again. It’s not that I appreciate it any more than when I was a child. As a classically trained pianist I was exposed to the traditional repertoire of your Baroques, your Romantics and Contemporaries. But since most of the practiced pieces held that association […]

After they met when working together on Cloud Ensemble, Michel Banabila and Oene van Geel extended their collaboration which resulted in 2014’s Music for Viola and Electronics. Both were so enthusiastic about the new musical world that they had opened up, that they kept working on Music for Viola and Electronics II, which is released this […]

I’ve been writing about music for what now seems almost a decade. And even so, I must tell you, the closer I come to its essence, the further I seem from its reach. Every listen is always a new venture into the sounds, spaces and mind of the composer as source. I also don’t know […]

In anticipation of Montreal’s MUTEK festival, moving into its 16th edition on May 27th – 31st, 2015, I’m recalling the previous year’s installment of “mind and body bending artistry operating at the leading edge of technology, music, digital creativity and live performance.” MUTEK’s unique approach at combining music and technology, while incorporating sonic and visual arts, is precisely what’s […]

In 1998, Biosphere and Deathprod, Geir Jenssen and Helge Sten respectively, Nordheim Transformed, a split album where both artists transformed the original experimental music of (fellow Norwegian) Anne Nordheim’s “Electric” (1974) almost beyond recognition. It’s not completely clear whether Jenssen and Sten actually worked together on this album – it’s a split, where different tracks are each credited to […]

Based in Portland Oregon, A Strangely Isolated Place is both a music community and a label that produces excellent recordings centered around evocative themes and concepts. Their latest V/A compilation, Europe, is perhaps one of their most exquisite and noteworthy releases. It is “a meticulously curated compilation inspired by some of the most beautiful locations […]

“nothing is off limits emotionally…” There’s just something strangely delicious about the sound of Arca. Although this London based, 24-year old Venezuela native has already released two albums prior, it was not until his 2014 offering by Mute that got me bopping my head. And now, after I’ve already picked Xen as one of the […]

These are the atomic layers of ourselves Cristian Vogel has had a musical career full of twists and turns, and the main takeaway is that one shouldn’t necessarily have expectations of his music when approaching any given release. Whether exploring outer limits electronics with some of his Mille Plateaux albums in the late 90s, raucous, […]

2014 was an interesting year. Mostly dominated by established labels, the annual rotation of releases delivered a delightful collection of anticipated sounds, as well as a few unexpected surprises. One of the latter startling gifts came courtesy of RVNG Intl. imprint, a Brooklyn based “music institution that operates on few but heavily fortified principals, dealing with […]

Four years after Flare comes Flame, a sequel of sorts from Deaf Center’s Erik K. Skodvin, also known as Svarte Greiner. Those familiar with the artist’s vast discography know to expect darkness, although the type of darkness varies with each moniker and each release. This darkness is cast in light. The bright orange cover may […]

As an artist in sound, video, and photography, Wil Bolton creates music which is always rich in texture as well as human and environmental connections. His summer release on Home Normal entitled Bokeh is a wonderful addition to his body of work and one that had a very specific motif: “The album’s title obviously refers to […]

A sense of place. Sights and sounds. Memories made and invoked. The juxtaposition of the mundane and the profound as we move through the arc of a day. All these aspects of life are all captured eloquently in Sky Limits, the latest full length work by American musician, writer, and photographer Will Long recording as […]

[EDITOR’S NOTE : Since the birth of Headphone Commute, it has been one of my self-imposed rules to avoid self-promotion. I would rather spend countless hours recommending new music, then market my own projects. This has become a bit difficult, especially when I wanted to tell you about a benefit compilation (which I overcame due to […]

When describing a symphony, the common reference is to “an extended musical composition in Western classical music, most often written for orchestra – symphony and chamber orchestras, concert bands, chamber ensembles, organ, piano, choir, or combinations of these resources.” Pythagoras is accredited for “discovering the simple fact that the pitch of a musical note depends […]

Seb Gainsborough’s second outing as Vessel on Tri Angle is a far cry from his 2012 debut. It flirted with the post-dubstep landscapes that were not uncommon for other label acts of the last few years (Balam Acab, Haxan Cloak, Holy Other), and while certainly not bad at all, it’s telling that after a couple years […]

If you’ve been paying attention, another amazing record that was selected for Headphone Commute’s Best of 2014 list, Music For Capricious Souls Adrift In Noir-fi, and a double entry from Blackest Ever Black label (the other on the list was recently reviewed Black Rain‘s Dark Pool), was this second full length release, written and produced by Marc Dall as Dalhous, titled Will […]

Blackest Ever Black is a London-based label, founded by Kiran Sande, which came on a scene with a mysterious air, through that dark corner of the internet, clouded in occult, obscurity, and murk. I immediately fell in love with the very first release by Raime, which only piqued my interest further with the following output by Tropic Of Cancer, […]

In the summer of 2013, brothers Andrew and Michael Tasselmyer released their first album under the name Hotel Neon. While it embraced the same thoughtful, unobtrusive minimalism of some of their earlier work as The Sound of Rescue, especially Furniture Music, it had a distinctive enough focus to warrant being inaugurated as a new project. […]


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