Improv & Avant-Garde 2011: 10 Favourites
While it might only be a rule by inference, it's one that Nils Frahm breaks ― he has recorded an "inside" piano album that leaps free of the instrument at several turns. Felt is so named elementarily for the thick layer of material Frahm installed atop the strings of his piano to facilitate late night / early morning play and recording. The latter was achieved by close placement of microphones at high gain near the swaddled strings. This sensitivity to sound additionally captured the mechanics of the piano, the pedal and key depressions, Frahm's breath and other extraneous room sounds as well. That liveliness, beyond the notes, arrays each piece in a much more physically and imaginatively rich context. For "Less" Frahm is content to leave the pure occurrences unadorned and complete. Elsewhere, as on opener "Keep," he builds layers upon layers of staccato performance and adds other instruments to fully fill in a chorus of sounds. "Unter" plays it for mystery as the piece devolves into a cavernous space where the piano falls away leaving muted background noise and lonesome whistling before melting into the concertina that opens the following track, "Old Thought." Through all its diversions Frahm manages to create an album that's still all of a piece, and one that focuses on the beauty and occult possibilities the piano still has enclosed.
NewsJul 30, 2015
Fat Mike Reflects on 25 Years of 'Quality Punk Rock'
While it was Fat Wreck Chords co-founder "Fat" Mike Burkett who revealed plans for his label's upcoming "Fat Wrecked for 25 Years" tour in a...
FeaturesJul 29, 2015
Titus AndronicusAmbition In Five Acts
Since Patrick Stickles rose up with fists held high in July 2005 as frontman for Titus Andronicus, he and the band have done nothing half-as...
StreamsJul 28, 2015
Keita Juma"Come Over" (ft. Brendan Philip) on Exclaim! TV
Born in Bristol and based in Toronto, Keita Juma's music is a fusion of sounds from both cities; he blends England's moody electronic with i...
NewsJul 28, 2015
An Essential Guide to Ornette Coleman
How does one measure a lasting impact on music? Someone whose influence lasts a decade or even a generation? What does "an impact on music" ...
FeaturesJul 24, 2015
Maestro Fresh Weson Exclaim! TV Sweet 16s
Maestro Fresh Wes's 1989 track "Let Your Backbone Slide" still holds the title of the best-selling Canadian hip-hop single of all time, whic...
NewsJul 23, 2015
Lamb of God Talk 'VII: Sturm und Drang,' Clean Singing and Being 'Anti-Noodle'
In comparison to many recent albums, Lamb of God's VII: Sturm und Drang (out July 24 on Nuclear Blast) is slim and trim at ten songs. That's...
NewsJul 23, 2015
Iris Dement Channels Poetry on 'The Trackless Woods'
A powerful experience led Iris Dement into The Trackless Woods, the songwriter's sixth album. Based on the work of celebrated modernist Russ...
StreamsJul 22, 2015
The Lonely Parade"Girl" on Exclaim! TV
Augusta Veno, Charlotte Dempsey and Anwyn Climenhage are the Lonely Parade, a punk-y indie rock trio from Peterborough, ON. Their debut albu...