Strange sounds and sound-scapes from the avant-garde, here you'll find our picks from the fringes of the musical landscape. Synth witches and wizards, psychedelic explorers, modern composers, and oddities across the spectrum are all covered here.
Oneohtrix Point Never steps out of the fog:
Oneohtrix Point Never's new record Age Of somehow manages to be perhaps his most listenable record yet while sacrificing none of the strangeness that made him such an engaging musician to follow for these last few years. With far more vocal-led tracks, this one has nods to modern avant-pop mixing in next to experiments in modern composition. Strange sonics, creeping noise, unhuman voices, shifting crumbling rhythms, and melodies are all in abundance on this record.
Take a sonic journey with the Taj Mahal Travellers:
On the live double record August 1974, Takehisa Kosugi leads a group on Japanese improvisors into the far fringes of psychedelic rock, free jazz and drone music, discovering new previously undreamt-of territory between all discernible genres. Finally made available again on vinyl across four full sides by the Aguirre label.
Iconic score for Unsolved Mysteries sees its vinyl rebirth:
For a whole generation, the main theme of Unsolved Mysteries might sneakily be one of the most evocative pieces of music out there, instantly instilling the dread and anxiety of the unknown. Well now it's on a handsome limited LP via Terror Vision, along with plenty of other original compositions from the show's run here for listeners to explore in a whole new context. Horror soundtrack obsessives take note, this really plays well next to the likes of Goblin and John Carpenter.
Percussive polyrhythmic masterpiece from Steve Reich:
New music being made available by Steve Reich is always a treat. He is certainly one of the most important modern composers, a pioneer in minimalism, and a first window for many into the sounds of the avant garde. The always excellent Superior Viaduct label recently issued a long unavailable early recording of the composer's expansive and hypnotic piece Drumming. Pulled from a concert in 1971 and featuring the composer himself and a small ensemble, this is a deep-listener's dream. If all you've heard is Music for 18 Musicians, make sure you lay ears on this soon.
Hear the Japanese spin on out-jazz on Spiritual Jazz 8: Japan:
Spiritual Jazz 8: Japan is the two-part Japanese edition in the Jazzman Records Spiritual Jazz series focused on the far out ventures of the Nippon jazz scene and Jazz Kissa culture of the 1970s. The selections are free in style and broad in the palette from which these artists take their sound. This compilation features many ultra-rare gems otherwise largely unheard and unavailable in the west.