Alva Noto

Alva Noto's Unieqav

Headliner Alva Noto was slated to perform during the first of two Mutek Mexico City A/Visions programs. These events were more cerebral in nature, pairing innovative visual explorations with electronic sound as a contrast to the dance-oriented weekend. It was the perfect context for Alva Noto to unveil Unieqav, his latest exploration of audiovisual synthesis. Unfortunately, Alva Noto was having technical difficulties.

Published at Tiny Mix Tapes



There is a moment during Antenes’s Issue Project Room show, past where the static-y radio and telephone signals have crackled away, wherein the ominous, booming drones have subsided. From her surrounding menagerie of self-made synthesizers, Antenes lifts a rotary dial cannibalized from an ancient phone. She places it near a contact microphone and dials a single number. The dial whirs its slow churn, a technology many of us are familiar with, but few use. The sound emanating from within is alien, chilling, even unholy.  A century after Russolo, Antenes channels technological ghosts conjured from a bygone world.

Published at Tiny Mix Tapes

William Basinski

William Basinski at Issue Project Room

Basinski is playing the inaugural event for Issue Project Room’s 2017 fall season and celebrating his new release, A Shadow in Time. He unfurls the 8-second loop of “For David Robert Jones,” a requiem for the performer most know as David Bowie. Basinski’s ceaseless looping becomes ritualistic in order for listeners to appreciate its half-hour degradation. 

Published at Tiny Mix Tapes


Poliça and s t a r g a z e Get Political on Music for the Long Emergency

Gentle pizzicato strings pluck at the far ends of the stereo field. They cradle a closely-miked bass that captures fingers grazing, caressing its frets. Though the tempo is a glacial 75 beats per minute, the listener is flung right up against the recording studio amps. Singer Channy Leaneagh's voice enters a moment later, accompanied with a little underscore of a sound, whining low in the mix. This inaugural moment forms "Fake Like", introducing the Poliça-Stargaze collaboration Music for the Long Emergency, out 16 February. This interplay, both intimate and intense, is all over the album, an exchange that produces varying levels of success.

Published at Pop Matters


Eluvium's Shuffle Drones

An accomplished veteran of ambient music, Eluvium's work has earned him a distinguished spot on Pitchfork's "50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time". Shuffle Drones is a collection of two dozen orchestral snippets clocking in at roughly 30 seconds each, but its novelty results from how it is meant to be experienced – in shuffle mode.

Published at Pop Matters

Total Jazz

Total Jazz

Since the 1980s, comics veteran Blutch has penned enough drawings to fill nearly two dozen books. Blutch’s latest, Total Jazz, collects nearly a hundred pages of strips centering on the genre’s idiosyncrasies. His sketches show a clear love for the style and its biggest luminaries, but there are darker elements behind many of the jokes.

Published at Spectrum Culture

Morton Subotnick

Music As Studio Art: An Interview With Morton Subotnick

Morton Subotnick is one of the most significant figures in electronic music history. His seminal Silver Apples of the Moon emerged as the first fully electronic album ever recorded and has since been included in the National Recording Registry within the Library of Congress. This year, Subotnick celebrated its 50th anniversary with a three-day run at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Published at Decoder Magazine


Deradoorian's Eternal Recurrence

Angel Deradoorian, most commonly associated with Bitte Orca-era Dirty Projectors, has been crafting her solo act for years. Both the 2009 EP Mind Raft and her 2015 full-length album, The Expanding Flower Planet, showcase her affinity for mellow, unobtrusive indie rock. Aside from that, she’s worked with an impressive and broad array of collaborators including Flying Lotus, Matmos, U2, Vampire Weekend, Charlie XCX, the Roots and Prefuse 73, experiences the chanteuse has internalized for her own material. But Eternal Recurrence isn’t another EP of rock ballads; it’s a radical shift in her sound.

Published at Spectrum Culture

Emily Haines

Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton's Choir of the Mind

Choir of the Mind returns Emily Haines to poignant piano-driven ballads that meld with her mellifluous voice, a sonic continuation of 2006’s Knives Don’t Have Your Back. A member of Metric and Broken Social Scene, it should be no surprise that Haines’ solo work is a departure from Metric’s 2015 effort, Pagans in Vegas, which found the band skewing toward a heavily electronic sound. Choir showcases Haines’ less bombastic songwriting, where she chooses to leave the songs in a more naked state instead of turning them into guitar anthems.

