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Cop Tears
Thirteen Harmonies (Cage, 1986)

Cop Tears is an unusual name for a contemporary music ensemble, but hey, that’s what this is: Derek Baron, Andrew Wilhite and Cameron Kapoor...view item »

Nils Frahm
Encores 1

Ah now we can have them. Now that Rough Trade have had their exclusive, the rest of us wait with arms outstretched for the leftovers. But as it's Nils and as it's Erased Tapes we will welcome them back in. These five tracks formed part of the same sessions for All Melody and if you didn't already get that album off Rough Trade then this will be ...view item »

Anna Meredith
Anno

Certainly doing pretty nicely amongst the chattering arts set, thank you very much, Anna Meredith won Scottish Album of the Year award for her debut 'Varmints' and has been artist in residence and sat on panels and all that sort of stuff. Now she releases a new collaboration with the Scottish Ensemble where she ...view item »

Anne Dudley
Plays Art Of Noise

Composer Anne Dudley was actually in the Art of Noise the unique 80s group helmed by Trevor Horn and Paul Morley. Now she plays the Art of Noise but the press release doesn't make clear if these are re-interpretations of Art of Noise track or are new things inspired by the band. I guess we'll find out eventually...view item »

Floex & Tom Hodge
A Portrait of John Doe feat. Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

Yeah man, it’s one of them DJ / classical music collaborations. Techno man Floex has teamed up with composer and instrumentalist Tom Hodge, with the backing of Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra to create A Portrait of John Doe, a melange of beats, strings, synths, woodwinds, and muc...view item »

Tindersticks
Tindersticks (2nd album)

Tindersticks reached new dramatic heights with their eponymous second studio album. Thematically, it covers the same profoundly dark territory as their debut album, the key difference being that their previous minimalist, guitar ridden aesthetic is surpassed by more outspoken deliveries backed by boastful, soaring arrangements. Tindersticks II i...view item »

Max Richter
The Blue Notebooks - 15 Years (Record Store Day Edition)

The Blue Notebooks is Max Richter’s Iraq war protest album. He began writing the album in 2003 when tensions were rising - and boiling over - in the country. Along with Richter’s beautiful compositions, the album features passages from Franz Kafka’s Blue Octavo Notebooks and Poli...view item »

Steve Reich
Pulse / Quartet

Steve Reich’s office has a huge portrait of Steve Reich looking down benevolently on Steve Reich. Which is kind of like a Steve Reich piece, feeding off itself in a continuous loop. Where Quartet is full of energy and all over the place harmonically, Pulses is a more quiet work - especially for Reich stan...view item »

Embrace
Love Is A Basic Need (Orchestral)

It’s the semi-final of the 2018 Fifa World Cup™, and it’s Germany vs. England. After a thrilling contest that involved a bust-up between Gundogan and Henderson, a perfectly good goal by Draxler that was disallowed despite the use of VAR and Marcus Rashford nutmegging Mats Hummels, it’s finished a draw and gone to penaltie...view item »

Various Erased Tapes Artists
1+1=X

Erased Tapes lie to us once more and release some tapes that actually haven’t been erased. Au contraire - 1+1=X is actually full of music! It’s something of a celebratory release to commemorate the label’s tenth birthday back in 2017. A bunch of ET faves - Ben Lukas Boysen, ...view item »

Nils Frahm
Spaces

Here’s something a bit different from everyone’s favourite modern minimalist pianist Nils Frahm, following mounting critical adoration for his most recent couple of albums. However Frahm felt that none of the existing recordings were really representative of his live performances, so he’s spent ...view item »

Jean-Michel Blais
Dans Ma Main

"Hey ma main!” “Wassup ma main!” “How’re things with you ma main?” “Good thanks ma main and yourself?” “Yeah I’m cool ma main. Say ma main, what are you doing tonight ma main?” “No plans ma main. What did you have in mind ma main?&rdqu...view item »

Max Richter
The Blue Notebooks

The neo-classical album I'm most fond of is this Max Richter LP on Fat Cat. He's a composer chappie who's had stuff out on BBC Recordings before so I'm told and this is just lush. Mainly consisting of pianos and strings it's just some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard.  It's very maudlin and it remind...view item »

Rauelsson
Mirall

Sometimes I feel I’m lucky doing this job; I often think this, in fact… The latest person to remind me how fortunate I am -- bearing in mind it’s still only Tuesday -- wasn’t Phil (surprisingly) but this man called Rauelsson who makes beautiful neoclassical sounds concocted from electronic...view item »

Stefano Guzzetti
Short Stories. Piano Book Volume Two.

