The artist comes from Cleveland garage and psych outfits (most notably Nowhere) that ramble far less than they hop through the haze. After a shift to Chicago Rolin ditched the echoplex dreams for acoustic inflection, leaning heavier on the new class kickers like Ryley Walker, Daniel Bachman, William Tyler, and Richard Bishop more than the Tompkins Square set for his inspiration. No matter what the inroads, though, the impact remains the same. Like American Primitive dominoes the influences trickles through in his playing and he enters into the new class alongside Itasca, Kendra Amelie, and Joseph Allred as carriers of the torch. – Raven Sings the Blues
Ten records I loved from last year in no order.
Patrick Shiroishi – Descension (Thin Wrist)
A harrowing layered work of solo saxophone and electronics, Descension is at once beautifully elegiac and unflinchingly primal. Patrick Shiroishi is one of the key artists to emerge from the current L.A. free improvisation avant-underground; his first vinyl release is a spiritual journey that reveals his deeply reflective and unique musical vision. Descension is a sonic meditation on the legacy of a dark history and its echoing relevance in the present era.
see also – Hot Jamz 2020 / Guest Mix by Terms
Cole Pulice – Gloam (Moon Glyph)
“Gloam” is the first solo record by Minneapolis-based saxophonist Cole Pulice. Cole plays in Iceblink, toured with Bon Iver and has worked with Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mild High Club, amongst others. “Gloam” is an album of audio holograms for tenor saxophone and hardware, recorded live without overdubs.
see also – Cosmic Church of IHN – Ep. 5
Luke Stewart – Exposure Quintet (Astral Spirits)
Gifted young bassist Luke Stewart – a member of James Brandon Lewis Trio, Irreversible Entanglements and Heroes Are Gang Leaders – shows here he has a promising future as a leader/composer as he points in the right direction with the Exposure Quintet, a Chicago-based avant-garde jazz outfit featuring adventurous players such as reedmen Ken Vandermark and Edward Wilkerson Jr., pianist Jim Baker, and drummer Avreeayl Ra. – JazzTrail
see also – Hot Jamz 2020 / Guest Mix by Terms
Matt Lajoie – Everlasting Spring (Flower Room)
The glowing comparisons to kosmische idols Popol Vuh and Ashra garnered by The Center and The Fringe are likely to resurface, though it’s clear on Everlasting Spring that LaJoie is soundtracking an experience more pastoral and earthbound than the extraterrestrial ballrooms dreamed up on its predecessor.
Joseph Allred – Michael (Feeding Tube Records)
As the summer of 2020 winds down in the northern hemisphere, life feels like it’s lurching unpredictably between grinding false starts and sickening dead stops. By contrast, Joseph Allred’s release schedule flows as continuously as a permanently opened floodgate. Michael is his third LP on Feeding Tube, his fifth vinyl release overall of the past five quarters, and the latest in a sequence of records that relate the experiences of Allred’s alter ego, Poor Faulkner. – dusted
Josephine Foster – No Harm Done (Fire Recordings)
Revolving between her adopted Spain and her native American West, Josephine was stationed this spring in Nashville with maverick guitarist and comrade-in-arms Matthew Schneider. The result: ‘No Harm Done’, a spacious and enveloping love letter of an album.
Eight new slow-burning songs branch forth from idiosyncratic country folk blues, sung with sibylline wit and a hint of the absurd, awash in sensually anachronic lyricism.
Further Reading: Audiofemme
Barry Walker Jr. – Shoulda Zenith (Holy Mountain Records)
The Tennessee-bred, Portland-based pedal steel player subverts his instrument’s tradition for lachrymose, innocuous Rootzak™. Instead, he ventures to outward-bound strata more frequently traversed by Sonny Sharrock than Gram Parsons. “So often, the pedal steel is used as a textural flavor,” Walker says, “but it really can breathe fire itself.” Evidence for that claim abounds on Shoulda Zenith. Sprouting out of the strategies Walker used on his 2012 LP of Henry Flynt- and Paul Metzger-like fiddle aberrations, Banjo Knife, the music on Zenith goes on similar extravagant tangents—but with pedal steel.
Further Reading: Record Crates United
Gláss – Wilting in Mauve (Warm Noise Records)
Reminiscent of several 90s strains of rock – indie, post-rock, and post-hardcore – there’s nonetheless some kind of menacing addition to the mix that makes it all its own. This is wonderfully personal, strange, and idiosyncratic in a way that kind of reminds me of Chat Pile, in spirit more so than musically. Just great. – Machine Music
Joey’s Goof World – JOEY (Self Released)
Omega Men & Women – Spirit of the Egg (Self Released)
Hot on the heels of last year’s excellent ruby glass comes another transmission from the amelia courthouse galaxy. This time around, Leah Toth teams up with Nick Shadow and Jimmyjack Toth (Wooden Wand) for an absorbing ambient trip — think vintage ECM jams at their most meditative, Laraaji-esque new age vibes and Obscure atmospheric landscapes. It’s soothing, yeah, but it’s never boring. There’s a lively sense of discovery and wonder fueling Egg. Crack it! – Aquarium Drunkard