Published at Pop Matters

Rock in a Hard Place

Rock in a Hard Place: Music and Mayhem in the Middle East

For most Westerners, music functions largely as entertainment, even when the songs are politically charged. However, in the Middle East, just engaging with music, whether as a musician or as a fan, can come with severe costs. This is the subject of Rock in a Hard Place: Music and Mayhem in the Middle East, a sober chronicling of music in some of the most conservative countries on the planet.

Published at Pop Matters

Dean Hurley

Dean Hurley's Anthology Resource Vol. 1: △△

Twin Peaks is far from Hurley’s first gig with Lynch. The multi-instrumentalist has worked with the director since 2005, including sound work for Inland Empire and several of the director’s musical ventures like Crazy Clown Time and The Big Dream. An accomplished producer in his own right, Hurley has worked with Lykke Li, Dirty Beaches, Zola Jesus, and the Veils (a featured band in the new season).

Published at Pop Matters

Noah Preminger

Noah Preminger Talks About His Bold Jazz Protest Album, Meditations on Freedom

At just 30 years old, Preminger is a prolific jazz force with eight leader releases and six more as a sideman. His first album Dry Bridge Road earned Debut of the Year in the 2008 Village Voice Critics’ Poll and was named one of the top ten albums of the year in JazzTimesStereophile and The NationMeditations on Freedom contains five original compositions about freedoms the saxophonist felt were vanishing: Native American freedom, women’s rights, racial injustice, income inequality, and the planet’s health.

Published at Pop Matters

Tony Conrad

Maximal Minimal: The Legacy of Versatile Artist Tony Conrad

Few artists contained the sheer range of disciplines as Tony Conrad. In a career that spanned half a century, Conrad tried just about everything, with explorations in music, video, conceptual art, and even teaching. Conrad’s legacy put him among the rare breed of artists not content to stay boxed within a singular medium, working method, or subject matter. He was experimental in the truest sense of the word.

Published at Pop Matters


KMFDM's Hell Yeah

Few projects are as brashly political as KMFDM. Throughout their three-decade career, the rabble-rousers have continued to deliver aggressive industrial music that opposes rampant injustice and corruption. Keeping with the Bush-era critique WWIII and the Arab Spring-influenced Our Time Will Come, the band’s 20th studio album Hell Yeah is a stirring, brutal rally cry against fascism, conformity, and America’s new administration.

Published at Pop Matters

Isley Brothers and Santana

The Isley Brothers and Santana's Power of Peace

At a time of substantial political and social upheaval, Peace positions itself as a message of love and unity over hate and division. The musicians clearly care about their chosen source material, and as a result, the album features faithful recreations of stirring originals like the Chambers Brothers’ “Are You Ready People” and “Love, Peace, Happiness”, Eddie Kendricks’ “Body Talk”, and Leon Thomas’ “Let the Rain Fall on Me”.

Published at Pop Matters

Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails' Add Violence

With many forms of media competing for our attention, releasing an album these days doesn’t have the impact it once had. For Nine Inch Nails, breaking up an album’s worth of music into a trilogy of smaller EPs sustains fan excitement and diffuses pressure on creating a singular, definitive statement. It also allows the duo of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to take bigger risks.

Published at Metal Sucks

World Listening Day

World Listening Day Remembers Electronic Pioneer and Deep Listening Creator Pauline Oliveros

This year’s World Listening Day celebrates Pauline Oliveros, the late pioneering electronic musician who conceived Deep Listening, a practice of intentional aural concentration incorporating aspects of meditation and improvisation. Often, Deep Listening is coupled with evolving electronic or electroacoustic music to strengthen its effects. The point is to pause and observe minute changes in the music, or if music is absent, the listening environment.

Published at Pop Matters


Gaudi's Magnetic

Gaudi’s entire career is one long love letter to dub music. Dub, characterized by sparse drums, murky bass, and generous amounts of delay and reverb, emerged from reggae and forms the bedrock of UK grime, has influenced Burial’s brooding, apocalyptic atmospherics, and spawned modern dubstep’s excessive onslaught of aggressive bass assaults. But Gaudi isn’t interested in these developments. He’s content to dig into the classic ‘70s sound.

Published at Pop Matters