Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog – Pennsylvania 6 6666 (Northern Spy / Yellowbird / P-Vine)
Thanks in no small part to the fire, brimstone, and dextrous facility summoned by kindred spirits Shahzad Ismaily (Secret Chiefs 3, Will Oldham) on bass and drummer Ches Smith (Xiu Xiu, Secret Chiefs 3, Trevor Dunn’s Trio Convulsant), YRU Still Here? comes to the table armed with more than just sloganeering rhetoric. Alongside his monumental career forging his peerless guitar style with the likes of Tom Waits, John Zorn, the Lounge Lizards, etc, Ribot has also worked for decades as a tenant union, labor, and artist rights activist, where he mastered the agit-prop skills used to such dazzling effect on sure-fire hits such as “Fuck La Migra” and “Muslim/Jewish Resistance.”
Further Reading: Something Else!
Daniel Bachman – Coronach (Three Lobed Recordings)
There has never been an album quite like “Axacan”, guitarist Daniel Bachman’s latest double LP. By defiantly playing against type and creating an album that, sonically and compositionally speaking, has more in common with Pierre Schaeffer or Edgard Varèse than John Fahey or even Jack Rose, Bachman has crafted one of the most introspective and deeply personal albums of instrumental music released in recent memory.
Further Reading: Raven Sings the Blues
Kolonel Djafaar – Bactrian Camel (Batov Records)
Kolonel Djafaar’s debut release for Batov is an all-killer-no-filler EP. On “Bactrian Camel” the four-man brass section picks up a thundering groove, only for the organ-led rhythm section to answer with their own snaking retort. Joris Wendelen’s electric guitar riffing adds a further Middle Eastern flavour to the stew.
Further Reading: Music is My Sanctuary
Jaubi – Figaro (Farewell MF DOOM) feat. Latarnik (Astigmatic Records)
In April 2019, the last minutes at the Riot Studio in Lahore were filled with the sound of ‘Figaro’ from the classic Madvillain duo’s album. After the recording of Jaubi’s upcoming album ‘Nafs at Peace’, the musicians gathered in the studio and played this song spontaneously in the form of entertainment, which only proves that Madvillain were a huge inspiration for many artists from across the world.
Carlos Niño & Friends – Pleasewakeupalittlefaster, please… (with Jamael Dean) (International Anthem)
‘More Energy Fields, Current’ is a definitive new peak in the recorded continuum of prolific producer/percussionist Carlos Niño. Featuring heavy contributions from many of the most exciting instrumentalists in the creative music constellation of Los Angeles (of which Niño’s has been a central force for over 2 decades), the album collects 10 pristine gems of collaborative communication helmed by the Southern Californian sage, elegantly presented in his unique “Spiritual, Improvisational, Space Collage” style.
Further Reading: Lab.fm
Charlotte Jacobs – The Shape of Wandering
With the release of 2019’s Fishtale EP, Belgian vocalist and songwriter Charlotte Jacobs set course for a creative expedition based in both intuition and experimentation. The Brooklyn-based musician found liberation through her first solo pursuit, fusing her jazz studies background with an inventive and progressive avant pop approach. With The Shape of Wandering, Jacobs dials in on the evolutionary groundwork laid out by Fishtale, tinkering with the endless possibilities of synths while harnessing vocal shades and textures. Inspired by Anne Clark’s mantric spoken word and multidisciplinary artist-musician Laurie Anderson, Jacobs wields her voice as an instrument, setting scenes with layered vocal backdrops on “Where You Want Me To,” navigating jazz inspired melodies and progressions on “Other Half” and looping her voice as an unwavering rhythmic pacemaker on the back half of the title track.
Further Reading: The Fat Angel Sings
Astute Palate – No Queen (Petty Bunco / Eternal Soundcheck)
If you’re anticipating some kind of hastily conceived, vague “jam” exercise in directionless fuckery, well, I take it back. You will be disappointed, bitterly. But if your attention span can handle genuine songcraft, incendiary guitar work and a band that sounds improbably fused together, Astute Plane’s debut will rank very high on your list of 2021’s best releases (and I’m not saying that simply because I anticipate the closing of all pressing plants, if not the end of all commercial activity by March 1 of next year). – Gerard Cosloy / 12XU Records
Further Reading: Yellow Green Red
Jac Berrocal, David Fenech & Vincent Epplay – Car Havana Midi (Blackest Ever Black / Klanggalerie)
Jac Berrocal, David Fenech and Vincent Epplay return with Ice Exposure, their second album for Blackest Ever Black. A sequel and companion piece of sorts to 2015’s Antigravity, its title couldn’t be more apt: sonically it is both colder, and more exposed – in the sense of rawer, more volatile, more vulnerable – than its predecessor, capturing the combustible energy and barely suppressed violence of the trio’s celebrated live performances with aspects of noir jazz, musique concrète, no wave art-rock, sound poetry and spectral electronics all interpenetrating in unpredictable and exhilarating ways.
Andrew Tuttle & Padang Food Tigers – Game of Marginal Gains (Bedroom Suck Records)
As the world was closing its doors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, calendars were cleared. Amidst the confusion and apprehension of change and disorder, a silver lining of free time created opportunities and space for new musical collaborations. “A Cassowary Apart”, the debut collaborative release from Andrew Tuttle and Padang Food Tigers, is the result of such a time.
Further Reading: Deepest Currents
Jantar – Immram (Feeding Tube Records / Drowned Lands)
Fantastic new LP by this Brooklyn quintet, most of whom are deeply involved in the legendary Sunview Luncheonette scene.
The roots of Jantar lie in a nameless experimental duo formed by Chad Laird and Tianna Kennedy in 2005 or so, but this duo has evolved into a working band with two distinct creative strategies. One of their aims in make ”experimental easy listening music,” which involves working angles that are similar to film music, although perhaps with a bit of Stereolab poured on top. Their other mode is more overtly rockoid, and that was the intent when they recorded Sempronia in the summer of 2017.
Further Reading: Raven Sings the Blues
Benny The Butcher, Harry Fraud – When Tony Met Sosa (Get on Down / Black Soprano Family)
New Full-Length From Benny The Butcher, Featuring: Pusha T, Black Thought, Jadakiss, Conway The Machine, Rj Payne And More Plus Beats By: Alchemist, Daringer, Dj Shay And More. Griselda Records’ own Benny The Butcher released his Tana Talk 3 project in the winter of 2018, the album was produced entirely by Griselda mainstay Daringer and Alchemist and included appearances from his Griselda/Shady Records label-mates Westside Gunn and Conway and Royce 5 9 and Meyhem Lauren.
From Italy to Ukraine and settled in NYC, USA. BARK is Alessio Casalini (guitars, synths and programming), Alexey Artemov (drums, percussion and programming) and Marcus Potts (Vocals, Sax)
First single of our new album “Relics” out on April 2nd 2021
Further Reading: Glide Magazine
Mike Edison & Guadalupe Plata – “Who Ya Gonna Call” (Everlasting Records)
Matthew J. Rolin – Pinhole (Feeding Tube)
Menagerie – Hymn of the Turning Stone (Freestyle Records)
Josefine Cronholm & Kirk Knuffke & Thommy Andersson – I Sang (Stunt Records)
Thabang Tabane – Dlanga Dlanga (Mushroom Hour Half Hour)