REVIEW: Those Who Walk Away – “The Infected Mass”

Talk about a great idea for a ambient recording – just not quite fully realized. Those Who Walk Away’s debut, The Infected Mass, available now on Constellation, is the product of Winnipeg-based composer Matthew Patton. On the record, Patton, who lost his brother in a plane crash, seeks to compose a high-art brand of minimalist…

REVIEW: Anjou – “Epithymia”

It’s tough to pin down and make any kind of broad-stroke judgments about Epithymia, the second LP by ambient power duo Anjou. I’m using the term “power” duo, of course, lightly – maybe even with a trace of sarcasm – as there’s very little thrust or vim and vigor to the new record, out a…

REVIEW: STNNNG – “Veterans of Pleasure”

STNNNG simply has outdone itself with Veterans of Pleasure, its fifth full-length record, out tomorrow on vinyl, CD and digital platforms via Modern Radio Records. The 11-song collection, the first from the veteran Minneapolis post-punk quintet since 2013’s Empire Inward, cuts and slashes at your ears with edgy pronouncements about sex, death and conspicuous consumption,…

PROFILE: Chris Besinger of STNNNG (2017)

Ladies and gentlemen, STNNNG has reentered the building. After four years of waiting and much, much anticipation, Minnesota’s greatest post-punk band is back with a new record, Veterans of Pleasure. We shot a few questions to the king of the speak-sing delivery, STNNNG vocalist Chris Besinger, to set the record straight on his wicked agenda….

PROFILE: Chuck Mosley (2017)

Chuck Mosley just can’t stop. Chain-smoking Marlboro Blacks as he sits near the end of an aging sofa, the 80s icon kicks on some rough demos of his latest project, a frontman outing with post-punk band Primitive Race due out this fall. The music cuts angular and jagged, more raw and steel-edged than what you ever would…

REVIEW: High Plains – “Cinderland”

Soundscape master Scott Morgan (better known by his working name, Loscil) and the cellist Mark Bridges have birthed and produced, as the duo High Plains, a debut record of trembling, authentic majesty, and critics will be left puzzled with ways to describe the riveting tones and shuddering beauty of their collaboration. It’s just that good: Top 10 year-ending lists…

REVIEW: Various Artists – “I Said No Doctors!”

Ugh. Just ugh. What more can I say about the compilation I Said No Doctors!, which takes a good premise – what if we recorded an alt record with alt instruments? – and stumbles around before falling short of its goals. The group String Noise impressively echoes Crumb, Oval has his moments, Dan Deacon comes…

REVIEW: Crystal Fairy – S/T

Don’t get me wrong: I like Crystal Fairy’s self-titled debut, I really do. I just don’t love it as much as I think I should. The name on the spine says Crystal Fairy and there’s been lots of pomp & circumstance but the record, out last week, is less a document of a super-group in the making…

Louisville-Born, Brooklyn-Based — PROFILE: David Grubbs (2006)

The classroom is empty, the students more than an hour away, but David Grubbs sits behind a console in an unassuming Brooklyn College radio laboratory, tinkering with faders and talking about the aesthetics of sound art as if one of his classes already was in session. In this performance space without an audience, he’s dressed…

REVIEW: Papa M – “Highway Songs”

At first blush, Papa M’s Highway Songs LP is a mess or, at best perhaps, unbalanced. But first blushes, like a journalist’s first drafts of history, are frequently pockmarked with misconceptions and quotes demanding corrections. Many watched as Papa M’s sole member and primary muse, the Slint and Tortoise alum David Pajo, struggled with god…

REVIEW: Jacob Duncan – “The Busker”

Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden’s pristine and bright-eyed collaboration on the 1997 Verve LP Beyond The Missouri Sky (Short Stories) is a decent point of departure for Jacob Duncan’s The Busker, a new solo outing by the Louisvillian alto saxophonist available digitally and on CD. Both recordings have a kind of organic richness, cool complexity…