This is the second special MPW report on music news in the period of the quarantine. In the last one, we heard a lot of musicians releasing new music just for the simple fact that they canceled their schedule and dedicated themselves to make new art, testifying how particular is the situation now from an artist’s perspective. Let’s see the new things of the past days.
03 / 18: Converge – Endless Arrow
The hardcore act Converge renounced to the live band performance that we get used to making an ambient interpretation of their song Aimless Arrow. Traces of the hardcore can be found in the overall loud volume, but here it’s the protagonist it’s the eerie atmosphere, sounding like a grey moment frozen in time. A perfect description of the isolation of the moment, especially if you consider that both the titles may refer to the virus, aimless because of the casualty of how the illness hit, endless because of the hollow time that it created. This is easily the top track of the week.
03 / 20: Loraine James – Ditched Demos + Ditched Album
The same happens with the deconstructed trip-hop of Loraine James that takes previous and new material to make a collection out of it that can be defined as a whole album by itself. The first six tracks are the ones that didn’t end up in the record For You And I and the others are new I guess. More than an hour of glitchy techno to spend your time in a completely different world.
03 / 21: Nihiloxica – Tewali Sukali
They’ve been the techno phenomenon of 2019 with the EP Biiri: blending the frenzy of Ugandan rhythms with synthetic dissonance. On this new track, the anticipation of the upcoming debut album, the sound is pretty the same but the research of new tones, for example, the loud gongs, makes it feel fresh. And no, the one in the video isn’t a static image. I hope these guys will be able to perform this stuff live at the end of the emergency. When dance and experimentation intertwine is always a good thing to bring them out around.
03 / 20: Luca T. Mai (ZU): Heavenly Guide LP
03 / 20: Bologna Violenta – Bancarotta Morale LP
Two important Italian experimenters brought out their stuff on the same day: the saxophonist of ZU and Bologna Violenta. the first one is a solo project in which the instrument sounds like a mixture of sax, bass, and electric guitar together, making all the tunes by itself. The main part of the engine is the blues but it’s so abused by the performer that sounds like something else. Fun some titles that make a joke of Italian and English. Bologna Violenta changes something in the modus operandi: they substitute the electric guitar parts to insert an armonium in the arrangements, and the results are obviously different in terms of atmosphere. Now the album sounds more traditional, meaning that it gets closer to the subject that it deals with. The record ( the title means “moral bankruptcy” ) is split into two acts, fast songs in the first half, a long jam track in the second one.
03 / 20: The Great Dictators – Creep For Life
The Danish band adds some post-eighties to the alternative rock that they play. Having a family may be both a blessing and a curse and the song expresses both sides at once, sounding kinda “happy” with melancholic tones and some dissonance and haunting reverbs. It’s honest electro-rock and executed well. Their next album One Eye Opener is behind the corner.
03 / 22: Enter Shikari – T.I.N.A.
Not much time from the release of the next album and Enter Shikari posts another track named T.I.N.A. Despite the clear influence, the song sounds fresh because of the perfect balance between the contrasting elements, perfectly split between vaporwave, dancefloor, and djent-y syncopation. Look beyond the veil of virtual knowledge and you will see the truth.
03: 24: Lou Nime – Resist
Someone is using the spare time given by the quarantine to dig some old 8-bit games and spending the day with nostalgic feelings. I’m doing this myself and despite the extreme dryness of the track, I feel Resist by Lou Nime like a nostalgic tune reminding the hunting for missingno in the first pokémon games, haunting and mysterious glitches to make a beat out of it.
03 / 24: Yossi Sassi – Redemption Song
The oriental shredder with his trademark bouzoukitara ( a double-neck guitar, partly acoustic partly electric ) appears from nowhere bringing the cover of a classic Bob Marley song with the peculiar touch of the oriental flavors. To enjoy something familiar but at the same time very different, sunlight in dark times.
03 / 24: Devin Townsend – Honeybunch
Devin also provides music for and from the quarantine! I’ve talked about the first ambient one and now there’s this collaboration with the singer Che Aimee Dorval and the drummer Federico Paulovich, a video and a song that feels like a goofy soundtrack for the videogame Saints Row 4. Alien rock party!
03 / 24: Kooba Terqu – Qasan
A primordial sound based on drone, screams, poli-rhythm and general loudness. Nonetheless, the upcoming record, release set on 22nd May, has the title Proto Tekno. But the video refers to the life-beating heart of nature, views of trees and forests culminating in a long tribal coda. A new name to keep ears on.
03 / 24: The Pricks – Cream Crackered
Psych rock from the far north of Europe to keep people entertained with lightheartedness. The song is based on a joke between the band members on one of them always arriving late. Not very modern but absolutely needed at the moment. Very retro the video, tasty lo-fi quality, and psychedelic colors.
03 / 25: Jacob Collier – In My Bones
This level of funk is illegal in many ways. It’s the second single from the upcoming Djesse Vol.3 by the “hyper-mega-blahblah-Lydian” guy. At this round, he teams up with Kimbra and Tank & The Bangas. In the middle of the tune it seems that its length might be ten minutes and then you realize it’s only four. Fantastic use of colors both in visuals and music, reminding of some odd moment in time between the eighties and the future. A tune that could be easily in every radio chart of three decades ago.
That’s all for now, stay safe and wash your hands. Protect yourself with headphones and good music.