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Record of the Month: Conduit - "Drowning World"

The sheer volume of this album is bound to be a deal-breaker for some listeners; it may even serve to deflect some of the musical variety on offer for those seeking simple guitar rock. Yet for the thoughtful listener there is much to appreciate here. “Saturn,” its opening track,” flutters and screeches, hanging in suspension as any good intro might. “Hypnagog” is the album's full-scale launch, however, pitched somewhere between the muscular metal of the Melvins and the more orthodox hardcore-punk from which this band is clearly spawned. The hybridity is escalated by the song's modulating sections, which shift in rhythm and intensity throughout (and revel in acid-laced deviations of noise and lyrics). “End Times” is built on a minor chord guitar dirge and pounding rhythm, each taken from the Black Sabbath playbook, yet juxtaposed by screamed vocals meant more to confront than to articulate. “Gille de Rais,” a song one assumes is about the French hero of the Hundred Years' War (15th Century), is the closest Conduit comes to modern psychedelic music. Its menacing rhythm gives rise to a thick wall of guitar pedal distortion which skirts the line between post-rock and metal. (The album cover even looks like one by Godspeed! You Black Emperor.) “Parasites” is the closest to straight-up hardcore; yet even here the tension felt in its combination of instruments seems less message-driven, more about the experience. “Zero Days” finishes the LP with a clear almost direct incantation—an oddity in terms of strategy (yet not out of place in the greater context). Shouts of “We cannibalize ourselves!” and “Nature breeds in a vacuum!” seem like surmising statements in what has become, by the end, a visceral expression of the world as it tumbles towards apocalypse. It can be taken as topical—the depressing state of politics; the system as bubonic plague. Yet that would limit the message to politicians and people in power, whereas this seems generally more bleak to me, as if to say: the heart of darkness is an endless well. And if such thoughts make you shudder then be forewarned. Drowning World is not for the faint of heart. But if straight-up truth is your poison then here's the antidote. - Brian Chidester

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Makaya McCraven "Universal Beings"

Makaya McCraven has announced that his next full-length album, Universal Beings, will be released by International Anthem on October 26th.

This will be a double album and will feature contributions from many of McCraven’s talented friends including harpist Brandee Younger, Dezron Douglas (Bass) , Joel Ross (Vibes), and Tomeka Reid (cello). Below is the trailer video for the new album.

You Can also stream the LP’s first two singles, “Black Lion” and “Atlantic Black”.

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GABI's "opera pop" is a tour de force + will perform @ The Park Church Co-Op on 10.03

GABI is an artist that can be easily described with a quick descriptor, but it takes dedication to her music to fully appreciate how evocative and moving her compositions can be. While the “opera pop” tag on her Bandcamp page sufficiently describes her sound, taking the time to hear how this translates into a three-minute song can be infinitely rewarding, and her latest single “Sleep” highlights the simple grandeur of that experience. Utilizing relatively barebones instrumentation, including fragile synths, harps, clarinets and pianos, the track builds upon loops that evolve into almost celestial revolutions, like GABI is creating the universe by having the production orbit her masterful and heavenly voice. And instead of ending with a crescendo, the song simply fades once its reached its apex, concluding like a storm finally letting up. Her album Empty Me will release October 5 via Double Double Whammy, and you can catch her live at The Park Church Co-Op on October 3 and stream “Sleep” below. – Tucker Pennington

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Kuzu "Hiljaisuu"

Kuzu is the improvised jazz trio of Dave Rempis (Sax), Tashi Dorji (Guitar), and Tyler Damon (Percussion). The group came together a year ago to record their debut album, Hiljaisuus, which is “Silence” in Finnish. The project seems to focus on silence, emphasizing the moments between the notes played with restraint and grace.

Hiljaisuu will be released on September 14th via Astral Spirits , and you can catch Kuzu on October 13th at Elastic Arts.

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Rotem premieres new album at two release shows on 09.01 and 09.02

Rotem is the type of artist for whom the codifier “experimental artist” is worn with pride. On his latest album, My Favorite Monster, the fusion of jazz with other genres explodes with colorful shrapnel. The guitars and drums would feel right at home on a Flying Lotus record, while the intense solos sound straight out of '70s prog-rock. This devotion to tinkering with his sound allows Rotem to play with tone and mood in interesting ways, producing songs like the gentle and sensual “My Favorite Monster” to segue into “My Favorite Things”, a fiery and claustrophobic political track featuring hip hop artist Cliche. Rotem performed at two separate release shows this past weekend at Nublu and Pete’s Candy Store, and will take his new material on tour across the US starting September 13. –Tucker Pennington

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