Monthly Archives: December 2017

Komitas– Seven Songs

Beautiful, seemingly simple and short pieces for solo piano by the Armenian composer Komitas. Some folk elements. Play!

The Seven Fields of Aphelion–keep the ocean inside

Maureen Boyle, known as the Seven Fields of Aphelion, performs these ambient electronica pieces, some with instruments and voice, mostly slow and quiet.

Kid Stuff–McCormick Percussion Group

Contemporary pieces for mixed percussion, some with piano, both forceful and lyrical. Play most!

Bobby Previte–Terminals

Five pieces for percussion ensemble–the first three fairly aggressive, Terminals D & E feature marimba and others. Play!


Contemporary works for oboe and ensemble. Interesting variety, play most!

Robert Plane: Contrasts–Impressions of Hungary

Modern pieces for clarinet, solo and ensemble–nicely varying between abstract and folk elements. Play!

Bang on a Can Allstars–More Field Recordings

Cantaloupe “house” band Bang on a Can Allstars continue their recordings of contemporary/avant-garde works of a variety of composers, including Nico Muhly, Dan Deacon, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Richard Reed Parry and others. Ranges from dissonant to accessible, highly varying pieces.

Max Richter–Portrait

Angele Dubeau and La Pieta continue their Portrait series of composers with Richter–well known for his TV/Film music–ethereal, slow and ambient. Play!

Ann Millikan–Millikan Symphony

Four pieces composed in her brother’s memory, each piece reflecting one of his passions: Science, Animals, Rowing and Violin. Very interesting, changing in rhythms and instrumental solos. Play!  

Beauty in Simplicity

Piano pieces or transcription for piano of mostly quiet, minimalist works. Reich’s faster. Play all!

Journey on a Comet’s Tail

Contemporary pieces for reed quintet–lyrical, witty, or strong. Play!

3MA (6 Degrees) Anarouz

3 Master string players come together for this incredible collaboration. Great combo of Traditional African sounds, with a jazzy improv feel– some trax very groovy! Try: 1,3,4,6 RIYL: Toubab Krewe, Barika, Mali, African Strings FCC: Clean

La Misa Negra (Nam Entertainment) La MIsa Negra

Modern Cumbia and Afrobeat come together in this upbeat album. Sprinted female vocalist throughout and she adds spunky fun accents. I liked the more instrumental trax… Try: 1,3,5,7,10,11 RIYL: Manu Chau, Gogol Bordello, Spanish Female Vox, King Coya FCC: Clean

Shujaat Khan w/ Katayoun Goudarzi, Tim Ries, Kevin Hays (Tames) Will You

Improvisational Jazz with a Persian twist! The jazzy piano, meeting sitar, tabla, and sax make for a great combo. Some trax feature male/female vox traditional chanting etc. Try: 3,2,8,10 RIYL: Ravi Shankar, World Jazz, Long Songs FCC: Clean

Henri Dikongue (Planetary) Diaspora

The artist describes his style best as “A little New Orleans, mixed with Africa and some classical” which is about right. Some are upbeat and jazzy and some are more slow and romantic. Try: 12,13,1,4,7,10 RIYL: African Folk music, Creole FCC: Clean

The Green (Easy Star) Marching Orders

Positive vibrations and diverse collection of reggae infused pop music. Many vocalists on this album, some distorted & auto-tuned some more traditional. 11 is a great version of 7 Nation Army. Try: 11,4,7 RIYL: Modern Fusion Reggae, Ziggy Marley, Easy Star All Stars, Pop-Reggae FCC: 3

Nahko (SideOneDummy) My Name is Bear

Solo release from Nahko really highlights his vocal talents. Heartfelt, romantic, uplifting, positive vibes. Festival Music!! Try: 1,4,9,10 RIYL: Twiddle, Fink, Dreamy Male Vocals, Singer Songwriter types FCC: 3

Various Artists (VP Records) Mista Savona Presents Havana Meets Kingston

Various Artists (VP Records) Mista Savona Presents Havana Meets Kingston- All star musicians collaborate to bring Cuban and Jamaican Music together. The result is a fantastic album, maybe a little heavier on the Cuban, but all great! Try: 1,4,5,7,9,12,14,15. RIYL: Buena Vista Social Club, Cuban Music, Reggae-like music FCC: Clean

Mr. Lif & Brass Menazeri (Waxisimili) Resilient

Mr. Lif & Brass Menazeri (Waxisimili) Resilient- Great combo of Lif’s cool lyrical styles and Balkan Beats and accents. All good! Try: 6,10,4,3,7 RIYL: Mr. Lif, Balkan Beat Box, Nas, Eastern European Vibes, Klezmer, Conscious Hip Hop. FCC: 1, 2, 8

Monoplasma (Criteria) Uno

Monoplasma (Criteria) Uno- Sounds like Latin Indie Rock, with male vox. Some tracks have a nostalgic 80s feel about them and some are romantic rock anthems. Try: 3,4,5,8,11. RIYL: Empire of the Sun, 80s music, Latin Emo FCC: Clean

Thunder Body (Rootfire Cooperative) Solstice

Mellow upbeat positive soulful reggae-lite. Great instrumental trax, I wish there were more. Try: 6, 7, 2, 3, 5. RIYL: John Brown’s Body, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Matisyahu, Spiritual Rez FCC: Clean

Cloakroom – Time Well

Sludgey, dreamy, shoegaze that feels like you’re being enveloped in a heavy blanket of cathartic noise and guitars. Evokes a similar metal-influenced sound to 90s Alternative Rock outfit, Hum. Play: 1, 2. 6, FCC: Cean RIYL: Hum, Swervedriver, Nothing, Slowdive  

Alyeska – Crush

Emotional indie rock tracks that are full of energy. Clear, lovely vocals, with dreamy guitar riffs. Ayeska’s music is simultaneously vulnerable and powerful. Cathartic, moving, and perfect music for traveling, especially if you’re zooming through snowy mountain ranges. Play: 1, 2, 5 FCC: Clean RIYL: Mitski, DIIV, Soccer Mommy

Claude Debussy–Sonatas & Trio

Lovely, Impressionistic works for various instrumental combinations. “Syrinx” for solo flute is well-known and stunning. Play!

Dmitri Shostakovich–String Quartets 7, 8 & 9

The Altius Quartet performs these stirring, emotive string pieces, with unusual movements. Play!