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Yamantaka//Sonic Titan deftly blend East Asian theatrics with outre rock for their dramatic album Dirt

Expansive Canadian rock outfit Yamantaka//Sonic Titan describe their sprawling blend of psych, metal, prog, and punk as “Noh-wave,” a name that’s derived from a classical form of musical theater developed in 14th-century Japan. Naturally, the band’s albums are big, dynamic, and dramatic, with blast beats, hyperdriven guitar solos, and taut vocal melodies that land with […]

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Bassist Stephan Crump ushers a muscular grace into the music of his limber quartet Rhombal

Bassist Stephan Crump has established himself as a magnificent team player. He provides muscle and bone in the limber trio led by pianist Vijay Iyer, and lets his fluency with tender melody sparkle in intimate groupings including his duo with guitarist Mary Halvorson and the Rosetta Trio, with guitarists Liberty Ellman and Jamie Fox. Crump […]

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Canadian sound artist Sarah Davachi uses electronics and site-specific acoustics to transform various instruments into something mesmerizing

For years Canadian composer Sarah Davachi has created stunning works of meditative sound art that deal with psychoacoustics, drone, and site-specific acoustic properties, often through hypnotic long-form pieces. She developed much of this material alone, using either strictly synthetic sources or subtle manipulations of long tones played on various keyboard instruments. In recent years, though, […]

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Despite his growth as a singer-songwriter, Steve Gunn still engages in profound exploration with drummer John Truscinski

Philadelphia’s Steve Gunn had made a name for himself with both his exploratory acoustic fingerstyle guitar playing and his more turbulent, noisy improvisational excursions before finding a new voice as an introspective singer-songwriter with a big sound; his songs meld lyrics that reflect a refined introspection with dusky, sometimes raucous folk rock that borders on […]

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Alto saxophonist Caroline Davis shows off a new sound forged in New York with her latest album Heart Tonic

Saxophonist Caroline Davis was based in Chicago for seven years before relocating to New York in 2013, and her five years there have demanded serious adjustment. She’s spent much of that time gigging as a side person while forging new partnerships and developing new music of her own. Last month she revealed what she’s achieved […]

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Texas instrumental trio Khruangbin blends globe-spanning influences harvested from the Internet

In a review of Con Todo el Mundo (Dead Oceans), the second album by Khruangbin, Pitchfork writer Erin MacLeod observed that the instrumental Texas trio makes “music for the Spotify era.” Streaming services give listeners an entire globe of sounds to pick through, and the members of the band haven’t been cagey about where their […]