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Showing posts from June, 2017

Review: Broken Muse (self-titled) (2017)

This week's article is a review of an Alt-Country album. It's not a genre I listen to very often, but this one warrants attention. The self-titled Broken Muse (available at bandcamp) is the debut release from this septet of friends. Led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Mark Goodwin, it combines a more traditional Country sound with rock elements and modern recording clarity. While it does contain some rock elements, the result doesn't sound like Contemporary Country which often sounds like rock/pop with a slide guitar and/or southern accent thrown in.

Just within the first three tracks we get a wide variety of sounds: All You Want sounds very traditional, Have It Your Way rocks out, and Holiday has a more loungy feel. Despite being so different, there is a cohesive sound to them and none of them feels out of place on the album.

I'm not an expert in this kind of music due to limited exposure to it. But I'll go out on a limb and say that the chord structures are varied…

Track Analysis: Orbital – Planet of the Shapes (1992)

I am going to try a new kind of article today... an in-depth single-track analysis. Some of the music I like appeals to me for very specific reasons. While I was watching the movie Amadeus, it occurred to me that I could probably appreciate opera music much more if I could think of it in the terms Salieri describes it with. So I will be doing some of these in the hope that it opens up some new musical doors for a few people.

For my first attempt, I will be doing Orbital's "Planet of the Shapes" from their 1992 self-titled album (the brown one... they have three self-titled albums of different colors). One of my all-time favorite pieces of music from any artist, this is a 10-minute Ambient Techno epic with some very interesting sonic texture choices. The mixture of hard techno drum sounds with floating flute and sitar is very interesting. However, I'll be focusing more on the track's rhythmic content.

Here's a link to Orbital's SoundCloud page with the tra…

Review: Plaster – Platforms (2011)

Plaster – Platforms (2011)

How I found this album is actually pretty funny. I was looking for the latest release on iTunes from Plaster, a Montreal electro-jazz band. Here's a sample of what they sound like; I love this track:

https://myspace.com/plasterfirstaidkit/music/song/square-wave-21881461-21682646

iTunes doesn't differentiate well between different bands with the same name, so Platforms came up in the search. It was released more recently, so I took a listen. This is what I found:

https://soundcloud.com/kvitnu/plaster-component

It's a completely different artist (obvious if you listen to the two tracks). This one sounds like some sort of hybrid between Nine Inch Nails and Monolake's Momentum. It was a great discovery; I since have gotten all of their released albums, and they're all good. But I have to say this one is still my favorite, which is why it's getting a review.

The sound engineering on this disc is amazing. Everything is crisp and well-placed o…

Review: Loscil – Coast/Range/Arc (2011)

Loscil – Coast/Range/Arc (2011)

This album exemplifies a minimal music genre, so I will spend some time explaining to readers how I came to appreciate music of this type. I do this in the hope that they might be interested in diving in after me if they haven't already.

The first real "favorite band" I ever had was The Moody Blues, starting in the late 80s. For about 10 years, I would describe them to people as being my favorite. During that time, my taste in music started to branch out as I gained exposure to more kinds of music. At one point in the late 90s when Internet Radio was just starting up, I found a channel called "Cryosleep - Zero Beats Guaranteed". I couldn't imagine why someone would want to listen to music without beats at the time. I thought of Classical music as a different animal, as it still had clear rhythmic structures, and is a showcase for the skills of orchestras in playing it and in conductors interpreting it. But if I was going to l…