Stefano Guzzetti follows on from where he left off with Volume One of his Piano Book series, a set of simply stated solo piano pieces, recorded in the intimate inner space of home. These so-called ‘short stories’ do indeed feel like sparsely sketched-out little narratives, ready to probe late night ...view item »

Sapropelic Pycnic
See Sun Think Shadow

Of Spires In The Sunset non-fame, Kathleen Baird has created some of New Weird America’s most nuanced works, honing traditionalism into psychedelia and vice versa. In their most recent incarnation, ‘Beasts In the Garden’, the Spires duo made a record of motifs and droning segues for flute, alto sax and loooooooooooops ...view item »

Roger Eno
This Floating World

Roger Eno is the ambient Eno who isn’t named ‘Brian’, if that helps, and this LP marks his first solo album since 2008’s ‘Flood’. This Floating World features Roger playing his piano, as you might expect -- he plays it a lot, and slowly, letting his strings reverb in the space around our ears, gently, harmonic...view item »

Matt Elliott
Howling Songs

Ten out of ten morose horses agree, the new Matt Elliott album is wikkid. I've heard a few albums he's been involved in before, from Flying Saucer Attack and the Third Eye Foundation to the Drinking Songs album a couple of years back but I've got to admit to never having been a total convert until now. I don't really feel as though I've got any c...view item »

Chilly Gonzales
Solo Piano III

“We want Chilly Willy!” “We want Chilly Willy!” While Barney Gumble may have been clamouring for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, unfortunately all we’ve got in at the moment is Chilly Gonzalez. He’ll have to make do. Solo Piano III is - who’d have guessed - the ...view item »

Rauelsson
Vora

Sonic Pieces return with a tastefully packaged little outing from Rauelsson a.k.a Raúl Pastor Medall. You may remember the artist from the Heather Woods Broderick compiled ‘Portland Stories’ compilation or perhaps from his ...view item »

Alexandra Stréliski
Inscape

Alexandra Streliski is a composer and a pianist fully immersed into the structures and melancholy of the world of neoclassical music, delivering stately pieces of tender but powerfully affecting piano in both film soundtrack contexts and in her own original material. Inscape, her latest full-length, is a real journey. O...view item »

Rachel's
Handwriting

This is the first Rachel's album and I remember thinking at the time "why are these former members of Rodan and Hulahoop playing classical music"? I didn't understand back then what it was but I knew I liked it. Then came 'Music For Egon Schiele' and it was obvious something quite special was go...view item »

James Newton Howard
Red Sparrow (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Red Sparrow fans, get involved in this, the full original soundtrack to Russian ballet / spy thriller, composed by veteran soundtrack composer James Newton Howard. Our man really draws on the thematic context to the film, including through the use of the likes of Tchaikovsky for inspiration. Double LP release, on red vi...view item »

Erland Cooper
Solan Goose

Who needs the acerbic wit of a Norman Records review when you can just image search a Scottish landscape and live in peace forever? I strongly advise you shut this off right now and Google “Orkney”, the archipelago off the edge of the Scottish coast, an idyllic coastal periphery that Erland Cooper calls home. He’s moved to the ...view item »

Adam Stafford
Fire Behind The Curtain

To celebrate Phil's 50th whinge about the fact that I've not reviewed it I decided to finally sit down and give this album a listen....and you know what...he's right. This record shouldn't go unnoticed.  Adam Stafford's compositions sit in that perfect place (to my ears anyway) where the minimalist repetition of the likes of ...view item »

Masayoshi Fujita
Book of Life

Masayoshi Fujita - an artist you may know better from his Jan Jelinek collaborations under the guise of El Fog - completes the trio of vibraphone LPs begun with 2013’s Stories. Book Of Life keeps the focus on the big metal xylophone while also incorporating a wider range ...view item »

Oliver Coates
Another Fantasy

This is one of those strange and hypnotic experimental techno records that played at a low volume can be plain annoying but banged right up is a genuinely sublime trip. Built around a ripping, relentless ascending cello loop, 'Another Fantasy' is a radical re-fit built around Bryce Hackford's track of the same title . Pa...view item »

