“I came, I heard, and I fucking owned.” July: Exoterm, Jesca Hoop, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Biosphere, and Holst’s Planets.

Exoterm – Exits Into A Corridor

Many know of the secret track at the end of Nirvana’s blockbuster Nevermind that, ironically for a “secret” song, picked up the name, “Endless, Nameless”. It’s the track where the band drops all pop sensibilities and, basically, fucks your face with sound. It’s raw emotion. It’s sonic rage. And if you imagine this track done all jazz styles, with waves and build ups and played for around 30 minutes, then you have a good idea how this sounds. It’s fucking incredible. After this finished, I played it again. It’s rare to hear such sophistication scream in your face, spit on the floor, and then flip off God. To many this will sound like noise with the occasional sonic landscape. But to those stranger audiophiliacs out there that happen to like punk, jazz, and electronic music, this is the fucking shit.

Kristoffer Berre Alberts: saxophones
Nels Cline: guitar
Rune Nergaard: bass
Jim Black: drums and electronics

Jesca Hoop – Stonechild

There’s a stripped down darkness on this album that’s bare and rarely shown. It’s full of moments where listening to it feels invasive, like reading through a lost journal you found on the train. Not to say that this album is tame. Hells to the fuck no. Tracks like “Red and Black” are written in protest of the recent popularity of white supremacist ideals. “Old Fear of Father” tells the story of a mother feeding into patriarchal ideals by trusting her sons more than her daughters. These songs are heartfelt and honest as fuck. They deal with modern problems yet are sung and arranged in a way that sounds folkloric. The effect? A bird eye’s view on this sociopolitical shit pile. And without the stinging eyes and nausea-inducing smell, it suddenly becomes clear what this is and how to fix it. Now that’s a fucking folk album.

Georgia Anne Muldrow – VWETO II

This is Georgia Anne’s 18th album. Get that? It’s very likely that her album count has doubled the number of sexual partners you’ll ever have (according to a survey done by The Jounral of Sex Research the average is 6.9 for the Dutch, 7 for the Brits, and 7.2 for those slutty Americans [Nicely done! Also, really?!]) This lady is a musical fucking juggernaut. And her aim isn’t to please, but to elevate. On this album, Georgia Anne goes back to what she does best by slowly sauntering and pimp-walking through those afrofuturistic, funkadelic, and defiant sci-fi melodies. But, with one foot in avant-garde electronica and the other knee-deep in soul, this album launches afrofuturism back out into space where it belongs. Funk was never supposed to be some basic bitch. This album proves that if you’ve got the right captain piloting the ship, it never fucking will be.

Isata Kanneh-Mason – Romance: The Piano Music of Clara Schumann

The Osmonds, the Bee Gees, The Jackson Five, The Beach Boys, Oasis, Kings of Leon, and at the top of that list, the Kanneh-Masons. Isata’s family has seven brothers and sisters that all play classical music like bosses. They are an annoyingly talented family. So when rumours spread of Isata releasing her debut, people in the classical game perked right up. Instead of throwing down classical’s greatest hits for a majorly annoying hour, which is incredibly common for a debut, Isata decided to show her female comradery by performing the works of Clara Schumann and sporting an all-female line-up. Just goes to show that it doesn’t take balls to have courage. The performances here are perfect. Isata’s first impression to the world proves that that she’s unwavering, proficient, and a force to be fucking reckoned with. Hear me roar, motherfuckers.

Biosphere – The Senja Recordings

Geir Jenssen is an ambient music god that’s been dropping calm since back in the ’90s. For his most recent albums, location is hugely important. From 2015 to 2018, Geir was recording sounds in the arctic fucking circle. Hells ya. The first track on this album is made of sounds recorded in arctic waters. You can hear the ice freeze and snap in laser-like bolts. From there Geir continues down this arctic theme. Lots of tracks are mellow drones, others beep and pop, and some are simple field recordings of the arctic. The effect is an incredibly calming and relaxing album that could subdue the most roided-out polar bear. Like most Biosphere albums, this shit is hugely transportive. Want to go to the arctic but hate the cold and can’t afford the airfare? Close your eyes, press play, and you’ll fucking be there.

Charles Dutoit, Montreal Symphony Orchestra – Holst: The Planets

This seven-piece orchestral monster—each piece has been named after a planet and corresponds to its astrological character—has been performed to fucking death. John Williams used the “Mars” theme in Star Wars. “Neptune” has been featured in the closing credits of Mr. Robot. Many of these pieces have been played or ripped off by the likes of King Crimson, Frank Zappa, and Black Sabbath. As a whole, it’s been recorded around 100 times and performed way fucking more. Many avid classical fans have taken on the challenge of finding the recording, including yours fucking truly. You’ll find, more often than not, that everyone eventually ends up at this motherfucker. Why? Because the recording is kinda fucking perfect. The thickest and nerdiest of audiophiles use this to test out their newest and greatest speakers. Think your bass is dope? The organ on this motherfucker goes all the way down to 20 Hz (anything below this is beyond the human hearing range). The orchestra, choir, recording, and production on this are the stuff of legend. So, if you never heard it before and feel like taking on a challenge: find the greatest pair of speakers you can find, put on this album, turn off the lights, and turn it the fuck up. When done properly, this album acts as a marker: Your life before listening to it loud as fuck, and your life afterwards. And even if you’re not a huge fan of the tunes, it’s the perfect example of how a symphony should be recorded. It’s the example everything else has to set itself against. Now that’s a fucking recording.

 

 

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