Vaadat Charigim – Sinking As A Stone

written by: Michael Snydel on May 19, 2015

Vaadat Charigim’s second album, Sinking As A Stone, is both a success and failure, depending on the listener’s perspective. As described by the band, the album is meant to distill feelings of boredom that accompany growing up in Tel Aviv. The Israeli trio has crafted an undeniably well-made, but ultimately hollow and suffocating album. Vaadat Charigim crib […]

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Torres – Sprinter

written by: Michael Snydel on April 26, 2015

Sprinter, Torres’ second album, is the sound of enlightenment. The peace and understanding of the album wasn’t easily acquired. In fact, it was torturous—a spiritual horror story that required a long look in the mirror, and contending with the hypocrisy that surrounded Torres. In the process of that evolution, Mackenzie Scott has made a bold, brave, and bracing album. […]

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Samo Sound Boy – Begging Please

written by: Michael Snydel on April 21, 2015

Whether or not an artist delivers a strong album, name checking a landmark album as a key influence is an automatic “Catch-22.” Either the artist whiffs, and becomes an example of “what not to do” for future fans looking to mine the material, or they follow through, and pale in comparison to the album. To re-envision […]

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Lapalux – Lustmore

written by: Michael Snydel on April 7, 2015

Lustmore, the second album from Essex-based electronic musician Lapalux, is a sturdy, listenable album in the tradition of beat-heavy electronic music. Everything is meticulously arranged, and yet it too rarely feels like anything other than a expertly crafted retread of his contemporaries. The album is even interested in the same brand of skewed consciousness, going […]

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Megafortress – Believer

written by: Michael Snydel on November 20, 2014

Art that focuses on identity doesn’t usually lend itself to ambiguity, especially not when spirituality is directly explored. Ironically, the representation of spirituality—an extremely personal and quiet growth—usually relies on grand pronouncements and bold gestures, rather than prolonged intimacy or uncertainty. Megafortress’ Believer doesn’t feel the need to give answers to its insinuated questions, which are […]

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Jon Hopkins – Asleep Versions

written by: Michael Snydel on November 10, 2014

There are few artists that could pull off a thematic companion to their last major album without it feeling regressive to their arc as an artist. Jon Hopkins’ Asleep Versions, the EP length reimagining of last year’s twitchy, expansive Immunity, isn’t the bold stylistic step that one would expect after an album that so expertly […]

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Ben Frost – V A R I A N T

written by: Michael Snydel on November 3, 2014

Australian noisenik Ben Frost isn’t the most obvious recipient for a remix EP. Frost’s brand of brutalizing noise isn’t allergic to snatches of melody, especially on this year’s full-bodied A U R O R A, but the album is more concerned with cumulative world-building than stand-alone suites. Frost’s musical building blocks similarly seem challenging for […]

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Andy Stott – Faith In Strangers

written by: Michael Snydel on October 23, 2014

Andy Stott is a musical chameleon. He isn’t easy to pin down from album-to-album, let alone song-to-song. He’s played with Drum ‘n Bass’ manic breakbeats, microhouse’s exacting hypnosis, avant-garde’s unpredictability, and even unabashedly beautiful soundscapes—sometimes all in the same song—but if there’s one defining element, it’s an aching, monolithic backbeat. Stott’s songs don’t so much […]

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Album-art-for-Memorize-Now-by-J. Fernandez

J. Fernandez – Memorize Now

written by: Michael Snydel on October 14, 2014

On his third EP, Memorize Now, Chicago native J. Fernandez is still negotiating the dangers of the “bedroom pop” aesthetic. The genre has had a natural, yet unpredictable evolution as it emerged as a quick and dirty vehicle for releasing music, but is now loaded with lofty expectations. In 2014 when nearly anyone with a laptop […]

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Iceage – Plowing Into the Field of Love

written by: Michael Snydel on October 7, 2014

It’s becoming clear the music industry prematurely judged Iceage. When these raucous Danes first emerged with the blistering thrash of New Brigade back in 2009, it felt like lightning in a bottle—an album by a fully-formed band that perfectly cross-bred punk and indie-rock into a form that both seasoned punks and the Williamsburg elite could […]

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Christopher Owens – A New Testament

written by: Michael Snydel on September 29, 2014

Despite the moniker A New Testament, which hints at an embrace of faith and a heavy influence of gospel music, former Girls’ ringleader Christopher Owens’ second solo album is less about devotion to a higher power than absolute commitment to a new relationship. This could energize or weaken an artist depending on the songwriter, and for […]

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