AOTY 2023
Sweet Inspirations - Life Affair Trust Music I: Life
One of the very few surviving recordings of the immensely prolific Tori Kudo, from one of his countless pre-Maher Shalal Hash Baz obscure projects. Harking from his anti-band ideology days, this strange little bootleg captures the retro psychedelic rock love dispanded by Kudo in his early years, while offering the characteristic dismantled, stripped-down sound of Guys and Dolls. Eccentric, crumbling jams with disjointed instrumentals, off-time beats, messed-up guitar solos and very amateurish ... read more
Roland Kayn - A Little Electronic Milky Way of Sound
While historically being stimulated to attribute conceptual value and moral assignments to whatever artistic piece before us, an interesting minor branch of theorists and artists alike has been riding against the wind since the middle of the past century, approaching artistic mediums as independent, self-sufficient objects that operate in their own terms, apart from the seemingly ubiquitous influence of human rationality. Experimentalists such as Morton Feldman, John Cage, Christian Wollf and ... read more
Dystopia - Human = Garbage
Rating goes to the 51 min bonus tracks version. Totally essential sludge/crust punk crossover with immense doses of nasty, gritty paranoia and hatred toward the darkest sides of mankind.
Genocide Organ - Leichenlinie
Some of the most disturbing stuff ever produced, even if a few cuts rely a little much on repetition and spoken word recordings for shock value complementing. That aside, the 1989-2009 is the essential version of the germans' debut, containing two mind-boggling bonus incursions to hell for a complete maddening session. Proceed with caution.
Sepultura - Morbid Visions
Rating goes to the Bestial Devastation split, which takes an already distinct and powerful early death/black metal album to another level of greatness. Definitely essential metal.
Beherit - Drawing Down the Moon
Like God has his own special way of talking to his loyal ones through Bach's klavier, Satan disposes of an army of darkness-dwelling cursed ones. Sometimes he chooses to speak in a growling, overwhelming voice rising directly from the depths of the Earth, while, from time to time, damnation comes from the void of space, in the form of otherworldly whispers and disturbing hiss, in the unholy glory of its profanation. While norwegian youngsters cemented the black metal style with much more than ... read more
Akitsa - Goétie
Since its early gloomy beginnings, black metal has consistently been the metal subgenre most susceptible to genre bending agglutination, crossing over formalistic territories without faltering, leading to a lasting evolutive process that does not show signs of slowing down even today. As much respect that is often payed to the genre's forebearers (sometimes both aesthetical and politically speaking), it is that very same sense of nihilism that keeps things interesting for newcomer enthusiasts ... read more
Hijokaidan - The Noise
When does curatorial activity become an artistic statement by itself?

Breaking down compilations and analyzing them to the point of understanding these releases as autonomous, albeit comparable artistic forms as studio albums is not always an intuitive task, so to speak. Sure, taking the time to plan, project and thoroughly research artistic-oriented material that has been potentially lost, partially damaged or obscurely hidden by lack of mediatic publicizing for a certain amount of time is ... read more

