Mint Mile "Ambertron (Comedy Minus One)"
From Comedy Minus One:
Mint Mile is helmed by Tim Midyett, who spent eighteen years in the acclaimed Silkworm, eight more in the critically lauded Bottomless Pit and currently plays bass with SUNN O)))).
After three four-song EPs in as many years, Mint Mile piles up the tunes on Ambertron with over an hour of music across this sprawling, dare-we-say epic double LP. From stripped-down twisters to languid drifters to opulent jams alternately joyous, gripped, hopeful and desolate, Ambertron explores the optimistic, rueful space between the personal and global, the emotional and political, and the places (sometimes dark) where memory and reality meet and sometimes disagree with each other.
Baritone guitar, pedal steel, rock solid rhythms predominate, with keyboards, strings, horns, and atmosphere woven into the mix as expert spices.
Check out “Fallen Rock.”
Moron's Moron "Looking For Danger (Slovenly)"
From Slovenly Records:
At long last, the first full-length from Warsaw Poland’s MORON’S MORONS is here and shitting all over everything you thought you knew about “punk rock.” As iconoclasts in the genre, duh Morons have concocted a rather challenging and unique album called “Looking for Danger” where every track sounds like (the) Germs “G.I.,” Angry Samoans’ “Back from Samoa,” and “Damned Damned Damned,” with subject matter provided by VOM’s “Live at Surf City” EP all played at the wrong speed backwards, layered on top of each other and turned inside out in an exercise in multi-dimensional stupidity with nonstop twists and turns. Juvenile silliness has never reigned so supreme on an album saturated with such noisy obnoxious violence that burns so bad you’ll be begging for a double shot of penicillin before you get a chance to flip it over!
Check out “Rise With Me.”
Libre Para Amar "Libre Para Amar (Names You Can Trust)"
From Names You Can Trust:
With their 2013 debut single “Vintage Voudou,” Conjunto Papa Upa cemented themselves as the torchbearers of a rare breed of Afro-Caribbean psychedelic soul, a clear delineation from the wonderful world of Venezuelan poly rhythms. That original song, named after the short lived but heavily influential Amsterdam brick and mortar record shop that band leader Alex Figueira founded, was a perfect clue into the deep exploration that Papa Upa would begin to take on their musical journey. Like the store itself, known for its solid connection to the musical footprints put down in relatively undiscovered places like Suriname, Curacao, Cabo Verde, Portugal and of course Figueira’s native Venezuela, Papa Upa has captured a sound that is entirely unique, a new concoction of influences that at once sound strange, yet totally familiar. Perhaps because Venezuela shared such a rich & diverse mix of sounds from the Atlantic, Caribbean & US, a kindred spirit to their neighboring country, Colombia, an equal in terms of their industry output from the 60’s & 70’s, yet not nearly as publicized and compiled in recent years. Like many places in the greater Afro-Caribbean nexus, they were musically ahead of their time.
This futuristic mélange of sounds is reflective of Papa Upa itself, made up of musicians from Venezuela, Uruguay, Cuba & The Netherlands, all living, practicing & recording at Figueira’s Amsterdam studio, Barracão Sound. With such a wide range of tropical influences, in a cosmopolitan and diverse city like Amsterdam, it’s no wonder that Papa Upa’s first long-player would find kinship in a collaboration with New York’s Names You Can Trust.
Check out “Libre Para Amar.”
Ian William Craig "Red Sun Through Smoke (Fat Cat)"
From Fat Cat:
Musically, ‘Red Sun Through Smoke’ moves from the sparse vocal take of opener ‘Random’; to the shifting, semi-occluded piano/ choral layering of ‘The Smokefallen’ or ‘Comma’; and the beauty of simple piano songs like ‘Supper’ or ‘Stories’. It’s not until ‘Condx QRN’ that the noise enters fully fledged and excoriating, but a patina of dust and decay is prevalent throughout. The use of smudged drones, occasional incursions of static, distortion and other noises eating away at the material’s edges offers a neat audio corollary to the smoke-filled environment or the progression of mental/physical deterioration. The drifting, untethered sections of overlaid piano/choral parts suggest some spectral unravelling or spiritual departure, whilst the naked simplicity of the piano and voice songs attest to a purity and directness of feeling. Indeed, despite the gathering detritus, ‘Red Sun…’ is perhaps the most stripped down, concise and direct that we’ve heard Ian. The LP ends as it starts, unadorned, “with a different reflection on coming to grips with the random nature of life and distilling everything down into only that which is necessary, without any of the raiment we usually cloak ourselves in.” Welling with emotion, ‘Stories’ is a stunning song and a heartbreaking final note.
Check out “Weight.”