Pieter Nooten
Stem

Ambient music: yes, subtle it may be -- and often is, if only by its own definition -- but by golly, doesn’t it often tug at the heartstrings? So, here we have ‘Stem’ from ambient and classical composer Pieter Nooten; does it emote? Well, yes, yes it really does. The kind of instrumental musi...view item »

Erik K Skodvin & Rauelsson
A Score for Darling

So here's 'A Score for Darling', which is -- spoiler -- a scored soundtrack to a film called Darling, an apparently emotionally raw tale about the life of a dancer. It's on the ever-reliable Sonic Pieces who love these slightly austere, reverential semi-orchestral soundbites; they've certainly pulled out the usual stops presentation-wise: check ...view item »

Stimming
Die Luft, der Garten und das Meer

Having released on labels like Pampa and Diynamic in the past few years, German head Stimming debuts on Ki Records with this EP. Die Luft, der Garten und das Meer contains three tracks of nicely-weighted deep house which bear some similarity to the music of another Hamb...view item »

Jeremy Enigk
The Return Of The Frog Queen

In the time between this record being made and subsequently reissued I'm sorry to tell you that Jeremy Enigk has lost his golden hair. Yup those locks that feature on the back sleeve are no more. However this is the only way the record has dated. Bit o' history first. 'Return of the Frog Queen' is one of those records that arrived at me word of ...view item »

Luke Howard
Open Heart Story

An LP that thinks an awful lot of itself from Australian composer Luke Howard here. Open Heart Story is one of those ‘contemporary classical’ records that is basically just Adele without singing and drums. Titles like ‘In Metaphor, Solace’, ‘Elysian Fields’ and &lsquo...view item »

Actress x London Contemporary Orchestra
LAGEOS

Following the single release of ‘Audio Track 5’ last September, Ninja Tune now offer up an entire LP of Darren “Actress” Cunningham’s collaboration with London Contemporary Orchestra, which first performed at the Barbican in 2016 (helpfully, ‘Audio Track 5’ is track 8 he...view item »

Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch
Époques

Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch is a composer and a pianist, and this second album of hers is a mixture of modern chamber music, with her own piano performances bolstered by strings and electronics in order to fully map out her compositions. Epoques...view item »

Mary Lattimore
Hundreds of Days

Bless the sky and the sun and all the people I’ve ever known because there’s a new Mary Lattimore record. Things are never quite as good as they are when this drone harpist puts out a new record of strums, arpeggios and loops, and ‘Hundreds of Days’ counts among the best crop of her work, a startling but subtle record tha...view item »

Dmitry Evgrafov
Comprehension Of Light

Hey, friends and fellow fans of sad instrumental musics: it's time, once more, to be wowed; by modern-classical label and FatCat offshoot, 130701. Dmitry Evgrafov follows up his ‘Collage’ of recent times with this new, more expansive set of contemplations. If that last disc spake of Evgrafov...view item »

Max Richter
The Blue Notebooks (15th Anniversary Edition)

Written in 2003 as a response to the invasion of Iraq, Max Richter’s The Blue Notebooks has become a seminal piece of classical protest music, in part due to its use in films such as Shutter Island and Waltz With Bashir. It’s a stirring work that hovers between electroacoustic music, Neo-Cl...view item »

Agnes Obel
Citizen Of Glass

It’s time to get (neo)classical with the songs of Danish-born Agnes Obel, who is now based in Berlin, ‘cos Berlin. When it comes to telling you a story with her voice, she likes to dream bigger - her head must be filled with a dozen string quartets and a gaggle of harpsichords when sat at the piano. Which she is classically trained i...view item »

Resina
Traces

Polish cellist Resina resurfaces on FatCat offshoot 130701 with more of her assured and poised neoclassical narratives, on Traces. The release marks somewhat of a career curve with an increased jaggedness and vitality, and in a bold move she employs her stark vocal to dramatic effect. Drums and percussi...view item »

Delphine Dora
Eudaimon

Delphine Dora, fresh from recent collaborations with Sophie Cooper and Mocke, presents a new album of solo material. Dora’s approach to the piano, her voice, and her compositions embraces the strangeness and intimacy of everyday life and one’s inner thoughts. Eud...view item »

