Album Review: N/UM – Ravens

Bringing together analogue synths, guitars, voice and other instrumentations to create entirely improvised pieces of electronic music both live and on record, American trio N/UM are something of an oddity in dance music culture, despite the sheen of their music coming across as pretty accessible. In their own words, N/UM (pronounced ‘Noom’) are ‘bringing the…

Review: Kurokuma/Under – Split 7″

Given the unofficial, romantic pet name ‘Kurokunder’, this split release sees two of the brightest sparks in the UK underground doom/sludge scene unite under the power of the riff, with each band managing to push themselves into new terrain across one track each. Right from the off it is clear that this far from your…

Album Review: Gabriel Birnbaum – Not Alone

Gabriel Birnbaum, the talented saxophonist, composer and arranger, has described his new album, Not Alone, as a ‘great autumn record.’ He isn’t wrong. It has a comforting quality to it, and it isn’t full of tropical summer pop earworms either. Although you could describe Not Alone as laidback, it is, to Birnbaum, a piece of…

Album Review: Twelfth Day – Face to Face

Twelfth Day have updated folk for 2019. Traditional Celtic elements are intermingled with unconventional musical techniques, exploration of pertinent issues and a completely unique sound. Nothing has been left behind on the two-piece’s latest release: vocals, instrumentation and lyrics could all stand alone in their own right. This is what defines the success of the…

Album Review: Phildel: Wave Your Flags – Imagery, Raw Emotion and Universal Thematic Appeal

A classic, self-confessed-noughties-loving-21st-century-student (pause for a ginormous breath), electropop folktronica heroine Phildel would not have been my first choice of artist to listen to. She probably wouldn’t have been my second…or indeed third. That being said, there are still many elements of the dream-pop princess’ latest release, Wave Your Flags, that we can all definitely…

Album Review: Okey Dokey – Tell All Your Friend

Tell All Your Friend is a joyous, colourful riot. It’s the kind of sequence that twists and turns like a country road, dipping in and out of sunshine patches. Guest musicians Liz Cooper and Rayland Baxter accompany lead singer Aaron Martin and guitarist Jonny Fisher. Overall, the album feels like a search for identity; a self-examination…

Album Review: Forest Management – Passageways

Punctured only by an occasional clicking beat, like the flicking open and closed of a comatose eyelid through the blurry passage of time, the perfectly titled ‘Ageless Imagination’ opens the new Forest Management album, Passageways, with gentle and ethereal ambience. This tiny, flickering ostinato is in fact the only beat of any kind throughout the…

Album Review: SOWFLO: New Shoes – Thematic Turns and Positive Vibes

Poppy, reggae beats resound in the latest offering from the (SO)uth-(W)est-(FLO)rida-based five piece. Off the back of the success of their 2016 debut Such Is Life – which reached fifth place in the Billboard reggae charts – the reggae/rock quintet have teamed up once more with Marc Lee (Damian Marley, Stephen Marley) to produce this…

EP Review: Hate Club: A Clear Mistake – One Hell of an Auditory Ride

Scorching, slick and new, A Clear Mistake is the latest installment from the New York Indie punks, Hate Club. In just three searing tracks, the band display a diverse lyrical and stylistic range. How? Through interlacing 90s Indie tropes – most likely influenced by the likes of Pixies and Sonic Youth – with raucous energy….

Review: OGRE & Dallas Campbell – All Hallows’ II

Retrowave duo OGRE and Dallas Campbell demonstrate a preternatural approach to synth-music on their latest fictitious score. All Hallows’ II is a conceptual soundtrack to a fictional horror film, akin to the style of an 80s-horror film. Despite collaborating thousands of miles from each other (OGRE is based in southwest England, whereas Dallas Campbell lives…