Posted inMusic

Trevor Dunn and Sannety mix and match electronics, experimentation, and rhythm as SpermChurch

Bassist Trevor Dunn has forged relationships with polyglot saxophonist and composer John Zorn, avant-garde reedist Ben Goldberg, and scads of other jazz-world luminaries. He plays on Diatom Ribbons, a career-defining 2019 record by jazz keyboardist Kris Davis, but his contributions have largely gone unheralded, subsumed in the overall greatness of the album. Despite these accomplishments, […]

Posted inMusic

Arc Mountain is the underground-label collaboration you’ve been waiting for

Like doesn’t necessarily breed like—just ask all the friends for whom I’ve tried (and failed) to play cupid. But similarity is bliss for underground labels Deathbomb Arc and Hausu Mountain, which collaborated to release the compilation Arc Mountain on May 7. Based respectively in Los Angeles and Chicago, these eclectic, irreverent labels might be separated […]

Posted inMusic

Sui generis duo Beautifulish constructs alien sound worlds

Percussionist Samuel Scranton and bassoonist Katherine Young (who was, in the distant past, a Reader editorial staffer) combine improvised and composed material in the sui generis duo Beautifulish. Their name may sound tentative, and their preference for small-run cassettes may seem humble, but there’s nothing timid about their radical sounds. Beautifulish’s music arose from weekly […]

Posted inMusic

Chinese guitarist Li Jianhong takes spiritual psychedelic noise to Europe

Guitarist Li Jianhong is fairly unknown in the U.S., but he’s one of the most important experimental musicians in China. Like Sonic Youth and Japanese rock collective Ghost, he straddles and/or blasts his way across the line between psychedelic rock and exploratory noise; he also frequently incorporates a spiritual component inspired by Buddhism and traditional […]

Posted inMusic

Sui generis trio Bloodmist get bleak on their second album

Given the diverse CVs of Bloodmist’s members, the trio’s music could be many things. Clarinetist and synthesizer player Jeremiah Cymerman has made solo recordings that bridge free improvisation and electronic sound design; synth alchemist and drum programmer Mario Diaz de Leon composes unabashedly dramatic acoustic chamber pieces and electronic metal; and bass guitarist Toby Driver […]

Posted inMusic

Ben Baker Billington’s Quicksails builds whole worlds from serene synths

Many prolific musicians call Chicago home, but multi-instrumentalist Ben Baker Billington is a veritable Energizer Bunny. He’s been contributing otherworldly experimental sounds to the scene since his mid-aughts stint in noise project Druids of Huge, and his musical resumé is too long to reproduce in full here. Any outre artist looking for an open-minded collaborator […]