Dakota Suite & Quentin Sirjacq
Wintersong

Simple yet tender and beautiful couplings of hushed voice and delicate piano -- that’d be this record documenting Dakota Suite and Quentin Sirjacq’s tour of Japan in 2015. ‘Wintersong’ began in March of that year as a soft dusting of snow began to top the trees and buildings of Fukuoka. The thought of which refreshes me o...view item »

Bill Baird
Summer Is Gone

Bill Baird’s new album Summer Is Gone was quite notably designed in such a way that no two versions of it were the same, thanks to a number of different mixes and a natty website. However, I can only presume that the same cannot be said of this vinyl pressing… Nevertheless, the music carries a delicate sens...view item »

glacis
The World Is A Little Lonelier Without You

Whomst wants their gut punched? Gracis have you covered. This brave and heart-wrenching record was written by Euan Alexander Millar-McMeeken at the end of his father’s long-standing battle with emphysema; he was helped on his way to creating these devastating and delicate pieces by Ed Hamilton, the two working around melodic piano motifs w...view item »

Harry Partch
The World Of Harry Partch

Originally released in 1969 as part of Columbia’s Masterworks series, this album contains three pieces by one of the most idiosyncratic composers of the 20th century. Partch’s percussive, microtonal compositions, utilising outlandish custom-built instruments, display the influence of gamelan and Noh theatre. However this is very much...view item »

Luton
Black Box Animals

Lost Tribe Sound had better not rename themselves William Ryan Fritch Records after all - things are getting diverse again. Here Italian duo Luton slip out a little 200-copy run of their brooding new album Black Box Animals. It combines various orchestral arrangements with electric guitar, piano, electronics and other s...view item »

From the Mouth of the Sun
Sleep Stations

Leftover stuff from the Hymn Binding and Menashe sessions is what we have here, showing a fuller and heavier sound than was appropriate for Menashe especially. Yes, it’s From the Mouth of the Sun, known individually on Earth as indefatigable drone cellist Aaron Martin and fizzy d...view item »

James Heather
Stories From Far Away On Piano

If you like the ‘post-classical’ ivory-tinkling of your Nils Frahms, your Max Richters and your Olafur Arnaldses, then this one’s...view item »

Mike Patton
Mondo Cane

Bit of a curious little project this...here Mr. Faith No More/Tomahawk/Fantomas unveils a Italian speaking collaboration with an orchestra which initially sounds like the recipe for an Italian rock opera. Infact, it's a rather crazy mix of styles and sounds that have more in common with a musical (i know, the difference is limited but you get th...view item »

Steve Reich / Terry Riley
Six Pianos / Keyboard Study #1

Six Pianos is a Steve Reich piece for, uh, six pianos, originally composed in the 70’s. Presented here is a brand new 2016 version produced by overlaying six pianist’s separate recordings, with personnel including Hauschka and two members of Brandt Brauer Frick. Supporting t...view item »

Steve Reich
Drumming, Six Pianos, Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ

Never shying away from blunt titles Steve Reich’s Drumming, Six Pianos, Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ is exactly that. Drumming alone is a nearly 90 minute piece revolving around drums xylophone and glockenspiels. The lord of repetition and subtle dynamic change in full swing. First time ...view item »

Theo Alexander
Broken Access

Pianist and tape loop aficionado Theo Alexander offers up a full-length of carefully constructed pieces for Luau Records. Loops of macro-recorded piano build up, hammers flickering away pleasantly and tape hiss’d background noise leaking in, to create mixtures of phrases. Suitable for rainy afternoons, lonesome evenings, c...view item »

London Chamber Orchestra and Christopher Warren-Green
Minimalist: Adams / Glass / Reich

This LP on Warner Classics brings together the big names of listener-friendly minimalism: Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams. Plenty of interlocking patterns and bright, clean pulses to be enjoyed here. We have ‘Eight Lines’ by Reich, ‘Facades’ by ...view item »

Zinovia Arvanitidi
Ivory

Now, here’s melody… Lots of melody. Those melodies for the most part emanate from the piano of composer-pianist Zinovia Arvanitidi, and her minimal orchestrations serve her well for the duration of her new solo record, Ivory -- sometimes introducing violin, cello and a rare sotto metallophone; even Zinovia’s own gentle, hushed...view item »

Peter Broderick
How They Are

Ole Peter is back. It's been a while since his last release. In fact we've just been discussing that it seems like it was more of a recent thing but it's actually his first commercially available release this year. Oh, and it's not even a proper album... It's a stopgap 7 track mini-album jobber which was written while he was on sabbatical with a...view item »

