Métron Monthly – May 2017
Our monthly feature guides you through some of the best things we’ve listened to this month. Here’s a round up of new(ish) releases for May, one of the best months for new music in a long time.
Do Make Say Think – Stubborn Persistent Illusions [Constellation]
Canadian outfit Do Make Say Think have been around for as long as I can remember but it’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from them. New LP ‘Stubborn Persistent Illusions’ marks their first output in eight years and stands as one of the bands finest musical statements to date. It’s a record one might expect from a band that has been performing together for over twenty years, a beautifully balanced and boundlessly energetic release which, for the most part, remains true to the bands now signature sonic identity. Two drummers and two guitars driving forward their jazzy blend of post-rock, one that rarely feels tired or overly familiar.
Favourite Track(s) – Horripilation & And Boundless
Kara Lis Coverdale – Grafts [Boomkat Editions]
The Toronto based classically trained pianist returns with a new 22 minute piece of music that is utterly spell binding from start to finish. Her looped, warped, Satie-esque piano set aside constantly shifting synths, samples and found sounds brings to mind some of the evolving compositions of Steve Reich. One of the most enjoyable and meditative compositions of the year so far. You can listen in full for free below.
Favourite Track(s) – Grafts
Hiro Kone – Love is the Capital [Geographic North]
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Geographic North, from it’s ever growing list of fine releases to it’s signature design work, the Atlanta based imprint continues to do a lot of things right. After superb recent releases from Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and Strategy the labels latest offering is the debut full length from Nicky Mao, formerly of Effi Briest Hiro Kone moniker.
From the pulsating opening drones Love Is The Capital is an excellent sonically dense release and statement of intent from it’s author. At it’s core it’s an experimental techno record, awash with other influences, electro, rock, ambient, punk and breaks to name a few. It will be interesting to see what Mao does next.
Favourite Track(s) – Less Than Two Seconds and Ruhksana
Mark McGuire – Guitar Meditations [Self released]
If I could only listen to the music of a small handful of musicians for my remaining days, Mark McGuire would certainly be one of them. There is just something about his beautiful recordings, centred for the most part around looped guitar parts, that I am completely unable to resist. The former Emeralds guitarist releases music of a richly evocative nature at an alarmingly prolific rate (his second full length on VDSQ titled ‘Ideas of Beginnings’ was also released this month and is well worth picking up). Perhaps I am simply a sucker for his style, but his work is remarkably consistent and his best tracks spark emotional peaks that are rarely matched.
His guitar meditations releases, of which this is the third iteration, are self released via Mark’s Bandcamp page. Much less fanfare than his studio recordings for Dead Oceans or with Emeralds. And yet for me these deeply meditative, nostalgic and hopeful recordings are some of his most compelling and enjoyable compositions.
Favourite Track(s) – 08.01.2014
Sinjin Hawke – First Opus [Fractal Fantasy]
The debut LP from Fractal Fantasy co-founder Sinjin Hawke is one of the most impressive debut releases of the year, a dazzling display of musical production. Hawke draws on a wide range of electronic music styles and yet he manages to create a sonic universe beholden to nobody. The best way I can describe it is to imagine a bizarre collaboration between Balam Acab and Hudson Mohawke.
Built around choral vocal samples, sliced and looped to haunting and beautiful effect, something Quietus writer Ben Cardew perfectly describes as an ”alien acapella orchestra”, everything about First Opus is tinged with a sci-fi filter that would fit perfectly on a 2017 remake of ‘The Fifth Element’. And like the 1997 movie this is a polarising record. You will either fall into the luxuriously intoxicating bright textures or recoil at every alien echo and trap drenched beat. Whether it stands the test of time remains to be seen but as of today I for one am enamoured with Hawke’s bizarre and striking world.
Favourite Track(s) – Snow Blind
Les Amazones d’Afrique – République Amazone [Real World Records]
The first record from all female West African collective Les Amazones d’Afrique draws from a wide variety of styles, both Western and African. Vocal performers are front and centre with great contributions from Mamani Keita, Angélique Kidjo, Kandia Kouyaté and Rokia Kone. It is the young Malian vocalist Kone who makes the biggest impact, her distinctive tone and seemingly endless energy drive many of the records finer moments.
Favourite Track(s) – La Dame et Ses Valises & Deep In Love
Colin Stetson – All This I Do For Glory [52hz]
The latest LP from the incredibly talented American saxophonist Colin Stetson reaffirms his position as one of the brightest and most dedicated musicians around. For those not familiar this is will be an exciting new reality. Stetson has ostensibly rewritten the rule book on how one can use the saxophone to make music. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform earlier this year and was blown away by the raw power he is able to display both physically and sonically. And you can hear the breathless, restless and fervent energy of his technique all over ‘All This I Do For Glory’. It might not be a huge leap from his previous work but it’s still a fascinating approach that yields incredible results.
Let us know what we’ve missed and what you’ve been listening to recently.