September 2023, here we go. September is usually one of the strongests months in terms of releases – the peak of the fall cycle, a lot of high-profile things are coming out. For me, that means – so much good stuff to pick from. I really try to keep thoses lists digestable, but yeah – September.
‘Hey, listen to Sprain‘ is a very common phrase among our team these days. Primarily, it is used by me to spread the word about how fucking brilliant this fucking album is – much to the annoyance of my fellow humans on the EIN team. Nevertheless, this is probably one of the best albums of the year, channeling Chat Pile, noise, and post-punk in a captivacting manner. Hey, listen to Sprain.
Empire State Bastard – Rivers of Heresy
September 1 // Roadrunner Recods
Supergroups are a complicated thing – although, I featured a bunch of them in THE NOISE OF. When a supergroup includes Mike Vennart of Oceansize, a big Oceansize fanboy like will tremble a bit. I also like Biffy Clyro. Checks out.
A couple years ago, I had the really snobby idea of running a feature about ‘real prog’ – highlighting prog bands which really go by the term, pushing the genre in new and experimental direction. The idea never came too life (thank god), but I still hold those bands which inspired me to do that in the first place in high regard. One of them was microtonal prog outfit The Mercury Tree, who lost nothing of their magic on their new album Self Similar.
Next to running one of the best jazz labels around with Gondwana Records, Matthew Halsall is also extremely busy with being a fantastic jazz musician himself. After the release of A Salute To The Sun, one of the best jazz albums of recent years, Halsall returns with yet another intricate, beautifully layered, and warm piece of art, An Ever Changing View.
At this point, I’m a legit Camae Ayewa fanboy. Be it Moor Mother, Black Quantum Futurism, or Irreversible Entanglements – I take it all, because it’s fucking amazing. So my excitement over a new Irreversible Entanglements is immeasurable, and my day is elevated.
One of the very best prog death projects around is back. Alkaloid convinced with their true approach to prog rock within their razorsharp death metal sound, and manage to balance and merge both worlds like no others. For me personally, Numen doesn’t quite reach the intensity of The Malkuth Grimoire and Liquid Anatomy, but it still rules prog death in 2023.
To hit the sweet spot in drone/noise is a difficult task. There are tons of projects (since everyone with a laptop and a ripped DAW can throw some drones together) out there, mostly on a huge spectrum of meh. Beyond the Reach of Light shows what this music is capable of if you really understand how it works. Simply stunning.
Louis Jucker & Le Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain – Suitcase Suite
September 15 // Humus Records
Lewsberg – Out And About
September 15 // Independent
The world of Laurel Halo‘s music is a magical realm. It can be a dark forest, you can get easily trapped. Sometimes it feels like everything is moving in an unnatural way – quite disturbing. But there is also grace and wonder to be found, a great beauty lies within its darkness. And there are some particularly smooth jazzy flowers.
Some of you who are reading this feature for a while might know what qualities I’m looking for in electronica. It’s a field of music with basically endless possibilities, and I love when those possibilities are elegantly hinted at – the richness of electronica, so to say. Loraine James‘ newest record does exactly that – creating intricate and versatile sounds within fascinating songs.
In a perfect world, Rorcal would need no introduction, because they would be the biggest post-metal band around – but we are living in our reality, and Rorcal still feel like an insider’s tip. Their previous album, Muladona, is probably one of the best post-metal/sludge albums I’ve ever heard, and while Silence might not reach the same heights, it features the band’s trademark heaviness and rich textures.
Another fanboi moment. At this point, I’m not really into the concept of “being a fan” anymore, because it can cloud your perception of an album (which I consider the most important thing). I saw too many people following and praising artists who haven’t put out good stuff in ages. My very own exception is my extreme Josh Scogin bias – because I love everything he puts out.
Hard to put into words what this band means to me. Their records, especially Make These Things Alright, All Around Us and The Day Will Come Before Long, have been on my mobile music player (be it old school mp3 player or my phone) for way over 10 years and are absolute staples of my daily listening, and I consider them perfect. Only time will tell if The Only Way To Find You will get equal treatment, but it’s off to a great start.
Flooding – Silhouette Machine
September 29 // The Ghost Is Clear Records
Well, that came out of nowhere. I didn’t know this band before this album popped up on my virtual desk, but my oh my, isn’t that absolutely awesome. This trio from Kansas certainly found their pair of red shoes and followed the yellow-brick lane an with unbelievably stunning mix of slowcore, grunge, and post-hardcore. This is crazy good.
Thanks for scrolling!