Brave Timbers
Secret Hopes

The sound of Sarah Kemp's violin playing should be mounted and stuffed somewhere in a museum for future generations to get soothed by as the world gets more harsh. She has previously played with Lanterns on the Lake, Last Harbour, ...view item »

Johann Johannsson
IBM 1401, A User's Manual

The JOHANN JOHANNSSON album 'IBM 1401 A Users Manual' has landed in my review pile. It's a thoroughly pleasant album this one. It makes me feel all big and grown up listening to classical music. It's a pipe and slippers job man. This has huge sweeping, epic strings galore and in places is not unlike the soundtrack to a BBC wildlife do...view item »

Johann Johannsson & BJ Nilsen
I Am Here

Abstract composers Johann Johannsson and BJ Nilsen combine for a pretty sweet slow moving soundtrack for the film ‘I Am Here’ starring Kim Basinger. Its typical moody soundtrack fodder, the album starts out dark and uneasy with a sense of foreboding, the eerie atmosphere is broken by some steady piano hits and swirling, sweeping stri...view item »

Goldmund
Occasus

Hello! It’s Jamie here, again. Time for my Top 5 Nouveau Classical Records of the Week rundown. Only joking, it’s really time for my review of ‘Occasus’ by Goldmund. Goldmund, or Keith Kenniff for it is he; he who is on occasion also ...view item »

Oly Ralfe
Notes From Another Sea

Oly Ralfe (of Ralfe Band) is truly showing himself off in a bright light here, on his debut solo album. That light is reflected and refracted in the clear composition and crystalline piano played by Ralfe throughout ‘Notes From Another Sea’. Yes, it’s a solo piano album. But it’s ...view item »

Jacaszek & Kwartludium
Catalogue des Arbres

I have some great stuff on this week. Last week was a little underwhelming but a new Touch release is always gonna to have this old pooch wagging his eager tail. I won't harp on too much about this guy's work. I have a huge place in my heart for the astonishing 'Treny' and also the 'Glimmer' album he delivered for Ghostly was pretty awe-...view item »

Joana Gama | Luís Fernandes
The Still Point Of The Turning World

Gorgeous, deeply atmospheric minimalist-inspired work from Orquestra de Guimarães composed and directed by Joana Gama and Luís Fernandes with arrangements from José Alberto Gomes. This outstanding modern composition was commissioned by Câmara Municipal de Guimarães and A Oficina / Westway Lab Festival in 2017 and has been mixed and pro...view item »

John Matthias & Jay Auborn
Pretoria Remixed

John Matthias (Derailer) joined forces with composer Jay Auborn to release Race To Zero through Village Green records in 2017, mixing modern classical with heavy electronic production. Here they bring Bristolian producer CUTS, Will Young’s (not th...view item »

Memory Drawings
The Nearest Exit

Memory Drawings are such a wonderful conundrum. A band of grayscale shadow-makers, they’re complemented with colourful musical timbres, their sound something like a heavy fall of snow coating itself over green grass. Their two previous records were melodic meditations that never got too grandiose, instead ruminating on compact post-rock me...view item »

Christine Ott
Tabu

Gizeh good, Gizeh good… isn’t that how that Shamen song goes? Gizeh pretty good in this case anyway, following up French ondes martenot virtuoso, pianist and composer Christine Ott’s Only Silence Remains with her soundtrack to the 2012 film Tabu, a story of the south seas. To the unfolding un...view item »

Jóhann Jóhannsson
Englabörn & Variations

Ah this is sad. Johann Johannsson was personally involved with the preparation of this re-issue of his debut album in the weeks before his untimely death.  After consultation with his family it's been decided that the re-issue should go ahead and this works as a lovely tribute to the man. It now comes re-mastered and with a...view item »

Hauschka
Ferndorf

Hauschka are back with their latest twinkle tastic album on Fat Cat entitled 'Ferndorf'. Immediately I can hear bits of Yann Tiersen in there. In fact if you're familiar with the Goodbye Lenin soundtrack there's definitely some washes of that in here.Very moving neo-classical sounding gear with a bouncy cheeky feel to it... almost playful in fact. ...view item »

