Jute Gyte, Discontinuities
Jute Gyte, Discontinuities

Philip Montoro, Reader music editor

Jute Gyte, Discontinuities Adam Kalmbach, aka one-man Missouri avant-garde black-metal project Jute Gyte, has released 16 full-lengths since 2010, and on the most recent, Discontinuities, he uses guitars retro­fitted to play 24-tone equal-tempered scales—meaning he’s got twice as many notes in an octave as an ordinary guitarist. His songs teem with unearthly clusters of seasick dissonance, so that they sometimes sound like early Sonic Youth with blastbeats and shrieking. Unfamiliar microtonal intervals create intricate acoustic interference patterns, so that tones shimmer and dislocate. Ears accustomed to Western 12-tone polyphony can barely process these sounds—they sink into your skull like red-hot stones into ice. It’s like you’re listening to a tape at the wrong speed, or to music warped by a black hole’s gravitational lens on its way here from several galaxies away.

The oddly musical squeaks that packed snow makes under your feet when it’s very cold If I had better-insulated boots, I’m pretty sure I could learn to play a little song, just by shifting my weight.

The Whammies at Constellation on Sat 1/18 Late in this transatlantic sextet’s engrossing set of Steve Lacy tunes, during a subdued exchange among front-line players, irrepressible drummer Han Bennink abandoned his kit to stroll around the floor with a pair of square claves. He’d click them steadily, pause, start clicking again—and then, during a pause, someone’s bar glass toppled from the risers and shattered, exactly when the next click would’ve fallen. Bennink’s face lit up. “Magic!” he cried.

Philip is curious what’s in the rotation of . . .

Nadya & Bob Gruen, <i>Ike & Tina: On the Road 1971-72</i>
Nadya & Bob Gruen, Ike & Tina: On the Road 1971-72

Jake Austen,
Roctober editor, Chic-a-Go-Go producer, Goblins front man

Magnetic South You’re not wrong thinking that the cassette revival is dumb, but ignoring the music on this flawed format is dumb too. Bloomington’s Magnetic South, my fave tape label, is home to Thee Tsunamis, a masked-girl garage band straight outta my imagination. Magnetic South’s fifth-­anniversary compilation features “Monster Mash”-style novelty revivalist Sir Deja Doog, Wee Giant’s Quintron-esque grooves, and a sitar group covering the Banana Splits!

Nadya and Bob Gruen DVDs Photographer Bob Gruen is best known for stills of Lennon, Kiss, and the New York Dolls, but he and wife Nadya also shot film; Lookin’ Fine on Television captures the Dolls with documentary and concert footage as well as slyly staged scenes. The Gruens’ masterpiece is Ike & Tina: On the Road 1971-72, featuring stunning performances shot from the wings and amazing intimate footage—Tina at home and arranging in the studio, Ike saying volumes with stoic near silence.

The Hyde Park Jazz Society at Room 43 The HPJS fills this venue most Sundays, and the recent 40-artist fund-raiser for its fall festival was magical. It draws an older, more conservative crowd than Constellation, but the word “conservative” never entered the ZIP code when Ari Brown led a half dozen imaginatively improvising horns behind the brilliant Dee Alexander. The night’s finest moment was also during Alexander’s set, when pianist John Wright, hours after receiving an award honoring his 60-year career (and 54 years after releasing his masterful South Side Soul), led his wife across the dance floor like a graceful teenager.

Jake is curious what’s in the rotation of . . .

TortoiseCredit: Jim Newberry

Mario Smith,
host and DJ, WHPK’s News From the Service Entrance

The Suite for Ma Dukes Orchestra, “Take Notice” Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Carlos Niño assembled this 60-piece orchestra, including percussionist extraordinaire Karriem Riggins, to create the ultimate tribute to the late composer and producer James Dewitt Yancey (aka J Dilla). Just the concept of J Dilla with a full orchestra is enough to get my attention, but once I actually heard “Take Notice” from Dilla’s Rough Draft album brought to life this way, I knew it was true art.

Tortoise, It’s All Around You It’s been almost ten years since Thrill Jockey released Tortoise’s fifth studio full-length, and it still holds up as my favorite—which is saying a lot. Tortoise is never afraid to do new things, as demonstrated by the last track on the album, “Salt the Skies,” which has a pretty dope video too. In it the band gets pelted with various objects—it’s not exactly Bjork with giant teddy bears and whatnot, but it’s close enough for me.

Avery R. Young, Booker T. Soltreyne: A Race Rekkid This soon-to-be-released album from Chicago writer and musician Avery R. Young is off the hook—a gospel-­fueled rock ‘n’ roll explosion, with assists from veteran instrumentalists Douglas Ewart and Leroy Bach and singers Tina M. Howell and Ugochi (Young coproduced with Urbanized Music’s Coolout Chris). The songs “Dat New Blk” and “Cochise” are destined to be classics, and Booker T. Soltreyne is going to turn up on a lot of year-end lists.

Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid and another in 2021 for Leor Galil's history of Neo, and he’s also split three national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and two (in 2020 and 2022) for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. You can also follow him on Twitter.