Archive for the ‘Album Reviews’ Category

Tropic of Cancer Restless Idylls Blackest Ever Black Camella Lobo’s latest solo release as Tropic of Cancer continues her melancholy trajectory of post-everything gloom. It’s a much more cohesive album than her previous mini-album, 2012’s The End of All Things, which still had some holdovers of her time recording as a duo with Juan Mendez […]


If Autechre decided to throw down an album that references trends outwardly instead of plumbing exclusively inward, it might sound something like Akkord. The duo of Liam Blackburn (Indigo) and Joe McBride (Synkro) are responsible for the music of Akkord, though they self-describe as follows: “A collective of like-minded artists raised in and around the […]


PAN is a Berlin/NYC based label founded in 2008 by Bill Kouligas (aka Family Battle Snake). In the past, the label has released abstract, improvisational and experimental pieces by Hecker, SND, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Mika Vainio, Kevin Drumm and many others. On this Sound Bytes Label Special, Matthew Mercer explores some the latest offerings from this purveyor […]


“Words are like lies.” It’s a key phrase that only occasionally comes through on “Lexicon,” the first and newest piece on Andrew Lewis’s fascinating Au-Delà, collecting works from the last twenty years and covering a variety of strange terrain. “A page is like a map I try to find my way around,” repeat several voices, […]


I swear this winter has no end in sight! It’s as if we missed the warm seasons altogether, and the winter started all over again. Five months ago I actually looked towards the dark and cold months, so that I can immerse myself in music which is not so appropriate for a sunny day, but honestly, this is […]


Darren Cunningham‘s latest (or is it really last?) offering as Actress is a dense, hazy, and nearly hallucinogenic stroll through the foggy streets of South London, and indeed Cunningham’s abstract interpretation of his mind, titled Ghettoville. Two years ago, Actress released his third full length, R.I.P, putting this character to rest, and now that the image is […]


The Angry Child is the latest full length work from UK based artist, musician, and programmer Mark Harris which has been released by n5MD. It is a serene, evocative, and polished album of pure ambient music that can be appreciated just on the hearing, but it is best enjoyed with an appreciation of his creative […]


Bolder Hostile Environment Editions Mego There are only six tracks on this debut LP from Bolder, a two-member collective consisting of Martin Maischein and Peter Votava. This is a dark, digitally corrosive, and extremely atmospheric exploration of a world “where organic rhythms provide the path among a swarm of foreboding electronics.” At first listen I […]


World’s new favorite trumpet player returns to Rune Grammofon with Places Of Worship. Followed by experimental ambient, modern classical, and jazz communities alike, this Norwegian shaman of sound bridges the gaps of styles and forms with his unmistakably unique control of the instrument. Arve Henriksen doesn’t simply play the trumpet, the brass is merely an extension […]


Demdike Stare, one of the UK’s more inspired and wayward electronic acts, have been quietly busy releasing this series of Test Pressings on Boomkat’s Modern Love imprint over the last several months. True to form, these are tracks that exist in the outskirts of convention and genre, pulling in elements from a variety of styles […]


For his third album, The Secret of the Sea, composer and musician Bruno Bavota found inspiration in the allure and mystery of the Mediterranean that washes up against the shores of his home town of Naples, Italy. The lyrical romanticism expressed through the piano on his previous albums, Il Pozzo D’Amour (2010) and La casa sulla […]


“We have lingered in the chambers of the sea By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown Till human voices wake us, and we drown.” It is the last line from the final stanza of T. S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock that the musician/producer Siavash Amini has chosen to take for the title […]


Yes, that’s right, we’re still going strong with our Missed Gems series for our Sound Bytes column, in which Brian Housman of Stationary Travels catches us up on all the music that escaped our hungry ears. For this entry we’re especially focusing on releases in the post-rock genre. Don’t forget to click on the image […]


I first heard BJ Nilsen’s music as Morthound, a deadly serious ambient project that was an early highlight of Sweden’s death-ambient Cold Meat Industry label in the early 90s. Nilsen was only a teenager when he worked on those albums, followed by a more sublime, less horror-tinged minimal drone project, Hazard. Since working under his […]


… if you ever wonder about the intricate process that is involved in selecting the albums that get featured on Headphone Commute – don’t. It’s a convoluted mystery that even I have much trouble solving. Let’s just call it a combination of serendipitous events and pure universal randomness, if you believe in such a thing […]


I find it intriguing when record labels focus very specifically on a particular sound, and in the case of Stroboscopic Artefacts it is minimal techno that veers into dark corners of rhythm and noise, much like the music of the label’s creator, Luca Mortellaro releasing under his moniker, Lucy. A fairly humorless, dark dirge every time, […]


Matthew Barlow Sun Showers Preservation Matthew Barlow‘s Preservation début is the second installment in the label’s limited edition Circa 2014 series, which is intended to introduce the listeners to new ‘underground’ artists. This is is precisely the reason why I turn to Preservation for its hard work in ‘unearthing’ new sounds. In the last couple […]


When the phone rings I don’t recognize the number. “I’m sorry, who are you looking for again?” It turns out that Robert Raths, the owner and curator of Erased Tapes Records, is in town for a few days. We arrange to meet at WFMU Record Fair, one of the largest vinyl aficionado gatherings in New […]


Matthew Mercer stops by Headphone Commute to revisit a set of his favorite recent releases from the Brooklyn (New York, USA) based Tri Angle label, run by Robin Carolan for this Sound Bytes label special. We hope that you enjoy… The Haxan Cloak Excavation Tri Angle Tri Angle presents nine new incredibly dark excursions from […]


There were a few things that I had to do this past weekend. Pay my bills, vacuum the rug in my studio, and oh, I absolutely had to write a review of Otto A. Totland‘s Pinô, because A) it finally came out on Sonic Pieces a few days ago [even though I've listened to the […]



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