Echo Collective
Echo Collective Plays Amnesiac

Brussels-based Echo Collective have worked with the likes of Dustin O’ Halloran and Jóhann Jóhannsson, and are keen on bridging the gap between classical and non-classical. Here, they undertake this task b...view item »

Hauschka
Foreign Landscapes

Anyone looking for a fix of modern classical music should know that Hauschka is reliable; a master of prepared piano who on 'Foreign Landscapes' has enlisted 12-piece ensemble the Magik*Magik Orchestra. He arranges their orchestrations around his piano and the result is as dramatic as you could expect adding support to the lonely piano tinklings...view item »

Olafur Arnalds
Found Songs

OK I've finally been smacked in the face by the charms of Olafur Arnaulds. His Found Songs mini album is one of the most moving albums of neo classical music I've heard in ages. It really is the soundtrack to the saddest moments in your life. Normally the office is full with people talking stuff and nonsense but when Olafur came on it commanded sil...view item »

Christina Vantzou
No. 2

As our resident drift-core/neo-classical/everythings-ok-electronica expert is in hospital with a malfunctioning gall stone, I have been passed this weeks slower releases to pore over. Forgive me though as I have the attention span of a gnat, I couldn’t even sit through the entire Bruno Mars performance on t...view item »

Carlos Cipa & Sophia Jani
Relive

Featuring two original piano compositions for four hands, Relive is a gentle yet dramatic, spectacular yet subdued, piano composition. That’s a lot of adjectives, but Carlos Cipa and Sophia Jani have created a two pieces of piano music that draw the listener in, know when to stop for silence, and ...view item »

Nils Frahm
All Melody

Referred to affectionately as “the Frahmster” by my bothersome boss, Nils Frahm is the holy ghost in Erased Tapes. He’s done a whole lot more for neo-classical than you have, so pay some damn respect. Max Richter don’t read this. His new record is called ‘All Melody’ but there...view item »

Erasure
World Beyond

The legendary synth pop duo had their seventeenth album released last year on Mute. This surprising and intriguing set of reinterpretations features a Belgian ensemble linked to several modern classical outfits and composers. What you get is Erasure's classic ethereal dance-pop done up in graceful orchestral timbres. Lovely....view item »

Nightports with Matthew Bourne
Nightports with Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne, then. Which side of Matthew Bourne will we be getting here, the melodic Matthew or Experimental Matthew? Or both? This latter option would appear to be the case, for the Nightports project -- Nightports being the name of the challenge put to Bourne by Adam Martin and Mark Slater. This most Piano of keyboard men recorded the piano...view item »

Patricia Escudero
Satie Sonneries

Though there are plenty of examples of classical music plugging in - think Switched-On Bach, think Wendy Carlos playing Henry Purcell on an electronic keyboard for A Clockwork Orange - there are few as good as Patricia Escudero’s updates of Erik Satie. Th...view item »

Lionlimb
Tape Recorder

Tape Recorder is one of that albums that insidiously creeps up on you without really announcing its presence. Each time it has been played in the office I've got up off my chair, walked over to the CD player to find out what was going down. This has happened 2-3 times. The main reason for my interest has been that it's second track has all the s...view item »

Tale Of Us
Endless Remixes

Berlin based Italians Tale Of Us released Endless through Deutsche Grammophon in 2017, with these remixes not long after. Now we are brought them on double vinyl in limited form. Taking their ambient electronica and putting them through their own inimitable styles, the remixes come from the likes of Alva Noto...view item »

John Grant
John Grant and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra : Live in Concert

Lucky John Grant got to perform with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in October and now Bella Union are releasing the recording into the world. The double cd set features a range of his material rearranged with help from Fiona Brice (Placebo, not the newsreader) ...view item »

MMMD
Andromache

This newest tape from the renamed and retooled MMMD sees the duo working in homage to “an unforeseen friend”. Info is sparse, but it’s a quaint and seemingly personal follow-up to their recent monolith of a triple 10”: here, they replace chamber for bedroom, ditching the daunting stirrings of cello and bass that have mark...view item »

MONO
Hymn To The Immortal Wind

This is the first Mono album to feature a full orchestra, and that provides the album's pronounced magnitude. The agonizing, climbing guitar parts stand amongst swaying, buttressing cellos and violins by the dozen, while flutes and glockenspiels liven those quieter moments. It is especially impressive that the orchestra is not used merely as a s...view item »