Bodychoke - Cold River Songs
This is what you reply when someone talks about Daughters.
Tenjo Sajiki - Jashumon
A live album harking from the "Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets" era, containing the same kind of sparse and epic brand of psychedelic rock as previously heard on Caesar's solo/collective albums, this time bringing a plethora of huge names from the early japanese avant-garde scene, such as Carmen Maki, Tadanori Yokoo and Shuji Terayama himself. With a lengthy tracklisting and numerous stylistic detours, this feels like a classic Caesar rock-opera, clearly calling for a ... read more
1349 - Liberation
Ultra aggressive Norway black metal played in such a raw, steady, explosive pace, that, had its compositions been closer to "Deathmarch" or "Pitch Black" rather than the title-track, it'd border on some blackened grind material by a thread. With an extreme lo-fi production backing the band's stylistic choices the whole time and a masterful performance from house-favorite drummer Frost (Satyricon, Gorgoroth), 1349's debut album still shocks by its thorough aesthetical ... read more
The Vampires Of Dartmoore - Dracula's Music Cabinet
An obscure quirky collection of short psychedelic rock vignettes accompanied by cartoonish sound effects and voice-over narrations released in 1969 with the sole apparent aim to soundtrack or emulate even more obscure horror b-movies in Germany. Some of these arrangements are pretty jazzy, while others hold some kind of surf rock quality in the instrumentals, and even if at first sight the whole thing shines with a very esoteric library-music sort of charm, there is no denying the limited ... read more
Eugene Chadbourne - Volume One: Solo Acoustic Guitar
The 2006 reissue with "BB's Jazz Blues and Soups" and "Miss Ann" closing the tracklist is just monstruous, in the best sense of the word. Serious guidelines for effective ways of raping your acoustic guitar.
Eugene Chadbourne - The English Channel [w/ 2000 Statues]
A portrait of madness, torn and sewn together again by a stellar collective of eccentric improvisers, in their own preffered means. There is everything and a bit more in these 40+ min. A spectacular experience.
Eyehategod - Southern Discomfort
No matter how charming the smudgy production quality and how viscious Mike Williams' vocals can get here (especially on the later tracks), what this popular compilation of early recordings can do best is show the band in some sort of premature evolutive stages. Sure, their raging energy is still pretty much untouched during these intense 42 min, but the future had much more in stage for the americans. For a more comprehensive and consistent take on Eyehategod's utterly hateful brand of ... read more
A.R. & Machines - Echo
A short-lived band (or solo project?) that left behind a compact, but incredibly valuable obscure heritage directly from the golden-era of krautrock. Led by guitar experimentalist Achim Reichel (accompanied by some huge collaborators that ranged from Peter Hecht to Conny Plank), their output stood not much behind the incredible creative material from bands like Faust or Neu!, taking seemingly simple and straight-forward psychedelic jams filled to the brim with blues-inspired guitar solos and ... read more
Bob Drake - The Skull Mailbox (And Other Horrors)
Picture Elliott Smith with the same wit and neck for poppy melodies recorded in that specific late 90s/early 2000s DIY bedroom method, but instead of relying solely on the voice/guitar chores, add layers and layers of self-captured instrumentation, be it bass, drums or accordion and violin. Now take fully written indie-folk/pop tunes and break them all down until there is barely a chorus... better, let's not have anything closely reminiscent of a chorus, or maybe just one line-songs would fit ... read more
Hello Kitty Suicide Club - ^_^
Cybergrind filtered and refiltered through a low-budget, 8-bit lens that works exclusively by turning brutality into colorful (and yet soulless) comic novelty via deliberate Uncanny Valley degrees; or, simply, "a meme that went too far".
sh - 深き森から [Fukaki Mori Kara]
Even if this really short EP barely has time to welcome the listener in its entrancing ambience, the haunting and almost intangible facet that permeates these two beautiful tracks is precisely what makes this an incredible sound experience. With the first track consisting almost exclusively of a nocturne sonata of cicadas in a forest, it is the ghostly melody that plays underneath this thick layer of nature recordings that makes the listener strive and come immediately back for more, in a ... read more
Benedito Lacerda - Benê, o flautista
A beautiful, long-needed compilation of one of Brazil's most capable choro/samba-choro composers, retracing pretty much all of his seasoned career from the humble beginnings to the radio and television-eras via all sorts of marchinha sessions with legendary musicians in great performances caught all in one single, expansive box set. Think samba in its most uncompromising, yet elegant form, extracting quite a bit from classic jazz big-bands a la Ellington and Gillespie. A straight-forward ... read more
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Recent Review Comments
On Houdanny's review of Evgeni Koroliov - Partitas Part 1: BWV 825, 826, 830
"I must state my curiosity with your usage of the term "contemporary" to refere to a reading of a classic partition of Bach's oeuvre by one of the most revered, classic, if you will, pianists of the first part of the past century."
On Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me
"I'm just not in the same place i was when this came out. Still a striking record for all the aforementioned reasons, nonetheless."
On Hijokaidan - The Noise
"Indeed. Although I personally prefer the rawer, uglier early performances of the first discs. Absolutely intense stuff on the whole, anyways."
On daFigz™'s review of Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
"I'd say it is far from a groundbreaking work, but a soothing, peace-making one. Quite puerile, if you ask me, but soothing, nonetheless."
On BuffaloStaple's review of Mount Eerie - Now Only
"Listened to it a few hours ago and it was really, really heavy. Definitely not as difficult to listen to as ACLAM but nearly as much. I have to say I'm surprised to see how low the average rating is... "
On daFigz™'s review of Mount Eerie - Now Only
"Maybe his account was hacked... I'm actually hoping it was"
On Aoaystheory's review of Ought - Room Inside the World
"AOTY = Artwork of the year"
On JohnLouisHoward's review of ionnalee - EVERYONE AFRAID TO BE FORGOTTEN
"I'm really floating on this one. While the production work and the overall atmosphere is fantastic, most of the tracks are really one-dimensional and, honestly, lacking in terms of structure. Also, the length and number of tracks disposed here is a bit too inflated for its own good, even if i love the subjective value of its main concept, damn. Tough one."
On Yoko Ono - Fly
"That's wild"
On Siouxsie and the Banshees - Juju
"Thanks a lot! Yes, he is the main reason why their previous release sounds so great, definitely. Also, I personally believe McGeoch's work with Siouxsie to have had a huge influence on Cocteau Twins' sound, especially after Victorialand."
On Lil Ugly Mane - Third Side of Tape
"Wouldn't be far from the truth, I tell ya"
"I definitely understand that this ought to be the main idea of the album somehow, but for me, MASSEDUCTION just doesn't speak up cleary enough when trying to tackle such macroscopic themes, ending up focusing much more on a few intimate joints that don't really add up to the overall concept. Meanwhile, the social critique that had once been pointed as the driving force of the record drifts in and out of place. It just lacks coherence to me."
On SZA - Ctrl
"Funny you reviving this humble selection of words, since I had been giving this one one more chance to raise the rating. "Love Galore" is definitely one of the most delightful pop songs of the year, still I hold my ground on this short, but illustrative review. Thanks for commenting, mate."
On Impossible Nothing - Phonemenomicon
"It's definitely a very interesting release, way better than the sophomore album, and, while I'm not really a fan of LUM, I have to thoroughly agree with your last statement there."
On Dream Theater - The Astonishing
"Yes, they have been an interesting band, no matter how worse things have gotten as time went by. As a matter of fact, I have been quite head-over-heels about DT in my days of guitar-doodling youth. I believe they have done greater things for the musical world other than inspire young instrument-students of early age, but those days are long gone, that is for sure."
On Maroon 5 - Red Pill Blues
"Social critique gone wrong"
On JohnLouisHoward's review of Looming - Seed
"Powerful voice indeed. A bit of an acquired taste, but boasting with personality. Also agree it is the record's biggest selling point."
On thisisabtlgrnd's review of Oneohtrix Point Never - Good Time
"It works way better allied with the images, in fact."
On Restive Plaggona - Leaving the Body
"Also, do check this one out, its pretty amazing."
On Restive Plaggona - Leaving the Body
"Chronophotography is a very close medium to the concept of 'phantasmagoria', so the scary factor you refere to is well justified."
"I agree, matteo. Thanks for the kind words."

November Playlist