Harry Partch, Gate 5 Ensemble
And On The Seventh Day Petals Fell In Petaluma

To mark its 50th anniversary and the first full reissue for the record in those five decades, it was high time 'And On The Seventh Day Petals Fell In Petaluma' was re-pressed onto lovely crisp new 180-gram vinyl. Previously only excerpted, it's a rare instrumental record from Partch; his sparse and skeletal rhythms perf...view item »

Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet
Landfall

Substantial collaboration between musician and spoken word storyteller Laurie Anderson and San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet. Landfall, a multimedia project inspired by Anderson’s experience of Hurricane Sandy, blends skillful instrumentation with her powerful spoken word descriptions of the storm. On N...view item »

Adrian Lim-Klumpes
Yield (Preludes & Fugues for Piano)

Adrian Lim-Klumpes has previously plied his piano-man trade in the bands Triosk (for the Leaf label) and most recently in Tangents, working the keys in a loose, jazzy way. Here, he’s solo, he’s at one with his Steinway Grand, he’s channeling Debussy; and it’s all...view item »

Niklas Paschburg
Oceanic

What do we have here? Well, it appears to be an album chock-full of wondrous melodies performed on (mainly) piano with some soft and fluffy electronics for those keys to gently bed down into. 23-year-old German composer-keyboardist Niklas Paschburg was inspired by the nature he observed unfolding around him for this record; he says (softly): &ld...view item »

Eyvind Kang & Jessika Kenney
Reverse Tree

Jessika Kenney and Eyvind Kang bring in several of their many frequent collaborators to contribute to their new album Reverse Tree. These include heavyweights like Ilan Volkov and Hildur Gu∂nadóttir, plus the omnipresent Oren Ambarchi. Two s...view item »

Poppy Ackroyd
Sketches

Neo-classical composer and performer Poppy Ackroyd (involved in Hidden Orchestra) presents an album of Sketches: delicately traced pieces of piano and violin finery, with richly melancholy melodies and lots of stately space to languish in. Sketches is released by One Little Indian, with CD and ...view item »

Max Richter
Infra

Max. The Max, The Maxxer, Max is back! With a brand new album on Fat Cat! Curb your excitement neo classical funsticks, the time is nigh to get all misery induced again with a new album from the lord of melancholy (I'm really trying to liven this up... is it working?). Infra is a collaboration with Wayne Macgregor and Julian Opie for The Royal B...view item »

Bing & Ruth
No Home Of The Mind

Previously on ‘(The Adventures of) Bing & Ruth’: City Lake set out minimalist ensemble blueprint manifesto, firing twinkling mini-melodies alongside jet-propelled rhythms and -- you won’t believe what happened next -- Tomorrow Was The Golden Age pushed that sound still (inwardly) further, melodram-ettes ri...view item »

Max Richter
The Leftovers - Music From The HBO Series - Season One

All these people we've been bigging up for years like Frahm, Arnalds and Richter have shifted over to scoring films and telly. It just had to happen. Max Richter has been very prolific of late scoring lots of things, and this (for me) is the best thing he's done in ages. I watched the TV series which I found enjoyable and irritating at...view item »

Olafur Arnalds
For Now I Am Winter

For my second Icelandic record of the day we bring you multi-instrumentalist Olafur Arnalds although compared to most Icelandic ambient artists this is a big sound, a super orchestral beast with heavy glitch-hop beats like Craig Armstrong’s non soundtrack ...view item »

Nils Frahm
Solo

Only Nils Frahm could, with complete sincerity, declare the 88th day of our year Piano Day, and have us all (some of us - Clint) enraptured in the idea. Launching right into celebrations of what is at least objectively the best inst...view item »

A Winged Victory For The Sullen
Atomos

A Winged Victory For The Sullen's euphoric debut was a beacon of hope. Pianist Dustin O'Hallaran, with his dramatic and forthright compositions, took Adam Witzie's calming ambient soundscapes as foundations, making them sound aspirational. Witzie's old band, Stars of th...view item »

Nils Frahm
The Bells

That last CD by Nils Frahm on Sonic Pieces was a rip-roaring success and Kning Disk will be hoping The Bells is able to to repeat the trick. Essentially it's more of the same neoclassical solo piano improvisation but that's not a criticism at all, the guy's obviously hugely skilled and always a pleasure to listen to. It's helping brin...view item »

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